Advertisements


23 civilians killed in Syria, most in Russian air strikes – monitor

BEIRUT, Lebanon – At least 23 civilians were killed Wednesday, January 3, in the Syrian opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, most of them in Russian air raids, a monitor said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Agence France-Presse that 18 people were killed by Russian strikes ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJan 4th, 2018

23 civilians killed in Syria, most in Russian air strikes – monitor

BEIRUT, Lebanon – At least 23 civilians were killed Wednesday, January 3, in the Syrian opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, most of them in Russian air raids, a monitor said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Agence France-Presse that 18 people were killed by Russian strikes ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2018

3,800 civilians dead in year of Russian strikes in Syria – monitor

BEIRUT: Around 3,800 civilians have been killed in one year of Russian air strikes in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, a monitoring group said Friday. They are among more than 9,300 people who have died in the raids since September 30, 2015,.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 30th, 2016

Russian, U.S.-led strikes kill 35 civilians in Syria's Deir Ezzor – monitor

Russian, U.S.-led strikes kill 35 civilians in Syria's Deir Ezzor – monitor.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2017

Yemen family fears drone strikes under Trump – The Guardian

Every day, as they hear the whine of the drones overhead, the Tuaiman family waits for Donald Trump to finish killing them. The drones used to hover about once a week over al-Rawdah, the Yemeni village where the family lives, sending children running for cover. Now, according to Meqdad Tuaiman, the drones come every day – sometimes three or four times. Usually they arrive in the afternoon. Other times they come after sundown and linger until sunrise. The drones have not fired their weapons in four months, but their patrols have intensified since late January, when Trump took office. Meqdad, a 24-year-old used-car salesman and occasional pipeline guard, considers it no coincidence. In October 2011, Meqdad’s father, Saleh, and his 17-year-old brother Jalal were killed in a drone strike after they drove into the desert to find some missing camels. Another brother who was with them – Ezzaldeen, 14 – escaped the blast and hid until morning, when he found the two shattered bodies. In 2014, the Guardian gave Meqdad’s 13-year-old brother a camera to record his daily life. In January 2015, he too was killed in a drone strike. US drone strikes in Yemen are a key part of the campaign against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), but the Tuaiman family denies any links to terrorism and say the family has never received any explanation from either US authorities or their Yemeni government allies. According to Meqdad, his brother Ezzaldeen has started to say: “They’re going to kill me next.” Under the Trump administration, airstrikes have escalated dramatically in Iraq and Syria, sending claims of civilian casualties skyrocketing. Airstrikes have also increased in Yemen, where the US campaign against Islamists has played out alongside a tangled civil war, which has already drawn in regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Trump administration is considering plans to deepen US involvement in the civil war, which pits Iranian-backed Houthi rebels against the Persian Gulf states who support the exiled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Tuaiman family feels pinioned between the two campaigns: its support for Hadi aligns them with the US – even as they fear being marked for death by US drone strikes. In Washington, Obama was criticized from the right for being too risk-averse even as human rights monitors said his administration’s guidance on avoiding civilian casualties was to lax. And under Trump, the guidance is a dead letter, an administration official recently told the Guardian. “Under Obama, Republicans constantly expressed concerns that White House micromanagement of how and where drones were deployed – and unrealistic rules of engagement for drone strikes – hampered US counterterrorism strategy. Even without formal guidance, Trump can reverse this by devolving strike authority to lower-level officials, and signal an acceptance for more strikes and thus more civilian casualties,” said Micah Zenko, who studies counterterrorism at the Council on Foreign Relations. Meqdad fears that Trump intends to make good on a promise he made in 2015: “When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.” US officials deny plans to implement such a policy, which legal experts say would constitute a war crime. But with three dead relatives, Meqdad is disinclined to rule it out. “Basically, we felt that [Trump has] no respect for human life. We felt very afraid”, Meqdad said, in a telephone interview arranged by the human rights group Reprieve. Meqdad said that if the US possesses any evidence against his family, “please bring it to court. We’re ready to explain in any US court.” From the Tuaiman’s Yemeni home to Iraq and Syria, the pace of US airstrikes has increased in recent weeks. Central Command has denied relaxing any relevant rules of engagement. Yet it has acknowledged, a December devolution of decision-making that made it quicker for US military “advisers” fighting alongside Iraqi forces in Mosul to call in airstrikes. “I think philosophically the president has made it very clear that he wants to give the commanders on the ground much more flexibility to execute their mission, especially when it comes to defeating Isis,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday. US air force statistics show that since December, the US dropped vastly more bombs on Iraq and Syria than ever before in the two-and-a-half-year old war. In January, US warplanes loosed 3,600 munitions, followed in February by another 3,440. (March statistics are not yet available.) That blew away the previous high-water mark for monthly weapons releases: 3,242 in November 2015. The UK-based monitor group Airwars has said claims of civilian casualties caused by the US and its allies have risen so sharply that it lacks the resources to continue monitoring those alleged to have been caused by Russia, which the US had once criticized for indiscriminate bombing. In March 2017 alone, Airwars has tracked allegations of nearly 1,000 civilians killed in Iraq and Syria attributed to the US-led coalition. The Pentagon says it investigates credible claims of civilian deaths. But in Mosul, mass deaths apparently resulting from a 17 March US airstrike have caused international outcry and prompted the Iraqi government to pause its offensive. A similar trend is at work in Yemen. As of Wednesday, Trump’s 69th day in office, the US had conducted 37 drone strikes or raids beyond declared battlefields, at a rate of one strike every 1.8 days, said Zenko. Those strikes and raids have overwhelmingly focused on Yemen. [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 30th, 2017

