Former foreign minister Hina
Calls for Scientific 'Jihad' To Make Iran Self-Sufficient
No Muslim Party in SP-BSP Coalition, Asks Aligarh Muslim University Students’
Should Strengthen Ties with Neighbours Instead Of US: Hina Rabbani Khar
Recalls ‘Daily Beatings, Starvation and Suffocation’ By Libyan Forces
the Founder of TOMS, Ancient Greeks And Muslim Inventors Have In Common
President Plans Anti-Hamas Measures As Split Widens
Palestinian families face eviction in favour of Israeli settlers
Hook: We won’t permit Iran to Lebanonize Yemen
in Cairo preparing Netanyahu-MbS summit: Sources
deploys further military reinforcements to Syrian border
Repromulgates Triple Talaq Ordinance after Rajya Sabha Snub
commander Zeenat-ul-Islam among two terrorists killed in Kulgam encounter
module: NIA arrests man from UP’s Meerut
to question Imam in south Kashmir's Tral
PSGPC general secretary a JuD Man?
to terminate Pakistan designation as major non-Nato ally introduced in Congress
upbeat about forging opposition’s alliance
chief Sirajul Haq denounces govt over ineffective policies
minister says crown prince will sign oil refinery deal
Bibi’s acquittal: SC tells govt to compensate riot victims in 30 days
‘terrorists’ held with arms in Mardan
raise pressure on Bashir to step down as unrest continues
leader lauds Muslim World League’s efforts in Africa
toll from Sudan protests rises to 24
Congo presidential runner-up appeals against result
Faso: militants slay civilians in daylight market attack
the Founder Of TOMS, Ancient Greeks And Muslim Inventors Have In Common
peacekeepers no longer needed: Turkish Cyprus
summons Polish envoy over anti-Iran summit
PM invited to anti-Iran summit in Poland
is Poland Washington’s choice for its Iran-focused global summit?
Top Commander for Khawaja Sabz Posh of Faryab Killed with His 20 Fighters
Muslims flee India for Bangladesh fearing repatriation
Taliban militants killed, 3 wounded in a premature IED explosion Zabul
ISIS-K militants killed, 16 foreign fighters arrested in Badghis province
Shafi’s remarks slated
Rights Watch demands action against new Afghan defense minister
Chooses New Sultan, Expected To Be Elected King
graftbusters hit with bomb threat
what if a building shows a cross? says PKR rep
challenger Prabowo moots Trump's tax-cut formula to spur Indonesian economy
Army Fortifies Military Bases in Raqqa, Aleppo despite Trump's Call for Troops
Pullout from Syria
Politician: Washington Trying Hard to Make Damascus-Kurd Talks Fail
Over 20,000 US Forces Deployed in Iraq
people leave in first evacuation from Syria ISIS holdout
police kill 6 militants in shootout, says interior ministry
opposition leader ready to visit Damascus
Politician Blasts Pompeo for Anti-Iran Remarks in Cairo
Secretary of State Pompeo meets UAE leadership in Abu Dhabi
vows to 'expel' Iranians from Syria, calls US pullout 'tactical' anti-Iran bid
US starts pulling equipment but not soldiers
by New Age Islam News Bureau
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Iranian
students across the globe to contribute to the country's independence from
a message to the 53rd meeting of the Union of University Students Islamic
Associations in Europe on Saturday, Ayatollah Khamenei encouraged the Iranian
youth studying abroad to engage in scientific jihad (endeavor for the sake of
God) aimed at boosting the nation’s self-reliance.
all know that you, the university students, are the best hopes for the future
of our country. What everyone needs to know is that today - by the grace of God
- numerous students of yesterday are engaged in great tasks and deeply feel the
joy and satisfaction of contributing to the advancement of knowledge and
technology in their homeland," the message read.
university students today - in any corner of the world - have the opportunity
to join these faithful and devout groups and make the country fully independent
from foreigners," the message said.
action, when undertaken with sincerity and for the sake of God, is jihad in the
path of God. You, the youths in the Islamic Associations, can be the
frontrunners and leaders of this jihad. I ask God to bestow increased success
on you," it added.
No Muslim Party In SP-BSP Coalition, Asks Aligarh Muslim University Students’
Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) threatened to put together
its own “front” to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections if the tie-up of Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh didn’t include any
president of the union, Hamza Sufyan, said that both these parties had been in
power in UP for a significant amount of time but had failed to fulfill their
poll promises. “Most importantly, the 18% reservation promised to Muslims by
the Samajwadi Party in 2012 was never fulfilled,” he said.
though these two parties want Muslims to vote en-masse for them to defeat the
BJP, they are not coming up with any concrete agenda for social welfare of the
community. According to the Sachar Committee report, the status of Muslims in
India is worse than that of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes,” he added.
of the union Huzaifa Amir dubbed this “Gathbandhan” (alliance) a “Thugbandhan”.
He said it had been planned with the motive of strengthening the electoral base
of the SP and BSP but Muslims of the state had not been given their due share in
are several Muslim political outfits like Rashtriya Ulema Council, Peace Party,
MIM and others who have been active at the ground level for years and have
significant electoral bases in many parts of the state. They have not been
included in this coalition, which raises serious questions on the ‘secular’
nature of these parties,” he added.
Former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan always chose to be a
client state instead of becoming strategic partner of one country or the other.
With a begging bowl in both hands, Pakistan cannot command respect in the
comity of nations.
in a session on the US-Pakistan relationship at ThinkFest here on Saturday, she
said Pakistan always imagined itself as a complete strategic partner, which was
far-fetched. Pakistan’s most important relations should be with its
neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, India, Iran and China instead of the
US. “The US does not deserve that much importance as is given in Pakistan
because our economy is not dependent on US aid, as is widely believed.”
to the incumbent rulers’ claims of copying China, she said Beijing had brought
its people out of poverty, while the Islamabad rulers were doing the opposite.
States Institute of Peace Associate Vice President Moeed Yusuf said the
US-Pakistan relations were non-existent during the past 18 months. Regretting
that Pakistan was looking elsewhere instead of involving itself in the region
to resolve local and regional issues, he said there could be no conversation on
the US-Pak ties till the Afghanistan issue was resolved. For Pakistan, he said,
the idea was to consider how to work with the US and China simultaneously.
on the future of democracy in Pakistan, author Aqil Shah from Oklahoma
University said democracy gave the freedom to speak up and enabled
accommodating ethnic divisions peacefully. He, however, said the democracy in
vogue in Pakistan was a hybrid regime where elected representatives were
answerable to both the people and army generals.
alleged that the 2018 general elections were manoeuvered to ensure that former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his party did not come back to power and that
the rule was given to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), calling the ruling
party “Pakistan Tehreek-i-Establishment”.
further said that the corruption narrative was a universal phenomenon and not
exclusive to Pakistan.
Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood claimed that democracy in Pakistan was
getting stronger and robust. While the PTI government took over just a few
months ago, people had high expectations from them to resolve serious issues,
including the economic crisis.
said education had faced a serious neglect in the past and was separated into
different streams to create a divide among people. He said there was a small
pool of audience attending the ThinkFest, but even this much crowd could not be
attracted if the event took place in Dera Ghazi Khan or Sibbi.
recalls ‘daily beatings, starvation and suffocation’ by Libyan forces
he dreamed of having a decent life in Europe, Osama Murad traveled from
Palestine to Libya, but he found himself in a “slave center” after being held
by Libyan intelligence, who he said exploited him to do hard labor by beating
and torturing him and other immigrants.
shared his story with Al Arabiya, revealing the role of Libyan state
institutions (including its employees and members of armed groups) in abusing
and exploiting vulnerable immigrants and using them for forced labor.
young Palestinian's story began in July 2018 when he left his country and went
to Libya, through Egypt, in order to eventually reach Europe, seeking job
opportunities and security. However, once he reached Libyan territory, he was
kidnapped and arrested by an armed group that took him to Libyan intelligence
in Tripoli along with ten other immigrants.
their legal entry into Libya, the immigrants were imprisoned in detention
centers and were subjected to "unimaginable horrors, including emotional
and physical torture, electrecution, and starvation."
were treated like slaves,” Murad recalls. “We were ten Palestinians and about
30 African migrants in one center where we were tortured daily with iron tools,
electric shocks, and we were also subjected to daily beatings, starvation, and
suffocation,” he told Al Arabiya. “We were put into tiny solitary rooms where
we were unable to move or breathe.”
threatened with death
were forced to work long daily hours of hard labor and were threatened with
death if they refused to work. One immigrant was shot to death when he refused
to work, according to Murad.
transferred us from one place to another like animals, working in farms and
construction sites in terrible conditions without getting paid.”
and the other Palestinians were held for four months before the Palestinian
embassy in Libya intervened to release them, but other immigrants are still
being held in such detention centers in inhumane conditions suffering from
abuse, exploitation, and death threats.
clear evidence of violations and abuses against migrants and refugees in Libya,
little has been done by the Libyan authorities to stop this.
the founder of TOMS, ancient Greeks and Muslim inventors have in common
thousands of years, the concept of one’s life’s purpose has been discussed in
culture and philosophy. In Islam, the first word revealed from Allah upon
Prophet Mohammed was Iqra’, or read, emphasising the importance of pursuing
learning and knowledge in our daily lives. Long before that, Greek
philosophers, such as Aristotle, have also sought to shed light on life’s
purpose and often questioned what we are meant to do on this earth.
we think about it, many Muslim inventors, for example, have worked with a sense
of community purpose hundreds of years ago, before this became something that
entrepreneurs aspire to nowadays. They invented things that we take for granted
today such as algebra, optics, and the flying machine. As they went about
inventing, they did so with the goal to better the livelihood of humanity, and
not for their sole benefit.
many entrepreneurs are adopting this purpose-driven mindset. Dubai based
Arab-American entrepreneur Sahar Wehbeh is a good example. Her doll-making
business, Dumye, founded in 2013, is built on the model of buy-one and we will
donate one. Dumye is all about giving back to the community. The dolls are manufactured
by underprivileged women in North India, who through their work are provided
with a chance to better their livelihoods. And with every doll purchased, a
doll is gifted to an orphan or another child.
is another example of a successful international business with a strong sense
of purpose. Founded in 2006 by American entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, the
footwear and sunglasses brand is dedicated to improving lives. Through
customers’ purchases, TOMS help provide shoes, water, prescription glasses and
bullying prevention services in over 70 countries worldwide.
