mosque has a board welcoming all, irrespective of faith and gender, and
celebrates the diversity of religion with citations from revered spiritual
Mosque, Masjid-ul Islam, in Kerala Also Houses a Modern Art Gallery
Varsity to Observe Sisters' Day on Valentine's Day to Promote 'Islamic
Council Postpones Quran Reading Test for Presidential Candidates
Jews Come Together In Europe against Halal and Kosher Ban
SR250 for A Permit, and Legally Fly Your Drone In Saudi Arabia
Residents Support Mosque and Church Built Side-By-Side
Mosque, Masjid-ul Islam in Kerala Also Houses a Modern Art Gallery
commander Zeenat-ul-Islam killed in encounter in Kulgam
militant, his minor accomplice held in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian
Deny Students, Candidates Right to Wear Hijab, Carry Kirpan: Delhi Minorities
Body to Govt Depts
Muslim Delhi Youths Offer Free Coaching On YouTube
Gets 6-Day Custody of ISIS Module Member Absar
Intolerance Severely Affected Religious Minorities: Farooq Abdullah
cops clash at militant’s funeral in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian
for State-Controlled Preaching, Mosques
of Pakistan chairs in foreign universities reduced
protests HC official’s arrest in India
disposes of Army Public School carnage case
set to give tough time to ruling coalition in NA
Place for Israeli Athletes in Malaysia’ Says Malaysian PM
junta seeks talks with Muslim insurgents
Still no leads on whereabouts of Indira Gandhi’s daughter
Islam and Open Borders Will Divide EU into ‘Two Civilisations’
rare visit, Israeli minister in Cairo amid Egyptians’ opposition
says not intimidated by new Israeli airstrike
Grave Discovered in Iraq's Nineveh Province
Army Pounds Tahrir Al-Sham's Military Convoys in Northern Hama, Southern Idlib
Jordanian FMs discuss Syria in Amman
Saudi troops killed in Yemeni forces’ retaliatory attack on Jizan
king receives grand mufti, other key officials
protesters urge Darfur demos as new rallies planned
police fire tear gas at protesters in Khartoum
Jihadists among 85 Al Shabaab killed by US troops in Somalia
Haram: Buratai honours FOI request, provides army’s expenditure
Taliban Militants Killed In Afghan, Coalition Forces Operations
shadow district chief killed with his 11 fighters in Balkh province
NSA Hamdullah Mohib to meet Saudi officials regarding peace talks
Air Force bomb Taliban gathering in Faryab province
battalion leader among 20 killed, injured in al-Dhalea province
Houthis boycott meeting with UN-led truce monitors
to 'intensify confrontation' if Israeli military attacks besieged Gaza Strip
wounded by Israeli fire dies
Zarif holds talk with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad
shortage leads to World Food Program cuts for Palestinians
confirms weekend strike by Israel on Iran target in Syria
vows to continue fight against Kurdish militia after Trump threat
against ISIS Continues, Says US-Led Coaltion
To ‘Devastate Turkey Economically If They Hit Kurds’ In Syria
House asked for options to strike Iran, reports WSJ
by New Age Islam News Bureau
For the past 10 months, the faithful offering Jum’ah (Friday afternoon prayer)
at Masjid-ul Islam in a lane opposite the RDO office in Fort Kochi have been
doing so in a hybrid space — for, inside the mosque is a modern art gallery
which was opened in April last year.
Fridays, when it is prayer time, white curtains are hung from discreet hooks
covering the art works; currently on show is a photo documentation of 42
communities found in the 5.5 sq km area of Mattancherry and Fort Kochi. “The
only reason why we are covering them during prayers is to ensure that people
are not distracted,” says K A Mohammed Ashraf, chairman of the mosque
committee, a businessman who set up the place of worship with his own funds
four years ago.
mosque welcomes all, irrespective of faith & gender
mosque has a board welcoming all, irrespective of faith and gender, and
celebrates the diversity of religion with citations from revered spiritual
texts. “We want to be inclusive. We don’t have restrictions on the type of
dress one should wear,” Ashraf says, adding that the gallery, close to biennale
venue, is visited by lot of foreigners.
one climbs the marble-paved, narrow flight of stairs to the Islamic Heritage
Centre (IHC) art gallery on the second floor of the building, two quotes
welcome you: a sukta from the Rigveda on the right and a verse from the Quran
on the left, epitomising the shared destinies of both religions. The balcony
space has several other quotes that build on the syncretic tradition.
one side of the art gallery, neatly-labelled wooden shelves showcase books
ranging from religious texts to even novels and poetry. “This is not much but
we are trying to source some rare books. A large reference library is also on
the anvil,” says Ashraf, who also runs Masjidul Islam charitable trust.
IHC and the gallery is a joint initiative of the trust and Forum for Faith and
Fraternity (3F) who are fascinated by the golden age of Islam between AD 8 and
AD 14, when mosques were centres of learning and art and science flourished.
“We want people to understand the principles of pluralism, cultural diversity
and the importance of upholding these traits in the contemporary world,” says
Ashraf who feels this is the only mosque in India which houses an art gallery.
Abdul Rahim, chairman, 3F, describes their organisation as a small group of
professionals working silently to promote cultural diversity through study of
different religions. “It is a myth that Islam is antithetical to art. It has
always promoted art and music and historically mosques were seats of learning,”
said Rahim, former executive director of KIMS and a chartered accountant.
show Transcendence by Biju Ibrahim is emblematic of this vision of plurality.
From Lohanas, who are followers of Jhulelal, to Dhakni Muslims and 24 Telugu
Manai Chettiars, Biju’s photographs capture vibrant communities in all their
diversity. “I don’t think there is any place in the world that houses so much
diversity within such a small geographic space,” says Biju, who began working
on the project in 2017 as a resident of Uru Art Harbour. Most of these
community members have strived to preserve their language and culture within
their home but share a common identity when they step out of the four walls.
“The show began in April but once the biennale kicked off I added five more
panels to the exhibition,” he says. His show will be on till end of March.
varsity to observe Sisters' Day on Valentine's Day to promote 'Islamic
A Pakistani university will celebrate Sisters' Day on February 14 to promote
"Islamic traditions", according to the vice chancellor.
students can be gifted scarves and Abayahs (clothes) as decided by Vice
Chancellor Zafar Iqbal Randhawa of the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad
and other decision makers, Dawn news reported.
vice chancellor believes it was "compatible with Pakistan's culture and
Islam", the report said.
14 is celebrated as Valentine's Day across the world. On the day, people
express their love and affection with greetings and gifts.
university announced that it will celebrate Sisters' Day on February 14 to
"promote Islamic traditions", Randhawa said.
speaking to DawnNewsTV, he said that he was not sure if his suggestion to
celebrate Sisters' Day "would click or not".
said that although some Muslims have turned Valentine's Day into a threat,
"My thinking is that if there is a threat, convert it into an
report quoted Randhawa as saying that women face certain conditions related to
their attire which dictate that their body should not be revealed.
are at a very high rank for us. Today the era of gender empowerment is here,
Western thinking is being promoted. But the best gender empowerment and
division of work is in our religion and culture," the vice chancellor said.
claimed that celebrating Sisters' Day would allow "a soft image to
develop", and that people will realise that this is how much sisters are
loved in Pakistan.
there a love greater than that between brother and sister?" On Sisters'
Day, it is greater than the love between husband and wife," Randhawa said.
Day has been a controversial subject in Muslim-majority Pakistan for years,
with some celebrating and others protesting against it.
Islamabad High Court in 2017 and 2018 "banned" all Valentine's Day
celebrations, and print and electronic media were warned to "stop all
Valentine's Day promotions immediately".
2016, then president Mamnoon Hussain urged Pakistanis to forego celebrating
Valentine's Day, saying it was not a part of Muslim tradition, but a Western
council postpones Quran reading test for presidential candidates
Aceh Clerics Council, which groups Muslim clerics in Aceh, said that it has
postponed indefinitely the Quran reading test it proposed for presidential
candidates Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, due to scheduling
will be no [test] on Jan. 15. We are waiting for the latest schedule [of the
two candidates]," Aceh Clerics Council chairman Marsyuddin Ishaq said on
Sunday, as quoted by kompas.com. "Tomorrow [Monday], we will meet with both
campaign teams to discuss the matter,” he added.
council had challenged the two presidential candidates to undergo a Quran
reading test to determine the best leader for the country, which has a majority
Muslim population. The test was initially scheduled to be held on Jan. 15 at
the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh.
Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin campaign team said earlier that the incumbent was willing to
take the test if the public demanded it. On the other hand, the campaign team for the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno
pair, which is backed by Islamic-leaning parties the Prosperous Justice Party
(PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN), said that such a test was
unnecessary, or that if it did take place, the test's organizers should prove
that they were experts in reading the Quran.
also said on Monday that the council planned to coordinate with the Aceh
Independent Election Commissions (KIP Aceh) on the test format that would be
acceptable to both candidates. (kuk/ipa)
Jews come together in Europe against halal and kosher ban
Showing concerns about animal welfare, reportedly Belgium has banned halal and
kosher animal slaughtering practices. Minister of Animal Welfare Ben Weyts
proposed the ban, which came into effect on January 1.
