Secretary Of State Touches upon Religious Freedom, Says To India ‘Let’s Stand
Lynching In Cultured Society Is Worst Crime; Majid Memon Asks PM “Do Muslims
Have A Right To Live In India?”
Must Grant Citizenship to Rohingya: UN Official
Sent to Paris in Iranian Diplomatic Packages
Chemnitz: Right-Wing Group Charged With Terrorism
Imposing Facial Recognition for Muslim-Majority South
Scholar Al-Timimi’s Terror Convictions Reviewed in Virginia
Denounces China’s Justification of Uighur Re-Education Camps
Arabia: Palestinian Initiative ‘A Great Opportunity To Bring Prosperity And
Refurbishes Historic South African Mosque
Fridge under ‘Feed the Need’ Initiative Inaugurated In Hyderabad
in Indian cities after Muslim man beaten to death
Recovers 2 Ieds from Bengaluru Drain, JMB Operative
with links to Al Qaeda affiliate killed in gunfight
terror expert is RAW chief, J&K specialist IB boss
rules out intelligence failure in Pulwama attack
Large-Scale Terrorism Industry Prevents It from Behaving Like 'Normal
someone is making ‘gutter’ comment’, then why don’t you give Muslims
reservation?, Owaisi attacks PM Modi
Taliban Militants Including 10 Pakistanis Killed In Ghazni Clashes, Airstrikes
prosecutor seeks Bangladesh and Myanmar investigation
U.S. Soldiers Killed in Fierce Firefight in Afghanistan
militants suffer heavy casualties in Special Forces raids in Uruzgan
Forces kill 7 militants, destroy 135lbs of explosives, narcotics in Nimroz and
Taliban militants killed, detained in Special Forces raid in Sarobi of Kabul
can be 'antidote' to extremism, says London mayor
Far-Right Leader Searched On Suspicion of Forming Terrorist Group with
Rescues Children of Dead Islamic State Fighters
mobilizes nearly $24M for Palestinian refugees
Gifs, Memes and Emojis: The Internet Culture of ISIS
Asks Russia For Answers About Bombed Hospitals In Syria
Sulawesi Warden Fired For Forcing Muslim Inmates To Read Quran
man detained under ISA for wanting to join ISIS; 2 others, including
62-year-old woman, on restriction orders
names task force members to probe 'sensitive' disappearances of pastor, Muslim
reopens probe into kidnapping of Shia activist, pastor
Muslim groups win Peace Prize backing
adds right-wing extremists to terrorist list
Democrats pledge return to Iran nuclear deal if they beat Donald Trump
Senators urge Rohingya action from government
operating in Venezuela, Maduro’s ex-security chief says
arrests four men suspected of ties to Islamic State
command of NATO mission in Iraq extended to late 2020
Pentagon chief confronts Turkey on NATO debut
says no proof Iran hit tankers in clear rebuttal to US-Saudi claims
rules out 'boots on the ground' in any Iran war
with Iran would 'not last very long', US President Trump says
Arabia Announces Capture Of An ISIS Leader In Yemen In U.S.-Backed Raid
Official Calls for Stronger US Role in Syria after IS
blast kills four Iraqi federal police officers: security sources
says 7 policemen killed in Sinai jihadist attack
forces intercept another Houthi drone headed towards a residential area
Abha Airport Resumes Flights after Houthi Terror Attack
Several Turkish Soldiers Killed, Injured in Kurdish Attacks in Afrin
Vows to Keep Attacking Saudi Coalition till Riyadh Stops Aggression
Army Reinforces Military Positions in Homs' Desert Region
SDF Dispatches Fresh Military Convoy to Deir Ezzur to Suppress Popular Uprising
workers among eight killed in Syria air raids
says to open embassy in Palestinian territories
says wants ‘peace, better relations’ with Israel
govt., people against Trump's 'deal of century,' Hariri says
Haram Attacks Borno Again: Three Terrorists Killed, Two Soldiers Wounded
dismantles "terror" cell, arrests 4 IS suspects
in urgent need of medical treatment
gov't forces say it recaptured Gharyan city
renew between rival forces near Libya's Tripoli
Presses Superpowers to Remove Iranian Forces from Syria
U.S. drone airstrikes kill 5 al-Qaida members in central Yemen
warns US of stronger reaction if its borders violated again
says Iran will not retreat in face of US sanctions and ‘insults’
Coalition intercepts Houthi drone in Yemeni airspace targeting Saudi Arabia
Palestinians means delivering on promises
suicide bombers killed as police foil terror bid in Loralai
killed as militants attack Pakistan police housing complex
parties divided over en masse resignation from Parliament
terms MPC bid to hide opposition leaders’ corruption
announces fresh support for Palestinian refugees
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: Close on the heels of the standoff last week over a state department
report on religious freedom in India, US secretary of state Michael Pompeo
again touched upon the issue here and said the world would be worse off if
religious rights were compromised.
is the birthplace of four major world religions,” Pompeo said, addressing a
gathering of senior diplomats and foreign policy wonks.
stand up together for religious freedom for all, let’s speak out strongly
together in favour of those rights for whenever we do compromise those rights,
the world is worse off,” he added.
to the latest Report on International Religious Freedom published by the US
state department, India had said it saw no locus standi for a foreign entity to
pronounce on the state of “our citizens’ constitutionally protected rights”.
government had said India was proud of its secular credentials, its status as
the largest democracy and a pluralistic society with a long-standing commitment
to tolerance and inclusion. That though was probably the only sour note in the
speech by Pompeo who lauded international cooperation between the two countries
and called for “new age ambition” in ties.
said the US was pleased to see that Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar had
been banned by the UNSC sanctions committee. Recalling Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s call for a joint initiative against terrorism, he said it was similar to
US President Donald Trump’s call in Riyadh two years ago.
said the US was aware that India’s decision to stop importing oil from Iran was
not without cost and that the US would ensure that India didn’t face any crude
shortage. Pompeo said the US was working to ensure that Iran and Venezuela
behaved like normal countries.
decision to stop oil imports from Iran, and also to move away from Venezuelan
crude, was cited as examples of significant cooperation between India and the
US despite “nagging misconceptions” about bilateral ties.
appreciated India’s support to the US on numerous fronts, including the global
campaign of pressure and diplomacy with North Korea. “You supported the global
campaign of pressure and diplomacy with North Korea to encourage Chairman Kim
Jong-un to go back to the bargaining table, and ultimately to achieve the
final, fully verified denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” he said.
also appreciated India’s decision to favour Israel’s decision objecting to
granting consultative status to a Palestinian group at the UN. “Recently, India
voted against giving UN observer status to a Palestinian NGO tied to terror
group Shahed, because rewarding terror groups is just wrong and both India and
America know that,” he said.
issue of Mob lynching and the death of innocent Muslims dominated the scene in
Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. NCP MP of Rajya Sabha, Mr. Majid Memon attack the Govt.
that such incidents are on the increase during its tenure. He asked the govt.
that he wants to know 21 Crore Muslims who are living in a state of fear and
terror, do they have any right to live in India?
recalled that before addressing the members of Parliament, PM Modi had bowed
his head before the Constitution and stressed that it is very essential to gain
the confidence of the Muslims. He also said that with great humility, he is
asking the PM Modi that how can the govt. gain the confidence of the Muslims
when a Muslim youth like Tabrez Ansari is beaten up and forced to say “Jai Sri
Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”?
also asked whether the 21 crore Muslims are enjoying delight with dignity of
living fearlessly? He questioned that whatever he witnessed during the past 5
years, was not seen ever before. For this reason, some of the judges of the
Supreme Court had said “There is a danger caused for the Constitution”.
Majid Memon told that lynching by the mob is the worst crime for a cultured
society. Quoting Mr. Gulam Nabi Azad, Mr. Memon said that he had said that
Jharkhand has been transformed into a factory wherein the Muslims and the
Dalits are being attacked every week.
top UN investigator says Myanmar must grant citizenship to Rohingya Muslims,
who have fled genocide in the Buddhist-majority country and who are currently
living squalidly in neighboring Bangladesh.
Rohingya Muslims, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, are denied
citizenship there and are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which
likewise denies them citizenship.
of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or raped by
Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and August
2017 in what the UN has said was genocide. Some 800,000 other Rohingya survived
only by fleeing to Bangladesh, where they live in cramped camps and face forced
year, a UN fact-finding mission said the campaign against the Rohingya was
orchestrated with “genocidal intent.”
have seen much brutality in the different parts of my career but the rape and
forced eviction of the Rohingya shook me to my core,” said Radhika
Coomaraswamy, a member of that mission, on Wednesday.
said statelessness was at the root of the “horrific” crisis.
you force people to go back into Myanmar you must make sure the conditions are
right and the Rohingyas will have... a clear pathway to citizenship,” the UN
official said. “The problem is their villages have been bulldozed — without a
was referring to a campaign of spoliation of evidence by the Myanmarese state
to flatten the villages where the Rohingya were once concentrated.
also urged Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to “be the democrat she
once told us she was.”
Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate long hailed by Western governments as a
supposed democracy icon. But she has either remained silent on the atrocities
against the Rohingya by the military and Buddhist mobs or has tacitly sided
with the military.
was speaking at a global conference on statelessness in The Hague, where the
plight of the Rohingya Muslims is in the spotlight.
is no longer the exception in the world — it has become endemic,” she said.
explosives for a planned attack on an Iranian opposition group convention
outside Paris were brought into the country in Iranian diplomatic packages sent
on a civilian airliner.
shocking new detail was revealed by an intelligence source quoted by
Independent in Arabic, a British newspaper.
attack, which was thwarted by European officials, was in motion and set to
happen at the annual massive gathering of Iranian opposition supporters, a
group in exile which seeks to end Shi’ite Muslim clerical rule in Iran.
rally took place in June 2018 and was attended by thousands including President
Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton and former lawyer Rudy Giuliani
as well as several former European and Arab ministers.
intelligence sourced reported that diplomatic packages with half a ton of TATP
explosives were check in on June 22, 2018 on a civilian Airbus plane from
Tehran to Austria carrying 240 passengers.
authorities foiled the plot, after arresting a Belgian couple of Iranian origin
that was transporting the explosives to Paris.
attack was to be carried out by an Iranian intelligence official, who had
worked at the Iranian embassy in Austria since 2014. According to reports, he
visited Tehran and received the explosives on June 20, 2018.
authorities arrested the Iranian official.
TATP, a home-made explosive made from chemicals, could have caused the plane to
explode if it would have entered strong air pockets of air.
method was used in a terrorist attack three years ago, when a terrorist
sabotaged a Russian plane, mainly full of tourists, taking off from the Sharm
el-Sheikh airport in Egypt killing 244 aboard.
is known for using civilian aircrafts to transfer explosives, weapons,
ballistic missiles and funds to its proxy terror group in Lebanon, Hezbollah,
as well as to other groups.
prosecutors charged a right-wing group with terrorism offenses, officials
confirmed on Tuesday.
of Revolution Chemnitz were alleged to have the formed the group in September
with the intention of planning and carrying out terror attacks.
charges were initially revealed by a collaboration between public broadcasters
NDR, WDR and newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and later confirmed by the federal
prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe.
of the group had allegedly planned to orchestrate a civil-war-like rebellion in
Berlin on October 2, 2018. Prosecutors based their charges partly on the use of
chat logs found on the defendants' mobile phones.
alleged members are being held in pre-trial custody and known to police as
leaders in the right-wing extremist scene in the eastern city of Chemnitz,
which was the scene of anti-immigrant protests last year.
trial is expected to begin in the fall before the Higher Regional Court of
of the accused reportedly admitted during interrogation that the action in
Berlin was intended to "override laws," and that they wanted to make
it appear that leftists were responsible for the planned actions.
men, aged 21 to 31, allegedly lead the skinhead, hooligan and neo-Nazi scenes
in the Chemnitz area.
were arrested shortly after forming their alleged alliance.
(dpa, AFP, epd)
An order for mobile phone users in Thailand’s restive south to submit a photo
of themselves for facial recognition purposes is causing uproar from opponents
who see it as further curtailing the rights of the Muslim-majority population.
an army spokesman on Wednesday defended the move, saying the facial
identification scheme is needed to root out insurgents deploying mobile
phone-detonated home-made bombs.
three southernmost states – Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat – have since 2004
been rife with conflict between Malay-Muslim rebels and the Buddhist-majority
Thai state, which annexed the region around a century ago.
tit-for-tat violence has claimed around 7,000 lives, mostly civilians of both
faiths, and security forces have detained individuals suspected of being
separatist rebels without warrants in the past.
telecoms companies are requiring all users of the region’s 1.5 million mobile
numbers to submit a photo of themselves for facial recognition purposes
following orders from the army – a move that is drawing anger from rights
groups as the deadline to register photos nears.
military spokesman defended the move on Wednesday, saying it was necessary to
identify perpetrators who use mobile phone reception to set off home-made
cases where the attacker uses a SIM card to detonate a bomb, we can trace the
perpetrator,” said Colonel Watcharakorn Onngon, deputy southern army spokesman.
ends on Oct 31, and anyone who fails to submit their photo in the three
southern provinces and four districts in neighbouring Songkhla province will
have their mobile reception cut off, he said.
leader-turned-premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha on Tuesday also said the scheme
provides “evidence” about who the real owner of each SIM card is.
in the south are not complaining … they know it truly helps reduce violence,” he
Muslim-majority south and rights groups have long accused the Thai state of
heavy-handed sweeps of the Malay-Muslim populations, raising tensions in
communities who feel targeted in their homes.
such “flawed” facial recognition technology usually leads to “racial profiling
and, in turn, wrongful arrests”, according to a statement by rights group Cross
Cultural Foundation Tuesday.
risks of racial discrimination may erode public trust in policing the region,”
the rest of Thailand is not subjected to the same requirement of submitting
photos, Watcharakorn said people with unregistered SIMs travelling to the three
provinces will have no cell access.
CHURCH, Va. — A judge is considering tossing out parts of a 10-count conviction
against an Islamic scholar serving life in prison for persuading some of his
followers to travel overseas after the Sept. 11 attacks and try to join the
review in the case of Ali Al-Timimi of Fairfax comes after the Supreme Court on
Monday struck down part of a federal law regulating crimes of violence as
District Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a show cause order Tuesday giving
prosecutors 30 days to explain why she shouldn’t overturn three of the 10
counts on which Al-Timimi was convicted at his 2005 trial.
those convictions would likely still leave a significant sentence on remaining
counts, which include soliciting treason. But the life sentence would be
unlikely to survive.
was indicted in 2004, and prosecutors said the U.S.-born scholar — who had
earned his doctorate in computational biology shortly before his arrest —
enjoyed rock-star status among his small group of followers.
a private gathering a few days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Al-Timimi told his
followers that an apocalyptic battle between Muslims and the West loomed, and
that Muslims were obliged to defend the Taliban if they had the ability to do
so, according to trial testimony.
members did travel as far as Pakistan and received military training from a
militant group called Lashkar-e-Taiba, but none ever actually joined the
the years leading up to Sept. 11, many members of the group had trained for
potential holy war by playing paintball in the northern Virginia woods.
a dozen men were convicted and sentenced for their various roles in the
paintball-jihad conspiracy. Several of those who were convicted received
sentences of 25 years or more under the same “crime of violence” convictions
implicated in Al-Timimi’s case.
the “crime of violence” statute has been under constitutional assault for
several years, and several members of the paintball conspiracy have already
been released from jail early as a result of previous court rulings.
Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling Monday in U.S. v. Davis, though, directly affects
Al-Timimi’s case, according to his lawyer, Jonathan Turley.
high court “has unequivocally invalidated the ... clause that formed the basis
for Al-Timimi’s convictions under Counts 1, 7, and 8,” Turley wrote in a brief
Monday urging the court to take action.
Brett Kavanaugh, dissenting in the high court case, warned that the decision
will likely result in thousands of inmates being released from prison earlier
than their original sentence.
inmates who will be released early are not nonviolent offenders,” he wrote.
“They are not drug offenders. They are offenders who committed violent crimes
with firearms, often brutally violent crime.”
Al-Timimi never used a gun, he became eligible for prosecution under the
crime-of-violence provision because some of those he exhorted to join the
Taliban used firearms in their military training with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
case has been up and down through the appellate courts for much of the last 15
years. A broader challenge to his convictions is pending, claiming prosecutors
failed to disclose before trial evidence that the government used a northern
Virginia cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki as an informant, and that he tried
unsuccessfully to lure Al-Timimi into illegal conduct as part of a government
later left the U.S. and became a leader in al-Qaeda before he was killed in a
U.S. drone strike.
have argued consistently that there is no evidence related to al-Awlaki to
which Al-Timimi’s lawyers would have been entitled.
