Connect with us

Latest News

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warns war in Syria will escalate

Published

on

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has warned Syrian’s civil war may be about to escalate and enter a new phase.

On video link from his secure bunker, for fear of Israeli assassination, he addressed supporters in the Bekaa Valley ahead of Lebanese elections.

Voters are going to the polls there for the first time in nine years, with the small Mediterranean country having been under the leadership of Prime Minister Saad Hariri since December 2016.

He resigned in November, accusing Iran and Hezbollah of taking over his country and destabilising the broader region, but went back on that decision just a month later.

Now, ahead of his potential re-election, Nasrallah has warned that the proxy war being fought in neighbouring Syria could be replaced by a bigger war fought by larger powers.

:: The complex who’s who of Syrian civil war

These people are backing Hezbollah parliamentary candidate Ibrahim Moussawi
Image:
These people are backing Hezbollah parliamentary candidate Ibrahim Moussawi

His warning coincides with mounting concern about the risk of wider war in the Middle East.

Tensions between Israel and Iran are causing the biggest worry.

Iran has fought in Syria supporting its leader, Bashar al Assad, and is now entrenched there in a way Israel says is unacceptable.

Over the weekend, Israeli airstrikes targeted alleged Iranian missiles bound for Syria, causing huge explosions near Hama.

In February, an Israeli fighter jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire after Israeli airstrikes against an alleged Iranian base in Syria, which were prompted by an Iranian drone entering Israel airspace.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah addressed supporters in the Bekaa Valley via video link
Image:
Hundreds of Hezbollah supporters gathered to watch the address

Analyst Sami Nader told Sky News there is a greater likelihood than there has been for some time of a broader regional conflict erupting.

“Any escalation, any military confrontation could lead to a war that would be costly for everyone,” he explained.

“Why? Because the big players are directly involved and this would or may lead to a world war.”

Lebanon is used to the threat of war and has been plagued by conflict, most recently a bloody month-long war with Israel in 2006.

Hezbollah parliamentary candidate Ibrahim Moussawi told Sky News: ‘With Trump and Netanyahu there nobody knows what kind of logic they base their arguments on,” he said.

“You can’t predict everything but I think we are prepared for the worst scenarios in this place because we are used to it.”

These are uncertain times in what is always an uncertain region.

What is certain is that Hezbollah is not the only group preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Source link

Latest News

COVID-19: Israel bans all passenger flights in and out of country | World News

Published

on

Israel is banning all passenger flights in and out of the country to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and prevent variants from getting a foothold among its population.

The announcement came as Israeli police clashed in a number of cities with ultra-Orthodox protesters who are resisting the coronavirus safety rules, Associated Press reported.

Authorities are struggling to enforce COVID-19 requirements, including social distancing, in ultra-Orthodox communities throughout the country, contributing to one of the world’s highest rates of infection.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

One-in-five Israelis now vaccinated

The infection rate among the community also threatens to undermine the Israeli government’s successful vaccine campaign, which has seen the country vaccinate over a quarter of its 9.2 million people.

But infection rates remain high, with an average of over 8,000 new cases reported every day.

Late on Sunday evening, the Israeli Cabinet approved measures to close nearly all incoming and outgoing air traffic, with exceptions for humanitarian travel such as for a funeral or for medical patients.

The order still requires parliamentary legislation to be made lawful and will last until the end of January, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He said: “Today we are closing Ben-Gurion International Airport. Contrary to what is being said, we are ahead of the whole world. No country has done what we are about to do.

“We are hermetically closing the skies apart from very rare exceptions in order to prevent the entry of mutated viruses and in order to ensure that we will advance quickly with our vaccines operation.

“I would like to emphasise that just this week, in which we are approving closing the skies, we will vaccinate another approximately one million Israelis.”

