Hind For Talks To End Islamophobia
As ‘Infiltrators’, Muslims In India’s Assam Fear For Future
Court Frees Pastor Charged With Blasphemy
Jewish Communities Come Together In Kelowna
Zealand Muslims See Silver Lining After Tragedy
No More: Militant Buddhism Is On the March In Sri Lanka
Iraq, Minority Children Haunted By Ghosts Of Daesh Captivity
Says All of Israel Is within Range of Hezbollah’s Missiles
Love That Went Beyond Religion and Faith: Hindu Man Writes on Death of Muslim
‘Mother’, ‘My Umma (Mother) Has Honoured The Summons Of Allah. Please Pray For
Lines Drawn, Muslim Barbers in Moradabad Refuse Haircuts To Dalits
Scholars' Group Denied Permission to Protest against Lynchings at IICC in Delhi
gives in, removes pro-Khalistan leader from Kartarpur talks panel
findings in Tabrez case: ‘Discrepancy in police version, medical lapses’
India builds houses, Myanmar to reach out to Rohingya in Bangladesh
Chief Bipin Rawat warns Pakistan: Misadventure will be repelled with punitive
busts Tamil Nadu-based terror module planning attacks
talks to allow Indian Sikhs to visit Pakistan shrine without visa
Mafia' Uses Bribes, Blackmail To Pressurise Judiciary To Protect Their
Laundered Money: PM
decides to probe Khawaja Asif for 'posing security risk to Pakistan'
to hear appeals in Al-Azizia, Flagship references in September
leak has made accountability process doubtful: PML-N
urge SJC to reject references against judges
Russia, China, Pakistan favour permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan: Khalilzad
toward Muslims in Germany growing, survey finds
Says Iran Tanker Will Be Freed After Guarantees On Destination
Cypriots propose cooperation over Cyprus gas
anxious at attacks on mosques in Germany
forces conduct 113 joint, special ops and 21 airstrikes in past 24 hours: MoD
soldier killed in Afghanistan: NATO
commander Abu Bakar and his fighters killed after attacking ALP posts in
kill 8 Taliban militants in Takhar, Wardak and Parwan provinces
attack claims the lives of senior police officer, his security guards in
forces put an end to Taliban attack in Qala-e-Naw city
Special Forces arrest 5 ISIS-K militants in Kabul
militants storm hotel in northwestern Afghanistan, kill at least 8 people
storm hotel building in west Afghanistan
Positions, Command Centres Destroyed, ISIL Emir Killed in Iraqi Army Operation
in Western Iraq
100 Terrorists Killed in Syrian-Russian Airstrikes in Idlib, Hama
Pressuring Jordan to Block Vital Border Crossing with Syria
Sends Hundreds of Trucks Carrying Military Hardware to Kurdish-Controlled Areas
in Hasaka Province
Sends Heavy Military Equipment, Tanks to Borders with Aleppo to Respond to
Riyadh’s Movements in Eastern Syria
among 14 civilians killed in Syria strikes
reduced its forces in Syria, says Nasrallah
Brotherhood cell in Kuwait involved in murder of Egypt public prosecutor
warned Saudi dissidents of threat to their lives after Khashoggi murder: Report
Russian diplomats discuss Syria constitutional committee
for backers of ‘sleeper cell’ militants who fled Egypt for Kuwait
Idlib campaign nets little for Syria’s Assad
must help immediate release of Iran tanker: Zarif
images show US-backed MKO terrorist social media operations against Iran
says resistance movement stronger than ever
naval forces arrest two Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
gets fresh S-400 shipment as US mulls sanctions
ambassador arrives in Turkey as Russian weapons system is delivered
begins second wave of operations against PKK in Iraq
Haram Leave Trail of Opioid Addicts in Nigeria Desperate To Numb the Pain of
War and Hopelessness
activists call for ‘justice’ for killed protesters
security forces end militant attack on hotel that killed 26
among dead as hotel attacked in Somalia
Fresh demonstrations held for killed protestors
Arrest Deadly Al Shabaab Bomb Mastermind
Muslim Brotherhood As Auxiliaries Of The Pentagon
FM Zarif Heading To New York For UN Conference
nominee for top military post warns against early Afghanistan pullout
soldier killed in Afghanistan amid Washington's 'peace talks' with Taliban
MP: Perak Exco, Accuser Should Not Leave Country Until Rape Claim Probe
Late Than Never: Jokowi Finally Has Sit-Down Meeting With Prabowo
by New Age Islam News Bureau
It could have been just another post by a son mourning the death of his foster
mother. But for a twist. It was a Hindu man mourning the loss of his Muslim
foster mother that brought many to tears.
Thennad died last month and it would have been a quiet affair in her village
had her foster son Sreedharan not put up a Facebook post recently saying “my
Umma (mother) has honoured the summons of Allah. Please pray for her soul”. The
post and the subsequent comments on it revealed a maternal love that went
beyond religion and faith.
turned out that Muslim couple Subaida and Abdul Azeez Haji had fostered
Sreedharan and his elder sisters Ramani and Leela from the day their mother
Chakki died, when Sreedharan, now 46, was one.
trio grew up in Subaida’s house practising Hindu rites along with the Muslim
couple’s three biological children. In the mornings, three of them went to the
temple and the other three to the madarsa.
in the evenings, the Muslim children read the Quran while Subaida’s foster
children prayed to god with folded hands. “Our foster parents brought us up
like their own children and educated us. They got my sisters married. Though we
were taken in at an impressionable age, they never tried to convert us. For us,
she is no foster mother; she is our own mother,” Sreedharan reportedly said in
his FB post.
of Subaida’s death shattered him. He sat crying in his room in Oman, holding
bottles of perfume he had bought for his mother. Reportedly, he couldn’t get
himself to rush back home as he couldn’t muster the courage to see her body.
there is heaven, Subaida is sure to be found there,” a leading daily quoted
social worker AP Ahamed as saying. “In these days of forced conversions and
religious fundamentalism, such paragons of goodness have to be celebrated,” he
told the daily.
is now planning to hold an all-party meeting at Kalikavu to commemorate
Subaida. He said he was sure such stories of harmony will help reduce the gulf
between the secular and those who follow different faiths.
Hind for talks to end Islamophobia
increasing incidents of mob lynching and communal spat in the country, the
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said on Saturday said it would initiate dialogues at the
grass-root level to end Islamophobia and bust myths about the religion.
will initiate discourses with people from all religions and minority
communities, and will also speak to influencers and religious leaders to bust
myths about Islam and end Islamophobia," said Syed Sadatullah Hussaini,
President, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. The organisation would work towards curbing
rumours that lead to tensions and unrest in the society and spoil peace,
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind press conference was organised to share its roadmap of the
current term, which will conclude in 2023.
as ‘infiltrators’, Muslims in India’s Assam fear for future
Born in India 71 years ago, Mohammed Rehat Ali is still traumatized a month
after his release from a detention camp, struggling to shake off a fear for the
future shared by millions — many of them Muslims — under Prime Minister
push to render stateless people described as “infiltrators” by Modi’s
right-hand man has been limited to the north-eastern state of Assam, but his
Hindu nationalist party wants to replicate it nationwide, alarming Muslims, who
critics say are the real focus.
have never expected that I would have to prove my citizenship. I am an Indian
citizen, we are born here in Assam and living here for generations,” Ali, an
illiterate farmer, told AFP.
when he was unable to produce the required documents, a “Foreigners’ Tribunal”
declared him a Bangladeshi and sent him to a detention camp.
three years, his sons secured his release by appealing to a higher court, but
only after selling their land and cattle to raise legal fees.
is one of the lucky ones.
four million others in the state of 33 million — where immigration has been a
hot topic since British colonial rule — were left off a draft “National
Register of Citizens” (NRC) last July.
could not prove that they or their parents or grandparents were in Assam before
1971, when millions fled Bangladesh’s war of independence into India.
excluded have been able to appeal, but up to two million people could be left
off a final list due at the end of this month, reports say.
the process and producing the necessary documents in a state where many are
illiterate and lack even basic papers is a nightmare for many.
case that for critics encapsulated the absurdity was Sona Ullah, a retired
Indian army captain and a veteran of the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan.
was sent to a detention camp in May due to a mismatch in his papers. Police
even seized his old uniform and he was only granted interim bail after an
who fail to make the cut have to go to one of around 100 “Foreigners Tribunals”
currently in place. Another 200 are being set up.
are a lottery however, campaigners say, and the staff often unqualified.
to online magazine Scroll, Assam’s coalition government, which is led by Modi’s
party, has removed tribunal members if their “performance” falls short.
atmosphere has become such that there is a competition to be, what members joke
among themselves, the highest wicket-taker — the one who can declare the
maximum number of people foreigners,” one former tribunal member told Scroll,
using a cricketing analogy.
of those left off the draft NRC are Muslims, and critics of Modi’s Hindu
nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) say this reflects its aim to serve
only its co-religionists.
January the lower house of parliament passed legislation that will grant
citizenship to people who moved to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan and
Afghanistan at least six years ago — but not if they are Muslim.
Minister Amit Shah has called for the ejection of “termites” and said before
the BJP’s election victory in May that it would “run a countrywide campaign to
send back the infiltrators.”
will happen to those who don’t make the cut in Assam remains unclear, with some
hard-liners calling for mass deportations, although Bangladesh has already said
it will not take any in.
are currently 938 people in six detention camps. Another with a capacity of
3,000 is set to be built, and the Assam government wants another nine, each for
even if people are not moved en masse to camps or ejected, becoming effectively
stateless could make normal life — including access to health care or education
— tough, raising anxiety levels.
to the opposition, 44 people have killed themselves since the NRC process
began. There are no official figures.
is a fear that Ali knows well, even as he acknowledges his good fortune in securing
a release from the camps.
have lost three long years of my life away from my family,” he said.
court frees pastor charged with blasphemy
court in the Pakistani city of Lahore has acquitted a Pentecostal preacher two
years after his arrest for alleged desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Quran,
and insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Zafar Iqbal cleared Jadoon Masih of charges under the nation's penal code.
an ordained pastor of the Nasiri Pentecostal Church, was arrested by law
enforcement officers on Feb. 2, 2017, two months after local Muslims reputedly
found 150 pages of the Quran lying on the ground.
100 of these pages were said to have been "martyred," according to a
complaint filed at a local police station.
name of a Christian faith healer named Babu Shahbaz was said to have been
inscribed on the pages with a blue marker pen. It was alleged that a similar
incident occurred in 2016. Shahbaz is now heading the Nasiri Church in Kamahan
village near Lahore.
High Court released Masih on bail in 2017. However, the 50-year-old kept living
in hiding with his six children while his case was still under trial.
defense attorney, Nadeem Anthony, told ucanews.com that although technically
free, the pastor was not able to return to his church and had become a heart
allegedly suffered mistreatment amounting to torture while in custody for six
weeks when investigators were said to have been under pressure from hard-line
Catholic lawyer has successfully defended four Christians and one Muslim woman
who were all accused of blasphemy.
alleged insulting of Islam has sparked lynchings in the Muslim-majority
country. Hundreds of Pakistani Christians have fled abroad to avoid persecution
and possibly death because of their religious beliefs.
leaders and human rights activists say many accusations stem from personal
have to be very careful and keep a low profile," said Anthony. “The
challenge is to avoid becoming a target while handling such cases. Still, the
recent release of Asia Bibi was good news and gave courage to our judges."
a Catholic woman, was acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on
death row and she left Pakistan for Canada in May.
an annual report on international religious freedom last month, U.S. Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo urged Pakistan to do more to stop the abuse of its
estimated that more than 40 people were serving life sentences or facing
execution for blasphemy in Pakistan.
sounds like a joke – a Muslim and a Jew walk into a Tim Horton’s.
there’s no ethnic punch-line in this story. As representatives of their
congregations, Rehan Sadiq and Philippe Richer-Lafleche met over coffee several
times to arrange a gathering between members of their communities. After
decades of living in Kelowna, B.C., but seldom rubbing shoulders, members of
the Muslim and Jewish faiths decided to learn about each other’s history and
culture by visiting their respective places of worship.
latest encounter in Kelowna’s main synagogue included a briefing on the Jewish
faith and a close-up look at the Torah. Sixty people, more than half of them
members of the Kelowna Islamic Centre, listened to a Hebrew psalm, as they sat
in the sanctuary of the Okanagan Jewish Community Centre (OJCC) in June.
Kelowna Islamic Centre board member Hassan Iqbal recited from the Qur’an and
his teenage son, Musab Hassan, sang prayers in Arabic.
gathering followed a similar event in February, when Muslim members hosted a
contingent of Jewish visitors at their mosque. Members of both communities say
they hope to forge a longstanding friendship.
last thing I want our children to learn (about our relations) is from the
news,” Sadiq, the mosque’s interfaith director, told both congregations in
June. “This kind of meeting is extremely important. We should talk about
circulated the visitors through three stations at the synagogue to inform them
about the basics of Judaism. OJCC members showed them the Torah, explained the
prayer books and elucidated the symbols and artifacts that were on display in
everyone sat down, lay leader Evan Orloff sang a psalm to the tune of Leonard
Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” OJCC president Steven Finkleman then discussed the
importance of loving your neighbour as yourself. He was followed by Grant
Waldman and Annik Moyal-Waldman singing Shalom Aleichem.
Islamic Centre president Mostafa Shoranick made a few remarks, Finkleman said
“let’s eat,” and everyone lined up for a lavish buffet of Middle Eastern
dishes. People mingled as they ate and at least one group of Muslim and Jewish
women agreed to meet again. Over dessert, Sadiq and Finkleman led a discussion
about which charities both faith groups could jointly support.
really think peace in the world will come on a one-to-one basis. It’s not
governments (that create peace),” Richer-Lafleche, whose Jewish and Muslim
grandparents married in Morocco, said. “It’s within small communities that you
actually get to know people.… We make choices. We can choose to be loving or
Muslim community is trying to educate the public and its own members about what
Islam is, said Shoranick, who moved to Canada from Lebanon because of the
discrimination he faced there.
in his Muslim community are new to Canada and want to assimilate, he said. “We
come from different countries and different sects. We believe that in this
country, we’re lucky that we’re able to do our religion.… The religion is for
God, but the country is for everybody.”
both groups sat down together, they discovered that they share many beliefs,
such as regarding Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses as prophets. Neither religion
proselytizes or compels anyone to adopt its beliefs, and both agree that it’s
wrong to judge people.
not our differences that get in the way; it’s how we perceive our differences,”
Zealand Muslims see silver lining after tragedy
- Four months ago, the Muslim community in New Zealand was just another
minority in a society that didn’t know much about Islam. New Zealanders
perceived their Muslims just through outward appearances, especially the
stereotypical bearded men and veiled women.
changed after the attacks on Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in
Christchurch in which 51 people died. That event led imams in New Zealand to
have direct dialogue with government officials, to whom they relayed grievances
of New Zealand Muslims, and explore ways to promote religious tolerance. Those
efforts are bearing fruit.