- The United States has condemned efforts by China at the U.N. Human Rights
Council to justify its incarceration of a reported million Uighurs and other
ethnic minorities in 're-education' camps in Xinjiang Province.
introducing himself as an ethnic Uighur, the vice governor of Xinjiang province
in China, painted an idyllic picture of life there. Aierken Tuniyazi told
diplomats at the U.N. Human Rights Council that 25 million people, encompassing
many ethnic groups and religions, lived in solidarity, harmony and mutual
said people in Xinjiang are united as closely as the seeds of a
pomegranate. He said China had lifted
2.3 million people out of poverty in the province. He said religious beliefs were protected by
law and ethnic minority languages were taught in schools and widely used in
social and public forums.
the progress, he noted China was confronted by many challenges from ethnic
separatism, terrorism and religious extremism.
He said that has led to thousands of terrorist attacks, many deaths and
immeasurable property damage. In the
face of those threats, he said China has been forced to crack down on violent
and terrorist crimes and take preventive measures. He spoke through an interpreter.
setting up vocational, education and training centers in accordance with the
law, we aim to educate and save those who are influenced by religious extremism
and committed minor legal offenses…The centers provide courses on the country’s
common language, legal knowledge and vocational skills and integrated
de-radicalization throughout the entire education and training process,"
United States called China’s vice governor’s remarks an embarrassment to the
council. A statement issued by the U.S.
Mission here in Geneva accused the council of once again granting a
representative of one of the world’s worst human rights abusers a platform for
U.S. expressed alarm at China’s highly repressive campaign against the Uighurs
and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
accused the Chinese government of subjecting more than one million people in
so-called re-education camps to torture, pervasive, high-tech surveillance, and
measures to efface their cultural and religious identities.
Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said Wednesday the Kingdom
will support whatever economic plan will bring prosperity to the Palestinians.
on the second day of an international conference on a US initiative to improve
the economic plight of Gaza and the West Bank, Al-Jadaan said he was “very,
very optimistic” about the plan.
region is in desperate need of prosperity and hope and we and our colleagues
share the view that whatever brings prosperity to this region, we will support
it,” he said, alongside US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin and the Bahraini
and Emirati finance ministers.
have been a great supporter of Palestine for decades … so its not something we
are going to shy away from and we will continue supporting the Palestinians,”
initiative was outlined by Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared
Kushner on Tuesday as the conference in Bahrain got under way. The $50 billion
economic formula would see investment in infrastructure, tourism and education.
leaders have accused the plan of legitimising Israel’s occupation of their
territory and for being secondary to a political resolution to the conflict.
But on the second day of the conference, both Arab and western political
leaders, ministers and business chiefs
discussed what needed to be done to make the plan work.
said the plan was a “great opportunity” and that there was a “significant
international commitment” to support the people of Palestine to bring
prosperity and opportunities.
need political commitment, you need clear transparency, you need predictability
for the private sector to join, you need the rule of law … and you want to make
sure that there is proper governance in place,” he said.
UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer said
"we should give this initiative a chance."
Jared Kushner discussed the initiative with the former British prime minister
Tony Blair, who insisted there still must be a two-state solution to the
conflict. The White House has not said it backs the principle, and the
political element of its plan has not yet been revealed.
absolutely foolish to believe you can have economics without sound politics,
but it's likewise completely futile to think politics will work without
economics buttressing it," Blair told the gathering.
foreign minister of Bahrain also reiterated the need for a two-state solution
but said the plan was an "opportunity not to be missed".
think if we take this matter seriously it could be a very important
game-changer," Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said.
an earlier panel, Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas said the initiative
“will definitely require a lot of work but it is definitely achievable.”
Labor Market CEO Osama Al-Absi, told the panel, entitled Empowering the People,
“we must look at how post-war economies were built” in order to make the plan
Monetary Fund managing director, Christine Lagarde, said generating economic
growth in conflict-riven countries can be a struggle.
IMF puts unemployment at 30 percent in the West Bank and 50 percent in Gaza,
which has suffered years of Israeli and Egyptian blockades and recent foreign
aid cuts and sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas' rival in the
Israeli-occupied West bank.
right now is feeling a lot of pain because of bad leadership and the sanctions
that have been imposed on them because of it," Kushner said. "So the
question that (Hamas)leadership has to ask themselves is...do they hate their
neighbour in Israel more than they love their citizens and their people?"
179 proposed infrastructure and business projects in the plan include a $5 billion
transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza, which has been
floated before and stalled for lack of underlying political or security
businessman Ashraf Jabari, chairman of the Palestinian Business Network, told
the gathering it is difficult to build an economy with a "siege and
we demand an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by
Israel in 1967," said the businessman from Hebron who has co-founded a
trade group to boost business between Palestinians and Israeli settlers."
the Israeli nor Palestinian governments attended the Bahrain meeting, which
takes place amid a years-long stalemate in other international efforts to
resolve the conflict.
Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi, speaking in Ramallah,
said the Manama conference was "quite disingenuous".
is totally divorced from reality. The elephant in the room is the (Israeli)
occupation itself," she said.
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has completed massive
renovations at a historic mosque in Johannesburg’s Soweto township.
were approached by leaders of the Soweto Mosque to assist in repairing its
roof, but we decided to renovate the entire mosque,” Mehmet Akif Sekerci,
TIKA’s coordinator in South Africa, told Anadolu Agency.
2002, the Soweto Mosque, located in the Dlamini area, was severely damaged when
suspected right-wing extremists bombed an area close to it.
are very grateful to the Turkish government, which has refurbished our mosque,
and the people of Soweto appreciate this very much,” said Luqmaan Mogapi , head
of communications at the mosque.
mosque, which was built in 1984, has been home to many anti-apartheid
activists, including the late President Nelson Mandela.
late Winnie Mandela was our guest of honor at the opening of this mosque in
August 1986,” said Mohapi.
said many famous Muslims have visited the mosque, including the late legendary
boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
mosque has been decorated with Turkish calligraphy but also has unique South
African art painted on its exterior.
said the South African art on the mosque’s walls at the gate is meant to
indigenize the mosque as being a natural part of the Soweto landscape.
to Sekerci, the materials used to renovate the mosque were procured locally,
with the exception of a few items imported from Turkey.
have interacted with some residents in the area, and they are very happy and
appreciate the assistance from the Turkish government,” said Lebohang Matsoso,
an administrative assistant at TIKA’s Pretoria office.
assistant project coordinator for South Africa, Egemen Sener, said they are
waiting for a delegation from Turkey that will come and officially open the
being in operation in South Africa for just over a year, TIKA has undertaken
several development projects in the country and the Southern Africa region at
year, the aid agency partnered with South African authorities to help refurbish
orphanages, particularly those for children born with HIV/AIDS.
also regularly distributed food aid during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
its founding in 1992, TIKA has been responsible for facilitating Turkey’s
official development assistance by providing help to developing countries.
currently is engaged in a variety of developmental cooperation activities in
150 countries through its 60 program coordination offices, including 20 in
of the projects it is tackling are in the fields of education, health, water
and sanitation. Others include agricultural development, civil and economic
infrastructure and restoration and tourism.
Fridge under ‘Feed the Need’ initiative inaugurated in Hyderabad
As a part of CSR Initiative Kalasha Fine Jewels supported the joint initiative
of “Feed the Need” programme by GHMC. A 16th refrigerator Unit of Apple Fridge
(Community Fridge) has been installed on Wednesday at a footpath in Banjara Hills
Road no: 12.
Commissioner of GHMC Mohammed Musharraf Ali Faruqui said, “The objective of the
initiative is to promote people donate the left-over food and keep in these
refrigerators for the homeless and needy people. These refrigerators will be
accessible to anyone who wishes to have a free meal at any time of the day.” He
Delhi, India - Protests were held in various parts of India on Wednesday
following the lynching of a Muslim man, with people demanding an end to what
they termed as "lynch terror".
Ansari, 24, was beaten to death by a Hindu mob in Kharsawan district in eastern
Indian state of Jharkhand on suspicion of theft, causing a public uproar.
were planned in about 50 cities under the hashtag #JusticeForTabrez and
IndiaAgainstLynchTerror. It was not clear how many cities participated in it.
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi termed the lynching a "blot on
the Indian capital, New Delhi, scores of people, including university students
and activist, held a protest at Jantar Mantar close to the parliament house.
placards and chanting slogans against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Paty (BJP)
and Prime Minister Narendar Modi, the protesters demanded an end to the
violence against Muslims.
against Muslims has to stop," said one of the speakers at the protest.
"Government must understand that we will not tolerate this lynch terror
anymore," he added.
phone videos, which went viral on social media, shows Ansari tied to a lamppost
and beaten by a mob before police intervened and took him into the custody.
was forced to shout "Jai Shri Ram" (Hail Lord Ram), a slogan
increasingly used by Hindu far right groups. In the footage, Ansari is seen
crying and pleading for mercy while being beaten with sticks and forced to
repeat the chants.
took Ansari to hospital for treatment but four days after the June 18 incident.
He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at a local hospital.
have arrested at least 11 villagers over the grisly attack and two officers
have been suspended from duty.
is a very scary situation for Muslims," Sana Maryam, a protester told Al
Jazeera. She alleged that the perpetrators of the violence have enjoyed
protester named Fatima, a university student, said: "We the people of
India have been living in peace and harmony since very long and we have not
been hostile to each other but after the BJP government came to power things
are being made to divide people on the name of religion so that they fight each
other and the real issues is not talked about."
public anger prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a comment in the
parliament saying he was "pained" by the incident and called for
"the strictest possible punishment to the accused".
he said that it was unfair on part of people to call the state of Jharkhand
ruled by his BJP party, "a hub of lynching".
lynching in Jharkhand has pained me. It has saddened others too. But, some
people in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian parliament) are calling
Jharkhand a hub of lynching. Is this fair? Why are they insulting a state. None
of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand," Modi said.
Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association, said:
"People from Muslim community are being continuously targeted."
all most every case of lynching barring one or two people have been arrested
but never prosecuted or convicted," she said.
crimes against minorities, particularly Muslims have increased in the South
Asian nation since Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP party came to power five years
of Muslims have been attacked or lynched by Hindu mobs since 2014, in many
cases over suspicion of cow slaughter which is banned in most Indian states, as
Hindus consider cow a sacred animal.
to data from the website Factchecker.in, which has been monitoring hate crimes
in India, this is the 11th instance of hate crime this year.
year, the Supreme Court condemned "horrendous acts" of mob violence
and asked the government to enact a new law to deal with an increase in
incidents of lynchings.
all the cases of hate-crimes since 2009, the data indicates that in 59 percent
cases the victims were Muslims and 28 percent of the incidents were related to
alleged cattle theft or slaughter.
its annual report on International Religious Freedom for 2019 released last
week, US State Department said religious intolerance in India is growing under
Modi's right-wing government.
report said: "There were reports of religiously motivated killings,
assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right
of individuals to practice their religious beliefs."
often failed to prosecute perpetrators of 'cow vigilante' attacks, which
included killings, mob violence, and intimidation," it added.
Delhi rejected the report, saying a foreign government had no right to
pronounce on the state of Indian citizens' constitutionally protected rights.
wife Shaishta Ansari told NDTV news channel that her husband was beaten so
brutally because he was a Muslim. "My husband was my only support. Who
will I live for now? I want justice."
say that "it's an emergency situation" and the Indian government must
recovers 2 IEDs from Bengaluru drain, JMB operative
National Investigation Agency on Wednesday said that it has recovered two
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from a drain in Bengaluru on the disclosure
of a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operative, who was arrested on
NIA has arrested Habibur Rehman Sheikh, wanted in the 2014 Burdwan blast case,
from the Dodabalpur area of the Karnataka capital.
official said the agency has sought help of the bomb disposal squad of
Bengaluru Police to defuse the IEDs.
official said the accused has also revealed his involvement in several
instances of robberies committed in Bengaluru in 2018 in order to raise the
fund for the activities of JMB.
to NIA officials, Sheikh was a close associate of senior JMB leader Jahidul
Islam alias Kausar and was associated with other JMB leaders such as
Rahamatullah Sheikh and Moulana Yusuf.
was named in a chargesheet filed by the NIA in the case in March, 2015 for his
direct involvement in the conspiracy of the JMB to wage war against governments
of India and Bangladesh.
official said that Sheikh was an active member of JMB’s Bolpur module in West
Bengal and had attended a number of training camps conducted by the JMB.
least two persons died and another was injured in a bomb explosion at a house
in the Khagragarh locality of Burdwan on October 2, 2014.
Bangladesh government banned the JMB in 2005, while India banned it in May this
forces killed a militant suspected to belong to an Al Qaeda affiliate in a gunfight
in Pulwama district’s Tral on Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir police said.
a statement, the police identified the slain militant as Shabir Ahmad Malik,
who was a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) before joining Ansar Ghazwat ul
Hind (AGH), the Al Qaeda affiliate.
was part of groups responsible for planning and executing terror attacks…,” the
statement said without elaborating.
added that a case had been registered against Malik for “planning and making
preparations for carrying out terror attacks in Jammu”.
is the fifth AGH militant to have been killed since Sunday. Four AGH militants,
including the group’s main recruiter, Showkat Mir, were killed in a firefight
with security forces at Panzar in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday.
Musa, 25, who formed the AGH after quitting home-grown militant group Hizbul
Mujahideen in 2017, was killed on May 23 in a gun battle with security forces.
half of AGH’s around a dozen militants were killed in December 2018 in Pulwama
DELHI: The government on Wednesday appointed senior IPS officer Samant Kumar
Goel, who brings with him years of expertise in counterterrorism, as chief of
external intelligence agency RAW. Intelligence Bureau too got a new director in
Arvind Kumar, currently special director in the agency, who has handled desks
like Kashmir and Left-wing extremism over the years.
a 1984 batch IPS officer of Punjab cadre, and Kumar, from the same batch but
belonging to Assam-Meghalaya cadre, succeed Anil Dhasmana and Rajiv Jain
respectively. The incumbents were on six-month extensions after having
completed their fixed two-year terms in December, 2018.
and Kumar have a strong intelligence background, with the former having first
served in RAW in 2001 and Kumar with IB since 1991. Goel brings to RAW his
experience as a young member of Punjab ‘supercop’ K P S Gill’s team that
tackled Sikh militancy with an iron hand. As an intelligence officer
specialising in counter-terrorism, he has in-depth knowledge about the origins
and operations of Pakistan-based terror groups as well as global jihadi outfits
like al-Qaida and Islamic State.
has served foreign postings in London and Dubai. His anointment as the chief of
RAW is being seen as a rebuttal of the allegations levelled by those considered
close to former CBI director Alok Verma who had probed allegations of
corruption against then CBI No.2 Rakesh Asthana, naming Goel in alleged
attempts to influence the investigation.
Kumar, during his long stint in IB, handled various desks including Kashmir and
Left-Wing extremism, besides serving in Delhi SIB in the early 2000s. He is
highly regarded as an ‘anchor’ by senior IB cadres. His composure even in the
face of storms is rated as his top strength. An officer said Kumar has spent
much time planning operations and strategic moves in insurgency-hit areas of
ability to closely examine all facets of the need for and impact of Balakot
strikes, as well as investigation into the Pulwama attack that identified local
handlers like Sajjad Bhat, killed recently in an encounter with the forces in
Anantnag, were the bedrock of IB’s contribution to the entire operation.