Clashes in Syria’s Damascus after surprise rebel attack – Al Jazeera

Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of the Syrian capital on Sunday after rebel fighters launched a surprise assault on government forces, a monitor and state television said. Steady shelling and sniper fire could be heard across Damascus on Sunday as rebel factions allied with former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launched an attack on government positions in the city's east. The clashes centered on a government-held gap between two besieged opposition enclaves, the Jobar and Qaboun neighborhoods. The Ahrar al-Sham rebel group said fighters had &'8220;liberated&'8221; the area. Tahrir al-Sham &'' a umbrella group of rebels formed by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham last month &'' and the independent Failaq al-Rahman group also participated in the attack. Syrian state media said the military had repelled an attack by one group after &'8220;terrorists&'8221; infiltrated through tunnels in the middle of the night. Rebels detonated two large car bombs at 5:20am on Sunday close to the Jobar neighborhood. Tahrir al-Sham claimed responsibility for the attack. Rebels then advanced into the nearby Abbasiyn Square area, seizing several buildings and firing a barrage of rockets into multiple Damascus neighbourhoods, according to Rami Abdelrahman of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Government forces responded with nearly a dozen air strikes on Jobar, he added. Al Jazeera's Mohamed Al Jazaeri, reporting from near Damascus, said that at least 15 civilians had been killed after government forces shelled residential neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta, but that the fighting had since become less intense. &'8220;This advance is the largest for opposition groups in over a year and a half,&'8221; Al Jazaeri said. &'8220;Military operations have not stopped in the area but it has calmed down. There remains sniper shooting from both sides and regime forces are shelling Jobar neighborhood, as well as other areas controlled recently by the opposition.&'8221; Control of Jobar &'' which has been a battleground district for more than two years &'' is divided between rebels and allied fighters on one side, and government forces on the other. It is one of three pockets in the Syrian capital still in opposition hands. The recent fighting has resulted in rebel control of industrial areas in Al-Qaboun in addition to parts of Abbasiyn breaking a siege on the area and linking it to Jobar neighborhood, which is connected to Eastern Ghouta, Al Jazaeri said. Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria at the University of Oklahoma, told Al Jazeera that the offensive had taken the government by surprise and that its response was likely to be very significant. &'8220;I don't think it's going to change the trajectory of the war, which has been seeing the regime make important gains and the opposition getting increasingly restricted. But it shows the opposition is far from dead. It shows also that this new combination led by [Tahrir al-Sham] is very potent,&'8221; Landis said. &'8220;The regime is going to realise that it cannot allow these two areas to linger there because they are beachheads for this Tahrir a-Sham group to make inroads into the Damascus area,&'8221; he said, adding the government would likely withdraw some forces from areas such as Homs and Hama to refocus on Damascus. &'8220;It means that the fight is still on, there are many fronts to this war, and the opposition remains powerful.&'8221; Syrian state TV aired footage from Abbasiyn Square, typically buzzing with activity but now empty except for the sound of shelling. Residents said artillery shells and rockets were landing in the heart of the city. The Observatory said rebel shells hit several nearby districts in Damascus, including Bab Touma, Rukn al-Din and the Abbasiyin area. Several schools announced they would close through Monday, and many civilians cowered inside in fear of stray bullets and shelling. According to the Observatory, the Faylaq al-Rahman group and the Fateh al-Sham Front &'' known as al-Nusra Front before it broke ties with al-Qaeda &'' were present in Jobar. &'8220;This neighbourhood is the most important front line because it's the closest rebel position to the heart of the capital,&'8221; said Abdel Rahman. Government forces have long sought to push the rebels out of the district because of its proximity to the city centre in Damascus. But with Sunday's attack, Abdel Rahman said, &'8220;rebels have shifted from a defensive position in Jobar to an offensive one&'8221;. &'8220;These are not intermittent clashes &'' these are ongoing attempts to advance,&'8221; he said. One rebel commander told the Associated Press news agency they launched the assualt from Jobar as a way to relieve allied fighters in the nearby districts of Barzeh, Tishreen, and Qabun from government attacks. &'8220;This is to relieve the pressure on rebels with the regime not stopping its bombardment and artillery shelling,&'8221; said Abu Abdo, a commander from Failaq al Rahman. The attack on Damascus comes just days before a fresh round of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva aiming to put an end to Syria's six-year war. Rebels and government troops agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities in December, but fighting has continued across much of the country, including in the capital. Rebels said the army had advanced in the last two days after weeks of bombardment and aerial strikes aimed at regaining control of strategic areas inside the capital, a few kms away from President Bashar al Assad's seat of power. The army had advanced towards a road between Qaboun and Barza, whose capture severed the links between the two besieged rebel districts where tens of thousands of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

Air raids kill at least 12 civilians in Syria’s Aleppo: monitor

Air strikes killed at least 12 civilians in Syria's Aleppo on Monday, a monitor said, bringing to 45 the death toll from 24 hours of raids on the battleground city......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 17th, 2016

3,800 civilians dead in Russian strikes in Syria – monitor

3,800 civilians dead in Russian strikes in Syria – monitor.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 30th, 2016

New strikes kill at least 25 civilians in Syria’s Aleppo: monitor

At least 25 civilians were killed in heavy Russian and Syrian strikes across the rebel-held east of Aleppo on Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 24th, 2016

US-led coalition raids kill 15 civilians in Syria

At least 15 civilians were killed and dozens wounded in air strikes by a US-led coalition in Syria on Thursday, a monitor said......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJul 29th, 2016

ISIS attack killed at least 75 displaced Syrians

BEIRUT, Lebanon – A car bombing by the Islamic State group killed at least 75 displaced people in eastern Syria, a monitor said Sunday, November 5, as the cornered extremists appeared to target fleeing civilians. The attack occurred Saturday, November 4, in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, killing "at least ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 6th, 2017

IS ‘executed’ 116 in Syria town revenge campaign – monitor

BEIRUT: The Islamic State group killed 116 people it suspected of collaborating with the Syrian regime in Al-Qaryatain this month before losing the desert down to government forces, a monitor said on Monday. “IS has over a period of 20 days executed at least 116 civilians in reprisal killings, accusing them of collaboration with regime [...] The post IS ‘executed’ 116 in Syria town revenge campaign – monitor appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2017

Air strikes kill 28 civilians in Syria safe zone: monitor

Air strikes kill 28 civilians in Syria safe zone: monitor.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 30th, 2017

472 civilians dead in month of U.S.-led Syria strikes – monitor

472 civilians dead in month of U.S.-led Syria strikes – monitor.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 24th, 2017

472 civilians dead in month of US-led Syria strikes – monitor

472 civilians dead in month of US-led Syria strikes – monitor.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2017