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on July 6 pledged to have the “Document
on Human Fraternity,” signed by Pope Francis on behalf of the Vatican and Grand
Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb on behalf of al-Azhar, placed in schools, universities and
other educational institutions so New Zealand’s new generations grow up bearing
a message of peace and goodwill.
the March 15 attack on Al Noor Mosque, the Muslim community in New Zealand has
made impressive gains, including receiving government authorisation to open
Islamic schools, the use of loudspeakers for prayer calls and the broadcast of
Friday prayers on state television.
Fouda, imam of the Al Noor Mosque, who witnessed the March attack, said in an
interview that the positive reactions have had an effect on the status of
Muslim communities in New Zealand and elsewhere.
Noor Mosque has become a shrine for politicians and celebrities from around the
world, who visit to show solidarity with the Muslim community.
Zealand media have become increasingly supportive of Muslims. They do not
hesitate to attack stereotypes about Muslims and do not shy from countering the
discourse of the extreme right in Europe.
said Arab and Islamic solidarity has helped the Muslim community. The United
Arab Emirates, in particular, has played a prominent role in covering the cost
of establishing a centre for tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The Forum for
the Promotion of Peace in Muslim Societies, hosted by Abu Dhabi, has undertaken
initiatives and facilitated visits to New Zealand to establish a culture of
interfaith coexistence and humanity.
said the attacks revealed that neither New Zealanders at large nor the
70,000-person Muslim community in the country were knowledgeable about Islam.
Even young New Zealand Muslims who spoke with the foreign press about the
incident have shown only a shallow knowledge and insufficient understanding of
imam said renovation of the Al Noor Mosque had been completed and its library
stocked with a large number of Islamic books and publications in various
languages and focusing on religious tolerance and respect for freedom of faith
from an Islamic perspective.
stressed that initiatives aimed at spreading the true concept of Islam require
linguistic proficiency. It is important, he pointed out, to choose imams fluent
in local dialects because their task is not only to address Muslims but also to
engage dialogue with non-Muslims. The imams need to strengthen their knowledge
of jurisprudence and other faith matters as well as adopt modern religious
discourse and be able to address controversial issues related to Islamic
said Westerners who attack Islam do not know much about it and, even if they
want to know more about it, they would not be able to find suitable references.
It is, therefore, imperative to engage a long-term effort to translate Islamic
references and make them available in Islamic centres, he said, adding that it
is important to promote academic studies that address false claims about Islam.
called for international laws to criminalise radical discourse through social
media and to counter calls for violence of any kind or purpose.
European Union, for example, has not been able to impose its control over
extremist rhetoric on the internet despite the fact that its countries have
developed preventive educational programmes and videos and that the social
media platforms have established clear controls to prevent abusing them to
promote content that encourages extremism and terrorism,” he said.
150 New Zealand nationals, including a leading police figure, have converted to
Islam since the attacks. About 150,000 people have visited Al Noor Mosque since
no more: Militant Buddhism is on the march in Sri Lanka
Buddhist abbot is sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against
the evils of Islam, when a petrol bomb explodes within earshot. But the abbot,
the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registers the blast.
Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan
town of Gintota, he continues his tirade: Muslims are violent, he says, Muslims
aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he says.
“Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir,
Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.” Minutes later, a monastic
aide rushes in and confirms that someone has thrown a molotov cocktail at a
nearby mosque. The abbot flicks his fingers in the air and shrugs.
responsibility is to his flock, the Buddhist majority of Sri Lanka. Muslims,
who make up less than 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population, are not his
concern. Incited by a politically powerful network of charismatic monks like
Sumedhananda Thero, Buddhists have entered the era of militant tribalism,
casting themselves as spiritual warriors who must defend their faith against an
sense of grievance might seem unlikely: in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, two countries
that are on the forefront of a radical religious-nationalist movement,
Buddhists constitute overwhelming majorities of the population. Yet some
Buddhists, especially those who subscribe to the purist Theravada strain of the
faith, are increasingly convinced that they are under existential threat,
particularly from an Islam struggling with its own violent fringe.
the tectonic plates of Buddhism and Islam collide, a portion of Buddhists are
abandoning the peaceful tenets of their religion. During the past few years,
Buddhist mobs have waged deadly attacks against minority Muslim populations.
Buddhist nationalist ideologues are using the spiritual authority of extremist
monks to bolster their support.
Buddhists never used to hate us so much,” says Mohammed Naseer, the imam of the
Hillur Mosque in Gintota, Sri Lanka, which was attacked by Buddhist mobs in
2017. “Now their monks spread a message that we don’t belong in this country
and should leave. But where will we go? This is our home.”
month in Sri Lanka, a powerful Buddhist monk went on a hunger strike that
resulted in the resignation of all nine Muslim ministers in the cabinet. The
monk had suggested that Muslim politicians were complicit in the Easter Sunday
attacks by Islamic State-linked militants on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka,
which killed more than 250 people.
Myanmar, where a campaign of ethnic cleansing has forced an exodus of most of
the country’s Muslims, Buddhist monks still warn of an Islamic invasion, even
though less than 5 per cent of the national population is Muslim. During
Ramadan celebrations in May, Buddhist mobs besieged Islamic prayer halls,
causing Muslim worshippers to flee. Because of Buddhism’s pacifist image –
swirls of calming incense and beatific smiles – the faith is not often
associated with sectarian aggression. Yet no religion holds a monopoly on
peace. Buddhists go to war, too.
monks will say that they would never condone violence,” says Mikael Gravers, an
anthropologist at Aarhus University in Denmark who has studied the intersection
of Buddhism and nationalism. “But at the same time, they will also say that
Buddhism or Buddhist states have to be defended by any means.”
that Theravada Buddhists constitute overwhelming majorities in the five
countries where their faith is practiced – Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
and Thailand – it might seem strange that they feel so besieged. But Buddhism,
whose adherents make up only 7 per cent of the global faithful, is the only
major religion whose population is not expected to grow in absolute numbers
over the next few decades, according to the Pew Research Centre.
the number of Muslims, who make up just under one-quarter of the world’s
population, is growing quickly, buoyed by youthful demographics and high
fertility rates. By 2050, Pew projects that there will be nearly as many
Muslims in the world as there are Christians.
monks have made much of that trend in their rhetoric, portraying their faith to
be under threat. Sitting in his walled temple compound in Gintota, Sumedhananda
Thero gives a bleak prophecy. “If a man dies, it is acceptable,” he says. “But
if a race or religion dies, you can never get it back.”
of people gathered in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, in May as Ashin Wirathu,
a Buddhist monk who was once jailed for his hate speech, praised the nation’s
army. Since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for
Bangladesh. Behind it all was a campaign of ethnic cleansing by the army and
its allies, with Buddhist mobs and the country’s security forces subjecting
Rohingya Muslims to slaughter, rape and the complete erasure of hundreds of
has rejected the nonviolent teachings of his faith. Military-linked lawmakers
deserved to be glorified like Buddha, he said at the rally. “Only the
military,” he continued, “protects both our country and our religion.”
another protest last October, Wirathu slammed the decision by the International
Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue a case against Myanmar’s military for its
persecution of the Rohingya. Then the monk made a startling call to arms. “The
day that the ICC comes here is the day I hold a gun,” Wirathu said in an
at the United Nations say top Myanmar generals should be tried for genocide.
Yet few members of Myanmar’s Buddhist clergy, who have long served as the
nation’s moral conscience, have condemned the bloodshed. Instead, they refer to
the Rohingya as subhuman invaders despoiling a golden Buddhist land.
late May, the civilian government of Myanmar, which shares power with the
military, issued an arrest warrant for Wirathu. The charges were not for hate
speech against a minority religion. Instead, the monk is being accused of
seditious comments against Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel laureate who is the
nation’s de facto civilian leader. Even though Wirathu has not made much of an
effort to hide, and continues to post videos on social media, the police say
they cannot find him and will try him in absentia.
like Wirathu inhabit the extremist fringe of Buddhist nationalism. But more
respected clerics are involved as well.
82 years old, the Venerable Ashin Nyanissara, known more commonly as Sitagu
Sayadaw, is Myanmar’s most influential monk. In 1988, Sitagu Sayadaw was one of
a coterie of monks who blessed the nation’s democracy movement, which sent
hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in peaceful protest. Myanmar’s
military rulers responded by massacring hundreds.
act of violence stained the junta. Another round of crushed pro-democracy
protests led by the country’s monks, in 2007, hastened a political transition
in which some power is now shared with Suu Kyi’s civilian government. After the
1988 crackdown, Sitagu Sayadaw slipped into exile in Tennessee before returning
home to open Buddhist academies and a monastic university. President Barack
Obama and Pope Francis have met with him. Sitagu Sayadaw sits on interfaith
councils, and his missionary society runs meditation centres in Texas, Florida
just as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were fleeing their burnt villages,
Sitagu Sayadaw sat in front of an audience of army officers and said that
“Muslims have almost bought the United Nations”.
army and monkhood, he continued, “could not be separated”. Sitagu Sayadaw was
pictured in May on a Facebook page linked to the Myanmar military, grinning
among soldiers. He has offered up his faith’s greatest sacrifice: an army of
spiritual soldiers for the national cause.
are over 400,000 monks in Myanmar,” he told the commander of Myanmar’s armed
forces. “If you need them, I will tell them to begin. It’s easy.”
someone as respected as Sitagu Sayadaw says something, even if it is strongly
dismissive of a certain group, people listen,” says Khin Mar Mar Kyi, a
Myanmar-born social anthropologist at the University of Oxford. “His words
are some monks, albeit a minority, who are countering the monastic hate speech.
In Yangon in recent weeks, peace advocates handed out white roses to Muslims in
order to promote interfaith harmony.
extremists are only a small part of Buddhism in Myanmar, but they have loud
voices,” says Ashin Sein Di Ta, the abbot of the Asia Light monastery. “We
should say clearly that if any monk, even respected ones like Sitagu Sayadaw,
advocate killing, they should be defrocked.”
in a country where senior monks are so respected, it remains hard to question
their authority. Prevailing anti-Muslim sentiment worldwide has heightened
prejudice, with social media playing a corrosive role. During the height of the
junta’s power, unauthorised fax machines were illegal in Myanmar, and the media
was censored. Today, much of the population is on Facebook, ill-equipped to
sift hyperbole from fact.
been interviewing so many monks, and it is clear that Facebook is what has been
driving their hate,” says Mar Kyi of the University of Oxford. “Monks learned
that Islamophobia existed in the west, and they felt like it justified their
nation, under Buddha
on social media, this is how the tale goes: once, great Buddhist empires
dominated Asia. Then, beginning in the seventh century, Muslim invaders began
tearing across the continent. Buddhist rulers in present-day Pakistan,
Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia succumbed to Islam. The indignities
continued into this century when, in 2001, the Taliban blew up the giant Buddha
statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan.
is not just monks who feel the need to guard their faith. This is a time of
profound social change in Myanmar, and some women, in particular, are yearning
for a moral force to counter what they see as rising materialism among the
nation’s youth. Monasteries, they fear, are no longer as alluring as malls. One
group that has harnessed this anxiety is the Committee for the Protection of
Nationality and Religion, or Ma Ba Tha, which runs Sunday schools and other
community events popular across Myanmar. Formed in 2014 with the aim of
protecting Buddhism, Ma Ba Tha has pushed successfully for laws that make it
hard for Buddhist women to marry outside their faith.
Myanmar, as in Sri Lanka – where Muslims have been accused of manufacturing
underwear that makes Buddhist women infertile or of sprinkling birth control
pills into curry consumed by Buddhists – Buddhist figures have often expressed
their hatred of Muslims in sexual terms. In 2012, reports that a Buddhist woman
had been raped by Muslim men triggered fatal communal clashes in Myanmar.
Buddhists in both countries claim that Muslims are waging a “reproductive
is this idea of a hyperfertile Muslim man with his many wives,” says Iselin
Frydenlund, an associate professor of religious studies at the Norwegian School
of Theology. “Ma Ba Tha tapped into this trope, and pure Buddhist women were
held up as the symbols of the nation who were in danger of rape by Muslim men.”
fact, it is Myanmar’s armed forces that have used rape as a weapon of war in
its battles against various ethnic insurgencies. The United Nations has blamed
the Myanmar military for “sexual atrocities reportedly committed in cold blood
out of a lethal hatred for the Rohingya.”
Ba Tha monks reject such findings, and they have been able to continue their
hate-mongering even though the group was technically outlawed in 2017. “I don’t
think anyone would rape Bengali women because they are ugly and disgusting,”
says one Ma Ba Tha monk, U Rarza, referring to the Rohingya by a pejorative
Buddhist right returns
suicide bombers linked to the Islamic State blew up churches and hotels in Sri
Lanka on Easter Sunday, Buddhist nationalists felt vindicated.
have been warning for years that Muslim extremists are a danger to national
security,” says Dilanthe Withanage, a senior administrator for Bodu Bala Sena,
the largest of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist nationalist groups.
is on the government’s hands for ignoring the radicalisation of Islam,”
a few years of moderate coalition governance, a fusion of faith and tribalism
is again on the ascendant in Sri Lanka. The movement’s champion is Gotabaya
Rajapaksa, a former defence chief who is the leading candidate for president in
elections due this year.
has pledged to protect religion in the country with the longest continuous
Buddhist lineage. He is determined to reconstruct Sri Lanka’s security state,
which was built during a nearly three-decade-long civil war with an ethnic
2005 to 2015, Sri Lanka was led by Rajapaksa’s brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, an
unabashed nationalist who justified the brutal end to the civil war by
portraying himself as the nation’s spiritual saviour.
decorated their walls with pictures of the Rajapaksa brothers. Money flowed for
radical Buddhist groups that cheered on sectarian rioting in which Muslims
died. One of the founders of Bodu Bala Sena, or the Buddhist Power Army, was
given prime land in Colombo, the capital, for a high-rise Buddhist cultural
centre. Last year, Bodu Bala Sena’s leader, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero,
was sentenced to six years in prison. But in late May, amid a changing
political climate, he received a presidential pardon. On Sunday, he presided
over a meeting of thousands of monks intent on making their political presence
felt in the upcoming elections.
his imprisonment last year, Gnanasara Thero placed his campaign in a historical
context. “We have been the guardians of Buddhism for 2,500 years,” he said in
an interview. “Now, it is our duty, just as it is the duty of monks in Myanmar
to fight to protect our peaceful island from Islam.”
