Syria ‘repels’ Israeli surveillance aircraft: state media

The remains of a missile that crashed earlier in Alonei Abba, east of Haifa, in northern Israel. Syrian ragime said they repelled Israeli surveillance planes. (AFP)
Updated 15 February 2018
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Syria ‘repels’ Israeli surveillance aircraft: state media

DAMASCUS: Syria on Wednesday repelled Israeli surveillance planes that breached its southern border, state media reported, days after an Israeli fighter jet was downed during raids on the war-torn country.
“Syrian air defenses have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace,” the official SANA news agency said.
On Saturday, the Syrian government said it fended off an Israeli raid on a military base in the center of the country, hitting more than one warplane.
That came after the Israeli military said one of its fighter jets had crashed after it came under heavy fire from Syrian air defenses during strikes against “Iranian targets” in the war-hit country.
Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes on the Syrian armed forces and their allies since the civil war broke out in 2011.
Iran with Russia is the main military backer of the Damascus government.
Israel has largely confined its operations to targeting Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group that is a key ally of Iran.


Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

Updated 22 July 2018
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Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

  • Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad
  • Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people

BAGHDAD: Fresh protests hit southern Iraq Sunday as medical sources put at 11 the number of demonstrators killed in two weeks of unrest sparked by ire over corruption and lack of public services.
Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad after struggling Friday to disperse crowds of angry protesters who took to the streets.
Demonstrations have roiled swathes of southern and central Iraq since erupting in the oil-rich port city of Basra on July 8, when security forces opened fire killing one person.
Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people, three in each of the cities Basra, Samawah and Najaf, and one in both the cities of Diwaniyah and Karbala.
Most of them were killed by gunfire from unidentified assailants, while one person suffocated to death on tear gas used to disperse the demonstrators.
Protesters on Sunday took to the streets in the cities of Samawah and Nasiriyah, chanting “no to corruption,” a scourge Iraqis say has long blighted their country.
Since the start of the demonstrations those involved have focused their anger on the political establishment, with government buildings and party offices being sacked or set ablaze.
The Iraqi authorities have scrambled to halt the unrest and have blocked social media sites online to try to prevent the spread of protests.
Iraq is in a state of political limbo with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi overseeing a caretaker government as wrangling to form a new government drags on after elections in May.
A coalition headed by populist cleric Moqtada Sadr topped the polls, campaigning on an anti-graft ticket to claim the most seats in parliament.