Blast in Syria’s Qamishli kills four: monitor

Men watch as a military convoy carrying US-made vehicles, bulldozers, and arms headed for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting in Raqqa, passes through the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018

Blast in Syria’s Qamishli kills four: monitor

BEIRUT: At least four people were killed on Sunday in a car bomb blast in Syria's northeastern Qamishli, a war monitor said, after months of calm in the Kurdish-majority city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said another three people were also wounded when "an explosion went off inside a car in the city's Al-Gharbi neighbourhood."
Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Observatory, could not confirm whether the casualties were civilians or combatants.
Syrian state news agency SANA also reported the blast, but gave the death toll as five people.
Qamishli is mostly under the control of Kurdish authorities, though Syrian government forces have a limited presence in the city's "security quarter".
It has been targeted with car bombs on multiple occasions during Syria's seven-year conflict, many of them claimed by Daesh.
But the city had been quiet for months before Sunday's blast.
In September, a motorcycle bomb killed a child and wounded seven people, in an attack that Kurdish security forces blamed on a pro-government militia.
Syria's uprising broke out in March 2011 with protests against the government.
Regime forces withdrew from the country's Kurdish-majority areas in 2012, paving the way for key Kurdish parties to set up a system of self-rule.
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Iranian hard-liners in parliament reject president’s nominee

Updated 9 min 23 sec ago

Iranian hard-liners in parliament reject president’s nominee

  • According to the parliament’s website, lawmakers rejected Hossein Modares Khiabani’s nomination for minister of trade and industries
  • Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said the vote was 140-104 against the nominee

TEHRAN, Iran: Iranian hard-liners in parliament on Wednesday voted against President Hassan Rouhani’s nominee for trade minister in the first showdown between the rival camps since the house resumed work in May despite the struggles to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the parliament’s website, lawmakers rejected Hossein Modares Khiabani’s nomination for minister of trade and industries.
Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said the vote was 140-104 against the nominee. There were 254 lawmakers at the session and 10 abstained. The parliament has 290 seats.
The vote marked the first serious confrontation between the newly elected house, dominated by conservatives and the bloc of supporters of the relatively moderate Rouhani. Under the law, Rouhani must introduce new nominees to his Cabinet in the next three months.
Rouhani in May dismissed the trade and industry minister at the time, Reza Rahmani, as Iran faced an unprecedented economic downturn amid intense pressure from the United States after President Donald Trump pulled America out of Iran’s nuclear with world powers and reimposed sanctions on the country. Khiabani, 52, had since been the acting trade minister.
Iran is also grappling with the largest and deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus in the Middle East, with more than 331,000 confirmed cases and at least 18,800 deaths.