At least 13 killed in northern Syria bus attack | ISIL/ISIS News

Syria’s defence ministry says the assault happened early within the morning on the Raqqa-Homs freeway.

A minimum of 11 troopers and two civilians had been killed in an assault in northern Syria after a civilian bus was focused on a freeway connecting the cities of Raqqa and Homs, the Syrian defence ministry mentioned.

“At about 6:30 [03:30 GMT] this morning, a civilian bus was subjected to a terrorist assault on the Raqqa-Homs freeway in al-Jira space,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement on Monday, including that three different military personnel had been wounded.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a warfare monitor, reported that ISIL (ISIS) cells had attacked a bus within the Jabal al-Bashari space in al-Raqqah desert, however mentioned it was a army car.

“The demise toll is believed to rise as there are some folks critically injured,” SOHR mentioned.

Nobody has claimed duty for the assault up to now, however ISIL beforehand managed the territory earlier than being compelled out and has continued brazen assaults for the reason that group’s defeat on the battlefield three years in the past.

Town of Raqqa was the capital of the armed group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate”.

Syrian authorities often blame such assaults on the armed group.

Syria’s 11-year-old battle has carved the nation into numerous zones of management, with authorities troops and allied fighters controlling most territory. ISIL sleeper cells have been lively in jap, northern and central Syria.

A patch of the northwestern territory is held by Turkish-backed opposition forces and extra hardline teams, whereas US-backed Kurdish-led forces maintain the northeast.

Related assaults have occurred earlier than – one of many deadliest was in December 2020, when 28 folks had been killed in an assault on a bus on the principle freeway in Syria’s jap Deir Az Zor province.

With Russian and Iranian help, the federal government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has clawed again a lot of the territory misplaced within the early phases of the warfare, which erupted in 2011 when the federal government brutally repressed pro-democracy protests.

The warfare has led to the deaths of a whole lot of hundreds of individuals, and the emergence of ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

Analysts have lengthy feared a resurgence of the group, nevertheless it has nonetheless been unable to considerably increase, and has been largely restricted to assaults by cells.

What’s behind Sinn Fein’s victory in Northern Ireland? | Politics

Video Length 24 minutes 40 seconds

From: Inside Story

For the primary time, Sinn Fein has received probably the most seats in Northern Eire’s meeting.

The political panorama in Northern Eire has modified.

For the primary time, Sinn Fein, which desires to unite all of Eire, has received probably the most seats in regional elections.

That’s put an finish to a century of dominance by Unionists, who assist the British Crown and structure.

Now each side have to conform to kind a brand new authorities.

However would they agree?

And what does it imply for the way forward for the UK?

Presenter: Nastasya Tay


Duncan Morrow – Professor of politics at Ulster College

Nicholas Whyte – Worldwide affairs strategist and senior director in Brussels for APCO

Graham Gudgin – Analysis affiliate on the College of Cambridge and a former particular adviser to First Minister David Trimble within the Northern Eire Meeting

Sinn Fein hails ‘new era’ after historic Northern Ireland vote | News

The Irish nationalist get together Sinn Fein has received the most important variety of seats within the Northern Eire Meeting for the primary time.

With virtually all votes counted on Saturday, Sinn Fein had secured 27 of the meeting’s 90 seats. The professional-British Democratic Unionist Social gathering (DUP) had 24, and the cross-community Alliance Social gathering scored its strongest ever outcome with 17 seats – firmly establishing itself as a 3rd pillar within the political system in Northern Eire.

The historic win means Sinn Fein is entitled to the put up of first minister in Belfast for the primary time since Northern Eire was based as a Protestant-majority state in 1921.

“At present ushers in a brand new period,” Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill mentioned.

“Irrespective of spiritual, political or social backgrounds, my dedication is to make politics work,” she mentioned.

O’Neill pressured that it was crucial for Northern Eire’s politicians to now come collectively to kind an Govt – the devolved authorities of Northern Eire – subsequent week. If none will be fashioned inside six months, the administration will collapse, triggering a brand new election and extra uncertainty.

“There may be an urgency to revive an Govt and begin placing a refund in individuals’s pockets, to begin to repair the well being service. The individuals can’t wait,” she mentioned.

