Rockets fell near U.S. Embassy; Haftar’s soldiers killed in Libya; Putin meets Assad

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on January 8 in last twelve hours from

Two rockets fall inside Baghdad’s Green Zone

Two rockets fell on Wednesday inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions, but caused no casualties, the Iraqi military said.

Sirens were sounding inside the Green Zone. Police sources told Reuters at least one of the rockets fell 100 metres (yards) from the U.S. Embassy.

“Two Katyusha rockets fall inside the Green Zone without causing casualties. Details to follow,” the military said.

Two loud blasts followed by sirens had been heard in Baghdad, Reuters witnesses said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Iran launched missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq overnight in retaliation for the killing by the United States last week of Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, raising concern about a wider war in the Middle East.

Libya: 20 of Haftar’s forces killed in Sirte

Twenty of Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s militia were killed in the Al-Washaka area, in the past days, a spokesperson of the UN-recognized Libyan government said Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

Mustafa Al-Majee said the militia were targeted by airstrikes and a number of armed vehicles and ammunition were destroyed.

The Al-Washaka area, east Sirte, saw heavy clashes and Government of National Accord (GNA)’s forces are controlling and advancing despite the clashes.

Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys the UN and international recognition.

In April, Haftar’s forces launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the internationally recognized government.

Putin meets Assad in rare Syria visit amid US-Iran tensions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has met his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad during a rare visit to the Syrian capital as the prospect of war between Iran and the United States loomed over the region.

Tuesday’s visit was Putin’s first to Damascus and second to Syria, a key Iran ally, since the start of the nearly nine-year war that Russian troops joined in 2015 to support the Syrian government.

The two leaders listened to a military presentation by the commander of Russian forces in Syria, the Syrian presidency said in a statement along with a picture of the two leaders shaking hands.

He also said enormous progress had been made in the Syrian conflict, Russian news agencies reported.

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Read more: Israel has warned Iran; Hezbollah might attack Israel; NATO condemned Iran’s attacks

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Editorial team
Source: MEMO, Reuters, Al Jazeera