certifired_img

Books and Documents

Islamic World News (15 Jul 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Human Rights Violations and Religious Violence in India: Muslims in North Texas Ask America to Use Trade as Leverage to Prevent Such Acts







Human Rights Violations and Religious Violence in India: Muslims in North Texas Ask America to Use Trade as Leverage to Prevent Such Acts

Britain’s MP Slams India over Muslim Lynchings, Calls It Serious

Jamat-e-Islami Hind Ameer Stresses to Eradicate Misunderstanding about Islam

Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar Have Been Granted Bail from Arrest Till August 31

Burqa-Clad Taliban Commander Arrested In North-East of Afghanistan

As China Locks Up Muslims in Xinjiang, It Opens Its Doors To Tourists

Study Finds the British Media Contributing To Islamophobia

How Qatar Is Moulding Americans’ Opinion In Favour Of Extremism

 

India

Human Rights Violations and Religious Violence in India: Muslims in North Texas Ask America to Use Trade as Leverage to Prevent Such Acts

Britain’s MP Slams India Over Muslim Lynchings, Calls It Serious

Jamat-e-Islami Hind Ameer Stresses to Eradicate Misunderstanding About Islam

US Concerned About Treatment Of Muslims In India: Nancy Pelosi

Muslim Imam Assaulted, Forced To Chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ 12 Booked

Moradabad: FIR against three Muslim barbers for ‘refusing’ to cut hair of Dalits

--------

Pakistan

Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar Have Been Granted Bail from Arrest Till August 31

Pakistan on the brink of civil dictatorship

IdeaGist hikes investment to $100m for PM’s startup programme

MQM-P throws its weight behind Senate chairman ahead of no-trust move

Firdous says Shehbaz should quit politics after Daily Mail’s claims

--------

South Asia

Burqa-Clad Taliban Commander Arrested In North-East of Afghanistan

Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties in Afghan forces operations in Qalat city

Afghan Special Forces arrest 10 Taliban militants in Kabul

12 Taliban militants killed, wounded in Paktiya, Ghazni: 203rd Thunder Corps

Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties in Afghan forces operations in Qalat city

Four Afghan forces killed as Taliban attack hotel compound

--------

Southeast Asia

As China Locks Up Muslims in Xinjiang, It Opens Its Doors To Tourists

Heineken 0.0 is only for non-Muslims

--------

Europe

Study Finds the British Media Contributing To Islamophobia

UK Envoy Wrote Trump Pulled Out Of Iran Deal to Spite Obama: Report

European Parties To Iran Deal Urge Dialog, End To Tensions

France, Germany, Britain concerned over Iran nuke

UK Terror Police Investigate If Christian Charity Paid Ransom to ISIS

--------

Arab World

How Qatar Is Moulding Americans’ Opinion In Favour Of Extremism

Saudi Arabia Hailed For Unifying Muslim World In Maintaining Security, Stability Of Arab Region

Ankara Transfers Tens of ISIL Terrorists From Turkey to Aleppo’s Afrin

Ankara Arming Militants With Modern Weapons to Confront Syrian Army in Northern Syria

Aleppo: People Ask for Exit of Occupying Turkish Army Troops from Al-Bab Military Base

Ankara Preparing to Launch Fresh Military Operations in Eastern Euphrates

Terrorists blow up gas pipeline in central Syria in sabotage attack: State news agency

US sanctions, pressure make us stronger: Senior Hezbollah official

Hezbollah lawmaker storms Lebanese police station ‘shoots son-in-law’

Joint military drill between Saudi, US forces kicks off

--------

Mideast

Rouhani Says Iran Ready For Talks If US Lifts Sanctions, Returns To Nuclear Deal

IRGC Commander: Enemy Will Lose Their Dignity in ‘Second Phase’ Of Islamic Revolution

Egyptian delegation seeks to prevent new Gaza flare-up

Netanyahu warns of ‘crushing’ retaliation after Hezbollah chief’s remarks

Yemeni missiles, rockets hit targets inside Saudi Arabia

Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 64 Kurdish PKK terrorists in northern Iraq: Defence Ministry

Turkey reacts to threat of US sanctions with military deployment near Syria

--------

Africa

Sudan Protesters Delay Signing Deal with Army for Second Time

Turkey, Uganda talk handover of FETO terror schools

Sudan activists call for ‘justice’ for killed protesters

Final death toll in boat migrant accident off Tunisia rises to 82

Feared Sudanese paramilitary force kills 1 in Khartoum

Nigerian cop, shot by soldiers after surviving Boko Haram battles, narrates experience

--------

North America

Trump’s Tweets against Liberal Congresswomen Called Racist

Trump Admin To Impose Sanctions On Turkey For Buying Russian S-400 Air Defence Systems

Trump's nominee for top military post warns against early Afghanistan pullout

Trump’s apparent efforts to boost Democratic infighting appear to fail

US grants visa to Iran's Zarif for UN meeting this week

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/human-rights-violations-and-religious-violence-in-india--muslims-in-north-texas-ask-america-to-use-trade-as-leverage-to-prevent-such-acts/d/119194

--------

 

Human Rights Violations and Religious Violence in India: Muslims in North Texas Ask America to Use Trade as Leverage to Prevent Such Acts

July 15, 2019

Members of the North Texas Indian Muslim community protested Sunday against recent attacks against Muslims and other religious minorities in India.

The gathering of about 200 people at Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas chanted, "We are Tabrez! Justice for Tabrez!" in reaction to the June 17 fatal beating of Tabrez Ansari, which was captured on a video that has been widely circulated.

A group of men forced the 24-year-old Muslim, who was accused of burglary, to chant praises to Hindu gods before he was killed, The New York Times said. He reportedly was beaten for 12 hours before he died at a hospital.

Syed Ali, vice president of the Indian American Council, said members of the Hindu nationalist group Hindutva have lynched dozens of Muslims in the last five years.

"This is a very dangerous trend," he said. "As members of the Indian diaspora who are living in this very prosperous country we should come together to demand action from Congress."

Hindus account for nearly 80% of India’s population while Muslims account for 14%, according to the CIA World Factbook. Christians and Sikhs each make up about 2% of the population.

Sharib Haroon, a board member of the Dallas-Irving chapter of the Indian American Council, said religious minorities have long faced backlash in India but now government officials are encouraging hate crimes.

“This is not new, but the machinery and the impunity were not there before,” he said.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected a State Department report in June that religious intolerance from Hindu nationalist groups has grown under the right-wing government of India, according to Aljazeera.

The gathering in Dallas was part of a nationwide protest that also included Houston, New York City and Chicago.

The organizers called for the U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom to raise India to the highest level of concern and use trade as leverage to prevent human rights violations in the country.

“This is the foundation of our democracy,” said Hadi Jawad, the executive president of the Dallas Peace and Justice Centre. “You call, and you say to the member of Congress, to the senator, that you want India to be in the spotlight ... that you demand Indian leaders are held accountable.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/downtown-dallas/2019/07/14/muslims-north-texas-protest-religious-violence-india

--------

 

Britain’s MP slams India over Muslim lynchings, calls it serious

July 14, 2019

London: UK’s Labour Party MP Jonathan Ashworth has slammed India over the violent hate crimes on Muslims and called on the British government to look into this extremely worrying situation in India and respond accordingly, TNIE reports.

MP Ashworth from Leicester South a constituency with a prominent Indian-origin electorate in the East Midlands region of England has written to foreign secretary and prime ministerial hopeful Jeremy Hunt last week stating that many of his constituents had raised concerns over Indian government not taking enough action on the rising issue targeting Muslims in the nation.

“I have been contacted by members of Muslim communities in my Constituency in regard to the on-going violent attacks on Muslims in India,” Ashworth wrote in his letter addressed to the senior Cabinet minister in the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

He called the hopeful prime ministerial Hunt to look into and respond over the “serious issue”, the shadow minister for health said:

 “The situation in India is extremely worrying, there have been reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs.

“My constituents are concerned that the Indian government is not doing enough to address the on-going attacks on Muslim communities in India.”

Responding to the letter, the FCO said that it engaged with India on the full range of human rights matters to build capacity and share expertise and condemns any instances of discrimination because of religion or belief, “regardless of the faith or country involved”.

“We are working to improve the situation for Muslim minorities in India, and our ‘Empowering Muslim youth’ project reached 150 young people, 20 teachers and over 100 educational institutions.

We have also enabled training for 900 minority students on faith issues in six universities across North India,” an FCO spokesperson said.

PM Modi reacting on the Jharkhand lynching has told last month that the incident has pained him and that the guilty shall be severely punished.

https://www.siasat.com/news/britain-slams-india-over-muslim-lynchings-calls-it-serious-1547812/

--------

 

Jamat-E-Islami Hind Ameer Stresses To Eradicate Misunderstanding About Islam

July 14, 2019

New Delhi: Ameer of Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Mr. Syed Sadatullah Husaini gave the details of the four year new policy of the organization for the period from 2019-2023 in a press conference held at Press Club of India, New Delhi.

Mr. Husaini said that along with the protection of Muslims, concentration on the reformation of society form the priorities of the organization. Training of the cadre will also receive attention.

He further told that there is a need to eradicate misunderstanding about Islam in order to bridge the gap between various communities of the country.

Eradication of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and to help people during natural calamities are also on the agenda of the organization.

To face the challenges and to project the image of Islam for creating a healthy atmosphere will also receive proper attention.

At the end of the press conference, he expressed the hope that good situation will prevail in the country in the future.

https://www.siasat.com/news/jih-ameer-stresses-eradicate-misunderstanding-about-islam-1547516/

--------

 

Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafar Have Been Granted Bail from Arrest Till August 31

By Express Web Desk

New Delhi

July 15, 2019

The saga of Hafiz Saeed

Along with Saeed, three others were also granted the bail in a case pertaining to the outfit’s alleged illegal use of land for its seminary. (AP Photo)

Days after India called out Pakistan’s move to lodge 23 cases against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief as a bid to “hoodwink the international community”, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore granted pre-arrest bail to Hafiz Saeed, Dawn reported. Along with Saeed, three others were also granted the bail in a case pertaining to the outfit’s alleged illegal use of land for its seminary.

Hafiz Masood, Ameer Hamza, and Malik Zafarhave been granted bail from arrest till August 31 against surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each. JuD’s counsel told that court that the outfit was not using any piece of land illegally.

Meanwhile,  the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued notices to the Pakistan government, the Punjab (Pakistan) government and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on a plea moved by Saeed challenging the charges of terror financing. The court has given two weeks to the officials to respond.

https://indianexpress.com/article/pakistan/pakistan-anti-terrorism-court-grants-bail-to-hafiz-saeed-lahore-hc-issues-notices-to-govt-ctd-jud-5830643/?utm

--------

 

 

Burqa-clad Taliban commander arrested in North-east of Afghanistan

14 Jul 2019

The security forces arrested a Burqa-clad Taliban commander during an operation in Takhar province.

The 209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said Sunday the security forces arrested the Taliban commander as he was attempting to escape the province.

This is not the first time the security forces have arrested Burqa-clad militants during their operations.

The anti-government armed militants often disguise themselves in Burqas and women’s dress in attempt to escape the military operations or conduct attacks.

Meanwhile, the Shaheen Corps did not disclose further information regarding the detained Taliban commander and his identity.

The Taliban group has not commented regarding the arrest of the group’s commander in Takhar so far.

https://www.khaama.com/burqa-clad-taliban-commander-arrested-in-north-east-of-afghanistan-03916/

--------

 

As China locks up Muslims in Xinjiang, it opens its doors to tourists

Jul 15, 2019

KASHGAR: From the expansive dunes of the Taklamakan Desert to the snow-capped peaks of Tianshan, Chinese authorities are selling troubled Xinjiang as a tourist idyll, welcoming travellers even as they send locals to internment camps.

The government has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in the tightly-controlled region in China's northwest, but it has also created a parallel universe for visitors, who are only shown a carefully curated version of traditional customs and culture.

In the Old Town of Kashgar, an ancient Silk Road city, smiling food vendors serve mouthwatering lamb skewers, while children play in the streets. "It didn't look to me like -- unless you were picked up and put in a camp -- that these Uighur communities seemed to be living in some kind of fear," said William Lee, who has taught at universities in China for 10 years and visited the region in June.

"That's just my impression," he added.

Xinjiang, a fraught region where flare-ups of interethnic violence have led to unprecedented levels of surveillance, is one of the fastest growing areas for tourism in China.

Armed police and frequent checkpoints have not dampened the flow of vacationers visiting the region, which in 2018 saw a 40 percent increase year-on-year of visits -- mainly from domestic tourists -- outstripping the national average by 25 percent, according to official figures.

Business has grown steadily over the years mainly because "Xinjiang is very stable", explained Wu Yali, who runs a travel agency in the region.

Though tourists are not used to the high-level of security at first, "they adapt after a few days," she told AFP.

