Regime bombing kills 12 civilians in Syria’s northwest

A man evacuates a young casualty following a reported air strike by regime forces and their allies in the jihadist-held Syrian town of Maaret Al-Noman in the southern Idlib province, on May 26, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 May 2019
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Regime bombing kills 12 civilians in Syria’s northwest

  • A total of 20 health facilities have been hit by the escalation -- 19 of which remain out of service, according to the UN

MAARET AL-NUMAN/SYRIA: Regime airstrikes killed 12 civilians including four at a market on Sunday in a militant bastion in northwest Syria, a war monitor said.
A young girl was among those killed at the market in the town of Maaret Al-Numan in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Eight other civilians were killed elsewhere by regime fire in Idlib, a stronghold of Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, the Britain-based monitor said.
Idlib is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a September buffer zone deal, but the opposition bastion has come under increasing bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally since late April.
An AFP reporter in Maaret Al-Numan saw a young man carry the arched body of what appeared to be a young girl out over grey rubble after the airstrike.
Another man retrieved a distressed, dust-covered young girl, slung over his shoulder. Witness Hamdu Mustafa said he was out shopping when the airstrike hit.
Everybody was “in the street selling and buying,” he told AFP.
“The planes targeted civilians who were buying food for their children,” he said. Nearby, rescue workers known as the White Helmets directed a bulldozer to clear the debris. Fighting has raged to the south of the bastion in recent days.

BACKGROUND

Idlib is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a September buffer zone deal, but the opposition bastion has come under increasing bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally since late April.

On Sunday, regime forces took back control of the town of Kafr Nabuda in the north of Hama province, the Observatory and state news agency SANA said.
HTS and allied rebels overran part of the town in recent days, after the regime first expelled them on May 8.
The United Nations has warned that an all-out offensive on the Idlib region would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe for its nearly three million residents.
The Observatory says more than 230 civilians have been killed in the spike in violence since the end of April.
More than 200,000 civilians have already been displaced by this upsurge of violence, the United Nations has said.
A total of 20 health facilities have been hit by the escalation -- 19 of which remain out of service, according to the UN.


LIVE: ‘Peace to prosperity’ conference for Palestinian investment gets underway in Bahrain

Updated 8 min 4 sec ago
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LIVE: ‘Peace to prosperity’ conference for Palestinian investment gets underway in Bahrain

  • Jared Kushner to kick off the two-day workshop with a speech on the plan to create a million new jobs in 10 years
  • Palestinians reject the initiative as it does not address the key political aspects of a peace deal

MANAMA: The Trump administration convened an international conference on Tuesday to promote its ambitious, but heavily criticized, $50 billion economic support plan for the Palestinians.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, was to kick off the two-day workshop in Bahrain with a speech on the plan to create a million new jobs in 10 years.

The participants do not include official Israeli or Palestinian delegations, with Palestinian leaders rejecting the plan because it does not address the core issues of the conflict.

Saudi Arabia, which will be represented by its foreign minister, said it remained committed to a Palestinain state based on the border that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

*All times local (GMT +2)

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18:20: Dignitaries for the conference are still arriving and registering and enjoying a welcome reception, so let’s take a look at what we can expect on tonight and tomorrow’s agenda…

- Donald Trump senior advisor Jared Kushner will deliver the opening remarks, with a panel discussion on what the US administration’s plans for “Middle East prosperity” will entail. The panel will be moderated by Nik Gowing, a UK-based professor, author & broadcaster and will include Mohamed Alabbar, founder &cChairman of the UAE’s Emaar Properties as well as Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone.

- Everyone will then enjoy an opening night dinner.

- Tomorrow, the highlights will be a panel entitled “Unleashing Economic Potential” — looking at how trade and job creation can help Gaza, the West Bank and the surrounding region — which will include Mohammed Al-Sheikh, Minister of State, member of Council of Ministers and member of Council of Economic and Development Affairs in Saudi Arabia.

- Kushner will hold a conversation with former UK prime minister Tony Blair, while just before lunch Arab News’ editor-in-chief Faisal Abbas moderates a panel on how to empower the Palestinian people to reach their full potential.