shared that he decided to stand outside the Mosque because he wanted people to
know that “we can respond with friendship”.
Are My Friends’: British Man Stands Guard outside His Local Mosque after
Christchurch Terror Attack
Government Promoting Hatred against Muslims: Analyst
Turkey Looting Afrin's Artifacts, Archaeological Monuments
‘Will Allow No Foreign Interference in Constitution-Related Matters’
Calls Meeting To Discuss Islamophobia after NZ Shootings
and Indian Health Organizations Expanding Quality Healthcare in Afghanistan
Targets Group of Taliban Militants Involved In Planning Suicide Attacks
Bishops Pray For New Zealand Terror Victims
traces movements of Christchurch suspect during 2016 visits
removed 1.5 million videos of Christchurch mosque shooting
NZ Mosque Terrorist Drops Lawyer, Will Represent Himself
ISIL Fails to Penetrate into Al-Anbar Province
More Civilians Killed in US Airstrikes on Refugee Camp in Eastern Syria
Sustain Heavy Losses in Foiled Attacks on Aleppo, Hama, Idlib
envoy discusses Syria constitution on Damascus visit
in ruins as war enters 9th year
FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi visits China to boost bilateral ties: Foreign office
to give national award to citizen killed trying to overpower NZ mosque attacker
message to world is peace and reconciliation’
visits families of Christchurch shooting victim in Karachi
held against Pakistanis’ killing in Afghanistan
Words of Afghan Man Show Islam Is Peace
commander Kateeb Ur Rehman, his 4 comrades killed in Nangarhar airstrike
kill 22 Afghan forces in attack on checkpoints
Taliban militants killed, 2 suicide vests, house-borne IED destroyed in Kunduz
Church Leader Denounces New Zealand Mosque Shootings
killed, 3 injured in ceasefire violation in J&K’s Rajouri district
Station Approved To Speed up Kartarpur Work
Azhar issue will be resolved, says Chinese envoy
more Indian confirmed dead in New Zealand mosque attack, toll 8
on Peace, Inter-Religious Unity to Be Set Up, Says Minister
Calls for Banning Australian Senator from Entering Indonesia
M: Act of violence in Christchurch inhuman
segregation: ‘Corrective’ action ordered at Sabah school
council chief urges thought leaders not to provoke religious friction
Court Issues Decision to Close Al-Aqsa Mosque’s Bab Al-Rahma Prayer Area
top court disqualifies far-rightist, approves Arab party for ballot
kills Israeli soldier in West Bank knife and gun attack
envoy says Hamas violently suppressed Gaza protests
court orders closure of building at tense Jerusalem holy site
Iran will file legal case against US for sanctions
militants kill 16 soldiers in attack on army base in Mali
rallies against Al-Bashir as Sudan secures $300M loans
seeks extradition of Ben Ali brother-in-law from France
least eight dead as gunmen storm Mali army camp
forces kill Saudi, Sudanese troopers in Saudi Arabia
Stance on Muslims, Fox Host In Spotlight
main force against US-Israel-Saudi alliance in Mideast: Analyst
denies report 1,000 troops to remain in Syria
by New Age Islam News Bureau
the aftermath of the deadly terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand that
claimed the lives of at least 50 people including five Indians, a man standing
guard outside the Levenshulme mosque in Machester has received praise online. A
picture of him holding a placard that read “You are my friends. I will keep
watch while you pray” has gone viral.
many were curious about the identity of the man which was later revealed by his
daughter, Ruth Kyle. “Dear world. This is my Dad @AndrewGraystone and I am so
proud, in every way, to be his daughter!” she tweeted in response to many
enquiring about him.
shared that he decided to stand outside the Mosque because he wanted people to
know that “we can respond with friendship”. “As people walked up, you could see
in their eyes that they were looking at somebody standing outside their mosque,
thinking, ‘Oh no, is this some kind of protest or whatever’. And then when they
saw the message saying ‘You are my friend’, their faces broke and they beamed
and smiled,” he told BBC.
government promoting hatred against Muslims: Analyst
British government has contributed to the recent visible surge in terrorist
attacks against Muslims around the world by fueling Islamophobia almost on a
daily basis, a senior political analyst from London says.
UK government itself is involved in promoting this demonization and sort of
escalating the environment of hate (against the Muslims),” said Massoud
Shadjareh in a Sunday interview with the
Press TV, adding that senior UK politicians like former foreign minister Boris
Johnson have been demonizing Muslims without any regret.
said incidents like the Friday massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, where a
white supremacist killed 50 worshipers in two mosques in the city of
Christchurch, was a result of the Islamophobic environments existing in Western
countries like the UK.
and the environment of hate which has been created against Muslims
internationally and fueled by the politicians and the media on a daily basis is
going to result in people behaving in this way,” he said.
expert added some Western politicians acted as if they were even in a
competition with each other to show who is more Islamophobic.
at the (London) mayor election, there is a competition between all the
candidates to show their credential of being Islamophobic,” said Shadjareh,
adding, “The more Islamophoboic a politician it is more likely to actually win
analyst said even Muslim politicians in the UK like London Mayor Sadiq Khan and
interior minister Sajid Javid are forced to behave in an Islamophobic manner
because of the dominant environment of Islamophobia.
said in addition to campaigning for a stop in Islamophobic discourse in the
Western politics and the media, there should be more protection for the
minority Muslim communities who are target of such terrorist attacks.
said governments like the UK have offered almost nothing in finances to provide
security for places of worship for Muslims compared to what they have done to
protect other communities.
only community which is being attacked in London, in New Zealand and elsewhere,
in the United States and so for, their centers have been attacked and their
worshipers have been massacred is the Muslim community” he said.
teams equipped with excavation instruments are excavating for artifacts in
Jandaris hills in Afrin region, the London-based Syrian Observatory of Human
Rights (SOHR) quoted informed sources in Southwestern Afrin as saying.
SOHR noted that the Turkish Army, meantime, has blocked all roads to the
region, and said that another excavation operation is underway in Ma'abali
region in Western Afrin and Ali Aisheh and Tal Zarafkeh regions.
comes as plundering of civilians' assets and abducting them as well as
receiving heavy taxes by the Ankara-backed militants are still underway in
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian government announced that the
terrorist groups have transferred thousands of artifacts from the country's
archeological sites to Turkey.
sum of 17,000 pieces of archeological works that had been stolen from Syria's
museums and archeological sites are presently in Turkey," Syria's director
general for archeological monuments Mahmoud Hamoud said.
reiterated that most of the stolen manuscripts had been stolen from Jobar
Synagogue in Eastern Damascus and had been smuggled to Turkey from Eastern
comes as the terrorist groups had smuggled thousands of artifacts from Syria to
a relevant development earlier this month, Arab media outlets reported that
more than 142 families of ISIL commanders and foreign militants together with
Syria's historic monuments have been relocated to Turkey from Eastern Euphrates
with the help of the US-backed Kurdish fighters and Ankara's allied militants.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted dissident sources as saying that a
network comprising tens of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Ankara-backed
militants transferred the historic monuments as well as the ISIL commanders,
terrorists and their families to Northern Aleppo and from there to Turkey.
sources explained that over 142 families of the ISIL commanders and terrorists
have been relocated to Turkey from Eastern Euphrates on military vehicles after
paying cash up to $90,000.
a number of Syrian militants and their families have also moved towards Idlib
‘will allow no foreign interference in constitution-related matters’
says its constitution is a “purely sovereign affair” and will allow no foreign
interference in that area.
Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Muallem stressed the matter
in a meeting with United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen in
the capital, Damascus, on Sunday.
constitution and all matters related to it are a sovereign issue that should be
decided by Syrians themselves without any foreign interference,” Muallem said,
as quoted by Syria’s official news agency SANA.
a new constitution for a post-war Syria is part of a potential political
solution to end the eight-year crisis in the Arab country. To that end, an
agreement was made in the Russian town of Sochi last year for a UN-backed
Constitutional Committee to be formed composed of 50 members from the incumbent
Damascus government, 50 opposition members, and another 50 independent figures
chosen by the world body.
expressed Syria’s readiness to cooperate with Pedersen, a Norwegian diplomat
who took over from Staffan de Mistura in January, to facilitate inter-Syrian
dialog to reach a political solution aimed at serving the Syrians’ interests
and preserving the Arab country’s “sovereignty, independence and unity.”
also said any solution had to help eradicate terrorism and terminate the
illegal presence of foreign troops in Syria.
on his second visit to Damascus since he took up the post, affirmed that he
would not spare any effort to reach a political solution in accordance with the
principles laid out in the UN Charter and the relevant UN Security Council
month, Pedersen said in Geneva that he saw a constitutional committee as “the
potential door-opener for the political process.”
