Monitor: 9 militants killed in Russia strikes on Idlib

The Russian strikes targeted Hurras Al-Deen and Ansar Al-Tawhid groups. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 October 2019

Monitor: 9 militants killed in Russia strikes on Idlib

  • The strikes targeted Hurras Al-Deen and Ansar Al-Tawhid groups
  • Russia and China voted for Idlib ceasefire in a UN Security Council resolution

BEIRUT: Nine militants were killed Saturday in Russian airstrikes on Syria’s war-torn province of Idlib, a monitoring group said.

“Russian strikes this morning targeted the Hurras Al-Deen group and Ansar Al-Tahwid in eastern Idlib... killing nine jihadists,” said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding eight others were wounded.

Six of the dead were members of the Al-Qaeda linked Hurras Al-Deen, a group which is also targeted by the US-led coalition.

Moscow is a key ally of Syria’s President Bashar Assad in the country’s civil war, and despite an Idlib cease-fire deal reached on August 31, the province has continued to be targeted by Russian air attacks.

Russia-backed regime fighters have for weeks been chipping away at the edges of the province bordering Turkey that is the last militant stronghold outside of Assad’s control.

Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham — a group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate — extended its administrative control over the whole of Idlib in January, but other rebel factions remain present.

In late August, clashes between anti-government fighters and regime forces left more than 50 dead on both sides, when the militia attacked loyalist positions in the south.

Last month, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution backed by 12 of the 15 member states that called for a cease-fire in Idlib province.

It was Russia’s 13th veto of a UN resolution since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, highlighting the Security Council’s impasse over the issue.

The Syrian war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.


Turkey: About 100,000 Syrians left Istanbul since early July

Updated 20 November 2019

Turkey: About 100,000 Syrians left Istanbul since early July

  • Authorities said Syrians not registered in Turkey’s largest city should return to the provinces in which they are registered by Oct. 30, or face forced removal
  • Turkey has deported 86,625 illegal migrants so far this year, compared to 56,000 in all of 2018

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Interior Minister said on Wednesday that around 100,000 Syrians living without approval in Istanbul had left it since early July, when the government set a deadline for Syrians not registered in the city to leave for other provinces.
As sentiment toward Syrian refugees among Turks began to sour in recent years, authorities said Syrians not registered in Turkey’s largest city should return to the provinces in which they are registered by Oct. 30, or face forced removal.
Turkey hosts some 3.6 million refugees who fled the eight-year-old civil war, more than any other country. The Syrian population in Istanbul, home to some 15 million people, had swollen to more than half a million, more than those in any other Turkish city.
Syrians registered in other cities came to Istanbul, leading to an accumulation in the city, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told parliament.
“Around 100,000 Syrian have returned to provinces in which they are registered since July 12,” he said, adding that a total of 200,000 migrants had left the city.
Turkey also houses migrants from other Middle Eastern and African nations.
On Friday, the Istanbul governor’s office said more than 6,000 Syrian migrants in Istanbul were sent to temporary housing centers in other provinces since early July.
Ankara wants to settle some Syrian refugees in a swathe of land it now controls in northeast Syria, after it launched an offensive last month against the Kurdish YPG militia.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch last month published reports saying Turkey is forcibly sending Syrian refugees to northern Syria. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called the claims in the reports “false and imaginary.”
Turkey has deported 86,625 illegal migrants so far this year, compared to 56,000 in all of 2018, Soylu said.