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Spellbinding giant spider webs discovered in Jerusalem forest

- spiders - Spellbinding giant spider webs discovered in Jerusalem forest


Colossal pale stalactites have recently appeared suspended among the trees along a stream in Israel where there were none before.

But the new ethereal landscape may not be universally appreciated – this gothic architecture is woven by an explosion of long-jawed spiders in the Soreq creek on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The prognathous arachnids have shrouded entire trees in giant glittering cobwebs on a scale rarely seen in the Middle East.

The Soreq watercourse reportedly contains treated sewage which is rich in nutrients. This aids the proliferation of mosquitoes, which then serve as a food source for the spiders, spurring a reproductive boom.

 “It’s an exceptional case,” arachnophile Igor Armicach, a doctoral student at Hebrew University’s Arachnid Collection, told Reuters.

But while gravid spider egg sacs and spiderlings are everywhere among the towering gossamer structures, the future is less than glittering for the long-jawed spiders.

Winter is coming – and the cooler temperatures will kill off the flourishing mosquito population living at the stream, ending the spiders’ abundant food source.

The spiders are part of the orb-weaving family of arachnids, which have unusually large mandibles. They normally weave horizontal webs with an open centre. 

Independent

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Middle East

15 Civilians Killed, Injured in Turkish Strikes on Afrin: Official

- e7523a3c68ddf4be6a508bd1ab873f3e L - 15 Civilians Killed, Injured in Turkish Strikes on Afrin: Official


ERBIL — At least two civilians were killed and 13 others were wounded on Sunday as a result of the Turkish military assault on Afrin, northwest of Syria, a local official said.

Osama Sheikh Issa, co-chair of Afrin local administration told Kurdistan24 that what Turkey is trying to achieve is having revenge on the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) fighter’s victory against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

“All of the casualties of the Turkish attacks were civil people who had nothing to do with the war” he pointed out.

Issa also asserted that the residents of Afrin are confidently staying in their city, but the displaced Syrian people who had found refuge in Afrin are in danger because of the Turkish assault on the city.

He further ensured that “none of the YPG and YPJ units have been targeted by the Turkish strikes, in deed all the attacks have been aimed at the homes of civilians in Afrin”.

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Middle East

Iran Calls on Turkey to Halt Afrin Operation

- 6cce60afe0e9652295227731138f696c L - Iran Calls on Turkey to Halt Afrin Operation


ERBIL — The Islamic Republic of Iran has called on Turkey to halt the Afrin operation and respect Syria’s territorial integrity, said a spokesperson for Iranian Foreign Ministry.

According to Mehr News Agency, Bahram Ghasemi said that Iran is closely and concernedly following the current developments in the city of Afrin.

“Iran hopes that the operation will immediately come to an end to stop the deepening of the crisis in the border areas of Turkey and Syria” he added. 

“The continuation of the crisis in Afrin may further strengthen the takfirist-terrorist groups in the northern Syrian regions, and flare up the fires of war ” warned the Iranian foreign ministry.

Qasemi also drew attention to the Astana peace talks and stated that all countries, especially Turkey, are expected to remain committed to the political solution, especially Astana peace process, for the Syrian crisis and continue observing their commitments and playing their constructive role in the resolution of the crisis.

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Middle East

[Watch]: YPG Destroys Turkish Tank near Afrin

- a515aef23f394e0974fa089da5993b99 L - [Watch]: YPG Destroys Turkish Tank near Afrin


ERBIL — The US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) released a footage on Sunday which shows them destroying a Turkish tank near the border city of Afrin.

The YPG fighters appear in the video destroying a Turkish tank with an anti-tank missile.

Turkey on Saturday launched a new air and ground operation on Afrin, a Kurdish city in the northwest of Syria, dubbed as the “Olive Branch Operation”.

The assault has so far left dozens killed and injured, including civilians and fighters from the both sides.

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