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IDF hits Hamas base, rocket-launching site in response to arson attacks



IDF hits Hamas base, rocket-launching site in response to arson attacks
IDF hits Hamas base, rocket-launching site in response to arson attacks

A Hamas compound (in red) struck by the IDF on Aug. 7, 2021, adjacent to a residential area (top) and mosque (top left) in the Gaza Strip. Credit: Israel Defense Forces.

… As Iran lauds Hezbollah, Hamas attacks on ‘Zionist enemy’***

The rocket-launching site was located in a civilian area, “once again emphasizing how Hamas endangers Palestinian civilians,” says the Israeli military.

Israeli warplanes struck a Hamas compound and rocket-launching site in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in response to arson balloon attacks throughout the day, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

“The rocket-launching site was in a civilian area, once again emphasizing how Hamas endangers Palestinian civilians.”

The attacks from Gaza came a day after the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah launched 19 rockets at northern Israel. Three of the rockets came down in Lebanon and 16 crossed the border into Israel. Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system downed 10, with the remaining six falling in open areas.

The attack—the first rocket attack openly acknowledged by Hezbollah since the 2006 Second Lebanon War—was a response to Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon on Thursday.

The Israeli strikes targeted the launch sites used by a Palestinian terror faction on Wednesday to fire three Grad rockets from Lebanon at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel. The Israeli Air Force also hit what it described as “infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon” and areas used by Palestinian factions to fire on Israel in the past as well.

The IDF said in a statement on Saturday that it would continue to “respond strongly” to attacks from the Gaza Strip.

In a related development, Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, joined the head of the IRGC in praising Hezbollah for its recent rocket attack on Israel, as well as hailing the terrorists in Gaza.

The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) praised the head of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah on Saturday for its might in the face of the “Zionist enemy.”

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (right) greets Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh in Tehran, Aug. 7, 2021. Source: YouTube/Screenshot.

“While the strength of Hezbollah is increasing, the enemy’s power is in decline,” IRCG Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami told Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem during a meeting in Tehran, according to Iranian media.

The meeting took place a day after Hezbollah fired 19 rockets at northern Israel and two days after the swearing-in ceremony of Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, which Qassem attended.

Raisi, who met with Qassem on Friday, also lauded the terrorist group.

“Lebanon’s Hezbollah has succeeded in displaying effective deterrence against the Zionist enemy,” Raisi told Qassem.

Qassem expressed gratitude to Iran, particularly the IRCG, for supporting the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon,” the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported.

Also in Tehran to attend Raisi’s official entry into office were representatives of Palestinian terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip, the enclave ruled by Hamas, whose political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, met separately on Saturday with Raisi and Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkani.

Shamkani congratulated Haniyeh for what Fars called the “brilliant achievements” of the “Palestinian resistance movements” in the latest round of fighting in May, and the “pivotal role of [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad and Hamas in fighting the Israeli regime and inflicting defeat on the occupiers.”

“The collapse of this fake regime is possible in the near future if all resistance groups unite under the cause of Palestine and Holy Quds [Jerusalem],” Shamkhani said, as Hamas launched arson balloon attacks from Gaza into Israel.

Raisi expressed a similar sentiment during his own meeting with Haniyeh. According to Fars, the newly instated Iranian president stressed that the Islamic Republic would continue to support Palestine, which “has been and will be the first issue of the Muslim world.”

“We have never had and will never have any doubt about this policy,” said Raisi.

Haniyeh responded by acknowledging Iran’s support for the “oppressed Palestinian people,” stating that, as a result, “today, the Zionist regime is weaker, more confused and more desperate than ever.”

Referring indirectly to the Abraham Accords, reached last summer between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain—with others following suit—Haniyeh criticized those Islamic countries who claimed to support the Palestinian cause, but have “established relations with the Zionist regime, whether overtly or covertly.”








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U.S. strikes 2 targets in Syria in response to ‘continued attacks’



The U.S. military struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to “continued attacks” against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The strikes were conducted against a training facility in Abu Kamal and a safe house in Mayadin in the eastern governorate of Deir Ezzor, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a brief statement.

