air strike was conducted at 3.30 am (Representative Image). Photo Credit: PTI
Weeks after the Pulwama Terror Attack, India on Tuesday Crossed Over LoC and
Destroyed the JeM, LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen Training Camps
Data from Suspected JeM Members Extracted, Being Analysed: UP Police
Gifted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Quran Verse Plaque
but Renamed JuD, FIF Still Functioning: ICT Promises To Take Action
Says Indo-Pak Confrontation to Have ‘Serious Implications’
Conference Highlights Islamic Tolerance, Coexistence
Says Govt Too Lenient With Those Who Insult Islam
Questions US Push to Form ‘Arab NATO’
Corporate Foundations Funding Israeli Settlements in Occupied Territories:
Urges Morrison to Sanction Pakistan over Attack
Russia-China-India meet, Sushma Swaraj to raise Pakistan terror issue
raids separatists including Mirwaiz in Kashmir in terror funding probe
IAF Pilots’, Says Rahul Gandhi on Air Force Strike On Jaish Terror Camp
Khan Summons 'Important Meeting' In Wake of India's Loc Violation
prepared' for befitting response to 'any India aggression': Pakistan Army
court dismisses ex-PM Nawaz Sharif's appeal, bail plea
UN agency hail PM’s move for Afghan refugees
causing fear and harassment: Fazalur Rehman
court seeks expenditure details of Saudi crown prince's visit
Envoy for Afghan Peace Met With the Political Chief of Taliban in Qatar
launches new export route to India through Iran
to gather elders under large tent to discuss peace
Forces Bangladesh Plane to Land and Is Fatally Shot
devastates Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh
Special Forces rescue 10 people from a Taliban prison in Balkh province
political leaders, tribal elders to hold Loya Jirga on Taliban talks
Reveals How Obama Knowingly Helped Daesh So US Forces Could Return To Iraq
envoy Khalilzad thanks Pakistan as Taliban leaders arrive in Qatar for peace
on Iranian foreign minister’s resignation: We’ll see if it sticks
Schools under Scrutiny in Thailand
rally if PH government fails to act against those who insult Islam, warns PAS
do not need support from PAS’, says PM Mahathir on purported no-confidence vote
Israel Back British Plans to Ban Hezbollah
says it will prosecute 13 French ISIS militants captured in Syria
SPD to extend freeze on arms sales to Riyadh
wants to see world free of nuclear weapons: FM
Begum is a greater threat in Syria than the UK, says expert
Concealing 300,000 Documents about Palestinian Massacres: Report
Jihad Says New Missiles Capable Of Reaching Deep inside Israel
seeks 110 more arrests over Gulen ties
landmines project clears 1,371 Houthi devices
Jerusalem’s edge, a ‘nowhere land’ for Palestinians
Africa Mosque Set Alight By Attackers: Officials
airstrike in Somali kills 35 al-Shabaab militants
election violence killed ‘at least 39’: Monitors
in Somalia kill 8 in roadside massacre
violence kills dozens of Nigerians: Observers
forces kill 19, burn houses in S. Libya: MP
Al-Shabaab Jihadists Claim Killing Lawmaker
To Ban Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Class It As A Terrorist Organization
Israeli, Saudi Footprints Found in Former Bases of Terrorists in Southern Syria
Militants Leave Eastern Syria for Turkey, 3,000 Terrorists Transferred to Iraq
Making Last-Ditch Efforts to Keep Tahrir Al-Sham in Idlib
migration key topics of first EU-Arab summit
Assad meets Iran’s Supreme Leader in Tehran
people leave Syria’s last ISIS holdout
Democratic Forces hand over 14 French ISIS fighters to Iraq
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: It wasn’t a question of whether India will strike back or not, but of
when and the timing of the attack.
Air Force targeted JeM, LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen training camps around 330am
on Tuesday. The public anger after the terror attack in Pulwama that killed 40
CRPF jawans on February 14 had put immense pressure on the Narendra Modi
government to act. As per reports, IAF dropped 1,000 kg bombs on targets in
Balakot, Muzafarrabad and Chakoti completely destroying many terror camps. The
Pakistani Army has confirmed that Indian Air Force violated Line of Control in
Pulwama, it was clear that a covert ground attack by Indian forces was
virtually ruled out. Pakistan had made it amply clear that they were ready for
any surgical strikes like the one carried out by Indian forces on seven
terrorist launch pads across Line of Control (LoC) on September 29, 2016. While
one awaits full details and official confirmation, the strike at Balakot which
falls in Khyber Pakhtunwala province of Pakistan has huge significance.
is perhaps the first time Indian forces have gone beyond the LoC and struck
deep inside Pakistan territory in the recent past.
to be clear: #Balakot is not in Azad Kashmir. If Indian Air Force planes
dropped payload in Balakot, they cr…
Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) 1551150172000
if this is the other Balakot which falls in Poonch sector along the LoC, it is
the first time that IAF jets have crossed the LoC since the 1971 war. During
the 1999 Kargil war, the IAF, while bombing terror outposts took care not to
cross the LoC. Also, with the 2016 surgical strikes, the Modi government is the
first to make such surgical strikes public. Previous governments too have retaliated
but preferred to keep them under wraps from the larger public.
must commend the Indian forces for not just having caught Pakistani Army
off-guard but also for ensuring their coordinated attacks targeted only terror
camps while avoiding civilian casualties. As both sides take stock of the
situations, India had already put its defence mechanism and air bases in
Jamnagar, Maliya, Ahmedabad and Vadodara in high alert and ready position.
data from suspected JeM members extracted, being analysed: UP police
Data from the mobile phones of the two suspected Jaish terrorists arrested from
Deoband town in Saharanpur district was extracted on Monday at a court here and
is being analysed by investigators for leads, a senior Uttar Pradesh ATS
a statement, the Anti-Terrorist Squad official also said "some
persons" linked to the two men belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group
behind the deadly Pulwama attack, were questioned.
General of Police OP Singh previously said the two men were "using BBM,
virtual numbers and an app not available on Google Play Store" to
discussed movement of weapons and preparations for a major terror incident, he
Ahmad Teli, from Kulgam in J&K, and Aquib Ahmad Malik, from Pulwama, were
arrested on Thursday night and .32 bore pistols and cartridges were seized from
between 20-25 years, they were staying in Deoband and posing as students
without taking admission anywhere, according to DGP Singh.
were trying to recruit for JeM, he said.
said it was "difficult to say" whether the two men had come to
Deoband before the Pulwama attack on February 14.
Saturday, the two suspected JeM terrorists were sent to 10-day police custody
by a court.
gifted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Quran verse plaque
week, the Internet was abuzz with details of the gift presented to Saudi Crown
Prince and defence minister Mohammed Bin Salman by Pakistan (Senate Chairman
Sadiq Sanjrani ) — a gold plated Heckler and Koch machine gun.
so much so, that details of the gift he received from India (from the President
Ram Nath Kovind) went unnoticed. Kovind gifted Salman a wooden plaque with one
of the most well-known verses, Ayatul Kursi, or the so-called Thrown Verse of
the Holy Quran engraved on it.
say visits to high-level visiting dignitaries, including heads of governments
is decided by the host country after taking into account the preferences (or
likely preferences) of the high-profile guest – but also that they say
something about the giver.
is also true of gifts carried by visiting Indian dignitaries to foreign
nations. For instance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently presented a
Bodhi-tree sapling to the mayor of Gimhae in South Korea during his visit to
the country last week. Gimhae and Ayodhya are sister cities. The Buddha
attained enlightenment under the shade of a holy Bodhi tree in Gaya (Bihar).
analysts add that Pakistan’s gift of a gun to Salman isn’t surprising. They
point out that the Saudi -Pakistan bromance with Afghan mujahideen and their
descendants was bonded by the gun for much of the 1980s and 1990s – till the
September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the US.
week, in a previously planned visit, Salman visited both India and Pakistan in
quick succession, although the meeting came soon after the terror attack in
Pulwama, Kashmir by a terrorist owing allegiance to the Pakistan-based
Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group.
Saudi-Pakistan joint statement talked about avoiding politicization of the UN
listing regime in the context of Masood Azha, the chief of the proscribed
India -Saudi condemned the Pulwama attack and renounced the use of terrorism as
an instrument of state policy. The analysts say that the release of 850 Indian
prisoners in Saudi Arabia was not on the agenda but the decision still taken in
a one-to-one meeting between Modi and Salman.
analysts also say that one of the key outcomes of the close personal friendship
between the Saudi Prince and the Indian Prime Minister PM is the invitation to
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to address the Organisation of Islamic
Countries’ Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Abu Dhabi on March 1-2 as a
diplomatic breakthrough has only been achieved due to Modi’s personal
relationships with the Crown Princes of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi
Arabia, they add.
but renamed JuD, FIF still functioning: ICT promises to take action
Capital Territory (ICT) administration on Monday reaffirmed to take action
against proscribed organizations functioning while altering their original
talking to Daily Times Deputy Commissioner of the territory Hamza Shafaq said
that Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) are banned at
national level. “They are banned and will not be allowed to work at any cost
until the ban is removed by the government”, he claimed. The DC said that as
per his information, no such outlets of these organizations were currently
working in any part of ICT. When asked about his stance about functioning of
such organization under other names, Shafaq responded that the administration
will investigate that matter and if they are found working with other names,
they would also be banned and punished under the prescribed legal provision.
repeated attempts, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi was not
available for comment. Even after the ban imposed on Hafiz Saeed’s
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) by the government,
the same are operating throughout Pakistan using new names. These two
organizations have recently been banned again, as a part of the government’s
other initiatives to accelerate anti-terrorism operations and re-establish the
writ of the state. JuD and FIF have existed in Pakistan with other names
before, most prominently Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Even today, they continue to
operate merely by changing names.
to a report published in Daily Times, offices of the JuD and FIF have been
rebranded and repackaged; the banners outside have changed but the faces inside
are the same.
report stated that the management of these illegally constructed ‘outlets’ had
no qualms that they were all, indeed, working for Hafiz Saeed and only changed
the name due to the government’s weakness against foreign pressure. Some of the
names that the proscribed organization has now started using includes ‘Al
Madina’ and ‘Aisar Foundation’. The Daily Times Investigation report maintained
that some of the operators at rebranded banned FIF ‘outlets’ expressed their
feelings that the government and security apparatus were on their side, but all
the stakeholders (including FIF and Hafiz Saeed) were making a compromise for
the time being. The operators also showed hope that as soon as the current
pressure subsides, FIF name will reappear on banners placed on the donation
says Indo-Pak confrontation to have ‘serious implications’
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned China’s State Councilor and Foreign
Minister Wang Yi on Monday, and briefed him on the evolving regional situation
after the February 14 Pulwama attack in Indian held Kashmir (IHK).
Qureshi thanked China for its steadfast support and highlighted Islamabad’s
desire for peace and stability in the region. The FM reiterated that Pakistan
was ready to resolve all issues with India through dialogue and negotiation.
