7 Lebanese paramedics killed in Israeli attack on ambulance station

Special 7 Lebanese paramedics killed in Israeli attack on ambulance station
A man stands next to a damaged ambulance and a car at the site of an overnight Israeli air strike in Hebbariyeh, near the Israeli border, Mar. 27, 2024. (AFP)
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Updated 27 March 2024
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7 Lebanese paramedics killed in Israeli attack on ambulance station

7 Lebanese paramedics killed in Israeli attack on ambulance station
  • Communities ‘paying in blood for confronting the Zionist project,’ MP says
  • Factory worker killed in Upper Galilee in retaliatory attack by Hezbollah

BEIRUT: An Israeli airstrike on a paramedics center linked to a Muslim group in south Lebanon killed seven workers and triggered a retaliatory rocket attack on northern Israel that left one person dead on Wednesday.

The strike on the village of Hebbariyeh, in the Arqoub area of Hasbaya district, came amid heavy bombardment along the border from both the Israeli military and Hezbollah.

As of March 19, Lebanon had lodged 22 complaints against Israel with the UN Security Council since the start of the attacks on its territory. These document “Israel’s violations of Security Council Resolution 1701” and call on Security Council members to “condemn these attacks, curb Israel’s violations of Lebanese sovereignty and prevent the outbreak of a large-scale regional war,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The seven paramedics worked for the Lebanese Succor Association. All were aged under 30 and several were relatives. They were identified as: Abdallah Atoui, Mohammed Al-Farouk Atoui, Bara’ Abu Kais, Abderrahmane Shaar, Hussein Shaar, Ahmed Shaar and Mohammed Hammoud.

Several other people were injured in the strike, which leveled the center in which the medics were working. The attack was met with widespread condemnation by politicians and the public.

The Israeli Army said it “targeted a military building affiliated with the Islamic Group in Habbariyeh, targeting an armed individual who had a role in planning attacks against Israeli territory and was associated with the Islamic medical group. The target was eliminated along with other armed individuals in the building.”

The Islamic Group, however, denied any connection to the center. Its media office said: “The Lebanese Succor Association center targeted by the Israeli airstrike is its own entity and is not affiliated with the Islamic Group.”

Under the wing of Hezbollah, the group has engaged in military operations against Israel on the southern Lebanese front since Oct. 8.

Hezbollah said that at 8 a.m. it retaliated to the Israeli strike by “bombing the Kiryat Shmona settlement and the 769th Brigade Command in the Kiryat Shmona barracks with dozens of rockets.”

Israeli news sites reported that more than 30 rockets were launched from southern Lebanon at locations in Galilee. A 38-year-old worker was killed and several others injured when a factory in Upper Galilee was hit.

Hezbollah said they also conducted a successful artillery strike on Israeli military deployments near the Shtola settlement and Ruwaisat Al-Alam site in the occupied Kfar Shuba hills, attacked an infantry force located within Ramim forest and hit spy equipment at the Miskav Am camp using “sniper weapons.”

The fighting on Wednesday came after Israeli drones killed two Hezbollah members in a strike on the Hermel region in the Bekaa Valley on Tuesday, the furthest incursion to date from Lebanon’s southern border.

Qasim Hashem, a politician from Lebanon’s Development and Liberation bloc, told Arab News: “What the Zionist enemy committed is a continuation of a criminal path that extends from Palestine to Lebanon.

“Today, Habbariyeh and Arqoub are paying in blood for confronting the Zionist project that began 75 years ago. Arqoub is at the forefront of the confrontation due to factors of history, geography, identity and belonging.”

Agriculture Minister Abbas Al-Hajj Hassan denounced the killing of “the ambulance men who were in their station to ensure the rescue of our people from the dangers of an enemy who only understands the language of murder and bloodshed.”

Environment Minister Nasser Yassin said: “The Hebbariyeh massacre is blatant evidence of Israel’s criminality and its failure to adhere to international humanitarian law, which grants immunity and protection to health and emergency care facilities.”

Wael Abu Faour, from the Democratic Gathering bloc, said: “The crime shows the enemy’s criminal behavior, resembling what is happening in Gaza and all of Palestine and their belief that they are above the law.”

Politician Bilal Abdullah said the killings were “the Zionist response to the Security Council’s ceasefire resolution in the Gaza Strip.”

Fellow member of parliament Ali Asseiran said: “Israel is repeating its dark history, and our state should file a complaint against Israel at the Security Council to condemn them for the terrible massacre they committed.”

The Progressive Socialist Party said: “Israeli madness has reached the point of bombing a health center and killing volunteers for humanitarian work.”

The Iranian Embassy in Lebanon, in its first comments on the Israeli attacks, said: “The occupation’s targeting of the medical center in Hebbariyeh is part of its aggressive and brutal policy.”


