World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian rebels captured an air defence base east of Aleppo on Friday as government forces battled insurgents on several fronts across the country, activists said.
Clashes were also taking place at a military barracks close to Maarat al-Nuaman, a town on the main highway to the northwestern city of Aleppo which was seized by rebel forces earlier this week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The pro-opposition Observatory gave a death toll for Thursday of more than 260 people, including civilians and combatants on both sides in violence in the capital and the north, west and east.
It said 92 soldiers were killed on Thursday, which would be one of the highest daily casualty counts on the government side since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March 2011.
The official SANA news agency also reported fighting nationwide and said dozens of rebels, which it called "mercenary terrorists", had been killed.
The reports could not be independently verified but they indicate a rapidly intensifying conflict, with the death tolls of the past several weeks far exceeding previous months.
Although international attention has focused on the Turkish border in the past week, Aleppo and the city of Homs - north of Damascus and near the border with Lebanon - are being fought over and clashes take place almost daily in the suburbs of the capital Damascus as well as in the countryside.
Turkey scrambled two fighter planes to the border with Syria on Friday after a Syrian military helicopter bombed the Syrian border town of Azmarin.
The Observatory said the air defence base seized by the rebels was located in al-Tana village by the Koris military airport on the road east from Aleppo to al-Raqqa.
Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial hub, has been contested since July. The rebel capture of Maarat al-Nuaman cut the highway between Aleppo and Homs, the main route for the government to resupply and reinforce the northern city.
SANA said government forces were mounting operations to clear Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal area of rebels on Friday.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict which started out as a popular uprising against four decades of Assad family rule then descended into civil war. The armed forces have relied heavily on air power and artillery to hold back the rebels.
Fighting has also spilled over the borders into Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, raising concern that the fighting could spread across the region, now home to 340,000 Syrian refugees.
Sierra Leone, the country worst-affected by the disease, has reported nearly 12,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths since the epidemic was declared a year ago.
"The Israeli occupation has agreed to extend a direct natural gas pipeline to operate Gaza's power plant," Haniyeh said in a Friday sermon delivered at a Gaza mosque.
The leading tribes in Yemen said on Friday that they backed a Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi.
Saad asserted that the army had sent reinforcements and was planning to send more troops to the restive area to secure the elections
An East Africa regional bloc on Friday signed two agreements with international partners to provide support for "drought resilience" activities.
Al-Shabab gunmen fought their way into a popular hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday, trapping government officials inside, police said. "Al Shabaab fighters are on the top of the building and inside the hotel," Major Ismail Olow , a police officer, told Reuters. "Some government officials are inside the hotel."
Digital magazine "Haqiqah" aims to combat Internet presence of extremist groups, such as Daesh.
"Internal and international flights heading to and from southern airports in the kingdom have gradually resumed since dawn Friday," Saudi's civil aviation authority said in a statement.
Iran and six powers demand mutual concessions in tense nuclear talks with end-March deadline for preliminary deal and full deal would follow by end of June.
Opposition forces also seize control of 15 regime security points and besiege central area of Idlib, opposition officials say.
Output rose threefold since 2010 with exports go to 60 countries, including U.S, Saudi Arabia
"We are hoping the decision would lead to more stable relations with Egypt," Abu Zuhri told The Anadolu Agency on Friday.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is opposed a two-stage agreement in the ongoing nuclear negotiation with the US and EU representatives, rejecting a US daily claim to the contrary, said an Iranian source close to the negotiation team in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The group that began in Germany who started in Montreal 3 months ago have organised a walk in Montreal this weekend. Many are against the group with an anti-PEGIDA protest set to take place at the same time and place as the PEGIDA demonstration, on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Nigerian army said it destroyed the headquarters of Boko Haram after capturing the northeastern town of Gwoza from the nsurgent group.
Morocco has had F-16 warplanes stationed in the United Arab Emirates since it began taking part in coalition air strikes on militants in Iraq and Syria.