Muslims Must Trust Each Other: Congress Leader
of Anti-Immigrant Parties Compounds Problems for Europe’s Muslims
Exiles Rally In London To Demand Regime Change In Tehran
Refugees Press Citizenship Demands In Talks With Myanmar
Negotiations To Take Place After U.S.-Taliban Agreements: Khalilzad
Arabia, Israel Get Away With Infanticide Due To US Support: Commentator
Terror Rages despite Nigerian Government Claim Of Crippling It
23 Years in Jail and Acquittal in 3 States, Faith Unshaken In System
Secret Negotiations In India’s Babri-Temple Dispute From July 29
Sad only Muslim MPs voted against NIA, UAPA bills
troops spark panic in Jammu & Kashmir
Narendra Modi calls for more integrated defence forces, global effort on terror
IED expert, local terrorist killed in Jammu and Kashmir encounter
Jaish bomb maker killed in south Kashmir’s overnight operation
commander among 2 militants killed in Valley
officials in Iran visit Russian members of detained UK vessel
Forced To Tow Establishment Line When Dealing with Iran
UK govt urged to impose sanctions on Tehran
diplomats visit British tanker detained by Iran
to hold talks with Taliban within next 2 weeks: Afghan official
Delegation Holds Repatriation Talks With Rohingya in Bangladesh
dissolves High Peace Council of Afghanistan
sharpshooter killed in Alisheng district
commander Mullah Abdul Shakoor, his fighters killed; 14 others wounded in
delegation holds repatriation talks with Rohingya in Bangladesh
official: Taliban suicide blast hits police, kills three
reject direct talks with Afghan government
Military Source: Missile Tests Are Defensive, Not Against Any Country
killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border clashes: Gaza ministry
FM arrives in Tehran amid regional tensions
says Turkey will not keep silent on Israel’s new wave of terror
nationalists violently disrupt protest for Syrians in Turkey
hold funeral for Palestinian killed in Gaza protest
PM: Israel ‘main cause of terrorism in world’
pledges $50m for Palestinian refugees
Says 87 Killed, 168 Wounded When June 3 Protest Broken Up
leaders mourn the death of late Tunisian President Essebsi
army launches 7 airstrikes on GNA military sites in Misrata, Sirte
opposition rejects report on protesters' killing
Haram kills 23 mourners after funeral in north-east Nigeria
claims killing 10 Burundian soldiers in southern Somalia
IGAD Pledges Support for Somalia After Al-Shabaab Attacks
Boko Haram attacks Dalori military base and IDP camp
Haram kills two in Nigerian displaced camp
Joko Widodo Says Islam In Indonesia Is 'Tolerant' As Rights Groups Warn Of
Religious Conversion Of Orang Asli Children Still Going On In Schools, Say
lauds Muslim renaissance initiative by Dr M
years on, Muslim surau in Ghim Moh finds online fame
MCMC to monitor complaints made on those who insult Islam over social media
PAS-Umno supports Dr M as PM to end of term
Siang: Will Umno agree to keep Dr M for full term, after calls to reject
leaders with DAP ties?
Soldiers Martyred In N Waziristan, Balochistan Attacks
asks govt not to remove AC from Nawaz’s cell
with pending references must not be part of SJC: lawyers
undecided about no-trust vote against Senate chairman
regime will no more be allowed to rule: Fazl
has reprimanded delegation that visited Fazl: Sheikh Rasheed
leadership condemns cowardly attack on Pakistani soldiers
Opposition Party Condemns Execution of Young Activists as Practicing ‘State
of Ex-Daesh Capital Yearn For Return of President Assad's Rule: Report
ISIL Terrorists Target Iraqi Forces with Advanced US-Made Weapons
Al-Shaabi Commander: US Forces Better to Leave Iraq
Military Convoys Destroyed in Syrian, Russian Airstrikes in Hama
Army Preparing for Imminent Military Operation in Northern Hama
claims deadly attack on Syrian government troops
strikes kill 10 civilians in northwest Syria: Monitor
Syrian soldiers injured as govt. forces advance in Dara’a
Kurds accuse PKK of Turkish diplomat’s assassination
cracks down on Syrian refugees, deports them to terrorist-controlled Idlib
executes three men convicted on terrorism charges
Mulls Labeling Anti-Fascist Movement Antifa A Terror Group
Candidate Charged With Theft Seeks To Unseat Muslim MP Ilhan Omar
Turkey will destroy Kurdish-held 'terror corridor' in Syria
by New Age Islam News Bureau
23 years in jail and acquittal in 3 states, faith unshaken in system
Gani Goni, 57, has spent 23 years of his life in jail, facing charges that
police of three states failed to establish during trials. However, he still has
faith in India and its establishments.
not? If there are people who are bad, there are also people who are good and
honest. The former are fewer, but they cause much damage. The good and honest
people are not allowed to work by those who are bad,” Goni said.
corrupt are not the only ones to occupy higher positions, the honest also get a
chance,” he added, referring to the ordeal that began with his arrest by
Gujarat ATS in 1996 and ended with his release 23 years later along with five
others from Jaipur Central Jail on Tuesday.
were acquitted by the Rajasthan High Court in the Samleti blast case. The High
Court held that prosecution had failed to provide evidence of conspiracy and
could not establish a link between them and the main accused, Dr Abdul Hameed,
whose death sentence was upheld. While one was from UP’s Agra district, Goni
hailed from J&K’s Bhaderwah town and the others from Srinagar.
said he was associated with Allahwale, an organisation whose members preach
about religion. For this, he recalled, in 1996 he went to Banglawali masjid in
Delhi, and then to Vishakhapatnam with a group of 10-15 people. After spending
40 days there, they boarded Delhi-bound Samta Express on May 30. At a station,
Goni said, some people boarded the train and asked passengers their names. On
learning that he was from Jammu and Kashmir, they took him into custody
morning, I learnt I was at Shahi Bagh ATS in Ahmedabad. After questioning
started, they realised I was innocent. A young police officer ordered my release.
However, a Deputy SP instructed officials to hold me for a day. There had been
a blast in Delhi (Lajpat Nagar) and they were looking for a Kashmiri to frame.
There was a red alert but I had no knowledge about it,” Goni said, adding that
they continued to keep him in “illegal detention”.
said he was kept in 14 days’ police remand without being produced before a
judge. “They showed me to be a Pakistani national. They were in such a hurry to
send me to Sabarmati jail that they did not even get my signatures on the
chargesheet or my purported statement,” he said, adding that the officers knew
he was innocent but had to detain him until they got the real culprits.
hours of reaching Sabarmati jail, he said, he was taken to Rajasthan on transit
remand. “During the entire 18-hour journey to Jaipur, they made me sit on the
stepney of the jeep, handcuffed and face covered with a cloth.” There they
slapped two cases —- for blasts in Sawai Mansingh Stadium at Jaipur and a bus
near Samleti village —- on him and sought 14-day police remand in each case.
“They kept me in detention but did not question me for 28 days,” he said. “They
produced me before an IGP Rathore. He gave me tea in his office and told me he
knew I was innocent, and that he would ensure I am not framed.”
he was taken to Jaipur Central jail. However, within two hours, they brought
him out on 14-day police remand in the stadium blast case, and then sent him
back to jail. Eight days later he was taken to Delhi in connection with the
Lajpat Nagar blast, and kept there for 14 days “without any questioning’’. On
the last day, he said, the investigating officer made him sign a statement
purportedly recorded under Section 161 of CrPC, but it did not contain any
judge sent me to Tihar jail pending trial. While trial started in Delhi and
Ahmedabad, Rajasthan police in 1998 withdrew charges of my involvement in the
stadium blast as they had arrested another group,” Goni said. In September
2008, a court in Gujarat acquitted him of the charge of being a Pakistani
2010, he was acquitted in the Lajpat Nagar blast case, with the judge observing
that he was kept in jail for 14 years though the charges were not maintainable,
Goni recalled. After this he was taken into custody by Rajasthan police to face
trial in the Samleti blast case. In 2014, the trial court gave life term to
five accused. They appealed in the Rajasthan High Court, which pronounced its
order earlier this week.
BSc graduate from Jammu University, Goni was 34 at the time of his arrest. He
was running a middle school along with a private tuition centre in Bhaderwah.
Goni said his false implication in case after case and prolonged trials had
ruined his life. He could not meet his mother, who died in hospital, as he
could not get parole from Supreme Court, he said. Pointing out that he would
try to start life afresh, Goni said that many of his students are now doctors,
engineers and even judges. “I may not be able to recognise them, but they will
certainly recognise me,” he said.
leader Salman Khurshid on Saturday said Hindus and Muslims living in India must
trust each other.
Hinduism and Islam have some very fine elements and combined together they can
present an ideal scenario,” he said here at an event to launch his new book
titled ‘Visible Muslim, Invisible Citizen’.
event was organised under the aegis of Prabha Khaitan Foundation’s initiative
about reservation, the former Union minister said when it was mooted after the
country’s independence, it had a purpose but over the years, the quota system
had to be reviewed and modified.
sections had to be excluded with the passage of time but it has now become a
part of the political agenda of some parties.
though the Supreme Court has issued guidelines that it (reservation) should not
cross the 50 per cent limit, more communities and classes are demanding it,” he
on the Sachar Committee, he pointed out that its recommendations were
“brilliant” and had they been implemented, the country would have witnessed the
growth of secularism.
the report was dropped because it was dubbed as “pro-Muslim”, he alleged.
of anti-immigrant parties compounds problems for Europe’s Muslims
DHABI: The seemingly unstoppable rise of anti-establishment political forces in
recent years has added a new layer of complication to Europe’s immigration
results of May’s European Parliament elections revealed the true extent of the
popularity of far-right, nationalist parties, all but ruling out constructive
debates on the politically sensitive topic of migrants and asylum seekers as
well as the grievances of minority groups, of whom Muslims happen to be the
gains made by right-wing and populist nationalist parties in the European
Parliament elections have left Muslims of European countries and the (mostly
Muslim) communities of migrants and refugees on uncertain ground. In the
absence of political will to engage with the communities concerned, it is
difficult to see how the EU can address both the migrant issue and the Muslim
question in a fair manner.
the first time in 40 years, previously dominant center-right and center-left
blocs no longer hold a majority in the European Parliament. Centrist parties
have suffered political reverses across all member states, especially in their
traditional strongholds of Germany and France. Migration has turned out to be a
decisive factor — and the bane of the continent’s established political parties
— from the refugee crisis of 2015 all the way to this year’s elections.
European countries that had long been seen as reliable bastions of centrist
politics failed to defy the upsurge of populist nationalism. UKIP grabbed 31.7
percent of votes cast in Britain in the European Parliament elections, while in
France the far-right National Rally took 23.2 percent. In Italy, the Northern
League, led by Matteo Salvini, won 33.43 percent, up from a mere 6.2 percent in
the 2014 elections. Elsewhere in Europe, Hungary’s ruling right-wing Fidesz
party, which vowed to further tighten the country’s rules on migration, rolled
up impressive gains with 52 percent.
steadily decreasing arrivals to Europe and a substantial difference in the
“immigration and asylum” situation between 2015 and 2019, many European
governments remain deadlocked on a planned revision of the EU’s immigration
policy. In March 2019, EU interior ministers attending a European Council
meeting tried but failed to iron out their differences, kicking the immigration
can further down the road.
the popular imagination, hostility to immigrants and asylum seekers is
associated with Europe’s far-right groups, but the general tenor of the
continent’s political discourse points to a hardening of positions across the
spectrum. In recent times, especially during the election season, mainstream
political parties and their stalwarts have taken to fear-mongering and touting
harsh measures to limit or dissuade migration.
against Muslims reached a peak in the run-up to the enactment of the anti-hijab
laws in several European countries. Austria approved a hijab ban in primary
schools, while the French Senate voted to ban mothers who wear the hijab from
accompanying their children on school trips. In 2018, up to 580 anti-Muslim
attacks took place in Germany alone.
Chancellor Angela Merkel may have been among the few European leaders to
welcome large numbers of political refugees, but even she now says some of the
migration policies are problematic. The growing appeal of anti-immigrant
parties could be a factor behind the new-found necessity of politicians of even
Merkel’s stature to sound tough on immigration. Whatever the real reason, such
rhetoric does little to address the underlying problems, much less to resolve
are ongoing policies against Muslims (in Europe). Since 2008, we have seen the
rise of populism — not only right-wing but also left-wing populism,” said
Belgium’s Mahinur Ozdemir, the youngest and the first hijab-wearing member of
the European Parliament. “Traditional parties, as they become unable to answer
the people’s needs through traditional ways, instead of getting more
democratized, get more populist and grasp racist rhetoric.”
the change in the political rhetoric has coincided with a sharp fall in the
number of migrants and refugees making it to the continent’s shores. In January
2019, arrivals to Europe were at their lowest in five years; the peak was
reached during the 2015 refugee crisis with more than 1 million arrivals. In
the first three months of 2019, applications for just over 10,200 refugees were
submitted by the UNHCR for resettlement in 17 EU member states.
to the UNHCR, this is one-third of the total applications submitted in 2018,
and 60 percent of the average rate of 16,960 applications per year during the
previous 10 years. Since the beginning of 2019, six EU countries — Germany,
Sweden, France, Norway, the UK and the Netherlands — have received 81 percent
of all resettlement applications.
the run-up to the European Council meeting in March, the European Commission
(EC) reviewed the progress made since the 2015 refugee crisis. Frans
Timmermans, the EC’s first vice president, noted that “while the EU is no
longer experiencing the migration crisis, there are structural problems within
its policies that ought to be urgently addressed in moving forward.”
Dutch diplomat’s statement could be interpreted as an acknowledgement of a lack
of consistency in Europe’s immigration policy, with talk of safe passage, human
rights and greater cooperation going hand in hand with a regime of tighter
border controls. Between the two extremes, there are some political parties
that are eager to export the continent’s migration problems to third countries,
with the controversial Malta agreement between Italy and Libya’s Government of
National Accord serving as a viable template.
of this is to say that attempts to address what Timmermans called “structural
problems” are doomed to failure. For all the ethnic cleansing, genocide and
institutional discrimination to which Muslims of Europe have been subjected
since the outbreak of brutal wars in the former Yugoslavia, Islam is deeply
woven into Europe’s tapestry of many different religions. Since the end of
World War II, vibrant new Muslim communities came into existence as a result of
guest-worker programs and the arrival of people fleeing political persecution.
countries that have taken in the largest number of Muslim refugees all happen
to have a thriving network of Muslim civic organizations and youth platforms.
