Displaced Syrians rest by a tent at a camp in Kafr Lusin near the border with Turkey in the northern part of Syria's rebel-held Idlib province on September 9, 2018. - Regime and Russian air raids pounded Syria's last major rebel bastion of Idlib today after an overnight lull, killing at least one child, a monitor said. (Photo by Zein Al RIFAI / AFP)
Displaced Syrians in the northern part of Syria's rebel-held Idlib province. Zein Al Rifai / AFP

Idlib timebomb is a stain on world's conscience



Idlib is a "ticking timebomb". So said French envoy Francois Delattre, who urged for restraint at the United Nations, even as Russian and Syrian jets pounded the northwest province with barrel bombs today, adding: "Few disasters have been so clearly anticipated and subject to so many convergent warnings by the international community."

He was not alone in doing so. US ambassador Nikki Haley called the pending assault on the last rebel stronghold “a playbook of death”. Britain’s representative to the UN Karen Pierce pleaded: “There are more babies in Idlib than there are terrorists.”

But this is the impasse that we have come to, where words mean nothing. The most powerful rhetoric in the world is followed by inaction, apathy and indifference, as we have seen before, over and over again: in Aleppo, in Homs, in Eastern Ghouta, and now in Idlib, where even Syrians have given up waiting for the international community to take note of their suffering and act on the basis of humanity.

Red lines have been crossed repeatedly; in 2013, when then US president Barack Obama failed to act on his promise to the Syrian people after chemical weapons were used in an onslaught; and again in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017 and Douma in 2018, where ineffectual US airstrikes barely dented Bashar Al Assad's enthusiasm for attacking his own people.

He is ploughing relentlessly on towards crushing the last rebel stronghold, backed by his Russian and Iranian supporters, and the words uttered in a hollow chamber in New York 9,000 miles away have, so far, done little to dint the killing spree.

When Syrian government forces rounded up thousands upon thousands of besieged, long-suffering citizens from Eastern Ghouta and Aleppo and offered to evacuate them to Idlib, this was no humanitarian corridor; they were effectively being bussed to their deaths. Rounded up and herded onto buses, they are entirely dispensable to Mr Al Assad as he envisages rebuilding Syria in his own image, populated by loyalists.

The UN estimates there are 15,000 rebel fighters left, amounting to 0.5 per cent of the total population.

Meanwhile, in Idlib, the three million citizens under bombardment include more than one million terrified children, many of whom will know nothing other than a relentless war, which has robbed them of their birthright to have the full protection of the state.

As the international community becomes inured to the now familiar news of barrel bombs and chemical weapons attacks, their stolen innocence is a stain on the world’s conscience. No words will ever be enough to remove it.

Arsenal's pre-season fixtures

Thursday Beat Sydney 2-0 in Sydney

Saturday v Western Sydney Wanderers in Sydney

Wednesday v Bayern Munich in Shanghai

July 22 v Chelsea in Beijing

July 29 v Benfica in London

July 30 v Sevilla in London

French Touch

Carla Bruni

(Verve)

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Chef Nobu's advice for eating sushi

“One mistake people always make is adding extra wasabi. There is no need for this, because it should already be there between the rice and the fish.
“When eating nigiri, you must dip the fish – not the rice – in soy sauce, otherwise the rice will collapse. Also, don’t use too much soy sauce or it will make you thirsty. For sushi rolls, dip a little of the rice-covered roll lightly in soy sauce and eat in one bite.
“Chopsticks are acceptable, but really, I recommend using your fingers for sushi. Do use chopsticks for sashimi, though.
“The ginger should be eaten separately as a palette cleanser and used to clear the mouth when switching between different pieces of fish.”

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Fixtures and results:

Wed, Aug 29:

  • Malaysia bt Hong Kong by 3 wickets
  • Oman bt Nepal by 7 wickets
  • UAE bt Singapore by 215 runs

Thu, Aug 30: 

  • UAE bt Nepal by 78 runs
  • Hong Kong bt Singapore by 5 wickets
  • Oman bt Malaysia by 2 wickets

Sat, Sep 1: UAE v Hong Kong; Oman v Singapore; Malaysia v Nepal

Sun, Sep 2: Hong Kong v Oman; Malaysia v UAE; Nepal v Singapore

Tue, Sep 4: Malaysia v Singapore; UAE v Oman; Nepal v Hong Kong

Thu, Sep 6: Final

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 110 horsepower

Torque: 147Nm

Price: From Dh59,700

On sale: now

Match info

Uefa Champions League Group H

Juventus v Valencia, Tuesday, midnight (UAE)

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

MATCH INFO

Barcelona 2
Suarez (10'), Messi (52')

Real Madrid 2
Ronaldo (14'), Bale (72')

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

Director: Adam Wingard

Starring: Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens

Rating: 4/5


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