After two days that saw the worst exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas since the 2014 war, a fragile truce prevailed Friday in Gaza, with no rocket attacks or airstrikes since an apparent ceasefire went into effect at midnight.
Russian jets struck an opposition held town in southwest Syria on Sunday, opposition sources said, in the first air cover provided by Moscow to an expanding Syrian army offensive to recapture the strategic area bordering Jordan and the Israeli Golan Heights.
Israeli warplanes hit some 25 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip late Tuesday and early Wednesday in a second wave of retaliatory strikes, the army said, as Palestinian terror groups continued to fire mortars and rockets into Israel.
Warplanes pounded the last rebel enclave near Syria’s capital for a fifth day running on Thursday as the U.N. Security Council considered demanding a 30-day ceasefire across the country to allow emergency aid deliveries and medical evacuations.
Russia proposed a two-day ceasefire on Monday in the last major rebel stronghold near the Syrian capital Damascus, where warplanes killed at least 41 people in two days of air strikes as Russian-backed government forces tried to capture the area.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone about a ceasefire deal in the Syrian civil war and Iranian presence near Israel’s borders with the war-torn country, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov went on a PR offensive this week to counter Israeli warnings that a ceasefire imposed by Moscow in Syria is enabling Iran and its terror proxy, Hezbollah, to amass fighters and weapons near the Jewish state’s northern border in preparation for a future war.
As a ceasefire has been holding overnight, Hamas claimed victory in the recent conflict as Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Palestinians would build their own airport and seaport without asking for anyone's permission to prepare for the "project of liberation" of all of Palestine.
Authorities in Azerbaijan have launched a crackdown on a church movement of ex-Muslims which grew from 40 to 18,000 members since the former Soviet republic gained independence in 1991, an organization supporting the reportedly persecuted Christian converts said Thursday, February 1.