Daesh attack kills 8 regime loyalists in east Syria

Daesh attack kills 8 regime loyalists in east Syria
A Russian soldier stands guard as troops accompany a convoy of displaced Syrian civilians leaving for their homes in the northern town of Ain Issa in the countryside of the Raqqa region. (AFP)
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Updated 12 January 2021

Daesh attack kills 8 regime loyalists in east Syria

Daesh attack kills 8 regime loyalists in east Syria
  • More than 387,000 people have been killed and millions forced from their homes since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011

BEIRUT: Daesh terrorists killed at least eight regime loyalists in eastern Syria on Monday, the latest in a series of deadly extremist attacks, a Britain-based war monitor reported.
Five Syrian soldiers and three pro-regime militia fighters were among those killed in the Daesh attack on one of their positions in a desert region of Deir Ezzor province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Eleven others were wounded, some of them critically, meaning the death toll could climb, the war monitor added.
Daesh in 2014 overran large parts of Syria and Iraq and proclaimed a cross-border “caliphate” before multiple offensives in the two countries led to its territorial defeat.
The group was overcome in Syria in March 2019, but sleeper cells continue to launch attacks in the vast Badia desert spanning from central Syria eastwards to the border with Iraq.
Since the start of the year, Daesh sleeper cells have upped their attacks on regime forces, killing at least 44, including soldiers and foreign paramilitaries, the Observatory says.

FASTFACT

Since the start of the year, Daesh sleeper cells have upped their attacks on regime forces, killing at least 44, including soldiers and foreign paramilitaries, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

Among these, on Saturday, Daesh gunmen killed seven regime loyalists in the Deir Ezzor town of Al-Shola.
Another 15 Syrian troops have gone missing after a Daesh attack on regime forces in the central province of Hama on Friday, according to the Observatory.
Their bus was found torched at the weekend, but there was no sign of the men who are likely dead or held captive by jihadists, the monitor added. Syrian regime media did not report the incident.
In a separate incident last week, the Observatory said Daesh gunmen in central Syria had ambushed a bus carrying government soldiers as well as fuel tankers in another part of Hama province.
The ambush resulted in the deaths of eight soldiers, four allied fighters and three civilians, the Observatory said.
Daesh said it was behind a December 30 bus ambush in Deir Ezzor province, which killed at least 39 Syrian soldiers.
More than 387,000 people have been killed and millions forced from their homes since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011.


Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
This picture shows the Dome of the Rock at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Jerusalem's Old City on July 27, 2018, after the site was reopened. (AFP)
Updated 25 January 2021

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
  • Council set to denounce action that is ‘violation of understandings’

AMMAN: Israeli police have stopped workers from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf from renovating the Dome of the Rock for two consecutive days, raising tensions in the old city.

Azzam Khatib, director of the Jordanian Waqf department in Jerusalem, informed Jordan’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ghassan Majali and Minister of Waqf in Amman Mohammed Khalaileh of the news.

Israeli officials claim the decision was made after an individual tried to renovate the ceiling of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque, which Israel has demanded Muslims to vacate, without reason.

The Jerusalem Waqf Council is expected to issue a strong statement denouncing the Israeli action, calling it a violation of understandings.

Bassam Hallaq, the Waqf engineer in charge of the renovation, said that Israeli police stopped work on the gold-plated Dome of the Rock on Saturday and Sunday, and prevented urgent electric work, too.

Israel insists that any renovation or repair must be pre-approved. The renovation is not structural.

Arab News has learned that the Israeli actions on Saturday and Sunday followed the efforts of an unknown Palestinian whose face was covered, who climbed the roof of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque in order to apply cement to stop leaks.

Israel has forbidden any repair work on the mosque.

Hallaq said that all repair work in the entire Al-Aqsa compound has also been suspended by Israel.

The mosque’s engineer insists that the Waqf has no cement materials inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and that Friday was a holiday when staff did not work.

Sheikh Omar Kisswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters that repairs to the entire 144 dunum Haram Al-Sharif/Al-Aqsa mosque compound were the right of the Islamic Waqf and that the Israeli police have no right to interfere in their work.

A spokesman for the Israeli police told Arab News that the “subject isn’t under the responsibility of the Israeli police.”