An armed group attacked the Iranian border guards on Monday near the Kurdish city of Bana, killing and wounding several troops, like reported by basnews.com.
According to the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), the confrontation took place in Khela Rash border areas of Kurdistan province.
The Kurdish opposition party did not specify whether its forces were engaged in the clash.
Iranian media sources have not yet reported the military confrontation.
Clashes between Iranian Kurdish oppositions and Iranian army erupted multiple times over the past two weeks near Kurdish cities. Dozens of Iranian troops were reportedly killed or wounded.
More than 800 children as young as 11 years of age were recruited to Yemen’s devastating conflict in 2017 alone, the United Nations said.
The latest report of the UN secretary general on children and armed conflict verified 842 boys had been recruited by various parties in Yemen, where years of war have left thousands dead and pushed the country to the brink of famine.
Seventy-six children have been documented as used in active combat.
The rest were recruited to “guard checkpoints and government buildings, for patrolling, fetching water and bringing food and equipment to military positions”, according to a statement released by the UN humanitarian affairs agency (OCHA).
The UN also verified the killing and maiming of 1,316 children last year alone, 51 per cent of them in air strikes.
The Yemeni government, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and their regional allies, is battling northern rebels, known as the Houthis, for control of the impoverished country.
The Saudi-led alliance is the only party directly involved in the conflict that is known to conduct air strikes in Yemen.
In 2014, the Houthis drove the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the capital into southern Yemen, prompting the intervention of Saudi Arabia and its allies the following year.
The Yemen conflict has killed nearly 10,000 people since 2015, 2,200 of them children.
Both the government alliance and rebels stand accused of neglecting to protect civilians.
Yemen’s military “Security Belt” force — UAE-backed troops fighting in the southern part of the country — was blacklisted by the UN last month.
The Saudi-led Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen announced on Monday that it has evidence that proves the presence of foreign military experts in Yemen, reported the Saudi Press Agency.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that these experts are training the Iran-backed Houthi militias and providing them with an integrated military communication system.
The Lebanese “Hezbollah” group, which is also backed by Iran, is involved in these operations, he added during a press conference in Riyadh.
There is enough evidence that proves that the Iranian regime is providing the Houthis with weapons that are being smuggled through Beirut’s southern suburbs to Syria and then to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port city, he revealed.
“‘Hezbollah’ is the Houthis’ greatest arms supplier,” he added.
Moreover, Maliki cited the party’s role in operating different command and control positions in the Saada province. Five of these positions, located in Mashtab, Maran, Razeh, Al-Maglag and Al-Noua’a mountains, have been destroyed by the coalition forces.
Addressing humanitarian efforts in Yemen, he said that the Arab coalition had issued 26,997 relief permits between March 26 and June 9, 2018.
He highlighted Saudi Arabia’s topping of the world donor countries list of the UN-sponsored Response Plan in Yemen 2018.
The King Salman Humanitarian Act and Relief Center has provided relief assistance for 4,954,742 beneficiaries within 167 days as part of the Comprehensive Humanitarian Operation Plan for Yemen.
On the ground, Maliki stressed that the Yemeni national army was scoring victories throughout the country, citing its major advances in Saada, Taiz and al-Baydha provinces.
Moreover, he drew attention to the Houthis’ recruitment of widows to join their war effort.
He deemed this an unprecedented flagrant violation of human rights and Yemen’s conservative traditions.
In another victory for the alliance, he declared the Yemeni zone neighboring Saudi Arabia free of ground-based militias after it was purified by the coalition forces and Yemeni national army.
A few pockets in Saada and Omran are still being used for the launching of ballistic missiles and projectiles.
Syrian government troops and Russian forces supporting them took control of Nasib’s border crossing on the Jordan-Syrian border. This is reported by Reuters referring to the media, run by the Iranian branch of the Hezbollah group.
According to the agency, Syrian and Russian troops seized the trade highway from Damascus to Amman, Jordan. Earlier, the road was controlled by the insurgents for three years.
Representatives of the United Nations confirmed that the Syrian refugees who found themselves on the border were able to move to other territories.
We remind you that earlier the rebels announced the return to negotiations with the Russian Federation after on the night of July 5, Russian and Syrian aviation inflicted more than 600 air strikes on the province of Deraa within 15 hours. The rebels promised to lay down their arms, demanding in return a settlement of their status in a future peace treaty. Russia in response demanded complete and unconditional surrender.
The message confirms that the operation is aimed against the terrorist grouping ISIL on the territory of Syria.