US warns of unilateral Syria moves if UN fails to act – Al Jazeera

The United States has warned it could take unilateral action if the United Nations fails to respond to a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in Syria that killed more than 80 people, including many children. &'8220;When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,&'8221; US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Wednesday. The warning came during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called by France and Britain after an early morning attack on Tuesday in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. Britain, France and the US presented a draft resolution demanding a full investigation of the attack, which they blamed on the Syrian government. But talks ended without a vote after Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the text was &'8220;categorically unacceptable&'8221;. Syria has denied the allegations, while Russia had blamed the rebels, saying the deaths occurred when a government shell hit a rebel chemical weapons depot. Haley lashed out at Moscow for failing to rein in Damascus, standing in the council chamber to hold up photographs of victims &'' one showing a young child lying lifeless, a mask covering his face. &'8220;How many more children have to die before Russia cares?&'8221; she asked. &'8220;If Russia has the influence in Syria that it claims to have, we need to see them use it,&'8221; she said. &'8220;We need to see them put an end to these horrific acts.&'8221; The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 86 people, including 30 children, were killed in the raid on Khan Sheikhoun. Dozens more were left gasping for air, convulsing, and foaming at the mouth, doctors said. If confirmed, it will be be the worst chemical weapons attack in Syria since 2013, when sarin gas was used on a rebel-held area of Damascus. &'8220;If we are not prepared to act, then this council will keep meeting, month after month to express outrage at the continuing use of chemical weapons and it will not end,&'8221; Haley said. &'8220;We will see more conflict in Syria. We will see more pictures that we can never unsee.&'8221; The draft resolution backs a probe by the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and demands that Syria cooperate to provide information on its military operations on the day of the assault. Russia's Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told the council the proposed measure was hastily prepared and unnecessary, but voiced support for an investigation. &'8220;The main task now is to have an objective inquiry into what happened,&'8221; he said. Negotiations continued on the proposed resolutions throughout most of Wednesday. Diplomats said it could come up for a vote at the council as early as Thursday. In a press conference at the White House later in the day, US President Donald Trump said the chemical attack had crossed &'8220;many, many lines&'8221; and had abruptly changed his thinking about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. &'160; Only days earlier multiple members of Trump's administration had said Assad's ouster was no longer a US priority, drawing outrage from Assad critics in the United States and abroad. But Trump said Tuesday's attack &'8220;had a big impact on me &'' big impact&'8221;. &'8220;My attitude towards Syria and Assad has changed very much,&'8221; he said, but refused to telegraph any potential US military retaliation. Since the attack, Trump has been under increasing pressure to explain whether it was egregious enough to force a US response. Robert Ford, former US ambassador to Syria, expressed scepticism that Trump would resort to military action. &'8220;As a presidential candidate he could not have been more clear that he wanted to avoid military involvement in the Syrian civil war,&'8221; he told Al Jazeera. &'8220;For him to order military strikes, even limited military strikes, in response to the chemical attack in Idlib, would be a gigantic change and not one that I'm at all sure that the administration is actually going to do.&'8221; Ford said all fingers point to the Syrian government as the culprit of the attack. &'8220;I find it laughable that governments such as Russia would suggest that rebels have a chemical weapons capacity but they always seem to use it on their own people and never on the Syrian army,&'8221; he added. Idlib hospitals overwhelmed after suspected gas attack Trump's first reaction to the attack was to blame former president Barack Obama's &'8220;weakness&'8221; in earlier years for enabling Assad. Obama had put Assad on notice that using chemical weapons would cross a &'8220;red line&'8221; necessitating a US response, but then failed to follow through, pulling back from planned air strikes on Assad's forces after Congress would not vote to approve them. Trump and other critics have cited that as a key moment the US lost much global credibility. &'8220;I now have responsibility,&'8221; Trump said. &'8220;That responsibility could be made a lot easier if it was handled years ago.&'8221; Joshua Landis, director for the Centre of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told Al Jazeera that the US would likely warn Moscow if it was to resort to using military might in Syria. &'8220;They have to disambiguate and they have to make sure that they don’t hurt any Russian soldiers,&'8221; he said. &'8220;But there’s a wide palette of things they can do. They can bomb airports and destroy the [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 6th, 2017

