Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Syrian state media says Turkey helped rebel attack

Syrian state media says Turkey helped rebel attack

The Hezbollah media unit said the army and its allies were repelling a "fierce assault" by the Nusra Front, formerly al Qaeda's affiliate in the Syrian war, and factions linked to it.

"We are witnessing a clear intensification of Russia's military strategy, with systematic attacks on civilian facilities perpetrated with total disregard for global law", warns Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairperson of the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

Ninety-six civilians, including 27 children, have been killed in Syrian or Russian airstrikes on Idlib province since the start of the offensive, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Almost 100,000 people have been displaced since early December by fighting in northwestern Syria, where the regime is waging an offensive against jihadis, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

The fighting, in the southern part of the Idlib Province, aimed to stall the advance by the Syrian forces toward Abu al-Duhur airbase.

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The UN's humanitarian coordination office OCHA said on Wednesday that the situation in Idlib was "extremely chaotic", with newly displaced people reportedly scattered across open areas. The attack also aims to secure the road liking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest.

Its forces are now close to the military air base of Abu Duhur, their next target, the war monitor said. "The fear affected our brains", said the mother, quoted by the IRC.

The violence comes as United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock wraps up a visit to Syria during which he met with authorities.

The regime's Russian-backed offensive has angered Ankara, which on Wednesday called on Moscow and Tehran to "fulfil their responsibility" and halt the operation.

Assad regime attacks killed five people on Friday in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, according to Syrian Civil Defense officials.

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