By: D.K Choudhary
Syrian Army Backed by Russian Jets Recaptures Ancient City Palmyra
i. The Syrian troops on March 2, 2017 successfully recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group for the second time in a year with support from Russian forces and warplanes.
ii. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group known as Jihadists first captured Palmyra in May 2015 and began to systematically destroy and loot the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site’s Monuments and Temples.
iii. They were driven out in March 2016 but again recaptured the city in December 2016 in a surprise move when Syrian government was focused on seizing rebel-held east Aleppo.
iv. Though the jihadists totally fled away from the desert city but had destroyed many priceless cultural heritages in the historic city for sale in black market.
v .Before Islamic State entered the city, Palmyra was well known for temples, colonnaded alleys and elaborately decorated tombs that were among the best preserved classical monuments in the Middle East.
♦ Capital: Damascus
♦ Currency: Syrian pound
♦ Prime Minister: Imad Khamis
♦ President: Bashar al-Assad
Half of 4,096 KM of India-Bangladesh Border Fenced
i. As per the report by the Border Security Force (BSF), India has completed the process of fencing half of the 4,096 km of border area which it shares with Bangladesh and expects to finish fencing the rest by 2019.
ii .The aim of fencing is to curb infiltration and smuggling of cattle and fake Indian currency notes.
iii. BSF has also identified the plots and sent the proposal to the government for fencing the remaining area but land acquisition is a major challenge for completing the work by the 2019 deadline.
iv. In case where fencing will not be possible, technological solutions such as cameras and lasers would be installed.
v. India and Bangladesh shares a 4,096 km border. Among Indian states, West Bengal shares 2,216.7km, Assam 263 km, Meghalaya 443 km, Tripura 856 km and Mizoram 318km border with Bangladesh.
♦ Capital: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi taka
♦ Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
♦ President: Abdul Hamid
Sweden introduces military draft for both men and women
i. Sweden’s coalition government of Social Democrats and Greens instituted a military draft for both men and women to tackle the deteriorating security environment in Europe and around Sweden.
ii. The country has abolished compulsory military service for men in 2010 because there were enough volunteers to meet its military needs.
iii. The country runs on Volunteer policy that Armed Forces with enough trained personnel and never had a military draft for women.
iv. Presently over 20,000 people now work for the Swedish armed forces, but this draft was announced to raise the strength of the forces by 1,000 active troops as well as 7,000 reservists.
♦ Capital: Stockholm
♦ Currency: Swedish krona