But travellers are barred from witnessing the most controversial part of Xinjiang's security apparatus: the network of internment camps spread across the vast region.

Many of these facilities are outside main tourist hubs and are fenced off with razor-wired walls.

On a six-day trip to the region last month, AFP reporters encountered roadblocks and were turned away by security forces upon nearing some camps.

China describes the facilities as "vocational education centres" where Turkic-speaking "trainees" learn Mandarin and job skills.

"The violence that is being inflicted on the bodies of Uighur and other Muslim people...has been rendered invisible," said Rachel Harris, who studies Uighur culture and music at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London.

"For a tourist who goes and travels around a designated route, it all looks nice," she told AFP. "It's all very quiet and that's because there's a regime of terror being imposed on the local people."

According to Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, the regional government offered travellers subsidies worth 500 yuan ($73) each in 2014, after tourism plunged following a deadly knife attack blamed on Xinjiang separatists in southwestern China.

By 2020, Xinjiang is aiming to hit a total of 300 million visits by tourists and rake in 600 billion yuan ($ 87 billion), according to the region's tourism bureau.

Tourism packages to Xinjiang often feature the region's rich array of natural beauty, from the azure waters of Karakul lake to Tianshan -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many also offer "ethnic" experiences, often in the form of dance performances. Some tour operators even include visits to Uighur homes. Even as Chinese authorities seek to contain the region's Muslim minorities, they are monetising ethnic culture -- albeit a simplified version of it, experts say.

"Uighur culture is being boiled down to just song and dance," said Josh Summers, an American who lived in Xinjiang for more than a decade and wrote travel guides for the region.

"What makes me sad is what ends up happening is there are only very specific parts of Uighur culture that get maintained because of the tourism," he said, citing the neglect of Uighur paper-making traditions and desert shrines.

Beijing's security clampdown has also squeezed Yengisar city's artisanal knife trade, said Summers.

"Ever since the management of Xinjiang became stricter, the impact on Yengisar's small knives has been very large -- now there are very few shops selling small knives," agreed Li Qingwen, who runs a tourism business in Xinjiang.

The government wants Uighurs to "show how they excel in singing and dancing, instead of living under religious rules and restrictions," he told AFP. But while ethnic song and dance is showcased to tourists, Uighurs are often restricted in how they express their own culture.

Large, spontaneous gatherings of Uighurs -- even if they involve dancing -- are less frequent because of tightened security, said Summers.

Night markets too are more controlled. In Hotan, what used to be an outdoor night market is now inside a white tent, where red lanterns hang from the ceiling and uniform food stalls adorned with Chinese flags sell lamb skewers, but also sushi and seafood. Over the past few years, cultural leaders in the Uighur community have disappeared, raising fears they have been detained.

In February, Turkey's foreign ministry claimed that prominent Uighur musician and poet Abdurehim Heyit had died in a Chinese prison -- prompting China to release a "proof-of-life" video of an inmate who identified himself as Heyit.

Famous Uighur comedian Adil Mijit is also missing, according to social media posts by his son-in-law Arslan Hidayat.

And though tourists are buffered from the ugliest parts of Xinjiang's security crackdown, it is not difficult to bump against the region's many red lines.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/as-china-locks-up-muslims-in-xinjiang-it-opens-its-doors-to-tourists/articleshow/70222577.cms

--------

 

Study finds the British media contributing to Islamophobia

July 14, 2019

Media reports on Muslims are contributing to a rise in Islamophobiawith most British news outlets giving a “negative and misleading” coverage of the community, a first of its kind study has found.

The study, published by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) on Tuesday, said far-right leaders and commentators used TV debate programmes to propagate stereotypes about Islam and Muslims.

The study analysed more than 10,000 news articles and broadcasts in the UK from 2018 and identified “serious problems” in the way British media reports about Islam or Muslims, its authors said.WATCH25:25

In print media, the study found that 59 percent of the articles analysed associated Muslims with negative behaviour, while more than a third “misrepresented or made generalisations” about the community.

The study said 78 percent of the stories in the Mail on Sunday newspaper featuring Islam or Muslims living in the UK had a negative coverage of the community.

On the other hand, it said the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Independent had the least negative portrayal of Muslims.

In television, Sky News had the highest proportion of misleading coverage, with 14 percent of its clips rated “very biased”, the study said.

It said that regional TV broadcasters presented a more supportive coverage of Muslims, with the ITV’s regional channels having no content they could call “very biased”.

The study said Muslim women were either “othered” through misrepresentative choices of images, or silenced through a general lack of due prominence.

Other anti-Islam tropes the study said it found in the British media included the faith being “inherently anti-Semitic”. It said news reports conflated support for Palestinians with anti-Semitism and portrayed Muslim solidarity with Jews as unusual.

The report said far-right figures were given prominent positions in TV debates, which helped them in normalising their propaganda.

The study, conducted by the MCB’s Centre for Media Monitoring, said its methodology was verified by Professor Paul Baker, an expert in critical discourse analysis at Lancaster University.

“As the first in a series of quarterly reports, the Centre for Media Monitoring hopes that by highlighting examples of coverage on Muslims and Islam, it can serve as a valuable resource for journalists,” said the study’s co-author Faisal Hanif.

https://www.siasat.com/news/study-finds-british-media-contributing-islamophobia-1547710/

--------

 

How Qatar Is Moulding Americans’ Opinion In Favour Of Extremism

RAY HANANIA

July 14, 2019

CHICAGO: Qatar is investing billions of dollars in American universities, cash-hungry lobbyists in Washington, DC, journalists, mainstream activist groups and policy think tanks in an apparent drive to soften criticism of its activities that researchers focused on terrorism say fuels violent extremism.

The researchers argue that these concerns should have led the discussion that President Donald Trump held with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on July 9 at the White House. Though in the past Trump has criticized Qatar over its support for terrorism, this meeting focused only on economic issues.

Journalist and activist Mike Cernovich, who was involved in exposing the sexual harassment allegations that forced Congressman John Conyers to resign and opened the seat to Palestinian activist Rashida Tlaib in Michigan’s 13th District, released a documentary in March titled “Blood Money: How Qatar Bought off the D.C. Media Establishment” to argue the case for greater scrutiny of Qatar’s activities.

Cernovich has come under attack from liberal writers, including some secretly funded by Qatar’s foreign allies. But Cernovich’s documentary raises serious concerns about how Doha has spread its influence deep into critical US establishments to shape Americans' perception of Qatar, playing down its dubious associations and extremist agenda.

Most of Qatar’s funds are being channeled through Qatar Foundation, which has been criticized for its ties to extremist Islamic ideologies and activists, and for giving hate speech a platform in Doha’s Education City Mosque.

David Reaboi, a national-security consultant based in Washington, DC, has ridiculed Qatar’s attempts to claim a neutral stance when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Brotherhood has found a home in Qatar and, today, they are supporting (and also counting on the support of) every Islamist group and activist in the world.” Reaboi said.

“For them to distance themselves from the Brotherhood in public might be good public relations, but it’s like asking Egypt to distance itself from the pyramids in Giza.”

Among those demanding accountability and transparency in Qatar’s lobbying activities in America is the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a conservative US think tank. Varsha Koduvayur, an FDD senior researcher, has called on Trump to act, arguing that Qatar’s emir must “come clean” about its funding of American universities.

“President Trump should tell the emir that America welcomes genuine investments in our education system, but not influence peddling. Trump should explicitly note to the emir that his administration will not tolerate Qatar Foundation’s bad-faith efforts to circumvent federal disclosure rules,” Koduvayur said.

According to Koduvayur, Qatar is not only “meddling” in major universities but also targeting teachers at elementary and high schools (K12), impacting young people and teenagers under the age of 18.

Reaboi, who is interviewed extensively in Cernovich’s “Blood Money,” argued that Qatar’s actions are “detrimental to America’s national interests.”

“When our friends in the Muslim world realized that they were seditious, and had the goal of overthrowing their governments as well, I think that a kind of breakthrough became possible,” Reaboi said.

“Western criticisms of the Brotherhood suddenly made a lot more sense to many Arab citizens, especially in places like Egypt, which had to claw itself out of a Brotherhood takeover. I think there's a broad coalition now of anti-Islamists across the globe, and it's confounding a lot of the pro-Islamist mainstream media and befuddling a lot of so-called Middle East experts.”

Data shows that Qatar is using its funds to mold American public opinion through such universities as Georgetown, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Cornell, Michigan and Northwestern. Georgetown, VCU, Cornell and Texas A&M have even established branch campuses in Qatar. And Qatar is funding the Brookings Institution, Cernovich says.

These investments have helped Qatar deflect news media attention away from its extremist agenda plus its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and towards Saudi Arabia, which is leading the criticism of Qatar’s extremist ties.

Qatari investments mainly in real estate and investments in the US exceed $45 billion, according to a January 2019 report from Reuters news agency.

Reaboi said Qatar leads the world in pushing a political agenda through lobbying and media funding.

“Arguably, there’s no other country that’s even half as aggressive in the foreign-influence game as Qatar. Americans should be aware of its dangerous information and influence efforts,” he said.

What makes Qatar’s investments even more suspicious is that Qatar has turned to legal means to prevent state governments from forcing detailed disclosures of how their funds are being used.

Qatar Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Texas attorney general’s office to prevent the state from forcing Texas A&M University to disclose the details of its contract with Qatar.

Doha claimed that the terms of the contract are a “trade secret” and thus exposure could hurt Qatar Foundation’s interests. In the US, private institutions are not required to disclose their contract terms but Texas A&M is a public institution.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1525671/middle-east

--------

 

India

 

US concerned about treatment of Muslims in India: Nancy Pelosi

July 14, 2019

WASHINGTON: Nancy Pelosi, the United States Speaker of the House of Representatives has said the US Congress was and continues to be concerned about the treatment of Muslims in India.

According to a report in ‘The Hindu‘, Ms. Pelosi’s comments came on Thursday during a conversation with Chairman of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) John Chambers at a Forum event in Washington DC.

“We were proud to welcome him [Prime Minister Narendra Modi] to a joint session of Congress [in 2016], we had some concerns about the treatment of Muslims in India – I have to mention it – then and now,” Pelosi was quoted as saying.

The US leader also described Mahatma Gandhi as the spiritual leader of the US’ movement of non-violence.

Calling herself a “worshipper” of Mahatma Gandhi, she recalled an incident saying, “I was wearing a hat in the school and a nun asked me that ‘who do think you are? Mahatma Gandhi?’ I had no idea about it.”

“I went to the library and there was a lot of books on Mahatma Gandhi back in the 1950s. At college, I used to get all the books on Mahatma Gandhi in the class. I learnt more and more about him. I became completely worshipping at the shrine of Mahatma Gandhi,” she continued.

She also praises for PM Modi’s oratory skills, saying the Indian leader is “spectacular” and had the people in the “palm of his hands”.

https://www.siasat.com/news/us-concerned-about-treatment-muslims-india-nancy-pelosi-1545686/

--------

 

Muslim Imam assaulted, forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ 12 booked

July 14, 2019

Baghpat: It was just like any other day when Muslim cleric Imlaq-ur-Rehman was going to his village on his motorcycle when he was intercepted, thrashed and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram by’ 12 youngsters yesterday.

Acting on the cleric’s complaint, the Superintendent of Police Shailesh Kumar Pandey today said: “Prime facie it seems to be a matter of physical assault. Even then, the police have registered a case against 12 youngsters on the basis of the cleric’s complaint. Action will be taken against them on the basis of probe,” Indiatoday reports.

Imam Imlaq-ur-Rehman, a Muzaffarnagar resident in his complaint stated he was thrashed and the youngsters even pulled his beard, threatening him to only come to the village after shaving off his beard.

The cleric said he was only rescued when two people of his village helped him when he raised an alarm SP Pandey said.

Full report at:

https://www.siasat.com/news/muslim-imam-assaulted-forced-chant-jai-shri-ram-12-booked-1547842/

--------

 

Moradabad: FIR against three Muslim barbers for ‘refusing’ to cut hair of Dalits

by Manish Sahu

July 15, 2019

An FIR was lodged on Sunday against three Muslim barbers in the Peepalsana village in Moradabad district after Dalit residents alleged that they refused to cut their hair.

The three barbers — Riyaz Alam, Ishaq and Jahid — were booked under IPC and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

According to 45-year-old Mahesh Chandra, he filed a complaint to stop caste-based discrimination. “This has been going on for several years, but now we have decided to raise our voice,” he said.

Mahesh also said that after he filed a complaint, police held a meeting in the village. “In the meeting, barbers agreed that they would cut the hair of Dalits. But after police mediation, barbers shut their shops for three days,” he said.