Iraq, minority children haunted by ghosts of Daesh captivity
DISPLACEMENT CAMP, Iraq: Brainwashed and broken, the Daesh group’s youngest
victims are struggling to recover from years of jihadist captivity as they
return to their own traumatized minority communities in Iraq.
of Yazidi and Turkmen children were rescued in recent months as Daesh’s
“caliphate,” notorious for its use of child soldiers and “sex slaves,”
collapsed in Syria.
have been reunited with their families, but their mental recovery has been
slowed by prolonged displacement, a lack of resources, and a milieu accustomed
to fearing, not forgiving, Daesh members.
a 10-year-old Yazidi girl, has repeatedly threatened to stab herself or jump
from a tall building in the few months since she returned to Iraq.
fear she’ll never be like other Yazidi children,” said her mother Nisrin, 34.
names in the family have been changed to protect their identities.
has spent half her lifetime held by Daesh, who forced her to convert to Islam
and speak Arabic instead of her native Kurdish.
AFP’s visit to her tent in the Khanke displacement camp in northwestern Iraq,
Lama appeared engrossed in a mobile shooting game with her cousins Fadi and
Karam, freed from Daesh around the same time.
the boys, Lama dressed in black and kept her hair short. The trio spoke Arabic
to one another, switching to Kurdish when addressing her mother.
still brainwashed. When they’re bored, they start talking about how they wish
they were back with Daesh (IS),” said Nisrin, saying no psychologist had
every generation coming of age in Iraq has been seared by conflict, presenting
an “unprecedented” challenge, said Laila Ali of the UN children’s agency.
does not know exactly how many children Daesh recruited, how many returned or
where they live.
estimates that 1,324 children in total were abducted by armed actors in Iraq
between January 2014 and December 2017, when Baghdad declared Daesh defeated,
but expects the real number is higher.
those freed over recent years, dozens live in orphanages or shelters in
Baghdad, the former Daesh stronghold Mosul, and the Yazidi regions of Sheikhan
accused of Daesh affiliation are in detention, with some access to psychosocial
support in the form of religious re-education.
the vast majority are growing up untracked and untreated in Iraq’s camps, which
host some 800,000 children.
are no child psychologists in Dohuk,” said Nagham Hasan, a Yazidi gynecologist
who has become an informal therapist for survivors amid the lack of resources.
rolling hills of Dohuk are dotted with camps hosting hundreds of thousands of
Iraqis displaced by Daesh, particularly from the Yazidi heartland of Sinjar
families rely on aid groups for food and medical care, and there are even
schools in the camps for children. But targeted psychological support for
minors is hard to come by.
said a dozen groups were implementing generic psychosocial programs in camps
with few results.
cleric Baba Shawish demanded international agencies ramp up services.
organizations claim to provide mental support, but do you really think someone
who spent five years under Daesh will be cured in five minutes?” he said.
need days and months to be rehabilitated.”
recruits will need tailored treatments based on age, said Mia Bloom, a US-based
academic studying child soldiers.
infants may be more easily rehabilitated as they have fewer memories of life
under Daesh, while those taken as teenagers “have pre-conflict memories and can
go back to their happy childhoods,” she told AFP.
those recruited during formative years, like Lama and Fadi, were taught to
despise minorities and may lack any positive recollections of their hometowns.
need to have their religious identities recharged,” said Bloom.
will require some heavy lifting from the communities themselves, still
terrorized by Daesh and often treating rescued children as jihadists-in-wait.
counter that assumption, UNICEF hosts workshops with religious and tribal
leaders to reiterate that the children are, first and foremost, victims of
of the biggest challenges in rehabilitation and reintegration of children with
perceived affiliations is not so much the children’s experiences, but the
negative perception from the adults around them,” said Ali.
years after Daesh’s rampage across a third of the country, minorities are
mostly facing the demons haunting their young ones alone.
herself held by Daesh for two years, said she was self-medicating to cope with
in this tent together day and night,” she said.
they were taken out for a few hours per day, I could rest and they could learn
says all of Israel is within range of Hezbollah’s missiles
secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says all of
Israel is within the range of the missiles of the group, adding that the
resistance movement is stronger than ever despite Western sanctions.
Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks during a televised interview with Hezbollah’s
al-Manar television on Friday on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the
Second Lebanon War in 2006.
we said that we could strike targets south of Haifa. Today, we can say that if
Israel has sites south of Eilat, then we can also hit them. All of Israel is
under the range of our missiles,” he said.
Hezbollah leader, while presenting the group’s developed capabilities, warned
that in case of any confrontation, the Zionist entity would be brought to the
“verge of vanishing, and it knows this.”
have a larger number of missiles and we have precise missiles that we did not
have in 2006. We also have a large and powerful branch of UAVs,” Hezbollah’s
chief further said.
he held up a map of Israeli-occupied territories to the camera, pointing to
potential targets for Hezbollah’s attacks.
is an area 70 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide ... we can destroy it
all,” Nasrallah said.
he said a war with Israel was unlikely to happen anytime soon, stressing that
Israel will not risk another war on Lebanon thanks to Hezbollah’s deterrent
also said that he had deep hope that “we will pray in al-Quds [Mosque
compound]” and that he was “certain of victory in any future war, God is with
in his remarks, the Hezbollah leader blasted US President Donald Trump’s
so-called Deal of the century, as a means to solve the decades-long conflict
between Palestinians and the Israeli regime, stressing the proposal is doomed
US killed the initiative after it recognized the whole Jerusalem al-Quds as
deal took its last breath when Trump recognized al-Quds as the capital of
Israel. There is not a single Palestinian who will agree to a deal in which the
Christian and Muslim holy sites of al-Quds will be transferred to Israel,”
Lines Drawn, Muslim Barbers In Moradabad Refuse Haircuts To Dalits
police and administration in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh are having a
tough time as some Muslim barbers have refused to cut hair of Dailts from their
village. In turn, the Dalits have approached police and the district magistrate
alleging caste-based discrimination.
in Peepalsana village under Bhojpur police station in Moradabad district have
alleged that barbers in their village are refusing to entertain them at their
shops. After receiving their complaints, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP),
Moradabad, Amit Pathak formed a joint team comprising cops and local district
officials to investigate the matter. The SSP said if the allegations are found
true, action will be taken under relevant laws.
in Peepalsana village have complained they are facing caste-based
discrimination at the hands of barbers, who are Muslims. Following the
complaint, all barbers have shut their shops in protest. They have been arguing
that if they entertain Dalit customers at their shops, members of their own
community will stop visiting them. Peepalsana is reportedly a Muslim majority
elders in the village say they have suffered discrimination in their lives but
they want the new generation to live freely. They say this caste-based
discrimination must end. Dalits in the village said their children are
discriminated when they visit saloons run by Muslims.
say their children are getting educated and in the changing world everyone must
be allowed to live with dignity. Dalits said police and district administration
have assured them that the matter will be resolved.
a Dalit elder, said, "They [Muslim barbers] hate us. This is why they have
shut their shops. Our sons are not getting married because people look down
upon us. They mock at us because we can't take haircuts in the village saloons.
No one wants to marry their daughters to our kids because of this."
Kumar, a Dalit youth, said, "All our relatives humiliate us because we are
refused haircuts in our own village. Police negotiated the matter and the
barbers agreed that will allow us to avail services. But now they have shut
their shops. We have to travel long distances to get haircuts. Our problem must
to India Today TV, Naushad, a local resident, said, "Dalits never used to
visit barber shops here. They would take services from a barber shop run by a
Dalit in Bhojpur. But now they want to get haircuts here. The barbers were clueless
when cops took them to the police station. There they came to know that Dalits
have complained against them. I am 45 years old and in my lifetime no Dalit
ever took a haircut in our shops. They used to visit the shop in Bhojpur."
said family members of the barbers are worried as these shops are their only
source of income. "If Dalits take haircut and shave in these shops, the
towels will become dirty. How will other Muslims take haircuts after
that?" he said.
not just the barbers, even other Muslims are opposing the entry of Dalits in
these barber shops. They said Dalits should visit the barber shop they have
been using all these years.
is Muslim-majority village with 95 per cent Muslim population. Today they
[Dalits] are demanding entry in saloons, tomorrow they will start booking
marriage halls. There are some people who want to create chaos here. The
village has been peaceful for decades. This matter is being raised with
ulterior motives," said Ali Ahmed.
Gaus, another local resident, said the village has always has been peaceful.
and Muslims here have never had any enmity. We want peace and won't let anyone
vitiate it. As far as saloon service for Dalits, people here don't want them to
visit the saloons in the village. If they [Dalits] want, they can start their
own shop and avail services there," he said, adding that this issue is
being raised unnecessarily and that there are outsiders involved.
Scholars' Group Denied Permission to Protest Against Lynchings at IICC in Delhi
Delhi: The All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam, the apex body of Sunni scholars of
India, has criticised the Central government for preventing it from holding a
protest against mob lynching cases at the India Islamic Cultural Centre in New
Delhi on July 11.
Tanzeem had, on July 4, booked a conference hall at the venue and made a
payment for it, but permission for the event was denied to them hours before
the conference was to start at 5:30 pm.
of permission an attack on constitutional rights’
the cancellation, the Tanzeem’s general secretary, Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi,
who had made the booking, said his organisation had clearly outlined the
purpose of the conference at the time of reserving the hall. It was supposed to
be a peaceful gathering of ulema and intellectuals, but the IICC still refused to
extend permission use the hall for the event.
to the denial of permission to hold the event, Razvi said, “This systematic
suppression of freedom of speech and criticism by the government has been on
the rise and infringes the basic constitutional rights of the people.”
charged that “the government allows mob lynching to go unchecked but goes all
out to stop all kinds of protests against such inhuman acts.” He criticised the
attitude of the Centre, saying it sought to “suppress our fundamental rights.”
trigger for the protest
was in light of the frequent cases of lynchings that the Tanzeem wanted to
organise the protest. Most of these cases have been related to cow vigilantism.
According to a Reuters report, between 2010 and 2017 there were 63 cow
vigilante attacks in which 28 people, including 24 Muslims, were killed and
over 100 were injured.
and hate crimes have continued unabated across the country over the past two
years as well. The most recent incident took place last month when a daily
wager, 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, was beaten to death by a mob in Jharkhand on
the suspicion of being a thief. He was also forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and
“Jai Hanuman” by the mob.
years, 266 hate crimes, 14 in Jharkhand
to FactChecker, this was the 266th case of hate crime in the country since the
Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power in 2014 and the 14th such case
in Jharkhand during the period.
PM Modi had stated that mob lynching had not started in 2014 and should not be
politicised. However, the percentage of attacks on minority community members
and lower castes tell a different story.
was formed to promote mutual understanding, amity
this backdrop, the Yanzeem’s conference
assumed significance. It chose the IICC as the venue since the society
was formed, in 1981 and got its present premises in 2006, with the main purpose
of promoting “mutual understanding and amity amongst the people of this
aim and objective of the IICC is to “depict the true face of Islam which is
most tolerant, liberal, progressive, rational and forward-looking religion,
besides being based on cardinal principles of human values irrespective of
faith, caste, creed and colour.”
place for hurt sentiments in the Islamic Centre
the organisers of the conference felt that the issue of lynching, which has
left Muslims deeply scarred, could be discussed peacefully at the centre.
Hall I, which was booked by them, has a seating capacity of 85 persons – which
itself shows that the organisers did not want to turn it into a large event.
hall has a stage, on which five people can be seated, and there is also a
podium to assist them in addressing the audience. The IICC site states that
programmes which can be conducted in the hall include “conferences, lectures,
talks, book releases, press conferences etc”.
despite collecting Rs 14,160 from Razvi, who had booked the hall with the
reference of an IICC member, Mohammad Tariq Amin, the centre cancelled the
event at the eleventh hour. The conference hall was booked from 5:30 pm to 9 pm
on July 11.
said that the IICC was clearly told about the agenda of the programme. The
conference was to be addressed by scholars like Mohammed Abbas Rizvi and Tauqir
was okay with the conference, not protest
IICC denied that its decision was influenced by the Central government and said
that the Tanzeem booked the hall for a religious programme but in its
invitations stated that it was going to be a protest against lynching.
As Indian and Pakistani delegations prepared to hold talks at Wagah (Pakistan)
on Sunday to sort out key issues relating to the Kartarpur corridor, the
Pakistani government on Saturday recast its 10-member team to drop a
Sikh leader Gopal Singh Chawla will not figure in the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara
Prabandhak Committee team which will participate in the talks, which will focus
on connectivity at Zero Point and the number of pilgrims to be allowed through
the corridor besides security aspects.
government sources in Delhi said Pakistan’s move was not unexpected. “We had
made our concerns clear in April,” said a source. Pakistan obviously wanted to
remove this sticking point between the two sides before the talks, he said.
banned the pro-Khalistan Sikhs for Justice days before the talks.
who boasts of his close ties with 26/11 Mumbai attacks plotter and JuD chief
Hafiz Saeed, had stoked anger in India last year when he stopped Indian
officials from visiting a gurdwara in Lahore to meet Sikh pilgrims from India.
His name also figured in the grenade attack in Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar.
talking to TOI over the phone from Lahore on Saturday, Pakistan’s Sikh lawmaker
Mohinderpal Singh said the ministry of religious affairs and interfaith harmony
had dissolved the 10-member PSGPC team and reconstituted it with new faces.
announcement of the new committee without Chawla is seen as a fallout of New
Delhi’s strong objections over the inclusion of some “controversial elements”
in the PSGPC team announced on March 27 by Pakistan’s former federal minister
for information and broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain. PSGPC has a
significant role in facilitation of pilgrims and management of gurdwaras in
Pakistan government has shown a goodwill gesture ahead of the July 14 meeting
to ensure a cordial atmosphere for the smooth opening of the Kartarpur
corridor,” said Mohinderpal Singh.
India's objections, Pakistan had in the recent past “promoted” Chawla by
including him as a non-official member of the Evacuee Trust Property Board on
April 19, prompting India to hand a démarche to Islamabad.
still remains a non-official member of ETPB, which is the parent body of PSGPC.
in the police’s version”, “lapses by the doctors” and jail doctor’s recording
of injuries “allegedly of mob violence” are some of the key findings in a
report by the three-member inquiry panel, constituted by the
Saraikela-Kharsawan district administration in Jharkhand, to look into the
lapses and response into the death of Tabrez Ansari.
a welder by profession, was beaten up by a mob in Dhatkidih village of
Saraikela-Kharsawan on June 18, after he was caught stealing. The mob had tied
him to a pole and thrashed him. A video of the incident shows that the mob
allegedly forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. Ansari died
four days later of a head injury.
magistrate (SDM) Saraikela Basharat Qayyum , then Civil Surgeon A N Dey, and
SDPO (headquarter) Chandan Kumar were three members of the panel. Talking to
The Sunday Express, SDM Qayyum said that there were “lapses” by the doctors in
initially detecting the head injury. “Sub-arachnoid haemorrhage could be a
possible cause of death and cannot be ruled out. Injuries were not detected
initially and no investigations were ordered. Not even blood pressure and pulse
were recorded. This was the initial lapse,” he said.
asked how did the doctors advise Ansari to be fit for travel and allowed him to
be taken to the jail, the SDM said, “This is also a lapse.”