UN envoy also stressed the full commitment of the UN to the sovereignty,
independence, and territorial integrity of the Arab country.
calls meeting to discuss Islamophobia after NZ shootings
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called emergency meeting of
its Council of Foreign Ministers on March 22 to discuss the causes, impacts and
future strategy in the wake of New Zealand shooting that had left over 50
people dead. Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood said that he has been in contact with his Turkish counterpart since
yesterday and that both countries agreed to summon the meeting.
currently holds the rotating OIC presidency.
said the meeting was called in order to devise a strategy against Islamophobia
after mass shootings in addition to a discussion on the underlying causes of
such an incident.
said he contacted his Turkish counterpart and discussed the world scenario
after the New Zealand terrorist attacks.
being chair of the council floated the idea of convening Foreign Ministers’
meeting and Pakistan seconded it, he added.
the meeting, efforts will be made to unify the Ummah and devise a strategy to
know the root causes of growing Islamophobia in the West and its implications
for Muslims around the world.
Qureshi says visa to the mother of Shaheed Naeem Rashid has been issued so that
she can attend last rituals of her son in New Zealand.
a statement, he said the government is facilitating relatives of Pakistani
citizens, martyred in the New Zealand terrorist attack, in getting visa to
travel to Christchurch to attend funerals of their loved ones.
foreign minister said Pakistan High Commission in New Zealand is making all out
efforts for affected Pakistanis in that country. He said families of six
martyred want to bury them in New Zealand while three have expressed wish to
bury their dead in Pakistan.
foreign minister paid tribute to Naeem Rashid, one of the victims, for his
bravery and courage. Rashid has been hailed as a hero on social media after
being seen in a video of the attacks apparently trying to tackle the gunman
before being shot.
national flag be flown at half-mast on Monday, he added.
Mehmood Qureshi said parliamentary leaders will be invited for a meeting on
28th of this month at the parliament house in Islamabad to seek their opinions
and guidance on the way to move forward, in the backdrop of post Pulwama
said he held telephonic contacts with PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari and Leader of
the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif who have assured their
cooperation on all issues of national interest and security.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also called for holding an emergency meeting
of the OIC during a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu,
reported Anadolu Agency.
a statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Zarif called for “appropriate
reaction of Muslim states to this heinous crime”.
Indian health organizations signed contracts with an Afghan health company at
the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday to expand the provision of
quality healthcare in Afghanistan.
United States Agency for International Development in a statement said the
contracts, with an estimated value of $6.5 million, aim to establish a fully
equipped diagnostic center, an advanced dialysis center, and a manufacturing
plant for the production of pharmaceuticals in Kabul.
statement further added that this builds on the initial talks in the USAID
sponsored Passage to Prosperity: India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show in
progress in the health sector, access to quality secondary and tertiary
healthcare is still limited in Afghanistan. As a result, many Afghans seek
healthcare abroad, spending an estimated $285 million annually. The Government
of Afghanistan is encouraging regional and international investment to expand
healthcare inside the country and to alleviate the need for people to go
Ferozuddin Feroz, Minister of Public Health, expressed appreciating for local
and Indian investments in the health sector. He stated, “The private health
sector is an integral part of Afghanistan’s health system and plays a crucial
role in meeting the demands of Afghans for healthcare. The partnerships between
the Afghan health businesses and Indian organizations that we witness today
will help fill the gap in service delivery in the country”. Dr. Feroz also
invited other international investors and organizations to consider investing
in the most needed areas in Afghanistan.
Mission Director Peter Natiello stated: “Increased investment in the health
sector not only improves the health of the population, but also spurs economic
growth through job creation, improved local skills, and additional resources
for development.” Dr. Mustafa Mastoor, Minister of Economy, expressed his
commitment for fostering an enabling environment to expand private sector
investment in the country.
targets group of Taliban militants involved in planning suicide attacks
least seven Taliban militants were killed in an airstrike which was carried out
in the vicinity of Khogyani district of Nangarhar province.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said the Afghan Special Forces called in air
support after coming under fire during the operation late last night.
statement further added that 7 militants who were involved in planning and
coordinating suicide attacks and roadside bombings were killed in the
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the report so far.
province has been among the relatively calm provinces but the security
situation in some of its remote districts has deteriorated during the recent
amid growing attempts by Taliban and ISIS sympathizers to expand foothold in
bishops pray for New Zealand terror victims
March 17, 2019
Delhi, March 16, 2019: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has expressed
anguish and sadness at the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand.
least 49 people were killed and 20 seriously injured on March 15 in a
hate-filled terror attack targeting two mosques in the New Zealand city of
Catholic Church in India prays for the souls of those killed in the senseless
killing and implores God for quick and complete healing of the injured. We ask
the Almighty God for comfort and consolation to the families of the victims,”
says a March 16 condolence message from the bishops’ conference.
statement points out that the New Zealand attack has come nearly a month after
the terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir that killed 44 soldiers.
“Even as the world grieved with us as our tragedy it has to reckon with yet
another horror,” it adds.
bishops’ conference says the “demon of hatred and division” when unleashed is
difficult to control and leaves behind “death, pain and sorrow.”
press note says the New Zealand tragedy draws attention to the use of social
media for spreading hate and threatening messages, ultra-nationalistic rage and
categorization of dissenters as anti-nationals.
is time to call out hate mongers and take them to task,” the bishops’ message
said and lauded New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her bold action
said: “Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may
be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to
make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who
has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New
Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts…”
terrorist attacks anywhere are crimes against humanity, the Indian bishops
has begun to track the past movements of the suspect in the Christchurch mosque
shootings after it emerged he paid an extended visit to the country more than
two years ago.
Turkish official said initial checks found that Brenton Tarrant, 28, came to
Turkey twice in 2016 – from March 17 to 20 and again from September 13 to
October 25. State-run media released a photograph of Mr Tarrant entering
through Istanbul’s Ataturk airport without specifying the date.
are currently investigating the terrorist’s movements and contacts within the
country,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
forces are trying to piece together where Mr Tarrant went and whom he met while
he was in Turkey, particularly during his six-week stay.
Turkish investigation will clarify when he arrived in Istanbul and where he
stayed and probably his cellphone communication if he had one,” said Yusuf
Alabarda, a security analyst at Ankara’s Foundation for Political, Economic and
the closed-circuit camera system, which is very effective inside Turkey because
Turkey has struggled with terrorism for more than 40 years, and his links with
people in Istanbul or other cities.”
are to initially focus on the area around Sultanahmet Square in the heart of
Istanbul’s tourist district that includes Hagia Sophia, a former church and
mosque that is now a museum, the Hurriyet newspaper reported. They will also
examine hotel, airport and bus records. Mr Tarrant referred to returning Hagia
Sophia to Christian worship in a “manifesto” he distributed prior to the
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly talked about Friday’s attacks, in
which at least 50 people were killed, during televised campaign rallies ahead
of local elections at the end of the month, even showing footage of the
shootings on large on-stage screens.
president linked the attacks to the elections, asking a crowd in Gaziantep on
Friday if they were “ready to send a message to the enemies of Islam and
Turkey" on March 31.
has been alarmed at Mr Tarrant’s naming of Mr Erdogan as a target for
assassination, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and London Mayor Sadiq
his “manifesto”, Mr Tarrant labelled Mr Erdogan “the leader of one of the
oldest enemies of our people” and mentioned Europe’s “Turk invaders”.
Australian suspect appears to have developed an obsession with the
centuries-old conflicts between the Muslim Ottomans and Christian armies in the
Balkans. The weapons used in the attacks were scrawled with the dates of
battles and the names of historic Christian leaders and Mr Tarant is reported to
have visited Ottoman battle sites in the region.
the months after leaving Turkey in late 2016, he travelled to Serbia, Bosnia,
Croatia and Montenegro. The following year he visited France, Spain and
Portugal, the sites of conflict between European and Arab armies, and last year
went to Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.
Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said authorities were investigating Mr
Tarrant’s visit. Serbia’s ambassador to Ankara, Zoran Markovic, denounced any
link between the “mad, sick, criminal and totally unacceptable act and the
history of Balkans”. Many commentators in Turkey pointed to Mr Tarrant’s trips
to the country falling either side of the July 2016 coup attempt, without
offering further explanation.
Sunday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
arrived in New Zealand, where they met officials and some of the relatives of
the three injured Turkish worshippers.
terrorist act, unfortunately, has shown us once again that there are no limits
of hostility to Islam,” Mr Oktay said on Saturday before departing from
has revealed that it removed nearly 1.5 million videos of the Christchurch
mosque shootings in which 50 people were killed and another 50 people injured,
after a gunman opened fire on worshippers on Friday, March 15 at two mosques in
New Zealand. The attacker also live-streamed part of the attack on both YouTube
tweet reveals, “In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the
attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload…” This also
shows how quickly the Facebook livestream of the Christchurch mosque shootings
went viral and were being shared on the platform.
in a series of tweets, posted by the official Facebook Newsroom account had
earlier said that they quickly removed the livestream from the shooter’s
Facebook and Instagram page, after the police alerted them of the video shortly
after the attacker went live.
company had also said that they were removing any praise or support for the
crime and the shooter as soon as they became aware.
continue to work around the clock to remove violating content using a
combination of technology and people. Out of respect for the people affected by
this tragedy and the concerns of local authorities, we’re also removing all
edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content,” Mia Garlick,
Facebook New Zealand said in another update on the New Zealand mosque attack.
was not only platform where the video of the shooting was shared. The live video,
which was posted on Facebook, was later being shared on YouTube as well. The
Google-owned video platform had tweeted saying they were working vigilantly to
remove any violent footage of the attack.
to a Bloomberg report, users had reported that video of the attack was still
widely available hours after being first uploaded to the shooter’s Facebook
report said that the video, which showed a first-person view of the killings in
Christchurch, New Zealand, was readily accessible during and after the attack.
