Lebanese soldier dead in raid on Islamist militant hideout, army says

Lebanon has mostly escaped the rash of militant assaults around the Middle East spurred by the war in its neighbor Syria. Above, army soldiers install barb wire in downtown Beirut for security protection. (Reuters)
Updated 05 February 2018

Lebanese soldier dead in raid on Islamist militant hideout, army says

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s army raided a suspected Islamist militant hideout in the northern city of Tripoli late on Sunday, leading to armed clashes in which a soldier and a suspected militant were killed, the army said.
The raid on a house in the Al-Tabbaneh district of Tripoli aimed to capture Hajjar Al-Abdullah, but was met with resistance including gunshots and hand grenades, the army said on its website.
In the fighting, Abdullah and a soldier were killed, several other soldiers were wounded, and Abdullah’s brother, Bilal Al-Abdullah, was detained. The army seized money, arms, ammunition and other military hardware from the house, it said.
Lebanese authorities say they have disrupted a number of Daesh attacks and networks since the last major attack — a 2015 twin suicide bombing in Beirut.
Lebanon has mostly escaped the rash of militant assaults around the Middle East spurred by the war in its neighbor Syria, and last year forced Daesh fighters out of an enclave on the mountainous border between the two countries.


US lawmakers set measure opposing Trump on Syria troop withdrawal

In this file photo taken on September 8, 2019 US troops walk past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkish troops. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

US lawmakers set measure opposing Trump on Syria troop withdrawal

  • Senate and House aides said lawmakers were working on legislation to impose stiffer sanctions on Turkey, hoping to force Turkish President Erdogan to halt his military campaign in northeastern Syria

WASHINGTON: US Democratic lawmakers, joined by some of President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans, introduced a resolution on Tuesday opposing Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria, the latest sign of deep disapproval in Congress of his action.
“We have always maintained that, while certainly needed, a sanctions package alone is insufficient for reversing this humanitarian disaster,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement introducing the resolution.
In addition to Pelosi and Schumer, the resolution was led by Representatives Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committee’s top Republican.
It also is backed by Senators Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Todd Young, a Republican member of that panel.
Senate and House aides said lawmakers were working on legislation to impose stiffer sanctions on Turkey, hoping to force Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to halt his military campaign in northeastern Syria.
Several sanctions bills were introduced in the Senate and House, supported by Democrats and some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, before Trump said he would impose sanctions.
Trump announced a set of sanctions on Monday to punish Ankara, and a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday that Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a cease-fire and halt its offensive. The measures — mainly a hike in steel tariffs and a pause in trade talks — were less robust than financial markets had anticipated. Trump’s critics derided them as too feeble to have an impact, and the Turkish currency recovered.