Egypt carries out military drill near Libya border

The drill called “Hasm 2020” was carried over for several days and was attended by the Minister of Defense and Military Production, Mohamed Zaki. (File/AFP)
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Updated 10 July 2020

Egypt carries out military drill near Libya border

  • The Egyptian Army carried out a military drill near the Libyan border called “Hasm 2020”
  • The drill came a day after the Turkish naval forces announced that they will carry out military exercises off the Libyan coast

The Egyptian Army carried out a military drill near the Libyan border called “Hasm 2020”, the military said on Thursday.

The drill, which included Egypt’s Armed Forces’ land, maritime and air defence, was carried out over several days and was attended by the Minister of Defense and Military Production, Mohamed Zaki, and Army Chief of Staff, Mohamed Farid.

The military manoeuvre included involved multi-task aircrafts, including helicopters that use live ammunition.

“The exercises aim at eradicating elements of mercenaries, their gathering points, command centres as well as damaging all their logistics,” Egypt’s State Information Service said.

The drill came a day after the Turkish naval forces announced that they will carry out military exercises off the Libyan coast.

The Turkish Navy said the maneuvers – dubbed “Naftex” – and would take place off the Libyan coast and will include 17 warplanes and eight naval vessels.


UNESCO to protect Lebanon as 60 historic buildings ‘risk collapse’

Updated 13 August 2020

UNESCO to protect Lebanon as 60 historic buildings ‘risk collapse’

  • Even before the explosion, there had been growing concern in Lebanon about the condition of heritage in Beirut due to rampant construction
  • Some of the worst damage was in the Gemmayzeh and Mar-Mikhael neighborhoods a short distance from Beirut port

PARIS: The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO vowed Thursday to lead efforts to protect vulnerable heritage in Lebanon after last week’s gigantic Beirut port blast, warning that 60 historic buildings were at risk of collapse.
The effects of the blast were felt all over the Lebanese capital but some of the worst damage was in the Gemmayzeh and Mar-Mikhael neighborhoods a short distance from the port. Both are home to a large concentration of historic buildings.
“The international community has sent a strong signal of support to Lebanon following this tragedy,” said Ernesto Ottone, assistant UNESCO Director-General for Culture.
“UNESCO is committed to leading the response in the field of culture, which must form a key part of wider reconstruction and recovery efforts.”
Sarkis Khoury, head of antiquities at the ministry of culture in Lebanon, reported at an online meeting this week to coordinate the response that at least 8,000 buildings were affected, said the Paris-based organization.
“Among them are some 640 historic buildings, approximately 60 of which are at risk of collapse,” UNESCO said in a statement.
“He (Khoury) also spoke of the impact of the explosion on major museums, such as the National Museum of Beirut, the Sursock Museum and the Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut, as well as cultural spaces, galleries and religious sites.”
Even before the explosion, there had been growing concern in Lebanon about the condition of heritage in Beirut due to rampant construction and a lack of preservation for historic buildings in the densely-packed city.
UNESCO said Khoury “stressed the need for urgent structural consolidation and waterproofing interventions to prevent further damage from approaching autumn rains.”
The explosion on August 4, which left 171 people dead, has been blamed on a vast stock of ammonium nitrate left in a warehouse at the port for years despite repeated warnings.
Lebanon’s government under Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned this week following days of demonstrations demanding accountability for the disaster.