Syrian warplanes counter-attack rebels near Aleppo



AMMAN // Syrian warplanes attacked militants near the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, as the government tried to push back a insurgent advance in the area.

Dozens of air strikes hit near the town of Khan Touman, which rebels took from forces loyal to the government and its ally Iran late on Thursday, both state media and Al Qaeda insurgents reported.

Aleppo - one of the biggest strategic prizes in a war now in its sixth year - has been divided into government and rebel-held zones through much of the conflict. The surrounding region is also crossed by valuable supply routes into neighbouring Turkey.

The Syrian army said it had hit what it described as terrorist groups on Sunday, but did not give details of any territorial gains.

Manar, the media outlet of the Iran-backed Hizbollah group supporting Syrian government forces in the area, said heavy fighting was going on against the hardline Sunni Muslim rebels.

Government forces had made significant advances in the northern region after their other main ally, Russia, entered the war in September.

But the seizure of Khan Touman on Thursday by an alliance of Islamist insurgents known as Jaish Al Fatah, including the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat Al Nusra, marked a major counter-attack by forces opposed to president Bashar Al Assad.

The loss of the town south of Aleppo was a particular blow for Iranian troops who suffered one of their biggest single-day losses in the conflict.

A fighter from Al Nusra - which is not involved in a shaky ceasefire across Syria - said on social media it was now pushing further south towards the town of al Hader, a stronghold for Hizbollah and Iranian forces.

Inside Aleppo, where Russia said it extended a truce that began on Wednesday until Monday, rebels said the Syrian army shelled and bombed overnight their posts near a frontline in the western part of the city near the Jamiyat al Zahraa neighbourhood.

“We don’t know how to take cover from the intensity of rockets and air strikes that are showering us,” said Ahmad al Wawi, a fighter from Jaish Al Mujahdeen.

Rebels are seeking to take over the area that would allow them to enter the heart of government-held parts of Aleppo.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels fired rockets on residential areas in government-controlled areas and in the main Saad Al Jabiri square, injuring seven.

There were also reports of more casualties in the collapse of a building in Midan district which was hit by a missile.

In the western Aleppo countryside in the rebel-held town of Kafrnaha, an air strike hit a hospital killing several people, the Observatory said.

Separately, Amaq news agency, which is associated with ISIL, said the group had destroyed a gas plant in the desert outside the central city of Palmyra on Sunday.

ISIL militants retreated from the ancient city two months ago but continue to operate in the surrounding area.

The Syrian war, which started with largely peaceful protests against the government, had descended into a sectarian war that has pulled in regional and global powers.

At least 250,000 people have been killed nad half of the country’s pre-war population of 22 million has been displaced.

* Reuters

MATCH INFO

Juventus 1 (Dybala 45')

Lazio 3 (Alberto 16', Lulic 73', Cataldi 90+4')

Red card: Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus)

McIlroy's struggles in 2016/17

European Tour: 6 events, 16 rounds, 5 cuts, 0 wins, 3 top-10s, 4 top-25s, 72,5567 points, ranked 16th

PGA Tour: 8 events, 26 rounds, 6 cuts, 0 wins, 4 top-10s, 5 top-25s, 526 points, ranked 71st

What went into the film

25 visual effects (VFX) studios

2,150 VFX shots in a film with 2,500 shots

1,000 VFX artists

3,000 technicians

10 Concept artists, 25 3D designers

New sound technology, named 4D SRL

 

Barbie

Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera
Rating: 4/5

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Tips for used car buyers
  • Choose cars with GCC specifications
  • Get a service history for cars less than five years old
  • Don’t go cheap on the inspection
  • Check for oil leaks
  • Do a Google search on the standard problems for your car model
  • Do your due diligence. Get a transfer of ownership done at an official RTA centre
  • Check the vehicle’s condition. You don’t want to buy a car that’s a good deal but ends up costing you Dh10,000 in repairs every month
  • Validate warranty and service contracts with the relevant agency and and make sure they are valid when ownership is transferred
  • If you are planning to sell the car soon, buy one with a good resale value. The two most popular cars in the UAE are black or white in colour and other colours are harder to sell

Tarek Kabrit, chief executive of Seez, and Imad Hammad, chief executive and co-founder of CarSwitch.com

if you go

The flights

Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines fly direct from the UAE to Singapore from Dh2,265 return including taxes. The flight takes about 7 hours.

The hotel

Rooms at the M Social Singapore cost from SG $179 (Dh488) per night including taxes.

The tour

Makan Makan Walking group tours costs from SG $90 (Dh245) per person for about three hours. Tailor-made tours can be arranged. For details go to www.woknstroll.com.sg

CONFIRMED LINE-UP

Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina 
Veronika Kudermetova 
Caroline Garcia (France) 
Magda Linette (Poland) 
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania) 
Anastasia Potapova 
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)  
Jasmine Paolini (Italy) 
Emma Navarro (USA) 
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Naomi Osaka (Japan) - wildcard
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) - wildcard
Alexandra Eala (Philippines) - wildcard

David Haye record

Total fights: 32
Wins: 28
Wins by KO: 26
Losses: 4

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

12 restaurants opening at the hotel this month

Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Estiatorio Milos
House of Desserts
Jaleo by Jose Andres
La Mar
Ling Ling
Little Venice Cake Company
Malibu 90265
Nobu by the Beach
Resonance by Heston Blumenthal
The Royal Tearoom 

SCHEDULE

Saturday, April 20: 11am to 7pm - Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival and Para jiu-jitsu.

Sunday, April 21: 11am to 6pm - Abu Dhabi World Youth (female) Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Monday, April 22: 11am to 6pm - Abu Dhabi World Youth (male) Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Tuesday, April 23: 11am-6pm Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Wednesday, April 24: 11am-6pm Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Thursday, April 25: 11am-5pm Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Friday, April 26: 3pm to 6pm Finals of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Saturday, April 27: 4pm and 8pm awards ceremony.

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)

England's all-time record goalscorers:
Wayne Rooney 53
Bobby Charlton 49
Gary Lineker 48
Jimmy Greaves 44
Michael Owen 40
Tom Finney 30
Nat Lofthouse 30
Alan Shearer 30
Viv Woodward 29
Frank Lampard 29

In numbers

Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Structural weaknesses facing Israel economy

1. Labour productivity is lower than the average of the developed economies, particularly in the non-tradable industries.
2. The low level of basic skills among workers and the high level of inequality between those with various skills.
3. Low employment rates, particularly among Arab women and Ultra-Othodox Jewish men.
4. A lack of basic knowledge required for integration into the labour force, due to the lack of core curriculum studies in schools for Ultra-Othodox Jews.
5. A need to upgrade and expand physical infrastructure, particularly mass transit infrastructure.
6. The poverty rate at more than double the OECD average.
7. Population growth of about 2 per cent per year, compared to 0.6 per cent OECD average posing challenge for fiscal policy and underpinning pressure on education, health care, welfare housing and physical infrastructure, which will increase in the coming years.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Vault
Started: June 2023
Co-founders: Bilal Abou-Diab and Sami Abdul Hadi
Based: Abu Dhabi
Licensed by: Abu Dhabi Global Market
Industry: Investment and wealth advisory
Funding: $1 million
Investors: Outliers VC and angel investors
Number of employees: 14

CRICKET WORLD CUP LEAGUE 2

Mannofield, Aberdeen

All matches start at 2pm UAE time and will be broadcast on icc.tv

UAE fixtures

Wednesday, Aug 10 – Scotland v UAE
Thursday, Aug 11 - UAE v United States
Saturday, Aug 14 – Scotland v UAE
Monday, Aug 15 – UAE v United States

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza (captain), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, Vriitya Aravind, CP Rizwan, Basil Hameed, Rohan Mustafa, Zawar Farid, Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Zahoor Khan, Junaid Siddique, Sabir Ali, Alishan Sharafu

Table (top three teams advance directly to the 2023 World Cup Qualifier)

1. Oman 36 21 13 1 1 44
2. Scotland 24 16 6 0 2 34
3. UAE 22 12 8 1 1 26
--
4. Namibia 18 9 9 0 0 18
5. United States 24 11 12 1 0 23
6. Nepal 20 8 11 1 0 17
7. Papua New Guinea 20 1 19 0 0 2