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Senior Iraqi military commander killed by Isis snipers south of Mosul

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As well as an offensive to take the Isis-held city of Fallujah, government troops are fighting near Mosul.

Islamic State (Isis) snipers have shot and killed a senior Iraqi commander south of Mosul as government forces look to make gains against the Sunni militant group near their de-facto Iraqi capital.

The Iraqi military’s joint command said Brigadier Ahmed Badr al-Luhaibi, the commander of Brigade 71st of Division 15, was killed by sniper fire during an operation to retake a village to the south of the IS-held city of Mosul, it has been reported on Associated Press (AP).

AP quoted a spokesman as saying Luhaibi’s death would increase “determination to clear” the entire province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is a regional capital. As well as an offensive in western Iraq to take the Isis-held city of Fallujah, government troops have resumed small-scale operations against the Islamic State near Mosul.

Since the start of the Iraqi government’s offensive in Fallujah, which began in May, some 27,600 residents have fled the city that has been Isis’s largest stronghold in the west of the country. Around 7,000 of them were able to flee after Iraqi government forces retook a key road into the city on 12 June 2016.

A litany of atrocities, perpetrated by both sides, have emerged since Iraqi forces, supported by Shia militias, began their bloody advance into the city just to the west of Baghdad. Aid agencies have warned that Fallujah residents, some of them children, risk being forced to fight for Isis as the militant group uses food to lure the starving civilians to enlist.

Residents from the city have drowned or been killed by IS snipers as they attempted to leave Fallujah across the Euphrates. Footage has emerged of the inhabitants using improvised raftsin attempts to leave the embattled city. They were reported to have used refrigerators and cupboards to cross the river rather than face the IEDs left on other roads by Islamic State. At the same time, civilians caught up in the advance by Iraqi Army and so-called Popular Mobilisation Forces risk torture at the hands of pro-government Shia militia.

According to Yahya al-Muhamadi, an Anbar council member working with displaced civilians and quoted by the Associated Press, five of those detained died while in the group’s custody.

 

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170 injured in fresh clashes in Palestine

The march of the millions is coming and is expected on May 15. This will be the climax of the Great March of Return.

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File Pic of Palestinians protester

Gaza, May 5 (IANS) Almost 170 Palestinian protesters were injured on Friday in clashes with Israeli soldiers near the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, an official said.

Ashraf al Qedra, a Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson, was quoted by Xinhua as saying that 170 demonstrators were injured, sustaining gunshots, rubber bullet injuries and gas suffocation.

Eyewitnesses said after Friday prayers, hundreds headed to five different locations along the border. Israeli soldiers using loudspeakers warned the demonstrators, asking them to “Go home for your safety”.

The protestors rolled burning tires to within 500 meters of the fence.

The Israeli military said some 7,000 Palestinians were protesting along the border. When “violent riots” erupted in five locations, it said troops responded with “riot dispersal means” and live fire.

Sallah Abdul Aati, one of the organizers of the rallies, said the protests will continue.

“The march of the millions is coming and is expected on May 15. This will be the climax of the Great March of Return,” he said.

The protests have been held for six consecutive weeks. As Israel celebrates its 70th independence anniversary, the Palestinians are demanding that the Palestinian refugees forced to leave their homes during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 be allowed to return.

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Rouhani warns Trump against walking away from n-deal

I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will react firmly.

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Tehran, April 24 : Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday warned his US counterpart Donald Trump that abandoning a nuclear deal that the Tehran government signed with world powers in 2015 would lead to “serious consequences”.

Speaking live on television, Rouhani said his government had kept its end of the deal and warned Trump not to tear up the agreement, which had also been signed by Russia, China, Germany, the UK and France.

“I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will react firmly,” Rouhani said.

“If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences,” he added.

Trump has said that unless the US’ European allies put right what he has described as “terrible flaws” in the deal by May 12, his government would re-establish economic sanctions on Iran, dealing the pact a major blow, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rouhani stressed that Iran was complying with the deal, as has been confirmed a dozen times by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose Director General Yukiya Amano said in March that a possible failure of the agreement would be a great loss.

French President Emmanuel Macron was in Washington in an attempt to try and persuade Trump not to walk away from the accord.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday he had agreed with his Chinese counterpart that Moscow and Beijing would try to block any US attempt to wreck the nuclear deal.

Iran has said it would ramp up its nuclear programme if the deal collapses.

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Putin warns against further actions violating UN charter

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Moscow, April 16 : Further actions violating the UN charter such as the recent US-led strikes on Syria will result in chaos in international relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over phone on Sunday.

The two leaders condemned Saturday’s airstrikes by the US and its allies on Syria and agreed that it would hinder the process of a political settlement in the war-torn country, according to a Kremlin statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

“It was stated that this illegal action seriously damages the prospects for a political settlement in Syria. Putin in particular stressed that if such actions, carried out in violation of the UN Charter, continue, it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the statement read.

The US, together with Britain and France, launched missile strikes on Syria on Saturday, saying that it was in response to an alleged chemical weapon attack by the Syrian military. The Syrian government has categorically denied the accusation.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the same day held an emergency meeting over the missile attack at Russia’s request but failed to approve a resolution condemning the bombardment.

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