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Syria: 40 people killed in airstrikes, US intelligence provides information to Israel



A report published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Wednesday confirmed that the death toll from the Israeli raids in Syria last night “rose to at least 40 with 37 injuries.”

Nine Syrian regime soldiers and 31 non-Syrian militiamen affiliated with Iran were killed in Israeli raids that targeted soldier camps and ammunition and weapons warehouses. The camps and warehouses were under the control of the regime forces, Lebanese Hezbollah, Iranian forces and their proxy militias, mainly the Fatemiyoun Brigade, located in the area between Deir ez-Zor and the Syria-Iraq border in Al-Bukamal desert.

SOHR added: “Israel targeted Ayyash warehouses, the Sa’ka camp, the 137th Brigade, the mountain overlooking Deir ez-Zor, and other positions on the outskirts of the city with more than ten strikes, leading to the destruction of warehouses and military sites, in addition to the deaths of 16 persons, including nine regime soldiers and several non-Syrian fighters loyal to Iran.”

The occupation launched six raids on sites and warehouses of ammunition and weapons in Al-Bukamal desert, resulting in the deaths of 11 non-Syrian militiamen affiliated with Iran, in addition to substantial material damage. Military sites and warehouses in Al-Mayadeen desert were also attacked twice with missiles, leading to 13 deaths among foreign fighters loyal to Iran.

READ: Lebanon, Israel reject moving maritime border talks to Europe

SOHR described these Israeli raids as: “The most intense attacks targeting the Syrian territory, while no response or attempt to intercept the Israeli missiles by the regime’s air defence was reported, noting that Deir ez-Zor, which was bombed several times, is under Russia’s control.”

A senior US intelligence official who knew about the Israeli raid in Syria before dawn on Wednesday told Associated Press that the airstrikes were carried out based on intelligence information provided by the US, and targeted warehouses in Syria that were being used as part of a circuit to store and supply Iranian arms.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the warehouses served as a pipeline for materials supporting Iran’s nuclear program, confirming that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed details of the raids with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen in Washington on Monday.

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Asia & Americas

Al-Arabiya TV: Saudi minister optimistic US ties will be ‘excellent’ under Biden



Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has voiced optimism that relations between Riyadh and Washington will be “excellent” under new US President Joe Biden, Al-Arabiya TV channel cited him as saying on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Appointments made by Biden show “understanding of the common issues” by the new US administration, Prince Faisal bin Farhan added, according to Twitter posts by the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based TV channel.

“The Biden administration will find that our targets regarding Yemen are the same,” Al-Arabiya quoted him as saying.

READ: Biden administration to declassify report about Khashoggi murder

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group after it seized the capital Sanaa.

Biden pledged during his election campaign to reassess ties with Saudi Arabia, demanding more accountability over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and calling for an end to US support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab monarchies have long been allies of the United States, sharing the objective of protecting oil supplies from the Gulf region and containing Iran.

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Baghdad bombing sparks global condemnation



Condemnations are pouring in from across the world over twin suicide bombings in Iraq’s capital Baghdad that killed at least 32 people and wounded 110 others.

The attack rocked a busy commercial market in Baghdad when two suicide bombers detonated explosives they were carrying near al-Tayaran Square, the Iraqi Health Ministry said.

The Turkish Embassy in Baghdad strongly condemned the bombing affirming Turkey’s stand with Iraq.

Turkey’s Ambassador in Baghdad Fatih Yildiz tweeted: “I strongly condemn the dehumanized groups that today showed their ugly face in Baghdad again after a long period of time.”

The Turkish diplomat prayed for the victims and wished quick recovery for the wounded, asserting that “Turkey, as usual, is always beside you.”

Iraq: Twin suicide bombings hit central Baghdad

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bombing and offered condolences to the families of the victims, according to the official Wafa news agency.

“We stand in solidarity with Iraq, the president, the government and the people, as a result of the heinous terrorist act that targeted defenseless innocent people,” Abbas said.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the bombing stressing support for Iraq in the face of everything threatening its security.

In a statement, the ministry spokesman, Dhaifallah Al-Fayez, described the bombing as a “cowardly terrorist act that aims to destabilize security and stability and contradicts with religious and humanitarian values ​​and principles.”

The Qatari Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the bombing in the capital, Baghdad, reiterating Doha’s firm position on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and causes.

In a statement, the ministry offered condolences to the families of the victims and the government and people of Iraq, and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

For its part, Egypt condemned the bombing, expressing its sincere condolences and sympathy to the brotherly Iraqi government and people for the victims of this “disgraceful act of terrorism”, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.

Iraq DM warns of ‘civil war’ if attacks on diplomatic missions do not stop

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry affirmed in a statement that it “stands by brotherly Iraq in its endeavors to maintain security and stability and confront all forms of terrorism and extremism.”

Canada’s Ambassador in Baghdad Ulric Shannon strongly condemned the bombing describing it as a “disgusting event.”

“It is with great sadness and sorrow that I received the news of the terrorist attack in the Bab Al Sharqi region,” he said. “I wish the wounded a speedy recovery, mercy and forgiveness for the martyrs.”

The international coalition against ISIS (Daesh) called the Baghdad attack another example of terrorists killing Iraqis and harming those seeking peace.

It affirmed to continue its support for the Iraqi government to achieve security and stability.

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