artpreneur Noor Shamma, started the Postcard Initiative in 2015. It all began
when she was frustrated with how she was constantly glued to her phone, and she
longed for the old school way of communication. She announced on her Instagram
that she would send a postcard to those who were interested. Shortly after, she
received hundreds of addresses from people worldwide. This tempted her to start
her Postcard Initiative. Noor now sells stacks of postcards with illustrations
by artists from around the world with 20 per cent of profits donated to Noor
Dubai Foundation, a non-governmental, non-profit organization with the goal to
eliminate blindness everywhere. By doing so, Noor is not only supporting a
charity, but also empowering artists worldwide by showcasing their work.
are all powerful examples of entrepreneurs who incorporated purpose into their
business mission, and who developed business plans with the stakeholders - the
community - in mind.
your business has a strong sense of purpose that is clearly communicated, the
benefits will begin to multiply, beginning with your customers. A study by
Cone/Porter Novelli reveals that 79 per cent of Americans are more loyal to
purpose-driven brands and 67 per cent of them feel that purpose-driven brands
care more about them and their families versus other traditional brands. The
study also revealed how 78 per cent of Americans would endorse and tell their
peers to purchase from purpose-driven brands.
are some ways you can take today to incorporate higher purpose in your business
with your team to set and declare a higher purpose that is serving your
community. A survey by Deloitte revealed how purpose-driven organisations have
higher employee engagement. This should be publicly stated and your corporate
culture should revolve around it. Embrace your purpose. Make sure it’s
highlighted everywhere: in your email signatures, in your company’s reception,
newsletters, website and even plastered in your pantry. Assign some employees
as your brand ambassadors, who can communicate your business’s goal to the
provide a great learning opportunity and you can get a front row seat by
serving on the board of a non-profit or by setting a meeting with a non-profit
leader you admire to see how you can learn from their approach. Examine the way
they set their strategy and how they are involved in the communities they
your clients to participate in your purpose
your brand serves a community or a cause - whether by building schools, helping
refugees or donating clothes - chances are, many of your customers would love
to take part. It would also provide them with an up-close and personal
connection to your brand, to learn more about your work and communicate back to
their social circles.
it comes to developing your business, and setting its purpose, it wouldn’t hurt
to think like the Greeks and early Muslim inventors.
president plans anti-Hamas measures as split widens
decade-long Palestinian split looks set to deepen in the coming months, with
President Mahmoud Abbas poised to take multiple measures against Gaza to
squeeze its Islamist rulers Hamas.
moves raise concerns of more suffering for Gaza's two million residents, already
under an Israeli blockade and facing severe electricity shortages, while a
cornered Hamas could renew violence against Israel.
say the measures will also widen the gap between Hamas-run Gaza and the
occupied West Bank, where Abbas's government has limited self-rule.
and Abbas's secular Fatah party have been at loggerheads since the Islamists
seized control of Gaza from Abbas's forces in a near civil war in 2007, a year
after sweeping parliamentary elections.
has since fought three bloody wars with Israel and fears of a fourth remain.
reconciliation attempts between the Palestinian factions have failed but Egypt
thought it had made a breakthrough in late 2017 when the two sides agreed to
eventually share power.
part of that agreement, Hamas withdrew from border crossings between Gaza and
Egypt and Israel, allowing the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) to
return and the Egyptian border to be reopened regularly.
reconciliation agreement has since collapsed acrimoniously.
Sunday, the PA announced it would withdraw from the Egyptian border crossing,
creating a dilemma for Cairo about whether to leave it open with Hamas in
far they have indicated they will.
officials close to Abbas say he is looking for other measures to punish Hamas.
these could be removing staff from the crossings between Israel and Gaza —
making it hard for the Jewish state to allow anything into the territory
without dealing directly with Hamas, which it and many other countries label a
could also include cutting salaries to families of Hamas prisoners or
rescinding Palestinian passports for Hamas employees.
has also pledged to dissolve the Hamas-dominated Palestinian parliament, which
though it hasn't met since the 2007 split is still nominally the basis for new
important decisions against Hamas are being discussed," a senior official
said on condition of anonymity.
follows a series of arrests of those affiliated with Fatah in Gaza, according
to Abbas allies.
official said the PA spent around $100 million per month in Gaza, including for
electricity subsidies, and was looking to cut back significantly.
that want to rule Gaza must bear the responsibility of governing it," the
al-Ahmad, a senior Abbas ally and negotiator of the 2017 reconciliation
agreement, told AFP "the leadership is considering a number of
Hamas official Bassem Naim said the Islamists had seen similar threats before.
type of sanctions such as electricity, preventing medicine, closing the border
or cutting the salaries are intended to blackmail residents into rising against
Hamas and they fail," he told AFP.
is the most that Abbas can do."
Palestinians have faced stark challenges over the past two years, with US
President Donald Trump leading what he has called the most pro-Israel
administration in the country's history.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government has meanwhile
continued to expand settlements in the West Bank.
government froze contacts with the Trump administration after it recognised the
disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017.
deepening split between the two factions weakens their ability to respond to
such pressure," said Hugh Lovatt of the European Council on Foreign
said the PA withdrawal from the border crossings was part of a "package of
measures designed to try and squeeze Hamas".
is not irreversible but it is certainly a very negative step. This is
short-term thinking triumphing longer-term strategy."
Hijab, president of the Al-Shabaka Palestinian think-tank, said the infighting
prevented a united front against Israeli policies.
fear that this latest move will cement the division and lead to a complete
break between Gaza and the West Bank, something Israel has been pushing,"
sides were "playing politics with people's lives instead of taking on
Israel's 50-year-plus occupation," she said.
least 241 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since mass
protests along the border began in March 2018. Two Israeli soldiers have been
protests had calmed in recent months after Hamas and Israel struck an agreement
that saw Qatari aid allowed into the territory.
week, it was reported that Israel had blocked a third tranche of Qatari
funding, which could lead to increased tensions.
the Israelis do block the money, then I think it is almost a certainty you will
see Hamas increasing the tension on the border," Lovatt said.
officials have handed down orders to five Palestinian families residing inside
a building in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds to evacuate their homes by the
end of the month.
Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ) said on Saturday
that Israel’s so-called Law Enforcement Department had given the order to the
Sabbagh family to leave the building in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of
occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, and turn it over to the extremist settlers who
had claimed its ownership by January 23.
in 2005, the CCPRJ is a Palestinian non-governmental organization that aims to
contribute to effective mobilization and cooperation of civil society vis-à-vis
Israeli policies undermining Palestinian rights in occupied East Jerusalem
2012, the Sabbagh family lodged a lawsuit at the Israeli District Court in
Jerusalem al-Quds against the Israeli settlers' claim that they owned the land
though the family provided the court with conclusive evidence proving ownership
of the land and that Israeli setters’ land registration process done in 1972
was illegal, the court ruled in favor of the settlers.
family appealed the decision to the High Court on November 15, 2018, and
requested to open the file of land ownership. However, the High Court rejected
the appeal and upheld the District Court’s decision.
family, through its lawyers, then re-appealed against the High Court’s ruling
through asking for a five-judge panel instead of three. The attempt failed as
well, which left the eviction of the five families imminent.
than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since Israel’s
occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank in 1967. This is
while much of the international community considers the settler units illegal
and subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the
United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to
“immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied
Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution two years ago,
saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.
at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very
happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” the US
president said during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington in February 2017.
laid to rest in Gaza
Palestinians on Saturday held a funeral procession for a woman killed by
Israeli forces in Gaza.
forces killed the Palestinian woman, Aml Moustafa Ahmed, 43, and injured at least 25 people during
protests along the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied
territories on Friday.
have been running high near the fence separating Gaza from the occupied
territories since March 30, which marked the start of the protests.
protesters demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
States Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told Al Arabiya English that
Washington “would save no effort to prevent Iran from Lebanonizing Yemen”.
added in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya English that US is committed to
the efforts led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and that they have called
to an urgent end to the fighting in Yemen.
he added that “we have also said that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates need to
defend themselves against the Iranian-backed Houthi attacks. And the Houthis
continue to violate the ceasefire”.
said that “what has been underreported especially by the US press is the role
Iran has played to prolong and deepen the war in Yemen”.
bears a lot of responsibility for the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and I
think the blame had been misallocated, and it’s important for people to
understand that Iran has spent hundreds of millions of dollars organizing
training and equipment for the Houthis to fight at a level well beyond what
makes any sense for the Houthis,” he said.
US Special Representative for Iran stressed that US is working toward “bringing
an end to the fighting and a political solution, however we have to keep our
eye on Iran. We cannot allow Iran to do in Yemen what it accomplished in
Lebanon, we cannot permit them to Lebanonize Yemen on Saudi’s southern border”.
said that the United States and its coalition partners have provided billions
in aid to the Yemenis, while Iran has provided nothing but weapons and
emphasized that Washington “is aware that Iran will try to become a power
broker in Yemen, they have no legitimate interest in Yemen and they need to get
out” asserting that Iran must leave all regions which it destabilized.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, in a speech to the American University
in Cairo, that US will work with allies to "expel every last Iranian
boot" from Syria.
warned there would be no US reconstruction aid for areas controlled by Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad until Iran and its proxies had left.
diplomatic sources in Egypt have revealed that delegations from Arab countries,
the United States and Israel are holding intensive meetings in the Egyptian
capital Cairo to prepare a summit between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known to many in the West
sources revealed to the Khalij Online that at least three meetings had been
held over the last 25 days in Cairo between Egyptian, Saudi, US and Israeli
officials to work out the details of a meeting between Netanyahu and MbS.
sources said that the initiative for holding a meeting between MbS and
Netanyahu was encouraged by Saudi Arabia’s massive enthusiasm for such a
is an official inclination from Saudi officials to open the door for political
and public relations with the occupying regime to the highest level that one
can possibly imagine,” said the sources in a statement to the online newspaper.
added that Riyadh was trying to set a precedent for Arab-Israeli relations so
that other Arab countries could follow the suit and establish ties with the Tel
sources said there was a mutual consensus among Saudis, the Egyptians and the
Americans that there should be a major diplomatic breakthrough in 2019
regarding the state of Israeli-Arab relations, adding that the summit between
Netanyahu and MbS could also include US President Donald Trump.
it understood that a key theme of the recent meetings in Cairo was to outline
plans for selling the Netanyahu-MbS summit to the public in the Arab world,
especially in Saudi Arabia.
the summit between Netnayahu and bin Salman takes places, it would be the first
of its kind in the history of Arab-Israeli relations. Most of the Arab
countries have isolated Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967 in which the
regime occupied more Palestinian and Arab territories.
a raft of diplomatic efforts over the past years led by the United States and
meant to unite Arab countries and Israel against what Washington calls Iran’s
growing influence in the Middle East has helped the Israelis to better reach
out to the Arabs.
