photo: Warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani was once aligned with the US ( AP )
Graduate Joins Hizbul Ranks; Biggest Jihad Is To Serve Elderly Parents, Family
Imran Khan Govt, Religious Minorities Remain Discriminated Against
Are The Haqqanis, Afghanistan's Most Feared Insurgents?
Qaeda Trying To Regain Primacy As Islamic State Loses Ground: NATO
Condemned For Saying Islam 'Has No Place in Britain'
Civil Code: Why Law Panel’s Recommendations Seem Like ‘Political Opinion’
Dismisses ‘Truce Call’ Report Of Pakistan Army Chief Reaching Out To Delhi
‘TTP Militants’ Killed In Shootout
asks Afghanistan to avoid destructive comments
New President Arif Alvi Has an Interesting Indian Connect
hopeful to find common ground with new government in Islamabad
will not bow to extremists': Govt hits back after vicious campaign targets Atif
top brass discusses geo-stragetic environment, Radd-ul-Fasaad
says Alvi must ensure supremacy of constitution
Haqqani’s Death Not to Affect the Activities of the Network: Former Afghan
commanders, security personnel among 19 killed, wounded in Baghlan clashes
Taliban militants join peace process in Nangarhar
court refuses to hear photographer’s case
Charitable Trust case: Court to try Khaleda in old Dhaka jail
Dismisses Trump Warning On Syria's Idlib
warns Syria not to 'recklessly attack' Idlib province
Heads to Pakistan to Take on Terrorism, Seek 'Reset'
Journalist: Trump Wanted To Assassinate Assad after Chemical Attack
Trump to chair UN Security Council meeting on Iran
Urges Putin, Erdogan to Talk Urgently To Avert Idlib ‘Bloodbath’
chief diplomat to quit after struggle with Iran nuclear deal
may lose billions of taxpayer money over Qatar military deal: Report
Million Iraqis Return Home after War on ISIS
King's Brother Blames Monarch, Heir for Devastating Yemen Conflict
Union of Muslim Scholars official faces 37 charges
prosecutors demand death penalty for jailed moderate Sunni preacher
Army Discovers Israeli, German Arms in Terrorists' Positions in Quneitra
Zayed Grand Mosque among World's Most Impressive
Army Keeps Rolling on ISIL's Centres in Sweida Deserts
Bodies of Civilians Killed in US Air Raids Found in Northeastern Syria
forces kill six protesters in southern city of Basra
police arrest man with homemade bomb near US embassy
Powerless To Stop Shariah Caning, Law Minister Says After Lesbians Whipped
blasts intimidation against Muslim preacher Abdul Somad
are powering the nation
Future of US-Indonesia Defense Ties Under Trump
Territory Is Under Boko Haram – Buratai
Chad Will No Longer Be Boko Haram Safe Haven’
Set to Finally Open World’s 3rd Largest Mosque Built at a Cost Of $2 Bln
Conference on Boko Haram rakes in $2.52bn
says death toll from Tripoli clashes climbs to 50
Jordan rejects a confederation with Palestine
of African migrants flee detention center in Tripoli chaos — aid official
our Allies to Fight Terrorism in Africa
FM Vows Bids to Drive Terrorists Out Of Syria's Idlib with Least Humanitarian
Army Gives Ammunition, Money to Terrorists in Golan Heights
summit expected to seal fate of Syria's Idlib
foes head to peace talks as ‘ugly war’ rages
army experts, Hezbollah fighters killed in battle with Yemeni army
warns against missile strikes during upcoming Idlib liberation operation
Aviv carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria in last two years, Israel admits
army, allies hit Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Jizan border region
by New Age Islam News Bureau
graduate joins Hizbul ranks; Biggest jihad is to serve elderly parents, family
A 29-year-old MBA graduate in Jammu and Kashmir has joined the ranks to terror
outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, with his family asking him to shun the path of
violence and return home.
picture of Haroon Abbas Wani with an AK-47 rifle has gone viral on social media
recently, indicating his joining the terror group on Saturday. Wani is a
resident of Ghat area of Doda district and a master of business administration
degree holder from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra. He was working for
a private company.
Army has also assured all possible help to Wani if he comes back, a senior
family was in shock when they saw pictures on social media of the youth holding
AK-47 rifles and appealed to him to return home.
family has made a passionate appeal for his return. "The biggest jihad is
to serve elderly parents. There is no need for jihad as we are happy," his
aunt said in a video message, adding that his decision had left them ashamed.
"Your mother and father has fallen sick and they need you very badly. Please
uncle, Farooq Ahmad Wani, said he was very good at studies and gave no inkling
of his joining the terror group ever. He was working in a private company in
Jammu and "we are unable to understand who lured him into this path".
on the issue, Maj. Gen. Rajiv Nanda, general officer commanding (GOC), Delta
Force, said, "Yesterday, we came to know about Wani joining a terror
group... I hope good sense will prevail upon him and he will return to
he returns, we are there to help him. We can guide him but it's he, who has to
choose path for him."
said Wani was not at his native village, but at Jammu since the last two-three
years and it could not be immediately known who motivated and misguided him to
join militant ranks.
youth belongs to an educated family and has put them to a lot of trouble (by
his decision). I was moved to see the video of his ailing mother and other
family members on social media, who are begging him to return back as his
brother's marriage is scheduled on the 9th of this month," the army
has been prevalent in the valley since the late 1990s, with youth picking up
arms in the name of fighting oppression by the Indian Army.
July, 25-year-old Abid Hussain Bhat, who also belongs to Doda, reportedly
joined militants ranks, two months prior to which a student of Class 10
belonging to Khanyar locality of the Kashmir Valley also joined militancy.
rejected possibilities of the incident influencing other youths, saying it was
a "stray incident". "Although we are keeping a close eye on the
recent development but there are no reports that it has impacted overall
scenario or influenced any other youth."
In yet another incident of brazen discrimination against religious minorities,
Pakistan Rangers, the main paramilitary force that guards country's borders
with India, recently in its job advertisement, offered menial jobs only to
ad published on August 26 in Dawn, Pakistan's national English daily with
liberal leanings, went viral on social media, inviting online criticism and
outrage. The Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) sought recruits for a variety of positions
ranging from sub-inspector to sepoys but the "non-combatant" jobs
like "sanitary workers" and "bootmaker", were meant only
similar advertisement for jobs in Sheikhupura in Punjab was published last
is a standard ad, which has been appearing in newspapers since decades,
reflecting the deep-rooted discriminatory mindset of authorities towards
minorities. Offering sanitation jobs to Christians and Hindus is a prime
example of institutional discrimination against religious minorities,"
Ismat Shahjehan, a prominent Pakistani rights activist, told TOI.
Muslim-majority Pakistan, religious minorities have to struggle even for
low-level jobs in the public sector. Their abysmal poverty and lack of decent
opportunities in government continue to incessantly place them at the bottom of
the socioeconomic ladder. Government institutions have reserved menial jobs
specifically for them for the last several decades.
a landmark ruling in 2014, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had mandated a quota
system, with five per cent of government jobs set aside for religious
minorities in Pakistan. The rule, according to rights groups, is rarely
enforced. Even when it is, the reserved jobs are often found only in the
sectors not seen as desirable by the mainstream Muslim society.
Salamat, chairman of the Rwadari Tehreek, a social movement launched in 2015 to
counter intolerance and discrimination against minorities in Pakistan, said,
"Nothing concrete has been done by authorities to stop this unfair and bigoted
to several historians, since Pakistan was created in the name of religion,
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had appointed Jogendra Nath
Mandal, a Hindu, and Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, an Ahmadi, as ministers, to minimize
religious conflict. But soon after Jinnah's death, the nature of governance
changed quickly, and in 1949, the first Prime Minister of the country Liaquat
Ali Khan declared Islam as the state religion. Thereafter, religion took
centre-stage in Pakistani society through state policies and its direct
interventions. As a result, the status of non-Muslims as equal citizens began diminishing.
1956, the country adopted the name "Islamic Republic of Pakistan",
further cornering minorities. However, with the process of "Islamisation"
introduced and stringently enforced by the military dictator General Muhammad
Zia-ul-Haq, the process of discrimination against non-Muslims was
Taliban announced Tuesday the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former CIA asset
whose eponymous militant group is now considered one of the most dangerous
factions fighting Afghan and US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Haqqani network was founded by Jalaluddin, an Afghan mujahideen commander
fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s with the help of the United States
a Taliban affiliate, it is blamed for some of the most shocking and brutal
attacks across Afghanistan since the US invasion of 2001. Designated a terror
group by Washington, targeting it is one of the top US priorities in the
suspected of links to Pakistan's shadowy military establishment, the network
was described by US Admiral Mike Mullen in 2011 as a "veritable arm"
of Pakistani intelligence.
gained notoriety for his organisation and bravery during the Afghan conflict of
the 1980s, garnering attention from the CIA and a personal visit from US
congressman Charlie Wilson.
fluent Arabic speaker, Jalaluddin also fostered close ties with Arab jihadists,
including Osama bin Laden, who flocked to the region during the war. Later,
Jalaluddin became a minister in the Taliban regime.
is believed to have been ill for several years. The network has been led by his
son Sirajuddin, who doubles as the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader, for some
Haqqanis are known for their heavy use of suicide bombers. Analysts have long
suspected them of being behind some high-profile attacks in Kabul that have
been claimed by the Islamic State group in recent years.
many spectacular assaults, they were accused of killing around 150 people in
the heart of Kabul with a truck bomb in May 2017 -- though Sirajuddin later
denied the accusation in a rare audio message.
network has also been accused of assassinating top Afghan officials and holding
kidnapped Westerners for ransom.
includes Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman, and their
three children, who were released last year. They also held US soldier Bowe
Bergdahl, who was released in 2014 in exchange for five Afghan Guantanamo Bay
are they now?
the US invasion of Afghanistan, Taliban fighters flooded across the border into
Pakistan, where they regrouped before launching an insurgency against the
included the Haqqanis, who coordinated attacks on NATO from across the border
in their stronghold of Miranshah, the biggest town in North Waziristan, one of
Pakistan's loosely governed tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.
US launched repeated drone attacks against the group, while Pakistan's military
conducted successive clearing operations, though sceptical Afghan officials have
noted they always seemed to miss the Haqqanis.
intensified military operations in North Waziristan in 2014, however, and now
insists that there are no militant safe havens left on Pakistani soil.
militant sources say the pressure forced many of the Haqqanis underground or
over the border into their Afghan strongholds, claims that AFP could not
reports have placed Jalaluddin in Pakistan in recent years. There is no
confirmation yet of where he was when he died.
are they linked to Pakistan?
sees its arch-nemesis to the east, India, as an existential threat, and has
long sought influence over Kabul as a bulwark against New Delhi.
Haqqanis have frequently been accused of targeting Indian installations in Afghanistan,
spurring speculation they were overseen by Pakistani intelligence.
say Pakistan appears to view the Haqqanis and more broadly the Afghan Taliban
as an asset holding India at bay in Afghanistan.
and retired military officials in Islamabad acknowledge privately that having
open channels with the Haqqanis is vital, with many insisting that maintaining
contact is not the same as offering support.
Sirajuddin firmly in charge, Jalaluddin's death may not have much strategic
impact on the network's operations.
which believes Pakistan is playing a double game, has long pressured Islamabad
to crack down on militant groups, with the Haqqanis a top priority. Islamabad
has repeatedly denied the claims.
Saturday, the Pentagon announced it was cancelling $300 million in aid to
Pakistan over its lack of "decisive" action against militant groups.
cut, part of a broader freeze announced by the Trump administration in January,
is seen as another attempt by Washington to bend Pakistan to its will.
analysts have said the moves are too little, too late, and that until the US
addresses Pakistan's fears over India, Islamabad will not shake its support for
any rate, a crackdown on the Haqqanis might not be easy on either side of the
border because of their strong local links in a society where tribal ties
matter more than what outside powers want.
Qaeda trying to regain primacy as Islamic State loses ground: NATO
(Reuters) - Al Qaeda is trying to regain its primacy over international
militancy as Islamic State loses ground, a senior NATO official said on
Tuesday, seeing a potentially increased risk to the West from the groups’
Arndt von Loringhoven, the alliance’s assistant secretary general for
intelligence and security, said Islamic State retained some personnel strength
despite its combat losses, including fresh recruits among women and children.
weakening has provided al Qaeda with an opportunity to attempt to regain its
former status,” Von Loringhoven told a security conference hosted by Israel’s
IDC Herzliya college, using a term for Islamic State.
ISIL-Daesh has occupied the world’s attention for the last four-five year, al
Qaeda has been quietly rebuilding its global networks and capabilities,” he
said, citing activity in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and North
like ISIL-Daesh, al Qaeda’s strategic aim is to regain leadership of
like-minded militants and extremists. The competition for legitimacy,
affiliates and recruits among the two major global extremist groups potentially
increases the terrorism threat to NATO and our partners.”