Muslims and Jews have protested the ban saying the move violates freedom of
religion for the Muslim and Jewish population in Belgium. Muslims and Jews are
500,000 and 30,000 respectively, out of a population of 11 million. Muslim
halal and Jewish kosher laws maintain that animals cannot be stunned before
killing them by cutting the throat and leaving the blood to drain from their
bodies. This method they claim is more humane since the animals die faster
resulting in less suffering.
Europe before killing them, animals are made insensible to pain before being
killed. While the larger animals are subject to a captive bolt device, whereby
a metal rod is fired into the brain, chickens and other birds are often
electrically shocked. Some animals are made unconscious with gas as well.
SR250 for a permit, and legally fly your drone in Saudi Arabia
Saudi drone enthusiasts were celebrating on Sunday after aviation chiefs moved
to end confusion over the devices’ legality.
recreational drone permit will cost SR250, just under $70, the General
Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said. Applicants require only a national
identity card or iqama, and the make and
serial number of the drone.
drone permits will cost SR500, although applicants must complete a GACA
permit is required for each drone, but there is no need to apply for further
permission to fly it.
wishing to import a drone must register the serial number on the GACA website
to obtain customs clearance. “If the drone is registered, Saudi Customs will
allow it into the country, no problem,” GACA said.
decision has delighted hobbyists, enthusiasts and commercial drone operators
who faced investigation and detention if caught. Several people trying to
smuggle drones into the country have had them confiscated by Customs, and
foreign journalists and filmmakers were also banned from bringing them into the
Kingdom without permission from the Media Ministry.
was always a great deal of confusion regarding drone permits,” said Seif, a
Saudi filmmaker. “Where you were referred to depended on who you asked and you
ended up not flying or flying illegally.”
permit system will also end the black market in drones, with heavily marked-up
machines are expected to appear soon in stores around the country, at market
Residents support mosque and church built side-by-side
would happen if you built a Muslim mosque right next door to a Christian
church, in a country plagued by religious violence?
Kaduna State in Nigeria, where religious violence has intensified in the last
year, building two places of worship so close seemed like an impossibility.
Residents In the suburb of Kudanden were nervous when construction began next
to a Living Faith church, with the new mosque even sharing a fence-line with
the church. But despite clashes between
the two religious groups in other parts of the country, worshipers here, are
determined to work together.
issue of peaceful co-existence, or better still, refer to it as religious
co-existence, cannot be over-emphasized," said Christian resident Isiah
if the mosque is going to be used to worship and serve god, and the church is
going to be used to worship and serve god, there's no big deal about it, it's a
good one, and it therefore shows that we, as human beings, must learn to live
harmony in the community was aided by a memorandum of understanding that was
established by leaders in the region. The chief of Kudanden, Gabriel Galadima,
said leaders from both parties were brought together to recognize a mutual,
I want to call on the youth of this community, not only this community but the
state at large, that wish not to live in peace with one another—that yes
relations will come and go, but we will still be together."
want to praise the people of our Kaduna community, other areas in Kaduna, other
communities should also emulate that," said Muslim resident Tajudeen
that we can go back to what Kaduna used to be: My name John, my name Mohammed,
my name Taju—it does not make a difference—what makes a difference to us is how
we are going to move this state forward."
happened because we want to be together, we should be our brother's keeper, we
should live together," said resident Samuel David Galadima.
want other people to emulate the habit of people from Kudanden, to learn from
them. To live in peace with one another."
terrorists including top Al-Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam have been killed in
an encounter with security forces in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir,
police said Sunday.
civilians are also reported to have been injured.
two militants killed in the Katpora encounter have been identified as
Zeenat-ul-Islam and Shakeel Dar. Both were involved in several terror
crimes," a police official said.
a category A++ militant, had switched over to the Al-Badr from the Hizbul
Mujahideen in November last year following an agreement between the two outfits
to strengthen the Al-Badr.
was active since 2015, the police official said.
said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Katpora area of
Yaripora in south Kashmir's Kulgam district Saturday evening after receiving
specific information about the presence of militants there.
the forces were conducting the searches, the militants fired on them, he said.
per policy, the militants were given an opportunity to surrender, but they
continued to fire, the official said.
forces retaliated, leading to an encounter in which the two militants were
killed, he said.
and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site, the official said,
adding, no collateral damage has been reported during the encounter.
the aftermath, internet services in the Shopian and Kulgam districts have been
snapped. The train service between Srinagar and Banihal has also been
all top militants hunted
the elimination of top Al-Badr rebel commander, security forces have succeeded
in hunting down almost all most wanted militants in Kashmir valley, categorized
in A+ and A++ grade.
the condition of anonymity, a senior officer from J&K Police said,
"These militants were involved in a series of attacks on security forces,
civilian killings, abduction of civilian and killings of SPOs, particularly in
south Kashmir. Though the number of active millitans is around 250, however,
the number does not matter, what matters to us is the capability of millitants.
The slain militant commanders were instrumental in recruiting new militants and
planners to plot attacks on security forces, IED experts."
to official reports, at least 230 militants were killed in 2018 alone which was
the highest number in a decade.
January 3, 2019, security forces gunned down three militants in Tral town of
Pulwama district and on January 12, two militants were killed in a gunfight in
the Yaripora area of Kulgam district.
to police officials, at least nine top ranking, most wanted militant commanders
have been neutralised in the past few months, including Ahmad Dar alias Altaf
Kachroo (A++), Umar Majid Ganai (A++), Zeenat-ul-Islam (A++), Manan Wani (A)
and, Dawood Sofi (A+).
joint team of Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested an alleged
Hizbul Mujahideen militant and apprehended a juvenile in Jammu and Kashmir’s
said the two militants were in touch with Naveed Babu, a
policeman-turned-militant who heads the outfit as its “area commander”.
duo was allegedly trying to establish a contact in Delhi NCR for a regular
supply of weapons here, police said.
Bukhari, 22, a resident of Shopian and his accomplice were picked up from near
Narwaw village, said deputy commissioner of police (special cell) Pramod
pistol and 14 cartridges were seized from them,” Kushwah said.
Delhi Minorities Commission has asked city government departments to allow
minorities to wear dresses and carry articles as per their religious beliefs
when appearing in recruitment and academic tests.
on the commission's order, the General Administration Department (GAD) issued a
circular to all principal secretaries and heads of department asking for
"appropriate action" on the dress code for minority students and
candidates appearing in examinations.
commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan said the order was issued in view of
complaints from members of minority communities that they faced difficulties
when appearing in such examinations and were forced to take off their articles
its order, the Commission said, "Muslim women cannot be denied their
religious right to wear Hijab (headscarf). They must also he allowed to wear
full-sleeve shirts. The Sikhs are allowed to carry Kirpan (dagger) of
reasonable length as per Indian Constitution's Article 25."
order noted that while the security precautions are very much required during
examinations, it should not harm the interests of the minorities students and
certain security arrangements and frisking are required, candidates must be
clearly informed in advance that they have to present themselves at the
frisking point, say half an hour.
frisking staff is fully within its rights to check Hijab of Muslim women and
allow them in after making sure security requirements have been met," said
Commission has directed all the government departments and educational
institutions to "meticulously observe" its dress code order, saying
failure to do so will invite legal action.
to the order, the Directorate of Training and Technical Education has in its
letter to principals of institutions under it has asked for necessary action.
said that compliance reports on the order have been received by the Commission
from various departments including the Services under Delhi government.
Muslim Delhi youths offer free coaching on YouTube
Delhi: In the present day context, YouTube has become a platform through which
anyone can get any information easily. In the present day, people are earning
money by uploading various videos on YouTube but there are some youths who have
thought of providing free education to their countrymen.
friends hailing from Jafarabad area of New Delhi took up the challenge of
eradicating educational backwardness. They started their own YouTube Channel
under the name ‘Dear Sir’.
founder of this channel, Mr. Waqas Malik told that many students are being
benefited through this channel. So far, 20 lakh people have subscribed to this
of Inquilab talked to the founder of this channel, Mr. Waqas Malik who said
that after completing graduation, he wanted to do business. At the same time,
he was also teaching some friends. One day, his friend came to his shop and
told that they should do something new. His friends Adil Khan and Mohammed
Khashif had similar ideas. They started YouTube Channel.
gets 6-day custody of ISIS module member Absar
Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday got six-day custody
of Muhammad Absar, 24-year old teacher and an alleged member of ISIS-inspired
Harkut-ul-Harb-e-Islam module, from the Patiala House Court here.
special NIA Court, however, sent Suhail and Saqib, also alleged members of
Harkut-ul-Harb-e-Islam module and arrested on December 26 last year, to
judicial custody till February 6.
and Saqib were arrested along with eight others, all currently in judicial
custody, from different locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, during searches
on December 26 last year by the NIA sleuths for allegedly hatching a terror
arrested the 24-year-old teacher Absar on Friday night from Ghaziabad in Uttar
Pradesh. Absar is a resident of Jasora, Meerut, in Uttar Pradesh.
the custody of Absar, the NIA argued that he was needed to be taken to places
and confronted with the evidence. The next date of hearing in the case is
January 18. According to NIA, Absar was teaching at Jamia Husania Abul Hassan,
Piplera, Hapur, UP.
to NIA, Absar visited three places in J&K in May and August 2018 along with
another accused Iftekhar Sakib in connection with hatching a terror conspiracy.