Full report at:

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/fir-against-three-muslim-barbers-for-refusing-to-cut-hair-of-dalits-5829303/

--------

 

Pakistan

 

Pakistan on the brink of civil dictatorship

ADNAN AAMIR

15 Jul 2019

As Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan approaches the end of its first year, the country is rapidly drifting towards civil dictatorship. The arrest of opposition politicians, a crackdown on the media, and the imposition of a draconian economic policy has been the hallmark of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. This has frustrated hopes of achieving a measure of political stability, which had been expected after July elections last year.

During the highly charged 2018 election campaign, Imran Khan’s main promise was to eradicate graft in the country. He pledged to arrest corrupt politicians and billions of dollars allegedly parked by Pakistanis in overseas banks. After coming to power, Khan’s government has arrested opposition politicians, but without any due process.

In Imran Khan’s Pakistan, the list of incarcerated politicians is long. Three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is in prison on corruption charges. In June, former president Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on corruption charges. (Khan had openly said in his election campaign that he would ensure the arrest of Zardari and Sharif.) A few days later, Hamza Shahbaz, the opposition leader in Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, was also arrested on corruption charges. Furthermore, Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, two members of parliament from tribal areas, are in police custody for an alleged attack on an army check point. Neither were allowed to attend the budget session, despite the fact that law requires all members of parliament to attend parliament sessions even if they are being held in prison.

The latest victim of this arrest drive was Rana Sanaullah, a provincial president from the largest opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League, or PML-N. Authorities arrested Sanaullah after a huge collection of drugs was reportedly found in his private vehicle. More arrests are expected.

The problem is the pattern – no substantive evidence has been produced against any of the arrested leaders. Zardari and Shahbaz were arrested merely on the basis of suspicion, while Sharif serves a sentence in prison handed down by a judge reportedly put under intense pressure by the government. Whereas in the case of Sanaullah, who can definitively say how the authorities in Pakistan came to find drugs in a vehicle of a person who is subsequently arrested for possession?

The arrest of political leaders is widely seen more as a witch-hunt and less a genuine anti-corruption drive. The pattern has seriously affected the credibility of Khan’s government. Yet he is showing no hesitation. Instead, Khan last month set up a high-powered inquiry to investigate the rise in Pakistan’s debt across the past decade – to go after the “thieves who left the country badly in debt” as Khan himself put it, “so that no one dare leave the country in tatters ever again”. Yet this latest move is also seen as an attempt by Khan to further persecute his political opponents.

At a time when there is no effective opposition left to challenge decision-making, the media seems to be the next target, with the authorities preventing the media from criticising the government. An interview of former president Zardari was stopped from going to air on Pakistan’s leading television channel, Geo News. Journalists critical of the government are facing sedition charges and other intimidation tactics. The social media team of Khan’s party PTI even promoted the hashtag #ArrestAntiPakjournalists on Twitter in an effort to intimidate reporters.

All this is a bad omen for government accountability. The PTI was able to passed a budget in June imposing record new taxes on people in a country already suffering due to economic turmoil. (Thousands of businesses joined in nationwide strikes at the weekend in protest.) The value of the Pakistani rupee has fallen significant in the past year, while inflation has skyrocketed. Still, the government has cut development funds and subsidies, while increasing taxes and sharply raising the of cost of domestic gas. What opposition there has been against these budget measures has been led by civil society and human rights activists in Karachi – with the bulk of the opposition and media largely silenced.

Ultimately, the cost will be felt by Pakistanis themselves, particularly lower- and middle-class sections. The frustration from this economic turmoil will be especially seen among the youth, with about 60% of Pakistan’s population under the age of 30. There are already fears this will push younger Pakistanis towards extremism.

Ultimately, this turn toward civilian authoritarianism coupled with economic turmoil will keep Pakistani politically destabilised. This will make it difficult for the continued development of mega-projects, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of Beijing’s Belt and Road ambitions, which has already been met with local resistance (The threat within: Pakistan’s ties to China). Khan’s actions therefore appear self-defeating, threatening not only to earn his government the wrath of people at home but also isolation abroad.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/pakistan-brink-civil-dictatorship

--------

 

IdeaGist hikes investment to $100m for PM’s startup programme

July 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: IdeaGist, the world’s largest incubator, announced an increase in its technology investment from $55 million to $100m to support Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision on entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging technologies.

The additional amount of $45 million will be invested in incubating and accelerating new ventures in emerging technologies, said IdeaGist founder Hassan Syed in a statement issued here on Sunday.

He congratulated the prime minister and the State Bank of Pakistan on the successful launch of Rs100 billion finance programme within months of its conception.

The State Bank of Pakistan had launched a subsidised financing programme worth Rs100bn for startups and small-to-medium enterprise on Saturday to create self-employment opportunities in the country.

Mr Syed said that it made a commercial sense to invest strategically in Pakistan’s innovation ecosystem.

He urged the prime minister and the minister for science and technology to find creative ways of investing in emerging technology ventures and promote a culture of innovation.

IdeaGist has already launched an accelerator and incubator programme around seven key emerging technologies which are: 3D printing, artificial intelligence, intelligent vehicles, smart robots, blockchain, internet of things and augmented reality.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1494102/ideagist-hikes-investment-to-100m-for-pms-startup-programme

--------

 

MQM-P throws its weight behind Senate chairman ahead of no-trust move

July 15, 2019

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Sunday expressed its full confidence on Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani announcing that it would not support the no-confidence motion filed by opposition parties against him in the upper house.

MQM-P spokesperson Syed Aminul Haq told Dawn that the decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s coordination committee presided over by convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

About the no-confidence motion filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf against Senate’s deputy chairman Saleem Mandviwala of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Mr Haq said that his party’s senators were among the signatories of the no-confidence motion against him.

At present, the MQM-P has five senators who sit on the treasury benches in the upper house being allies of the PTI-led ruling coalition.

The party had supported Mr Sanjrani at the time of his election in March 2018. However, it did not vote for Mr Mandviwala in his election as the deputy chairman.

A statement issued by the MQM-P said that the coordination committee had decided to call “Haq Parast senators” to Karachi to form a strategy to deal with the no-confidence move against Sanjrani.

The meeting expressed its full confidence in Mr Sanjrani and decided to oppose the no-confidence move against him “at every forum”.

Over 300 join PSP

Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal has said that despite the fact that his party was not in government more people were joining it.

Speaking at a press conference here on Sunday, he said that 327 people belonging to different political parties joined his party today and 178 of them had left MQM-Pakistan to join the PSP.

He appealed to people to participate in large numbers in the public meeting scheduled to be held on July 21 in Bagh-i-Jinnah.

He once again offered the Sindh government that he was ready to help in the completion of the K-IV water supply project within a period of three years against a symbolic salary of Re1.

Criticising the MQM-P, he said that Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was part of the ruling coalition at the Centre but instead of forcing Prime Minister Imran Khan to release funds for K-IV his party was hanging banners in Karachi in protest over water shortage.

He said that the confidence of a common man in the government had already eroded.

He said that Imran Khan was behaving like the prime minister of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone as Sindh and Balochistan had been completely neglected by the federal government.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1494094/mqm-p-throws-its-weight-behind-senate-chairman-ahead-of-no-trust-move

--------

 

Firdous says Shehbaz should quit politics after Daily Mail’s claims

July 15, 2019

SIALKOT: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that a leading British tabloid Daily Mail has also exposed “Shehbaz Sharif’s [alleged] massive corruption and money-laundering”.

Talking to the media-persons on Sunday, she said the Sharif family, especially Shehbaz Sharif, plundered 500 million pounds relief aid donated by Britain for the earthquake victims in Pakistan.

She said that Shehbaz also deceived the British people as well as the Pakistani nation through alleged massive money-laundering.

She said that the shameful act by the ‘Corruption King’ Shehbaz Sharif and his gang brought a bad name to Pakistan globally and created a bad impression of the country in the comity of nations as well.

She said that all “national institutions in Pakistan would now probe” the matter of Shehbaz Sharif’s reported corruption, pointed out by the British daily.

She said: “It is a truth published by the leading British newspaper, and not an act of so-called revenge by the Pakistan government against Shehbaz Sharif and his gang.”

She said that the Sharif family also weakened the national institutions for their vested interests and to protect their local and international corruption.

She asked Shehbaz Sharif to quit politics in the larger national interest, as his alleged corruption had been “proved globally”.

Firdous claimed that there was complete freedom of expression in the country, adding that the media was enjoying complete freedom.

She said that some ‘actors’ in Pakistan were giving an impression that the media did not enjoy freedom in Pakistan, adding that she strongly condemned such people.

Full report at:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/07/14/firdous-says-shehbaz-should-quit-politics-after-daily-mails-claims/

--------

 

South Asia

 

Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties in Afghan forces operations in Qalat city

14 Jul 2019

The Afghan forces conducted operations in the outskirts of Qalat city of Zabul inflicting heavy casualties on Taliban militants.

The 205th Atal Corps in a statement said the security forces conducted the operations as part of Khalid-98 operations.

The statement further added that the security forces killed 10 Taliban militants during the operations.

Furthermore, the 205th Atal Corps said the security forces also wounded 15 Taliban militants during the same operations.

The Taliban group has not commented regarding the operations so far.

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-militants-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-afghan-forces-operations-in-qalat-city-03924/

--------

 

Afghan Special Forces arrest 10 Taliban militants in Kabul

14 Jul 2019

The Afghan Special Forces arrested ten Taliban militants during an operation in Kabul.

The informed military sources said Sunday that the Special Forces arrested the Taliban militants in Chahar Asyab district.

The Taliban group has not commented regarding the operation so far.

This comes as the security situation in some remote districts of Kabul has deteriorated during the recent months.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-special-forces-arrest-10-taliban-militants-in-kabul-03917/

--------

 

12 Taliban militants killed, wounded in Paktiya, Ghazni: 203rd Thunder Corps

15 Jul 2019

The security forces killed, wounded at least 12 Taliban militants during the operations in Paktiya and Ghazni.

The 203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said the security forces killed 5 militants during a patrol in Jani Khel district of Paktiya province.

The statement further added that the security forces also wounded 5 others during the same operation.

Furthermore, the security forces killed 2 Taliban militants during a separate operation in Qarabagh district of Ghazni province.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/12-taliban-militants-killed-wounded-in-paktiya-ghazni-203rd-thunder-corps-03926/

--------

 

Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties in Afghan forces operations in Qalat city

14 Jul 2019

The Afghan forces conducted operations in the outskirts of Qalat city of Zabul inflicting heavy casualties on Taliban militants.

The 205th Atal Corps in a statement said the security forces conducted the operations as part of Khalid-98 operations.

The statement further added that the security forces killed 10 Taliban militants during the operations.

Furthermore, the 205th Atal Corps said the security forces also wounded 15 Taliban militants during the same operations.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-militants-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-afghan-forces-operations-in-qalat-city-03924/

--------

 

Four Afghan forces killed as Taliban attack hotel compound

14 July 2019

Four Afghan security forces were killed on Saturday when Taliban insurgents attacked a hotel, officials said, as violence continues across Afghanistan despite US-led efforts to end the war.

The assault took place in Qala-i-Naw, the capital of the western province of Badghis, when attackers struck a commercial area housing the hotel and several shops in the small city.

“We had intelligence reports that suicide bombers were planning to attack Qala-i-Naw,” Badghis governor Abdul Ghafoor Malikzai told AFP.

“The attackers took over a building near the governor’s office and police headquarters,” he added.

The defence ministry said three attackers were killed and two more arrested.

Four members of the Afghan security forces were killed and 20 people wounded, including civilians, the ministry said.

The incident comes less than a week after Taliban officials were sitting face-to-face with US negotiators in Doha in a bid to end Afghanistan’s nearly 18-year-old war.

Both sides reported good progress in the talks, but daily carnage continues across Afghanistan and NATO on Saturday announced the death of a US service member who was killed in a Taliban-claimed attack.

The hotel assault started around 12:40 pm (08:10 GMT) when a group of men, some wearing suicide vests, stormed the area.

Aziz Bek, the head of the Badghis provincial council, told AFP that children had been evacuated from nearby schools, and that explosions could be heard in the city.

According to Abdul Latif Rostaee, the local director of public health, 18 were wounded, including six civilians.

Nasrat Rahimi, an interior ministry spokesman, earlier said a group of suicide bombers had entered a hotel and were shooting civilians.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2019/07/14/Four-Afghan-forces-killed-as-Taliban-attack-hotel-compound-.html

--------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Heineken 0.0 is only for non-Muslims

15 Jul 2019

PETALING JAYA: Heineken Malaysia Bhd has reiterated that the sale of its new non-alcoholic malt beverage, Heineken 0.0, is aimed at non-Muslims only.

It clarified that the beverage was non-halal and only targeted for non-Muslims aged 21 and above, as mentioned during their product launch and in previous media reports.

“All Heineken 0.0 products are only available at the non-halal zone of supermarkets and convenience stores, with clear signage indicating that it is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above only.

“For stores without designated non-halal areas, we are placing clear signages to inform consumers that Heineken 0.0 is strictly for non-Muslims, aged 21 and above,” it said in a statement.

“The purpose for introducing Heineken 0.0 in Malaysia is to provide a choice for non-Muslim consumers who enjoy the taste of beer but not necessarily the effects of alcohol, particularly beer drinkers seeking to moderate their alcohol consumption as part of a balanced lifestyle,” it added.

It said this in response to complaints, including by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof (pic), for beer manufacturers in the country not to confuse consumers, especially Muslims, by producing alcohol-free drinks.

Bernama reported that Mujahid had told reporters during a function in Parit Buntar that the alcohol-free beer was only confusing Muslims and not a wise move as the process of producing the drink included distillation carried out in a system used to produce alcoholic products.

He also advised Muslims not to consume any product if they were doubtful of its halal status.

Jakim had also uploaded information on its Facebook, saying that the drink was made from the same process as alcoholic drinks and Muslims were prohibited from taking the drink – regardless if it had alcohol or not.

Heineken Malaysia said its “Now You Can” tagline for the Heineken 0.0 referred to the various new occasions that the drink could allow non-Muslim consumers to enjoy a beer, including lunch and work meetings or while driving.

“Our advertising materials on social media educate non-Muslim consumers about the ‘Now You Can’ occasions.

“As a responsible and progressive brewer, Heineken Malaysia is committed to advocating responsible consumption, and we believe Heineken 0.0 has an important role to play in this regard,” it said.

The company said it was “culturally sensitive” in its operations, adding that all its marketing materials had visible disclaimers that Heineken 0.0 was strictly for non-Muslims aged 21 and above only.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/07/15/heineken-00-is-only-for-nonmuslims/

--------

 

Europe

 

UK envoy wrote Trump pulled out of Iran deal to spite Obama: report

July 15, 2019

LONDON: Britain’s ambassador to Washington believed US President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal because it was associated with his predecessor Barack Obama, according to leaked documents published on Saturday.

“The administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal,” ambassador Kim Darroch wrote in a diplomatic cable in May 2018.

The cable was included in a second batch of leaked reports published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper, the first of which caused Darroch to resign earlier this week.

Separately, the Sunday Times reported that a government investigation into the leak had identified a civil servant as the person responsible.

Working with officials from the National Cyber Security Centre, part of spy agency GCHQ, and MI6, the probe has homed in on a suspect who had access to historical Foreign Office files, the paper said.

The first leaked cables authored by Darroch were published last weekend, causing major turmoil between Britain and its closest ally.

The ambassador was reported to have described the White House as “inept”, prompting Trump to claim the ambassador was a “pompous fool” whom he would no longer deal with.

Darroch resigned on Wednesday, saying it was now “impossible” to do his job.

In May 2018, Britain’s then-foreign minister Boris Johnson went to Washington to try to persuade Trump not to abandon the Iran deal.

In a cable sent afterwards, Darroch reportedly indicated there were divisions in Trump’s team over the decision, and criticised the White House for a lack of long-term strategy.

“They can’t articulate any ‘day-after strategy’; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region,” he wrote.

He reported back that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his talks with Johnson, “did some subtle distancing by talking throughout about ‘the president’s decision’ ”.

The newspaper reported that, according to Darroch, Pompeo also hinted that he had tried but failed to “sell” a revised text to Trump.

In 2015, the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia and Germany signed a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for a partial lifting of international economic sanctions. Trump had long been critical of the deal and withdrew the United States on May 8, 2018.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1494104/uk-envoy-wrote-trump-pulled-out-of-iran-deal-to-spite-obama-report

--------

 

European parties to Iran deal urge dialog, end to tensions

Jul 14, 2019

France, Britain, and Germany have called for the resumption of dialog and an end to the escalation over Iran’s nuclear deal, amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The three European countries made the plea in a joint statement issued on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The three parties to the landmark accord expressed concern that the 2015 deal could potentially collapse following renewed sanctions by the United States and Iran’s decision to scale back some of its commitments in retaliation for the US’s unilateral withdrawal and the imposition of the sanctions.

“We believe the time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue,” said the English-language version of the statement issued by the Élysée.

“The risks are such that it is necessary that all the parties take a pause and think about the possible consequences of their actions,” it added. “We are concerned by the risk that the JCPOA further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the United States and following Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement.”

This is while Iran has scaled back some of its commitments based on the provisions of the deal itself and not in breach of it.

The three European countries also stressed that they would continue to support the nuclear deal but said its implementation “was contingent on Iran’s full compliance.”

Iran wants the European parties to do enough for Iran to achieve the economic benefits that it is promised under the agreement by working to offset the adverse impacts of the US sanctions. In the absence of such efforts, Iran has said, it would be meaningless for Tehran to keep implementing its side of the bargain unilaterally.

The JCPOA was signed between Iran and originally six world powers — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China. Washington, however, unilaterally withdrew last May.

All the other parties to the deal have been critical of Washington’s move and have been holding meetings with Tehran to discuss how they can make the pact properly work for the Iranian side as well, but to little effect.

Tehran has said it would potentially scrap the deal if no progress is made in that area.

In May and a year after the US exit, Iran suspended some of its commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, giving the other signatories a first 60-day deadline to turn their verbal support for the accord into concrete action.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated after US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The tensions saw a sharp rise on the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the deal as the US moved to ratchet up pressure on Iran by tightening its oil sanctions and accelerating the planned deployment of military reinforcements to the Persian Gulf.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600946/Iran-deal-France-Britain-Germany-dialog

--------

 

France, Germany, Britain concerned over Iran nuke

Faruk Zorlu

14.07.2019

France, Germany, and Britain on Sunday voiced concern about the deterioration of security in the Persian Gulf and escalation of tensions amid Iran’s nuclear activities.

In a joint statement released by the French president’s office, the three countries said they were worried by the "risk that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) further unravels under the strain of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and following Iran’s decision to no longer implement several of the central provisions of the agreement."

Referring to a previous statement by Tehran that it was willing to remain in the agreement, they urged Iran to reverse its recent decision to surpass the uranium enrichment limits stipulated by the nuclear agreement -- also known as the JCPOA -- and return to full compliance with the agreement.

Additionally, the European nations expressed their concern on recent attacks "in the Persian Gulf and beyond, and by the deterioration of the security in the region," it noted.

"We believe the time has come to act responsibly and seek a path to stop the escalation of tensions and resume dialogue," the statement said.

It added: "The risks are such that it is necessary for all stakeholders to pause and consider the possible consequences of their actions."

Iran confirmed Monday it had breached the 3.67% limit of uranium enrichment set by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to destroy its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%.

Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the deal.

The U.S. has since embarked on a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure on Iran to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing".

As part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which have tanked the Iranian economy.

In June, tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated after two oil tankers were attacked at the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. held Iran responsible for the attacks and also accused them of destroying navigation devices in waters, both accusations denied by Iran.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/-france-germany-britain-concerned-over-iran-nuke/1531597

--------

 

UK terror police investigate if Christian charity paid ransom to ISIS

Jamie Prentis

July 14, 2019

UK police are investigating a Christian charity to determine if it financed terrorism after its chairman was involved in the freeing of 226 hostages held by ISIS in Syria in 2016.

The Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (Acero) is chaired by the bishop of Syria, Mar Afram Athneil, but is run by Andy Darmoo, 71, who is the director of a lighting company in southern England.

In its financial statements for the year ended July 31, 2016, Acero has an expenditure of £147,689 (Dh682,000) marked as "Iraq Hostages". An Associated Press report in 2016 described Mr Athneil as being “almost exclusively” behind the year-long brokering of the deal to free the hostages. Three were murdered on camera by ISIS.

The exact ransom amount is unknown but is estimated to be in the millions.

“In January 2018, the Met received a referral from the Charities Commission over concerns relating to alleged payments to Syria by” Acero, a statement by London’s metropolitan police said.

“This matter is being investigated by officers from the National Terrorism Financial Investigation Unit (NTFIU), which is part of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, to determine if terrorist financing offences have been committed,” it said.

Police said officers executed search warrants at a residential address and business in the Dartford area in Kent and interviewed under caution an unidentified 71-year-old man.

But Mr Athneil has insisted the charity was not involved in the hostage rescue.

“As a bishop in the Assyrian Church, my responsibility was to look after my flock in my country during a troubled period. This had nothing to do with Acero UK or Mr Andy Darmoo. What happened in this situation is between me and my God,” he said in a letter to The Sunday Times, who first reported the news.

Mr Darmoo said the £147,689 was sent to Iraq as humanitarian relief after the hostages were freed and that the reference in the accounts was a mistake.

The UK Charity Commission said they were unhappy with his explanations and were worried about the “perception of a link between the charity and a payment of funds to a terrorist organisation holding the hostages caused by the involvement of the chair of the charity in securing the release of the hostages,” The Sunday Times said.

Full report at:

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/uk-terror-police-investigate-if-christian-charity-paid-ransom-to-isis-1.886181

--------

 

Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia hailed for unifying Muslim world in maintaining security, stability of Arab region

RUBA OBAID

July 15, 2019

JEDDAH: A leading African politician has hailed Saudi Arabia for its vital unifying role in the Muslim world toward maintaining the security and stability of the Arab region.

Showkutally Soodhun, president of Mauritius’ ruling MSM (Militant Socialist Movement) party and the island nation’s former vice president, also praised the Kingdom for taking the lead in the global fight against terrorism.

During an exclusive interview with Arab News while visiting the Kingdom, Soodhun highlighted the huge changes he had witnessed taking place in Saudi Arabia since he first set foot in the country in 1987,  and how its leadership has become a shining example to the world.

Speaking on a wide range of subjects, including the recent rise in tensions with Iran, Soodhun pointed to the Kingdom’s key influence on the world economic stage and its generous humanitarian relief work, which included a $10 million donation to Mauritius in the wake of a devastating cyclone earlier this year.

“The Kingdom plays an important role in enhancing international cooperation and increasing coordination in dealing with global challenges that impact on international stability, especially the stability of the global economy.

“Mauritius is closely watching how the situation is evolving regarding Iran’s nuclear force, with great apprehension. Iran wants to be a leader in the Arab region amidst the current divisions in the Arab world,” he said, addding that “The division of the Arab region is not in the interests of Muslims, and the Kingdom is exerting its efforts to keep the region united.

Soodhun said that “The problem in the region is with leadership, not the people, and the Kingdom is not against Iranian or Qatari people, but against their leadership,” added Soodhun.

He noted Saudi efforts to combat Iran’s support for terror groups by putting a squeeze on their finances while continuing to provide assistance and help through humanitarian and relief funding.

“Extremism and terrorism are among the most serious issues the world is currently facing. The Kingdom is making great efforts to combat that and we (Mauritius) will always stand in support.”

On recent Iranian-backed Houthi drone attacks on civilian targets, Soodhun said: “They are considered as war crimes, according to the provisions of international humanitarian law, and these are clear violations of UN Security Council resolutions.”

Saudi Arabia and Mauritius had built strong relations over the years, and Soodhun was hoping to further strengthen the links during his latest visit to the Kingdom.

He has so far met with the Saudi ministers responsible for foreign affairs and Hajj and was due to sign agreements of cooperation with Ahmad Al-Khateeb, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, and Saleh Al-Jasser, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

The Mauritian political leader told Arab News that his country had seen a 400 percent increase in the number of Saudi tourists visiting Mauritius in the last couple of years after the opening of direct flights.

Soodhun went on to describe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as having “a human-lion heart” in respect of tackling crises in Egypt, Palestine, Yemen and Mauritius, and also for his work to transform the Kingdom.

He thanked Saudi Arabia for its $10 million support to Mauritius after the island was recently hit by a cyclone that destroyed 3,000 houses. “I have been in politics and power for 35 years, and I know what it takes to manage a country. Saudi Arabia is becoming an example in the world, not just the region.”

“The crown prince has a plan; he is a man of vision. He is looking forward and for progress not just for Saudi Arabia but also for the Gulf,” he said.

Bringing unity to the region was not impossible but the crown prince would need the help of “the royal family, the government, businessmen, and the support of every Muslim in the world” to carry out the mission, added Soodhun.

Comparing 1987 with 2019, Soodhun said the Kingdom had changed tremendously but the “best changes” had taken place since 2015. “There is more justice, liberty, and discipline, and a more responsible population is evolving as more Saudi youth are joining the labor market, occupying different jobs, and standing on their own feet.”

The new leadership of the Kingdom had encouraged an “active participation of the whole population in the brilliant future of the country,” Soodhun added.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1525726/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Ankara Transfers Tens of ISIL Terrorists From Turkey to Aleppo’s Afrin

Jul 14, 2019

The Kurdish-language Hawar News Website quoted local sources in Afrin as saying the ISIL terrorists have become active along Turkey’s borders with al-Shieh region in Afrin.

The sources said that the Turkish Army and its allied militants have sent 30 ISIL terrorists who had been trained by the Turkish Army in Hatay province of Turkey to al-Shieh region.

