Russian and Israeli planes struck Syria in separate strikes, killing at least 10


BEIRUT – At least 10 people were killed in Syria overnight and this morning, following Israeli strikes on the capital in the south and Russian strikes in the country’s northwest.

The official Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported that Israeli strikes coming from the disputed Golan Heights shortly after midnight Friday, killing three soldiers, wounding seven others and causing material damage.

Jordanian state television later reported that the death toll of Syrian soldiers had risen to five.

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Syria regularly reports air strikes from its southern neighbor, Israel, its longtime archenemy. The strikes, which Israel rarely acknowledges, target military facilities, arms depots and other sites under the control of Iran-allied groups.

Last month, air strikes attributed by the government to Israel struck Syria’s main airport In the capital, Damascus, it severely damaged the runways and at least one hall in the airport terminal.

The full extent of damages and losses from such strikes cannot be ascertained.

On the other side of the country in the northwest Idlib countryside, Russian airstrikes have killed seven civilians, according to the local first responder group White Helmets. The White Helmets media office told the Washington Post that one strike destroyed a modest building in an olive grove that had previously been a chicken farm, killing four children of one family. Another strike killed two men who had approached the scene after the first attack.

Pictures released by the group show a destroyed building with rubble and colorful blankets and pillows. Someone showed the body of a girl, half of her body protruding from under the rubble, her wrist adorned with gold bracelets. Another was from her bloodied uncle, sitting barefoot and two men watching civil defense personnel doing their work.

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The White Helmets said the child’s father and mother are being treated at the hospital, who identified the family as displaced from a village in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.

Another attack hit nearby civilian homes, killing a man on a motorbike, the group said.

Russia is a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose brutal suppression of popular protests that erupted in 2011 has largely made him a global pariah. The Russian military intervention in 2015 was a lifeline for Assad, who at that time lost large swathes of Syria to various rebel and extremist groups.

The report stated that Russia and Syria carried out dozens of unlawful “double-click” strikes.

Assad has since regained much of the territory he lost, and while his forces, backed by Iranian-allied groups and Russian air power, have retaken territory, his government has loaded green buses with former rebels, their families and supporters and sent them to the northwest.

The enclave, which stretches across Idlib governorate and surrounding areas, hosts nearly 4.5 million people, many of whom have been displaced multiple times by the war. Opposition armed groups control the area, and the deteriorating general living conditions have left 4.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Air strikes have become a tragic norm for the Syrians living in the area: young children who have grown up in the decade-long war are able to determine the planes and the level of impact their strikes will have. But Idlib has gone through a period of relative calm in the past few months, after a raid In February, US special forces attacked the home of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, the leader of the Islamic State group.

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The last Russian strike was 10 days ago, hitting military targets that exchanged artillery and missile fire with Syrian government forces.

according to the findings By a rights group focusing on Syria this week, the Russian and Syrian governments have carried out dozens of airstrikes on civilians and humanitarian workers in Syria since 2013 – a pattern of unlawful attacks in which Russia and Syria bomb a site or strike medics, such as the White Helmets, Civilians gather to help the victims of the initial attack.

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