DELHI: The Centre on Wednesday ruled out any intelligence failure in the
Pulwama attack and said that the NIA has identified the conspirators and
suicide attacker responsible for the February 14 terror strike in which 40 CRPF
personnel were killed.
to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan
Reddy said that Jammu and Kashmir is affected by terrorism sponsored and
supported from across the border for the last three decades.
to the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and sustained action against
the terrorists by the security forces, a large number of terrorists have been
neutralised during the past few years," he said.
asked whether the reasons of the Pulwama terror attack was the failure of
intelligence, Reddy replied in the negative.
agencies are working in a coordinated manner and the intelligence inputs are
shared among various agencies on real time basis.
investigation by NIA into the Pulwama attack so far has resulted in identifying
the conspirators, suicide attacker and the vehicle provider," the minister
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on February 20 took over the probe into the
February 14 terror attack in Pulwama from the Jammu and Kashmir police.
flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based
Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama.
large-scale terrorism industry prevents it from behaving like 'normal neighbour':
Pakistan's state-sponsored "large-scale industry of terrorism" prevents
its government from behaving like a "normal neighbour", external affairs
minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday.
a live video link from New Delhi to address the Leaders' Summit as part ofUK-India
Week in Buckinghamshire+ near London, he called on countries like Britain to be
more proactive in calling out nations that obstruct the international
rules-based order because "a lot of what Pakistan is doing today, affects
the rest of the world, including the UK".
kind of large-scale industry of terrorism, which is done with the blessing of
the state because the state thinks it is an instrument against the neighbour
... it is increasingly unacceptable to India, and more and more countries are
coming around to that view," he said, in response to a question about the
political situation vis-à-vis Pakistan.
think a lot of the problem today is whether Pakistan is prepared to behave as a
normal country and as a normal neighbour. I don't think anywhere in the world
today, you will have a country which has an industry geared towards committing
acts of terror," Jaishankar said.
former diplomat-turned-minister highlighted that while India has offered
Pakistan a Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status in favour of non-discriminatory
trade, Pakistan has failed to reciprocate.
said: "Connectivity is at the heart of South Asia but Pakistan is
resisting connectivity concerning India. So, the challenge that I see is really
if a country practises terrorism, denies normal trade, is obstructing
connectivity, how can India work with such a country.
is not an easy challenge. We have struggled with it now for many, many years.
It's not a challenge we can address alone, but also I think it is not a
challenge we should be addressing alone".
minister stressed that he does not have a "pessimistic view" and that
nothing would please him more than to see good India-Pakistan relations, but
"given the current situation, it is probably one of the hardest challenges
said that the Indian government hopes for a stronger global consensus over the
issue so that Pakistan can be "pressurised and persuaded" to do the
Syed Qayam Ali
Delhi: Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comments on Muslims, All
India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday
asked why the prime minister was not saying anything on the killing of Muslims
in hate violence.
also said if someone was making comments like let Muslims be in the gutter,
then why was the prime minister not giving reservation to Muslims if he wants
to uplift the community.
Prime Minister remembers Shah Bano. Didn’t he remember Tabrez Ansari, Akhlaq
and Pehlu Khan? Didn’t he remember that his minister had garlanded the
murderers of Alimuddin Ansari? If someone is making the ‘gutter’ comments, then
why don’t you (PM Modi) give reservation to Muslims in the name of
backwardness?,” Owaisi asked.
was reacting to the Modi’s speech in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday in which he had
quoted a Congress minister’s remarks at the time of the Shah Bano case
judgement that ‘upliftment of Muslims is not the responsibility of the
Congress. If they want to lie in ‘gutter’, let them be’.
Modi for the fact that the BJP does not have Muslim MPs, Owaisi said, “No
Muslim MPs come from your party and it is you, who is keeping them behind.
There is a huge difference between what they say and their ideology.”
Taliban militants including 10 Pakistanis killed in Ghazni clashes, airstrikes
security forces killed 57 Taliban militants including 10 Pakistanis during the
clashes in Ghazni.
Ministry of Defense in a statement said the militants were killed in Deh Yak
statement further added that the security forces also killed Rahmatullah
Mobariz, the shadow district military chief of Taliban for Deh Yak.
the governor’s office of Ghazni in a statement said the security forces killed
59 Taliban militants and wounded 16 others.
statement further added that the security forces also killed ten Pakistani
nationals during the clashes.
the governor’s office said three Taliban commanders Zahid, Hamas and Khanjari,
all hailing from Pakistan were among those killed.
prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday moved closer to
opening a full investigation into alleged crimes against the Rohingya people
who were driven from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Fatou Bensouda said in a statement she would ask judges for permission to
investigate crimes that had “at least one element” in Bangladesh, which is a
member of the ICC.
added that her investigation would cover crimes that also took place “within
the context of two waves of violence in Rakhine State on the territory of”
war crimes court said in a separate statement it had assigned a three-judge
panel to hear Bensouda’s request.
granted, the ICC would become the first international court to look into
alleged atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority of Myanmar.
Myanmar is not a member of the court, the ICC in September determined it has
jurisdiction over some crimes in the region when they had a cross-border
nature, given that Bangladesh is a member.
Court has jurisdiction over the crime against humanity of deportation allegedly
committed against members of the Rohingya people,” it said in a September 2018
ruling. “The reason is that an element of this crime - the crossing of a border
- took place on the territory of a State party (Bangladesh).”
following day, Myanmar’s government said it rejected the court’s jurisdiction.
independent UN fact-finding mission in August concluded that Myanmar’s military
carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya. Bensouda’s office
began a pre-investigation examination in the Bangladesh-Myanmar case last year,
and a delegation from the court visited Bangladesh in March.
122 members, the UN-backed ICC is a court of last resort, only stepping in when
member countries are found to be unwilling or unable to prosecute war crimes on
their territory - or when a case is referred to it by the UN Security Council.
Afghanistan — Two United States soldiers were killed during a military
operation in Afghanistan on Wednesday, bringing to nine the number of American
military fatalities in the country this year.
two, part of a Special Forces team, were killed by small-arms fire in southern
Uruzgan province, American defense officials said. The soldiers were engaged in
a fierce firefight with Taliban militants, with combatants only yards apart at
one point, one of the defense officials said.
Wednesday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the two service
members had been killed in eastern Wardak Province. The reason for the
difference in the reported location of the battle is unclear.
deaths came just days before the resumption of talks between the Taliban and
the United States. The new round is scheduled to start on Saturday in Doha, the
the number of American troops in Afghanistan has dropped to about 14,000 — a
small fraction of the more than 100,000 at the peak of the war — the American
military has taken a more proactive role in helping Afghan forces.
remaining American forces are helping the Afghan military defend its positions
and have worked to deplete the Taliban through airstrikes and commando raids,
partly to gain leverage at the negotiating table in Doha.
of State Mike Pompeo, in an unannounced visit to Kabul on Tuesday, reiterated
that negotiating a political settlement to end the long war is a priority of
the Trump administration.
so much going on in the world right now, it’s sometimes easy to forget about
America’s commitment here to Afghanistan, but the world should know that the
Trump administration has not forgotten, the American people have not
forgotten,” Mr. Pompeo said. “As President Trump has said, the hour has come
latest deaths came two months after three American soldiers were killed in an
explosion near Bagram Air Base in Parwan Province. And in March, two members of
an American special forces unit and four Afghan special forces soldiers were
killed during an operation on the outskirts of Kunduz.
2018, 13 American troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan, up from 11 in
Special Forces killed seven Taliban militants during an operation in Uruzgan.
informed military sources said Wednesday the militants were killed in Chorah
district of Uruzgan.
the Special Forces arrested 7 Taliban militants during the same operation.
the Special Operations Corps said the Special Forces killed 11 Taliban
militants during a night raid in Gezab district of Uruzgan.
Special Operations Corps also added that the Special Forces also wounded 6
Taliban militants during the same operation.
Afghan Special Forces killed 2 Taliban militants during an operation in Nimroz
informed military officials said Wednesday that the Special Forces conducted in
Khash Rod district of Zabul.
officials further added that the Special Forces also destroyed 100lbs of
explosives and 35lbs of illegal narcotics during the operation.
Afghan Special Forces conducted an operation in Kabul killing or detaining 13
informed military sources said Thursday that the Special Forces killed 7
Taliban militants during the operation.
the Special Forces arrested 6 Taliban fighters during the same operation.
Special Forces conducted an operation in Sarobi district killing 7 Taliban
fighters and detaining 6 others,” the officials said.
Taliban militants have not commented regarding the operation so far.
security situation in some parts of Sarobi district has deteriorated during the
militants are active in some parts of the district and often conduct terrorist
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Cities can provide an “antidote” to populism and
extremism if they build bridges between their diverse communities, London’s
mayor said on Tuesday, as he met the leaders of other major European cities in
the British capital.
funding parenting classes to providing space for sports clubs, cities across
Europe could foster integration and stem the social fractures that often lead
to extremism, said Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital.
seen a rise of nationalist, populist, nativist movements across Europe, indeed
also in America. What’s clear is that cities can be the antidote to this sort
of extremism,” Khan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
we’re not careful, people can live in silos: rich, poor, old, young, black,
white - so we need to make sure we have bridges between communities,” he said
on the sidelines of the European Union Capital City Mayors Summit in London.
of people in the world will be living in cities by 2050, according to United
was elected London mayor in 2016 on a manifesto pledge to tackle extremism, but
has faced criticism on security following a spate of knife crimes.
2016 he appointed a deputy mayor for social integration to help forge better
relationships across diverse neighborhoods, a first for London.
help communities mix, cities must offer more genuinely affordable public
housing and improve transport links to ensure jobs and city life are accessible
for all, Khan said.
first female mayor, Femke Halsema, said providing social opportunities such as
better education and access to jobs could help tackle extremism.
is overseeing the creation of a network of women in neighborhoods across
Amsterdam to offer “pragmatic” help to discover and root out extremism locally.
think women as the educators of youngsters are often the ears and eyes ... they
can be a big help against the rise of extremism,” she said.
the mayor of Brussels, where 2016 attacks by the Islamic State killed 32
people, said it was a challenge to get diverse communities to integrate in
of the roles of a mayor is building bridges in communities ... we know that
it’s not very easy,” said Philippe Close. “It’s a challenge, it’s not a fight
we can win in one or two years - it’s for generations.”
a poor Brussels borough with a big Moroccan Muslim population, gained notoriety
after an Islamic State cell based there mounted suicide attacks on Paris in
November 2015 that killed 130 people.
of that group attacked Brussels itself four months later, killing 32 people.
said European cities had been “blighted” recently by extremist attacks from
both the far right and so-called Islamist movements.
really important we haven’t got a situation where only the rich live in the
center of cities and the poor live on outskirts - housing policy matters,” he
far-right leader searched on suspicion of forming terrorist group with
Austrian identitarian leader, Martin Sellner, has been subjected to further
searches by Austrian police in connection with the Christchurch shooter,
according to Austrian media reports and videos on Sellner’s own YouTube
investigation has also reportedly widened to include Sellner’s US-based
fiancee, Brittany Pettibone, and her own alleged connections with Australian far-right
figure Blair Cottrell.
newspaper Die Presse reported on 18 June that two apartments in Vienna were
searched by the prosecutor’s office in Graz, which has been investigating
Sellner’s connections to the Australian, Brenton Tarrant, who is currently on
trial for the murder of 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
two German-language YouTube videos, Sellner offered his own account of the
investigation. In the first, which he says was before an interview with police,
Sellner says that police removed devices from his home, and that the reason was
a “strong suspicion of forming a terrorist organisation with Brenton Tarrant”.
the second video, Sellner shows what he claims is an excerpt from the warrant
police used in raiding his apartment. Visible on the warrant in German are
prosecutors’ reasons for carrying out the search, including “The Manifesto the
Great Replacement”, which was released by Tarrant, “the results of a financial
analysis”, and the suspicion that Sellner was cooperating with Tarrant in a
terrorist and “structurally fascist” organisation.
was first connected with Tarrant after it emerged that the accused had made a
€1,500 donation to Sellner’s Identitarian organisation. Die Presse reported
that prosecutors were looking for “accounting records” and evidence of further
donations from Tarrant to Sellner.
newspaper, Der Standard, reported that the investigation had widened to include
fiancee, prominent far-right YouTuber and author Brittany Pettibone, announced
on her own Twitter account on 18 June that she had been notified she was under
to Pettibone, the reason was an interview she had done with Cottrell in January
2018. That interview is still available on “alt-tech” video platform, BitChute.
In it she describes him as an “anti-Islam activist” and discusses his
conviction under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act after he
publicised a lurid Mosque protest in Bendigo featuring a mock beheading.
claimed that a second reason was that she received an email from a person she
did not name asking if Sellner “could give advice to Blair Cottrell regarding
building up the rightwing movement in Australia”.
and Austrian prosecutors did not respond to requests for comment. When
contacted, Brittany Pettibone declined to comment on the developments.
asked if they were aware of investigations into a possible organisational
connection between Tarrant and Sellner, New Zealand police said via email they
were making “a large number enquiries, both across New Zealand and
internationally” but they were “not in a position to go into specifics around
March, Austrian authorities commenced their investigation of Sellner’s connections
with the Christchurch killer after it emerged that he had received a donation
month, authorities revealed that contacts between the two men had been even
more extensive, involving friendly email exchanges and an invitation by Sellner
for Tarrant to join him in a beer or coffee if he ever came to Austria.
immigration status in the US, where he had planned to marry Pettibone this
summer, was changed following that disclosure, preventing him from entering the
was the focus of controversy last month after she presented Sellner’s case to a
meeting of a local Republican party branch in Idaho, where she lives.
Identitäre Bewegung Österreichs (IBÖ) is part of a larger far-right
Identitarian movement with branches in most western European countries, North
America and New Zealand.
- Australia has rescued the children and grandchildren of two dead Islamic
State fighters from a Syrian refugee camp.
The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said they could not be held
responsible for the “crimes of their parents.”
the three surviving children of the notorious Australian militant Kahled
Sharrouf, the nightmare of Syria is over.
They are now reported to be in Iraq and will be resettled in Australia
are said to be traumatized and in poor health.
One has bullet wounds to her legs, while another, who’s still a
teenager, is expecting her third child.
She was forced by her father to marry a jihadist when she was 13. Sharrouf took his family from Sydney to the
Middle East in 2014.
made headlines around the world, when he posed for a photograph in the city of
Raqqa with his young son, who was holding a severed head. It’s thought Sharrouf was killed in an
airstrike two years ago.
had previously been jailed in Australia for terrorism offenses and released in
2009. His Australian wife, Tara Nettleton, a convert to Islam,
reportedly died of medical complications in Syria in 2015.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison says the couple’s children deserve a
mean the fact that you would take a child and put them in a conflict zone like
this is despicable and I find it disgusting.
But the children can’t be held responsible for that,” he said.
children - aged between 2 and 18 - were removed from a camp in northern Syria
by an aid agency working with Australia.
group includes three orphans of another Australian militant, Yasin Rizvic. The rescue mission was THE first of its kind
by a Western government. Concerns over
security in Syria have so far deterred other countries, including Britain,
Germany and the United States.
European Commission will donate an additional €21 million ($23.8 million) to
the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), EU
commissioner said on Wednesday.
Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighborhood and enlargement policy,
made the announcement at the UNRWA annual pledging conference which took place
in New York.
in 1949, UNRWA delivers critical aid to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip,
the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
latest donation will add to the €82 million ($93.1million) that has already
been paid this year.
said that the UNRWA is an essential provider of vital services to millions of
Palestine refugees in the region.
EU's additional contribution is to ensure that millions of Palestine refugees
continue to benefit from health services and education across the region,"
to the EU, since 1971, the strategic partnership between the EU and UNRWA has
been based on the shared objective of supporting the human development,
humanitarian and protection needs of Palestine refugees and to promoting
stability in the Middle East.
the past three years, the total contribution of the EU and its Member States
combined reached approximately €1.4 billion ($1.59 billion).
gifs, memes and emojis: the internet culture of ISIS
supporters on Telegram use emojis and memes to create their own internet
subculture, mixing images related to death and violence with more widely
popular themes such as cats, a researcher has found.
Daymon, a terrorism researcher at the American University’s School of Public
Affairs, observed pro-ISIS groups on the encrypted messaging app for two
months, and discovered members used emojis and gifs in their messaging.
has become a popular channel for extremists to communicate after crackdowns on
terrorism on larger platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
such as the ability to communicate without revealing a phone number and
self-destruct timers on messages make it ideal for operating undetected, the
Programme on Extremism at George Washington University reported this month.
ISIS supporters exploit Telegram’s suite of features to communicate with
like-minded supporters across the world, disseminate official and unofficial
ISIS media, and provide instructional material for operations,” wrote the
report’s authors, Bennett Clifford and Helen Powell.
has shown that using emojis in posts or even texts, like we do every day, will
help the reader understand the clarity,” Ms Daymon told the Terrorism and
Social Media Conference in Swansea.
can actually speak for themselves within a post."
communities often use particular types of gifs and emojis to foster a sense of
community. Beyonce fans post the bee emoji and fans of TV shows post gifs of
their favourite moments.
all have our own culture, whether it's from a country you come from or a group
we’re in or a university we’re a part of. Culture really forms a strong basis
of identity,” Ms Daymon said.
is also true of pro-ISIS groups on Telegram, who use tools of the internet
including gifs, memes and emojis to create a shared culture.
choices include the obvious such as knife, bomb and explosion emojis, but also
the palm tree, smiley face and a hand with the index finger pointing up.
