New airstrikes hit Damascus suburb, Syrian activists say

BEIRUT -- Syrian government helicopter gunships on Monday struck a suburb of the capital, Damascus, a day after airstrikes in the area killed at least 45 people, activists said as a visiting UN official said the humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged country is "a blot on our collective conscience.

See Full Article

"

Sunday's barrage -- in which government airstrikes and bombardment of several opposition-held eastern Damascus suburbs killed at least 45 people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights -- was particularly heavy. It followed volleys of mortar shells fired into Damascus by rebels in the area that had killed three people, including a child, just hours earlier.

On Monday, the UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said he was "deeply saddened" by the uptick in violence Sunday. He spoke to reporters in Damascus at the end of a three-day visit during which he travelled to the central Syrian city of Homs and met with officials in the capital.

"This is a tragic reminder of the urgency of finding a political solution and security a nationwide ceasefire," he said. "Such indiscriminate attacks are unacceptable and we must do our utmost to protect innocent civilians."

There was no immediate word on casualties from Monday's attacks, which targeted the southwestern suburb of Daraya.

In Sunday's government attacks, 49 people were killed in the Douma, Saqba and Arbeen suburbs, according to another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees. Syria's state-run news agency and residents said that in rebel attacks

Fighting on the ground in Syria has intensified even as the international community makes its most serious push yet to restart peace talks between government officials and opposition representatives.

Around 6.5 million Syrian are internally displaced, O'Brien said. Two million children are out of school, and 72 per cent of the population has no access to drinking water, he added.

"This situation is unacceptable. A blot on our collective conscience," he said.

Also Monday, the head of Russia's military general staff said rebels of the Free Syrian Army are receiving weapons from Moscow -- comments that come just days after a Kremlin spokesman denied that Russia was doing that.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that Russia is supporting the FSA with airstrikes and is also helping "with weapons, ammunition and material." The statement appeared to suggest Russia was supplying the weapons, but the military could not be reached for clarification.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin said the rebels, who oppose Moscow's ally Syrian President Bashar Assad, were receiving weapons from Russia, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later said Putin meant Assad's army was getting weapons and the rebels were receiving only air support.

FSA's chief of staff has denied receiving Russian weapons.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • John Kelly says Trump's positions on issues are evolving, 'even the wall'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's chief of staff says Trump has evolved on many issues since the campaign. John Kelly says in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier that "there's been an evolutionary process that this president's gone through" on issues ranging from Afghanistan to his promised Southern border wall. Source
  • Woman at centre of social media storm says no one told her how to dress

    Canada News CBC News
    The woman at the centre of a social media storm surrounding the use of her image says the conversation was misinformed from the start. A Facebook user noted the woman's appearance in a Government of Canada advertising campaign bore a resemblance to the Disney cartoon character Pocahontas. Source
  • Kinder Morgan says Trans Mountain project could be a year behind schedule

    Canada News CBC News
    Kinder Morgan Canada is projecting that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project could be a year behind schedule as it continues to encounter permitting delays. The estimate is three months further behind from the company's last estimate in December, and now potentially puts the $7.4-billion project in service by December 2020, depending on regulatory, permit and legal approvals. Source
  • Tillerson says Kim Jong Un must 'tell me he wants to talk'

    World News CTV News
    PALO ALTO, Calif. -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson voiced confidence Wednesday North Korea will eventually negotiate with the United States, saying China's co-operation with a U.S.-led pressure campaign was starting to affect its reclusive ally's thinking. Source
  • Missing Ont. woman's body found; police say man arrested in her death

    Canada News CTV News
    HAMILTON -- Police say they have located the body of a missing 29-year-old Hamilton woman and arrested a man in connection with her death. Hamilton police say Holly Hamilton was reported missing by her family on Monday. Source
  • British lawmakers back Brexit legislation, but bill faces scrutiny from pro-EU upper house

    World News CBC News
    British lawmakers voted in favour of the government's legislative blueprint for Brexit on Wednesday, marking a victory for Prime Minister Theresa May over political opponents who want a softer approach to leaving the European Union. But the legislation will now face scrutiny from Parliament's largely pro-EU upper house, where May's party does not have a majority, which will intensify efforts to force a rerun of a 2016 referendum, and water down or even stop the divorce. Source
  • Trump says Russia helping North Korea skirt sanctions

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Russia is helping North Korea get supplies in violation of international sanctions and that Pyongyang is getting "closer every day" to being able to deliver a long-range missile to the United States. Source
  • Grid shuts down after plane clips power lines near Alberta town

    Canada News CBC News
    Thousands of people in and around the central Alberta town of Didsbury were without electricity for about four hours Tuesday after a small plane knocked out power lines. RCMP say a single-engine Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee was coming in to land at the Olds-Didsbury Airport sometime after 8 p.m. Source
  • New trial ordered for N.S. sex worker who says she stabbed man in self-defence

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's highest court has ordered a new trial for a sex worker convicted of assault for stabbing a client she said was sexually assaulting her. The woman had been convicted for stabbing Douglas Barrett in the back in his Sydney, N.S. Source
  • SeaRose shut down after Husky reprimanded for iceberg close call

    Canada News CBC News
    The C-NLOPB has suspended operations for Husky's SeaRose FPSO because of how it handled an incident with a too-close iceberg last March. "The SeaRose FPSO should have disconnected and sailed away from the threatening iceberg. Source