Trump joins Putin in bombardment of Idlib
US warplanes struck a position outside the capital of Syria's northern Idlib province Sept. 1, targeting a faction named as Huras al-Din and reportedly killing some 40 militants. Huras al-Din split from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the leading insurgent front in much of Idlib, after HTS broke ties with al-Qaeda in July 2016. (EA Worldview) The US air-strikes come amid an ongoing massive aerial assault on Idlib by Russia and the Assad regime—which continue their strategy of intentional targeting of hospitals. The day before the US strikes, local journalists and White Helmet civil defense volunteers reported that pro-Assad forces bombed the Women & Children's Hospital in Orem al-Kubra in western Aleppo province, near the border with Idlib. Six civilians were injured, and pregnant women and newborns were evacuated by the White Helmets from the damaged facility. (EA Worldview)
On Aug. 28, at least 13 civilians were killed in Russian and regime air-strikes on the town of Marat al-Numan, Idlib. (EA Worldview) An investigation by BBC News Arabic has found evidence of a "war crime" committed in the same town on July 22, when Russian and regime warplanes carried out a "double tap" attack—an initial air-strike is followed by a second one by the same plane, killing rescuers trying to help the injured. At least 39 were killed in strikes, inlcuding a White Helmet volunteer. The BBC investigation found no evidence of a military presence in the area around the target. (BBC News)
On Aug. 31, hundreds of Syrians attempted to storm a border crossing with Turkey in Idlib, demanding refuge from the relentless bombardment. (Independent) Turkey holds more Syrian refugees than any other country, but has now sealed the border and is denying entry to those attempting to flee Idlib.