World Bulletin/News Desk
A Syrian astronaut who was part of a Soviet space mission a quarter of a century ago condemned the world's failure to stem violence in his home country on Friday and urged President Bashar al-Assad's opponents to keep up their struggle.
General Muhammed Ahmed Faris, a military aviator and the first Syrian in space, fled to Turkey 10 days ago, joining the ranks of prominent defectors who have included military generals and former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.
"I decided to defect from the regime several months ago, but I was kept under surveillance and it prevented me from defecting immediately," Faris told Reuters, saying that seeing an 8-month-old child wounded by shrapnel had been the final straw.
"For the world, you watch us while we are dying and your silence is a crime, but we will succeed anyway."
Faris, 61, flew with a Soviet crew to the space station Mir in 1987 and was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union after the journey. He also received the Order of Lenin.
Moscow's support for Syria's government has been criticised by Western nations since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011. Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed United Nations Security Council resolutions criticising Damascus and threatening sanctions.
The conflict between Assad's forces and rebels is intensifying. More than 250 people, including 123 civilians, were killed in Syria on Thursday alone, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition watchdog.
Turkey is taking the brunt of a swelling exodus of refugees, with 66,000 Syrians now sheltering there, according to the Turkish state disaster and emergency authority.
Cabinet set to be selected after Arseniy Yatsenyuk wins support of majority of lawmakers
Tension is running high in East Jerusalem since late last month, when Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for several hours after an extremist rabbi was injured in a drive-by shooting
Attacks initially target relief agency but later spread throughout the green zone neighborhood
SPLM-IO's meeting with the Ugandan president had preceded a scheduled meeting with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar
The Houthis had then deployed militant groups and set up checkpoints across Al-Qa'idah in the total absence of security authorities
Israel said on Thursday it had foiled plans by Hamas to attack Israelis in Jerusalem's largest soccer stadium, other parts of the city and the occupied West Bank, though Hamas said it had no information on the allegations.
The departure of the UDMR party, which joined the government in early 2014, will weaken Ponta but still leaves his centre-left alliance with a 60 percent majority in parliament
In much of Aleppo there is little left to save. Rebel districts have been devastated by months of government bombardment with "barrel bombs," explosives packed with shrapnel and nails.
The Minister for Internal Affairs, De Mizier, said that Muslims who are suspected of fighting in Syria or Iraq will have their ID cards taken away within 18 months.
The Islamic Movement said al-Khateeb's defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was the reason why the Israeli authorities had barred him from entering the historic city.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at AU headquarters in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The squabbling between India and Pakistan has held back SAARC for years, with the two sides' disagreements preventing progress in the consensus-based grouping.
People around the world turn to social media to express solidarity with protesters in Ferguson.
The decision swells an EU sanctions list over Ukraine that already covers 119 people and 23 entities.
Nearly 6 million people have been displaced by right-wing paramilitary groups and Marxist rebels since the conflict began in 1964
Khamenei, the ultimate authority on all Iranian matters of state, said: "For the same reasons I wasn't against negotiations, I'm also not against the extension