Qaeda carried out the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, prompting U.S.-led
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. forces killed al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin
Laden, in a Pakistani hideout in 2011. Soon after, Islamic State, which is
guided by a similarly extremist form of Sunni Islam, arose.
State’s fiefdoms in Syria and Iraq have been largely dismantled in recent years
by offensives launched by Damascus and Baghdad with the backing of various
Loringhoven said NATO estimated that Islamic State’s peak strength of around
39,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq had been halved to between 18,000 and 20,000,
most of them dispersed around the two countries and “gone underground”.
very worrisome trend is the group’s concerted effort to use propaganda to
radicalize women and minors, who have emerged as a new target for recruitment
relatively recently,” he said.
trend may have led to increased involvement of women and minors in the planning
and execution of a number of attacks, including in NATO countries,” he said.
the arrest in June of a Tunisian man suspected of planning a ricin attack
Germany, von Loringhoven said militants could increasingly try to turn to
homemade chemical or biological arms or attacks using commercially available
condemned for saying Islam 'has no place in Britain'
leaders have condemned a former South London Synagogue minister for saying
Islam has "no place" in Britain.
a letter to the Jewish News, Rabbi Menahem Lester said he disagreed with Boris
Johnson’s remarks about Muslim women wearing burkas and attacked the paper for
reports it ran criticising the comments.
Johnson had likened women wearing face-coverings to "letter boxes"
and "bank robbers".
Lester said countries that have banned the burka had done so for “good reason.”
wrote: “I am among many who feel Islam has no place in Europe and certainly not
said the burka “represents the imposition of Muslim influence over their
disagree with Boris Johnson- the burka should be banned-but I agree with his
attempt to lighten the atmosphere. The British were once known for their sense
of humour and maybe the Jews also; only Islam is intolerant and has no sense of
humour,” he wrote.
Friedman, executive director of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality said
Rabbi Lester’s comments were “so outrageous I didn't even think it came from a
doesn't take much imagination to think how Jews would feel if the same was said
coarsening of public discourse threatens the very social cohesion on which we
all depend. We really need to take a step back and make sure we are able to
discuss issues in an unemotional manner, free from bigotry.”
Laura Janner-Klausner, Reform Judaism's senior rabbi said: “As a British rabbi
I reject the letter and the statement that Islam has no place in Europe.
strongly believe in our shared destiny as Jews and Muslims.”
added: “We have to remain vigilant. These attitudes that are expressed about
Islam and Muslims will affect Jews and the same with what is said about Jews
will affect Muslims.”
David Mason, of Muswell Hill Synagogue, also condemned the comments.
a rabbi as well as building a strong sense of Jewish identity it is also
important to make sure you protect the identity of others.”
figures in the Jewish community condemned Mr Johnson’s comments, including
Jonathan Goldstein, the chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, who said his
remarks were “totally disgraceful”.
Cohen, the chairman of the London Jewish Forum, said Mr Johnson’s remarks
“should be of grave concern” the Jewish community.
Civil Code: Why law panel’s recommendations seem like ‘political opinion’
Law Commission has made some interesting recommendations in the last few days.
First, it said that a uniform civil code (UCC)—that would end religion-based
personal laws—is neither desirable nor feasible at present. It has also
recommended that legislative steps be initiated to end bigamy among Hindus,
drawing attention to the fact that there have been instances of Hindus
converting to Islam, as bigamy is permitted under Muslim personal laws in the
country. That this happens despite the law being clear that if a man’s first
wife continues to practise and profess the faith other than Islam under which
their marriage was solemnised, then the second married is invalidated despite the
man converting, shows how different personal laws are put to subversive use.
The law panel believes that, instead of UCC, the effort should be to establish
equality within the frameworks of personal laws of each community, by working
on ending discriminatory laws within such frameworks. Banning instant triple
talaq, decriminalising adultery and easing divorce for both genders could be
thought of as such moves.
on the face of it, the law panel’s recommendations seem progressive—it talks
about difference is not always discrimination, rather indicates robustness of
democracy—the fact is there are definite political overtones. The law panel is
an advisory body. What is needed of it is to look at the merits and problems of
having UCC over the current system and advise the government accordingly. The
political effort to generate momentum for implementing a recommendation, should
the government accept it, is the remit of the government of the day. The law
panel’s recommendation seems to be at odds with academics, policy-makers and
civil society representatives of diverse political persuasions who have backed
the idea of a uniform civil code for India. Cultural diversity that the law
panel seems to be batting for must be upheld, but not at the cost of encouraging
discrimination against women, with personal laws providing cover for this.
Dismisses ‘Truce Call’ Report of Pakistan Army Chief Reaching Out To Delhi
Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa tried to reach out to his Indian counterpart, Gen
Bipin Rawat, to initiate talks but was rebuffed, The New York Times reported on
Tuesday, though a person in New Delhi familiar with the matter denied any such
outreach was initiated by Bajwa, seen as “more moderate” on India than his
predecessors, months before Pakistan’s general election on July 25 as the
powerful military was concerned about the country’s international isolation and
faltering economy, the Times reported.
unnamed Western diplomats and a senior Pakistani official, the report described
India’s response to the overture as “tepid”. Pakistan had offered to resume
talks with India on the Kashmir issue, stalled since 2015.
Army officials did not comment when they were asked to respond to the report.
a person familiar with the matter said, “The army is not aware of any such
outreach by the Pakistan Army. It has certainly not happened at the level of
and Rawat served almost simultaneously in a UN peacekeeping mission in Congo
almost a decade ago and get along well, the Times cited diplomats as saying.
Bajwa, who has said conflict between the two sides can only be resolved through
dialogue, “tried to reach out to General Rawat to initiate talks” but the
effort was stymied by what one diplomat called a “system mismatch”.
military controls foreign and security policies, which is not the case in
India. The Indian Army could not “agree to a peace deal without the civilian
government’s approval”, the report said.
report said a key objective for Pakistan in reaching out to India is to “open
barriers” to bilateral trade, which would give Islamabad more access to
regional markets. Pakistan’s military sees the battered economy as a security
threat, because it aggravates insurgencies.
want to move forward and we are trying our best to have good ties with all our
neighbors, including India,” Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry
told the Times.
General Bajwa says, regions prosper, countries don’t. India cannot prosper by
‘TTP militants’ killed in shootout
Three suspected militants were killed in a ‘shootout’ with police in Ittehad
Town on Tuesday as a predawn raid turned into a deadly gun battle.
senior official said a team of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) raided a
hideout in Ittehad Town on intelligence reports about the presence of some
militants associated with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
raid turned into an exchange of gunfire.
the personnel of law-enforcement agencies cordoned off the area, the armed men
attacked them. The attack led to retaliation from our side, which triggered
exchange of gunfire,” said AVCC SP Irfan Bahadur.
an encounter, three militants were killed. When the guns fell silent we
searched the hideout and found explosives, suicide vest, hand grenades and
said though the deceased militants were not identified, the investigators had
reasons to believe that they were associated with the TTP and were planning
terrorist activities during the holy month of Muharram.
bodies have been moved to the Edhi morgue for want of identification after
medico-legal formalities at the Civil Hospital Karachi. The police are trying
to trace their families,” concluded the AVCC SP.
Pakistan on Tuesday dismissed reported comments by Afghan Chief Executive’s
deputy spokesperson Omid Meysam and called for avoiding comments which would
vitiate the existing positive spirit of cooperation of Pak-Afghan bilateral
a statement, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that Pakistan was making
untiring and sincere efforts to promote peace and stability in the region given
its own serious stakes and security concerns, and not in return for any
said improving internal security situation in Afghanistan, which was the source
of regional and international terrorist threats, remains the Afghan
government’s exclusive responsibility together with its international partners.
Pakistan has been wholeheartedly supporting these efforts, the spokesperson
new President Arif Alvi has an interesting Indian connect
newly elected President Dr Arif Alvi shares an interesting connection with
India as his father was a dentist to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal
Nehru, according to the short biography of the President on the website of his
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party.
a close ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of the founding members of
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was elected as the new President of
69-year-old former dentist defeated Pakistan People’s Party candidate Aitzaz
Ahsan and the Pakistan Muslim League-N nominee Maulana Fazl ur Rehman in a
three-way contest to become the 13th president.
a son of Nehru’s dentist is not the only connection that Alvi has with India.
He is yet another Pakistani president whose family migrated to Pakistan from
India after partition.
predecessors Mamnoon Hussain’s family came from Agra and Pervez Musharraf’s
parents migrated from New Delhi.
father Dr Habib ur Rehman Elahi Alvi was a dentist to Nehru before partition,
according to short biography of the new president on the website of his
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party.
Elahi Alvi was a dentist to Jawaharlal Nehru and the family has letters from Mr
Nehru to Dr Alvi in their possession,” according to the website.
whose full name is Dr Arif ur Rehman Alvi, was born in Karachi in 1947 where
his father settled after partition. He inherited the profession of a dentist
from his father who practised dentistry in India before partition and opened a
dental practice in Saddar, Karachi after migration.
father was also connected with the Jinnah family and was made a Trustee of the
trust established by Shirinbai Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam’s siter) to which she gift
all her worldly belongings including the Mohatta Palace in Karachi.
started his political career about five decades ago when he was a student of
de’Montmonrency College of Dentistry, an affiliate of University of Punjab in
Lahore. He was part of the students’ wing of Jamaat-i-Islami and protested
against military ruler Ayub Khan.
one of the protests on the Mall Road in Lahore he was shot and wounded and
still proudly carries a bullet embedded in his right arm as a mark of his
struggle for democracy in Pakistan,” according to the PTI website.
also participated in elections from the platform of Jamaat-i-Islami in 1979 but
lost. Later he became disillusioned with the politics of Jamaat-i-Islami and
joined PTI as its founding member in 1996. He also helped in writing the
Constitution of the new party.
contested his first election for PTI in 1997 but lost it. His affiliation with
the party continued and he steadily rose in its ranks.
was the Secretary-General of the party from 2006 till 2013. In 2013 he was
elected as a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from Constituency
NA-250 Karachi and was re-elected in July 2018.
from his political struggle, Alvi is also through professional dentist.
acquired his dental degree BDS (Dentistry) from de’Montmonrency College of
Dentistry, Lahore and Master of Science degree in Prosthodontics from the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1975 and Master of Science in Orthodontics
in 1984 from University of the Pacific, San Francisco.
1997, Alvi was declared a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. He
was the primary author of the constitution of the Pakistan Dental Association
and has been the elected President of the Pakistan Dental Association.
was also Chairman of the first Pakistan International Dental Conference in 1981
and also elected Chairman of the 28th Asia Pacific Dental Congress.
also served as Dean of the Faculty of Orthodontics of the College of Physicians
and Surgeons Pakistan. In 2006, he was elected as the President of Asia Pacific
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Wednesday he was hopeful to find a
common ground for working with the new government in Islamabad in order to
improve relations between the US and Pakistan.
to media representatives travelling with him to Pakistan, Pompeo said he was visiting
Pakistan to reset bilateral relations.
stop Pakistan; a new leader there. I wanted to get out there at the beginning
of his [Khan's] time in an effort to reset the relationship between the two
countries," he said in his opening statement.
have worked closely with the Pakistanis in my role as CIA [Central Intelligence
Agency] director. Our teams have been working together for a long time. There
are lots of challenges between our two nations for sure, but we’re hopeful that
with the new leadership, we can find common ground and begin to work on some of
our shared problems together,” he added.
who reaches Islamabad later today, said the new Pakistani government has
expressed good-faith intention to improve bilateral ties.
said he was going to Islamabad with the US military chief Gen Joseph Dunford to
have discussions with Pakistani authorities.
also meet with General Bajwa, who we both know, who I’ve met with a number of
times, as well as my counterpart, Foreign Minister [Shah Mehmood] Qureshi,” he
we’ll have three opportunities to walk through the complexity that is this
relationship and hopefully begin to make some progress so that we can get back
to a set of common understandings,” said Pompeo while referring to a possible
meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
that’s really the very straightforward objective. I think it’s important to
meet the new prime minister, Prime Minister Khan, early on in his time in
office,” he said.
journalist reminded the Secretary of State that his trip comes right after the
announcement that the US was cutting $300 million in military aid to Pakistan.
do you think of that as a start-off point for this new relationship that you’re
trying to build?” Pompeo was asked.
this wasn’t news to the Pakistanis. It made a lot of headlines over the last
few days ... but they were told this past summer that they weren’t likely to
get that money,” Pompeo recalled.
the rationale for them not getting the money is very clear. It’s that we
haven’t seen the progress that we need to see from them.”
said the very reason for this trip was to try and articulate what the US
expectation was, what Pakistan could do and the things that they expect the US
to do. “And see if we can’t find a path forward together,” he added.
