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Critically ill evacuated from Syria besieged area

BEIRUT — Evacuation of critically ill Syrians trapped in a rebel-held suburb near the capital Damascus is underway, the International Committee for the Red C.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarDec 28th, 2017

Dozens of militants evacuated from southern Syria

BEIRUT — Dozens of Syrian militants and their families have departed aboard buses from an area where they have been besieged by government forces near the Is.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

In Syria, first phase of population transfer concludes

BEIRUT — The first phase of a troubled population transfer concluded yesterday as thousands of displaced Syrians were evacuated out of besieged areas and an.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 21st, 2017

Clashes in Syria’s Damascus after surprise rebel attack – Al Jazeera

Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of the Syrian capital on Sunday after rebel fighters launched a surprise assault on government forces, a monitor and state television said. Steady shelling and sniper fire could be heard across Damascus on Sunday as rebel factions allied with former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launched an attack on government positions in the city's east. The clashes centered on a government-held gap between two besieged opposition enclaves, the Jobar and Qaboun neighborhoods. The Ahrar al-Sham rebel group said fighters had &'8220;liberated&'8221; the area. Tahrir al-Sham &'' a umbrella group of rebels formed by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham last month &'' and the independent Failaq al-Rahman group also participated in the attack. Syrian state media said the military had repelled an attack by one group after &'8220;terrorists&'8221; infiltrated through tunnels in the middle of the night. Rebels detonated two large car bombs at 5:20am on Sunday close to the Jobar neighborhood. Tahrir al-Sham claimed responsibility for the attack. Rebels then advanced into the nearby Abbasiyn Square area, seizing several buildings and firing a barrage of rockets into multiple Damascus neighbourhoods, according to Rami Abdelrahman of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Government forces responded with nearly a dozen air strikes on Jobar, he added. Al Jazeera's Mohamed Al Jazaeri, reporting from near Damascus, said that at least 15 civilians had been killed after government forces shelled residential neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta, but that the fighting had since become less intense. &'8220;This advance is the largest for opposition groups in over a year and a half,&'8221; Al Jazaeri said. &'8220;Military operations have not stopped in the area but it has calmed down. There remains sniper shooting from both sides and regime forces are shelling Jobar neighborhood, as well as other areas controlled recently by the opposition.&'8221; Control of Jobar &'' which has been a battleground district for more than two years &'' is divided between rebels and allied fighters on one side, and government forces on the other. It is one of three pockets in the Syrian capital still in opposition hands. The recent fighting has resulted in rebel control of industrial areas in Al-Qaboun in addition to parts of Abbasiyn breaking a siege on the area and linking it to Jobar neighborhood, which is connected to Eastern Ghouta, Al Jazaeri said. Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria at the University of Oklahoma, told Al Jazeera that the offensive had taken the government by surprise and that its response was likely to be very significant. &'8220;I don't think it's going to change the trajectory of the war, which has been seeing the regime make important gains and the opposition getting increasingly restricted. But it shows the opposition is far from dead. It shows also that this new combination led by [Tahrir al-Sham] is very potent,&'8221; Landis said. &'8220;The regime is going to realise that it cannot allow these two areas to linger there because they are beachheads for this Tahrir a-Sham group to make inroads into the Damascus area,&'8221; he said, adding the government would likely withdraw some forces from areas such as Homs and Hama to refocus on Damascus. &'8220;It means that the fight is still on, there are many fronts to this war, and the opposition remains powerful.&'8221; Syrian state TV aired footage from Abbasiyn Square, typically buzzing with activity but now empty except for the sound of shelling. Residents said artillery shells and rockets were landing in the heart of the city. The Observatory said rebel shells hit several nearby districts in Damascus, including Bab Touma, Rukn al-Din and the Abbasiyin area. Several schools announced they would close through Monday, and many civilians cowered inside in fear of stray bullets and shelling. According to the Observatory, the Faylaq al-Rahman group and the Fateh al-Sham Front &'' known as al-Nusra Front before it broke ties with al-Qaeda &'' were present in Jobar. &'8220;This neighbourhood is the most important front line because it's the closest rebel position to the heart of the capital,&'8221; said Abdel Rahman. Government forces have long sought to push the rebels out of the district because of its proximity to the city centre in Damascus. But with Sunday's attack, Abdel Rahman said, &'8220;rebels have shifted from a defensive position in Jobar to an offensive one&'8221;. &'8220;These are not intermittent clashes &'' these are ongoing attempts to advance,&'8221; he said. One rebel commander told the Associated Press news agency they launched the assualt from Jobar as a way to relieve allied fighters in the nearby districts of Barzeh, Tishreen, and Qabun from government attacks. &'8220;This is to relieve the pressure on rebels with the regime not stopping its bombardment and artillery shelling,&'8221; said Abu Abdo, a commander from Failaq al Rahman. The attack on Damascus comes just days before a fresh round of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva aiming to put an end to Syria's six-year war. Rebels and government troops agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities in December, but fighting has continued across much of the country, including in the capital. Rebels said the army had advanced in the last two days after weeks of bombardment and aerial strikes aimed at regaining control of strategic areas inside the capital, a few kms away from President Bashar al Assad's seat of power. The army had advanced towards a road between Qaboun and Barza, whose capture severed the links between the two besieged rebel districts where tens of thousands of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