Turkish military has sent new reinforcements to the country’s areas on the
border with Syria’s militant-held province of Idlib as Ankara is preparing for
a military operation against US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG)
in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops
from the war-torn country.
private Demiroren news agency reported that battle tanks and armored vehicles
were loaded onto trucks on Saturday, and dispatched to the southern Turkish
province of Hatay.
development came on the same day that Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and
top-brass military officials, namely Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler
and Land Forces Commander General Umit Dundar, in addition to Head of Turkey's
National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan, held a meeting in Hatay and
exchanged viewpoints on the latest developments in Syria's Idlib.
efforts are being made to maintain ceasefire, stability under Sochi agreement.
Our close cooperation with Russia continues in this manner,” Akar said.
September 17, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish
counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Russia’s coastal city of Sochi, and
agreed to divide Idlib into a demilitarized zone between militant-held and government-controlled
on Saturday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a telephone
conversation with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo, and the pair discussed latest
developments in Syria.
Thursday, Cavusoglu said his country would launch an offensive against YPG
forces, in case the US delayed the planned withdrawal of its troops from Syria.
the (pullout) is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring
Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision,”
Cavusoglu told Turkish-language NTV television news network in an exclusive
top Turkish diplomat then underlined that the Ankara government would go ahead
with its incursion plan.
said Ankara would fight the YPG whether or not US soldiers pulled out of Syria.
said last month that he was bringing home the American troops deployed in Syria
- some 2,000 - alleging they had succeeded in their mission to defeat the Daesh
Takfiri terrorist group.
abrupt move sparked concern among officials in Washington, prompting Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis to step down in protest.
commanders in the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has the YPG
as its backbone, have described Washington’s move as “a stab in the back.”
considers the YPG a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous
region inside Turkey since 1984.
repromulgates Triple Talaq ordinance after Rajya Sabha snub
Delhi: Amid the row over the non-passage of the Triple Talaq Bill in the Rajya
Sabha in the recently-concluded Winter Session of Parliament and the triple
talaq ordinance which is about to get lapsed later this month, the central
government on Saturday repromulgated the ordinance. The ordinance was approved
by the Cabinet during a meeting on January 10.
the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019 issued by
the current National Democratic Alliance government, the practice of giving
instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat) will become unlawful and void. Anyone indulging
in it will face a jail term of three years.
triple talaq ordinance aims at making the Islamic practice of instant divorce a
penal offence. The ordinance was reissued as the Narendra Modi government
failed in its bid to get it converted it into law. While the Lok Sabha has
passed the Bill on triple talaq, the move got stuck in the Rajya Sabha.
ordinance is valid for a period of six months unless repromulgated. However,
the ordinance has to be replaced by a bill which should be cleared by Parliament
within 42 days (six weeks) of the start of the session, otherwise, it lapses.
proposed law will empower women to approach a magistrate and seek custody of
minor children, along with seeking ‘subsistence allowance’ for them and their
children, news agency PTI reported.
women will be made entitled to financial assistance, and three new amendments
have been introduced, on the recommendation from the opposition earlier, that
will ensure that the proposed law will not be misused.
Top Al-Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam was among the two terrorists killed in an
encounter with security forces in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police
two terrorists killed in the Katpora encounter have been identified as Zeenat-ul-Islam
and Shakeel Ahmad Dar. Both were involved in several terror crimes," a
police official said.
a category A++ terrorist, was a top commander who had switched over to Al-Badr
from Hizbul Mujahideen in November last year following consensus between the
two outfits to strengthen the Al-Badr, he said.
official said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Katpora
area of Yaripora in south Kashmir's Kulgam district Saturday evening after
receiving specific information about the presence of terrorists there.
said as the forces were conducting the searches, the terrorists fired upon
per policy, the terrorists were given an opportunity to surrender, but they
continued to fire upon the forces, the official said.
forces retaliated, ensuing an encounter in which two the terrorists were
killed, he said.
a police spokesman said both the killed terrorists were affiliated with Al-Badr
and were wanted by the law for "their complicity in a series of terror
crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian
according to police records had a long history of terror crime records since
2006 when he got affiliated with Al-Badr and was later arrested," he said.
spokesman said after Islam was released, he again got recycled in 2016 and
subsequently affiliated with HM and then recently joined the Al-Badr outfit in
he became the chief of the said outfit. Several terror crime cases were
registered against him. He was also involved in a weapon snatching case at
Tukroo Shopian. Similarly, Shakeel Ahmad Dar was also involved in terror
related crimes as well," the spokesman said.
said incriminating material such as arms and ammunition was recovered from the
site of encounter and all these materials have been taken in the case records
for the purpose of investigation.
spokesman said no collateral damage took place during the encounter.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday arrested a 24-year-old man named
Muhammad Absar from Meerut in UP, another accused in the case of ISIS-inspired
National Investigation Agency said Saturday it has made a fresh arrest from
Meerut in Uttar Pradesh in connection with its probe against an ISIS-inspired
group, which was allegedly planning suicide attacks and serial blasts,
targeting politicians and government installations, in Delhi and other parts of
north India. The agency arrested a 24-year-old man named Muhammad Absar,
another accused in the case.
also conducted fresh searches at three locations in Meerut, Hapur and Ghaziabad
in connection with the latest arrest. With the latest arrest, the NIA has
nabbed 12 people so far in this connection.
January 5, the NIA arrested a 21-year-old man named Mohammed Nayeem was
arrested for supplying weapons to the module.
December 26, the agency conducted raids after carrying out searches in 17
locations, wherein it claimed to have siezed a huge cache of arms and explosives.
The recovered items included 25 kg explosive material, 150 rounds of live
ammunition, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, mobile phone circuits, remote control
car triggering switch, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, three laptops, knife,
134 SIM cards, and Rs 7.5 lakh as cash.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) is in Kashmir to question an Imam in south
one of the 11 accused traveled to Kashmir in search of weapons.
to sources, Saqib who was the right hand of Mufti Mohammed Suhail, the kingpin
of the group, was given the task of arranging weapons for the ISIS terror
module. He went to Jammu and Kashmir twice- First in May to North Kashmir's
Bandipora and also went to Rajouri. The second time he went to Tral to meet an
Imam in August. The Imam from Ameerabad was called to Awantipora by a team of
the National Investigation Agency(NIA).
to the local police, Saqib and the young Imam were said to have done their
religious studies together in Amroha.
Iftekar, a resident of Hapur in Uttar Pradesh was himself working as an Imam in
Jama Masjid, Baksar. According to sources, Saqib who knew the Imam from Kashmir
traveled to south Kashmir for a meeting, where he allegedly expressed a desire
to meet a militant in Kashmir to procure weapons. The NIA team believes though
the Imam showed his inability to procure weapons, promised for arranging a
meeting with a militant.
sources said that NIA has found links to Kashmir in the ISIS-inspired module
styled as Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam". The earlier seized items include 25 kg
of explosive material, country- made rocket launcher, 112 alarm clocks, mobile
phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch,
wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires,
91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, 3 laptops, knife, sword, ISIS-related
literature and a cash amount of Rs 7.5 lacs approximately.
the investigating team identified four men - Abu Bashir Al Khurasani, Anas aka
Talha, Zubair aka Abu Dujana and Zaffar Abu aka Al Kitab.
Is the general secretary of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC)
Gopal Singh Chawal a Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) , UN-designated terrorist
organisation , man ?
who is already known to have cordial relations with Mumbai terror mastermind
Hafiz Sayed ,in a video which has gone viral on net , is not only seen
honouring Milli Muslim League,(MML) , a front of JuD, president Saifullaha
Khalid but is a also heard heaping praise upon him and openly proclaiming JuD
as his organisation.
to have been recorded in Nankana Sahib, birth place of Sikh’s first master Guru
Nanak Dev on Friday ,Chawla is heard as saying "By the grace of Allah ,
the emir (chief of Muslim body) of our Jamaat is a nobel person and we have to
impart his teachings to our children."
eulogising MML ,the PGPC’s general secretary is also heard saying that he felt
proud to say that the ‘enemy’ was as much scared of JuD as it was scared of
to India, Chawla , while sharing the platform with militant leaders, boasts
that it was due to JuD that the ‘enemy’ had not been able harm them following
which the audience broke into religious slogans and other militant leaders are
seen encouraging Chawla.
Friday, the external affairs ministry spokesperson , in response to Pakistan's
statement that India was not responding to its peace overtures had stated that
Pakistan was not serious about dialogue and instead their ministers had been
sharing the stage with JuD chief and other leaders.
2017, JuD under the leadership of Sayed had launched its political wing MML. A
close associate of Sayed, Saifullah Khalid, a religious preacher, announced
that Pakistan would be made a true ‘Islamic’ state and also contested the
general elections even as Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected
registration of MML.
Gopal Chawla had been photographed with many Indian political leaders who had
gone there to attend the ground breaking ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor.
An influential US lawmaker has introduced a legislation in Congress to
terminate the designation of Pakistan as a major non-Nato ally.
by Republican Congressman Andy Briggs, the resolution 73, introduced in the
House of Representatives, seeks termination of Pakistan as a major non-Nato
ally and also sets conditions for its re-designation if any.
resolution has been sent to the house foreign affairs committee for necessary
states, for future redesignation, the US President need to certify to the
Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are
contributing to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement
of the Haqqani Network in that country.
also seeks certification from the Congress that Pakistan has taken steps to
demonstrate its commitment to prevent the Haqqani Network from using any
Pakistani territory as a safe haven and that the Government of Pakistan
actively coordinates with the Government of Afghanistan to restrict the
movement of militants, such as the Haqqani Network, along the
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl Rehman has said he
will succeed in uniting both the main opposition parties – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan
Peoples Party (PPP) – against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) federal
now when one of these parties agrees to a coalition the other one quits.
However, I will succeed in forging an alliance between them,” Fazl said while
speaking to media on Saturday after the JUI-F central executive committee meeting.
JUI-F chief, however, clarified that he did not discuss forming an
anti-government coalition during his last meeting with the PPP supremo Asif Ali
Zardari. Fazl claimed that the PTI government is planning to recognise the
State of Israel while also declaring Ahmadis as Muslims in violation of the
calls on Dagai Babaji
government also is planning to ban Islamic seminaries and is creating hurdle in
their registration. However, if the government increased these hurdle then we
would establish madrassas without formal registration,” he said.
said when seminaries are abiding by the law then the government should also
facilitate them instead of creating hurdles. “We will never compromise on the
madrassa issue. Negotiation with the government on the issue is suspended.”
said Pakistan is allowing Sikh pilgrims to come to Pakistan without a visa
while the Afghan government is also allowing tribal people to enter Afghanistan
session: With joint strategy, Opposition set to give govt a hard time
with reference to the JUI-F meeting, he said the party discussed the prevailing
political and economic situation and effects of the price hike on the common
also discussed the election for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly seats in
former tribal areas and have allowed the tribal leadership to decide whether or
not they want to participate in these polls.”
LAHORE: Jamat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq on
Saturday lashed out on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government over
its ineffective policies regarding the welfare of the general public.
addressing the media in the Mansura headquarters, the JI chief said that “the
government has failed to recover the looted wealth from the corrupt
he said that “the government had promised construction of 5 million houses, and
instead only tents could be seen”.
also criticised the PTI over the inflation and said that the 15 per cent rise
in costs of medicines has hit hard among the public.
cannot see the government working towards its promise of 10 million job
opportunities for youths,” he added while outlining rise in unemployment in
Saudi Minister for Petroleum and Energy Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz said on Saturday
that his country’s crown prince would visit Pakistan in February to sign an
agreement with Pakistan on setting up an oil refinery in Gwadar at a cost of
Saudi minister said this after arriving here along with a delegation to inspect
the site for the proposed oil refinery in the port city, the ultimate
destination of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The delegation
included Chief Executive Officer of Aramco Associated Company Al Buainain
Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal Minister for Marine Affairs
Ali Zaidi and Balochistan Information Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi received
the Saudi delegation at Gwadar airport.
the Saudi delegation attended a meeting in which the oil refinery project and
other issues were discussed.
Saudi minister said that his country wanted to contribute to Pakistan’s
economic development through establishing an oil refinery and partnership in
the CPEC. He said that Saudi Arabia was also interested in investing in other
to the proposed oil refinery, Mr Abdul Aziz said that it would prove to be a
landmark development for the entire region as a centre point for changes in
purchase, import and export of oil.
said that the Saudi government would complete installation of the oil refinery
in minimum time.
Saudi minister said that Pakistan and his country enjoyed cordial economic,
social and deep-rooted friendly relations since a long time. Saudi Arabia had
always provided financial and economic help to Pakistan and would continue to
do so in future.
said that he was visiting Gwadar on the instruction of the Saudi king.
Sarwar Khan welcomed the Saudi delegation and appreciated the efforts Saudi
Arabia was making to contribute to economic development of Pakistan. He termed
the Saudi delegation’s visit to Gwadar a significant event.
petroleum minister said that the federal cabinet had already approved the Saudi
government’s plan for establishing an oil refinery in Gwadar. With the setting
up of the oil refinery, Saudi Arab would become an important partner in the
CPEC, he added.
said that the project would not only prove a milestone in the development of
Pakistan but also write a new history of prosperity and economic development in
the entire region.
minister for maritime affairs suggested that Saudi Arabia should also invest in
the agriculture sector.
Gwadar Port Authority Chairman Dostain Jamaldini, Gwadar Development Authority
Chairman Dr Sajjad Baloch and China Overseas Port Holding Company Chairman
Zhang Baozong briefed the Saudi delegation about the CPEC and the development
projects launched in Gwadar.
Secretary of Petroleum Tanvir Qureshi, Balochistan Minister for Revenue Mir
Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Provincial Energy Secretary Mir Pasand Khan Buledi, MPA
Mobin Khan Khilji and officials concerned also attended the meeting.
A delegation of Saudi Arabia, led by Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral
Resources Khalid Abdul Aziz D. Al Falih, arrived here on Saturday to inspect
the site for the proposed oil refinery at the deep seaport city, the ultimate
destination of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal
Minister for Marine Affairs and Balochistan Information Minister received the
delegation, which included Chief Executive Officer of Aramco Associated Company
Al Buainain Ibrahim Qassim.
Khan said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed cordial relations, a press release
Supreme Court on Saturday directed the federal and provincial governments to
compensate within a month those who suffered losses during religious parties’
protests following Asia Bibi’s acquittal, a private TV channel reported.
two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard at the Lahore
registry a suo motu case pertaining to losses and damages to property during
the three-day long countrywide sit-ins staged by religious parties following a
top court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi in a blasphemy case. During the hearing,
the chief justice remarked, “Reports have been submitted, we should be informed
when and how compensatory payments will be made.”
advocate general Punjab informed the court that the federal cabinet has
approved a compensation package amounting to Rs262 million. At this, Justice
Ijazul Ahsan asked, “Has a compensation plan been prepared or is this just on
paper?” The chief justice remarked, “Over two months have passed but a complete
plan regarding compensation packages has not been submitted. If the court
hadn’t ordered then this plan wouldn’t have come either.”
foiled a major terror bid as it arrested two suspected terrorists and seized
grenades, arms and other explosives here on Saturday.
on a tip-off regarding presence of suspected terrorists, launched operation in
Shergarh area of Mardan. During operation, two suspects were apprehended with
hand grenades, four dynamites, two shotguns and safety fuses. Police claimed
the detainees were planning a terror attack but timely action foiled the bid.
The detained suspects were shifted to an undisclosed location for further
riot police have fired tear gas at angry protesters who called for an end to
President Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year old rule over the county.
on Friday used rubber bullets, tear gas, and live ammunition to disperse
protesters who were peacefully protesting in the capital Khartoum on Friday.
of protesters emerged from a mosque in the Jabra district of southern Khartoum
after midday prayers, calling for “the fall of the regime."
least three people were killed and several others injured in protests earlier
on Thursday, after police opened fire on them, according to Sudan's top human
National Human Rights Commission condemned on Friday the killing "by
bullets" of protesters, calling upon the government to investigate the use
of lethal force and bring the criminals to court.
condemn using bullets against citizens," said the commission in a
statement. "We are also deeply sorry about the killing of citizens by
was the first time a state body acknowledged that live ammunition had been used
against protesters, since a wave of protests started last month over price
group of doctors from the main hospital in Khartoum said separately that police
had fired tear gas at the facility and there was also "shooting inside the
on social media also show riot police entered the hospital and shot live
bullets at people. Videos showed tear gas billowing in rooms in at least two
have quickly rocked cities across the country and turned into demands for
Bashir’s resignation, after he talked about an alleged improvement of ties with
Israel under the pretext that it would help stabilize Sudan.
has forged close relations with Saudi Arabia in recent years, reportedly
sending troops to Yemen to help the kingdom's invasion of the impoverished
Comoros President Azali Assoumani hosted a delegation from the Muslim World
League (MWL) headed by Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, MWL secretary-general,
in the Comoros Islands capital, Moroni.
lauded the efforts of the MWL in Africa, while Al-Issa praised the president
for sponsoring a symposium held by the MWL, which was attended by a large
congregation of African scientists.
said the league would be ready to liaise with Comorian scientists and
intellectuals to tackle all forms of extremist thought, while adding that the
MWL was keen on raising awareness about Islam, especially among youth.
protests that have rocked Sudan since last month have left 24 people dead, an
official said on Saturday, without specifying how they died.
that erupted in the provinces on December 19 after the government tripled the
price of bread have escalated into nationwide anti-government rallies, with
protesters calling for President Omar al-Bashir to resign.
total number of people who have died in incidents from December 19 until now is
24,” Amer Ibrahim, head of a panel set up by the prosecutor’s office to
investigate the violence during these rallies told reporters.
had earlier said that 22 people, including two security personnel, had been
killed in the unrest.
said that two additional protesters who were being treated in hospital in
Gadaraf, an impoverished agricultural town, had passed away, taking the overall
death toll to 24.
did give details on the cause of the protesters’ deaths.
groups have put the overall death toll much higher, with Human Rights Watch
saying that at least 40 people have been killed in clashes during the
demonstrations, including children and medical staff.
have staged hundreds of demonstrations so far but riot police and security
agents have broken up their rallies with volleys of tear gas.
groups and the European Union have said that security forces used “live
ammunition” on protesters.
European Union said Friday that the “use of force by security forces against
civilians - including the use of live ammunition - has led to further
casualties over the last few days”.
own human rights body has condemned the killing “by bullets” of protesters, but
stopped short of saying who fired the deadly rounds.
has blamed the violence during the protests on “conspirators” without naming
Fayulu, the runner-up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's presidential
election, has filed an appeal against the result of the election.
Thursday, the country’s electoral commission declared Felix Tshisekedi as the
winner of the December 30 election.
Friday, Fayulu's legal team appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the
request seeks the annulment of the result declaring Felix Tshisekedi president,"
Fayulu's lawyer Feli Ekombe told reporters on Saturday.
presidential election, which was intended to be Congo's first democratic
transfer of power in six decades, is now threatening to reawaken violence in
the huge and tumultuous nation, where millions have died during civil wars
since the 1990s.
pre-election polls predicting a landslide victory for Fayulu, the national
election board (CENI) declared Tshisekedi as the winner of the vote.
supporters, who took part in a protest rally in Kinshasa on Friday to contest
the election result, claim the businessman-turned-politician won the vote.
tally by Fayulu's camp showed that he won 62 percent of the votes, with
Tshisekedi taking only 19 percent of the ballots.
supporters say authorities rigged the result in a deal to protect members of
President Joseph Kabila's outgoing administration and maintain his influence
over security forces.
influential Catholic Church has also rejected the official result based on
tallies by its 40,000-strong observer team. France and former colonial power
Belgium also expressed doubts. Russia and China, however, called on foreign
countries to stay out of the dispute.
urges supporters to 'rise up'
has asked his supporters to take action and defend his votes in the
you know you are in the right, you are not allowed to remain home," Fayulu
said, urging supporters to "rise up."
camp has asked the CENI electoral authority to publish results from every
civilians were killed on Thursday during a militant attack in the north of
Burkina Faso, which has been battling a wave of extremist violence, officials
said on Friday.
