Syria vows to retaliate for Israeli airstrike Blast kills 14 at Pemex HQ Iran to boost enrichment UN panel blasts Israeli settlements
BEIRUT -- Syria threatened Thursday to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike and its ally Iran said the Jewish state will regret the attack.
Syria sent a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General stressing the country's "right to defend itself, its territory and sovereignty" and holding Israel and its supporters accountable.
"Israel and those who protect it at the Security Council are fully responsible for the repercussions of this aggression," the letter from Syria's Foreign Ministry said.
U.S. officials said Israel launched an airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday targeting a convoy carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militant group allied with Syria and Iran. The Syrian military denied there was any such weapons convoy. It said low-flying Israeli jets crossed into the country over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and bombed a scientific research center.
A U.S. official said the airstrike targeted trucks containing sophisticated Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. The trucks were next to the military research facility identified by the Syrians, and the strike hit both the trucks and the facility, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
MEXICO CITY -- An explosion at the main headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company in the capital Thursday killed 14 people and injured 80 as it heavily damaged three floors of the building, sending hundreds into the streets and a large plume of smoke over the skyline.
There were also reports that as many as 30 people were trapped in the debris from the explosion, which occurred in the basement of an administrative building next to the iconic, 52-story tower of Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. There was no immediate cause given for the blast.
VIENNA -- In a defiant move ahead of nuclear talks, Iran has announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads.
Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intentions last week, and the IAEA informed member nations in an internal note seen by The Associated Press on Thursday.
The brief note quoted Iran as saying new-generation IR2m "centrifuge machines ... will be used" to populate a new "unit" -- a technical term for an assembly that can consist of as many as 3,132 centrifuges.
Iran insists it does not want nuclear arms and argues it has a right to enrich uranium for a civilian nuclear power program. But suspicion persists that the real aim is nuclear weapons.
Experts say Tehran already has enough enriched uranium to be able to turn it into weapons-grade material for several nuclear weapons.
GENEVA -- The United Nations' first report on Israel's overall settlement policy describes it as a "creeping annexation" of territory that clearly violates the human rights of Palestinians and calls for Israel to immediately stop further such construction.
The report's conclusions, revealed Thursday, are not legally binding, but they further inflame tensions between the U.N. Human Rights Council and Israel, and between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli officials immediately denounced the report, while Palestinians pointed to it as "proof of Israel's policy of ethnic cleansing" and its desire to undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state.