NZ mosque terrorist drops lawyer, will represent himself
Australian terrorist charged with murder for allegedly killing 50 people in
mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques plans to represent himself, his
court-appointed duty lawyer said Monday.
Tarrant was charged with one count of murder and appeared at Christchurch
District Court on Saturday after the rampage during Friday prayers.
lawyer Richard Peters, who represented him during the preliminary court
hearing, told AFP the 28-year-old “indicated he does not want a lawyer”.
wants to be self-represented in this case,” said Peters, who played down
suggestions that Tarrant may not be fit for trial.
Iraqi Army troops prevented the ISIL terrorists from crossing into Al-Anbar
province by laying mines and traps on their path," the Iraqi security
source reiterated that all terrorists were killed and their military vehicle
was destroyed in the Iraqi forces' operations against them.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Arabic-language al-Masdar news website
reported that the Iraqi forces had reinforced their military positions near the
border with Syria and they were completely ready to prevent the ISIL terrorists
from penetrating into their country.
large number of security and Hashd al-Sha'abi forces have been dispatched to
the Western part of Iraq's Al-Anbar province during the past week," it
meantime, noted that the dispatch of forces to borders with Syria is in line
with blocking the possible escape of the ISIL remnants from the remaining
regions under their occupation in Eastern Deir Ezzur to Iraq.
Hashd al-Sha'abi Commander in Al-Anbar Province Qatari al-Abidi announced that
the Iraqi security forces are now in a state of alert amid battle with the
terrorists in Baqouz region.
Syrian Army source was quoted by Al-Masdar as saying last week that the ISIL
terrorists have been increasing their presence along Iraq-Syria border.
a relevant development earlier this month, a senior Iraqi legislator disclosed
that the US forces played a role in the last Wednesday's ISIL raid on a convoy
of Hashd al-Shaabi in Northern Iraq which killed and wounded several popular
al-Aliwi, a representative of al-Bina coalition at the Iraqi parliament, was
quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh as saying that the US forces
provide the ISIL with intelligence about Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi security
forces' moves, noting that they want to induce the necessity for their
deployment under the pretext of fighting against the ISIL.
Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted the Iraqi intelligence and security
bodies as reporting that during the terrorist attack against Hashd al-Shaabi on
Makhmour road in Mosul, 6 Hashd al-Shaabi forces were killed and 31 others were
senior Iraqi lawmaker had also disclosed last month that the US army troops and
warplanes were preventing Hashd al-Shaabi from getting close to the country's
borders with Syria.
US troops stationed along Iraq-Syria borders have blocked the access of Hashd
al-Shaabi forces from nearing that region through air and ground cover,"
Member of the Iraqi Parliament's Security Committee Ali Jabbar was quoted by
al-Maloumeh as saying. He underlined that the US considered Hashd al-Shaabi as
a big threat to its plots in Iraq, and said that the US army troops were
exerting pressure on the Iraqi government to prevent Hashd al-Shaabi from
getting close to the border with Syria or to prevent them from targeting the
ISIL movements in the Baghouz region.
comes as a security force had earlier revealed that the US army troops backed
by the US helicopters have used al-Ramaneh region along Iraq-Syria borders in
Western al-Anbar to conduct reconnaissance operations.
US-led coalition fighter jets conducted attacks on the gatherings of the
civilians in al-Baghouz farms in Eastern Deir Ezzur along the border with Iraq.
civilians, most of them women and children, were killed and wounded in the air
raids by the US-led coalition, local sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur were quoted
US-led coalition fighter jets had also pounded the besieged Al-Baghouz Foqani
Town in Eastern Syria with phosphorus gas earlier this month.
US-led fighter jets hit Baghouz farms in Eastern Deir Ezzur with missiles
containing white phosphorus substance," the Arabic-language media quoted
local sources in Deir Ezzur as saying.
Syrian Army units engaged in heavy clashes with the terrorists in al-Sharia,
al-Tavineh and al-Karim towns in Northern Hama, inflicting major losses on the
terrorists and forcing a large number of them to retreat from the battle scene.
Syrian Army's artillery and missile units also heavily pounded the terrorists'
gatherings near the town of al-Jamaseh and West of Kafar Naboudeh in Northern
Hama, destroying the terrorists' military positions and killing a large number
comes as Tahrir al-Sham terrorists launched a large number of rocket attacks on
the town of al-Saqilbiyeh West of Hama, killing and injuring a number of
Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army troops pounded the movements of Tahrir
al-Sham and its allied militants from Badama and al-Najieh towns, inflicting
heavy losses on them.
a relevant development last Wednesday, the Syrian army pounded and destroyed a
command headquarters of Tahrir al-Sham amid fierce attacks by terrorists on
their military positions.
Damascus army attacked the terrorists' military positions and movements in
al-Habit and around Babilon town, destroying a meeting of militant commanders
and killing all those present at the venue.
military source also confirmed that the Syrian Army troops have destroyed a
command center of Tahrir al-Sham together with several military vehicles in
Harash Abedin town in Southeastern Idlib, inflicting heavy casualties on the
Northern Hama, the Syrian Army troops engaged in heavy clashes with terrorist
groups who had concurrently attacked the Syrian Army's military positions near
the town of Mahradeh and the al-Jadideh town in Northern Hama, inflicting heavy
losses on the assailant terrorists after warding off their attack.
the Syrian Army troops attacked the terrorists' military positions in Tal-e
Shaviheneh, Kafar Hamreh and Haritan in response to their attacks on the
civilian population in al-Zahra, al-Mokambo, al-Shahba al-Jadideh regions in
UN envoy for Syria held talks in Damascus on Sunday with Foreign Minister Walid
Muallem, who stressed the need for a Syrian-led political solution to the
diplomat Geir Pedersen discussed efforts to find a political settlement to the
conflict, including moves to form a committee tasked with drawing up a post-war
constitution, state media said.
expressed Syria’s readiness to cooperate with Pedersen to facilitate a
political solution, the official news agency SANA said.
he said that the political process, including talks over a new constitution,
should be “Syrian-led and -owned.”
constitution and all matters related to it are a sovereign issue that should be
decided by Syrians themselves without any foreign interference,” Muallem said
in a statement carried by SANA.
arrived in Damascus on Sunday in the second such visit since he took up his
post in January.
month the envoy said in Geneva that he saw a constitutional committee as “the
potential door-opener for the political process.”
pointed to a UN resolution adopted in 2015 calling for the creation of a new
constitution followed by UN-supervised elections.
UN Security Council remains deeply divided over the way forward in Syria, where
the war entered its ninth year last week with more than 370,000 people dead.
The Syrian crisis enters its ninth year this month, leaving in its wake a trail
of death, destruction, destitution, displacement and division.
war has killed more than 500,000 people, displaced at least 12 million, and
left the country’s economy and infrastructure in ruins.
President Bashar Assad said in a speech on Feb. 17: “We have this romantic view
sometimes that we are victorious. No, the war is not over.”
and figures from Syrian Customs, provided by economist and financial advisor
Dr. Humam Al-Jazaeri, show that the volume of foreign trade plummeted between
2010 and 2016 due to non-UN (US and EU) sanctions, the suspension of oil
production, damage to physical infrastructure and the closure of border crossings
with Jordan and Iraq.
compliance buffer zone at financial institutions has been put in place
voluntarily, especially by international banks, against transactions in goods
and services traded with Syria, leading to a significant rise in international
transaction costs, including the costs of shipping, insurance and financing,”
to non-UN sanctions, combined with the conflict, the capabilities of Syrian
banks have been significantly eroded in facilitating international payments.”
tide of the war has turned in the Syrian regime’s favor, with the bulk of the
country back in its control, prompting some Arab states to begin normalizing
ties with Damascus.
reopened its main border crossing with Syria in October 2018, and Sudan’s President
Omar Al-Bashir visited Damascus in mid-December, the first Arab ruler to visit
the country since the war began in 2011.
is a growing consensus among Arab League countries about readmitting Syria to
the regional bloc, after its membership was suspended seven years ago.
Gasiorowski, a political science lecturer at Tulane University in the US, told
Arab News: “This is part of a process of rehabilitating the Syrian regime that
has been going on for a year or so now, as the regime has increasingly been
winning its civil war with extensive help from Russia and Iran.”
though Arab states are reluctant to have any dealings with Damascus, “Syria is
a key Arab state, and other Arab powers can’t afford to keep ostracizing it, as
the US and EU countries can,” he said.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) forecast in December 2018 that up to
250,000 Syrian refugees could return to their devastated homeland in 2019,
despite massive hurdles facing them.
the following month, the UN said conditions were not right for the safe and
orderly return of large groups of refugees.
French and German ambassadors to Syria blame Damascus for “creating a climate
of fear and injustice” that is preventing refugees from returning.
called on Damascus to “credibly end arbitrary arrests and prosecution,” and to
“stop restricting the work of the UNHCR” so that “it can freely move within
Syria to access and protect all refugees.”
the third Brussels conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the
Region,” held on March 12-14, noted that more than 11 million Syrians are in
need of humanitarian assistance.
conference pledged $7 billion for 2019 in aid for Syrians in the country and
though the security situation has improved with the defeat of Daesh, many parts
of Syria remain a serious security concern.
while pro-regime forces have recaptured areas surrounding the capital,
shortages of fuel, cooking gas and electricity have hit Damascus hard this
winter, leading to rising food prices and transport costs.
persistent power cuts and a rise in fuel prices, residents are increasingly
relying on gas for heating. Other major cities are also facing an energy
crisis, including Aleppo, As-Suwayda, Hama, Homs and Latakia.
have taken to social media to express their anger not just toward their living
situation, but also Parliament Speaker Hammouda Al-Sabbagh’s claim that these
complaints are “campaigns … managed by foreign parties.”
Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is visiting China to participate
in a strategic dialogue and hold talks with the top Chinese leadership on a
range of issues, including the multi-billion CPEC project, to strengthen the
bilateral ties, the foreign office said Sunday.
announcement of the four-day visit comes days after China for the fourth time
blocked a bid in the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Wednesday to
designate chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group Masood Azhar as a "global
terrorist" by putting a technical hold on the proposal, a move India
termed as disappointing.
proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the
UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days
after the Pulwama terror attack which killed forty Indian soldiers.
foreign office (FO) said in a statement that "Qureshi is visiting China
from March 17 to 20 for the first Pakistan-China foreign ministers' Strategic
from the talks on other issues, "both sides shall also discuss the
regional situation and cooperation at multilateral fora, the foreign office
will specifically hold comprehensive discussions on the entire range of
bilateral relations including the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC), it said.
foreign minister will also address Political Parties Forum on the CPEC and
participate in the ruling parties' dialogue between his Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Communist Party of China (CPC) during the visit.
foreign office said that Qureshi will also call on the Chinese leadership.
foreign minister's visit will add momentum to close and broad-based bilateral
ties and will reinforce efforts to deepen economic engagement under the CPEC,
CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province,
is the flagship project of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and
Road Initiative (BRI).
A courageous Pakistani national who died in the ghastly Christchurch terror
attack on two mosques will be conferred with a national award posthumously for
trying to tackle the White supremacist gunman before being shot dead by him.
Naeem Rashid, a resident of Jinnahabad in Abbottabad and a professor in New
Zealand, was present at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch when the terrorist
opened fire on Friday and killed 50 worshippers.
Minister Imran Khan extended support to the families and also announced to
award a Pakistani who tried to tackle the attacker but was killed.
stand ready to extend all our support to the families of Pakistani victims of
the terrorist attack in Christchurch. Pakistan is proud of Mian Naeem Rashid
who was killed trying to tackle the White Supremacist terrorist & his
courage will be recognised with a national award," Khan tweeted on Sunday.
stand ready to extend all our support to the families of Pakistani victims of
the terrorist attack in Christchur…
22-year-old son, Talha Naeem, a civil engineering graduate, was among those who
lost their lives in the shooting.
who was injured in his bid to overpower the attacker, passed away on Saturday
after succumbing to his injuries.
foreign office on Sunday confirmed, nine Pakistani national were killed in the
attack that took place on Friday .
28-year-old gunman, identified Brenton Tarrant, live-streamed footage of
himself going room-to-room, victim to victim, shooting the wounded from close
range as they struggled to crawl away.
attack has shocked New Zealanders, who are used to seeing around 50 murders a
year in the entire country of 4.8 million and pride themselves on living in a
secure and welcoming place.
Speakers at a conference here on Saturday said that Pakistan’s message for the
world is of peace and reconciliation, adding that political and military
leadership of the country and ulema are on the same page for defence and
stability of the motherland.
‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Conference’ was organised by Madrassa Qasimul Uloom
Bahawalnagar. Majlis-e-Ulema Pakistan Chairman and Badshahi Mosque Lahore
Khateeb Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad presided over the conference while Sahibzada
Masood Qasim Qasimi hosted the session. Former religious affairs minister and
Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z) chief Ejaz ul Haq, Bahawalnagar District
Police Officer Ammara Athar, Maulana Imdad Hussain from United Kingdom, Mufti
Abdul Moeed Asad, Prof Mateeur Rehman Nafeesi and Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani
participated in the conference, besides a huge number of civil society members,
lawyers and students of different religious seminaries.Speaking on the
occasion, Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad said the role of ulema in foiling the
nefarious agenda of the enemies is of crucial importance, as they are the
flag-bearers of unity, brotherhood, tolerance and peace in the society. He said
the constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal rights to all segments of
society, including minorities. He said ulema belonging to all schools of
thought are one on integrity and stability of the country and will never let
hostile elements succeed in their conspiracies.
said Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative of the government of Pakistan has broken the
back of the elements spreading hatred and extremism in the country. He said
whole nation is united to thwart nefarious designs of the enemies.
said the peace overtures of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the message of
reconciliation and dialogue by him has won praise from the international
community. He said Pakistan has emerged as a proponent of peace in the comity
of nations and the whole world is appreciating its positive approach.
speakers stressed the need to implement Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative in true
letter and spirit in order to promote harmony and peace and tolerance which
will in turn help build an inclusive Islamic society in Pakistan. They called
for reviewing country’s educational policy, ensuring training of teachers and
ulema to encourage a culture of respecting other sects and religions as well as
their sacred places.
President Dr Arif Alvi expresses his concerns on Christchurch mosque attack by
saying “World leaders need to realize the importance of selection of words in
their speeches as global peace could not be achieved by fanning hatred against
Muslims” while talking to media on Sunday.
visiting the victim families, who were martyred in the terrorist attack at
mosques in Christchurch city of New Zealand, Alvi said “it will take too long
to repress the flames of hatred as these issues can’t be fixed immediately.
also said “Christchurch attack was the consequence of global narrative on
president visited the family of late Zeeshan Ahmed, who embraced martyrdom in
the attack along with his parents. Earlier, he also visited the family of Syed
Areeb Ahmed, another victim of the attack.
offered Fateha and prayed for the peace of departed souls. He also expressed
sympathies and solidarity with the grieving families and prayed for courage to
bear the loss with fortitude.
The members of Wazir Grand Jirga staged a protest demonstration against the
killing of eight tribesmen from North Waziristan in Afghanistan on Sunday.
protest was held in the border village of Angur Adda in South Waziristan. Speaking on the occasion, the participants
condemned the killing of the Pakistani tribesmen by the Afghan security forces.
speaking at a press conference, the members of the jirga (village council) had
called upon the United Nations, International Human Rights Commission and
Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul to probe the killing of the tribesmen to ensure
justice to the bereaved families.
appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan, foreign and interior ministers and
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to take note of the killing of Pakistani
elders claimed that the Afghan army personnel dragged the eight Pakistani
citizens out of their homes and subjected them to severe torture before killing
them in Barma area of Paktika province in Afghanistan.
words of Afghan man show Islam is peace
the world reeled from Friday’s devastating terrorist attack in New Zealand,
war-ravaged Afghanistan mourned the loss of Daud Nabi, the humble face of Islam
in the island country, killed in cold blood along with 50 worshippers in
71-year-old former Afghan refugee was among the founding members of al-Noor
Mosque, one of the two mosques that was stormed by a terrorist.
stood at the entrance of the mosque to welcome devotees for Friday prayers. In
the live-streamed video of the onslaught on Facebook, Nabi can be seen warmly
welcoming Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old terrorist, saying ‘Hello Brother’
expecting the same from him only to receive multiple lethal bullets.
simple greeting by Nabi in the face of death has touched thousands of people
last words ‘Hello Brother’ have been trending with tweets in English, Arabic,
Pashto, Persian, Turkish and other languages.
wanted to stop #Islam, but he made more Islamic heroes, he showed us the ugly
face of #Islamophobia and the illness in their sick self’s
#ChristchurchTerrorAttack #HelloBrother,” read one among numerous tweets.
final words of a pure soul filled with a peaceful faith. #HelloBrother,” read
Soviet rule in Afghanistan, Nabi took refuge in New Zealand some four decades
ago. He was the chief of the tiny Afghan community there.
of his four sons, Omar Nabi, told the BBC Pashto service of Afghanistan, his
father was always in service of the community especially the migrants. “He
never asked or expected anything in return, he would always strive for their
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani tweeted on Sunday: “Today, I spoke and extended
my deepest condolences to the families of Haji Mohammad Daud Nabi and Matiullah
Safi. They were martyred in the mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. I
offered these bereaved families our help in any way possible.”