After the arrest of Absar, the NIA team also carried out searches at three
locations including Meerut and Hapur.
intolerance severely affected religious minorities: Farooq Abdullah
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah SundayÂ said the "rising
intolerance" in the country has "severely affected" religious
minorities, especially Muslims.
the BJP-led government at the Centre, Abdullah said the current dispensation in
Delhi was "hell-bent on destroying the secular and liberal visage of
an official statement, the lawmaker from Srinagar was quoted as saying that the
people of the country showed the BJP its "right place" by voting
their governments out in the recently concluded assembly elections.
said, "Rising intolerance in the country has severely affected religious
minorities, especially Muslims."
urged Muslims to forge unity and give a befitting response to "forces
contriving to divide the community".
gatherings at Syed Hamid Pura Nawabazar and Boulevard, Abdullah said Islam is
all about love, peace, and compassion.
name of Islam is enough to impress upon us the importance of peace as the word
denotes same," he said, according to the statement.
NC president said it was high time for Muslims to imbue the teachings of Islam
in their daily lives.
is high time that Muslims across the world realise that getting swayed by
sectarian strife will only ruin them," he said.
the achievements of Islamic civilisation and culture, he said the Islamic
achievements in medieval medicine were groundbreaking and the advent of Islam
gave impetus to many discoveries in many fields ranging from architecture to
day after two militants were killed in Kulgam, protesters clashed with security
forces Sunday during the funeral of one of the militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s
chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer condemned the
clash in which seven civilians were injured.
youngsters clashed with the security forces in Sugan village, from which hailed
al-Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam who was killed in a gunfight with the
security forces along with his accomplice Shakeel Ahmad Dar. The security
forces on Sunday fired in the air to disperse the protesters who resorted to
violence while marching to attend the funeral of the militant commander, a
police officer said. Police said the injured protesters, including one who
suffered a bullet wound, is critical in a hospital.
said in a statement: “Reports of aerial firing ... are very unfortunate and
disturbing. Such interference in the religious affairs is undesirable and may
backfire, leading to further anger and alienation.” “Use of brutal force on the
martyr’s funeral is not only un-Islamic and undemocratic but contrary to human
values,” tweeted Umer.
for state-controlled preaching, mosques
Noted scholar Dr Khalid Zaheer has suggested that state of Pakistan should take
control of what should be preached from the mosque pulpits and who should do it
to check the growing extremism.
scholar cited examples of Muslim countries like Malaysia and Saudi Arabia where
the states were in charge of mosque pulpits and managed to control the content
and mannerism of the sermons delivered by clerics which eliminated the
emergence of opposing interpretations of Islam. He was replying to the
participants during the question answer segment at the end of the session
titled ‘Jihad and Dawah’ on the second day of ThinkFest, the Academic Literary
festival here Sunday. The guests at the session were Dr Samina Yasmeen, from
UWA, Australia, eminent jurist Salman Akram Raja, and Islamic scholar Dr Khalid
Ejaz Haider was the moderator. The title of the session ‘Jihad and Dawah’ was
basically drawn from the book penned by Dr Samina Yasmeen which is a research
primarily focusing on the activities of Pakistan’s famous religio-jihadi group
Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and its once-patronised Kashmiri freedom group,
Lashkar-e-Taiba (leT). Dr Khalid Zaheer said the Muslim state should ensure
what content and interpretation is preached from the mosques and podiums, and
held that no interpretation of Quran and Hadith could be called hundred per
cent accurate. He said preachers have large number of followers ready to lay
down their lives on their commands. Dr Samina delved on her research in the
book which showed that JuD and LeT were launched in the wake of Soviet invasion
in Afghanistan and drew popular public support by carrying the slogans of Jihad
and Dawah. She said people rallied around them after listening to the
interpretation of Surah Al-Tauba from the Holy Quran which calls for believers
to wage jihad against the infidels who were belligerent. Citing her research,
Dr Samina said first phase of JuD and LeT was that of Dawah and Jihad which
began during Soviet invasion underlining that Islam was in danger and Jihad was
was a major shift during the second phase that came after 9-11 during which
main focus was on Dawah but jihad was to be waged simultaneously. She said
after Mumbai attacks in 2008, JuD came under immense world pressure and changed
its stance by referring to “Sabr-e-Jameel’ which called for believers to calm
down with patience and wait for the time when you regain power. During this phase,
JuD involve women and children as political activists and its Dawah carriers.
Salman Akram Raja Advocate differed from the two panelists on the notion that
extremism and sectarianism emerged from illiteracy and poverty, saying that
preachers generating such ideas were educated and the society in general and
their audience in particular had an understanding of the ideas and notions. He
said simply increasing literacy and reducing poverty was no solution to the
problem. He said interpretation of Surah Al-Tauba of Holy Quran forms the basis
of the entire movement against the belligerent infidels since it calls for
jihad against them, adding that Dr Khalid Zaheer and Dr Javed Ghamidi have
quite different interpretation of this Surah.
The Ministry of Education has decided to fill only six of the 14 vacant
Pakistan chairs in foreign universities.
ministry recently stopped the process of sending shortlisted candidates to
represent Pakistan in 14 foreign universities. The candidates were finalised by
a committee headed by Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah last year.
education ministry now has decided to advertise the entire process afresh.
are going to re-advertise these positions within two weeks and in the first
phase we will make appointments on four to six chairs instead of 14,” said the
ministry’s Joint Education Adviser Rafiq Tahir.
said in the first phase appointments would be made in important countries.
said because of budgetary constraints the ministry had decided to reduce the
foreign chairs. Last year when the selection was finalised, there was a budget
of around Rs50 million which was recently reduced by the federal government to
process to select candidates for the positions faced delay for the last around
a decade. Pakistan has chairs in 14 foreign universities, including Germany, Turkey
and China, which have been vacant for six to 10 years.
chairs were set up on reciprocal basis and their holders used to deliver
lectures aimed at promoting Urdu and the culture and history of Pakistan.
the Cabinet Division used to deal with the issue but last year the function was
given to the ministry of education.
senior faculty member of Quaid-i-Azam University said chairs at international
universities were a tool to build the country’s image.
chairs play an important role in promoting Pakistan’s culture and image. The
appointees are academic ambassadors but unfortunately our bureaucrats are not
taking this important issue seriously.”
said India had almost 300 chairs in world’s top university where its scholars
were playing an important role to promote their country’s interest.
Pakistani scholar, who was shortlisted by the committee last year, said after a
number of meetings he was selected but so far the education ministry has failed
to complete the process.
we are being told that the process is going to be re-advertised which is
unfortunate and a joke with scholars,” he said.
An official of the Pakistan High Commission was arrested by the Indian
authorities on Sunday and was released after the matter was raised by Pakistan,
said sources in Foreign Office.
sources said that the High Commission’s official was arrested by the Indian
authorities and was released a few hours later. They said the official was
forced to sign a note before being released when the matter was immediately
taken up with the Indian side.
strongly protested this violation of the Vienna convention on diplomatic
relations and reserves the right to respond,” said an FO official who requested
not to be named.
sources in foreign office did not disclose the place where the incident took
place. However, the Indian media claimed that the official had got involved in
an altercation with an Indian woman in a market in New Delhi. Following the
reported quarrel, the woman lodged a complaint against him at a local police
station where he was subsequently shifted.
Supreme Court on Monday disposed of the 2014 Army Public School (APS) carnage
case after being briefed on the progress made by a judicial commission probing
the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history, 131 schoolchildren and 10
other people were killed when heavily armed militants stormed the APS on Dec
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken a suo motu notice of the APS case in April
when parents of some martyred students, including mothers, approached him while
he was hearing other cases in Peshawar.
parents had complained that a few weeks before the attack, the authorities had
been alerted by the National Counter Terrorism Authority to the possibility of
an attack on an army-run institution, but no measures had been taken to prevent
parents pointed out that they had been demanding justice for the last three
years and had been calling for the appointment of a judicial commission to look
into the incident, but to no avail.
cannot bring back the near and dear ones who lost their lives but at least we
can lessen the agony and grief of the victim families to some extent,” Chief
Justice Nisar had remarked during a hearing in October, ordering the formation
of a commission with instructions to file a report after a thorough inquiry
lasting six weeks.
the outset of the hearing today, the chief justice recalled that the court had
formed a commission, and enquired if it has submitted its report.
general Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told Justice Nisar that 147 testimonies have been
recorded but another 109 are still pending.
these testimonies are not complete, we cannot furnish the report," said
the provincial advocate general.
The National Assembly is set to go into its seventh session on Monday (today)
with Speaker Asad Qaiser still struggling with the formation of the house
committees as the opposition parties flexing its muscles to give a tough time
to the ruling coalition on a number of issues, including the ongoing energy
crisis, alleged one-sided accountability process, the government’s move to
present another mini-budget and the recent increase in the prices of medicines.
main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is also planning a strong
protest on the floor of the assembly, if the speaker does not issue the
production order for former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, who has been
in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) along with his
brother Salman Rafique in connection with an inquiry into a housing society
in the National Assembly Secretariat told Dawn that the speaker had already
issued the production order for Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif while
the process of the issuance of the production order for Mr Rafique was under
Sharif has been attending the NA sessions and meetings of the Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) on the speaker’s production orders since his arrest by NAB on
Oct 6 last year in the Ashiyana housing scam.
Rafique had been arrested by NAB on Dec 11 last year at a time when the
assembly was already in session. The opposition parties had lodged a strong
protest and even boycotted most of the sittings before the speaker issued
production order only a day before prorogation of the house on Dec 21.
speaker has already summoned a meeting of the House Business Advisory Committee
comprising representatives of all the parties present in the assembly before
start of the session in which he is expected to take up the issue of the
formation of the committees, besides discussing the agenda for the upcoming
session which is expected to continue for more than two weeks as the government
intends to present a mini-budget on Jan 23.
Minister Asad Umar, while speaking to the members of the business community
during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Saturday, had
announced that the government would present a mini-budget on Jan 23 and
dispelled the impression that it would be loaded with new taxes.
Umar had admitted that last year had been difficult not only for the government
but also for the business community as during the five months (July-November)
of the current financial year, only $818 million came under Foreign Direct
Investment against $1.35 billion in the same period last financial year.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the PML-N are questioning the government’s
move to present second mini-budget in less than six months.
opposing the plan, PPP’s vice president Senator Sherry Rehman had asked if the
government, which was determined to bring about a revolution, would introduce
mini-budgets every four months. She alleged that the mini-budget was being
unveiled to meet the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund.
regretted that just a day after an increase in the prices of drugs, the
government announced its plans about unveiling a mini-budget.
the PML-N leaders, including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, had
also questioned the government’s move to present another mini-budget. Speaking
at a news conference on Saturday, the PML-N leaders had lashed out at the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for its “directionless and failed”
economic policies, which had drastically brought down the country’s growth rate
in just five months.
succeeding in breaking the deadlock between the government and the opposition
over the issue of the PAC chairmanship last month, Speaker Asad Qaiser is still
struggling to complete the process of the formation of house committees.
delay in the formation of over three dozen committees has badly affected the
legislative work of parliament, and the National Assembly which came into
existence in August after the general elections held in July is functioning
with only two committees, including the PAC.
said that an understanding between the government and the opposition had
already been reached on the distribution of the chairmanship of 38 standing
committees. Under the agreed formula, the chairmanship of 18 committees would
go to the opposition while the remaining 20 committees would be headed by the
PTI and its allies.
they said, the two sides were yet to discuss the committees to be distributed
among the treasury and the opposition members. The opposition parties, the
sources said, wanted to head the important committees like interior, foreign
affairs, power and finance.
speaker had met Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan
and the opposition leaders in the last two days and after his meeting with the
government and the opposition representatives, he expressed the hope that he
would constitute the committees during the session.
place for Israeli athletes in Malaysia’ says Malaysian PM
Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad has said that there is “no place for Israeli
athletes in Malaysia” and has refused to issue entry visas to Israeli athletes.
at a press conference in China on Thursday, Mohamad said that his government
would not allow the Israeli swimming team to enter Malaysia and participate in
the 2019 World Paralympic Swimming Championship in the summer.
also said the if the organisers of the Paralympic event wanted to cancel the
championship “they can do so”
Hee Kyung, the deputy sports minister stated:
government will maintain its steadfast position regarding this issue as a means
to protest against the continuous Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.”
also said that the refusal to allow entry to the Israeli athletes was part of
Malaysia’s policy in dealing with Israel.
Israeli Olympic committee has pressured the Malaysian government to issue visas
to their swimming team but the government has remained to its policy and
refused the repeated requests.
committee has also tried to pressure the organisers of the event to cancel the
championships from taking place in the south-east Asian nation but has also
the Islamic Resistance Movement and governing body of the occupied Gaza Strip,
praised the Malaysian government for refusing the Israeli athletes and has
called on all Arab and Muslim nations to follow Malaysia’s position
has categorically rejected Israel’s attempts at normalising diplomatic ties due
to its support for the Palestinian people and its struggle against the illegal
military government has launched a high-profile effort to pacify the Buddhist
nation's three restive Muslim-majority provinces through what it calls
junta, which seized power in a coup against the country's last elected
government in 2014, has set up a Peace Dialogue Panel with several prominent
army generals on it, including junta leader and Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, the
panel's aim, the generals say, is to try and bring southern insurgents to the
negotiating table to "de-escalate the situation."
2004 groups of Muslim separatists in the three southernmost provinces bordering
Malaysia have been waging a bloody insurgency against rule from Bangkok.
the past 15 years, thousands of people, including hundreds of security
personnel, have died in roadside bombings and guerrilla-style hit-and-run
attacks by members of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (National Revolutionary
Front), or BRN, and other Islamist militant groups.
of the casualty toll in the troubled region remain contested. Senior Thai
officials say some 5,000 people have been killed, but the actual death toll
could be considerably higher.
junta says it is ready to engage in talks with separatists
don't have any preconditions [ahead of talks]," Gen. Udomchai
Thamasarorat, the head of the Peace Dialogue Panel, told foreign journalists at
a press event in Bangkok on Jan. 11. "We don't impose, we don't force. But
we should seek to resolve these issues urgently."
former head of the Royal Thai Army's 4th Army in Pattani province in southern
Thailand, Gen. Udomchai, 65, said armed groups would not be expected to
renounce violence before they agreed to engage in back-channel talks with Thai
want to hear directly from them. If they want to remain anonymous, we are fine
with that," he said.
want to talk to each and every separatist group because they may have different
views and agendas. We will talk to all groups — whether they agree or disagree
[with us], whether they use violence or don't use violence."
Thai army has repeatedly been criticized over its handling of the Islamic
insurgency in the south. Local units' tactics and policies, observers have
said, could well have worsened the situation by fueling Muslims' anger at
generals on the Peace Dialogue Panel appeared to tacitly acknowledge that the
army might have to soften its stance.
have sensitized the heads of local units to the importance of dialogue,"
said Maj. Gen. Krengkri Srirak, commander of the 4th Army's Support Command.
"State officials must make sure that they don't violate human rights and
Udomchai concurred. "Our task is to transform the conflict. It's important
to build confidence in a peace process. If they [insurgents and separatists]
are ready, they should come and talk to us. But time is of the essence because
lives are at stake."
generals also stressed, however, that the three Muslim-majority provinces of
Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat would not be allowed to secede and must remain
part of Thailand.
have reached out to Malaysia [to help] resolve the conflict," Gen.
Udomchai said. "But in the end it has to be an internal dialogue because
it is an internal issue."
the three southernmost provinces, local Muslims speak a Malay dialect and have
far more in common culturally with Malaysian Muslims than Thai Buddhists. The
area once belonged to the sultanate of Pattani, which paid tribute to Siamese
kings, before Bangkok set out in the early 20th century to assimilate locals
the 1930s Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, an army general who sought to
replicate Italian-style fascist rule in Thailand, stepped up Thaification
efforts among various ethnic groups around Thailand, including the southernmost
region which had been annexed by the Kingdom of Siam.
local Muslims have been chafing at rule from Bangkok ever since. Simmering
discontent has led to a succession of separatist movements. Over the past
decade and a half, Islamist militants have routinely targeted Buddhist
civilians, especially civil servants and teachers, in an effort to try and
drive non-Muslims away from the three restive provinces.
seen as accommodating towards Thai Buddhists have also been targeted by
home-grown Islamists with extremist views.
as the Royal Thai Army was launching its peace initiative, on Jan. 10 suspected
insurgents on motorbikes shot dead four Muslim security guards at a primary
school in Pattani where they had been guarding students.
day earlier, a 12-year-old girl was injured when a bomb exploded near another
school in the same district. That same day a teacher in adjacent Songkhla
province was shot dead by suspected insurgents. His truck was then rigged with
a bomb that injured six police officers.
almost as if they [Muslim separatists] want to send a message that they don't
want to have anything to do with the government's latest peace initiative,"
a Bangkok-based United Nations official who is familiar with the situation and
requested anonymity told ucanews.com.
might assume that [violent] actions speak louder than words when they want to
make their point."
early January, Abdul Karim Khalib, a spokesman for the BRN, released a video
calling on Muslims to continue resisting Thai rule.
Jan 14— Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun today said the
police are still unable to trace Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi’s missing
daughter Prasana Diksa and her fugitive ex-husband, Muhammad Riduan Abdullah.
Mohamad Fuzi told reporters after attending a Home Ministry’s event here that
that they were doing their best to locate them.
fact on several occasions, my director of CID has been giving press
conferences, appealing to the public with any information on the whereabouts of
Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband and her child, but until now nobody has come
forward,” he said, referring to the Criminal Investigation Department.
is an ongoing thing because this is a court order given to us,” Mohamad Fuzi
November last year, Indira wrote an open letter to Mohamad Fuzi, asking for the
whereabouts of Prasana, the youngest of her three children.
kindergarten teacher from Ipoh, Perak, who challenged the unilateral conversion
to Islam of her three children by their converted father all the way to the
Federal Court in Putrajaya and won, was frustrated by the apathy displayed by
the authorities in bringing back her youngest child as ordered nearly 10 years
former husband who now goes by the name Muhammad Riduan converted all three of
their children on April 2, 2009 without her consent, and applied to the Shariah
Court for their custody.
ran away with Prasana when she was only 11 months old, after the High Court
granted Indira full custody of all three children nine years ago.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said that the policies of “liberal” forces in
the European Union will divide the bloc into an increasingly Islamic west and a
traditional European-Christian east.
his first address to the media of 2019 in Budapest on Thursday, Prime Minister
Orbán said his country’s objective is to ensure anti-mass migration forces
become “a majority in every EU constitutional system” in May’s European
Parliament elections, to combat the “progressive” open-borders policies driving
the bloc’s current direction.
thinking in Europe is the main enemy of freedom. Liberals today are the enemies
of freedom in Europe,” Mr Orbán explained.
of one unified civilisation, there will be two civilisations in Europe. There
will be a mixed civilisation, which builds its future on a mixed Islamic and
we in Central Europe still say Europe is a Christian civilisation, and say
Europe should belong to Europeans.”
the next 15-20 years, as well, migration will be the most important question of
fate on the continent and, within that, Hungary,” he added.
Hungarian leader, who won his third consecutive term in office with a
parliamentary super-majority in April 2018 after running on a campaign of
securing borders and supporting families, made the comments as the bloc
prepares for the European Parliament elections, whose composition could
influence the European Commission and other institutions.
conservative hopes that a coalition of right-wing and populist parties will win
major gains in the May elections and turn the direction of the globalist
European Project away from open borders and so-called progressivism.
Minister Orbán also welcomed the co-operation between right-populist Italian
deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini and Poland’s conservative Law and Justice
(PiS) party government, saying on Thursday: “the Warsaw-Rome axis is a great
development, great hopes are tied to it.”
Wednesday, the Italian and Polish leaders met to discuss a “new European
Spring” to combat the “French-German axis.”
had already met with Matteo Salvini to discuss their own collaboration in the
summer, agreeing to form a populist front to challenge German Chancellor Angela
Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron and their vision of a United States
and Macron agreed on Wednesday that later this month they would sign a historic
treaty to, in effect, merge aspects of the two countries by creating
“Eurodistricts” in border towns, share defence, and foreign and economic
policy, in a prototype of a “sovereign Europe”.
Israeli regime’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz arrived in Cairo on Sunday to
attend a natural gas conference in a rare visit to Egypt by an Israeli
official, airport sources said.
visit has been widely opposed by Egyptians who, like most Arabs, are largely
opposed to the normalization of ties with Israel given the regime’s atrocities
against the Palestinian nation.
visit came at the invitation of the Egyptian government, Israel’s energy ministry
and Egypt are the only two Arab states to have full diplomatic ties with
Israel, but the relations remain limited and taboo among the general
last time an Israeli minister visited Egypt was in November 2017 when Social
Equality Minister Gila Gamliel took part in a conference on the promotion of
gender equality in Mediterranean states.
between the Israeli regime and some Arab countries have warmed in recent
months, with Israeli ministers last year visiting the United Arab Emirates and
November report by the UK-based Arabic newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said Saudi
Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi have been working together to persuade other Arab leaders to establish
close trade ties with Israel while working to resolve political differences
with the Tel Aviv regime as well.
push came as part of US President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan for the
Middle East region.
and Sisi have explored possible ways to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in
a way that would prompt as many Arab countries as possible to give relations
with Israel another chance.
Egyptian proposal to hold a summit with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the
Palestinian Authority is one of the possible solutions that the two close
allies might have in store to further their agenda, the report said.
week, the Egyptian president acknowledged that his administration has
maintained very deep relations with the Tel Aviv regime and is engaged in
military cooperation with Israel in the restive Sinai Peninsula.
made the rare acknowledgment during an interview with US television network
CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which was aired last Sunday.
comes as Egypt, under Sis’s rule, has quietly cooperated with Israel on
security in the desert peninsula.
whether the cooperation was the closest and deepest that he has had with
Israel, Sisi responded, "That is correct. The Air Force sometimes needs to
cross to the Israeli side. And that's why we have a wide range of coordination
with the Israelis."
has complained to the UN about Israel's new air raids, stressing that the
"cowardly" attacks will fail to hamper its resolve to defend the
country and confront its enemies.
separate letters to the UN chief and the Security Council chairman, the Syrian
Foreign Ministry denounced missiles fired by Israeli warplanes on a number of
sites near Damascus on Friday.
ministry said the fresh attack was in flagrant violation of UN Security Council
Resolution 350, which enshrines a ceasefire between Tel Aviv and Damascus,
first put in place in 1974.
Syrian military source told the official SANA news agency that the Syrian air
defenses had "intercepted hostile missiles and downed most of them."
to the report, the Israeli aggression caused material damage to one of the
warehouses at Damascus International Airport.
warplanes, apparently deterred by buoyed Syrian air defense systems, sneak into
the Lebanese airspace and fire missiles at their targets inside Syria.
ministry said the Israeli actions in Syria were no different from those of
Takfiri terrorist groups marauding across parts of the country.
deliberate repeat of these grave provocations and cowardly aggression is a
clear proof of the fact that what Israel is doing is no different from what
Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra organizations are doing in terms of terrorist methods
and threatening international peace and security," it said.
ministry also condemned the US support for Israel and the Security Council's
silence in the face of the Israel crimes.
stresses that the continuation of Israel in its serious aggressive approach
would not have been possible without the political, military and media cover
provided by the US administration in the context of a state of immunity from
any accountability provided by well-known states in the Security Council, which
could enable Israel to continue to practice state terrorism,” the letters read.
frequently attacks military targets inside Syria in what is considered as an
attempt to prop up Takfiri terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy
defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.
an interview with the New York Times earlier this week, Lieutenant General Gadi
Eisenkot, the Israeli army's outgoing chief of staff, said that Israel had
carried out “thousands” of airstrikes in Syria in recent years.
claims the attacks target Iranian military advisers and Hezbollah fighters, but
an Israeli intelligence website recently put the kibosh on the claim, saying
the raids in fact hit Syrian army positions.
Tel Aviv regime has occupied and annexed Syria’s Golan Heights, a move never
recognized by the international community.
its letters, the Syrian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the Israeli
provocations would not "dissuade Syria from confronting whoever tries to
attack the Syrian people and sovereignty or affects its determination to
restore the occupied Syrian Golan."
further called on the UN Security Council to shoulder its responsibility in
maintaining international peace and take a prompt action to prevent further
recurrence of the Israeli aggression.
Iraqi security forces found a mass grave in the village of Qabr al-Abad, South
of Mosul in Nineveh province," the Arabic-language Baghdad Post quoted a
senior security official, Major Mohammad Jassem, as saying on Sunday.
noted that the mass grave contained 28 dead bodies of Iraqi military forces,
including 18 senior officials of the 2nd Division of Iraqi Army.
Jassem said that some victims have been identified through their ID cards,
adding that the slain officers had been stationed in the area before ISIL's
occupation of the region.
a relevant development in late December, authorities in Northern Iraq announced
the discovery of a mass grave containing the bodies of civilians believed to
have been killed by the ISIL.
said residents found the bodies in a sparsely populated region near the town of
Huweija in Kirkuk province after heavy rain in the area exposed the corpses, al
you can see, the location allowed them to hide and kill innocent civilians from
the district and outside the district," said Security Chief Dawoud Salman
was not immediately clear how many bodies laid further underground.
living in the area said they had witnessed ISIL, an armed group that held large
swaths of territory across Northern Iraq and Syria from mid-2014 until late
2017, execute victims in broad daylight.
our way, we saw they were killing them. The victims were dressed in red suits.
