Air strike on Daesh-held area in eastern Syria kills 20

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces has intensified its offensive against the Daesh group in eastern Syria. (AFP)
Updated 19 January 2019
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Air strike on Daesh-held area in eastern Syria kills 20

  • The air strike on Baghouz comes as the offensive against the extremists by US-backed fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces has intensified over the past few weeks

BEIRUT: An air strike hit militants and civilians trying to flee the last area controlled by the Daesh group in eastern Syria on Friday, killing at least 20, the country’s state media and opposition activists reported.
The air strike on the Daesh-held village of Baghouz comes as the offensive against the extremists by US-backed fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces has intensified over the past few weeks. It also comes as the United States’ begins the process of withdrawal from Syria.
Thousands of civilians have fled from the area near the Iraqi border recently as Daesh has steadily lost ground.
State news agency SANA said 20 people were killed in the air strike on Baghouz, while the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 23 people were killed. It said 10 Daesh members were among the dead.
Both blamed the US-led coalition that has been providing air cover to the SDF in their months long offensive to capture the area from the extremists.
“Most of those killed were Syrians displaced from nearby areas,” said Europe-based activist Omar Abu Layla of the DeirEzzor 24 monitoring group. He added that the dead included three families who were trying to flee the Daesh-held area to districts controlled by SDF.


Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 58 min 14 sec ago
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Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.