“The individuals have spoken, and our job is now to show up. I count on others to show up additionally,” she advised reporters, stressing her new authorities should sort out foremost a cost-of-living disaster, forward of the controversy about Irish unity.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who can also be main a marketing campaign to secede from the UK, was among the many first to congratulate Sinn Fein in a Twitter put up that hailed a “actually historic outcome”.

“There’s little question there are large basic questions being requested of the UK as a political entity proper now,” Sturgeon mentioned in an interview earlier on Saturday.

‘Reunifying Eire’

As soon as the political wing of the paramilitary IRA, Sinn Fein has received sufficient seats within the devolved legislature to appoint O’Neill as first minister – a century after Northern Eire was carved out of the island of Eire as a Protestant fiefdom below British rule.

Below a compulsory power-sharing system created by the 1998 peace settlement that ended a long time of Catholic-Protestant battle in Eire, the roles of first minister and deputy first minister are break up between the most important unionist get together and the most important nationalist one.

Each posts have to be stuffed for a authorities to operate, however the DUP has recommended it may not serve below a Sinn Fein first minister. The DUP has additionally mentioned it’ll refuse to hitch a brand new authorities except there are main adjustments to post-Brexit border arrangements, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol.

These post-Brexit guidelines, which took impact after Britain left the European Union, have imposed customs and border checks on some items coming into Northern Eire from the remainder of the UK. The association was designed to maintain an open border between Northern Eire and EU member Eire, a key pillar of the peace course of.

However the protocol has angered many unionists, who preserve that the brand new checks have created a barrier between Northern Eire and the remainder of the UK that undermines their British identification.

The chief of the once-dominant Ulster Unionist Social gathering, which struggled within the election, mentioned many citizens had been bored with “offended detrimental unionism”.

“It might take some time to vary that psyche,” UUP chief Doug Beattie advised reporters.

“It might be a supertanker that has a big turning circle. However we have to do it.”

Katy Hayward, professor of political sociology at Queen’s College Belfast, mentioned it was “extraordinary and extremely vital to have a nationalist get together holding probably the most seats within the meeting”.

Any referendum on Irish reunification was a way off, she mentioned.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Northern Eire Secretary Brandon Lewis is anticipated to satisfy the get together leaders in Belfast on Monday. The events could have 24 weeks to resolve their variations or face a brand new election.

England, Wales and Scotland additionally voted in native and regional elections on Thursday, punishing embattled Johnson’s scandal-mired Conservatives however and not using a landslide for the primary opposition Labour get together.

Northern Ireland on brink of ‘seismic’ election result | Elections News

Belfast, United Kingdom – With seats nonetheless to be stuffed, Northern Eire already seems to be getting ready to a “seismic” election end result after Thursday’s legislative vote.

Sinn Féin, a celebration that helps the reunification of Ireland and was as soon as the political wing of the IRA, is on target to turn into the most important social gathering within the legislative meeting.

Profitable essentially the most seats will entitle Sinn Féin to the put up of First Minister, making it the primary time in Northern Eire’s 101 yr historical past that this put up was not held by a unionist, who help remaining a part of the UK.

The social gathering managed to not solely consolidate their vote but in addition enhance it considerably, successful the most important vote share with 250,388 first preferences, in contrast with 184,002 for the closest rivals, the Democratic Unionist Get together (DUP).

Center-ground events such because the Ulster Unionists, the SDLP, and the Inexperienced Get together had been additionally squeezed, with outstanding figures shedding their seats.

Sinn Féin social gathering chief Mary Lou McDonald, a member of parliament within the Republic of Eire and on target to be the most important social gathering there by 2025, described the end result as “an election of a technology”.

“It’s seismic by way of what it represents,” Jon Tonge, professor of politics on the College of Liverpool and an professional on the area, instructed Al Jazeera.

“If Sinn Féin turn into the most important social gathering, that in itself is extraordinary given the historical past of the state.”

Any referendum on a united Eire, a longtime intention of Sinn Féin and a key focus by the DUP on this election, can solely be known as by the British Secretary of State and is a minimum of years away.