Chinese FM thanked Qureshi for calling and appreciated Islamabad’s efforts. He
agreed that the regional situation was serious and, if not addressed
expediently, could have “serious implications for peace and security of the
also acknowledged Pakistan’s invaluable contributions in the fight against
terror and said that the country has paid a heavy cost for its role.
the foreign ministers also agreed to maintain regular contact to discuss regional
conference highlights Islamic tolerance, coexistence
at the 31st session of the International Conference of Latin American and
Caribbean Muslims called for rejecting extremism and terrorism and upholding
universal Islamic principles in order to preserve the spirit of Islamic
tradition and correct misconceptions.
conference, organized by the Islamic Dawah Center in Latin America and the
Caribbean in cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and
Guidance, was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, under the theme: “Teaching Arabic in
Latin American and Caribbean countries.” It was attended by some 400 scholars
and religious figures from 50 countries.
Saudi deputy minister of Islamic affairs, call and guidance delivered a speech
by Minister Dr. Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Sheikh
underscoring that the Kingdom’s participation in the conference reflects its
support for initiatives that serve Arab and Islamic communities and contribute
to human coexistence and community building.
stressed the Kingdom’s resolve to help spread correct Islamic knowledge and
combat extremism and terrorism through various forums, including colleges,
universities, foundations, centers and intellectual associations at home and
also highlighted Riyadh’s steadfast political and economic support for
Palestine in global forums, both directly and through international
thanked Brazil’s government for hosting the conference. He praised the country
as a role model for tolerance, coexistence and openness to receiving
immigrants, including from Arab communities, and granting them the opportunity
ben Ali Saifi, head of the Islamic Dawah Center in Latin America and the
Caribbean, lauded Saudi efforts to serve Islam and Muslims, and support Muslim
conference is an expression of the Kingdom’s support for preserving Islamic
values and identity worldwide, he said.
Al-Zaban, Palestinian ambassador to Brazil, underscored the conference’s
importance in helping the Muslim community preserve its cohesion by
strengthening and maintaining the use of the Arabic language.
government officials said the conference sheds light on Islam as a religion of
tolerance, compassion and peace.
Al-Habbash, adviser to the Palestinian president, called for the preservation
of Arab and Islamic values and identity, saying the conference’s
recommendations should be implemented so as to help spread awareness of the
importance of the Arabic language.
Mohammed Al-Bashari, secretary-general of the World Council of Muslim
Communities, highlighted Saudi efforts to support Muslim communities worldwide.
urged countries to stand by Saudi Arabia against regional threats in order to
maintain peace and security in the Middle East.
head of the Sunni religious court in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, Judge Samir
Kamal, said understanding the Arabic language “helps Muslims to comprehend
religious texts, allowing them to worship God properly.”
says govt too lenient with those who insult Islam
LUMPUR • Opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) has warned that it will
organise a "monster" rally if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government
fails to take action against individuals who have insulted Islam.
Islamist party's information chief, Mr Nasrudin Hassan, claimed yesterday that
the government has been too lenient towards those who have insulted Islam, and
cited the case of a Facebook user who was recently released from police custody
after uploading a "rude caricature" of Prophet Muhammad and his wife
Malaysian government has to be firm in its actions. Take care of Islamic
sensitivities and that of its adherents. If the government is lazy and slow to
act, it will cause those who insult the religion to be bolder," Mr
there is no firm action, the people will rise and a monster rally will be held
to pressure the government to take action."
Nasrudin said this following a statement from Malaysian police chief Mohamad
Fuzi Harun on Sunday that the Facebook user identified as Foo Sing Wai was
released on Feb 22.
68-year-old suspect was arrested on Feb 19. However, due to his age and health
complications, the suspect was released on Feb 22 on police bail," The
Star quoted Tan Sri Fuzi as saying.
investigation paper has been forwarded to the deputy public prosecutor for
further instruction," he said.
sensitive issue of Islam is at the heart of an ongoing battle pitting the PH
government against Malay-Muslim opposition parties PAS and Umno as both sides
try to gain the support of the majority Malay electorate. The opposition has
been painting PH as being weak to defend Malay and Muslim rights.
Nasrudin said many people were stunned by the suspect's release especially
since there have been 395 police reports lodged against Foo nationwide.
the suspect was investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code and Section
233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Section 298A, those found guilty of fostering religious disharmony can be
punished with a jail term of between two and five years.
Section 233, those found guilty of improper use of network facilities can be
fined up to RM50,000 (S$16,590), jailed for up to a year, or both, and incur a
further fine of RM1,000 for every day the offence continues to be committed
after conviction. Mr Nasrudin said a woman who insulted Prophet Muhammad last
year was jailed for six months and fined RM15,000. He said the suspect in the
current case should not be allowed bail in the first place.
demands an explanation from the authorities to assuage the worries of
Muslims," he said, adding that such "provocation cannot be
questions US push to form ‘Arab NATO’
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov questions a reported push underway by the United
States to “forcefully” band together a NATO-like Arab military alliance.
referred to the potential grouping as the Middle East Strategic Alliance
(MESA), saying US President Donald Trump’s administration “is trying to impose
[the alliance] on the Persian Gulf states plus Jordan and Egypt,” Russian news
agency ITAR-TASS reported.
at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam on Monday, he said
undertaking the effort, Washington was “overcoming very serious doubts of
emerging prior to Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017 said he was about to
lay out his vision for the “Arab NATO."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo toured the kingdom, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the
United Arab Emirates, and Oman as well as Egypt and Jordan in January. “One of
key tasks of the trip is bringing closer the positions of eight countries to
create MESA,” TASS said.
and some of its Persian Gulf allies, most notably Riyadh, have, ever since the
start of Trump’s presidency in 2016, been citing regional powerhouse Iran as a
common source of “threat.”
commonly accuse the Islamic Republic of “regional interference,” an allegation
which Tehran roundly rejects. Tehran has, meanwhile, been warning the littoral
states against Washington’s divisive efforts targeting regional equations.
US already heavily arms Saudi Arabia and its allies in a Riyadh-led coalition,
which has been bombing Yemen since 2015. The coalition, which accuses the
impoverished country of receiving assistance from the Islamic Republic, began
the invasion to restore its Riyadh-friendly former officials.
addressing the US’s apparent push to form the military alliance, Lavrov said
the drive seeks to “reshape geopolitical landscape in a way to obstruct the
natural development of events and try to contain the formation of new growth
centers,” TASS added.
want to compare natural processes integrating countries based on their
coinciding interests and artificial processes, which they try to forcefully
impose on the countries to carry out a joint effort in the interests of one
geopolitically oriented power," the senior diplomat noted.
here Israel is also pursuing its interests around this initiative," he
Aviv and some of the maritime countries have been growing closer over the past
years, with back-to-back reports surfacing of mutual visits and backstage
Arab capitals have even been accused of moving towards “normalization” with the
last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Arab countries viewed
the regime as an “indispensable ally” against Iran.
corporate foundations funding Israeli settlements in occupied territories:
number of US corporate foundations have reportedly given tens of thousands of
dollars to several non-profits to fund settlement projects in the occupied West
Bank as the Israeli regime presses ahead with its land expropriation policies
in the occupied territories, irrespective of international outcry.
to a report published by the monthly magazine, In These Times, Verizon Wireless
telecommunications company, Pfizer pharmaceutical corporation, the Bank of
America, American Express company, and financial services firm JPMorgan Chase,
in addition to Deutsche Bank AG, a German multinational investment bank, have
collectively donated over $25,000 to American non-profit organizations, which
raise and send money to Israeli officials in charge of expanding settlements in
the occupied West Bank.
magazine, citing tax records from 2001 to 2016, further revealed that a large
network of US non-profits collects millions of dollars annually for Israeli
report added that the famous US corporate foundations have also collectively
given over $48,000 to the so-called “Friends of the Israel Defense Forces” NGO,
which claims to have sent the money to Israeli military bases to be spent on
various enrichment activities.
this month, Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Tel Aviv’s settlement expansion
activities, published a new map that illustrated an “accelerated, intensifying
chain of new facts on the ground in the most historically contested and
politically sensitive part of Jerusalem [al-Quds]: the Old City and adjacent
ring of Palestinian neighborhoods,” which help reinforcement of settlement
NGO pointed to a number of Israeli-sponsored settlement campaigns inside
Palestinian neighborhoods, including “settler initiated evictions of Palestinians,
takeovers of their homes, and the expansion of settler compounds,” in addition
to the use of the so-called “touristic settlement sites” as “key points”
contributing to the campaigns.
Amim said the supposed tourism and archaeology projects “assume a central role
in Israeli settlement policy.”
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the
occupied territories in several resolutions.
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to
“immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied
Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
urges Morrison to sanction Pakistan over attack
is pressing Australia to freeze foreign aid and defence co-operation with
Pakistan following the deadliest terrorist attack in 30 years in the disputed
Kashmir region, which killed 40 paramilitary officers this month.
skirmishing has broken out in recent days with Pakistan reportedly firing
shells across the military line of control, the de facto border that separates
the two countries. Indian Air Force fighter jets flew across the line on
Tuesday targeting "terror camps" but the Pakistani military claimed
the bombs were dropped without causing any damage or casualties.
between the two nuclear-armed nations have racheted up after a suicide bomber
rammed a car carrying 300 kilograms of explosives into a bus carrying 44
Central Reserve Police Force officers that was travelling as part of 70-vehicle
convoy in Pulwama district on February 14.
militant Islam group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack but
Indian authorities have accused Pakistan's government of being involved, which
part of a global campaign to isolate Pakistan over the Valentine Day's bombing,
Indian High Commissioner to Australia Ajay Marotrao Gondane said Pakistan's
civil and military leadership needed to suffer consequences for what New Delhi
claims is state sponsorship of terrorism.
both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten have condemned the bombing publicly, Dr
Gondane said Pakistan had "released the genie" of Islamic extremism
and is urging Australia to go further.
said Australian foreign aid should be diverted and defence co-operation should
be downgraded or stopped.
would be a signal to Pakistan you can't do this," Dr Gondane told The
Australian Financial Review.
should know if its behaviour is good and correct and it meets its international
obligations, then it will get assistance."
against China's rise
Gondane's call comes amid a concerted effort by Canberra to strengthen ties
with India, in part to act as a check against China's rise.
is the sixth-biggest bilateral donor of aid to Pakistan, and will give $49.2
million in 2018-19. Projects include helping thousands of farmers develop
markets, supporting education and nutrition programs, and empowering women and
Defence Department said Australia had a "long-standing" military
relationship with Pakistan, focused on building capacity and enhancing
major element of co-operation is education and training, with officer
development, governance and aviation safety among the courses offered to
countries also participate in joint maritime training drills – Australian naval
personnel this month joined Pakistan's Exercise AMAN, and in 2016 conducted
nations had been reluctant to take Pakistan to task over alleged links between
its military and intelligence agencies to Islamic insurgents because it was an
ally in the war on terror in Afghanistan until Donald Trump suspended military
aid last year, saying Pakistan had provided a haven for extremists.
Gondane said Pakistan was "hoodwinking allies" over its commitment to
fighting terrorism. While the suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar, was a Kashmiri
local, Dr Gondane said the sophistication of the bombing pointed to the
Pakistan leadership's involvement.
is dangerously provocative – 300 kilograms of explosives cannot be moved around
in Kashmir just like that," he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said India had targeted Pakistan without a shred
of evidence and warned of retaliation if India attacked. However, he has promised
to act if "actionable intelligence" is presented.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hardline response to the attack could boost his
political fortunes in May when he faces re-election.
director of Melbourne University's Australia India Institute, Professor Craig
Jeffrey, said Kashmir was becoming more volatile. Underneath the geopolitical
tensions between India and Pakistan was a sense of frustration among young
people both sides of the border over a lack of jobs and social mobility.
atmosphere has deteriorated there. It is really important that both India and
Pakistan do not do anything quickly or rashly," he said.
DELHI: Given India's diplomatic offensive against Pakistan over the Pulwama
terror attack, crossborder terrorism is likely to dominate foreign minister
Sushma Swaraj's agenda at the 16th Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral, and
also in her bilateral meetings with her Chinese and Russian counterparts Wang
Yi and Sergey Lavrov respectively, in Wuzhen this week.
is expected to bring up the Pulwama attack in her remarks at RIC and also
exhort China, in her meeting with Wang, to drop its opposition to an upcoming
proposal for a UNSC ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar. The
government is also likely to seek a strong condemnation of the Pulwama attack
in the joint communique and look to include names of Pakistan based terror
groups like JeM and LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) in the document.
RIC joint communique though has refrained from naming any Pakistan-based group
in the past even though it has repeatedly condemned terrorism "in all its
forms and manifestations". At the last trilateral in 2017 in Delhi, while
it mentioned ISIL and al-Qaeda, it did not name either LeT or JeM. It was left
to Swaraj to underscore the threat from LeT in the joint press conference.
was a disappointment for India as the trilateral came only 3 months after the
Xiamen Brics Declaration in which India, with support from Russia, had managed
to specifically mention LeT and JeM with regard to the security situation in
though will be headed to RIC Tuesday high on the UNSC statement which not just
condemned the Pulwama attack "in the strongest terms" but also
mentioned JeM as the group which had claimed responsibility for it. To what
extent she can bank on support from the Russians is not clear yet, given
Moscow's close ties with Beijing. While Russia had gone along with the UNSC
condemnation, it was more restrained, unlike the US and France, in garnering
support for it.
campaign for an international ban on Azhar and condemnation of Pakistan's
support to cross-border terrorism has found some traction in the past few days.
Sources here said that support from France, which will bring the proposal for
the ban, has also meant strong backing from the EU whose high representative
for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini spoke to Pakistan
foreign minister SM Qureshi Sunday about the situation following the Pulwama
attack. While appreciating the early commitment of the Premier Minister of
Pakistan to reach out to India, said an EU press release, she highlighted the
need to continue addressing terrorism including "clear and sustained
actions targeting not only all UN-listed transnational terrorist groups but
also individuals claiming responsibility for such attacks".
NIA on Tuesday carried out searches on separatists in the Kashmir valley,
including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a terror funding case, officials said.
police and CRPF personnel cordoned off the areas before NIA sleuths started the
searches at several places in Srinagar.
those whose houses were searched are Nayeem Geelani, son of hardline Hurriyat
leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, JKLF leader Yaseen Malik, Shabir Shah, Ashraf
Sehrai and Zaffar Bhat.
has been in detention since Friday while Shabir Shah is in Delhi’s Tihar jail
since July 2017.
read: Security withdrawn over Pulwama attacks, separatist leaders say ‘don’t
raids came less than a week after the government withdrew the security cover of
separatist leaders in Kashmir following the Pulwama terror attack on February
14 in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed after a suicide bomber rammed an
explosive-laden vehicle into a bus.
IAF pilots’, says Rahul Gandhi on Air Force strike on Jaish terror camp
political leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Tuesday reacted
to reports of Indian Air Force fighter jets striking a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror
camp across the Line of Control early in the morning.
said the IAF used Mirage-2000 jets with laser-guided bombs causing an estimated
casualty of 200-300, almost two weeks after a terror attack killed 40 CRPF
soldiers in south’s Kashmir’s Pulwama ratcheting tensions between India and
is what the leaders said:
salute the pilots of the IAF,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
salute the @IAF_MCC for their consistent & determined effort to keep
Indians safe. Jai Hind,” said the Congress from its official Twitter handle.
minister Rupala praises IAF
hours of reports of strikes by the IAF, Union minister Parshottam Rupala wrote
on Twitter: “BHARAT MATA KI JAI @narendramodi AND BRAVEHEARTS OF OUR ARMY n
AIRFORCE JAI HO.”
MATA KI JAI @narendramodi AND BRAVEHEARTS OF OUR ARMY n AIRFORCE JAI HO🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳
Parshottam Rupala (@PRupala) February 26, 2019
CM HD Kumaraswamy
Salute to the Indian Airforce.Jai Jawan.. Jai Hind..,” tweeted HD Kumaraswamy.
chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah
if this is true this was not a small strike by any stretch of imagination but
will wait for official word, should any be forthcoming,” Abdullah said in a
reports of air strikes across the LoC by IAF planes gather steam looks like our
defences are in the air including this airborne early warning aircraft. Appears
to be patrolling the international border,” the National Conference leader
read | IAF jets strike and destroy Jaish terror camp across LoC: Sources
leader Subramanian Swamy
Khan summons 'important meeting' in wake of India's LoC violation
Minister Imran Khan will hold an emergency meeting at 11am on Tuesday,
according to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
this morning, Qureshi had summoned an emergency meeting at the Foreign Office
in Islamabad to discuss the emerging situation in the wake of Indian Air
Force's (IAF) violation of the Line of Control, Radio Pakistan reported.
meeting was being held to discuss the security situation and was attended by
former secretaries and senior ambassadors.
a statement following the LoC violation, Qureshi warned India not to challenge
Pakistan and said that better sense should prevail in Delhi, Radio Pakistan
foreign minister said the nation should not be worried over the Indian act as
the defenders of the country are fully prepared to respond to any misadventure.
India's Cabinet Committee on Security is meeting at Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s residence in Delhi, Asian News International reported.
on Tuesday, the Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen
Asif Ghafoor confirmed that the IAF had "violated the LoC".
A top Pakistan Army official said on Monday that his country's armed forces are
"fully prepared" for a befitting response to "any Indian
aggression or misadventure".
spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Army chief General Qamar Javed
Bajwa met Air chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and the two chiefs deliberated
on operational environment including threat and response.
chiefs expressed satisfaction on readiness, coordination and synergy. Pakistan
Armed Forces are fully prepared for a befitting response to any Indian
aggression or misadventure," he added.
statement came amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan after the
February 14 suicide attack by Pakistanbased Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that
killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
after the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said security forces were given
a free hand to avenge the dastardly act.
A Pakistani appeals court has rejected former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's
appeal over a seven-year prison sentence for corruption and refused to grant
him release on medical grounds.
Islamabad High Court's two-judge panel announced its ruling on Monday after the
appeal hearings concluded last week. Sharif's aide Shahid Abbasi says the
former premier's team will take the case to the Supreme Court.
is in custody in hospital where he is being treated for heart-related issues.
and his family members have been embroiled in several trials on corruption
charges after the Supreme Court disqualified him from office in July 2017.
The Amnesty International (AI) and the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) have lauded the government’s decision of allowing the
registered Afghan refugees to operate bank accounts in the country.
after the decision was announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan through a message
on Twitter, the Amnesty International South Asia praised the government’s move.
AI said in a Twitter message: “At a time when much of the world has turned its
back on refugees, Pakistan’s government has taken an excellent step to help
them reclaim their dignity.”
heading a meeting which discussed how money laundering could be curbed in
country, PM Khan tweeted: “I have issued instructions today that Afghan
refugees who are registered can open bank accounts and from now onwards they
can participate in the formal economy of the country. This should have been
done a long time ago.”
UN refugee agency also welcomed the prime minister’s decision of allowing the
registered Afghan refugees to open bank accounts.
commend Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government and the people of Pakistan
for taking this important step in support of Afghan refugees — a
forward-looking, generous gesture of solidarity of global significance,” UN
High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.
Director for Asia and the Pacific Indrika Rawatte and UNHCR Representative in
Pakistan Ruvendrini Menikdiwela said that Pakistan had generously hosted
millions of Afghan refugees for decades and should be applauded for this latest
is a bold demonstration of humanitarian leadership in a world that is not
inclusive,” Mr Rawatte said.
Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) Moulana Fazalur Rehman has said that National
accountability Bureau is bent on harassment and fear instead of recovering the
looted money of corruption. He said that the harassment and fear of NAB has
caused to close the ways of investment in country. He was talking with
journalists after inauguration ceremony of Madrsa of Moulana Rashid Mehmood
Soomro on Monday. He said that people were being diverted towards courts due to
this policy of rulers. He said that country was facing economically and social
crises but present rulers had no need to boost its economy and social
conditions. He said that present rulers were victimizing the political parties
and leaders through NAB. He said that owing to harassment and fears of NAB, no
one bureaucrat was ready to sign on any file in their offices hence the business
of the country and government offices work was stopped. He also visited shrine
of Hazrat Qalandar Lal Shahbaz, offered Fateha and laid floral wreaths.
Pakistani high court has demanded the details of government expenses for the
two-day visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and his 40-member
delegation to Islamabad.
Lahore High Court was hearing a petition over the details of expenses incurred
by Islamabad for the royal visit, Express News reported Monday.
media reports, the petition said the government spent about 200 million rupees
during the visit to cash-strapped Pakistan.
by Pakistan’s fighter jets, the fleet of bin Salman – known as MbS -- and his
1,000-strong entourage touched down in Islamabad on February 18 for a two-day
petition said that the government booked 300 luxury cars while the crown
prince’s plane was escorted by JF-17 fighter jets as it entered Pakistani
said that using the national exchequer to pay for a foreign dignitary’s state
visit ran counter to Islamic laws and traditions.
the hearing, the high court issued a notice to the federal government and
concerned departments, demanding a reply by March 19.
royal announced $20 billion of investment in Pakistan.
have warned that Riyadh could be using the investment to sway Islamabad’s decisions
and stoke further regional tensions and rivalry.
have criticized the sycophantic welcome in Islamabad as Saudi Arabia threw
Pakistan an economic lifeline, warning that the aid could turn Islamabad into a
client state of the kingdom.
last time a Saudi royal paid a visit to Pakistan was in 2006, when then King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz traveled to the nuclear-armed nation.
envoy for Afghan peace met with the Political Chief of Taliban in Qatar
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad on Monday met with the head of the political office of Taliban Mullah
Abdul Ghani Baradar in Qatar.
Khalilzad in a Twitter post announced this afternoon “Just finished a working
lunch with Mullah Beradar and his team. First time we’ve met. Now moving on to
has not disclosed further information regarding the meeting which has been
described as an introductory meeting.
a separate Tweet post, Ambassador Khalilzad announced earlier that “Arrived in
#Doha to meet with a more authoritative Taliban delegation. This could be a
significant moment. Appreciate #Qatar
for hosting & #Pakistan in facilitating travel. Now the work begins in
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid also confirmed the meeting between Ambassador
Khalilzad and Mullah Baradar in Qatar and added that the fifth round of the
talks will kick off on Tuesday.
Afghanistan began exports to India through an Iranian port on Sunday, official
said, as the landlocked, war-torn nation turns to overseas markets to improve
said 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and
mineral products were dispatched from western Afghan city of Zaranj to Iran’s
Chabahar port. The consignment will be shipped to the Indian city of Mumbai.
the inauguration of the new export route, President Ashraf Ghani said
Afghanistan was slowly improving its exports in a bid to reduce its trade
port is the result of healthy cooperation between India, Iran and Afghanistan
this will ensure economic growth,” he said.