Indian Express had first reported on the internal injuries sustained by Ansari
where the post-mortem board members had expressed that the injuries were the
“possible” cause of death. The actual cause of death will be known after the
findings also state that the jail administration knew that Ansari was beaten up
by a mob and had injuries by a blunt object. SDM Qayyum said, “The jail doctor
in the ‘proforma for health screening of prisoner on admission to jail’
mentioned: ‘Allegedly assaulted by a mob with hard blunt object’.”
assumes significance as the police had maintained earlier that they “never
knew” of the mob violence until the purported video went viral on June 22. The
three initial court documents the initial theft complaint, subsequent FIR, and
Ansari’s confession statement — did not mention anything of the assault. Asked
if the police knew about it, the SDM said that he will not be able to comment.
India handing over 250 pre-fabricated houses for the first batch of refugees
who are willing to return, Myanmar is likely to send its foreign secretary to
the Rohingya camps in Bangladesh — at New Delhi’s gentle nudge. Faced with
social, religious and ethnic persecution, these families left Myanmar for
Bangladesh, in boats, two years ago.
said that while India has built and handed over these houses to the Rakhine
provincial government, the visit by Myanmar’s top diplomat — possibly later
this month — to the Rohingya refugee camps near Cox’s Bazar in south-eastern
Bangladesh will work towards assuaging the safety and security concerns of the
getting top Myanmar officials to address the refugees who have fled the country
since August 2017, India believes it will create an atmosphere wherein the
families who are willing to return to their country will have the “confidence
to go back and settle down”. Delhi is also keen that the “community leaders”
should address these refugees, acting as a guarantor of their security.
is one of the key steps being taken by Myanmar, at the prodding of India, so
that the displaced families “feel safe” and stay in these newly built houses.
sources said, Bangladesh has “limited capacity” to host these 1 million
refugees, and India’s efforts are towards minimising the social and economic
burden on Dhaka as well.
has also been facing criticism for not hosting any Rohingya refugees after
August 2017, although it has 40,000 refugees from earlier. So far, 16 Rohingya
refugees have been sent back to Myanmar in the last two years.
from building houses, India is also planning to build hospitals, schools, small
bridges and culverts in Rakhine state, and wants others like China, Japan and
other ASEAN countries to pitch in to create a social and economic ecosystem,
sources said. “That is the broad message we would like to convey to the
international community,” said a source.
this week, the Indian government handed over a batch of pre-fabricated houses,
constructed under the Rakhine State Development Programme (RSDP). India has so
far committed $ 25 million for executing projects identified by Myanmar.
housing units are spread over three locations — 148 in Shwe Zar, 60 in Kyein
Chaung Taung and 42 in Nan Thar Taung. Myanmar has allocated these units to the
Hindu, Muslim and Rakhine communities. Sources say the new houses are within 3
km of the villagers’ previous homes, so that they can go back to their original
eco-system. These families are mostly engaged in farming and fishing, sources
house is prefabricated (housing parts are assembled on site) and is around 40
sq m, roughly the size of a one-BHK flat in Delhi. They have been designed to
survive earthquakes, cyclonic storms and are said to be rust-free and
pre-fabricated houses are part of an agreement signed between the two countries
in December 2017, when then Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar (now the External
Affairs Minister) visited Myanmar.
comes as Myanmar works towards bringing some sort of normalcy in northern
Rakhine amid armed clashes with the Arakan Army and the delayed repatriation of
Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, where over 1 million fled following a
violent crackdown in Rakhine in August 2017.
the first batch of 50 houses were handed over to Myanmar by President Ram Nath
Kovind during his visit in December 2018, the remaining houses were handed over
by Indian ambassador Saurabh Kumar on July 9. High-level dignitaries from
Myanmar, including Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement,
Dr Win Mya Aye, and Minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation
Rakhine State, U Aung Kyaw Zan, were present at the handing-over ceremony.
out a stern message to Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat on
Saturday said there should be no doubt that “any misadventure will be repelled
with a punitive response”. The Army chief warned that any future conflicts
would prove to be more “violent and unpredictable” and the Army would not take
into account the human factor.
a seminar in New Delhi to mark the 20th year of the Kargil conflict, Rawat
said, “Pakistan Army time and again resorts to misadventure, either through
flawed proxy wars and state-sponsored terror or intrusions. The Indian Army
stands resolute to defend our territory. Let there be no doubt that any
misadventure will be repelled with a punitive response.”
conflicts will be more violent and unpredictable where the importance of human
factor shall remain undiminished. Our soldiers are and will remain our primary
assets,” he added.
rise of non-state actors and the readiness to use terror and other irregular
methods of fighting have become a new norm, he said.
Army Chief also noted that the addition of cyber and space domain has changed
the battlefield scenario.
asserted that no act of terror will go unpunished. “Surgical strikes post-Uri
and Balakot (terror attacks) have amply demonstrated our political and military
resolve against terror. Any act of terror will not go unpunished,” he said.
hundred terrorists were killed since 2014, of which 249 were in 2018, the
Centre had informed Parliament earlier this month. In a written response to a
question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State in the Defence Ministry Shripad
Naik said 104 terrorists were killed in 2014, 97 in 2015, 140 in 2016 and 210
the eastern front, Rawat said there had been no intrusion by the Chinese in
Ladakh’s Demchok sector.
is no intrusion,” Rawat said on the sidelines of an event.
Army Chief’s statement comes amidst reports of Chinese soldiers crossing the
Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week after some Tibetans hoisted Tibetan
flags on the occasion of Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6.
come and patrol to their perceived Line of Actual Control…we try and prevent
them. But at times there are celebrations that take place at the local levels.
Celebrations were going on our side by our Tibetans in the Demchok sector.
Based on that, some Chinese also came to see what was happening. But there has
been no intrusions. Everything is normal,” the Army chief said.
DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday busted a Tamil
Nadu-based outfit planning terrorist attacks in the country with the intention
of establishing Islamic rule, and as part of the crackdown raided the houses of
three of its members based in Chennai city and Nagapattinam district.
per the case registered by NIA on July 9, the accused hailing from Chennai and
Nagapattinam, and others "while being within and beyond India, had
conspired and conducted consequent preparations to wage war against the
Government of India by forming the terrorist gang Ansarulla". NIA said it
had learnt that the accused persons --Syed Mohammed Bukhari, resident of
Chennai; Hassan Ali Yunusmaricar, native of Nagapattinam; and Mohammed
Yusuffudeen Harish Mohamed, also from Nagapattinam -- and their associates had
collected funds and made preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in India,
with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in India.
it registered a case against them under various sections of the Unlawful
Activities Prevention Act and IPC on July 9, NIA on Saturday carried out
searches at the house and office of Syed Bukhari in Chennai city besides at the
houses of Hassan Ali and Harish Mohammed in Nagapattinam district of Tamil
Nadu. The three accused are being questioned by NIA and may be arrested soon.
DELHI: India and Pakistan are starting a new round of talks on finishing the
Kartarpur Corridor today, discussing pressing issues such as the completion of
roads, logistical problems and security concerns.
proposed border corridor connects the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak in
India’s Punjab and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Panjab.
corridor would allow religious devotees from India to visit the shrine in
Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometers from the Pakistan-India border, without a visa. The
last talks were held in March this year.
second round of talks on Sunday at the Wagah border in Pakistan is aimed at
completing all the formalities of the corridor by Oct. 31 so that the pilgrims
can use the corridor for the upcoming pilgrimage which coincides with the
anniversary of the birth of Sikhism’s founder, Guru Nanak.
Indian government is working on a sophisticated passenger terminal and a
four-lane approach road and bridge to the Pakistani border for pilgrims.
According to media reports the two sides are going to discuss the 250 meter
bridge in the corridor at the Indo Pakistan border.
is building an elevated bridge over the tributary of the river Ravi. Pakistan,
on the other hand, is building an embankment, causing fears of flooding in the
villages on the Indian side of border.
the discussion table are also the logistics of conducting the religious tour.
Both the neighbors are expected to discuss the number of pilgrims to be allowed
per day, how many hours they can stay and whether the corridor should be opened
throughout year or not.
reports quote Indian Home Ministry officials saying that the “biggest concern
is security.” New Delhi fears that Pakistan is stoking the Sikh separatist
movement by including some of the proclaimed separatist leaders in the
committee tasked to prepare the Kartarpur corridor.
is non-negotiable for us, we are putting in place very advanced high-tech
security and surveillance system in the corridor,” Indian ministry officials
told the media.
political analyst Ravinder Singh Robin says that “the bilateral meeting holds a
lot of promise.”
talks give opportunities to both the nations to raise their doubts and
concerns. India has genuine concerns about the Khalistan separatist movement
finding a foothold in Panjab again if some of the proponents of the separatist
movements are patronized by the Pakistani establishment,” Robin told Arab News.
mafia' uses bribes, blackmail to pressurise judiciary to protect their
laundered money: PM
Minister Imran Khan on Saturday likened Pakistani money laundering suspects to
the Sicilian Mafia, saying they, like their Italian counterparts, use bribes,
threats and blackmail to pressurise state institutions and the judiciary to
protect their billions illegally stashed abroad.
premier's remark came in a tweet accompanied by a four-year-old news article
about a testimony given by former Italian president Giorgio Napolitano during a
trial regarding bombings carried out by mobsters in the 1990s.
was reported to have told prosecutors that the attacks were a form of
"extortion or outright pressure aimed at destabilising the entire
system". The bombings had allegedly led to high-ranking Italian ministers
negotiating with the Sicilian Mafia to end the violence in exchange for softer
jail sentences and better conditions in prison for convicted mobsters,
according to The Local's report.
a similar vein to the 'Sicilian mafia', the Pakistani mafia uses tactics of
bribe, threat, blackmail and begging to pressurise state institutions and
judiciary in order to protect their billions of money laundering stashed
abroad," Prime Minister Imran wrote on Twitter today.
the premier did not name any individual or political party, his observation
comes a day after accountability judge Arshad Malik claimed in an affidavit
that he was offered a Rs500 million cash bribe by the son of former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, who demanded that the judge resign on the
grounds that he "could no longer deal with the guilt of having
convicted" Nawaz under duress in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment
reference in December 2018.
July 6, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz had opened a Pandora’s box with a
startling claim that judge Malik had "confessed" that he had been
“pressurised and blackmailed” to convict her father in the Al-Azizia reference.
A video containing the judge’s alleged confession during his conversation with
a ‘sympathiser’ of the PML-N, Nasir Butt, was screened at a presser. The next
day, the judge had denied the allegation and being under any pressure, but
admitted that Butt was an acquaintance.
Saturday, Maryam was quick to hit back at the prime minister's insinuation that
members of the country's opposition acted as a "mafia".
a part of the mafia that pressurises judges into targeting & punishing your
political opponents. It is you who used the institutions to settle scores with
your opponents & defaced & maligned them in the process. Shame on you,"
she wrote, addressing Imran.
a second tweet in Urdu, she alleged that the prime minister was "part of
the heinous conspiracy that was staged to punish Nawaz Sharif and keep him out
of the field".
further alleged that judge Malik had exposed the premier through his alleged
hide behind your elders now," the PML-N leader told the prime minister.
Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information (SAPM) Firdous Ashiq Awan in a
press conference on Saturday revealed that the federal cabinet this week
granted approval for launching an inquiry against senior PML-N leader Khawaja
Asif for allegedly posing a risk to national security.
person who served in the capacities of a defence minister, a foreign minister
and a water and power minister was found to have drawn a salary from a foreign
company. This is a big threat to Pakistan's security," said Awan.
disclosed that the matter had been referred to the Ministry of Interior with
instructions to investigate it from all angles — hidden and obvious — to
determine as to "how one tasked with safeguarding the country's national
security, the defence minister, was working for another country and presenting
a security risk to Pakistan".
said that all the agreements and defence-related MoUs signed during his tenure
as the defence minister, and all measures — linked to Pakistan's national
security — taken during the period will be evaluated.
Dubai company should also be investigated to determine that on the
international level, close links with which countries were of benefit to
it," she said, before adding that it will also be probed "which
countries were given access to our national secrets".
is a serious security breach," she said, promising that the media will
soon be apprised of the facts that emerge from the investigation.
about the video leak case, Awan said it would be premature to say anything
regarding the outcome, and in any case, "we should not comment [on it]
until the Supreme Court makes a final decision".
did, however, go on to remark: "Yes, his [the judge's] affidavit is an
eye-opener and points towards the mafia [-like nature of the party], how it
traps people and uses them to their benefit, only to throw them away like a
tissue paper later".
can't be blackmailed'
saw the nation-wide shutter down strike being observed today as a natural
consequence following major revamps being made by the government towards the
time has come to realise that when the status quo is challenged, a natural resistance
you wish to no longer be a part of 'business as usual' and wish to go towards a
reforms agenda and seek to ensure the implementation of the tax reforms which
are the country's need, the status quo beneficiaries will create hurdles in
your path," she said.
have to look at the traders' difficulties in two ways: the genuine type — where
there are real problems, there is no harm in sitting together and talking on
these concerns — and then there is the other type in which a middleman who is a
leader of a trader wing of a party, seeks to take forward a political agenda
and creates chaos and mayhem."
real trader is considered by the government as its pivotal partner with which
the wheel of progress, government, economy is attached," said Awan.
discussion on all their genuine issues will do no harm. Our doors are open for
that. They should not feel the need to take out strikes to get their demands
fulfilled," she stressed.
said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), as well as, the relevant
provincial ministers of industries are already working on a resolution of the
matter and are busy in a dialogue.
traders, who by linking trade with politics wish to give oxygen to a political
party, should refrain from such tactics and let the wheel of progress move
forward, as this is how reforms will be brought and the country will move up in
the world," she said, vowing, "The government will not be blackmailed
will ensure the rule of law and follow the set format of the FBR because the
system cannot function without taxes. The country will no longer run on debt or
borrowings from different places. This country will now stand on its own feet
and the revenue generation will be provided through tax reforms," she
said that a market as big as [Lahore's] Anarkali which has 20,000 shops, was
found to have only 600 tax filers.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will resume hearing of the appeal of former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in the Al-Azizia reference
on Sept 18.
