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Freedom in the air

Lebanon

Lebanon needs more help to tackle jihadist

Lebanon needs more international help to fight jihadist forces that have launched a series of attacks against the army and kidnapped security forces, the country's prime minister told AFP. Tammam Salam, speaking ahead of a visit to France this week, welcomed French arms deliveries due "in the coming weeks", but said his country's military needed more. Lebanon's army, which has around 70,000 troops and is recruiting 10,000 more, "has showed respectable defence capacity", Salam said. But "we need a lot more aid...

Iraq denies woman detained in Lebanon is IS leader's wife

Iraq denies woman detained in Lebanon is IS leader's wife

Iraq says a woman detained in Lebanon is not the wife of the Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Lebanese officials said on Tuesday that the army had picked up a woman named Saja al-Dulaimi after she tried to enter from Syria with forged papers. But the Iraqi interior ministry said on Wednesday...

IS forces 'pushed back' in Iraq

IS forces 'pushed back' in Iraq

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq say they have recaptured the town of Zumar from Islamic State militants. Further south, Iraqi security forces are reported to have ejected IS from Jurf al-Sakhar near Baghdad, in a battle to secure a Shia pilgrim route. Meanwhile the US military said US-led forces made 22 air strikes against IS...

Lebanon deports Bangladeshi migrant workers' children

Lebanon deports Bangladeshi migrant workers' children

Lebanon is deporting locally born children of migrant workers from Bangladesh and five other countries and, in some cases, their mothers, according to nine NGOs operating in the country. The other countries are: Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ghana, South Sudan, and Madagascar, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published on September 2.

Leaving for Beirut

Leaving for Beirut

  On a winter night in 1981, Momen left for Beirut. When I met him the day before, his 17-year-old eyes twinkled with the excitement of joining the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). He pulled out his air ticket -- probably of British Airways, memories wane so fast -- and said: “Dosto, Ami Chollam. Torao parley ai...

Lebanon protesters march over domestic violence bill

Lebanon protesters march over domestic violence bill

Thousands of people have marched through Beirut to demand politicians in Lebanon pass a law against domestic violence. The rally, which coincided with International Women's Day, was led by relatives of victims. Lebanon is viewed as the one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, but has no law protecting women from violence...

Syria Crisis

Barrel bomb raids 'kill 85'

Barrel bomb raids 'kill 85'

At least 85 people were killed in 24 hours of Syrian regime air raids on the city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said yesterday, after 10 days of inconclusive peace talks. The deaths came as a suicide car bombing in a Hezbollah stronghold across the border in Lebanon killed four people on Saturday, in the latest regional spillover of the conflict. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime helicopters hit rebel-held areas of Aleppo with barrels packed with explosives. The so-called barrel bombs are a controversial weapon, condemned by rights groups as indiscriminate. "At least 85 people were killed, including 65 civilians, 10 of whom were children," on Saturday, the Observatory said. The...

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