Iran: 700 drone attacks against Daesh in Syria

Most of the attacks were carried out by the locally-produced Saegheh drone, which was reverse-engineered from a US RQ-170 Sentinel captured by Iran in 2011. (AP)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Iran: 700 drone attacks against Daesh in Syria

TEHRAN: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have carried out 700 drone strikes against forces of the Daesh group in Syria, its aerospace chief told conservative news agency Fars on Tuesday.
“Our bomber drones have carried out 700 military operations using smart bombs against Daesh,” said Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajjizadeh.
“They were used in eliminating tanks, personnel carriers, cars used for suicide attacks and 23- millimeter cannons — these were targets prized by Daesh and we significantly turned the tide of battle,” he added.
The guards most recently used military drones against Daesh targets in Syria on October 1, in retaliation for a deadly attack in September on a military parade in Iran’s southwest claimed by the militant group.
Seven military drones as well as six ballistic missiles struck the “Daesh headquarters” in the eastern Syrian town of Hajjin, about 24 kilometers north of Albu Kamal bordering Iraq, state TV reported.
Iranian media said published images indicated the drones were locally-produced “Saegheh” craft, reverse-engineered from a US RQ-170 Sentinel captured by Iran in 2011.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said at the time that the strikes were the first time the drones had “crossed multiple countries and reached their targets.”
It was also the first time Iran had officially announced it was using combat drones outside of its borders, the conservative Tasnim news agency said.
Iran is a key backer of Syria’s President Bashar Assad and a large contingent of Revolutionary Guards operate in the country as “military advisers.”


Lions, other animals to be saved from Gaza zoo: welfare group

Updated 26 min 56 sec ago
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Lions, other animals to be saved from Gaza zoo: welfare group

  • The animals would be taken out of a zoo in the Palestinian enclave and relocated to sanctuaries in Jordan next week
  • Rafah Zoo in southern Gaza confirmed the agreement, saying they weren’t receiving any funds for the animals

GAZA CITY: Forty animals including five lions are to be rescued from squalid conditions in the Gaza Strip, an animal welfare group said Wednesday.
The animals would be taken out of a zoo in the Palestinian enclave and relocated to sanctuaries in Jordan next week, the Four Paws organization said.
Among the other animals to be taken out are a hyena, monkeys, wolves and porcupines, the organization said in a statement.
Rafah Zoo in southern Gaza confirmed the agreement, saying they weren’t receiving any funds for the animals and couldn’t provide proper care for them in the strip.
The zoo hit the headlines last month when the cash-strapped owner revealed he had declawed one of the lions there, so that customers could pay to play with her.
The organization condemned the declawing, with almost 150,000 people signing a petition against the treatment.
The animals would be treated and sedated, before being taken through Israel into Jordan, Four Paws said.
“For far too long, the animals of Rafah Zoo have had to live under unimaginably dreadful conditions,” said Four Paws veterinarian Amir Khalil.
“We are happy to finally put an end to this horror,” he said in the statement.
The animal welfare group has previously evacuated two other zoos in Gaza, where desperate poverty often leaves owners unable to assure adequate conditions.
Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, measures it says are necessary to isolate the enclave’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
In 2016, Four Paws helped facilitate the transfer of the sole tiger in the Gaza Strip, eventually relocating it to South Africa.
The organization in 2017 rescued a lion and a bear from a zoo in Mosul in northern Iraq, a former stronghold of the Daesh group.