IHC’s registrar office has fixed Mr Sharif’s appeal along with another appeal
filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against his acquittal in the
Flagship Investment reference.
judge Mohammad Arshad Malik, who has recently been removed from his position
over video leaks, authored verdicts in both cases on Dec 24, 2018.
references were filed before the accountability court by NAB on the directives
of the Supreme Court and an apex court judge Justice Ijazul Ahsan was
supervising the trial proceedings.
apex court had constituted a six-member joint investigation team (JIT),
comprising officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) NAB,
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), Securities and
Exchange Commission of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan.
JIT conducted the probe on disclosures of Panama Leaks and after due
deliberations the court removed Mr Sharif from the prime minister’s position
and also ordered NAB to file three references against the Sharif family and one
against then finance minister Ishaq Dar.
judge Mohammad Bashir on July 6, 2018 convicted Mr Sharif and his daughter
Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield properties reference. The IHC, however, suspended
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president and former prime minister
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday said the removed accountability judge, Arshad
Malik, had charge-sheeted himself through the affidavit he had submitted to the
Islamabad High Court (IHC).
a news conference with the party’s information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb and
Senator Musadik Malik at the National Press Club, Mr Abbasi said the video leak
of the judge who had convicted party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia
corruption reference had made “the entire judicial system and the so-called
accountability process doubtful”.
PML-N leader said they fully respected the courts and they were not talking
against any institution, but at the same time they wanted that people should
have trust in courts.
the government of pressurising the judiciary, Mr Abbasi said if the government
could “buy or coerce” one judge, then it could do so with other judges as well.
former PM said there were contradictions in the initial press statement issued
by the accountability judge and the affidavit which he later submitted to the
Malik, who called on the IHC’s acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq twice this
week, submitted a letter to him along along with an affidavit claiming that he
was blackmailed owing to another ‘damaging’ video that he termed a “manipulated
immoral video in a compromising position” recorded somewhere in Multan.
his affidavit, Arshad Malik claimed that when Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment
references against Nawaz Sharif were transferred to his court, he was
approached multiple times by associates and supporters of the PML-N supremo.
to the judge, due to fear of the “Multan video” he met Nawaz Sharif at Jati
Umra on April 6, Hussain Nawaz in Saudi Arabia on June 1, and a PML-N
sympathiser, Nasir Butt, pressurised him to get his assistance in preparation
of grounds for appeals in the two references.
Abbasi claimed that the judge was concocting stories to save his skin.
this shows that something is fishy and the involvement of the present
government in it is evident,” he said. “The affidavit of the judge sahib is
itself a charge-sheet against him. After his own admissions, no one requires to
Abbasi said it was ironic that a grade-21 judge who had been hearing cases
against the three-time prime minister had given the verdict under pressure.
questioned as to why the accountability judge did not take up the intimidation
and threats with the senior judge who had been appointed by the Supreme Court
to supervise the whole proceedings and why he did not report the matter to the
police, if he was facing threats.
is not a little thing. The removal of the judge has created more doubts in the
minds of the public. The higher judiciary needs to take notice of the whole
situation,” he said.
Abbasi said the damage caused to the judiciary by this attack by the government
could only be repaired by the action of the higher judiciary.
claimed that they had more evidence with them, but they had decided not to make
them public as it could further damage the country’s judicial system.
Abbasi expressed his surprise over the defence of the removed judge by the
government ministers after Prime Minister Imran Khan had distanced his
government from the whole affair.
ex-PM said that after the removal of the judge, Nawaz Sharif was now in
Abbasi asked the judiciary to take notice of the situation and punish all those
involved in the case.
As lawyers boycotted court proceedings in different parts of the country, an
All Pakistan Lawyers’ Convention on Saturday called upon the Supreme Judicial
Council (SJC) to reject the references against two judges of superior courts
saying the cases were aimed at curtailing the independence of the judiciary.
convention, held on the premises of the Peshawar High Court (w), unanimously
passed several resolutions urging the federal government to withdraw the
references against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court and Justice K.K.
Agha of the Sindh High Court and calling upon the SJC to reject the references
if the government was not willing to withdraw them.
convention warned that the lawyers would launch countrywide agitation if the
SJC acted against the two judges.
demanded that the SJC make public judgements of all the references it had so
far decided against judges and also hear scores of other references pending
before it for the last many years.
convention condemned placing restrictions on the media by the government and
demanded that freedom of media should be respected and not curtailed.
chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC)’s executive committee, Hafiz
Mohammad Idress, said that as per their information in the July 12 proceedings
the SJC had issued show- cause notices to the two judges, which meant that the
council would now give decisions on the references.
vice chairman Syed Amjid Shah announced that another convention of lawyers
would be held in Quetta on Aug 8, which would also mark the anniversary of the
killing of scores of lawyers in a terrorist attack in the city in 2016.
convention was addressed by the lawyers’ top leadership, including former
presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Hamid Khan, Ali Ahmad
Kurd, Yaseen Azad and Qazi Mohammad Anwar, acting president of the SCBA Khan
Afzal Khan, PHC Bar Association president Lateef Afridi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar
Council vice chairman Saeed Khan, Punjab Bar Council vice chairman Chaudhry
Shahnawaz Ismail, Islamabad Bar Council vice chairman Haroon Rasheed,
Balochistan Bar Council vice chairman Rahib Khan Buledi, Sindh Bar Council
executive committee member Amanullah Yousafzai and retired Justice Fakhrun
speakers said the references against the two judges, particularly Justice Isa,
had been “engineered by the forces who do not want to see an independent
judiciary” in the country.
said the judgements authored by Justice Isa in the Faizabad sit-in case and the
Balochistan lawyers’ killings had exposed the hidden forces which had been
conspiring against democratic set-ups since the creation of Pakistan.
lawyers’ leaders warned the SJC that if it succumbed to the pressure of hidden
forces and decided the references, then all of the independent judges on the
bench would be targeted one after the other.
Khan suggested that the lawyers should adopt a three-pronged strategy: Firstly,
they should demand transparency in SJC proceedings, which should be open and
not in-camera; secondly, they should file a petition under Article 184 (3) of
the Constitution challenging the references on ground of being mala fide; and,
thirdly, they should further build up pressure by holding such conventions in
Azad claimed that as Justice Isa was likely to become chief justice of Pakistan
in 2023, the year when next general elections would be held, the “elements
known for engineering polls are worried and want to remove him from the scene”.
a resolution, the convention demanded that cases registered against advocates
Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, who are also MNAs, be withdrawn and their production
orders be issued so that they could represent their constituencies in the
convention also demanded that 175 (A) of the Constitution, as originally
provided in the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, should be restored so
that the say of all stakeholders in appointment of judges to the superior
judiciary was given due weightage.
said parameters of the powers of the Supreme Court under Article 184 (3) of the
Constitution should be clearly defined.
lawyers observed strike throughout KP, Karachi, Lahore and Quetta on the call
of the PBC in protest against the government move of filing of references
against Justice Isa and Justice Agha.
Karachi, legal proceedings were disturbed as lawyers did not turn up to plead
their cases fixed for the day in the City Courts and Malir District Courts.
Lahore also, lawyers observed strike as a majority of them did not plead their
cases before the courts and spent the whole day sitting in bar rooms.
The United States, Russia, China and Pakistan have endorsed the need for a
comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan, which should start
simultaneously with the intra-Afghan talks, says US reconciliation envoy Zalmay
Khalilzad, who leads the US team in the Doha talks with the Taliban, also
represented Washington in the four-party meeting on the Afghan peace process,
held in the Chinese capital on July 10-11.
was the third meeting of the forum, which included China, Russia, and the
United States but has now been expanded to add Pakistan, acknowledging that
“Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan”.
also agreed that violence needs to reduce now and a comprehensive and
permanent ceasefire should start simultaneously with the intra-Afghan negotiations,”
Mr Khalilzad wrote in a tweet released on Friday.
agreed we will expand and ask more international partners to join” the
forum, as the intra-Afghan talks began, he said, hoping that the Taliban-Kabul
dialogue would lead to a peace framework.
framework would include a comprehensive programme for political future, which
was acceptable to all Afghans, he added.
this week, the US envoy assured the international community that America was
not “cutting and running” from Afghanistan. In a video message to a forum at
Washington’s Georgetown on Thursday, Mr Khalilzad said the US was working with
all key players and international powers to build “a consensus” for
establishing peace in Afghanistan.
Mark Milley, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, has also advised against pulling out American troops in a
think it is slow, it’s painful, it’s hard — I spent a lot of my life in
Afghanistan — but I also think it’s necessary,” he said at a congressional
hearing this week.
Friday, The New York Times reported that the Pentagon was privately urging
President Trump to keep US Special Operations forces in Afghanistan even if
all other troops departed after a peace agreement. A senior Pentagon official
told NYT that Mr Trump had resisted the idea, as he wanted to keep the promise
he made in the 2016 election campaign to end the Afghan war.
ultimate goal in Afghanistan is a negotiated political settlement between the
government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban,” Gen Milley
told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
against Muslims is now deeply rooted in Germany with one-in-two Germans
considering Islam a valid threat, according to a study published Thursday.
by the Bertelsmann Foundation found deficits in religious tolerance in the
country, with Islam in particular being perceived negatively by many.
rigid beliefs and intolerance toward other religions could be detrimental to
democracy in the long term," the study said.
Bertelsmann Foundation regularly examines the significance of religion for
social cohesion via representative opinion polls in the "Religion
Monitor" report. The report suggested that this negative perception toward
the Muslim community has "consistently taken root" over a couple of
years and that the prejudice is stronger in the eastern region, where far fewer
Muslims live. The rate of those who perceive Islam as a threat is a staggering
57 percent in eastern Germany, whereas this number drops to 50 percent in the
west of the country. Some 30 percent of those in the east went as far as to say
they did not want a Muslim for a neighbor, as opposed to 16 percent in the
has witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years triggered by the propaganda
of far-right parties. More than 100 mosques and religious institutions were
attacked in 2018. Police recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year,
including insults, threatening letters and physical assaults. At least 54
Muslims were injured in the attacks. Germany, a country of over 81 million
people, has the second-largest Muslim population in western Europe after
France. Among the country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of
Turkish descent. Many Germans of Turkish descent are second and
third-generation descendants of Turkish immigrants who moved to the country
during the 1960s.
least three mosques across Germany received email threats on Thursday,
prompting officials to evacuate the buildings and increase the security
measures. Two mosques in the southern German state of Bavaria were evacuated
after their staff received emails apparently from a far-right group which
threatened to kill Muslims and demanded the release of its members from prison.
the problem of racially motivated strings of attacks, the country has been
showing increasingly hostile attitudes toward immigrants, the Muslim community
and other minorities such as the Roma, according to a study published last
November. Based on a report by the Leipzig-based Competence Center for
Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research, more than one-in-three Germans
think foreigners come only to exploit the welfare state. Around 2,000 attacks
were reported last year in Germany, targeting refugees and their dormitories.
In response to a question by the Left Party, the German interior ministry
reported that the criminal acts recorded ranged from insults, damage to
property and physically assaulting people, according to a report by Deutsche
Welle. The report also revealed that a significant number of crimes were
committed by those with extreme-right views.
says Iran tanker will be freed after guarantees on destination
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt sought to ease tensions with Iran on Saturday,
saying a tanker held by Gibraltar would be released if Tehran guaranteed it was
not heading to Syria.
said he had a “constructive call” with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad
Zarif, who he said assured him that Tehran “is not seeking to escalate”
tensions between the countries.
reassured him our concern was destination not origin of the oil on Grace One,”
a tanker seized off the coast of the tiny British territory of Gibraltar on
July 4, Hunt tweeted.
officials believed the tanker was destined for Syria to deliver oil, in
violation of separate sets of EU and US sanctions.
said Britain “would facilitate release if we received guarantees that it would
not be going to Syria, following due process in Gib (Gibraltar) courts.
told by FM Zarif that Iran wants to resolve issue and is not seeking to
had reacted angrily to the seizure, and Britain this week said Iranian military
vessels had tried to “impede the passage” of a British oil tanker in the Strait
said Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was doing an “excellent job
co-ordinating issue and shares UK perspective on the way forward”.
Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has proposed to the internationally recognized
Greek Cypriot government that the two sides cooperate in the search for gas off
the island of Cyprus, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
proposal comes after a European Union warning that it could curb funding for
Turkey in retaliation for what it calls Ankara’s illegal drilling for gas and
oil off Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.
“presented a new comprehensive cooperation proposal prepared by the Turkish
Cypriot side for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources
around the island of Cyprus to the Greek Cypriot side through the United
Nations,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
proposal said that Turkish and Greek Cypriots “are equal partners on the
island, have equal rights, so should share the income and cooperate in the area
of hydrocarbon resources and benefit from these resources simultaneously”, the
adopted, the proposal would “initiate a new period of cooperation between the
two parties,” it added.
was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief,
Greek-inspired coup. Several peacemaking efforts have failed and the discovery
of offshore resources in the eastern Mediterranean has complicated the
and the Cypriot government have overlapping claims in the area. Last week
Turkey said a drilling ship had arrived east of Cyprus and would start
operating there, two months after a first Turkish drilling ship started work
west of the island.
has expressed concern at the recent hoax bomb scares and racist threats
targeting Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs’ (DITIB) headquarters and
mosques in Germany.
a written statement issued on Friday, Turkish Foreign Ministry said such
threats were aimed at disrupting the peace of Turkish community living in
statement urged German authorities to conduct necessary investigations.
ministry, however, also appreciated quick efforts of local German security
agencies for taking security measures against such attacks.
that Islamophobia and xenophobic tendencies were on the rise, the statement
said such threats and attacks posed a threat to not only Muslims but also to
the whole humankind.
largest mosque in the western city of Cologne had also received a hoax bomb
threat on Tuesday.
perpetrators are not brought to justice, if they are not held accountable, it
would not be possible to stop such attacks,” Kazim Turkmen, chairman of the
DITIB, told Anadolu Agency, earlier on Tuesday.
country is witnessing increasing cases of Islamophobia in recent years,
triggered by the propaganda of far-right parties.
than 100 mosques and religious institutions were attacked in 2018.
have recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year, including insults,
threatening letters and physical assaults. At least 54 Muslims were injured in
Afghan security forces conducted 113 Joint and Special Operations against the
militant groups in the past 24 hours.
Ministry of Defense in a statement said Saturday the security forces conducted
12 joint and 101 special operations to suppress the militant groups.
the Afghan Air Force conducted 21 airstrikes to support the ground forces
during the operations.
statement further added that the security forces conducted the operations in
Balkh, Jawzjan, Uruzgan, Takhar, Baghlan, Ghor, Zabul, Badghis, Laghman,
Kandahar, Kunduz, Paktiya, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Herat, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and
the defense ministry said the security forces killed 80 militants and wounded
27 others during the same operations.
addition, the security forces arrested three suspected militants.