We could see them it was clear," said Adday Hamid Abd, who lives in the
nearby village of Al Daghila.
a relevant development in November, a report by the UN Human Rights Office and
the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq documented the existence of 202 such mass
grave sites in the Iraqi provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar.
year earlier, in November 2017, graves containing the remains of some 400
bodies were found at an airbase on the outskirts of Kirkuk.
Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army fended off an attack by terrorists on its
positions from the village of al-Zarzour, inflicting heavy losses on the
Syrian army's artillery and missile units targeted and pounded the military
convoy of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in the towns of Jorjnaz and al-Ghadaqeh in
Southeastern Idlib, destroying several military vehicles as well as killing and
wounding a number of militants.
Syrian Army's artillery units also pounded the terrorists' movements towards
the government forces' positions in al-Latamanieh town and its surrounding
areas in Southern Idlib, inflicting heavy losses on them.
Northern Hama, the Syrian Army units also targeted and pounded the terrorists'
movements in Kafar Zita, the outskirts of the town of al-Latamanieh in Northern
Hama and Tal Sakhar village in Northwestern Hama, inflicting heavy losses on
a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian Army dispatched new military
convoys from Deir Ezzur province in Eastern Syria to Hama in the Northern parts
of the country to prepare for military operations there.
military convoys of the Syrian Army comprising hundreds of soldiers from
different divisions, including 5th Division, along with military equipment and
hardware have been sent to the Northern fronts of Hama province from the cities
of al-Mayadeen and al-Bu Kamal in Eastern Deir Ezzur," battlefield sources
in Northern Syria said.
sources noted that the military convoys had been sent to Deir Ezzur from
Northern Hama and Eastern Idlib after the Sochi Agreement.
reiterated that the Syrian Army has reinforced its positions and forces in all
villages and towns of Hayalin, Talmalh, al-Jabin, Sheikh Hadid, al-Moghir,
Bridij garrison and al-Jurnia in Western Hama over the past two days, and said
that there is a strong likelihood that the Syrian Army will launch massive
operation in Idlib province soon.
military convoys of the Turkish Army comprising tanks, military vehicles and
commando units, have arrived at Turkey's border with Syria across Idlib
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian Army foiled further attacks from
the demilitarized zone by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at and their allied terrorist
groups in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib.
Syrian Army's artillery units prevented members of a terrorist group who were
trying to penetrate into the army positions in Northern Hama from the
surrounding areas of Ma'arkabeh town, killing and injuring several terrorists
and forcing many others to flee the scene.
the Syrian Army's artillery units pounded the terrorists' movements in the
outskirts of Wadi al-Dorat and Al-Zuka in Northern Hama.
Syrian troops also targeted Jeish al-Izzah terrorists' movements from
al-Latamanieh town towards military points in Northern Hama, inflicting major
losses on them.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday, that the eradication of
ISIS extremist group remains a priority and a political solution is the only
viable way to resolve the crisis in Syria.
Drian spoke at a joint news conference alongside Jordanian Foreign Minister
Ayman al-Safadi after a meeting with his counterpart during a visit to Jordan’s
Drian said that the Syrian people must be given the chance to decide their
future “in the framework of a peaceful process and electoral process”.
forces have carried out a retaliatory drone attack against Saudi forces,
killing a number of them in the Kingdom’s Jizan region.
to Yemeni media, the drone attack was conducted by the Yemeni army and popular
forces, and targeted a gathering of Saudi soldiers in Jizan region.
attack reportedly left a number of soldiers killed and injured.
Houghi Ansarullah movement had previously threatened to carry out more
retaliatory attacks against the Saudi-backed forces.
on Thursday, a Houthi drone attack on Yemen's largest air base held by Saudi
mercenaries in Lahij province killed at least seven ranking officials including
top Saudi intelligence official Brigadier General Saleh Tamah, and left 11
other senior members of the Saudi-led operations center injured.
those injured were deputy chief of staff Saleh al-Zandani, senior commander
Fadel Hasan, and Lahij provincial governor Ahmad Abdullah al-Turki, with AFP
saying the latter two had been transferred to Saudi Arabia for treatment.
Ansarullah movement said that Thursday’s drone attack came in response to the
continued aggression and blockade by the Saudi-backed forces, and repeated
Saudi airstrikes which have put a UN-brokered peace agreement in the strategic
port city of Hudaydah in jeopardy.
December, the Ansarullah movement and Yemen’s former Saudi-backed government
signed an agreement for a ceasefire in Hudaydah during UN-brokered peace talks
held in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. However, the Saudi coalition has
repeatedly violated the truce deal.
to the agreement, the Houthi fighters, who are in control of Hudaydah, and
Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s armed militia together with
Saudi-led forces — who have placed the city under a tight siege since June — must
withdraw from the port and hand it over to UN observers.
the Ansarullah movement’s chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam announced on
Sunday the Houthis have boycotted the ceasefire monitoring team in Hudaydah,
accusing the head of the team of pursuing “other agendas.”
Yemeni official said retired Dutch Major General Patrick Cammaert, who was to
chair the meeting, had “exited from the course of the agreement by implementing
Arabia invaded Yemen in 2015 with the aim of reinstating former president Hadi
who resigned amid a political deadlock in January 2015 and then fled to Riyadh.
invasion has fallen short of its purpose, but has reportedly killed over 56,000
people and put the country in the throes of an acute famine.
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, Speaker of Shoura
Council Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh, several senior ministers, members
of the Saudi Shoura Council, scholars and citizens on Sunday called on the king
at his palace in Riyadh to greet him.
reception began with the recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’an.
group organizing anti-government protests across Sudan vowed to stage new
demonstrations on Sunday, including for the first time in the war-torn region
that erupted in the provinces on December 19 after the government tripled the
price of bread have escalated into nationwide anti-government rallies, with
demonstrators calling for President Omar al-Bashir to resign.
say at least 24 people have died in the protests, while rights group Human
Rights Watch has put the death toll at 40, including children and medical
Sunday, protest organizers called for demonstrations in the capital Khartoum
and other towns including Madani, Kosti and Dongola as part of what they have
called a “Week of Uprising”.
also urged protests in Niyala and El-Fasher in Darfur, the first such rallies
to be called in the region.
people of Niyala and El-Fasher, we call on you to gather in downtown like other
towns and villages who are calling on President Bashir to step down,” the
Sudanese Professionals’ Association said in a joint statement with an alliance of
a region the size of France, has been torn by violence since 2003 when ethnic
minority rebels took up arms against Khartoum, accusing it of economic and
has remained largely calm since last year, with no anti-government
demonstration held so far even as protesters staged hundreds of rallies in
other cities that have been swiftly broken up by riot police.
demonstrations first erupted in towns and villages before spreading to Khartoum
the trigger was the rise in the price of bread, Sudan has faced a mounting
economic crisis over the past year, led by an acute shortage of foreign
shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including
Khartoum, while the cost of food and medicine has more than doubled.
police fired tear gas Sunday at crowds of anti-government protesters in
Khartoum after organizers called for nationwide rallies against President Omar
chanting “peace, peace” and “revolution is the people’s choice” took to the
streets in the capital’s district of Bahari, but were quickly confronted by
riot police, witnesses told AFP.
that first erupted in the provinces on December 19 over a government decision
to triple the price of bread have swiftly escalated into nationwide rallies
widely seen as the biggest threat to Bashir’s three-decade rule.
say the protests have left 24 people dead, while Human Rights Watch has put the
death toll at 40, including children and medical staff.
Sunday, protesters in Khartoum were seen carrying the Sudanese flag as others
held banners bearing the words “peace, justice, freedom”, which has become a
key slogan in the rallies.
organisers have called for near daily demonstrations across the country against
Bashir this week, calling it a “Week of Uprising”.
also broke out Sunday in the western war-torn region of Darfur, after calls for
rallies there by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded
Somalia – Somali Especial Forces backed by US troops carried out joint military
offensive against Al Shabaab, killing dozens of militants during the operation.
especial forces raided on Al Shabaab targets in Baladul Amin and Hanti Wadaag
neighborhoods near Janalle town, some 91km away from Somali capital Mogadishu.
coalition forces reportedly killed at least 85 Al Shabaab fighters during a
night operation, according to Kulmiye, a local radio based in Mogadishu.
aired that 5 foreign Jihadists from Egypt, Tanzania and Mauritania, Yemen and
Syria fighting alongside Al Shabaab were among those who were killed in the
are the names of foreigners killed in Somalia
Hamsa Bin Sham from Egypt
Abu Hamza from Tanzania
Bilal Zubeyr from Mauritania
Xash Abuu Musiyan from Syria
Bin Hayan from Yemen
military officials were unavailable to reach on phone for comments on the
latest operation against al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.
was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.
al Qaeda inspired group has lost major towns in south and central Somalia to
African Union troops and Somali army forces following joint military
US sent about 50 of its especial troops to Somalia to assist country’s army forces
in fighting against Al Shabaab.
