A rocket attack on a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters killed six civilians and wounded more than a dozen people.

The shelling came a week after a suicide bomber launched an attack near a military base run by Turkey-backed fighters in Afrin.

Also Thursday, the Kurdish-led forces reported an attempted escape from a prison in northeastern Syria that holds ISIL fighters. According to the report, inmates first started to riot inside Gerwan Prison in the city of Hassakeh, which houses about 3,000 prisoners.

Libya’s central bank said on Thursday that it has started a process to reunify after being split for years during the country’s civil war.

In a statement Friday, the bank said that the reunification of the bank’s institutions will be implemented in stages. The step towards unification comes after the country’s elections were delayed last month, throwing its transitional to democracy into question.

The Central Bank of Libya is the repository for billions of dollars annually in oil revenue as well as foreign reserves. In 2014, the bank splintered along the country’s broader political fault lines.

US leader faces criticism over failure to address terrorist violence. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said that he is considering re-designating Yemen’s Houthi militia as an international terrorist organization days after the Iran-backed group made another attack that killed three people.

Biden delisted the Houthi militia as a “foreign terrorist organization,” a designation put in place by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Asked if he would redesignate the Houthis as a terrorist group, Biden replied: “It’s under consideration.”

Syrian doctor Alaa M. will stand trial in Frankfurt from Wednesday, accused of having been part of the Syrian torture system. Torture takes place in over 100 countries worldwide — and doctors are almost always involved.

Alaa M. stands accused of gruesome crimes: Of dousing the genitals of teenagers with alcohol and setting them on fire, of kicking prisoners’ broken arms and legs, of administering those who protest against mistreatment with injections.

The trial comes on the heels of a landmark decision: Last week, a German court found a Syrian former army colonel guilty of crimes against humanity, handing him a life sentence.

The human rights organization Amnesty International recorded 140 countries where torture is carried out with the help of doctors.

Residents throughout a large area in western Iran reported hearing loud explosions strong enough to shake windows on Saturday night, with Iranian state media reporting hours after the incident that it was caused by lightning.

The Tasnim News Agency, associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, reported on Sunday morning that the explosion sound was caused by lightning and that it had “nothing to do with the activities of the armed forces or the testing of defense systems.”

The blasting sound which remained unexplained for over 10 hours initially sparked speculation about an unannounced air defense drill taking place in the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss efforts to promote the democratic process in Libya.

Efforts to lead Libya into elections at the end of December were thrown into disarray when the country’s electoral commission said a vote could not take place, citing what it called inadequacies in the electoral legislation and the judicial appeals process.

The ministers of the two countries stressed the need to intensify coordination within the framework of joint African action in a way that enhances efforts to achieve peace and security on the African continent.

The UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Friday expressed alarm at “multiple, deeply disturbing reports” of airstrikes in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, saying at least 108 civilians had been killed since the start of January.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said later on Friday that he was “heartbroken by the suffering of the Ethiopian people,” appealing again for the parties to stop fighting.

A UN World Food Programme official warned at the same briefing that its operations in northern Ethiopia “are about to grind to a halt” because of intense fighting nearby.

The two executed dissidents were Jahanbakhsh Abbasi and Mehran Naqdi, whom the mullahs’ court sentenced to death last year after torturing them and forcing them to take part in television confessions.

The execution of these two dissidents is reminiscent of the inhuman execution of Mostafa Salehi and Navid Afkari. Mustafa was executed in Isfahan on August 5, 2020, after two and a half years of torture and solitary confinement, on charges of killing a Revolutionary Guards member during the December 2017 Iran protests.

The Iranian Resistance calls on the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN High Commissioner, the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteurs, and all human rights organizations, as well as the European Union and its member states, to take action to save the lives of death row prisoners.

The US on Wednesday threatened Somalia with sanctions if it fails to meet a recently agreed timetable for holding elections.

The US warning comes days after Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed announced that he welcomed the outcome of the six-day meeting of the National Consultative Council at which its leaders agreed to conclude ongoing Lower House elections by Feb. 25, but he has yet to comment on the latest warning.

World powers have voiced fear that election delays, as well as the ongoing feud between Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, could set off new troubles for a country that has lacked stable governance for three decades.

U.S. officials have warned Somalia’s political instability will interfere with the work of the Somali security forces fighting against U.S.-designated terrorist organization al-Shabaab, enabling the al-Qaeda affiliate’s violent activities to gain momentum. In December, political feuds interfered with the fight against extremists when the U.S.-trained Puntland Security Force (PSF) abandoned its mission in protest of a new commander imposed by the Puntland government, resulting in a standoff with Puntland military forces. Al-Shabaab and local militants pledged to ISIS have since taken advantage of the lack of security, increasing attacks on both government and civilian targets.

According to security analysts, the power vacuum resulting from the divisions between political leaders has provided a boost to al-Shabaab militants.



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