Friday, September 18, 2015

Syria regime in wave of air raids on Palmyra

Syrian regime aircraft Friday carried out at least 25 strikes on jihadist-controlled Palmyra, the country's famed ancient city, with eight civilians among the dead, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the raids killed "at least eight civilians and many members" of the Islamic State jihadist group.

The aerial barrage was "one of the strongest attacks by Syrian warplanes against positions in Palmyra since IS captured it" on May 21, according to Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

He said most residents had fled in the wake of the IS takeover, leaving only a few of the original inhabitants and the families of militants.

The jihadists have blown up the ancient Temple of Bel and several famed tower tombs in Palmyra, a UNESCO-listed world heritage site.

Regime forces have fought hard to edge closer to the historic town.

"In the past two days, the regime has intensified its air raids against areas controlled by the Islamic State group," Abdel Rahman said.

On Thursday, government air strikes on Raqa city, IS's de facto capital of a "caliphate" it has declared straddling Syria and Iraq, killed 18 people, including jihadists and civilians.

  • Russia has sent fighter jets to Syria, U.S. officials said, raising the stakes in a military buildup that has put Washington on edge and led Friday to the first talks between U.S. and Russian defense chiefs in over a year...

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, eyeing the possibility of rival U.S. and Russian air operations in Syria's limited airspace, agreed in a call with his Russian counterpart to explore ways to avoid accidental military interactions.

The coordination necessary to avoid such encounters is known in military parlance as "deconfliction."

"They agreed to further discuss mechanisms for deconfliction in Syria and the counter-ISIL (ISIS) campaign," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said after the


1 comment:

  1. Syrian government war planes have launched one of the heaviest bombardments yet on the city of Palmyra, which is held by Islamic State (IS) militants, activists say...

    About 25 air strikes left at least 26 people dead, including 12 militants, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    IS captured Palmyra, which includes a Unesco World Heritage site, in May.

    Elsewhere, air strikes on Idlib killed 17 people, the Observatory said.

    The city of Idlib is a stronghold of an alliance of jihadist and Islamist groups calling itself the Army of Conquest.

    Syrian military sources quoted by Reuters have said Syria is using new types of very accurate weapons supplied by its ally, Russia.

    Earlier on Friday, the US and Russian defence ministers spoke by phone for the first time in more than a year to discuss the crisis...............


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