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Bus attack in Syria’s Raqqa kills 13
An attack on a bus early on Monday morning in northern Syria has killed 13 people, most of them government troops, the Syrian Defense Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said that 11 government troops and two civilians were killed in a “terrorist attack” on a civilian transit bus. It said another three soldiers were wounded.
According to the statement the bus was en route to the central province of Homs when the attack occurred, AP reported.
Syrian state news agency SANA said the strike took place at around 6:30 a.m. in the remote eastern Jabal al-Bishri region of the vast province of Raqqa.
The report did not say whether the bus was attacked with machinegun fire, or whether it was hit by a missile or a roadside bomb.
The war monitor said the ambush had been carried out by Daesh sleeper cells that launch hit-and-run attacks in the country’s desert areas, Reuters wrote.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 15, saying all of them were from the regular army or allied paramilitaries.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The Daesh terror group proclaimed a so-called “caliphate” in a third of both Iraq and Syria in 2014 and the city of Raqqa was its de-facto capital. The terrorists were defeated in 2019 but Daesh sleeper cells still carry out deadly attacks.
One of the deadliest bus ambushes was in December 2020, when 28 people were killed in an attack on a main highway in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zor province.
China imports 260K tons of Iranian crude in May
China imported 260,000 tons of Iranian crude oil last month, data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed.
The shipment of Iran’s oil in May was China’s third since last December, customs data released on Monday indicated, confirming an earlier report.
Despite US sanctions on Iran, China has kept taking Iranian oil, usually passed off as supplies from other countries. The import levels are roughly equivalent to 7% of China’s total crude oil imports, Reuters wrote.
Assessments by Vortexa Analytics showed China imported nearly 650,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude in April.
This came after China’s purchases of Iranian oil rose to record levels in March, exceeding a 2017 peak when the trade was not subject to US sanctions.
According to tanker tracking data released in March, Chinese imports exceeded 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) for January, according to estimates of three tanker trackers, surpassing the 623,000 bpd peak recorded by Chinese customs in 2017 before former US president Donald Trump reimposed sanctions in 2018 on Iranian oil exports after unilaterally pulling out of a multilateral nuclear deal.
One tracker estimated imports amounted to 780,000 bpd in November-December on average.
China, the world’s top oil importer, has time and again reiterated its opposition to the US long-arm jurisdiction and urged Washington to remove unilateral sanctions.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg quoting the biggest independent crude trader, reported that US may allow more Iranian oil onto global markets even without the revival of the 2015 nuclear accord in order to bring down record-high pump prices.
Gasoline prices have shot up to an average of more than $4.80 per gallon in the US as crude prices have soared more than 50% this year to almost $120 a barrel, mostly because of the fallout of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Armed Forces won’t let enemies compromise Iran’s security: IRGC chief
Although the Islamic Republic’s enemies seek to provoke public opinion, the countries’ Armed Forces will not let them compromise national security through serving the people well and promoting the spirit of sacrifice and selflessness, said a top military commander.
Making the remarks in a ceremonial address, Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami added the Iranian capital of Tehran is the focal point of prudence, inspiration, awareness, movement and strategy in the world that is fighting global apostasy and disbelief, IRNA reported.
He noted that the enemies have identified this focal spot and know that the consecutive defeats they are suffering, particularly at the hands of the Muslim world, is inflicted on them from this point.
They have realized that their accelerating decline is originating from the same spot, Major General Salami added, saying the Iranian capital is the point at which all the hostilities and evil convergences are confronted with and the conspiracies are foiled.
The IRGC chief described Tehran as a city with an international reach and global influence as well as cognizant and insightful people who have survived hardships through resorting to the power derived from awareness, faith, endurance, and patience.
The Iranian people know that what goes on in the mind of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei is nothing but ensuring their happiness, welfare, progress, security, independence and freedom as well as respect for the society.
Major General Salami added it is good for an establishment or system to have physical power, but in the absence of wise leadership, that power would backfire, the example of which is the United States where the lack of a spirited and charismatic leader and wisdom is eroding the society’s soul.
He noted, “We must produce security, not solely prevent the spread of insecurity. Production of security means that a country’s safety is so deep-rooted and powerful that nothing would be able to compromise it.”
Major General Salami urged all domestic apparatuses to do their best to “produce security” and enable the people to see the tangible results of their efforts.
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