The Sunday Subject – January 7, 2024

Russia escalated its missile and drone attacks on Ukraine, killing 39 people.

Ukraine responded with a barrage on Belgorod, a Russian border city, which killed 25 people. Another attack by Russia on Kharkiv and Kyiv killed five people. Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine agreed on the largest prisoner exchange since the start of the war, with Ukraine releasing 248 Russians and Russia releasing 230 Ukrainians.

Approximately one hundred people were killed by two bomb explosions in Iran.

The blasts occurred on the fourth anniversary of Qassem Suleimani’s assassination, as crowds of people were heading towards his tomb. Suleimani led Iran’s Quds Force and created an extensive network of militias in the Middle East, some with ties to Hamas and Hezbollah. The Iranian government blamed the terrorist attack on America and Israel; the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Hamas said an Israeli drone strike killed Saleh al-Arouri, its deputy political leader. 

Several Hamas commanders were also killed in the attack on its office in Beirut. Arouri had close links with Hezbollah, a militia based in Lebanon. Meanwhile, the Turkish government accused Israel of plotting to “commit actions” against Palestinians living in Turkey.

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