Posts tagged Attacks
Posts tagged Attacks
French troops launched their first ground assault against Islamist rebels in Mali on Wednesday in a broadening of their operation against battle-hardened al Qaeda-linked fighters who have resisted six days of air strikes.
France has called for international support against Islamist insurgents it says pose a threat to Africa and the West, acknowledging it faces a long fight against the well-equipped militant fighters who seized Mali’s vast desert north last year.
After Islamist pledges to exact revenge for France’s intervention, militants claimed responsibility for a raid on a gas field in Algeria.
A child stands near the body of a dead Congolese government soldier in Nyaruchinga, near Goma, on Nov. 22. Congolese troops were fighting back on Thursday against rebels who rejected calls from African leaders to leave the eastern city of Goma. Thousands of people fled the area of clashes around the town of Sake, as M23 rebel fighters rushed from Goma to reinforce their positions there against a counter-offensive by the army. More…
Photo by James Akena/Reuters
Air strikes, rocket launches and death tolls: The latest Gaza developments
Israel hit targets in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday. So far, as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF says it has struck more than 1,200 such targets. Officials say 74 Palestinians have died since the operation began; about half have reportedly been civilians. Meanwhile, terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, 544 of which have reached Israeli territory. Israel claims to have intercepted 290 of those. Above is a look at some of the major incidents yesterday inside the Gaza Strip
Update on Gaza, Day 6. According to the New York Times, 19 more people have been killed in Gaza since midnight local time, bringing a current death toll up to 91, with 700 wounded (200 of those being children). According to Health Ministry official Ashraf Al-Kidra, civilians make up half of the Palestinian death toll. [Update: According to Al Jazeera’s figures, it’s 96.]
This morning an Israeli airstrike hit the Shurooq media center, a high-rise in Gaza City where a number of media organizations, both local and foreign, have their offices. The building houses Hamas’ television station, Al Aqsa, and this is the second strike on the building within two days. BBC journalist Paul Danahar tweeted a photo of the media center just after the strike (included in the above photoset).
Mona Mahmood of The Guardian interviewed West Bank resident Sameeh Muhssein about demonstrations in the West Bank in solidarity with Gaza. He said:The Palestinian Authority is trying to stop the protesters … under the pretext of not having more causalities [sic]. If the aggression continued on Gaza, I can promise you there will be a third intifada as the political solution looks really futile and people are very upset here as they learn every few minutes of more martyrs in Gaza. We can’t put our feelings in a refrigerator and just keep watching; it is really heartbreaking watching the bodies of the children under the debris.
From Cairo, Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal has stated:
All options are available. If Israel wants a ceasefire brokered through Egypt, then that is possible. Escalation is also possible, especially as there are differences in Israeli statements. We are prepared and ready for all options.
According to Reuters reporting, Meshaal is for a truce if demands are met, demands that include an end to Israel’s attacks and an end to the siege.
Highly recommend staying updated with The Guardian’s ever-excellent live blog, and making sure you read more than what I’ve put up here, which is just a brief snapshot. And check out the Reuters live blog for a live feed of the Gaza City skyline.
Photos: Gaza City/Bernat Armangue/AP; Shurooq media building in Gaza City/Paul Danahar; remains of a Hamas building in Gaza City/Yasser Gdeeh/Reuters; Hamas rockets sent toward Israel/Mohammed Saber/EPA; Gaza City residents flee their homes following an airstrike/Bernat Armangue/AP
MADNESS An Israeli airstrike on a home in Gaza City killed 11 people — including children — on Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned of an “expansion” of hostilities against Palestinians for continued rocket attacks on Israel; the airstrikes have killed more than 50 residents in Gaza to date. (Photo: Tyler Hicks / The New York Times)
Palestinian militants nearly hit Jerusalem with a rocket for the first time in decades on Friday and fired at Tel Aviv for a second day, in a stinging challenge to Israel’s Gaza offensive after an Egyptian bid to broker a truce.
