India, Myanmar, Syria.
Today's three stories you should know.
India is cracking down on protests over derogatory comments made by two top ruling party officials about Islam’s Prophet Mohammad. In an extraordinary step, authorities in Uttar Pradesh state demolished the homes of several people they accused of being involved in the demonstrations. Home demolitions are a form of collective punishment Israel regularly uses in the occupied Palestinian territories, but a new tactic in India. Many Indian Muslims view the comments as indicative of what they see as the anti-Islam stance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. Muslims make up about 14 percent of India’s population.
More from Reuters here.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged Myanmar not to execute four opposition figures. Hun Sen wrote to Myanmar’s ruler, Senior Gen. Min Aung, warning any executions could hurt prospects for peace in a country that has been mired in conflict since the military seized power last year. The letter is an unusual step as Southeast Asian governments don’t ordinarily speak publicly about each other’s internal affairs. Hun Sen himself has often been accused of authoritarianism.
More from AP here.
Damascus International Airport sustained major damage in an Israeli missile attack and has been unable to reopen since, Syrian state media said today. Israel struck the airport with a barrage of rockets on Friday, hitting runways and other vital infrastructure. Tel Aviv has launched regular strikes on Syria, targeting the Syrian military as well Lebanon’s Hezbollah group and Iranian militias, both of which fight alongside Syrian forces. Israel rarely comments on specific strikes but has said in the past that it cannot accept Iran gaining a foothold so close to its border.
More from AFP via France 24 here.