Nevertheless, the election outcomes are “one other incremental step alongside that street”, mentioned Tonge.

That is particularly the case if in a couple of years’ time Sinn Féin is the most important social gathering in each jurisdictions on the island of Eire.

Talking at a Belfast depend centre in regards to the prospects for a united Eire, Sinn Féin chief McDonald instructed Sky Information that “the preparation for that huge change must occur now.

“We would like this to occur in a means that’s orderly, that’s deliberate, that’s democratic, and is peaceable,” she added, saying a referendum would “definitely” happen on this decade.

Alliance surge

The centrist Alliance social gathering additionally acquired a surge in help, changing into the third largest social gathering by way of vote share and should have doubled their seats.

Alliance outline themselves as neither Irish nationalist nor unionist and don’t take a place on the query of Irish unity.

The rise of this social gathering to such prominence is a big shift within the panorama of Northern Eire politics.

Alliance Belfast South candidate Paula Bradshaw surrounded by applauding crowd
Alliance Belfast South candidate Paula Bradshaw is elected on the Titanic Exhibition Centre through the Northern Eire Meeting elections in Belfast [Jason Cairnduff/Reuters]

Alliance’s David Honeyford took a brand new seat for his social gathering within the Lagan Valley constituency.

He instructed Al Jazeera that voters in Northern Eire are shifting in the direction of these “who prioritise the problems fairly than the constitutional query”.

“We prioritise well being and schooling, we work actually exhausting on the bottom for the problems individuals care about. And also you’re seeing the outcomes of that,” Honeyford mentioned.

He acknowledged that a lot of their votes had been coming from the middle-ground unionist, nationalist and different events.

“The centre is solidifying round Alliance, however we’ve taken from the DUP and Sinn Féin as nicely,” he mentioned. “So we’re attracting votes from proper throughout the neighborhood.”

Jacqueline, an Alliance voter in her 30s within the Higher Bann constituency, was “delighted” on the end result. She mentioned that her mom, who was in her 60s and would have beforehand supported a unionist candidate, additionally supported Alliance on this election.

“It simply goes to point out that views have moved on right here,” she instructed Al Jazeera.

Counting continues

The Ulster Unionist social gathering (UUP) and the Irish nationalist SDLP each dropped a big vote share.

After a day of counting, UUP chief Doug Beatie and SDLP deputy chief Nicola Mallon had been nonetheless preventing for his or her seats on Saturday morning.

SDLP chief Colum Eastwood instructed media on Friday that DUP emphasis on the potential of an Irish nationalist first minister backfired, and should have led individuals who usually help his social gathering to “lend” a vote to Sinn Féin to be able to “kick the DUP”.

The small however influential Inexperienced social gathering – who handed laws on local weather change and ladies’s rights – had hopped to extend their vote. As a substitute, they misplaced each seats, together with that of their social gathering chief.

A man walks past a mural saying "Unity in our Time"
A person walks previous a mural alongside the nationalist Falls Highway in Belfast [File: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters]

In the meantime, the hardline unionist TUV social gathering polled nicely and appeared more likely to take a second seat.

Whether or not the Alliance surge is a rise of vote for the centre floor or just a realignment of votes from different middle-ground events, the Alliance victory will name into query how authorities is organised in Northern Eire.

The present power-sharing settlement put in place following the tip of The Troubles has till now being dominated by the 2 blocs of nationalism and unionism.

Deirdre Heenan, professor of social coverage at Ulster College, mentioned that mannequin was “based mostly on the concept there are two ethno-national blocks, the unionists and nationalists, and that they’re fastened, and they’re autonomous”.

Whereas these preparations could have represented Northern Irish society when the Good Friday Settlement was negotiated 25 years in the past, Heenan instructed Al Jazeera: “The primary query that we actually have to ask ourselves is – is it nonetheless true right this moment?

“The rise of the center signifies that we’re in a distinct place. We don’t have two massive blocks of divided communities. We have now three minority communities, unionists, nationalist and different.”

What’s subsequent?

As soon as the ultimate outcomes are in, the events will go right into a negotiation course of with a view to forming a brand new power-sharing govt between the events.

Hanging over this prospect is the truth that the DUP have mentioned they won’t go into a brand new authorities till points surrounding the Northern Eire protocol are resolved.

The protocol, a post-Brexit settlement which creates a commerce border within the Irish sea to keep away from a land border on the island of Eire, is fiercely opposed by all unionist events and an essential problem for a lot of unionist voters.

Whereas the precise financial impact of the protocol on Northern Eire is contested, it’s perceived by many to be a weakening of the hyperlink with the remainder of the UK and its place within the union is below menace.

The DUP walked out of presidency in February over the problem.

Any decision will seemingly take months to be resolved. Within the meantime, a caretaker authorities with the ministers at the moment in place will be capable of make some selections, however not on essential points like budgets.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Leader Jeffrey Donaldson speaks
Donaldson speaks on the launch of the DUP Election Manifesto [File: Paul Faith/AFP]

DUP chief Jeffrey Donaldson remained imprecise on whether or not Northern Eire could have devolved authorities in 2022, telling media on the Belfast depend centre on Saturday: “Let’s cross all of the bridges after we get to them.”

This case quantities to a severe problem to power-sharing in Northern Eire, Professor Tonge instructed Al Jazeera.

“The DUP will not be going to be leaping again in. They pulled out in February, so why would they return in Might, once they can’t nominate even a First Minister, and there’s no motion on the protocol?” he mentioned.

“It’s the most important disaster for the Good Friday Settlement and political establishments since these early post-conflict years.”

Estimated 3,000 people flee armed clashes in northern Iraqi | News

Clashes first erupted on Sunday when the Iraqi navy launched an operation to clear the realm of YBS forces.

1000’s of individuals have fled a northern Iraqi city amid fierce clashes between the military and a militia linked to a Kurdish separatist group, the navy and native Iraqi Kurdish officers stated.

At the least 3,000 individuals left Sinjar and its surrounding areas on Monday and headed north in the direction of the semi-autonomous Kurdish area to hunt security.

Clashes first erupted late on Sunday when the Iraqi navy launched an operation to clear the realm of YBS forces, a militia group with ties to the Turkish Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and largely comprised of members from the Yazidi non secular minority.

The combating between the Iraqi military and the YBS intensified on Monday, spreading to different areas in Sinjar district.

The Iraqi navy stated the offensive was to dismantle YBS checkpoints that had prevented residents from returning to their houses and undermined Iraqi state authorities.

Troopers tried to open the roads however got here underneath “heavy fireplace”, the navy stated in a press release, referencing the presence of “snipers on the rooftops” and mine-riddled roads.

Sherwan al-Douberdani, a provincial deputy, instructed AFP that one Iraqi soldier was killed, whereas a senior military official stated two different troopers have been injured.

The clashes additionally killed a dozen Yazidi fighters, in response to the military official, who spoke on situation of anonymity.

Most of these displaced by the combating at the moment are distributed throughout camps within the Kurdish area, in response to Pir Dayan, director of the migration and disaster response division in Dohuk province, within the Kurdish-run area.

The Kurdistan regional authorities has fashioned a committee to cope with the state of affairs.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, a Yazidi enslaved for months by Islamic State group fighters who brutalised her neighborhood in 2014, known as on Monday for an finish to the violence.

The United Nations mission in Iraq tweeted to sentence the most recent violence, saying it was “deeply involved about clashes in Sinjar”, which had “grave penalties for civilians”.

“Sinjaris’ security and safety needs to be entrance and centre. They’ve suffered enormously up to now and deserve peace underneath state authority,” the UN added.

The YBS has managed a lot of Sinjar since 2014, when it drove the ISIL (ISIS) group out of the district with help from the PKK.

The PKK’s continued presence within the space has drawn the ire of Turkey, which has been battling the group for the reason that Nineteen Eighties, and has led to common Turkish navy offensives on Iraqi soil to root them out.

In October 2020, Baghdad and the Kurdistan authorities signed an settlement to collectively handle Sinjar as a way to restore the state’s maintain over the patchwork of militia teams and competing authorities within the space after the defeat of ISIL. However this has confirmed largely unsuccessful.