World Briefs: Chinese navy fighter jet crashes in Hainan

Chinese navy fighter jet crashes in Hainan

BEIJING • A Chinese navy fighter jet crashed during training in Hainan yesterday, killing two pilots, the Defence Ministry said.

There were "no casualties on the ground", it said in a statement, adding that the cause of the accident was under investigation.

The statement did not specify the type of plane that crashed, but an unverified witness account online suggested it was a Xi'an JH-7.


ISIS close to defeat after SDF assault

BAGHOUZ (Syria) • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group was close to defeat in its final enclave in Syria yesterday, after bombardments overnight, and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the offensive to capture the area was nearly over.

The besieged enclave of Baghouz is the last shred of territory held by the militants who have been driven from roughly one-third of Iraq and Syria over the past four years by forces including a US-led international coalition.

"The operation is over, or as good as over, but requires a little more time to be completed practically on the ground," SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel told al-Hadath TV. ISIS militants were still putting up resistance.


MAS may be sold or shut down: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia Airlines (MAS) may be sold or shut down, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday, the latest bad news for the carrier that has been in crisis since suffering the loss of two planes in 2014.

The 71-year-old airline's performance was blamed in large part for a set of poor financial results released last week by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, which took Malaysia Airlines private in 2014.

Responding to questions about the airline's future, Tun Dr Mahathir told reporters in Parliament: "I think it is a very serious matter, to shut down the national airline... We will nevertheless be studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe