Tit for Tat: Iranian ship attacked in the Red Sea

An Iranian cargo ship believed to be a base for the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and anchored for years in the Red Sea off Yemen was attacked. Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday confirmed the attack, saying the MV Saviz was hit with an unknown explosion that caused “minor damage” around 6am local time in the Red Sea on Tuesday, close to the shores of Djibouti. Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Saviz is a non-military vessel formally registered with the International Maritime Organisation that acts as Iran’s “logistic station” in the Red Sea, providing anti-pirating services. “Fortunately no fatalities were … Continue reading Tit for Tat: Iranian ship attacked in the Red Sea

Houthis launch attacks on Saudi oil facilities, military sites

Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they have launched attacks on Saudi Arabia, targeting oil facilities owned by state-run Saudi Aramco company and military sites. A photo distributed by the Houthi Military Media Unit shows the launch by Houthi forces of a ballist… A photo distributed by the Houthi Military Media Unit shows the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Saudi Arabia on March 25, 2018 [Houthi Military Media Unit. The Iran-aligned group on Friday said they launched attacks on Thursday against King Abdulaziz military base in Dammam and military sites in Najran and Asir. The group also said … Continue reading Houthis launch attacks on Saudi oil facilities, military sites

Dubai’s deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid dies

The deputy ruler of the emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has died at the age of 75. Sheikh Hamdan, also the UAE’s finance minister, was the brother of the current ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Sheikh Hamdan had been unwell for a few months. On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed posted a picture of his brother saying: “We belong to God and to Him we shall return … May God have mercy on you, my brother, my support and my companion.” Born on December 25, 1949, Sheikh Hamdan was the second son of late ruler … Continue reading Dubai’s deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid dies

Iran arrests producers over controversial music video

Iranian authorities have arrested multiple music producers connected to a California-based Iranian pop singer, according to his management company and Iranian media, in Tehran’s latest effort to halt what it deems decadent Western behaviour. The arrests on Wednesday come as Iranian social media has been awash with criticism of popular underground Iranian singer, Sasy, or Sasan Heidari Yafteh’s, new music video. Called Tehran Tokyo, the video features actresses, including an American porn star, gyrating in kimonos and short bodycon dresses atop cars and inside bars. The clip racked up 18 million views within a week. Over the years, Sasy has … Continue reading Iran arrests producers over controversial music video

Breaking News: Multiple rockets land at US airbase in Iraq

Multiple rockets land at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad airbase where US, coalition forces are hosted, according to coalition spokesman. At least 10 rockets have landed at Ain al-Asad airbase in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, according to Colonel Wayne Marotto, spokesman for the US-led coalition forces in the country. The rockets struck the airbase, which hosts US, coalition and Iraqi forces, at 7:20am, spokesman Colonel Marotto said on Wednesday. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties. It was the first attack since the US said it had attacked Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week. … Continue reading Breaking News: Multiple rockets land at US airbase in Iraq

Israeli-owned vessel docked in Dubai after mysterious explosion

An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion in the Gulf of Oman has arrived at Dubai’s port for repairs, days after the blast revived security concerns about the Middle East’s waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran. The hulking Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray sat at dry dock facilities at Dubai’s Port Rashid on Sunday. Although the crew was unharmed in the blast, the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defence officials. It remains unclear what caused the explosion, but the incident comes amid sharply rising tension … Continue reading Israeli-owned vessel docked in Dubai after mysterious explosion

Prisoner exchange between Israel and Syria underway

A prisoner swap between Syria and Israel, mediated by Russia, is under way. Damascus is securing the release of two Syrians held in Israel in exchange for releasing an Israeli woman who entered Syria by mistake, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Wednesday. The report did not provide details on when the Syrians were taken prisoners in Israel or when the Israeli woman entered Syria. Nihal al-Makt, one of the Syrians, comes from a family with several members as former prisoners in Israeli prisons. SANA reported that the two Syrians are natives of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel captured … Continue reading Prisoner exchange between Israel and Syria underway

Plane catches fire after Houthis attack Abha airport

A Saudi-led coalition battling the Houthi rebels has said the Yemeni group launched an attack on Abha airport, causing a fire in a civilian aircraft that was brought under control. “A cowardly terrorist attack by the Houthi militia on Abha International Airport … A civilian plane within the airport grounds was exposed to a fire which was brought under control,” Saudi state-run Al-Ekhbariya television cited the coalition as saying on Wednesday. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack soon afterwards, with military spokesman Yehia Sareai saying the rebels used four bomb-laden drones to target the airport in southern Saudi Arabia. … Continue reading Plane catches fire after Houthis attack Abha airport

Update: UAE’s space probe Amal enters Mars orbit

The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars has entered the red planet’s orbit after a seven-month, 494 million kilometres (307 million miles) journey, allowing it to start sending data about the Martian atmosphere and climate. Officials at mission control broke into applause on Tuesday, visibly relieved after a tense half-hour as Amal, Arabic for hope, carried out a “burn” to slow itself enough to be pulled in by the Martian gravity. “Contact with #HopeProbe has been established again. The Mars Orbit Insertion is now complete,” the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said. “To the people of the UAE, … Continue reading Update: UAE’s space probe Amal enters Mars orbit

UAE spies monitored Michelle Obama, Sheikha Moza emails

UAE spies hacked devices belonging to Qatar’s royal family and intercepted private communications between then-US First Lady Michelle Obama and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, according to a new book by a New York Times reporter. Previous news reports have highlighted the sophisticated intelligence operation carried out by the UAE (United Arab Emirates) with the assistance of former US operatives. Targets included governments officials, United Nations offices in New York, and FIFA executives. But a Times story on Saturday with excerpts of the book ‘This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends’ by Times’ cybersecurity journalist Nicole Perlroth, is the … Continue reading UAE spies monitored Michelle Obama, Sheikha Moza emails

Syria says it responded to ‘Israeli aggression’

Syrian forces responded late on Wednesday to “Israeli aggression” in the south of the country, the state news agency said. Israel launched missiles from the occupied Golan Heights at approximately 11pm (21:00 GMT) and caused material damage, the SANA state news agency reported, citing a military source. “Our anti-air defences responded and intercepted most of the enemy missiles,” the source added. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the Israeli bombing hit a position belonging to “the regime forces and where pro-Iranian militias are also present” in the southern Quneitra province. Witnesses in the capital, Damascus, told the … Continue reading Syria says it responded to ‘Israeli aggression’

US moves carrier from Gulf in a sign of ebbing tensions with Iran

US President Joe Biden’s administration has pulled an aircraft carrier out of the Gulf in a move to potentially ease tensions with Iran, which had soared under former President Donald Trump. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group had sailed from the US military’s Central Command in the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific Command region. Kirby did not confirm reports the Nimitz was headed back to the United States after some nine months at sea, but he indicated that, after the Trump administration ramped up the US military presence in the Gulf, the Biden … Continue reading US moves carrier from Gulf in a sign of ebbing tensions with Iran