The United States said on Sunday it carried out another round of air strikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, this time in response to drone attacks by the militia against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. In a statement, the U.S. military said it targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq.
The giant container ship that has blocked traffic in the Suez Canal for the last week, bringing a key global trade route to a standstill and capturing the world’s attention, was partially refloated early Monday. It was unclear when the vessel would be fully set free but the progress raised hopes the crucial waterway could soon be reopened after days of intense salvage efforts.
The mission to unblock the Suez canal after a vast container ship became wedged has entered its third day, as pressure builds on authorities to get one of the world’s key trade arteries flowing again. Efforts to refloat the 220,000-ton, 400-metre-long Ever Given resumed on Thursday after a brief overnight suspension, amid fears the operation could potentially take weeks if the vessel needs to be unloaded.
One of the largest container ships in the world has been partially refloated after it ran aground in the Suez canal, causing a huge jam of vessels at either end of the vital international trade artery. The 220,000-ton, 400-metre-long Ever Given – a so-called “megaship” – became stuck near the southern end of the canal on Tuesday. The Suez Canal Authority said it had lost the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm.
Morocco has become the fourth predominantly Muslim country to normalize relations with Israel in a U.S.-brokered deal. Hailing it as “historic,” President Donald Trump tweeted that the deal, which came after talks conducted by his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his chief international negotiator, Avi Berkowitz, was “a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East.”
The first world chess tournament hosted by Saudi Arabia is entangled in controversy after Israeli competitors were barred from playing, and Qatari players withdrew after being banned from showing their flag. A spokesman for the Israeli Chess Federation, Lior Aizenberg, said, ‘The relationships between countries should not be part of international events such as championships.’
Israel has killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. The attack was carried out in targeted airstrikes in eastern Gaza on Tuesday. Militants responded to the killing of Baha Abu Al-Atta by firing rockets at Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, in what is the most serious escalation of tensions in months.
The United States hopes to enlist allies over the next two weeks or so in a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, where Washington blames Iran and Iran-aligned fighters for attacks, the top U.S. general said on Tuesday. Under the plan, which has only been finalized in recent days, the United States would provide command ships and lead surveillance efforts for the military coalition.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Israel identified a ‘secret atomic warehouse’ in Tehran, Iran which contains nuclear and radioactive materials. Netanyahu made his claim at the UN General Assembly on Thursday and called for new sanctions against Iran. Netanyahu used satellite images of the supposed nuclear warehouse to support his claims.
Palestinian-backed plans for a UN security council vote on Tuesday designed to show international opposition to Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan are expected to be shelved after the US and the UK raised separate objections to the draft text. In what was being seen as a key test of the diplomatic support for Trump’s “ultimate deal”, Tunisia, with Arab League and Palestinian support, had tabled a resolution saying it breached basic undertakings to the Palestinian people.