Syria state TV says air defenses repelled missile attack

Syrian regime TV says air defenses have stopped a missile attack. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 November 2018
0

Syria state TV says air defenses repelled missile attack

  • The report said among the areas hit was the countryside of Kisweh
  • Syria said Israeli warplanes attacked a military outpost in Kisweh in May

DAMASCUS, Syria: Syria’s air defenses confronted an aerial “aggression” over the country’s south late Thursday, shooting down several targets and preventing them from carrying out their mission in the first such attack since Syria received a Russian air defense system last month, state TV said.
The report said among the areas hit was the countryside of Kisweh, home to military bases, just south of Damascus. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack but Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes on Syria over the past years.
Syria said Israeli warplanes attacked a military outpost in Kisweh in May.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor linked to the opposition, said Israeli missiles targeted areas just south of Damascus all the way to the Qunaitra region on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Syria’s state news agency SANA said the Syrian military repelled the attack “despite its intensity.”
The attack was the first since Russia announced last month that it had delivered the S-300 air defense system to Syria. That came after the Sept. 17 downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli airstrike, a friendly fire incident that stoked regional tensions.
Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its intervention in the civil war, beginning in 2015, turned the tide in his favor.
There was no immediate comment from Israel, which almost never confirms or denies airstrikes in Syria. Such attacks have become more frequent recently, amid soaring tensions between regional archenemies Israel and Iran.
Israel is widely believed to have been behind a series of airstrikes mainly targeting Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Syria that have joined the country’s war fighting alongside the government.


Algeria tensions: Governing party chief backs protesters

Updated 20 March 2019
0

Algeria tensions: Governing party chief backs protesters

  • Moab Bouchareb told a meeting of party leaders that the party “supports the popular movement”

ALGIERS: The acting head of Algeria’s governing party says it is throwing its support behind protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Critics viewed the move Wednesday as an effort to save the reputation of the FLN party, or National Liberation Front, amid increasing disillusionment with Algeria’s power structure.
FLN interim leader Moab Bouchareb told a meeting of party leaders that the party “supports the popular movement.” But he also appeared to support Bouteflika’s “roadmap” for political reforms.
Bouchareb himself has been criticized as representing a leadership considered corrupt and out of touch with Algeria’s struggling youth. The FLN is Bouteflika’s party.
On Wednesday, foreign affairs minister Ramtane Lamamra said the Algerian government is “ready for dialogue” with demonstrators.
“As I see it, the demonstrations have only grown more numerous, and there will be no solution except through dialogue,” he said in a press conference in Berlin.
“The Algerian government is ready for dialogue, and beyond that, they are prepared to welcome the representatives of the opposition and civil society in the new government which is currently being formed.”
Algerian Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui has been struggling to form a new government as candidates sought to keep their distance from Bouteflika. Bedoui, who was appointed last week, had promised to create a new cabinet within days to respond to the demands of Algeria’s demonstrating youth.
Separately, the Protestant Church of Algeria issued a statement supporting the protests. The Church, whose exact number of members is not precisely known in the largely Muslim country, said it “fully shares the aspirations and legitimate claims of the Algerian people.”
Algeria’s union for imams and the Islamic High Council, a consultative body, had previously expressed their support for the protests.
Protesters want the ailing Bouteflika to step down after 20 years in power. Bouteflika responded by abandoning plans for a fifth term and promising reforms, but also delayed presidential elections indefinitely.
Demonstrators have demanded the government quit at the technical end of its mandate in April, along with the president who has rarely been seen since a 2013 stroke.