World news – Killing rocket attacks on Syrian oil refineries 4

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BEIRUT: Missile strikes on makeshift oil refineries in northern Syria have killed four people and injured more than 20 others, a war monitor said on Saturday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a series of strikes launched by Russian warships and allied Syrian regime forces struck makeshift refineries in Aleppo province on Friday night, causing a massive fire as dozens of tankers were in the one owned by Turkey and Turkey Syrian rebels’ representatives caught fire in their country-controlled area.
The UK-based Monitor « documented the deaths of four people while another 24 sustained various injuries and burns in the attacks near the towns of Jarablus and Al-Bab ».
At least one Syrian rebel was among the dead, said the head of the observatory, Rami Abdul Rahman.
Rescue workers spent hours trying to put out the fire, which, according to the war monitor, spread to around 180 oil tankers.
« The fires are the largest ever caused by a rocket attack on makeshift refineries, » said the observatory.
Oil facilities in Turkey-controlled parts of Aleppo have been attacked repeatedly in recent months, although Moscow and the Syrian regime have not assumed responsibility.
The observatory reported two such missile attacks last month.
In January, unidentified drones also hit oil refineries in Turkish-held areas of Aleppo, causing a major fire, according to the observatory.
The war in Syria has killed more than 387,000 people and displaced millions since the beginning of 2011, with brutal repression of anti-government protests.
It later developed into a complex conflict between jihadists and foreign powers.

Rescue workers spent hours trying to put out the fire, which spread to around 180 oil tankers.

The northern neighbor Turkey has taken control of several regions in Syria in military campaigns against the Daesh group and Kurdish fighters since 2016.
The Syrian Kurds have now returned 12 children of alleged Daesh members to their mothers from the Yazidi minority in Iraq.
“The children, ages two to five, were all born to Yazidi mothers and conceived by Daesh members. They were handed over to their mothers, ”said Syrian Kurdish official Zeyneb Saroukhan on Thursday.
Dozens of Yazidi women and girls survived Daesh sex slavery in Syria and have since returned to Iraq, but many have had to leave their children behind or risk being shunned by their community.
Saroukhan said this is the first time children have been returned to their mothers.
Daesh abducted thousands of Yazidi women and girls from their Iraqi ancestral home Sinjar in 2014 and enslaved, raped or forcibly married them to terrorists, including in Syria.
U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters say they saved dozens during their years of fighting Daesh that led to their territorial defeat in 2019.
But while the Yazidi community welcomed these survivors to northern Iraq, that sympathy was not extended to their children.
Saroukhan said it was the duty of the Syrian Kurdish authorities to look after the children until their mothers asked about them.
Yazidi women and children have previously returned to Iraq from Syria, but many of the abductees are still missing.
In May last year, a then 17-year-old Yazidi girl kidnapped by Daesh returned to Iraq after the coronavirus lockdown in Syria delayed her homecoming.
In 2019, the Kurds of Syria repatriated 25 women and children.

DUBAI: UAE health authorities confirmed 2,613 additional coronavirus cases and 12 more deaths on Sunday. A total of 410,849 patients and 1,322 deaths were registered in the country.

The Department of Health and Prevention conducted 234,763 additional COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours, according to a report by state news agency WAM.

Meanwhile, 1,587 people have fully recovered from the infectious disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 392,792.

The Emirates have run a mass vaccination campaign of approximately 6.2 million doses of COVID-19 jab, or a vaccine distribution rate of 63.04 doses per 100 people.

The vaccination campaign will help reduce the number of cases and control the spread of the virus, the ministry said.

JERUSALEM: Israel opened most of its economy as part of its final phase of lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions, some of which have been in place since September.
Bars and restaurants, function rooms, sporting events, hotels and the entire primary and secondary school can reopen to the public on Sunday with some restrictions on entry and capacity. The move takes place after months of government shutdowns.
The Israeli government approved the easing of restrictions on Saturday night, including reopening the main international airport to a limited number of inbound passengers per day.
Most major public activities, including dining in restaurants, are available to people vaccinated against the coronavirus. Israel has pushed ahead with its vaccination campaign. Over 52% of the population received one dose and nearly 40% received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, one of the highest rates in the world.
According to the Ministry of Health, Israel has confirmed at least 799,000 cases, including 5,856 deaths, since the pandemic began.

DUBAI: One police officer was killed and seven others injured in a Houthi drone attack on a police station in Yemen’s Taiz province, state news agency Saba News reported.
Two of the seven injured are in critical condition, the report said.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Information Minister, Muammar Al-Eryani, said the Iran-backed Houthi militia will not cease its practices unless it is under military and political pressure.
« The Houthi militia will not give in to demands for de-escalation and will advocate peacebuilding on the basis of the three references unless they are under military and political pressure, which the international community should understand, » said Al-Eryani.
He went on to say that even during the negotiations, the Houthis showed no willingness to find a peaceful solution to end the conflict in the country.
« Their engagement was just a maneuver to take a break and then regroup, recruit and brainwash more fighters, » he added.
Al-Eryani urged the international community and the United Nations not to waste more time and effort trying to convince the militia to achieve peace as the country’s population suffers from their military escalations.
The country’s civil war began in 2014 when Houthis conquered the capital and the internationally recognized government fled to neighboring Saudi Arabia.

