Syrian army strengthens grip on Aleppo
BEIRUT • The Syrian army said yesterday it had taken full control of dozens of towns in Aleppo's north-western countryside and would press on with its campaign to wipe out militant groups.
The advances were made after President Bashar al-Assad's forces drove insurgents from the M5 highway linking Aleppo to Damascus, reopening the fastest route between Syria's two biggest cities for the first time in years.
The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing towards the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year-old war.
KL to choose 5G partners based on own standards
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's own security standards will dictate which companies take part in its planned 5G roll-out this year, its Communications Minister told Reuters yesterday, as the US pushes countries to exclude China's Huawei.
Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, has been at the centre of a US-led campaign to clamp down on the use of Chinese technology in the development of the next-generation telecoms platform over concerns the equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.
Thai army agrees to give up control of land
BANGKOK • Thailand's army agreed yesterday to transfer management control of 160,000ha of commercial land to the Finance Ministry in a drive to reform its business practices after a soldier went on a shooting spree over a property deal gone sour.
Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma killed 29 people and wounded 57 during a 19-hour rampage last week after he shot his commanding officer and relative in a business dispute.