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

  • California sues Trump administration to prevent border wall

    World News Toronto Sun
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s attorney general sued the Trump administration Wednesday over its plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing it’s overstepping its authority by waiving environmental reviews and other laws. The suit filed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, makes arguments similar to those in a lawsuit brought last week by advocacy groups. Source
  • Battle against ISIS in Raqqa is in 'final stages,' force says

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- The battle for the Islamic State group's de-facto Syria capital, Raqqa, has reached its "final stages," the Syrian Democratic Forces said Wednesday, almost four months after the U.S.-backed force launched an assault on the self-proclaimed capital of the militant group. Source
  • 4 in 10 Canadians think science is a matter of opinion, poll suggests

    Canada News CBC News
    Are scientific findings a matter of opinion? Forty-three per cent of Canadians agree that they are, suggests a new poll. The survey found widespread concerns about fake news — 66 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement that "false information reported as fact (so called 'fake news') is affecting your knowledge of science. Source
  • Police release security footage of suspect in Toronto steakhouse shooting

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto Police have released security camera footage that shows the suspect in the Saturday night shooting death of real estate broker Simon Giannini. “It’s very important to note that video distorts colours,” homicide detective Shannon Dawson cautioned during a press conference Wednesday. Source
  • Roofs, doors ripped off as Hurricane Maria slams Puerto Rico: ‘This is going to be a disaster’ [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit Puerto Rico pummeled the island Wednesday as officials warned it would decimate the power company’s crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities. Source
  • Neo-Nazi group founder to plead guilty to having explosives

    World News Toronto Sun
    TAMPA, Fla. — The leader of a small Florida-based neo-Nazi group is expected to enter guilty pleas to two charges of having explosives that were found in his apartment’s garage by federal investigators. An attorney for 22-year-old Brandon Russell said Wednesday that Russell will plead guilty in a federal court in Tampa to possessing a destructive device and storing explosive material. Source
  • Death toll jumps to 225 in massive Mexican earthquake: 'Every minute counts to save lives' [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — Police, firefighters and ordinary Mexicans dug frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings early Wednesday, looking for survivors of Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in decades as the number of confirmed fatalities stood at 217. Source
  • Charges laid in traffic-snarling motorcycle stunts on Toronto-area highways

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- An investigation into a series of dangerous motorcycle stunts that snarled traffic on major highways in and around the Toronto area this summer has led to 48 charges, provincial police announced Wednesday. In announcing the charges against more than 10 people, police displayed video and some of the five motorbikes they seized during search warrants executed this week Source
  • 10 bucks a gram considered for recreational pot price in Ontario

    Canada News CBC News
    The government of Ontario is looking at setting retail prices for recreational marijuana in the range of $10 a gram, CBC News has learned. Until now, the provincial government has been reluctant to make public any specific figures about the price of pot, the expected demand or potential revenues from taxation once cannabis is legalized across Canada next July. Source
  • Retired Mountie headed to U.S. prison for smuggling narwhal tusks

    Canada News CTV News
    BANGOR, Maine -- A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks has been sentenced to five years and two months in U.S. prison. Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of Saint John, N.B. Source