US airstrike in Somalia kills 10 Al-Shabab extremists

File photo shows smoke rising after an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia December 22, 2018 in this still image taken from social media video. (Reuters)
Updated 03 January 2019
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US airstrike in Somalia kills 10 Al-Shabab extremists

  • The statement says no civilians were injured or killed
  • This is the first reported US airstrike of the year in Somalia

JOHANNESBURG: The US military says it has carried out an airstrike in southwestern Somalia that killed 10 members of the Al-Shabab extremist group.
The US Africa Command statement says the airstrike occurred Wednesday near Dheerow Sanle to “diminish Al-Shabab’s freedom of movement and to increase pressure on the terrorist network.”
The statement says no civilians were injured or killed.
This is the first reported US airstrike of the year in Somalia. The US carried out at least 47 such strikes last year in the Horn of Africa nation.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab continues to control large parts of the country’s southern and central regions and carry out deadly bombings against high-profile targets in the capital, Mogadishu.
The US has sharply increased the number of airstrikes since President Donald Trump took office.


Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

A firefighting aircraft flies over a forest near Kibbutz Harel, which was damaged by wildfires during a record heatwave, in Israel May 24, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 May 2019
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Palestine, Egypt offer air support as Israel battles wildfires

  • Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes on Thursday as fires raged
  • The fires were fueled by high temperatures and dry condition

JERUSALEM: Egypt and four European countries sent aircraft to help Israel battle wildfires that have forced the evacuation of some small towns, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, as a record heatwave looked set to worsen conditions.
At an emergency briefing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had appealed for international help to combat the fires, and that firefighting planes were coming in from Greece, Croatia, Italy and Cyprus.
Egypt, on the orders of President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, had also sent two helicopters to assist Israel, Netanyahu told reporters.
The Palestinian Authority and Russia had also offered help, Netanyahu said.
Israel braced for wildfires on Friday amid a major heat wave that shows no signs of abating.
Israel “really appreciates” the help, Netanyahu said, singling out El-Sisi for sending aid.
“I am deeply thankful for the readiness of neighbors to help us in a time of crisis, just as we help them,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service said blazes in a key corridor between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were mostly under control but difficult weather remained a conflagration risk.
“As of this moment, this (containment) is being done in the best possible way, but the challenge is yet ahead of us given the weather conditions, the winds and the extreme heat,” Netanyahu said.
Some 3,500 residents of small towns in the path of the fires were evacuated on Thursday, officials said. Dozens of homes have burned down.

Evacuations
Thousands of people were evacuated from towns and dozens of homes were burned on Thursday as fires raged, fueled by high temperatures and dry conditions. Over 500 acres of woodland have burned, said Nitai Zecharya, an Israeli official from the Jewish National Fund, known for planting forests in the country.
Zecharya said that while firefighters had brought most of the blaze under control, officials remained “very stressed” about strong winds fanning flames and “spreading fires to other fronts.”
The cause of the fires remains unclear, but they erupted following the Jewish festival of Lag Ba’Omer, which observers mark with bonfires.
A sweltering heat wave is pushing temperatures in parts of the country up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or 43 Celsius.