Syrian state media said on Saturday air defences had confronted a “hostile target” breaching the country’s air space west of the capital Damascus in the early hours of the morning. SANA suggested Israel was to blame for the incursions. “In the past few weeks, the Israeli enemy has attacked military positions,” it said.
The Russian plan, which has not been previously reported, has received an icy reception in Washington. The memo said the U.S. policy was only to support such efforts if there were a political solution to end Syria’s seven-year-old civil war, including steps like U.N.-supervised elections.
“The proposal argues that the Syrian regime lacks the equipment, fuel, other material, and funding needed to rebuild the country in order to accept refugee returns,” according to the memo, which specified that the proposal related to Syrian government-held areas of the country.
Israel said it had helped with the evacuation at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders – and there had been fears that the workers’ lives were at risk. The Syrian government has accused the White Helmets, also known as Syria Civil Defence, of being a Western-sponsored terrorist organisation. President Bashar al-Assad has called the White Helmets part of al Qaeda in Syria. As Assad has won back areas such as eastern Aleppo and Ghouta, the rescue workers have left on buses to rebel-held areas of the north along with fighters and civilians who fear a return of government rule.
Close to 7,000 people – civilians and fighters – were due to leave the loyalist Shi’ite villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province. They were being ferried out in a convoy of buses through rebel-held territory to nearby government-held territory in Aleppo province, state TV footage showed.
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported late on Wednesday that Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at Syrian army positions located close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights causing only material damage.
“The aircraft of the Israeli enemy fired several missiles in the direction of some army positions,” said a Syrian military source.
The announcement of the death of the young son of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared on the group’s social media accounts late Tuesday. It included a picture of a young boy carrying a rifle and identified him as Huthaifa al-Badri. The statement, dated this month, said he was an elite fighter, known as an “inghimasi,” who was killed while fighting Syrian and Russia troops at a power station in the central Homs province. It did not specify when he was killed.
Maya, who was born with no legs because of a congenital condition, had been living with her father – who shares the disability – at a refugee camp in the Idlib region of northern Syria, forced out of their Aleppo home by fighting in the country’s civil war. “My heart suffers when I see her crawling in front of friends, while they play and run,” said Mr Merhi.
“We will continue protecting our borders, we will provide humanitarian aid to the full extent possible, we will not allow entry into our territory and we will demand strict adherence to the 1974 disengagement deals with the Syrian army,” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said said.