Iran’s Rouhani to visit India this week

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks in his press conference at the presidency compound in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Updated 12 February 2018
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Iran’s Rouhani to visit India this week

TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will visit India this week for three days, local media reported on Monday.
Rouhani is due to leave for India on Thursday to discuss “the latest regional and global developments,” the semi-official ISNA news agency said.
He was invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, ISNA said.
India and Iran have collaborated on key projects, most notably the Chabahar port in southeastern Iran that was inaugurated in December.
The port has been touted as a way for India to establish trade routes that bypass its rival Pakistan, but the project has seen multiple delays.
India has been a key purchaser of Iranian oil and gas, and maintained trade ties even as international sanctions were imposed on Iran over its nuclear program between 2012 and 2016.
However, there have been tensions in the relationship, with the Indian media reporting frustrations over delays in awarding a contract to develop a major gas field known as Farzad B in the Arabian Gulf.
That led India to announce it was reducing its oil imports from Iran in protest in March 2017, leading Tehran to say it was restricting credit lines to India.


US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

Updated 20 October 2018
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US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

BEIRUT: An offensive by US-backed forces against Daesh’s last redoubt in eastern Syria killed 35 militants on Saturday, a Britain-based war monitor said.
Twenty-eight Daesh members were killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition around the town of Hajjin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven militants were killed in ground fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, who launched a coalition-backed offensive against the Daesh-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley last month.
Fighting has killed 414 militants and 227 SDF fighters in total since the assault began on September 10, the Observatory said.
Coalition air strikes on Daesh targets in another part of the pocket on Thursday and Friday killed at least 41 civilians, 10 of them children, the monitor said.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” across the land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of its territory to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the Hajjin pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border.
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.