Ministry of Defense also added that the coalition forces also provided support
to the Afghan security forces during the operations.
US service member was killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday, NATO said,
the latest international casualty that comes as the US tries to forge a peace
deal with the Taliban.
is the 10th member of the US military to be killed this year, compared to 12 in
all of 2018.
name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours
after notification of next of kin is complete,” Resolute Support, the US-led
NATO mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
did not provide any additional details about what happened, and no insurgent
group immediately claimed responsibility.
US troops were killed last month in an attack claimed by the Taliban, and the
US and Afghan forces continue to conduct daily operations against the
US now has some 14,000 troops in Afghanistan -- down from a peak of around
100,000 -- most of them deployed to train and advise Afghan counterparts.
the nearly 18 years since the US-led invasion to oust the Taliban in late 2001,
nearly 2,300 American soldiers have died and more than 20,400 have been
security forces repulsed a coordinated attack by Taliban militants on Afghan
Local Police security posts in Laghman province.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said the Taliban militants attack the security
posts in Alisheng district late on Friday night.
statement further added that the Local Police forces effectively responded to
the attack with the support of the soldiers of 1st Brigade of Silab Corps.
the statement added that the security forces killed a Taliban commander Abu
Bakar alias Kochai and his 2 militants during the clash.
security forces carried out airstrikes in Takhar, Wardak and Parwan provinces
killing at least 8 Taliban militants.
military officials said Saturday that an airstrike killed 2 Taliban militants
in Namak Ab district of Takhar province.
officials further added that a similar airstrike killed 2 Taliban fighters in
Sayyidabad district of Wardak province.
the official said an airstrike killed 4 Taliban militants in Siagird district
of Parwan province.
coordinated Taliban attack in Qala-e-Naw city of Badghis claimed the lives of a
senior police officer and his three security guards.
Abdul Rahim Rahin, a former lawmaker representing Badghis in the parliament
said Mohammad Yousuf Akhgar, the police chief of district 3 of Qala-e-Naw Qazi
lost his life in the attack.
further added that the militants launched the attack at around 10 am local time
by taking position inside a building and opening fire on the city.
Rahin said three security guards of Akhgar also lost their lives in the attack.
the Ministry of Interior spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a group of 3 suicide
bombers launched the attack on a hotel in the city at around noon time.
further added that the security forces managed to eliminate three of attackers
earlier this evening.
Afghan forces eliminated three of the five suicide bombers who attacked a hotel
in Qala-e-Naw city of Badghis.
ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said a group of suicide bombers attacked a
hotel in Chawk-e-Pesta area of the city.
further added that the militants started indiscriminate firing on civilians
after attacking the hotel.
he said the security forces launched an operation and killed three of the
suicide bombers and arrested two others.
Qazi Abdul Rahim Rahin, a former MP from Badghis said Mohammad Yousuf Akhgar,
the police chief of district 3 of Qala-e-Naw Qazi lost his life in the attack.
Afghan Special Forces arrested five militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) terrorist group in Kabul.
military officials said Saturday that the Special Forces arrested the militants
in Kabul district.
officials did not disclose further information regarding the detained
anti-government armed elements including ISIS sympathizers have not commented
regarding the operation so far.
of the Taliban militant group have bomb attacked a hotel in Afghanistan’s
northwestern province of Badghis, killing at least eight people and wounding
nearly a dozen more, officials say.
to Interior Ministry’s spokesman Nusrat Rahimi, several Taliban militants
assaulted a commercial building housing a hotel in Chawk-e-Pesta neighborhood
in the provincial capital of Qala-e-Naw at around 12:40 pm local time on
Tolo News TV further quoted him as saying that the militants began firing
indiscriminately at people after entering the hotel, killing eight security
officials and ten others, seven of whom were security forces.
added that three assailants were killed in an exchange of fire with security
forces, and two others were arrested. The hotel siege ended after almost five
hours, he added.
has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on the hotel, which is located
near the police headquarters and the governor's house.
Latif Rustayee, the director of a hospital in Qala-e-Naw, said the wounded were
rushed to a nearby hospital.
US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror.
While the invasion ousted a regime of the Taliban, it failed to eliminate them.
Some 18 years on, Washington is seeking truce with the militants as the Taliban
has only boosted its campaign of violence across the country.
is currently engaged in direct talks with the militants, excluding the Kabul
government. The peace efforts have not, however, stopped Taliban from launching
Taliban insurgents stormed a commercial building housing a hotel in western
Afghanistan, killing three security officials and injuring 10, officials said
on Saturday, the latest in a surge of attacks despite reported progress in
Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks by three militants and said
their fighters had positioned themselves in a building and were firing at the
militants assaulted the building containing a hotel, several eateries and shops
situated near the police headquarters and the governor’s house in Qala-e-Naw,
the capital city of Badghis province.
Latif Rustayee, the director of a hospital in Qala-e-Naw, said the 10 wounded,
including four security force members, were rushed to hospital.
Afzali, a member of Badghis provincial council, said security forces were still
battling Taliban gunmen, and officials at the interior ministry in Kabul said
that two of the three insurgents had been killed.
had surrounded the targeted building, said Nasrat Rahimi, an interior ministry
week the Taliban and US officials wound up the seventh round of peace talks
with signs of progress in efforts to end the 18-year war. At the same time, an
Afghan delegation and the members of the hardline Islamist militant group
agreed on a “roadmap for peace.”
the Iraqi Army's military operation known as Eradeh al-Nasr (Will of victory)
in desert areas stretching from al-Anbar province to Salahuddin and Nineveh
provinces in Western Iraq, more than a dozen hideouts of the terrorists were
destroyed and all terrorists inside them were killed, Commander of Iraq's Hashd
al-Sha'abi (Popular Mobilization Forces) in al-Anbar Province Qatar al-Abidi
a security source in Iraqi Diyali province said that the Iraqi Army and
security forces managed to fully cleanse Imam Veis region and its outskirts
after destroying several of their military positions and hideouts.
source also reiterated that the Iraqi forces killed an ISIL emir and one of his
aides in al-Hafayer region.
a relevant development last Sunday, the Command Headquarters of the Joint Iraqi
Operations in a statement reported that the massive joint military operation of
the Iraqi forces (named Eradeh al-Nasr) started with the partnership of Hashd
al-Sha'abi and tribal forces in the regions stretching among the Salahuddin,
Nineveh and al-Anbar provinces towards the border with Syria.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh News Website quoted Hashd al-Sha'abi forces as
saying that the first phase of the operation covered Nineveh province from
three directions, and has already resulted in cleaning up more than 28 towns
commander of headquarters of al-Jazireh Operations, meantime, reported that
during the clean-up operations in Salahuddin at least 16 hideouts were cleaned
up and bombs and military equipment of the terrorists were destroyed, while 15
regions were also cleansed.
the Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted joint
military operations command of Eradeh al-Nasr as saying that during the
operation a 10-square-kilometer area behind Iraq's border with Syria has been
cleansed and a military base of the ISIL terrorists was also destroyed in
Arabic-language website of Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a military source
as saying that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets attacked the military
positions of Tarir al-Sham al-Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the
Al-Nusra Front) and Islamic Turkistani Party terrorist groups several times in
Khan Sheikhoun, Ariha, Ma’aret al-Numan and Jisr al-Shoghour in Western Idlib
and their centers inside the city of Idlib.
source reiterated that several command centers of Tahrir al-Sham and Turkistani
Party terrorists were destroyed during the attack and over 100 foreign
terrorists were killed and tens more were wounded.
also noted that the joint airstrikes on the military positions of Tahrir
al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzaeh in Kafar Zita and al-Latamineh in Northern Hama
left several command centers, operation room, gatherings and military
the Arabic-language al-Morasseloun News Website quoted battlefield sources as
saying that at least 71 terrorists were killed in a recent foiled attack on
al-Hamamiat town in Northern Hama and over 115 of them were also wounded.
a relevant development on Friday, 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 terrorists aimed at regaining back the strategic al-Hamamiat region
in Northern Hama, killing at least 40 of them.
Arabic-language website of the Russian 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 have attacked
the Syrian Army’s military positions in the town of al-Hamamiat in Northern
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 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-Akhbar newspaper wrote that Washington seeks to reduce trade
exchanges between Syria and Jordan at al-Nassib passageway in Southern Syria
which is one of the two crossings for export of Syrian products to the Persian
Gulf littoral states.
also revealed the US attempts to close all important economic lifelines to
Syria, adding that Washington has also sanctioned all countries and companies
which sent oil to Banias refinery in Syria and is attempting to pave the ground
for the US-backed Kurds to take control of Eastern Euphrates which is rich in
oil and gas resources.
the US forces which have occupied al-Tanf border crossing which links Jordan to
Iraq are attempting to gain control of Albu Kamal-al-Qaem border passageway
al-Akhbar reported that reopening of al-Nassib passageway and trade exchanges
and ties between the Syrian and Jordanian nations has displeased the West and
certain Arab states, adding that many believe that the US intensified economic
sanctions against Syria after al-Nassib passageway reopened.
reports said that nearly 800 trucks crossed al-Nassib on a daily basis before
the crisis in Syria, but the number decreased to 47 trucks in the first 5
months of the current year after the US pressures to prevent trade through the
border-crossing in Southern Syria, connecting Dara'a province to Jordan, was
reopened officially last October after three years of closure due to the
terrorists' presence in the region.
a new agreement between Damascus and Amman, the Nassib border-crossing kicked
vehicles crossed border and entered Syria from Jordan via the Nassib
Kurdish-language Xeber24 reported that the 200 US trucks carrying military
equipment, logistics, military vehicles, oil tankers and covered trucks arrived
in US-backed forces’ military base in Hasaka province through Simalka crossing
from US bases in Iraq.
noted that the US military convoys have arrived in a military base controlled
by the US-backed forces in Tal al-Bidar region of Hasaka province.
Xeber24, meantime, reported that about 250 US military trucks carrying military
and logistical support had arrived in Tal al-Bidar Military Base last week.
US sends convoys of military trucks to the Kurdish-controlled areas in Eastern
Syria while the US and its allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have claimed
that the military operations in Eastern Euphrates have come to an end.
a relevant development late last month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
(SOHR) reported that hundreds of trucks loaded with logistics and military
support had arrived in areas under control of the SDF in Hasaka province in Northeastern
Syria from the US bases in Northern Iraq.
Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi reported that the Turkish Army has sent
massive military equipment comprising hundreds of tanks and military vehicles
to the border with Syria.
daily said that dispatch of this volume of Turkish military equipment to the
borders with Syria is unprecedented ever since Ankara threatened to launch a
military operation in Eastern Euphrates.
al-Arabi wrote that most of the military equipment have been sent to regions
bordering Kurdish forces in Syria, including Ain al-Arab in Aleppo province and
Tal Abyaz in Raqqa.
newspaper also noted that the measure by the Turkish Army has taken place after
a high-ranking Saudi delegation accompanied with Emirati officials held
meetings with Kurdish commanders in Eastern Syria.
al-Arabi also said that Washington has called for replacement of the US troops
with European soldiers in the region.
also quoted Turkish soldiers as saying that the Turkish Army has also called on
the military commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syria’s National Army
to meet in Ankara.
terrorist groups in Ankara-controlled al-Bab and Jarablus regions are now on a
state of alert in regions West of the Euphrates.
a relevant development earlier this week, media reports said that Saudi Arabia
had offered Hefty Cash to tribal leaders in Eastern Syria to support the
US-backed militants in order to threaten Turkey.
Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper quoted special sources in Eastern Syria as
saying that Saudi Minister for Persian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan in his
meeting with Syrian tribal leaders asked for helping Kurdish fighters.
US officials were accompanying al-Sahban during his meeting with tribal leaders
of Eastern Syria, it added.
have offered to give a hefty sum of $50 million to them indirectly through
local councils and also direct financial aid, the paper further said.
newspaper noted that the efforts by Saudi Arabia are in line with support for
the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the presence of al-Sahban in the region
is in line with Riyadh's confrontation with Turkey on the issue of Kurds.
daily noted that Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations are currently very strained.
also quoted special sources as saying that Saudi Arabia threatens Turkey and
tries to include itself in the Syrian power balance through the Kurds,
specially the SDF.
Secretary General of Popular Party Sheikh Navaf Tarad al-Molhem, who is a
tribal leader of al-Hasaneh tribe pointed to al-Sahban's cash offer to tribal
leaders of Eastern Syria, and said that Eastern Syria tribal leaders will
confront any effort by Saudi Arabia, the US and Turkey to disintegrate Syria.
a relevant development last week, the tribal leaders in Deir Ezzur voiced
strong opposition to the Saudi plots to support the SDF's separatist measures
in the Eastern parts of the province.
newspaper reported that al-Jamel tribe in Eastern Deir Ezzur had issued a
statement to emphasize its opposition to the appointment of SDF-affiliated
Ahmed al-Khabil as the Sheikh of al-Bakir tribes in Eastern Deir Ezzur and the
head of Syria's military democratic council.
tribe has referred in the statement to the terrorist acts by the SDF in Eastern
Euphrates region, and said that it does not recognize al-Khabil who has been
appointed with the support of al-Sabhan and the terrorist militias as the Emir
of al-Bakir Sheikhs.
Syrian tribes had also earlier stressed their opposition to al-Khabil's
the Arabic-language al-Baladi news website affiliated to the militants reported
that one of the leaders of Syria's Arab tribes namely Obaid Khalaf al-Hissan
was assassinated in the town of al-Ali Bajeliyeh in Tal Abyadh region in
Northern Raqqa after stopping cooperation with the Kurdish forces in Eastern
added that the SDF commanders had earlier attempted to return him.
reports also said in June that the Syrian tribes in Deir Ezzur province had
stood against a Saudi-US plot to support the Kurds to decompose Eastern
Euphrates from Syria.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website quoted the leader of al-Moshahedah in
al-Jazeerah region in Eastern Euphrates Sheikh Heidar al-Hamadi as saying that
all Syrian tribes, except a little number of them, had opposed the recent
meeting by al-Sahban to Kurdish-occupied regions to study plots to separate
Eastern Syria from the country's territory.
underlined al-Sahban's attempts to coax the tribes in Eastern Syria into
implementation of separatist plots, and said most of them want Damascus to
retake control of the region.
al-Watan newspaper reported that a Swedish delegation, including the country's
representative for Syria affairs, the Swedish foreign ministry official for
Syria affairs and the official for the agency on international aid, have
entered the Kurdish-occupied regions in Eastern Syria and held meetings with a
number of commanders in line with the western states' accelerated attempts to
interfere in Syria's internal affairs and assist the SDF in their separatist
al-Akam, a senior Syrian legislator, said that a tripartite coalition has been
formed among Saudi Arabia, the Kurdish forces and Israel under the US
supervision which pursues pressures on Damascus after gaining victory over
terrorist groups, by separating the Northeastern parts of the country.
of the politburo of Turkey-backed Lawa al-Mo'etasam-Free Syrian Army terrorists
Mostafa Sejari wrote on his twitter page on Monday that Riyadh had stopped
financial support for the terrorist groups in Northern Syria in line with a
fresh scheme to help Kurds cut off Eastern Syria from the mainland after a
Saudi-US delegation met in Deir Ezzur.
added that Saudi Arabia had decided to cut financial support for the regions occupied
by the terrorist groups in Northern Syria.
added that the measure was adopted after Riyadh started support for the
separatist Kurdish groups in Northeastern Syria following a visit by al-Sahban
to Kurdish-occupied regions.
civilians, including six children and infants, were killed Saturday in air
strikes in northwest Syria, targeted for months now by deadly regime and
Russian bombardment, a monitor said.
of the children were among civilians killed when Russian aircraft raided an
informal camp of internally displaced Syrians after midnight Friday, said the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
camp near the town of Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib region, houses Syrians who had
fled raids and clashes in neighboring Hama province.
later a man and his heavily pregnant wife were killed in the eastern Idlib town
of Kefraya in air strikes carried out by unidentified aircraft, the
Britain-based Observatory said.