secretary noted that most of the developments affecting Pak-US relations took
place long before Khan was in power. “I’m hoping we can turn the page and begin
to make progress. But there are real expectations,” he said.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government on Tuesday defended a leading international
academic appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Economic Advisory
Council (EAC), saying that Pakistan "belongs to minorities as much as it
belongs to the majority". The statement came from the Minister of
Information Fawad Chaudhary amidst a vicious online campaign targeting the
academic for his Ahmadiyya faith.
appointment of Dr Atif R. Mian of Princeton University (Department of Member
Economics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy) to the 18-member EAC set
up to advise the government on economic policy was opposed by some individuals
and groups, including Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), who objected to his
social media smear campaign erupted against the economist's appointment, with
many calling for his removal.
large number of detractors, however, showed support for Mian, saying that one's
religion should not factor into their professional qualifications or
a press talk in Islamabad today, Chaudhry asked: "Should there be
restrictions imposed on minorities in Pakistan? Should minorities in Pakistan
be thrown out?"
kind of people say things like this?" Chaudhry wondered. "This is a
man who the entire world is saying will receive a Nobel Peace Prize in the next
five years. He has been appointed to the Economic Advisory Council, not the
Council of Islamic Ideology or something else."
belongs as much to minorities as it does to the majority," he added.
don't think anyone should have objections [to Mian's appointment], and those
who do, they are basically extremists and we will not bow to extremists,"
minorities is our responsibility. It is the religious duty of each Muslim, not
just the government, to protect minorities and respect those that they live
with," Chaudhry said.
also took to Twitter so share a message: "Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah
appointed Sir Zafar Ullah as Foreign minister of Pakistan; we'll follow [the]
principles of Mr Jinnah, not of extremists."
thoughts were echoed by Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari, who tweeted:
"Exactly. Well put indeed. Time to reclaim space for the Quaid's
call-to-attention notice had earlier been submitted in Senate today by
opposition parties against Atif Mian's inclusion to the EAC.
notice bore the signatures of the PML-N, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and the
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party members.
213th Corps Commanders on Tuesday paid a rich tribute to martyrs as the country
prepares to observe upcoming Defence Day, said and Inter-Services Public
Relations (ISPR) statement.
of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa presided over the conference
held at the General Headuarters (GHQ). “213th Corps Commanders’ Conference held
at GHQ presided by General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS),” ISPR
Director General (DG) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.
forum paid rich tribute to [the] martyrs of Pakistan on the eve of Defence and
Martyrs Day 2018.”
statement added that the army top brass discussed the evolving geo-strategic
environment and progress of operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan, Senator Sirajul Haq while congratulating Dr.
Arif Alvi on his election as President of Pakistan has expressed the hope that
he would ensure the supremacy of constitution in the country.
a message of greetings, Siraj ul Haq hoped that Dr Arif Alvi would play his
role as an impartial President and seek the support of all others for the rule
JI chief said that Dr Alvi is not the President of any party but he is the
President of the whole of Pakistan and he would have to come up to the dictates
of his high office.
in a telephonic conversation with the President of the International Muslim
Women Union, Dr Samiha Raheel Qazi on Tuesday, on the occasion of international
Hijab Day, Sirajul Haq said the West is becoming a battle ground of racism,
fascist ideas, hatred and narrow mindedness towards the Muslims is
said the Muslim women had rendered matchless sacrifices to secure the right of
Hijab but the west is denying this right to the Muslim women. Girl students
wearing Hijab and scarf are being expelled from schools and colleges and, the
people ridiculing Islamic signs and symbols were being honoured, he added.
said that the hatred and biased attitude of the West towards Muslim women
negates its own claim of being the champion of women rights.
JI chief lauded the efforts of the International Muslim Women Union for the
promotion of Hijab, as it had created awareness about Hijab all over the world.
He said that the International Hijab Day on September 04 reminded him of a
minor girl who embraced martyrdom in a German court and of a Turkish lady who
lost her citizenship and membership of the parliament for the same cause.
former Afghan Intelligence Chief Rahmatullah Nabil says the death of the
Haqqani network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani will not affect the activities of
an online statement posted in his Twitter account, Nabil said some of the other
leaders of the terror network, including Sirajuddin Haqqani, Khalil Haqqani,
Hamza Haqqani, Yahya Haqqani, Aziz, and some others have been fully trained as
the brutal successor of Jalaluddin Haqqani.
also claimed that Jalaluddin Haqqani has died long ago and disclosure of his
death likel has direct links with the scheduled visit of the Secretary of State
Taliban group issued a statement earlier today confirming that the founder of
the network has died due to the illness he was suffering from during the recent
network was formed in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani. The group is allied
with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist
organizations in the region.
network is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in
North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in
is considered the most lethal insurgent group targeting the NATO-led coalition
security forces and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan.
US Department of State designated the HQN as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
on September 7, 2012.
least 19 people including local Taliban commanders and security personnel were
killed or wounded during the clashes in northern Baghlan province of
Afghanistan. (File Photo)
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said at
least six militants have been killed during the clashes with the security
forces in Lakan village.
statement further added that the clashes broke out amid ongoing operations
being conducted as part of Nawid-15 operations.
to the 209th Shaheen Corps, a local commander of the Taliban group identified
as Qari Jawid is among those killed.
least 11 Taliban militants also sustained injuries during the clashes together
with 2 security personnel whose health condition has been reported as stable,
the 209th Shaheen Corps added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
has been among the relatively calm provinces in the North but the security
situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent years.
group of 11 Taliban militants have joined peace process in eastern Nangarhar
province and handed over eleven various types of weapons to the local
governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the militants were previously
operating under the command of Jalat Khan in Surkh Rod and Khogyani districts.
further added that the militants joined peace process due to the ongoing
efforts of the National Directorate of Security and handed over 11 weapons to
the authorities after joining peace today.
Taliban militants who joined peace process said they decided to renounce
violence after reaching to a conclusion that the victims of the ongoing
conflict are only Afghan people.
also vowed to live peaceful lives after this and contribute in the
reconstruction of the country similar as the other Afghans.
- Award-winning photographer and rights activist Shahidul Alam, whose
month-long detention has triggered an international outcry, failed to win bail
on Tuesday after Bangladesh’s high court refused to consider the request, his
lawyer told AFP.
was arrested on August 5 for making “false” and “provocative” statements on Al
Jazeera and on Facebook Live during massive student protests in Dhaka.
groups, UN rights experts, Nobel laureates and hundreds of academics have
called for the immediate release of the 63-year-old, who says he has been
beaten in custody.
a lower court rejected a bail petition for Alam last month, his lawyers moved
to the high court in Dhaka and a hearing was set for Tuesday.
“the court did not hear the case because one of the judges (said he) felt
embarrassed to hear the case,” lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua told AFP.
said the judge did not give any further explanation.
said Alam’s legal team was now trying to get the case heard by another bench of
the high court.
arrest capped a turbulent month in Bangladesh as teenage students poured onto
the streets for nine straight days after two teenagers were killed by a
had told Al Jazeera that the protests were the result of pent-up anger at
corruption and an “unelected government... clinging on by brute force” that had
looted banks and gagged media.
is being investigated for allegedly violating Bangladesh’s internet laws,
enacted in 2006 and sharpened in 2013, which critics say are used to stifle
dissent and harass journalists.
- whose work has appeared widely in Western media and who founded the renowned
Pathshala South Asian Media Institute - faces a maximum 14 years in jail if
convicted, along with others detained during the protests.
photographer told reporters outside court last month that he had been beaten so
badly in police custody that his tunic needed washing to get the blood out.
York-based Human Rights Watch has demanded his release, denouncing authorities
for targeting activists and journalists instead of prosecuting those who
attacked students when last month’s protests were broken up.
to be heard in institution where BNP chief is serving five-year term
government has set up a temporary court at the old Dhaka central jail to hold
the trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others in the Zia Charitable
Trust corruption case.
Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Dhaka Special Judge Court 5 will begin the trial today
from inside the prison, where Khaleda has been kept since her conviction in
another graft case earlier this year.
gazette notification in this regard was issued by the Law Ministry on Tuesday,
mentioning that the court had been moved to inside the jail due to security
also said the makeshift court will be set up in Room No.7 of the prison’s
lawyers said the decision was made as Khaleda Zia has not been produced before
the makeshift court at Bakshibazar during the hearings of the case, since she
was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.
former prime minister is now serving five years’ imprisonment at the erstwhile
Dhaka central jail on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the Zia Charitable Trust case at Tejgaon
Police Station in August 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing
power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.
three other accused in the case are: Harris Chowdhury, political secretary of
the then prime minister Khaleda between 2001 and 2006; Ziaul Islam Munna,
assistant private secretary to Harris; and Monirul Islam Khan, APS to former
Dhaka city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
calls transfer of court unconstitutional
leaders and Khaleda’s lawyers have protested the court move, describing it as
“unconstitutional” and saying it was done to make sure the BNP chief is never
released from jail.
lawyers also said that the move was against the law.
will be a camera trial, which cannot be held in a case like this. This move is
completely unconstitutional,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
told a press briefing at Khaleda’s Gulshan office on Tuesday evening.
said Khaleda Zia’s trial has been held up to now in a special court set up at
the Dhaka Alia Madrasa premises.
the government is taking the trial inside the jail by issuing a gazette
notification,” he said.
alleged that the government was doing this to establish a one-party rule in the
country. “This kind of activity will impact the upcoming national election. BNP
is taking this very seriously.”
Joint Secretary General Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal told the Dhaka Tribune that
the gazette from the law ministry had been issued in a hurry.
lawyers were always in touch, but even they had no idea that this court was
being set up,” he said. “It’s part of the plan and process to repress the
claimed that the trial of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the Agartala
Conspiracy Case was held the same way, and that his daughter, Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina, has reintroduced it.
lawyer Sanaullah Mia said the government move was against the constitution and
dismisses Trump warning on Syria's Idlib
(Reuters) - The Kremlin dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning to
Syria not to launch an offensive in the rebel-held enclave of Idlib, saying on
Tuesday that the area was a “nest of terrorism”.
on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and
Russia not to “recklessly attack” the northwestern Syrian province, saying
hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.
to speak out with some warnings, without taking into account the very
dangerous, negative potential for the whole situation in Syria, is probably not
a full, comprehensive approach,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
presence of militants in Idlib was undermining the Syrian peace process and
making the region a base for attacks on Russian forces in Syria, Peskov added.
fairly large group of terrorists has settled there and of course this leads to
a general destabilization of the situation. It undermines attempts to bring the
situation onto the track of a political-diplomatic settlement,” he said.
know that Syria’s armed forces are preparing to resolve this problem,” he
resumed air strikes against insurgents in Idlib province on Tuesday after a
hiatus of several weeks, according to a Syrian rebel and a war monitor.
source has told Reuters that Assad is preparing a phased offensive to regain
situation around Idlib will be one of the main items on the agenda when the
leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey meet in Tehran this week, Peskov told
reporters on a conference call, declining to elaborate further.
(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russia not to “recklessly attack”
Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province, warning that hundreds of thousands of people
could be killed. “The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave
humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of
thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!” Trump wrote in a
source has told Reuters that Assad is preparing a phased offensive to regain
northern province and surrounding areas are the last major enclave held by
insurgents fighting Assad, who has been backed by both Russian and Iranian
forces in Syria’s seven-year-old civil war. They are home to some three million
has sought better relations with Russia since taking office in 2017 but the
United States has been unable to rein in Moscow’s military and diplomatic
support for Assad.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said Washington views any government
assault on Idlib as an escalation of Syria’s war, and the State Department
warned that Washington would respond to any chemical attack by Damascus.
Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter late on
Monday: “All eyes on the actions of Assad, Russia, and Iran in Idlib.
called for militants to be “cleaned out” of Idlib, as it prepared for talks
with Syria and Russia about confronting the last major enclave held by rebels
opposed to Assad.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Damascus to discuss plans for an
upcoming summit between the leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey, which Tehran
will host on Sept. 7 to discuss Idlib, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
which has long supported anti-Assad rebels, has cooperated with Russia and Iran
on talks over Syria in recent years and has troops in the Idlib region on an
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Pakistan on Wednesday for talks with
the country’s new government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan of the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaaf party. Khan, a populist with an anti-American streak, become
prime minister after the controversial July 25 elections in Pakistan.
before Pompeo’s scheduled trip, the U.S. Department of Defense announced a
final decision on the suspension of a $300 million tranche of Coalition Support
Fund (CSF) reimbursements for Pakistan, which had been announced earlier this
year by the Trump administration.
to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy
the remaining $300 million was reprogrammed,” a Pentagon spokesperson told
Reuters. CSF payments reimburse Pakistan for expenses incurred combating
terrorism on its own soil.
