Daesh captures several villages from Syrian troops in Aleppo

Updated 16 April 2016

Daesh captures several villages from Syrian troops in Aleppo

BEIRUT: Syrian opposition activists say the Daesh group has captured several villages in the northern province of Aleppo during clashes with government forces.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the fighting is concentrated in areas east of the town of Khanaser, which has exchanged hands several times in recent months.
An activist based in Aleppo says Daesh launched its latest offensive in the area a day earlier and by Saturday was in control of some 18 small villages.
The activist spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from IS.
Khanaser is strategic since it’s on the highway that links government-held parts of Aleppo with the rest of the country.


Israel’s Netanyahu says he is giving up on trying to form new government

Updated 4 min 8 sec ago

Israel’s Netanyahu says he is giving up on trying to form new government

JERUSALEM: Israel’s president says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ended his quest to form a new coalition — a step that pushes the country into new political uncertainty.
Netanyahu fell short of securing a 61-seat parliamentary majority in last month’s national election. But President Reuven Rivlin gave Netanyahu the first opportunity to form a government because he had more support, 55 seats, than any other candidate.
Netanyahu had hoped to form a broad “unity” government with his chief rival, former military chief Benny Gantz. But late Monday, Netanyahu announced he came up short.
Rivlin says he will now give Gantz a chance to form a government, though Gantz does not appear to have enough support either.
If Gantz fails, Israel could hold its third election in less than one year.