Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Syria: Blast kills at least 23 in rebel stronghold Idlib

Israeli forces are seen near a border fence between the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights and Syria Syria: Blast kills at least 23 in rebel stronghold Idlib
Melinda Barton | 12 January, 2018, 20:03

Four children were reported among those killed and 40 more were hurt.

The sources reported that tens of people in the villages and towns of Ramleh, Abu Alij, Jubb al-Qasab, Maksar Tahtani, Maksar Foqani and Kheiriyeh in Southeastern Idlib hoisted Syrian flags and forced the Al-Nusra terrorists out of their regions.

Many have also been killed in suspected Russian or Syrian government air raids.

Syrian forces also managed overnight to pin back rebels who had surrounded a regime base there.

Syrian Republican Guard units are known to have major outposts in al-Qutaifa, according to the Associated Press. The rebels say they have taken numerous soldiers hostage. The base could provide President Bashar al-Assad's forces with an important step towards reclaiming the Idlib province.

The Syrian regime has retaken control of much of the country in the past year with the help of Russian forces and has launched an offensive to seize Idlib, the only province that came under full rebel control in the near-seven-year war.

Violence erupted in Eastern Ghouta, which sits on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, several weeks ago, and airstrikes have resumed there.

He said that most of the non-civilian casualties were fighters were from the group.

The United Nations has said some 500 people are in critical condition inside Eastern Ghouta and need to be evacuated for urgent medical treatment.

A critically ill six-month-old baby died while waiting to be evacuated, according to Mohamad Katoub, advocacy manager for the Syrian American Medical Society.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Monday gave a higher death toll, saying 34 people were killed, including 18 civilians.

The areas were the target of numerous attacks throughout the night, they added.

Assad has repeatedly vowed to retake "every inch" of the country, including Raqqa and other areas taken from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) by US-backed forces.

Syrian government forces and their allies have been on the offensive since late October in Hama and Idlib provinces, capturing almost 100 villages from insurgent groups, including the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee.