World Bulletin/News Desk
Syria's navy fired live missiles from ships and helicopters over the weekend, state media said on Sunday, in an exercise aiming at showcasing its ability to "defend Syria's shores against any possible aggression".
Syrian television aired video of a variety of missiles being fired from launchers on land and from ships and showed the Syrian Defence Minister Dawud Abdallah Rahijia in attendance.
"Naval Forces conducted an operational live fire exercise on Saturday, using missiles launched from the sea and coast, helicopters and missile boats, simulating a scenario of repelling a sudden attack from the sea," Syrian news agency SANA said, adding manoeuvres would continue for several days.
Opposition figures have been calling for a no-fly zone and NATO strikes against Syrian forces, similar to those carried out in Libya last year which enabled rebel ground forces to end the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
But while President Bashar al-Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent which has left thousands dead, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from the idea of direct military action.
Turkey has reinforced its border and scrambled fighter aircraft several times since Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 over what Damascus said were Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Ankara said the incident occurred in international air space.
More than 30 people were killed on Sunday during a government bombardment and clashes between Syrian forces and Free Syrian Army rebels fighting to oust Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Activists reported heavy shelling in residential areas of Deir al-Zor city and in Deraa province, the birthplace of the revolt near the Jordanian border.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, said that residents of al-Sharifa in the wider Deir al-Zor province said rebels had taken control of a tank looted in combat for the first time and were using it to attack army positions.
In recent weeks, rebels have become more and more brazen in their attacks, holding small areas of territory across the country and clashing with troops only a few miles from the presidential palace in Damascus.
Nasrallah was speaking at an event to commemorate the deaths of six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general killed by an Israeli air strike in Syria on Jan. 18.
ISIL also lost 102 military vehicles and 16 tanks.
Analysts say Pakistan army chief travelled to Beijing to show US it has other regional allies
South Sudanese leader has accused IGAD of "taking custody" of the country.
A vehicle carrying two U.S. citizens came under fire in the Eastern Province district of al-Ahsa, one of the main centres of Saudi Arabia's minority Shi'ites. It was not clear who shot at the vehicle.
Education minister warns against using textbooks that undermine communism
Ahtem Ciygoz was taken into custody on Thursday by the Russian Federal Investigative Committee.
Commander of Iran's elite revolutionary guard meets leader of Hezbollah
Six bodies were found washed ashore on Morocco's Boukana beach, close to a Spanish enclave that is a regular destination for migrants earlier on Friday.
Greece "absolutely against" Eldorado-run mine - energy minister and says that there will be "no way" government will privatise gas utility DEPA. To await EU decision before deciding future of gas grid operator (Adds comments on revoking law over PPC, details, context)
AU commissioner for peace and security Ismail Chergui said that the AU will approve deployment of 7,500 African Union troops to fight Boko Haram in Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.
The student union leader was kidnapped from outside his home and taken to an unknown location.
French Muslims freedom is now being curbed in the name of combatting terrorism with the French government unveiling a new video to deter would be fighters with ISIL
Computer and cellphone buyers in Xianjiang region must register with police, with security camera footage to be kept for at least 30 days.
The perpetrators of the Srebrenica genocide have lost their appeals at UN's appeals chamber in The Hague which has confirmed life jail terms for Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara.
Three simultaneous bombings targeted military and security sites in the city of Aish.