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Syrian air defenses shoot down missiles over two air bases

AMMAN: Syrian anti-aircraft defenses shot down missiles fired at the Syrian air base of Shayrat in Homs province late on Monday and another base northeast of the capital, Damascus, Syria’s state television and pro-Iranian Hezbollah media said. State television showed pictures of a missile that was shot in the air above the air base only days after a U.S., British and French attack on Syrian targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on the city of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus. State television did not…

Air strike kills Syrian family of nine in Ghouta: monitor

BEIRUT: A family of nine was killed in a Syrian government strike on eastern Ghouta, a war monitor said on Monday, as Russia said a truce demanded by the United Nations Security Council would only take effect when all sides agreed how to implement it. Fighting has continued in Syria since Saturday’s Security Council resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said it would not apply to the army’s battle with “terrorists” in eastern Ghouta. Health authorities in eastern Ghouta said…

Syrian army sweeps across IS-held territory: state media

DAMASCUS: Syrian government forces have swept across territory south of Islamic State group stronghold Raqa, capturing a string of villages and oilfields from the militants, state media said on Monday. The landscape south of Raqa city strategically borders several provinces: Aleppo to the west, Homs to the south and Deir Ezzor -- much of which is still held by IS- to the east. On Monday, state news agency SANA said government loyalists had scored significant gains against IS in the area. "Over the past two days,…

Syrian migrant sets himself on fire in Greece protest: report

ATHENS: A Syrian man set himself on fire at a migrant camp on the Greek island of Chios on Thursday in despair over his bid to gain asylum, the Greek news agency ANA reported. Video footage, posted on Twitter by the BBC's Greece correspondent, showed a young man holding a petrol can and addressing camp residents, and then catching fire as a policeman approached. The unidentified man was rushed to hospital with burns over 90 percent of his body, ANA said. The policeman who tried to save him was also hospitalized with…

German police capture man suspected of planning bomb attack

BERLIN: German police said on Monday they had captured a man suspected of planning a bomb attack who had slipped through their grasp during a raid two days ago. Police had been looking for 22-year-old Syrian refugee Jaber Albakr since he evaded them during a raid on an apartment in the eastern city of Chemnitz, where they found several hundred grammes of explosive. "Tired but overjoyed: we captured the terror suspect last night in Leipzig," Saxony state police said on Twitter. Spiegel Online, without citing a source,…