Daymon calls this last emoji the takbir finger – a symbol used in the real
world by ISIS fighters to mean there is only one God.
showed the audience screenshots of Telegram posts announcing attacks or new
content channels with accompanying emojis.
has been criticised for not acting fast enough to identify and block ISIS and
other extremist groups from its platform.
February, the Counter Extremism Project said six years after the app’s
founding, it remained “a terrorists’ platform of choice for the dissemination
of online extremist content”.
messaging application’s public-facing and private components are essential in
allowing extremists the ability to propagate themselves online,” project
researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch said.
has for years faced criticism for the flagrant misuse of their platform, and
the ease with which ISIS content is continuously found shows that they are not
serious about dealing with the issue.”
company says it is taking action against terrorist groups. So far this month,
it has banned 6,029 terrorist bots and channels.
activity within secret groups is proving harder to curb and it sticks doggedly
to free speech principles.
we do block terrorist bots and channels, we will not block anybody who
peacefully expresses alternative opinions,” the site’s frequently asked
questions section reads.
Twitter users are also fond of emojis, said Mohammed Al Darwish, a researcher
from M&C Saatchi World Services.
Al Darwish analysed 221 ISIS "fanboy" Twitter accounts disseminating
a particular piece of propaganda over three days, amounting to 3,311 tweets.
of these contained emojis, he said, with directional arrows, fire, camera and
laughing face emojis being popular choices.
Daymon also discovered what she calls a "softer side" to the pro-ISIS
groups on Telegram.
is a very huge theme of cats and chocolate,” she said. “I mean, we all love cats
if you think about it, a lot of us tend to go to the internet for a silly cat
videos and things. So why not ISIS supporters as well?”
some of the groups with cat names or pictures contained gruesome pictures and
gifs of violent acts such as beheadings.
emojis and other tools used were to further the main themes of ISIS culture
online, which Ms Daymon identified as brotherly love, glorifying fighters,
victimhood and revenge, martyrdom, embracing terrorism and supporting the state
the state has been a big thing, especially with the loss of territory,"
United Nations humanitarian coordinator said on June 25 that he had asked
Russia to provide details on how it was using the location coordinates of
hospitals in Syria following a string of attacks on health-care facilities.
of medical facilities are shared via the UN to the warring parties in Syria
under a humanitarian deconfliction system with the aim of protecting them from
this mechanism, more than 23 hospitals have been hit by strikes since
Russia-backed Syrian forces launched an offensive in the northwestern province
of Idlib in late April, according to the UN.
which has given crucial support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout
the conflict, has denied that the bombing campaign has targeted hospitals.
have written to the Russian Federation to request information as to how the
details provided through the deconfliction mechanism are used," Mark
Lowcock, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the
remarks via video link, Lowcock said he was "not sure" the system was
fulfilling its role.
Lillie, the executive director of the Syrian American Medical Society, told the
council that doctors no longer trust the humanitarian deconfliction system, and
urged an investigation into the attacks.
have fulfilled their part of the agreement at great risk to themselves, can
this council not meet them halfway?" Lillie said.
Syrian conflict, now in its ninth year, began with a government crackdown on
protesters in March 2011. The war has killed more than 370,000 people and
Sulawesi warden fired for forcing Muslim inmates to read Quran
Law and Human Rights Ministry has dismissed Polewali Mandar penitentiary warden
Haryoto in West Sulawesi for making Muslim inmates read the Quran and memorize
short chapters as part of a requirement for their release.
a riot that erupted in the penitentiary on Saturday, Haryoto told reporters
that the clash had been started by an inmate who was angry about not being
released because he could not read the Quran.
the Quran] is not a standard penitentiary procedure," the head of the Law
and Human Rights Ministry’s penitentiary division, Anwar, said on Tuesday as
quoted by kompas.com.
ministry said after a thorough investigation, it was found that the warden had
violated standard procedure.
Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said that even though the warden
had good intentions by encouraging Muslim inmates to read the Quran, his policy
came at the expense of their freedom. (hol)
- A 40-year old Singaporean man, who wanted to travel to Syria to join
terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was detained under the
Internal Security Act.
was among three people picked up recently under the Act. The other two include
a 62-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man, who have both been placed under
restriction orders, which require them to undergo counselling and seek
government approval before changing jobs or address, or going abroad, among
Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement that Imran Mahmood, who is
unemployed, was detained in January. His radicalisation began some time in
2013, when he started listening to the lectures of foreign religious preachers
online, including those who preached about the imminent coming of the
end-times, said MHA.
became a strong supporter of the violent objectives and actions of ISIS, and by
2014 had wanted to live under the group’s so-called caliphate in Syria and
said he looked into ways to get to Syria and was also willing to take up arms
to defend or expand ISIS’s territory.
believed that he would achieve martyrdom if he died fighting for the terrorist
group, added the ministry.
Imran started to question ISIS’s legitimacy in 2017, when the group started to
suffer territorial losses. But he did not denounce the group and “continued to
believe that it was his religious duty to fight alongside any group trying to
establish a rightful caliphate in Syria, and that his radical views were
legitimate”, said MHA.
was also prepared to join militant and terrorist groups involved in the Syrian
conflict, such as the Free Syrian Army and Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda
aligned faction, added MHA.
two Singaporeans were placed on restriction orders in March.
of them, Rasidah Mazlan, 62, had been in contact with multiple foreigners
suspected of involvement in terrorism-related activities, including individuals
who had expressed support for ISIS. She is believed to be among the oldest
people to have been dealt with under the ISA over terrorism-related issues.
production assistant was issued with a restriction order in March this year,
which requires her to undergo counselling and seek government approval before
changing jobs or address, or going abroad, among other things. Investigations
showed that her contacts with the foreign individuals were mainly driven by her
deep sympathy for Muslims suffering in overseas conflicts, said the MHA.
indiscriminate online activity rendered her vulnerable to adverse influence and
recruitment by terrorist elements who pose a threat to Singapore,” added MHA.
other person placed on a restriction order in March was Mohamad Fairuz Junaidi,
found that the deliveryman was influenced by ISIS’s radical ideology and had
considered travelling to Syria to join the terrorist group, said the MHA.
was emotionally affected by reports on the killing of Sunni Muslims in the
Syrian civil war. He considered travelling to Syria to join ISIS and was
prepared to take up arms and fight alongside ISIS. He believed that he would be
a martyr if he died while doing so. He also refused to believe mainstream media
reporting about ISIS’s atrocities, and saw them as fabrications to discredit
the terrorist group,” added the ministry.
he started to have doubts about ISIS’ legitimacy in 2017 after he read negative
reports about the group on Facebook and was also swayed by criticisms about the
group, the MHA said. He will undergo counselling and rehabilitation.
ministry also announced the release of four Singaporeans from detention with
restrictions in March and June. The restriction order issued against another
Singaporean was also allowed to lapse.
four Singaporean ISA detainees had shown good progress in their rehabilitation
and assessed to no longer pose a security threat that requires preventive
detention, said MHA.
include: Abd Rahim Abdul Rahman, 50, a former Jemaah Islamiyah member who was
detained in March 2012; Asyrani Hussaini, 30, who was detained in March 2013
after he became self-radicalised and attempted to participate in the armed
insurgency in southern Thailand; Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, 24, who was
detained in June 2017 after she became self-radicalised and wanted to go to
Syria to join ISIS; and Muhammad Khairul Mohamed, 26, who became
self-radicalised and was detained in June 2017 for wanting to undertake armed
violence in Syria.
Rahim’s detention was suspended with a suspension direction in March, while
Asyrani was released on a restriction order when his order of detention expired
Izzah and Khairul were both released on restriction orders when their orders of
detention expired in June.
the restriction order issued against a 17-year-old Singaporean in June 2015 was
allowed to lapse in June, after he showed good progress in his rehabilitation,
on the latest detention and restriction orders on a Facebook post,
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said: “These cases
illustrate that there will always be those who are vulnerable to radicalisation
and our vigilance against it is a continuing one.”
added that such arrests are “few and far in between” because the Islamic
Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) and the authorities work closely
also urged the Malay/Muslim community to help the four released detainees to
reintegrate into society and to continue to look out and care for one another.
must not allow the actions of a misguided few to overshadow the achievements of
our community. Our Malay/Muslim community stands united and strong with fellow
Singaporeans to keep our nation safe and secure,” he said.
in a statement, said: "The community rejects any notion of exclusivist and
extremist teachings in our midst and are on guard against them."
latest cases highlighted the continued threat of self-radicalisation,
especially when people do not verify the information they access online and
fall prey to radical propaganda that exploit geo-political conflicts to boost
their appeal, Muis pointed out.
dangers are still prevalent online, even after extremist groups are physically
defeated," it said.
added that it has stepped up both its online and offline engagements, such as
the Asatizah Youth Network and publications such as the Contemporary Irsyad
Series, which gives religious guidance on emerging issues.
Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin, in a Facebook post, said
the release of the four detainees shows that timely intervention from the
authorities and support from family and community are critical in helping to
rehabilitate those who become radicalised.
added of the three latest arrests: “I condemn their acts. They are a sobering
reminder of the serious threats of radicalisation.
LUMPUR - Former High Court judge Abd Rahim Uda will lead a six-man task force
to probe the findings by Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), which
concluded that police’s intelligence department was directly involved in the
alleged enforced disappearances of a Christian pastor and a Muslim man
suspected of spreading Shi'ite beliefs in the country.
of the task force were introduced on Wednesday (June 26) by Home Minister
Muhyiddin Yassin, The Star online news reported.
at the ministry view the report in a serious manner as it throws serious
allegations against the police to the extent that it has created a negative
perception of the force who are entrusted to keep the peace," Tan Sri
Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by Malay Mail online news on Wednesday (June
task force will investigate whether the police Special Branch was indeed
involved but of course, beyond that, we would also like to find the real truth
on the whole thing,” he told a news conference.
of the missing men is Pastor Raymond Koh, the founder of Harapan Komuniti
non-governmental organisation (NGO) and who has been accused of trying to
was believed to have been abducted by a group of men in Petaling Jaya on Feb
13, 2017, while on his way to a friend's house.
other missing man is Mr Amri Che Mat, co-founder of Perlis Hope NGO.
Muslim social activist went missing on Nov 24, 2016, after leaving his home in
Kangar, Perlis at about 11.30pm.
issue involving their disappearances is sensitive in Malaysia amid claims they
were abducted by the authorities. The incidents also raised concerns about
rising religious intolerance in Malaysia.
authorities in the country, which has a Sunni Muslim majority, bans the
conversion of Malaysian Muslims to Christians or Shi'ism.
previous Barisan Nasional government had stonewalled queries by family members
on the whereabouts of Mr Koh and Mr Amri, or whether the government had a hand
in their disappearances.
Pakatan Harapan government's special task force was formed by the Cabinet last
followed a verdict by Suhakam in April, after a year-long public inquiry, that
the Special Branch police was likely behind their disappearances.
enforced disappearance means the arrest, detention or abduction of a person by
agents of the state, after which the person's fate or whereabouts are
commission also found that both men were abducted victims due to their
Muhyiddin added that the task force will be given six months to complete its
probe and submit a report, which then will be presented to the Cabinet for
expect to get a report on their findings in six months, and leave it to them to
determine who is to be called in the process of their investigation," the
other members of the task force are police’s former director of legal
department Mokhtar Mohd Noor; police’s Integrity and Standards Compliance
Department director Zamri Yahya; Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission
director Muhammad Bukhari Ab Hamid; legal officer at the public prosecution
division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers Mohd Sophian Zakaria; and secretary
at the Police Force Commission for the Home Affairs Ministry Mohd Russaini
the Suhakam findings were released, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said then police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun would be
allowed to retire first before his successor is appointed to look into the
the families of Mr Koh and Mr Amri have raised questions over the appointments
of the six men in the taskforce.
Koh family said in a statement that there were no women in the task force and
that it does not reflect the multiracial composition of Malaysia, The Star
family said previous suggestions on the group's composition were not taken into
account, such as including a member of the Bar Council, the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission and a representative from a non-governmental
wife, Norhayati Mohd Ariffin, also expressed her concern, with the task force
comprising several senior policemen.
noted that this will impact the independence and impartiality necessary for a
Malaysia - Malaysia's government has set up a special taskforce to
reinvestigate the kidnappings of two activists - Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh -
after the country's human rights commission blamed the police's intelligence
branch for the abductions.
Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told reporters on Wednesday that the
government established the taskforce because of the seriousness of the
allegations raised by the commission, known as Suhakam.
this special taskforce, it is hoped that justice can be provided to all
affected parties," the home ministry said in a statement.
a Christian pastor and activist, was kidnapped by masked men as he drove along
a suburban Kuala Lumpur street on the morning of February 13, 2017.
62-year-old's abduction, captured on CCTV cameras, shocked the country. The
outcry brought attention to the disappearance of Amri Che Mat, a Shia Muslim,
who was kidnapped in the northern state of Perlis in November 2016. Mat, like
Koh, worked with the poor and underprivileged.
a public inquiry that took more than a year, Suhakam in April said the two men
were "abducted by state agents, namely the Special Branch".
men were taken from their cars by a group of people in several vehicles and were
targeted by the religious authorities and police over allegations of
proselytizing before their disappearances, the commission said.
is Malaysia's official religion, and while other faiths can be practised in
"peace and harmony", attempting to convert someone from Islam is a
criminal offence. The government only recognises Sunni Islam, with religious
authorities labelling Shia teachings as "deviant".
police have denied involvement in Koh and Amri's abductions, but Suhakam said
the two men were victims of enforced disappearances and called for a special
taskforce to reinvestigate their cases.
recommended the panel include independent investigators and exclude anyone
connected to the E2 Division of the police's Special Branch, the religious
authorities or to the police's initial investigation in to the abductions.
said on Wednesday the six-member panel to reinvestigate the cases will be led
by former High Court Judge Abdul Rahim Uda. It will also include Mokhtar Mohd
Noor, a former director of the police's legal department, and Zamri Yahya, the
director of the police's Integrity and Standards Compliance Department.
minister did not share the panel's terms of reference or a proposed start date,
but said the taskforce will be required to present its final report to the
cabinet within six months from the time it starts its work.
Rahim, chairman of the taskforce, told reporters the panel would do its work
the families of Koh and Amri expressed concern over the composition of the
panel, noting Mokhtar had presented the final arguments on behalf of the police
during Suhakam's inquiry.
Mohd Ariffin, Amri's wife, said in a statement that while she and her daughters
were glad the government was now "taking steps" to address the
Suhakam inquiry's findings, they were concerned the panel's composition would
affect "the independence and impartiality necessary for a credible
Liew, Koh's wife, and her three children, also pointed out the lack of women,
ethnic minorities and members of civil society on the panel, despite Suhakam's
recommendation the panel reflect Malaysia's multi-ethnic society.
a police officer who participated in the Suhakam hearing can be appointed into
the taskforce then a lawyer from each of the families should also be appointed
in order to ensure a balanced and fair approach to the investigation and the
report to be submitted," the family said in a statement.
find this totally unacceptable and believe that in any part of the democratic
civilised world, this would not happen."
family also rejected Muhyiddin's decision to investigate Amri's case and delay
the pastor's case. He blamed the move on the ongoing prosecution of a driver
accused of trying to extort money from Koh's son in the wake of the kidnapping.
Police have previously said that case was not linked to Koh's abduction.
family said the disappearances of both Koh and Amri should be investigated
together given the similarities established by Suhakam.
abduction, captured on CCTV cameras, showed his vehicle being forced to the
side of the road by a number of pick-up trucks and cars. A group of men in
black balaclavas then took him away as others kept traffic at bay. In Amri's
case, an eye witness said he saw three vehicles boxing in the activists' car on
the night of his disappearance.
others raised concern over the inclusion of an official from the police's
integrity department on the investigative panel, noting the watchdog body had
failed to act on Suhakam's findings or the families' complaints over police
three months since the Suhakam report came out," said Rama Ramanathan, a
human rights activist who is part of the Citizen Action Group on Enforced
before that the police knew what the families were submitting and knew what the
likely outcome would be, but this integrity office took no action. [It] has no
integrity and in my opinion is a totally ineffective department."
interrogations in the immediate aftermath of Koh's disappearance focussed on
allegations that he was trying to convert young Muslims to Christianity, Liew
and her children told the inquiry.
