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.
Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Authority Rafiq al-Natsheh said earlier that he had referred the file of Dahlan
Al-Arish Criminal Court sentenced an Egyptian national and two Israelis – one of whom is a member of Aman – to 25-year imprisonment over charges of espionage
The meeting was attended by Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, and Minister of State Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, the agency reported.
The Yemeni commander of a vast military district covering half the country's border with Saudi Arabia pledged support on Sunday to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, local officials said.
The official Saudi news agency said special prayers were held for the four soldiers in their home towns.
Egypt court refers 11 to mufti for possible death sentences over Port Said football killings
Khamenei said in comments cited by the semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday, the concept of Iranian nuclear weapons was a fabrication.
King Abdullah II would meet the presidents of Djibouti; Tanzania; Somalia, and Kenya in the coastal city of Aqaba on Sunday.
Kuwaiti health authorities on Saturday reported a new swine flu fatality
General John Allen is expected to meet later in the day with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, according to a statement by the ministry.
Earlier Saturday, Djiboutian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddin Bamakhrama told that his country had opened its airspace and territorial waters to Saudi-led operation.
A group of Houthis were meeting inside the house at the time of the strike, according to eyewitnesses.
Army spokesman Mohamed Samir said on Facebook that border patrol troops in Sinai had destroyed 69 entry points to underground tunnels on the border with the Gaza Strip
Putting the Sinai-based group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis comes in light of Egypt's recently-approved Terrorist Entities Law issued by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in February.
Two ships collided in the Suez Canal, delaying traffic for several hours on the international route.
Gunmen have attacked the headquarters of the Houthi in the west of Yemen whilst in the southern city of Abyan there were clashes that erupted between local fighters and soldiers loyal to the Houthi group.