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Syria war escalates: Russia strikes Idlib, Israel hits Hama and Tartus

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Syria war escalates: Russia strikes Idlib, Israel hits Hama and Tartus

Sergei Lavrov: US want to support Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib

Despite US President Donald Trump’s warning not to attack Syria’s north-western Idlib province, Russian jets struck at least 23 destinations around the opposition held province on Tuesday while, in an obvious retaliatory action, Israeli missiles targeted, what Tel Aviv described as, Iranian military positions in Hama and Tartus provinces in Syria.

According to London based The Telegraph, the rebels said the Russian strikes had mostly targeted military positions of the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Turkistan Islamic Party in the Jisr al-Shughour district, killing at least three civilians.

On Monday US President had warned the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies against “recklessly” attacking Idlib. In his tweet, Trump warned of “a grave humanitarian mistake” in which hundreds of people could be killed.

Read More: US Warns Syria, Russia, Iran Not To Attack Idlib

Syrian government forces have been, for weeks, amassing around Idlib for an assault on the last remaining militant held territory.

Syrian government spokesperson was quoted on Tuesday saying, “The government plan was to give the maximum possible chance for reconciliation but unfortunately there was no progress in this regards. The radicals are in control in Idlib.”

According to AFP report from Beirut, Israeli strikes on Tuesday targeted Iranian military positions.

Syrian official SANA news agency also reported that its air defence systems downed several missiles launched from Israeli warplanes. “The air defence system responded to an Israeli aggression carried out by aircraft… that targeted some of our military positions in the provinces of Tartus and Hama,” it said. One person was reportedly dead and four were wounded in the missile attack.

London based opposition controlled Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) chief Rami Abdel Rahman said that missiles struck Wadi al-Oyoun in the central province of Hama, near a scientific research centre, which was targeted by Israeli forces in July this year and last year.

Read More: Military officials from Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria meet in Baghdad

Rahman further said that Iranian military positions in coastal region of Banias in Tartus province were also targeted. “There was material damage,” he added.

Syria war escalates: Russia strikes Idlib, Israel hits Hama and Tartus

Meanwhile, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has stressed on Tuesday that only the Syrians can decide the future of their country, noting that the US behaviour towards the situation in Idlib indicates that Washington wants to protect Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation.

While talking to Russian 1 TV, he affirmed that the de-escalation zone in Idlib is the only zone where thousands of terrorists are positioned led by Jabhat-al-Nusra.

Syria war escalates: Russia strikes Idlib, Israel hits Hama and Tartus

In another major development Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, while addressing a conference in Herzilia on Tuesday said that Tel Aviv has launched hundreds of strikes against various targets inside Syria during last two years.

He said, “Only just now it was published — in the name of military sources, so I can quote it too — that in the last two years Israel has taken military action more than 200 times within Syria itself.”

Katz claimed that most of the targets belonged to Iran, saying, “Understand the significance of this matter in terms of preserving the red line, preventing the things that Iran has done, is doing and is trying to do against Israel from Syria.”

Israel began carrying out military strikes in Syria in 2013.

Syria and Iran have repeatedly rejected Israeli claims that Iran has military bases in Syria. Tehran says that it has been offering military advisory support at the request of the Damascus government.

Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami was in Damascus last week when he signed an agreement for defence and technical cooperation to ensure the continued presence and Iranian participation during Syria’s reconstruction.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem in a meeting in Damascus on Monday that the his country will continue to support Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.

Syria has been facing foreign-backed militancy, generally referred as civil war by western media, since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and it’s Western and regional allies are aiding the terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

In another development, Haaretz reports that Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, on Monday signalled that Israel could attack suspected military assets in Iraq as it has done with scores of airstrikes in Syria.

Last week, Reuters, citing Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources, had reported that Iran had transferred short range ballistic missiles to Iraq in recent months. However, Tehran and Baghdad have denied of such development.

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Trump shooter rejected by school shooting club for being really bad

He had slipped onto a rooftop 140 meters from the stage where Trump was speaking and began firing an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle.

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Thomas Matthew Crooks, the 20-year-old man, who tried to assassinate former US President Donald Trump, was rejected by the school shooting club for being a really bad shooter and making crass jokes, as per the reports.

The Trump shooter was shot dead by the US Secret Services when he attacked the 78-year-old Republican Presidential candidate at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania on July 13 evening. As Trump talked to a large crowd, a continuous gunfire broke out, causing widespread panic and prompting an immediate response from security personnel.

Crooks, who allegedly tried to assassinate former Trump, was a resident of Bethel Park, about an hour away from where the shocking shooting occurred, and he was a member of a local shooting club named Clairton Sportsmen’s Club. He was a high school student who was rejected from his high school’s rifle team for being a terrible shooter.

Crook was shot dead on Saturday, the Secret Service said in a statement. Afterward in the day, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) distinguished him as a Pennsylvanian man. He had slipped onto a rooftop 140 meters from the stage where Trump was speaking and began firing an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle. According to officials, the continued gunfire scuffed Trump’s right ear. The officials added that a 50-year-old man was killed in this incident, and two others were critically injured.

According to reports, Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2022. He received a $ 500-star award, from the National Math and Science Enterprise, officials also told that Crooks does not have a criminal history according to Pennsylvania’s public court records. Police added that they have not yet identified the official motive behind it.

An individual who claimed to be an eyewitness of the incident, in an interview with the international media, the individual said he and the individuals he was with began yelling at the man, attempting to alarm security. According to the security agency, the shots appeared to have come from outside the area secured by the Secret Service.

Addressing a conference, the FBI stated that they were still working through the security apparatus that the Secret Service had in place to understand what potentially happened. Kevin Rojek, the special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh office, remarked that it was able to fire multiple shots. He included that there is going to be a long examination into exactly what took put and how the person was able to get to the area, what type of weapon he had.

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Donald Trump survives assassination attempt, bullet pierces his right ear

The dead gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, aged 20, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

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Former US President Donald Trump was immediately rushed offstage to his motorcade, with blood visible on his right ear and streaking across his cheek after gunshots erupted at a rally in Pennsylvania in an apparent assassination attempt on Saturday evening.

According to US Secret Services, the former President was injured in a volley of gunfire at 6.15 pm from an elevated position outside the venue. The gunfire erupted a few minutes after Trump began his speech at a rally of supporters in Butler, a rural town in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The available witnesses and footage suggested around eight shots were fired at Trump. The footage also showed him grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.

Following the incident, the US Secret Service officers neutralised the suspect at the scene. The agency’s spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that one bystander was killed in the shooting and two others were critically injured.

The US Secret Service, which is responsible for shielding current and former presidents, said the suspected shooter had fired multiple shots towards the stage and that the assailant was now dead.

The dead gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, aged 20, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

The former US President Trump, in a post to his Truth Social network, said a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. Earlier, his spokesperson informed that he was receiving treatment at a local medical centre.

In a post, Trump said he knew immediately that something was wrong in that he claimed that he heard a whizzing sound, and shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Trump further wrote that much bleeding took place, so he realized then what was happening.

The incident received condemnation from across the US political spectrum, with President Joe Biden, who spoke to Trump late on Saturday, describing the incident as sick and said the reason why the US needs to be united. There’s no place in America for this kind of violence, Biden asserted.

International leaders also have denounced the act of violence, with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer saying, he was appalled by the shocking scenes. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would pray for President Trump’s speedy recovery. There were conflicting reports about the cause of Trump’s injury.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, also expressed his concern over the assassination attempt on former US President Trump and said violence has no place in politics and democracies.

PM Modi wished him a speedy recovery. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, those injured and the American people”, he added. 

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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