Airstrikes pound rebel region of Syria; 55 dead

08 February, 2018, 13:13 | Author: Kim Reid

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 68 civilians have been killed, including 21 children, since Turkey launched operation "Olive Branch" last month.

Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels launch an attack on the capital Damascus from its suburb of Ghouta in July 2012, more than a year after the start of an uprising against the regime.

He also stressed that gaining the permission of the Syrian government is a necessity for the operation.

Fresh regime strikes on a besieged rebel-held enclave near Damascus killed 78 civilians on Tuesday despite mounting Western pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In a separate investigation, experts in war crimes and violations of the laws of war under worldwide law said that they were conducting a series of investigations regarding bomb reports that had been made using chlorine gas which is outlawed.

Moaz al-Shami, an anti-government activist from the Idlib town of Saraqeb, said in an interview last week that he no longer knew why he risked his life to videotape attacks.

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Turkish foreign minister added that "one of the main goals of the United States in the region is to influence Iran's and Turkey's growing friendships", adding that the two countries must continue to work on resolving regional problems, especially in Syria together.

Shortly after taking office previous year, French President Emmanuel Macron said chemical attacks in Syria would be a "red line" for France.

The Assad-administration used chlorine gas bombs against civilians in the regions that are now being held by rebels such as Suraqeb in the northwestern provinces of Douma and Idlib near Damascus in Eastern Ghouta.

In Geneva, the UN-mandated "Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic" issued a statement on Tuesday, condemning the "scale and ferocity" of regime attacks in Idlib governorate and eastern Ghouta, including the bombing of three hospitals. It said it ongoing fighting and the deliberate obstructions by forces at the front lines were blocking aid organizations from reaching civilians in need.

The UN said it had a plan to reach 700,000 people with relief in the next two months, if it can get the permission to proceed.

Funk's visit came amid rising tensions between Turkey and the United States - NATO allies that have ended up on opposing sides in some aspects of the multi-layered war in Syria.

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Among them was the young daughter of Abu Raad, a shell-shocked man from Eastern Ghouta.

The White Helmets said airstrikes targeting the village of Termala in Idlib on Tuesday killed three people.

Abdulkafi Alhamdo, a teacher who survived the siege of Aleppo and fled to Idlib, says government attacks "have made the whole area hell".

Large elements of the YPG or Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) make up the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US -backed confederation of Arab and Kurdish paramilitaries who flushed ISIS from its Syrian capital of Raqqa previous year.

The military said the soldier was killed Monday by a mortar-and-rocket attack that also wounded five Turkish soldiers and a civilian military contractor.

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