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.
Thousands of Palestinian athletes turned out for the third Palestine Marathon on Friday
Palestinian faction Hamas said in a statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for Palestinian divisions.
According to local residents, Saudi-led military coalition has bombed overnight airstrikes on Yemeni capital Sanaa and northern Saada district
Mogherini nevertheless points to issues that need to be resolved over Tehran's nuclear program, says parties 'have to work very hard to find solutions that are good.'
According to draft communique, Arab summit will announce unified force to counter security threats.
Libya's Tobruk-based government will ask the Arab League to disregard an arms embargo on its army if the United Nations Security Council does not approve a Libyan request in this regard, a government official said Saturday.
Yemen's President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's loyalists have announced that they are in full control of Aden airport
Ex-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on Arab leaders to reach their hands out to help Yemenis. "Dialogue is the solution, not airstrikes," Saleh said.
25 killed in Boko Haram attack on Nigeria's northern town. Buratai, a serene community south of Borno, has experienced less attack by Boko Haram in six years
According to Pakistani Defence Ministry officials, Pakistan sends 747 jumbo jets to evacuate nationals from Yemen
King Salman and PM Sharif reportedly discuss Pakistan sending troops to support anti-Houthi campaign, while Sharif asks Salman to help with evacuation of Pakistanis in restive Yemen.
Requesting anonymity, the diplomat told The Anadolu Agency that Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra presented the initiative on Thursday during an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt's resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
An HH-60 Sikorsky helicopter flew from Djibouti to recover the Saudi airmen in international waters.
Arab ground forces may possibly be needed in the next operation against the Houthi, whilst 4 tribesman were wounded during clashes with Houthi.
"The Germanised European Union is literally choking our country and tightening week by week the noose around the economy," he said.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier says negotiators 'close to end game' after years of talks.