RT – Syrian armed forces launch large-scale offensive against ISIS – Syrian General Staff

RT NEWS
Published time: 8 Oct, 2015 07:13
Edited time: 8 Oct, 2015 12:52

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Multiple rocket launchers Grad fire at positions of ISIS militants near the border between Homs and Hama Governorates, Syria. © Michael Alaeddin / RIA Novosti

 

The Syrian Army announced a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking several key cities and regions from terrorist forces after a week-long bombing campaign by Russia targeting the jihadists.

The government forces “have been keeping the initiative for several years,” said General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, the head of the Syrian General Staff, announcing the offensive. The offensive was made possible by the effort made by Russia in supporting the Syrian government militarily, Ayyoub said.

“The airstrikes of the Russian Air Force have damaged the capabilities of the international terrorist organization Islamic State and other groups,” the general said.

READ MORE: Less talk, more action: Russian jets destroy ISIS HQs, tanks, munition depots – all in just 1 week

Russian warplanes began attacking terrorist targets in Syria last week, hitting over 100 targets throughout the country. According to Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, Russia “has produced significant results in several days that greatly surpass those achieved by the [US-led anti-ISIS] coalition in over a year.”

 

Syria: Assad’s ground troops launch offensive against IS in Hama and Idlib

 

 

Earlier, local media reported that government forces were deployed in several Syrian provinces with the biggest operation taking place in Hama, 200 kilometers north of the capital, Damascus. Lebanese TV channel Al-Manar said the Syrian army group in Hama advanced some 50 kilometers on Wednesday, taking several towns and strategically important mountain strongholds from militants of the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, and other terrorist groups operating in the area.

Syrian government forces also went on the offensive in the Idlib province.

Amnesty International: “Damning evidence” US may be complicit in Yemen war crimes

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US-made BLU-97 submunitions used by Saudi Arabia-led coallition in Saada, Yemen, on May 23 2015 clusterbombyemen1

 

Damning evidence of war crimes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which is armed by states including the USA, highlights the urgent need for independent, effective investigation of violations in Yemen and for the suspension of transfers of certain arms, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

‘Bombs fall from the sky day and night’: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen examines 13 deadly airstrikes by the coalition in Sa’da, north-eastern Yemen, which killed some 100 civilians, including 59 children. It also documents the use of internationally banned cluster bombs.

“This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who headed the organization’s fact-finding mission to Yemen.

“The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Amnesty International is calling for a suspension of transfers to members of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, that are participating in the military campaign, of weapons and munitions which have been used to commit violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes in Yemen: in particular, bombs from the MK (MARK) 80 series and other general purpose bombs, fighter jets, combat helicopters and their associated parts and components. […]

Read in full Yemen: Call for suspension of arms transfers to coalition and accountability for war crimes at Amnesty International