“The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) commenced air operations May 3, 2018, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR),” the message says, stating that “strike fighter squadrons conducted sorties over Syria”.
At the beginning of April 2018, it was reported that the U.S. aircraft carrier group, led by “Harry Truman”, was to be deployed in East Mediterranean.
The series of official statements informed that the group will be deployed in Europe and the Middle East. A guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and four destroyers are included in the membership.
It should be noted that earlier mass media reported that Pentagon considered a possibility to use a Carrier Strike Group in East Mediterranean to counterwork “escalating challenges from Russia and China” in this region.
Earlier, a chemical attack happened in Douma in East Ghouta on April 7, when 70 people died as a result. The West blames Bashar al-Assad and Russia for the attack. The U.S. President Donald Trump on April 13 ordered missile attacks at the territory of Syria as a reaction to chemical weapon use in Douma. Britain and France joint them.
Syrian and Russian forces have launched a wave of air strikes against rebel-held areas in the south-west and pushed into a major town, resuming a wide-scale offensive after negotiations between Russia and the rebels collapsed, like reported by itv.com.
The government’s advance in the southern Daraa province, which began on June 19, has captured wide areas and forced an estimated 330,000 people to flee their homes.
Opposition activists claim scores of civilians have been killed.
State news agency SANA said Syrian troops entered the southern town of Saida after intense clashes with rebels, many of whom later withdrew to the nearby village of Taiba.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported some 600 air strikes in Daraa province, including on rebel-held parts of the contested provincial capital of the same name.
The Observatory said that with the capture of Saida, Syrian troops are now about four miles from the Naseeb border crossing with Jordan, one of the main goals of the offensive.
The opposition’s first responders said they evacuated the wounded from Daraa and nearby villages.
The latest wave of attacks comes after a four-day pause during which rebels negotiated with the Russians about how to end the violence. The air strikes resumed on Wednesday afternoon after the talks collapsed.
“These were not negotiations but pressures, dictations, threats and humiliations,” said Ibrahim Jabawi, spokesman for the rebels’ joint operations room.
He added that the Jordanians are working on resuming the talks between rebels and the Russians in south-western Syria.
Mr Jabawi said the Russians had insisted that the rebels hand over their weapons before discussing any other topic. The rebels refused to hand over their weapons “immediately”, but would do so in later stages when the displaced begin returning to their homes and Iran-backed militiamen withdraw from the area, he said.
In northern Syria, meanwhile, the Kurdish Hawar news agency reported an explosion in the town of Manbij, where dozens of people were demonstrating against the Turkish military presence in the country’s north.
The Observatory, which has activists around the country, said the blast wounded 10 people in the town, which has been at the heart of a dispute between the US and Turkey.
US-backed and Kurdish-led forces seized the town from the Islamic State group in 2016, but Turkey views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists because of their links to insurgents across the border and has demanded they withdraw.
Washington and Ankara recently reached a deal aimed at easing tensions that would see the Kurdish militia pull out, but it has not yet been implemented.
Russian forces killed the son of Islamic State (ISIS) group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a missile attack on a Syrian cave in which he was hiding, Iraqi intelligence said Wednesday, according to AFP.
On Tuesday, ISIS’ propaganda outlet Amaq said Hudhayfah al-Badri was killed in an “operation against the Nussayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs”.
Nussayriyyah is the term used by ISIS for the Alawite religious minority sect of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iraq’s Falcon’s intelligence cell said Russian forces on Monday fired three missiles at a cave in Homs that held 30 “terrorist leaders” and several of Badri’s bodyguards.
It said 11 people were killed in the attack.
“Badri wasn’t even a fighter… he was an icon that was moved from one place to another as a form of psychological propaganda for the rest of the organization,” the Falcons said on Wednesday, as quoted by AFP.
The whereabouts of his father are still unknown. Reports in February said al-Baghdadi was still alive, but that injury and poor health had forced him to relinquish control of the terror group.
Other reports in recent years have provided conflicting information about Baghdadi’s whereabouts and about whether he is even alive.
The Russian Defense Ministry said several months ago that the ISIS leader might have been among a group of ISIS members who were killed in a Russian air strike south of Raqqa, ISIS’s de facto capital in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights subsequently claimed it had “confirmed information” that Baghdadi has been killed, citing high-level ISIS commanders.
U.S. officials, however, have remained skeptical. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in late July he assumes that Baghdadi is still alive.