West African country declared a state of emergency in several provinces at the
end of last year and on Thursday replaced its army chief as it struggled to
stop a spate of such attacks.
the latest violence, gunmen attacked a village market in broad daylight, the
security ministry said on Friday.
30 armed individuals perpetrated … a terrorist attack in the village of Gasseliki,"
it said, giving a toll of 12 dead and two wounded.
barn, a cart and six shops were also set alight," it said .
local source told AFP that the attackers "ransacked stores and opened fire
on people who had gathered for the weekly market".
attacks began in northern Burkina Faso in 2015 but spread to the east, near the
border with Togo and Benin.
country is part of the vast sub-Sahara region and one of the poorest states in
region turned into a hotbed of violent extremism and lawlessness after chaos
engulfed Libya in 2011, which was followed by an extremist insurgency in
northern Mali and the rise of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.
attacks in Burkina Faso have been attributed to the militant group Ansarul
Islam, which emerged near the Mali border in December 2016, and to the JNIM
(the Group to Support Islam and Muslims), which has sworn allegiance to Al
Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Islam emerged as violence spilt over from Mali, where extremists seized key
Sahara towns in 2012 before being ousted by French troops.
groups are also active, with the overall number of fighters estimated to be in
the hundreds, according to security sources.
groups are believed to be responsible for more than 270 deaths since 2015. The
capital Ouagadougou has been hit three times and almost 60 people have died
militants extend their hold gradually, forcing government workers and others
who oppose them to flee. The violence has so far displaced some 40,000 people.
the north, armed groups move freely through the country's porous borders.
militants mainly target the security forces, but also attack government
officials and local chiefs who oppose them.
are vulnerable due to the militants' fierce opposition to secular, French
education, with their threats and attacks sparking the closure of hundreds of
schools in the north and the east.
foreign minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has called for
turning the UN peacekeeping mission on the island into a civilian mission.
an interview with Anadolu Agency, Kudret Ozersay, who held meetings with UN
officials and diplomats in the U.S., said the military mission was no longer
necessary, adding the “changing circumstances” required a revision of the
current peacekeeping forces on the eastern Mediterranean island.
travelled to New York on Jan. 7 to express the TRNC’s views to the UN and
members of the Security Council, where the issue is expected to be discussed by
the end of January.
that the presence of the roughly 800 UN forces on the island was costly, the
minister stressed its role as a deterrent against armed confrontation could be
achieved by a civilian mission at half the current cost.
believe there is no need for a [military] operation that costs nearly $22-23
million in one year,” he said, adding that $54 million is expected to be spent
for the UN presence on the island in 2019.
minister said there is a general opinion in the UN that the functions, powers
and number of UN peacekeeping troops on the island need to be revised, even if
their mandate is extended in February.
in Eastern Mediterranean
upon the current dispute on hydrocarbon extraction in the eastern
Mediterranean, Ozersay noted that the issue could become an opportunity for dialogue
between the two sides.
underlined that in the absence of bilateral agreement on drilling rights,
companies could lose resources and time, and tensions could escalate in the
has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral
drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights
to the resources in the area.
cooperation over federation
that a partnership based on cooperation may be more feasible between the north and
the south of the island, Ozersay said the Greek Cypriots’ reluctance to share
power and wealth made a federal model “impossible.”
you do not want to share governance and wealth you cannot make a federal
partnership,” he said, adding that cooperation in energy and fighting terrorism
and organized crime could lead to interdependency between the two sides and
“ultimately lead to a comprehensive solution to the dispute.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the Polish Charges D'Affairs,
Wojciech Unolt, to protest an Iran-focused conference in Warsaw next
a statement, the ministry said it lodged an official protest with Warsaw for
hosting the event.
Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. and Poland
will jointly host the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in
the Middle East in Warsaw from Feb. 13-14 with a focus on Iran.
and Arab officials have been invited to the summit, which was denounced on
Saturday by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Thursday, Pompeo said the U.S. is pursuing plans to establish a new security
alliance of Arab countries aimed at countering Iran’s influence in the Middle
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to participate in an
Iran-focused conference in Poland, according to Israeli media.
Channel 10 said Netanyahu received an invitation two weeks ago to attend the
meeting, but he has not announced whether he is going to participate.
foreign ministers have also been invited to attend the summit.
Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. and Poland
will jointly host the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in
the Middle East in Warsaw from Feb. 13-14 with a focus on Iran.
summit was denounced by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Gov't can't wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts
desperate anti-Iran circus,” Zarif said on Twitter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on his eight-country tour of the Middle East,
announced a global summit to address the threat posed by the Iranian regime,
bringing together countries from across the world. But the gathering will take
place in a lesser renowned location than usual – Warsaw.
capital will be the site where dozens of countries are to gather at the
February 13-14 meeting to “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom
and security here in this region,” he said on Friday.
why the EU member state of Poland and not traditional US allies such as
Britain, France or Germany?
led by a right-wing populist government, is a longstanding US ally that has
better relations with Mr Trump than key European powers such as Germany and
has criticised a series of European leaders and Washington even moved to
downgrade the European Union mission’s diplomatic status in the US last week,
without informing Brussels.
State Department spokesman acknowledged that Poland, like other European
nations, supports the international accord from which Mr Trump exited last year
on ending the Iranian nuclear program.
Warsaw meeting "sends an important signal that countries with differing
views on the nuclear deal can come together to address other critical issues in
the region," the spokesman said.
poured scorn on the meeting and pointed out that the country, then impoverished
after invasion by Britain and the Soviet Union, welcomed more than 100,000
Polish refugees during World War II.
Govt can't wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts a
desperate anti-Iran circus," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz appeared unfazed by a backlash from Tehran,
however, saying in a statement that while his country supported the EU's
efforts to maintain the nuclear deal, the agreement "does not stop Iran
from activities destabilising the region" and he hoped the conference
would bring closer the EU and US positions.
said more than 70 countries were invited to the conference, including all EU
appears that Warsaw has hedged its bets by siding with Washington. The US
stations the majority of the 900 troops in Poland on a Nato rotation and the
Nato ally has requested that the US establish a permanent military base in the
country as a bulwark against Russian influence.
President Andrzej Duda joked at a press conference with the American leader
that the base could be called “Fort Trump”. The US president has since ordered
a review of the costs of American troops being stationed in Germany, a sign
that he may pivot to eastern Europe.
top commander of the Taliban group who was in charge of overall activities of
the group in Khawaja Sabz Posh district of Faryab has been killed along with
his twenty fighters.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said in a statement
that Qari Tajuddin was killed in an operation of the Special Unit of the Afghan
Security Forces backed by close air support of the coallition forces.
statement further added that 15 militants also sustained injuries during the
opertion and at least 12 others were arrested.
operation was conducted on Saturday morning, the 209th Shaheen Corps said,
adding that three compounds of the militants were destroyed and several
weapons, munitions, and vehicles have been confiscated..
Tajuddin was one of the most prominent commanders of Taliban who had roles in
planning and coordinating attacks in Khwaja Sab Posh district, the 209th
Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
of Rohingya arrived in Bangladesh from India, days after New Delhi deported
five members of Myanmar’s minority Muslim community amid concerns from rights
groups, officials said.
UN Refugee Agency had regretted India’s decision to deport a second group of
is the second such incident since October 2018, when India returned seven
Rohingya to Rakhine State in Myanmar, where conditions are not conducive for
return,” it had said on Jan. 4.
Khayer, in-charge of Ukhiya police station, told Anadolu Agency they received
48 Rohingya people, including women and children, last week and that they were
transferred to refugee camp authorities in Cox’s Bazar.
Abul Kalam, head of Bangladesh's Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission
(RRRC), told Anadolu Agency that they have information of “fresh influx” of
Rohingya, who have arrived from India.
said the high-ups of the commission are in Cox’s Bazar to look into the fresh
Tribune, a local media outlet, reported that at least 468 Rohingya have crossed
Indian border to enter Bangladesh over the last 10 days.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and
young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state
least two Taliban militants were killed and three others sustained injuries in
an explosion triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
205th Atal Corps of the Afghan Military in the South said in a statement that
the incident has taken place in the vicinity of Shaikan area of Meezan
statement further added that the militants were busy planting an Improvised
Explosive Device when the incident took place.
to 205th Maiwand Corps, at least two militants were killed in the explosion and
three others sustained injuries.
Taliban militants and other militants including ISIS often use improvised
explosive device as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces
and government officials.
in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are killed while in some
cases the Taliban militants are themselves blown up in premature explosions.
elements must immediately end the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of
all improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas frequented by civilians, said
UNAMA in a special human rights report released in late 2018.
least ten militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K)
were killed and 16 foreign fighters of the group were arrested during an
operation in northeastern Badghis province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Afghanistan (MoD) in a statement confirmed that the militants were
killed during a planned and coordinated operation conducted by the Special
Forces in Jund district of the province.
statement further added that the militants were targeted in Chashma-e-Sherin
Village, leaving 10 militants dead while 16 foreign fighters of the group were
anti-government armed militant and terrorist groups including ISIS-K
sympathizers have not commented regarding the killing and arrest of the
militants so far.
activists and educationists have demanded government action against Bangladesh
Qawmi Madrasah Education Board chairman Shah Ahmed Shafi for his derogatory
remarks about women education.
say Shafi’s comments go against the spirit of the liberation war, constitution
and government’s policy of empowering women and demand that Shafi should be
tried for his one after another insulting comments on women.
clerics have termed Shafi’s call for not sending girls to schools after grade
five his personal and not reflecting the spirit of Islam.
the annual meeting (Mahfil), organised by Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrassa,
Hathazari, Chattogram on January 11, Hefazet-e-Islam top leader Ahmed Shafi
said, ‘Please don’t send your daughters to schools. You can allow them to study
up to Class IV or V so that they can count their husband’s money and write
letters. If you let them study beyond that — up to Class IX, X, MA and BA — they
would be no more your daughters. You have been seeing all these in newspapers.
Other people would snatch her away.’
should be punished as his remarks go against the spirit of the country’s
liberation war, basic principles of the constitution and the incumbent
government’s efforts of empowering the women in society and ensuring gender
equality, Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee president Shahriar Kabir told
New Age on Saturday.
has been continuously making derogative remarks about women but was not
punished. He had earlier threatened to pull down the government and termed the
government atheist. But, the hypocrite [Shafi] at the same time honoured the
prime minister last year after getting government recognition of qoumi
education,’ Shahriar said.
come Shafi make such comment when the government has remarkable achievements in
the global index of women education and empowerment? He must be removed from
the post of chairman of Qoumi Madrassah Education Board as the government
recognised it,’ he demanded.
for Popular Education executive director Rasheda K Chowdhury demands specific
statement from the government on the issue.
the PM is a women and the education minister is a women, we expect the
government to give a specific statement on his remarks about women education.