Children of Syria’s besieged Daraya discover joy of sweets

Yazan, a four-year-old who has never known anything but deprivation, has finally discovered the joy of ice cream after being evacuated from the besieged town of Daraya near the capital of war-torn Syria......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 28th, 2016

Evacuation area widens as Mayon lava spreads

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — Lava flows have increased while more residents have been evacuated from villages around the restive Mayon Volcano, which continue.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Lava flows from Philippines volcano, thousands evacuated

Philippines More than 9,000 people have evacuated the area around the Philippines' most active volcano as lava flows down its crater in a gentle eruption that scientists are warning cou.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Lava flowing from Mayon volcano; thousands evacuated

LEGAZPI CITY — More than 9,000 people have evacuated the area around the Philippines’ most active volcano as lava flowed down its crater Monday, January 15, in a gentle eruption that scientists warned could turn explosive. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivols) increased the alert level for Mount Mayon late Sunday, January 14,… link: Lava flowing from Mayon volcano; thousands evacuated.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Critically-endangered Spoonbill sandpiper spotted in Negros Occidental

  BACOLOD CITY -- One of the world's critically endangered shorebirds was recently spotted for the first time in Negros Occidental.   A team from the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (PBCFI) was able to take photographs of the Spoon-billed sandpiper or Spoonbill sandpiper, known to science as Calidrispygmaea, at the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area (NOCWCA).   Errol Gatumbato, PBCFI acting president, said the gravely endangered bird was specifically seen in Barangay Tibsok, San Enrique town over the weekend.   "This affirms the significance of the NOCWCA as a conservation site, being one of the Phil...Keep on reading: Critically-endangered Spoonbill sandpiper spotted in Negros Occidental.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018

Medical evacuations begin from besieged Syria rebel bastion

DOUMA, Syria – Aid workers have begun evacuating emergency medical cases from Syria's besieged rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta , the Red Cross said on Wednesday, December 27, after months of waiting during which the United Nations said at least 16 people died. Families waited in the darkness in the rebel-held town of Douma for ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017

WW2 bomb prompts evacuation of Cebu IT Park employees

CEBU CITY---Workers in seven IT park buildings and residents near the area were evacuated when a vintage bomb was extracted. The bomb was found in a construction site at the Cebu IT Park in Barangay Apas, Cebu City. Employees from Teleperformance, Skyrise 1 and 2, CJRS, Ebloc Tower 1, Ebloc Tower 4, Avida Towers Riala, and Avida Towers Cebu had to evacuate their buildings while experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit extracted the World War II 1,000-pound bomb. Chief Inspector Clark Arriola said about 10,000 employees were asked to evacuate. The removal of the bomb began at 3 a.m. and ended around 6:30 a.m. The bomb was then transported to Carmon Copper, a mining...Keep on reading: WW2 bomb prompts evacuation of Cebu IT Park employees.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 20th, 2017

