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Israeli war jets strike Gaza as a response to earlier rocket attack

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Gaza: Israeli war jets struck air-to-ground missiles at military facilities in the Gaza Strip, in response to earlier rockets fired from the enclave into Israel, witnesses and security officials said.

Witnesses said the war jets kept hovering over the Gaza Strip, where several explosions were heard in its northern, central and southern areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

Firefighters and ambulances rushed to the targeted areas.

Paramedics said no injuries were reported, while police and security forces evacuated buildings and security headquarters all over Gaza in fear of being targeted by Israel.

Security officials said that at least one missile was fired at a training facility that belongs to the Islamic Hamas movement’s armed wing, known as al-Qassam Brigades. A huge explosion was heard in the area but no injuries were reported.

The Israeli airstrike was in response to an earlier rocket attack on Israel carried out from northern Gaza city. Israel said three rockets were fired into Israel, but caused no damages or injuries.

However, Palestinian sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that a radical Islamic Salafist group, affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, was responsible for firing the rockets into Israel.

The Israeli media had earlier reported that the Salafists fired rockets into Israel due to deep differences with Hamas movement following Hamas’s crackdown on the group and the killing of one of its members on Tuesday.

It is the second time in one week that this group fired rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Last week, Israeli war jets carried out six airstrikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad military facilities in response to firing of rockets.

On Tuesday, a Salafist group, affiliated with the IS, claimed responsibility for the rockets, which were fired from Gaza into Israel. It said in a video tape that it was not committed to any truce with Israel.

The group also claimed responsibility for the rocket attack and gave Hamas a 48-hour ultimatum to stop its crackdown on its militants and bring back all the weapons Hamas had confiscated from them.

The airstrikes on Gaza last week and on Thursday have been the most intensive ones since the end of a large-scale Israeli military operation on the Gaza Strip that lasted for 50 days and ended on August 26 last year. (IANS)

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The Son Of The Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi Dies: IS

Al-Baghdadi's fate is still unknown

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This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son.
This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son. VOA

The son of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died in a suicide attack mission in the city of Homs in western Syria, according to the IS media al-Nashir News.

Posting the photograph of a young boy, purportedly Hudhayfah al-Badri, al-Baghdadi’s son, the outlet said he lost his life in an operation against the Russian forces deployed in Homs and the Syrian government forces, referred to as Nusayriyyah by IS.

“Hudhayfah al-Badri (may Allah accept him), the son of the Caliph (may Allah safeguard him), was killed in an inghimasi [suicide] operation against the Nusayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs Willayah,” the news outlet reported.

Inghimasi refers to suicide operations in which a fighter, clad with explosive belt and armed with regular weapons, attacks an enemy position before detonating himself to inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible.

The U.S. military said it has seen the reports of al-Badri’s death but declined any confirmation.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an attack on forces outside the Coalition. We have nothing more to provide,” U.S. Central Command told VOA.

An Iraqi national, al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri, announced the Islamic State caliphate in the city of Mosul in June 2014 and made himself its caliph. The leader has since become the world’s most wanted man, with a $25 million bounty on his head.

Islamic Terrorism in NYC
Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. VOA

Al-Baghdadi’s fate is still unknown, with various reports claiming his death and injury several times, including a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry that he might have been hit by a Russian airstrike in 2017.

Those claims have been rejected by U.S. officials and the whereabouts of the elusive leader remain unknown.

Al-Baghdadi’s infamous role in IS has put a spotlight on his family. In March 2014, al-Baghdadi’s wife, Sujidah al-Dulaimi, was released, along with her two sons and daughter, in exchange for 13 nuns taken captive by al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front militants.

Also read: Will the Latest Message From Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Provoke New Attacks in the West?

It was reported that only the girl was al-Baghdadi’s daughter. The two boys belonged to a man his wife had married before meeting al-Baghdadi. (IANS)