By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Fighters from Al Qaeda's Nusra Front and other insurgents attacked and briefly entered Baath City in southern Syria on Thursday, the army's last major bastion in a province flanking the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The battle is part of a campaign launched by the insurgents this week to take control of the entire Quneitra province. Only Baath City and neighboring Khan Arnaba town remain under President Bashar al-Assad's forces. "If they fall the rebels will have secured the second province after Raqqa," said Abu Said Jolani, an activist in the area. Raqqa, in northern Syria, is held by the militant group Islamic State and has been targeted by U.S.-led air strikes. The insurgents were locked in street fighting with government troops in the city centre overnight and were pushed back to the outskirts on Thursday, activists said. Thousands of Baath City's 30,000 residents have already fled. The city was named after Syria's ruling Baath Party as an act of defiance after the destruction of nearby Quneitra city in the 1967 war with Israel. Quneitra was abandoned and Baath is now the provincial administrative centre. About 2,000 fighters were taking part in the southern offensive. Their advances, which expand insurgent control close to the Golan Heights and Jordan, are also important because Assad's power base in Damascus lies just 40 miles (65 km) to the north. The fighters want to open a path towards the capital and link up with insurgents there. Before entering Baath City, the insurgents said they had captured several villages on the outskirts and claimed control of most of the countryside. "The rebels are using all kinds of weapons from tank fire to mortars, as well as raiding groups," said Abdullah Saif Allah, a Nusra Front field commander in Hamidiya town near the frontier with Israel. Syrian state media and pro-government newspapers have said the army, backed by loyalist militias, had repelled the rebel push in Baath City. They reported heavy fighting after a barrage of rebel mortar and artillery fire hit the city centre and municipality building. Hundreds of Nusra fighters who fled from the eastern Deir al-Zor province after being driven out by Islamic State earlier this year have regrouped in southern Syria, boosting the rebel presence there, activists say. "It gave the fighters in the area the upper hand," said Abu Yahya al-Anari, a fighter from Ahrar al-Sham. The army depends on aerial bombardments in the area. On the ground, it has been exposed since moving thousands of troops from bases to reinforce Aleppo in the north, rebels say. Insurgent gains since earlier this year have been mainly achieved by Nusra Front together with other Islamist brigades and rebels fighting under the umbrella of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army. Unlike rebel in-fighting further north, they have coordinated well so far. Most of heavy weaponry and fighters in Quneitra province are drawn from hardline Islamist brigades such as Ahrar al-Sham and al Muthana alongside Nusra, activists and analysts say. They have eroded the dominance of the Western-backed rebels that control areas further southeast towards Deraa city and along the Jordanian border. (Editing by Sylvia Westall and Angus MacSwan)
- The Daily Beast
Mario Anzuoni/ReutersAlec Baldwin and Rosanna Arquette are among a number of celebrities who have been slammed for sending thoughts and prayers to Anne Heche after the A-lister’s high-speed crash into a Mar Vista house while allegedly drunk.Baldwin took to Instagram on Saturday to send “my best wishes and all my love” to Heche, who is reportedly in stable condition in a hospital after suffering severe burns in the incident. According to a statement from the Los Angeles Fire Department, it took 5
They were together for nine months.
Pete Davidson wore a T-shirt with a cryptic message a day after announcing his split from Kim Kardashian
The former "SNL" star was photographed while filming on location in Cairns, Australia, where he appeared to make an interesting fashion statement.
- The Hill
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) clinched a victory on Wednesday when the Senate — including 48 of the chamber’s 50 Republicans — voted overwhelmingly to admit Finland and Sweden to NATO. The resolution, which cleared the chamber in a bipartisan 95-1 vote, was a top priority for the Republican leader, who wanted to send a signal…
- The Hill
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) received a warning early Sunday morning to follow the Senate’s decorum rules after he accused Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) of being “deceitful” and “dishonest” and vowed “we’re going to call you out.” “This gives phony and cynical a bad name,” Graham exclaimed when Hassan introduced her amendment. Graham’s outburst at Hassan…
- The Hill
A power tool and hand tool manufacturer issued a recall for almost 1.4 million saws on Thursday following reports of consumer laceration injuries while using the product. DeWALT issued the recall for the 12-inch sliding compound miter saws after the company learned that the rear safety guard can break or detach, according to the U.S.…
- The Courier
Tim Trahan, a Houma native living in Arcadia, caught the new State Record Bluegill out of a neighbor's pond in Arcadia.
Queen Elizabeth II Reportedly Begged Prince William To Stop a Hobby That Could ‘Threaten the Line of Succession’
While Queen Elizabeth II is okay with many of Prince William’s hobbies, like motorcycles and sailing, there’s one that she “stays up at night” worrying about. And truthfully, we don’t blame her. It’s reported by Daily Mail that the Queen has repeatedly asked William not to fly helicopters, especially to not pilot them himself in […]
- Ukrayinska Pravda
VALENTYNA ROMANENKO - MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2022, 07:58 Aerial reconnaissance and artillery units of the National Guard of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, supported by tanks, destroyed a subversion and reconnaissance group of Russian special forces and a Russian ammunition point in the north of Kharkiv Oblast.
- E! News
One day after the news broke that Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson called it quits, the former SNL star was spotted on set in Australia wearing a t-shirt with an interesting message on it.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyA wave of COVID infections caused by the BA.5 subvariant has crested. All over the world, daily new cases, hospitalizations and deaths are going down.But the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost certainly here to stay. Another wave is all but inevitable as new variants and subvariants mutate, compete for dominance, and find new transmission pathways.How fast that wave comes, and how bad it gets, probably comes down to a genetic competition between different mutat
The fast-food chain teased its biggest fans on Twitter, but now it has actually brought back a much-requested item.
Elizabeth Banks is turning up the heat this summer with a show-stopping, untouched video of herself living her best life by the pool. On Aug 4, Banks uploaded a cheeky video of herself going from the airport in her casual ensemble to lounging by the pool in a cherry-printed bikini. She posted it with the […]
New video shows a chaotic crash of a stolen rental car involving four teens. Traffic cameras captured police trying to stop the vehicle on 35-E in Little Canada. The car crashes into the median twice and four people come running out and across the busy highway. All four were arrested.
11-year-old who saved up money for a lemonade stand was scammed by a man who gave him fake $100 bill and asked for exact change, police say
Jeremy, who lives in Washington state, used his allowance to set up a lemonade stand but was said to be stiffed by a man using a fake $100 bill.
Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele dismissed her latest act as "performative bulls**t."
- Steelers Wire
Najee Harris has missed a week with a foot injury.
"A kind and generous person, Lynne is always first to offer help to others," neighbors wrote in a GoFundMe for Lynne Mishele, the woman who lost her home in Anne Heche's recent car crash
- Patriots Wire
This may not go over well.
- Entertainment Weekly
This week’s episode was for the Hotties!