Platforms catering to the needs of Muslims set up by young European Muslims,
such as the London-based the Muslim Vibe, Brussels-based Mvslim.com and
Paris-based Oumma.com, are trying to give a voice to the European Muslim
community, including Muslim refugees. These platforms see themselves as being
run by staff who are representative of their audience and conscious of the
growing presence of Muslim communities in Europe in all fields except
Gallup poll conducted in 2008 underscored the respect that Muslims have for
Europe’s democratic institutions. Muslim respondents are likely, sometimes more
likely than the general public, to
express confidence in official institutions. For instance, two-thirds of
Muslims in London (64 percent) said they had confidence in the UK government,
compared with just 36 percent of the British public. At the same time, Muslims
in three of the Europe’s largest capitals (69 percent in London, 66 percent in
Paris, 87 percent in Berlin) felt that their communities should be more
involved in politics.
political representation remains woefully unrepresentative of the Muslim population’s
size, needs and expectations. In the European Parliament, there were only seven
Muslim MEPs out of 751 before the May elections. Such poor political
representation of the continent’s second-largest religious group would seem
shocking in itself. But it looks even more unjustifiable considering that
Muslims are expected to make up more than 4 percent of Europe’s population by
2020, according to the Pew Research Center. The political landscape after the
European Parliament elections reveals the polarization of society between
non-Muslim and Muslim Europeans in many countries. Until now, EU members have
managed to get away with treating the vexing immigration question in the same
way as the Muslim question — by avoiding it. But it is past time for European
governments to appreciate the diversity of Muslim views and issues and treat
the community as trusted partners. While Muslims have certainly not introduced
pluralism to Europe, their presence is a stark reminder of the continent’s
failure to practice it.
exiles rally in London to demand regime change in Tehran
of exiled Iranian dissidents rallied in Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday
to demand regime change in Tehran, urging new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
to get behind their campaign.
event organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran came amid tension
between London and Tehran over the seizure of a British oil tanker in the
Strait of Hormuz.
the rally took place in the British capital, Iran snubbed a diplomatic
initiative by Oman to mediate in the tanker dispute, and tried to shift the
blame for the stand-off onto other regional countries.
further evidence that tough US sanctions are crippling the Iranian economy, new
figures showed that China’s crude oil imports from Iran sank by almost 60
percent in June compared with a year earlier.
rally in London was one of a series of protests being held across Europe and in
Washington, DC. The Iranian government was one of the most dangerous in the
world, operating in one of the most concerning areas, former Conservative MP
Brian Binley told Arab News.
“I promise I will do my best to arrange a
meeting with Boris Johnson, in conjunction with my colleagues, and attempt to
get a better reaction to the Iranian situation than we’ve had from previous
governments,” he said.
Stevenson, coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, said: “We want regime
change, we want to get rid of this evil regime. We’re here underneath the
statue of Admiral Nelson. What would Nelson make of a British ship being seized
by pirates? He would be turning in his grave.
our message today to Boris Johnson is to be tough on this regime as they are
spreading terrorism and war across the Middle East and the world.”
Tehran rejected an attempt at mediation by Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin
Alawi in the dispute over Iran’s illegal seizure of the British tanker.
of the region’s countries have not only removed the possibility of talks
because of hasty and arrogant moves and behavior, but have also made managing
regional crises a serious challenge,” Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told the Omani diplomat.
also criticized a British plan for a European coalition to escort tankers in
measures for the region must use local capabilities and cooperation between
regional countries, and foreign countries’ interference will achieve nothing
but increase problems,” he said.
refugees press citizenship demands in talks with Myanmar
Rohingya refugees pressed their demand to be granted Myanmar citizenship in a
meeting on Saturday with a delegation from Yangon.
meeting, held at the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in southeast Bangladesh, is the
first between the Myanmar government and Rohingya Muslims since their exodus
from their homeland in August 2017 to flee rampaging Buddhiest vigilantes.
17-member delegation from Myanmar arrived in Bangladesh on Friday night on a
three-day visit to discuss repatriation issues with the refugees. The
delegation included five members from ASEAN states led by the permanent
secretary of the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Myint Thu.
35-member team of Rohingya community leaders participated in the Saturday
meeting, which lasted for more than three hours.
meeting is an outcome of Bangladesh’s efforts to persuade Myanmar to send a
delegation to convince the Rohingyas about the situation in Rakhine —the
province in Myanmar where most of the refugees came from — to help them decide
Ullah, secretary of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights,
said the refugee delegation simply pressed their citizenship demand.
didn’t say anything new. The Myanmar delegation members requested us to accept
the National Verification Card (NVC), but what will we do with this without the
citizenship rights?” Ullah told Arab News.
have demanded for further dialogue over repatriation issues in the presence of
a third party and they have agreed with us," he added.
Shamsuddoza, of the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC), said:
”The good thing is that the Myanmar side have agreed with the proposal for
further dialogue. But the next date and venue of the meeting is yet to be
delegation will meet the same group of Rohingyas on Sunday again, said
Bangladeshi high official who was present in the meeting said, ”Initially it
took some time to break the ice during the meeting between Myanmar authorities
and the Rohingya refugees. But it was fine as the time went on.”
Bangladeshi experts have reservations about Myanmar and its talk of
shouldn’t expect much from Myanmar. They don’t recognize the Rohingya Muslims,
along with other minorities of the country. The military junta wanted to make a
Buddhist nationalist country in Myanmar,” Ambassador S. M. Rashed Ahmed
Chowdhury, former Bangladesh envoy to Japan, told Arab News.
opined that all the Myanmar efforts are ”eye wash” and only to ”divert”
international pressure from the country.
Chowdhury, who is also the former UN regional administrator of Kosovo, said:
”Myanmar should allow a buffer state in Rakhine which will be monitored and
controlled by the international forces. Only the recognition of citizenship of
the Rohingyas can bring a sustainable solution of the Rohingya crisis.”
is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas who fled the persecution
of the Myanmar army in their homeland in Rakhine.
negotiations to take place after U.S.-Taliban agreements: Khalilzad
U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has said the
intra-Afghan negotiations will take place after U.S.-Taliban agreements.
Khalilzad said in a Twitter post “Lot of chatter in Kabul about intra-Afghan
negotiations. To clarify, those negotiations will occur after we conclude our
own agreements and they will take place between the Taliban and an inclusive
and effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials,
key political party representatives, civil society and women.”
Khalilzad is in Kabul as part of his latest trip to facilitate a peace in
met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and other officials earlier this week.
State Department said Ambassador Khalilzad will resume talks with Taliban in
Qatar after concluding his trip in Afghanistan.
comes as the seventh round of peace talks between U.S. and Taliban
representatives end in Doha earlier this month.
Arabia, Israel get away with infanticide due to US support: Commentator
New York-based author and commentator says acts of infanticide by the Saudi and
Israeli regimes continue because they have the support of the United States
and Tel Aviv have been designated respectively the first and second regimes on
a United Nations (UN) list of international child killers. UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres recently submitted the list — the annual Children and Armed
Conflict Report — to the UN Security Council, where the US is a permanent
and commentator Naseer al-Omari told Press TV’s The Debate program on Saturday
that, owing to Washington’s support for the two regimes, “not much” had
happened as a result of the UN’s successive condemnations of the acts of
bloodshed by Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
Saudis have even “executed more people and enlisted children in war” as US
President Donald Trump’s administration would increase its support for them in
the aftermath of every UN measure.
to the UN list, over the past year, the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen
killed 729 children, while Israel killed 57 kids and injured more than 2,600
across the occupied Palestinian territories.
recently, Trump vetoed a congressional move against American arms sales to
Saudi Arabia last Wednesday, “allowing the Saudi to have more weapons,” Omari
no mistake about it, the Saudi regime and the Israelis are protected by the
Trump administration,” he said.
Lane, the North Carolina-based founder of the American Institute for Foreign
Policy think tank, who was also a guest on the show, acknowledged that “it’s
horrific and it’s grotesque” for any regime’s name to make the UN list.
why the UN measures had failed to stop Riyadh and Tel Aviv’s infanticide, he
said, “The United Nations is not the most effective organization in the world.”
also alleged that the Saudis “are actively taking steps to reduce that number.”
terror rages despite Nigerian government claim of crippling it
Boko Haram terrorists have attacked mourners returning from a funeral in
Nigeria's restive northeast and killed at least 23 people.
militia and residents said the attackers on three motorbikes opened fire on a
group of men as they walked back from a funeral in Nganzai district near the
state capital Maiduguri Sunday morning.
men recovered 23 dead bodies from the scene of the attack, which happened this
morning," local militia leader Bunu Bukar Mustapha told Agence
Haram and its Daesh-supported ISWAP splinter have intensified attacks on
civilian and military targets in recent months, despite the Nigerian
government's insistence that the terrorists have been defeated.
observers allege that certain Nigerian officials are profiting from the unrest
via corruption and have little interest in ending the bloodshed.
groups have accused some Nigerian security forces of abuses in the fight
against Boko Haram including extra-judicial killings and mass arrests.
Nigerian government's failure to confront Takfiri terrorists contrasts with its
heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful protests by supporters of prominent Shia
cleric Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky who is held in jail despite the supreme
court's order to release him.
Haram militants attacked a camp for displaced people outside Maiduguri last
Thursday, killing two residents and looting food supplies after burning a
nearby military base.
27,000 people have been killed in the decade-long Takfiri terrorism which has
spilled over into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon and forced more than two
million people to flee their homes.
Haram gained international notoriety in April 2014 when it kidnapped nearly 300
schoolgirls in the northern Nigerian town of Chibok.
many schoolgirls have since been freed, countless other people abducted over
the decade remain lost to their loved ones.
bombings and mass kidnappings are the hallmarks of Boko Haram in northeastern
Nigeria, where many residents say life has been set back by decades.
Boko Haram and other Takfiri terrorist groups are ideologically inspired by the
Wahhabi school of thought which is openly promoted and practiced in Saudi
is home to a huge but diverse Salafist movement, with Saudi Arabia having a
significant influence over its development of Salafism in the African country's
north, the Washington Post has reported.
secret negotiations in India’s Babri-temple dispute from July 29
A high-powered mediation panel seeking an out-of-court settlement for India’s
over a century old temple-mosque dispute will launch the final round of secret
negotiations with Muslim and Hindu litigants in New Delhi on July 29, Gulf News
can exclusively reveal.
mediation panel that includes Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla, spiritual guru Sri
Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, was set up in March by
Supreme Court which is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the order of a
lower court which divided a disputed piece of land into three parts – two to
Hindus and one to Muslims.
case, known as Babri Masjid-Ram Temple dispute first started during the British
rule in 1885 when Hindus sought control of the Mughal era mosque claiming that
their revered deity Ram was born at the spot in Ayodhya town.
mosque was demolished in 1992 by Hindu zealots, triggering nationwide sectarian
violence, killing thousands.
July 15, Gulf News reported that a solution to this dispute may be on the
horizon after Muslim litigants indicated to the mediation panel that they are
ready to give up claims on the 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya.
days later on July 18, the mediation panel submitted a progress report to the
Supreme Court which asked the negotiation team to submit its final report by
July 31 and adjourned the case till August 2.
prepare this final report, the mediation panel will hold a final round of
negotiations from July 29. The secret negotiations will continue for four days
from July 29 at UP Sadan in New Delhi,” sources familiar with the mediation
process told Gulf News on Saturday.
these four days, the panel will hold negotiations with Hindu and Muslim
litigants separately and at some point of time may have joint discussions with
all the litigants,” the sources explained. The sources declined to be
identified for this report as the Supreme Court has barred Indian media from
reporting the mediation panel deliberations.
this month, sources had told Gulf News that “a majority of the Muslim litigants
have decided to settle this dispute by giving up the claim on the mosque site
and allow construction of a Ram temple.”
Saturday, the sources said Muslim stakeholders involved in the negotiations are
moving forward cautiously to avoid any backlash from the community. "But
the things are moving in the right direction," the sources added.
will happen from July 29
mediation panel has to draft a final report and define issues on which a
negotiated settlement of the dispute will be proposed to the Supreme Court. It
will have to take the litigants’ consent in writing. On August 1, the panel
will submits its report to the Chief Justice who will hear the issue the
following day,” the sources explained.
Saturday, Gulf News spoke to Babri Masjid Action Committee convener Zafaryab
Jilani who confirmed the meetings in New Delhi.
am not attending due to personal engagements but our lawyers MR Shamshad and
Shakeel Ahmed will represent the Muslim litigants,” he said. Jilani, who is
also a member of All India Personal Law Board, met the mediation panel on July
20 in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state.
can’t disclose what we discussed in that meeting where the Muslim board
secretary Wali Rahmani was also present,” Jilani said, emphasizing on the
sensitivity of the issue.
mediation panel sent the invites for the secret negotiations on July 24 but it
was not immediately clear how many litigants would be part of this meeting.
Ansari, son of Hashim Ansari, who was the main litigant in the Babri dispute
case, however, told Gulf News on Saturday that his lawyers have instructed him
not to attend. Hashim Ansari, a resident of Ayodhya was one of the oldest
litigant in the case and after his death, Iqbal, his son is fighting the legal
total 25 litigants and their lawyers have received the invites,” Ansari said.
DELHI: All India Majlise-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi is
disappointed that only Muslim members in Lok Sabha chose to vote against the
legislations for enhancing the powers and scope of National Investigation
Agency and amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
than Owaisi, his party MP Imtiyaz Jalil, Haji Fazlur Rehman (BSP), K Navaskani,
Mohd Basheer and PK Kunhalikutty (Indian Union Muslim League), Hasnain Masoodi
(National Conference) and Badruddin Ajmal( AUDF) were the other MPs who had
voted against the UAPA bill which got 287 votes in favour.
Owaisi said one non-Muslim member also opposed the NIA bill, he expressed
concern that other opponents of the two legislations refused to stand up and be
counted against the two legislations aggressively moved by home minister Amit
Shah. "It is true that the eight MPs who have voted against the UAPA bill
are followers of Islam. But this trend is a serious issue and should be a
matter of concern for all parties," Owaisi told TOI.
was in the forefront of the resistance to the NIA bill and pressed for a
division. In the resultant headcount, other opponents of the bill refrained
from translating their criticism into votes against the bill and instead
preferred to walk out.
had instantly accepted the demand for division on the bill which, just like the
one designed to change the UAPA, has been criticised by human rights
organisations. Asked to explain the reluctance, Owaisi said: "I can't
speak on behalf of all parties but I must say it was Congress which brought
this legislation and they are responsible for this draconian law."
Hyderabad MP, who has attacked Congress's "secular" credentials and
accused the party of letting down Muslims, said, "I strongly opposed the
bill and voted against it as it marks a violation of fundamental rights. As
Fidel Castro had said, history will absolve me when innocents will suffer due
to this draconian law."
reiterated Congress would realise what they have done only if their leader ends
up spending several months in prison. Owaisi had attacked Congress for being
the original architects of NIA and UAPA, saying "They are the culprits.
When they are in power they behave like BJP, when they lose power they become
big brother of Muslims."
