Tag Archives: Syria

‘This could be the massacre of the century’ – 50 children among 250 killed in brutal Syrian forces bombardment

  • At least 50 children are thought to be among the dead.

  • The attack by the Syrian government was on the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta.

  • The suburbs are near Damascus and host rebel groups.

Concerns are growing that Syria faces the worst humanitarian catastrophe of its seven-year civil war after more than 250 civilians were reportedly killed in airstrikes by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad within two days.

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U.S. Strikes Killed at least 100 Russian Mercenaries in Syria Last Week

U.S. forces killed scores of Russian mercenaries in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to one U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter.

More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured.

The Russian assault may have been a rogue operation, underscoring the complexity of a conflict that started as a domestic crackdown only to morph into a proxy war involving Islamic extremists, stateless Kurds and regional powers Iran, Turkey and now Israel. Russia’s military said it had nothing to do with the attack and the U.S. accepted the claim. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the whole thing “perplexing,” but provided no further details.

Continue reading U.S. Strikes Killed at least 100 Russian Mercenaries in Syria Last Week

China Denies Plans to Build Military Base on Afghan-Tajik Border

But several Afghan officials have confirmed the plans, on the record.

China has formally denied reports that it is building a military base on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border for the Afghan armed forces. But Afghan security officials have confirmed the original report, and offered additional details of the secretive Chinese presence in the region.

In January, reports emerged that Beijing and Kabul had come to an agreement for China to build and supply a military base in Badakhshan, the remote panhandle of Afghanistan that borders China and Tajikistan.

But at a January 25 press briefing, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian denied those claims. “The so-called issue that China is building a military base in Afghanistan is groundless,” he said.

Continue reading China Denies Plans to Build Military Base on Afghan-Tajik Border

Syria war: Israeli fighter jet crashes under Syria fire, military says

An Israeli F-16 fighter jet has crashed amid Syrian anti-aircraft fire after an offensive against Iranian targets in Syria, the Israeli military says.

The two pilots parachuted to safety before the crash in northern Israel. It is believed to be the first time Israel has lost a jet in the Syrian conflict.

Israel was carrying out strikes after the launch of an Iranian drone into Israel. The drone was intercepted.

Syria accused Israel of “aggression”, as Israel then launched more strikes.

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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted: “Moments ago, IAF aircraft, targeted the Syrian Aerial Defense System & Iranian targets in Syria. 12 targets, including 3 aerial defense batteries & 4 Iranian military targets, were attacked. Anti-aircraft missiles were fired towards Israel, triggering alarms in northern Israel.”

Israeli strikes in Syria are not unusual, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman says, but the loss of an Israeli fighter jet marks a serious escalation.

Continue reading Syria war: Israeli fighter jet crashes under Syria fire, military says

US kills more than 100 in attack on pro-Assad regime forces in Syria after ‘unprovoked attack’ on allies

  • The US led an attack that killed more than 100 pro-Assad regime soldiers in Syria on Thursday.
  • The attack was a response to a pro-Assad airstrike on the headquarters of a long-time US ally in Syria.
  • The US has been edging closer and closer to fighting the Syrian government and Russia since the fall of ISIS.

A US attack on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad killed more than 100 in the country’s north on Thursday, and the regime came roaring back with airstrikes of its own on rebel forces near Damascus.

The airstrikes from Assad killed 21 and injured 125, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday.

Assad’s strikes followed what the US called an “unprovoked attack” by his forces on the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of anti-Assad fighters the US has trained and supported for years.

Continue reading US kills more than 100 in attack on pro-Assad regime forces in Syria after ‘unprovoked attack’ on allies

Russia Confirms Warplane Downed Over Syria, Pilot Dead

A Russian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet has been shot down in a rebel-held area in Syria’s north-western province of Idlib.

The Russian defence ministry said the pilot had ejected into an area believed to be controlled by the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance.

Although he survived the crash he was killed in a ground fight, Moscow said.

Map showing control of Syria and Iraq (8 January 2017)

The Syrian government, Russia’s ally, launched a major offensive in December against rebel groups in Idlib.

What more do we know of the incident?

The Sukhoi-25, a close-support ground-attack aircraft, was operating over the town of Maasran in Idlib.

There had been dozens of Russian air strikes in the area over the previous 24 hours, monitoring groups said.

Images said to show the wreckage of the Sukhoi-25

It is not yet known who shot the plane down or how

Video posted on social media showed the jet being hit and quickly catching fire, before spiralling to the ground.

Video from the ground showed the wreckage with red stars on the wings.

Continue reading Russia Confirms Warplane Downed Over Syria, Pilot Dead

The CEO of one of Russia’s biggest banks said Europe is experiencing a ‘new arms race’ and that imposing further sanctions would be ‘like declaring a war’

  • The CEO of one of Russia’s biggest banks said he was concerned about the build up of military equipment in Europe, which amounted to a “new arms race.”
  • Andrei Kostin of VTB said the “dangerous” build up of weapons could cause an “accident” and was worsening tensions between Russia and the West.
  • He said if the US were to impose further economic sanctions on Russia, it would be “like declaring a war.”

Continue reading The CEO of one of Russia’s biggest banks said Europe is experiencing a ‘new arms race’ and that imposing further sanctions would be ‘like declaring a war’