16 sailors missing after Yemen-bound oil tanker capsizes off Oman

16 sailors missing after Yemen-bound oil tanker capsizes off Oman
Updated 12 sec ago
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16 sailors missing after Yemen-bound oil tanker capsizes off Oman

16 sailors missing after Yemen-bound oil tanker capsizes off Oman
  • Maritime Security Center in Oman said that 13 Indians and three Sri Lankans are missing from the Prestige Falcon
  • Indian Navy’s warship INS Teg is participating in the search operation alongside Omani vessels

AL-MUKALLA: Search operations have escalated for 16 seamen who went missing in the Arabian Sea on Monday when their oil tanker, bound for Yemen, sunk off Oman.

The Maritime Security Center in Oman said on Tuesday that 13 Indians and three Sri Lankans are missing from the Prestige Falcon, a Comoros-flagged oil tanker that collapsed 25 nautical miles southeast of Ras Madrakah near the Omani port town of Duqm.

The Indian news agency Asian News International reported that the Indian Navy’s warship INS Teg is participating in the search operation alongside Omani vessels and coast guards to find the missing sailors. The Indian Navy warship was able to locate the capsized tanker on Tuesday morning.

According to marinetraffic.com, which provides ship information, the Prestige Falcon is an oil tanker flying the Comoros flag, and which was going from the UAE to Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. In Yemen, the state-run Public Electricity Corporation in Aden said that the capsized ship was carrying 5,000 tonnes of fuel owned by a local merchant, contradicting media reports claiming that it controlled the ship’s cargo.

This comes as the Conflict and Environment Observatory, an environmental advocacy charity, stated that images provided by the Sentinel 2 satellite on Tuesday showed a 220 km oil slick beginning 106 nautical miles from Yemen’s Red Sea city of Hodeidah, which was believed leaked from the Liberia-flagged oil tanker Chios Lion that the Houthis attacked.

On Tuesday, the Houthis released footage of an explosive-laden and remotely operated boat colliding with the Chios Lion in the Red Sea, which was traveling 100 nautical miles northwest of Hodeidah on Monday, resulting in an explosion and ball of fire. The CEOBS condemned the Houthis for damaging the Red Sea’s ecosystem by assaulting oil vessels. “Attacks have already impacted the Red Sea environment and attacks on oil and bulk chemical carriers pose ongoing risks,” it said in a post on X.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s government said that it had found no evidence of contamination in the Red Sea or along the country’s coast from a fertilizer-laden ship that sank in the Red Sea, repeating appeals for the international community to provide it with technology to neutralize the ship’s danger. The MV Rubymar, a Belize-flagged and Lebanese-operated ship carrying thousands of tons of fertilizer and gasoline, sank in the Red Sea earlier this year after being attacked by Houthi missiles.

Capt. Yeslem Mubarak, vice executive chairman of the Maritime Affairs Authority and a member of the government’s commission responsible for the sinking ship, told Arab News that the Yemeni government teams who visited the ship’s area and combed the Yemeni coasts had not observed any signs of pollution.

He also said that the Yemeni government had requested equipment from some nations, including a remotely operated underwater vehicle, to address the MV Rubymar sinking or any similar incident in the future as the Houthis intensify their attacks on ships. “So yet, there is no pollution or slicks surrounding the ship, and it remains bowed up, indicating that water has not infiltrated all of its compartments,” he said.

Since November, the Houthis have seized a commercial ship, sunk two others, fired hundreds of ballistic missiles and deployed drones and drone boats to attack commercial and naval ships in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The Yemeni militia sees this as an attempt to pressure Israel to end its war in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.


Iran rejects accusations implicating it in plot to kill Donald Trump

Iran rejects accusations implicating it in plot to kill Donald Trump
Updated 28 min 27 sec ago
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Iran rejects accusations implicating it in plot to kill Donald Trump

Iran rejects accusations implicating it in plot to kill Donald Trump
  • CNN has reported US authorities received intelligence weeks ago on an alleged Iranian plot
  • Iran’s mission to the United Nations calls the accusations “unsubstantiated and malicious”

TEHRAN: Iran on Wednesday rejected what it called “malicious” accusations by US media implicating it in a plot to kill former US president Donald Trump.
CNN reported Tuesday that US authorities received intelligence from a “human source” weeks ago on an alleged Iranian plot against the former president, prompting his protection to be boosted. Other US outlets also reported the alleged plot.
CNN said the alleged plot was not linked to Saturday’s shooting at a Trump campaign rally in Pennsylvania, in which the former president was wounded and a supporter killed.
The US National Security Council said it had been “tracking Iranian threats against former Trump administration officials for years” after Tehran threatened revenge for the 2020 killing of Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in neighboring Iraq.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations called the accusations “unsubstantiated and malicious.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said Iran “strongly rejects any involvement in the recent armed attack against Trump.”
He added however that Iran remains “determined to prosecute Trump over his direct role in the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani.”
Soleimani headed the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, overseeing Iranian military operations across the Middle East.
Trump ordered his killing in a drone strike just outside Baghdad airport.


