Bahrain deal with Russia upsets US

Updated 15 May 2014
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Bahrain deal with Russia upsets US

WASHINGTON: The United States disapproves of a decision by Bahrain to sign an investment cooperation deal with Russia at a time when US and European governments are imposing sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, an official said.
“With Russia continuing its efforts to destabilize Ukraine, this is not the time for any country to conduct business as usual with Russia,” a US State Department official said.
“We have raised these concerns with the Bahraini government.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat to identify and work together on investment opportunities in their countries.
The deal between the funds, signed after a visit to Moscow by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa.
On Monday, the US imposed sanctions on seven Russians and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday, the European Union announced asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians.


Militant rocket fire kills 12 civilians in Syria: state media

Updated 17 June 2019
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Militant rocket fire kills 12 civilians in Syria: state media

  • Former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham being blamed for the attack

DAMASCUS: Rocket fire has killed 12 civilians in a regime-held village in northwestern Syria, state news agency SANA has said blaming former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham for the attack.

SANA said 15 people were also wounded late Sunday in the attack on Al-Wadihi village south of Aleppo city and said HTS, which controls parts of Aleppo’s countryside as well as most of neighboring Idlib, was responsible.

It published graphic pictures purporting to show some of the victims in a hospital in the aftermath of the attack, including of bandaged men and children lying on stretchers, thick blankets covering their bodies.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the same death toll — saying five children were among those killed — and also blamed militants based in rural Aleppo for the attack.

But the Britain-based monitor did not specify whether HTS or other allied militant groups were responsible.

The attack came as Syrian government forces have been locked in clashes with HTS fighters in nearby Hama province.

More than 35 combatants, mostly regime forces, were killed on Saturday in battles in Hama’s countryside, according to the Observatory.

Parts of Aleppo, Hama and Idlib are supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal that Russia and Turkey signed in September.

But it was never fully implemented as militants refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarized zone.

In January, HTS extended its administrative control over the region, which includes most of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

The Syrian government and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing nearly 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.