‘Amin Baco’ could be in Basilan, may recruit more Malaysians

MALAYSIAN MILITANT Amin Baco may be hiding in Basilan and could recruit more Malaysians for attacks in other parts of southern Philippines if he is still alive, a former hostage says. The Philippine authorities were earlier divided on whether Sabahan Amin was still alive and emir of the Islamic State (IS) in Southeast Asia, as claimed by an Indonesian militant captured in the besieged city of Marawi. But the latest statements by the Philippine military indicate that the seasoned terrorist may still be alive and is one of 10 militants who could be the new leader of the terror group’s regional arm. “Amin was definitely one of the leaders during the siege on Marawi,” college teacher Lordvin Acopio, who spent four months in captivity by the pro-IS groups which attacked Marawi, told FMT. “I can’t say how many groups were in Marawi. Amin led one of the groups. “Each group had 10-15 fighters, but the number depended on the size of the area they were guarding. “If Amin is still alive, it’s possible he’ll recruit more Malaysians to join in attack plots in other parts of southern Philippines.” Amin and others were said to be potential candidates to succeed IS’ Southeast Asia emir designate Isnilon Hapilon, who was killed last month in Marawi. Amin, who was from Tawau, was also reported to be an expert bomb-maker, recruiter and facilitator of weapons movement between southern Philippines and the east coast of Sabah. Malaysian counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay last week revealed Amin was Isnilon’s son-in-law, which caught analysts and experts by surprise. Some analysts said Amin’s family relationship with Isnilon, as well as his leadership position, vast experience and network, could set him apart from the other candidates for the top post. “If Amin is Isnilon’s son-in-law, most probably the IS’ regional leadership position was given to him after Isnilon was killed. The possibility is high,” Lordvin said. In October, FMT broke the news about a Malaysian teenager whom Lordvin had seen fighting troops alongside his militant father in Marawi. FMT withheld the identity of the militant and his son, but last week, Ayob Khan revealed the boy’s name, adding that he was Amin’s son. Lordvin, who was kidnapped on May 23, the first day of the Marawi war, said Amin and his son had access to siege leader Isnilon. “The boy was always at Isnilon’s place if he was not at the frontline fighting with his father,” Lordvin told FMT. “All of us hostages kept getting moved around, but wherever we were held, Isnilon was always in a building nearby and we weren’t allowed to go there. “Not everyone could see Isnilon at his place or command centre unless they were high-ranking militants. “I believe Amin’s son always visited his step-grandfather Isnilon at the command centre to collect firearms or to give situational reports.” Ayob Khan had said last week that Amin’s son was still alive and probably in Basilan, the base of the Abu Sayyaf group led by Isnilon. “If the boy is now in Basilan, then most probably Amin is also there because the duo never left each other’s side in Marawi,” Lordvin said. “In fact, intelligence reported by the Philippine media says militants are planning attacks there and elsewhere as revenge for the loss of their caliphate in Marawi. “Many relatives of those militants killed in Marawi are said to be doing recruitments now.” More than 1,000 people, mostly militants, were killed in the five-month clashes between the authorities and militants who wanted to set up a so-called IS caliphate in the lake city. (By Zam Yusa – Free Malaysia Today) 1,489 total views, 1,489 views today.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