Iranian port provides easy access to the sea to Afghanistan and India has
helped developed this route to allow both countries to engage in trade
year the US government granted an exception to certain US sanctions that
allowed development of Chabahar port as part of a new transportation corridor
designed to boost Afghanistan’s economy and meet their needs of
non-sanctionable goods such as food and medicines.
has sent 1.1 million tonnes of wheat and 2,000 tonnes of lentils to Afghanistan
elders and political leaders are set to sit down for a grand council in
Afghanistan on March 17 to deliberate on ways to end the Taliban insurgency,
according to the presidential peace envoy, Umer Daudzai. The grand council
(loya jirga) will be attended by more than 2,000 participants for four days of
debate under a large tent and will follow the highest level of negotiations
between Taliban officials and the US diplomats, scheduled to kick off from
Monday onwards in Qatar. A centuries-old institution, the loya jirga has long
been used to build consensus among rival tribes, factions and ethnic groups. It
was previously used to lay down the foundations of a post-Taliban society in
2001. Ever since a US-led campaign drove the hardline Islamist militants from
power, Taliban continue to wage an unrelenting guerrilla war against government
and Western forces; consistently refusing to go to a discussion table with the
Kabul government, which they have long dismissed as a foreign-backed “puppet”
Julfikar Ali Manik, Mike Ives and Kai Schultz
Bangladesh — Special forces troops stormed a plane on the tarmac of a
Bangladesh airport on Sunday, fatally shooting a passenger who sought to speak with
the country’s prime minister, officials said on Monday.
Bangladesh Airlines Flight 147 had been traveling to Dubai from Dhaka, the
Bangladeshi capital. The domestic passenger, identified by the police as
Mohammed Polash Ahmed, tried to storm the cockpit about 15 minutes after
takeoff on Sunday afternoon, forcing the pilot into making an emergency landing
in Chittagong, where the plane had been scheduled to make a stop.
senior official with Biman Bangladesh Airlines, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said seven crew members and 143 passengers, including Mr. Ahmed, who was in his
mid-30s, were aboard the plane.
landing at Shah Amanat International Airport on Sunday evening, all but one
crew member — who was kept as a hostage but not harmed — were evacuated, the
commandos then rushed the plane and shot Mr. Ahmed after he refused to
Mufti Mahmud Khan, a spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion, a Bangladeshi
police force comprised of military personnel, said in an interview that
investigators had taken Mr. Ahmed’s fingerprint and matched it in a criminal
Khan would not elaborate on the case against Mr. Ahmed, who lived in a district
near Dhaka, the nation’s capital. But he said there was no evidence at this
point that Mr. Ahmed had links to terrorist groups that have struck before in
Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim nation of about 160 million people.
are trying to get more information abut his old case,” he said.
July 2016, a group of young men entered the upscale Holey Artisan Bakery in
Dhaka with heavy bags of weaponry, including grenades. They sorted out
non-Muslim and foreign diners and killed 20 hostages and two police officers
using guns and machetes.
attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State, was the most ambitious by
insurgents in the region in recent years, and evidence that Bangladesh’s
militant networks may have internationalized.
and officials initially told reporters that Mr. Ahmed had been carrying a
pistol and had claimed to have a bomb on the aircraft. One passenger, Osman
Gani, said Mr. Ahmed, who was sitting in the 17th row, had threatened to shoot
people shortly after takeoff.
also fired several rounds, leaving the passengers panicked,” Mr. Gani was
quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune.
later, a local police commissioner, Mahabubor Rahman, said the pistol was a
fake. And on Monday, Mohibul Haque, the secretary of Bangladesh’s civil
aviation and tourism ministry, would not confirm that Mr. Ahmed was carrying a
weapon — real or fake — of any kind.
said that during the standoff, the suspect told army officials that he wanted
to speak with his wife and Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.
Hasina had been in Chittagong, a large port city officially known as
Chattogram, earlier on Sunday, but returned to Dhaka, about 150 miles
northwest, before the hijackinging attempt took place, the Dhaka Tribune said.
Naim Hassan, the chairman of Bangladesh’s Civil Aviation Authority, told
reporters that Mr. Ahmed appeared “mentally imbalanced” based on his behavior.
a police officer in Mr. Ahmed’s home district who goes by only one name, said
in an interview that he was known locally “as a cheater.”
used to take money from people, making promises that he would send them abroad
for work, or he would give them a job in the country,” Mr. Moniruzzaman said.
Ahmed died before reaching a Chittagong hospital, officials said. It was
unclear as of Monday how he had managed to board the flight, a Boeing 737-800,
with what looked like a gun.
December, Bangladesh’s governing party handily won parliamentary elections,
clinching a third consecutive term for Mrs. Hasina. But local and international
rights organizations accused the party, the Awami League, of creating an
intimidating atmosphere by arresting and harassing opposition candidates and
preventing them from campaigning.
Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier, was established in 1972,
according to the Australia-based CAPA Center for Aviation. It operates domestic
passenger service across Asia and Europe.
sudden storm destroyed part of a shaky structure in Rohingya refugee camps in
southeastern Bangladesh on Monday, according to residents.
are in serious trouble,” said Ansar Ali, Rohingya leader of the Kutupalang camp
in Cox's Bazar district. “Especially females are suffering dangerously as most
of the toilets have been completely blown away.”
said the storm also hit other camps including Balukhali and Palangkhali and
Akter, a refugee living in Modhur Chara of Kutupalang camp, told Anadolu Agency
residents are now forced to stand under the open sky.
construct our toilets immediately,” she said. “We are habituated to live under
open sky without shelter but how can we live without toilet?”
Haque of the Kutupalang camp told Anadolu Agency the season of stormy weather
has just started. "If we face such a situation now, what will happen in
the future when a bigger storm or cyclone hits us?”
urged the Bangladesh government and international aid agencies to construct
shelters that can withstand the upcoming monsoon season, which usually sees
huge storms, tornados, and hurricanes.
thin tin-sheds used as fence and roof at some tents have also been blown up,”
said refugee Osman Gani as he urged for immediate help.
of the Rohingya Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), Mohammed Abul Kalam
Azad, however, told Anadolu Agency he was not properly informed about this
will look into the matter [Tuesday] early morning and recommend to the
concerned authorities for urgent help,” he said.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and
young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state
Special Forces of the Afghan Military rescued ten people from a Taliban-run
prison in northern Balkh province, the Afghan Military said Monday.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said
Monday that the operation was conducted in the vicinity of Chemtal district.
statement further added that six militants were killed during the operation and
ten people who were kept as prisoners were also released.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, the operation was conducted in Koh Alburz area of
the meantime, the 209th Shaheen Corps said the Afghan armed forces conducted an
operation in Joi Sher area of Chamtal district at around 12:30am local time
which resulted into the killing of 3 Taliban militants.
least 3 more militants were also wouinded and 3 motorcycle were destroyed
during the same operations, the 209th Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
Afghanistan, political leaders and tribal elders will hold a large gathering
known as Loya Jirga in March on negotiations with the Taliban.
Daudzai, President Ashraf Ghani’s special peace envoy, said on Monday that the
assembly will take place under a large tent in Kabul for four days starting
March 17 with more than 2,000 participants, who will be chosen by special
main purpose of holding the Loya Jirga is to reach a national consensus for
peace in the country.”
added that the event would be an opportunity to make clear that the
restrictions imposed in the 1990s by the Taliban on women’s rights were
injurious to Afghanistan’s broader society. “We will discuss in the Jirga that
the gains, particularly the rights of women and freedom of speech, are not up
for debate or concession.”
official, who would lead negotiations with the Taliban, said the momentum for
peace was fast building, hoping that direct talks with the militant group could
start within two or three months. The Taliban, he suggested, may eventually
have to engage with the government in Kabul to address their demands for an
exchange of prisoners and removal of international travel bans on senior
Loya Jirga is a centuries-old institution used to build consensus among competing
tribes, factions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
Taliban, which now reportedly controls nearly half of Afghanistan, has so far
refused to hold direct negotiations with the government.
on Monday, US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met with Mullah
Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top political leader of the militant group, in the
Qatari capital, Doha. In a posting on Twitter, Khalilzad said the duo had held
a "working lunch."
reveals how Obama knowingly helped Daesh so US forces could return to Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has for the first time divulged explosive
secrets about how the United States supported Daesh and intentionally allowed
the Takfiri terror outfit to gain power in Iraq so that Washington could creep
back into the Arab country.
who served as PM between 2006 and 2014, told a local TV station on Sunday that
the administration of former US President Barack Obama had played a key role in
the creation of Daesh by allowing the terrorist group to overrun Iraqi
to the former premier, in 2013, the US provided Iraq with intelligence and aerial
imagery pinpointing Daesh militants who had lined up behind Iraqi borders in
Syria in large groups, waiting to cross into Iraq after what they thought was
going to be the imminent fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
refusal to give Iraq fighter jets
said back then Baghdad had no fighter jets capable of bombing the terrorist
positions and the Iraqi combat helicopters did not have the range to
orchestrate an attack.
naturally, Baghdad turned to Washington for help and asked the Obama administration
to provide the Iraqi air force with “one or two” fighter jets under the 2008
security agreement between the two sides.
however, turned down the requests and advised the Iraqi government to ask
Jordan for help but that was a no-go as there was no military cooperation
agreement between Baghdad and Amman at the time.
the Iraqi army’s 7th Division was sent to eradicate the terrorists without air
support and made some progress before landing in a deadly terrorist siege that
killed its commander and nearly dismantled the whole division.
former Iraqi PM said America’s support for Daesh did not end there as
Washington proceeded to stop all supplies of helicopter parts and other
military equipment to Iraq and halted a contract to sell Iraq F-16 attack
aircraft even though Baghdad had paid for them in advance.
said he couldn’t still fathom why the Obama administration made those
decisions, letting the terrorists get away by refusing to attack their
agreed with US President Donald Trump’s remarks during the 2016 US presidential
campaign that Obama was the “founder” of Daesh by fully evacuating Iraq at the
wrong time to let Daesh take over.
should never have gotten out the way we got out,” Trump said during a rally in
August 2016. “We unleashed terrible fury all over the Middle East."
of allowing some small forces behind to maybe, just maybe, keep it under
control, we pulled it out,” he continued.
never asked US troops to return’
former prime minister addressed the ongoing debate in Iraq over the legality of
America’s military presence in the country, saying that Washington never asked
for permission to return to Iraq after its full troop withdrawal in 2011.
the past years, Iraqis have been able to recapture almost all of
Daesh-controlled territories. With the Takfiri group on its last legs, Iraqi
officials have been increasingly calling for an end to the US military
said earlier this month that while Washington was planning a major withdrawal
from Syria in the wake of Daesh’s demise, about 5,500 US troops currently
stationed in Iraq needed to stay there in order to “watch” Iran,even though the
country has played a key role in the Arab country’s defeat of Daesh.
questioned Washington’s decision to extend its military intervention in Iraq,
saying apart from some authorized US military trainers and advisers, his
government never asked the Pentagon to send in its forces.
to Maliki, during his time in office, military ties between Iraq and the US
were limited to weapons deals, similar to Baghdad’s dealings with Russia, China
and a number of other countries.
he said he could not confirm whether his successor, Haider al-Abadi, had taken
a similar approach.
advised the current government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to exercise
caution in its dealings and not to get on the wrong side with Washington,
arguing that the Trump administration was causing Iraq trouble.
said the current situation in Iraq was in many ways similar to 2014, when Daesh
was gaining power and the US was unwilling to help Baghdad due to its positions
on the situation in Syria and a host of other issues.
warns of ‘third generation’ of terrorists
Alawi, the leader of the al-Wataniya faction in Iraq’s parliament and a former
prime minister, warned Sunday that the current political status quo in the
region was paving the way for the emergence of what he called the “third
generation” of terrorism.
that the financiers of Daesh had charted a new role for the terrorist group, he
warned that a “new Daesh” was in the making and the signs were abundant.
a member of Iraq’s Conquest (al-Fatah) Alliance warned that the US was
recruiting Daesh leaders in Iraq to train them and slip them into Iraqi
States envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday thanked Pakistan for facilitating the
travel of Taliban leaders to Qatar, where the group's senior leaders will hold
another round of peace talks starting today as Washington intensifies efforts
to find a negotiated solution to Afghanistan’s 17-year war, it's longest.
tweet appreciating Pakistan's help in this "significant moment" comes
as he wraps up lunch with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and his
team after their first meeting.
