April 16, 2021

Review Category : People

Syria's Assad tells Russian lawmakers Western strikes were act of aggression

Syria's Assad tells Russian lawmakers Western strikes were act of aggressionSyrian President Bashar al-Assad told a group of Russian lawmakers on Sunday that Western missile strikes on his country were an act of aggression. The meeting followed missile strikes by the United States, France and Britain against Syrian government targets over a suspected poison gas attack a week ago. Russia, which is helping Assad fight militants and rebels opposed to his rule, immediately condemned the strikes and called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.


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Satellite pictures show damage done by Western airstrikes on Assad chemical sites

Satellite pictures show damage done by Western airstrikes on Assad chemical sitesNew satellite images reveal the damage caused to a Syrian chemical weapons research site after it was hit by Western jets on Saturday. The targets included a centre in the greater Damascus area used for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weaponry as well as a chemical weapons storage facility near the city of Homs. A third target, also near Homs, contained both a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and a command post. The US, UK and France said hundreds of missiles were fired at the sites, in response to last week's chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta which left at least 40 dead. State-controlled Syrian TV claimed Syrian air defenses shot down 13 missiles fired in the attack. Syria slider 3 The Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility in Syria before and after the strike. Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe. Pictures circulating on pro-government Twitter accounts showed a Syrian soldier standing next to what they claimed to be a missile fired from an American or British jet that had been intercepted, however experts said it looked to be an old Soviet air-to-air missile that was not involved in the attack. The Pentagon said that it believes the airstrikes "attacked the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program," significantly degrading Syria's ability to use such weapons again. Syria slider 2 The Barzeh research centre in Syria before and after the strike. Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe. Russian officials said the damage was minimal, maintaining that all key air bases were intact and the purported chemical weapons facilities had been abandoned long ago. Syria slider 1 The Him Shinshar Chemical Weapons Storage Facility in Syria before and after the strike. Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe. Capt. Adulsalam Abdulrazek, a former officer in Syria's chemical program, said the overnight strikes probably hit "parts of, but not the heart" of the operation. He said they were unlikely to curb the government's ability to produce such weapons or launch new attacks. Abdulrazek defected from the program in 2012, when he was based in eastern Ghouta, the suburb hit by a chemical attack in 2013 and allegedly again on April 7. He said there were an estimated 50 warehouses storing chemical weapons before the program was dismantled in 2013. He said he believes those fixed storage facilities, mostly in rural areas, are intact or only slightly dispersed, and that the program was only partly dismantled because Damascus didn't allow inspections. IHS Jane's expert Karl Dewey said the scientific research facility on the northeastern edge of Damascus is thought to have integrated chemical payloads onto artillery. It is one of at least three sites that have been consistently referenced in association with Syria's chemical weapons program, including Masyaf and Dummar, also known as Jamraya, both reported to have been hit by Israeli strikes last year.


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Canada's Trudeau defends controversial pipeline project

Canada's Trudeau defends controversial pipeline projectCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday defended his government's backing of a controversial pipeline project, saying the world could not afford to choose between the environment and the economy. In an interview with French business daily Les Echos ahead of a visit to Paris, Trudeau acknowledged that environmentalists were "concerned" by the Trans Mountain pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline point to the risk of oil spills at sea and say it flouts Trudeau's commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


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Canada's Trudeau defends controversial pipeline project

Canada's Trudeau defends controversial pipeline projectCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday defended his government's backing of a controversial pipeline project, saying the world could not afford to choose between the environment and the economy. In an interview with French business daily Les Echos ahead of a visit to Paris, Trudeau acknowledged that environmentalists were "concerned" by the Trans Mountain pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline point to the risk of oil spills at sea and say it flouts Trudeau's commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


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Israel to free 200 African migrants awaiting deportation

Israel to free 200 African migrants awaiting deportationIsrael will release about 200 jailed African migrants in the absence of a final deal to deport them and thousands more Eritrean and Sudanese men who entered the country illegally, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday. The government has been trying to finalise an agreement with Uganda to take in the migrants, who came into Israel on foot through the Egyptian border over the past decade.


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Scepticism as Myanmar announces return of first Rohingya family

Scepticism as Myanmar announces return of first Rohingya familyMyanmar's government said it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees, among the 700,000 who fled a brutal crackdown, but the move was slammed by rights groups as a publicity stunt which ignored warnings over the security of returnees. The stateless Muslim minority has been massing in squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh since the Myanmar army launched a ruthless campaign against the community in northern Rakhine state last August. The United Nations says the operation amounts to ethnic cleansing, but Myanmar has denied the charge, saying its troops targeted Rohingya militants.


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Scepticism as Myanmar announces return of first Rohingya family

Scepticism as Myanmar announces return of first Rohingya familyMyanmar's government said it has repatriated the first family of Rohingya refugees, among the 700,000 who fled a brutal crackdown, but the move was slammed by rights groups as a publicity stunt which ignored warnings over the security of returnees. The stateless Muslim minority has been massing in squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh since the Myanmar army launched a ruthless campaign against the community in northern Rakhine state last August. The United Nations says the operation amounts to ethnic cleansing, but Myanmar has denied the charge, saying its troops targeted Rohingya militants.


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