Mass surrender of Islamic State fighters in last Syrian stronghold

By Helene Fung Approximately 1,000 Islamic State fighters have surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces from the last stronghold in Baghouz. Under negotiated terms, the injured would be given medical treatment in hospitals while the remainder are headed to jail. An Egyptian spokesman from the group claims that they had been sitting for days in…

200 US soldiers to be left behind in Syria post-withdrawal

By Helene Fung US President Donald Trump bucked under pressure, and back-flipped away from a complete withdrawal of the US forces from Syria. The White House announced in a statement that “a small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time”. No details have been provided regarding how long the…

China opens maritime rescue base in disputed South China Sea

By Helene Fung, Picture Courtesy: Google Maps China announced that it has opened a maritime rescue centre on Fiery Cross Reef in the contentious Spratly Islands (which China calls Yongshu reef and the Nansha Islands). The centre will “better protect navigation and transport safety in the South China Sea”, according to state-owned Xinhua news agency.…

Significant drug seizures in High Wycombe and Golden Bay

By Helene Fung The WA Police has made two significant drug seizures yesterday (31st January 2019), in High Wycombe and Golden Bay respectively. A 20-year-old man from High Wycombe was driving in Rivervale at 11am yesterday, and was stopped by the police, and allegedly found in possession of $689,860 in cash. He has been charged…

Hezbollah says Saudi Arabia has declared war on Lebanon

Picture Courtesy: Carlos Menendez San Juan Hezbollah has accused Saudi Arabia of declaring war on Lebanon by detaining Saad al-Hariri and making him resign as Lebanon’s prime minister. Top Lebanese officials have echoed the sentiments, accusing Riyadh of holding Mr Hariri captive, and his party, Future Movement, have demanded his return. “The return of the Lebanese…

Russia conducts Zapad exercise sparking fears for Eastern Europe

Russia is conducting its largest European military exercise since the cold war, involving land, sea and air units, and encompassing a huge area across western Russia, Belarus, the Baltic Sea and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Officially the ‘Zapad’ (meaning ‘West’) drills include just under 13,000 troops, though there are claims from NATO that as…

Rohyingya plight worsens as 270,000 refugess flee Myanmar

The United Nations has confirmed that around 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar after a violent crackdown on insurgent, leaving for neighbouring Bangladesh. Previous estimates of 164,000 refugees were revised upwards, significantly higher than previous estimates made by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. UN refugee agency spokeswoman Vivian Tan said that even the revised…

South Korea preparing for more North Korean missile tests

South Korea is preparing for North Korea to conduct more missile tests, with the north celebrating its foundation day this weekend. North Korea held a missile test last year on its September 9th anniversary, and South Korea has warned that it expects another missile test despite UN sanctions. There are reports that solar storms may…

Trump meets with South Korean President over North Korea

US President Donald Trump has met with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, discussing ways they can apply pressure to North Korea to try avoid a war. The two presidents discussed continued economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure to try keep North Korea in check. They also agreed to increase South Korea’s missile capabilities, and the US…

North Korea fires missiles into Sea of Japan

In a move likely to continue the recent escalation of tensions between North Korea and the US, North Korea has test fired several missiles into the Sea of Japan. Three short-range missiles were fired into the sea off the east coast, likely in response to joint military exercises being conducted by South Korea and the…