Helmets volunteers found the bodies of the dead woman, and her well-formed baby
lying next to her open stomach the umbilical cord still attached, an AFP
the north of Hama province, three civilians including a child were killed by
artillery fire, the Observatory said.
and Syrian regime aircraft have ramped up strikes on Idlib since the end of
April, killing more than 590 civilians, while 45 others have perished from
rebel fire, according to the Observatory.
forces have also been locked in battle with extremists and allied rebels on the
edges of the bastion, which is held by Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat
Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), including the north of Hama province.
and its surrounding areas are supposed to be protected from a massive regime
offensive by a September 2018 deal between Russia and rebel backer Turkey.
buffer zone planned under that accord was never fully implemented, and the
region has seen an uptick in violence.
Hezbollah has cut down its forces in Syria as fighting died down though it
still has fighters all over the country, its leader said on Friday.
are no regions in Syria that we have fully emptied out, but there is no need
for the numbers to stay the same,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview
with Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV. “We have reduced the forces based on the needs of
the current situation.”
heavily armed, Iran-backed group has played a vital role in helping President
Bashar al-Assad’s military reclaim much of Syria.
members of a militant cell linked to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group in
Kuwait were involved in the assassination of Egypt’s former Public Prosecutor
Hisham Barakat in 2015, local Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper said in a report.
newspaper also said that wanted suspects of the cell who were not captured had
fled Kuwait to Doha and Turkey.
to the report, Kuwait has so far extradited the eight arrested suspects to
Egypt in accordance with the bilateral agreements between the two countries.
They were handed over in two batches.
newspaper reported that the cell had held meetings in Turkey, Qatar, and Kuwait
and are suspected of raising funds for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
FBI has reportedly approached US-based Saudi dissidents and others connected to
Jamal Khashoggi to warn them of a potential threat to their lives after the
Riyadh-sponsored murder of the prominent journalist.
on condition of anonymity, at least four Saudis and an Arab dissident in the US
told the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal on Friday that they had received
visits by FBI agents following the killing of Khashogg by a Saudi hit inside
the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018.
of them said the agents had tried to calm them and called first and then
meeting in a public location near their home.
(FBI agents) were like, ‘Yep, we are worried about your safety. Your name has
been flagged here in certain circles and in Europe’,” said the Arab activist,
who had been working with Khashoggi.
said that the agents had told him that they were sorry about the murder of
Khashoggi and that they were “doing everything we can to get to the bottom of
of the Saudi dissidents, who met with the FBI agents in early November, said,
“I told them that I’m kind of afraid to deal with you guys because the current
government has worked closely with [Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman and the
said, ‘Don’t worry. We are here to protect people from everywhere. It doesn’t
matter who is in the White House,” he added.
dissident also noted he had grown wary when the agents suggested that he could
help the FBI in return, if he chose to do so, for assistance with his asylum
Arab dissident said that he had been asked if agents could visit him again and
replied, “'If it’s just for a chat or something, I’m not available.' I didn’t
want to have a regular thing with him.”
an FBI spokesperson claimed in an email sent to the MEE that the agency
“regularly interacts with members of the communities we serve to build mutual
trust around protecting the American public”.
in May, The Time reported that the CIA and foreign security services had sent
warnings to at least 3 Khashoggi associates in Norway, Canada and the US that
their continuation of pro-democracy work has made them targets of potential
retaliation from Saudi Arabia.
human rights activist Iyad el-Baghdadi, who lives in political asylum in Oslo,
was one of those who had been approached by the CIA.
told the MEE that the US intelligence agencies’ attempts to stop potential
Saudi activity show their level of concern.
know that MBS is deeply problematic and a terrible ally, an ally who threatened
people on your own territory for God's sakes. What kind of ally does this?” he
said referring to Mohammed bin Salman.
the end, what does it say that they are unable to convince the guy in the White
House that this is a problem? It tells us that US intelligence agencies completely
know that this guy is trouble and that the only reason he can continue to do
this is [Trump's son-in-law and law and senior adviser] Jared Kushner and
month, Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or
arbitrary executions, presented findings of her six-month investigation into
Khashoggi's murder case.
President Bashar al-Assad has discussed with two Russian diplomats the
formation of a constitutional committee as the war against the foreign-backed
terrorists is winding down in the Arab country.
held talks with Russian presidential special envoy for Syria Alexander
Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin in Damascus on Friday.
official SANA news agency reported that the meeting focused on “the continuous
efforts to make progress on the political track, especially in forming a
committee for discussing the Constitution and the mechanisms and procedures of
Assad, Lavrentiev and Vershinin also agreed “to continue working extensively
and coordinating on the next steps” and stressed the importance of not allowing
certain countries to hinder the process, the report said.
discussions, it added, also dealt with the latest developments in the war on
foreign-backed terrorism and strategic relations between Moscow and Damascus.
Russian delegation reaffirmed its support for the Syrian army in retaliating
against Takfiri terrorist attacks in northwestern Idlib Province, according to
the SANA report.
delegation further backed Syria’s right to defend its citizens, preserve the
country’s territorial integrity and cleanse it from terrorism, it noted.
the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Friday’s meeting in
Damascus “focused on efforts towards the soonest completion of the formation of
the Constitutional Committee” in Syria as well as the situation in Idlib.
has been targeting positions held by Western-sponsored terrorist groups inside
Syria at the government’s request since September 2015.
airstrikes have helped Syrian forces advance against anti-Damascus terrorists,
who have been wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.
killed in northwestSyria clashes
another development on Friday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights said that more than 100 people have been killed in fierce clashes
between Syrian government troops and anti-Damascus terrorists in northwestern
Syria since Wednesday evening.
Security chiefs launched an investigation on Saturday to find out how a
militant cell linked to the banned Muslim Brotherhood escaped from Egypt and
set up operations in Kuwait.
militants were arrested on Friday in a series of raids by Kuwaiti security
forces. A special unit of Kuwait’s Interior Ministry uncovered the cell,
identified the locations of its members and detained them in a special
ministry said all those arrested were wanted by the security services in Egypt.
They had evaded Egyptian authorities, and made Kuwait the center of their
operations, the ministry said.
initial investigations, the militants admitted carrying out terrorist
operations and breaching security in Egypt. Inquiries are continuing, to find
out who helped them flee Egypt, and cooperated with them in Kuwait.
are large number of Muslim Brotherhood members living “under the radar” in
several Arab countries, the Egyptian lawyer Tharwat Al-Kharbawi, an expert on
Islamist groups, told Arab News.
use illegal passports acquired before the Egyptian security authorities issued
orders to prevent them from traveling, he said.
appealed to Arab security services to “wake up and arrest these cells,” to
avoid “the devastation the Muslim Brotherhood cause wherever they go.”
arrests in Kuwait will prompt the leaders of the group in Turkey and London to
consider changing their concealment strategy, said Maj. Gen. Mohammed
Al-Ghabari, former director of the National Defense College in Egypt and a
security expert at the Nasser Military Academy.
Brotherhood believed that by fleeing Egypt they were safe,” he said. “But what
happened in Kuwait may change their methodology, and encourage those who
committed acts of violence to return to Egypt to hand themselves over to the
said the Egyptian security services were still investigating Muslim Brotherhood
terrorist operations in Egypt, and the search continued for the perpetrators,
including those who had fled abroad.
had been taking advantage of the spread of freedom in Kuwait and abused it to
their advantage, the Saudi political analyst and international relations
scholar Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.
these terrorists is a step in the right direction and sends a strong message to
those who think they can continue to spread their terrorist ideologies on
Kuwaiti soil,” he said.
Two months of intensive airstrikes by Syrian government forces and their
Russian allies, coupled with a fierce ground assault on rebel-controlled Idlib
province, have killed hundreds of people and caused massive displacement while
achieving little to no gain for President Bashar Assad.
the heavy bombardment, Assad’s troops have been unable to make any significant
advances against Al-Qaeda-linked militants and other extremist groups who
dominate Idlib province, the last significant area held by opposition forces.
Militant attacks have killed an average of more than a dozen soldiers and
allied militiamen a day in recent weeks.
struggling campaign underscores the limits of Syria’s and Russia’s airpower and
inability to achieve a definitive victory in the country’s long-running civil
war, now in its eighth year.
crucial military assistance from Russia and Iran, Syrian troops have in the
past few years recovered most other opposition-held parts of the country with
crushing offensives and long-running sieges. In each of those places, rebels
either surrendered or were forcibly exiled to Idlib, where they are now cornered
with nowhere left to go. Bitter and desperate, they can only fight to the end.
Abu Mohammed Al-Golani, the leader of the main Al-Qaeda-linked group in the
region, has called on every able person to “perform his religious duty” and
join the fight.
Heller, a Syria expert with the International Crisis Group who closely follows
the situation in the rebel-controlled area, said, “Idlib’s armed opposition may
not be able to win an open battle for the northwest, but they can make a Syrian
military victory terribly costly, maybe intolerably so.”
Idlib reflects the tug of war among international players supporting opposing
sides of Syria’s conflict. A cease-fire brokered last September by Russia, a
key ally of Assad, and Turkey, which supports the rebels, collapsed on April 30
when the government began its offensive following months of violations by both
sides. Turkey, which hosts 3 million Syrian refugees, fears a full-blown
government offensive would cause a new wave of displaced people heading toward
its border, but it has been unable — or some say, unwilling — to control the
rebels in Idlib that it supports.
Iran-backed fighters, including members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group whose
participation has been key in previous battles, have not joined fight for
Idlib, deeming the region a low priority, unlike more strategic areas bordering
Iraq and Lebanon. Even Russia hasn’t thrown all its weight into the fray and
has continued to talk to Turkey about ways to reinstate the cease-fire.
than a full-blown offensive to recover the province, which is packed with 3
million people, Assad’s government has for now restricted its assault to the
edges of the province with the aim of reopening key highways crossing through
rebel-held areas. But even that has proved futile as the rebels fight back
to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, 2,443
people have been killed since April 30. They include 629 civilians, among them
159 children. The dead also include 869 pro-government fighters and troops as
well as 945 insurgents, according to the Observatory. Many more have been
wounded and many villages destroyed, with the United Nations saying the
fighting has displaced more than 330,000 from their homes. Many of them now
live in overcrowded tents near the border with Turkey.
the offensive on Idlib and northern parts of the central province of Hama is
the government’s elite Tiger Force led by Brig. Gen. Suheil Al-Hassan, a
Russian-backed Syrian officer who took credit for some of the biggest
government victories in the eight-year conflict.
he has not succeeded in breaking Idlib’s defenses and remains deadlocked.
According to opposition activists, elite forces from the Republican Guards and
the Fourth Division led by Assad’s younger brother, Maher, have recently
started taking part in the offensive.
activists say government forces and their Russian allies have been targeting
schools and medical centers, reportedly killing 10 medical staff since the
offensive began, to make it difficult for the local population to stay. The
tactic has been used by government troops elsewhere in Syria. Airstrikes have
also targeted paramedics, killing four ambulance workers in recent weeks,
Idlib offensive began with government forces capturing more than a dozen
villages, including Qalaat Al-Madiq and Kfar Nabudah, which are considered the
militants’ first line of defense of Idlib. Since then, Kfar Nabudah has changed
hands several times. Insurgents later took government forces by surprise by
launching an offensive and opening another front, in which they succeeded in
capturing the villages of Madraset Al-Dahra, Tel Milh and Jubain. Repeated
government attacks to retake the area were unsuccessful.
Al-Ali, a journalist based in Idlib province, said that two months into the
offensive the government now only controls the village of Qassabiyeh in Idlib
as well as some dozen villages in northern Hama province and the town of Qalaat
said one of the insurgents’ biggest successes was opening the new front, in
which they cut a main road linking the central city of Hama with
government-held villages on the edge of Idlib.
rebels’ steadfastness and regime’s heavy losses made them fail to achieve
advances similar to those they did at the start,” he said of the government
offensive. He said anti-tank missiles were key in slowing the regime’s
battle could last for months and claim more lives unless Turkey, Iran and
Russia reach a new deal for the region similar to last year’s cease-fire. The
faltering offensive could encourage Russia to reach such a deal with Turkey.
presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said Ankara is planning to host a summit
between the leaders of the three nations in August to discuss Syria, mainly
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on Britain to accelerate
efforts meant to release an Iranian oil tanker held in the British overseas
territory of Gibraltar since earlier this month.
UK government must immediately adopt required measures to end the illegal
seizure of the Iranian oil tanker,” said Zarif in a phone conversation with his
British counterpart Jeremy Hunt on Saturday.
top Iranian diplomat said that Britain was supposed to continue to defy
extra-territorial sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran as a matter of
conformity with other members of European Union.
phone conversation between Iranian and British foreign ministers came 10 days
after British naval forces seized the Grace 1 supertanker off the coast of
Gibraltar as it was sailing to the east Mediterranean region. Authorities in
the British controlled territory said at the time that they had stopped the
ship suspecting it was carrying oil to Syria, a destination banned under
current EU regulations.
told Hunt, however, that the seizure of the Grace 1 had been inspired by US
sanctions on Iran, which began last year when Washington unilaterally withdraw
from an international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.
said that Iran would continue to exhaust all avenues to export its oil despite
the existing sanctions.
Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its oil export under any circumstances,”
said Zarif, according to an excerpt of the phone call with Hunt covered on the
website of the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
his part, Hunt expressed hope that legal and judicial examinations in Gibraltar
would lead to the immediate release of the Grace 1 and its oil cargo.
