Strikes blamed on Israel killed 9 pro-regime fighters in Syria: monitor

Suspected Israeli air strikes have hit Syrian army positions near Damascus and in Homs and Hama in the past. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 16 July 2018
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Strikes blamed on Israel killed 9 pro-regime fighters in Syria: monitor

  • Syrian state media had accused Israel of bombing a military position in Aleppo province late Sunday
  • Israel has repeatedly warned it will not tolerate an entrenched presence of its archfoe Iran in the neighboring country

BEIRUT: At least nine pro-regime fighters died in an overnight strike in northern Syria blamed on Israel, a monitor said Monday.
Syrian state media had accused Israel of bombing a military position in Aleppo province late Sunday, in what would be a rare Israeli attack so far north in the war-ravaged country.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said that those killed included at least six Syrians and that Iranian fighters were also stationed at the base.
State news agency SANA on Sunday reported a missile strike near a strategic air base but said there were no casualties.
“The Zionist enemy... targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Neirab military airport, but the damage was only material,” it said, citing a military source.
There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military, which very rarely confirms strikes on targets in Syria.
Israel has repeatedly warned it will not tolerate an entrenched presence of its archfoe Iran in the neighboring country.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside the country, said it had recorded a wave of blasts around Neirab on Sunday night.
It said that a suspected Israeli missile strike had targeted “positions held by Syria’s regime and its allies at the Neirab airport” and its surroundings.
Suspected Israeli air strikes have hit Syrian army positions near Damascus and in the central provinces of Homs and Hama in the past but they rarely occur as far north as Aleppo.
Tehran has dispatched military advisers to bolster Syrian President Bashar Assad’s efforts to fight back a seven-year uprising against his rule.


UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

Khalifa Haftar. (Supplied)
Updated 21 August 2018
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UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

  • Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar
  • Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees

TRIPOLI: The UN has called on Libya’s internationally recognized government to crack down on armed groups obstructing the work of state institutions in the chaos-wracked country.
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) late on Sunday night expressed its “strong condemnation of the violence, intimidation and obstruction to the work of Libya’s sovereign institutions by militiamen.”
It called on the UN-backed Government of National Accord to “prosecute those responsible for these criminal actions.”
The GNA’s military and security institutions have failed to place limits on the powerful militias that sprung up in the turmoil that followed the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Several state institutions, including those in Tripoli, have been regular targets of harassment and intimidation by armed groups technically operating under the GNA’s Interior Ministry.
Members of militias “nominally acting under the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord are attacking sovereign institutions and preventing them from being able to operate effectively,” UNSMIL said.
Last week, the GNA’s National Oil Corp. said men from the Interior Ministry had forced their way into the headquarters of Brega Petroleum Marketing Company — a distribution outfit — to “arrest” its chief.
The Libyan Investment Authority, the GNA-managed sovereign wealth fund, recently moved from its downtown Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees.
UNSMIL said it would work with the international community and the GNA to “investigate the possibility of bringing sanctions against those interfering with or threatening the operations of any sovereign institution.”
Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
A myriad of militias,terrorist groups and people traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the North African country.