Russia’s ambassador to Egypt dies, aged 68

In this Nov. 1, 2015 file photo, Russian Ambassador to Egypt, Sergei Kirpichenko speaks to journalists, at the Russian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Russia's Foreign Ministry said Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, that Kirpichenko, its ambassador to Egypt, has died. (AP)
Updated 02 September 2019

Russia’s ambassador to Egypt dies, aged 68

  • Sergei Kirpichenko died suddenly Monday morning in a hospital in Cairo
  • Kirpichenko was Russia’s ambassador in Egypt since 2011 and also served as Russia’s envoy to the Arab League

MOSCOW: Russia’s Foreign Ministry says that its ambassador to Egypt has died. He was 68.
The ministry said Sergei Kirpichenko died suddenly Monday morning in a hospital in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. It did not name the cause of death.
A career diplomat, Kirpichenko was Russia’s ambassador in Egypt since 2011 and also served as Russia’s envoy to the Arab League, which is based in Cairo. He was previously posted in the United Arab Emirates, Libya and Syria.
The flag over the Russian Embassy in Cairo is flying at half-staff in Kirpichenko’s memory.


Leaked audio of Assad forces shooting elderly women in Idlib proves civilian killings: Report

Updated 43 min 58 sec ago

Leaked audio of Assad forces shooting elderly women in Idlib proves civilian killings: Report

  • Syrian regime also attacked Turkish military posts in violation of cease-fire deal

LONDON: Syrian regime forces deliberately killed elderly women in the northwestern region of Idlib, leaked recordings obtained by the UK’s Daily Telegraph have shown.

The audio recordings from Feb. 11 also suggest that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad attacked Turkish military posts in violation of a cease-fire deal.

The recordings captured a conversation between soldiers from the infamous elite Tiger Forces, the 25th Division, tracking a vehicle driving into the village of Mizanaz, to the west of Aleppo.

In the audio, intercepted by spotters at an observatory in the local area who picked up the soldiers’ frequency, one soldier can be heard saying: “There are women driving, their car is stuck in the mud and they’re headed to a battlefield.”

 

 

A second soldier said: “She looks elderly. It’s clear she’s coming to pack her belongings, then she’s leaving.”

Despite a clear identification of the women, one of the soldiers is heard saying: “I’m watching them. They’re about to enter a house. Yallah, I’m firing now.”

At that point, rapid machine gun fire can be heard on the tape. “Fire, fire, I’m observing for you,” the second soldier replies.

Local media reports from the time and date of the audio recording support the assertion that the women were killed in the attack.

Regime forces have used attacks on civilians as part of their strategy to clear rebel-held areas of the country, while attacking civilian institutions such as schools and hospitals. 

In September 2019, pro-Assad militants reportedly executed an elderly woman who refused to leave her home when it was confiscated after they recaptured the town of Khan Sheikhoun. 

According to figures from the Syrian Network for Human Rights, regime forces and their Russian allies are responsible for 90 percent of civilian deaths in the nine-year conflict, with three-quarters of those people victims of artillery or aerial shelling. The deliberate killing of non-combatants is a war crime under international law.

The Telegraph’s report also revealed recordings showing regime forces actively attacking Turkish posts in Idlib province that were set up as part of a de-escalation deal negotiated with Russia in 2018.

The attacks prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday to urge his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to “restrain” Assad’s advance in Idlib.