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certainly haven’t seen the progress that we would have hoped to have seen,”
Pompeo told reporters on his flight to Pakistan. “Certainly not progress that
would be sufficient for us to have advocated for turning back on that financial
this wasn’t news to the Pakistanis,’’ Pompeo said. “The rationale for them not getting the money is very clear, it’s
that we haven’t seen the progress that we need to see from them and the very
reason for this trip is to try to articulate what it is our expectation is. We need Pakistan
to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in
move built leverage for Pompeo prior to his arrival. The U.S. secretary of
state is unlikely to have a relaxed time in Islamabad as he meets with his
counterpart and other officials in Khan’s government. Referencing the new
government’s ascendance, Pompeo said he sought a “reset” in U.S.-Pakistan ties.
the days leading up to his trip, the U.S. State Department entered a tiff with
Khan’s young government after an official readout of a phone call between
Pompeo and Khan made reference to the issue of terrorists on Pakistani soil.
“raised the importance of Pakistan taking decisive action against all
terrorists operating in Pakistan,” the U.S. readout had noted. Pakistan
strongly protested and insisted that the issue had not been brought up.
relations have been strained since the start of 2018. Shortly after the new
year, U.S. President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter to issue a strong
condemnation of Pakistan. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more
than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us
nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump said.
give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No
more!” Trump’s tweets were followed by aid suspensions totalling more than $900
million. The CSF reimbursements are a portion of that sum, with the rest coming
from Foreign Military Financing earmarks, which fund purchases of U.S. military
hardware by third countries.
journalist: Trump wanted to assassinate Assad after chemical attack
President Donald Trump wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
following the April 2017 chemical attack on Idlib, journalist Bob Woodward
wrote in his book titled ‘Fear: Trump in the White House’.
to the Washington Post which published details from Woodward’s book, Trump
called Defense Secretary James Mattis and said he wanted to kill Assad.
kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the lot of them,” Woodward reported Trump as
agreed with the president, and said he would “get right on it” according to the
newspaper. But after hanging up with Trump, Mattis told a senior aide: “We’re
not going to do any of that. We’re going to be much more measured.”
was then that they decided on a more conventional airstrike that trump had
publication of Woodward's book has been anticipated for weeks, and current and
former White House officials estimate that nearly all their colleagues
cooperated with the famed Watergate journalist. Woodward is known for being
involved in the takedown of President Nixon in the infamous Watergate scandal.
White House, in a statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on
Tuesday dismissed the book as "nothing more than fabricated stories, many by
former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad."
book quotes chief of staff John Kelly as having doubts about Trump's mental
faculties, declaring during one meeting, "We're in Crazytown." It
also says he called Trump an "idiot," an account that Kelly denied.
US President Donald Trump will chair a UN Security Council meeting on Iran this
month during the annual gathering of world leaders in New York, diplomats and
US Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Tuesday.
US, which holds the council presidency for September, has unsuccessfully pushed
the UN to call out Iran. Haley has regularly attacked Iran, accusing it of
meddling in the wars in Syria and Yemen.
said Iran could request to speak at the Sept. 26 council meeting, the week of
the UN General Assembly. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to
address the assembly on Sept. 25. The Iranian UN mission did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.
a rare public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the proposed US agenda for the
council, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said the Iran meeting
should focus on the implementation of a 2015 resolution on Iran.
very much hope that there will be views voiced in connection with the US
withdrawal” from a 2015 international nuclear deal, Polyanskiy told the
in May withdrew from the accord between Iran and six world powers aimed at
stalling Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting some sanctions.
Trump ordered the reimposition of US sanctions suspended under the deal.
is still subject to a UN arms embargo and other restrictions contained in the
2015 resolution, which enshrines the nuclear deal. European powers have been
scrambling to salvage the accord.
February, Russia vetoed a US-led bid for the Security Council to call out
Tehran for failing to prevent its weapons from falling into the hands of
Yemen’s Houthi group, a charge Tehran denies.
arranged Tuesday’s event after several members expressed opposition to her plan
to convene a meeting on Wednesday on Nicaragua. Haley said their views should
be on record. More than 300 people have been killed and thousands injured in
crackdowns by police and armed groups on protests over government plans to cut
welfare benefits. The protests developed into broader opposition against
President Daniel Ortega.
urges Putin, Erdogan to talk urgently to avert Idlib ‘bloodbath’
could be spared its bloodiest battle yet if the Russian and Turkish presidents
talk to each other urgently about resolving the situation in the rebel-held
region of Idlib, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Tuesday.
Mistura told reporters that ongoing talks between Russia and Turkey held the
key to averting an assault on the region, but six reported air strikes on
Tuesday suggested the Ankara talks were not going well.
reports had said Syria’s government might wait until Sept 10 before launching
an assault, making a summit in Tehran on Friday “crucial”. But he called on
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Tayyep Erdogan to talk by phone
before then, saying “time is of the essence”.
EU’s chief diplomat Federica Mogherini indicated on Monday she would not seek
reappointment when her term expires next year.
former Italian foreign minister, who has played a major role in trying to save
the beleaguered Iran nuclear deal, told a gathering of EU ambassadors that she
would work hard over the coming year to leave the “house in order” for her
term will end along with the those of the rest of the current European
Commission, led by President Jean-Claude Juncker, when its mandate runs out in
October next year.
have a lot to do this year. First of all to preserve what we have achieved so
far, that has been a lot but fragile,” Mogherini said.
have a lot to do to complete the job and to leave to the one that will have the
honor, the pleasure, to do this job after me next year, the house in order.”
became the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in
2014 at the age of just 41 after a rapid rise through the ranks of Italian
faced resistance from Eastern European countries who saw her as inexperienced
and too close to Moscow.
has been a staunch supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, which is seen as flawed
by many as Iran continues to spread its influence in the region and finance
social media users expressed their content with Mogherini’s decision, sharing a
picture of her wearing a headscarf and posing with Iranian parliament members.
she has overseen significant developments in the EU’s security architecture,
notably a major defense pact that aims to get member states to cooperate more
closely and spend money more effectively.
UK government could end up losing billions of its taxpayer money because it has
underwritten a major military deal to sell Typhoon fighter jets to Qatar.
a report published Monday on its website, the Daily Telegraph cited unnamed
officials as saying that “billions of Exchequer funding” could be lost if Qatar
defaults on the massive agreement with UK defense giant BAE Systems.
sources said the contract runs the risk of “skewing” the government's credit
agency “by concentrating about 25 percent of their portfolio risk in one
added that British taxpayers would need to support the deal which is worth £6
billion ($7.6 billion).
Systems announced the hefty deal with Qatar in December 2017, saying it would
provide Doha with 24 Typhoon fighter jets as well as a package comprising
weapons, pilot training and maintenance. The contract will be implemented at
the end of this year.
UK government has defended the deal as a major effort to secure jobs in defense
industries while it claims that the agreement could bolster its security
cooperation with allied countries in the Persian Gulf region.
Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said recently that Typhoon jets would help
expand “the Qatari military's mission to tackle the challenges we both share in
the Middle East.”
has been a major supplier of arms and weapons to undemocratic regimes in the
million Iraqis return home after war on ISIS
four million Iraqis displaced by the war on ISIS have returned to their homes,
the UN migration agency said in a report released Tuesday.
ISIS swept across Iraq in 2014, eventually seizing around one third of the
country, it forced six million Iraqis to flee for safety, said the
International Organization for Migration.
IOM said the six million who were displaced represented around 15 percent of
Iraq’s total population.
the first time in nearly four years, the number of displaced Iraqis has fallen
to below two million,” the agency said. “Nearly four million have returned
to the IOM, the displaced who have returned home cited several reasons for
their decision, including “the improved security situation (and) availability
said they were encouraged to return by community leaders, friends and
relatives, or simply had the financial means to do so.
those who are still displaced -- 1,931,868 people -- complain of lack of means
and job opportunities, as well as insecurity and of damaged homes and
infrastructure, said the IOM.
said most of those who had gone back were displaced from the northern province
of Nineveh -- home to Iraq’s second city Mosul and an ISIS bastion for three
years before it was driven out in 2017.
Iraqis have also gone back in large numbers to the Sunni province of Anbar
bordering Syria and scene of the last major battle against ISIS.
Minister Haider al-Abadi declared “victory” in December in the fight against
sleeper cells still operate in the country from sparsely populated areas,
including desert regions near the border with Syria.
king's brother blames monarch, heir for devastating Yemen conflict
high-ranking member of the Saudi royal family has leveled strident criticism at
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the
atrocious military campaign against Yemen, which has claimed the lives of
thousands of innocent civilians and left the country’s critical infrastructure
does the Al Saud family have to do with your chants? We have nothing to do with
what is happening [in Yemen]. There are people responsible for the state of war
in Yemen... such as the king and his heir apparent,” the pan-Arab al-Araby
al-Jadeed media outlet quoted Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as saying in a
video posted online and addressed to a group of activists and protesters in the
British capital, London, chanting slogans such as "Down, down, the Al
Saud" and "Criminal family Al Saud".
Yemen and elsewhere, our hope is that the war ends today before tomorrow,” he
in the video, Prince Ahmed agreed with the protesters' condemnation of a recent
deadly airstrike by Saudi warplanes on a bus carrying schoolchildren in Yemen’s
mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada.
airstrike on August 9 hit a bus carrying a group of young schoolchildren
attending summer classes of the Holy Qur’an from a camp at a busy market area
in the Dhahyan district of Sa’ada province, UN spokesman, Farhan Haq, said in a
to Yemeni medical sources, over 50 people, including 40 children, were killed
and 77 injured in the strike.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has censured the attack,
calling for “an independent and prompt investigation” into the incident.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen in March 2015.
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
high-ranking UN aid official has warned against the “catastrophic” living
conditions in Yemen, stating that there is a growing risk of famine and cholera
conflict has escalated since November, driving an estimated 100,000 people from
their homes,” John Ging, UN director of aid operations, told the UN Security
Council earlier this year.
Ahmed also voiced sympathy for detained Shia activists in Bahrain.
we could [do something] we would, God willing,” he commented.
report points to the growing criticism within the ruling House of Saud over the
hawkish policies of the kingdom’s monarch and his son – the crown prince.
Ahmed served as Saudi Arabia’s deputy interior minister from 1975 to 2012. He
was the country’s interior minister between June and November 2012 under the
late King Abdullah, before being replaced with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
The trial of the assistant secretary-general of the International Union of
Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which is classified as a terrorist organization, began
in the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh on Tuesday.
defendant faced 37 charges, including national destabilization and conspiracy
against the state.
general prosecutor’s office listed the charges, gave the defendant a copy of
the list and granted him the right to appoint a defense lawyer, saying that if
he cannot afford it, he will be provided one at the expense of the Justice
Nov. 23, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt added two
organizations to their terror list: The IUMS and the International Islamic
public prosecutors have called for the death penalty for an imprisoned
political dissident as a brutal crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman against Muslim preachers and intellectuals widens in the conservative
Arabic-language Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Okaz reported on Tuesday that the
lawyers have leveled 37 counts against Salman al-Awda, and even demanded the
execution of the prominent Muslim scholar.
is the assistant secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim
Scholars, which the Riyadh regime has listed as a terrorist organization.
authorities detained Awda on September 7 last year, and have held him in
solitary confinement without charge or trial ever since. The officials have
imposed travel bans on members of his family as well.
family member told Human Rights Watch that the distinguished cleric was being
held over his refusal to comply with an order by Saudi authorities to tweet a
specific text to support the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
instead, posted a tweet, saying, “May God harmonize between their hearts for
the good of their people,” - an apparent call for reconciliation between the
Persian Gulf littoral states, the US-based rights group said in a statement.
has been prevented from communicating with the outside world since October.
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties
with Qatar on June 5 last year, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring
administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later
joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its
diplomatic relations as well.
Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was
unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and
conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and
oil-rich Eastern Province.
Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.
Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of
political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination
against the oil-rich region.
protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime with
security forces increasing security measures across the province.
the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target
army men carried out cleansing operation in the villages of Jabata al-Khashaba
and Ba'ar Ajam in Quneitra, discovering arms, military equipment, communication
devices and medical equipment.
number of German and Israeli missiles, cannons, tanks and medical equipment
were also discovered in the region.
a relevant development on Saturday, the army men carried out mop-up operation
in the village of al-Mo'alaqa and in the small town of Jabata al-Khashab in
Quneitra, finding a large volume of weapons, munitions and medicines in regions
that were once under control by ISIL and Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front).
Zayed Grand Mosque among world's most impressive
mosque features in a book titled 'Mosques: Splendors of Islam'.
Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan mosque in Abu Dhabi has been selected as one of the
most impressive contemporary mosques in the world and featured in
"Mosques: Splendors of Islam".
book will be officially launched in Dubai in November 2018 to commemorate the
"Year of Zayed" and the 100 years since the birth of the founding
father of the UAE - as well as the namesake of one of the most pivotal mosques
of the 21st century: the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan mosque.
book is a culmination of Leyla Uluhanli's continuing efforts to promote and
support unique Islamic culture around the world.
book is supported by prominent scholars in Islamic culture, history and
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army soldiers engaged in fresh battle with ISIL Northeast of Toloul al-Safa in
Eastern desert of Sweida, advancing 7km in the depth of terrorists' positions.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units and aircraft pounded the
positions and movements of ISIL in the same region, inflicting major losses on
sources, meantime, reported that the army men have reached at Talal Marati
region as terrorists retreated towards the depth of the rocky heights.
reports said that the army units fortified newly-captured positions in the
rocks in Toloul al-Safa in the Eastern deserts of Sweida, preparing to drive
ISIL out of the last strongholds in Toloul al-Safa.
army forces have been pounding ISIL's main positions in Toloul al-Safa,
destroying a large volume of their weapons and equipment and killing tens of
the terrorists, especially their snipers.
of the Civil Team in Raqqa discovered the bodies of six civilians from under
the debris of buildings in al-Badou neighborhood in Raqqa city that were
destroyed in the US warplanes' bombardments.
six more bodies of civilians were found in al-Atiq Mosque's yard.
the meantime, body of another civilian was discovered from under the debris of
al-Kahroba neighborhood in Raqqa city.
month, local sources said that a mass grave with several bodies of the
civilians killed in the US air attacks was found behind a garage in al-Badu
further said that a sum of 20 bodies of civilians was taken out of debris in
different areas in al-Badu.
the meantime, another mass grave was found in Panorama district South of Raqqa
security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition on hundreds of protesters in
the southern city of Basra on Tuesday, killing six people and wounding 19.
members of the security forces were also wounded, some by a hand grenade, the
sources said, in some of the worst unrest reported during months of protests
sweeping the long neglected south, heartland of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority.
government has also imposed a curfew in the city.
activists told The Associated Press that security forces fired bullets and tear
gas on protesters demanding better services and jobs on Monday, killing
26-year-old Mekki Yasser.
funeral procession for Yasser was held Tuesday in front of the provincial
government building, where protesters threw stones, prompting security forces
to fire tear gas at first, then to open fire, killing another six protesters.
activists spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety. They said
a fire was raging on the 6th floor of the provincial government building after
protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails inside. A crowd of protesters tried to
storm the building.
officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
carry the Iraqi flag-draped coffin of Mekki Yasser. (AP)
protesters have also been demanding that the border with Iran be closed, and
according to social media users, protesters have also been demonstrating
against corrupt Iran-linked government officials.
video being circulated on social media also purports to show protesters
surrounding a government building after it was set on fire.
in the south have been protesting against unemployment and poor public services
since July. The protests have often turned violent, with protesters attacking
government offices and security forces.
shortages along with a lingering electricity crisis in the oil-rich region have
contributed to protesters' rage, fueling the demonstrations in Basra.
CAIRO: Egyptian police on Tuesday arrested a man after an explosive device detonated near
the US embassy in Cairo.
video footage showed the man walking near the embassy when the black backpack
he is wearing appears to explode.
security source told Arab News that the suspected attacker was Ayman
Abdel-Samie, a 24-year old from Giza. The source said he was arrested after his
bag containing a bottle of chemicals exploded.
investigations suggest that he embraces some extremist ideas and was intending
to use them to commit an act of aggression,” a statement from Egypt's state
information service said.
video shows him being held by a group of people and giving his name and that he
is aged 24. Other reports said he threw a crude device towards the concrete
security barriers of the embassy.
man was also shown stripped to his underwear and blindfolded as security
officers interrogated him.
an air of confidence, the man says: “ Listen to me and I will tell you what
US Embassy said it was “aware of a reported incident” near the embassy and
advised American citizens to avoid the area.
witness told Reuters that she heard a
blast and then saw a man with a backpack that had caught on fire close to the
man was then thrown to the ground by security forces as the fire was
extinguished, the witness said.
to leaked information from the preliminary investigation, the accused belonged
to a cell that follows a similar ideology to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and
that aims to use violence to destabilize the country.
island, where the attacker is from, is on the Nile north of Cairo’s city
center. It is relatively poor and near to the famous Imbaba district, which was
the scene of many pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations after the Arab Spring
uprising in 2011.
concrete blast barriers where the incident happened encircle the US and nearby
British embassies in the leafy district of Garden City.
area around the embassy has for decades been heavily policed, with concrete
barriers blocking traffic.
has struggled to stem a campaign of bombings and and an insurgency in the Sinai
peninsula after the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was removed from
power in 2013.
powerless to stop Shariah caning, law minister says after lesbians whipped
LUMPUR, Sept 4 ― The federal government cannot intervene in Shariah punishments
because it would encroach on state jurisdiction that covers Islamic matters, de
facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said today.
noted that the breach of Shariah law by two young women ― who were publicly
caned six times in a courtroom in Terengganu yesterday for attempting to have
lesbian sex, a violation of the Shariah Criminal Offences Enactment (Takzir)
(Terengganu) 2001 ― and their caning punishment were under state jurisdiction.
1 List II of the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution clearly states that
the exercise of state jurisdiction on Islamic matters provided therein is a
state matter, therefore, federal government cannot interfere in state jurisdiction,”
Liew said in a statement issued from Singapore, where he is attending the 39th
Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.
however said the Terengganu authorities’ actions did not augur well for human
state of Terengganu is now under the control of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).
PAS is not part of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government but acts on its own
accord,” he said.
wrested Terengganu from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 2018 election, while
retaining Kelantan. Both states do not have a single PH representative.
addition to being caned, the accused women aged 22 and 32 were also required to
pay a fine of RM3,300.
under BN control, is now reportedly considering caning under Shariah law
against Muslims who engage in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
activities after the Terengganu sentence.
society and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) have criticised
the Shariah caning in Terengganu, pointing out that international human rights
treaties prohibited torture and “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment”,
including corporal punishment.
Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin has said that he is against the
intimidation of religious preachers, including ustadz (Muslim teacher) Abdul
must be no deterrence, intimidation or any other disturbances that threaten the
security and safety of religious preachers,” he said on Tuesday as quoted by
said that such acts were not allowed as long as sermons were educational,
enlightening and broadened religious knowledge as well as strengthened unity.
said he had communicated with the police on putting a stop to threats and
intimidation against religious preachers.
Sunday, Abdul Somad announced via his official Instagram account that he had
canceled his religious outreach events in some part of Java Island.
cancellation was made because of alleged threats and intimidation from people
in the Central Java regencies of Grobogan, Kudus, Jepara and Semarang.
burden of the committee is getting heavier. [It has affected] the psychological
condition of myself and the participants," Somad claimed.
I have canceled several events in Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta."
refer to “The real Malay Dilemma” (Sunday Star, Aug 26) by Siti Kassim. Siti’s
rambling diatribe against Malay Muslims can be reduced to two baseless, provocative,
insulting and defamatory allegations, namely:
Assimilation of Islamic values in governance is responsible for Malay
backwardness and inability to compete with other races; and
Malays, constituting 60% of the population, are unproductive and parasitical,
depending on the industry and labour of the remaining 40%, Chinese and Indians.
the assimilation of Islamic values in governance, Siti questions whether “a
Malay society, more insular and superstitious in thought... can compete on a
fair footing with the rest of the Malaysian non-Muslim population.” She writes
that Malays have been given preferred places in universities, GLCs and the
civil service for over 40 years, resulting in “uncompetitive universities, a
significant pool of unemployable Malay graduates and with most being employed
by the civil service... failed GLCs and ...corrupt administration...” She asks
if more religion would help and continues, “This has been the unintended
consequence of the assimilation of Islamic values in governance.”
has been no assimilation of Islamic values in governance as provided by the
syariah. Having prayer rooms in government offices, teaching Islam to Muslim
students in schools, broadcasting azan on TV or having an Islamic TV channel do
not make governance Islamic. The Malaysian state is based on a constitution
drafted by secular jurists and not on syariah. Most government leaders and top
bureaucrats, products of Western education, are very much influenced by secular
ideas and ignorant about Islam and its contributions to civilisations.
is the separation of the moral from governance under a secular system that has
facilitated the corruption, abuse of power, nepotism and cronyism of our
government leaders and administrators. So, why blame Islam?
condemns Malays as parasites. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a
parasite as a person who is lazy and lives by other people working and giving
writes that the majority of Malays are satisfied with their lives and carry on
being religiously obsessed because they have been “able to live off the teats
of the government in one way or another”.
continues: “Thirty per cent to 40% of the population cannot sustain 100% of us.
You need the remaining, at least majority, of that 60% (Malays) to be able to
truly contribute economically and not be consumers of tax from the minorities.
And religion is not an economic contributor. It is an unproductive consumer of
epic proportions with no returns.”
she has not heard of Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of
Capitalism. To Siti, Malay businessmen, professionals, workers, farmers,
fishermen, civil servants, police and soldiers do not contribute sales tax,
income tax, road tax and other taxes payable under our laws. They are only
“consumers of tax from minorities (Chinese and Indians)”. In other words, they
are parasites. This is an insulting and provocative lie!
claims that the transformation of Malaysia from an agricultural to an
industrial nation with liberal economic policies was “powered by an industrious
non-Malay population and the liberal segment of the Malay society”. She must
have been blinded by prejudice not to see the role played by millions of Malay
workers, engineers, surveyors, architects, policymakers and administrators in
the industrial development of Malaysia.
public education and healthcare services are essential to becoming a developed
industrial society. In 2016, Irina Bokova, then the Unesco director-general,
praised Malaysia for “leading the way in South-East Asia in fostering inclusive
and equitable education as the basis of sustainable green growth”.
in his message on 2018 World Health Day, WHO regional representative Dr Lo
Ying-Ru Jacqueline stated that Malaysia has been acknowledged globally for its
high-performing health system based on a well-trained workforce, excellent
infrastructure and quality service delivery.
independence, infant death has fallen by more than 90% to 6.7 deaths per 1,000
live births in 2016. Maternal mortality has also decreased by 89% between 1963
are these “well-trained workforce”? Mostly “unemployable Malay graduates” from
“uncompetitive universities” and other institutions.
are the members of “the liberal segment of the Malay society” who powered the
industrial transformation of Malaysia?
they those who are blond and advocating “separation of religion and government;
religion must be a private matter and kept private; take out religious
education from the public arena”?
those who call for recognition of homosexual, gay and lesbian rights;
criminalisation of polygamy and decriminalisation of adultery; and free sex?
Siti, if there was any contribution from this deviant group, it was very
minimal as many of them look to green pastures outside Malaysia and migrate.
The rapid transformation of the Malaysian economy has been powered by patriotic
devout Malay Muslims and the minorities, Chinese and Indians.
is not the Malays who face a dilemma in engaging the modern world because their
religion teaches them to seek success in this world and in the hereafter (Quran
2:201). It is Siti who faces a serious dilemma on whether to decolonise her
thinking and become a true Malay Muslim or remain a Western secular clone.
AZMI ABDUL HAMID
Consultative Council of Islamic Organization
Ahmad Awang, chairman, International Union of Muslim Scholars Malaysia
Abdul Ghani Samsudin, chairman, Secretariat for the Assembly of Ulama of Asia
Prof Dr Roslan Mohd Nor, secretary-general, Ulama Association of Malaysia
Ustazah Aminah Zakaria, chairperson, Persatuan Persaudaraan Muslimah Malaysia
Baharudin Masrom, secretary, Kongres Ummah
Mohamad Ali Hassan, committee member of SHURA
Dr Rahmatullah Khan, committee of MaSSa
Abdul Rahman Ahmad, committee of SUARA
week, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu was in Washington, D.C.,
where he met with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. While the engagement
itself was just the latest in a series of interactions by the two sides, it
spotlighted the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the defense
side of the relationship.
