05242016Tue
Last update: Tue, 24 May 2016 08pm

Middle East

World - Middle East

Russia in first raids on Syria's Aleppo since truce: monitor BEIRUT: Russian warplanes hit a key rebel supply route to Aleppo on Sunday in Moscow's first strikes on Syria's battleground second city since a February ceasefire, a monitoring group said. "The Russian and Syrian warplanes together carried out at least 40 air strikes on the Castello road," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. "They are the heaviest air strikes there since February, and they are also the first confirmed Russian strikes since the truce began," Abdel Rahman said.The violence wracking Aleppo city over the past month has killed some 300 civilians and left world powers scrambling to save the fragile truce brokered by the United States and Russia nearly three months ago. The northern city -- once Syria's commercial powerhouse -- is divided between rebel groups in the east and regime forces in the west. The Castello road is a key supply route for rebels leading ...

World - Middle East

US, allies conduct 25 strikes against Islamic State: military WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies targeted Islamic State militants with 18 strikes in Iraq and seven in Syria on Friday, the US military said.Four of the strikes in Iraq were near Mosul, hitting four Islamic State tactical units and three vehicles, the statement said.In Syria, four of the strikes were near Ar Raqqah and hit an Islamic State weapons cache and checkpoint, it added. Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...

World - Middle East

Israel defence minister resigns in spat with Netanyahu JERUSALEM: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon announced his resignation on Friday, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his post to hardliner Avigdor Lieberman to expand his governing coalition."I told the prime minister this morning that due to his conduct in recent developments, and in light of my lack of trust in him, I am resigning from the government and Knesset (parliament) and taking a break from political life," the former armed forces chief of staff ...

World - Middle East

US leads 17 strikes against Islamic State: statement WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies staged 17 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Wednesday in their latest daily attacks against the militant group, the coalition leading the operations said.In a statement released on Thursday, the Combined Joint Task Force said 14 strikes in Iraq hit targets near nine cities, including Mosul, Kisik and Falluja, among others.The strikes hit seven of the militant's tactical units as well as two fighting positions, ...

World - Middle East

Russia backs Syrian army against terrorism: Lavrov VIENNA: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted Tuesday that Moscow is not wedded to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, but is backing his army against the Islamic State group"We don't support Assad, we support the fight against terrorism," Lavrov argued, after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Vienna."On the ground we don't see any more real and efficient force than the Syrian army, even given all its weaknesses," he told reporters.Copyright AFP (Agence ...

World - Middle East

World Food Programme to drop aid into besieged Syria towns: Kerry VIENNA: World powers on Tuesday called on the United Nations to carry out air drops over besieged areas in Syria as regime blockades in rebel-held areas were stopping all food and medical aid in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions."Starting on June 1, if the UN is denied humanitarian access to any of these designated areas, the International Syria Support calls on the World Food Programme to immediately carry out a programme for air bridges ...

World - Middle East

IS blasts rock Syria gas field: monitor BEIRUT: Powerful blasts rocked a key gas field in central Syria on Monday, with a monitor saying they were caused by the Islamic State group blowing up pumping stations.The Shaer gas field -- one of the biggest in the central province of Homs -- has been the site of fierce fighting between IS militants and Syrian government loyalists."There were three huge explosions there carried out by IS on Monday," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the ...