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Drone strike hits Syria President's ancestral town

June 24, 2023 at 9:39 pm

Smoke rises in Idlib, Syria on 8 September 2022 [Izzeddin Kasim/ Anadolu Agency]

A drone attack targeted Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s ancestral town of Qardaha on Friday with two projectiles, killing one person and lightly injuring another, Syrian state news agency, Sana, reported.

The strike came a day after Sana reported a drone attack on Salhab, another government-held town in north-west Syria near rebel territory, that killed a woman and a child.

The strikes on Qardaha and Salhab, which are around 35 kilometres (22 miles) apart, come amid a flare up in fighting in the north-west, with shelling between Syrian government forces and rebels on some front lines.

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Qardaha is about 10 km (6.5 miles) from Russia’s Hmeimim airbase. Russian warplanes have targeted rebel-held areas recently, the Syrian opposition has said. Syrian government forces have increased deployments in some front line areas, according to sources on both sides.

Major warfare has mostly stopped in Syria, with front lines largely stable in recent years after Assad’s government regained control over most of the country with help from his allies, Russia and Iran.

However, rebels against Assad still hold an enclave centred on Idlib province in the north-west, close to Qardaha and Salhab, with backing from Turkiye and there are sporadic bouts of fighting between them and Syrian government forces.

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