The U.S. struck similar targets in eastern Syria in October and earlier in November.

Pro-Iranian militias have intensified their attacks on U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks as a response to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The security situation in the entire region has been particularly tense since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants staged deadly attacks in southern Israel.

Israel is responding with an overwhelming air and ground offensive in Gaza.

As a deterrent, the U.S. has moved more weapons systems, warships and air squadrons to the Eastern Mediterranean, and is deploying several hundred troops to the Middle East to support US units there.

U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered Sunday’s action to make it clear that the U.S. was defending itself, its personnel, and its interests, Austin stressed.

The U.S. is prepared to take further necessary measures to protect its own people and interests.

  • dpa
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Russia writes off $23bn debt for Africa – Putin



Russia sends almost 12m tons of grain to Africa says Putin

…Pledges additional $90 million***

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, says the Russian Government has written off $23 billion debt burden of African countries.

Putin spoke at the plenary session of the ongoing second Russia–Africa Summit 2023 held from July 27 to July 28.

He said Moscow would allocate an additional $90 million for these purposes.

Putin said Russia was advocating the expansion of representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN structures.

“Russia and Africa strive to develop cooperation in all areas and strengthen ‘honest, open, constructive’ partnership.

“Russia will also assist in opening new African embassies and consulates in Russia,” he said.

According to him, the reopening of embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea is going as planned.

He said sovereignty was “not a one-time achieved state,” and it must be constantly protected.

Putin also offered assistance to Africa in countering threats such as terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes adding that it would continue to train personnel from African countries.

He assured that Russian businesses have a lot to offer partners from Africa.

Putin said transition to national currencies and the establishment of transport and logistics chains would contribute to the increase in mutual trade turnover.

“Russia is ready to provide trade preferences to Africa, support the creation of modern production sectors, agricultural sector, and provide assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products,” he said.

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U.S. Coastguard Finds ‘debris field’ Near Missing Vessel



A “debris field” has been discovered within the search area for the missing Titan submersible, the U.S. Coastguard (USCG) said on Thursday.

The agency said a remotely-operated vehicle made the discovery near the wreckage of the Titanic on Thursday.

The hunt for the missing deep-sea vessel is still an “active search and rescue” mission after it lost communication on Sunday.

The vessel was about 700 kilometres south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

Coastguard officials said they were “evaluating the information” following Thursday’s debris discovery.

A press conference will be held at the Coastguard base in Boston to “discuss the findings” at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Rear Admiral John Mauger, the first Coastguard district commander, and Captain Jamie Frederick, first Coastguard district response coordinator, will lead the press conference.

Founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Explorers Club, Hamish Harding, was on board the undersea craft, alongside UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, as well as French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The USCG said the ROV that made the discovery was from the Canadian Horizon Arctic ship – with the debris being found on the sea floor near the Titanic wreckage.

Assistance from the Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to arrive in St John’s on Thursday after it confirmed a request was received overnight for help with the movement of additional commercial equipment.

Two RAF planes, a C-17 Globemaster and A400 Atlas, departed RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland on Thursday.

A British submariner and equipment from a UK firm have been sent to help the search at the request of the U.S. Coastguard, Downing Street said.

Royal Navy submariner Lieutenant Commander Richard Kantharia, who was on exchange with the U.S. Navy, has been seconded to the search and rescue team.

OceanGate Expeditions estimated the oxygen supply on the 6.7 metre-long vessel would last 96 hours, giving rescuers a deadline of around midday on Thursday.

Experts said the chances of finding the sub and rescuing those inside were diminishing.

Former Royal Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the PA news agency: “The outlook is bleak, that’s the only word for it as this tragic event unfolds and almost the closing stages of where this changes from rescue to a salvage mission.”

The Titan is believed to be about 900 miles east and 400 miles south of Newfoundland.

It is not known how deep the vessel is, with the seabed being around 3,800 metres from the surface. 

– dpa

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