Afghan Embassy in New Zealand said another Afghan man prevented the terrorist
from entering Linwood Mosque, the second mosque that came under attack.
Afghan-origin man, Abdul Aziz, who was inside the Linwood Mosque when it was
attacked has been hailed as a hero for confronting the gunman, chasing him off
and preventing more deaths.
Aziz did not hide when the shooter advanced toward the Linwood Mosque during
Friday prayers, killing those in his path. Instead, he picked up the first
thing he could find -- a credit card machine -- and ran outside screaming ‘come
immigrants from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and other countries bore the brunt
of this terrorist attack.
least five militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
Khurasan (ISIS-K) were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East announced Sunday that the
airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Khogyani district.
to a statement released by 201st Silab, a commander of the group identified as
Kateeb Ur Rehman was also among those killed.
anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS sympathizers have not
commented regarding the airstrike so far.
is among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan but the
anti-government armed elements are active in some of its remote districts and
often attempt to carry out attacks against the government and security
overnight Taliban assault on checkpoints in northern Afghanistan killed 22
troops, after some 100 Afghan forces fled a similar assault in the country’s
west last week and tried to cross into neighboring Turkmenistan, officials said
two battles mark the latest setbacks for the country’s battered security
forces, who come under daily attack by the insurgents and have suffered
staggering casualties in recent years. The attacks have continued even as the
Taliban have been holding direct negotiations with the United States aimed at
ending the 17-year war.
Tahir Rahmani, head of provincial council in the northern Faryab province, said
the insurgents launched the attack late Saturday against checkpoints manned by
police and pro-government militias, setting off a fierce gunbattle that lasted
into Sunday morning. The army sent in reinforcements, who were among those
said another 20 Afghan forces were wounded in the attack.
week, around 100 Afghan soldiers in the western Badghis province fled their
posts and tried to cross the border during a weeklong battle with the Taliban,
officials said Sunday.
Naser Nazari, a provincial council member in Badghis, said the soldiers weren’t
allowed to cross the border and their fate remains unknown. The Taliban have
posted pictures of captured soldiers on social media.
Shahabi, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said 16 soldiers have been killed
and 20 wounded during the ongoing battle in the Bala Murghab district, in which
the military carried out airstrikes and dispatched reinforcements. He said a
number of soldiers tried to flee, without providing an exact figure.
said more than 40 insurgents were killed in the fighting. He said the provincial
police chief and army commander are in the district and instructing the forces
to root out insurgents and rescue soldiers. Officials said the fighting had
largely subsided by Sunday, with sporadic clashes breaking out in remote areas.
provided a higher toll, saying 50 soldiers were killed and around 100 others
were missing. He said hundreds of local residents have gathered in front of the
Badghis governor’s office to express their concerns about security in the
said Bala Murghab is almost completely controlled by the Taliban, with Afghan
forces confined to the district headquarters.
a separate development on Sunday, an Islamic State affiliate claimed the
killing of a local TV journalist in the eastern Khost province. The group did
not say why it targeted Sultan Mahmoud Khirkhowa, a reporter with the local
Zhman TV and radio, who was killed Friday when two men on a motorcycle opened
fire on his vehicle. Another Afghan reporter was wounded in a targeted bombing
last week in the southern Helmand province.
least 11 Taliban militants were killed, 2 suicide bombing vests and a
house-borne Improvised Explosive Device were destroyed during the operations of
Afghan Special Forces and airstrike in northern Kunduz province.
to informed military sources, the Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in
Charah Darah district killing 11 Taliban fighters and wounding 2 others.
sources further added that 2 suicide vests, 15 pressure plate IEDs, 100 pounds
of homemade explosives and a small weapons cache were destroyed.
a house-borne IED was destroyed by an air strike, the sources added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the operation so far.
Church leader denounces New Zealand mosque shootings
Mai, March 15, 2019: The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) has denounced the
shooting in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 49 people and
wounded 20 others.
matter what faith we adhere or ethnicity we belong to, everybody should be able
to live in an atmosphere where peace and security is prevailed and sustained;
any act of violence must be prevented with all possible efforts,” said CCA
secretary general Reverend Mathews George Chunakara, responding to the March 15
shootings occurred in the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Masjid at 1:40 pm New
Zealand time (6 am India) during a Friday afternoon prayer
send our heart-felt support to all those who have been affected; we offer
prayers to Almighty God for the victims, their families and reach out through
our grief and distress to our Islamic brothers and sisters in New Zealand,”
Reverend Chunakara said in his message.
further added that CCA shares the sentiments of Reverend Nicola Teague Grundy,
vice president of the Methodist Church of New Zealand, who said, “To single out
one group of people as a focus of an act of hatred affects us all. There is no
place ever for this type of attack on people, and we stand by all people, no
matter what their faith. All people should be able to worship and live in a
place of safety.”
the prophetic affirmation that “Everyone will sit under their own vine and
under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD
Almighty has spoken” (Micah 4:4), the CCA General Secretary urged: “Let us pray
fervently that God will take those killed into His merciful arms and grant them
eternal rest. Let there be peace in the hearts of all those who are shattered
by this awful tragedy that has destroyed a rather peaceful setting in a
religiously tolerant country like New Zealand.”
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden called the incident “one of New Zealand’s
Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the incident a “rightwing extremist
attack” and said one suspect was Australian-born.
Army soldier was killed in cease violation by Pakistani forces along the Line
of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Monday.
forces resorted to firing from small arms and shelling mortars in Sunderbani
sector of Rajouri district.
soldier was martyred and three others were injured in ceasefire violation by
Pakistan in Keri Battal area of Akhnoor this morning,” said an Army source.
Defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand had said that at around 5.30 am,
Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with mortars and
firing of small arms along LoC in Sunderbani Sector.
said Indian Army retaliated effectively and the firing stopped at 0715 hours.
on 6:30 pm on Sunday Pakistani troops violated ceasefire triggering a strong
response from the Indian Army. This came after Pakistan on Wednesday violated
ceasefire in Poonch sector of the state.
station approved to speed up Kartarpur work
has approved a customs station in Punjab’s Dera Baba Nanak as part of its
efforts to expeditiously operationalise the proposed corridor for Sikh pilgrims
to visit the final resting place of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev in
Pakistan’s Kartarpur, according to officials aware the development.
Union finance ministry’s approval on Friday came a day after Indian and
Pakistani officials met at Wagah and agreed to go forward with the border
crossing for the pilgrims despite tensions between the two countries.
tensions escalated after a car bomb attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama
district left 40 CRPF men
dead on February 14. India responded with an air strike on a terror camp across
the border on February 26 after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the
attack. Pakistan retaliated a day later and triggered air combat between the
two nations over the skies of Kashmir.
officials cited above said India is keen to complete the project before Guru
Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in November. The Union home ministry earlier
designated an immigration checkpoint at Dera Baba Nanak last month. The
developments show India’s earnestness to finish the project expeditiously and
be prepared for the next meeting of Indian and Pakistani technical experts over
the issue on Tuesday, the officials added.
next official-level talks over the corridor between the two countries are
scheduled on April 2 at Wagah near the India-Pakistan border. Islamabad’s
attempt to shift the goalposts at the first such meeting on Thursday irked New
reported on Saturday that Pakistan seeks to put a cap on the number of pilgrims
using the corridor and wants a paid permit system, which is contrary to Prime
Minister Imran Khan’s initial announcement of visa-free travel of Indian Sikh
pilgrims to the holy shrine.
Indian officials cited above said the approval for the customs station shows
India’s commitment to operationalise the corridor despite Pakistan’s dithering
approach over the easy access to Indian pilgrims. The Union cabinet last year
gave its nod for the corridor for Sikh pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara
Darbar Sahib a few kilometers from the Indian border in Kartarpur. Guru Nanak
spent 18 years of his life at the gurdwara.
government had said the corridor would be implemented as an integrated
development project with central funding to provide smooth and easy passage to
the pilgrims with all the modern amenities.India and Pakistan on November 15
announced that they would build the corridor on their respective sides for
visa-free access. The four-lane corridor will have a service road and other
amenities like state-of-the-art passenger terminal building.
block on a fresh move to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief
Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council is aimed at
further consultations on the issue that “will be resolved”, Chinese ambassador
Luo Zhaohui said on Sunday.
officials have expressed disappointment at China’s decision on March 13 to
place a “hold” on the move spearheaded by France, the US and Britain to list
Azhar as a global terrorist with the UN’s Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions
JeM has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Pulwama that killed 40
troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and led to escalation of
tensions between India and Pakistan.
to reporters during an event organised at the Chinese embassy to mark Holi, Luo
indicated that China understands India’s concerns regarding the issue.
