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Syria death toll more than 370,000 in 8 years of war: monitor

BEIRUT: Eight years of war in Syria have left more than 370,000 people dead including 112,000 civilians, a monitor said Friday.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of sources across the country, said more than 21,000 children and 13,000 women were among the dead.The conflict flared after unprecedented anti-government protests in the…

Syria death toll more than 370,000 in 8 years of war: monitor

BEIRUT: Eight years of war in Syria have left more than 370,000 people dead including 112,000 civilians, a monitor said Friday.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of sources across the country, said more than 21,000 children and 13,000 women were among the dead.The conflict flared after unprecedented anti-government protests in the southern city of Daraa on March 15, 2011.Demonstrations spread across Syria and were brutally suppressed by the regime, triggering a multi-front armed conflict that has drawn in foreign powers and militant groups.The Britain-based Observatory’s last casualty toll on the Syrian conflict, issued in September, stood at more than 360,000 dead.Over 125,000 Syrian government soldiers and pro-regime fighters figured in the latest toll, the monitoring group said.It said other fighters, including rebels and Kurds, accounted for 67,000 of those killed.Almost 66,000 were militants, mainly from the Daesh group and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), dominated by Al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in Syria.The devastating conflict has displaced or sent into exile around 13 million Syrians, causing billions of dollars-worth of destruction.With the support of powerful allies Russia and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad has won his war for political survival but his country is fractured and cash-strapped.Having reversed rebel gains with a massive Russian intervention, Assad now controls almost two-thirds of Syria’s territory.But key areas remain beyond regime control, including a swathe of the oil-rich northeast held by Kurdish-led fighters.Washington backs the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are spearheading an anti-Daesh campaign, which is drawing to a close near the Iraqi border.Idlib in northwestern Syria, held by HTS, is protected by a ceasefire deal between Ankara and Moscow which has seen Turkish troops deployed to the area.Syria’s conflict is estimated to have set its economy back three decades, destroying infrastructure and paralysing the production of electricity and oil.Assad, however, has regained control of key commercial arteries and started a tentative comeback on the Arab diplomatic scene.Several countries have called for Syria to be reintegrated into the Arab League, from which it was suspended as the death toll from the uprising mounted in 2011.

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Middle East News

Algeria graft prosecutor refers two ex PMs to supreme court

ALGIERS: An Algerian prosecutor investigating graft allegations has referred two former prime ministers and five former ministers to the supreme court, Ennahar TV reported on Sunday citing a statement from the prosecution.Mass protests have broken out in Algeria demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt. The seven…

Algeria graft prosecutor refers two ex PMs to supreme court

ALGIERS: An Algerian prosecutor investigating graft allegations has referred two former prime ministers and five former ministers to the supreme court, Ennahar TV reported on Sunday citing a statement from the prosecution.Mass protests have broken out in Algeria demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt. The seven politicians will be investigated by the court over alleged corruption cases, Ennahar said, without providing details.They include former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal who served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned on April 2 after coming under pressure from protesters and the army.The list of the former ministers, who are under investigation, includes Amara Benyounes, Abdelakader Zaalane, Amar Ghoul, Karim Djoudi and Abdessalam Bouchouareb.They were in charge of the sectors of trade, transport, public works, finance and industry respectively.Their lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.The army is now the most powerful institution after the departure of Bouteflika, who had ruled the North African country since 1999.Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has said major corruption cases would be pursued to try to appease the protests that started on Feb.22.Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge over “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority.”At least five prominent businessmen have also been detained pending trial over involvement in corruption cases.Protesters also want the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, who are considered as part of the ruling elite that has run the country since independence from France in 1962.

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Middle East News

Sudan’s top opposition rejects strike call in protest rift

ALGIERS: An Algerian prosecutor investigating graft allegations has referred two former prime ministers and five former ministers to the supreme court, Ennahar TV reported on Sunday citing a statement from the prosecution.Mass protests have broken out in Algeria demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt. The seven…

Sudan’s top opposition rejects strike call in protest rift

ALGIERS: An Algerian prosecutor investigating graft allegations has referred two former prime ministers and five former ministers to the supreme court, Ennahar TV reported on Sunday citing a statement from the prosecution.Mass protests have broken out in Algeria demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people demonstrators regard as corrupt. The seven politicians will be investigated by the court over alleged corruption cases, Ennahar said, without providing details.They include former prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal who served under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who resigned on April 2 after coming under pressure from protesters and the army.The list of the former ministers, who are under investigation, includes Amara Benyounes, Abdelakader Zaalane, Amar Ghoul, Karim Djoudi and Abdessalam Bouchouareb.They were in charge of the sectors of trade, transport, public works, finance and industry respectively.Their lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.The army is now the most powerful institution after the departure of Bouteflika, who had ruled the North African country since 1999.Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has said major corruption cases would be pursued to try to appease the protests that started on Feb.22.Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge over “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority.”At least five prominent businessmen have also been detained pending trial over involvement in corruption cases.Protesters also want the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, who are considered as part of the ruling elite that has run the country since independence from France in 1962.

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Iranian FM lands in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi counterpart

BAGHDAD: Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif landed in Baghdad on Saturday for talks with his Iraqi counterpart, an Arab News reporter confirmed. During his his two-day visit, Zarif will also meet the Iraqi president and Iraqi prime minister. On Sunday morning, Zarif will meet several senior politicians before he heads to Najaf to meet some clerics,…

Iranian FM lands in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi counterpart

BAGHDAD: Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif landed in Baghdad on Saturday for talks with his Iraqi counterpart, an Arab News reporter confirmed.

During his his two-day visit, Zarif will also meet the Iraqi president and Iraqi prime minister. On Sunday morning, Zarif will meet several senior politicians before he heads to Najaf to meet some clerics, sources told Arab News.

The discussions will mainly focus on the current crisis and its impacts on the two countries in addition to possible options to reinforce the attempts to start dialogues with the related sides to reach a compromise or solutions for the current standoff between Iran and US.

The Iranian official will leave Iraq on Monday.

More to follow…

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