The government cannot ignore it as the government has recognised Qoumi
Madrassah Education Board last September and Shafi is its chairman,’ she says.
author and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology professor Muhammed
Zafar Iqbal says, ‘People will not accept what Shafi has said. And he will
become an unacceptable and controversial person in society for making such
stupid comment at a time when they are voluntarily sending their daughters to
however, does not think the government will take any action as it happened
don’t know what the government will do but I personally condemn Shafi’s
remark,’ Dhaka University professor Muntasir Mamoon says.
Shafi compared women with tamarind for which he became infamous as ‘Tetul
Islamic cleric and also Qoumi Madrassah Education Law Review Committee
co-chairman Maulana Farid Uddin Masud termed Ahmed Shafi’s remarks his
don’t know anything like this and I never read
stating Islam imposes restriction on women education,’ Farid Uddin tells New
Foundation director general Shamim Mohammad Afzal said he did not know in which
context Shafi said so.
Ayesha (Ra) is the source of 2210 hadith, which is one third of the total
available hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (SM). Both women and men will take
education,’ he says.
at a programme organised by Shammilita Samajik Andolan on Saturday at its
central office in Shahbagh wanted Shafi to apologise to the nation for his
remarks on women education.
University’s professor emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury, DU professor Robaet
Ferdous, Samajik Andolan’s presidium member Pankaj Bhattacharya, among others
were present at the programme.
separate written statements Naripakkha and Samajtantrik Mahila Forum protested
at Shafi’s derogative remarks and demanded his punishment.
Haque Islamabadi, organising secretary of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, claimed
that Maulana Shafi was partially quoted with ill motives.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Saturday for the prosecution of new Afghan
defense minister Assadullah Khalid over what it termed grave rights abuses and
a statement, the group said Khalid’s appointment by President Ashraf Ghani last
month “should have rung alarm bells not only in Kabul, but in the capitals of
Afghanistan’s major donors.”
evidence of serious human rights abuses and war crimes linked to Khalid have
followed him throughout his government career,” HRW said. “Reports first came
to light during Khalid’s tenure as governor of Kandahar – a time when thousands
of Canadian troops were based in the province.”
office made no immediate comment to the HRW statement.
with HRW had expressed concern immediately after Khalid’s appointment but
Saturday’s statement detailed the alleged abuses.
a former spy chief, has also served as governor for Ghazni province and was
badly wounded by a Taliban suicide bomber in 2012. He is known to oppose the
Taliban and is considered a virulently anti-Pakistan figure.
was picked by President Ghani as defense minister last month following a rise
in deadly attacks by the Taliban against Afghan troops and after insurgents
refused direct talks with the Kabul government to end the 18-year-long war in
official internal Canadian document described the allegations of human rights
abuses attributable to Khalid as numerous and consistent,” the statement said.
diplomat Richard Colvin had testified before a Canadian parliamentary
commission in 2009 that Khalid perpetrated enforced disappearances and held
people in private prisons.
testimony included evidence of Khalid’s personal involvement in the torture of
detainees. Chris Alexander, a senior Canadian official working with the United
Nations in Afghanistan at the time, alleged that Khalid ordered the killing of
five UN workers in a roadside bombing in Kandahar in April 2007.”
statement further noted that there was also strong evidence directly implicating
Khalid in acts of sexual violence against women and girls when he was governor
of Ghazni and Kandahar. Khalid allegedly threatened his victims, saying “they
would be killed and their families destroyed if they told anyone what had
opportunistic and callous move in appointing Khalid appears aimed to score
short-term gains in the upcoming presidential election,” HRW said.
office did not answer repeated calls seeking comment.
said the Afghan government had proved unwilling to criminally investigate
Khalid, but Afghanistan’s donors could act.
US and Canada have authority under their respective Magnitsky laws to impose
sanctions on any foreign official against whom there is credible evidence of
responsibility for serious human rights abuses,” the statement said.
chooses new sultan, expected to be elected king
LUMPUR: A Malaysian state announced it had a new sultan on Saturday, who is
expected to be elected king after the former monarch abdicated following his
reported marriage to a Russian former beauty queen.
Abdullah Shah has replaced his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah as the ruler of Pahang
state, the official Bernama news agency said, citing a senior palace official.
reports said the move was designed to pave the way for Sultan Abdullah to be
chosen as the next king of Malaysia by the Council of Rulers, who will chose a
new king on January 24.
is a constitutional monarchy with a unique arrangement where the national
throne changes hands every five years between rulers of the country’s nine
states. Pahang state is due to provide the next ruler.
country was thrown into shock Sunday when reigning king Sultan Muhammad V
abdicated unexpectedly after just two years of rule, following reports that he
married an ex-beauty queen in Russia in November during a purported two-month
medical leave. The abdication was the first for the country since its
independence from British rule in 1957.
officials have not commented on the reported wedding, or said what condition
prompted the former king to take the leave.
Abdullah Shah, 59, is a popular figure in the sports scene and is currently president
of the Asian Hockey Federation and a council member of football’s world
governing body, FIFA.
their role is ceremonial, Malaysia’s royalty command great respect, especially
from Malaysia’s predominantly Muslim Malays, and criticising them is regarded
of the king and queen adorn government buildings throughout the country. The
king is also the symbolic head of Islam in the nation, as well as the nominal
chief of the military.
sultans trace a lineage back to the Malay sultanates of the 15th century. The
king is referred to as Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or "He Who Is Made
has been stepped up for leaders of Indonesia's anti-corruption agency following
a terror threat in which unknown assailants left what appeared to be bombs
outside their homes on Jan. 9.
least one petrol bomb was also reportedly thrown at one of their homes.
bag containing materials resembling bomb components, such as detonators,
cables, nails, and pipes, was found outside the Bekasi, West Java house of
Corruption Eradication Commission chairman Agus Rahardjo. It was later made
safe by the bomb squad.
remains of two Molotov cocktails were also found at the house of the
commission's deputy chairman, Laode Muhammad Syarif in South Jakarta where one
of them exploded.
said that he observed suspicious people near his home earlier that morning on
his security cameras.
apparent threat against the anti-graft officials sparked concern from religious
leaders and anti-corruption campaigners.
Paulus Christian Siswantoko, executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishops'
Commission for Laity said the incident appeared to be a message from people
worried about the commission's recent effort to eradicate corruption, which has
put many officials behind bars.
goal is to weaken the fight against corruption. If the attackers can frighten
the commission's leaders, they will emerge victorious," he told
commission recently revealed that it has successfully investigated 178 alleged
corruption cases over the last few years, which involved hundreds of local
leaders, lawmakers, and businessmen.
case involved former parliament speaker Setya Novanto, who was jailed for 15
years last year for his role in a $170 million corruption scandal.
International said in a statement that all those concerned about the security
and prosperity of Indonesia should condemn the bomb threat against the two
is essential that the commission is able to carry out its activities without
fear or intimidation," said Delia Ferreira Rubio, the group's chairwoman.
Topan Husodo, coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch linked the threat to a
previous attack in which a senior commission investigator, Novel Baswedan, was
seriously injured in an acid attack in April 2017.
these attacks are left unpunished, the lives of more people could be endangered
which could weaken the fight against corruption in the long run," he said.
spokesman Febri Diansyah, said appropriate measures were being taken to improve
security in the wake of the incident.
will improve security measures where necessary," he said.
LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Umno MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina disregarded non-Muslim
sensitivities by calling for state action over a building in Jelutong that has
been lit up like a cross, Bukit Tengah assemblyman Gooi Hsiao Leung said today.
slammed the Kepala Batas MP for turning a non-issue into a racial and religious
if the building was lighted up like a cross intentionally (which I believe was
not the case), I see nothing wrong with it, as everyone should be free to
express their own religious affinity publicly and openly without fear and or
having to do so in hiding,” Gooi said in a statement.
was not a case where someone had, with deliberate provocation, erected a cross
in front of a kampong, mosque or a Muslim cemetery to hurt the feelings of
was absolutely nothing to suggest that this incident was carried out with any
deliberate intention to provoke the sensitivities of Muslims in the first
place, and hence it is a non-issue to call on the authorities to take
corrective action on the matter. This matter should just end there,” added the
PKR state lawmaker.
image of a cross formed by lights in a building in Jelutong has caused
consternation among some residents in the surrounding area and it is understood
that they have also lodged a police report on the matter.
(BLOOMBERG) - Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is proposing
deep tax cuts to stimulate South-east Asia's largest economy, copying the
playbook successfully used by US President Donald Trump.
and his running mate Sandiaga Uno will lower company and individual taxes by
between 5 and 8 percentage points over five years and widen the tax-to-gross
domestic product ratio to at least 16 per cent from about 11 per cent,
according to Anthony Budiawan, a member of the pair's election campaign team.
taxes will lead to greater compliance and allow the government to cut its
borrowings to fund its budget, he said.
economy has taken centre stage in Indonesia's presidential election campaign,
with Subianto targeting incumbent Joko Widodo's policy of adding to record
government debt to finance building roads, ports and dams worth billions.
swelling of government debt and its high foreign ownership were factors in a
market sell-off last year, which saw the rupiah tumble to levels not seen since
the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
corporate tax is one of the most expensive in the region," Rizal Ramli, a
former finance minister, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday.
tax rates will make Indonesia more competitive."
now has a top personal income tax rate of 30 per cent and a corporate tax rate
of 25 per cent.
is taking on President Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, in a rematch of the
2014 election, which he narrowly lost to the former furniture businessman and
the first non-elite to occupy the presidential office.
former general has picked Uno, a business-savvy former private equity investor,
and has blamed the high public debt and slump in the currency as examples of
Jokowi's mismanagement of the economy.
elected, Prabowo will also introduce a progressive individual tax rate, with
the rich paying more to ensure a more equitable society, Budiawan said. A cut
of between 5 and 8 percentage points in corporate tax can boost economic growth
by as much as 0.7 percentage point a year in the short term and deliver a 1
percentage point increase in the tax-to GDP-ratio, said Harryadin Mahardika,
another member of Prabowo's economic team.