Taliban, some of whom arrived in Doha from Pakistan the previous night, raised
expectations ahead of talks with Khalilzad. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah
Mujahid told The Associated Press, "Yes, there is a possibility we will
reach some results."
rounds have focused on US withdrawal of troops, which has been a standing
Taliban demand, and guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used again as a
staging area for terror attacks on the US.
is expected to pressure the Taliban to hold direct talks with the government in
Kabul, something the insurgents have so far refused to do.
Baradar, who is leading the Taliban delegation, was released last year from a
Pakistani jail where he had languished since his arrest in a joint operation
between the Pakistani government and the Central Intelligence Agency in 2010.
presence in Doha and his lead role in the talks with Khalilzad is considered
significant because of his stature within the Taliban movement. Following his
release, he had circulated a Pashto audio tape promising Taliban fighters he
would have a greater presence within the movement.
Taliban, who had harboured Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, ruled
Afghanistan before US forces invaded in October 2001 following the 9/11
terrorist attack. The Taliban today have re-surged, carrying out deadly
near-daily attacks on Afghan army and police forces and holding sway over
almost half the country. They view the US ─
backed government in Kabul as a Western puppet and have refused repeated offers
to negotiate with it.
former Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently told AP that the Taliban would
talk with Afghan government officials on condition they are part of a larger
group of prominent Afghan figures meeting with the Taliban — similar to the
gathering held earlier this month in Moscow. Karzai had attended the meeting in
Russia, as did Afghan opposition figures, but no one from the Kabul government
his appointment as Washington’s peace envoy, Khalilzad has crisscrossed the
region, meeting the Taliban on several occasions, as well as differing
powerbrokers in Kabul, including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
has also been to Pakistan, India, Russia and China and held meetings with Nato
and European Union officials. Last week, he was in Turkey for talks with
government officials as well as Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s envoy to Afghanistan.
has also called a Loya Jirga, a traditional gathering of political and tribal
leaders, for next month to draw up the government’s negotiating position for
talks with the Taliban, though he has yet to put together a negotiating team
that would have wide support of Afghan political and tribal leaders.
previously said he envisions an agreement reached by the warring sides as a
'roadmap' to the country’s future.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is one of the “front men for a corrupt
religious mafia,” top US diplomat Mike Pompeo said Monday following his
note @JZarif’s resignation. We’ll see if it sticks,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
way, he and @HassanRouhani are just front men for a corrupt religious mafia,”
Pompeo wrote, referring to the country’s president.
know @khamenei_ir makes all final decisions. Our policy is unchanged -- the regime
must behave like a normal country and respect its people,” he said of Iran’s
supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 26, 2019
59, announced his resignation on Instagram, but it can only take effect once Rouhani
has served as Rouhani’s foreign minister since August 2013 and has been under
constant pressure and criticism by hardliners who opposed his policy of detente
with the West.
standing within Iran’s political establishment took a hit when the US withdrew
last year from a deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, and the deal’s
achievements became less and less clear as Iran’s economy nosedived.
was blamed by ultra-conservatives for negotiating a bad deal that had not
gained anything meaningful for Iran in exchange for all the concessions it had
made in its nuclear program.
schools under scrutiny in Thailand
has ordered the profiling of Cambodian Muslim students enrolled in religious
seminaries in the country, media reports said on Monday.
have scheduled a meeting of representatives of more than 600 privately-run
Islamic schools -- known as ponoh in Thai and pondok in Malay.
move comes ahead of the general elections in Thailand set for March 24, the
first since the 2014 military coup.
to daily Bangkok Post, hundreds of Cambodian Muslim students are enrolled in
Islamic seminaries in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla provinces in the
troubled south of the country alerting security officials.
are not saying Cambodians [Muslims] are coming to cause problems in our
country, but if they overstay, immigration police have to arrest them and
follow the laws,” the report cited regional police official Surachate Hakparn
authorities have accused Islamic seminaries of recruiting youth for insurgency
groups active in the south.
has regularly deported Cambodian Muslims even those who come on valid visa.
week, Thai police deported 34 Muslims who allegedly wanted to work in the
military accuses the seminaries of operating as training camps for the Barisan
Revolusi Nasional (BRN), an umbrella group of Muslim insurgents who call
either seek greater autonomy or freedom from the Buddhist-majority country
which has been ruled by military regimes for most of the time since 1932.
attempts by the government to hold talks with the insurgent groups have reached
prominent Muslim figure, Wan Muhammad Nor Matha, leader of the newly-found
Prachachat Party, is running prime ministership and has promised provincial
autonomy in the south.
LUMPUR - Opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) warned on Monday (Feb 25) that
it would convene a "monster" rally if the Pakatan Harapan (PH)
government fails to take action against individuals who insult Islam.
Islamist party information chief Nasrudin Hassan said the ruling government has
been too lenient against those who insulted Islam, and cited the case of a
Facebook user who was recently released from police custody after uploading a
"rude caricature" of Prophet Muhammad and his wife Siti Aisyah.
Malaysian government has to be firm in its actions. Take care of Islamic
sensitivities and that of its adherents. If the government is lazy and slow to
act, it will cause those who insult the religion to be bolder," he said in
there is no firm action (from the government), the people will rise and a
Monster Rally will be held to pressure the government to take action."
Nasrudin said this following a statement from Malaysia's police chief Mohamad
Fuzi Harun on Sunday that the Facebook user identified as Foo Sing Wai had been
released last Friday.
68-year-old suspect was arrested on Feb 19. However, due to his age and health
complications, the suspect was released on Feb 22 on police bail," The
Star quoted Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi as saying.
investigation paper has been forwarded to the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP)
for further instruction," he added.
Nasrudin on Monday questioned the ease with which the suspect was released,
noting that many were stunned by the move, especially since there had been 395
police reports lodged against the person nationwide.
298A refers to a clause which touches on religious disharmony, and those found
guilty can be punished with a jail term of between two and five years.
233 meanwhile, touches on improper use of network facilities, and those found
guilty can be fined up to RM50,000 (S$16,585) or jailed up to a year, or both
and a further fine of RM1,000 for every day the offence continues to be
committed after conviction.
contrast, Mr Nasrudin said a woman who insulted Prophet Muhammad last year was
sentenced to six months' jail and a fine of RM15,000.
on the facts of the latest case, Mr Nasrudin said the suspect should not have
been allowed bail in the first place.
LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday (Feb 25) that
he did not need the support from opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), amid
persistent rumours of a no-confidence motion in the works within the ruling
Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
comes a day after Dr Mahathir said he was puzzled by the attitude of PAS, who
said it would back his premiership, only to announce later that it would avoid
vying for the same seats with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in
don’t need support from PAS because PH already controls half the seats in Dewan
Rakyat (Parliament),” he told reporters on Monday when asked to comment on PAS’
PAS wants to support me, they can do so, but don’t go telling me that a pledge
of support has been signed but not for PH, only for me,” he added.
has claimed that there is a no-confidence motion against Dr Mahathir in the
works within the PH coalition.
top leaders have pledged in writing to support Dr Mahathir in the event of a
“betrayal” within PH.
the Islamist party also said it would set up a committee to avoid overlap of
seats contested in future elections with UMNO.
and UMNO leaders had also appeared together during the nomination day for the
Semenyih by-election, where voters will go to the polls on Mar 2.
leaders have rubbished talk of a no-confidence motion.
the weekend, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s president Anwar Ibrahim urged PAS to stop
a Muslim, my advice is that we can carry on with our politics but we must put a
stop to lying and deception in politics," he said.
they (PAS) want to use the political arena to tell lies and slander, don’t use
the name of Islam. They are ruining the reputation of Islam and the name of the
Islamic party,” the Port Dickson member of parliament added.
Monday, Dr Mahathir also said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission
(MACC) needs time to investigate the allegation that PAS received RM90 million
(US$22 million) from scandal-hit state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad
money is said to have been given by UMNO to secure PAS’ support.
prime minister said the MACC may not have obtained all the details in relation
to the case.
MACC statement that there is so far no trace of RM90 million entering the
official accounts of PAS from 1MDB may be because the MACC has yet to obtain
the full details … it (the investigation) will take time,” Dr Mahathir said.
Israel back British plans to ban Hezbollah
said Monday it will seek to ban the political wing of Hezbollah, making
membership of the movement or inviting support for it a crime, in a move that
earned swift praise from the United States and Israel.
decision follows outrage last year over the display of the Hezbollah flag,
which features a Kalashnikov assault rifle, at pro-Palestinian demonstrations
is continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the
Middle East," British interior minister Sajid Javid said in a statement.
are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing
and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to
proscribe the group in its entirety," he said.
ban is subject to a vote in the British parliament this week.
is a Shiite militant movement established in 1982 during the Lebanese civil
capture of two Israeli soldiers in 2006 sparked a 34-day war in which 1,200
people were killed.
foreign minister welcomed Britain's decision and called for the United Nations
to follow suit.
would like to praise the British government on the decision to recognise the
entire Hezbollah organisation as a terrorist organisation," Israel Katz
wrote on Twitter.
my upcoming meeting with the UN secretary-general in New York next week I will
stress that the UN institutions should take a similar resolution."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also commended the move and said it showed that
"international unity to confront Iran's regime continues to grow".
Iran-sponsored terrorist group has American blood on its hands & continues
to plot & carry out attacks in the Mideast, Europe & around the
world," he tweeted.
Hezbollah movement, now a major political party in Lebanon, holds three cabinet
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement any distinction
between its military and political wings "does not exist".
