33 dead in US-led air strike on north Syria: monitor

Syrian city of Raqqa, Daesh’s de facto capital. (AFP)
Updated 22 March 2017

33 dead in US-led air strike on north Syria: monitor

BEIRUT: At least 33 people were killed in a US-led coalition strike on a school used as a center for displaced people near a jihadist-held Syrian town, a monitor said Wednesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike south of Al-Mansoura, a town held by the Daesh group in the northern province of Raqqa, “took place in the early hours of Tuesday.”
“We can now confirm that 33 people were killed, and they were displaced civilians from Raqqa, Aleppo and Homs,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
“They’re still pulling bodies out of the rubble until now. Only two people were pulled out alive,” Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The Britain-based monitor — which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information — says it determines what planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved.
“Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” an activist group that publishes news from IS-held territory in Syria, also reported the raids.
“The school that was targeted hosts nearly 50 displaced families,” the collective said.
The US-led coalition has been bombing IS in Syria since 2014 and is backing an offensive to defeat the group in Raqqa city, the de facto heart of the group’s so-called “Islamic caliphate.”
Earlier this month, the coalition said its raids there and in Iraq and unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians.
But other monitors say the number is much higher.
More than 320,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests against President Bashar Assad.


Omani Foreign Minister begins Tehran visit

Updated 21 January 2020

Omani Foreign Minister begins Tehran visit

  • The visit comes amid escalated tensions in the region

DUBAI: Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi began his Tehran visit on Tuesday, Al-Arabiya television news channel reported.

The visit comes amid escalated tensions and economic uncertainties in the region that began at the start of 2020.

On Jan. 3 the United States killed Iran’s military commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an air strike attack in Iraq.

Following Soleimani’s death, US President Donald Trump promised to target 52 Iranian sites if Iran retaliated.

In response, Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles in the early hours of Jan. 8.

Oman maintains friendly ties with both the United States and Iran and has previously been a go-between for the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution.