Syrian army presses on in Idlib province as death toll rises

The Syrian government offensive in Idlib is reported to have killed 12 people and wounded 34, according to the Syrian Defense group of first respondents. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 August 2019

Syrian army presses on in Idlib province as death toll rises

  • Syrian government media reported capturing three small villages in Idlib
  • The province is the Syrian opposition’s final stronghold

BEIRUT: Syrian state-run media and a war monitor say government forces are pressing ahead with their military offensive in Idlib province, seizing a cluster of villages on the southeastern edges of the province.
The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media reported on Thursday that troops captured three small villages in the area. Their next target appears to be the rebel-held town of Maaret Al-Numan, which lies near the Damascus-Aleppo highway.
Idlib is the Syrian opposition’s final stronghold. The opposition Syrian Civil Defense group of first responders said airstrikes on Maaret Al-Numan on Wednesday killed 12 people and wounded 34.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, also reported 12 deaths.
The UN says over 550 civilians have been killed since the offensive on Idlib began in late April.


US Navy carrier transits Strait of Hormuz after deployment

Updated 20 November 2019

US Navy carrier transits Strait of Hormuz after deployment

DUBAI: A US aircraft carrier ordered by the White House to rapidly deploy to the Mideast over a perceived threat from Iran has transited the Strait of Hormuz for the first time since its deployment.
The US Navy says the USS Abraham Lincoln transited the strait on Tuesday, making its way to the Arabian Gulf. The carrier left Norfolk, VA, in April and was diverted to the Middle East in May, but it had remained in the Arabian Sea, avoiding passage through the strait that borders Iran.
American aircraft carriers have for decades sailed through the international oil shipping route in what the US describes as “defensive” operations aimed at keeping the strait open.
The Trump administration deployed the Lincoln to the Arabian Gulf amid a spike in tensions with Iran.