(decision) does not change our ongoing commitment to Lebanon, with whom we have
a broad and strong relationship," he added.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said senior British officials had agreed the
issue should not "impact on bilateral relationships between Lebanon and
whose Free Patriotic Movement party is allied with Hezbollah in government,
added it "will not have direct negative consequences on Lebanon because we
are already used to this situation with other countries".
government is also banning Ansarul Islam, a jihadist group which emerged near
the border between Mali and Burkina Faso in 2016, and the Group to Support
Islam and Muslims (JNIM), which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic
courts will prosecute 13 French citizens captured while fighting for ISIS
extremist group in Syria, Iraq’s President Barham Saleh said Monday.
militants, who were turned over to Iraq after being seized by Syrian Kurdish
forces, “will be judged according to Iraqi law,” Saleh told a news conference
after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
who have engaged in crimes against Iraq and Iraqi installations and personnel,
we are definitely seeking them and seeking their trial in Iraqi courts,” he
Iraqi government source in Baghdad had told AFP earlier Monday that 14 French
militants had been brought to Iraq by the US-backed forces trying to dislodge
ISIS extremists from their last bastion in Syria.
has long maintained that any of its nationals caught in Syria or Iraq should be
tried locally, a stance which critics say could leave them facing the death
penalty, which is outlawed in France.
reiterated this position Monday, saying that “it is up to the authorities of
these countries to decide, sovereignly, if they will be tried there.”
people are entitled to benefit from our consular protection, and our diplomatic
service will be mobilised,” he added.
Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which is part of the ruling
coalition, says it has plans to extend an embargo on arms supplies to Saudi
Arabia despite pressure from major European countries not to do so.
Muetzenich, the deputy leader of SPD in Germany’s parliament, said the party
would fight to maintain the halt in shipments of already approved weapons deals
with the regime in Riyadh that Berlin had imposed in November over the killing
of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
will push to continue the halt in arms exports to Saudi Arabia beyond the March
9 deadline, since the reasons for the imposition of the moratorium have not
changed," Muetzenich wrote in an essay published in the SPD newspaper
Vorwaerts on Monday.
also stressed the need for a joint European policy in the field of arms exports
to Saudi Arabia that would fall within the framework of a common European
this cannot be a copy of the lax export practice of the French, British or even
Italians," he said.
SPD believes that it is necessary in the future to introduce European
regulation of arms exports and to create a parliamentary body that will monitor
its observance, according to the lawmaker.
embargo on the arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which expires on March 9, was
announced by Berlin following the gruesome murder of Khashoggi in a Saudi
consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul in October last year. The SPD and
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives agreed in November to reject licenses
for future arms exports to Riyadh and set a temporary moratorium on deliveries
of previously approved deals.
also called Khashoggi’s murder an “atrocity” that “had to be clarified,”
calling on fellow European governments to follow suit and suspend arms sales to
news magazine Der Spiegel said in a recent report that UK Foreign Secretary
Jeremy Hunt had sent a letter to his German counterpart Heiko Maas and called
for lifting the ban on the export of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
German foreign minister said last week that the resumption of arms supplies to
the kingdom by Germany was tied to the resolution of the conflict in Yemen.
Arabia has been mired in the war on Yemen since 2015. The deadly campaign has
put 14 million Yemenis on the brink of imminent famine.
Arabia also maintains a crippling blockade which has left all cities in Yemen
unable to find food and clean water.
ultimate goal is to see a world free of nuclear weapons, the country’s foreign
minister said on Monday.
Cavusoglu's remarks came at the UN's Disarmament Conference held in Geneva,
proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapon control is of critical importance
for global security and peace," Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey faced
numerous risk and threats in its region.
noted that Turkey was simultaneously fighting several terror groups -- such as
Daesh, PKK/PYD and FETO -- while the civil war in Syria has almost entered its
foreign minister underlined the conference was a unique platform to discuss the
issue of weapons of mass destruction.
emphasized that a world without nuclear weapons could only be achieved by
implementing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in a
successive and universal manner.
also called on the attendees to hold an international conference on the
"weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East".
about Uighurs in China
addressing the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Cavusoglu
reiterated Turkey’s concerns about Chinese human rights violations against
it comes to China, the findings of the report of UN Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination and several other reports regarding human
rights violations against Uighurs and other Muslim communities in Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region, are serious cause for concern,” said Cavusoglu.
recognizing China’s right to combat terrorism, we think that a distinction should
be made between terrorists and innocent people.
encourage Chinese authorities and expect that universal human rights, including
freedom of religion, are respected and full protection of the cultural
identities of the Uighurs and other Muslims is ensured,” he added.
this month, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy called China’s
assimilation policy towards Uighur Turks “a great embarrassment for humanity.”
urged Chinese authorities to respect the fundamental human rights of Uighur
Turks and shut down the concentration camps.
Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group,
which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused
China’s authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
stepped up its restrictions on the region in the past two years, banning men
from growing beards and women from wearing veils and introducing what many
experts see as the world’s most extensive electronic surveillance program,
according to The Wall Street Journal.
to 1 million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang,
have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education”
camps, according to U.S. officials and UN experts.
a report last September, the Human Rights Watch accused the Chinese government
of a “systematic campaign of human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims in
northwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region of the country.
fighters who travelled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS pose a security risk if
they are not allowed to return home and go through a de-radicalisation
programme, according to a counter-terrorism expert.
the case of Shamima Begum, Neda Richards, a researcher at the University of
Leeds’s School of Law, said putting radicalised people through a rehabilitation
programme in the UK would prevent them and their families from becoming a
are currently struggling with food and money; if we don’t take them back then
other terrorist groups, such as Al Nusra, will take these individuals on and
they will become the future terrorists and extremists and so will their kids,”
she told The National.
individuals are our problem and we can either deal with them now or in the
Richards, whose research focuses on preventing extremism, said a
de-radicalisation programme in Denmark to reintegrate former ISIS members back
into society had proved successful.
issue of returning fighters and their families has dominated headlines after
teenage ISIS bride Ms Begum was found at the Al Hol refugee camp in Syria this
Begum, 19, who recently gave birth to her third child, pleaded to be given a
“second chance”, saying she could help other girls considering joining
like to be an example of how someone can change,” she told the Daily Mail.
want to help, encourage other young British people to think before they make
life-changing decisions like this and not to make the same mistake as me.”
her first interview with the British media, Ms Begum said she did not regret
joining ISIS. But after a public outcry and moves to strip her of her UK
citizenship, she has struck a more conciliatory tone, describing her decision
to leave as a mistake.
case sparked fierce debate as to whether Ms Begum, who left east London at the
age of 15 with two friends to join ISIS, should be allowed back into the UK.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid last week revoked her UK citizenship and said he
would do everything to prevent her and others returning.
Mr Javid indicated that Ms Begum’s newborn son, the only one of her three
children still alive, is a British citizen and could be allowed UK entry
without his mother.
weekend it was reported that Mr Javid was drawing up a new treason law to
ensure any returning extremists that make it back to the UK can be prosecuted.
Sun newspaper reported that he had asked officials to change the definition of
the Treason Act, which punishes crimes against the monarch with life
imprisonment. The new definition would be changed to an act of betrayal by
anyone using violence or attempting to, against the British people.
concealing 300,000 documents about Palestinian massacres: Report
has been hiding 300,000 documents about its massacres of Palestinians,
thousands of them dating back to the 1800s, a report says.
to the +972 Magazine, Israel’s “State Archives” declassified secret documents
last summer, but some 300,000 documents, which antedate the 1948 establishment
of the regime, remained classified.
very existence of the 300,000 classified files—their names, dates, and origin
within the state bureaucracy—had been kept a secret, until now. One-fifth of
the files, deemed too sensitive still by the regime, were excluded from the
disclosure,” the report by Israeli Jewish journalist Asaf Shalev said.
were many people who were concerned about the opening of this catalog,”
Israel’s “State Archivist” Yaacov Lozowick was quoted by the website as saying
in a statement accompanying the release.
of the files, which were kept secret, reportedly date back to 1821, while 125
of them date back to the 19th century and nearly 2,000 papers predate the Nakba
on the two most notorious Israeli massacres of Deir Yassin and Kafr Qasim are
among the hidden documents, the website said.
Kafr Qasim massacre took place on October 29, 1956 -- the first day of the Suez
war -- when Israeli forces killed residents of the village who returned from
their nearby agricultural lands.
Yassin has long remained a symbol of Israeli violence against Palestinians due
to the particularly gruesome nature of the 1948 slaughter, which targeted men,
women, children, and the elderly in the tiny village.
Deir Yassin massacre, which was carried out on April 9, 1948, was led by the
Irgun militia group, whose head was future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem
Begin, with support from fellow Zionist militiamen affiliated with Haganah and
to the report, the massacre was one of the first in what would become a long
line of attacks in a number of Palestinian villages, part of a broader strategy
called Plan Dalet by Zionist groups to scare Palestinians in the hope that the
terror would lead to an Arab exodus.
750,000 Palestinians took refuge abroad in the face of the massacres — most
notorious among them the one in Deir Yassin.
Jihad says new missiles capable of reaching deep inside Israel
resistance movement Islamic Jihad says it has developed missiles that could
strike Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, Tel Aviv, Netanya and even farther
targets inside the occupied territories.
senior member of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, al-Quds
Brigades, made the comment in a documentary, which was broadcast on Iran's
Arabic-language al-Alam news channel.
official stressed that Islamic Jihad is now in possession of more precise
documentary also filmed the military drills of al-Quds Brigades conducted to
stimulate how the resistance group would storm an Israeli military base and
completely purge it, using heavy weapons.
to the documentary, the attack would be a part of the group’s reaction to any
aggression on the besieged strip.
has launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver of land, the last
of which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on
August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also
wounded in the invasion.
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has
caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
police on Monday launched operations to detain 110 more individuals, mostly
soldiers, suspected of ties to the group blamed for the 2016 coup attempt, the
Ankara public prosecutor’s office said.
of thousands of people have been held over alleged ties to US-based Muslim
preacher Fethullah Gulen since the failed coup while over 140,000 public sector
employees have been sacked or suspended.
Ankara has come under heavy criticism from its Western allies and human rights
defenders over the scale of the crackdown, Turkish officials stress that the
raids are necessary to remove Gulen’s influence in state institutions.
prosecutor’s office said Monday that among the latest suspects sought were 43
lieutenants and 50 sergeants from the Turkish land forces.
prosecutor’s office said 67 of the suspects were active duty soldiers.
prosecutor also issued warrants for nine civilians -- of whom it said eight had
already been taken into custody on Monday -- who had worked or were working in
the health ministry or hospitals.
suspects are accused of having links to Gulen who Ankara says ordered the
attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016. Gulen
strongly denies Turkey’s claims.
arrests of alleged Gulen supporters show no sign of slowing down, coming after
several nationwide police raids in recent months to detain thousands of people
including military personnel.
The Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) in Yemen extracted 14
anti-personnel mines, 625 anti-vehicle mines, 67 explosive devices and 665
unexploded ordnance — totaling 1,371 mines — during three weeks of February.
total of 44,743 mines have been extracted since the beginning of the project.
An estimated 1 million mines have been planted by the Iranian-backed Houthi
militias in Yemen over the past three years claiming hundreds of civilian
aims to dismantle mines in Yemen to protect civilians and ensure that urgent
humanitarian supplies are delivered safely. Houthis are developing anti-vehicle
mines and turning them into antipersonnel explosives to intimidate and
vast number of landmines continues to pose a threat to the lives of Yemeni
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and the Saudi
Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) have organized an
event to showcase aid provisions for Yemeni civilians, provided by the Kingdom.
will be hosted by KSRelief chief Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, with officials from
other regional states such as the UAE, as well as the UN, the World Food
Programme and various charities also in attendance.
Monday, KSRelief announced it had distributed 1,700 cartons of dates in the
Yemeni port city of Mukalla, providing food for over 10,000 people.
provided services through its clinics in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp to 4,112
Syrians during the third week of February.
to medical records, KSRelief’s general clinics received the highest number of
patients (1,260), followed by children’s clinics (1,254). Women’s clinics
received 400 patients.
189 Syrian refugees received treatment at the ear and nose clinic, 265 at the
internal medicine clinic, and 218 at the dental clinic.
surgical clinic treated 281 patients, the vaccine clinic 122, the communicable
disease control project 59, and the nutrition and health care clinic 64.
clinics provide patients in Zaatari refugee camp with free medicine and
treatment, as well as follow-ups for patients suffering from chronic diseases.
AQAB: Palestinian residents of Kufr Aqab, just north of Jerusalem, could be
forgiven for thinking they live under two governments at once, or perhaps none
pay taxes to Israel, which collects their trash and theoretically plans their
roads. But electricity and water come from Palestinian companies, and when the
police come to the often-lawless area, they too are Palestinian.
the Israeli and Palestinian authorities say they provide services to the area,
but residents say in reality no one is in control.
say the result is an often chaotic nowhere-land where high-rise buildings are
constructed only a few meters apart and rubbish piles up on roadsides.
here has become unbearable,” said shop owner Abu Mohammed, who has lived in the
area for 25 years.
Aqab is among a handful of locations that occupy a unique and bizarre status in
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
considers the area part of Jerusalem, which it fully controls. But Kufr Aqab
lies on the other side of Israel’s separation barrier dividing Jerusalem from
the occupied West Bank.
such, the Israeli government has only partial control over the area, operating
through contractors and a community administration.
police officers rarely, if ever, patrol, though the army is known to enter to
carry out arrests.
100,000 people live in the five-square-kilometer (two-square-mile) area, hit by
high rates of crime and poverty.
a recent visit AFP saw trash piled on the side of streets next to buildings without
proper sewage systems.
fugitives from Israel come here and the fugitives from the Palestinian
Authority come here and there is no one to control them,” said Abu Mohammed.
then, do the residents remain? The key lies in the unique status of the area.
their counterparts in the West Bank, Palestinians from Jerusalem hold ID cards
that grant them access to the city and all of Israel.
Bank ID holders, on the other hand, have to apply for permits to enter
Palestinians from Jerusalem are proved by Israeli authorities to be living
beyond the wall, they can be stripped of their Jerusalem IDs — but not in
locations like Kufr Aqab.
figures estimate that around 85 percent of Kufr Aqab residents are Jerusalem ID
are also far more affordable there than inside Jerusalem.
Qassam, 63, can’t live in Jerusalem because he has a West Bank ID, but his wife
is from the city and their four children have Jerusalem IDs.
the family lives in an apartment in Kufr Aqab.
the Israelis prove that she lives in the West Bank, she will lose her Jerusalem
ID. We know that Israel is emptying Jerusalem of Palestinians,” he said.
is a common Palestinian accusation about the disputed city — one that Israel
occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move
never recognized by the international community.
sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern
sector as the capital of their future state.
Avrahami, senior adviser for east Jerusalem affairs to Israel’s Jerusalem
mayor, said the municipality treats Kufr Aqab as “an inseparable part of
is a lot of influence and involvement in infrastructure: paving roads, planning
and construction,” he said, denying that residents were paying taxes without
receiving any services.
Palestinian Authority also has representation in the area.
are different to the Israeli municipality because we are working here to
protect the Palestinian presence in the region,” said Ashraf Al-Ramuni from the
Palestinian Kufr Aqab municipality.
said it spends around $1 million annually on infrastructure projects there.
Zughair, who has been campaigning to improve the situation in the area for
years, says he has filed cases against the Jerusalem municipality demanding it
prevent unregulated building works.
estimates there are more than 300 buildings over 10 stories high in the area,
none of which are subject to any licensing laws.
Africa mosque set alight by attackers: Officials
attackers set a mosque ablaze in South Africa's coastal city of Durban in the
early hours of Monday, a leading Muslim organization said in a statement.
Muslim community of South Africa has received with shock and anguish the news
of an alleged arson attack on the Effingham masjid (Mosque) in Durban,” said
Moulana Rafiek Mahomed, secretary general of the Jamiatul Ulama KwaZulu-Natal,
in a statement seen by Anadolu Agency.
called on law enforcement agencies to swiftly investigate the matter and
appealed to the Muslim community to be calm.
had someone who was sleeping at the back end of the mosque and he was awakened
by the sound of shattering glass. When he tried to investigate he found the
entire ladies section engulfed in flames," Imraan Subrathie, an official
of the mosque, told local channel ENCA.
said the incident happened at about 1 am local time (1100GMT) and the
perpetrators could not be immediately identified. He estimates the cost of the
damage to the mosque to be about 1.5 million rands (nearly $108,000).
Durban police have confirmed a probe was launched into the suspected arson.
refused to speculate the reason for the mosque attack.
said video footage from surveillance cameras has been handed over to the police
is not the first attack on a mosque in South Africa. Last year, two Muslim
worshippers were stabbed to death and three others were injured by a
knife-wielding assailant who attacked them at a mosque in Malmesbury outside
later shot the assailant dead after he ignored the call to surrender and
attempted to attack the police.
worshipper was also killed at a Shia mosque in Verulam outside Durban in May
have since accused eleven men accused of attacking the Shia mosque of also
placing explosives in multiple shopping malls in Durban. Prosecutors allege the
men were inspired by the teachings of Daesh.
prosecutors told a family court in Verulam, last year, that they had found
eight Daesh flags and newsletters at the homes of the suspects during a police
airstrike killed 35 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia's Hiran province, U.S.
Africa Command (AFRICOM) said Monday.
airstrike was conducted 20 miles east of the city of Beledweyne in central
Somalia on Sunday.
bombing was a part of an effort toward targeting al-Shabaab and reducing its
strength in the region, as well as supporting the Somali National Army.
airstrike targeted armed al-Shabaab militants as they were transitioning
between locations in a rural area," AFRICOM said in a statement.
strike comes a month after a U.S. airstrike killed at least 24 fighters in
Shebeeley village of the central Hiran region. A few days later another strike
in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region killed 13 fighters, according to AFRICOM.
society groups monitoring Nigeria’s presidential and parliamentary election
said on Monday that 39 people have been killed in violence linked to the vote.
Situation Room, an umbrella group of more than 70 organizations, said
“election-related violence... led to the death of at least 39 Nigerians” in the
last two days.
body, which previously gave a death toll of 16, had more than 8,000 observers
on the ground for Saturday’s vote, at which President Muhammadu Buhari is
seeking a second term.
Room reiterates that no election in Nigeria should cost the life of any citizen
and condemns in the strongest terms the lack of empathy, concern and
sensitivity by the police class regarding these events,” it said in a
total of 16 people were killed in the southern state of Rivers, which has long
been a flashpoint for political violence.
which neighbors Rivers to the west, saw four deaths, and Delta, the next state
along, had two fatalities. Eight other states around the country saw people
Nwankwo, the executive director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, who is
also the convener of the Situation Room, said the violence should be “thoroughly
group highlighted reports that just over a quarter of the nearly 120,000
polling units were under-policed, and there were “shortfalls and gaps” in
least six states saw disruption in polling. In the Okoto area of the country’s
biggest city, Lagos, voters were chased away and ballot boxes were destroyed,
Osun state, also in the southwest, ballot papers and boxes were destroyed at
the local office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he
were also reports of some “partisan” security officials, “compromised” INEC
staff and incidents involving the military, including blocking some voters.
Room notes that INEC has not managed the election efficiently and significant
shortcomings have been recorded,” the group said.
election has been a step back from the 2015 General Election and actions should
be taken to identify what has gone wrong and what can be corrected.”
in Somalia have opened fire on a team of roadside workers, killing eight and
wounding several others, witnesses say.
workers, who included both men and women, were clearing scrubland alongside a
road in the Hawa-Abdi area, some 18 kilometers (11 miles) north outside the
gunmen attacked innocent civilians, who were clearing bushes along the
road," said Mohamed Adan, a local security official, saying eight people
had been killed.
confirmed the incident, adding that several others were wounded by the gunfire.
was a horrible attack," said Fadumo Kulow, who passed by the site of the
killing soon after. "Eight people were killed, and six others were
Moalim, another witness, said the wounded were rushed to hospital in Mogadishu.
group has claimed responsibility for the killings, nor was it immediately clear
why the workers were attacked.
of people have been killed in a wave of violence related to presidential and
parliamentary elections in Nigeria, civil society groups monitoring the vote
say, as the country is awaiting the results.
Situation Room - which represents more than 70 civil society groups – said
Monday that “election-related violence...led to the death of at least 39
Nigerians” in the last two days.
Situation Room had over 8,000 observers around the country to monitor
Saturday’s vote, in which President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term
group said the worst incident was in Abonnema in Rivers State, around 14
kilometers west of the main oil industry city of Port Harcourt, where the army
said seven people died in a shootout between an unidentified gang and Nigerian
lieutenant and six gunmen died in the firefight, which broke out when the
attackers barricaded a major road into the town and ambushed the troops, the
acting director of army public relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said. The motive behind the attack was not clear.
Situation Room further referred to reports that just over a quarter of the
nearly 120,000 polling units were under-policed, and that there were
“shortfalls and gaps” in security elsewhere. At least six states reportedly saw
disruption in polling.
beginning of campaigns in Oct. 2018, more than 260 politically motivated
deaths,” Clement Nwankwo, convener of the Situation Room told reporters.
Nigeria Police Force said 128 people had been arrested nationwide for
election-related offenses, including homicide, theft of ballot boxes and vote
added that officers also recovered 38 weapons and a cache of explosives.
the head of the African Union observer mission in Nigeria on Monday described
Nigeria’s elections as “generally peaceful.”
authorities in Nigeria have been on alert and braced for the possibility of
further violence after election results are announced, possibly on Monday and
more likely on Tuesday.
elections have been marred by violence among supporters of different political
of East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar have killed 19 people and burned
dozens of houses in southern Libya, a Libyan lawmaker claimed Monday.
statements to a local television, Mohammad Adam Lino said around 90 houses have
been burnt to ashes by Haftar's forces.
burnt down 90 houses, including those of my brothers and father," said
Lino, a member of the Tobruk-based parliament.
added that the bodies of 19 people had been transferred to hospital in Merzek
region in southern Libya.
month, Haftar's forces launched a military offensive in southern Libya on the
claim of fighting al-Qaeda and Daesh militants and clear the area of Chadian
has been beset by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to
the ouster and death of Qaddafi after more than four decades in power.
jihadists Al-Shabaab have claimed killing lawmaker Osman Elmi Boqore in
Mogadishu on Saturday evening.
long-time member of the Federal Parliament was reportedly ambushed by gunmen at
Karan District on the eastern flank of the Somali capital.
reports indicated that some of the men involved in the assault were apprehended
and their saloon car detained by security forces, though the claims could not
be independently verified.