The Centre's decision to deploy 100 more companies of paramilitary forces in
J&K has fuelled rumourmongering about 'impending' abrogation of Articles
35A and 370, and spread panic among people. These two Articles of the
Constitution give special status to the state.
asked my husband to bring rice and other foodstuff for maximum period to avoid
any shortage," said Fatima, a homemaker. Her husband Manzor Ahmad said
rumours had been doing the rounds that the Centre was planning to revoke the
Articles. "I am worried about the education of my children because it will
get affected if the Centre repeals the Articles as it will lead to a major law
and order situation," said Sajjad Ahmad Dar of Peerbagh here. Similar
apprehensions were expressed by Musarat Shakeel of Batamallo, who also fear
paralysis of life in the Valley.
of troops has created fear: Mehbooba
whole Valley echoed with rumours of abrogation of Article 35A and it will
definitely lead to a major breakdown of normal life," Dr Musarat said.
Abdul Majid of Bhagat in Srinagar said: "Nationalist elements would be
targeted by mobs in the event the Articles are tinkered with."
additional director general (ADG) of police (law and order) Munir Khan on
Saturday appealed to the people not to lend credence to such rumours, the
appeal seemed to have little impact on residents.
any motive behind the fresh deployment, CRPF IG Ravideep Sahi said,
"Induction (of forces) is a continuous process and as and when the need is
felt to strengthen the law and order grid, and also on anti-militancy front,
more forces are inducted. In the past, we also had induction of troops. It is
routine and nothing special in it."
J&K politicians on Saturday hit out at the Centre for the deployment of
additional companies. Former CM Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: "Centre's decision
to deploy additional 10,000 troops has created fear psychosis among people.
DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked the Army, Navy and Air
Force to better integrate themselves as they modernise their capabilities, even
as he warned Pakistan that its nefarious designs would be thwarted every time,
like they were in Kargil in 1999.
Kargil victory was symbol of India's might, determination, capability,
discipline and patience… Wars are fought not by governments but by the whole
country… Governments come and go… Kargil was the victory of every Indian,"
said Modi, while lauding the resolve and sacrifices made by the armed forces+
at a Kargil Vijay Diwas function to mark the 20th anniversary of the conflict.
the very beginning, said the PM, Pakistan has conspired to redraw boundaries.
"It happened in 1948, 1965 and 1971. In 1999, we foiled their evil designs
once again… I had visited Kargil when war was at its peak. It was like a
pilgrimage for me," he said.
did not expect such a powerful response in Kargil," he said, adding that
the time had come for a united global effort to deal with countries resorting
to proxy war and terrorism as instruments of state policy.
Prime Minister used the occasion to emphasise on national unity, saying that
there will be no slackening of efforts to protect the fruits of Independence.
said the government is taking several measures to speed up the country's
military modernisation as a top priority, with modern rifles, artillery guns
and fighters now being made in India, and would not succumb to pressure or
influence in matters of national security.
the armed forces should also strive towards "jointness" despite
"wearing different uniforms", he said. This came against the backdrop
of the urgent need to transform the armed forces into lean, mean, rapidly
deployable and integrated military, confronted as they are with only about 25%
of the annual defence budget being left for modernisation after ballooning
revenue expenditure (day-to-day operating costs and salaries) and pension bill.
In a major breakthrough, security forces gunned down dreaded Pakistani
terrorist Munna Lahori, a top commander of Jaish-e-Muhammad, in an encounter in
south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday. Lahori was an expert in making
IEDs and was responsible for a series of civilian killings in the area and
attacks on security forces elsewhere in J&K.
local Kashmiri terrorist was also killed in the gunfight. He has been
identified as Mir Zeenat Ul Islam of Turkawanghom in Shopian.
credible inputs that some terrorists were present in the Banday Mohalla
Bonbazar area of Shopian town, a cordon-and-search operation was launched
jointly by SOG and Army in the wee hours of Saturday, a police spokesman said.
During the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired upon the search party.
The fire was retaliated, leading to the encounter and subsequent killings of
the two terrorists, he added.
of the two terrorists were retrieved from the site of the encounter,” the
spokesman said, adding that while Lahori belonged to Jaish, Zeenat was a member
of Hizbul Mujahideen.
the terrorists were wanted by law for their complicity in several crimes,
including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities, he said.
was involved in planning and executing a series of attacks on security
establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area. He played a
major role in the IED blast on security forces in Arihal area of Pulwama on
June 17 this year in which two security personnel were killed,” the spokesman
slain Jaish terrorist was also responsible for two car blast attacks targeting
security force vehicles this year — one at Banihal in Ramban on March 30 and
the other at Arihal in Pulwama on June 17, he said. Lahori was involved in
recruiting locals into terrorist ranks,” he added.
Zeenat, he said, several criminal cases were registered against him. One such
case pertained to abduction and killing of one Irfan Hameed of Zainapora.
an army soldier was killed in cross-border firing initiated by Pakistan to
facilitate infiltration of terrorists in Machil sector of frontier Kupwara
district of north Kashmir on Saturday.
top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammed Munna Bhai was killed on Saturday morning in
an overnight gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
An associate of Munna Bhai, Zeenat-ul-Islam of Shopian, was also killed in the
same operation. Munna Lahori, also known as Chhota Burmi, was from Pakistan and
is accused of plotting several IED attacks in the south Kashmir region along
with Ismail, another Pakistani Jaish commander. They were not only responsible
for several bomb blasts attacks in Jammu and Kashmir but also for training and
extending logistical support to the local terrorists in south Kashmir, a senior
police officer said. Jaish had also used him to brainwash youngsters in the
Kashmir valley and recruit them to the terror group.
said Saturday’s huge success came after a cordon and search operation was
launched by security forces in Banday Mohalla Bonbazar area of district
Shopian. During the search operation that started late last evening, Munna Bhai
and Zeenat-ul-Islam fired at the search party. “The fire was retaliated leading
to encounter,” a police statement said. It continued all night.
Bhai, 19, had crossed over to Kashmir from Pakistan last year and is reported
to have led the terror group’s use of bombs in vehicles, a tactic that could
let them carry out attacks without risking their lives. Security officials say
he had turned into some sort of an expert in making explosives and fitting them
in vehicles for maximum impact.
security officials said Munnai Bhai and Ismail, as part of Pakistan
Intelligence agency ISI’s new strategy maintained a low profile and never
indulged in direct attacks. This helped them stay under the radar.
senior official recalled how central intelligence agencies had got the first
tip-off about their presence in the Kashmir valley almost a year back but it
took them several months to identify and locate them.
forces had stepped up the intensive search for Munna Bhai after intelligence
officials linked a terror attack on a mobile patrol team of the Rashtriya
Rifles to the Jaish commander on June 17.
soldiers were killed in this attack in Arihal of Pulwama, several others
including civilians were hurt. The attack had taken place just about 30 km from
the location where a suicide bomber had attacked a convoy of the Central
Reserve Police Force in February this year.
militants, including a top Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander from Pakistan
responsible for a car explosion last month that claimed the lives of two army
soldiers, were killed on Saturday in a gunbattle with security forces in Jammu
and Kashmir’s Shopian district, the police said.
police identified the slain commander as Munna Lahori, alias Bihari, and his
associate, a local, as Mir Zeenat of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). The two were
killed in a cordon-and-search operation launched jointly by army soldiers and
the police in Bonbazar area of Shopian town, acting on information they had
received about the presence of the militants.
were wanted by the law for their complicity in several terror crimes including
attacks on security establishments, and atrocities on civilians,” a police
cases had been registered against Zeenat including one relating to the
abduction and killing of civilian Irfan Hameed of Zainapora.
Munna was involved in planning and executing a series of terror attacks on
security establishments, and many other civilian atrocities in the area,” the
JeM commander was allegedly involved in a case pertaining to the detonation of
an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a vehicle in the Arihal area of
Pulwama on June 17 in which two security force personnel were killed.
other terror crime cases were registered against him. He was also responsible
for the recruitment of locals to the terrorist ranks,” the police spokesman
said Munna Labori was used by the Jaish for recruitment of militants in south
Kashmir, adding that incriminating material including arms and ammunition had
been recovered from the site of the shootout, the third between security forces
and militants so far this month.
19-year-old, Adnan Ahmad Channa of Baramulla, who joined LeT militants some
four months ago, was killed in an encounter with security forces in north
Kashmir on July 17. On July 5, a Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed in a
gunfight with security forces in Shopian district.
month, 24 militants were killed in encounters with security forces, which lost
12 of their own men. Five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were
killed in an attack on security forces in Anantnag on June 12. Jammu and Kashmir
police officer Arshad Khan, who was injured in the attack, died on June 16.
Anantnag attack was the worst since the February 14 suicide car bombing that
left 40 CRPF personnel dead in Pulwama. The JeM claimed responsibility for the
attack, in reprisal for which the Indian Air Force bombed a terror camp run by
the group in Balakot in Pakistan.
of the Russian embassy in Iran have visited three Russian crew members from the
British vessel Stena Impero detained by Iran, the Russian embassy in Tehran said
three crew members are in good health and have no complaints about their
conditions, but are still being held on the vessel, the embassy told Reuters.
Russian citizens can contact their families, the embassy said, adding it was in
talks with Iranian officials to release the men.
commandos seized the British-flagged tanker in the world’s most important
waterway for oil shipments on July 19, two weeks after British forces captured
an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on
new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has immediately been engrossed in
controversy upon assuming the highest office in the land.
has landed in hot water because of his father’s hard-hitting interview with
to Press TV on July 25, two days after his son was declared prime minister,
Stanley Johnson said he was looking forward to seeing Boris “building bridges
up Boris’ fascination with ancient history, and his apparent “love” for Iran,
Johnson Snr claimed that: “Iran means so
much to him, so the chance to have long-standing relationship with a country
with such a fantastic history...”
Snr even proposed the following solution to the tankers dispute: “I think the
best thing would be to say, look, we let your ship go you let our ship go… easy
Johnson came under immediate attack from the British press for his supposedly
“bizarre gaffe” on “Iranian state TV”.
his part, Boris Johnson explicitly opposed his father’s position, and possibly
his own beliefs, by parroting the establishment line on this issue.
all the hot issues of the day, not least Brexit, Johnson opted to focus on Iran
as his top priority at the very beginning of his premiership.
parliament for the first time as prime minister, Johnson attacked the leader of
the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, for “appearing” on Press TV and “siding” with
was subsequently ridiculed by the tabloid press for attacking Corbyn for
committing the same supposed sin as his own father.
this about-face is hardly surprising as, at the end of the day, the PM is
expected to follow the old establishment guidelines on foreign policy matters.
anything, this episode demonstrates the power of the establishment in imposing
its values, requirements and policy priorities on the highest office of the
Johnson has developed a reputation as an amateur historian. Back in 2006 he
authored the book “The Dream of Rome” to showcase his historical knowledge.
book was also the subject of a BBC documentary, with Johnson as the star of the
show, thus further burnishing his credentials as a historian.
he was true to his training as an amateur historian, and a putative “lover” of
Iran, then Johnson would take immediate steps to ease tensions with Iran.
international observers tend to lean toward his father’s view on the tankers
dispute. They argue that releasing the Grace 1 super-tanker, which was
unlawfully seized in the Gibraltar Strait by the Royal Marines earlier this
month, would constitute a credible de-escalatory first step.
The new British government, led by Boris Johnson, should do more to support the
Iranian opposition and the “UK and Europe should impose sanctions on the
National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a rally in London on
Saturday, as part of a last leg of a series of protests held across Europe and
in Washington, DC to pressure governments to follow the Trump administration’s
decisive policies against Iran and its threatening aggressions that undermine
the security of the Middle East and the Gulf in particular.
event coincided with the recent seizure of a British-owned oil tanker and it
demonstrated the opposition's commitment to pressure the UK government to do
more to stop the Iranian regime.
Matthew Offord, prominent Conservative MP for Hendon, said “the interest of the
international community converges today with the democratic aspirations of the
Iranian people, which simplifies in an Iran without the absolute rule of the
to Arab News, Brian Binley, former Conservative MP said the Iranian government
is one of the most dangerous governments in the world, operating in one of the
most concerning areas.
promise that I will do my best to arrange a meeting with Boris Johnson, the new
prime minister, and I will arrange that meeting in conjunction with my
colleagues, in order to speak to him and attempt to get a better reaction to
the Iranian situation than we've had before from previous governments. I've
been disappointed with my government's reaction,” Binley said to Arab News.
Roger Lyons, former TUC president raised the issue of Nazanin
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a duel British-Iranian citizen who has been detained in Iran
since 2016 and said the UK would not abandon her cause, again pressuring
Johnson to do more to secure her release.
the other hand, Lyons told Arab News that Labour leader “Jeremy Corbyn has been
on the payroll of Iran's Press TV for far too long and he has been taking the
side of the ayatollahs, rather than the Iranian people.”
Struan Stevenson, coordinator of the campaign for Iran Change, said around
3,000 people attended the rally, in central London’s Trafalgar Square.
want regime change, we want to get rid of this evil regime. We're here
appropriately underneath the statue of Admiral Nelson. What would Nelson make
of a British flag ship being seized by pirates, a case of international
criminal piracy in the Straits of Hormuz. He would be turning in his grave!”
of the Russian Embassy in Iran Saturday visited the British Stena Impero
tanker, detained by Tehran in the Strait of Hormuz.
diplomats talked to the Russian citizens who are part of the vessel crew, the
embassy said in a Twitter post.
health of the sailors is good, they are still on board. The embassy is in close
contact with Iranian partners on the issue of the timing of their return to home,"
the ministry said in the post along with the photos of three crew members.
to Russia’s TASS news agency, the embassy said the Russian citizens have no
complaints, they are provided with all the things needed and can communicate
with their relatives, but with some restrictions.
Afghan official says the government will hold its first-ever direct talks with
the Taliban, with the meeting expected within the next two weeks.
Taliban have been holding peace talks with the United States (US) for nearly a
year but have refused to meet with the government, which it views as a puppet
Salam Rahimi, Afghanistan's state minister for peace affairs, said Sunday that
a 15-member government delegation will meet with the Taliban in Europe, without
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently visiting Kabul, tweeted that another
round of "intra-Afghan" talks will occur "after we conclude our
said it would include the Taliban and "an inclusive and effective national
negotiating team consisting of senior government officials, key political party
representatives, civil society and women."
BANGLADESH — A top-level Myanmar government delegation began repatriation talks
with Rohingya leaders in a Bangladesh refugee camp on Saturday, an official
said, with many of the Muslim minority fearing for their safety if they return
740,000 Rohingya fled a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar's military and are living in
squalid conditions in camps in Bangladesh's southeastern border district of
two countries signed a repatriation deal in November 2017 but so far virtually
no Rohingya have volunteered to go back to Myanmar, where the group has faced
decades of repression.
Myanmar team, led by permanent foreign secretary U Myint Thu, arrived in Cox's
Bazar on Saturday amid tightened security in the camps.
delegation visited Kutupalong — the world's largest refugee settlement — where
they discussed repatriation with Rohingya community leaders over several hours,
said Bangladesh refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam.
parties seemed positive about it and the discussion will continue
[Sunday]," he told AFP.
of the Rohingya leaders who joined the talks, Dil Mohammad, said they
"went well" as he reiterated demands for Myanmar to recognize
Rohingya as an ethnic group.
hope this discussion will be fruitful. We told them that we won't return unless
we are recognized as Rohingya in Myanmar," he said.
denies the minority citizenship and refers to them as "Bengalis" —
implying that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
was the second time in less than a year that Myanmar officials were trying to
persuade Rohingya refugees to return to their homeland in violence-wracked
Rakhine state, after a repatriation offer was rejected by Rohingya leaders in
massive camps have sparked tensions between the neighboring nations, with
Bangladesh blaming Myanmar for delays in repatriating the refugees.
has said it will not force any Rohingya to leave, while Myanmar has faced
international pressure to allow the Rohingya to return to Rakhine and grant
them citizenship rights.
U.N. has complained that progress to address the refugee crisis has been far
new visit comes in the wake of talks between Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has issued a decree dissolving the High Peace Council of
Afghanistan, officials in ARG Presidential Palace confirmed.
Sediqi, spokesperson of ARG Presidential Palace told reporters in Kabul that
President Ghani has dissolved the High Peace Council of Afghanistan.
further added that the responsibilities of High Peace Council will be
transferred to State Ministry in Peace Affairs.
Ghani established the new ministry, State Ministry in Peace Affairs a while ago
and appointed his Chief of Staff Salam Rahimi as acting minister of the
security forces killed a Taliban sharpshooter after attacking a security post
in Laghman province.
Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the security forces
killed the Taliban sharpshooter in Alisheng district.
further added that the slain militant was using sophisticated weapons to carry
out attacks against the security forces.
Rahimi said the slain militant had carried out numerous attacks and had
martyred several security personnel.
Taliban group has not commented in this regard so far.
security situation in some districts of Laghman province has deteriorated
during the recent months.
militants are active in some districts of province and often conduct terrorist
security forces killed a Taliban commander and his six fighters during a clash
in northern Faryab province.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the security forces clashed with
Taliban militants in Nawdara Village of Qaisar district.
statement further added that the security forces killed Taliban commander
Mullah Abdul Shakoor and his six fighters during the clash.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the security forces also wounded 14 Taliban
militants during the same clash.
top-level Myanmar government delegation began repatriation talks with Rohingya
leaders in a Bangladesh refugee camp on Saturday, an official said, with many
of the Muslim minority fearing for their safety if they return home.
740,000 Rohingya fled a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military and are living in
squalid conditions in camps in Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of
two countries signed a repatriation deal in November 2017 but so far virtually
no Rohingya have volunteered to go back to Myanmar, where the group has faced
decades of repression.
Myanmar team, led by permanent foreign secretary U Myint Thu, arrived in Cox’s
Bazar on Saturday amid tightened security in the camps.
delegation visited Kutupalong -- the world’s largest refugee settlement --
where they discussed repatriation with Rohingya community leaders over several
hours, said Bangladesh refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam.
parties seemed positive about it and the discussion will continue tomorrow
(Sunday),” he told AFP.
of the Rohingya leaders who joined the talks, Dil Mohammad, said they “went
well” as he reiterated demands for Myanmar to recognize Rohingya as an ethnic
hope this discussion will be fruitful. We told them that we won’t return unless
we are recognized as Rohingya in Myanmar,” he said.
denies the minority citizenship and refers to them as “Bengalis” -- inferring
that the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
is the second time in less than a year that Myanmar officials were trying to
convince Rohingya refugees to return to their homeland in violence-wracked
Rakhine state, after a repatriation offer was rejected by Rohingya leaders in
massive camps have sparked tensions between the neighboring nations with
Bangladesh blaming Myanmar for delays in repatriating the refugees.
has said it will not force any Rohingya to leave, while Myanmar has faced
international pressure to allow the Rohingya to return to Rakhine and grant
them citizenship rights.
UN has complained that progress to address the refugee crisis has been far too
new visit comes in the wake of talks between Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Afghan official says at least three police officers were killed when a Taliban
suicide bomber targeted a district police headquarters in eastern Ghazni
Khan Serat, provincial police chief’s spokesman, says the explosion on Saturday
morning in the Ab Band district also wounded 12 policemen.
says the Taliban, who control much of the province, used a stolen military
Humvee in the attack, which partially destroyed the headquarters.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Taliban hold sway in around half of Afghanistan and launch daily attacks across
the country, mainly targeting Afghan security forces.
The Taliban said on Sunday they will not hold direct talks with Afghan
government and rejected a statement from a senior minister about plans to hold
the such as meeting within the next two weeks, a senior Taliban official said.
talks will start only after a foreign force withdrawal is announced,” said
Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar.
Salam Rahimi, Afghanistan’s state minister for peace affairs, said Sunday that
a 15-member government delegation will meet with the Taliban in Europe, without
envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently visiting Kabul, tweeted that another
round of “intra-Afghan” talks will occur “after we conclude our own
agreements.” He said it would include the Taliban and “an inclusive and
effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials,
key political party representatives, civil society and women.”
military source: Missile tests are defensive, not against any country
missile tests are part of the country’s defensive needs and are not directed
against any country, and Tehran does not need any power’s permission, the
semi-official news agency Fars on Saturday quoted an Iranian military source as
US defense official said on Thursday that Iran tested what appeared to be a
medium-range ballistic missile on Wednesday that travelled about 1,000 km. The
test did not pose a threat to shipping or any US personnel in the region, the
informed source at the armed forces staff said Iran’s missile tests are natural
within its defensive needs. This missile capacity is not against any country,
and only aims to respond to possible aggression,” Fars said. “Iran does not
need the permission of any power in the world for its self-defense.”
Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire during clashes on the Gaza border on
Friday, the health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave announced.
a statement the ministry said Ahmed Qura, 23, died “as a result of wounds
sustained (from) the Israeli occupation forces’ fire.”
said he had been hit in the stomach during demonstrations along the border
fence east of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
March 2018, Palestinians in Gaza have been holding often violent demonstrations
along the heavily guarded Israeli border.
forces often fire on the demonstrators, saying they are seeking to prevent the
border being infiltrated.
least 296 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli fire since then, the
majority during the border demonstrations.
Israelis have been killed.
protests have declined in intensity in recent months and Qura’s was the first
death in weeks.
Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi arrived in Tehran on
Saturday to discuss regional tensions with his Iranian counterpart.
the visit, he will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other
officials in the Iranian Republic, where the latest regional developments in
the region will be discussed,” Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed a recent wave of terror and
bloodshed waged by Israel against the Palestinians, saying Ankara will oppose
anyone who supports the Tel Aviv regime.
is on the side of Israel, let everyone know that we are against them,” said
Erdogan while addressing senior provincial officials from the ruling Justice
and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on Saturday.
remarks came amid a new wave of Israeli crackdown in the occupied Palestinian
territories as regime forces continue with demolition of the Palestinian houses
in occupied areas in the West Bank and in the Jerusalem al-Quds.
came under renewed international criticism earlier this week after its forces
stormed a neighborhood of the Sur Baher village in the West Bank early on
Monday and destroyed Palestinian homes.
Aviv claims the buildings had been constructed illegally and built too close to
Israel’s apartheid wall in the region.
however, say Israel is using security as a pretext to force them out of the
area as part of long-term efforts to expand settlements built on occupied
Palestinian land and roads linking them.
and rights campaigners have slammed the demolitions as a serious blow to
international efforts to reach peace in the occupied territories.
said Turkey will continue to promote the Palestinian cause regardless of
efforts to undermine it mainly by supporters of the Israeli regime.
do not approve of silence on the state terror that Israel blatantly carries out
in Palestine,” said the Turkish president.
comments came several days after the United States moved to block a United
Nations Security Council draft resolution seeking to condemn Israel’s
demolition of Palestinian properties.
between Turkey and the US have soured in recent times due to Washington’s
sanctions on Ankara which come over Turkey’s increasing defense cooperation
said US sanctions against Turkey would not deter the country from consolidating
its military ties with Russia, especially those centered on Turkey’s deployment
of modern Russian missile defense system.
ultra-nationalist group violently disrupts a protest by several NGOs who had
gathered, under heavy police presence, in a show of support for Syrian refugees
have held a funeral procession for a man shot and killed by Israeli forces
during weekly protests along the border with Israel.
body of Ahmed Al Karra was carried through the streets of Khan Younis draped in
a Hamas flag while crowds chanted "God is the greatest."
health officials reported that Al Karra was killed during the protests which
saw thousands of Palestinian gathered along the frontier with Israel, with 40
others wounded throughout the day. It was the first fatality in a few weeks,
with Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations working to keep the border calm.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says the occupation of Palestinian territories
as part of attempts to form an illegal entity, called Israel, has been the main
cause of terrorism in the world.
remarks quoted by Turkey's state-owned Anadolu news agency on Saturday,
Mahathir stressing that if the causes of terrorism were not dealt with, then it
would be difficult to put a stop to them.
main thing that we think we should always stress is the causes of terrorism.
Today, there is already a consensus almost to blame terrorism on Muslims,” said
the Malaysian premier who was in Turkey on an official visit.
the fact you said, after the seizure of Palestine, and the disregard of
international law by Israel, this has led to so-called acts of terrorism. But
in order to get rid of terrorism, we need to know the reason why they terrorize
unless you treat the causes of terrorism, you are not going to be able to stop
terrorism,” he said.
called on the Tel Aviv regime to allow Palestinians to return back and reclaim
their property, or at least agree on stopping the expansion of illegal Israeli
if we know, beside this, the causes for terrorism, and we treat them, we take
action to stop this injustice perpetrated on the Palestinians, I think there
will be less terrorism or no terrorism all over the world,” he said.
has previously dubbed Israel as “a state of robbers”, saying his country enjoys
friendly relations with every country in the world except Israel.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem
7,000 Palestinians are currently behind bars in 17 Israeli prisons and detention
centers, according to reports.
The UAE announced on Saturday a $50 million donation to the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), a
relief and human development agency supporting the Palestinian people.
donation will be used to provide health services to Palestinian refugees, and
to implement educational programs for the youth - which the UAE says is its top
priority, state news agency WAM reported.
UAE's foreign ministry says it acknowledges the “hard work” of the agency in
catering to more than five million Palestinians living in dire humanitarian
conditions, in spite of its financial challenges.
US last year cut its contributions to the UNRWA, describing the organization as
“irredeemably flawed,” the BBC reported, which the Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas immediately denounced.
says 87 killed, 168 wounded when June 3 protest broken up
head of a Sudanese investigative committee said on Saturday that 87 people were
killed and 168 wounded on June 3 when a sit-in protest was violently broken up
by security forces.
al-Rahman Saeed, the head of the committee, said 17 of those killed were in the
square occupied by protesters and 48 of the wounded were hit by bullets.
said some security forces fired at protesters and that three officers violated
orders by moving forces into the sit-in. He also said an order was issued to
Tunisian President Mohamed Ennaceur said that President Beji Caid Essebsi was
responsible for “consolidating the values of freedom,” during a speech at the
funeral service of the late Tunisian president.
succeeded in securing the democratic transition and stability of the country,”
Ennaceur said, adding that he “was keen on the success of the choice of
democracy and national consensus.”
Caid Essebsi was the architect of national reconciliation,” he said. “We will
continue on the path of Essebsi in building a democratic national state.”
loss of Essebsi is a loss to the homeland,” Ennaceur added.
his part, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “I would like to highlight the
climate of calm in Tunisia despite the atmosphere of sadness,” adding that he
has “learned a lot from Essebsi.”
the funeral tribute, the acting Algerian President Abdelkader Bensalah also
gave a speech, saying: “The loss of Essebsi is a loss to Tunisia and to the
death is a great loss to “the Arab and Islamic nation,” said Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas during the ceremony.
Rebelo de Sousa, the president of Portugal, said that “Essebsi changed
Libyan National Army (LNA) launched seven air strikes targeting military sites
of the Government of National Accord (GNA), as well as militia strongholds in
Misrata and Sirte early Saturday, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
the targets was a Turkish drones operating room, the Air Defense System at
Misrata base, and Misrata’s Air Academy.
their official Facebook pages, the LNA also stated that militia and terrorist
group strongholds were targeted in the air strikes in both Misrata and Sirte.
sound of the loud explosions was heard in Misrata, west of the country. Libyan
news site Marsad posted a video reportedly showing the moment the air strikes
hit the Misrata Air Academy earlier.
has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed
dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with a multitude of militias vying for
control of the oil-rich country.
opposition group Professional Association (SPA) has rejected the report of the
investigation committee that acquitted the Transitional Military Council (TMC)
from involvement in the killing of the protesters during the dispersal of the
sit-in in Khartoum on June 3rd.
spokesman Ismail Altaj told a press conference in Khartoum on Saturday that the
investigation committee has attempted to acquit the TMC.
report has shocked the Sudanese people and the regional and international
communities and proved that we need to reform the entire system of justice in
the country,'' he said.
investigation committee said 87 people were killed during the dispersal of the
sit-in on June 3rd in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
head of the committee, Fath Alrahman Saeed, said that the ruling Transitional
Military Council (TMC) hadn’t given any orders for the dispersal of the sit-in.
Saeed however said that at least nine senior officers had violated the orders
given to them by the security committee of the TMC including two major generals
from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
TMC has formed an investigation committee after the mass killing of the
protesters in the violent incident taken place near the army headquarters in
for the Boko Haram militant group killed at least 23 mourners returning from a
funeral on Saturday in north-east Nigeria, according to a local militia and
attack took place in Borno state in Nigeria's restive north-east. It came in
the same week that the group marked 10 years of a deadly insurgency against the
Nigerian state that has included suicide bombings and mass kidnappings and has
killed tens of thousands of people.
11.30am, the attackers on three motorbikes opened fire on a group of men as
they walked back from a funeral in Nganzai district near the state capital
Maiduguri, local militia leader Bunu Bukar Mustapha said.
men recovered 23 dead bodies from the scene of the attack, which happened this
morning," Mr Mustapha told AFP.
men were returning to Badu Kuluwu from nearby Goni Abachari village where they
had attended funeral prayers for a relative.
Nganzai district official confirmed both the incident and death toll.
hunters and militia recovered the bodies.
Haram fighters have repeatedly attacked Nganzai district.
September last year, the group killed eight people and stole livestock in two
villages in the area after residents tried to stop them from taking their
Haram and its ISIS-supported Iswap splinter have intensified attacks on
civilian and military targets in recent months.
Thursday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a camp for displaced people outside
Maiduguri, killing two residents and looting food supplies after burning a
nearby military base.
African Union (AU) military convoy has come under attack by Al-Shabaab fighters
between Bal’ad town and Galoley area in Middle Shabelle region, southern
attack, claimed by Al-Shabaab through its online propaganda websites, has
reportedly killed at least 10 soldiers from the Burundian forces serving in
Somalia under the AU Mission in the country.
soldiers were reportedly ambushed amid an operation to clear a forested area
where the troops wanted to set up a base.
armoured vehicles and bulldozers were also destroyed in the attack while the
militants seized guns and ammunition left behind by the Burundian soldiers, the
group’s propaganda sites reported.
has been fighting AU peacekeeping soldiers and Somali government forces for
over a decade now.
group recently carried out a deadly attack targeting the headquarters of the
Banadir regional headquarters in the capital, Mogadishu, killing three district
commissioners and injuring the mayor of Mogadishu.
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has pledged its support and
solidarity with the people and government in the fight against al-Shabaab
a statement, the eight-member regional bloc expressed sympathy and condolences
to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those wounded.
African bloc has condemned the suicide attack that took place in the offices of
Mogadishu's mayor on Wednesday which left seven government officials dead with
the mayor among those injured.
condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Al-Shabab
against the Mayor's Office in Mogadishu yesterday, which left a number of
innocent civilians dead and others wounded, including the city's Mayor,"
the bloc said.
statement comes barely two days after a suicide bomber blew herself up in
Mogadishu's municipal headquarters premises, leading the death of three
district commissioners, two directors, and legal advisor.
blast also injured the mayor of Mogadishu, Abdirahman Omar Osman and several
other local government officials.
least two people were killed and others injured when Boko Haram fighters raided
a camp for people displaced by the conflict in northeast Nigeria, emergency
services said Friday.
of militants on motorcycles and two motorized rickshaws stormed into a camp at
Dalori on Thursday, July 25, shooting people and looting food supplies after
attacking a nearby military base.
have recovered two dead bodies from the attack which also left several IDPs
[internally displaced persons] with injuries,” said Bello Danbatta, head of
security in the State Emergency Management Agency.
insurgents looted and burnt shops in the camp and also carted food supplies
from the main store where food aid is stored,” he said.
50,000 displaced people are housed in makeshift dwellings in Dalori, around 15
km (9 miles) from the center of Borno state capital Maiduguri.
insurgents attacked the camp after pushing out soldiers at a nearby military
base in a shootout, several people said.
chased the soldiers away and burnt the base before forcing their way into the
camp, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is greater],” said camp resident Aisa
started shooting and we all fled the camp,” said the mother of three.
Modu, a civilian militia member guarding the camp, said he ran into the
attackers as he tried to flee.
were no doubt after looting food,” he said.
camp and the neighboring village have been repeatedly targeted in Boko Haram
attacks by heavily armed fighters and suicide bombers.
November, at least 12 people were killed when Boko Haram fighters attacked
Dalori and two nearby villages.
January 2016, at least 85 people were killed when militant fighters stormed and
torched Dalori village and tried to gain access to the camps.
week marks 10 years since the jihadist group known as Boko Haram began its
bloody insurgency in northeastern Nigeria, which has since spread into
neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
than 27,000 people have been killed and two million others displaced, sparking
a dire humanitarian crisis in the region. The U.S. assesses that factions of
Boko Haram have been responsible for more than 35,000 deaths since 2011.
raid bears the hallmarks of previous attacks by the Boko Haram faction led by
Two people were killed and several wounded when Boko Haram fighters raided a
camp for people displaced by the jihadist conflict in northeast Nigeria,
emergency services said Friday.
of Islamist militants on motorcycles and two motorised rickshaws stormed into
Dalori camp on Thursday, shooting people and looting food supplies after
overrunning a nearby military base.
have recovered two dead bodies from the attack which also left several IDPs
(internally displaced persons) with injuries," said Bello Danbatta, head
of security in the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
insurgents looted and burnt shops in the camp and also carted food supplies
from the main store where food aid is stored," he said.
about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from regional capital Maiduguri, houses about
50,000 people in makeshift dwellings.
jihadists attacked the camp after pushing out soldiers at a nearby military
base in a shootout, several displaced people said.
(Boko Haram) chased the soldiers away and burnt the base before forcing their way
into the camp, shouting 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great)," said camp resident
started shooting and we all fled the camp," said the mother of three.
were no doubt after looting food," he said.
camp and the neighbouring village have been repeatedly targeted in Boko Haram
attacks by heavily armed fighters and female suicide bombers.
the government's insistence that Boko Haram jihadists are near defeat, attacks
on civilians and troops persist almost a decade after the insurgency started.
conflict has claimed more than 27,000 lives since 2009 and left some two
million people displaced.
Joko Widodo says Islam in Indonesia is 'tolerant' as rights groups warn of
(CNN)In his first international television interview since being re-elected in
May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo denied being concerned about the rise of
fundamentalism in his country, saying that the Islam practiced there is
tolerant and progressive.
still believe that Islam in Indonesia is a tolerant and moderate Islam. Islam
in Indonesia is modern, it is forward thinking," said the leader, who is
popularly known as Jokowi -- a nickname he said was given to him by a French
businessman while he was working as a furniture salesman.
his second term as leader, Joko faces an uphill battle of uniting the world's
most populous Muslim nation, and fighting what he calls "hoaxes and fake
news that influenced the mind of the people."
now have to restore the situation and work together to build this
country," he said, at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.
comments came after a bitter electoral race against his longtime rival, former
general Prabowo Subianto, who refused to accept the election result, alleging
widespread ballot-rigging that sparked deadly clashes in the capital. The
Constitutional Court subsequently threw out Prabowo's bid to overturn the
result, calling it "legally groundless."
their differences aside, the two political rivals earlier this month vowed to
work together. Pointedly, their first face-to-face meeting after the heated
contest took place on the country's inaugural metro line (the MRT) -- one of
Joko's first-term infrastructure wins.
years ago, Joko won the presidency on a promise to increase jobs, crack down on
corruption and bolster human rights. But during his re-election campaign, he
embraced elements of Indonesia's religious right.
running mate was conservative cleric Ma'ruf Amin, who supports Sharia law and
believes that homosexuality should be criminalized. Amin is now Indonesia's
vice president. That was seen as an effort to eat into Prabowo's conservative
support base and appease those who claimed he was not Islamic enough.
denied that he befriended hardliners to win the election, suggesting his
outwardly secular values had not been compromised.
would like to work with all elements of society. We would like to work with
everyone to develop this country, but not with those who want to ruin this
country in terms of its ideology and in developing our economy. There is no
compromise for me," he said.
called Amin a "moderate Muslim" and said it was logical to have a
cleric running mate in a country that has the largest population of Muslims in
not going to change," he said. "I will not change what I
the President upholds that Indonesia is a tolerant and diverse society, rights
groups say there is rising intolerance from hardline religious groups,
especially against religious minorities and the LGBT community.
2016, Jakarta's Chinese Christian governor (a Joko ally) Basuki Tjahaja
Purnama, better known as Ahok, was accused of insulting the Quran and jailed on
blasphemy charges. Massive rallies calling for his jailing paralyzed the
was released in January after serving just under two years in jail, but the
incident showed religious fundamentalism to be a powerful force.
against LGBT people was already intensifying during Joko's first term, fueled
by what Human Rights Watch (HRW) said was "government-driven moral
Indonesia, homosexuality is not illegal apart from in ultra-conservative Aceh
province, which observes Shariah Law and publicly flogs those found guilty of
having homosexual sex.
May 2017, a police raid on a gym and sauna led to the arrests of 141 people in
a single night because of their presumed sexuality. But Human Rights Watch
reported that police raids and vigilante attacks led to the arrests of at least
300 people that year -- the highest number ever recorded in Indonesia.
number of high-profile Indonesian politicians, including several government
ministers, have unleashed anti-LGBT rhetoric and a parliamentary proposal still
being debated would criminalize gay sex and extramarital sex.
its World Report 2019, HRW said that while Joko's administration "took
small steps" in 2018 to protect the rights of "some of Indonesia's
most vulnerable people" more could be done.
Jokowi issued a plea for religious tolerance in his annual State of the Nation
address on August 16, his administration has failed to translate his rhetorical
support for human rights into meaningful policies during his first term in
office," the report's authors said.
this issue Joko is noncommittal, suggesting that because Indonesia is a
predominantly Muslim country, its Muslim citizens would not accept greater
rights for LGBT people. A 2013 Pew survey found that 93% of the country refused
to accept homosexuality.
in Indonesia, we can see. Everybody has good tolerance. However, when it comes
to regulations and laws, I can ensure you, there will be major rejection by the
people," he said.
tolerance for terrorism in Indonesia'
the LGBT crackdown was driven in part by Islamic hardliners, Joko said he is
not worried about the rise of religious fundamentalism in Indonesia.
a country of 267 million people, spread across 17,000 islands it is normal to
have "two, three, four percent of people who are hardliners," he
is the obligation of the country to know how to embrace them. So that (is) the
goal of this country: to become an opulent, just and prosperous country,"
that embrace became a political flashpoint recently when Abu Bakar Bashir, a
radical Islamic cleric and the alleged mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings,
was granted early release from jail on humanitarian grounds.
an enormous backlash -- from liberals as well as hardliners -- Joko backed away
from the plan. Bashir remains behind bars and on his fate Joko is now
unwavering. "The final decision was no," he said.
threat of homegrown terrorism remains. In May 2018, a spate of deadly,
ISIS-inspired bombings rocked Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya,
targeting churches and the police.
Indonesian ISIS fighters also present a new challenge to the country's law
enforcement and intelligence agencies. Police reportedly foiled an attack just
before the election, arresting at least nine fighters affiliated with ISIS --
at least six of whom were known to have fought in Iraq and Syria, police said.
said his counter-terrorism forces -- known as Detachment 88 -- have a
are certain cases where we can embrace them, and return them to normalcy. But,
if it is hard to do, then the hard approach is done through strict law
enforcement. We do not tolerate terrorism in Indonesia," he said.
said deradicalization programs were working.
terrorists have returned to society, established foundations to embrace
ex-terrorists who can live normally. That is the success of deradicalization in
Indonesia," he said.
and development a priority
Joko's focus remains on the economy and on Indonesia's development.
his first term, Indonesia's economy grew at just over 5% per annum -- shy of
the 7% promised, but enough for the country's GDP to surpass $1 trillion in
2017. The IMF believes that with economic reform and investment, Indonesia's
economy could grow by 6.5% by 2022.
achieve that goal, Joko said: "We must conduct reform on a massive
means teaching workers new skills, introducing tax reform and attracting
investment and building the large-scale infrastructure projects that have
become a hallmark of Joko's presidency.
latter will involve Indonesia's biggest trading partner: China. After the
election, the government signed deals worth billions of dollars with the
Chinese government for major infrastructure projects as part of Beijing's
flagship Belt and Road initiative. And this month Indonesia reportedly asked
China to set up a special Belt and Road fund after offering $91 million in
projects, according to Reuters.
reports suggest that smaller nations are being saddled with debt from these
huge Chinese mega-projects and one concern is that China will be in a strong
position to influence their strategic decisions if they default.
said Indonesia won't fall prey to the so-called "debt-trap diplomacy"
problem, because the deals made were business to business, he said, and will
"benefit the national interest of Indonesia."
on July 11, 22 countries, including Japan and the United Kingdom, issued a
joint statement condemning China's mass detention of Uyghur and other
minorities in the country's Xinjiang region.
-- the world's most populous Muslim nation -- was not a signatory.
Joko said he "continues to monitor problems in China" with regards to
Uyghurs, "To be frank, I do not have enough data about that," he
religious conversion of Orang Asli children still going on in schools, say
JAYA, July 27 — While the Constitution guarantees every Malaysian the freedom
of religion, there are some teachers who still try to subtly convert Orang Asli
children, indigenous research experts say.
for Orang Asli Concerns founder and co-ordinator Colin Nicholas and University
of Nottingham assistant professor Suria Angit said this today at a roundtable
dialogue on the education development efforts for Orang Asli children.
his presentation, Colin who has been researching Orang Asli communities, said
that a 1960 government policy — which has since been scrapped — even promoted
the “assimilation” of Orang Asli into the Malay race.
later on, because of the not so politically correct term of the word
assimilation, they changed it to integration into the mainstream of society.
reality if you ask me, it’s the same, because by way of education, by way of
progress, by way of infrastructure facilities and support and so on, the idea
is to make Orang Asli (into) Malay, and the best way of course is through
if you listen to Mahathir, he has said before that, you know schools now are
actually a platform for religious conversions. Everything is about religion.
Mahathir himself (said it),” Colin said, referring to Prime Minister Tun Dr
was responding to a question about the alleged religious conversions of Orang
Asli children in the Kemas kindergartens which are government-operated, and
placed under the Community Development Department (Kemas), of the Rural
however, said that not all Kemas pre-schools engage in such acts, pointing out
that there is also no policy to convert Orang Asli to Islam.
is no policy, but in reality, certain individual teachers take it upon
themselves that this is their whatever duty to do it. So you find it that in
some areas, there is very active, low-key or subtle way of conversion,” he
then related an incident when a concerned Orang Asli parent, upon checking her
daughter’s school bag, found an Islamic studies certificate, which he said was
issued by the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi).
he asserted, was despite the parent not wanting to have her daughter undertake
such a course.
Aboriginal Peoples Act provides that no Orang Asli child should be given
religious instructions. Whatever religion. Christianity, Islam or anything,
without the written consent from the parent. This is not followed.
the reality is that, there are a lot of little Napoleons who do not understand
the purpose of education, but have another agenda,” he added.
meanwhile related another similar incident about an Orang Asli government
school she had visited. In the course of her research, she found out Orang Asli
children were being taught Arabic instead of their mother tongue, the Semai
there was also a school where we visited, that instead of teaching Semai,
because in that school they were supposed to be teaching Semai as one of the
of teaching Semai, they teach more Malay, which is understandable on the basis
that Malay (language) is our national language, but they also teach Arabic,
because they said, according to the school statistics, most of the students are
Muslims. This is an Orang Asli school by the way.
they feel like when you’re a Muslim, you need to learn Arabic. Orang Asli
children should be able to learn their own mother tongue, their own languages
in formal education as well, so they can preserve their identities. But why are
we turning them into Arabs?” Suria who is from the Temiar tribe, asked.
Engi, an Orang Asli from the Temuan tribe and an education consultant for
community teachers, said that the education of Orang Asli children must not be
marred by politics.
it’s in a rural area, then follow the culture of the rural area,” Jenita said,
adding that the function of Kemas has to be refined, based on where it is
located, and must have a more comprehensive curriculum depending on the type of
attendees it has.
Pakistan has welcomed an emphasis by the Turkish President and the Malaysian
Prime Minister to initiate a Muslim renaissance with the cooperation of the
three countries, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported.
welcome PM @chedetofficial and President @RTErdogan emphasis on Malaysia,
Turkey and Pakistan working together to initiate a Muslim renaissance and unite
the Muslim world,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a
a joint press conference with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Ankara
on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said solidarity between
Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan is necessary for unity in the Islamic world.
Mahathir echoed the statement saying: “Cooperation between Malaysia and Turkey
will help relieve the Muslim Ummah from being subjugated by others.’’
— A surau, or Muslim prayer hall, at the void deck of Block 2, Ghim Moh Road,
recently caught the Internet’s attention when a video of it went viral.
while many Singaporeans who watched the video thought it was a novelty, the
surau has been there for 38 years, thanks to the concerted efforts from
residents in the estate.
the decades, the surau, about the size of a three-room flat, has served as a
prayer space for Muslims and a resting area for anyone at any time of the day.
a video taken by a visitor and posted on Facebook garnered over 143,000 views
and 4,100 shares.
years, many people have come to me and asked: ‘Surau at the void deck. Town
council let, ah?’” said the surau’s caretaker, retiree Ahmad Basar, 78.
will tell them to go check the notice board at the surau where I hung memos
from the Government, who gave us permission to occupy the space,” he added.
surau had its beginnings in 1981 to cater to the 500 Muslim families who had
been resettled into Housing and Development Board flats in the area when their
villages were torn down for redevelopment.
Member of Parliament (MP) Abbas Abu Amin, who was the interim MP for the
constituency at that time, told TODAY that there were overwhelming requests for
such a prayer space from Muslims in the neighbourhood, as more than 100 of them
are elderly and the nearest mosque was 45 minutes away by bus.
Abbas said he and former Cabinet minister Ahmad Mattar thus championed the idea
of setting up a surau at the void deck of one of the blocks.
faced some pushback from authorities who were concerned that a space of worship
would make the communal area less inclusive, but eventually won them over, he
Ghim Moh was a special case. It was the only one in Singapore that was allowed
to be set up at a void deck because of the circumstances the residents in the
area faced,” he said.
is a good representation of how strong ties forged in a community can bring
about years of harmony.”
of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Christopher De Souza agreed, saying that the
residents who frequent the surau have played a central role in community events.
recently during Ramadan a few months ago, the Singapore Buddhist Lodge donated
rice, which was then made into porridge at Al Huda Mosque in Bukit Timah before
being distributed to Ghim Moh residents by volunteers from the Church of St
shows how the surau community is part of community life in Ghim Moh and how
such a continuing partnership is meaningful for residents. I would want the
partnership to continue,” said Mr De Souza.
Chia Ah Hua, 66, who lives in the block just opposite the surau, said that he
has made many friends from the residents who frequent it.
of the time, I don’t even realise that people are praying or resting there
because they are very quiet. I can only hear them when it’s fasting month and
they pray at about 8pm, just like I can hear the Chinese gong going ‘dung dung
cheng’ during Chinese New Year,” added the retiree.
resident, who wants to be known only as Mr Gunalan, said he would rather the
void deck be put to good use than lie vacant.
than having young people ‘lepak’ (hang out) there in groups, might as well use
the space (for people) to pray or rest,” the 71-year-old retiree said.
Basar said the key to maintaining harmony in the estate while running a prayer
space is to be mindful of neighbours and keep communication lines open.
tell our neighbours in advance when we are going to have events. Sometimes it’s
by word of mouth, other times we put up notices,” he said.
the years, the surau has been upgraded.
started out using canvas and cardboard to pray on. Now we have walls, fans and
lights. We are very fortunate,” said Mr Basar.
the town council’s approval, the surau has also installed rolling blinds and a
space for ablutions.
Mr Basar, who has dedicated half his life to taking care of the surau, said
that due to the gradual decline in the number of Muslim residents in the area,
there are challenges in maintaining the space, such as a lack of funds.
said that in the early 80s, the residents collectively paid S$50 a month for
rent and S$1 a month for utilities. Now they no longer pay for rent, only
utilities that cost between S$45 and S$50 a month, Mr Basar noted.
from the necessities, money collected from residents and visitors at the surau
is used to fund religious activities, gatherings and the maintenance of the
surau’s role is just as important now as it was when it first began, Mr Basar
said, noting that since Kampong Holland mosque was shut down, the nearest
mosques to Ghim Moh are about half an hour away by public transport.
SELANGOR, July 27 — The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will continue to
co-operate with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
to monitor any insults made on Islam and the prophet over social media.
director-general, Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim said that Jakim had officers
stationed at MCMC to take the necessary action if there were any complaints
from consumers on insults made against Islam and Prophet Muhammad on social
co-operate with MCMC under a special committee which was set up to study and
monitor any complaints on insult to Islam and Prophet Muhammad,” he said after
attending the 28th Jakim’s Darul Quran Convocation here today.
to this, several quarters lodged police reports after the posting “Kiub Batu
Itu Berhala” uploaded on Facebook by an individual using the name Wendy Loong
viralled on the social sites.
Mohamad Nordin said Jakim took cognisance of the incident and would channel the
information to the police and MCMC.
we will gather information from complaints and will channel them to the agency
with the power of investigation and taking action,’’ he said.
Mohamad Nordin said that RM35 million had been approved by the government to
upgrade Darul Quran to build an academic centre and increase the number of
member of the board of Darul Quran, Mohamad Nordin said upgrading work, which
would start next year, would provide more comfort and increase hostel places
for students at the tahfiz centre.
we provide hostels for 1,000 tahfiz students. Upon completion in three years,
300 more students can be accommodated here,’’ he said.
the convocation, 723 graduates from eight study programmes offered by Darul
Quran received their respective diplomas and certificates.
IDA NADIRAH IBRAHIM
LUMPUR, July 27 — The PAS-Umno Opposition alliance is in favour of keeping Tun
Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister until the end of the Pakatan Harapan
election mandate, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said.
PAS president attributed its support to the purported dominance of non-Muslim
leaders in the ruling coalition, its party-owned website Harakah Daily reported
said the PM’s party, Bersatu, has few parliamentary seats compared to the other
only has 11 seats and its position in the government is not strong. We
acknowledge the matter, but what is Tun going to do? Surely he has his
defends many things, but the party seem to be isolated and that is why we have
to take the same stance as Umno and defend Tun as the prime minister until the
term ends,” he was quoted saying.
Hadi also said that while the unity of the Bumiputera Malay Muslims is crucial,
the rights of other races should not be sidelined.
said PAS is ready to cooperate with any other “non-extreme” political parties,
and listed as examples MIC, MCA, Parti Bersatu Sabah and the Parti Gagasan
Sarawak coalition, describing them as “very open”.
we can accept.
is the mixture that we should have for Malaysia, this cooperation, and it
should be considered,” he was quoted saying.
LUMPUR, July 28 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today called out Datuk Seri Ahmad
Zahid Hamidi today for contradicting statements he made in regards to Umno
rejecting cooperation with leaders who are in “cahoots” with DAP.
was referring to a statement made by the Umno president that the party will
reject any offer to cooperate with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as
long as he has any kind of ties with DAP.
Zahid has become a classic case of a political leader whose statements
frequently boomerang on him. His latest and second smacking of PKR president
again had this boomerang effect on himself.
may suffer from short-term memory. It was only a week ago that Zahid insinuated
that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was a stooge of DAP,” he said in a
pointed out that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had yesterday said
that his party will work to keep Dr Mahathir as prime minister for the full
term, denying any handover of power to Anwar as agreed by the Pakatan Harapan
consensus in January 2018.
a political comedown — from expecting to kick ‘DAP stooge Mahathir’ out as
prime minister to “working to keep Mahathir for the full term.
must congratulate Umno and PAS leaders for their inability to see the irony and
contradiction they have trapped themselves, but that is another story.
want to ask Zahid whether he will now obey the PAS president’s new line to work
to keep Dr Mahathir as prime minister for the full term,” Lim questioned.
suggested that Ahmad Zahid heed the advice of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who
said in an interview before his installation on Tuesday that he wants to see a
Malaysia whose citizens are united and live in a peaceful, stable and
fully support the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s hopes.
Zahid also support the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s aspirations?
soldiers martyred in N Waziristan, Balochistan attacks
At least 10 security forces personnel were martyred in North Waziristan tribal
district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan on Saturday after they came
under separate attacks by unknown militants, said a statement by the army’s
media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
the first incident, six Pakistan Army soldiers were killed in a cross-border
attack near Pakistani-Afghanistan border after a patrolling party came under
fire by unknown assailants from across the border in Gurbaz, North Waziristan.
from across the border fire raided on Pakistan Army border patrolling party […]
6 soldiers embraced shahadat,” said a statement issued by the military’s media
wing shortly after the attack.
deceased include Havaldar Khalid, Sepoy Naveed, Sepoy Bachal, Sepoy Ali Raza,
Sepoy Mohammad Babar and Sepoy Ahsan.
restive Balochistan, a contingent of the Frontier Corps was attacked by
unidentified militants during a combing/sensitisation operation between Hushab
and Turbat, the ISPR said in another press release.
troops martyred in Balochistan include Captain Aqib Javed, Sepoy Nadir, Sepoy
Atif Altaf and Sepoy Hafeezullah.
is not the first time that the security forces personnel have come under attack
in Balochistan. The province – long been plagued by an insurgency and targetted
killings – is reeling under a fresh wave of terrorism.
May alone, the province faced at least five terror attacks, including an attack
on non-native labourers working in Dera Murad Jamali.
martyrdom of six soldiers on the Pak-Afghan border and of four in Balochistan
“is the sacrifice Pakistan [is] making for peace in the region”, tweeted ISPR
Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
said while the security of the tribal areas has been improved with efforts now
focused on solidifying the western border, inimical forces are attempting to
destabilise Balochistan. “Their efforts shall [InshAllah] fail,” Gen Ghafoor
of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also issued a statement condemning the
said the armed force “shall ensure the defence and security of motherland at
the cost of our sweat and blood”. He termed the attacks “dying efforts of
frustrated inimical forces” as the country heads on to achieve “enduring peace”
after attaining “stability”.
time for the world to facilitate regional peace,” said COAS Bajwa.
salute our armed forces personnel who continue to lay down their lives fighting
terrorists to keep the nation safe,” said Prime Minister Imran Khan as he
offered “condolences and prayers” for the families of the fallen soldiers in
North Waziristan and Balochistan.
attacks come days after the Pakistani civilian and military leaders discussed
the regional security situation and Afghan peace with their American
counterparts. “We have had 15 years of fighting this war on terror. Over 70,000
Pakistani casualties. Over $150 billion lost to the economy. So, we desperately
want peace,” Prime Minister Imran had said.
US leadership acknowledged contributions of Pakistan Army in the war against
terrorism and role towards Afghan peace process,” the ISPR said following the
army chief’s meeting with his US counterparts at the Pentagon.
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif has asked the Punjab government to refrain from
removing the air-conditioner from the prison cell of former prime minister
Nawaz Sharif as it will be violation of the medical board’s recommendations and
adversely affect his already fragile health.
a letter to the chief secretary on Saturday, the opposition leader in the
National Assembly said attempts were being made to put the life of three-time
premier in danger. He said the Punjab government had written to the IG Prisons
to remove the air-conditioner in the cell of Nawaz Sharif.
Minister Imran Khan had also declared during his visit to the US that he would
have the air-conditioner and TV removed from the cell of Nawaz Sharif, he said.
He said that according to the medical board constituted by the Buzdar
administration, the room temperature of the cell of Nawaz Sharif at the Kot
Lakhpat jail (where he is serving seven-year imprisonment in Al-Azizia Mills
case) should be maintained at a comfortable level to prevent dehydration and
possible deterioration of renal functions.
am appalled at the callousness depicted by the Home Department for omitting
this pivotal point about Nawaz Sharif’s medical condition while writing to the
IG Prisons asking him to remove facilities accorded to prisoners under the
guise of impartial treatment,” he said and added that the blatant attempt at
his life “shrouded in procedural vagueness reeks of political vendetta as the
letter cites PM Khan’s wishes as the motive of the said correspondence.”
Sharif said the recommendations of the medical board of the Punjab government
should be followed in letter and spirit and no political pressure be allowed to
“contravene the rights of Nawaz Sharif.”
Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz met Nawaz Sharif in the
jail. A good number of PML-N workers gathered outside the jail and chanted
slogans in favour of their leadership and against Imran Khan and the PTI
Nawaz condemned the arrest of Irfan Saddiqui, former adviser to the Nawaz
images. Sharam kero. And I am telling you, Jaali, Dummy Hakoomat is not behind
the arrest. It is someone else & I know the nexus,” she tweeted.
The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) though believes that Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani
has lost the confidence of a majority in the Senate, is still undecided about
its strategy during next week’s voting on the no-trust resolutions against him
and his deputy Saleem Mandviwala.
JI with its two members, including its emir Sirajul Haq, sits on the opposition
benches in the Senate, but it has distanced itself from the joint opposition
party neither attended the multi-party conference (MPC) of the opposition
parties that had been convened by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana
Fazlur Rehman last month nor did its members sign the no-trust motion against
the Senate chairman.
to Dawn, naib emir of the JI Liaquat Baloch said a discussion on the issue had
been going on in the party for the past few days, but so far they had not made
up their mind.
Baloch said the JI believed that in principle Mr Sanjrani should step down from
his office as he had lost the support of the majority of the senators after
withdrawal of his support by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which had voted
for Mr Sanjrani during the Senate chairman election as a joint candidate of the
PPP and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
to a question, Mr Baloch stated that his party had been approached both by the
government as well as the opposition members. He further disclosed that even Mr
Sanjrani had contacted the JI leadership and sought their support.
response to another question, Mr Baloch said it was due to the will of the
party workers that the JI had decided to stay away from politics of alliances.
He said the JI was not even a component of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), a
five-party alliance of religio-political parties, including the JUI-F.
JI members had contested the last general elections on the MMA ticket and their
members in the National Assembly were shown as MMA representatives.
Baloch said currently they were observing the political scenario and the
overall situation in the country and would make a decision on the no-trust
motions when the time would come.
he said, the party had kept all its options open and it could vote for either
side or it could abstain as well. “So you can say we still have all the three
options available,” he added.
opposition senators had submitted the no-trust motion against Mr Sanjrani to
the Senate secretariat on July 9.
ruling coalition hit back with a similar motion against the deputy chairman on
opposition has already nominated National Party (NP) president Mir Hasil
Bizenjo as its joint candidate for the Senate chairman’s office.
opposition made the decision to remove the Senate chairman at the MPC held in
Islamabad on June 26 to discuss the options of launching a full-fledged
anti-government movement in the wake of present economic crisis and the alleged
political victimisation of the opposition members.
at a news conference after submission of the no-trust motion, PPP chairman
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had asked Mr Sanjrani to voluntarily resign from the
office in the larger interest of democracy and parliament.
PPP chairman had said Mr Sanjrani had been elected as a result of the
opposition’s consensus that emerged last year when the PML-N was a ruling party
and his party was sitting on the opposition benches with the PTI, which was now
in power. Now, he said, again the opposition had reached a consensus to remove
the Senate chairman, saying they had no personal issues with Mr Sanjrani and
had respect for him.
Mr Sanjrani has already declared he would not step down and would fight till
of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam
Kamal Khan Alyani met JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman asking him to play his
role in the withdrawal of no-trust motion, but they did not get a positive
response from him.
Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana
Fazlur Rehman has said that opposition parties will no more allow a “fake”
regime to rule the country just in the name of accountability.
at a press conference here on Saturday, Maulana Fazl said that the accountability
started by the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf) government was political
victimisation of opposition parties.
his three-day stay in Quetta, the JUI-F chief will launch a ‘million march’ on
reply to a question, he said political vandalism could not be justified as
accountability because what was happening in the country would increase
people of Pakistan have lost trust in accountability,” he added.
do not accept a selected prime minister and government anymore. The JUI-F needs
nothing but the supremacy of democracy and the Constitution,” he added.
said the government, which was imposed in the country by stealing the mandate
of the people on July 25 last year, had no right to rule.
about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to the United States, the JUI-F
chief said the way had been paved for once again giving Pakistan into American
Fazl said the opposition parties had been trying to replace Senate chairman
Sadiq Sanjrani with another politician from Balochistan, but some political
forces had been playing nationalist and local card on this issue.
confident the PPP and PML-N will support us till the end,” he said, adding that
he didn’t think Mr Sanjrani had done anything for the people of Balochistan.
reply to a question about the government’s claim about participation of
madressah students in the July 25 ‘million march’ in Peshawar, the JUI-F chief
said that TV anchorpersons reported false information in this regard.
seminary students not Pakistanis or do they not have a right to protest and
Maulana said the Quetta ‘million march’ would be the last nail in the
are expecting participation of more than 1.5 million people in the march,” he added.
Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Saturday said the delegation that
earlier visited Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
had been reprimand by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
federal minister talked to media and stressed that Senate Chairman Sadiq
Sanjrani would definitely prevail against the no-confidence motion that has
been tabled against him by the opposition.
Rashid Ahmed claimed that PM Imran Khan is not going anywhere due to the
opposition’s ‘insignificant’ rallies. The politics of the opposition will be
over once Pakistan gets rid of the ongoing economic challenges, he added.
bashing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz, the
federal minister said she is the reason behind Nawaz Sharif’s destruction.
Khan’s US visit was historic as the premier said in his statement in Washington
that the US-Iran war will be ruinous. Imran Khan is lucky that his friend has
come to power in England.
Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous
Ashiq Awan on Saturday strongly condemned the cowardly attack on the Pakistani
soldiers from across the Afghan border near Gurbaz, North Waziristan.
to a private news channel, she said India was involved in the terrorist attack
in which six Pakistani soldiers embraced martyrdom.
was hatching conspiracies to vitiate peace process in Pakistan through such
nefarious acts, however, it would not succeed in its designs, she added. Dr
Firdous said the United States’ (US) announcement for logistics and technical
support of Pakistan’s F- 16 fighter jets was a victory of Pakistan’s stance and
a defeat of the Indian propaganda after the Pulwama incident.
Punjab Assembly Speaker Ch Pervaiz Elahi described as great addition of
martyrdom of Captain Aqib Javed and army jawans in two attacks of enemies of
Pakistan in Balochistan and North Waziristan to the great sacrifices of the
Pakistan Army and said that those trying to harm Pakistan would always fail and
remain without achieving evil objectives. He said in a statement that the
entire nation today salutes those who laid down their lives and their great
parents from the depth of their hearts.
e Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq also strongly condemned the terrorist
attacks on the army and said that some elements wanted to destabilise the
country but they would never succeed in their nefarious designs. He said that
the martyrs were the heroes of the nation and the nation was proud of them. He
said that the sacrifices would bear fruit and Pakistan would become an abode of
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman
Asif Ali Zardari condemned the incidents and expressed their profound grief and
sorrow over the loss of lives of brave soldiers in terror attacks in KP and
state terrorism needs to be noticed by the world and the governments,
organizations, parliaments and parties," al-Wefaq party, which has been
banned from conducting any activity by the ruling Al-Khalifah regime, said in a
statement on Saturday. It added that the al-Khalifa regime does not respect the
human rights and international laws and ignores all agreements and humanitarian
executed two pro-democracy activists, defying widespread calls to commute the
death sentences handed to the prisoners in an "unfair" mass trial.
al-Malali, 24, and Ali Hakim al-Arab, 25, were executed at Jaw prison, South of
the Bahraini capital Manama, on Friday after private meetings with their
and al-Arab were sentenced to death last year in a mass trial along with
another 56 men who were convicted and given jail terms on "terrorism
crimes". They were arrested separately in February 2017.
Public prosecutor's office announced the men were put to death on charges of
possessing firearms and killing a police officer.
regime in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom carried out the death penalties despite
fierce protests by the United Nations and several human rights groups and
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights announced that the families of the two had
received phone calls from Jaw prison for private visits - a procedure that
usually precedes execution.
of ex-Daesh capital yearn for return of President Assad's rule: Report
of Syria's Raqqah, which once served as the capital of the self-proclaimed
“caliphate” of the Daesh terrorist group, yearn for the return of President
Bashar al-Assad's rule, US magazine Foreign Policy reports.
Raqqah locals mistrust the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed
anti-Damascus alliance of mainly Kurdish militants that currently runs the
Arab-majority city, the publication said.
citizens, it added, believe that only the government of Assad can bring
stability to the war-wracked city.
activist, named by the pseudonym Hamoude, told Foreign Policy that his
relatives who had fled Raqqah, said, “We will come back when the regime
had once declared Raqqah as the de facto capital of a "caliphate" it
started to build in Iraq and Syria in 2014 through a campaign of violence,
invasion and extreme brutality against residents.
October 2017, the United States and its SDF allies claimed victory over Daesh
after carrying out a notoriously ruinous campaign in the northern Syrian city.
Raqqah battle ended with a secret deal allowing hundreds of Daesh terrorists
and their families to withdraw to neighboring Dayr al-Zawr Province.
two years into the SDF occupation of Raqqah, locals "have also found SDF
rule wanting" and are "cautious in expressing opposition to the SDF
out of fear of retribution," according to the Foreign Policy report.
also cited rumors among Raqqah's residents about an imminent handover of the
city to the Damascus government after the liberation of Idlib Province, the
last significant militant stronghold in Syria.
report further stressed lack of basic services in Raqqah and the destruction of
schools and hospitals have led locals to compare their current living
conditions to their lives prior to the outbreak of the 2011 conflict.
used to have free water, free electricity, free bread, free schools, free
hospitals. Now everything is expensive,” said Samira, an older woman from a
relatively well-off family, who later professed support for the return of the
report also highlighted complaints by Raqqah citizens about the slow pace of
the city's reconstruction process and the inadequate stabilization funding from
slow reconstruction, inadequate funding, displeasure with Kurdish-led rule in
an Arab-majority city, and above all a yearning for security after so many
years of war are keeping the SDF from gaining widespread support in the city,
according to dozens of conversations with local residents, SDF commanders,
activists, and business leaders in the city," it said. "The SDF
leadership finds itself unable to provide basic services due to shortage of
funding, and ongoing militant attacks in the city are undermining its popular
the report pointed out that decision-making power in Raqqah is
"monopolized" by long-term cadres of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK) militant group.
Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website quoted Head of the Muslim Ulema
Union in Iraq's Diyala province Jabbar al-Ma'amouri as saying on Friday that
the US wants to stir tension and crisis in Iraq and Middle-East to find a
pretext for intervention.
noted that the ISIL militants are supported by the US army's financial and arms
aid, and said they are in possession of advanced sniper rifles.
referred to the recent attacks by terrorist snipers against Hashd al-Sha'abi
forces near Khanqain or the army forces in Bazayez Bahrez and Kan'an regions,
and said a number of these forces were killed in the attacks.
had also earlier this month disclosed Israel's support for the ISIL terrorists
in his country, saying the terrorist group had been backed up by the Mossad
told the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website that there was much proof
and evidence on Israel's support for the ISIL terrorists in Iraq through the
added that the Iraqi security forces had found Israeli manufactured medicine,
bombs and advanced communication systems at a number of bases during cleansing
operations against the ISIL in Amerli and Suleiman Beik regions near the town
of Tuz Khormatuz in Salahuddin province in the past 3 years.
US presence in Iraq is rejected by the political parties and people,"
Mo'ein al-Kazzemi was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language al-Maslah news
website on Saturday.
warned of the US attempts to turn Iraq into a launchpad to damage the
neighboring states, and said Washington's behavior might face unexpected
reactions from inside Iraq.
had better end their presence in Iraq in a move to protect their forces and
personnel," al-Kazzemi said.
relevant remarks in May, Asa'eb al-Haq Movement affiliated to Hashd al-Shaabi
reiterated the necessity for the American forces to leave Iraq.
member of the politburo of Asa'eb al-Haq Laith al-Ozari underscored the
Movement's opposition to the deployment of foreign forces in Iraq as
"occupation", cautioning that all citizens were entitled to the right
to fight these foreign occupiers.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency reported that the Russian and
Syrian fighter jets targeted and pounded the terrorists’ military positions in
Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, including in al-Latamineh, Kafar Zita,
al-Zuka and Khan Sheikhoun, destroying several military positions and
ammunition-arms depot of Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzeh terrorists.
Syrian Army’s artillery and missile units also pounded the terrorists’ military
positions and movements in Mourek, Tal al-Malh and al-Jobin in Northern Hama,
destroying several targets.
a Syrian Army’s military source also reported that several logistical positions
of Tahrir al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzeh were destroyed in Russian and Syrian
airstrikes in Southern Idlib.
military source also said that the Syrian and Russian fighter jets also
destroyed terrorists’ military convoy heading to Tal Melh from Latmin in
source also reiterated that a military commander of Jeish al-Izzeh named Yasser
Ahmad al-Saloum was also killed during the joint military operations by Russia
a relevant development earlier in July, the Syrian Army backed by the country’s
and Russian air forces thwarted a heavy attack by elite militants of Tahrir
al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front)
terrorists aimed at regaining back the strategic al-Hamamiat region in Northern
Hama, killing at least 40 of them.
Sputnik news agency quoted a military source as saying that over 1,000 of elite
Tahrir al-Sham terrorists also known as Asaeb al-Hamra, most of them from
Chechnya, together with hundreds of Turkistani Party terrorists as well as
several suicide bombers had attacked the Syrian Army’s military positions in
the town of al-Hamamiat in Northern Hama.
source pointed to the tactical withdrawal of the Syrian Army troops to their
military positions in al-Hamamiat region, and said that the Syrian Army had
fully cleansed al-Hamamiat town and its outskirts after dispatching troops and
massive military equipment to the region and starting a heavy attack on the
terrorists which left over 40 militants dead and at least 13 vehicles
the Russian and Syrian fighter jets and the Syrian Army’s artillery units
pounded the military positions and movements of the terrorists in the towns of
al-Latamineh, Kafar Zita, al-Zuka, al-Arbaeen and Khan Sheikhoun in Northern
Hama and Southern Idlib, he added.
source noted that the terrorist groups intend to cut Mahradeh-Saqilbieh Road by
taking full control over al-Hamamiat strategic town.
after sustaining heavy defeats in al-Hamamiat, the terrorists launched rocket
attacks on residential areas in the town of Karnaz, Sheikh Hadid and Mahradeh
in Northern Hama which resulted in injury of a number of civilians.
Arabic-language Al-Alam news website quoted an informed military source as
saying that the Syrian Army has dispatched massive military convoys comprising
tens of vehicles carrying military equipment and Syrian Army troops to their
military positions in Northern Hama, including Shirz and al-Tarmiseh near Mahradeh
in Northern Hama.
source also noted that the Syrian Army has started hitting the terrorists’
military positions and movements in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, and said
that the Syrian Army intends to start its military operation for purging the
terrorists from the demilitarized zone in the coming days.
said that the Russian-Syrian fighter jets have destroyed the terrorists’
military positions in al-Latamineh town in Northern Hama and Khan Sheikhoun in
Southern Idlib to the city of Ariha along Aleppo-Lattakia Highway.
a relevant development in mid-July, media reports said that Damascus and Moscow
have given a last chance to Ankara to fully conduct its military operations in
Idlib province before the upcoming Astana meeting on Syria.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted special sources as saying that the
new round of Astana meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital would be held on August 1-2
and it would be the last chance for Turkey to fulfill its commitments under the
Russia-Turkey agreement on Idlib.
sources noted that the delays by Turkey in implementing the Sochi agreement are
not acceptable, and said that if Ankara does not fulfill its commitments, the
Syrian Army will most probably conduct its cleansing operation in the remaining
regions of Idlib.
the daily quoted sources close to Ankara as saying that the Ankara-backed
terrorist commanders attended a meeting with Turkish Army commanders in the
Turkish capital earlier this week.
said that the Turkish Army intends to maintain the areas under its control in
Northern, Northwestern and Southern Idlib as long as possible before the next
sources also pointed to Turkey’s fear from possible military operations by
Russia and Syria to take full control over the towns of Jabal Shahshabou in
Northwestern Hama to Jisr al-Shoghour along Aleppo-Lattakia highway, and said
that Turkey has promised Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups to send
fresh militants of Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch from Aleppo to these regions.
has also sent more Islamic Turkistani Party terrorists to battlefields in
Northern Hama from Western Idlib.
a relevant development earlier in July, a Syrian government cultural official
said that Turkey is helping the militants in excavation of historical and
ancient sites in the Ankara-controlled occupied areas in Northern Syria as the
terrorists have transferred tens of thousands of artifacts to Turkey, a
government cultural official said.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted Director-General of Syria’s Museums
and Ancient Sites Mahmoud Hamoud as saying that according to reliable
intelligence, Turkish officials along with their allied militants have started
excavations for artefacts in most of the regions and ancient hills of Afrin, including
Tal Borj Abdalou, Tal Ain Dareh, Tal Jandaris and Nabi Hora which are thousands
of years old.
noted that the terrorists have plundered about 75,000 artifacts from Syrian
museums, including museums in Idlib and Raqqa, and said that a sum of 25,000
artefacts of Syria have so far been smuggled into Turkey so far.
has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed six soldiers in Syria’s
southern province of Daraa, the cradle of the 2011 uprising against the
extremist group said it was responsible for a “suicide operation” Saturday
during which one of its fighters sprayed soldiers with machine-gun fire before
detonating an “explosive vest.”
claim, posted late Saturday on the Telegram messaging app, was the second by
the group this week for an attack in Syria, from which it was largely expelled
on Monday said it was responsible for a deadly car bombing in Damascus, where a
civilian was killed when a vehicle exploded in the southern suburb of Qadam.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said six
soldiers were killed and several other people wounded in Saturday’s attack in
Daraa, where peaceful anti-government protests erupted in March 2011.
said a bomber riding a motorcycle blew himself up at a military checkpoint.
state news agency SANA also reported a suicide bombing but said it happened
during an “army raid” that targeted “terrorists”, a term used by authorities to
describe opposition forces and extremists. It did not give a death toll.
eight-year conflict, which evolved from a brutal crackdown on anti-government
protests into a full-blown civil war involving regional and international
players, has killed more than 370,000 people.
the war broke out, Damascus was hit by several deadly attacks carried out
mainly by extremist groups.
the frequency of attacks decreased after regime forces last year recaptured
areas around the capital held by the opposition or extremists, notably the
former rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta.
