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.
Politicians and activists have complained that while Ukraine has a new president, it has yet to elect a new parliament since the toppling of pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovich
Udaltsov, who has been under house arrest since February 2013, and Razvozhayev were accused of coordinating the protests which turned violent on May 6, 2012
A missing Air Algerie plane that lost contact en route from Burkina Faso is an Airbus A320 carrying 110 passengers to Algiers
PM's resignation paves the way for an interim government to take over in August and a general election in October
Human rights group B'Tselem will petition Israel's supreme court after advert was deemed to be 'politically controversial'
The bus crossed the track at an unmanned crossing in Telangana state without stopping to check if the way was clear, said Indian Railways spokesman
A huge attack on a prisoner convoy in Iraq has reportedly killed at least 60 people.
Salzburg police said on Thursday around 20 people with flags and placards, mostly Austrians of Turkish origin, stormed the pitch shouting slogans about the Gaza conflict
The leaders of rivals China and Taiwan both expressed condolences over the deaths. Ten people were injured and taken to hospital.
The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Poland had violated articles of the convention on, among others, the prohibition of torture, the right to liberty, and to an effective investigation of their allegations.
More than 50 people have died so far in the violence that has deepened fears post-war Libya is slipping into lawlessness
Khamenei called repeatedly over the years for an end to the Jewish state, including through a referendum in the region, where Palestinians are in the majority.
The Brazzaville talks have involved dozens of members of armed groups, the transitional government and civil society members
Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon is due to put forward 700 men to the force in the latest effort to improve the regional response to the militants
A Caracas court heard accusations against him of inciting crime and being the intellectual author of damages and arson.
An Arizona Republic journalist who witnessed the execution said he counted the inmate gasping for breath about 660 times.