Jokowi's government has failed to increase the tax ratio despite introducing an
amnesty plan while it continued to rely on revenue from commodities and debt to
finance the budget, a Prabowo administration will overhaul the tax bureaucracy
to make it more efficient, Mahardika said.
understands the capability of Prabowo and Sandi. They are entrepreneurs and
know what they are doing," Mahardika said. "The current
administration gives false hope. We won't do that. We can make Indonesia great
again as Prabowo said."
who came into office promising to deliver annual growth of 7 per cent, is set
to miss the target by a wide margin as the economy has expanded at about 5 per
cent during his tenure.
the incumbent enjoys a lead of 20 percentage points in opinion polls over
Prabowo after he created millions of new jobs and spent billions of dollars to
add roads, ports and airports to cut logistic costs in the archipelago.
incumbent, who's paired with Ma'ruf Amin, a conservative Muslim cleric, will
focus on fiscal and structural reform and development of manufacturing and
export-oriented industries to create more jobs, according to Jokowi's election
Prabowo-Uno combination will also involve more private sector participation and
end the dominance of state-owned enterprises in projects and opt for more multilateral
free-trade agreements than bilateral pacts.
pair's agenda also includes more protection for certain local industries like
Trump has done. Mahardika said Uno will act as an economic ambassador
travelling the world to further Indonesia's trade and economic interests.
of Prabowo's economic plan include pledges to:
Reduce reliance on palm oil for bioenergy and tap about 10 million hectares of
available land to produce crops that can make ethanol
Tourism, energy and creative industries to be opened up for private investment
Promote industrialisation and ensure backward and forward linkage
Army Fortifies Military Bases in Raqqa, Aleppo Despite Trump's Call for Troops
Pullout from Syria
London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday
that a US military convoy comprising 150 military and armored vehicles as well
as logistic equipment of the US-led coalition forces moved towards al-Jalbieh
Base in Northern Raqqa and Ain al-Arab (Kobani) military base in Northeastern
SOHR dismissed media reports that the US Army withdrew from part of its troops
from Syria on Friday, and said the US military bases in Eastern Syria and along
the Iraq-Syria borders are only witnessing troops' replacement.
news comes as the US-led anti-ISIL coalition forces Spokesman Sean Ryan said on
Friday that the US Army has started the retreat from Syria.
a similar report last Monday, the SOHR said the US had dispatched hundreds of
military trucks comprising weapons and military equipment to Deir Ezzur
province in Eastern Syria since President Donald Trump declared his decision to
withdraw troops from the country.
SOHR said that a military convoy comprising a sum of 150 trucks carrying cars
and logistic military equipment has been dispatched to the regions under the
control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) specially on Eastern Euphrates
from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
SOHR noted that it was the third US military convoy sent to Syria after Trump's
decision on exit of the American troops from Syria, and said that a total
number of 500 trucks containing weapons and military equipment have been
dispatched to Eastern Syria so far.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Arabic-language Xeber 24 news website
affiliated to the Kurds reported that a large military convoy, consisting of
120 trucks carrying weapons and military equipment have arrived at al-Shadadi
base in Hasaka province.
added that despite US President Donald Trump's claims of withdrawing troops
from Syria, the American military men are still in their bases and no soldier
has left the region.
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that
withdrawal of the US heavy military vehicles from Eastern Euphrates towards
Iraq has not yet been monitored officially.
SOHR reported that the Turkish media reports sating that the US has withdrawn
its forces from a base at the Syrian-Iraqi-Turkish border were related to the
US forces' traffic between Syria and Iraq.
SOHR had also reported on Sunday that a long convoy of almost 200 US army
trucks, carrying weapons, munitions and logistical equipment, left the US bases
in Iraq on Saturday and arrived in coalition bases in Raqqa, Manbij and Ein
Issa in Northeastern Syria.
the meantime, the Kurdish militia reported that the trucks arrived in the town
of Amouda and left then for the US-run bases in Northeastern Syria, adding that
the arms and ammunition cargo is to be delivered to the SDF.
convoy arrived after the US military decided to withdraw from Syria but leave
the SDF armed in the region.
is trying hard to prevent the talks between the Damascus government and Kurdish
forces from bearing fruits," the Arabic-language Russia Today (RT) quoted
Rizan Hodu as saying on Saturday.
he said Syrian-Kurdish talks are underway under a positive atmosphere.
also former media advisor of the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin
region of Aleppo province, said that US Special Envoy to Syria James Franklin
Jeffrey in several messages to the Kurdish forces in Northern Syria has advised
them show no haste for holding talks with the Damascus government.
Kurdish politician, meantime, pointed to the imminent developments as reported
by Jeffrey in favor of the Kurdish troops in Syria in the near future,
specially after an upcoming NATO Summit in February, and said, "Jeffrey in
his messages has pointed to the imposition of a no-fly zone in Northern Syria."
described the US officials' remarks as worrying, and warned negotiators that
any delay in decision-making will be harmful to the Council of the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) and the YPG.
relevant remarks last Friday, Kurdish sources warned that Washington's decision
to withdraw the US forces from Eastern Euphrates does not mean losing the card
to pressure Damascus as Washington aims to resurrect the ISIL terrorist group
at the Iraqi-Syrian borders.
US aims to revive the ISIL at the strategic region of Eastern Euphrates,
specially at the common borders of Syria and Iraq to cut the contacts between
the two countries and other members of the resistance front; this issue has
been one of the US strategic goals since the start of war against Syria in
2011," the sources were quoted as saying by the Arabic-language al-Akhbar
Americans have claimed that their deployment in Eastern Euphrates is aimed at
fighting against the ISIL and supporting their Kurdish allies, but in practice
Washington has left the Kurds without any support against the ISIL, said the
report came as the Syrian army forwarded more troops and military equipment to
the Eastern deserts of Deir Ezzur last Wednesday, preparing for a large-scale
operation to hunt down the remaining pockets of the ISIL terrorists.
army dispatched the 4th Division and a part of Presidential Guard Forces to the
Eastern desert of Syria from the small town of al-Dowayer up to the town of
al-Hari near border with Iraq in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
army's main objective is restoring sustainable security to the borders with
is attempting to clearly declare its military presence in Iraq by patrolling
missions near Samarra, Fallujah and al-Anbar," Hashim al-Kandi told the
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Saturday.
said the fact that US Deputy Commander in Iraq Austin Rim Furth conductts
patrol in Baghdad along with the US forces, and that US Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo arrived in Iraq on a military plane indicates Washington's attempts to
occupy the country again, saying that Pompeo and Trump's trip to Iraq showed
that the US has no intention of playing an advisory or training role.
analyst said that the recent talks between Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel
Abdul Mahdi were focused on the US forces' withdrawal from Syria and finding a
new base for them, adding that relocation of these forces to Iraq will endanger
its security as Washington plans to threaten the neighboring states from Iraq.
relevant remarks last Saturday, a senior Iraqi lawmaker disclosed that Israel's
intelligence forces had arrived in Baghdad along with the US troops.
intelligence forces have been witnessed patrolling with the US troops in
Baghdad," al-Maloumeh quoted member of Iraqi Parliament's National
Security and Defense Committee Karim Alivi Javish as saying.
Javish reiterated that the Iraqi Parliament's National and Defense Committee
would probe the US troops' presence in the Iraqi capital.
600 people were evacuated Saturday from ISIS’s remaining holdout in eastern
Syria, a monitor said, as US-backed fighters prepare for a final assault on the
than 600 people, mainly women and children, were evacuated on 25 buses sent” by
the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights said.
head Rami Abdel Rahman said that several dozen extremist fighters were among
those evacuated to areas held by the Kurdish-Arab alliance.
SDF, backed by air strikes from a US-led coalition, in September launched an
offensive to oust ISIS from the rump of the once-sprawling “caliphate” it
proclaimed in 2014.
Rahman said some 16,000 people, including 760 ISIS fighters, have fled the area
since the start of December.
“this is the first time that buses have been provided by the SDF and
coalition”, he said, suggesting a potential deal had been struck between the
United Nations said Friday that overall some 25,000 people have fled the
violence over the last six months as the die-hard extremists have battled to
defend their dwindling bastions.
estimated 2,000 civilians remain trapped in the area around the town of Hajin,
the UN said.
US-led coalition on Saturday fired over 20 missiles against extremist
positions, the Observatory said.
monitor said some 300 SDF combatants had deployed near the village of Sousa in
preparations for a final assault.
fight to eliminate the remaining pockets of ISIS has been shaken by President
Donald Trump’s shock December announcement that he is withdrawing US troops
police killed six suspected extremists in a shootout early Saturday in the
country’s south, the interior ministry said.
clashes broke out during a police raid on a militant hideout in a mountainous
area on the edge of the southern province of Sohag, some 460 kilometres (285
miles) south of Cairo, the ministry said in a statement.
seized weapons and ammunition, it added.
operation is part of “the interior ministry’s efforts to confront terrorist
organizations aiming to undermine security and stability” in Egypt, it said.
has been battling an Islamist insurgency following the 2013 ouster of Islamist
President Mohammed Morsi, who was forced out by the military in the face of
mass protests against his rule.
have largely been concentrated in the turbulent northern Sinai region, but have
also taken place elsewhere across the country.
head of a foreign-backed Syrian opposition group says he is ready to visit
Damascus for talks with the government after reports that the US has started
its withdrawal from the country.
Jarba, leader of Cairo-based Tomorrow Movement, made the announcement during a
visit to Baghdad, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television channel reported on Sunday.
said he expected the Iraqi government to help establish dialog with Syrian
authorities,” the channel said, citing Jarba.
group supports tribal militants within the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) which is mostly comprised of Kurdish militants armed and equipped by the
initiative that he plans to suggest to the Syrian government envisages the
creation of tribal groups to protect the border with Iraq following the
withdrawal of US military forces from Syria,” al-Mayadeen added.