“Regarding the Masood case, we fully understand and fully believe this matter,
[which is a] concern from your side, we understand that and [we’re] optimistic
[and] quite sure this matter will be resolved,” he said.
this is only technical holding and that means it leaves time for continued
consultation. The issue will be resolved, believe me.”
sought to emphasise the positive impact on bilateral ties of last year’s
informal summit at Wuhan between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese
President Xi Jinping.
the Wuhan summit last year, the two-way cooperation is on the right track, the
fast track. We are so satisfied with that cooperation, with that progress. I’m
quite optimistic about future cooperation,” he said.
officials had believed the so-called “Wuhan spirit” could lead to a change in
China’s position on the sanctioning of Azhar, especially as Beijing had signed
on for a strongly worded condemnation by the UN Security Council of the Pulwama
is the fourth time that China has blocked efforts by various countries to
sanction Azhar at the UN Security Council. The latest move had received
unprecedented global support in wake of the Pulwama attack.
A 25-year-old student from Telangana was among those killed in the terror
attack in New Zealand+ ’s Christchurch, taking the number of Indians and
persons of Indian origin who died in the massacre to eight.
Khadir, 25, who belonged to Hyderabad, is the third person from Telangana to
have been killed in the attack. The Indian high commissioner’s office in New
Zealand confirmed his death on Sunday. He was killed in Masjid Al Noor, one of
the two mosques that were attacked by Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant.
wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps and was studying aeronautical
engineering in New Zealand. Khadir’s parents have left for the island country.
His father was in Saudi Arabia when he heard the news.
Khadir’s relative Aamir Ali had tweeted that the family had lost contact with
him since the New Zealand shootout on Friday. The high commissioner’s office
had responded saying that it was aware and was following it up with the New
we get confirmed information, we will share,” the high commissioner’s office
had said on Saturday.
from Khadir, Mohammed Imran Khan of Karimnagar and Farhaj Ahsan of Hyderabad
were also killed in the terror attacks.
on peace, inter-religious unity to be set up, says minister
LUMPUR, March 18 ― A special committee comprising religious and NGO leaders is
to be set up to bring home the message of peace and inter-racial and
inter-religious unity, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious
Affairs) Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said yesterday.
said he will meet religious leaders and the heads of NGOs today on the setting
up of the committee.
of all, we will condemn incidents such as the shootings at the mosques in
Christchurch, New Zealand, last Friday which resulted in the deaths of at least
we want to bring home the message of peace which we want to safeguard.
hatred has reached the extent of killings, we have to maintain the message of
peace that Islam brings,” he told reporters after opening a Women’s Day 2019
seminar at the Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM), here. ― Bernama
calls for banning Australian senator from entering Indonesia
of Representatives’ lawmaker Charles Honoris is calling for the government to
ban Australian Senator Fraser Anning from entering Indonesia because of his
controversial comments about the recent shootings in mosques in Christchurch,
New Zealand that killed 50 people, including an Indonesian citizen.
I condemned the terrorist acts in two mosques in Christchurch, I also strongly
condemned the official statement of Senator Fraser Anning of Queensland who
basically assumed that terrorism against mosques was a price worth paying [by]
Muslims and that Islam is an 'ideology of violence',” Charles said on Saturday
behalf of all the peaceful Indonesian people, I ask the Indonesian government
to ban Anning from entering Indonesian territory for any reason so that he
cannot bring the perspective that can divide religious communities,” Charles,
an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician at the House's Commission
I on defense and foreign affairs, said.
previously drew international condemnation for his efforts to blame the attack
on immigration, AFP reported.
the controversy, an unnamed young man, in a protest against his offensive
remarks, threw an egg at the far-right Australian senator during an event in
Melbourne, prompting the senator to hit him in the face repeatedly before being
stopped by what appeared to be a security guard, according to AFP.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described Anning's comments as “appalling”
and “ugly” with “no place in Australia”.
March 17 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has described the act of
killing Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand two days ago as inhuman.
the incident as a sad one that touched the hearts of Muslims, he said that in
such a situation, an even worse act that could be committed by terrorists would
be Muslims taking revenge.
need to ask ourselves when we take revenge for the act, certainly we cannot do
it to the killers because they have been caught and were facing legal action.
is highly possible that what will happen is that we will take revenge on people
of the same religion, race, history and other aspects that we can link to the
terrorists,” he said at the official opening of the 2019 National Level
Al-Quran Recital and Memorisation Gathering, here tonight.
present at the event were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk
Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad,
Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun as well as State Exco
far, the New Zealand authorities had confirmed 49 dead in the terrorist attacks
at two mosques in Christchurch when Muslims wanted to perform the Friday
prayers and more than 20 people were reported injured.
further, Dr Mahathir said the al-Quran gave guidance in prohibiting and making
several activities mandatory for its followers which would lead to the
development of noble values if they were observed.
the teachings found in the al-Quran is that Islam prohibits killing even if the
people to be killed are non-Muslims, but Islam prohibits us from killing. But
unfortunately we see that Muslims are at war even among themselves, making
enemies of others and frequently killing in various places to the extent that
the Muslim communities are destroyed in many Muslim countries.
happens because while we read the al-Quran, we don’t practice its teachings
that killing is banned and that we should not kill,” he said.
Prime Minister said that such acts would lead to revenge against the Muslims as
what happened in Christchurch which killed innocent people.
we kill among the Muslims, then we will be placed in hell forever. The belief
that we will be go to heaven because we purportedly go to war for religious
purposes is incorrect as contained in the al-Quran. In Islam, it is clearly
stated that if we kill another Muslim deliberately, then our place is in hell.
are not saving the Muslims, in fact we are exposing the Muslims as what we see
is happening in New Zealand,” he said.
Dr Mahathir urged the Muslims in this country to practice islamic lifestyle and
appreciate the al-Quran.
Augustin and Ainaa Aiman
JAYA: Sabah education officials are to visit a secondary school in Kota
Kinabalu tomorrow (Monday) for “corrective action” on segregation of pupils by
Education Minister Teo Nie Ching told FMT that the ministry had requested that
the state education department take action to “correct” the segregation of
Muslim and non-Muslims, and urged school administrators to be more sensitive
and careful in running their schools.
was reported yesterday that Form One students at the secondary school had been
placed in classes according to their religion. An online petition against the
school’s decision has collected more than 12,300 signatures in the three days
since it was opened.
were segregated in January, with four classes reserved for non-Muslim students
and two more for Muslim students in an arrangement supposed to be in place for
the next three years.
said segregation of students by religion was only acceptable for Islamic and
Moral classes, and even then, only for the purpose of easing the study process.
is the bigger agenda of unity in our schooling system,” she said.
group up in arms
parents’ association group has called for proper investigation into the matter.
must be seriousness in the Ministry of Education and amongst our religious and
political leaders to tackle such issues, so they do not escalate into
hatefulness, bigotry and extremist behaviour,” said Tunku Munawirah Putra of
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia.
Munawirah urged teachers to understand that their actions may cause disunity
and breed intolerance. “Narrow understanding of race and religion can be
dangerous. It can lead to bigotry, hatred and worse, criminal activity.”
school’s segregation action was also likened by an academician as “killing a
fly with a sledgehammer”.
Tayeb of Universiti Sains Malaysia, who has conducted research into religious
tolerance, said many studies had shown that more interaction across ethnic and
religious lines would make people more tolerant.
March 18 ― Sarawak Woman and Family Council (SWFC) today called upon all
opinion leaders across the globe, such as politicians, community leaders, and
civil societies, not to incite hatred by demonising Islam or any other faith.
Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said they instead should unhesitatingly condemn
extremism in all its forms, including the recent shootings in Christchurch, New
Zealand, which killed 50 Muslims and injured dozens of others.
race or religion should be subject to fear and bigotry anywhere ― no school,
home, or workplace should breed such harmful attitudes,” she said.
should be safe to pray safely whether it is in a mosque, church, temple,
synagogue, or in their own homes,” she told reporters after addressing the Interfaith
Forum held in conjunction with the International Harmony Week here.
who is also Sarawak’s minister of welfare, community wellbeing, women, family
and childhood development, said people should not judge one another by one's
race or beliefs, or the colour of their skin or where they are from.
let us condemn a community due to the actions of a few,” she said.
as we are by the terrible massacre in Christchurch our reactions need to be
ones which break the polarization and hate which is trying to divide
is the time for us all to unite across faiths and work to stop violence and
replace it with understanding and respect,” she said, adding that people should
never allow hatred and anger against Muslims or other faiths take root in their
said SWFC condemns in the strongest terms the senseless, cold-blooded act of
terror on the shootings inside two mosques in Christchurch.
pray for the souls of the dead and for the speedy recovery of those injured. We
also pray for all who have been traumatized by this horrendous act.
hope that they find the strength and support they need to face this tragedy and
work through the psychological pain it has caused,” she added.
said SWFC applauded the New Zealand government determination to maintain the
unity, diversity and peace for which the country is known, believing that the
New Zealanders willl do all in their power to bring all the perpetrators of
this massacre to justice.
have experienced a heinous crime of unimaginable proportion in two mosques
violating the sanctity of these places of worship,” she said.
court issues decision to close al-Aqsa Mosque’s Bab al-Rahma prayer area
Israeli court has ordered the temporary closure of Bab al-Rahma (Gate of Mercy)
prayer area at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds
amid recent tensions surrounding the highly sensitive holy site.
Jerusalem al-Quds Magistrate's Court announced on Sunday that it had accepted a
request by Israeli officials to close the gate while the case continues.
Islamic Waqf (Endowment) Organization, which manages the compound's affairs,
was also granted 60 days to appeal the decision.
Abdel Qader, a member of the Waqf Council, said the council does not recognize
the Israeli court’s decision regarding Bab al-Rahma, and that it is an integral
part of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Waqf said in a statement on Saturday that it wants to carry out renovations at
the building, but will keep it open during that time for Palestinians who wish
to pray there.
further noted that far-right Israeli settlers were seeking to take over Bab
area of the al-Rahma Gate was closed on February 25 upon an order by Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and reopened the following day.
had closed the gate that leads to the prayer space in al-Aqsa Mosque since 2003
in the face of the Second Intifada (uprising) against the regime’s occupation.
February 22, however, the Waqf council decided to re-open the prayer space at
the Bab al-Rahma Gate in defiance of Israel’s 16-year-old ban. Hundreds of
worshipers, led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds Sheikh Mohammad
Hussein, entered the area for the first time since 2003 for Friday prayers.
by the move, the Tel Aviv regime launched an arrest campaign against
arrests drew criticisms from Palestinians and Jordan, which is the custodian of
the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
Islamic Waqf organizations and Palestinian institutions have insisted on
keeping the Bab al-Rahma prayer area open for Muslim worship.
have repeatedly warned of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the
al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest site in Islam.
top court disqualified on Sunday a far-right Jewish politician from next
month’s national election and approved the candidacy of a disputed Arab party,
overturning March 6 decisions by the election board, a court statement said.
Supreme Court rulings were widely expected and unlikely to shake Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to craft a rightist alliance that might secure him
a record fifth term.
they deepened the vitriol of a campaign in which his camp has cast itself as
the victim of judicial over-reach and media bias, and has in turn been accused
by center-left rivals of race-baiting and fear-mongering.
court found in favor of appellants who argued that Michael Ben-Ari of the
Jewish Power party had displayed anti-Arab racism. That view was backed by
members of Jewish Power, a small faction that is part of an ultra-nationalist
list which last month forged an election alliance with Netanyahu’s Likud party,
remain eligible to run.
Central Elections Committee, a monitoring body made up of delegates of parties
in the current parliament, last month approved Ben-Ari’s candidacy while
disqualifying Raam-Balad, a joint party list representing some of Israel’s 20
percent Arab minority.
has in the past prosecuted two Balad figures for contacts with Palestinian
militants and accused a former party leader of helping Hezbollah during the
2006 Lebanon war.
court voided the ban on Raam-Balad, a mix of Islamists and Arab nationalists
which describes itself as a democratic movement.
Minister Ayelet Shaked, a fellow rightist in Netanyahu’s outgoing coalition,
said in a statement that the court’s blocking of Ben-Ari “while declaring
terror-backing parties kosher is a crass and misguided interference in the
heart of Israeli democracy.”
bid for reelection has been challenged by a centrist newcomer, former armed forces
chief Benny Gantz. Their escalating exchanges of allegations have included
corruption, bigotry, forsaking national security and abetting Israel’s foes.
premier’s partnership with Jewish Power also drew rare censure from the US
pro-Israel lobby and normally staunch Netanyahu backer AIPAC, which branded the
party “racist and reprehensible.”
poll aired by public broadcaster Kan on Sunday put Likud narrowly in the lead
to form the next coalition government with a projected 31 of parliament’s 120
seats against 30 for Gantz’s Blue and White party.
re-elected, Netanyahu will become Israel’s longest-serving premier in July.
That bid was dealt an unprecedented blow last month when Attorney-General
Avichai Mandelblit announced a plan to indict Netanyahu for bribery and breach
denies wrongdoing and could forestall formal charges in a review hearing after
Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier to death in the occupied West Bank on
Sunday and used his rifle to wound another soldier and a Jewish settler before
escaping, Israeli officials said.
incident began at an intersection near Ariel, a large settlement, where the
Palestinian, having carried out the stabbing and grabbed the slain soldier’s
gun, fired at three vehicles, hitting a civilian, the Israeli military said.
then hijacked a car, driving it to another nearby junction where he shot a
second soldier before continuing on to a nearby Palestinian village.
was not immediately clear if more than one assailant was involved. Settler
officials identified the wounded civilian as a local rabbi. Hospital officials
said he was in critical condition.
public remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
spoke of several assailants, saying: “Security forces are pursuing the
attackers. I am certain they will be apprehended.”
Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, praised the West Bank attack
as a “natural response to crimes committed by the Israeli occupation”. The
statement stopped short of a claim of responsibility.
southern Gaza, the attack was announced over mosque loudspeakers and Hamas
activists handed out sweets to passersby in celebration.
Israeli military said it did not yet know if the attacker was affiliated with
many of them individuals without known associations with militant groups,
carried out a wave of attacks in the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016, but the
frequency of such incidents has since decreased.
United Nations envoy condemned Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas on Sunday, accusing
the group of violently suppressing peaceful protests.
Thursday hundreds of Palestinians have taken to the streets in multiple
locations throughout the Gaza Strip, protesting the rising cost of living in
the Palestinian enclave.
have been arrested, including journalists and human rights workers, with
security forces using violence to break up the demonstrations, according to
strongly condemn the campaign of arrests and violence used by Hamas security
forces against protesters, including women and children, in Gaza over the past
three days,” UN envoy to Israel and the Palestinian territories Nickolay
Mladenov said in a statement.
am particularly alarmed by the brutal beating of journalists and staff from the
Independent Commission for Human Rights and the raiding of homes.”
long-suffering people of Gaza were protesting the dire economic situation and
demanded an improvement in the quality of life in the Gaza Strip. It is their
right to protest without fear of reprisal.”
which has not yet commented on Mladenov’s accusations, has controlled Gaza
since pushing out rivals Fatah in 2007.
Israeli court on Sunday ordered the temporary closure of a side building at a
highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site that has been the source of tensions in
Jerusalem magistrates court said the building known as the Bab al-Rahma (Gate
of Mercy or Golden Gate) at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, should be closed while
the case continues.
site’s administrator, the Waqf religious organization, was given 60 days to
respond to the court case involving the building.
police have called for the building to be closed.
are believed to be discussions ongoing between Israel and Jordan, the custodian
of the holy site, over the status of the building.
have in recent weeks been scuffles between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli
police at the site in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem over the use of the side
worshippers have been entering the site and praying there despite an Israeli
order that it should stay closed.
shut access to the Golden Gate in 2003 during the second Palestinian intifada
over alleged militant activity there.
officials argue that the organization that prompted the ban no longer exists
and there is no reason for it to remain closed.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that US sanctions against Iran
were “crimes against humanity” and said Tehran would file a legal case against
US officials for imposing difficulties on the nation.
said in a speech broadcast live on state television that the US sanctions have
affected the value of Iran’s rial currency and increased inflation, but said
the government would overcome the difficulties.
attacked and briefly seized a Malian army base overnight, killing at least 16
soldiers and destroying five vehicles in central Mali's Mopti region, two local
councilors in the area where the attack happened said on Sunday.
base is in the village of Dioura, the mayor of the nearest town Kareri,
Youssouf Coulibaly, told Reuters by telephone from inside it. Central Mali has
in the past few years been overrun by Takfiris with links to al-Qaeda.
currently inside the base and there were many deaths here. We've counted 16 so
far," he said. Army spokesman Colonel Diarran Kone confirmed the attack
but gave no further details.
by Takfiri groups has worsened almost every year since it first exploded in
Mali in 2012, when Takfiris and allied Tuareg rebels took over the north and
advanced towards the capital Bamako, until a French-led intervention pushed
them back the following year.
linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh used central and northern Mali as a launch pad for
growing numbers of attacks across the Sahel region, especially on neighbors
Niger and Burkina Faso, despite the presence of 4,500 French troops.
Mali is the locus of the Macina Liberation Front, led by Salafist preacher and
militant leader Amadou Koufa.
Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly claimed in November that Koufa had been
killed in a raid by French forces.
at the end of last month Koufa appeared in a new propaganda video mocking
French and Malian forces.
Hundreds of Sudanese took part in anti-government protests in the capital and
other cities on Sunday as the government announced it had secured $300 million
in loans to address the economic crisis that triggered the unrest.
demonstrations began in December over price hikes and food shortages, and
quickly escalated into calls for President Omar Al-Bashir to step down, posing
one of the biggest challenges yet to his nearly 30-year rule. Security forces
have responded with a fierce crackdown that has killed dozens of people.
rallies are being led by the Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella
group of independent professional unions. Footage posted online showed dozens
of people marching in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, chanting:
“Freedom, dignity and justice.” In some videos, security forces are seen using
tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
Sunday, dozens of families demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the
National Intelligence and Security Service in Khartoum, calling for the release
of detained relatives, according to activists who spoke on condition of
anonymity, fearing for their safety.
leading Sudanese geneticist was among those arrested. Muntasir Ibrahim, who
heads the University of Khartoum’s Institute of Endemic Diseases, was arrested
on Feb. 21 from a mosque in the capital, said his son, Gassim Ibrahim.
said his father and other university professors had drafted an initiative for a
peaceful transition of power. Police previously arrested his father on two
occasions in January.
was no immediate comment from authorities on Sunday’s protests and a government
spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
demonstrations took place as a US congress delegation is visiting Sudan to meet
with government officials and opposition leaders, ahead of the start of a
second phase of dialogue between the two countries.
lawmaker Mutwakil Ahmed said in a statement the US delegation, led by Rep. Gus
M. Bilirakis, a Republican from Florida, met with Salah Gosh, the head of
Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services and other officials on
Saturday to discuss religious freedoms in Sudan, as well the country’s
2017, the US lifted decades-long sanctions, arguing that Sudan is making
progress in areas of concern, including improving humanitarian access. The
State Department last year agreed to a second phase of rapprochement with
Sudan, laying out priorities to reconcile the two nations which have been at
odds for nearly three decades.
the time, no specific timeline was placed for the removal of the terrorism
designation which was first placed on Sudan by the Clinton administration in
Sunday, the state-run SUNA news service reported that the Finance Ministry secured
a $230 million loan from the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund to support the
country’s balance of payments.
said the ministry signed another deal worth $70 million with the Arab Trade
Financing Program, which is also based in the Emirati capital.
who seized power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989, has responded to
the protests by suspending plans for constitutional amendments that would allow
him to seek a new term in next year’s elections. He has also stepped down as
leader of the ruling party, appointing a loyalist in his place.
say he is trying to buy time and remain in power. Al-Bashir is wanted by the
International Criminal Court for charges of genocide linked to the conflict in
Sudan’s Darfur region.
said Sunday it is seeking the extradition of deposed president Zine El-Abidine
Ben Ali’s brother-in-law, who has been arrested in France and is wanted at home
for alleged fraud.
justice ministry, in a statement received by AFP, said it had learned from the
Interpol office in Tunis that Belhassen Trabelsi was arrested on Thursday in
said he was facing 17 arrest warrants in Tunisia and 43 international warrants.
was no official confirmation in France of Trabelsi’s arrest.
a source close to the investigation said he had been detained in the south of
the country earlier this week in connection with alleged financial wrongdoing.
There were no further details.
millionaire businessman and brother of Ben Ali’s wife Leila Trabelsi left
Tunisia in January 2011 when the Arab Spring uprising forced the veteran leader
to flee to Saudi Arabia.
and his family flew in a private jet to Montreal where he requested political
asylum but Canada turned down his appeal in 2015, and a year later as it
prepared to deport him he vanished.
is wanted in Tunisia where he is thought to have headed a clan that embezzled
leaked June 2008 US diplomatic cable concluded that Trabelsi was “the most
notorious (Ben Ali) family member and is rumored to have been involved in a
wide-range of corrupt schemes”.
least eight people were killed on Sunday in a raid by suspected extremists on
an army camp in central Mali, military and security sources said, warning the
toll could rise.
cars and motorbikes, the attackers stormed Dioura army camp in the Mopti region
at dawn, leaving “many soldiers dead or missing”, a military source said.
a Malian security source spoke of “a heavy toll of at least eight dead.”
are dead soldiers, others are missing and still others are wounded,” he said,
but could not confirm reports from local villagers that up to 15 troops had
second military source said the troops had tried to fight off the attackers.
men responded. I saw at least four bodies on the ground. We don’t have an exact
toll yet but there is a lot of damage,” he said.
foreign security source said efforts were under way to determine how many
people had died.
forces have killed nearly 40 Saudi and Sudanese soldiers during two separate
operations in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region, in retaliation for the
ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen.
General Yahya Saree, the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, said on Sunday that
at least 11 Saudi soldiers and 26 Sudanese troops had been killed in Saudi
Arabia’s provinces of Jizan and Najran over the past hours, Yemen’s
Arabic-language al-Masirah reported.
Yemeni forces targeted military positions across the region following the
gathering and analysis of intelligence, he added.
also said Saudi-paid militiamen suffered heavy losses when Yemeni army soldiers
and allied fighters from Popular Committees repelled their attacks in some
parts of Hudaydah and al-Rabuah provinces.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March
2015 with the goal of bringing a former regime that had been submissive to
Riyadh back to power.
has contributed forces to the invading coalition.
number of Western countries — the US and Britain in particular — supply that
coalition with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical
and intelligence assistance.
of Yemeni civilians have been killed, while thousands more have been injured.
stance on Muslims, Fox host in spotlight
President Donald Trump on Sunday championed a Fox News personality who made
anti-Muslim remarks as his White House rejected any attempt to link the US
leader to a shooter who killed 50 people in two New Zealand mosques.
violence against Muslims in New Zealand on Friday put a spotlight on Trump’s
rhetoric about Islam and revived criticism of his handling of white supremacist
back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” Trump wrote in Twitter posts in which he blamed
Democrats for trying to “silence a majority of our Country” and advocated
supporters to “stop working soooo hard on being politically correct.”
the same time, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney appeared on
Sunday television news shows to tamp down criticism that Trump has not been
strong enough in condemning hate speech and has fomented anti-Muslim sentiment.
president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to
say that,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday”.
Friday, Trump condemned the “horrible massacre” at the mosques and the White
House called the shooting a “vicious act of hate". Asked by a reporter if
he saw white nationalism as a rising threat around the world, Trump said: “I
don’t really. I think its a small group of people.”
accused gunman praised Trump in a manifesto as “a symbol of renewed white
identity and common purpose.” Mulvaney said the mosque massacres were the work
of a disturbed individual and it would not be fair to align the shooter with
Trump or any other politician.
disagree that there’s a causal link between Donald Trump being president and
something like this happening in New Zealand,” he told CBS’ “Face the
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the Middle East is yet
another attempt by the United States to shore up support for anti-Iran projects
it has long been running with help from its "Zionist and Saudi"
allies in the region, an American analyst says.
will fly to the Middle East on Tuesday, stopping first in Kuwait before heading
to Israel and Lebanon.
Preston, director of Attackthesystem.com, said Washington was trying to
strengthen the alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel -- what he
referred to as the "Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi" alliance-- in order
to push back against Iran, which is the main force keeping them from taking
full control of the region.
Arabia and some other Arab governments in the Persian Gulf region “have a
common objective in opposing the influence of Iran in the region.”
Iran is the primary bulwark against the greater Israel, against Israeli
expansionism and of course, the (Persian) Gulf states have wanted to expand the
region a well and at this point they see Iran as the primary obstacle to that,”
is how those countries have been running all sorts of plots such as financing
Daesh and other Takfiri groups to take out Syria, their other rival in the
region, the analyst argued.
once again, there is a convergence between the interests of the Gulf
monarchies, between the Israelis and between the Americans in trying to
eliminate any kind of political autonomy that nay Middle Eastern nation might
have,” he added.
reason, according to Preston, is “because the Americans, the Saudis and Israeli
have been largely successful in destroying many other nations in the region.”
made a similar trip to the region in January to try to forge a unified Arab
front against Iran, a dream that has brought together even Saudi Arabia and
main objective in the tour was laying the groundwork for the Middle East
Strategic Alliance (MESA), a concept similar to an Arab NATO. Trump first
floated the idea of forging MESA during his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017.
U.S.'s top general denied Sunday a report suggesting the military plans to keep
roughly half of its 2,000 troops stationed in Syria following a withdrawal
President Donald Trump described in December as immediate and complete.
Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford called the reported new force numbers
"factually incorrect," insisting there has been no change to the
planned 400 troops the White House announced last month.
we continue to conduct detailed military planning with the Turkish General
Staff to address Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border,"
Dunford said in a statement. "Planning to date has been productive and we
have an initial concept that will be refined in the coming days."
Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day that ongoing negotiations
between the U.S., Turkey and European allies over a potential safe zone in
northeastern Syria -- a key element of Trump's departure plan -- have yet to
lead to a conclusive agreement.
newspaper said the U.S. is now seeking to continue its cooperation with the
YPG-led SDF despite Turkey's warnings that it will conduct a cross-border
operation against the PKK's Syrian offshoot.
PKK is a designated terrorist organization in the U.S. and Turkey.
could lead to as many as 1,000 American troops remaining in northeastern Syria,
the newspaper reported citing anonymous American officials.
partners forces are currently fighting the Daesh terrorist group in its last
remaining bastion in Baghouz, Syria, and after the battle the U.S. is expecting
to begin withdrawing "hundreds" of troops, according to the journal.
White House announced in February that the administration is planning to keep
roughly 200 American troops in northeastern Syria as part of an international
peacekeeping force, in addition to 200 troops that were supposed to be used to
secure a garrison at a strategic Syrian border town.
military official told the journal that the White House's numbers "had no
basis in military planning." And a senior official called the U.S.
withdrawal "substantial," but stressed final force figures "are
neither determined nor approved."
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