Turkish shelling kills 55 Daesh rebels in Syria

In this picture taken from the Turkish-Syrian border region near Kilis on Saturday, smoke rises as Islamic State group (IS) targets are bombed on the Syrian side of the border. (AFP)
Updated 08 May 2016

Turkish shelling kills 55 Daesh rebels in Syria

ANKARA: Turkish shelling killed 55 Daesh insurgents in northern Syria on Saturday evening, military sources said, in retaliation for weeks of rocket attacks on a Turkish border town.
Artillery fire hit the regions of Suran and Tal El Hisn north of Aleppo, as well as Baragidah and Kusakcik, taking out three rocket installations and three vehicles in addition to the killings of the militants, the sources said on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, US-led coalition air strikes in Syria killed 48 Daesh militants, according to a report from state-run Anadolu Agency.
The Turkish border town of Kilis which lies just across the frontier from Daesh-controlled territory of Syria, has been regularly struck by rockets in recent weeks.
Kilis is about 60 km north of Aleppo, Syria’s embattled, biggest city and the biggest strategic prize in a more than five-year-old civil war.


Russian mediation reopens major highway in NE Syria

Updated 35 min 25 sec ago

Russian mediation reopens major highway in NE Syria

  • Syria records 20 new cases of coronavirus in largest single-day increase

BEIRUT/DAMASCUS: Traffic returned to a major highway in northeastern Syria for the first time in seven months on Monday, following Russian mediation to reopen parts of the road captured last year by Turkey-backed opposition fighters.

Syrian Kurdish media and a Syrian Kurdish official said several vehicles accompanied by Russian troops began driving in the morning between the northern towns of Ein Issa and Tal Tamr. 

The two towns are controlled by regime forces and Syrian Kurdish fighters while the area between them is mostly held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters.

Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters captured parts of the highway known as M4 in October, when Ankara invaded northeastern Syria to drive away Syrian Kurdish fighters. The M4 links Syria’s coastal region all the way east to the Iraqi border.

Four convoys will drive on the M4 every day with two leaving from Tal Tamr and two from Ein Issa, according to the Kurdish ANHA news agency. The report said a convoy will leave from each town at 8 a.m., and another set of convoys will do the same, three hours later.

The ANHA agency added that the opening of the highway will shorten the trip between the two towns as people previously had to take roundabout, side roads.

“This is the first time the road has been opened” since October, said Mervan Qamishlo, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Russia, a main power broker with Turkey in Syria, mediated the deal to reopen the highway, he said. Russia and Turkey back rival groups in Syria’s nine-year conflict.

Coronavirus cases

Syria reported 20 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, the largest single-day increase to date.

The war-torn country has recorded 106 infections and four deaths so far, and new cases have increased in recent days with the return of Syrians from abroad.

Syria has kept an overnight curfew in place but has begun to open some of its economy after a lockdown. Doctors and relief groups worry that medical infrastructure ravaged by years of conflict would make a more serious outbreak deadly and difficult to fend off.