Israel will block ‘Iranian aggression’ after Syria strikes

Missiles flying into the sky near international airport, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (SANA via AP)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Israel will block ‘Iranian aggression’ after Syria strikes

  • Netanyahu said Israel’s air strikes on Syria had mainly targeted military positions set up by Iran
  • The chain of events sparked concerns of an escalation

RAMON AIRPORT, Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday Israel would not allow “Iranian aggression,” after its military struck what it called Iranian targets in Syria in response to missile fire.
“Yesterday evening, the air force struck a strong blow against Iranian targets in Syria after Iran fired a missile from there toward Israel,” Netanyahu said at an inauguration ceremony for a new airport in southern Israel.
“We do not allow such acts of aggression to pass by. We are acting against Iran and against the Syrian forces who are tools of Iranian aggression.”
Israel struck what it said were facilities belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force early Monday in response to a missile attack it blamed on Iran.
The surface-to-surface missile, fired toward the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday and intercepted by air defenses, followed an alleged Israeli strike in southern Syria.
The chain of events sparked concerns of an escalation, after a monitor reported 11 fighters killed in the overnight Israeli strikes.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria against what it says are Iranian military targets and advanced arms deliveries to Tehran-backed Hezbollah.
It rarely publicly confirms them, though has in recent days spoken about the raids more openly.
Israel has pledged to keep arch-foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighboring Syria.


Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

Updated 24 April 2019
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Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

  • Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country
  • The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation

PRISTINA: Kosovo prosecutors have requested the house arrest of 16 women repatriated from Syria, saying they are suspected of joining or taking part as foreign fighters there.

The women appeared on Wednesday in court in Pristina, a day after 10 other women were put under house arrest. None have been charged with a crime.

Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country.

The women and children were sent to the Foreign Detention Centre in the outskirts of Pristina but were freed to go home after 72 hours.

Ten women were seen entering Pristina Basic Court in a police escort on Tuesday. The court said in a statement later that they had been placed under house arrest on charges of joining foreign armed groups and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019.

The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation and more of them are expected to appear in front of judges on Wednesday. The prosecution has yet to file charges.

After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return to their home countries.

Kosovo's population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but the country is largely secular in outlook. More than 300 of its citizens travelled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.

Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and eight children remain in the conflict zones. The government said it plans to bring back those who are still there.

International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — the four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were returned to Kosovo with assistance from the United States, the first such move for a European country.

Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria.