Personal Safety

Syrian forces' bombing intensifies in southern rebel holdout

Syrian forces’ bombing intensifies in southern rebel holdout

Syrian forces’ bombing intensifies in southern rebel holdout Posted: 44 44:29 GMT New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says reports of bleak living and working conditions for members of the women’s’ soccer team he co-owns are “unacceptable” and will be fixed. Bed Bath & Beyond is cq without commas. More > New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says reports of bleak living and working conditions for members of the women’s’ soccer team he co-owns are “unacceptable” and will be fixed. Bed Bath & Beyond is cq without commas. 43 43:18 GMT (AP Photo/Esteban Felix). In this July 18, 2018 photo, Rolando Bueso Castillo and his wife Adalicia Montecinos, stand in their home in La Libertad, Honduras. It’s been five months since they have seen their infant son Johan Bueso Castillo who was separ… A Honduran man who was separated from his baby son at the Texas border and then deported without him soon will hold the boy again. More > A Honduran man who was separated from his baby son at the Texas border and then deported without him soon will hold the boy again. 43 43:13 GMT Ohio Gov. John Kasich has spared a condemned killer whose sentence was challenged after a juror came forward with concerns that the extent of the inmate’s childhood abuse was shielded at trial. More > Ohio Gov. John Kasich has spared a condemned killer whose sentence was challenged after a juror came forward with concerns that the extent of the inmate’s childhood abuse was shielded at trial. 43 43:08 GMT A former library archivist and an antique bookseller are charged with stealing millions of dollars’ worth of rare books, illustrations, maps and photographs from a Pittsburgh library. More > A former library archivist and an antique bookseller are charged with stealing millions of dollars’ worth of rare books, illustrations, maps and photographs from a Pittsburgh library. 43 43:00 GMT (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall). A local resident runs past a tornado-damaged building on Main Street, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Marshalltown, Iowa. Several buildings were damaged by a tornado in the main business district in town including the histori… Flurry of unexpected tornadoes swept through central Iowa, injuring at least 17 people, flattening buildings in three cities and forcing a hospital evacuation. More > Flurry of unexpected tornadoes swept through central Iowa, injuring at least 17 people, flattening buildings in three cities and forcing a hospital evacuation. 42 42:43 GMT (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Emergency responders work at Table Rock Lake after a deadly boat accident in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, leavin… Dive teams will resume searching for five people still missing after a tourist boat capsized and sank in a southwestern Missouri lake. More > Dive teams will resume searching for five people still missing after a tourist boat capsized and sank in a southwestern Missouri lake. 42 42:24 GMT The New York Times says President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer secretly recorded him discussing payments to an ex-Playboy model who said she had had an affair with him. More > The New York Times says President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer secretly recorded him discussing payments to an ex-Playboy model who said she had had an affair with him. 39 39:55 39 39:42 GMT Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it is reinstating dental and vision care for hundreds of thousands of Medicaid recipients who had their benefits cut recently. More > Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says it is reinstating dental and vision care for hundreds of thousands of Medicaid recipients who had their benefits cut recently. 39 39:40 GMT (Nevada Department of Corrections via AP, File). FILE – This undated file photo provided by Nevada Department of Corrections photo shows death row inmate Scott Raymond Dozier, who was convicted in 2007 of robbing, killing and dismembering a 22-year-old… Courts twice have blocked Nevada from carrying out its first execution in 12 years using a never-tried combination of drugs that it created after struggling to get lethal injection supplies. More > Courts twice have blocked Nevada from carrying out its first execution in 12 years using a never-tried combination of drugs that it created after struggling to get lethal injection supplies. More >
By SARAH EL DEEBAssociated Press
BEIRUT (AP) – Syrian government forces determined to retake the largest opposition holdout in the country’s southwest unleashed an intense bombing campaign, killing at least a dozen people and wounding over 100 in a densely populated town, activists and rescuers said Wednesday.
The aerial bombardment of the town of Nawa came after talks to cede the town failed on Tuesday, triggering the heavy bombardment.
Separately, some 7,000 civilians were expected to be evacuated from two pro-government villages in northwestern Syria as part of a negotiated deal with insurgents who have besieged them for three years.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said “frenzied” overnight bombing in Nawa and the town’s surroundings continued into Wednesday, with at least 350 missiles launched. The Observatory said at least 12 people were killed as rescuers struggled to get to the casualties.
Khaled Solh, head of the local Syria Civil Defense known as White Helmets, said they have documented 14 people killed while Nawa’s only hospital was bombed and rendered non-operational late Tuesday. Only one ambulance was able to get to the town and civilians relied on their cars to bring out at least 150 wounded. He said one of the last orthopedists in the town was killed in the strikes.
The government has stepped up its military offensive on the remaining opposition pockets in the southwestern region, which includes the Daraa and Quneitra provinces that straddle the border with Jordan and the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In recent days, Syrian forces have turned to the last opposition pockets near the frontier with Israel.
Images from across the frontier in the Israel-occupied Golan Heights showed large plumes of smoke rising over the Nawa area, as the bombing continued Wednesday.
Hundreds of civilians were seen taking cover in shelters along the frontier, apparently seeking safety in the de-militarized zone between the two countries. Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since 1967, and a cease-fire deal was reached in 1974.
In less than a month, Syrian government forces backed by Russian air power have been able to seize control of most of southwestern Daraa province, including the provincial capital of the same name. The city of Daraa was the cradle of the uprising against President Bashar Assad more than seven years ago.
Alongside the military offensive, the government has struck “reconciliation” deals, essentially a negotiated capitulation in a number of villages that have been in rebel hands for years, to restore government control there.
Talks to hand over Nawa, one of the most densely populated towns in Daraa province, have been ongoing for a couple of days. That has encouraged displaced civilians to return to Nawa, said a local activist who goes by the name Selma Mohammed.
But the talks faltered, triggering the overnight onslaught and a new wave of displacement, with hundreds leaving the town again.
On Wednesday, the bombing focused on towns and villages surrounding Nawa, making the road in and out of town deadly, Mohammed said.
The Observatory said warplanes and ground forces have also targeted the southern tip of the region, which is held by militants affiliated with the Islamic State group.
The government offensive has displaced more than 230,000 people, many of them on the run in the open. Jordan said it will not take in new refugees and Israeli soldiers have shooed away dozens of protesters who had approached the frontier Tuesday, demanding protection.
Meanwhile, about 7,000 Syrians were expected to be evacuated from two pro-government villages in northwestern Syria, ending a three-year siege by insurgents who control the surrounding area. Dozens of buses arrived in the Foua and Kfraya villages to transport the evacuees on Wednesday, Syrian state media said.
Evacuation deals have been criticized by the United Nations as forced displacement.
A negotiated deal to evacuate Foua and Kfraya villagers earlier this year faltered after the evacuation of only 40 people from a third village. The evacuees’ first stop is the government-controlled city of Aleppo.
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Associated Press writer Shlomo Mor in Tal Fares in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights contributed to this report. Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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