Dozens of Syrian soldiers and rebels killed as opposition advances on Deir Ezzor

BEIRUT // Dozens of Syrian soldiers and rebels have been killed in three days of fighting in Deir Ezzor, the largest city in eastern Syria, where opposition fighters have made advances, an NGO said yesterday.

At least 33 fighters of the Al Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and Al Nusra Front have been killed since Saturday, according to the Syria Observatory for Human Rights.

The group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground, said 25 regime soldiers were also killed in the clashes.

"The clashes are very intense, the fighters are using several tanks they have, while the army is shelling pockets" of militant rebels, observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The militant fighters are concentrating their efforts on the district of Huweika, home to several government buildings and security headquarters.

Syria's state news agency Sana said yesterday that the army had "killed terrorists in the Senaa neighbourhood and other terrorists were killed when a car they rigged with explosives detonated".

Militant fighters seized the local headquarters of the ruling Baath party in Deir Ezzor, prompting regime shelling.

"The rebels have advanced in various districts, but without taking anything completely," said Mr Abdel Rahman.

Control of the city remains divided between rebels, most of them militant fighters, and the regime. But the front line is in flux, according to the UK-based observatory.

Despite setbacks around the capital Damascus and in Homs province of central Syria, rebel fighters have made advances in Deir Ezzor and the coastal province of Latakia, where Gen. Salim Idris, the military commander of Syria's main western-backed opposition group, visited rebels, his spokeswoman said yesterday.

* With additional reporting by Associated Press


Stage 7:
1. Adam Yates (GBR) UAE Team Emirates – 3hrs 29min 42ses
2. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step – 10sec
3. Geoffrey Bouchard (FRA) AG2R Citroen Team – 42sec
General Classification:
1. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
2. Lucas Plapp (AUS) Ineos Grenaders – 59se
3. Adam Yates (GBR) UAE Team Emirates –60sec
Red Jersey (General Classification): Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
Green Jersey (Points Classification): Tim Merlier (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
White Jersey (Young Rider Classification): Remco Evenepoel (BEL) Soudal Quick-Step
Black Jersey (Intermediate Sprint Classification): Edward Planckaert (FRA) Alpecin-Deceuninck

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Swollen glands


Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed.

Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson and Jackson Bird.


Red Jersey
General Classification, sponsored by Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Academy: Worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the leader of the General Classification.
Green Jersey
Points Classification, sponsored by Bike Abu Dhabi: Worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter.
White Jersey
Young Rider Classification, sponsored by Abu Dhabi 360: Worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the best young rider (U25).
Black Jersey
Intermediate Sprint Classification, sponsored by Experience Abu Dhabi: Worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the rider who has gained most Intermediate sprint points.

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