Bystander killed as armed groups clash in Libya seaside town

Security personnel affiliated with the Ministry of Interior secure the streets after clashes between armed factions in Tripoli.
Security personnel affiliated with the Ministry of Interior secure the streets after clashes between armed factions in Tripoli.
Updated 17 July 2024
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Bystander killed as armed groups clash in Libya seaside town

Security personnel affiliated with the Ministry of Interior secure the streets after clashes between armed factions in Tripoli.
  • “The woman died after being hit in the head” by a stray bullet, emergency services spokesman Oussama Ali told Al-Ahrar television
  • Libyan media reported that the clashes broke out after fighters of one armed group detained a member of a rival group

TRIPOLI: Armed groups clashed in a seaside town outside the Libyan capital late Tuesday, killing a woman bystander and sowing panic among beachgoers, emergency services and media reports said.
The fighting erupted in Tajura, a town 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Tripoli which is popular with families seeking escape from the heat of the capital.
“The woman died after being hit in the head” by a stray bullet, emergency services spokesman Oussama Ali told Al-Ahrar television.
Libyan media reported that the clashes broke out after fighters of one armed group detained a member of a rival group.
A myriad of armed groups have vied for control of the North African country ever since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
Although relative calm has returned in the past few years, clashes periodically occur between rival groups, most of which are allied with either the UN-recognized government in Tripoli or the rival administration based in the east.
Clashes broke out in Zawiya, west of the capital, in May and in Tripoli itself in April.
In August last year, 55 people were killed in the fiercest clashes to hit the capital in a year.


Drones target Iraq base housing US-led coalition: security sources

Drones target Iraq base housing US-led coalition: security sources
Updated 17 July 2024
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Drones target Iraq base housing US-led coalition: security sources

Drones target Iraq base housing US-led coalition: security sources
  • The attack comes amid escalating regional tensions fueled by the war in Gaza between Washington’s ally Israel and the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas
  • The US military has some 2,500 troops deployed in Iraq and 900 in Syria with the international coalition

BAGHDAD: Two drones were launched against a base in Iraq where forces of the US-led anti-extremist coalition are stationed, security officials said Wednesday.
“An attack using two drones” targeted Ain Assad base in Anbar province on Tuesday evening, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
“One drone was shot down outside the base by defense systems, and the second exploded inside the base without causing any injuries or damage,” he added.
The attack comes amid escalating regional tensions fueled by the war in Gaza between Washington’s ally Israel and Hamas.
Iran-backed armed groups in Iraq have largely halted similar attacks on US-backed troops in recent months, but have continued to threaten action should war break out between their ally Hezbollah in Lebanon and Israel.
A senior security official in Baghdad confirmed Tuesday’s attack, saying he believed it was meant to “embarrass” the Iraqi government and pressure the ongoing talks on the future of the international coalition in Iraq, with Iran-backed groups demanding a withdrawal.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The US military has some 2,500 troops deployed in Iraq and 900 in Syria with the international coalition.
The coalition was deployed to Iraq at the government’s request in 2014 to help combat Daesh, which had taken over vast swathes of Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose alliance of Iran-backed groups, has carried out more than 175 rocket and drone strikes against US-led troops in Iraq and Syria.
It says the attacks are in solidarity with the Palestinians amid the ongoing war in Gaza, demanding an end to the Israeli offensive.
In April, rocket fire from northern Iraq targeted a base hosting the international coalition in Syria.
In late January, a drone strike blamed on Iraqi armed groups killed three US soldiers in a base across the border in Jordan.
In retaliation, the US launched deadly strikes against pro-Iran factions in Iraq and Syria.
Baghdad has sought to defuse the tensions, engaging in talks with Washington to negotiate a timeline for the coalition’s withdrawal.
The senior security official said that an Iraqi delegation is expected to travel to Washington later this week for the ongoing talks.


Israel’s defense minister says Gaza operations allow hostage deal

Israel’s defense minister says Gaza operations allow hostage deal
Updated 17 July 2024
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Israel’s defense minister says Gaza operations allow hostage deal

Israel’s defense minister says Gaza operations allow hostage deal

JERUSALEM: Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his US counterpart that military operations in the Gaza Strip have created conditions that would enable a hostage deal to be reached, Gallant’s office said on Wednesday.
Gallant made the comments during an overnight call with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, his office said.
“IDF operations in Gaza have led to the conditions necessary to achieve an agreement for the return of hostages, which is the highest moral imperative at this time,” Gallant said, according to the statement.