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News - MENA News

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-09 07:59:52
Russia vetoed a French-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution on Saturday that would have demanded an end to air strikes and military flights over Syria's city of Aleppo, while a rival Russian draft text failed to get a minimum nine votes in favor. Moscow's text was effectively the French draft with Russian amendments. It removed the demand for an end to air strikes on Aleppo and put the focus back on a failed Sept. 9 U.S./Russia ceasefire deal, which was annexed to the draft. British U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin: "Thanks to your actions today, Syrians will continue to lose their lives in Aleppo and beyond to Russian and Syrian bombing. Please stop now." More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-09 07:38:33
Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral at a community hall in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the country's Houthi-run administration said on Saturday, but the coalition denied any role in the attack. More than 140 mourners were killed, according to local health officials cited by the United Nations, in an attack that prompted a strong rebuke from Washington, a key Saudi ally. Jamie McGoldrick, a UN official in charge of humanitarian efforts in the country, said more than 525 were injured. The death toll was 82, according to Ghazi Ismail, the administration's acting health minister. The reason for the discrepancy in numbers was not immediately clear. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-08 10:01:33
Russia has built up its forces in Syria since a ceasefire collapsed in late September, sending in troops, planes and advanced missile systems, according to Reuters analysis of publicly available tracking data. The data points to a doubling of supply runs by air and sea compared to the nearly two-week period preceding the truce. It appears to be Russia's biggest military deployment to Syria since President Vladimir Putin said in March he would pull out some of his country's forces. The increased manpower probably includes specialists to put into operation a newly delivered S-300 surface-to-air missile system, military analysts said. The S-300 system will improve Russia's ability to control air space in Syria, where Moscow's forces support the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and could be aimed at deterring tougher U.S. action, they said. "The S-300 basically gives Russia the ability to declare a no-fly zone over Syria," said Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. "It also makes any U.S. attempt to do so impossible. Russia can just say: 'We're going to continue to fly and anything that tries to threaten our aircraft will be seen as hostile and destroyed'." Russia's Defence Ministry did not respond to written questions. A senior air force official, speaking on condition of anonymity, dismissed talk of an increase in supply shipments. But data collated by Turkish bloggers for their online Bosphorus Naval News project, and reviewed by Reuters, shows reinforcements sent via Russia's "Syrian Express" shipping route from the Black Sea increased throughout September and have peaked in the last week. The data shows 10 Russian navy ships have gone through the Bosphorus en route to Syria since late September, compared with five in the 13-day period before the truce -- from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7. That number includes The Mirazh, a small missile ship which a Reuters correspondent saw heading through the Bosphorus toward the Mediterranean on Friday. Two other Russian missile ships were deployed to the Mediterranean on Wednesday. Some of the ships that have been sent to Syria were so heavily laden the load line was barely visible above the water, and have docked at Russia's Tartus naval base in the Western Syrian province of Latakia. Reuters has not been able to establish what cargo they were carrying. Troops and equipment are also returning to Syria by air, according to tracking data on website Russian military cargo planes flew to Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria six times in the first six days of October -- compared to 12 a month in September and August, a Reuters analysis of the data shows. INCREASED ACRIMONY Russia sent its air force to support the Syrian Army a year ago when Moscow feared Assad was on the point of succumbing to rebel offensives. U.S.-led forces also carry out air strikes in Syria, targeting Islamic State positions. Aerial bombardments in the past two weeks, mainly against rebel-held areas in the Syrian city of Aleppo, have been among the heaviest of the civil war, which has killed more then 300,000 people in 5-1/2 years. Since the collapse of the ceasefire in September, acrimony between the United States and Russia has grown and Washington has suspended talks with Moscow on implementing the truce. U.S. officials told Reuters on Sept. 28 that Washington had started considering tougher responses to the assault on Aleppo, including the possibility of air strikes on an Assad air base. "They (Russia) probably correctly surmise that eventually American policy will change," Bronk said, commenting on the analysis of the tracking data. "They are thinking: 'We're going to have to do something about this, so better to bring in more supplies now ... before it potentially becomes too touchy'." The data shows Ilyushin Il-76 and Antonov An-124 cargo planes operated by the Russian military have been flying to Syria multiple times each month. It offers no indication of what the aircraft are carrying. But the Il-76 and An-124 transporters can carry up to 50 and 150 tonnes of equipment respectively and have previously been used to airlift heavy vehicles and helicopters to Syria. State-operated passenger planes have also made between six and eight flights from Moscow to Latakia each month. Western officials say they have been used to fly in troops, support workers and engineers. Twice in early October, a Russian military Ilyushin plane flew to Syria from Armenia. Officials in Yerevan said the planes carried humanitarian aid from Armenia, a Russian ally. Russia's Izvestia newspaper reported last week that a group of Su-24 and Su-34 warplanes had arrived at the Hmeymim base in Syria, returning Russia's fixed-wing numbers in the country to near the level before the drawdown was announced in March. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-05 08:21:54
One al Qaeda militant was killed and another wounded in a strike in Yemen's Bayda province by the U.S. military on Sept. 29, U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday. Local officials told Reuters last week that two senior members of al Qaeda's Yemen branch were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in the central province of Bayda. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-05 08:11:26
The health system in the Libyan city of Sirte has collapsed and thousands of residents are facing shortages of food and medicine as pro-government forces battle to seize control of the coastal city from Islamic State, a medical charity said on Tuesday. Over the past two days, forces led by brigades from Misrata have pressed further into Sirte's neighborhood Number Three, advancing building by building as they try to finish a five-month-old campaign. Islamic State now controls a residential strip of less than 1 km long in their former stronghold. The International Medical Corps, which has been assisting Libyans who have fled Sirte, said once Islamic State was ousted from the city, government and aid agencies would face a huge challenge rebuilding infrastructure and re-establishing services. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-05 07:57:20
One Turkish soldier was killed and three slightly wounded in a clash with Islamic State fighters in Syria in which 18 militants were "neutralized", the Turkish military said in a statement on Wednesday. Separately, U.S.-led coalition warplanes launched nine air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria, "neutralizing" five militants, the statement said in a daily round up on a Turkish-backed military operation in Syria launched in August. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-05 07:47:33
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkey that keeping troops in northern Iraq could lead to a "regional war," according to comments broadcast on state TV on Wednesday. Abadi, who spoke at news conference Tuesday evening, was reacting to the Turkish parliament's decision last week to extend a mandate that allows military operations against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria for another year. "We have asked more than once the Turkish side not to intervene in Iraqi matters and I fear that the Turkish adventure could turn into a regional war," Abadi said. "The Turkish leadership's behavior is not acceptable and we don’t want to get into a military confrontation with Turkey." More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-05 07:34:50
About 4,655 migrants were saved on Tuesday and 28 bodies recovered in more than 30 rescue missions off the Libyan coast, Italy's coast guard said on Wednesday. More than 10,000 refugees have been picked up in just two days, as people smugglers take advantage of calm weather to push boats to sea. Over the same period, at least 50 people have died trying to make the dangerous crossing. The latest surge in new arrivals means at least 142,000 migrants have reached Italy since the start of the year and around 3,100 have died. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-05 07:16:08
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday efforts to end Syria's war must continue despite Washington's decision to break off talks with Moscow over what he called its "irresponsible" support for President Bashar al-Assad. The United States on Monday suspended talks with Russia on implementing a ceasefire deal in Syria, accusing Moscow of not living up to its commitments to halt fighting and ensure aid reached besieged communities. "We are not giving up on the Syrian people and we are not abandoning the pursuit of peace," Kerry said in a speech in Brussels. "We will continue to pursue a meaningful, sustainable, enforceable cessation of hostilities throughout the country – and that includes the grounding of Syrian and Russian combat aircraft in designated areas." More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2016-10-04 08:58:53
Even entombing the hospital under solid rock tunneled beneath a mountain was not enough to protect it from bombs dropped by Syria's government or its Russian allies, medical staff say. Opposition groups built the "central cave hospital" north of Hama to withstand bombardment, tunneling into a mountain in northwestern Syria for more than a year to bury it below 17 meters of rock. To some degree it worked: when Russian or Syrian government warplanes bombed it in two waves of air strikes on Sunday, nobody inside the cave was seriously hurt. But massive bombs wrecked the emergency ward near the entrance, caved in interior ceilings, crumbled cement walls and destroyed generators, water tanks and medical equipment, knocking the underground hospital out of service. More»