Syrian army units attack Mesraba in Ghouta to secure entry - state TV reports

Syrians run for cover in Hamouria during Syrian government shelling on rebel-held areas in the Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on March 6, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Syrian army units attack Mesraba in Ghouta to secure entry - state TV reports

Syrian army units attacked rebel defences in Mesraba in Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday with “preparatory fire” to secure entry of infantry units, state TV reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Syrian regime brought reinforcements to Eastern Ghouta the Syrian observatory said.
Meanwhile, Syrian rebels in Eastern Ghouta will defend the territory and there are no negotiations over a withdrawal that has been proposed by Russia, the military spokesman for one of the main Eastern Ghouta rebel groups said on Wednesday.
“There are no negotiations about this subject. The factions of Ghouta and their fighters and its people are holding onto their land and will defend it,” Hamza Birqdar told Reuters in a text message.
Russia, President Bashar Assad’s most powerful ally, has offered to give rebel fighters safe passage out of eastern Ghouta, near the capital, Damascus, with their families and personal weapons.


Brother of 2017 Manchester bomber being extradited from Libya to Britain

Updated 36 min 49 sec ago
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Brother of 2017 Manchester bomber being extradited from Libya to Britain

  • Salman Abedi blew himself up at the end of a show by US singer Ariana Grande in 2017, killing 22 people
  • London requested the extradition of his brother Hashem after police issued an arrest warrant against him

TRIPOLI: The brother of a suicide bomber suspected of helping plan a 2017 attack on a concert in the British city of Manchester is being extradited from Libya, according to the force that was holding him in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton born to Libyan parents, blew himself up at the end of a show by US singer Ariana Grande in the deadliest militant attack in Britain for 12 years.
The blast killed 22 people and injured more than 500.
London requested the extradition of his brother Hashem after police issued an arrest warrant against him for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.
But Tripoli had long stalled on the request.
“I confirm to you that Hashem is now in the air on his way to the UK ... he is extradited in accordance with a court verdict,” said a spokesman for the Tripoli-based Special Deterrence Force (Rada), who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case.
“We received an official letter from the head of the attorney general’s investigations department, telling us to extradite Hashem Abedi to UK authorities based on a verdict by Tripoli’s court of appeals.”
Rada, a counter-terrorism and anti-crime group aligned with the government in Tripoli, arrested Hashem shortly after the bombing on suspicion he had helped plan the attack.
Rada said at the time that Salman and Hashem flew together to Libya in April 2017, before Salman returned to Britain to carry out the attack at the Manchester Arena in May.