Boqore becomes the first MP killed in Somalia this year.
of the Federal Parliament are often a prime target of the jihadists, who were
seeking to establish an Islamic state in the Horn of Africa.
Boqore previously served in the legislative House that was formed in a Nairobi
suburb in the Kenyan capital, following a two years reconciliation conference
for various Somali groups.
to his killing, he was a member of the Parliamentary Defence Committee.
Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who is currently attending the Arab-European Summit
at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, ordered an enquiry into the killing of the MP.
has struggled to establish a central authority and return to stability since
the fall of dictator Siad Barre in 1991.
to ban Lebanon’s Hezbollah, class it as a terrorist organization
said on Monday it plans to ban all wings of Hezbollah due to its destabilizing
influence in the Middle East, classifying the Lebanese militant movement as a
had already proscribed Hezbollah’s external security unit and its military wing
in 2001 and 2008 respectively, but now wants to outlaw its political arm too.
is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the
Middle East - and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already
banned military wing and the political party,” Home Secretary (interior
minister) Sajid Javid said.
of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety,” he
added in a statement.
Iran-backed Shiite group is already deemed a terrorist organization by the
United States which last week expressed concern about its growing role in
lawmakers said that was a “violation of sovereignty.” Set up in 1982 by Iran’s
Revolutionary Guards, it last fought a major war with Israel, its lifelong
enemy, in 2006.
British ban, which will come into force on Friday subject to parliament’s approval,
means anyone who is a member of Hezbollah or invites support will be committing
a criminal offense with a potential sentence of up to 10 years in jail.
its decision, the British government said the organization continued to amass
weapons in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions, while its support
for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had prolonged “the conflict and the
regime’s brutal and violent repression of the Syrian people.”
controls three of 30 ministries in Lebanon’s government, the largest number it
has ever held and has seen its regional clout expand too with fighters in
various Middle East conflicts including neighboring Syria.
does not acknowledge the existence of separate wings.
Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, once described Hezbollah
as friends, a remark regularly seized upon by opponents for criticism.
do we see from his Labour Party? Hamas and Hezbollah friends, Israel and the
United States enemies,” Prime Minister Theresa May said last week.
engineering units of the Syrian army found a cache of weapons, including
US-made anti-tank missiles and a large number of West-made guns and heavy
machine-guns as well as different types of ammunition, during purging
operations in Southwestern Damascus and Quneitra.
also discovered and seized several US and western communications systems,
medical equipment and a large amount of Israeli, Jordanian and Saudi drugs.
a relevant development last week, the Syrian army discovered a large amount of
weapons and military equipment, including US and Israeli missiles, in mop-up
operation near Damascus.
Damascus Army's engineering units continued their cleansing operations around
Damascus and retrieved large amount of weapons, ammunition and military
equipment, including hundreds of Grad missiles, US-made anti-tank missiles and
128-Caliber missiles made in Israel.
London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Monday that
over 85 ISIL militants and their family members have been transferred to Turkey
through regions occupied by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and
Ankara-backed terrorists. It added that each person had paid $10,000 to be
allowed to leave the region, noting that one of the Uzbek members of the ISIL
paid $50,000 for himself and his family members to escape.
Hassan al-Olow, a member of the Iraqi parliament from Nineveh province, wrote
on his twitter page that nearly 3,000 ISIL terrorists were evacuated from
Baqouz region in Southeastern Deir Ezzur on over 30 trucks and under the US
raised the possibility that the terrorists were transferred to the desert areas
in al-Anbar province in Western Iraq.
the SOHR reported that 82 ISIL militants along with their family members, with
a total number of 1,400 people, were secretly evacuated from Baqouz on several
trucks, adding that hundreds of them have been transferred to Iraqi
SOHR had also reported on Saturday that the US army troops had helped tens of
thousands of ISIL terrorists and their families to get out of Eastern
sum of 46,000 ISIL terrorists and their families have left Eastern
Euphrates," the SOHR said, adding that the US is about to declare ending
mop-up operations in Eastern Euphrates.
reported that about 35 trucks had arrived in farms of Eastern Euphrates to move
out the remaining ISIL terrorists, commanders and their families from the
2,100 militants, including 70 ISIL terrorists who bear different nationalities,
have left Eastern Euphrates in tens of trucks," the SOHR added.
source also pointed to the presence of about 3,000 to 3,500 commanders,
terrorists and their family members in the region, and said they would be
sum of 45,900 ISIL militants from different nations have been moved out of the
region," it added.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the militants as
saying on Monday that Ankara has set conditions for supporting Tahrir al-Sham
and its continued control over Idlib, saying that they should follow Ikhwan
al-Muslimoun (Muslim Brotherhood) approach.
added that the two sides have reached an agreement that includes a shift of
approach by Tahrir al-Sham. "In return Turkey has promised the terrorist
group that it will prolong the demilitarized zone agreement as long as
possible, will not participate in any joint military operations against Tahrir
al-Sham and will try to prevent such operations."
paper also referred to the Syrian army's airstrikes against the terrorists in
Northern and Northwestern Hama and Southeastern Idlib in response to their
attacks, raising the possibility that military operations in Idlib would soon
Turkish army has in recent days sent over 20 vehicles, carrying soldiers,
military equipment and prefabricated houses to Northern Hama and Southern Idlib
to strengthen its occupied points in Northern Syria in regions near the areas
occupied by Tahrir al-Sham terrorists.
reports said on Sunday that Turkey was trying hard to keep Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at in Syria's Idlib province and block the implementation of upcoming
military operations against the terrorist group by changing its name.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted local sources and some sources close
to Ankara-backed militants in Idlib as saying that despite President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan's recent statements on the possibility of Turkish Army's
cooperation in Idlib military operations, Ankara is strongly looking for
changing Tahrir al-Sham's face with the aim of blocking military operations
against the terrorist group in Northern Syria.
pointed to Turkey's intention to pave the way for the survival and
stabilization of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in Idlib province, and said that
Ankara had agreed with electricity supply for a group affiliated to Tahrir
al-Sham al-Hay'at amid public unrest over the presence of terrorists in the
sources also said that the Turkish government intended to change the situation
in Idlib province to make it similar to the territories occupied by the the
Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch forces, plans to open the air
space of the regions under Tahrir al-Sham's control to Turkish planes.
final communique of the first Arab-European summit focused on efforts to tackle
the migrant crisis as well as the challenges posed by terror financing.
the conclusion of the summit on Monday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
said the two blocs agreed to hold regular summit meetings, with the next one
due in Brussels in 2022.
am confident that these discussions have clarified the strategies and the
direction of mutual points of interest between the countries here today,” Sisi
summit’s final communique included many agreements between the two blocs,
including one on strengthening Arab-European partnership and supporting a
genuine international multilateral system.
agreement was also reached on resolving the Libyan crisis under the Skhirat
agreement as well as reiterating the importance of following up on the
Stockholm ceasefire agreement in Hodeidah in Yemen.
illegal immigration as well as efforts to combat financial support for
terrorist groups were heavily discussed during the two-day summit.
his part, Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, also spoke of
migration in his address at the summit.
must work together - countries of origin, transit, and destination in order to
break the business model of smugglers and traffickers who lure people into
dangerous journeys and feed modern-day slavery,” Tusk said.
President Bashar al-Assad made his first public visit to his closest regional
ally Iran since the start of Syria’s war in 2011, meeting Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Monday and championing their alliance,
state media reported.
and Iranian state television showed Assad and Khamenei smiling and embracing.
Syrian television said the two leaders agreed “to continue cooperation at all
levels for the interests of the two friendly nations.”
was quoted as saying the two countries’ military victories in Syria had dealt “a
harsh blow” to US plans in the region.
Assad expressed his gratitude to Iran for all that it has done for Syria during
the conflict, according to the Syrian presidency’s account on the Telegram
the day, Assad met separately with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
pictures published by Iranian and Syrian news agencies, Assad appears without a
delegation of his own during his meetings with Khamenei and Rouhani. The
commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, can be
seen pictured during both meetings.
has become known as a prominent figure in Iran’s foreign military missions in
Iraq and Syria.
regained the upper hand in Syria’s war with the help of Russian air power and
Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces, retaking all main cities from rebels and
was Assad’s first known foreign visit other than to Russia since the war began
and his first to Tehran since 2010.
Shiite militias have expanded their control over mainly Sunni areas around
Damascus, southern and eastern Syria that bore the brunt of the heaviest
bombardment and led to mass displacement or emigration to neighboring
growing influence in Syria, where it has struck economic and trade deals, has
also raised the prospect of a military confrontation with its arch-enemy
regarding Iran as its biggest threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets
in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to escalate its fight against
Iranian aligned forces in Syria after the withdrawal of US troops from the
was quoted by Syrian state television as saying that any escalation by Western
powers would not stop Iran and Syria from defending their own interests.
state media said Khamenei praised Assad as a hero who had strengthened the
alliance between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.
Islamic Republic of Iran sees helping Syria’s government and nation as support
for the resistance movement (against Israel) and is deeply proud of doing it,”
was also briefed by Rouhani about efforts by Russia, Iran and Turkey -
supporters of the main sides in the Syrian civil war - to end the conflict.
wants Turkey, which has backed Sunni rebels and carved a sphere of influence in
the northwest of the country, to remove its troops from Syrian territory and
end its support for rebels.
from the last pocket of territory held by ISIS extremist group in eastern Syria
have continued amid a standoff between the militants and the US-backed forces
than 40 trucks carrying men, women and children were seen leaving the small
patch of territory in the village of Baghouz, near the border with Iraq.
estimated 300 ISIS militants are besieged in Baghouz, hemmed in by the
Euphrates River and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led
militia spearheading the fight against ISIS following an intense push since
of civilians have evacuated the area in recent weeks and continue to do so at a
slower pace in the past few days, delaying an announcement of the extremist
group’s territorial defeat in Syria.
French nationals accused of fighting for ISIS were transferred to Iraq by
US-backed forces squeezing the extremists’ final Syrian bastion, an Iraqi
government source said Monday.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have taken hundreds of foreign ISIS fighters
into custody as they bear down on the extremists’ shrinking pocket of territory
in eastern Syria.
Thursday, they have transferred 280 Iraqi nationals accused of fighting
alongside ISIS to Iraqi authorities.
Iraqi government source told AFP on Monday that Iraq had also received 14
French nationals from the SDF.
source could not specify when the transfer took place or whether the suspects
would be tried in Iraq or extradited to France, and the French embassy in
Baghdad was not immediately available for comment.
al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert with intimate knowledge of the issue, said the
transfer had taken place in coordination with the US-led coalition fighting
transferred do not include top ISIS commanders, but they have a trove of
information on Daesh’s structure in Europe, French jihadist networks, and
recruitment cells,” Hashemi told AFP using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
said the fighters had also battled government troops in Iraq, which could pave
the way for their trial in Baghdad instead of their extradition to France.
has tried hundreds of foreign ISIS fighters, including some caught in Syria and
transferred across the border.
August, it sentenced a French man and German woman to life in prison and has
also handed down death sentences to around 100 foreigners convicted of ISIS
sources have told AFP that an estimated 50 adults and 80 children could be
brought back to France from Syria, but authorities have not confirmed any
this month, Human Rights Watch warned against any secret repatriations.
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
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism