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Russia blames Israel after Syria shoots down plane

Russia blames Israel after Syria shoots down plane

World
Russia has blamed Israel and threatened retaliation after one of its military planes was shot down by Syrian missiles in a "friendly-fire" incident. It said Israeli jets attacking targets nearby had "used the Russian plane as a cover, exposing it to fire from Syrian air defences".Russia's defence ministry said the aircraft, carrying 15 servicemen, disappeared from radar 22 miles (35km) off Syria on Monday night as it was returning to Hmeimim airbase, near Lattakia.It said Israel had not warned it about the jets' attack until a minute before, and that it reserved "the right to proper retaliatory actions". Image: The aircraft was heading to Hmeimim air base when it disappeared Everyone on board died when the IL-20 reconnaissance plane wa...
Syria war: Idlib rebels targeted by 'fiercest raids in weeks'

Syria war: Idlib rebels targeted by 'fiercest raids in weeks'

World
Syria and Russia have carried out their most intensive air raids in weeks on rebel positions in the northern province of Idlib, activists say.They say strikes targeted eastern and southern parts of Idlib, as well as the bordering province of Hama.It is the last major rebel-held area in Syria and government forces, backed by Russia, are poised to attack.On Friday the leaders of Russia and Iran rejected calls for a truce despite fears of a humanitarian disaster.On Saturday the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring body, and the opposition-affiliated Idlib Media Centre said government helicopters had dropped 19 barrel bombs on targets in Idlib and northern Hama, and Russian warplanes had staged 68 strikes...
U.N. Syria envoy warns of 'perfect storm' in Idlib

U.N. Syria envoy warns of 'perfect storm' in Idlib

World
Aug. 30 (UPI) -- U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura warned of a "perfect storm" facing the country's Idlib province Thursday. De Mistra expressed concern for the residents of Idlib as President Bashar al-Assad's government forces, which are backed by Russia, are expected to launch an offensive to clear militants from the al-Qaida and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham -- also known as the al-Nusra Front -- militant groups from the area. "While we are talking, there are some discussions taking place, and we hope that they will be fruitful but that doesn't mean that we should be not worried, on the contrary, we are worried about any hurried escalation," he said. The Russian military amassed a fleet of at least 10 warships and two submarines off Syria's northwest coast in preparation for an as...
Jewish artifacts disappear from Damascus in fog of Syria war

Jewish artifacts disappear from Damascus in fog of Syria war

World
Jewish artifacts, including ancient parchment torahs from one of the world's oldest synagogues, have gone missing from the Syrian capital amid the tumult of ongoing civil war, with some precious items reportedly surfacing abroad. Activists say the artifacts, moved from the now-destroyed Jobar Synagogue in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb when it was taken by rebels, were allegedly put into safe keeping to avoid theft and damage in 2013, but twice since then local officials have discovered some are missing. The main missing cache, they say, contained torahs written on gazelle leather as well as tapestries and chandeliers, and was given to a militia by a local council for safekeeping when rebels surrendered the neighborhood to government forces earlier this year. That group, the Islamist-in...
Syria war: 'Iranian personnel among dozens dead' in missile attacks

Syria war: 'Iranian personnel among dozens dead' in missile attacks

World
Skip Facebook post by محردة الآنفيديو للإنفجارات في ريف حماه .. نسأل الله السلامة للرجال هناك ..🙏 الشفاء العاجل للجرحى .. حتى الآن لم يصرح مصدر مسؤول عن ماهية الإنفجارات .. #محردة_الآنPosted by ‎محردة الآن‎ on Sunday, 29 April 2018End of Facebook post by محردة الآنMissiles hit a number of military sites in northern Syria on Sunday night, state media say, with unconfirmed reports of dozens of fatalities.The Syrian military said facilities in Hama and Aleppo provinces were struck.It did not immediately report any casualties. But a UK-based monitoring group said 26 pro-government fighters were killed, most of them Iranians.It is not known who was behind the attacks. Western nations and Israel have previously hit sites in Syria.Earlier this month, the US, UK and France bombed three