White House blames Obama admin for suspected Syria chemical attack – ABC News

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that a suspected chemical attack in a Syrian town was a &'8220;consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution.&'8221; &'8220;Today's attack is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,&'8221; Spicer told reporters. &'8220;These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he'd establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The U.S. stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act.&'8221; U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the State Department in Washington, ignored questions from reporters about the chemical weapons attack. The Department of State later released an official statement condemning it. &'8220;While we continue to monitor the terrible situation, it is clear that this is how Bashar al-Assad operates: with brutal, unabashed barbarism,&'8221; Tillerson said in the statement. &'8220;Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions. Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable.&'8221; Tillerson also called upon Russia and Iran to &'8220;exercise their influence over the Syrian regime and to guarantee that this sort of horrific attack never happens again.&'8221; And Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., tweeted that the Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning. &'8220;Assad must be held accountable for these barbaric attacks against his own people,&'8221; she wrote. The alleged Syrian government airstrike, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria, killed at least 58 civilians, including 19 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. The Syria Civil Defense and the Health Directorate in Idlib said that more than 50 people were killed and 300 injured. Syria's military denied using chemical weapons against civilians, saying it is too &'8220;honorable&'8221; to carry out such &'8220;heinous&'8221; crimes while the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Damascus is committed to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention it joined in 2013, denying its military has used such agents in today’s attack. If confirmed the incident would be the deadliest chemical attack in Syria since sarin gas killed hundreds of civilians in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta in August 2013. Today's attack appeared to involve a gas that caused victims to choke and faint, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syria Civil Defense, medics and residents. Warplanes later struck the town again, hitting a hospital where some of the victims were being treated and a Syria Civil Defense center. &'8220;What moved us most was when we entered a house and saw a whole family — a father, a mother and four children — killed because of the chemical attack,&'8221; Abdullah al-Hussein, a Syria Civil Defense volunteer who was at the scene, told ABC News in a voice recording in Arabic. &'8220;They had been asleep. They were in their beds. The truth is that what happened today was painful in all meanings of the word.&'8221; He said that many residents were still asleep when the attack happened in the early morning. He saw more than 100 injured people and at least 20 bodies of children, women and men at one of the hospitals tasked with treating victims, he said. US reviewing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that may have killed 100s of civilians Syria struggles with shortage of drugs for young cancer patients Muneer, a schoolteacher who lives in Khan Sheikhoun, said he was alone at home when he heard the attack. &'8220;I hid in the corner of the room,&'8221; Muneer, who asked that his last name not be published, out of security concerns, told ABC News via a messaging app in Arabic. He said he lives in the center of the town and the attack took place in the northern part. When he later tried to approach the area that was struck, people told him not to go any farther. &'8220;They warned me that I would faint if I came close,&'8221; he said, &'8220;so I stopped walking.&'8221; He said schools were closed today. Doctors in Syria who treated some of the victims told ABC News that they saw patients with pinpoint pupils, foaming at the mouth, loss of consciousness, slow breathing, running noses and other neurological symptoms consistent with chemical weapons. &'8220;The hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was filled with injured children, women and men, and a smell of chlorine was filling the place,&'8221; Mohammad Alshagel, a media activist with the Aleppo Media Center who visited the hospital, told ABC News. &'8220;The injured had heavy choking symptoms, and some of them died five minutes after arriving, even though medical staff tried to help them.&'8221; He said the hospital was attacked after he left. He has witnessed the aftermath of several chemical attacks in Aleppo and they were not as bad as this one, he said. &'8220;It was a horrible scene. Children were crying, asking for their parents who had died, and women were screaming,&'8221; he said. Raed al-Saleh, the head of the volunteer Syria Civil Defense, or White Helmets, told ABC News that five rockets hit the group's center in the town, destroying equipment. The attack comes as world leaders and diplomats gather in Brussels for talks [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 5th, 2017