Norhayati found herself being asked repeatedly about whether her husband was
attempting to spread Shia teachings.
a result of the "serious anguish and suffering" caused by the police
investigation, Norhayati submitted a compensation claim to the government at
the end of last month, she said.
Noble Peace Prize Committee has been asked to consider awarding the coveted
award to Indonesia’s two main moderate Islamic groups.
recommendation came at a recent cultural event in the Norwegian capital
organized by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Indonesian
embassy to introduce the two Islamic organizations — Nahdatul Ulama (NU) and
Muhammadiyah — to the Norwegian people.
groups, which boast millions of members, were praised for their efforts in
upholding religious tolerance and combating extremism.
representing various religious organizations at the Oslo event suggested to
members of the Nobel committee that they award the Peace Prize to the Islamic
groups for their contribution in making Indonesia a home for people of all
call has received backing among religious leaders in Indonesia.
to Jesuit Father Frans Magnis Suseno, a prominent figure in interreligious
dialogue who attended the event, both groups have played key roles in
preventing radical movements, such as Wahhabi and Hizb ut-Tahrir from the
Middle East, from gaining a foothold in Indonesia.
of their existence, Muslims as a majority [in Indonesia] have never been a
threat to us minority groups," Indonesian newsportal Medcom.id quoted
Father Suseno as saying.
presence provides a sense of security and an assurance that the values of
pluralism and tolerance will be maintained and grow in Indonesia," the
Gomar Gultom, general secretary of the Union of Churches in Indonesia said both
organizations present a peaceful, accommodating, tolerant and moderate form of
portray an Islam that respects human rights values and democracy," he told
Udayana Sangging from the Association of Indonesian Hindu Dharma said both
organizations deserve global recognition.
commitment [to pluralism] is not doubted," he told ucanews.com, adding
that both have protected Indonesia from threats posed by radical groups.
priest and social activist Father Antonius Benny Susetyo said the two
organizations are good examples in how to demonstrate the inclusive nature of a
religion, embracing and bringing peace to humankind.
are not only a good example for Indonesia, but also an inspiration for the
whole world,” said Father Susetyo.
in 1926, Nahdatul Ulama claims to be the largest Islamic organization in the
world with 90 million members, while Muhammadiyah, established in 1912 has 50
right-wing extremist organizations Wednesday were added by Canada to its list
of terrorist groups.
and Honour was characterized by the government as “an international neo-Nazi
network whose ideology is derived from the National Socialist doctrine of Nazi
18 is part of Blood and Honour, its killing unit, as described on the Public
Safety Canada website, that “has carried out violent actions, including murders
announcement marks the first time that right-wing extremist groups have been
added to the Canadian terrorist list.
hoping this is just the beginning and that there will be more, but it is a
really good first start for Canada,” said Bernie Farber, head of the Canadian
Anti-Hate Network. He called the two groups “extremely violent neo-Nazi
were added as well to the list, including three Shia militant organizations
that receive support from Iran.
Brigades aims to overthrow Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy, while Harakat al-Sabireen
has been active in the Gaza Strip for five years, the Canadian government said.
other organization, Fatemiyoun Division, is fighting in Syria and is “comprised
mainly of Afghan recruits from Iran and Afghanistan.”
Canadian Security Intelligence Service issued its annual report on Friday,
characterizing right-wing extremism as “driven by hatred and fear” and its
members are “a complex range of individuals, subcultures and online
individuals and groups cultivate grievances on issues as varied as gender, race
religion, sexual orientation and immigration.”
the addition of the five organizations, the Canadian terrorist list numbers
about 59, including Daesh, Al Shabaab and the PKK.
out of ten Democrats running for US President pledged on Wednesday to return to
the Iran nuclear deal if they defeat Donald Trump.
the first debate of the 2020 election season, the ten candidates who gathered
in Miami offered a rebuke and reversal of Mr Trump’s policies on immigration,
health care, climate change and the economy. On the question of the recent
escalating tensions with Iran, the majority of those on stage agreed that they
would return to the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA).
Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Bill de Blasio, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard,
Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Jay Inslee, and John Delaney all raised their hands
when asked if they would return to the deal that Mr Trump withdrew from in May
the deal, agreed in 2015 between the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany,
Iran was to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international
inspections in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
deal has been put in jeopardy by the US withdrawal, and the imposition of
further sanctions this week has led Iran to threaten to breach its uranium
Cory Booker was the only nominee on stage to refrain from making such a pledge.
He said he would instead take the opportunity to “elevate a better deal”.
Klobuchar called the deal, signed by former President Barack Obama, “imperfect
but a good deal for that period”. She said she would improve the sunset clause
– a provision that means a law will terminate after a fixed period — through
negotiation, but criticised Mr Trump for his inability to bring forth a better
can’t conduct our foreign policy in a bathrobe at 5am in the morning,” she
said, in a dig at Mr Trump, arguing that US failures have given unlimited
leverage to China and Russia.
Gabbard accused Mr Trump and his “chicken hawk cabinet” of taking the US “to
the brink of war with Iran”.
served in the Iraq war, which took over 4,000 of my brothers’ and sisters’
lives … a war with Iran would be far more devastating and costly than the Iraq
war,” she said.
Gabbard went on to give her support for US plans to withdraw from Afghanistan,
saying the Taliban “didn’t attack us on 9/11 – Al Qaeda did”. But Congressman
Ryan disagreed, saying the US should keep its presence to counter the Taliban,
which offered a safe haven to Al Qaeda in 2001.
asked what the biggest national security threat currently is, the candidates’
answers varied between China, climate change, nuclear proliferation, tension in
the Middle East and Russia.
Mr Booker and Mr O’Rourke gave some answers in Spanish during the debate to
appeal to Latino voters. Mr Booker said in Spanish that the US President “demonised
Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic race, referenced the viral
image of El Salvador migrants Óscar Martínez and his daughter Valeria, who were
found drowned while attempting to cross the US border, saying that it is
Warren, who is surging in the polls, was seen as the most dominant in the first
half of the debate. But her ardent rivals, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie
Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and six others, will face off on a separate debate stage
in Detroit on Thursday.
Trump is on his way to Osaka, Japan, to participate in the G20 meeting. He
attacked the first debate, calling it “boring”, and attacked the TV channels
for a short technical fault.
and NBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical
breakdown in the middle of the debate. Truly unprofessional and only worthy of
a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!” he tweeted.
senators from the 105-seat Canada senate urged action on the ongoing genocide
against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by initiating proceedings before the
International Court of Justice.
a letter to Canadian foreign minister on Tuesday, the senators and civil
society organizations cited a 2018 report from Bob Rae, Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau’s special envoy to Myanmar.
report says "it is a fundamental tenet of Canada’s foreign policy that
those responsible for international crimes, including crimes against humanity
and genocide, must be held responsible for those crimes."
Chrystia Freeland, the senators said they believe Canada, the first country in
the world to call the situation a genocide, is in a position "to exercise
strong and effective global leadership" on the neglected plight of
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, emerging
the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.
September 2018 both the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada unanimously
passed a motion recognizing the Rohingya situation as genocide.
asked the government to reinforce Motion 476, a request from the All-Party
Parliamentary Group, which calls for Canada to initiate legal proceedings
before the International Court of Justice in regard to Myanmar’s breach of the
UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
about the lack of a solid progress or debate despite numerous attempts, they
asked the government to pass the motion before the looming summer recess.
this open letter, we urge the Government of Canada to take the next step of
invoking the Genocide Convention to hold Myanmar accountable, because it is
both our moral and legal obligation to do so," said the letter.
feared former head of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro’s intelligence police
has charged that the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah operates in the Latin
American country with the protection of the government.
Manuel Ricardo Cristopher Figuera, who fled his homeland for Colombia and then
the US after the failed April 30 uprising in the country, has been passing some
of the Maduro regime’s most closely held secrets to American officials.
an interview with the Washington Post published Monday, he spoke of his
disenchantment with the government he had once worked to protect.
never saw the country’s situation and the government’s corruption as closely as
I did during my last six months,” he said, the period when he ran the notorious
SEBIN, or Bolivarian Intelligence Service, the regime’s political security arm.
quickly realized that Maduro is the head of a criminal enterprise, with his own
family involved,” Figuera said.
the abuses: family members linked to the regime using their influence to buy
and sell gold to the state for huge profits; support for terror groups like the
Colombian ELN; and the deep influence that Cuba’s Raoul Castro has over Maduro,
both personally and through Cuban guards and advisers who surround the
Figuera added, he had seen intelligence reports that say the Lebanese terror
group Hezbollah was operating in the capital Caracas, in nearby Maracay, and in
the offshore island region of Nueva Esparta with the blessing of the Maduro
government. The presence is “apparently geared toward illicit business activity
to help fund operations in the Middle East,” the Post reported.
has long been believed by Western intelligence agencies to be playing a
significant role in the South American drug trade in order to help finance its
military buildup in Lebanon and its infrastructure around the world, but
Figuera’s comments, cited only in brief in the Post interview, may be the
highest-level admission about such activities from a former top official of a
regime that supports the group.
report earlier this month by Israeli researchers said Hezbollah personnel act
as middlemen in the global drug route from South America to West Africa and
from there to Europe, helping to move hundreds of tons of cocaine and other
drugs through ports in Belgium and Germany — with only 5-10 percent of it being
intercepted by law enforcement.
in June, the US and Argentina convened a two-day regional summit in Buenos
Aires about the persistent Hezbollah threat in the Western Hemisphere. The
summit held on June 11 and 12 came a month ahead of the 25th anniversary of the
terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital. The
attack was carried out by a Hezbollah suicide bomber and orchestrated by Iran,
the late Argentinian investigator Alberto Nisman established.
enforcement, prosecutors and financial practitioners attended the workshop, a
State Department release said. They came from the two convening countries as
well as Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
workshop focused on Hezbollah’s modus operandi globally and its terrorist and
criminal infrastructure and activities in the Americas,” the release said.
“Participants discussed various techniques to constrain and counter the group’s
illicit activities, including the financial and law enforcement tools available
to identify, investigate, and prosecute Hezbollah’s global support and
summit was timed as part of the events that Argentina’s government is planning
to mark the anniversary of the blast on July 18, 1994, which killed 85 and
injured more than 300.
Mossad intelligence agency played a cat-and-mouse game with the Hezbollah
terror group to stymie its efforts to establish explosives storehouses from
Thailand to New York, an Israeli intelligence official confirmed earlier this
largest cache, containing some three tons of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient
for some types of explosives, was found at four locations in north London,
sites raided by the Metropolitan Police in September 2015. Other caches planted
by Hezbollah cells were discovered in Cyprus, Thailand and as-yet unnamed
European countries, according to reports.
meanwhile, was one of a handful of Venezuelan officials placed under US
sanctions for his role as head of a security service notorious for torture and
the inhumane treatment meted out to political prisoners.
former head of security for Maduro’s mentor, former president Hugo Chavez,
Figuera was thought to be one of the regime’s true believers.
his role in its excesses has led to profound regret, he said.
“Tomb,” the prison for political prisoners under its Caracas headquarters, has
long been accused of inhumane conditions that led to prisoner deaths and
suicides — conditions meant to coerce confessions for political crimes.
if there’s something I regret it’s that I didn’t free all the prisoners.
Because there’s a lot of people there who are kidnapped and who are there
unfairly. And I owe those people, you know?”
(Reuters) - Four men with suspected ties to the Islamic State militant group
were captured on Tuesday by members of the Nicaraguan armed forces after
entering the country illegally from Costa Rica, Nicaraguan police said.
identities of three of the men matched those of suspects featured in an alert
attributed to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) warning that three
possible terrorists had recently arrived in Central America.
a statement, Nicaraguan police said two of the men were Egyptian nationals and
the other two were Iraqi. The four were due to be deported back to Costa Rica,
Egyptians were named as Mohamed Ibrahim, 33, and Mahmoud Samy Eissa, 26, while
the Iraqis were Ahmed Ghanim Mohamed Al Jubury, 41 and Mustafa Ali Mohamed Yaoob,
first three men were named in the HSI alert published by Mexican media on
Monday, which identified them as possible members of Islamic State headed for
the United States.
on the HSI alert on Tuesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said
his government was aware of the search for the suspects and was dealing with
Homeland Security officials could not immediately be reached for comment by
three men who featured in the HSI alert were registered in Costa Rica on June
9, according to the Nicaraguan statement. That date matched the information as
the HSI statement.
fourth suspect, Mohamed Yaoob, was registered in Costa Rica on June 13, the
men entered Nicaragua through an unauthorized crossing point known as La
Guasimada in the Cardenas municipality on the southwestern border with Costa
Rica, Nicaraguan police said.
arresting the men at around 10 a.m., the army handed them over to national
police for investigation, whereupon they were taken to migration authorities
for deportation via the Penas Blancas border crossing, the statement said.
will continue to command a NATO mission in Iraq for a second year until
November 2020, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Wednesday.
Jennie Carignan, who will soon be promoted to the rank of major-general, is to
take over the command this fall of some 580 NATO troops including 250 from
Canada, and others from non-NATO partners such as Australia, Sweden, and
has previously deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Golan Heights, and
non-combat, advisory, and training mission look to bolster Iraq’s military and
security capabilities, including in areas of medical aid, armored vehicle
maintenance, countering improvised explosive devices and civil-military
advisory activities are centered in Baghdad, while training is carried out at
Iraqi military schools in the Baghdad area, Taji and Besmaya.
Donald Trump’s pick for Pentagon chief plunged straight into business as he
made his NATO debut Wednesday, confronting Turkey over its purchase of Russian
air defense missiles.
Esper, nominated as defense secretary last Friday, reiterated Washington’s
warning that buying the Russian S-400 missile system would mean it would be
booted out of the US F-35 jet fighter program.
his first appearance at a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Esper had what a
Pentagon spokesman described as a “frank and transparent” meeting with his
Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.
US and NATO are alarmed that Turkey may acquire the missiles, which are
designed to shoot down planes like the F-35, America’s new generation
multi-role stealth fighter that Turkey also wants to buy.
Turkey has so far rebuffed all efforts to persuade it to drop the deal, and
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on Tuesday that delivery would take
place in July.
two leaders had a frank and transparent discussion where Secretary Esper
reiterated that Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air and missile defense
system is incompatible with the F-35 program and that Turkey will not be
permitted to have both systems,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.
has said he will use his good relations with Trump to defuse tensions when they
meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan later this week.
the US has set a July 31 deadline for Ankara to drop the purchase or face
sanctions and expulsion from the F-35 program.
would mean an end to Turkey’s current plans to buy 100 F-35s and the loss of
lucrative contracts to build parts of the jet.
United Arab Emirates says there is no "clear, scientific and
convincing" evidence to assign blame for the recent tanker attacks off its
coast in the Sea of Oman, splitting with the United States and Saudi Arabia,
which hold Iran responsible for the suspicious acts.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said Wednesday that his
country was not able to pin the attacks on any country because an investigation
had failed to find enough proof.
we can’t point the blame at any country because we don’t have evidence,” bin
Zayed said during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey
Lavrov, in Moscow.
there is a country that has the evidence, then I’m convinced that the
international community will listen to it. But we need to make sure the
evidence is clear and precise and scientific and convincing for the
international community,” he added.
month, four tankers were subjected to what Abu Dhabi called "acts of
sabotage" outside the tiny Persian Gulf sheikhdom's territorial waters
near the Strait of Hormuz.
joint investigation by the three countries concluded that a “state actor” was
most likely behind the incident in May but stopped short of singling out any
pair of tankers -- one of them Japanese -- were attacked in the Sea of Oman
earlier this month.
Zayed's statements indicate the UAE's break from the official standpoint of the
US and Saudi Arabia, both publicly blaming Iran for the two instances of tanker
attacks without providing any evidence.
claims by Riyadh and Washington come amid heightened tensions in the Persian
Gulf region as a direct result of America's interventionist policies.
have been running high between the two countries since Trump’s decision in May
last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on
Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to
renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and
regional influence as well.