“We are thereby ensuring that the damage from the mutation, if it enters, and from additional variants, if they enter, will be much smaller, and of course, we will be able to open our economy,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“Until now we have vaccinated approximately 2.5 million Israeli citizens with the first dose of the vaccine. Of these, around one million citizens have received the second dose,” the prime minister concluded.

Experts say that a lack of compliance with safety regulations in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox communities has been a major factor in the spread of the virus.

Despite making up just over 10% of the country’s population, the Orthodox community accounts for more than a third of Israel’s COVID-19 cases.

The country’s police force have been reluctant to confront the community, reported Associated Press, with clashes in one city leading to an officer firing into the air to keep a crowd at bay.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives his vaccination
Image:
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received a jab

Israel has recorded over 595,000 positive cases since the start of the pandemic and over 4,361 deaths.

The worst unrest on Sunday occurred in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, where large crowds of young men clashed with police and threatened journalists, prompting one police officer to fire his pistol into the air.

Associated Press reported how in Jerusalem police fired tear gas and putrid-smelling water to disperse hundreds of ultra-Orthodox residents outside a reopened school while the demonstrators called the police “Nazis”.

“I expect all citizens of Israel to respect the safety guidelines. That includes all the sectors, including the ultra-Orthodox,” said Mr Netanyahu, who is relying on ultra-Orthodox support in the upcoming elections.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

COVID-19: Joe Biden to reimpose travel ban on UK and European Union – reports | US News

Published

on

US President Joe Biden is set to reimpose a number of travel bans that were repealed by his predecessor, according to the Reuters news agency.

Mr Biden is also set to put a travel ban in place to arrivals from South Africa, apparently over fears of the new coronavirus variant discovered in the country.

Donald Trump lifted travel restrictions between the US and Brazil and Europe two days before he left office – a decision Joe Biden will imminently rescind through an executive order.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Joe Biden makes sombre warning to Americans

Speaking to the Reuters news agency, anonymous sources said the new president will announce the move on Monday, that will stop entry into the US from European Union countries, the UK, Brazil and South Africa.

The move has been confirmed to the news agency by the principal director of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Dr Anne Schuchat, who said: “We are adding South Africa to the restricted list because of the concerning variant present that has already spread beyond South Africa.”

She added the agency was “putting in place this suite of measures to protect Americans and also to reduce the risk of these variants spreading and worsening the current pandemic”.

The CDC is concerned that vaccines may be less effective against the COVID-19 variant discovered in South Africa, adding it is up to 50% more infectious than other versions of the virus.

Mr Biden has been seen as taking swift action on COVID-19 in the early days of office, and has already signed executive orders imposing mandatory mask wearing and social distancing on government properties across the US.

Subscribe to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

The UK has also been mulling the idea of full border closures as part of the current lockdown, in an effort to limit the introduction of further variants into the country.

At the moment, flights arriving in to the UK from South America and Portugal are banned, with all other arrivals required to quarantine for 10 days.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

Mexico: 19 burned bodies found near town of Camargo on US border | World News

Published

on

Nineteen bodies have been found near a Mexican town on the US border which has seen a number of gang-related disputes in recent years.

The bodies, which had been shot and burned, were discovered on a dirt road close to the town of Camargo, across the Rio Grande from Texas, after complaints from locals about a burning vehicle, according to the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office.

Officials found two vehicles on fire – one containing 15 bodies and the other containing four.

All the bodies had been shot, but no shells were found nearby, leading authorities to believe they had been killed elsewhere.

An official said that the killings had happened on Friday, but locals had been too afraid to report them.

Camargo has faced high numbers of drug and migrant smuggling incidents in recent years, with gangs trying to win control of large stretches of the border with the aim of making money on items passing through.

Historically, the town has been run by the Gulf cartel, but has faced competition in recent years from the Northeast cartel, which is trying to take over.

In January last year, 21 bodies were found in vehicles close to the nearby town of Ciudad Mier, with the Mexican army killing 11 alleged gunmen days later.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending