Russia says US strikes Syria's Idlib, puts ceasefire at risk: reports

Published: September 1, 2019
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A Syrian army soldier holds a Syrian flag as he stands on a military vehicle in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria, August 24, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

A Syrian army soldier holds a Syrian flag as he stands on a military vehicle in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria, August 24, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW: The Russian military said the United States carried out air strikes in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone in breach of previous agreements, inflicting numerous casualties and endangering a ceasefire, Russian news agencies reported on Sunday.

TASS news agency, citing the Russian defense ministry, said the United States had forewarned neither Russia nor Turkey about the strikes. It added that Russian and Syrian warplanes had not carried out raids in the region recently.

Russia announces ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib from Saturday

On Saturday the US Central Command, part of the Department of Defense, had said that US forces struck an al Qaeda facility north of Idlib in Syria in an attack aimed at the organisation’s leadership.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes pounded bases belonging to militant fighters in Syria’s northwest. The UK-based monitor said the strikes, near the town of Maarat Misrin in Idlib province, killed more than 40 militants, including some commanders.

Erdogan says won’t allow US to delay Syria ‘safe zone’

Interfax news agency cited Russian military as saying that the United States carried out air strikes in the region between Maarat Misrin and Kafer Haya in Idlib on Saturday.

US air strikes have hit a number of Nusra commanders in northwest Syria in recent years.

Russia’s defense ministry on Friday said that Syrian government forces would carry out a unilateral ceasefire in the de-escalation zone on Saturday morning.

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