March, a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance expelled ISIS from its last patch of
territory in eastern Syria.
air strikes on Saturday killed 10 civilians in northwest Syria, where ramped up
attacks by Damascus and its ally Russia have claimed the lives of hundreds
since late April.
and parts of the neighbouring provinces of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia are under
the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an extremist group led by Syria’s former
region is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a
September buffer zone deal, but it has come under increasing bombardment by the
regime and its Russian ally over the past three months.
Saturday, two children were among the nine civilians killed in air raids on the
Idlib town of Ariha, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
attack wounded 28 others, said the Britain-based monitor.
residential buildings in Ariha were hit by raids, in the second such attack on
the town this week, said Observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman.
air strikes killed 10 civilians there on Wednesday, according to the
by government forces on other parts of the Idlib region killed another civilian
on Saturday and wounded 15 others, the monitor said.
strikes by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia on the Idlib region have
claimed more than 740 lives since late April, according to the Observatory.
UN says more than 400,000 people have been displaced.
United Nations’ humanitarian coordination office OCHA has documented 39 attacks
against health facilities or medical workers in the area in three months.
least 50 schools have been damaged by air strikes and shelling over the same
period, it said.
are civilian objects, and it seems highly unlikely, given the persistent
pattern of such attacks, that they are all being hit by accident,” UN rights
chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday.
Syrian army soldiers have sustained injuries when a bomb attack struck a unit
of government forces during a counter-terrorism operation in the country’s
southwestern province of Dara’a.
official news agency SANA reported that a bomber detonated his explosive belt
on Saturday afternoon as the army unit was raiding a terrorist hideout in the
village of Maliha al-Atash, which lies in the Hauran plain and northeast of the
provincial capital city of Dara’a.
report added that the explosion led to the injury of a number of soldiers, who
were taken to the city of al-Sanamayn to receive medical treatment.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, said six soldiers were
killed and several other people wounded in the attack.
Britain-based group added that a bomber, who was riding a motorcycle, detonated
his explosives at a military checkpoint.
development came a day after Syrian troopers targeted the artillery positions
of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra
Front, and the so-called Jaysh al-Izza (Army of Glory) militants on the
outskirts of Murak, Kafr Zita, al-Lataminah, al-Jebin and Hesrata towns in the
northern part of Dara’a province.
reported that scores of the foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists were killed or
injured in the process. The militants’ fortified positions and vehicles were
destroyed in the operations as well.
in Sheer Maghar area of the west-central province of Hama, Syrian government
forces repelled an attack by a group of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists,
inflicting losses upon them.
Syrian troopers pounded militants’ fortified positions in the northwestern city
of Ma'arrat al-Nu'man, located 57 kilometers north of Hama, killing a number of
extremists and destroying their mortar and rocket launch pads.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have accused members of the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group of ordering the assassination of
a Turkish diplomat in the regional capital Erbil more than a week ago.
from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement issued late on
Friday that based on a detailed confession by the suspected Kurdish gunman,
Mazloum Dag, 27 (shown in the picture below), the murder was carried out on the
orders of top PKK commanders.
Kurdish security services said PKK commanders had been planning the murder in
their heavily fortified and far-flung hideouts in Iraq's Qandil mountains for
said they had arrested three Turkish and three Iraqi suspects.
consulate employee Osman Kose was killed on July 17, when attackers made their
move while the Turkish diplomats asked for check at HuQQabaz, a popular
restaurant in an upscale and high-security area only a five-minute drive from
the Turkish mission on the airport road in Erbil.
of the attackers directly targeted the Turkish diplomat at close range, firing
a gun with a silencer. Meanwhile, the other attacker began to shoot towards two
Iraqi customers. One of them died immediately while the other died in the
arrest last Saturday immediately caught the headlines in Turkish media as his
sister Dersim is a lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party
(HDP), which the Turkish government accuses of affiliation to the PKK.
HDP, Turkey’s second largest opposition group, “strongly” condemned the Erbil
shooting attack, calling it an “absolutely unacceptable provocation attempt.”
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement on July 19 that Turkish
fighter jets had launched airstrikes on militant positions in Iraqi Kurdistan,
dealing a heavy blow to the PKK terror group.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
has launched a crackdown on Syrian refugees in the country, reportedly forcing
them to sign “voluntary return” forms and deporting them the back to Syria.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report detailing numerous accounts of
registered and non-registered refugees being verbally and physically abused
before being forcefully transported to Syria’s terrorist-occupied northern
claims it helps Syrians voluntarily return to their country, but threatening to
lock them up until they agree to return, forcing them to sign forms, and
dumping them in a war zone is neither voluntary nor legal,” said HRW’s
associate emergencies director Gerry Simpson.
Turkish government has played a major in role in supporting various terrorist
groups seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, turning the country
into a vital gateway for terrorist forces and supplies seeking to enter Syria.
bloody conflict and havoc resulting from the foreign-backed terror campaign
against the country has so far led to more than 400,000 deaths according to
United Nations estimates.
resulting humanitarian crisis has also consequently led to the creation of one
of the world’s most serious refugee crises, with Turkey being overwhelmed with
millions of Syrian refugees fleeing the war, many of which seek to further
immigrate to Europe.
estimated 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently reside in Turkey, the highest
number of Syrian refugees in any country.
half a million of them reside in the country’s largest city of Istanbul amid
rising Turkish public anger over the refugees’ presence.
month, the UN warned that a military escalation in Idlib could send up to
"two million" additional refugees into Turkey.
has been registering refugees under a “temporary protection” status since 2014.
registration solely grants the refugees the right to reside and work in the
province where they originally applied for protection.
July 19, the European Union pledged 1.41 billion euros in additional assistance
to Turkey for accommodation of refugees. Istanbul had previously criticized the
EU for failing to adequately fulfill its pledges of support.
over the mass-immigration has also led to rising anti-immigrant rhetoric and
political pressure in Turkey.
mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People's
Party (CHP) was reported to have repeatedly used anti-refugee rhetoric in his
election campaign which was held a few months ago.
had expressed sympathy with growing popular discontent towards the country's
economic downturn and the increasingly controversial presence of millions of
the growing political pressure, Turkey has apparently begun to crack down on
the refugee presence, with Istanbul’s provincial governor office issuing a
decree last month ordering Syrian refugees to return to other provinces, where
they had initially been registered.
statement also said that unregistered refugees would be sent to provinces other
than Istanbul for registration.
decree did not mention what would happen if refugees failed to comply.
from the HRW and other groups, however, suggest that Turkish authorities are
not complying with their own August 20 deadline, forcibly displacing Syrian
refugees beforehand and even deporting them to Idlib.
has denounced the deportations, claiming that the transport of Syrian refugees
to Idlib, which is currently controlled by Turkish-backed terrorists,
constitutes as forced deportation to places where refugees “fear harm”.
is bound by the international customary law of non-refoulement, which prohibits
the return of anyone to a place where they would face a real risk of
persecution, torture or other ill-treatment, or a threat to life,” read the
The Attorney-General of the Criminal Crimes Commission in Bahrain, Counselor
Dr. Ahmed Al-Hammadi announced that three convicts were sentenced to death on
Saturday in two separate cases according to Bahraini state-news agency, BNA.
first case concerned "terrorism" and killing a police officer, and
the second related to the killing of a mosque imam.
Attorney General requested the execution of these sentences as required by law.
president mulls labeling anti-fascist movement antifa a terror group
President Donald Trump has announced that he may consider labeling the
anti-fascist movement in the country, known as antifa, a terrorist organization
amid criticism that such designation may raise constitutional rights concerns.
is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go
around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a
major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others),” Trump wrote in a
Saturday Twitter post, adding: “Would make it easier for police to do their
announcement came just days after right-wing Republican Senators Bill Cassidy
of Louisiana and Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a nonbinding resolution in the US
Congress that would label antifa activists as “domestic terrorists.”
are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism,
protected by Liberal privilege,” Cassidy asserted in a statement. “Bullies get
their way until someone says no. Elected officials must have courage, not
cowardice, to prevent terror.”
designation would permit law enforcement agencies to examine suspects’ known
associations and affiliations, leading critics of the measure to charge that
the move could result in overly broad enforcement.
is dangerous and overly broad to use labels that are disconnected [from] actual
individual conduct,” said American Civil Liberties Union’s Director of the
National Security Project, Hina Shamsi, last week.
as we’ve seen how ‘terrorism’ has been used already in this country,” she
noted, “any such scheme raises significant due process, equal protection and
First Amendment constitutional concerns.”
anti-fascist movement has gained notoriety as supporters donning black costumes
have engaged mostly far-right activists and militants in confrontations that
have occasionally led to violent clashes.
the group most recently drew headlines after right-wing journalist Andy Ngo was
bloodied during a confrontation with militant protesters in the city of
Portland in the western state of Oregon.
candidate charged with theft seeks to unseat Muslim MP Ilhan Omar
pro-Trump Republican candidate for Congress who is aiming to unseat Ilhan Omar
in Minnesota has been charged with a felony after allegedly stealing from
Stella was arrested twice this year in Minneapolis suburbs over allegations
that she shoplifted items worth more than $2,300 from a Target and goods valued
at $40 from a grocery store. She said she denied the allegations.
a 31-year-old special education teacher, was reported this week to be a
supporter of the baseless “QAnon” conspiracy theory about Donald Trump battling
a global cabal of elite liberal pedophiles.
week Stella also described Minneapolis as “the crime capital of our country”.
She has in the past complained that local police were “overworked and overburdened”
and said that, if elected, she would work to reduce crime.
a series of text messages, Stella said: “I am not guilty of these crimes. In
this country I am innocent until proven guilty and that is the law.”
added: “If I was guilty of crimes, I would never run for public office, putting
myself in the public eye under a microscope to be attacked by all political
attorney for Stella, Joshua London, declined to comment.
is accused of stealing 279 items valued at $2,327.97 from a Target store in
Edina, to the south-west of Minneapolis, on 8 January this year. She was
arrested for the alleged theft after security staff called the police.
criminal complaint filed to Hennepin county district court alleged Stella was
seen leaving the store without paying for most of her haul, after “scanning
only a few other items” that were valued at about $50.
complaint said Stella told police in a statement she “remembers arriving at
Target to purchase items but nothing else” due to post-traumatic stress
disorder, and that she “normally she goes to Target with someone because of
anxiety around people”.
has said publicly that she was the victim of a severe violent assault in 2008.
She is charged with the thefts under her former surname, which the Guardian
agreed not to report because she said it could endanger her safety.
is charged with felony theft over the incident at Target and faces a punishment
of up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000 if convicted, according to
and court records said a warrant was put out for Stella’s re-arrest for alleged
contempt of court on 4 April, after she failed to show up for a court hearing.
promoted by far-right institutions
candidacy has attracted interest from the far-right conspiracy website
InfoWars, which broadcast an interview with her this week. Stella laughed and
nodded as the host, J Owen Shroyer, called Omar “a witch” and said: “Everything
about her is a fraud.”
Minneapolis during the interview as America’s “crime capital”, Stella falsely
claimed that crime in the city had risen by 80% over the past year. According
to Minneapolis police data, there has been a 10.7% uptick in serious crime
year-on-year, following a 16.5% decline in 2018.
right-wing commentator Todd Starnes promoted Stella in an interview earlier
this month on Fox News’s streaming service Fox Nation. “We certainly wish Miss
Stella the very best,” Starnes said, adding that he hoped for a “significant
change in representation” in Omar’s district.
month Stella officially registered with the Federal Election Commission as a
candidate for the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s fifth congressional
district. She later spoke at the “Demand Free Speech” rally in Washington.
has accused Omar of being a criminal for advising immigrants how to avoid
agents from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She said in a tweet that
any representatives who fail to “uphold the rule of law” should be ejected from
will destroy a "terror corridor" along its border in northern Syria
regardless of any deal reached with the United States to create a safe zone in
the Kurdish-controlled area, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
and US officials are discussing the creation of the safe zone east of the
Euphrates river to address Turkey's concerns about the presence of US-backed
Syrian Kurdish fighters. Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG militia, who
comprised the bulk of a Syrian force that defeated ISIS in north-eastern Syria
with US support, as terrorists with links to a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.
are determined to shatter the terror corridor east of the Euphrates, no matter
how the negotiations with the US to establish a safe zone along the Syrian
borders concludes,” Mr Erdogan told members of his AK Party at a meeting on
who engage in bullying by putting their trust in foreign forces will tomorrow
find themselves in the grave," the president said, in an apparent
reference to the YPG.
head of the US military Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, visited
Syria's Kurdish-held areas on Monday for the first time since he took his post
in March and met the Kurdish commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic
Forces, Gen Mazlum Abdi, in the border town of Kobane.
to an SDF spokesman, they discussed the proposed safe zone as well as further
co-operation with the international coalition against ISIS to prevent a
resurgence of the extremist group.
the same time, the US Special Envoy to Syria James Jeffrey was holding talks
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and other top officials in Ankara.
Turkish defence ministry said military officials from both countries had
started work to "establish a planned safe zone in northern Syria in a
has recently stepped up warnings that it could send troops into Syria to drive
back the Kurdish fighters if talks with the US drag on, and has been sending
reinforcements to its border area.
2016, Turkey has launched two cross-border offensives into Syria, the first
against ISIS and the second against Kurdish fighters west of the Euphrates.
Erdogan said a new Turkish incursion into Syria east of the Euphrates would cut
off contact between Syria's Kurdish fighters and those in neighbouring Iraq, where
Turkey has been carrying out air strikes targeting alleged hideouts of the
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Kurdish group waging an insurgency in
the Syria foreign ministry rejected any agreement reached between the US and
Turkey on northern Syria as an infringement of its sovereignty.
pretexts of national security the Turkish regime is putting forward belie its
policies and behaviours as a main base for terrorism, offering it all kinds of
military and logistical support," a ministry statement said.
north-east Syria and the opposition-held Idlib region in the north-west are the
two main pockets of territory that remain outside of Syrian government control
after eight years of civil war.
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