Jedinak stars as Australia qualifies for 2018 World Cup

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer SYDNEY (AP) — Mile Jedinak didn't miss when it counted, propelling Australia into next year's World Cup with three goals in Wednesday's 3-1 intercontinental playoff victory over Honduras. The Australia captain was in doubt for the series with a groin injury that had forced him to miss end of the Asian qualifying campaign, when his team narrowly missed out on direct entry to the tournament in Russia. But Jedinak played a full game in the 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula last Friday and, aided by the state-of-the-art rehabilitation program on Australia's charter flight home, took the free kick that broke the scoring drought in the 54th minute at Sydney's Olympic stadium. His free kick curled to the left of the wall and deflected sharply in off defender Henry Figueroa, bringing the parochial 77,060-strong crowd at Sydney's Olympic stadium to life. He converted from the spot in the 72nd after referee Nestor Pitana penalized Bryan Acosta for a hand ball and again calmly slotted home another penalty after Robbie Kruse was dragged down in the area in the 85th to ensure Australia qualified for its fourth consecutive World Cup. "I'll take them all," Jedinak said. "It wouldn't have mattered who scored. I'm happy to chip in." Honduras scored a consolation goal deep in injury time in a scramble in front of goal with Alberth Elis and Maynor Figueroa both swiping at the ball from close range. The result meant Asia got a full quota of five teams into the World Cup in Russia, with 31 of the 32 places decided. Peru was hosting New Zealand for the last spot later Wednesday. Under-fire coach Ange Postecoglou said he was delighted for his team, and declined to comment on his future with the Socceroos amid speculation that he may not stay on for the World Cup. "They got what they deserved — it wasn't by luck or by chance," Postecoglou said. "They believed in something that we started, and right to the end they displayed the kind of resilience and belief that has made me proud all the way along. They did it their way, and got great rewards for it." While the Australians invested heavily in the charter flight to get home Sunday after the first leg, the Honduras squad took a commercial flight and arrived a day later. But with veteran skipper Maynor Figueroa returning, and with Elis adding pace on the flank, Honduras lifted its tempo in the first half and frustrated the Australian attack. Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto said the Australians clearly worked to neutralize Elis out wide, and the momentum shift was too great after the opening goal. "Australia were very strong and aggressive and put pressure on us. In the first half the game was more balanced — in the second half, the (first) goal took a toll," Pinto said. "The second goal, there was contact with the player's hand, but it wasn't intentional." Honduras earned a playoff spot with a 3-2 win over Mexico on a hectic last day of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean, securing fourth spot and ensuring the U.S. missed out. Australia advanced after beating Syria for fifth place in Asian qualifying, with veteran Tim Cahill scoring twice in Sydney, and setting up the intercontinental playoff. Cahill was involved when Australia edged Uruguay on penalties in a playoff in 2005 to qualify for the following year's World Cup in Germany. He was also there when the Australians qualified directly from Asia for 2010 and 2014. There is a good chance he'll be in Russia, too, even after he has turned 38. The final word went to the jubilant Jedinak, a veteran midfielder who plays for Aston Villa in England. "We got the job done and that's all that matters — it's going to be a big 2018," he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2017

Territorial losses suffered by Islamic State in Syria, Iraq

BEIRUT --- With new losses, the Islamic State group has been driven from more than 96 percent of the large parts of Iraq and Syria it once held, crushing its goal of establishing a "caliphate" in the region. Syrian President Bashar Assad's military on Friday announced the capture of the eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour, while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed victory in retaking the town of Qaim on the border, the militants' last significant urban area in Iraq. The militants are left fighting for a final stretch inside Syria and desert regions along the Iraq-Syria border. Three years ago, they had defiantly erased that line, knocking down berms marking the frontier...Keep on reading: Territorial losses suffered by Islamic State in Syria, Iraq.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 4th, 2017

Shells fall into Syria s Idlib province from Turkey

BEIRUT — Turkish forces on yesterday shelled areas along its border with Syria's northwestern province, an area dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants, a day.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 8th, 2017

Marawi war victims unite, threaten to launch ‘holy war’

