Israel defence minister to Syria's Assad: 'throw Iranians out'

Israel defence minister to Syria's Assad: 'throw Iranians out'Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to expel Iranian forces from his country, after Israeli air strikes hit alleged Iranian targets in Syria. “I shall take advantage of this opportunity to send a message to Assad: throw the Iranians out,” a defence ministry statement quoted Lieberman as saying during a visit to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel claims it struck dozens of Iranian targets inside Syria early on Thursday in response to a salvo of rockets fired by Iranian forces into the occupied Golan Heights.


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Israel defence minister vows to strike any Iran 'military foothold' in Syria

Israel defence minister vows to strike any Iran 
'military foothold' in SyriaIsraeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed in an interview Thursday to strike at any attempt by Iran to establish a “military foothold” in Syria, following an attack this month attributed to his country. Speaking with a news website run by a Saudi businessman that regularly interviews Israeli officials, Lieberman also threatened firm retaliation if Israel was attacked by Iran. “If they attack Tel Aviv, we’ll strike Tehran,” he told the Elaph website.


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Syrian air defence shoots down missiles over Homs: state media

Syrian air defence shoots down missiles over Homs: state mediaSyrian air defence shot down missiles over the central province of Homs, the state news agency said Tuesday, with the strikes reportedly targeting regime air bases. The news agency did not give further details and it was unclear who was behind the attack, which Syrian state television branded as an “aggression”. Big explosions were heard near Al Shayrat Air base, southeast of the city of Homs, and in eastern Qalamoun near Damascus where two other air bases are located, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported.


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US will not rule out airstrikes against Assad’s regime in Syria, says Defence Secretary James Mattis

US will not rule out airstrikes against Assad’s regime in Syria, says Defence Secretary James MattisThe US has not ruled out launching airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Defence Secretary James Mattis has said, in response to a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma. “I don’t rule out anything right now,” Mr Mattis said while hosting Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, at the Pentagon. Dozens of civilians are believed to have died in the suspected poison gas attack, with Theresa May, the UK prime minister, saying that Syria’s president, and their Russian backers, must be “held to account” for the “barbaric” action if they are found to be responsible.


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No Gaza inquiry, Israeli defence minister says

  1. No Gaza inquiry, Israeli defence minister says  Reuters
  2. Palestinians Seek Protection as Israel Blasts `Terror’ March  Bloomberg
  3. Israel Rules Out Inquiry into Gaza Clashes, as Videos Appear to Show Unarmed Protester Shot in the Back  Newsweek
  4. Video: IDF Sniper Shoots Palestinian in Back While Running Away  Al-Bawaba
  5. With Riots and Live Fire, Gaza Just Went 25 Years Back in Time  Haaretz
  6. Full coverage


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US students armed with buckets of rocks in defence against mass shootings  

US students armed with buckets of rocks in defence against mass shootings  As tens of thousands of Americans march for tighter gun control laws, a Pennsylvania school district has turned to arming students with rocks as a “last line of defence” against  mass shootings. The Blue Mountain School District in Schuylkill County has equipped 200 of its classrooms with buckets of river rocks in the event of a mass shooting. District superintendent David Helsel revealed the novel plan in a committee hearing on school safety on 15 March following last month’s shooting at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed.   “Every classroom has been equipped with a five-gallon bucket full of river stone,” Mr Helsel told the hearing. “If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance into any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks and they will be stoned. “We have some people who have some pretty good arms. They can chuck some rocks pretty fast.” Mr Helsel explained the river stones were his idea and were placed in classrooms two years ago having initially considered using golf balls. “We chose to make it well known about the river stone because if it’s an existing student [they will] be aware that the chances are they’re going to be stoned severely if they try to do anything,” he added. “We didn’t want our students to be helpless victims,” he later told Reuters. “River stones were my idea. I thought they would be more effective than throwing books or book bags or staplers.” Mass shootings have become more frequent in the US Student survivors of the Florida school massacre attended a massive rally against gun violence Saturday in Washington, D.C. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students will be required to use clear backpacks when then return to school after spring as part of new security measures to prevent another mass shooting.


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China promotes foreign minister, names new defence chief

China promotes foreign minister, names new defence chiefChina on Monday elevated the status of its current foreign minister and selected a new defence minister as the country deals with rocky relations with the United States and expands its military. The rubber-stamp National People’s Congress endorsed the appointment of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 64, as state councillor, making him a ranking member of the country’s “cabinet”.


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China to raise defence budget by 8.1% in 2018

China to raise defence budget by 8.1% in 2018China announced on Monday an 8.1 percent defence budget increase for 2018, giving the world’s largest armed forces a boost after spending slowed in the previous two years. Beijing will spend 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion) on its military, according to a budget report presented before the opening session of the annual National People’s Congress, according to the official Xinhua news agency. China spent $151 billion on the People’s Liberation Army last year, the second largest defence budget in the world but still four times less than the $603 billion US outlay, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank.


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