The attacks came just hours after Egypt’s prime minister, denouncing what he described as Israeli aggression, visited the Gaza Strip and said Cairo was prepared to mediate.
Israel began bombing Gaza on Wednesday with an attack that killed the Hamas military chief. It says its campaign is in response to Hamas missiles fired on its territory. Hamas stepped up rocket attacks in response.
Israeli police said a rocket fired from Gaza landed in the Jerusalem area, outside the city, on Friday.
Israeli air strikes have continued into the night in Gaza, after a missile killed the military commander of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari.
Dozens of rockets have been fired back into southern Israel following the strike. One has hit a shopping centre in a major Israeli city.
At least eight people have been reported killed in Gaza so far - including three civilians. Residential buildings are among those destroyed.
Al Jazeera’s Shakuntala Santhrian interviews Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian American journalist, and co-founder of Electronic Intifada, an online publication about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, drawing the first blood from Israel as the Palestinian death toll rose to 15 in a military showdown lurching closer to all-out war and an invasion of the enclave.
On the second day of an assault Israel said might last many days and culminate in a ground attack, its warplanes bombed targets in and around Gaza city, where tall buildings trembled.
Plumes of smoke and dust furled into a sky laced with the vapor trails of outgoing rockets.
The sudden conflict, launched by Israel with the killing of Hamas’s military chief, pours oil on the fire of a Middle East already ablaze with two years of revolution and an out-of-control civil war in Syria. Palestinian allies, led by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, denounced the Israeli offensive.
Jihad Masharawi weeps while he holds the body of his 11-month old son Ahmad, at Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike on their family house, in Gaza City, on Nov. 14. The offensive began on Wednesday when a precision Israeli airstrike assassinated Hamas military mastermind Ahmed Al-Jaabari, and Israel shelled the enclave from land, air and sea. The 15 killed in Gaza included Jaabari and six Hamas fighters plus eight civilians, among them a pregnant woman with twins, an 11-month old boy and three infants, according to the enclave’s health ministry. Medics reported at least 130 wounded. A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, drawing the first blood from Israel as the Palestinian death toll rose to 15 in a military showdown lurching closer to all-out war and an invasion of the enclave.
[Credit : Majed Hamdan / AP]
Syrian activists have reported a new massacre in the central Hama province, saying government forces killed more than 200 people in shelling and other attacks.
There were few details of attack on Traimseh village, which was reported late on Thursday by several activist groups.
A statement by the Hama Revolutionary Council said: “More than 220 people fell today in Traimseh. They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions.”
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was aware more than 100 were killed from sources on the ground, but the group had only confirmed the names of 30 people so far.
Syrian television said three security personnel had been killed in fighting in the village and accused “armed terrorist groups” of committing a massacre there.
Timbuktu’s Sidi Yahia mosque ‘attacked by Mali militants’
Islamist militants in Mali have attacked one of the most famous mosques in the historic city of Timbuktu, residents say.
Armed men broke down the door of the 15th-Century Sidi Yahia mosque, a resident told the BBC.
The Ansar Dine group, which is said to have links to al-Qaeda, seized control of the city earlier this year.
It has already destroyed several of the city’s shrines, saying they contravene its strict interpretation of Islam.
Ansar Dine spokesman Sanda Ould Bamana told the BBC that his movement had now completed nearly 90% of its objective to destroy all mausoleums that are not in line with Islamic law.
He said Sharia did not allow the building of tombs taller than 15cm (6 inches).
The new chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on Sunday condemned the destruction as a “war crime”, reports the AFP news agency.
The UN cultural agency Unesco and Mali’s government have called on Ansar Dine to halt its campaign.
Pictured: The door in the Sidi Yahia mosque which was broken leads to the tomb of saints
(Reuters) - Helicopter gunships bombarded a strategic town in northern Syria overnight and tanks moved close to the commercial hub of Aleppo, rebels said, but kept well clear of new Turkish air defenses installed to curb Syrian action near its frontiers.
