• Rocket shot down over Golan Heights – IDF

    Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted a rocket fired at the northern part of the occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli military said in a statement. The Israeli Defense Forces did not specify where the projectile was launched from. The northern Golan Heights borders Syria and is located close to Lebanese territory. The incident took place shortly after the Syrian media said the nation’s air defenses “thwarted” an Israeli air raid.

  • Rush hour blast hits Damascus area, appears to be ‘terrorist act’ – state media

    A large explosion in what appears to be a “terrorist act” rocked morning rush hour traffic in the southern Damascus suburb of Qazaz on Sunday, Syria’s SANA news agency has said. There is no exact information on the potential casualties. Authorities said the attack targeted a military checkpoint in the area and that a second attack was prevented by security forces shortly afterwards. All roads leading to and from the scene have been closed. Such attacks have become a rare sight in the Syrian capital after government forces reclaimed the last rebel-held areas of the city in 2018.

  • Airstrike kills 52 Al-Shabaab militants after ‘large group’ attacks Somali forces – US AFRICOM

    At least 52 militants from the Somali jihadist group Al-Shabaab were killed in a US airstrike in the country on Saturday, the US military’s Africa Command has announced. It was called in response to Somali forces coming under fire from a “large group” of the jihadists near Jilib in Middle Juba region. The strike comes after the Al-Qaeda-linked group launched a daring assault on a hotel and business complex in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, killing 21 people. Claiming responsibility, the Al-Qaeda affiliate blamed US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as motivation for the attack.

  • Death toll rises to 76 in Mexico pipeline blast – local media

    The death toll from an explosion at a ruptured oil pipeline in Mexico’s central Hidalgo state has climbed to 76, according government officials, cited by local media. The blast occurred after locals had gathered around a ruptured Pemex pipeline to collect fuel that was spilling out. The state-owned petroleum company said the fire was caused by fuel thieves illegally drilling into the pipe. The site has since been secured by the Mexican Army. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made cracking down on fuel thieves a priority, claiming that the government lost over US$3 billion in 2018 due to illegal fuel siphoning.

  • 1000s walk out in Australia to demand women’s safety after Israeli student murder

    Thousands of people took to the streets of major Australian cities on Sunday to demand women’s safety after an Israeli exchange student, Aiia Maasarwe, 21, was killed in Melbourne on January 16. The rallies are part of ‘Women’s March 2019’, a movement protesting violence against women. Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, saw a crowd of 3,000 carrying signs that paid tribute to Maasarwe, chanting, “What do we want? Safe streets. When do we want them? Now.” Local TV also reported that thousands of people in Melbourne attended a vigil in remembrance of the international student. On Friday, local police detained a 20-year-old man who was later charged with the rape and murder of Maasarwe.

  • Around 170 refugees missing following 2 boat incidents in the Mediterranean

    An estimated 170 African migrants are feared dead after two dinghies sank separately in the Mediterranean on Friday. The Italian Navy rescued three people from a capsized boat heading from Libya while 117 others appear to be missing, a spokesperson for the UN’s migration agency (IOM) reported. Most refugees were from West Africa, according to the survivors. The rescue crew saw at least three bodies in the water who appeared to be dead, the ION spokesman added. An Italian naval patrol plane spotted the vessel earlier but failed to help due to lack of fuel, local media report. In a second incident, 53 migrants are reported missing after a dinghy from Morocco suffered a collision in the Alboran Sea according to Spanish non-governmental organisation Caminando Fronteras.