In west Mosul, ‘nowhere is safe for civilians’ – Al Jazeera

The Iraqi army on Sunday resumed operations against ISIL in Mosul after a one-day pause, amid growing concerns over an escalating civilian death toll as fierce fighting spreads to the city's most densely populated areas. The offensive was briefly put on hold after local officials and residents in west Mosul said suspected US-led coalition  air raids last week had killed scores of civilians at the ISIL-held al-Jadida  district. Security forces on Saturday did not permit journalists to get to where the strikes were said to have taken place, but the  coalition admitted that it had struck the area on March 17, and said it was investigating the reports of civilian deaths. Details about what exactly happened on March 17 are difficult to confirm as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters to recapture the heavily populated parts of the western half of Mosul, the armed group's last stronghold in Iraq. Witnesses and local officials said that more than 200 bodies were pulled from a collapsed building after a coalition air raid. But in a statement on Sunday, the Iraqi army said there was no sign that the destroyed structure had been hit by a strike &'' blaming its collapse on booby traps set by ISIL instead. &'8220;A team of military experts from field commanders checked the building where the media reported that the house was completely destroyed. All walls were booby-trapped and there is no hole that indicates an air strike,&'8221; it said, adding that 61 bodies were recovered from the rubble. READ MORE: Grief and questions amid wreckage of Mosul air strikes Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from a hospital in Erbil, northern Iraq, spoke to people who confirmed that they had lost family members in the air raids of March 17. &'8220;We've been speaking to some of the patients and certainly the words air strikes come up a lot in the conversation,&'8221; she said, referring to a man who said 22 of his relatives had been killed in an air raid, while he had to spend several days under the rubble before being rescued. &'8220;When you ask them what happened … people here say the main problem is that you have ISIL fighters who are roaming around, going in and out of houses, on top of rooftops to take positions and then disappearing. &'8220;So apparently many of the air strikes, according to the people we spoke here, hit the wrong target &'' simply by the time the air strike arrives and is called in, the ISIL fighters have disappeared.&'8221; The US-backed offensive to drive ISIL out of Mosul, now in its sixth month, has recaptured most of the city. The Iraqi government announced that eastern Mosul had been recaptured from ISIL in January, but residents still report almost daily fighting in some areas. Iraqi security and medical sources on Sunday said a t least 16 civilians, including two children, were killed by ISIL shelling in a popular marketplace in  eastern Mosul. Another 43 civilians were wounded in the attack, according to the sources. In western Mosul, the Iraqi army's advances have stuttered in the past two weeks as fighting enters the narrow alleys of the Old City, home to the al-Nuri Mosque where ISIL group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate spanning large areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Iraqi forces on Sunday deployed snipers to target ISIL fighters who were using civilians as human shields, Joint Operations Command spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told the AFP news agency. The military was relying on &'8220;light and medium weapons, among them sniper [rifles], to hunt for Daesh [ISIL] members&'8221; located among civilians, he said. Rasool accused ISIL of gathering civilians together and then blowing up explosives-rigged vehicles nearby to make it look like &'8220;Iraqi forces &' are targeting innocent civilians&'8221;. However, Iraqi forces have also frequently fired mortar rounds and unguided rockets during the battle for west Mosul &'' weapons that pose a much greater risk to residents of areas where fighting is taking place. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are still inside the Old City and are exposed to the intense fighting. &'8220;Patients here say there is nowhere safe in western Mosul for civilians,&'8221; Al Jazeera's Abdel-Hamid, reporting from the hospital in Erbil, said. &'8220;They say the fight in western Mosul is not the same as the fight that happened in the east part of the city. They say it's much more brutal, with many more air strikes and much more shelling.&'8221; According to Iraqi authorities, more than 200,000 people have fled west Mosul since the operation to retake the area was launched on February 19. But the United Nations has said that about 600,000 are still present inside the city. Caroline Gluck, a senior public information officer in Iraq with the UN's refugee agency, said the situation is deteriorating daily. &'8220;The fighting is coming closer to people's homes. It's a very densely packed area, particularly in the Old City, so families have been terrified by the mortars, the shelling and the air strikes,&'8221; she told Al Jazeera from Baghdad. Gluck said a major factor in many residents' &'8220;very difficult decision&'8221; to flee is growing hunger. &'8220;Families have told us they rely on one meal a day &'' and that meal is really just water and flour. People are getting desperate; there is no fuel, no heating, and they are burning furniture and old [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2017

Air strikes kill 11 civilians in central Syria – monitor

Air strikes kill 11 civilians in central Syria – monitor.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 4th, 2017

Turkish strikes on IS Syria bastion killed 47 civilians

Turkish strikes on IS Syria bastion killed 47 civilians.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2016

US strikes may have killed 119 civilians in Iraq, Syria – Pentagon

US strikes may have killed 119 civilians in Iraq, Syria – Pentagon.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 10th, 2016