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.
The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa made it compulsory for all schools to hire armed guards, raise the height of boundary walls with barbed wire and install closed-circuit televison.
"So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a joint statement.
Karimov was elected for the fourth time, although the constitution restricts the presidency to two consecutive terms.
According to humanitarian workers, Saudi-led air strike hits area of Yemeni refugee camp and killed 21 humanitarian workers
Masoud Barzani says Kurdistan Regional Government will back Iraqi troops in an attack on ISIL’s largest stronghold in Iraq.
The Appeals Chamber of the Hague Tribunal has decided to revoke the decision to grant Vojislav Seselj temporary release and ordered him returned to prison.
At least 15 Palestinian protesters suffered teargas inhalation by Israeli troops
Palestinians, across the West Bank and in Gaza are set to mark the anniversary of Land Day on Saturday.
Aden is Hadi's last bastion of control in Yemen and remains besieged despite a fifth day of Saudi-led air strikes aimed at checking the Houthi gains.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, claimed it was coasting to victory, going by the results of Saturday's Presidential election at its disposal, showing that it has won convincingly in 23 states.
The three young women, one Tanzanian and two Kenyans, were arrested on Saturday Kenya-Somalia border en route to join ISIL
Assad's comments, in an interview published by Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday, appeared to contradict remarks by Moscow suggesting any Russian arms supplies to Damascus were agreed before the conflict began.
According to the witnesses, explosions caused by air raids were heard near the presidential palace in southern Sanaa
The Kremlin said on Monday there were "positive signals" at talks in Lausanne between world powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme but it was too soon to talk about the likely outcome.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, already facing a six-year prison term after a corruption conviction, was found guilty on Monday
The ministry showed photos of long-range bombers sitting on the tarmac along with their crews. The jets returned the same day, it said.