By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The number of Islamist rebels in eastern Aleppo who are not protected by any ceasefire deal, and can therefore be legitimately targeted, is far smaller than an estimate given by the United Nations, diplomatic sources have told Reuters. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS) is one of Syria's most powerful rebel forces, and under its former name - Nusra Front - it was designated as a terrorist group because of links with al Qaeda. Russia, Syria and Iran say JFS's presence in besieged eastern Aleppo justifies their attacks, which began despite a U.S.-Russian ceasefire, but the U.N. has urged them to stop using the group's presence as an "easy alibi" to bomb the city. None of them have given estimates of JFS numbers in Aleppo. Last week U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said there were a maximum of 900 JFS members out of a total 8,000 rebel fighters within the besieged opposition-held area. Several sources independently told Reuters that de Mistura's figure for JFS fighters was far too high, and the real number was no more than 200, perhaps below 100. One Western diplomat said it possibly had no more than a "symbolic" presence. "The Russians indicated they wanted to talk about de Mistura's plan which is to get the rebel fighters out of Aleppo. We are a bit skeptical. De Mistura spoke about 900 fighters from Fateh al-Sham, we estimate (the number) at much less," one senior French diplomatic source said. The issue will be discussed on Saturday when foreign ministers from countries including the United States and Russia, which back opposing sides in the war, gather in the Swiss city of Lausanne for talks aimed at halting the spiraling violence. De Mistura has offered to personally escort the fighters out of the city in return for a ceasefire observed by all parties. He has already scaled back his estimate. On Sept. 25, he said that he had information that more than half the fighters in eastern Aleppo were from JFS but gave no total figure. Last week he cited a "much more updated analysis", and he said the 900 figure was "in my opinion, quite reliable". His office declined to comment on where he had got the 900 figure from, but quoted remarks he made to a closed-door session of the U.N. Security Council last week: "If al-Nusra are 900 people, then 900 will have to leave. If they are less, then less will leave. We will be actually involved in that. The point is that every Nusra fighter will leave the city and the rest will stay if they want to." A Jabhat Fateh al-Sham spokesman did not immediately comment on the number. (Reporting and writing by Tom Miles; Additional reporting by John Irish in Paris; Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Louise Ireland)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- NBC Sports Chicago
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson reportedly would "strongly consider" waiving his no-trade clause for three teams.
- The Daily Beast
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New YorkWhen the feds raided Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2019, they unearthed a trove of evidence including binders of CDs containing tens of thousands of photographs.Some of those never-before-seen images—released by federal prosecutors this week—depicted happier days of the late sex-trafficker’s romance with his alleged accomplice, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of helping him groom and abuse four underage girl
- In The Know by Yahoo
TikTok users issue dire warning after woman's shocking basement discovery: 'Why would you share this online?'
Definitely not an everyday thing.
Skilyr Hicks, who at age 14 impressed the judges of America’s Got Talent with her performance of an original song and poignant story of losing her father, died Monday in Liberty, South Carolina. She was 23. Her death was confirmed by her younger sister Breelyn Hicks in a Facebook post this morning. Earlier, TMZ reported […]
- Yahoo Celebrity
Jennifer Aniston on 'being bullied' for vaccine stance: 'I don't understand the disconnect right now'
In a new interview, the"Morning Show" star discusses her career, the tabloids, social media, haters of her vaccine stance and the "jarring" "Friends" reunion.
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are taking on one of their biggest career challenges ever as a couple in the upcoming Yellowstone prequel, 1883. But a new People magazine cover has fans talking about Faith Hill’s looks instead of the series — and the comments are pretty rude. The stunning photo shows Hill and McGraw locked in an […]
- Hello Beautiful
In celebration of her 39th birthday, Nicki Minaj took to Instagram to serve face and body in latest nude photoshoot.
- NBC News
A scuba diving YouTuber may have cracked the cold case of two Tennessee teens who disappeared 21 years ago after discovering the car they were last seen in at the bottom of a river.
- Footwear News
On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos' girlfriend, Lauren Sánchez took to her Instagram stories to share two new photos. The media personality posed alongside her son, Nikko Gonzalez in a black blazer dress.
- Yahoo Life
The 57-year-old model is kicking back!
Jennifer Aniston gets the cover treatment on the latest Hollywood Reporter issue and she looks absolutely stunning in the new images. The 52-year-old actress is riding high, not only as an actress in The Morning Show, but also as a producer and A-list celebrity in Hollywood. The photos, taken by photographer Ruven Afanador, show off […]
Jennifer Aniston Calls Pregnancy Rumors 'Hurtful': 'You Have No Clue What's Going with Me Personally'
"I used to take it all very personally — the pregnancy rumors and the whole 'Oh, she chose career over kids' assumption," Jennifer Aniston said
- Fox News
Cast members of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stepped out in their best dress at the People's Choice Awards on Tuesday and fans couldn't get enough of Dorit Kemsley's revealing number.
- UGA Wire
Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt disagrees with the order of the final College Football Playoff rankings.
Kyle Clinkscales, 22, went missing after leaving a bar in western Georgia on January 27, 1976, to drive back to Auburn University in Alabama.
Title challenger Max Verstappen has been bullied by seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team this season, former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has told AFP.
Bob + pixie = bixie.
- NBC Sports
Chelsea drew 3-3 away at Zenit St. Petersburg as a last-gasp equalizer from the Russians denied the Blues top spot in Group H and gave them a much tougher route in the UEFA Champions League last 16.
Christina Aguilera channeled the 'Dirrty' music video look 19 years later at the People's Choice Awards
Christina Aguilera wore black and yellow chaps and a bodysuit for her performance of "Dirrty" at the People's Choice Awards on Tuesday.
- The Daily Beast
REUTERSAfter Jussie Smollett spilled all the tea he could on Monday, Special Prosecutor Dan Webb put the focus back on the attack on the Empire star that the actor allegedly staged in a brutal cross examination on Tuesday.Webb, a lawyer’s lawyer who nailed corrupt judges and cops when he served as the U.S. attorney for the district including Chicago and who prosecuted Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser and deposed the president as special counsel in the Iran-Contra affair, shifted the foc