Russian strikes kill 9 civilians in Syria

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence search for survivors after a reported airstrike by pro-government forces on the village of Shinan in the northwestern Idlib province. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 November 2019

Russian strikes kill 9 civilians in Syria

  • Three women were among the victims
  • Sunday’s airstrike hit the village of Mallaja in Idlib province

BEIRUT: Airstrikes by Syrian regime ally Russia on Sunday killed nine civilians in the opposition-run enclave of Idlib in the northwest of the country, a war monitor said.
Five of the victims died in the village of Al-Malaja in southern Idlib province while the other four were killed in raids on the town of Saraqeb in the east, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A number of people were wounded, some seriously, the monitor’s head, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP, though he was unable to say how many.
The Idlib region, home to around 3 million people including many displaced by Syria’s eight-year civil war, is controlled by the country’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.
The Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham opposition alliance also controls parts of neighboring Aleppo and Latakia provinces.
The region is one of the last holdouts of opposition to forces of Syria’s Bashar Assad. A cease-fire announced by Russia has largely held since late August.
But the Observatory says 48 civilians — including 16 children — have been killed in Russian airstrikes on the region since the start of November.

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48 - civilians, including 16 children, have been killed in Russian airstrikes on the region since the start of November, says the Observatory.

The Britain-based monitor, which relies on sources inside Syria, says it determines who carries out an airstrike according to flight patterns, as well as aircraft and the munitions involved.
Last month Assad said Idlib was standing in the way of an end to the civil war that has ravaged his country.
Syria’s conflict has killed 370,000 people and displaced millions since beginning in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.


Rockets hit military base hosting US troops near Baghdad airport

Updated 53 min 12 sec ago

Rockets hit military base hosting US troops near Baghdad airport

  • Security forces found a rocket launcher and several rockets in a search of the area

BAGHDAD: Several rockets slammed into an Iraqi military complex that hosts US forces next to Baghdad International Airport on Monday, wounding six Iraqi troops, the military said.
Security forces found launchers with rockets that had not been fired properly, indicating a larger attack was planned, a military statement said.
It is the latest in an uptick in rocket attacks targeting either Iraqi bases where American troops are located or the US embassy in Baghdad.
US defense officials have blamed several on Iran-backed factions in Iraq.
Security sources told AFP that the wounded in Monday’s attack belong to Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service, an elite unit that was created and trained by US forces.
Two of them are in critical condition, the sources said.
The military complex also hosts a small group of US soldiers and American diplomats.
There have been at least nine attacks against US targets in Iraq in the span of six weeks.
There have been no claims of responsibility and no US forces have been wounded.
Security sources have linked at least one last week to Kataib Hezbollah, a powerful Shiite faction close to Tehran and blacklisted by Washington.
Iran holds vast sway in Iraq, especially among the more hardline elements of the Hashed Al-Shaabi, a security force largely made up of Shiite militia.
A US defense official said the rocket attacks made the Hashed a bigger security threat to American troops in Iraq than the Daesh group, the militant movement which the US has vowed to help Baghdad wipe out.
On Friday the United States imposed sanctions on three senior Hashed figures.
Tensions between Iran and the US have soared since Washington pulled out of a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran last year and reimposed crippling sanctions.
Baghdad — which is close to both countries and whose many security forces have been trained by either the US or Iran — is worried about being caught in the middle.
US officials say they are considering plans to deploy between 5,000 and 7,000 additional troops to the region to counter its arch-foe Iran.