Air strikes kill at least 17 civilians in Syria rebel enclave: monitor

A Syrian girl who was injured in bombardment receives treatment at a make-shift hospital in the besieged rebel-held town of Douma, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on January 6, 2018. The deadliest of Syrian regime and Russian air strikes on the Eastern Ghouta region hit the Hammuriyeh district, leaving 12 civilians dead including two children. (AFP)
Updated 06 January 2018
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Air strikes kill at least 17 civilians in Syria rebel enclave: monitor

BEIRUT: Regime and Russian air strikes on a rebel-held enclave near the Syrian capital killed at least 17 civilians on Saturday, a war monitor said.
Eastern Ghouta, one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in the country, is the target of near-daily air raids.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday’s deadliest strikes had hit the Hammuriyeh district, killing 12 civilians including two children.
An AFP reporter in Hammuriyeh saw residential buildings with their facades blown open, collapsing into streets strewn with rubble.
Residents including members of the White Helmets rescue group rushed to rescue the wounded.
Running past a burning car, one man held a crying boy in his arms, while another carried the apparently lifeless body of a child through the streets.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said Syrian and Russian aircraft had “continued their intense bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, targeting several residential areas.”
He said those killed also included two people in the district of Madira and three in Erbin, adding that 35 people were also wounded in the three areas.
The Britain-based monitor relies on a network of sources inside Syria and says it determines whose planes carry out raids according to type, location, flight patterns and munitions used.
At the start of the week, a coalition of rebels and jihadists including a former Al-Qaeda affiliate surrounded the only regime base in Eastern Ghouta, which lies east of Damascus and has been under a crippling regime siege since 2013.
The blockade has caused serious food and medicine shortages for the enclave’s estimated 400,000 inhabitants.
More than 340,000 people have been killed in Syria and millions displaced since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 23 May 2019
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.