Syrian and Russian forces launch large-scale attack on Palestinian refugee camp controlled by Isil

Syrian and Russian forces launch large-scale attack on Palestinian refugee camp controlled by IsilSyrian and Russian forces have launched a large-scale attack on a Palestinian refugee camp under the control of Islamic State, as the regime closed in on the last rebel-held territory in the Syrian capital. Pro-government troops fired a barrage of air strikes and surface-to-surface missiles into Yarmouk camp in southeast Damascus on Wednesday morning, as they looked to rid the areas of holdout jihadists. Rebels with the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) agreed to an evacuation deal after the government launched its offensive on April 19, however Isil militants refused to give up their fight. Air strikes have levelled more than 60 per cent of the camp in the last few weeks, leaving the civilians that remain trapped in uninhabitable conditions. Before the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Yarmouk was home to around 160,000 Palestinian refugees – people who had been displaced from their homes in modern-day Israel during the 1948 war, and their descendants. More than 100,000 Syrians also lived in the area. Residents wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk refugee camp on January 31, 2014 in Damascus, Syria.  Credit: UNRWA When the Syrian revolution moved to Yarmouk, many Palestinians were forced to take a side. Some sought protection fromthe government, while others looked to the rebel groups. It is now home to just a few hundred civilians after the rest fled, according to United Nations estimates. The body says most of those are elderly residents who have been unable to leave. Yarmouk has become the scene of the heaviest fighting in the country since nearby Eastern Ghouta fell into government hands in mid-April. Dozens of civilians have been killed as well as some 140 fighters from both sides, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Right has reported. This undated activist photo provided by the group Palestinians of Syria shows mourners praying next to the body of a man who died of hunger-related illness in the Palestinian neighborhood of Yarmouk in Damascus Isil released a graphic video of one of its jihadists tying a captured soldier to a plank, filling his helmet with explosives before throwing him off a roof, effectively turning him into a airborne bomb. A spokesman for the Liwa al-Quds, which fights under the banner of the Syrian army said pro-government forces are “narrowing in on Daesh (Isil), whose remnants are concentrated in the Palestinian camp. The final battle will be there.” The area has been used by the militants to shell government areas in the centre of Damascus. On Wednesday, state TV reported that two people were killed and 19 injured after a rocket fired from “rebel territory”. A victory in Yarmouk would clear the whole of the capital of forces opposed to the government and further cement President Bashar al-Assad’s dominant position over “useful”, most populated parts of Syria.


Source: Yahoo! News

Israeli forces kill 55 in Gaza clashes as US opens Jerusalem embassy

Israeli forces kill 55 in Gaza clashes as US opens Jerusalem embassyIsraeli forces killed 55 Palestinians on the Gaza border in the conflict’s bloodiest day in years on Monday as clashes and protests coincided with the deeply controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. The clashes, which left more than 2,400 Palestinians wounded, erupted before a White House delegation and Israeli officials opened the embassy at an inauguration ceremony in Jerusalem and continued throughout the day. It was the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 Gaza war.


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UFC coach ignores fighter's plea, forces her into bloody beatdown

  1. UFC coach ignores fighter’s plea, forces her into bloody beatdown  New York Post
  2. Corner of Raquel Pennington refuses to listen as she asks out of UFC 224 main event  CBSSports.com
  3. Nunes TKOs Pennington, defends title at UFC 224  Reuters
  4. 6 talking points from UFC 224 as Amanda Nunes retains Bantamweight title in dominant victory over Raquel Pennington  Mirror.co.uk
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Special Forces soldier livestreams himself being waterboarded and claims it is not torture in support of Trump's CIA nominee

Special Forces soldier livestreams himself being waterboarded and claims it is not torture in support of Trump's CIA nomineeA US special forces soldier has livestreamed a video of him being waterboarded by his friends, as part of an effort to promote Donald Trump’s nominee to head the CIA. The president wants acting CIA director Gina Haspel to take leadership of America’s preeminent intelligence agency from Mike Pompeo, who was recently confirmed as his new secretary of state. There is considerable opposition to Ms Haspel’s confirmation by the senate because of her previous role overseeing “black sites” during George W Bush’s so-called war on terror, in which water-boarding and other methods many consider to be torture, were used to interrogate prisoners.


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Threat of violent explosions in Hawaii forces authorities to close national park again

  1. Threat of violent explosions in Hawaii forces authorities to close national park again  CNN
  2. New seismic activity in Puna suggests magma is once again on the move  Honolulu Star-Advertiser
  3. Hawaii volcano’s next eruption could spew lethal gas and boulders big as fridges  Fox News
  4. The Implacable Power of Volcanic Lava  WIRED
  5. As Hawaii volcano erupts, let’s remember that California has at least 19  The San Diego Union-Tribune
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'Iranian forces' fire rockets at Israeli positions in Golan Heights

  1. ‘Iranian forces’ fire rockets at Israeli positions in Golan Heights  BBC News
  2. Israel launches one of its heaviest strikes in Syria since civil war began  CNBC
  3. Israel Says It Hit ‘Dozens’ of Iranian Targets in Syria  Daily Beast
  4. Trump the Oath Breaker: Low-Intensity War With Iran is About to Escalate  Al-Bawaba
  5. Trump’s new Iran strategy succeeds or fails in Syria  Washington Post
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Iranian forces fire rockets at Israeli military in first direct attack ever, Israel's army says

  1. Iranian forces fire rockets at Israeli military in first direct attack ever, Israel’s army says  Washington Post
  2. Iran Fires Rockets Into Golan Heights From Syria, Israelis Say  New York Times
  3. Iranian forces in Syria shell Israeli army bases on Golan: Israel  Reuters
  4. Tel Aviv Diary: Trump Picked A Scrap With Iran, But Israel Will Have To Fight The War | Opinion  Newsweek
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