President Donald Trump last month unexpectedly announced his plan to withdraw
troops from Syria, with US military spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan announcing on
Friday that the pullout had begun.
officials later said the US military had started withdrawing some equipment,
but not yet troops, amid continuing confusion over Washington's claims to
disengage from the complex war which it has helped to drag on.
and many of its Western and regional allies have been supporting militant and
terrorist groups in a bid to topple the Syrian government since 2011.
however, has decisively pushed against the violent outfits with the help of its
allies, most notably Russia and Iran as well as Lebanon's Hezbollah.
combined effort has reversed the trend of the conflict in favor of the Arab
country, which has now re-established control over much of the territories held
calls by Syrian Kurds for a deal with the Syrian government regardless of US
plans to withdraw could mark perhaps the most important milestone in the war if
negotiations bore fruit.
a deal is reached, the two biggest chunks of Syria splintered by seven years of
war will be pieced together, leaving only a small corner in the northwest in
the hands of Turkish-backed militants.
was among the organizers of the first round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva in
2014, and supported the idea of holding the Congress of the Syrian National
Dialog, which took place in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi last
request to go to Damascus came after Saudi-backed militant groups called on
world nations to stop rebuilding ties with the government of Syrian President
al-Hariri, the head of the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said
this month he was surprised that some Arab leaders who used to support
anti-Assad forces, were seeking reconciliation with Damascus.
month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir became the first Arab head of state to
pay an official visit to Damascus and sit down for talks with Assad.
currently has very intimate relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates and many analysts believe he would not have visited Damascus without
coordinating it with Riyadh.
declaring clear enmity towards Tehran from the Egyptian capital, Pompeo aims to
draw Egypt and the Persian Gulf littoral states into a war against Iran and he,
hence, referred to the US withdrawal from Syria to entrap the Arabs,"
Hatam Noaman was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Misryon as saying on
called on the Egyptian officials, including President al-Sisi, and the foreign
ministry to protest at Pompeo's remarks as well as his comments that the ISIL
is present in the Sinai peninsula.
said that the US policies are prone to no change for partisan differences
between the Democrats and Republicans as they see such policies in line with
a speech at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo delivered a scathing rebuke
of the Obama administration’s Mideast policies on Thursday as he denounced the
former president for “misguided” and “wishful” thinking that according to him
diminished America’s role in the region, harmed its longtime friends and
emboldened its main foe, Iran.
US withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and
imposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Zayed Al Nahyan and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan
during his visit to the country on Saturday.
was greeted at Abu Dhabi International Airport by the UAE's Minister of State
Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh and US Charge d'Affaires Steven Bondy.
diplomat flew in to Abu Dhabi from Manama and has already visited Amman, Cairo,
Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital of Erbil, as part of his ongoing
tour in the Middle East which Washington believes is “critical” to confronting
Iran and extremist groups.
leaders discussed ways to expand bilateral ties, including trade and
investment. The Secretary thanked the Crown Prince and the foreign minister for
the United Arab Emirates’ engagement on critical regional issues, including
achieving lasting peace in Yemen,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert
will also visit the other four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council - Qatar,
Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened to “expel” all Iranian forces in
Syria, describing Washington’s declared troop withdrawal from Syria as a
“tactical change” of its mission to counter Iran’s influence in the Arab
country amid bolstering American military presence in the region.
Saturday in the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi as part of an anti-Iran
regional lobbying tour, Pompeo insisted that the US troop withdrawal bid from
Syria was a “tactical change” and that the American mission to counter Iranian
influence there remained the same.
top US diplomat had earlier vowed in a speech in the Egyptian capital Cairo
that the US would “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria, where American
troops have reportedly begun a force withdrawal as US military presence in the
region has been expanded to purportedly support the pull-out process.
an ambitious objective, but it is ours, and it is our mission,” Pompeo admitted
in his Thursday remarks at the American University in Cairo, further vowing
that “our airstrikes in the region will continue as targets arise."
to persisting disagreements between the US and Turkey over the American backing
of Syria-based Kurdish terrorists, Pompeo claimed: “We recognize the Turkish
people’s right to defend their country from terrorists, but we also know that
those ... who are not terrorists and fighting alongside us for all this time
deserve to be protected.”
are many details to be worked out but I am optimistic we can achieve a good
outcome,” he further added during a Saturday press briefing while ties between
the two NATO allies have been deteriorating over the US backing of Kurdish YPG
militants, who Turkey regards as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers
also unveiled that Washington’s envoy for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, had traveled to
northeast Syria this week and would soon visit Ankara for talks on a variety of
issues, including the UN-led political process to end the foreign-backed
conflict in Syria, hinting that talks between Damascus and the Syrian Kurds
could be part of a wider political solution.
US military buildup in region
development came as US press reports said the American troop withdrawal from
Syria had begun amid what they described as “a precautionary buildup of US
forces in the region” amid renewed threats from Turkey about waging an
offensive against Washington-backed, mostly Kurdish militants labeled as Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF).
to a report by the US-based military.com news outlet, The Kearsarge Amphibious
Ready Group (ARG), carrying nearly 2,000 US Marines from the 22nd Marine
Expeditionary Unit (MEU), has been deployed in the Mediterranean “to guard
against any threats to the withdrawal.”
further noted that the ARG -- which includes the 22nd MEU, the amphibious
assault ship Kearsarge, the amphibious transport dock Arlington and the dock
landing ship Fort McHenry -- entered the 6th Fleet's area of operations,
including the Mediterranean, last month.
with the Kearsarge ARG, we look forward to training with allied and partner
military forces while also providing versatile, amphibious response options to
our combatant commanders as we face myriad global challenges," said the
22nd MEU Commander Colonel Michael Perez in a statement as quoted in the
the report added, US warplanes from aircraft carrier USS Stennis -- currently
deployed in the Persian Gulf -- were flying missions over Syria and Iraq.
is while the UK-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which
claims to use a network of frontline activists to monitor the Syrian conflict,
reported that nearly 10 US armored vehicles and several trucks pulled out of
the northeastern Syria town of Rmelan on Thursday night and crossed into Iraq.
for the US regional command -- Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent
Resolve -- Colonel Sean Ryan, announced on Friday that the US had begun
"the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria."
of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines,
locations or troop movements," he added.
AP report citing an unnamed American defense official, also pointed out that
the pullout thus far has involved only equipment and not the estimated 2,000 US
troops currently stationed in Syria.
beginning of the US withdrawal followed a Tuesday meeting in Ankara between the
US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford and his Turkish counterpart
General Yasar Guler as well as Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
readout of the meeting from the Joint Staff said that Dunford, Guler and Akar
"discussed the security situation in Syria, the completion of the Manbij
roadmap [on security cooperation], and the deliberate, coordinated effort to
withdraw US ground forces from Syria."
have no problems with our Kurdish brothers, Arab brothers in Syria, Turkmens
and other ethnic and religious groups. Our only targets are terrorists, Daesh
(ISIL) and PKK/YPG," Akar reportedly said after the meeting.
threatens offensive if US delays pull-out
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened earlier in the week that
Ankara would carry out the long-planned offensive against the YPG, regardless
of the US withdrawal pace.
the [withdrawal] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring
Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision,"
Cavusoglu added as quoted by local news station NTV.
President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on December 19 that all American
troops in Syria would be withdrawn from the Arab country.
initially indicated that the withdrawal would be quick but has since stated
that it would be "slow and coordinated" with allies.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed doubt on Friday
that the US would continue with its declared withdrawal plan.
US military has begun moving non-essential gear out of Syria but is not
withdrawing troops for now, defence officials said amid uncertainty over
America's planned exit from the war-battered nation.
Donald Trump last month claimed that ISIS had been defeated in Syria and said
all US troops were "coming back now."
in the weeks since he gave the order, and the Pentagon began to implement it,
Mr Trump himself and members of his administration have delivered mixed
messages about when a troop withdrawal may actually occur.
Trump's national security advisor John Bolton on Sunday announced conditions
for a withdrawal that appeared to delay it indefinitely.
to the confusion, a military spokesman said the US had already begun "the
process of our deliberate withdrawal" from Syria.
Friday, Pentagon spokesman Cmdr Sean Robertson said that Operation Inherent Resolve
"is implementing the orderly withdrawal of forces from northeast Syria
within a framework coordinated across the US government."
withdrawal, Cmdr Robertson said, "is based on operational conditions on
the ground, including conversation with our allies and partners, and is not be
subject to an arbitrary timeline."
added: "For purposes of operational security, we will not discuss specific
troop movements or timelines.
we will confirm that there has been no redeployment of military personnel from
Syria to date. The mission has not changed."
defence officials said the withdrawal was only of certain types of gear, and
are not withdrawing troops at this stage," one US defence official said.
second US defence official said that the military had conducted a number of
preparations for a deliberate withdrawal.
includes planning for the moving of people and equipment, preparation of
facilities to accept retrograde equipment," the official said, noting that
no troops had been withdrawn.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK based war monitor, reported earlier
that the US-led coalition in Syria had started scaling down its presence at
Rmeilan airfield in the Hasakeh province of northeastern Syria.
the first defence official said this was merely part of a regular troop
US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as
in neighbouring Iraq, where Mr Trump has said American forces will remain.
coalition, which also includes countries such as France and Britain, was formed
in mid-2014 to counter ISIS, which had seized swathes of Iraq and Syria and
proclaimed a "caliphate."
strikes and special forces have played key roles in efforts to claw back the
territory lost to ISIS.
Kurdish-led group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, is currently flushing the
jihadists from the last pockets of land they control in the Euphrates River
battle against die-hard militants in remote areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border
and the hunt for ISIS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world's most wanted
man, could last indefinitely.
start of the drawdown coincided with a Middle East tour by US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo, who insisted in Cairo on Thursday that the withdrawal would
go ahead despite widespread criticism.
the same day, however, Mr Pompeo said in a speech that "when America
retreats, chaos often follows."
Bolton's conditions for a withdrawal included the defeat of ISIS in Syria and
guarantees for the safety of Washington's Kurdish allies, who have been
threatened with an imminent offensive by Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labelled Mr Bolton's comments unacceptable and a
People's Protection Units (YPG), which have spearheaded ground operations
against ISIS in Syria, are an offshoot of the Kurdish PKK, which has waged an
insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
considers the YPG a terrorist movement and has repeatedly threatened to move
into Syria to create a buffer zone along the border.
group has already started reaching out to Damascus and its Russian sponsor.
Russian Military Police were reportedly seen on the ground in the contentions
SDF held town of Manbij last week.
of Trump's decision, including within his own Republican party, have said a
precipitous withdrawal would shatter US policy in Syria and allow ISIS to
have also argued that it would further allow Syrian regime ally Iran to extend
its influence across the country and potentially threaten Israel.
Congressman Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, blasted
the withdrawal plans.
Trump Administration's foreign policy is as deeply flawed in its conception as
it is dangerously incompetent in its execution," Mr Schiff said on
Mr Trump has said he wants a withdrawal to be coordinated, gradual and
"prudent," observers have stressed that his announcement was having
the same impact as a withdrawal itself.
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