Lebanese President Tells Pompeo Hezbollah Has Popular Support

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, has a popular support in the country.

"Preserving national unity and civil peace is a priority for us," Aoun told, the Lebanese presidency said on its Twitter feed. 

Pompeo met with Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut on Friday.

according to Press TV, he urged Lebanon to stand up to the resistance movement which he accused of "terror and threats.”

During a joint news conference with Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Pompeo called on Lebanon to pick a side.

"Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future," he claimed.

'Hezbollah is not a terrorist group'

Bassil stood side by side with Pompeo at the new conference but he rejected the terrorist denunciation of the US official for Hezbollah.

Ferry Sinking in Iraq Kills At Least 72 People

At least 72 people died when an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul in Iraq, medical sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Most of the casualties on the ferry were women and children who could not swim, said the head of Mosul's Civil Defense Authority Husam Khalil, according to Press TV.

A separate source in the Civil Defense Authority said the boat had been loaded with twice its capacity, causing it to capsize.

Mobile phone footage showed the ferry sinking into the muddy water and people shouting for help.

The rescue team was retrieving survivors and had rescued scores of people so far, Khalil said.

Police and medical sources said earlier at least 40 people had drowned. A source in a nearby hospital and another in a morgue said the toll had risen to 72.

President Aoun Meets Pedersen, Urges Serious Work to Help Displaced Syrians in Lebanon Return Home

BEIRUT, (ST)- Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun and the UN Chief’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen on Wednesday held talks on the issue of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon and the need to facilitate their return to their homeland.

He renewed his call for working hard to help the displaced Syrians return home, stressing that Syria has started to restore its security and stability.

"We must work seriously to take the displaced back to safe and stable areas in Syria, which have actually become wide.. If the countries, which are involved in the war on Syria, allocate 10 percent of the cost of this war to resolve the issue of the displaced, it would help end their humanitarian crisis and spare the world more crises," Aoun said.

Yemeni Army Targets Saudis’ Positions with Missiles

The Yemeni missile unit fired two Badr-1 ballistic missiles toward Saudis’ positions in southern Saudi Arabia.

According to Yemeni media ‘Al-Masirah’, the army and the popular committees of Yemen targeted Saudi forces’ positions in Jizan.

Meanwhile, Yemeni forces have taken control of Saudi military forces’ positions in Najran.

Rights Groups Call for Referring Zionists Involved in Deliberate Killings of Gaza Protesters to Courts

GENEVA - Zionist leaders and soldiers involved in possible “war crimes and crimes against humanity” while disproportionately responding by excessive force to Palestinian protesters near the Gaza separation fence must be held to account, said Solidarité Suisse Guinée and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) in an oral statement delivered before representatives and ambassadors of member states at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) 40th session on Monday.

Israel has violated the principles of international human rights law by using live and explosive bullets and poisonous gas canisters to disperse civilians, journalists and medical crews around the Gaza fence, killing 256 civilians, including 38 children, as well as causing 69 permanent disabilities, and further exacerbated the already unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Strip, the two organizations stressed.