4 children among 25 civilians dead as regime blasts Aleppo

WHAT IS OUR CRIME? Two injured Syrian children, Salam, 8, and his sister Reema, 6, at a makeshift clinic after a regime airstrike in Al-Rehan, near Douma. (AFP)
Updated 16 July 2016

4 children among 25 civilians dead as regime blasts Aleppo

ALEPPO: Air raids on rebel-held districts of Syria’s battleground second city of Aleppo killed at least 25 civilians including children on Saturday, a monitor said.

The death toll steadily rose throughout the day as bombardment rocked the city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“Eleven civilians, including four children, were killed by air raids after midnight in the Bab Al-Nasr area of Old Aleppo, and seven others were killed in Fardous neighborhood,” the monitor said.
Seven others, including children, were killed in several other rebel-controlled neighborhoods — among them three in the Salhin district, the Britain-based monitor said.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources across Syria for its information, said the air strikes were likely either Russian or regime warplanes.
“At least 20 people are still under the rubble,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
Syrian state news agency SANA, for its part, reported that one person was killed and nine others were wounded in rebel rocket fire on government-controlled parts of the city.
An AFP correspondent in eastern Aleppo said helicopters and fighter jets were still circling rebel-held neighborhoods, adding that barrel bombs — crude, unguided explosive devices — had been dropped on several areas.
A hospital in the Maadi neighborhood was hit in the bombing, wounding some of the staff and patients inside.
“All kinds of weapons were used to bomb the hospital, from midnight until about 11 a.m. Now it’s unusable,” Mohammad Kheir, one of its doctors, told AFP.
“There were some injuries among the medical staff but thankfully they are only light wounds.”
A crying woman clad in a black robe desperately grasped the leg of a bloodied young man as doctors treated him on the hospital floor.
Twisted metal frames and damaged medical equipment lay strewn across the room, some next to small pools of blood.
The Observatory said rebel fighters shelled government-controlled western areas of Aleppo, but had no immediate word on any casualties.
Aleppo city is divided roughly between government control in the west and rebel control in the east.
It was once Syria’s commercial powerhouse but has since been ravaged by the country’s five-year war.
A cease-fire brokered by Russia and the United States in February between government forces and non-jihadist rebels does not cover Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front which has a strong presence in many rebel-held areas.
The truce has been routinely violated, particularly in and around Aleppo.
On Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said they had agreed on “concrete steps” to salvage the failing cease-fire.
The top diplomats met for a 12-hour marathon meeting, but would not divulge the details of the deal in order to allow the “quiet business” of peacemaking to continue, Kerry said.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.