As Russia bombs Idlib, Turkey threatens Rojava

White Helmets

Some 100 civilians have been killed over the past week¬†as Russia and the Assad regime step up aerial attacks on¬†Idlib, the northern Syria province that remains outside regime control.¬†White Helmets rescuer workers on July 24 reported at least 10 fatalities in Tubish village, near the “ghost town”¬†of Khan Sheikhoun¬†where the 2017 chemical attack took place. The search for victims under the rubble continues.¬†Horrifying images of a five-year-old girl’s desperate attempt to save her baby sister trapped under rubble following an air-strike in the town of Ariha has gone viral. The footage was shot¬†by the independent Syrian media outlet SY24, which reports that the girl, named Riham, later died of her own injuries‚ÄĒone of 31 killed in air-strikes on Ariha this week. (EA Worldview, Al Jazeera, BBC News)

Meanwhile, at a meeting in Ankara with¬†US special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, Turkish officials again¬†warned¬†of an offensive against the Kurdish-controlled area in northeast Syria, known to the Kurds as Rojava.¬†Foreign Minister Mevl√ľt √áavuŇüońülu said Ankara has “no patience left”¬†with Washington’s perceived accommodation of the Syrian Kurds. At issue is the size of the¬†“safe zone,” as Ankara is now calling the military “buffer zone” it seeks to create along the border in northern Syria. The US has agreed to a “safe zone” that would cut through the¬†Rojava autonomous cantons of Kobani and Cezire. However, the two sides differ¬†over the depth of the zone. Ankara wants a 40-kilometer (25-mile) belt while the US is supporting only 10 kilometers (six miles). Turkey is also demanding the complete departure of the Kurdish YPG militia¬†from the area, and full control by Ankara’s forces.¬†(EA Worldview)

Photo of White Helmets in Idlib via EA Worldview