In September, ISIS released a recording of Baghdadi, presumably to refute reports of his death.
The Iraqi government declared victory over ISIS in December, but the military has continued regular operations targeting mostly desert areas along the Syrian border.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards vowed to attack oil exports from the region with Qassem Soleimani, the force commander, issuing a letter backing President Hassan Rouhani’s threat of retaliation against US sanctions, like reported by thenational.ae.
The Iranian leader issued the stark warning that Tehran would not be alone in seeing its oil sales drop should the US force the shutdown, as he toured Europe this week.
“I kiss your [Rouhani’s] hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic,” said Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for the IRGC.
The exchange prompted the US military to issue reassurances that the Gulf trade routes would be defended from any attack or Iranian threat.
Capt Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command, said the US stood “ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows”.
The Iranian leader travelled to Europe in an effort to secure support for its international trade that would shield its economy in the aftermath of the US decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement.
US pressure on Iran forced the Japanese leader to cancel a planned visit to the country later this month. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has abandoned plans for what would have been the first visit by a Japanese leader in 40 years during his tour through the Middle East that starts on July 11.
Mr Rouhani met Austrian leaders on Wednesday after a visit to Switzerland that failed to secure hoped-for commercial contracts, including a deal to buy subway carriages for Tehran’s metro.
The visit to Vienna went ahead despite a diplomatic dispute over the arrest of an Iranian diplomat who is the suspected mastermind of a plot to bomb a Paris rally.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz demanded “full clarification” from Mr Rouhani of the role of the Vienna-based Iranian diplomat in the plot to bomb an Iranian opposition rally in Europe.
Austrian officials announced they would revoke the legal immunity of Vienna-based diplomat Assadollah Assadi on Tuesday.
Mr Assadi was detained on Sunday near German city Aschaffenburg on a European arrest warrant after an Iranian couple were stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.
Operation marks the first joint action between Baghdad and Kurdish forces since September’s contentious independence referendum, like reported by middleeasteye.net
Iraqi forces launched a major operation against remnants of the Islamic State (IS) group on Wednesday following public anger over the militants’ murder of a group of abducted civilians.
Dubbed “Vengeance for the Martyrs”, the operation will see army, special forces, police and Kurdish peshmerga fighters hunting down IS cells in the centre of the country, Iraq’s Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.
It comes after the bodies of eight IS captives were found late last month along a highway north of Baghdad. Some of the abductees had appeared in a video in which IS threatened to execute them unless Baghdad released female prisoners.
The JOC statement said army, federal police, special forces, peshmerga fighters and the Hashd al-Shaabi (PMUs) had launched “a vast operation to clear out the region east of the Diyala-Kirkuk” highway.
The operation was being supported by the Iraqi air force and the US-led coalition that intervened against IS in Iraq and Syria after the militants seized control of large parts of both countries in 2014.
One militant had already been killed and eight captured, the JOC said, adding that equipment including vehicles and bombs had been destroyed.
The operation marked the first time that federal Iraqi forces and the peshmerga were working together since clashes following last year’s Kurdish independence referendum.
A senior peshmerga official told the Kurdistan24 news site that it was still not certain whether Kurdish forces would return to areas outside the official jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“So far, there is no official request from the Iraqi side to the Peshmerga Ministry for the Kurdish forces to return to disputed areas,” said Brigadier General Sheikh Kamal.
“There is no agreement between the peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army yet.”
Iraq declared victory over IS in December after expelling the militants from all major towns and cities in a vast offensive.
But the Iraqi military has kept up operations targeting mostly remote desert areas from where militants have continued to carry out attacks.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had vowed to avenge the eight civilians killed by IS and ordered the execution of hundreds of convicted militants. Thirteen militants on death row were executed last week.
Media outlets affiliated with the Syrian opposition reported on Tuesday that Israel had attacked warehouses of weapons used by Iranian militias near the Dara-Damascus road, like reported by inn.com.
The Syrian Center for Monitoring Human Rights reported that the explosions were heard in the north of Daraa, in an area controlled by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces.
Assad’s army has recently been operating with Russian air support to capture the city of Dara, which is considered the symbol of the rebel movement.
Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu referred to Israel’s attacks on Syria and said at the graduation ceremony of the pilots’ course that “We blew up Iran’s cash machine. The ones who provided the most cash to Iran were stopped short, and the Iranian people are feeling it in their pockets. The IDF, and the Air Force, will continue to act with force against Iranian targets in the area.”