I have detailed before in these pages, the United States and Indonesia have a
defense relationship that has included a range of interactions including
visits, exchanges, and regular exercises, with previous major restrictions in
place in the 1990s largely lifted under the George W. Bush administration. U.S.
policymakers across administrations have recognized that Indonesia – the
world’s largest archipelagic state and biggest Muslim-majority country – is a
significant actor in Southeast Asia and an important partner in addressing
challenges ranging from maritime security to Islamic extremism, with ties
gradually upgraded to a level of a strategic partnership during the Barack
Trump administration, to its credit, quickly prioritized Indonesia as being one
of the key countries to engage in the Asia-Pacific on the defense side once it
took office. Despite uncertainties that remain among Indonesian policymakers
about the direction of overall U.S. domestic and foreign policy, engagement has
been ongoing and the defense aspect of ties is no exception. U.S. Defense
Secretary and Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu had met four times officially
in two years and both have emphasized the warm nature of their personal
week, Ryacudu was in Washington, D.C., with other Indonesian defense officials
for what was his fifth official meeting with Mattis. An official Pentagon
statement released following the meeting noted that the two sides addressed a
wide range of defense issues in the bilateral relationship as well as wider
regional and global issues, from strengthening maritime domain awareness to
transnational crimes such as piracy and illegal and unregulated fishing.
itself came as little surprise: such issues have come up in previous bilateral
meetings as well, and are priorities that Indonesia is itself advancing under
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who is up for reelection next year. Those
priorities are rooted in Indonesia’s longer-term efforts to modernize its
military at home as well as confronting challenges abroad, which range from protecting
its maritime resources to resolving outstanding disputes with states –
including with China in the South China Sea (See: “Indonesia’s South China Sea
Policy: A Delicate Equilibrium”).
such meetings offer the opportunity for both sides to review collaboration
across a range of aspects, including exchanges, educational opportunities, and
intelligence sharing, several Indonesian media accounts focused on the defense
industry aspect of ties, noting that Ryacudu had reaffirmed the fact that Jakarta
would look to buy defense equipment from the United States including C-130
Hercules transport aircraft. In reality, though this aspect of ties rarely
fails to get a mention in such meetings, the deals themselves take quite a
while to materialize.
as is often the case with such meetings, the interaction also brought up more
specific issues of interest to both sides and opportunities and challenges in
the defense relationship. Chief among the areas of focus was terrorism, which
is not surprising given the threat it poses to Indonesia, as evidenced by
attacks that hit Surabaya earlier this year. Ryacudu himself has been vocal
about the seriousness of the challenge, which he characterized to participants
at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June as a “third-generation” threat
following the post-Al-Qaeda generation and the post-Islamic State (or Daesh)
generation (See: “ASEAN Terrorism Threat in Focus at 2018 Shangri-La
noted in his remarks at the Pentagon that countries needed to step up
counterterrorism cooperation in a concrete manner beyond rhetoric. He also made
reference to trilateral collaboration in the Sulu Sea underway between
Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, reinforcing the need to further
operationalize cooperation on land following maritime and aerial patrols. As I
have noted before, major powers including the United States have expressed
interest in assisting with the development of such intraregional initiatives.
the challenges side of the equation, the issue of how U.S. Russia-related
sanctions would affect Indonesia was a thread that was picked up on by
Indonesian media as well, with a note that, for now, Indonesia would be
included in a list of key U.S. strategic partners, such as India and Vietnam,
that would not be sanctioned for procuring weapons from Russia under the
Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
temporary reprieve has for the time being managed what has proved to be a
thorny and tricky issue for U.S. policymakers to navigate with Asian states on
the defense side. Yet while the issue may have been managed for now, CAATSA has
served as an example that highlights broader worries among U.S. strategic
partners about how the Trump administration’s tougher approach towards American
adversaries and challengers could impact their own ties with those states as
part of their foreign policy outlook of cultivating a diverse array of
the bilateral relationship, Washington’s operationalization of its Free and Open
Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy also came up between the two sides amid the series
of regional and global issues. The official statement on the visit by the
Indonesian defense ministry noted that Ryacudu had agreed on the importance of
the concept, but had also emphasized the need to ensure that it was inclusive
ambivalent tone that characterized the official statement on Ryacudu’s response
comes as no surprise. As I have noted previously in these pages, Indonesia has
been cautious about its reaction to FOIP thus far and has adopted a mixed
approach towards it, nudging Washington towards a vision that is relatively
more complementary to Indonesia’s national interests – with greater attention
to the economic side of the equation and deference to ASEAN centrality – while
also emphasizing its own Indo-Pacific vision as a key regional player (See:
“Trump’s Indo-Pacific Strategy Challenge”).
territory is under Boko Haram – Buratai
against insinuations from some quarters, Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General
Tukur Yusuf Buratai has said that, Boko Haram terrorists are not in control of
any territory in Nigeria.
was also as he said that Lake Chad which the terrorists have been using as
their hideout, will no longer be a safe haven for them.
Buratai stated these in Jaji Kaduna State on Tuesday at the graduation of 55
soldiers from Advanced Watermanship Course.
army chief however disclosed that, the 55 soldiers would be included in the
amphibius battalion which would soon be established to tackle the insurgents in
the Lake Chad.
to Buratai, “You are all aware of the ongoing event in the country especially,
the security landscape between 2013 to mid-2015. I am referring the situation
in the north east. However, between middle 2015 to date, the insurgency and
terrorist elements have suffered the highest degraduating.
no longer control any territory in particular in our sovereignty; this is due
to correct strategies, employment and disposition of the right force with the
tremendous backing of the Commander-in-chief, President Muhammadu Buhari as
well as the good will of the citizens contributed immensely to the successes
achieved so far.
is no gain saying that the focus on effective training adopted in the last 3
years has been the heart of our successes. It is pertinent to say that lessons
learnt from our counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations have to a
large extent guided our training and our operational planning.
on in the north east campaign known as Operation Lafia Dole, it became evident
that we needed to develop the mobile style capability. This informed the
development of mobile bridge concept which involves organizing the troops into
mobile strike teams. Today, you have witness the employment of mobile strike
teams with the incision of troops in small team by air to conduct raid operations and the subsequent execration
through the water body in small groups and parties.
will agree with me that what you have witnessed today is a clear demonstration
of the Nigerian Army Capability to deal decisively with the Boko Haram
terrorists that are still locking up in the Lake Chad waters. This l sure you
that with the level of motivation that l have seen this afternoon from theses
gallant troops, the lake Chad will no longer be a safe haven for the
criminals.” He said.
however promoted the soldiers to their various next ranks, as their reward for
their courage to participate in the special course.
the visiting Chief of South African Army (CSAA) Lt Gen. Lindile Yam in his
remarks said Nigerian military has to be emulated for.
am delighted to note that the relationship has been started between the two
Armies and to note to Lt Gen. Buratai on my visit to the Chief of Air Staff and
Naval Staff on Tuesday, l marvel at the relationship between the 2 militaries
on how it has grow multi fold and the results that it bears.
Chief of Army Staff visited me early this year and already, l have notice here
now when the opening is being done here, I can remain affection, you just put
your foot once and things happen.
l notice that the change round of the strategy in technical of the Nigerian
Army in dealing with the insurgency and especially Boko Haram that has informed
that the green figure head in the headquarters on the things that I took for
granted only intellectually discussing them and using a lot of English, you put
a tomb on them and therefore l thank you a lot for bringing me here and
honouring me and for putting the badges on your elites soldiers.” He said.
Chad will no longer be Boko Haram safe haven’
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen.Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has said Boko Haram
terrorists are not in control of any territory.
noted that Lake Chad, which the terrorists have been using as hideout, will no
longer be a safe haven for them.
Buratai spoke yesterday in Jaji, Kaduna State, at the graduation of 55 soldiers
from Advanced Watermanship Course.
Army chief, however, said the 55 soldiers would be included in the amphibious
battalion, which will be established, to tackle insurgents in Lake Chad.
said: “You are aware of the ongoing
event in the country, especially the security landscape between 2013 to
mid-2015. I am referring to the situation in the Northeast. However, between
mid-2015 till date, the insurgency and terrorist elements have suffered the
no longer control any territory, in particular in our sovereignty, and this is
due to correct strategies, employment and disposition of the right force with
the tremendous backing of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the goodwill
of the people. “There is no gain saying that the focus of effective training
adopted in the last three years has been the heart of our successes. It is
pertinent to note that that lessons learnt from our counter terrorism and
counter insurgency operations have guided our training and our operational
on during Operation Lafia Dole, it was evident that we needed to develop the
mobile style capability. This informed the development of mobile bridge
concept, which involves organising the troops into mobile strike teams.
you have witnessed the employment of mobile strike teams with the incision of
troops in small team by air to conduct raids and the subsequent execration
through the water body in small groups and parties.
will agree with me that what you have witnessed today is a clear demonstration
of the Army’s ability to deal decisively with Boko Haram terrorists still
lurking in the Lake Chad waters.
assue you that with the level of motivation l have seen this afternoon from
gallant troops, Lake Chad will no longer be a safe haven for the criminals.”
set to finally open world’s 3rd largest mosque built at a cost of $2 bln
is set to finally open the Grand Mosque of Algiers, set to be third largest in
the world, near the end of this year or closer to the beginning of 2019.
Isa, the Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments, announced the
opening date adding that the mosque is located in the al-Mohammadiya area of
Algiers and extends to an area of 200,000 square meters.
anticipated mosque would make it the third largest of its kind in the world
after the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia, with a minaret of 265 meters in
mosque with all its facilities, should be handed over by the end of December
2018. If not possible by then, it will be handed by a maximum deadline by the
beginning of 2019,” Isa told reports at a press conference in Algiers.
has allocated nearly $2 bln to build the mosque on 25 hectares, which includes
a 20,000 square meter praying hall which can hold a capacity of about 120,000
most will also have its own library which can host 6,000 people at a time. A
Quran school will be part of the school with the hope of graduating imams and
mosque’s minaret is nearly 265 meters in height with 43 floors. Each floor has
a museum that documents a specific historical era of Islam.
are three floors under the mosque including a car park with a capacity to hold
specialized German company won the tender to design the mosque before it was
urged to make important changes. At the beginning, initial plans included the
construction of an elegant restaurant on one of the floors located on the
mosque’s minaret but was quickly scrapped after an uproar from the public who
considered the plan offensive.
for building the mosque first began in 2008 but was suspended several times due
to conflicts between the Algerian officials and the German company. The company
eventually quit the project and was replaced by a Chinese one. Considering the
immensity of the project, its supervision had been changed from the Ministry of
Religious Affairs and Endowments to the Ministry of Housing and Construction,
which had given delayed competition dates several times in 2017 and 2018.
international donor conference on Boko Haram holding in Berlin on Monday
pledged $2.52 billion to help countries in the Lake Chad Basin fight Boko
foreign ministry said the aid would be disbursed “in the coming years” to
Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, where the jihadist group launched frequent
suicide bomb attacks from its bases in Lake Chad.
two-day conference, which is being attended by more than 70 states,
international organisations and non-governmental organisations, raised $672
million in 2017.
Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency
Relief Coordinator and Head, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs, thanked donors for the generous donations.
Lowcock said: “Your contribution at the Lake Chad Berlin conference will help
us deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance throughout the Lake Chad Basin.
support is crucial to ensuring that life-saving assistance reaches all those in
conference focused on humanitarian assistance, civilian protection, crisis
prevention and stabilisation for the region and sought to raise $1.56 billion
while Lowcock had projected more than one billion dollars.
and pledges by countries as monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) were
Germany, the host country, 265 million Euros and Norway, 125 million dollars.
others were United States, 420 million dollars; Switzerland, 20 million
dollars; France, 131 million Euros; Belgium, 45 million Euros; Finland, 2.3
million Euros; and Denmark, 72.5 million.
reports that United Kingdom donated 146 million pounds; Canada, CAD, 68 million
dollars; European Union, 231.5 million Euros; Luxembourg – 40 million Euros and
Spain, 3.2 million Euros.
Lowcock said famine was averted in the region last year largely due to
international aid, but that millions of people in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and
Cameroon were still in dire need of help.
UN humanitarian chief, however, cautioned that “the crisis is not over. There
are still 10 million people who need life-saving assistance.
quarter of the people we are trying to reach are displaced from their homes and
the only means of staying alive they have is what is provided by humanitarian
Steiner, Head of UN Development Programme, warned that more people could flee
the region unless the international community took action to help them for the
of the 2018 conference, about 10 non-governmental organisations active in the
Lake Chad region, said 11 million people were in urgent need of humanitarian
insurgency as well as military operations across the four countries has
displaced 2.4 million people and left five million people facing food insecure
while significantly reducing economic activity,” a statement signed by the NGOs
conference will focus on humanitarian assistance, civilian protection, crisis
prevention and stabilisation for the region as well as seek to raise funds for
the humanitarian requirements totaling $1.56 billion.
Nigeria’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Tijjani Bande, had
shortly before the conference, appealed to all stakeholders to redouble their
commitments to the Lake Chad Basin crisis.
death toll from more than a week of fighting between armed groups in Tripoli
has climbed to at least 50 people, including civilians, Libyan authorities said
Tuesday, as the U.N. expressed alarm over the fate of detained migrants and
Libyans already displaced by years of unrest.
erupted last week when the Seventh Brigade, militias which hail from Tarhouna,
a town about 60 km south of Tripoli, attacked southern neighborhoods of the
capital. The Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigades and the Nawasi Brigade -
militias which support the U.N.-backed government - have come to the city’s
addition to those killed, another 138 people, including civilians, have been
wounded, the Health Ministry said.
slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew long-ruling dictator
Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. The country is currently governed by
rival authorities in Tripoli and the country’s east, each of which are backed
by an array of militias. Other armed groups have carved out fiefdoms across the
country, with many profiting from smuggling and extortion.
