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Saudi, UAE seize chance to isolate Qatar

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, emboldened by US President Donald Trump's new approach to the region, have seized the chance to isolate Qatar, analysts said Monday. Gas-rich Doha, which has long exercised an independent streak in its foreign policy, last month denied comments which appeared on its official news agency questioning US hostility towards Iran. Qatar blamed hackers for a string of explosive remarks attributed to its Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani after Trump visited Saudi Arabia, its giant…

Syria army seizes airbase from IS: military source

BEIRUT: Syria's army captured an airbase in eastern Aleppo from the Islamic State group on Saturday, after more than two months of fierce clashes, a military source and monitor said. The Jarrah airbase had been under IS control since January 2014, when the jihadists seized it from rebels who had captured it a year earlier. "Regime forces took control of the Jarrah military airport after heavy fighting," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor. "The majority of the…

Panama seizes ex-president’s helicopter over bribery claims

PANAMA CITY: Panama on Tuesday seized a helicopter belonging to a wealthy former president, Ricardo Martinelli, whose family is under suspicion of accepting bribes from a Brazilian construction group. Prosecutors said in a statement they had taken "provisional possession" of the Airbus aircraft, registration N16261, after it was confiscated by authorities in Mexico. Although the prosecutors' statement did not name Martinelli as the owner, the former leader and his lawyers confirmed ownership. Martinelli, who went to…

Somali pirates seize Indian ship, 11 crew members: owner

MOGADISHU: Somali pirates have seized an Indian cargo ship and 11 crew members, the ship's owner said Monday, as a recent series of hijackings raises fears of a resurgence in piracy. The "Al Kausar" is the third vessel to be hijacked in less than a month off the coast of Somalia as experts warn that ships have lowered their guard in the five years since the height of the piracy crisis. The Indian cargo ship was carrying items such as wheat and sugar from Dubai via Yemen to Somalia's Bossaso port when it came under…