Turkish commanders inspected the missile batteries deployed on the border region on Thursday following Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish warplane a week ago, which has sharply raised tensions between the two nations.
The Turkish deployments, a graphic warning to President Bashar al-Assad, coincide with rising violence across Syria and increasingly urgent international efforts to forge a peace deal as the nation slips into full-blown war.
As the Turkish-Syrian dimension ratcheted up further pressure, peace envoy Kofi Annan said on Friday he was “optimistic” that crisis talks in Geneva on Saturday would produce an acceptable outcome, which has so far proved elusive.
Senior officials holding preparatory talks in Geneva on Friday failed to overcome differences on Annan’s plan for a political transition. Western diplomats said Russia was pressing for changes to the text. Russian diplomats said the work continued but they would not “impose” a solution on Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over dinner in St. Petersburg that he saw a “very good chance” of finding common ground when the group of foreign ministers met Annan in Geneva.
A senior U.S. State Department official said, however, that differences remained between Washington and Moscow on Syria. Of the chances of an accord when the ministers met again in Geneva, the official said: “We may get there tomorrow. We may not.”
Regional analysts said that while neither Turkey nor its NATO allies appeared to have any appetite to enforce a formal no-fly zone over Syrian territory, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had made it clear Assad would be risking what he called the ‘wrath’ of Turkey if its aircraft strayed close to its borders.
Erdogan told a rally in the eastern city of Erzurum on Friday, broadcast by Turkish television: “We will not hesitate to teach a lesson to those who aim heavy weapons at their own people and at neighboring countries.”
Recently, there were clashes close to the border between Syrian forces and rebels. Last weekend, Damascus said “terrorists” infiltrating from Turkey were killed and there have been reports of Syrian forces shooting into camps for refugees in Turkey.
The United States, Britain and France have said that Assad is responsible for the violence, which the United Nations estimates has killed at least 10,000 people, and is no longer fit to govern. Russia and China, however, reject what they describe as Western calls for “regime change”.
Turkey, sheltering some 34,000 Syrian refugees and providing bases for the rebel Free Syria Army (FSA), is in the forefront of the efforts to bring down Assad.
The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, tells his cabinet that the country is in a real state of war, and orders his newly-appointed government to direct all polices towards cracking down on the uprising. State television says three people were killed when gunmen stormed the pro-government news channel Ikhbariya and planted explosives.
Turkey PM Erdogan issues Syria border warning
Turkey says its military rules of engagement have changed after Syria shot down a Turkish plane that strayed into its territory.
PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament that if Syrian troops approached Turkey’s borders, they would be seen as a military threat.
Meanwhile Nato has expressed its condemnation of Syria’s attack as well as strong support for Turkey.
Syria insists the F-4 Phantom jet was shot down inside Syrian airspace.
The plane crashed into the eastern Mediterranean and its two pilots are missing.
Meanwhile, fierce fighting has been reported between the Syrian army and rebel forces in the suburbs of the capital Damascus.
Witnesses say it is some of the most intense violence in the area since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began more than a year ago.
Mr Erdogan spoke of Turkey’s “rage” at the decision to shoot down the F-4 Phantom on 22 June and described Syria as a “clear and present threat”.
“A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack,” he said. The Turkish jet was on a training flight, testing Turkey’s radars in the eastern Mediterranean, he said.
He made it clear that Turkey was adopting a “common sense” attitude, although that “shouldn’t be perceived as a weakness”.
“Every military element approaching Turkey from the Syrian border and representing a security risk and danger will be assessed as a military threat and will be treated as a military target,” he said.
Turkey requested a meeting of the alliance’s ambassadors in Brussels after invoking Article 4 of Nato’s founding treaty, which entitles any member state to ask for consultations if it believes its security is threatened.
In a statement, the alliance’s 28 members said the shooting down of the plane was “unacceptable” and they stood together with Turkey “in the spirit of strong solidarity”.
Pictured: Syria has become an “open threat” to Turkey, PM Erdogan says