Tuesday, a shell landed inside a former US Embassy compound in Tripoli, setting
off a fire that ignited a fuel tank, an embassy official said. No one was
wounded, and the fire did not reach the building itself, said the official, who
was not authorized to brief media and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Israeli lawmakers
and activists on Sunday that US President Donald Trump’s negotiating team had
asked whether he would agree to a confederation with neighboring Jordan.
to Shaqued Morag, Peace Now’s executive director, who attended the meeting,
Abbas said that he would agree to a trilateral confederation that includes
Israel. Decades ago, Israeli officials mooted the notion of a confederation
between the Palestinians and Jordan.
an announcement was received with anger from Jordanians and Palestinians, who
insisted that there should be no talk on confederation before an independent
Palestinian state was established with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Ghunaimat, spokesperson for the Jordanian government, said the idea of a
confederation between Jordan and Palestine isn’t a subject for discussion.
Jordan’s position is based on the proposed two-state solution and the
establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, she
told the told the Ammon News agency.
of the confederation plan
1950, elections were held in the two banks of Jordan won by 20 deputies from
the East Bank and the same from the West Bank, and the Senate was formed in a
fair representation. The National Assembly representing the two countries held
an equal session on April 24, 1950, and unanimously approved the unity decision
between the two shores on the basis of parliamentary rule.
is noted here that the resolution was conditional. The second item states: “To
affirm the preservation of all Arab rights in Palestine and to defend those
rights by all legitimate means and to fill the right and not to prejudice the
final settlement of its just cause within the scope of national aspirations,
Arab defense and international justice.”
the time, no Arab country recognized the unity between the two shores. The Arab
League Council held a meeting and issued a decision on June 12, 1950, with a
reservation on the unity decision.
1950s saw a political movement to form a Palestinian organization working to
highlight the Palestinian national identity and establish an independent
Palestinian national entity. This movement included all Palestinian factions
and attracted ideologues in all directions.
1964, the Arab League selected Ahmad Al-Shukairy as the representative of
Palestine. As a result, the first founding session of the Palestinian
Conference was held in Jerusalem under the auspices of the late King Hussein of
Jordan, in which the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was decided. The
second Arab summit, held in Alexandria on Sept. 15, 1964, approved the
establishment of the organization headed by Al-Shukairy with its headquarters
in Jerusalem, and the Palestinian flag.
1967, the Six-Day War erupted between Israel and the Arab countries, ending
with Israel occupying the West Bank and Sinai and the Golan Heights. The Arab
states agreed to a cease-fire in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution
war resulted in a wave of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who,
fearing the Israeli gangs’ retaliation, left everything behind and escaped to
Arab leaders held a summit in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, in late August
1967 and decided no peace, recognition or negotiations, but the Arab states limited
their commitment to ending the Israeli occupation and liberating the
territories occupied in the Six-Day War.
rejected these decisions and resigned. This led to a period of time until the
late Yasser Arafat, the head of Fatah, took command of the Palestine Liberation
that time, the PLO had become the sole representative of the Palestinian
people, despite Jordan’s insisting on the need for unity between Jordan and
March 15, 1972, King Hussein revealed his plan for a “United Arab Kingdom,”
which would be a federation consisting of two federal districts — the Hashemite
Kingdom of Jordan and a Palestinian federal district, which would be located in
the West Bank region that was under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967 and
that would have East Jerusalem as its capital.
to the proposal, the two districts of the federation would be autonomous,
except for the military affairs, foreign affairs and security affairs that
would be run by a central government located in Amman.
King Hussein conditioned the establishment of the UAK in achieving a peace
agreement between Israel and Jordan. His proposal was ruled out after it was
rejected both by Israel and by the PLO and other Arab states.
between the two banks
meanwhile, continued to carry out its responsibilities in the West Bank without
any change. However, this was not to the appeasement of the PLO, which saw this
act as a challenge to its existence and to its recognized status by the Arab
League as the sole caretaker of all Palestinian affairs.
the Arab summit conference held in Rabat, the Moroccan capital, in 1974, King
Hussein agreed with all the other Arab leaders to a declaration recognizing the
PLO as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
Consequently, all responsibility for negotiating the return of the occupied
Palestinian lands was transferred from Jordan to the PLO. Jordan, however,
continued its administrative and financial support to Palestinians in the West
pressure continued to mount on Jordan, eventually leading King Hussein to make
a decision. In an address to the nation on July 31, 1988, he made his historic
announcement, which was one of the most important policy decisions in the era
of modern Jordan: Full legal and administrative disengagement from the West
Hundreds of African migrants escaped from a detention center in Tripoli on
Tuesday as fighting between rival groups raged nearby, an aid official said,
though the Libyan government department set up to combat illegal migration denied
video posted on social media on Tuesday purportedly showed hundreds of
Africans, some carrying plastic bags, walking in a long line away from the
detention center. It is located on the road to the former Tripoli International
Airport, which was destroyed in a battle between rival militias in 2014.
is a major departure point in North Africa for migrants crossing the
Mediterranean Sea to Europe, mainly from other parts of Africa.
aid official, who works for an international organization, said as many as
1,800 migrants might have escaped the facility on Tuesday. It was unclear where
they had gone.
confirmed, this would mean that almost a quarter of Libya’s jailed migrants,
mostly Africans, are on the run. Most had been jailed after the Libyan coast
guard intercepted their makeshift boats bound for Italy.
between rival Libyan groups lasting for more than one week has spread from the
airport, located south of Tripoli, toward the city.
is formally controlled by the internationally recognized Government of National
Accord, but armed groups working with it act with autonomy. Eastern Libya is
controlled by a rival administration.
Thursday UN agencies and authorities relocated hundreds of migrants from
government-run detention centers in southern Tripoli to safer locations.
a further sign of chaos, some 400 prisoners also escaped on Sunday from a jail
in southern Tripoli, forcing open the doors as the guards retreated.
United Nations mission called for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the
deteriorating security situation, but officials were not available to confirm
that it was still going ahead.
September 11, 2001, very few people were concerned with what was happening
inside Afghanistan. How could the internal dynamics of a poor country over
seven thousand miles away have a direct impact on our lives? That question was
answered when Al Qaeda struck our homeland and killed almost three thousand
innocent people. In complete shock we wondered, “How could this happen?”
the aftermath, it was clear that we needed to change our thinking toward weak
states on the other side of the world. We could no longer allow them to become
safe havens for international terrorists to plot and plan attacks.
the last seventeen years, we have organized broad coalitions to fight terror
groups and prevent future attacks from occurring. We captured 9/11 mastermind
Khalid Sheik Mohammed and killed Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
recently, we have been successful on the battlefield against ISIS. After
establishing a so-called “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, American-led forces
have retaken much of the land once controlled by ISIS and forced them to
splinter their operations.
of their fighters have escaped and are regrouping in Africa. They are looking
to join other like-minded extremists who share the same goal: to establish a
global community that adheres to their flawed interpretation of Islam, wreak
havoc on local populations, and attack the West.
it is estimated that ten thousand ISIS and Al Qaeda jihadists have already set
up camp across the continent. This is in addition to Boko Haram, Al Shabab, and
other extremist groups that have been fomenting violence and spreading terror
for many years.
early August, we commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the bombings of
American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These heinous attacks killed 224
people. The past is prologue, and if terror groups are left unchallenged,
similar attacks could happen again. We need to address this threat right now.
this is not something America can or should do alone. We have been leading the
charge against terrorism for decades. Our international allies need to step up.
African nations are the ones who need to lead this fight. And we can strengthen
their hand by passing bipartisan legislation that I have introduced to
authorize the Tran-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP).
the TSCTP, the United States works alongside Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon,
Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia to build
their military and law enforcement capacity to conduct counterterrorism
operations. This partnership also enhances the ability to: monitor, restrain,
and interdict terrorist movements; and strengthen the rule of law.
bill codifies this partnership and allows the TSCTP to confront the
ever-growing threat of terrorism in Africa. Furthermore, the bill requires the
State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the
Defense Department to coordinate counterterrorism strategy with our African partners
and deliver that strategy to Congress.
the counterterrorism capabilities of these and other countries to better fight
terror threats must continue to be a strategic and long-term priority for the
United States. By empowering these allies, we’ll narrow the number of places
terrorists can survive and thrive.
Pentagon is openly considering troop cuts and scaled back missions in Central
and West Africa. Such cuts would make these partnerships even more vital. A
strong and congressionally authorized TSCTP helps keep the pressure on
terrorists with fewer Americans being sent into harm’s way.
this moment, it may not seem like a terror group in the far reaches of Africa
could threaten our homeland. But one of the greatest lessons we learned from
9/11 is that a failure of imagination prevented us from taking similar threats
seriously. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of our past. Terrorism
anywhere is a threat to civilization everywhere.
battlefields all across the world, America has shown the way. For the sake of
international security and peace we have sacrificed greatly. My bipartisan
legislation presents a new opportunity in this struggle for our African
partners to take the lead.
incentivize and empower our allies to take this fight directly to our enemy
before it’s too late.
FM vows bids to drive terrorists out of Syria's Idlib with least humanitarian
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says efforts are underway to drive
terrorists out of the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib with the least
to reporters on Tuesday, the Iranian minister said he held "very
good" talks with senior Syrian authorities in Damascus.
paid a day-long visit to Damascus on Monday and held talks with the country's
senior officials, including President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Walid
al-Muallem and Prime Minister Imad Khamis, as Syria is preparing for an
operation to liberate Idlib Province, the last major militant stronghold.
and Zarif said Western pressure on Tehran and Damascus will fail to deter them
from fighting terrorism.
their meeting, the two sides asserted that Western countries would not be able
to deter Iran and Syria from defending their principles, the interests of the
two nations, and the security and stability of the entire region.
in his Tuesday remarks, Zarif also pointed to his last week's talks with
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in
Istanbul as well as a planned summit of Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents
in Tehran and said efforts would be continued to "prevent any damage to
the Syrian people and complete the process of clearing extremists."
the request of Damascus, Iran has been offering advisory military assistance to
the Syrian army. Tehran says it will continue its anti-terror mission as long
as the legitimate government in Damascus wants it to do so.
President Hassan Rouhani will host his Turkish and Russian counterparts Erdogan
and Vladimir Putin, respectively, on Friday in an attempt to find ways to end
the ongoing crisis in Syria.
three presidents have previously held summits in the Russian resort city of
Sochi in November 2017 and in the Turkish capital, Ankara, in April.
response to a question about a claim made by US President Donald Trump that
attacking militant-held Idlib would be a “humanitarian mistake” for Tehran and
Moscow, Zarif said Trump seeks to take advantage of the situation in Idlib for
his own foreign policy goals.
have not shown a good record of their fight against extremism and
terrorism," the top Iranian diplomat pointed out.
also on Tuesday strongly dismissed President Trump’s warning to Syria not to
carry out a full-scale offensive against terrorists in Idlib, stressing that
the northwestern region is a “nest of terrorism.”
to speak out with some warnings, without taking into account the very
dangerous, negative potential for the whole situation in Syria, is probably not
a full, comprehensive approach,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a
press conference in the capital Moscow.
has also been providing air cover to Syrian army operations. It has also
military advisors in the Arab country and runs a number of military bases
Russian military has repeatedly reported that the US uses the areas under its
control in Syria to provide support to Takfiri terrorists.
the opposite front, the US – along with Israel and its other allies -- has been
backing the militant groups fighting to topple the Assad government.
army gives ammunition, money to terrorists in Golan Heights
Israeli army has admitted, for the first time, that it provided large amounts
of cash, weapons and ammunition to foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists
operating in the occupied Golan Heights.
Israeli ministry of military affairs admitted on Monday that the Tel Aviv
regime as part of the so-called Operation Good Neighbor, which was launched in
2016, had been regularly supplying militants in Syria with light weapons in
order to fight Syrian government troops, and a substantial amount of cash to
buy additional arms.
the Israeli military provided over 1,524 tons of food, 250 tons of clothes,
947,520 liters of fuel, 21 generators plus 24,900 palettes of medical equipment
and medicine through the operation.
Israeli regime is reportedly arming at least seven different terror groups in
Syria’s Golan Heights, including the Fursan al-Joulan militant outfit. The
group, which is aligned to the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist
network has been given an estimated $5,000 per month by Israel.
