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October 1, 2015

Russian jets carry out strikes in Syria

Russian jets carry out strikes in Syria – Wikinews, the free news source

Russian jets carry out strikes in Syria

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

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A Su-34 of the type stationed in Latakia.
Image: Oleg V. Belyakov – AirTeamImages.

Russian jets stationed reportedly in the Syrian city of Latakia have been carrying out air strikes since yesterday, in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, having notified the United States an hour before.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the strikes against Islamist militants who “if they succeed in Syria […] will come to Russia, too”, and clarified he would not be sending ground troops to participate in the Syrian Civil War. He called on Assad to engage in dialogue with “healthy” opposition groups.

The ITAR-Tass news agency reported earlier yesterday Putin had been given the green light for the air raids by the upper chamber of Russia’s legislature. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said Russia responded after Assad had sent a letter seeking assistance from Putin. SANA also reported the strikes were carried out in conjunction with the Syrian Air Force and had focussed on ISIS facilities in a number of locations.

Cquote1.svg establish channels of communications to avoid any unintended incidents Cquote2.svg

—Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister

The US State Department said US aircraft would continue to operate throughout the region. An agreement to hold military talks was announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry. Lavrov said it was necessary to “establish channels of communications to avoid any unintended incidents”. However, US officials questioned the purpose of the Russian strikes, stating the targeted areas were unlikely to be under ISIS control.

Syrian opposition groups claimed there have been civilian casualties as a direct consequence of the strikes. The Syrian National Coalition said several children were amongst 36 people who died after planes struck several towns, whilst the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed there had been 28 deaths.



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August 24, 2014

Islamic State capture Syrian airbase

Islamic State capture Syrian airbase – Wikinews, the free news source

Islamic State capture Syrian airbase

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Islamic State fighters are reported to have taken control of Tabqa airbase, the last government stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa, today after several days of fighting.

Map of Syria with Raqqa province in light green
Image: KureCewlik81.

The loss was confirmed by Syrian state television, who reported a “successful evacuation of the airport” and that the government forces were continuing local operations against “terrorist groups”. This is the third military base in the province to fall to the extremist group in recent weeks, after reports of them seizing weapons during their advances in neighboring Iraq.

Monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported over 300 Islamic State fighters were killed in the fighting since Tuesday, with over 150 government soldiers killed in the same time frame. Clashes reportedly continue in the area around the base.

The airbase reportedly contained several squadrons of warplanes, tanks, and artillery.

Elsewhere, Islamic State fighters were reported to have withdrawn from the area around Homs and to have retreated east, giving up the area to fighters of the al-Nusra Front. Other rebel groups backed by Western countries have also been fighting the Islamic State, but tend to lose those confrontations.

The ongoing fighting is a continuation of the Syrian Civil War, which started in 2011 as protest groups confronted forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Fighters of the Islamic State had previously fought alongside other opposition groups, but its treatment of individuals led to fighting between them.



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January 4, 2013

Syrian opposition report fuel station bombing kills at least nine

Syrian opposition report fuel station bombing kills at least nine

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Friday, January 4, 2013

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Opposition activists in Syria say nine or more people have died as the result of a car bomb explosion at a fuel station in the Barzeh al-Balad district of Damascus, the capital of the country, according to BBC News Online. News agency Reuters has placed the minimum death toll at eleven while also reporting at least forty injuries. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes an increase in the number of fatalities recorded is probable.

At the time of the incident, a large number of people were waiting at the station to collect petrol. Activists say Syria is short of petrol because of the ongoing civil war, which started during 2011. BBC News Online says drivers queueing at fuel stations for hours is a frequent occurrence in the country.

An unidentified activist told Reuters the fuel station was “usually packed even when it has no fuel. There are lots of people who sleep there overnight, waiting for early morning fuel consignments”. The same person reported witnessing the bodies of burned people being placed onto ambulances, as well as those with wounds and severe burns, and vehicles the blast had destroyed being towed away. The activist, a local resident, said security workers at the station then told him to leave the scene.

The Revolution Leadership Council, which is part of the Syrian opposition, cited “a booby-trapped car” as the source of the explosion. It is unclear at this stage as to who was responsible for the incident, although the local activist who spoke to Reuters said there had been increased conflict between civilians and militia supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at fuel stations recently.



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May 15, 2012

UN convoy targeted in Syrian province of Idlib

UN convoy targeted in Syrian province of Idlib

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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Syrian activists uploaded this video of the attack on the UN convoy to YouTube.
Video: mahned1000.

The United Nations has confirmed that its convoy in Syria was bombed this afternoon while a human rights group reported a Syrian military attack on civilians at a nearby funeral in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province today.

Just prior to the bombing of the UN convoy at around 1400 Eastern European Time (UTC+2), the Syrian military is said to have attacked a funeral procession and reportedly 20 people were killed in that incident. The attack on civilians by the Syrian military was reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

According to Martin Nesirky, who is the UN spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, an IED bomb struck its four-vehicle convoy. UN personnel had to be left behind after the blast but no UN staff were injured. Later, the UN sent a patrol to pick up personnel left behind. Three UN marked vehicles were damaged.

A video uploaded to the video sharing website YouTube reportedly shows the UN convoy being targeted and bombed.

About a dozen civilians can be seen surrounding the lead car of the convoy talking to UN observers. Some civilians can be heard screaming. Several seconds later, a bomb explodes near what appears to be the lead car of the convoy severely damaging the front end of the vehicle and injuring several civilians. The lead car, still operating, begins to leave the area. The two other vehicles follow. According to reports, several civilians were injured and or killed in the attack. The UN has reportedly stated that none of their observers were injured.

“We went to observe and after a while shooting occurred”; “We are safe with the Free Army and we are waiting for a [U.N.] group to pick us up,” said UN observers to Reuters. According to reports, the UN is seeking “to remove the observers from the area.”

It is not yet known who was responsible for the attack on the UN convoy.



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