Tag Archives: monitor

Air strikes kill 18 pro-Iran fighters in east Syria: monitor

Air strikes kill 18 pro-Iran fighters in east Syria: monitorAir strikes hit positions of pro-Iranian forces and allied militias in eastern Syria overnight, killing 18 fighters, a war monitor said Monday. It was not clear who carried out the raids in the region of Albu Kamal near the border with Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Britain-based Observatory, which has a vast network of contacts across Syria, said “18 fighters were killed, but their nationalities have not yet been determined”.



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Russia rocket accident likely had two explosions, Norway monitor says

Russia rocket accident likely had two explosions, Norway monitor saysAn explosion that killed five Russian scientists during a rocket engine test this month was followed by a second blast two hours later, the likely source of a spike in radiation, Norway’s nuclear test-ban monitor said on Friday. The second explosion was likely from an airborne rocket powered by radioactive fuel, the Norsar agency said – though the governor of Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, where the blast took place, dismissed reports of another blast. “The aftermath of the incident does not carry any threat,” the governor, Igor Orlov, told the Interfax news agency.



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1,400 arrested at Moscow election protest: monitor

1,400 arrested at Moscow election protest: monitorRussian police arrested almost 1,400 people as they gathered in Moscow at the weekend to demand open elections, a monitor said, the biggest crackdown on a rally in the country in years. Some 3,500 people took part in the unauthorised protest on Saturday, according to official figures, after authorities blocked prominent opposition candidates from taking part in city elections. Amnesty International also condemned what it said was the use of excessive force by the police.



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Moscow police arrest hundreds at rally for fair elections: monitor

Moscow police arrest hundreds at rally for fair elections: monitorPolice arrested more than 800 people as they gathered in Moscow on Saturday to demand fair local elections, a protest monitor said, following the latest in a wave of demonstrations after authorities blocked opposition candidates from the ballot paper. The demonstration came a week after the capital’s biggest protest in years, when some 22,000 marchers called on officials to reverse rulings and allow opposition activists to stand for the city council in September. Since then investigators have raided the homes and headquarters of several disqualified candidates, while top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was jailed for 30 days for calling the fresh protest.



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FBI encourages US universities to monitor Chinese students, report says

FBI encourages US universities to monitor Chinese students, report saysThe FBI has reportedly urged at least 10 US universities to actively monitor Chinese students and visiting scholars.The institutions, all members of the Association of American Universities, have been asked to closely monitor any students or fellows linked to several Chinese companies and research organisations, according to NPR.“We are being asked what processes are in place to know what labs they are working at or what information they are being exposed to,” said Fred Cate, vice president of research at Indiana University.”It’s not a question of just looking for suspicious behaviour — it’s actually really targeting specific countries and the people from those countries.”During visits to campuses, FBI agents discussed concerns with university officials about students from other nationalities as well, but focused on those from China.US intelligence employees separately briefed 70 university administrators in March 2019.The group were urged to increase oversight of Chinese researchers and to avoid accepting project funding from firms such as Huawei.Huawei, a Chinese technology company, is included on the US government’s list of companies which undermine the country’s national security.The CIA reportedly suspects the company of taking funding from Beijing’s intelligence and security agencies.US companies were effectively banned from selling to the firm between May and June 2019, but Donald Trump said the ban would be lifted during the G20 summit on Saturday.The US and China also agreed to halt a yearlong trade war during the summit.“For months up until [May], government officials were saying, ‘We really don’t think you should be doing business with Huawei,’” Mr Cate told NPR.“We said, ‘Why don’t you put them on a list and then we won’t do business?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, the list process is way too slow.’ ““The FBI regularly engages with the communities we serve,” a spokesperson for the agency said.“As part of this continual outreach, we meet with a wide variety of groups, organisations, businesses, and academic institutions.“The FBI has met with top officials from academia as part of our ongoing engagement on national security matters.”Intelligence agencies have also urged university administrators to review research involving possible defence applications, if the projects involve Chinese nationals.The FBI requests are not mandatory and several administrators are believed to have resisted the pressure to monitor Chinese students, due to being sceptical about the threat level.Chinese nationals make up a third of all international students in the US and many pay significant sums to study in the country.



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IS hits Syria army with deadliest attacks since 'caliphate': monitor

IS hits Syria army with deadliest attacks since 'caliphate': monitorIslamic State group jihadists have killed 35 pro-Damascus fighters in Syria, in what a monitoring group described Saturday as their deadliest operation since the fall of the “caliphate”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four senior Syrian army officers were among the troops and allied militiamen killed in the desert east of Homs province over the past 48 hours. The Amaq propaganda arm of IS, which lost the last vestige of its “caliphate” to Kurdish-led forces last month but retains desert and mountain hideouts in both Syria and Iraq, said its fighters carried out the operation.



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Bomb blast in a bus kills 3 civilians in Syria's Afrin: monitor

Bomb blast in a bus kills 3 civilians in Syria's Afrin: monitorA bomb blast in a bus killed three civilians Sunday in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on the first anniversary of a Turkish attack on the Kurdish-majority region, a war monitor said. Nine other people, including fighters, were wounded in the explosion, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP. Turkish troops and allied rebel groups seized the Afrin region from Kurdish forces in March last year after a two-month air and ground offensive.



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2018 death toll Syria war's lowest at under 20,000: monitor

2018 death toll Syria war's lowest at under 20,000: monitorSyria’s nearly eight-year-old conflict saw its lowest annual death toll in 2018 as the regime reasserted its authority over swathes of territory, a war monitor said on Monday. A total of 19,666 people were killed this year as a result of the conflict, which erupted in 2011, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported. “2018 was the lowest annual toll since the start of the conflict,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.



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Turkey bolsters troops in Kurdish areas of northern Syria: war monitor

Turkey bolsters troops in Kurdish areas of northern Syria: war monitorTurkey on Saturday sent military reinforcements to northern Syria near an area controlled by Kurdish forces as Ankara threatens to carry out a fresh offensive to wipe them out, a war monitor said. The move comes after US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement on Wednesday of the withdrawal of American troops stationed in northeastern Syria alongside Kurdish fighters, a long-time enemy of Turkey. Washington has for years supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition dominated by the People’s Protection Units (YPG).



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Car bomb kills 8 people in Syria's Afrin: monitor

Car bomb kills 8 people in Syria's Afrin: monitorA car bomb killed at least eight people including four civilians near a pro-Turkey rebel post in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on Sunday, a British-based war monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not clear who was behind the blast in the city, which was seized from Kurdish forces earlier this year. The explosion comes after the Turkish president on Wednesday threatened to launch a new offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.



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