Israeli warplanes attack Syrian army positions in Golan Heights

Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:30PM – PressTV
A picture taken from the Golan Heights on September 10, 2016, shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab, shortly after Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against Syrian army positions in the area. (Photos by AFP)
A picture taken from the Golan Heights on September 10, 2016, shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab, shortly after Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes against Syrian army positions in the area. (Photos by AFP)

Israeli warplanes have once again launched an attack against Syria’s Golan Heights after mortar fire from the Arab country landed in an open area in the occupied Syrian territory.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), citing unnamed military sources, said Israeli fighter jets had fired two missiles at a military position in the vicinity of Khan Arnabah town in the countryside of Quneitra, the capital city of southwestern Quneitra province, at about 18:45 p.m. local time on Friday, causing material damage.

The Israeli military also confirmed the aggression in a statement, saying the attack was conducted shortly after three mortar shells allegedly fired from Syria hit an open area in the northern occupied Golan Heights.

The statement, however, added that the projectiles had caused no injuries or damage, and they were likely not intentional, but a spillover from the Syrian war.

Meanwhile, Syria’s state-run television, while confirming the Israeli airstrike, said that such desperate attempts would not dissuade the Syrian army from continuing to crush the terror groups that act as Israel’s proxy in the region.

The border separating Syria and the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights has been tense since foreign-backed militancy gripped the Arab country in 2011, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people so far.

An Israeli Merkava tank drives near the border with Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on November 28, 2016.

Back in April 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially admitted for the first time that the regime’s military had conducted strikes in Syrian territory.

During the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered as an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats at the hands of the Syrian military.

Damascus says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country, while the regime’s military carries out such sporadic strikes against Syrian government forces. The Israeli regime has even set up field hospitals to treat wounded militants evacuated from Syria.

Moreover, the Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of illegal settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.

Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:6AM

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Tens of thousands of anti-fascist protesters are expected to rally amid heavy police presence against an event to be held by Germany’s right-wing political party over the weekend in the western city of Cologne.

Some 50,000 protestors are estimated to descend on the city center with the aim of blocking the entrance to the hotel, where anti-Islam and anti refugee Alternative for Germany (AfD) is set to hold its convention.

According to German media, around 4,000 police forces armed with tear gas and water cannons have been tasked with ensuring security at the site, where a counter-rally is also expected to be held by far-right activists.

A no-fly zone has also been imposed over Cologne.

More than 70 different social groups and left-leaning organizations expressed readiness to attend the protest rallies under the slogan “solidarity instead of agitation.”

Police set up barricades and closed off parts of central Cologne to prevent any possible clashes.

Picture taken on April 21, 2017 shows water cannons and armored vehicles of the police standing in front of the Maritim Hotel in Cologne, western Germany, which is venue of a congress of Germany’s right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. (By AFP)

The AfD campaign gained momentum last year amid rising xenophobic sentiments fueled by the refugee influx into Germany, which far-right activists blame on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy vis-a-vis asylum seekers.

Supporters of the anti-Islam Pegida group and anti-fascist protesters have repeatedly clashed, while there have been more than 1,000 attacks on refugee accommodation as hate crimes rise in the country.

With a population of over 80 million people, the west European county registered some 1.1 million refugees between January and December 2015 and expects another 2.5 million to arrive by the end of 2020.

Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II as vast numbers of asylum seekers fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East try to gain access to the continent.

The refugee crisis in Europe and a series of Daesh related terrorist attacks across the globe have led to the rise of Islamophobia among racists and xenophobes in the West.

Some 4,000 Muslims make up nearly five percent of the total population in Germany.

Many blame the support by some Western countries for militants operating in the Middle East as the main reason behind the departure of refugees from their home countries.

Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:1AM
US President Donald Trump holds a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (not seen) at the White House in Washington, DC, April 20, 2017. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump holds a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (not seen) at the White House in Washington, DC, April 20, 2017. (AFP photo)

A group of American psychiatrists have warned that US President Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is unfit to lead the country.

Over thirty mental health experts said Thursday at a conference at Yale University that Trump was “paranoid and delusional” and that they were responsible for warning Americans about the “dangers” Trump poses.

“We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump’s dangerous mental illness,” Dr. John Gartner said at Yale’s School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Gartner said Trump’s false claim about having the largest crowd at his inauguration was just one of many that served as warnings of a wider problem.

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Gartner leads a group of mental health experts that believes President Trump suffers from a combination of anti-social personality disorders and extreme narcissism and is unfit for the job. He started an online petition earlier this year on calling for Trump to be removed from office.

“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional,” he said.

“As some prominent psychiatrists have noted, [Trump’s mental health] is the elephant in the room. I think the public is really starting to catch on and widely talk about this now,” said Dr. Bandy Lee, an assistant clinical professor at the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

James Gilligan, a psychiatrist and professor at New York University, told the conference he had worked with some of the “most dangerous people in society,” but that he was convinced by the “dangerousness” of Trump.

“I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognize dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is,” he said.

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