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Twin Bombings in Syria, 8 lives lost

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Damascus: Twin explosions on Friday took toll on the Druze city of Swaida in southern Syria. Xinua with reference to the state-run TV reported that at least eight people were killed in the explosions.

Four people were killed in the first blast that took place at the Daher al-Jabal area in Swiada, while 11 others were left wounded.

The governor of Swaida, Atef al-Naddaf, said that the blasts aimed to stir sedition in Swaida, which has remained largely calm during the country’s long-running conflict.

Meanwhile, the second explosion was caused by a booby-trapped car that went off near the National Hospital. The TV and sources revealed that it caused a high number of casualties, including doctors.

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Image Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

The Druze minority, along with other minority groups in Syria, has emerged as supporters of President Bashar Al Assad, fearing the expansion of radical jihadist groups that showed no tolerance of minority groups in Syria.

However, the Druze support of the Syrian regime didn’t stop them from criticizing the government’s conduct in that city near the Jordanian borders.

Last week, several dozens of people staged protests before government institutions in Swaida, urging for reforms.

Due to its proximity to the southern province of Daraa, which has largely fallen to jihadi groups, the Druze in Swaida formed their own militias to defend their city against the threats of the jihadists, which attacked some areas in the countryside of Swaida in recent months.

Those local militias, while formed in coordination with the Syrian army, enjoy some independence as their ranks largely comprise volunteers.

(with inputs from IANS)

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Syria Uses Familiar Tactic in Rebel Idlib: Bombing Civilians

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians

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Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE - Destruction is seen around the Udai hospital following airstrikes on the town of Saraqeb in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, Jan. 29, 2018. VOA

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria, warning the warring parties their actions might amount to war crimes.

U.N. agencies say an intense military escalation by Russian-backed Syrian forces and armed rebels in northwest Syria is having a catastrophic impact on the civilian population. Agencies confirm at least 160 civilians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in fighting over recent weeks.

They say 3 million people in Idlib need protection and 300,000 civilians who have fled their homes in the past two months are in imminent danger.

 

Spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Jens Laerke says civilians and civilian infrastructure are coming under daily attack by airstrikes, artillery shelling and barrel bombs.

Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE – Damage is seen at a hospital after an airstrike in Deir al-Sharqi village in Idlib province, Syria, April 27 2017. VOA

“Since the 28th of April, there have been 25 confirmed attacks on health care in the northwest, including on 24 health facilities and one ambulance,” he said. “Two of the attacked health facilities were hit more than once, and at least six health workers have been killed.”

Laerke says health care facilities are fully protected under international humanitarian law, and it is illegal to target them. Few health facilities remain intact to care for the sick and wounded, he told VOA.

“Already before the recent months of escalation, the status of health care in Syria at large, and in particular in Idlib, was already appalling,” he said. “Even though those facilities have not been hit, they fear that they may be hit. So, the doctors, the health care personnel are leaving, the patients are not going to those hospitals. Understandably.”

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Laerke says aid agencies are providing food and health services through mobile clinics to people who are newly displaced in northwest Syria. In addition, many schools in the region have been attacked, he says, so catch-up classes are being provided for thousands of children who have been out of school since May. (VOA)