World roundup: August 10 2022
Stories from Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and more
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Syrian state media is reporting that an Islamic State leader going by the name “Abu Salem al-Iraqi” killed himself with an explosive suicide belt during an operation by government security forces in Daraa province. He was allegedly IS’s commander in southern Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting that the incident took place on Tuesday. The New Arab, citing a southern Syrian activist network called the “Horan Free League,” is reporting that it was local ex-rebel fighters who carried out the operation and that one of those fighters was killed in the explosion. It’s unclear whether these ex-rebels have been recruited into the state security apparatus though that is a possibility.
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday accused the Syrian government of imprisoning American journalist Austin Tice, saying that “we know with certainty that [Tice] has been held by the Government of Syria” and that “we have repeatedly asked the government of Syria to work with us so that we can bring Austin home.” Tice disappeared in Damascus on August 14, 2012, so Biden’s statement was meant to mark the 10 year anniversary of that event. Tice was last seen a few weeks later in a video released by his unspecified captors. The US government maintains that he’s still alive though it has never explained why it believes this to be true. The Syrian government has denied that he’s in their custody.
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