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US denies involvement in Syria missile strike which kills 12 

25.05.2018 13:16

A dozen pro-regime fighters were killed in an air strike on Syrian army positions a monitor said Thursday, claiming the attack was carried out by the US-led coalition, but the Pentagon denied the report. State media reported the overnight air raid in an area where both the regime and coalition have been battling holdout jihadists, but said it only caused material damage. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a broad network of sources across Syria, said the strike had hit army positions south of Albu Kamal, a town on the border with Iraq. "At least three vehicles were destroyed by the strike," said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman. He said the 12 pro-regime fighters killed were not Syrians, but he could not provide more details on their identity. A military source quoted by state news agency SANA said "some of our military positions between Albu Kamal and Hmeimeh were hit this morning in an aggression by American coalition warplanes". A United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation military observer uses binoculars near the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights Credit: BAZ RATNER/Reuters The Pentagon denied the strikes were carried out by the coalition fighting the Islamic State group. "These reports are false, the coalition did not strike any Syrian army positions in eastern Syria," said Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner. "The coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS (IS) in designated parts of Iraq and Syria, and to set conditions for follow-on stability operations. This mission has not changed." Less than 24 hours after the overnight strikes, missiles targeted a weapons depot belonging to Lebanon's Hezbollah movement at an airbase in the central province of Homs, according to the Observatory. A member of the pro-government forces puts a portrait of the Syrian president on a military weapon Credit:  LOUAI BESHARA/AFP Its director Abdel Rahman said the missiles "would have been fired by Israel". SANA said Syrian air defences had intercepted the missiles in Homs, but reported explosions in the area. Albu Kamal and Hmeimeh lie in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province, where Russian-backed Syrian troops and the US-led coalition have been waging separate offensives against IS. A "de-confliction" line in place along the Euphrates River since last year is meant to keep the two assaults from crashing into each other. Loyalist troops are present west of the river while the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are on the east. A military source from forces allied to Syria's government said the strikes had targeted two regime military positions near a frontline with IS. Syrian security forces enter the town of Rastan in the central Homs province on May 16, 2018 after rebels and their relatives were evacuated Credit:  LOUAI BESHARA/AFP "There are no Iranian or Lebanese fighters among the dead," the source said. Iraqi Shiite militia are also fighting alongside Syrian regime forces in the area. The Observatory said the government was sending reinforcements. It was not immediately clear whether jihadists were active in the area at the time, nor whether the pro-regime casualties may have been accidental. The coalition has carried out several deadly strikes against Syrian government forces and allied fighters in recent months. In February, coalition bombing raids in Deir Ezzor province killed at least 100 regime and allied fighters, including Russian nationals, in retaliation for an attack on SDF positions. And in September 2016, US-led strikes on regime military positions in the east left more than 60 Syrian troops dead. The coalition later said it had mistaken the fighters for IS jihadists. Syria: timeline of British involvement since 2013 The Islamic State group has lost nearly all the territory it once controlled in Syria and Iraq but it still holds some villages in the Euphrates Valley area. On Monday, Syrian troops and allied forces ousted IS from the last districts it held in the capital Damascus. After a fierce month-long battle, an evacuation deal saw the remaining jihadists bussed out of the city towards small pockets of land still held by IS in the Badiya, a vast desert area stretching from central Syria to its eastern border with Iraq. The day after the transfer, IS fighters in the Badiya attacked a nearby government position, leaving more than two dozen Syrian troops and allied fighters dead. The Observatory said the IS fighters responsible were from the group that had just been transferred out of the Yarmuk area in southern Damascus.

Lawfare? Syrian development plan alarms refugees and host nations

25.05.2018 12:07

A new law allowing the Syrian government to redevelop areas devastated by war has alarmed refugees and the countries that host them, prompting fears that people will lose their property and be less likely to return home.

From: feeds.reuters.com

Turkey detains 51 suspected ISIS members

25.05.2018 9:59

Turkish police detained 51 suspected members of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Istanbul on Friday (May 25), anti-terrorist police said.

From: www.straitstimes.com

Assad meets Russia envoy, hails 'partners in victories'

25.05.2018 9:12

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed Russia's hand in his recent victories during a meeting in Damascus on Wednesday with the Kremlin's special envoy to talks on the conflict. It came just days after his troops secured the capital from jihadists and less than a week since Assad travelled to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, the Russian envoy to Syria was in Damascus to meet Assad and other top Syrian officials, state news agency SANA reported.

From: www.yahoo.com

Seeds of hope

25.05.2018 8:12

The gardens giving hope and a sense of belonging to Syrian refugees in Iraq.

From: www.bbc.co.uk

Report: Airstrikes on Syria pro-government positions kill 12

25.05.2018 3:10

BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes overnight in eastern Syria killed at least 12 pro-government fighters, all reportedly foreign nationals, a war-monitoring group said Thursday. The Syrian government-run media blamed the strikes on the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

From: www.yahoo.com

Syria repels 'MISSILE ATTACK' in what could be 'SECOND STRIKE in 24-hours' against Assad

25.05.2018 3:08

SYRIA’S air defence system intercepted a missile strike on a military airport near the city of Homs, according to its state news agency in what could be the second airstrike within 24 hours.

Tags: Syria
From: feedproxy.google.com

Iran's supreme leader threatens to resume nuclear programme if Europe doesn't guarantee lost oil revenues

25.05.2018 2:10

leave a narrow and treacherous path for European diplomats as they try to salvage the 2015 agreement. Mr Pompeo said the US would inflict the "strongest sanctions in history” on Iran unless it agreed to 12 American demands, including withdrawing from Syria and halting its funding of militant groups like Hizbollah and Hamas. Iran’s government flatly rejected Mr Pompeo’s list of demands. “Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?” said Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president. European countries also expressed scepticism about Mr Pompeo’s plan to merge a nuclear agreement with broader issues about Iran’s missile systems and its behaviour in the Middle East. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, said “a new jumbo Iran negotiation” would be very difficult to achieve and said the world should stick with the 2015 agreement instead.

From: www.yahoo.com

Syria says Iranian withdrawal not up for discussion

25.05.2018 1:10

The withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria, demanded by the United States, is not up for discussion, a top Syrian official was quoted as saying on Wednesday, adding that Damascus was deciding on its next campaign against rebels. "Whether Iranian forces or Hezbollah withdraw or stay in Syria is not up for discussion because it's the (business) of the Syrian government," Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said in an interview with Russia's Sputnik state news agency.

From: www.yahoo.com

Syrian state media says U.S. hit army posts, U.S. denies

25.05.2018 0:09

Syrian state media reported that the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State struck Syrian army positions in eastern Syria early on Thursday, but the U.S. military denied knowledge of it. Islamic State lost most of its territory in Syria last year, but retained some remote desert areas and has attacked the army and allied forces in recent weeks. The coalition also recently restarted its own campaign against the jihadist group in Syria.

From: www.yahoo.com

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