Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border

Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border
Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups helped retrieve the bodies. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 01 December 2020

Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border

Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border
  • The identity of the commander has not been confirmed
  • He was killed alongside three other men traveling in a vehicle with him

BAGHDAD: An air strike killed a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards at the Iraq-Syria border sometime between Saturday and Sunday, Iraqi security and local militia officials said on Monday.
They could not confirm the identity of the commander, who they said was killed alongside three other men traveling in a vehicle with him.
The vehicle was carrying weapons across the Iraqi border and was hit after it had entered Syrian territory, two Iraqi security officials separately said.
Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups helped retrieve the bodies, the two officials said, without elaborating or giving the exact time of the incident.
Local military and militia sources confirmed the account, although Reuters was unable to verify independently that an Iranian commander had been killed.
The incident came just days after Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran in a killing that Iran has blamed on Israel.
Israel launched air raids against what it called a wide range of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria last week, signalling that it will pursue its policy of striking Iranian targets in the region as US President Donald Trump prepares to leave office.
Iraqi officials fear a conflagration ahead of President-elect Joe Biden taking office because he is viewed as less confrontational with Iran than the Trump administration.
Iran-backed Iraqi militias are still reeling from the US assassination of Iranian military mastermind Qassem Soleimani in January and their Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis and have vowed revenge against the United States.


Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia
Updated 23 January 2021

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia

Hundreds protest police repression in Tunisia
  • Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic
  • The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14

TUNIS: Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Tunisian cities on Saturday to protest police repression, corruption and poverty, following several nights of unrest marked by clashes and arrests.
Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to stem the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the economy and threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
Over 6,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Tunisia, with a record 103 deaths reported on Thursday.
The government on Saturday extended a night-time curfew from 8 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. and banned gatherings until February 14.
But protesters took to the streets in several parts of the country, including the capital Tunis and the marginalized interior region of Gafsa, to demand the release of hundreds of young people detained during several nights of unrest since January 14.
“Neither police nor Islamists, the people want revolution,” chanted demonstrators in a crowd of several hundred in Tunis, where one person was wounded in brief clashes amid a heavy police presence.
Protests were also held in the coastal city of Sfax on Friday.
Much of the unrest has been in working class neighborhoods, where anger is boiling over soaring unemployment and a political class accused of having failed to deliver good governance, a decade after the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Economic misery exacerbated by novel coronavirus restrictions in the tourism-reliant nation have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to try to leave the country.
“The situation is catastrophic,” said Omar Jawadi, 33, a hotel sales manager, who has been paid only half his salary for months.
“The politicians are corrupt, we want to change the government and the system.”
The police have said more than 700 people were arrested over several nights of unrest earlier this week that saw young people hurl rocks and petrol bombs at security forces, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Human rights groups on Thursday said at least 1,000 people had been detained.
“Youth live from day to day, we no longer have hope, neither to work nor to study — and they call us troublemakers!” said call center worker Amine, who has a degree in aerospace engineering.
“We must listen to young people, not send police in by the thousands. The whole system is corrupt, a few families and their supporters control Tunisia’s wealth.”
Tunisia last week marked one decade since Ben Ali fled the country amid mass protests, ending 23 years in power.
Tunisia’s political leadership is divided, with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi waiting for parliament to confirm a major cabinet reshuffle announced last Saturday.