Regime strikes kill three children among 5 civilians in Syria

Syrian rescuers help a badly wounded fellow rescuer following a reported regime air strike which targeted an ambulance in the town of Maaret al-Numan in northwest Syria on June 20, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 23 June 2019
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Regime strikes kill three children among 5 civilians in Syria

  • All five civilians killed on Saturday lost their lives in air raids on the Idlib province

BEIRUT: Regime airstrikes on an anti-government stronghold in northwest Syria on Saturday killed five civilians including three children, a war monitor said, as a two-month flare-up showed no letup.
The Idlib region of some 3 million people is supposed to be protected by a September buffer zone deal, but the opposition-run enclave has come under mounting bombardment by the government and its ally Russia since late April.
All five civilians killed on Saturday lost their lives in air raids on the Idlib province.

Among them, two children were killed in a garage on the edge of the town of Maaret Al-Numan, while another child died in the village of Maar Zita, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The other two civilians were killed in strikes on the villages of Kansafra and Khan Al-Subul, the Britain-based monitor said.
The September deal signed by Russia and opposition backer Turkey was supposed to set up a buffer zone around the Idlib region, but it was never fully implemented as the opposition refused to pull back from the front lines.


Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda throws weight behind vote frontrunner

Updated 21 September 2019

Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda throws weight behind vote frontrunner

  • Karoui came second with 15.6 percent
  • The result was a major upset for Tunisia’s political establishment

TUNIS: Tunisia’s influential Islamist-inspired party Ennahda said on Friday it will support law professor and political outsider Kais Saied in a presidential runoff against jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui.

“Ennahda has chosen to support the people’s choice,” party spokesman Imed Khemiri told AFP after last Sunday’s first round of polling in which Saied finished ahead with 18.4 percent of the vote.

The surprise result of the election, contested by more than 20 candidates, thrust to the fore both Saied and Karoui, likewise from outside the world of traditional Tunisian politics.

Karoui came second with 15.6 percent, said the electoral commission ISIE, while Ennahda, a main force in Parliament, scored 12.9 percent with its first-ever candidate to run for the presidency, Abdelfattah Mourou.

The result was a major upset for Tunisia’s political establishment, in place since the fall of late leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali eight years ago after mass protests that sparked the Arab Spring revolts.

HIGHLIGHT

The surprise result of the election, contested by more than 20 candidates, thrust to the fore both Saied and Karoui, likewise from outside the world of traditional Tunisian politics.

Saied, a fiercely independent academic aged 61, advocates a radical decentralization of power, with local democracy and the ability to remove elected officials from office during their mandates.

He is also perceived as very conservative on social issues, and has defended the death penalty, criminalization of homosexuality and a sexual assault law that punishes unmarried couples who engage in public displays of affection.

Karoui, a 56-year-old media magnate, has been held in prison since Aug. 23 under investigation for alleged money laundering.

He remains eligible to run as long as any conviction does not also specifically deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.

Karoui has in recent years used his popular television channel Nessma to launch high-profile charity campaigns, often appearing in designer suits as he criss-crosses the country to meet with some of its poorest.