&'160; MARAWI CITY – A shadowy group calling itself the “Meranaw Victims Movement” has threatened to launch its own jihad or holy war if a set of demands, among them government compensation for the destruction of Marawi and the victims of war between security forces and local IS militants in the besieged city in southern Philippines. Speaking in Arabic, the group &'' comprising about 3 dozen masked gunmen &'' released a 14-minute video and statement on social media and stated the following demands: First, we would like to ask our kinsfolk from among the so-called ISIS/Maute Group to leave Marawi City at once and free their hostages, Muslims and Christians alike; Second, we would like to ask the Philippine Government, especially President Rodrigo Duterte, the following – to allow the civilians to return to their homes in areas in Marawi City that were already cleared by the military; stop the aerial bombings of Marawi City if only to salvage houses or buildings that may not have been destroyed yet; stop the abuses of some military and police personnel at checkpoints and accord respect to civilians, especially the women. And ease the access to and from Marawi City, especially the roads through the village of Maliwanag so that people in the 1st District of Lanao del Sur would have better and convenient road access; secure the remains of civilians so they may not be mixed with the garbage in the process of military clearing operations and so that they may be given proper burial even if only skeletons are left of them; to provide immediate appropriate material and financial support to all wounded civilian victims similar to the support being provided by the government to wounded military and police personnel; compensate for the damaged houses and buildings, wasted goods and merchandise of civilians and provide for their livelihood as well. And to rebuild or rehabilitate the mosques and madrasahs and other destroyed structures that represented the Meranao culture and heritage; importantly, the government should not make any hint that it would occupy the land of the Meranaws on the basis of military reservation, instead it should help legitimate owners to have their respective land titles; and for the military and police personnel to avoid occupying mosques and madrasahs. It also demanded from local politicians to account for all the relevant government funds such as the Calamity Fund and all other assistance and donations, and ensure transparent and equitable implementation or spending of the same. And has urged the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front to support its demands by ensuring that these reach all those concerned. The Meranaw Victims Movement strongly denied that locals &'' whom the government and authorities blamed for allowing militants to build up forces and occupy the city &'' condone the violence and said it is willing to face off with IS fighters in an effort to drive out the gunmen. It also blamed local leaders as responsible for failing to prevent the IS attacks. “First, we did not conform with the using of Marawi City as sanctuary neither did we approve of what some of our kinsfolk who claimed to be ISIS/Maute Group did which ignited the war in Marawi City that has brought about grave sufferings to the Meranaw people. Second, we deem unacceptable the actions of the Government that caused the displacement of tens of thousands and deaths of several civilians due to the aerial bombings and use of heavy armaments in Marawi City which are among those prohibited under International Humanitarian Law.” “Third, we hold our local leaders, past and present alike, responsible for failing to prevent the ISIS/Maute Group from carrying out their plan since they were fully aware of the group’s presence in the city prior to the siege, and for literally forsaking the civilians like orphans in the midst of great danger during the onset of the siege on May 23, 2017. Fourth, we are dismayed with the MILF since, until now, nothing was heard of them, let alone have they made a categorical position on the current Marawi crisis,” it said. If all the demands are not met, the group said it will take actions not only against IS militants, but the Duterte government as well. “To our ISIS/Maute Group kinsfolk, if you would not heed our call, we would be compelled to face you because by then you no longer care for the welfare of the people and you did not only fail to realize but have violated the essence of Jihad in Islam. To the Government, this will be the last time that we will ask in relation to previous demands of various sectors of the Meranaw society, and that if the foregoing demands will fall to deaf ears, likewise, we will be compelled to fight for our rights that have been trampled upon and that Jihad becomes our legitimate recourse.” “To our leaders, should we find out that you defraud or corrupt the assistance and support intended for the evacuees, we will unrelentingly pursue until we take them for the people in whatever means possible. To the MILF, take note that the demand for the approval of the BBL becomes irrelevant if the key area where it should be implemented would no longer be in the hands of the Meranaw, and that by then the support of the people of Lanao becomes weak in time that [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

After deal, IS allowed to leave Syria-Lebanon border area

RAS BAALBEK — Islamic State militants and their families began leaving a border area between Lebanon and Syria on yesterday as part of a negotiated deal to e.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 29th, 2017

Cease-fires in battle against IS on Lebanon-Syria border

BEIRUT — Cease-fires took effect yesterday in the border area between Syria and Lebanon, halting separate but simultaneous weeklong offensives against the Is.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 27th, 2017

Syrian rebels leave Lebanese border area after truce deal

BEIRUT — Hundreds of Syrian rebels and civilians started leaving the Lebanon-Syria border area yesterday after a deal was reached for their departure followi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 14th, 2017

Lions, tigers, bears from war-torn Syria evacuated to Jordan

SOUF — Thirteen animals that had been trapped in harsh conditions in a zoo in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo have been evacuated to a wildlife reserve in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 11th, 2017

59 people evacuated from militant-besieged Marawi have died of illnesses: Philippine officials - The Straits Times

59 people evacuated from militant-besieged Marawi have died of illnesses: Philippine officials - The Straits Times.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 17th, 2017