Iraq said on Saturday it had killed 45 fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS), including senior members, in an airstrike in eastern Syria, the second such operation in less than a month. Iraqi F-16 fighter jets carried out a "successful strike targeting a meeting of ISIS leaders" on Friday in the Hajin region, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, a military statement said. Among those killed, it said, was a senior member of the group's "ministry of war", his deputy, a local commander and a media official. There was no independent confirmation. [Alaraby Al-Jadeed]
The United Nations Conference on Disarmament concluded its activities on Friday under the presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic. Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Hussam Eddin Ala, said that the success achieved by Syria in heading this Conference and the great support it received from its active members constituted an important political victory as it coincided with Syria’s victories in its war against terrorism. He added that Syria’s presidency of the Conference was international recognition of Syria’s victory in the face of a war that it has been the target of over the last seven years and the return of the pivotal role of Syrian diplomacy in international organizations. [SANA]
Displaced families on Saturday returned to their towns and villages, cleansed of terrorism, in the Aleppo and Idleb countrysides via the Abou al-Duhour corridor in southeastern Idleb. The Abou al-Duhour corridor witnessed an intensive return of locals to their homes in villages, which were recently liberated by the Syrian Arab Army, accompanied by vehicles loaded with their luggage, personal effects and agricultural equipment. [SANA]
The local council of al-Herak in southern Daraa province said the border town with Jordan has been under ' barbaric bombardment for the last three days. The council said that the town is stricken and most of the residents have been fleeing towards the Jordanian border. Seven people, including two children and two women, were killed in al-Herak, making a total of 30 people killed in the opposition-held areas due to the heavy bombardment. Most of the towns in the eastern countryside came under heavy artillery fire, according to activist Ahmed al-Hariri. The Daraa-based activist said the heavy bombardment has pushed hundreds of families to flee the eastern countryside. [Zaman Al Wasl]
Paris has complained about the lack of “clear” American strategy in Syria. Washington is currently preoccupied with North Korea and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not set Syria as a priority in his foreign policy. Senior French sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington has only set a few priorities in Syria. It will forge these priorities once the Defense and State Departments reach a “united vision” over what the political solution in Syria should look like. “We are still waiting to see what the US decides on. It has yet to reveal to us President Donald Trump’s strategy,” they said. The greatest question will be whether American forces will remain in Syria or not. It appears that Trump has so far postponed his decision to withdraw his troops after he came under internal and foreign pressure. [Asharq Al-Awsat]
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.