US has carried out six drone strikes against al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab in
Somalia this year.
air raids killed 65 militants, according separate statements by US Africom
Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, Tukur Buratai, has responded to the joint
Freedom of Information request by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability
Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT requesting him to use his
“good offices and leadership position to provide information on spending on
military operations across the country, particularly in the Northeast.”
development was disclosed on Sunday in a statement on behalf of the civil
society groups by SERAP’s senior legal adviser, Bamisope Adeyanju.
to her, “the bulky photographic and textual documentation with a cover letter
dated 24 December 2018 was delivered to SERAP’s office last Friday by a
military officer at around 11:40am.”
letter with reference number AHQDCMA/G4/100/4 and signed on Mr Buratai’s behalf
by Brigadier-General S.B. Kumapayi read in part: “The Nigerian Army (NA) has in
recent time come under unrelenting public scrutiny by both private individuals
and Non-governmental organisations over issues of appropriation of funds. The
most recent being a call from your organisation for the Nigerian Army to
explain how funds appropriated for the NA under the administration of the Chief
of Army Staff were utilised.”
view of the above, I am directed to forward the above-mentioned document to
your office for your perusal and retention. Please accept the esteemed regards
and assurance of the Chief of Army Staff.”
Adeyanju, on behalf of the civil society groups, said: “This is a joint FOI
request involving EiE and BudgIT and not just SERAP. Therefore, our groups will
carefully study the letter and documentation by Mr Buratai to see if details of
the information provided meet the requirements of our request and then promptly
respond to him, as appropriate.”
we ascertain the level of compliance of the information provided, we welcome Mr
Buratai’s demonstrated commitment to the Freedom of Information Act by
responding to our request, especially at a time when high-ranking government
officials including the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu
Ogbeh and Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola continue to
exhibit blatant disregard for FOI requests by refusing to even acknowledge
several of such requests.”
National Assembly, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), ministries,
agencies and departments should also learn from the good example shown by Mr
Buratai by at least honouring and responding to FOI requests from Nigerians,
NGOs and others if they are ever to contribute to the efforts to achieve
greater level of transparency and accountability in Nigeria.”
to SERAP, “a quick look at the documentation shows a list of several projects
reportedly implemented by the Nigerian Army. Among those listed and displayed,
which appeared to show certain projects the Nigerian Army said it carried out
with budgeted funds, include: places where operations were carried out;
renovation of barracks and military hospitals, spending to honour late
soldiers; trainings and workshops; repairs of some old military equipment; and
completion of offices and housing projects. Others are feeding of soldiers;
building of new barracks and schools; acquisition of arms and ammunition and
vehicles for military operations; as well as provision of welfare for
would be recalled that SERAP, EiE and BudgIT had in a joint FOI request asked
Mr Buratai to use his good offices and leadership position to “urgently provide
information on the 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the
Nigerian Army, including the amounts released (financial implications) and expended
in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations the Army carried
groups also urged Mr Buratai to furnish them with “the amounts released
(financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for:
Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Safe Haven, Operation Python Dance, Operation
Ruwan Wuta, Operation Delta Safe, Operation Mesa, Operation Harbin Kunama,
Operation Awatse, Operation Tsera Teku and Operation Crocodile Smile.”
FOI request sent December 2018 and signed by Bamisope Adeyanju of SERAP, Seun
Akinyemi of EiE and Atiku Samuel of BudgIT, read in part: “Transparency of the
budget process and its implementation is an essential condition to achieve good
governance. The reports, if providedand published, will shed light on military
spending and put to rest once and for all the perceived lack of transparency
and accountability in the spending of military budgets, which has been a
subject of intense public debate and concern.”
the requested information is not provided within 14 days of the receipt and/or
publication of this letter, our organizations shall take all appropriate legal
action under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our
billions of naira allocated to the military to defend the country and protect
its people have neither contributed to improving the ability of Nigerian
soldiers to fight Boko Haram and other armed groups nor provided the
much-needed security especially for Nigerians in the North-east of the country.”
information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of
information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The
information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under
the FOI Act, would serve the national interest, public welfare, public interest
and peace, human rights, good governance, transparency and accountability.”
virtue of Section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we are entitled
as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information
on 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, and
the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years
2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations listed,which have yielded no
Taliban militants killed in Afghan, Coalition Forces operations
least 28 Taliban militants have been killed in various provinces of Afghanistan
amid surge in Afghan and coalition forces operations and airstrikes against the
anti-government armed elements.
to the informed sources, a coalition air strike in Tarin Kot district of
Uruzgan province killed 2 Taliban fighters while Afghan Special Operations
Forces conducted a raid in Orgun district, killing 4 Taliban fighters.
sources further added that a coalition air strike in Chimtal district killed 9
Taliban fighters. F
coalition forces also carried out two air strikes in Faryab district killing 13
Taliban fighters in Khwajah Sabz Posh district.
strikes were conducted in self defense in support of Afghan security forces,
the sources said, adding that the Afghan Special Operations Forces also
conducted a raid and seized a large weapons cache containing 45 AK47s, 42
pistols, a Russian grenade launcher, 120 tactical vests and several thousand
rounds of ammunition.
shadow district chief of Taliban for Zari district of nothern Balkh province
has been killed along with his 11 fighters.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military said Sunday that the shadow district
chief of Taliban Qari Qudratullah was killed in a coalition airstrike which was
carried out at 4pm local time in Kandali Village on Saturday.
to a statement released by 209th Shaheen Corps, a convoy of the militants was
targeted in the airstrike as Qari Qudratullah was on his way from Sholgara
comes as the security situation in certain remote districts of northern Balkh
province has deteriorated during the recent months.
National Security Adviser of Afghanistan Hamdullah Mohib has travelled to Saudi
Arabia to discuss Afghan peace talks and bilateral cooperation between Kabul
Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) in a statement said National
Security Adviser Dr. Hamdullah Mohib has travelled to Saudi Arabia after
concluding an official visit to China.
statement further added that Dr. Mohib also met with the U.S. Special
Represenative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad in Dubai and
his UAE counterpart in Abu Dhabi before departing for Saudi Arabia.
meeting with UAE’s National Security Adviser focused on Afghan-led and
Afghan-owned peace process and joint fight against terrorism, the Office of the
National Security Council said.
Afghan Air Force bombed a gathering of Taliban militants in northern Faryab
province of Afghanistan leaving at least 11 militants dead.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the airstrike
was carried out at around 4:40pm local time in Badghesi Village of Khawajah
Sabz Posh district.
statement further added that the airstrike on Taliban gathering followed a day
after a senior Taliban commander Qari Tajuddin was killed with his 20 fighters
in the same district.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, at least 14 militants had also sustained injuries and
12 others were arrested during the operation on Saturday.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the killing of the militants in Badghesi Village so far.
military sources in the southwestern province of al-Dhalea said more than 20
Houthi gunmen were killed or wounded in heavy fighting over the weekend.
those killed was a Houthi battalion leader who went by the name “Abu al-Karar,”
the sources said.
the gunfight, Yemen’s internationally-recognized armed forces thwarted two
violent attacks against the Houthi militia in several villages across the
described the battles on Sunday as the worst seen since the arrival of armed
forces on the outskirts of the city earlier this month.
Houthi militias on Sunday boycotted a meeting chaired by the head of a UN-led
ceasefire monitoring team in the flashpoint city of Hodeidah, accusing him of
pursuing “other agendas”.
Dutch general Patrick Cammaert is leading a joint committee, which includes both
government and militia representatives, tasked with overseeing a truce in the
Red Sea port city and the withdrawal of both parties.
militia negotiator Mohammed Abdelsalam said Cammaert “steered from the course
of the agreement by implementing other agendas”.
(UN envoy to Yemen Martin) Griffiths does not address the issue, it is going to
be difficult to discuss any other matter,” he said on Twitter without
AFP photographer said that the Houthi representatives did not take part in the
committee meeting in Hodeidah on Sunday.
UN declined to comment.
month the warring parties agreed a ceasefire for Hodeidah during UN-sponsored
talks in Sweden.
the peace efforts, the truce was shortly
impeded after a Houthi drone targeted senior officers and journalists at
Yemen’s al-Anad Military base in Lahj last week.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has held the Tel Aviv regime responsible
for the ongoing escalation in the blockaded Gaza Strip, warning that the
movement “will intensify the confrontation with Israel” in the coastal sliver
if the Israeli military launches new attacks against the enclave.
Israeli occupation [regime] bears the consequences of continuing to commit its
follies against peaceful protesters and deliberately killing them in cold blood
as well as bombing sites of resistance,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in
a statement on Sunday
further noted that the escalation of situation in Gaza and "playing with
fire" will never led to security for Israel and its people.
statement came after Israeli military aircraft carried out several airstrikes
against multiple locations across the besieged Gaza Strip late on Saturday.
Ma'an news agency reported that Israeli warplanes fired at least one missile
towards a military site belonging to Hamas east of Gaza City.
other sites were targeted, one in the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza
Strip, and another in the city of Khan Yunis south of the enclave.
