Syria & Lebanon

Syrian regime vows to respond to air violations

Syrian regime’s leadership has threatened to respond to any breach on the Syrian airspace, local media reported yesterday.

“The Syrian forces would respond to any infiltration of the country’s airspace and would treat it as external military aggression,” official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted a military source as saying.

On recent remarks by the United States (US) that criticised the return of flights at the Aleppo airport, the Syrian leadership described the statements as “rude.”

The source pointed out that the Syrian air force was ordered: “to respond to any air breaches by the means available.”

On Monday, a Russian airstrike has led to shutting down two hospitals in Aleppo’s countryside. The Russian planes were reported to have launched raids on the cities of Kafr Nabl in the Idlib Governorate and Darat Izza, the villages of Bsanqul, Mseibin, Al-Arbaeen, Al-Rami, Takad and Hass, and the town of Atarib.

Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes and aided by pro-Iranian militias, Syrian forces have intensified since the start of the year their campaign to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighbouring Idlib province in the far northwest of Syria where anti-Assad insurgents hold their last strongholds.

The Syrian opposition recently said it was expecting an increase in the pace of Russian bombing in Darat Izza, in the event that the Syrian regime forces advance in the area, in order to cut the road linking the city of Afrin, in Aleppo and Idlib.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, prohibiting hostilities there. Since this date, more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by the Syrian regime and Russian forces, in violation of both the ceasefire agreement in 2018 and another agreement that came into force on 12 January.

More than 1.7 million Syrians have been displaced to areas close to the Turkish border, in order to escape intense attacks over the past year.

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