• Home
  • Tag: 夜上海论坛VU

After heavy strikes, tense calm in Syria’s Idlib as ceasefire comes into effect

first_imgSyria’s Idlib region was quiet but tense on Friday with a lull in Russian and Syrian air raids that have pounded the last opposition-held enclave in Syria, residents and opposition sources said, after Turkey and Russia declared a ceasefire.Turkey and Russia agreed to the ceasefire deal Idlib on Thursday, their two leaders said after talks in Moscow to contain a conflict that has displaced nearly a million people in three months.Residents and fighters in the region said main front lines that have seen heavy air strikes by Russian and Syrian jets, and intense Turkish artillery and drone strikes on Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s forces, were quiet hours after the ceasefire came into effect at midnight. Witnesses said there was only sporadic fire from machine guns, mortars and artillery by Assad’s forces and Iranian militias on some front lines in northwestern Aleppo province and southern Idlib province.In other areas, scattered fighting began to subside, activists said.”In the first hours we are witnessing a very tense calm from all warring parties,” Ibrahim Al-Idlibi, an opposition figure in touch with rebel groups on the ground said.”Everyone is aware that violations by any side would be met with a response. But this a very fragile truce.” Syrian state media did not report the latest ceasefire deal and the opposition cast doubt it would last amid criticism that it does not address a main Turkish demand that Syrian forces withdraw to the edge of an Idlib buffer zone agreed in Sochi between Russia and Turkey in 2018.This time, they agreed to establish a secure corridor near the M4 highway, which runs east to west through Idlib, and hold joint patrols along the road from March 15.Wresting control of the highways in the northwest, two of Syria’s most important pre-war arteries from insurgents has long been a main goal of the Russian-backed campaign in a bid to shore up Syria’s sanction-hit economy.To the dismay of Assad’s opponents, the agreement did not mention a safe zone where millions of displaced people could shelter and from where they could return to the homes they fled to escape the Russian-backed offensive.”No one has mentioned a safe zone or areas of withdrawal. There is no pullout and where will the displaced go?… they would never accept going to regime areas. What we have heard today is not comforting,” said Ahmad Rahhal, a former general in Syrian government forces who defected to the opposition.The United Nations says the offensive has uprooted nearly a million people, the largest exodus of the nine-year war.”These are modest results compared to the massive buildup in Turkish troops along the border and inside Syria,” Rahhal said referring to more than 15,000 troops that Syrian opposition sources say Ankara had brought in to halt advances deep into Idlib province by the Russian-backed offensive.There have been several ceasefires over Idlib. They collapsed after the Russian-backed forces pressed their offensive and gained ground. center_img Topics :last_img read more

RVP excited by new United challenge

first_img So, whilst Manuel Pellegrini has to get used to life at Manchester City and Jose Mourinho has returned to Chelsea, but with a group of players that do not seem to fit with his philosophy, the argument goes that United are in peril. The theory does not really make sense, certainly not to Van Persie. “They can think what they want to think,” the Dutchman told the Guardian. “It doesn’t matter to us. What matters to us is the way that we work. “Trust me, we will work very hard. It’s a huge challenge to all of us and it is one we are looking forward to.” Van Persie took a risk by leaving Arsenal at this time last year. But it paid off handsomely as the Dutchman’s prolific form during the first two-thirds of the campaign allowed United to open up a massive gap on their rivals they eventually had no hope of closing. Van Persie also collected another Golden Boot prize to add to the one he claimed during his final season with the Gunners. And it is clear, there is much more for him to do. “I just see big opportunities. I still have more years left and it’s not like I am saying: ‘Yeah, we won the league so that’s me done’,” he said. Robin van Persie has rejected the notion Manchester United are more vulnerable this season than at any time in the recent past. “I want more now. It makes me even more hungry. We have a great bunch of players so we can win do better.” Meanwhile, United’s tour squad has been bolstered by the arrivals of Shinji Kagawa, Ashley Young and Chris Smalling. Kagawa was always due to link up with his team-mates for the Japan leg of the five-match tour after being given an extended break due to his Confederations Cup campaign. However, Young and Smalling have been battling to overcome ankle and foot injuries respectively. Both have been deemed fit enough to join the tour and flew into Tokyo today before meeting up with their team-mates in Yokohama, where they will face the local J. League side, Yokohama F Marinos, on Tuesday. Even though the Red Devils claimed a record 20th championship by an imposing 11 points last term, Chelsea and Manchester City are tipped to overhaul them. The reason is obvious. The man who guided United to an incredible 13 Premier League titles is no longer at the helm. Press Associationlast_img read more