A Sudanese engineer working for the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) was shot in Missan province on Jan. 12 when gunmen attacked a convoy transporting oil workers to the airport. The incident highlights the risks foreign companies face because of criminal violence.

The assailants were members of an organized crime group running a kind of highway robbery operation.

An armed gang attacked a convoy carrying international oil workers to the Basra airport despite the presence of a security protection team

Five Roman artefacts from the ancient city of Palmyra, a site damaged during Syria’s decade-long conflict, were returned to Damascus on Thursday by a private Lebanese museum where they had been on display since 2018.

The limestone statues and carved funerary stones dating from the Roman second and third centuries AD were returned at the initiative of a private Lebanese collector, Syrian antiquities chief Mohamed Nazir Awad said at a handover ceremony hosted by Lebanon’s National Museum in Beirut.

During the Syrian conflict, the site of Palmyra, one of the most important cultural centres in the ancient world, fell under the control of the Islamic State group, which blew up some of its major monuments, including the Arch of Triumph.

Iraq will receive two stolen artefacts dating back more than 4,000 years from US authorities this week.

The pieces are made of clay with cuneiform writing. One is from the ancient city of Ur, while the other is from Babylon.

The antiquities will be the latest items Iraq has received from the US and other countries in its long-running struggle to retrieve its stolen cultural trove.

Forty-four figures have nominated themselves for the Iraqi presidency. It’s the largest number of candidates in the history of the republic since 1958.

The two major Kurdish parties had agreed the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) would name the Iraqi president, while the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) would get presidency of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), also known as Iraqi Kurdistan.

On January 9, 2022, Iraq’s new chamber held its first session, which witnessed an alliance between the two Sunni parties, Azm and Taqqadum, and the Sadrist bloc that controls 73 out of 329 seats in Parliament.

The US State Department on Sunday denied brokering an agreement for Israel to indirectly supply natural gas to Lebanon.

According to the unsourced report Saturday, there was an agreement that was signed in secret over the weekend, and will see Israel transfer gas from the offshore Leviathan field to Jordan, From there it will be transferred to Syria and on to Lebanon, though the network said the move will require repairing and extending a gas line that flows between those countries, which could take several years.

Heavy fighting broke out on Thursday outside the Houthi-held town of Hareb in Yemen’s central province of Marib as government troops sought to seize control of the strategic area.

Abdu Abdullah Majili, a Yemeni army spokesperson, told that government troops engaged in heavy fighting with the Houthis on the edges of Hareb town as some pockets of fighters refused to surrender or retreat.

Hareb’s fall would be another blow to the Houthis who have suffered heavy setbacks since the beginning of the year when the Giants Brigades mounted an offensive in Shabwa.

Israel’s internal security agency has arrested five Israelis accused of spying for its arch-enemy Iran.

The women were allegedly paid thousands of dollars to take photos of sensitive sites, monitor security arrangements, and make connections with politicians.

Lawyers for the women said they did not know the man was an Iranian operative.

They also insisted that the women had no intention of harming Israel’s security.

The Syrian regime, which has been waging a costly war against its own people for more than 11 years, and Russian forces have gradually escalated tensions in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. The very location is the war-torn country’s last opposition stronghold where around 3 million people are stuck.

Turkey, Assad’s forces’ off-and-on attacks and Moscow’s airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians, including many children. The regime has once again shown its obsession with Idlib, which it needs to declare its victory.

The regime’s well-documented evidence of torture, rape and extreme humanitarian violence directly linked to the Syrian butcher Assad. This was clearly shown in the Caesar Report involving 900,000 government files that were released in 2014 and which revealed almost 55,000 photographs of bodies of the detainees who horrifically died in the regime’s detention centers.

At least nine children were killed and four others wounded when a live mortar shell exploded in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar on Monday.

Afghanistan is among the countries with the most unexploded land mines and bombs from the country’s decades of war and the victims are often children.

Milaperetz

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