World Bulletin/News Desk
A Syrian astronaut who was part of a Soviet space mission a quarter of a century ago condemned the world's failure to stem violence in his home country on Friday and urged President Bashar al-Assad's opponents to keep up their struggle.
General Muhammed Ahmed Faris, a military aviator and the first Syrian in space, fled to Turkey 10 days ago, joining the ranks of prominent defectors who have included military generals and former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.
"I decided to defect from the regime several months ago, but I was kept under surveillance and it prevented me from defecting immediately," Faris told Reuters, saying that seeing an 8-month-old child wounded by shrapnel had been the final straw.
"For the world, you watch us while we are dying and your silence is a crime, but we will succeed anyway."
Faris, 61, flew with a Soviet crew to the space station Mir in 1987 and was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union after the journey. He also received the Order of Lenin.
Moscow's support for Syria's government has been criticised by Western nations since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011. Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed United Nations Security Council resolutions criticising Damascus and threatening sanctions.
The conflict between Assad's forces and rebels is intensifying. More than 250 people, including 123 civilians, were killed in Syria on Thursday alone, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition watchdog.
Turkey is taking the brunt of a swelling exodus of refugees, with 66,000 Syrians now sheltering there, according to the Turkish state disaster and emergency authority.
Around 1,000 Palestinian minors were detained by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2016
Egyptian authorities have not yet released any official statement on the reported arrests
Saturday’s verdicts are still subject to appeal
Facing the Senate Armed Services Committer, General Joseph Dunford and Defense Secretary Ash Carter reported on the ongoing military operations and admitted that removing Assad was not a priority for the US
Residential districts pounded by airstrikes, killing and injuring hundreds, with toll expected to rise with survivors claiming the attacks were akin to doomsday
Mr Lavrov laid the blame on the US for failing to control the rebel groups it backs saying there was no other alternative for Syria except for the US-Russia agreement
The Syrian White Helmets have been recognised for "outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians".
PKK/PYD extremist organizations force people to join, Syrians says.
Residential parts of city’s Al-Ansari, Al-Sokkari, Tariq al-Bab, Al-Shear districts pounded by airstrikes
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has the US on Thursday of not complying with the landmark nuclear agreement that took effect in January, and that their credibility would suffer if the accord were not honored.
"An assailant attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at the Elias junction, near the community of Kiryat Arba," a military statement said.
Authorities recover nine more bodies from vessel carrying undocumented migrants that sank Wednesday off Mediterranean coast
‘We can't go out to the world and say we have an agreement when we don't’, Kerry says
Assad regime drops barrel bombs on opposition-held parts of Aleppo city, killing 11 people and injuring dozens
The Pentagon is considering the Syrian Kurds, viewed as terrorists by Turkey, against ISIL in an offensive in Raqa
Suicide attack kills seven opposition leaders in Syria’s southwestern Daraa province, according to opposition sources