Russian strikes kill 9 civilians in Syria

Members of the Syrian Civil Defence search for survivors after a reported airstrike by pro-government forces on the village of Shinan in the northwestern Idlib province. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 November 2019

Russian strikes kill 9 civilians in Syria

  • Three women were among the victims
  • Sunday’s airstrike hit the village of Mallaja in Idlib province

BEIRUT: Airstrikes by Syrian regime ally Russia on Sunday killed nine civilians in the opposition-run enclave of Idlib in the northwest of the country, a war monitor said.
Five of the victims died in the village of Al-Malaja in southern Idlib province while the other four were killed in raids on the town of Saraqeb in the east, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A number of people were wounded, some seriously, the monitor’s head, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP, though he was unable to say how many.
The Idlib region, home to around 3 million people including many displaced by Syria’s eight-year civil war, is controlled by the country’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.
The Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham opposition alliance also controls parts of neighboring Aleppo and Latakia provinces.
The region is one of the last holdouts of opposition to forces of Syria’s Bashar Assad. A cease-fire announced by Russia has largely held since late August.
But the Observatory says 48 civilians — including 16 children — have been killed in Russian airstrikes on the region since the start of November.

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48 - civilians, including 16 children, have been killed in Russian airstrikes on the region since the start of November, says the Observatory.

The Britain-based monitor, which relies on sources inside Syria, says it determines who carries out an airstrike according to flight patterns, as well as aircraft and the munitions involved.
Last month Assad said Idlib was standing in the way of an end to the civil war that has ravaged his country.
Syria’s conflict has killed 370,000 people and displaced millions since beginning in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.


Lebanese women march in Beirut against sexual harassment

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanese women march in Beirut against sexual harassment

  • Protesters call for law allowing Lebanese women married to foreigners to pass their citizenship to their husbands and children
  • Women also protest against sexual harassment and bullying

BEIRUT: Scores of women marched through the streets of Beirut on Saturday to protest against sexual harassment and bullying and demanding rights including the passing of citizenship to children of Lebanese women married to foreigners.
The march started outside the American University of Beirut, west of the capital, and ended in a downtown square that has been witnessing daily protests for more than seven weeks.
Nationwide demonstrations in Lebanon broke out Oct. 17 against proposed taxes on WhatsApp calls turned into a condemnation of the country’s political elite, who have run the country since the 1975-90 civil war. The government resigned in late October, meeting a key demand of the protesters.
“We want to send a message against sexual harassment. They say that the revolution is a woman, therefore, if there is a revolution, women must be part of it,” said protester Berna Dao. “Women are being raped, their right is being usurped, and they are not able to pass their citizenship.”
Activists have been campaigning for years so that parliament drafts a law that allows Lebanese women married to foreigners pass their citizenship to their husbands and children.
Earlier this year, Raya Al-Hassan became the first woman in the Arab world to take the post of interior minister. The outgoing Cabinet has four women ministers, the highest in the country in decades.
Lebanon is passing through a crippling economic and financial crisis that has worsened since the protests began.
During the women’s protest in Riad Solh Square, a man set himself on fire before people nearby extinguished the flames. His motivation was not immediately clear and an ambulance came shortly afterward and evacuated him.
Also on Saturday, outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri appealed to more countries to help Lebanon in its crisis to import essential goods. The request made in a letter to the leaders of Germany, Spain and Britain, came a day after Hariri sent similar letters to other countries including Saudi Arabia, US, Russia and China.