Airstrikes kill 22 at market in Idlib

A picture taken on March 22, 2018 shows Syrian civilians gathering at a scene of destruction following an air strike in the rebel-held town of Harem in the northwestern Idlib province. (AFP / Aaref Watad)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Airstrikes kill 22 at market in Idlib

BEIRUT: Airstrikes, likely to be Russian, on Thursday killed 22 civilians in a market in the northwestern province of Idlib, which is largely controlled by radical fighters, a monitor said.
The strikes hit the area of Harem, which is controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based monitor says it identifies who carried out airstrikes based on flight patterns, munitions used, and aircraft.
Meanwhile, Syrian opposition fighters have released 13 of their prisoners to the regime.
The men, who identified themselves to the media as soldiers and civilians attached to the Syrian Army, who were captured by opposition fighters in the battle for Harasta, cried in relief. They thanked God, the Syrian Army, and President Bashar Assad for their freedom.
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV said the regime released five “terrorists” in exchange.


Israel locks down Ramallah after two soldiers shot dead

Updated 14 December 2018
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Israel locks down Ramallah after two soldiers shot dead

  • The bloodshed began when Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians
  • Hours later, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded a third

AMMAN: Israel was accused on Thursday of humiliating Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by placing Ramallah on virtual lockdown amid a 24-hour outbreak of violence in which five people died.

The bloodshed began when Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians suspected of earlier attacks. Salah Barghouti, 29, was accused of shooting seven Israelis on Sunday at a bus station near the Ofra settlement. Ashraf Naalwa, 23, shot two Israelis dead in the Barkan industrial zone settlement in October.

Hours later, a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded a third when he opened fire at the Ofra bus station.

Israeli forces chased the gunman into Ramallah, where they set up road blocks, launched raids and placed the town under virtual siege. In the hunt for the gunman, a Palestinian was shot dead in Al-Bireh neighborhood of Ramallah.

Abbas Zaki, a leading Fatah official, told Arab News Palestinian frustration was being fueled by Israel. “They barged into Ramallah in violation of existing agreements and came very close to the home of President Abbas.

“What more do people need to see to let them give up on a process when Israelis are willing to humiliate in such a way the father of Palestinian peace?”

Abbas himself condemned the anti-Israeli attacks but blamed Israeli raids as a potential cause.

“The climate created by the policy of repeated intrusions into the cities, the provocations against the sovereignty of the president and the lack of a horizon for peace are what led to this unacceptable violence that we condemn and reject,” he said.