DUBAI: A café in Al-Buraimi province in Oman has stopped serving coffee to customers in baby bottles to prevent the spread of this phenomenon in the sultanate, the local newspaper Times of Oman reported.
News and pictures of this practice have spread on social media, with some cafes in the Gulf region selling beverages in baby bottles.
This practice has been condemned by people in Oman who called for legal action against the cafe to prevent the phenomenon from spreading out of the country.
Dubai authorities also banned local cafes from serving drinks in baby bottles on Saturday to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Dubai Economy said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the Emirate of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates has closed a retail store and fined $ 1,361 for violating COVID-19 measures, state news agency WAM reported.
The Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management team coordinated with the Ajman Police and the Ministry of Economic Development to close the store, which was crowded with customers who had no social distance.

DUBAI: Pope Francis spent much of Saturday in the air and landed in three cities on the second day of his apostolic visit to Iraq.

He left Baghdad early for Najaf, where he had a historic meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, one of the leading figures in Shiite Islam.

The meeting was a milestone in modern religious history and in relation to Pope Francis’ efforts to deepen interreligious dialogue.

Pope Francis then returned to heaven to drive to Nassiriya, where he drove to Ur – the traditional birthplace of Prophet Abraham, a central figure in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith – where he was passionate about “unity “Pleaded conflict in a gathering of Iraqi religious communities.

He then flew back to Baghdad and celebrated Holy Mass in the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Joseph after a short break.

1030: Pope Francis’ meeting with the Qaraqosh congregation ends and he will be on his way back to Irbil, where he will later celebrate Holy Mass in the Franso Hariri Stadium before going to Baghdad.

1008: Pope Francis calls on the long-suffering Christians in Iraq to forgive the injustices committed against them by Muslim extremists and to continue to work to rebuild the country after years of war and sectarian conflicts.
Speaking to a packed Church of the Immaculate Conception, Francis said that “forgiveness” is a key word for Christians. “The road to full recovery may be long, but I ask you not to be discouraged. What is needed is the ability to forgive, but also the courage not to give up. “

0940: Pope Francis meets Christians in an old church that was set on fire by the Daesh group when they swept into the northern Iraqi city of Qaraqosh in 2014. After the militants were evicted from the city in 2016, the imposing marble of the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Al-Tahera) was erected, the floors and pillars were restored and the faithful gathered there to welcome the Pope.

WATCH: The residents of the Iraqi Christian enclave of Qaraqosh await the arrival of Pope Francis. Click the Twitter link below.

#LIVE: Pope Francis visits the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Iraq’s small Christian village Qaraqosh.https: //t.co/i6qzxfR6cb https://t.co/9JCuNuyzDn

0804: Pope Francis has left Mosul and is traveling to the small Christian village of Qaraqosh north of Iraq to visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

0733: Pope Francis prays for « war victims » in front of a centuries-old church in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which was badly damaged by the Daesh group.
The 84-year-old Pope said the exodus of Christians from Iraq and the Middle East « is causing incalculable damage not only to the individuals and communities concerned, but also to the society they leave behind. »
“How cruel it is that this country, the cradle of civilization, should have been hit by such a barbaric blow, in which ancient places of worship were destroyed and many thousands of people – Muslims, Christians, Yazidis – were cruelly destroyed by terrorism – and others forcibly displaced or killed, ”said Francis.
Rev. Raed Kallo, the only priest in Iraq’s second largest city, told his story among the crowd and in front of the Pope. He and most of his congregation fled 500 Christian families when Daesh overran the city in June 2014.

But he said he returned three years ago after the extremists were defeated by Iraqi and international forces in a grueling campaign that left much of the city in ruins. He said: « After the liberation of the city, my Muslim brothers received me with great hospitality and love. »
But he said that there are only about 70 Christian families living in Mosul today. The rest are afraid to return and many have emigrated abroad.
Gutayba Aagha, a Muslim and head of the Independent Social and Cultural Council for the Mosul Families, also spoke to the crowd. In words welcomed by Francis, he said: “On behalf of the Council, I invite all our Christian brothers to return to this city, to their properties and to their businesses.”

0709: Pope Francis is now at Hosh Al-Bieaa (church square) in Mosul, where he will lead an election prayer for the war victims.

0655: Pope Francis arrives by helicopter in Mosul, once a stronghold of Daesh, where today barely more than a few dozen families are Christians.

CLOCK: Preparations in Hosh Al-Bieaa (Church Square) in Mosul, where Pope Francis will lead an election prayer for the war victims. Click the Twitter link below.

#LIVE: Pope Francis will lead an election prayer for the war victims in Hosh Al-Bieaa (church square) in Mosul. Https://t.co/i6qzxfR6cb https://t.co/kA5JXWkjpt

0523: Pope Francis arrives in Irbil and is greeted by Prime Minister Mansour Barzani from the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan and other civil authorities in the region.

Ref: https://www.arabnews.com

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