Israeli airstrikes caused fires to erupt in several targeted sites; however
there were no reports of human casualties.
Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip, with civilians being the main
target of such attacks.
has also launched several wars on the Palestinian coastal sliver, the last of
which began in early July 2014. The military aggression, which ended on August
26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also
wounded in the war.
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has
caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Palestinian wounded by Israeli fire during Gaza border protests and clashes
three weeks ago has died from his wounds, the health ministry in the Hamas-run
enclave said on Sunday.
Quday, 33, was wounded in the neck east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza
Strip, said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
least 242 Palestinians have been killed since protests and clashes with Israeli
forces erupted along the Gaza border on March 30.
Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period, one by a Palestinian
sniper and another during a botched special forces operation inside Gaza.
and clashes have calmed in recent months amid an informal truce between Israel
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad
on Sunday for wide-ranging talks, including on US sanctions against Tehran.
visit came just days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise
stop on his regional tour to urge Iraq to stop relying on Iran for gas and
has granted Baghdad a waiver until late March to keep buying Iranian gas and
power, despite re-imposing tough sanctions on Tehran in November.
a two-hour meeting on Sunday, Iraq’s top diplomat Mohammed Ali al-Hakim said he
had talked through the restrictions with his counterpart.
discussed the unilateral economic measures taken by the US and are working with
our neighbor (Iran) on them,” Hakim said.
said the two talked through various political and economic issues, including
Syria and Yemen, in a “long and interesting meeting”.
said Iraq was in favor of the Arab League reinstating Syria’s membership, eight
years after suspending it as the conflict there unfolded.
is expected to attend several economic forums in various Iraqi cities,
including Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdish north.
is the second-largest source of imported goods in Iraq.
canned food and cars, Baghdad also buys 1,300 megawatts of electricity and 28
million cubic meters of natural gas daily from Iran to feed power plants.
dependence is uncomfortable for Washington, which sees Tehran as its top
regional foe and expects Iraq to wean itself off Iranian energy resources.
World Food Program has suspended or reduced aid for some of its Palestinian
beneficiaries in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip due to funding
shortages, an official with the organization said on Sunday.
27,000 Palestinians are no longer receiving aid through the United Nations
program since January 1 in the West Bank, said Stephen Kearney, the
organization’s director for the Palestinian territories.
165,000, including 110,000 in Gaza, are receiving 80 percent of the usual
amount, he said.
cuts were decided upon after a gradual reduction in donations over the past
nearly four years, with US cuts having the biggest effect.
2018, the WFP assisted 250,000 people in Gaza and 110,000 in the West Bank.
the village of Yatta near Hebron in the southern West Bank, Maha Al-Nawajah
said she is buying fewer necessities.
December, they did not renew my card,” said the 52-year-old mother, referring
to the WFP card that allowed her to buy groceries for 12 members of her
said family members were unemployed.
sons do not have permission to enter into Israel and my husband receives it
occasionally” and can earn some cash during those times, she said.
West Bank has an unemployment rate of 18 percent and some Palestinians seek to
work in Israel with the hope of earning a higher salary.
permits are needed to do so and Israel is selective in who is given one.
WFP launched a funding appeal on December 19 and received additional
contributions from the European Union and Switzerland, but the amount remains
short, Kearney said.
said at the time that it was in need of $57 million. It will now seek
contributions from new donors in an effort to fill the gap, he said.
said there were also concerns that the cuts would affect the local economy
since residents used the cards to buy goods in local stores.
the Gaza Strip, around 80 percent of the two million residents rely on
strip has been under an Israeli blockade for more than a decade. Israel and
Gaza’s rulers Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel had at the weekend carried
out an air strike on Iranian weapons in Syria, a rare public confirmation of
in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing
Iranian weapons in the Damascus international airport,” Netanyahu said at the
start of a cabinet meeting, according to his office.
accumulation of recent attacks shows that we’re more determined than ever to
act against Iran in Syria, just as we promised.”
Turkey on Monday vowed to continue fighting a US-backed Kurdish militia which
it views as a terrorist group after Donald Trump warned of economic devastation
if Turkey attacks Kurdish forces as American troops withdraw.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter that
there was "no difference" between the Daesh group and the Kurdish
People's Protection Units (YPG) militia. "We will continue to fight
against them all."
@realDonaldTrump It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK,
which is on the US terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG,” Kalin also
wrote on Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet.
decision to pull American troops out of Syria has left the United States’ Kurdish
allies vulnerable to an attack from Turkey. Ankara views the Kurdish forces as
terrorists aligned with insurgents inside Turkey.
a tweet, Trump also warned the Kurdish forces not to “provoke Turkey.”
US withdrawal has begun with shipments of military equipment, US defense
officials said. But in coming weeks, the contingent of about 2,000 troops is
expected to depart even as the White House says it will keep pressure on the IS
the troops are gone, the US will have ended three years of organizing, arming,
advising and providing air cover for Syrian, Kurdish and Arab fighters in an
open-ended campaign devised by the Obama administration to deal the militants,
also known as Daesh, a lasting defeat.
the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining Daesh
territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions,” Trump tweeted. “Will
attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey
economically if they hit Kurds.”
against ISIS continues, says US-led coaltion
militants are "living their final moments" in the last enclave they
hold near the Iraqi border, where US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are
attacking them, an SDF official said on Sunday.
defeat of the militants in the enclave would wipe out ISIS's territorial
foothold on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
spokesman for the US-led coalition said the SDF were making "great
progress ... but the fight continues".
SDF, a coalition of militias led by the Kurdish YPG, have driven ISIS from a
swathe of northern and eastern Syria with the help of the US-led coalition over
the last four years.
Bali, head of the SDF media office, said its fighters had stepped up attacks in
the last two days and taken control of the area between the ISIS enclave and
the Iraqi border, cutting an escape route.
are living their final moments and realise that this battle is the battle to
eliminate them," he said.
President Donald Trump last month announced he would withdraw US forces from
Syria, declaring they had succeeded in their mission to defeat ISIS and were no
then, US officials have given mixed messages. On Friday, the US-led coalition
said it had started the pullout, but officials later said it involved only
equipment, not troops.
Sean Ryan, the coalition spokesman, said: "The SDF is making great
progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS, but the
lasting defeat of ISIS is still the mission and they still present a very real
threat to the long-term stability in this region, so it is not over yet."
US decision has injected new uncertainty into the eight-year-old Syrian war and
spurred a flurry of contacts over how the security vacuum will be filled in the
swathe of northern and eastern Syria where the US forces are now stationed.
Turkey aims to pursue the Kurdish forces allied with the United States, the
Russia- and Iran-backed Syrian government sees a chance to recover extensive
Sunday, Mr Trump said Turkey would suffer economically if it attacked the
Kurds, but did not say how. He also said he did not want the Kurds to provoke
the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS
territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from
existing nearby base if it reforms," Trump said on Twitter. "Will devastate
Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone ... Likewise,
do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey."
Iran and Syria had been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy
of destroying Islamic State in Syria, Mr Trump said.
also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS
WARS!" he tweeted. It was not immediately clear what he meant by a 20-mile
national security adviser John Bolton suggested last week that protection for
Washington's Kurdish allies would be a precondition of the US withdrawal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called those comments "a serious
still holds territory on the western bank of the Euphrates, between areas
controlled by the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian-backed allies.
to ‘devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds’ in Syria
Donald Trump has threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if it attacks US
backed Kurdish militants in Syria after US withdrawal.
the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS
territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from
existing nearby base if it reforms," the president said on Twitter Sunday.
further warned that he "will devastate Turkey economically if they hit
Kurds," adding in a second tweet, "Likewise, do not want the Kurds to
US president also overstated the Washington’s alleged role in fighting the ISIL
Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy
of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now
time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" Trump said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan publicly lashed out at US national security
adviser John Bolton last week.
presence in Syria has had no approval from the Syrian government or a mandate
from the United Nations.
announced via Twitter on December 19 that all American troops in Syria would be
withdrawn from the Arab country.
initially indicated that the withdrawal would be quick but has since stated
that it would be "slow and coordinated" with allies.
White House’s national security team last fall asked the Pentagon to provide it
with options for striking Iran after a group of militants aligned with Tehran
fired mortars into an area in Baghdad that is home to the US Embassy, the Wall
Street Journal reported Sunday.
request by the National Security Council, which is led by John Bolton, sparked
deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials, the newspaper
reported, citing current and former US officials.
Pentagon complied with the request, but it is not known whether the options for
an Iran strike were also provided to the White House or if President Donald
Trump knew about it.
decision to seek options striking Iran was prompted by an incident in September
in which three mortars were fired into a diplomatic quarter in Baghdad, the
newspaper said. The shells landed in an open lot and no one was hurt.
Department Secretary Mike Pompeo did not comment on the story when asked about
it by reporters and a State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
Pentagon spokesman did not have any immediate comment on the story and the
White House and National Security Council could not be immediately reached.
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