Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

From Syria strike to martial arts on the India-China border: non-coronavirus news you may have missed

An Israeli court released a leading activist opposing Netanyahu's rule and Prince Harry has launched a trek in Oman to raise funds for veterans

Quds Force head Maj Gen Esmail Qaani AP
Quds Force head Maj Gen Esmail Qaani AP

Latest Syria strikes kill six militiamen as new Quds force head visits battlefield

Air strikes against positions belonging to regime forces and Iran-backed militias in east Syria on Saturday killed six fighters as the new head of Tehran's elite Quds force reportedly visited the battlefield.

Four Syrian nationals were among those killed in the raids on Al Abbas village near the border with Iraq, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It was not immediately clear if they were soldiers with the Syrian army.

The war monitor did not confirm who was behind the attack but said Israel was "likely responsible".

Prince Harry launches Oman trek for wounded veterans

A handout image made available by Oman News Agency (ONA) shows Britain's Prince Harry being welcomed by Omani Minister of Culture and Heritage Sayyid Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said, upon his arrival in Oman, on November 18 2014 AFP
A handout image made available by Oman News Agency (ONA) shows Britain's Prince Harry being welcomed by Omani Minister of Culture and Heritage Sayyid Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said, upon his arrival in Oman, on November 18 2014 AFP

Prince Harry has launched a 400km trek across the Oman desert to mark the 10th anniversary of the Walking with the Wounded charity which raises money for sick and injured veterans.

The expedition, which will take place at the end of this year in partnership with the Omani armed forces, will chart a path through Oman’s Empty Quarter.

The Walk of Oman will see the team of veterans follow in the footsteps of legendary British desert explorer and soldier Sir Wilfred Thesiger as they trek 20km per day in temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius.

China sent martial artists and rock climbers to India border before deadly brawl

Chinese state media said the country reinforced its troops near the Indian border with mountain climbers and martial artists before a deadly clash this month.

Tensions are common between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in the mountainous border terrain, but this month's fighting was their deadliest encounter in more than 50 years.

Five new militia divisions, including former members of a Mount Everest Olympic torch relay team and fighters from a Mixed Martial Arts club, presented themselves for inspection at Lhasa on June 15, the official military newspaper China National Defence News reported.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of hundreds of new troops lining up in the Tibetan capital.

Israeli court releases anti-Netanyahu activist after arrest

A Jerusalem court early on Sunday ordered the release of a leading activist opposed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rule and whose arrest prompted hundreds to protest outside the Israeli leader's residence.

Retired Brig Gen Amir Haskel has been a leader of the protest movement against Mr Netanyahu, demanding that the long-time leader step down while facing charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting of the new government at Chagall State Hall in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on May 24, 2020. AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting of the new government at Chagall State Hall in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on May 24, 2020. AFP

Mr Haskel and several others were detained on Friday in what police said was an "illegal" demonstration because the protesters blocked roads.

Mr Haskel, a former top Israeli air force general, has become a symbol of the protest movement that opposes Mr Netanyahu's continued rule.

Updated: June 28, 2020 04:50 PM

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