Daesh seizes village in south Syria: monitor

This photo taken on July 11, 2018, shows makeshift graves in front of buildings destroyed during airstrikes by Syrian regime forces in the rebel-held town of Nawa, southern Syria. An affiliate of Daesh seized a village in southern Syria overnight from rebels who had agreed to a regime takeover. (AFP)
Updated 13 July 2018
0

Daesh seizes village in south Syria: monitor

  • An affiliate of Daesh seized a village in southern Syria overnight from rebels who had agreed to a regime takeover.
  • Overnight into Thursday, the extremists took control of the village of Heet near the Jordanian border.

BEIRUT: An affiliate of Daesh seized a village in southern Syria overnight from rebels who had agreed to a regime takeover, a Britain-based monitor said Thursday.
Much of the southern province of Daraa had been quiet since Friday, when a cease-fire deal between rebels and the Russian-backed regime ended a nearly three-week government assault.
But Jaish Khaled bin Walid, a local branch of Daesh that controls a small corner in the southwest of the province, on the border with Jordan and close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, is not included in that deal.
Overnight into Thursday, the extremists took control of the village of Heet near the Jordanian border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
“After violent clashes, Jaish Khaled bin Walid took control of Heet despite Russian and regime air strikes against them,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Fighting since Wednesday has left 16 rebels and 12 extremists dead including two suicide bombers, he said.
Since June 19, the regime has been pressing military and negotiation efforts to retake the whole of Daraa and the adjacent Quneitra province from the opposition.
A government victory in the strategic area bordering Jordan and the occupied Golan Heights would be symbolic, as it is seen as the cradle of the seven-year uprising.
The regime now controls more than 80 percent of Daraa province, the Observatory says, though some parts of its western countryside remain under opposition control.
President Bashar Assad’s regime has retaken more than 60 percent of the country since 2015, when Russia intervened militarily to bolster it.
Syria’s civil war has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown of anti-Assad protests.


Libya rejects EU plans for migrant centers on its territory

Updated 28 min 46 sec ago
0

Libya rejects EU plans for migrant centers on its territory

  • Italy last month proposed reception and identification centers for migrant processing in Africa
  • The UN Migration Agency said 51,782 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 18 July

BERLIN: Libya rejects a European Union’s plan to establish migrant centers there to stop asylum seekers arriving in western Europe and it will not be swayed by financial inducements, Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj said.
Italy last month proposed reception and identification centers for migrant processing in Africa as a means of resolve divisions among European governments over how to handle an influx of more than 1 million migrants since 2015.
Libya is a main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe often on flimsy inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often spring leaks or break down.
“We are absolutely opposed to Europe officially wanting us to accommodate illegal immigrants the EU does not want to take in,” Sarraj told German mass-selling daily Bild in an interview published on Friday.
He dismissed accusations that Libya’s coast guard has shot at aid workers trying to rescue migrants.
“We save hundreds of people off the coast of Libya every day — our ships are constantly on the move,” he said, adding that Libya was being left to rescue migrants from the Mediterranean alone and needed more technical and financial support.
The UN Migration Agency said 51,782 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 18 July. That total compares to 110,189 at this time last year and 244,722 at this time in 2016. The death toll to date this year is 1,490 it said.