Car bomb at rebel checkpoint in Syria’s Afrin kills 13: monitor

Turkish and Syrian fighters took control of Afrin in 2018 from the Kurdish forces. (File/AFP)
Updated 11 July 2019
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Car bomb at rebel checkpoint in Syria’s Afrin kills 13: monitor

  • The area fell under the control of Turkish army and Syrian proxies in March 2018

BEIRUT: A car bomb near a checkpoint manned by Turkey-backed rebels in the northern Syrian town of Afrin killed 13 people including eight civilians Thursday, a war monitor said.
“The car bomb exploded near the checkpoint at the entrance to the town where vehicles were gathering to be checked,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies took control of Afrin from Kurdish forces in March last year after a two-month air and ground offensive.


Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

Updated 18 September 2019

Jordan king says Israeli annexation would be a disaster

  • Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Tuesday that if Israel went ahead with the idea of annexing all the settlements in the West Bank it would be a “disaster” for attempts to find any two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Speaking after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Abdullah said he was “extremely concerned” about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex all the West Bank settlements.

He said it will “directly impact” the relationship between Israel and Jordan, and Israel and Egypt, and that “these types of statements are ... a disaster to any attempt to move forward to the two-state solution.”

Merkel agreed, calling Netanyahu’s vow “unhelpful.” The German government backs an internationally negotiated peace solution in the sense of a two state solution ... annexations are always detrimental to peace solutions. They do not help and therefore we do not agree, said Merkel

Abdullah said “we’re looking on this with tremendous concern.”

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

Netanyahu’s career was on the line on Tuesday as Israel held its second national election this year, with voters deciding whether to give him another term in office despite a likely indictment on corruption charges.

The longest serving leader in Israeli history was seeking a fourth consecutive term in office and fifth overall. 

But he faced a stiff challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist Blue and White party is running even with Netanyahu’s Likud. 

Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, though, forcing them into a potential unity government.