US has also sent warships, bombers and additional troops to the region in the
wake of the suspicious tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman, which it has
similarly blamed on Iran without providing evidence.
however, has remained steadfast on its position. The Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps shot down a US spy drone last week, prompting Trump to consider and
quickly back out of retaliatory strikes.
said that Moscow would try to persuade the US and Iran to start dialogue. Iran
has made it clear that it would not negotiate with the US under pressure.
wants tensions to be dialed down'
Emirati foreign minister said that he discussed the US-Iran tensions with
Lavrov to see how the maritime routes can be kept open in the wake of such
international cooperation to protect ships in waterways was discussed,” the UAE
asserted that the UAE did not want “more turbulence and ... more worries” in
are in a region that is tense and important for the world and we don’t want
more tension,” said Sheikh Abdullah.
Emirati top diplomat said his country was still working with the US and other
regional countries to build what he said was going to be a global coalition to
protect oil shipping lanes in the region.
remarks came a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set off on a tour of
the Middle East, which included a stop in Abu Dhabi, to form a "global
coalition" against Iran.
senior State Department official said Monday that the US Navy was building a
“proactive deterrence” program that would be funded by a coalition of nations
that want to protect their oil tankers in the region.
Donald Trump ruled out Wednesday the deployment of U.S. ground troops in any
prospective war with Iran, vowing that any conflict with the rival would not
take long to finish.
not talking about boots on the ground," Trump told Fox Business. "I'm
just saying if something would happen, it wouldn't last very long."
comments come a day after Trump issued a stark warning to Iran, saying any
attack on a U.S. target would be met with an "overwhelming" response
that includes the "obliteration" of at least some sites the U.S.
would target in response.
last week cancelled air strikes that were to be carried out following Iran's
downing of a U.S. reconnaissance drone over concerns the strikes, which the
president said would have killed 150 Iranians, would have been
maintains the drone violated its airspace when it was targeted by a
surface-to-air missile, a claim denied by Washington which says it was over
international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington
unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure
on Iran in order to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian
activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing."
part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian
crude oil, which have nosedived the Iranian economy.
on six oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz have further escalated tensions. The
U.S. has sought to place blame for the mysterious attacks on Iran, a charge
Iranian officials staunchly deny.
war between the US and Iran would "not last very long," US President
Donald Trump said on Wednesday.
Iraqi President Barham Salih urged both sides in the confrontation to
"cool it down", saying his country did not want to be in the middle
of another war in the Middle East.
US is in a strong position if there were a military escalation, Mr Trump told
Fox Business Network, saying he was not "talking boots on the
week he ordered then cancelled air strikes against Iran in retaliation for
shooting down a US drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump said he decided it was not a proportional response after hearing 150
Iranians could be killed.
Salih warned of a "storm sweeping across the Middle East" on
Wednesday, saying his country was in the middle of it.
certainly don’t want to be embroiled in another war, another conflict on our
territory,” he told an audience at Chatham House.
haven’t finished the last war. The war against terror has yet to be
position on the border of Iran is a weak spot for the US, because of the number
of American oil companies operating there and its significant military ties.
Wednesday, Iran warned it was one day away from breaching its commitments to
the 2015 nuclear deal, which limits the quality and quantity of enriched
uranium it can hold.
deadline of the Atomic Energy Organisation for passing the production of
enriched uranium from the 300 kilogram border will end tomorrow,"
spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said.
the end of this deadline, the speed of enrichment will speed up."
secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said on Tuesday that
Tehran would on July 7 take new steps to reduce its commitments under its
nuclear deal with world powers.
the UN Security Council, Iran was warned not to ignore its commitments in the
report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres presented to the Security
Council on Wednesday said Tehran was continuing to meet its obligations, but he
wanted all parties to refrain from action that could lead to miscalculation.
events in the Gulf are a reminder that we are at a critical juncture,” said
Rosemary DiCarlo, UN undersecretary general.
stated by the Secretary General in his briefing to the council on June 13, 'If
there is one thing the world cannot afford, it is a major confrontation in the
Gulf region',” Ms DiCarlo said.
Joao Vale de Almeida, head of the EU delegation to the UN, said the accord was
“the only tool available” to allow the international community to put limits on
Iran's nuclear programme.
is why we continue to support it and are determined to implement it,” Mr de
Almeida said. “There is no credible alternative.”
statement by the six European countries on the council said that it regretted
the latest American sanctions and the recent decision not to renew waivers that
allowed some countries to buy oil and other goods from Iran.
the statement also expressed alarm at Iran's regional activity and urged
France and Germany's ambassadors all said they regretted the US exit from the
nuclear deal but that they could only keep the agreement alive if Iran
continued to abide by it.
long as Iran remains in full compliance the UK will do everything it can to
support the deal,” said Britain's ambassador, Karen Pierce.
Ms Pierce said she was "almost certain" that Iran's Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps was behind recent attacks in the Gulf.
permanent representative to the UN, Francois Delattre, said the situation in
the Gulf called for “pragmatism and cool-headedness”.
Trump administration officials have been sent to Geneva, Jerusalem and Brussels
to promote the US stance on Iran.
US defence secretary Mark Esper flew to Brussels on Tuesday, his second day in
the job, to persuade Nato allies to work with Washington on Iran sanctions and
security in the Middle East.
British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said he could not envisage any situation
where the UK would join a US-led war with Iran.
on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the “road to diplomacy” with
the US was now permanently closed after sanctions imposed on Tehran’s leaders
by the US on Monday.
Kareem Fahim and
— Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that it had captured a man it identified as the
leader of the Islamic State’s Yemen branch during a raid this month on a house
in southern Yemen, according to the official Saudi press agency.
Special Operations forces also took part in the raid, according to American
officials who did not disclose the exact nature of U.S. participation.
Islamic State branch rose to prominence about four years ago, at the beginning
of Yemen’s civil war, and is considered one of the militant group’s smaller and
less prominent franchises, with a few hundred fighters, according to a recent
special forces working with Yemeni counterparts captured the leader —
identified by his nom de guerre, Abu Osama al-Muhajir — during a raid on the
morning of June 3 in the eastern province of al-Mahra, according to a fact
sheet on Muhajir that the Saudi government sent to journalists.
U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive
aspects of the operation said that Muhajir was captured in al-Ghaydah, the
provincial capital, and that U.S. forces had supported the Saudi troops in an
“advise and assist” role during an operation led by Saudi Arabia. The United
States also provided intelligence for the operation, the official said.
Saudi statement made no mention of a U.S. role in the capture.
troops are not known to have taken part in many U.S.-partnered anti-terrorism
missions. In Yemen, the United States has mainly partnered in counterterrorism
missions with troops from the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is also a member of
a Saudi-led military coalition that has been fighting in Yemen since 2015.
presence of an Islamic State affiliate in Yemen, far from the group’s onetime
strongholds in Iraq and Syria, has highlighted the far-reaching consequences of
Yemen’s years-long civil war. Tens of thousands of people have been killed
during the conflict, which has split the country into sometimes feuding
statelets and at times left swaths of Yemen effectively ungoverned, allowing
militant groups to thrive.
Islamic State’s Yemen branch claimed high-profile attacks on civilians early in
the war, but more recently it has been focused on battles against the rival
al-Qaeda militant group in Yemen in the central province of al-Bayda, analysts
said. The United States has carried out airstrikes against both groups.
the Islamic State leader reported captured in the raid, was born in 1988 and
defected to the Islamic State from al-Qaeda in 2015, according to the Saudi
fact sheet. A U.N. Security Council report in July 2018 said his real name was
Muhammed Qanan al-Sayari. The report said the Islamic State affiliate had 250
to 500 members in Yemen and had focused its attacks on Yemeni and UAE targets.
Security Council report in December said that Sayari was believed to have been
killed and that the group had a “dwindling number of fighters in the whole of
Arabia said that the house where he was captured was raided after “close surveillance
proved the presence of the terror group’s leader, and other elements, along
with three women and three children.” The women and children were not harmed,
and there was no “collateral damage to civilians,” the statement said. The
assertion could not be independently confirmed.
leaders of the group, including the chief financial officer, were also
captured, the Saudi government said.
Official Calls for Stronger US Role in Syria After IS
- The United States should continue stabilizing areas recently liberated from
the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Syria and use its leverage to push for a
political settlement in the war-torn country, a Syrian Kurdish official said.
Mohamad, a political representative for the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led military alliance, said now that the U.S. has
helped defeat IS militarily, its Syria policy needs to reflect the new dynamics
on the ground.
U.S. “now should focus on mitigating tensions in the region and preventing new
conflicts,” Mohamad told VOA.
the democratic project in northeastern Syria will be a turning point in the
future of the country, which will help change the [Syrian] regime and establish
a democratic system that is inclusive to all Syrians,” she said.
2014, the U.S has led an international coalition against IS. In March, the SDF
declared victory over IS in its last stronghold in eastern Syria.
U.S. has about 2,000 troops in the country. But U.S. President Donald Trump has
decided to withdraw these forces from Syria, while keeping only 400 troops.
are “voices in the Trump administration and in the U.S. Congress that are
calling against this withdrawal and warned from its consequences in enabling
the Russian and Iranian influence,” Kurdish official Mohamad said.
and Iran, two staunch supporters of the Syrian regime of President Bashar
al-Assad, have a strong military presence in Syria since the beginning of the
civil war in 2011.
month, nearly 400 U.S. lawmakers, Republican and Democratic, sent a letter to
President Trump urging him to remain engaged in the Syrian conflict.
letter emphasized on protecting Israel’s security, putting more pressure on
Russia, Iran and Iranian proxies, and preventing terrorist groups from
re-emerging in ungoverned territory in Syria.
conflict in Syria is complicated, and the potential solutions are not perfect,
but our only choice is to advance policies that can stop the growing threats to
U.S. interests, Israel, and regional security and stability,” the letter said.
strategy requires American leadership,” it added.
Syrian regime opposes the American involvement in Syria, calling the presences
of U.S. forces in parts of the country illegal.
analysts like Bassam Abu Abdullah, a Damascus-based political analyst and
former professor of international relations at Damascus University, charge that
U.S. policy in Syria solely focuses supporting Kurdish autonomy in Syria’s
U.S. should look after its own interests instead of Israel’s. This can be
achieved by withdrawing its troops from Syria and allowing Syrians to decide
their fate for themselves through local elections,” Abu Abdullah told VOA.
added that the battle on the ground will determine the course of the situation
in Syria as Syrian regime troops are pushing to rid rebel groups from their
last stronghold in Idlib province.
Syrian experts believe the U.S. involvement in any peace process in Syria is key
to putting an end to Syria’s civil war that has been raging since 2011.
Ziadeh, a senior fellow at Arab Center in Washington, said that a clear U.S.
vision in Syria is essential to guarantee effective results.
Trump administration has to link the end of extremist groups in Syria with a
political transition without al-Assad regime in Damascus,” Ziadeh told VOA.
the beginning of the conflict, the U.S. has supported different peace
initiatives, including multiple U.N.-sponsored, intra-Syrian talks in Geneva,
that have yet to yield any significant outcomes.
disagreements among regional and international powers involved in the Syrian
conflict have delayed the talks.
al-Abdallah, the director of the Washington-based Syria Justice and
Accountability Center, believes that the U.S. should take the lead to begin a
“breakthrough in the political negotiations” in Syria.
U.S. needs to generate some trust and confidence in the political process that
includes putting pressure to release detainees, stopping the military action in
Idlib, and working toward stopping the expropriation of people’s properties so
people can return to their homes,” al-Abdallah told VOA.
(Reuters) - Four Iraqi federal police officers were killed on Tuesday after a
bomb went off southwest of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, two security sources
blast took place near the village of Habat, which lies about 40 km (25 miles)
southwest of Kirkuk, on the border between Rashad and Daquq districts.
was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Islamic State militants are
active in the area. Iraq declared victory over the group, which once held large
swathes of the country, in December 2017.
Islamic State has since switched to hit-and-run attacks aimed at undermining
the Baghdad government.
fighters have regrouped in the Hemrin mountain range in the northeast, which
extends from Diyala province, on the border with Iran, crossing northern
Salahuddin province and southern Kirkuk.
(AFP) - Seven police officers have been killed in a jihadist attack in restive
North Sinai, Egypt's interior ministry said Wednesday.
attack near the regional capital El-Arish targeted an "assembly
centre" for police, according to the ministry.
assailants died "during clashes" following the attack, one when he
detonated an explosives belt, it said.
Sinai has long been a centre of insurgents and Egyptian authorities last year
launched an offensive against the jihadists.
of militants have been killed along with dozens of soldiers, according to
official figures which cannot be verified as Sinai is largely cut off to
is currently on high alert as it hosts the Africa Cup of Nations, although none
of the games are taking place in Sinai.
month before the tournament kicked off, a tourist bus was hit by a roadside
bomb near the famed pyramids of Giza.
similar attack in December killed three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an
Egyptian tour guide.
Arabia’s air defences intercepted another drone launched by the Houthis towards
a residential area in Khamis Mushait on Tuesday night, the Saudi Press Agency
spokesperson of the Saudi-led coalition Colonel Turki Al Maliki said that the
Houthis were “trying to target civilian facilities and civilian objects in
desperate and repeated attempts.”
latest strike comes after an attack by the Houthis on the Abha airport earlier
this week killed one person and wounded 21 others.
terrorist attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia targeted Abha airport,
killing a Syrian resident and wounding 21 civilians,” the coalition said in a
this month, another Houthi missile strike on Abha airport wounded 26 people.
Houthi missile attack on Saudi airport wounds 26
Arabia has been targeted by hundreds of missile attacks since entering the
Yemen civil war in 2015 to support ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi
against the Houthis.
Arabia’s southern Abha Airport successfully rebooted both domestic and
international flights only hours after being hit by a terror attack staged by
Iran-backed Houthi militias based in neighboring Yemen.
the drone assault, a Syrian national was killed and as many as 21 victims that
included women and children from five different nationalities were injured.
terrorist attack resulted in martyring a Syrian national and injuring seven
civilians,” Arab Coalition Spokesman Colonel Turki Al Maliki said in the
post-attack press release.
also revealed that the 21 injured included four Indian nationals, two
Egyptians, 13 Saudis, and two Bangladeshis.
lambasted the Houthis incessant violation of international and humanitarian law
and conventions when systematically targeting civilians and committing war
militias, for their part, claimed responsibility for the Abha airport attack in
a news brief circulated by the group’s affiliated media outlets. In the claim,
Houthis said the assault was staged by Ababil-T drones, an Iranian multirole
weaponry used by Houthis, who continue to scale up terror operations against
civilians, stands as evidence that the cleric-led Tehran regime is complicit in
the coupists' human rights violations and breaches of international agreements
and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, namely 2216 and 2231.
in his statement, confirmed that Saudi-led Arab Coalition forces will continue
to ward off and respond to Houthi aggressions and terrorism. He also reiterated
resolve to hold Houthi perpetrators directly involved in terror attacks
of the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Djibouti, Pakistan, US, France, and the UK
has condemned the Houthi attack on Abha Airport, with former British PM Theresa
May calling it a “reckless” attack.
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid strongly condemned what he called the
“cowardly attack” that targeted Abha International Airport.
Yemeni government, for its part, condemned continued Houthi terrorism and
deliberate targeting of civilians and public installations as a flagrant
violation of all international norms and laws, particularly international
Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that the Kurdish Afrin Liberation
forces pounded two areas under the control of the Turkish Army in the town of
Jalbareh in Shirawa region in Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo, killing one Turkish
soldier and injuring three others as well as destroying their military
at least five Turkey-backed terrorists were killed and wounded in three
separate military operations by the Kurdish fighters against the Turkish Army
and its allied militants in the towns of Afrin and Al-Bab in Northern Aleppo.
a relevant development on Monday, media reports said that the "Ankara
government is planning to build new military base in the Afrin region" in
Northwestern Aleppo as the Turkish Army and its allied militants continue their
measures to separate Afrin from the Aleppo province.
terrorist group known as 'Olive Branch' affiliated to Ankara have cut over
1,000 trees in the town of Basfoun in Afrin region, the Xeber24 news website
quoted local sources as saying.
sources underlined that the trees have been destroyed with the aim to set up a
new military base by Turkey in a vast area in the Basfoun town.
the Hawar News pointed to Ankara's attempt to drive a wedge between Afrin and
mainland Syria by constructing a wall around the region. The length of the wall
in the towns of Marimin, Jalbareh and Kimar has exceeded 4 kilometers.
a relevant development earlier in June, thousands of family members of Tahrir
al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front)
terrorists had been sheltered in areas occupied by the Turkish army in Aleppo
to replace the local population.
Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted a special source as saying at the time that
Ankara had transferred nearly 190,000 family members of Tahrir al-Sham
terrorists from Idlib city to regions stretching from Afrin and E'zaz to the
towns of al-Bab, Jarabulus and al-Ra'ei in Northern Aleppo.
added that Ankara was attempting to expel the local population in Afrin in
Northwestern Aleppo and seize their lands and properties, noting that the
Turkish army has so far sheltered over 64,000 family members of the terrorists
in this region's towns and villages.
the collation puts an end to its attacks, the Yemeni Army will stop its
operations,” al-Houthi said, adding that the recent attacks of the Yemeni Army
on Saudi targets are in response to 5 years of Riyadh’s continued attacks on
the impoverished country.
underlined that the drone and missile attacks by the Yemeni Army are not
intended to further escalate tensions, adding that the attacks are the natural
response to the Saudi-led aggressions and bombardments in the past 5 years.
real enemy is the one who keeps conducting operations even using
internationally-prohibited weapons and we are just confronting their continuous
attacks against our country,” he highlighted, adding, “We keep resisting with
whatever we have, and we, along with the defense ministry, respond to the
Saudi-led attacks with appropriate operations at the right time.”
the Yemeni Army stopped its drone and missile attacks to support ceasefire efforts,
but the Saudi-led coalition inferred that they have achieved a victory and
[our] missiles and drone are run out, he said.
Yemeni resistance figure went on recounting that when Yemeni defense officials
found out that the Saudi-led coalition is keeping committing crimes with its
aggressions, and reached the conclusions that honoring ceasefire is useless,
they decided to restart operations to respond to attacks with available means.
coalition of aggressors is the side which is actively following the policy to
lead the peace initiative into failure, and it has never contributed to this
cause. For the sake of peace, we proposed a plan to halt drone and missile
operations, our military operations in the sea, our military operations along
the terrestrial borders all across the map of the Republic of Yemen, but they
never took a step, and they just talk,” he underlined, speaking to Lebanese
journalist Najlaa Aboumerhi who hosted the program.
totally rejected that Yemen received any help from Iran, adding that his
country is ready to stop its military operations if the coalition stops its
attacks against Yemenis, adding, “This is the best piece of evidence to attest
that we are not in touch with Tehran. Because we are not undertaking measures
for the helps, which the Saudi led coalition claims, we are receiving from
Tehran, but for the reason that our nation is targeted by the coalition and its
is not an arm for Iran, and if it was as they claim that Iran was an arm for
Yemen, we would have never said that we were ready to stop attacks if the
coalition stopped its attacks,” the Yemeni resistance figure underscored.
Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive
president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so
far killed more than 20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah
fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian
is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in
need and is seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing
economy and diminished social services and livelihoods. The blockade on Yemen
has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the
UN has repeatedly criticized the Saudi-UAE-led military coalition's bombing
campaign and placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators last year.
source pointed to the possibility of ISIL's increasing movements in Badiyeh
region after the alleged operations by the US and its allied militants in
Eastern Deir Ezzur, and said that the dispatch of military convoy by the ISIL
has taken place to confront any possible attacks by the ISIL.
Syrian Army troops also engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists in
the surrounding areas of al-Koum in Badiyeh al-Sukhneh in Eastern Homs, killing
a number of them," he added.
the Syrian Army's artillery units and air forces also heavily pounded the
ISIL's movements in Palmyra and al-Sukhneh Badiyeh and in the surrounding areas
of T3 Station and al-Moayzeleh Dam up to borders with Deir Ezzur, destroying
several terrorists' targets and killing a number of them.
a relevant development earlier in June, the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen Television
news network reported that the ISIL backed by the US troops stationed in
al-Tanf region had heightened its movements against the Syrian Army in Eastern
Badiyeh of Homs province.
meantime, pointed to the massive spread of terrorists in the surrounding areas
of Jabal al-Bashri in Southeastern Raqqa and al-Dafineh in Southern Deir Ezzur
and between Palmyra desert and Al-Sukhneh and the surrounding areas of al-Tanf
in Eastern Homs, and said that the ISIL's movements have taken place in line
with US' objectives to exert pressure on the Syrian Army and its allies in
it is believed that about 2,000 terrorists are stationed in Eastern Badiyeh of
a relevant development in late May, the Arabic-language media outlets said that
was supporting the terrorist groups' on the Syrian Army positions in Homs as
the Syrian Army is conducting military operations to cleanse the ISIL's
remnants from the Eastern Badiyeh in the province,.
Syrian Army backed by Russian air force has reinforced its military points on
the hills overlooking al-Aqirbat and al-Balas regions as well as their
surrounding areas in Eastern Homs, the Arabic-language website of the Russian
Sputnik News Agency quoted a Syrian Army battlefield commander in Eastern Homs
source pointed to the Syrian Army's military operations to clean up the
remaining ISIL terrorists in the Northeastern part of al-Aqirbat in Eastern
Homs, and said the Syrian Army troops are preparing for new battle against the
ISIL on the road leading to Deir Ezzur.
another military source pointed to the ISIL's continued attacks on army
positions in Eastern al-Sukhneh, and said that the US is supporting the ISIL
terrorists with logistical aid and attacks on Army positions in T3 Station and
roads along which army units' move.
sources in Deir Ezzur reported that the residents of the city of al-Basireh in
Deir Ezzur held a public strike against the SDF's mistreatment of the people in
sources noted that the popular uprisings in Deir Ezzur heightened after the SDF
conducted an armed robbery by using military vehicles.
SDF sent a military convoy comprising 20 military vehicles and so-called
anti-riot forces to crush the people in al-Basireh city.
and Deir Ezzur provinces have been the scenes of large-scale protests over
recent years concurrent with intensified tensions in SDF-controlled areas.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the US Army forwarded hundreds of trucks
containing military equipment to Hasaka despite Washington's declaration of end
of the ISIL in Eastern Euphrates region.
London-based pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported
that hundreds of trucks loaded with logistics and military support have arrived
in areas under control of the SDF Hasaka province in Northeastern Syria from
the US bases in Northern Iraq.
rescuers were among eight civilians killed in Russian and regime airstrikes
Wednesday on violence-plagued northwest Syria, a war monitor said, in the
latest attack against relief workers in the region.
two civil defense workers, known as the White Helmets, were killed after
Russian air strikes hit their ambulance in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib
province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
rescue group said a “double-tap attack” by Russian warplanes had “targeted”
rescue workers repeatedly as they were evacuating injured civilians from the
town. Five other volunteers were also wounded, the group said.
latest attack came nearly one week after regime air strikes on an ambulance in
the town of Maaret al-Numan killed three rescue workers. “The world continues
to fail to protect us and other humanitarian workers,” the group said in a
statement on social media.
other civilians were killed Wednesday in a series of regime air strikes on
several parts of the Idlib region, which is home to around three million
people, the Britain-based war monitor said.
more civilian succumbed to wounds sustained days ago during regime air strikes
on Khan Sheikhoun, it said. In the north of nearby Hama province, militant
rocket fire killed one girl on Wednesday, state news agency SANA said.
and parts of neighboring Hama, Aleppo and Latakia provinces were supposed to be
protected by a buffer zone under a September agreement between Russia and
the region has come under increased bombardment by the regime and its Russian
ally since former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham seized most of the
province at the start of the year.
spiked in April, leaving more than 470 civilians dead, according to the
Gulf state of Oman said on Wednesday that it has decided to open an embassy in
the Palestinian territories in support of the Palestinian people.
continuation of Oman’s support for the Palestinian people, the Sultanate of
Oman has decided to open a diplomatic mission at the level of embassy in the
State of Palestine,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.
statement added that a delegation will be heading to the city of Ramallah in
the West Bank to initiate the opening of the embassy.
takes the lid off its longtime secret dealings with Israel, with its foreign
minister openly saying that the Manama regime wants “peace” and “better” relations
with the occupying entity.
Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah of Bahrain made the remarks on Wednesday
in an unprecedented interview with The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the
Washington-sponsored Manama workshop on US President Donald Trump's
highly-controversial Middle East deal.
top Bahraini diplomat recognized Israel’s “right to exietnce,” saying the
regime is “there to stay, of course.”
did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative?...We offered it to
Israel,” he said. “We want better relations with it, and we want peace with
Arab initiative, which has been adopted by the Arab League, calls for the
normalization of ties between Tel Aviv and Arab states in exchange for Israel’s
withdrawal from lands it occupied in the 1967 war, including the West Bank,
East Jerusalem al-Quds and Syria’s Golan Heights.
also claimed that while Bahrain might be the only Arab country — besides Egypt
and Jordan — to acknowledge Israel’s existence, “we know our brothers in the
region do believe in it” as well.
has full diplomatic ties with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, but
latest reports suggest Tel Aviv has been working behind the scenes to establish
formal contacts with other Arab countries such as Bahrain.
Bahraini foreign minister further encouraged Israel to approach Arab leaders
about the issues of concern regarding the “peace” proposal.
and talk to us. Talk to us about it. Say, guys, you have a good initiative, but
we have one thing that worries us,” he said.
also noted that Bahrain views the US-led workshop, which focused on the
economic section of Trump’s proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as a
possible “gamechanger” like the 1978 Israel-Egypt Camp David Accords.
much as Camp David 1 was a major gamechanger, after the visit of [fromer
Egyptian] President Anwar Sadat [to Jerusalem al-Quds]— if this succeeds, and
we build on it, and it attracts attention and momentum, this would be the
second gamechanger,” he said.
stressed that although he has not yet seen the political part of Trump’s plan,
called the “deal of the century,” but he was optimistic about it.
have to wait. I cannot talk about something that I don’t know. But we hope that
this political plan will also be attractive to everybody,” he said.
the Palestinian people have already rejected the deal and boycotted the related
Bahrain event. The participants in the two-day meeting had ignored a
Palestinian call to likewise boycott the workshop.
at the opening of the Bahrain workshop on Tuesday, Jared Kushner, Trump’s
son-in-law and senior adviser, argued that agreeing to an economic pathway
forward was “a necessary precondition” for resolving the conflict.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri has stressed his country’s rejection of US President
Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli regime
and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century,” stating all Lebanese
government institutions and people from all walks of life are opposed to the
government, parliament and all of Lebanon are against the deal of the century,”
Hariri said during a legislative session in the capital Beirut on Wednesday.
remarks came a few days after Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri strongly
condemned the much-touted American plan.
said on Sunday that anyone who thought “waving billions of dollars” could get
Lebanon to barter “over its principles” was mistaken.
resistance movement has already declared the United States' so-called Middle
East peace plan a “historic crime” that must be stopped.
Tuesday, thousands of Palestinian refugees staged a protest in a show of
disdain from the Palestinian leadership for a US-led economic workshop in
Beirut, demonstrators gathered outside the United Nations headquarters to voice
concern as they waved Palestinian flags and carried banners.
at Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon held a separate
so-called "Peace to Prosperity" workshop opened in Bahrain on June 25
and will run through June 26.
Palestinian leadership is boycotting the meeting, leading critics to question
the credibility of the event.
Palestinian Bar Association (PBA) plans to file a lawsuit against participants
in the US-led conference in Manama.
Palestinians unanimously reject deal of century, Bahrain confab
former chief of the political bureau of Palestinian Hamas resistance movement
says the Palestinian nation entirely dismisses the so-called deal of the
century and the US-sponsored summit in Bahrain.
Meshaal described the US-led initiative as “suspicious, poisonous and aimed at
liquidating the Palestinian cause,” affirming that “the Palestinian people are
unanimous in rejecting the deal and will not allow it to take place.”
deal of the century has no future and is doomed to failure, God willing. There
are Palestinian constants and red lines our people are adherent to and they
will not accept any bargaining over them,” he said.
also accused some Arab regimes of attempting to sell out Palestine which he
described as “the Jewel of the Arabs” through accepting bribes.
least seven people were killed including three terrorists while two soldiers
sustained varying degrees of injuries when Boko Haram terrorist clashed with
troops in Borno state Monday night, a security source said.
attack happened in Mafa headquarters, Mafa local government area of Borno state
around 1830hrs on Monday evening, killing a soldier and destroying many houses.
to the security source both the attackers and troops recorded casualties,
although the troops killed three terrorists and seized one of their utility
vehicles and motorcycles.
troops response swiftly to the attackers, when attacking our troops in Mafa
yesterday, they suffered some causality three bodies of attackers found and
many of them fled with gun wounds. One Hilux van and two motorcycles were
recovered by the troops. "Unfortunately three civilians and a soldier lost
their lives and two soldiers were seriously wounded in the attacks. Two trucks
belong troops was by the attackers," the source said.
there was another attack at Kareto in Mobar local government area of the state,
the gallant troops successfully repelled the attacks.
June 25 (Xinhua) -- The Moroccan security services dismantled on Tuesday a
"terrorist cell" linked to the Islamic State (IS) militant group in
the region of El Haouz, near the city of Marrakech, and arrested four suspects.
suspects, aged between 25 and 40, have links to individuals operating
abroad," said a statement of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation,
Morocco's intelligence bureau.
suspects aims at "preparing and carrying out terrorist schemes in Morocco
through the use of explosive devices as part of the destructive agenda of
IS," the statement added.
security operation led to the discovery of a farm in the town of Ourika
belonging to the family of one of the cell's members, the statement said.
residues, suspicious liquids, and equipment used in the manufacture of
explosive devices were seized, the statement added.
Islamic Movement in Nigeria has announced that details of medical
investigations conducted on Sheikh Zakzaky have indicated that both the Muslim
cleric and his wife have a medical emergency.
UN-recognized government on Wednesday said its armed forces have entirely
recaptured the city of Gharyan, south of Tripoli, from rival forces, local
to Libya's private Al-Ahrar broadcaster, the announcement was made by Col.
Abdul Hakim Tanish, field commander in the UN-recognized government forces.
other sources, the broadcaster reported the escape of Abdul Salam Al-Hassi, a
main commander operating the forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, along with a
number of other members of his forces from the city.
forces have so far been unsuccessful in seeking to capture Tripoli from the
U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord in an offensive that began in
his forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi
was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.
renewed on Wednesday between forces of Libya's UN-recognized government and
troops aligned with East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar near the capital
Tripoli, according to a Libyan spokesman.
fighting took place in Abu Shiba area near the city of Gharyan, south of
Tripoli, which is held by Haftar's forces.
forces managed to take control of Qawasim area and Abu Shiba agriculture
project near Gharyan city," Major General Ahmed Abushahma, a spokesman for
forces of the UN-recognized government, told the local Arraed television.
was no comment from Haftar's forces on the claim.
forces have so far been unsuccessful in seeking to capture Tripoli from the
U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord in an offensive that began in
his forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi
was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in
— Hosting an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday of the Russian, American and
Israeli national security advisers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel
pressed for ridding Syria of all foreign forces, in particular Iranians and
their proxies across Israel’s northern frontier.
the eight-year Syrian civil war winding down, Mr. Netanyahu said, “I believe
that there is a wider basis for cooperation between the three of us than many
meeting, he said, the first of national security advisers from all three
countries, provides “a real opportunity” to advance stability in the region,
“and particularly in Syria.”
meeting took place against the backdrop of spiraling tensions between the
United States and Iran after Iran’s downing last week of an American
surveillance drone and Iran’s threats to exceed the limits on its uranium
supply set by the 2015 nuclear deal.
immediate breakthrough on Syria or any other issue was unlikely at the meeting,
given the complex and often competing interests of each of the participants.
And missing from the room, of course, were any representatives from Iran, which
has good relations with Russia and none with Israel or the United States.
for Israel, hosting the tripartite discussions, and having its national
security adviser participate on an equal footing, was regarded as an
achievement in itself, enhancing the country’s role in international diplomacy.
provided a boost for Mr. Netanyahu as he battles on political and legal fronts,
facing possible corruption charges and a second election in September because
he failed to form a viable coalition after an April ballot.
didn’t come with the expectation we were going to solve all the problems, or
even most of them,” said John R. Bolton, the American national security
adviser. He spoke at a news conference after having met with his counterparts,
the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai P. Patrushev, and the
head of Israel’s National Security Council, Meir Ben-Shabbat.
to what he described as Iranian involvement in other areas of the Middle East,
including Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan, Mr. Bolton said the gathering
in Jerusalem “helps everyone understand what the various positions are and
we’ll go from there.”
