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Syrian Forces Recapture Areas in Dara’a, Civilians Flee



Syrian Forces Recapture Areas in Dara’a, Civilians Flee

UN Chief calls for immediate cessation of army operations

The Syrian government forces have managed to regain control over several towns and villages in the strategic southern Dara’a Province and killed scores of remaining terrorists. Israel has raised alert level in occupied two-thirds of  Golan Heights, under its occupation since six-day war in 1987.

According to Syrian official SANA news agency’s Friday report, the army has retaken al-Herak, Rakham, al-Soura, Alma, al-Mliha al-Sharqia and al-Mliha al-Gharbia in Dara’a countryside.

The Syrian military’s engineering units later started combing the area in order to dismantle mines and IEDs planted by terrorists before they fled towards neighbouring areas. Army would continue its operations in Dara’a until the eradication of terrorism; a military official was reported saying.

A Syrian war correspondent reported that the army units secured the families in their houses and enhanced military points in the liberated villages and towns to use them as a launch pad for continued military operations “to eradicate terrorist presence” in the entire Dara’a province.

Read More: US airstrikes on Syrian army near Daesh frontline

Meanwhile AFP reports that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a new call on Friday for ‘an immediate cessation” to military operations in southwest Syria “where the government forces are attacking rebel-held areas”.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN chief, said in a statement that Guterres is “deeply alarmed by the military offensive in south-western Syria and its devastating toll on civilians.”

Syrian Forces Recapture Areas in Dara’a, Civilians Flee

He further said, “The secretary-general recalls that the southwest area of Syria is part of a de-escalation agreement between Jordan, Russia and the United States. Guterres calls on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law to protect civilians and facilitate safe, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access.”

Read More: Iraqi jets hit Daesh targets in Syrian territory

On June 19, the head of the world body made a similar call after Syrian forces began attacking opposition-held parts of Dara’a province.

Separately, SANA reported that foreign-backed militants in the villages of Um Walad, Jbib and al-Aslaha in Dara’a’s eastern countryside had agreed to lay down arms and reconcile with the Syrian government.

A Syrian military commander, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, stressed that the army’s gains had left the anti-Damascus militants with “no choice” but to surrender. “The terrorist groups are heading towards settlement and reconciliation,” he added.

Read More: Bashar say US, French, Turks, Israeli troops occupying Syria

In another development, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the head of UN Human Right Commission, has on Friday, warned of a looming “catastrophe” in southern Syria as it raised the number of people fleeing a fierce government offensive to 160,000.

He said that there was a “grave risk that intensified fighting will see many civilians trapped”, condemning “[how] civilians in Syria continue to be used a s pawns by the various parties”.

Qatar based Al-Jazeera network, which has been allegedly supportive of the Syria’s rebel forces, reports, “With backing by Russian air support, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have retaken territory and continue to progress southwards where the last pocket of opposition remains”.

Read More: Israel and Syria exchange most extensive missile strikes

Israel’s leading newspaper Jerusalem Post has reported that fleeing Syrians near the Golan have pleaded for Israel’s help. It said that a child held a sign reading “Assad, ISIS, Iran and Hezbollah gangsters are the heads of terrorism in the world”.

It referred to a video post, having a doctors’ speech along with a dozen men and children holding signs calling help from Israel and the US, saying they had been abandoned by the world. One of the signs requested that the UN forces return to their bases near the demilitarized zone between Israeli forces and Syria.

Jerusalem Post further reports, “Up to 60,000 civilians have fled fighting in southern Syria in the last week as the Syrian regime, backed by Russian airpower, has launched a major offensive. Thousands arrived at the border with Israel over the last 48 hours.” It further said that Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has “delivered 300 tents and tons of food and humanitarian supplies for children on Thursday night”.

Syrian Forces Recapture Areas in Dara’a, Civilians Flee

In another important development, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, in an exclusive interview with British Channel 4, on Friday said that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad isn’t just defending Syria, he is defending the entire region against terrorism.

SANA reports that Lavrov said that Assad is defending Syria’s sovereignty and unity, and on a wider scale he is defending the entire region against terrorism.

Read More: Saudi Crown Prince, Trump Together Staring At Syrian Exit Door

According to Russian official TASS news agency, Lavrov also said that Moscow sets no artificial deadlines for the withdrawal of its troops from Syria as this process depends on the situation on the ground. He said, “We don’t like artificial deadlines. We have been consistently reducing our military presence in Syria”.

Speaking about the situation in southern region in Syria, Russian top diplomat said, “Some remnants o f ISIL (Daesh) are still there. Jabhat al-Nusra is still there. They are now preventing the deal on Syria’s southern de-escalation area to be implemented fully.”

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had withdrawn 13 warplanes, 14 helicopters and 1,140 troops from Syria in the past few days.

Russian has supported the internationally recognised government headed by Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, politically with military aid, and since September 2015 through direct military involvement.

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Suicide bombing near Turkey Parliament building in Ankara, 2 cops injured

Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the attack in Ankara and stated that terrorism is a crime against humanity.



Suicide bombing near Turkey Parliament building in Ankara, 2 cops injured

Turkey’s interior minister Ali Yerlikaya on Sunday asserted that two terrorists carried out a bomb attack in front of the ministry buildings in Ankara. He added that one of them died in the explosion and the other was “neutralised” by authorities there.

Earlier, Turkish media reported that an explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street near the Interior Ministry. A footage from Reuters showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks and an armoured vehicle gathered near the centre of Turkey’s capital, where the police have blocked multiple key roads.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister, said that two police officers were slightly injured in the incident at 9:30 a.m. He added that two terrorists came with a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of their Ministry of Internal Affairs and carried out a bomb attack.

The interior minister further mentioned that one of the terrorists blew himself up and the other was neutralised, which usually means was killed. He noted that their struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised.

Reports said that Ankara’s chief prosecutor initiated an investigation into what it also called a terrorist attack. Authorities did not identify any specific militant group, as yet.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the attack in Ankara and stated that terrorism is a crime against humanity. The leader of the Republican People’s Party mentioned that no matter from whom and where it came from, they will fight it together as a country and will never give treacherous ambitions a chance.

The concerned authorities in Ankara have cautioned the citizens over suspicious packages and bags that are being detonated in a controlled manner. Ankara Security Directorate asked citizens not to panic.

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Balochistan blast: Pakistan alleges India’s involvement in suicide attack, toll rises to 60

Sarfaraz Bugti told media that civil, military and all other institution will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing.



Balochistan blast: Pakistan alleges India’s involvement in suicide attack, toll rises to 60

Pakistan interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti in a shocking claim alleged India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency for the suicide blast in Balochistan. The blast that took place on Friday claimed the lives of nearly 60 people, leaving 60 others injured. The Indian government, on the other hand, is yet to make an official statement on Sarfaraz Bugti’s allegations. 

The suicide bomb attack targeted a procession which gathered to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday near the Madina Masjid at a place called Mastung. The blast tore through the mosque in the southern province of Balochistan after the bomber denoted his explosive near a police vehicle where the people gathered for the procession. 

Sarfaraz Bugti told media at Quetta that civil, military and all other institution will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing. Without providing much details or evidence, the Pakistan minister claimed that RAW is involved in the suicide attack.

Wasim Baig, the spokesman for Balochistan’s health department, asserted that seven more people had died in hospital since Friday, which had caused the rise in the death toll. He added that more patients remained in critical condition.

In addition, a second attack on Friday at a mosque in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had killed nearly five people. Police on Saturday lodged a report to initiate an investigation, mentioning that they had sent DNA from the suicide bomb attacker to be analysed.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for either attack. A surge in terror attacks in Pakistan’s western provinces has cast a shadow on preparations and public campaigning in the run-up to January’s general elections, but until now the attacks had mostly targeted security forces.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP), which is responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan since the group’s formation in 2007, denied responsibility for Friday’s blasts. On Saturday, a statement from the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) said that an FIR with murder charges and terrorism offences has been registered against an unidentified attacker. 

The caretaker government of Balochistan announced three days of mourning in the wake of the attack.

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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mahmood Qureshi held guilty in cipher case

The PTI leaders’ trial has been requested by the FIA, and it is expected that they would be sentenced in accordance with the law.



Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were found guilty on Saturday by Pakistan’s top investigating agency in the cypher case, a case involving the alleged exposure of state secrets.

The charge sheet against Khan, the Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman, and Qureshi, who are both presently being held in custody on judicial remand, was submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to a special court set up under the Official Secrets Act, according to the Pakistan Observer website.

Imran Khan, 70, was detained last month following the filing of a complaint against him for allegedly breaking the Official Secrets Act by revealing a covert diplomatic cable (cypher) issued by the nation’s embassy in Washington last year in March.

The PTI leaders’ trial has been requested by the FIA, and it is expected that they would be sentenced in accordance with the law.

The vice chairman of PTI is 75-year-old Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Asad Umar, the former general secretary of the PTI, is not on the FIA’s list of suspects, but former principal secretary Azam Khan has been portrayed as a key witness in the FIA’s case against Imran Khan, according to GeoTV, a well-known news outlet. The challan also contains Azam Khan’s statement recorded under sections 161 and 164.

The speeches by Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Imran Khan from March 27 are also included in the FIA’s attachment.

The Pakistan Observer further noted that the FIA had provided the court with a list of 28 witnesses in addition to the charge sheet. According to the report, the list of witnesses includes names such as current foreign secretary Asad Majid, previous foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood, and additional foreign secretary Faisal Niaz Tirmizi.

Imran Khan had been imprisoned on remand three times earlier on September 26. Along with Qureshi, his judicial remand was initially extended until September 13 and then again until September 26.

The former PM was transferred from Attock prison to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on the same day, one day after the Islamabad High Court instructed authorities to do so.

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