Hawar noted that thousands of Turkey-backed terrorists have recently been dispatched to Afrin from Idlib province.

The well-trained ISIL terrorists are being dispatched to Afrin by Ankara as the Turkish Army is preparing for dispatch massive military equipment to borders with Syria to launch a major operation against the Kurdish militias in Northeastern Syria.

In a relevant development earlier on Sunday, the Arabic-language media outlets reported that the Turkish Army has equipped the terrorist groups with state-of-the-art weapons which were also used by the militants in their recent failed attack in Northern Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper noted that the terrorists have used the advanced weapons they have just received from Turkey in their recent foiled attack on the Syrian Army’s military positions in the town of al-Hamamiat and its strategic hilltop. The daily said that the strategic hilltop is located along Saqilbieh-Mahradeh Road in Northern Hama, adding that the Turkish Army has dispatched well-trained foreign and Arab terrorists, who have been equipped with highly-advanced weapons together with anti-Tank weapons, to confront the Syrian Army in Northern Syria.

The newspaper pointed to Ankara's defeat in the most difficult battle to take back the region, and said that the Syrian Army troops have heightened security in al-Hamamiat town as fierce clashes with Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists are still underway there.

The Syrian Army’s air and ground forces, meantime, pounded the terrorists’ military positions in the town of al-Sarmanieh in Sahl al-Ghab in Western Hama, killing a number of terrorists, including their senior commander, Mohammad Fazel Ali Barbouri.

The Syrian airstrikes and ground offensives came in response to the terrorists’ rocket attacks on the Syrian Army’s military points and residential areas in the towns of Hayalin, Ain Salimu and Jourin in Northern Hama.

Full report at:

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980423000834

--------

 

Ankara Arming Militants With Modern Weapons to Confront Syrian Army in Northern Syria

Jul 14, 2019

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper noted that the terrorists have used the advanced weapons they have just received from Turkey in their recent foiled attack on the Syrian Army’s military positions in the town of al-Hamamiat and its strategic hilltop. The daily said that the strategic hilltop is located along Saqilbieh-Mahradeh Road in Northern Hama, adding that the Turkish Army has dispatched well-trained foreign and Arab terrorists, who have been equipped with highly-advanced weapons together with anti-Tank weapons, to confront the Syrian Army in Northern Syria.

The newspaper pointed to Ankara's defeat in the most difficult battle to take back the region, and said that the Syrian Army troops have heightened security in al-Hamamiat town as fierce clashes with Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorists are still underway there.

The Syrian Army’s air and ground forces, meantime, pounded the terrorists’ military positions in the town of al-Sarmanieh in Sahl al-Ghab in Western Hama, killing a number of terrorists, including their senior commander, Mohammad Fazel Ali Barbouri.

The Syrian airstrikes and ground offensives came in response to the terrorists’ rocket attacks on the Syrian Army’s military points and residential areas in the towns of Hayalin, Ain Salimu and Jourin in Northern Hama.

In Southern Idlib, meantime, the Syrian Air Force also pounded the military positions and movements of the terrorists in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Maret al-Numan, Ariha, outskirts of Khan al-Sabal and Rab al-Jour, destroying a training camp of Tahrir al-Sham near al-Hamedieh and killing all the terrorists inside the base.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Turkish Army dispatched heavy military equipment to the borders with Syria in response to the recent movements made by Saudi Arabia and the US in support of the Kurdish forces in Eastern Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi reported that the Turkish Army has sent massive military equipment comprising hundreds of tanks and military vehicles to the border with Syria.

The daily said that dispatch of this volume of Turkish military equipment to the borders with Syria is unprecedented ever since Ankara threatened to launch a military operation in Eastern Euphrates.

Al-Quds al-Arabi wrote that most of the military equipment have been sent to regions bordering Kurdish forces in Syria, including Ain al-Arab in Aleppo province and Tal Abyaz in Raqqa.

The newspaper also noted that the measure by the Turkish Army has taken place after a high-ranking Saudi delegation accompanied with Emirati officials held meetings with Kurdish commanders in Eastern Syria.

Al-Quds al-Arabi also said that Washington has called for replacement of the US troops with European soldiers in the region.

It also quoted Turkish soldiers as saying that the Turkish Army has also called on the military commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syria’s National Army to meet in Ankara.

Full report at:

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980423000753

--------

 

Aleppo: People Ask for Exit of Occupying Turkish Army Troops from Al-Bab Military Base

Jul 14, 2019

The Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that tens of residents of al-Bab city staged a protest rally in front of Ankara-occupied military bases in Sheikh Aqil region in al-Bab city to show their protest at the Turkish Army’s seizure of civilians’ lands, destroying their houses and turning them into their military bases.

The news website, meantime, said that the residents of al-Bab City chanted slogans in Turkish and Arabic languages to urge the exit of the Turkish Army from the military bases in the region.

The residents of al-Bab City have on different occasions held rallies in the last few months to show their objection to the presence of the Turkish Army and its allied militants in Northern Aleppo, but the protests have been cracked down by the Turkish Army and its allied militants.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Turkish Army dispatched heavy military equipment to the borders with Syria in response to the recent movements made by Saudi Arabia and the US in support of the Kurdish forces in Eastern Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi reported that the Turkish Army has sent massive military equipment comprising hundreds of tanks and military vehicles to the border with Syria.

The daily said that dispatch of this volume of Turkish military equipment to the borders with Syria is unprecedented ever since Ankara threatened to launch a military operation in Eastern Euphrates.

Al-Quds al-Arabi wrote that most of the military equipment have been sent to regions bordering Kurdish forces in Syria, including Ain al-Arab in Aleppo province and Tal Abyaz in Raqqa.

The newspaper also noted that the measure by the Turkish Army has taken place after a high-ranking Saudi delegation accompanied with Emirati officials held meetings with Kurdish commanders in Eastern Syria.

Al-Quds al-Arabi also said that Washington has called for replacement of the US troops with European soldiers in the region.

It also quoted Turkish soldiers as saying that the Turkish Army has also called on the military commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syria’s National Army to meet in Ankara.

Full report at:

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980423000636

--------

 

Ankara Preparing to Launch Fresh Military Operations in Eastern Euphrates

Jul 14, 2019

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) quoted informed sources as saying that Turkey’s intelligence body is planning to train the terrorists known as the Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield in Turkish military bases inside Turkey.

Meantime, Turkey has asked the terrorist groups under its umbrella, including those who have been trained in some Arab countries to stand tough against the Syrian Army, go under 20-day specialized military training that includes operating advanced and anti-Tank weapons, in Turkey.

The SOHR also noted that the Turkish Army had previously trained hundreds of terrorists under the name of military and security police at its military bases.

It noted that these measures are highly likely to be in line with the Turkish Army’s preparations for a major offensive on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in al-Furant and al-Jazira regions.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Turkish Army dispatched heavy military equipment to the borders with Syria in response to the recent movements made by Saudi Arabia and the US in support of the Kurdish forces in Eastern Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi reported that the Turkish Army has sent massive military equipment comprising hundreds of tanks and military vehicles to the border with Syria.

The daily said that dispatch of this volume of Turkish military equipment to the borders with Syria is unprecedented ever since Ankara threatened to launch a military operation in Eastern Euphrates.

Al-Quds al-Arabi wrote that most of the military equipment have been sent to regions bordering Kurdish forces in Syria, including Ain al-Arab in Aleppo province and Tal Abyaz in Raqqa.

The newspaper also noted that the measure by the Turkish Army has taken place after a high-ranking Saudi delegation accompanied with Emirati officials held meetings with Kurdish commanders in Eastern Syria.

Al-Quds al-Arabi also said that Washington has called for replacement of the US troops with European soldiers in the region.

It also quoted Turkish soldiers as saying that the Turkish Army has also called on the military commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syria’s National Army to meet in Ankara.

Full report at:

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980423000532

--------

 

Terrorists blow up gas pipeline in central Syria in sabotage attack: State news agency

Jul 14, 2019

Foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists have blown up a gas pipeline running in the eastern countryside of Syria’s central province of Homs, putting it out of service.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Sunday that “the gas pipeline... was put out of service by a terrorist act,” adding that “technical teams are working to repair it in the coming hours.”

The report added that the pipeline transports gas from the government-controlled Shaer field to the Ebla plant.

The pipeline carries about 2.5 million cubic meters of gas to the processing plant and onward to power stations, according to SANA.

Remnants of Daesh terrorist group are present in the Badiya desert of Homs Province. The area is the scene of regular clashes between Syrian government forces and the extremists.

Daesh briefly took control of Shaer fields in 2014 and 2016 before Syrian army soldiers, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, recaptured them.

Syria has faced gas shortages as pipelines have come under attack on several occasions.

On June 22, explosive devices damaged underwater pipelines used to deliver crude oil from tankers to the Baniyas refinery in the western Syrian province of Tartus, causing an oil spill, SANA reported.

The sabotage was “qualitative and professional”, an unnamed high-ranking official at the Syrian Company for Oil Transport said at the time, adding that a foreign state coordinated with the perpetrators.

Back on January 30, 2012, the pro-government and private Addounia television network reported that a “terrorist group” had blown up a gas pipeline running between the center of the country and its coast.

The report said the blast had occurred near Telkalakh, close to the Lebanese border, and caused a leak of about 460,000 cubic meters of natural gas.

According to Reuters, today much of Syria's oil fields and infrastructure are held by US-backed and Kurdish-led forces in the east.

Militant mortar attack kills 6 Syrian civilians, injures 9 in Aleppo

Meanwhile, at least six people have lost their lives when foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants carried out mortar attacks in Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo.

SANA reported that six people were killed and nine others injured when mortar shells fired by militants struck the city the government office as well as New Aleppo (Halab al-Jadida) and Minyan neighborhoods.

Local sources said the injured civilians were shifted to Aleppo General Hospitaland al-Razi Hospital to receive treatment.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600930/Terrorists-blow-up-gas-pipeline-in-central-Syria-in-sabotage-attack--State-news-agency

--------

 

US sanctions, pressure make us stronger: Senior Hezbollah official

Jul 14, 2019

A high-ranking member of the Hezbollah resistance movement has slammed the US Treasury Department over adding three Hezbollah officials to its list of sanctioned individuals, stressing that Washington’s restrictive measures and campaign of pressure against his group simply solidify its resolve.

“The targeting of our deputies (lawmakers) by economic sanctions is an assault against representatives of our people. They use economic sanctions against us, and this is a real act of aggression. They also use political aggression,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said at a ceremony in Lebanon’s southern town of Humin al-Tahta on Sunday.

He added, “Do you want to impose your opinions on us? If you add deputies, officials, political party or anything else to the sanctions list, this will increase our resolve and will make us think how to win this battle and this aggression. You are doing this in an attempt to pressure the resistance and the public.”

The Hezbollah official further slammed Washington’s economic pressure campaign against Iran as leader of the resistance axis.

“Today the entire world is preoccupied with repeated US bids and attempts to attack Iran. What has Iran done to be the target of such a campaign of great pressure? Iran has proved its ability to lead the axis of resistance, support the peoples of the region and the resistance. It has been able to score many achievements,” the top Hezbollah official underlined.

He concluded, “Without Iran and its support, resistance had not been able to emerge victorious in Lebanon and Syria, Iraq had not been liberated (from the grip of terror), and Yemen would not have resisted (the Saudi-led military aggression). All peoples of the region are indebted to the Islamic Republic (of Iran) founded by late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and now being led by (Leader of the Islamic Revolution) Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.”

On July 10, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on two Hezbollah members of Lebanon’s parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between the resistance movement and the country’s security agencies.

The Treasury placed MPs Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra'd and Wafiq Safa, a top Hezbollah security official, on its sanctions blacklist, and accused Hezbollah of using its parliamentary power to advance its agenda.

Ra’d is the head of the parliamentary bloc of the party and an MP since 1992, and Sherri has been an MP representing Beirut since 2002.

Some 50 Hezbollah individuals and entities have been blacklisted by the Treasury since 2017.

On May 16, 2018, the United States and its partners in the so-called Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) — which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates — imposed sanctions on Hezbollah leadership, targeting its Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy, Sheikh Qassem.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600940/US-sanctions-pressures-make-us-stronger-Top-Hezbollah-official

--------

 

Hezbollah lawmaker storms Lebanese police station ‘shoots son-in-law’

NAJIA HOUSSARI

July 14, 2019

BEIRUT: Hezbollah Member of Parliament Nawaf Musawi led a group storming an Internal Security Forces (ISF) station in Damour on Saturday night and shot a young man inside the station, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The victim, who is from the Mokdad family, is Musawi’s son-in-law and is in dispute with his ex-wife, Musawi’s daughter Ghadeer.

Musawi stormed the police station with 30 people, who included his brother, the director of his bureau, and several other relatives. There were two members of the security forces in the police station and, according to the NNA, Musawi shot the young man with a service revolver, wounding his hand. Musawi’s brother stabbed the young man twice in the thigh. The group intimidated the officers inside the police station, preventing them from intervening.

The incident was caused by former disagreements between Mokdad and his ex-wife over the custody of their children. Mokdad had chased his ex-wife and her sister in Damour and accosted them.

A video taken by Ghadeer’s sister during the chase went viral, and her screams could be heard as she called for her father. The video also showed Mokdad shouting insults at his ex-wife and threatening her and her sister for recording the incident. A telegram sent by the commander of the Damour platoon, Col. Joseph Ghannoum, to the director general of the ISF explained that Musawi’s daughter and her ex-husband quarrelled on the highway between Damour and Sidon over the right to see their children. They were then escorted by a patrol to the Damour police station. The telegram said: “At the beginning of the investigation, four men arrived at the police station and attacked the ex-husband of Musawi’s daughter with a screwdriver, severely injuring his leg and prompting the police to arrest two of them while the others managed to escape.”

“After the station’s main gate was closed, MP Nawaf Musawi arrived with 20 armed men, but a police officer denied them entry and tried to calm Musawi, who was furious.”

According to the telegram, “while first aid was administered to the wounded man, unknown individuals opened fire from outside the station at the chief’s office, wounding Mokdad in the wrist and causing heavy bleeding. After that, MP Musawi left to an unknown destination.” Musawi denied reports that he had shot a man from the Mokdad family and said to the NTV channel: “These are all lies.”

Musawi explained that his son-in-law attacked his daughter Ghadeer and shouted insults at her. He added: “No one hit him with a screwdriver nor shot him. I came to take my daughter from the station’s yard.

“This is my daughter and I want to protect her. She is the world to me. Her ex-husband won’t leave us alone, and we have been patient with him.” He also accused Mokdad of acting aggressively inside the station. The incident sparked reactions on social media.

Former Minister Ashraf Rifi said: “When a Member of Parliament and his guards storm an ISF station by force and attempt to kill someone, does this not undermine the state’s security and require the case to be referred to the judicial council?”

Former MP Faris Saeed said: “MP Musawi’s attack in the police station deserves to be referred to the judicial council because it is an assault against security forces.”

Activist Diana Moukalled said on Twitter: “The daughter of the Hezbollah MP is waging a battle over the custody of her children under unfair personal status laws and in the shadow of a party that stands firmly against the amendment of these laws. Musawi resorted to arms and force to defend his daughter. This tale is filled with amazing paradoxes in relation to the political, legal and security situation in Lebanon.”

Musawi is known for his irritability. Last February, there had been some tense disagreements between him and MPs Sami and Nadim Gemayel during a public meeting of Parliament.

After Sami Gemayel criticized Hezbollah and said “Hezbollah has brought President Michel Aoun to Baabda,” Musawi interjected and said: “It is honorable for Aoun to reach office with the support of the resistance’s rifle, while others had arrived on an Israeli tank,” referring to President Bachir Gemayel.

MP Nadim Gemayel joined the quarrel and said: “You greeted the Israeli army with rice when they entered Lebanon.” Musawi replied: “You are no bigger than an Israeli tank that can be destroyed with a Kornet missile.”

At the time, the Hezbollah leadership decided to suspend Musawi from Parliament for two months.

Journalist Dima Sadek said: “A question for the MP’s parliamentary bloc: Wouldn’t it have been better for you to enact personal status laws that offer adequate redress to women instead of standing—alongside others—against amending them? Are you happy with the alternative law of the jungle that you have contributed to enacting?”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1525601/middle-east

--------

 

Joint military drill between Saudi, US forces kicks off

July 14, 2019

JEDDAH: A military exercise between the Saudi Royal Land Forces and the US Army kicked off Sunday in the Kingdom.

The Commander 2019 drill was launched at the main exercise center at the King Khaled Military City in the Northern Region.

Gen. Saleh bin Ahmed Al-Zahrani welcomed the participants, praising the participation of US friendly forces in this exercise, and thanked the participants for their efforts in preparing for the drill.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1525656/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Mideast

 

Rouhani says Iran ready for talks if US lifts sanctions, returns to nuclear deal

14 July 2019

Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it exited last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday.

“We have always believed in talks ... if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere,” Rouhani said.

Tension has heightened between the longtime foes since US President Donald Trump last year withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the pact.

On May 8 last year, US President Donald Trump signed a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal due to Iran’s continued support for terrorists and foreign proxy groups. The sanctions hit vital parts of Iran’s economy, including oil exports, shipping and banking.

Most recently, new sanctions were imposed on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and eight commanders of the IRGC on June 24, in response to the shooting down of a US drone on June 20.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/07/14/Rouhani-says-Iran-ready-for-talks-if-US-lifts-sanctions-returns-to-nuclear-deal.html

--------

 

IRGC commander: Enemy will lose their dignity in ‘second phase’ of Islamic Revolution

14 July 2019

Since the start of the “second phase” of the Islamic Revolution, military threats against Iran have not been effective, a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday, warning that “if the enemy makes a mistake, they will lose their dignity,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

“In the fifth decade of the Islamic Revolution, the type of threats differ to that of the past decades,” said Mohammad Ali Jafari, the former commander-in-chief of the IRGC.

“These threats are no longer effective as the enemy is aware that if they make a mistake, they will lose their dignity,” he added.

The downing of a US drone by the IRGC on June 20 demonstrated “the greatness of the revolution’s military achievements,” according to Jafari.

On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the official website of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a document entitled “The Second Phase of the Revolution Statement” in February 2019. The document offered a set of guidelines about the state of affairs in the future as envisaged by Khamenei.

In the document, Khamenei gave “advice” on various matters, such as foreign policy, the economy and lifestyle.

On foreign policy, Khamenei said that Iran “should not retreat from its revolutionary and national values,” and that “it should not be scared by their void threats.”

“Today, the Iranian nation, in addition to the criminal regime of the United States, regards a number of European governments as deceiving and unreliable,” Khamenei said in the document.

Khamenei had also expressed his strong opposition to any negotiations with the US, saying: “Any negotiation with the US will have no outcome but material and spiritual harms.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/07/14/IRGC-commander-Enemy-will-lose-their-dignity-in-second-phase-of-Islamic-Revolution.html

--------

 

Egyptian delegation seeks to prevent new Gaza flare-up

15 July 2019

Egyptian security officials have held talks with Palestinian leaders in recent days in part to prevent a new flare-up of tensions between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

The Egyptian delegation led by deputy intelligence chief Ayman Badie was in the Gaza Strip on Friday and Saturday and the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the officials said.

A statement on Saturday from Islamist movement Hamas said the discussions included talks on "understandings with the enemy" -- a reference to a fragile ceasefire with Israel tested in recent days.

Contacted on Sunday, a Hamas official said the movement did not want to comment further beyond its official statements.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas met with the delegation in Ramallah on Saturday on the Gaza-Israel ceasefire and attempts to heal the long-existing division between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah, official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

Fresh tensions were feared after Israel shot dead a Hamas militant on Thursday along the border with the Gaza Strip, prompting the Islamist movement to vow revenge.

Israel later signalled it had fired in error, saying an initial inquiry showed soldiers misidentified a Hamas security agent as "an armed terrorist and fired as a result of this misunderstanding."

On Friday night, Israel's military said two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, but no damage or injuries were reported.

Earlier in the day, at least 33 Palestinians were shot and wounded during weekly demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Under a fragile ceasefire brokered by Egyptian and UN officials following a severe flare-up in May, Israel is meant to ease aspects of its blockade on the strip in exchange for relative calm.

At least 295 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since major Hamas-backed protests began along the border fence in March 2018.

Most were killed during the protests and clashes but others died in air strikes or tank fire in response to violence from the strip.

Six Israelis have been killed.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/07/15/Egyptian-delegation-seeks-to-prevent-new-Gaza-flare-up-.html

--------

 

Netanyahu warns of ‘crushing’ retaliation after Hezbollah chief’s remarks

14 July 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned the head of Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah that “crushing” retaliation would follow any attack, after its leader said the group’s rockets could reach Tel Aviv.

“Over the weekend we heard (Hassan) Nasrallah’s boasting about his attack plans,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Let me be clear - if Hezbollah dares to make the mistake of attacking Israel, we will lay upon it and on Lebanon a crushing military blow,” he added.

In a Friday interview broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television, Nasrallah warned that key Israeli sites along the Mediterranean coast, including Tel Aviv, were “within range of our rockets.”

The head of the Lebanese group also said that Israel’s arch-foe Iran was “able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force,” but “will not start a war.”

Last week, Netanyahu said that “Iran has been threatening the destruction of Israel” and warned that Israel’s fighter jets “can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran.”

Hezbollah is considered to be a terrorist organisation by the United States, and is the only faction not to have disarmed after Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war.

But it is also a major political player in the small Mediterranean country, taking 13 seats in parliament last year and securing three posts in the current cabinet.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in neighboring Syria against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah military targets. It has vowed to keep Iran from entrenching itself militarily there.

The Jewish state recently uncovered and destroyed six tunnels passing under the border from Lebanon into Israel.

It alleges Hezbollah had planned to use the tunnels for attacks in Israel.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/07/14/Netanyahu-warns-of-crushing-retaliation-after-Hezbollah-chief-s-remarks-.html

--------

 

Yemeni missiles, rockets hit targets inside Saudi Arabia

Jul 14, 2019

Yemeni forces have fired several missiles and artillery shells at Saudi Arabia’s southern Najran region in retaliation for the years-long Saudi-led war on their country.

Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news website, citing unnamed military officials, reported that a number of domestically-manufactured Zelzal-1 (Earthquake-1) missiles had successfully hit a gathering of Saudi-led mercenaries near the al-Sadis military base on Sunday, leaving an unspecified number of casualties.

It added that Yemeni artillery fire also pounded the same area.

Separately, Yemeni forces fired a volley of Katyusha rockets and artillery shells on another gathering of Saudi-led mercenaries, near the al-Khazra border crossing, inflicting damage on their hardware, the report further said, adding that the attack also left an unspecified number of casualties.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies launched a military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing a former regime to power.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600920/Yemen-missiles-rockets-Saudi-Arabia-Najran

--------

 

Turkish forces ‘neutralize’ 64 Kurdish PKK terrorists in northern Iraq: Defence Ministry

Jul 14, 2019

Turkish military forces have killed nearly 60 members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group during a string of counter-terrorism operations in Iraq’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced in a statement published on its official Twitter page on Sunday that the Kurdish terrorists had been “neutralized” ever since Turkish troops, supported by artillery strikes and air raids, launched Operation Claw in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq on May 27.

Turkey launched Operation Claw-2 in northern Iraq at 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Friday.

“This is a follow-up on the successfully ongoing Claw-1 operation in Hakurk area which revealed new information on terrorist activity,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement added that Turkey will continue to destroy weapon emplacements and shelters used by PKK terrorists in Hakurk by means of the anti-terror operation.

“Operations in Hakurk will continue as planned by the Turkish Air Force, with the support of Turkish jets, ATAK helicopters, drones and armored military vehicles,” the statement added.

The Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that the militants were killed, captured or they surrendered.

PKK militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

Turkey, along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Over the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600913/Turkish-forces-neutralize-64-Kurdish-PKK-terrorists-in-northern-Iraq-Defense-Ministry

--------

 

Turkey reacts to threat of US sanctions with military deployment near Syria

July 14, 2019

ANKARA: An increase in Turkish military deployments near the Turkish-Syrian border has raised fears of an extensive conflict east of the Euphrates.

A significant deployment of heavy weapons has taken place near the strategic northern border town of Tal Abyad, controlled by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. The control of Tal Abyad helped the YPG connect noncontiguous territory in northern Syria and organizing it into cantons such as Afrn, Kobani and Al-Jazira.

The Turkish operation into Syria might be linked with the risk of approaching US sanctions through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) over the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system.

A US delegation is set to arrive Ankara next week, and military movements by Turkey in Syria are expected to form part of its agenda.

Dr. Sinan Hatahet, a Syrian analyst based in Istanbul, believed that conflict was unlikely because there are ongoing negotiations about the safe zone in northern Syria and Manbij.

“Both countries are still resolved to solve their bilateral issues through diplomatic channels. But if the US impose sanctions, it could harm this long-dated relationship,” Hatahet said.

The Turkish military has initiated troop deployments several times over recent years to put pressure on the US to realize its agreement in the northern city of Manbij.

“The only unique aspect of this deployment is that it is happening just after the delivery of S-400 components. The American priority in Syria is to advance negotiations for a political solution and to challenge Iranian expansion,” Hatahet said.

Mehmet Emin Cengiz, a research assistant at the Al Sharq Forum in Istanbul, said even though Ankara constantly emphasizes its willingness to find a workable solution in northern Syria, US sanction threats could lead Turkey to consider new options.

“If the US decides to impose harsh sanctions that will cripple the Turkish economy, Turkey can go for a unilateral military operation in Northern Syria. Sanctions might trigger a new military operation in the east of the Euphrates,” Cengiz said.

Cengiz believes that Ankara’s decision to amass troops along the Turkish-Syrian border adjacent to YPG-controlled areas is a direct signal to the US.

“Turkey has been losing its patience with the US in recent years. The Manbij issue has been problematic between the two sides for a long time. The shared plan for the city was not implemented for more than a year,” he added.

“The nature and scale of the planned safe zone in Northern Syria is still an issue between the two sides. The US seems to be clear in its decision to back the YPG in the future,” Cengiz added.

According to Cengiz, with this recent military deployment, Turkey is trying to strengthen its hand in response to US threats.

Joe Macaron, a fellow at the Arab Center in Washington, DC, thinks that Erdogan has two goals in mind: Influence Trump’s thinking on sanctions and react to the US’ decision last week to consider deploying European troops along the Syrian-Turkish border.

“Since Trump and his national security advisers are not talking in one voice on the S-400, Erdogan is trying to weigh in on this debate by highlighting the potential risks to US forces, however this move might further antagonize the US against Ankara,” he said.

“While Erdogan is trying to have leverage over the upcoming talks between the Turkish and American militaries regarding northern Syria, the unintended risk is provoking a confrontation with Kurdish forces, which might increase the cost of Turkish intervention in Syria at a critical time in Erdogan’s political future,” Macaron said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1525676/middle-east

--------

 

Africa

 

Sudan protesters delay signing deal with army for second time

15 July 2019

Sudan’s pro-democracy movement postponed a scheduled meeting with the country’s ruling generals for a second time on Sunday, saying “further consultations” were needed before they would sign a power-sharing deal with the military. Activists leaders said the meeting was pushed back to Tuesday.

The military and the pro-democracy coalition had agreed earlier this month on a joint sovereign council that will rule for a little over three years while elections are organized. Members of the military council and the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, were supposed to meet on Sunday night to finalize and sign the agreement.

The signing was expected to take place last week, but several delays were announced, raising suspicions that a final comprehensive deal could not be reached soon.

“We are still debating within the FDFC over the constitutional document. We need to draft out notes in legal form before the meeting,” Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded the protests, told The Associated Press.

A spokesman for the military council did not respond to calls seeking comment.

The deal, which also includes an FDFC-appointed cabinet, was meant to end a weekslong political deadlock between the military and protesters since a Khartoum protest sit-in was razed by security forces last month. The sides also agreed on an independent Sudanese investigation into the deadly crackdown, though it is unclear if anyone will be held accountable.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2019/07/15/Sudan-protesters-delay-signing-deal-with-army-for-second-time.html

--------

 

Turkey, Uganda talk handover of FETO terror schools

15.07.2019

Turkey has been talking with Ugandan officials over transferring the management of schools and hospitals in the East African country linked to FETO, the terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, said Turkish diplomats.

“The Ugandan government says the transfer of the establishments should be done within legal means,” Kerem Alp, Turkey’s ambassador to Uganda, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

“We told them there is a link between some schools and hospitals operating in Uganda linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization [FETO],” he said in Kampala, the capital.

Alp explained that he has held meetings with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the attorney general, and other officials about the FETO threat.

He said he hopes the Ugandan government will cooperate on the issue so that the schools are transferred into the hands of the Maarif Foundation, a Turkish group created to manage former FETO-run schools.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the failed coup in Turkey of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

FETO has a considerable presence abroad, including private schools and hospitals which serve as a revenue stream for the terror group.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/turkey-uganda-talk-handover-of-feto-terror-schools/1531632

--------

 

Sudan activists call for ‘justice’ for killed protesters

13 July 2019

Thousands of Sudanese flooded the streets of the capital of Khartoum and other cities on Saturday to mark the 40th day since the deadly dispersal of a protest sit-in as the country’s ruling generals and pro-democracy movement postponed a planned a meeting to sign a power-sharing deal until Sunday.

The “Justice First” marches were called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has been spearheading the protests since December. Those demonstrations led to the military ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir in April.

The marches mark 40 days since the dispersal of the pro-democracy protesters’ sit-in in outside military headquarters in Khartoum on June 3. Protest organizers say security forces killed at least 128 people during the dispersal and subsequent crackdown. Authorities, however, put the death toll at 61, including three from security forces.

Protesters have called for a “transparent and fair” investigation into the deaths.

Footage and photos posted by the SPA showed thousands of people demonstrating in the capital and its sister city of Omdurman. There were protests in other places, including the Red Sea city of Port Sudan and the eastern province of Kassala.

Protesters were seen waving Sudanese flags and posters that read: “Freedom, Peace and Justice” and “Civilian (authority) is the people’s choice.”

The protest organizers hope that large numbers take part in the marches similar to massive demonstrations on June 30, when tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets in the biggest show of numbers in the uprising. At least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest organizers.

Saturday’s marches also put pressure on the ruling military council as it and the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, planned to meet to sign a power-sharing agreement. African Union envoy Mohammed el-Hassan Labat originally said a meeting would take place on Saturday night. But Ahmed Rabei, a spokesman for the SPA, said later the protest movement called for the talks to be postponed until Sunday “for more consultations” within the FDFC on the deal.

The signing ceremony was expected to take place earlier this week, but several delays have been announced, raising suspicions the two parties might still be divided over the agreement’s details.

The Sudanese Communist Party, which is part of the protest movement, criticized the “vague” talks between the military council and the FDFC. Mahmoud al-Khateib, the party’s political secretary, said his party rejected the current members of the military council participation in the transition.

The deal includes a joint Sovereign Council set to rule for a little over three years while elections are organized, along with a constitutional declaration, according to a copy of the deal obtained by The Associated Press. A military leader is to head the 11-member council for the first 21 months, followed by a civilian leader for the next 18.

The deal, which also includes an FDFC-appointed cabinet, was meant to end a weeks-long political deadlock between the military and protesters since the Khartoum sit-in site was cleared.

They also agreed on an independent Sudanese investigation into the deadly crackdown by security forces on the protests last month, though it’s unclear if anyone will be held accountable.

Gen. Mohammed Hamadan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council, told a gathering of military supporters in the Nile River province, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Khartoum, that his forces, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, “are not angels and we will try all offenders.”

The RSF grew out of the notorious Janjaweed militias used by al-Bashir in the Darfur conflict in the early 2000s. Protesters accuse it of leading the nationwide crackdown and the SPA has called for the force to be disbanded.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/07/13/Sudan-activists-call-for-justice-for-killed-protesters.html

--------

 

Final death toll in boat migrant accident off Tunisia rises to 82

14 July 2019

The number of bodies recovered by Tunisia after a ship packed with migrants sank off its coast last week has risen to 82, in one of the worst disasters in recent years, the Tunisian Red Crescent said on Saturday.

The boat capsized after setting off for Europe from neighboring Libya. Survivors told the Tunisian coast guard last week that it had been carrying 86 people.

Tunisian fishermen rescued four people but one later died in hospital, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said last week.

“After a week of searches, all the 82 bodies who were in the boat that sank last week were recovered,” Mongi Slim, an official of the Tunisian Red Crescent, told Reuters.

Libya’s west coast is a main departure point for African migrants hoping to reach Europe, though numbers have dropped due to an Italian-led effort to disrupt smuggling networks and support Libya’s coast guard.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2019/07/14/Final-death-toll-in-boat-migrant-accident-off-Tunisia-rises-to-82.html

--------

 

Feared Sudanese paramilitary force kills 1 in Khartoum

Jul 14, 2019

Members of a feared Sudanese paramilitary force have killed a protester and injured several others at an anti-junta rally in a town southeast of the capital, Khartoum.

The Sunday rally in El-Souk, 340 km southeast of Khartoum, was held to protest against the violence perpetrated by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which is accused of killing dozens of people in a raid on a protest sit-in in Khartoum last month and in a few subsequent attacks.

Witnesses said that the incident occurred when residents rallied to demand that members of the RSF leave the town.

“Residents of the town had gathered outside the office of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to complain about the RSF,” AFP quoted a witness as saying. “RSF members deployed and initially started shooting in the air but later they opened fire at residents, killing a man and wounding several other people.”

A doctors’ committee linked to the protest movement, the Alliance for Freedom and Change, confirmed the incident in a statement. The victim “was killed by a gunshot fired to his head by Rapid Support Forces militia,” it said, adding that several other people were wounded.

On Saturday, protesters held rallies in several cities and towns across the Northeast African country to mourn those killed in Khartoum in early June.

Tensions remain high between the protest leaders and the ruling generals since the June 3 raid, when armed men in military fatigues shot demonstrators who had camped for weeks outside army headquarters. Opposition medics say more than 100 people were killed in the dispersal and subsequent violence.

Protesters and rights groups say the raid on the sit-in outside the army headquarters in central Khartoum was carried out by members of the RSF.

The protesters have been calling for the departure of the generals, who seized power following the April ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

Protesters have kept up demonstrations, pressing the military to hand over power to a civilian government.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600936/Sudan-Rapid-Support-Forces

--------

 

Nigerian cop, shot by soldiers after surviving Boko Haram battles, narrates experience

July 14, 2019

He was a super cop. He had served the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) diligently, professionally, and responsively. He led many successful counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, fighting Boko Haram sect members with his entire soul and body. He led a team of security joint-task force to flush-out Boko Haram fighters from Fika town in 2016. He once led a rapid response squad to rescue 18 policemen who were held hostage by Boko Haram extremists in Borno. He was ambushed at four different times by ‘blood-thirsty’ insurgents, but he escaped unscathed. As a matter of fact, he once had an enviable record that no other police officers and men deployed to the troubled N/East could boast of.

But since after he was shot by troops of an Army Battalion in Yobe State on April 13, 2017, and then sustained a life-threatening injury in his hips, life has never been the same for Dauda Fika, a chief superintendent of police.

Not only have the fortunes of one of the finest mobile police (MOPOL) officers terribly nosedived, but things have taken an entirely different turn for him. He has now become a shadow of his once-upon-a-time fearless, bold and combat-ready self.

Mr Fika, who was the Commander of Mobile Police (MOPOL) 41 before he was shot, told PRNigeria from his London hospital that his predicament started sometimes in April 2017, when some policemen travelling in his convoy had a minor scuffle with a soldier in Damaturu, capital of Yobe.

A son of former Assistant Inspector General of Police, late Buba Fika, he said though the altercation was eventually settled, some hooded soldiers stormed his house, tortured him and later whisked him away to a military base inside a bush in the outskirt of Damaturu, the next day.

“I was taken to an Army Battalion from my house. The soldiers, who whisked me away would have killed me when we arrived at their battalion. They threw me and one other MOPOL officer inside a ditch and they cocked their rifles to shoot. But a senior army officer immediately arrived the scene, and I was taken out of the ditch.

“The army officer took me to his office and ordered me to go and calm my boys, who had already laid siege at the entrance of the Battalion. By then, my boys were already shooting into the air sporadically. They were insisting that I must be released unhurt. So, I came down to meet my boys. They lifted and threw me into the air to welcome me when I got to their place.

“They touched my body to check if I was fine and wasn’t hurt. I eventually calmed their frayed nerves and ordered them to go back to their base. They all left, leaving behind two other MOPOL officers and myself. But it was at that moment, some soldiers who we did not know were trailing us opened fire.

“They killed the two people with me. I was shot twice in the hips and left in a pool of blood. But thank God, a high-ranking army officer, who came and met me lying on the ground ordered that I should be taking to the army hospital. It was while I was there that the State’s Police Commissioner called to inquire if I was truly the one alive.

“After we spoke, the commissioner directed that I should immediately be flown to Abuja for better medical attention. And because the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was closed for rehabilitation then, I was first taken to Kaduna and treated in a hospital. The next day, I was brought to CedarCrest Hospital in Abuja by an ambulance,” he calmly narrated.

At the Abuja-based private hospital, PRNigeria gathered that Mr Fika was wrongly diagnosed by a doctor of having a ‘large’ tumour inside his head after he complained of severe headache head and dizziness.

The doctor who performed the MRI scan and diagnosed him of having ‘tumour in the brain,’ immediately carried out a surgical operation on Mr Fika’s head. No sooner had the operation performed, than the MOPOL commander started having an acute migraine and experiencing other intense pains.

But the medical surgeon had by then left the country, after realising he incorrectly diagnosed and operated a patient.

It was at that time that Mr Fika, who was a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), received timely aid from the Police Force, who fully sponsored the cost of his medical surgery abroad.

But, PRNigeria reliably gathered, that Mr Fika has been paying (by himself) for accommodation and medication since he travelled to the United Kingdom for another surgical operation.

The distraught MOPOL commander, who said he will be returning to Nigeria soon, expressed shock that the Nigerian Army (NA) did not reach out to him to render any assistance.

