Tag Archives: Assad

More than 50 Syrian civilians killed in Idlib 'by Russian and Assad regime strikes'

More than 50 Syrian civilians killed in Idlib 'by Russian and Assad regime strikes'Regime and Russian air strikes killed 50 people in northwest Syria on Monday, most of them in a crowded market, a war monitor said, in the latest violence to plague the opposition bastion. In the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, men covered in blood were carried away from the market by residents and rescue workers, who used mattresses as makeshift stretchers, an AFP photographer said. He saw the corpse of one man sprawled on the ground near a motorcycle, rubble surrounding his lifeless body. With his eyes closed and his face covered in dust, another man clutched the arms of two people helping him out of the bombed area, the photographer added. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes on the vegetable market and surrounding areas in Maaret al-Numan killed 36 civilians and two unidentified persons. A member of the Syrian civil defence, known as the White Helmets, rests atop an excavator after participating in a search for victims under the rubble of buildings Credit: ABDULAZIZ KETAZ/AFP/Getty Images The Britain-based monitor said Russian aircraft carried out the air raids, but Moscow denied it was responsible. "The Russian air force was not carrying out any missions in this part of Syria," said a defence ministry statement. More than 100 other people were wounded, according to the monitor, which said many of those injured were in a critical condition and people remained trapped under the rubble. The head of the local hospital, Radwan Shardub, described his horror at seeing "burnt and carbonised bodies, and body parts". "It's boundless criminality to shameful international silence," he said. The White Helmets rescue group said one of its volunteers was killed during the raids, raising the number of rescue workers killed since April to at least 6. A member of the Syrian civil defence, known as the White Helmets, helps an injured Syrian child after pulling him out from under the rubble  Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty Images The jihadist-run Idlib region, home to some three million people, is supposed to be protected by a months-old international truce deal, but it has come under increased bombardment by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia since late April. The spike in violence has killed more than 690 civilians, and damaged or knocked out of service two dozen health facilities in jihadist-held territory. More than 330,000 people have fled violence in the area over the past three months, according to the United Nations.



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UPDATE 2-Syria's Assad discusses peace talks, Tartus port with Russians

UPDATE 2-Syria's Assad discusses peace talks, Tartus port with RussiansBEIRUT/MOSCOW, April 20 (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met senior officials from his strongest ally Russia in Damascus on Friday and Saturday to discuss upcoming peace talks, renting out Tartus port and trade between the two countries, state media in Syria reported. Russia has helped Assad’s forces to take back most of the country but the eight-year-long war continues. Swathes of the northeast and northwest are out of his control, while sanctions and a fuel shortage are constricting the economy.



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Assad urges progress on Idlib deal ahead of Syria talks

Assad urges progress on Idlib deal ahead of Syria talksSyrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday called for progress on a stalled buffer zone deal around jihadist-dominated Idlib region ahead of fresh talks aimed at ending his country’s eight-year war. Assad met envoy Alexander Lavrentiev from key ally Russia in Damascus to discuss the negotiations due April 25-26 in Kazakhstan. Iran and Russia are the major supporters of the Syrian regime, and along with rebel backer Turkey have sponsored repeated rounds of talks in the Central Asian nation.



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Assad says Syria facing 'economic siege'

Assad says Syria facing 'economic siege'President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday Syria was suffering an “economic siege” as his regime faces a raft of international sanctions over the eight-year civil war. “The war on Syria has taken on a new form that is basically siege and economic war,” he said, according to a statement released by the presidency. “International political tools have changed,” he said, as he met Chinese assistant foreign minister Chen Xiaodong in Damascus.



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Syria's Assad pledges no bargaining over constitution

Syria's Assad pledges no bargaining over constitutionSyrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday his government would not bargain over the country’s constitution with the Turkey-backed opposition, lambasting a U.N. peace process that aims to rewrite its terms. A congress convened by Russia, Assad’s key ally, last year tasked the U.N. envoy for Syria with forming a committee to draft a new constitution, after many rounds of talks to end the war had failed. “The constitution is the fate of the country and as a result, it does not succumb to any bargains that could have a bigger price than the war itself,” Assad said in a televised speech.



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Assad Is Close to Victory, But New Conflicts Are Bubbling Up in Syria

Assad Is Close to Victory, But New Conflicts Are Bubbling Up in SyriaPresident Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops has fanned much of the flames. While it would leave the field to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s Russian and Iranian allies, it has also emboldened Israel to advertise that it’s pummeling Iranian positions, practically taunting Tehran to respond. Some analysts warn of a confrontation between them that could spark a regional war also drawing in Lebanon and Iraq.



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Syria opposition urges Arab states not to mend ties with Assad

Syria opposition urges Arab states not to mend ties with AssadSyria’s opposition chief on Sunday urged Arab leaders not to rebuild relations with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, voicing frustration amid apparent efforts to bring the Damascus regime back into the Arab fold. After years of frosty ties, the United Arab Emirates last month reopened its embassy in the Syrian capital, and fellow Gulf state Bahrain has followed suit. “We hope that our brothers, the leaders of Arab nations, will not abandon the Syrian people,” he added, urging them to reconsider their decisions.



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UK foreign minister Hunt: Syria's Assad will be around for a while

UK foreign minister Hunt: Syria's Assad will be around for a whileBritish foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will remain in place for “a while” thanks to support from Russia, even though Britain’s position was still that he remains a block to lasting peace. “The British long-standing position is that we won’t have lasting peace in Syria with that (Assad-led) regime, but regretfully, we do think he’s going to be around for a while,” Hunt told Sky News. Nearly eight years into a war that has displaced millions of Syrians, Assad has recovered control of most of the country with support from Russia, Iran, and Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.



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Syria's Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in Syria

Syria's Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in SyriaDAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad authorized Iraqi forces on Sunday to attack the Islamic State group inside Syria without waiting for permission from authorities in Damascus, the state news agency SANA said, as the two allies coordinate their fight against extremists ahead of a planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria.



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Russia Says Syria's Assad Is Popular, Likely to Win New Vote

Russia Says Syria's Assad Is Popular, Likely to Win New Vote“He’s fairly popular, if he wasn’t, the results of the last few years would have been different,” President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, said in an interview in Moscow this week. “Of course, I think so,” he added, when asked whether the Syrian leader can triumph in the next presidential vote. Work is scheduled to start early next year on a new constitution for Syria ahead of UN-supervised elections.



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