Russia, Israel both still bombing Syria

Jisr al-Shughur

At least 13 people, nine of them civilians, were killed in Russian air-strikes within the so-called “de-escalation zone” in northern Syria’s¬†Idlib¬†province June 25. The raid struck¬†the village of Basbat, west of Jisr al-Shughur, according to the White Helmets rescue group and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). At least 30 people were also injured in the strike, with the death toll likely to rise. The three Russian warplanes took off¬†from¬†Khmeimim air base in Latakia province. Some of the strikes hit a crowded vegetable market.

The area targeted in the raid, already suffering a severe displacement crisis, is controlled by the Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Islamist faction. Among the fighters slain in the raid was said to be an ethnic Uyghur from a militant group called the Turkistan Islamic Party. (The New Arab, Daily Sabah, MEE, AFP, JP)

Russian air-strikes have continued¬†in northern Syria even amid Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, sporadic Israeli air-strikes¬†on regime-held Syrian territory also continue‚ÄĒwith apparent tacit approval from Russia, as long as they target the Iranian military presence in the country. On June 14, an Israeli air raid on a target near Damascus left one Syrian soldier injured and caused “some material damage,” state news agency SANA said, adding that the missiles were launched from the Golan Heights. The SOHR said the missiles struck an “arms depots belonging to pro-Iran fighters.” (Al Jazeera)

There has been a¬†handful of times over the course of the 13-year Syrian war that the US has bombed forces allied with the Basar Assad regime, generally targeting the Iran-backed paramilitary network in the country. Most recently, two Pentagon jets struck sites linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on March 23, after a drone attack killed a US contractor at an outpost near¬†Hasaka. Those US strikes prompted Iran-backed militias to launch a new volley of drone and¬†rocket¬†attacks on the outpost. However, the White House held back from retaliating again.

The US still has some 900 troops, and hundreds more contractors, in Syria, mostly embedded with Kurdish fighters to contain remnant ISIS forces. (NYT)

Photo: @SyriaCivilDef