Car blast hits Syrian port city of Latakia

A car bomb on Saturday hit the Syrian port city of Latakia with reports of injuries, the Lebanese Hezbollah group’s al Manar television station and a monitor said. The television station flashed that an explosive laden car caused the blast in the Tashreen district of the city that lies in the mountainous heartland of President Bashar al Assad’s minority Alawite sect. It cited casualties but gave no details. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported an explosion in the city saying it was likely caused by a car blast and said there were several injuries, with some in critical condition. The Russian military in Syria is primarily based in Latakia, controlling a large sea port for it’s navy […]

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Shell lifts its first crude cargo from Libya in 5 years

Royal Dutch Shell has lifted a cargo of 600,000 barrels of crude oil from Libya’s Zueitina port, its first from the war-torn north African country in 5 years, two industry sources told Reuters on Saturday. “Libya is a significant resource holder and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd (STASCO) has a history marketing Libyan crudes,” a Shell spokesperson said. “We welcome new business opportunities with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). However, we don’t comment on specific trading deals,” the spokesperson added.

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Lebanese army, Hezbollah declare offensives on Daesh at Syrian border

The Lebanese army launched an offensive on Saturday against a Daesh enclave on the northeast border with Syria as the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah announced an assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the frontier. The Lebanese army operation got underway at 5 am (0200 GMT), targeting Daesh positions near the town of Ras Baalbek with rockets, artillery and helicopters, a Lebanese security source said. The area is the last part of the Lebanese-Syrian frontier under insurgent control. The operation by Hezbollah and the Syrian army targeted the area across the border in the western Qalamoun region of Syria. A Hezbollah statement said the group was meeting its pledge to “remove the terrorist threat at the borders of […]

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UN: Yemen violence worsening, more access to north needed

Top United Nations officials on Friday warned violence in Yemen was worsening and greater access was needed to the Houthi rebel-held north, particularly through the key Red Sea port of Hodeidah. UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien slammed Yemen’s government and a Saudi-led military coalition for “unilaterally denying or excessively delaying entry to vessels carrying essential cargo” to the port. “It is simply wrong to insist these cargoes go to Aden, not Hodeidah,” O’Brien told the UN Security Council, appealing for countries to back a UN mechanism that started inspecting commercial shipments to rebel-held ports in May last year. The United Nations has worked to avert attacks on Hodeidah port, where around 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive. The Saudi-led […]

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Speaker of Iraqi parliament unveils new political party

The Speaker of the Iraqi parliament announced on Friday the launch of his new political party, Anadolu has reported. Salim Al-Jubouri made the announcement at a press conference in Baghdad. “The Civil Rally for Reform,” he explained, “will seek to develop effective policies aimed at finding real solutions to the political, economic and social problems facing the Iraqi state and people.” Al-Jubouri cited terrorism, displacement, unbridled emigration, poverty, unemployment, corruption and a lack of public services as the main problems now confronting Iraq. Describing the new party as “democratic with conservative leanings,” the parliamentary official asserted that his party is taking the first step on a long road that will bring people together to serve Iraqis, Iraqi society and the […]

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Civilians in Yemen have been targeted, reveal leaked emails

A new set of leaked emails sent by the UAE ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, have revealed that the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen has targeted civilian sites, and that such attacks are damaging his country’s image in America. In an email sent to officials in the government of the UAE two years ago, Al-Otaiba expressed his concern about the continued targeting of civilians in the war-torn country and its repercussions on the Gulf state’s relationship with Washington, describing the situation as a nightmare. At the time, he explained, the Obama administration was still showing its support reluctantly and pointed out that the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen was damaging the reputation of the United States and thus putting the […]

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