August 23, Syrian government forces have found a field hospital used by members
of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra
Front, filled with Israeli-made medical equipment in the country’s strategic
southwestern province of Quneitra.
official news agency SANA reported that Syrian troopers made the discovery in
the village of al-Rafid as they were carrying out clean-up operations in the
report added that the hospital had modern CT scans, X-ray medical imaging
machines, laboratory equipment and medications that were all foreign-made,
particularly manufactured or produced in Israel.
army soldiers discovered a field hospital used by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
terrorists at the Quneitra Crossing and in close proximity to the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 27.
had an operating room with adequate Israeli-made medical devices, laboratory
equipment and a warehouse where large quantities of Israeli- and Jordanian-made
medicine were being kept.
were also medical products manufactured by a number of Persian Gulf littoral
states, particularly the United Arab Emirates, in the warehouse.
air defense systems intercept Israeli missiles
Syrian air defense missile systems have intercepted and destroyed a number of
Israeli missiles aimed at military sites in the country's western provinces of
Hama and Tartous, forcing attacking military aircraft to leave the area.
sources at Masyaf National Hospital said they had received the body of a
civilian. Another 12 people were taken to the hospital with various degrees of
presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey meet Friday in Tehran for a summit
expected to shape the future of Idlib province, home to Syria's last major
summit comes as Syrian forces look poised to launch a major assault that is
raising fears of a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in the
and its main backer Moscow have vowed to root out the jihadist groups that
dominate Idlib province but the outcome of Friday's meeting could determine the
scope and the timing of an offensive.
know that the Syrian armed forces are getting ready to solve this
problem," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on
from government forces in 2015, Idlib and adjacent areas form the last major
chunk of Syrian territory still in rebel hands.
has limited sway over the jihadist groups that control an estimated 60 percent
of Idlib but it backs rebel groups there and has 12 military "observation
points" across the province.
Turkey and Iran are the guarantors of the Astana process, a track of
negotiations that has eclipsed the older Geneva process and de facto helps
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad re-assert his authority on the country.
parallel to the Syrian government's military buildup, the recent weeks have
seen intense diplomatic activity.
a Syrian daily close to the government, wrote on Monday that the result of the
talks will be presented in Tehran for the three powers "to endorse it and
decide on the 'zero hour' for the Syrian army's military operation, which is
expected to immediately follow the summit."
is a cul-de-sac for many rebels and civilians transferred there after previous
United Nations and aid groups have warned that a full assault could spark one
of the worst disasters of a conflict that has already killed 350,000 people and
displaced 11 million in seven years.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the armed groups in Idlib attacking Syrian
government positions and Russia's air base in nearby Hmeimim should be
stake in Tehran is the scope of the offensive and Lavrov said Tuesday that
efforts were being made to separate "regular armed oppositionists from
main target of an offensive would be the jihadist fighters from Hayat Tahrir
al-Sham, a jihadist alliance dominated by the former Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda.
wants Turkey to use its influence on the ground in Idlib to rein in the rebels
and the jihadists.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu appeared to suggest Monday there will still
room for negotiation ahead of the summit and a promised offensive.
are continuing contacts before the summit and preparing it to make sure it
yields a good outcome," he said.
International Crisis Group insisted a devastating offensive in Idlib could and
should still be averted, calling this week on all brokers to go back to
said Russia needed to be convinced that backing an all-out Syria offensive
risked undermining its own long-term objectives, which include the
"re-legitimation" of Assad and his regime.
think tank said the three Astana guarantors should thrash out a plan that would
satisfy some of Moscow's key demands.
warring parties meet in Geneva Thursday for a new round of peace talks with
little hope of a breakthrough in an “ugly war” between the Saudi-backed
government and rebels linked to Iran.
are the first public meetings between the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi
and Yemen’s powerful Huthi rebels since 2016, when 108 days of negotiations in
Kuwait failed to broker a power-sharing deal. But the chance of face-to-face
sitdowns between Hadi’s delegation and the rebels in Geneva are slim to none,
Yemeni foreign minister Khaled al-Yamani told AFP.
while the two sides are backed by rival regional powers, their respective
patrons will not be present in Geneva.
talks, overseen by United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths, are aimed at charting
a path towards reviving formal UN-backed negotiations. They will likely focus
on a prisoner exchange deal and the fate of embattled Hodeida, the rebel-held
port city at the frontline of the war.
in the balance is the fate of 22 million civilians, in a country where famine
looms and a cholera epidemic is threatening a comeback.
war has been and remains an ugly war,” said UAE minister of state for foreign
affairs Anwar Gargash, whose country is the senior partner in the Saudi-led
coalition backing Hadi’s government.
have seen civilians shot at, bombed, killed and unfortunately... this is part
of any confrontation.”
month alone saw 66 children killed in air raids believed to have been conducted
by the Saudi-led coalition. Both camps have been accused by the UN and rights
groups of failing to protect civilians.
month, UN-backed experts said all the warring parties have committed a
“substantial number of violations of international humanitarian law”, many
potentially amounting to war crimes.
and Yemeni officials have set a low bar for the Geneva meetings, the first
attempt by Griffiths to bring the warring parties together. One US diplomat
described them as “low key” with “low expectations”.
“are really not intended to be talks or negotiations but consultations that
demonstrate the capability of the UN to bring the sides together,” along with
“confidence building measures”, the diplomat said.
previous attempts to resolve the Yemen war have failed. Griffiths is the UN’s
third Yemen envoy since 2014, when the Huthis overran the capital Sanaa and
drove Hadi’s government into exile.
from the Muslim Zaidi minority, the Huthis had complained of marginalisation in
Yemen long before the conflict erupted in 2014.
and its allies joined the government’s fight against the rebels in 2015, but
the Huthis have clung to northern and western Yemen. They regularly fire
missiles at Saudi Arabia, which accuses its arch-rival Iran of providing the
June, the UAE launched a major offensive to retake rebel-held Hodeida, the Red
Sea city home to the country’s most valuable port.
with escalating international criticism, the pro-government military alliance
hit the brakes before reaching the densely-populated city. But UAE minister
Gargash has said that “in order to shorten the war, pressure should be
continued on Hodeida.”
are not willing to accept that there will be a strategic shift towards Iran’s
favour by accepting also the Huthis’ domination of Yemen,” he said.
Huthis have reportedly offered to let the UN supervise the port, but the
government and its allies have refused anything short of a full rebel
withdrawal from both city and port.
Security Council Resolution 2216 recognises Hadi as the president of Yemen,
calling on the Huthis to withdraw from the capital and elsewhere and to hand in
heavy weapons. The UN has also blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition for the
killing and maiming of children.
Saudi-led coalition has admitted to “mistakes” in an August 9 strike on a
crowded marketplace in rebel-held Yemen that killed 51 people, according to the
rights groups have frequently criticised the inaction of Washington, London and
Paris against Saudi Arabia, a strategic ally and key arms customer for all
number of Houthi leaders, Iranian experts, and Hezbollah fighters have been
killed during battles in the last two days against the Yemeni army in the
Marran district in Saada, according to a Yemeni military source.
has been the site of serious battles for a week amid an operation launched by
the Yemeni army against the Houthi militia.
sources said that militia leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi had urgently called upon
a number of frontline seniors to Marran, to defend the area.
of Houthi militias were killed at the Marran frontline in recent days.
military leader said that the Yemeni army pledged to regain military control
over the area, in which the Houthi leader resides, very soon.
importance of Marran
is located in Haydan district, south west of Saada governorate, and it is
- It is the place in which Abdelmalik
al-Houthi resides and leads operations.
- It’s where Hussein al-Houthi, founder of
the group, was killed in 2004.
- Its mountains serve as a key hiding
place for Houthi leaders.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned against missile strikes during an
upcoming military campaign by the Syrian army to liberate Idlib Province, the
last major militant stronghold in the Arab country.
told reporters on Wednesday that a possible large-scale action in Idlib would
lead to a new wave of refugees toward Turkey.
situation in Idlib is crucial for Turkey. A ruthless process has been going on
there. ... God forbid, if this area is hailed by missiles there would be a
serious massacre,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily
the help of Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, the
Syrian army is preparing for the Idlib operation, a strategically-important
region which shares a border with Turkey and is also close to the coastal
also hosts Turkish-backed militants fighting agtainst the government of Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad.
in his remarks, Erdogan stressed that a positive outcome is expected from the
upcoming Syria summit.
will carry this issue to a positive point with the Tehran summit, which is a
continuation of Astana," he said.
presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey, the countries acting as the guarantors
of the ceasefire in Syria, will meet in Tehran on Friday for a third summit
seeking an end to the crisis gripping the Arab country.
road map not going forward’
the Turkish president touched on the situation in Syria’s northern city of
Manbij, complaining that a recently-agreed road map between Ankara and
Washington on the situation of the city, which is controlled by US-backed
Kurdish militants, is not proceeding as agreed.
are not at an ideal point (about Manbij). Unfortunately the agreement made is
not going forward in the same direction as the initial discussions,” he said.
in June, Turkey and the US agreed a plan on joint patrols in Manbij to clear
the area of Washington-backed Kurdish militants, which Turkey views as
terrorists linked to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party militant group.
a relevant development on Tuesday, Syria's Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar
emphasized that the country's Kurdish-held northeast will not be given special
treatment and will be dealt with in the same way as other parts of the war-torn
cannot give any Syrian province something which differentiates it from other
provinces or ethnicities, or (allow it) any situation which strikes at the idea
that Syria is one country and one society,” he said in an interview with
Russia’s Arabic-language Sputnik news agency.
the Syrian government focused on crushing foreign-backed militants and Takfiri
terrorists, Kurdish militants carved out a de facto autonomous region in the
country's north and northeast which was later occupied by US troops, raising
fears that they might be aiming to partition the country.
developments have raised serious concerns in Ankara and turned into a source of
tensions between Turkey and the US, its NATO ally.
Damascus government now controls more than two-thirds of Syria and is
determined to reassert its authority over Kurdish-controlled regions.
solution to the problem now is for the Kurdish groups dealing with America to
turn their backs on this and turn to the Syrian state,” Haidar added.
follows rule of law on pastor case’
the Turkish president referred to the case of detained American pastor Andrew
Brunson and said that Ankara cannot fulfill “unlawful requests” be the US
regarding the issue.
noted that Turkey followed the rule of law and that Washington would not be
able to make progress in the case by using threats.
two sides are entangled in a dispute over Ankara’s imprisonment of the
evangelical Christian pastor. He has been accused of having links with the
outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement, which Turkey
blames for the 2016 failed military coup.
senior Israeli official says the Tel Aviv regime has launched hundreds of
strikes against various targets inside conflict-plagued Syria in the last two
just now it was published -- in the name of military sources, so I can quote it
too -- that in the last two years Israel has taken military action more than
200 times within Syria itself,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told
a conference hosted by the IDC Herzliya college on Tuesday.
claimed that most of the targets belonged to Iran, adding, “Understand the
significance of this matter in terms of preserving the red line, preventing the
things that Iran has done, is doing and is trying to do against Israel from
began carrying out military strikes in Syria in 2013.
and Tehran have repeatedly rejected Israeli claims that Iran has military bases
in Syria. Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the
request of the Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on
various fronts against terror outfits.
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami was in Damascus last week and
signed an agreement on defense and technical cooperation designed to ensure the
continued presence and participation of Iran in Syria's reconstruction.
a meeting with his Syrian counterpart, General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, in Damascus
on August 26, Hatami warned of extra-regional countries' plots to sow discord
in Syria and vowed the Islamic Republic's full support for the war-ravaged
country in a bid to preserve its territorial integrity and improve its
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Syrian counterpart Walid
al-Muallem in a meeting in Damascus on Monday that the Islamic Republic will
continue to support Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.
top Iranian and Syrian diplomats also discussed regional issues and the latest
developments in Syria, including the return of displaced people to their
hailed Iran's support for his country in the battle against terrorist groups
and called on Tehran to continue its cooperation with Damascus in this regard.
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have fired
four domestically-designed and -developed ballistic missiles at a strategic
economic target in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern border region of Jizan in
retaliation for the Riyadh regime’s devastating military aggression against
their impoverished country.
Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that the short-range Badr-1
missiles struck an oil refinery of the Saudi Arabian national petroleum and
natural gas company, Aramco, as well as petrochemical plants at Jazan Economic
City, located 967 kilometers southwest of the capital Riyadh, with great
precision, on Tuesday evening.
report added that the sound of massive explosions could be heard in different
parts of Jizan city.
in the day, Yemeni troopers and their allies destroyed an armored vehicle
belonging to Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to former President Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi north of al-Durayhimi district in the country’s strategic western
province of Hudaydah, when they fired a missile at the car.
of Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured in the attack.
Yemeni soldiers and Popular Committees fighters detonated an improvised
explosive device close to al-Tawal border crossing, which links Yemen’s
northwestern province of Hajjah to Saudi Arabia’s Jizan region, killing and
injuring several Saudi-backed militiamen.
an unnamed Yemeni military official said sharpshooters have fatally shot five
Saudi troopers as well as ten Saudi mercenaries in various military camps
across Jizan over the past few days.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
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