“I am surprised the Nigerian Army didn’t reach out to me since then. I strongly believe the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, could have assisted if he learned of my present predicament considering my exploit in a joint military-security operation in the North-east.

“I must thank the leadership of the Nigerian Police for their uncommon love, generosity, and kindness in the payment for the operation while I shoulder my accommodation and living cost here in London. Nevertheless, I will still plead to our indefatigable and dynamic Inspector General of Police, who is my boss, and the Chief of Army Staff to assist me financially.

“Meanwhile, contrary to what the CedarCrest Hospital’s doctor said, I was told by my doctor here, that I never had any kind of tumour in my head. Yet, another surgery was then performed, where the doctors removed an infection which was affecting both my eyes and tooth,” he said.

He called on the police to file a suit and also seek damages from the doctor at CedarCrest Hospital, maintaining that the ‘ill-fated’ surgery only aggravated his deteriorating health.

“Though, I have since lost my sight, I remain grateful to Allah for keeping me alive. My doctors in London successfully replaced my natural hip with an artificial hip. And right now, I am learning to walk steadily with the support of aid. With time, I will be able to walk unaided, my doctors have assured me.

“But the thing is, I don’t know where I am going to start from once I return to Nigeria. I don’t know where to go. I sold everything I have to gather money for my medication and accommodation in UK. I sold my entire belongings, house, cars, you can name them. I even had to sell our family house, and relocated my extended family members to rented apartments, just to raise money for my treatment. It is very traumatic.

Full report at:

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/340789-nigerian-cop-shot-by-soldiers-after-surviving-boko-haram-battles-narrates-experience.html

--------

 

North America

 

Trump’s tweets against liberal congresswomen called racist

July 15, 2019

WASHINGTON: Starkly injecting race into his criticism of liberal Democrats, President Donald Trump said four congresswomen of color should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the US His attack drew a searing condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive.

Following a familiar script, Republicans remained largely silent after Trump’s Sunday morning broadsides against the four women. But the president’s nativist tweets caused Democrats to set aside their internal rifts to rise up in a united chorus against the president.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wants to “make America white again.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, after jousting for days with Pelosi, said Trump “can’t conceive of an America that includes us.”

Trump, who has a long history of making racist remarks, was almost certainly referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her House allies in what’s become known as “the squad.” The others are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Only Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born.

Ocasio-Cortez swiftly denounced his remarks . “Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States,” she tweeted, adding that “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.” Omar also addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, summed up the Democratic response: “Racial arsonist strikes again. Shut. Your. Reckless. Mouth.”

With his tweet, Trump inserted himself further into a rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, just two days after he offered an unsolicited defense of the Democratic speaker. Pelosi has been seeking to minimize Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in the House Democratic caucus in recent days, prompting Ocasio-Cortez to accuse Pelosi of trying to marginalize women of color.

“She is not a racist,” Trump said of Pelosi on Friday.

On Sunday, Trump’s tone took a turn.

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” he tweeted.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”

He added: “These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!“

The attacks may have been meant to widen the divides within the Democrat caucus, which has been riven by internal debate over how far left to go in countering Trump and over whether to proceed with impeachment proceedings against the president. Instead, the president’s tweets, which evoked the trope of telling black people to go back to Africa, brought Democrats together.

“Let’s be clear about what this vile comment is: A racist and xenophobic attack on Democratic congresswomen,” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate.

Another 2020 contender, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, tweeted at the president: “This is racist. These congresswomen are every bit as American as you — and represent our values better than you ever will.”

Few Republicans weighed in on the president’s comments. Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Sen. Tim. Scott of South Carolina, the only Republican black senator.

Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, in a previously scheduled appearance on “Face the Nation” on CBS, said only: “You’re going to have to ask the president what he means by those specific tweets.”

Shortly after the tweets, and a later presidential post defending the harsh scenes at a border detention facility where hundreds of migrant men are being held in sweltering, foul-smelling conditions, Trump left the White House to go golfing at his Virginia club.

Trump appeared unbowed Sunday night when he returned to Twitter to say it was “so sad” to see Democrats sticking up for the women. “If the Democrat Party wants to continue to condone such disgraceful behavior,” he tweeted, “then we look even more forward to seeing you at the ballot box in 2020!“

It was far from the first time that Trump has been accused of holding racist views.

In his campaign kickoff in June 2015, Trump deemed many Mexican immigrants “rapists.” In 2017, he said there good people on “both sides” of the clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and anti-racist demonstrators that left one counter-protester dead. Last year, during a private White House meeting on immigration, Trump wondered why the United States was admitting so many immigrants from “shithole countries” like African nations.

Repeatedly, Trump has painted arriving immigrants as an “infestation” and he has been slow in condemning acts of violence committed by white supremacists. And he launched his political career with false claims that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Despite his history of racist remarks, Trump has paid little penalty in his own party.

Though a broad array of Republicans did speak out against his reaction to Charlottesville, they have largely held their tongues otherwise, whether it be on matter of race or any other Trump provocation. Fearful of his Twitter account and sweeping popularity among Republican voters, GOP lawmakers have largely tried to ignore the provocative statements.

Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democratic presidential hopeful from California, tweeted, “Let’s call the president’s racist attack exactly what it is: un-American.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in suburban Westchester County.

Pressley, the first black woman elected to the House from Massachusetts, was born in Cincinnati.

Omar, the first Somali native elected to Congress and one of its first Muslim women, was born in Somalia but spent much of her childhood in a Kenyan refugee camp as civil war tore apart her home country. She immigrated to the United States at age 12, teaching herself English by watching American TV and eventually settling with her family in Minneapolis.

Tlaib was born in Detroit.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1525871/world

--------

 

Trump Admin To Impose Sanctions On Turkey For Buying Russian S-400 Air Defence Systems

Jul 14, 2019

The administration of US President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to slap sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

According to a report by Bloomberg on Sunday, Washington was planning to announce economic sanctions against Ankara at the end of next week, pending US President Donald Trump’s final confirmation.

The report said US officials were going to take the punitive measures under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), after the NATO ally refused to back down from the deal with Russia, which is already under military sanctions by the US.

The sanctions, as Bloomberg reported, were one of three options the US State and Defense Departments along with the National Security Council had devised to inflict “varying degrees of pain” on Ankara, which received the first batch of S-400 systems on Friday.

The US Congress passed the CAATSA against Russia in August 2017 over allegations of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.

The CAATSA legislation states that the American head of state shall impose sanctions on countries and companies that engage in contracts to purchase weaponry from Russia.

Such sanctions would effectively sever Turkish firms from the US financial system, making it almost impossible for them to buy American components or sell their products in the US.

According to Washington officials, Trump will announce the sanctions after Monday’s anniversary of the 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Washington has repeatedly warned Ankara that, besides facing economic punishments, it would risk being ejected from the manufacturing program of F-35 stealth fighter jets if it completes the deal.

The S-400, which the US claims is incompatible with NATO's air defenses and the Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 aircraft, is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 400 kilometers away. It has previously been sold only to China and India.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600932/US-administration-sanctions-Turkey-S400-missile-defense-system

--------

 

Trump's nominee for top military post warns against early Afghanistan pullout

Jul 14, 2019

Trump Administration’s nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has warned against early pullout of US forces in Afghanistan while insisting that China will remain the “primary challenge” to the American military for up to 100 years.

"I think pulling out prematurely would be a strategic mistake," said current Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley at his confirmation hearing for the top military post before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, military news outlet Task & Purpose reported Saturday.

Despite a recent national poll by Pew Research Center, which found that 58 percent of US veterans surveyed believed that the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq were not worth the sacrifice, Milley still emphasized that American troops should stay in the war-ravaged country until a negotiated settlement is reached with Taliban terrorists – the very group the US forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to root out in the name of “war on terror.”

"I think it is slow; it's painful; it's hard – I've spent a lot of my life in Afghanistan," Milley stated. "But I also think it's necessary."

Milley further boasted that the US-led occupation of Afghanistan has been partly successful, arguing that Washington’s initial reason for invading the country was to make sure it would never again be used as a base for a terrorist attack on the homeland.

Since there hasn't been such an attack since 2001, "We've been successful to date," he underlined.

If confirmed, Milley will succeed outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Joseph Dunford, to become the highest-ranking military officer in the United States and principal military adviser to President Donald Trump.

The transition would come as the Trump administration confronts a variety of geopolitical challenges, including the continued expansion of China’s military might, as seen in areas such as the South China Sea.

"China is improving their military very, very rapidly -- in space, air, cyber, maritime, land domains," Milley said during the hearing. "They're outspending us in research and development and procurement ... We, the United States, need to make sure that we do not lose our advantages that we have relative to other countries, specifically relative to China."

The army general, however, further pointed out that "China is not the enemy," but instead was a "competitor"

The term "enemy" means "you're at war," he added. "We're not there. We don't want to be there. We want peace, not war, with China."

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600873/US-military-General-Mark-Milley-chairman-of-the-Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff-nominee-Afghanistan-pullout-China

--------

 

Trump’s apparent efforts to boost Democratic infighting appear to fail

Jul 14, 2019

US President Donald Trump’s apparent efforts to boost infighting among Democrats face a unanimous condemnations from the four progressive congresswomen, told to ”go back” where they came from, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” the president said in a tweet Sunday.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

@AOC

• 13h

Replying to @AOC

You are angry because you don’t believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected @IlhanMN, where @RashidaTlaib fights for Michigan families, where @AyannaPressley champions little girls in Boston.

/2

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

@AOC

You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.

You won’t accept a nation that sees healthcare as a right or education as a #1 priority, especially where we’re the ones fighting for it.

Yet here we are.

126K

10:11 PM - Jul 14, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

22.3K people are talking about this

Trump was referencing Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib Michigan and Ayanna Pressley Massachusetts, who are engaged in a feud with Pelosi in the lower chamber of US Congress.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

• 17h

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....

148K

5:57 PM - Jul 14, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

58.9K people are talking about this

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” the president wrote.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

 • 17h

Replying to @realDonaldTrump

....and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how....

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

....it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

153K

5:57 PM - Jul 14, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

61.5K people are talking about this

'Make America Great Again’

Pelosi said Trump’s comments reaffirm her previous estimation that the president intends to 'Make America Great Again.’

"When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again," Pelosi said on Twitter.

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

• 16h

When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again.

Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1150381394234941448 …

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly......

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

I reject @realDonaldTrump’s xenophobic comments meant to divide our nation. Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values. Stop the raids - #FamiliesBelongTogether!

47.6K

7:46 PM - Jul 14, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

24.9K people are talking about this

"Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power… Rather than attack Members of Congress, he should work with us for humane immigration policy that reflects American values," added the California Democrat.

Omar, a Muslim congresswoman, was born in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and immigrated to the US as a refugee, while the three other liberal Democrats were all born in the US.

“You are stoking white nationalism bc you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda,” said Omar, further citing a quotation from the assassinated US politician, Robert F. Kennedy. “America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.”

Tlaib, another Muslim congresswoman, took the chance to call for Trump’s impeachment.

"Want a response to a lawless & complete failure of a President?" Tlaib tweeted. "He is the crisis. His dangerous ideology is the crisis. He needs to be impeached."

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/07/14/600951/Go-back-where-you-came-from-Trump-tells-Dems

--------

 

US grants visa to Iran's Zarif for UN meeting this week

July 15, 2019

The US has granted a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to attend a UN meeting in New York this week, a move approved by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Had Mr Pompeo not approved entry for Mr Zarif, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, it would have suggested that Washington was trying to isolate Tehran further and perhaps closing the door to diplomacy.

US-Iranian tension has worsened since President Donald Trump decided last year to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Tehran agreed to curtail its atomic programme in return for relief from economic sanctions.

They have taken several turns for the worse in the past two-and-a-half months after Mr Trump moved to try to eliminate Iran’s oil exports entirely because of White House concerns about its nuclear and missile programmes, and regional activity.

Since that decision, there have been two sets of attacks on tankers in the Gulf that Washington blamed on Tehran despite its denials, and Iran has shot down a US drone that prompted plans for a retaliatory air strike by Washington, which was abruptly called off.

On June 24, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Mr Zarif would be hit with US sanctions that week, which was unusual because the US does not usually warn of such decisions, to keep its targets from moving assets out of US jurisdiction.

Sources said Washington had decided to hold off from blacklisting him.

Imposing sanctions on Mr Zarif would have been unusual because it could impede any US effort to use diplomacy to resolve disagreements.

Full report at:

https://www.thenational.ae/world/the-americas/us-grants-visa-to-iran-s-zarif-for-un-meeting-this-week-1.886268

--------

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/human-rights-violations-and-religious-violence-in-india--muslims-in-north-texas-ask-america-to-use-trade-as-leverage-to-prevent-such-acts/d/119194

 

New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism





TOTAL COMMENTS:-    


Compose Your Comments here:
Name
Email (Not to be published)
Comments
Fill the text
 
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.

Content