Bolton, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Patrushev also held a series of bilateral
meetings. Mr. Bolton wrote on Twitter that in his meeting with Mr. Patrushev on
Monday, they and their teams “covered Ukraine, arms control, Venezuela, and
Bolton said he hoped the meeting in Jerusalem, which he described as
“historic,” would help lay the foundation for the G-20 summit meeting taking place
later this week in Osaka, Japan. There, he said, many of the same issues will
be discussed, adding that President Trump was looking forward to meeting
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Netanyahu, who maintains a close relationship with Mr. Putin, thanked the
Russians for working closely with Israel on a mechanism that allows Israel to
act in Syria to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons from Iran to the
Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, while not putting Russian forces in harm’s way.
Netanyahu said Israel had “acted hundreds of times” to prevent Iranian military
entrenchment in Syria and the transfer of weapons, a reference to Israeli
airstrikes in Syria carried out clandestinely.
and Russia appear to have overcome a crisis last year, when Syrian forces
accidentally shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli airstrike on
American, Israeli and Russian interests in Syria still fundamentally differ.
Russia and Iran helped President Bashar al-Assad of Syria gain the upper hand
in a civil war that began in 2011.
we all want to see stability in Syria, some of us like the Assad regime more
than others,” said Eran Lerman, a former deputy director of Israel’s National
Lerman said the Russians “support him, we certainly do not and the Americans
there are now growing gaps between the Russians and the Iranians over the
future of Syria. And at the end of the day, Mr. Lerman added: “There’s a fact
of life. The Assad regime has stabilized the situation in much of Syria.”
Patrushev said that Moscow and Tehran were cooperating in the fight against
have a mutual possibility to influence each other and we have an opportunity to
listen to each other,” he said.
understand Israel’s concerns and we want the existing threats to be eliminated
so that Israel’s security be ensured,” he said. “At the same time, we should
remember that other regional states also have their national interests.”
Yemen, June 25 (Xinhua) -- At least five members of the Yemen-based al-Qaida
branch were killed during airstrikes launched by a U.S. drone in the country's
central province of al-Bayda, a security official told Xinhua on Tuesday.
three airstrikes targeted a gathering of al-Qaida militants in Dhi Naim
district in the northwestern part of al-Bayda province late on Monday, leaving
five militants killed, the local security source said on condition of
security sources based in the province confirmed to Xinhua that "mid-level
commanders of al-Qaida group died during the U.S. aerial bombardment."
Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which carries out
sporadic attacks against the Yemeni forces in different areas of the country's
southern regions, revealed no statement to confirm or deny the U.S. drone
U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against AQAP fighters in
different provinces of the war-torn Arab country since U.S President Donald
Trump approved expanded military operations against the group.
expanded operations included intensified overnight airstrikes and ground
military raids against the al-Qaida hideouts in the mountainous areas of
al-Bayda and southeastern province of Shabwa.
warned the United States on Thursday against violation of its borders, with
parliament speaker Ali Larijani threatening a stronger reaction, a week after
Tehran shot down an American drone that spiked tension between the two
downing of their drone was a good experience for them to avoid any aggression
against our borders,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Larijani as
reaction will be stronger if they repeat their mistake of violating our
said the unmanned US aircraft was in its air space, which Washington denied.
Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes but called them off at the last minute,
later saying too many people would have died.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that the Iranian nation
will not retreat in the face of “cruel” US sanctions and “insults,” days after
Washington imposed sanctions on him and other top officials in the country.
most vicious officials of the (US) government accuse Iran and insult it. The
Iranian nation will not give in and retreat in the face of such insults,”
Khamenei was quoted as saying by his official website.
added that the US offer for negotiations is a deception.
President Donald Trump has said he is willing to hold talks with the Islamic
are a deception for what they want. A weapon is in your hands and they don’t
dare come close. They say drop the weapon so I can do whatever I want with you.
This is negotiation,” Khamenei said.
Monday, US President Donald Trump ordered “hard-hitting” financial sanctions on
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holding him “ultimately
responsible” for Tehran’s destabilizing activities.
will continue to increase pressure on Tehran,” Trump said as he signed the
order in the Oval Office. “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon.”
spokesperson of the Arab Coalition said forces were able to intercept and down
a drone in Yemeni airspace after it was launched by the Houthis north of Sanaa
toward Saudi Arabia.
Coalition spokesperson Col. Turki al-Maliki said that the interception of the
drone took place at 10:20 pm local time.
Houthi terrorists continue to launch drones to carry out hostile and terrorist
acts by targeting civilians and public facilities, and that none of their
targets have been achieved. They have been destroyed and shot down,” al-Maliki
said in a statement carried out by Saudi Press Agency.
Jared Kushner’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, unveiled this week at a conference
in Bahrain, sets ambitious goals, including doubling Palestine’s gross domestic
product and reducing its high unemployment rate to under 10 percent.
is at 30 percent in the West Bank and 50 percent in the Gaza Strip, according
to Christine Lagarde, managing director and chairman of the International
Monetary Fund, who spoke at the conference.
plan proposes investments of nearly $30 billion in the occupied Palestinian
territories, and $20 billion in Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.
money alone will not be enough if people are not given opportunities to work
and develop their own entrepreneurial skills, business leaders warned during a
panel discussion entitled “Empowering the People.”
News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas moderated the panel, which featured four
distinguished business leaders: Osama Al-Absi, CEO of the Bahrain Labor Market
Regulatory Authority; Amadou Diallo, DHL’s CEO for the Middle East and Africa;
Shiv Khemka, vice chairman of SUN Group Global; and Luis Alberto Moreno,
president of the Inter-American Development Bank.
praised Kushner’s “impressive and detailed” plan, but said “the political will
must be there” for it to succeed.
said India has overcome similar challenges that Palestine faces, and “if the
challenges can be overcome in India, they can be overcome anywhere.”
added: “In India, we have 1.3 billion people, so we need to create 1.3 million
jobs per month for the next 30 years. We have extreme poverty and wealth. We
have all kinds of conflicts and all kinds of issues. If you start off with the
assumption that the political will is there, then I think there’s no reason at
all why this plan can’t succeed.”
said based on his visit to the West Bank, he believes that “the political will
is present and can be nurtured” among Palestinians.
plan like this is only as good as the people who are willing to implement it,”
he added. “The more important thing, in any case, is the political will to get
behind something where people will eventually really build the potential for
developing their own country.”
who helped reduce Bahrain’s unemployment rate from 17 percent to about 4
percent over 11 years, cautioned that the worst thing to do is to raise expectations
and then not follow through.
pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist, and I’m a realist. It’s doable,
but you have to approach this with a lot of practicality,” he said, describing
Kushner’s plan as “very ambitious.”
added: “You’re going to come up with … a peace plan and an economic plan.
You’re going to raise their (Palestinians’) expectations. You have to prepare
them, otherwise, this can all go south.”
said: “How you create opportunity is by having leadership that has aspirations
to change the way people live in their own communities.”
added: “That has to be done locally because it can’t be done from outside. The
people have to fight for that. I’ve seen that happen in Asia, in Pakistan, but
also here in the region.”
At least one policeman was killed and four others injured when unidentified
terrorists attacked the Police Lines area in Balochistan’s Loralai, said
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday.
to Balochistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohsin Hassan Butt, three
attackers, wearing suicide jackets, ambushed the main gate of the Police Lines
said that “police and other law-enforcement agencies retaliated in a timely
manner and managed to kill all three suicide bombers before they managed to
enter the premises” at a time when policemen were busy taking their promotional
to the ISPR statement, at least three bombers attempted to target Police Lines
suicide bombers were effectively singled out by the police at the main gate.
One suicide bomber was killed by a police guard at the entry point while two
others managed to get inside the premises,” the statement read.
and police QRF [quick response force] immediately reached the site and cordoned
the area off. In exchange of fire, one suicide bomber detonated his vest, while
the other was killed by security forces. Police Head Constable Allah Nawaz was
martyred in the exchange of fire.”
Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani condemned the attack and expressed
condolences over the death of the policeman.
police force fought bravely against the terrorists. The swift and effective
action taken by the police today shows that our security agencies are well
prepared [to counter any threats],” the chief minister said.
—long been plagued by an insurgency and targetted killings – is reeling under a
fresh wave of terrorism, as Baloch insurgents and other religious outfits have
ratcheted up attacks in the restive province, targetting LEAs and minority
May alone, the province faced at least five terror attacks, including an attack
on non-native labourers working in Dera Murad Jamali.
May 9 –the same day a blast had rocked Lahore— three people, including a tribal
elder, were killed in Qila Abdullah blast.
May 10, two miners and three Frontier Corps personnel were killed in an attack
and a subsequent landmine blast in the Khost area of Harnai district.
May 11, militants belonging to the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) stormed a
five-star hotel in Gwadar, leaving five people, including a navy soldier, dead.
The operation to clear the hotel took one day. The attack was targeted at
Chinese investors allegedly present at the hotel.
May 13, at least four policemen were killed and several others wounded after a
bomb attack targeted their vehicles while they stood guard outside a mosque in
May 14, three labourers, reportedly from Sindh province, were killed in a
targeted attack. No one claimed
responsibility for the attacked.
April, the province fared no better either, with two major blasts targeting law
enforcers and minority Hazara community separately.
April 12, at least 20 people were killed and 48 wounded by a powerful suicide
blast apparently targeting the Hazara community at a crowded fruit market in
faction of the Taliban claimed the attack. The group said it collaborated with
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has been behind numerous bloody attacks in
Pakistan. There was no immediate confirmation from LeJ.
the same day, two civilians were killed and 10 injured in the evening as an
improvised explosive device (IED) had gone off when FC vehicle was passing
through a market.
April 18, at least 14 people were killed in an ambush on several buses
travelling between Karachi and Gwadar in the remote Ormara area of Balochistan
province on Thursday.
attack which left at least 9 Pakistan Navy men dead after being identified
through IDs was claimed by Baloch insurgents.
Pakistan (Reuters) - A police constable was killed and five people injured in
Pakistan on Wednesday, following a gun battle with Taliban militants at a
police housing and training complex, security officials said.
militants wearing suicide vests attempted to storm the complex in the restive
southwestern province of Baluchistan when confronted by guards at the entrance.
personnel deployed at the gate killed one of the suicide bombers,” senior
police officer Abdul Rehman Luni told Reuters.
other two blew themselves up inside the police complex,” he said, adding that a
senior constable was killed in the attack, and five wounded people were taken
attack was claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the
Pakistani Taliban, in a statement sent to journalists.
cordoned off the area after the attack.
walled complex comprises police residences and training facilities and is
heavily guarded in a province where attacks on security officials are common.
militant groups and separatists fighting the central government are active in
mineral-rich Baluchistan, with frequent attacks on gas and transport
infrastructure and security posts.
coastal city of Gwadar is a strategic port on the Arabian Sea that is being
developed as part of the $60-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of
China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.
Differences marked the All Parties Conference (APC) of opposition parties
convened by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman here on
Wednesday as the two major opposition parties — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) — disagreed on en masse
resignation from parliament, a proposal by the JUI-F chief.
APC attended by various political parties met to formulate a joint strategy and
future course-of-action against the government.
presiding over the session, Fazl put a suggestion before the meeting to resign
from the assemblies, but the main opposition parties said resignations were not
a solution to national issues.
PML-N and PPP said they would not be able to effectively push their stance
outside parliament, adding that a joint strategy should be opted inside and
outside the parliament against incumbent government.
Sharif, president of the PML-N and leader of the opposition in the National
Assembly, however, expressed his resolve to block the PTI government’s
‘anti-people’ budget on every forum.
are passing through the worst economic conditions and all of us need to join
hands to stop the government’s undemocratic measures,” said Shahbaz Sharif.
Sharif participated in the APC along with a 14-member delegation, including
PML-N senior vice president and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and
vice president of the party and daughter of ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz.
five-member delegation of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), under the
leadership of the Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, comprising former premier
Yousaf Raza Gillani, former chairmen of the Senate Raza Rabbani, Nayyar
Bukhari, former Leader of the House in Senate Sherry Rehman and ex-Senator Farhatullah
Babar also participated in the APC and opposed en masse resignation.
Watan Party (QWP) chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, and delegations from Awami
National Party (ANP) and JUI-F are also attending the APC.
opposition parties’ moot suffered a setback earlier as Balochistan National
Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Akhtar Mengal decided to stay away from the APC.
Mengal was called by Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss various issues
regarding Balochistan’s development and six-point agenda agreed between the PTI
and the BNP-M before the latter’s joining the government.
Wal Khan President of the Awami National Party also participated the APC and
suggested a single-point agenda to change Chairman of the Senate.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr
Firdous Ashiq Awan while reacting to APC convened by major opposition parties
on Wednesday said the government did not face any threat from the opposition.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan
has said the multi-party conference (MPC) organised by opposition parties was a
last-ditch effort by them to provide cover to their corrupt past.
declaration issued after 10-hour-long meeting covers almost everything but there
is no mention of eradicating corruption from the country,” she said while
addressing a press conference after the declaration of the MPC was issued.
prime minister’s special assistant described the MPC as a ‘political
Ruet-i-Hilal committee’ headed by a cleric who was striving to “bring up the
moon of power for the whole bunch”.
strangest part of the MPC was that the parliamentarians met under the
chairmanship of an unelected person who has been rejected by the people,” she
said. “[JUI-F chief] Maulana Fazlur Rehman is in panic as he is out of power
and his conduct shows that he is only exploiting the name of the religion.”
Awan came down hard on the participants of the MPC, saying: “All these
political gurus saw flaws in everything and were able to dig out the failures
in the performance of national institutions but failed to discuss the issue of
analysed everything but it was strange to see that there was no mention of the
word ‘corruption’ in the whole declaration... They love this word; that is why
they did not decry this word,” Dr Awan added.
also assailed the declaration for criticising the general elections of 2018,
saying that the chief election commissioner and the members of the Election
Commission of Pakistan were appointed by the previous PML-N government in
consultation with the-then opposition parties, including the PPP.
after 10 months they are claiming that the elections were rigged. Is the Sindh
Assembly included in it also?” she asked.
described the MPC as a failed event where the participants could not reach any
conclusion or definite goal, except removal of the Senate chairman.
special assistant said it was also clear that all the so-called political
leaders were pushing their selfish agenda only. “Asfandyar Khan even stabbed
the PPP in the back as it was this party that had helped elect the incumbent
senate chairman,” she said.
with her criticism of the opposition parties, Dr Awan said the main concern of
the MPC was the commission of inquiry on public debt, the National Development
Council, and representation of national defence institutions in these bodies.
they are saying is only to please their patrons in India... It was just like
what they say in a Punjabi proverb: say it to daughter and convey the message
to daughter-in-law. These people were actually giving the message to their
Awan also hit out at PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, describing him as a
‘novice politician’ and saying, “This country is not a toy for people like
said, “Our national institutions are our assets and we must understand that the
army is a highly organised and disciplined institution. They are involved with
the government in uplift of the country and eradication of corruption from
NATIONS: Pakistan reaffirmed its dedication to the Palestinian cause at the
2019 pledging conference for the cash-strapped UN agency that assists
Palestinian refugees by announcing a fresh commitment of financial support.
international community must not fail the Palestinian people,” Ambassador
Maleeha Lodhi told the pledging event for the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) held at UN headquarters in New York.
ran into deep financial trouble more than a year ago when the Trump
administration stopped US funding of UNRWA, and called for the agency to be
dissolved, saying it was no longer justified 70 years after the start of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of Israel.
I humbly ask all donors to maintain their support for UNRWA at last year’s
level,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he opened the pledging
know what is at risk: education for a half million children; 8 million health
care visits a year; emergency relief for 1.5 million. In Gaza alone, one
million Palestine refugees depend on UNRWA for food,” he said.
year, UNRWA relied on extra money from member states and internal savings to
cover a US $446 million budgetary gaps. This year it unveiled a budget of US
$1.2 billion, unchanged from 2018.
in 1949, UNRWA runs schools and provides health care for some five million
Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza
her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi backed the UN chief’s call, saying Pakistan would
make a “voluntary contribution that is commensurate to the contribution we made
to UNRWA, last year.”
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