Russian jets kill at least 25 in north-western Syria

Rescuers said war planes flying at high altitude dropped bombs on the village of Jabala. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 11 June 2019

Russian jets kill at least 25 in north-western Syria

AMMAN: Aerial strikes on Monday killed at least 25 people, mostly civilians, in northwestern Syria in the sixth week of a Russian-led military offensive that has so far killed hundreds of civilians, according to residents and civil rescuers.
They said war planes flying at high altitude, which monitors said were Russian Sukhoi jets, dropped bombs on the village of Jabala in southern Idlib province, with rescuer teams so far pulling out 13 bodies, including women and children.
Russian jets were also behind several raids that hit the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Kfar Batikh and several other villages that left at least another 12 civilians dead, according to another local rescuer.
Rescuers say the major aerial campaign that Moscow has thrown its weight behind since it was launched in earnest at the end of April has killed over 1,500 people with more than half of the death toll civilians.

Residents and local and international aid agencies that support the rebel-held areas say the sustained campaign that has bombed schools and knocked down medical centers was to smash the spirit of civilians in opposition areas.
More than 300,000 people have fled the frontlines to the safety of areas near the border with Turkey, UN and aid agencies say.
The Russian-backed offensive has so far failed to make major inroads into rebel territory in northern Hama and southern Idlib provinces, where mainstream rebels backed by Turkey alongside hardline fighters are putting up fierce resistance in their last remaining bastion in Syria.
Russia and the Syrian army deny allegations of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas or a campaign to paralyze everyday life in opposition-held areas and say they are fighting Al-Qaeda-inspired extremist militants.
Moscow blames the rebels for breaking a truce by hitting government-held areas and says Turkey has failed to live up to its obligations under a deal brokered last year that created a buffer zone in the area that obliges it to push out militants.
Civilians in rebel-held areas, where many oppose returning to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s one-party rule, look to Turkey which has steadily built up a military presence in the area as a protector against the Russian-led strikes.
Northwest Syria — including Idlib province and parts of neighboring provinces — has an estimated 3 million inhabitants, about half of whom had already fled fighting elsewhere, according to the United Nations.


Israel records highest single-day virus tally

Updated 10 July 2020

Israel records highest single-day virus tally

  • Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted that the decision to allow businesses, including bars and event spaces, to re-open may have been made “too soon”
  • Certain towns and city neighborhoods across the country considered virus hotspots have been placed under more robust lockdowns

JERUSALEM: Israel has recorded its highest number of coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period, with nearly 1,500 new cases confirmed in the most recent daily count, the health ministry said Friday.
Israel had won early praise for its virus containment efforts, but cases have surged since a broad re-opening began in May.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted in a late Thursday news conference that the decision to allow businesses, including bars and event spaces, to re-open may have been made “too soon.”
“I take responsibility for it,” he told reporters.
From midnight (2100 GMT) on Wednesday to midnight on Thursday, the health ministry registered 1,504 new coronavirus infections — the highest single-day tally since Israel confirmed its first case on February 21.
The country of roughly nine million has now registered more than 36,000 cases, including 351 deaths.
Various restrictions have been re-imposed, including the closure of venues, clubs, bars, gyms and public pools.
Limits on the number of people allowed in restaurants and places of worship have also been reinstated.
Certain towns and city neighborhoods across the country considered virus hotspots have been placed under more robust lockdowns.
Israel’s director of public health services, Siegal Sadetzki, resigned this week, blasting her superiors for ignoring her advice and steering Israel’s virus response off course.
“Despite repeated warnings in different forums, we are watching with frustration as our window of opportunity (to contain the virus) is running out,” Sadetzki said in a Facebook post announcing her resignation.