Regime bombings kill 14 civilians in northwest Syria

A man steps into a crater dug by bomb during a Syrian government forces air strike. (File/AFP)
Updated 07 July 2019
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Regime bombings kill 14 civilians in northwest Syria

  • Warplanes and helicopters late Friday carried out air strikes on Mahambel village in Idlib province
  • Idlib, a region of some three million people, is the last major bastion of the opposition

BEIRUT: Syrian regime bombardment has killed 14 civilians including seven children in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said on Saturday, in the latest deadly raids on the embattled opposition bastion. Warplanes and helicopters late on Friday carried out airstrikes on Mahambel village in Idlib province, killing 13 civilians including the seven children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A woman was also killed early on Saturday in regime rocket fire on the outskirts of the town of Khan Sheikhun in the south of the province, the Britain-based war monitor said.
Idlib, a region of some 3 million people, many of whom fled former opposition-held areas retaken by the Syrian regime, is the last major bastion of opposition to the Russia-backed Damascus regime after eight years of civil war.
The region on Turkey’s doorstep is administered by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, but other militant and opposition groups are also present.
Idlib is supposed to be protected from a major regime assault by a September deal between Moscow and Ankara, but Damascus and its Russian ally have ramped up their deadly bombardment of the region since late April.
More than 520 civilians have been killed since then, according to the Observatory.

HIGHLIGHT

Warplanes and helicopters late on Friday carried out airstrikes on Mahambel village in Idlib province, killing civilians including a woman and seven children.

The UN says 25 health facilities in the region have been hit, the latest including the second attack in two months on an underground hospital in the town of Kafranbel on Thursday.
“The attacks happened despite the fact that the coordinates of this hospital had previously been shared with the parties to the conflict in a deliberate, carefully planned effort to prevent any attacks on it,” an UN official said on Friday.
“I am horrified by the ongoing attacks on civilian areas and civilian infrastructure as the conflict in northwest Syria continues,” said Mark Cutts, UN deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syrian crisis.
Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests.


Iran on ‘dangerous path’: UK warns British ships to avoid Strait of Hormuz

Updated 3 min 33 sec ago
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Iran on ‘dangerous path’: UK warns British ships to avoid Strait of Hormuz

  • Iran had taken a ‘dangerous path’: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
  • France has expressed full solidarity with Britain

LONDON: London Saturday advised British ships to avoid the Strait of Hormuz for “an interim period” following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s unacceptable actions which represent a clear challenge to international freedom of navigation,” a government spokeswoman said following an overnight meeting of the government’s COBRA emergencies committee to discuss the crisis.
“We have advised UK shipping to stay out of the area for an interim period.”
She noted comments by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier that “there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved.”
She added that there will be further meetings over the weekend and “we remain in close contact with our international partners.”
Hunt said on Saturday that he was worried that Iran had taken a “dangerous path” after it seized a British-flagged tanker on Friday.
“Yesterday’s action in Gulf shows worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilizing behavior after Gibraltar’s LEGAL detention of oil bound for Syria,” Hunt said on Twitter.


“As I said yesterday our reaction will be considered but robust. We have been trying to find a way to resolve Grace1 issue but WILL ensure the safety of our shipping.”
Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker was allegedly due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat, the country’s state-run IRNA news agency said Saturday.

 


France and Germnay have expressed solidarity with Britain and has called on Iran to release tanker.
The British navy seized Iran’s Grace 1 tanker in Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Friday it had seized the British-flagged Swedish-owned Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules.”
Iranian authorities alleged Saturday the ship had collided with a fishing boat. It said the tanker was now at anchor off the port of Bandar Abbas with all its crew aboard.