Damascus: At least 50 rebels were on Sunday killed in Syrian air-strikes in the countryside of the western port city of Latakia, media reported.
The airstrikes against the rebel positions of Latakia were the latest in a series of raging battles in the region, reported Xinhua citing SANA.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the battles took place in the towns of Katef Ghanameh, Markishliyeh and Jub Ahmar near the hilltop of Nabi Yunes in the northern countryside of Latakia.
Battles in the countryside of Latakia have been raging since the rebels in the northwestern province of Idlib captured areas adjacent to Latakia city.
Syria is witnessing an ongoing armed conflict that began in the early spring of 2011 within the context of Arab Spring protests, with nationwide protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The government responded with violent crackdowns and the conflict gradually morphed from prominent protests to an armed rebellion after months of military sieges. The conflict has killed over 190,000 people and displaced millions of others over a span of almost four year.
Indian police on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannons to halt and scatter a march by thousands of protesting farmers heading for the capital New Delhi to demand better prices for their produce.
Reeling from a crash in commodity prices, more than 50,000 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a top producer of wheat and cane, blocked part of the main highway to the capital.
They also sought loan waivers, cheaper power and tougher action to get sugar mills to pay dues owed for their cane, as discontent in rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces tough general elections next year.
“Despite our repeated requests, the government has failed to help farmers in any meaningful ways,” a farm leader, Dharmendra Malik, told Reuters by telephone from the protest site.
“Left with no choice, we’ve decided to march to Delhi to highlight our plight.”
Cash-strapped sugar companies owe cane growers about 135 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) in the current season. Saddled with huge piles of sugar and hit by a fall in prices, mills have said they are unable to pay farmers on time.
“The state government has initiated a number of steps to help farmers, including a clutch of measures to expedite cane payments to growers,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told video news agency ANI, a Reuters affiliate.
Mills are struggling to export sugar because of lower global prices, Adityanath said.
Television broadcast images of angry farmers clashing with police and driving their tractors into security barriers, in a protest that disrupted rush-hour traffic.
Some farmers were injured when police fired tear gas and water cannon to keep protesters from breaking through barricades to reach New Delhi, the site of events to mark the birth anniversary of India’s apostle of non violence, Mahatma Gandhi.
“It’s ironical that the farmers were brutally beaten on the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary,” opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said.
Farmers had started trickling into the city late on Monday, prompting authorities to bar gatherings of more than four people.
The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party, which ruled India for most of its 70 years since independence from Britain, before losing power to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.