British foreign secretary insisted that Iran was entitled to its rights to
export crude despite the US sanctions, saying, however, that he was worried
about escalated tensions in the Persian Gulf region where a series of military
incidents over the past weeks have increases concerns about a potential
conflict between Iran and the US.
images have shown social media influence campaigns conducted by the US-backed
Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terror group against Iran.
images, published by Iran's Khorasan newspaper earlier this week, revealed for
the first time part of the organization's secretive social media influence
campaign targeting Farsi, English and Arabic-speaking users on social media.
are "briefed at the start of their workday and start their social media
operations at noon. At the end of the day, feedback is reviewed and issues that
have to be used to defame the Islamic Republic are examined for the next
day," read the paper.
MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international
community. Its members fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq, where it enjoyed backing of
former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
MKO has been banned in Iran and around the world for its role in numerous
terrorist activities, especially in the early years after the Islamic
Revolution in 1979, taking the lives of thousands of Iranians, along with
of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the victory of
the Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of
a decade-long ban on the MKO, the United States and its allies, however, have
sought to use the group as a tool to pressure Iran over the past years.
US and Saudi attempts to empower the MKO, the cult-like group's activities have
been largely limited to its now aging pool of members who had originally joined
the group in the 1970's and 1980's.
to the British daily The Guardian, the MKO is even known to rely on busing
refugees and young eastern Europeans to fill up its lavish events in Europe,
where most of the group's members are known to reside.
figures known to have taken part in the terror group’s meetings include US
National Security Adviser John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s personal
lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former
Saudi Arabian spy chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal.
group was already well-known for its reliance on fake social media profiles to
push for its Washington-backed anti-Iran agenda before the recent leaks.
year, Iranian Foreign Minster Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed Twitter for blocking
social media accounts of "real Iranians" while overlooking social
media influence operations coming from "actual bots in Tirana",
referring to the group's large complex near the Albanian capital.
the Trump Administration's heightened rhetoric and campaign of "maximum
pressure" against Iran, the MKO has also sought to gain further support
from Washington and its allies by expanding its anti-Iran operations.
month, an unverified audio tape leaked from the organization suggested the
group may have colluded with foreign powers in carrying out mysterious
explosions targeting two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in June.
the anniversary of the start of the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Hezbollah's
secretary general has warned Tel Aviv against any aggression on Lebanon. He
said the resistance with its current capabilities can take Israel back to the
Stone Age. Mariam Saleh reports from Beirut
naval forces have arrested two fishermen after opening fire on a Palestinian
fishing boat off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Information Center reported that the attack took place in the
southern Gaza Strip area of Rafah on Saturday morning.
fishermen aboard the boats were detained, while Israeli forces confiscated
their boat and towed it to an Israeli port.
detainees were identified as Mohammed al-Bardawil and Ahmad al-Bardawil.
figures show the Israeli navy has kidnapped 30 Gaza fishermen within permitted
fishing zone since the beginning of 2019.
recent years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks on
Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating some of the
the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20
nautical miles, but this has never been implemented.
accords were signed between the Israeli regime and the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) during the 1990s to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian
practice, Israel only allowed fishing up to 12 nautical miles until 2006, when
the fishing zone was reduced to six and later to three miles.
maintains a heavy naval presence off the coast of the impoverished Palestinian
enclave, severely affecting the livelihood of some 4,000 fishermen and at least
1,500 more people involved in the fishing industry.
the past few years, Israeli forces have carried out more than a hundred attacks
on Palestinian boats, arresting dozens of fishermen and confiscating several
economy of Gaza has also suffered from years of Israeli and Egyptian blockades.
Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007. It has caused a
decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
says a fresh shipment of Russian S-400 missile defense systems has arrived in
the country, a day after it received the first batch of the systems.
of S-400 Long Range Air and Missile Defense Systems resumed today,” the Turkish
Defense Ministry tweeted on Saturday.
said that a fourth Russian cargo plane had landed at the Murted air base near
the capital Ankara, a day after three huge Russian air force AN-124 planes
offloaded equipment at the base.
delivery is likely to anger the US, which has long warned that Turkey cannot
have both the S-400 and American F-35 stealth fighter jets.
US claims the S-400 systems are incompatible with NATO equipment and expose the
F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.
is expected to level sanctions against Ankara under the 2017 Countering
America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which mandates US sanctions
against anyone making a significant deal with the Russian defense industry.
US has already halted deliveries of F-35 to Turkey and suspended the training of
Turkish pilots to fly the aircraft.
however, says it has conducted technical studies on the compatibility of the
S-400s and the F-35s and had found no issues of concern as alleged by the US.
also stresses that the S-400 is a strategic defense requirement, above all to
secure its southern borders.
Friday, Acting US Defense Secretary Mark Esper held a telephone conversation
with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
Akar told his US counterpart that Turkey remains under a serious air and
missile threat and that purchase of S-400 defense systems was not an option but
rather a necessity,” a Turkish Defense Ministry statement said.
it added, emphasized that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 “does not in any way
mean change of its strategic orientation.”
said that although it was up to NATO member states to decide their acquisition
of military equipment, the US-led military alliance was concerned about the
equipment's incompatibility with its own systems.
is up to allies to decide what military equipment they buy. However, we are
concerned about the potential consequences of Turkey's decision to acquire the
S-400 system," a NATO official told AFP.
At a critical junction in bilateral relations, the new US ambassador to Turkey,
David Satterfield, arrived in Ankara on Wednesday just as S-400 Russian air
defense systems were delivered to Turkey.
American diplomat will now look to bring US-Turkey relations back on track,
defusing complicated bilateral issues in Syria and derailing Russian-Turkish
65 year old envoy served as acting assistant secretary of state for Near
Eastern Affairs from 2017.
George W. Bush’s presidency, he was the coordinator for Iraq and senior adviser
to the secretary of state between 2006-2009.
a fluent Arabic speaker, Satterfield also held top positions at US missions in
Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon.
ambassadorial post has been vacant since October 2017, mainly due to a visa
crisis between Washington and Ankara, as well as Turkey’s imprisonment of
American Pastor Andrew Brunson on charges of terror propaganda.
Cinar, a US-based foreign policy expert, said that having a US Ambassador in
Ankara again is a positive step in the US-Turkey relations.
process of nominating an ambassador in the US is long and complicated. During
Trump’s presidency, there have been a number of ambassador vacancies around the
world, including Turkey. Despite the tension between two NATO allies,
Ambassador Satterfield was able to be confirmed,” Cinar said.
to Cinar, Ambassador Satterfield’s posting comes at a critical time, but his
diplomatic skills should help to reconcile the troubled relationship.
now has a direct channel through Ambassador Satterfield. Syria and the eastern
Mediterranean crisis are the two issues that US and Turkey are facing,” he
recently voiced concern over Ankara’s gas exploration activities in the
Mediterranean Sea and called on the Turkish government to stop offshore
Unluhisarcikli, Ankara office director of German Marshall Fund of the United
States, thinks that despite Satterfield’s extensive experience, all he can be
expected to do is to contain the potential damage that may be inflicted on the
US-Turkey relationship in the near future and perhaps save it from total
first batch of S-400 systems started to arrive at Mürted Air Base in Ankara on
Friday. However, the US Department of
Defense recently announced that it will remove Turkey from the F-35 joint
strike fighter program — the most sensitive US aircraft — if Ankara accepts the
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper recently met with his Turkish counterpart,
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, during a meeting of NATO defense ministers. Esper
emphasized that Turkey will not receive the F-35 if it moves ahead with its
S-400 purchase plan.
enacted, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act is expected
to have a devastating effect on the Turkish economy and defense sector. The act
will deny visas for Turkish officials or executives, freeze their assets in the
US and block money transfers.
noted that there has not been any significant convergence between the two
allies in north-east Syria.
conflict between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus, which Turkey doesn’t
recognize, over the exploitation of the energy resources off the coast of
Cyprus is a growing source of tension in the US-Turkey relationship,” he said.
has significantly reduced oil imports from its neighbors after US waivers expired
in early May.
Turkey’s defense ministry says it has launched a new military operation against
Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
ministry, in a statement Saturday, announced the start of “Operation Claw-2” to
destroy caves and shelters used by members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or
PKK, in the Hakurk region. It said the operation began late Friday with
commandoes, air strikes and artillery.
PKK began an insurgency against Turkey in the mainly Kurdish southeast in 1984
and the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people. Turkey, the United
States and the European Union consider the group, based in the Qandil mountains
of northern Iraq, a terror organization.
Haram leave trail of opioid addicts in Nigeria desperate to numb the pain of
war and hopelessness
years since the day when Boko Haram gunmen stormed his home town of Bama, Abel
Habila still has trouble blotting out the memories.
has helped, but far more effective are the red and yellow pills that he buys
from the street dealers near his home. "At first they just helped me to
forget the trauma of the attack, and how we had to run for our lives," he
said, voice already drowsy from the two doses he has had this morning.
"But now I take them for other reasons too - just to blot out the pain of
life here in Nigeria, the boredom and hopelessness. My consumption has
trade name for what Mr Habila knows as "Red Caps" is Tramadol, an
opiate-based painkiller originally used...
Thousands of Sudanese flooded the streets of the capital of Khartoum and other
cities on Saturday to mark the 40th day since the deadly dispersal of a protest
sit-in as the country’s ruling generals and pro-democracy movement prepared to
sign a power-sharing deal.
“Justice First” marches were called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association
(SPA), which has been spearheading the protests since December. Those
demonstrations led to the military ouster of President Omar Al-Bashir in April.
marches mark 40 days since the dispersal of the pro-democracy protesters’
sit-in in outside military headquarters in Khartoum on June 3. Protest
organizers say security forces killed at least 128 people during the dispersal
and subsequent crackdown. Authorities, however, put the death toll at 61,
including three from security forces.
have called for a “transparent and fair” investigation into the deaths.
and photos posted by the SPA showed thousands of people demonstrating in the
capital and its sister city of Omdurman.
were protests in other places, including the Red Sea city of Port Sudan and the
eastern province of Kassala. Protesters were seen waving Sudanese flags and
posters that read: “Freedom, Peace and Justice” and “Civilian (authority) is
the people’s choice.”
protest organizers hope that large numbers take part in the marches similar to
massive rallies on June 30, when tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the
streets in the biggest show of numbers in the uprising. At least 11 people were
killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest organizers.
marches also put pressure on the ruling military council as it and the Forces
for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, planned
to meet to sign a power-sharing agreement. African Union envoy Mohammed
El-Hassan Labat originally said a meeting would take place on Saturday night.
Ahmed Rabei, a spokesman for the SPA, said later the protest movement called
for the talks to be postponed until Sunday “for more consultations” within the
FDFC on the deal. The signing ceremony was expected to take place earlier this
week, but several delays have been announced, raising suspicions the two
parties might still be divided over the agreement’s details.
Sudanese Communist Party, which is part of the protest movement, criticized the
“vague” talks between the military council and the FDFC. Mahmoud Al-Khateib,
the party’s political secretary, said his party rejected the current members of
the military council participation in the transition.
deal includes a joint Sovereign Council set to rule for a little over three
years while elections are organized, along with a constitutional declaration,
according to a copy of the deal obtained by The Associated Press. A military
leader is to head the 11-member council for the first 21 months, followed by a
civilian leader for the next 18.
deal, which also includes an FDFC-appointed cabinet, was meant to end a
weekslong political deadlock between the military and protesters since the
Khartoum sit-in site was cleared.
security forces on Saturday ended an overnight attack by the al Shabaab
militant group on a hotel in the southern port city of Kismayu that killed at
least 26 and injured 56, a police officer said.
operation is over,” police officer Major Mohamed Abdi told Reuters by telephone
far we know 13 people died. Many people have been rescued. The four attackers
were shot dead,” the offcier said earlier.
death toll from the attack on a hotel in Somalia's port city of Kismayu has
risen to 26, with Kenyans, Americans, a Briton and Tanzanians among the dead,
Jubbaland region's president said on Saturday.
presidential candidate for upcoming regional elections was also killed in the
assault by four militants, Jubbaland president Ahmed Mohamed said in a
statement. At least two journalists and a UN agency staff member were also
reported to have been killed. Police officer Major Mohamed Abdi earlier told
Reuters that security forces had ended the overnight attack.
group al-Shabab, which is trying to topple Somalia's central government, on
Friday claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw fighters storm the
hotel after targeting it with a car bomb while local elders and lawmakers were
meeting to discuss the elections.
president Mohamed said that three Kenyans, one Briton, two Americans and three
Tanzanians were among those killed.
the dead was also a Jubbaland presidential candidate named Shuuriye. Four
militants attacked the hotel. One of them was the suicide car bomber, two were
shot dead and one was captured alive by Jubbaland security forces," he
added that 56 people had been wounded in the attack, including two Chinese
had said earlier all the attackers had been killed.
Somalia office of the UN's International Organization for Migration also said
on Twitter one of its local staff members, Abdifatah Mohamed, was among those
Somalia, a local non-governmental organization, also said on Twitter its
executive director Abdullahi Isse Abdulle had been killed in the attack.
journalists' group had confirmed on Friday that two journalists were among the
dead; Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Naleyah, the founder of Integration TV,
and Mohamed Sahal Omar, reporter of SBC TV in Kismayu.
president Mohamed said Jama Fariid, Naleyah's husband, had also been killed.
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, general secretary of the Federation of Somali
Journalists, said in a statement: "We are saddened and outraged by this
loss of life, and condemn in the strongest possible terms this appalling
Shabaab was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from most
of its other strongholds.
was driven out of Kismayu in 2012. The city's port had been a major source of
revenue for the group from taxes, charcoal exports and levies on arms and other
is the commercial capital of Jubbaland, a region of southern Somalia still
partly controlled by al Shabaab.
of Sudanese flooded the streets of the capital of Khartoum and other cities on
Saturday to mark the 40th day since the deadly dispersal of a protest sit-in as
the country’s ruling generals and pro-democracy movement postponed a planned a
meeting to sign a power-sharing deal until Sunday.
“Justice First” marches were called by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association,
which has been spearheading the protests since December. Those demonstrations
led to the military ouster of autocratic president Omar al-Bashir in April.
and photos posted by the SPA showed thousands of people demonstrating in the
capital and its sister city of Omdurman. There were protests in other places,
including the Red Sea city of Port Sudan and the eastern province of Kassala.
were seen waving Sudanese flags and posters that read: “Freedom, Peace and
Justice” and “Civilian (authority) is the people’s choice.”
protest organizers hope that large numbers take part in the marches similar to
massive demonstrations on June 30, when tens of thousands of demonstrators
flooded the streets in the biggest show of numbers in the uprising. At least 11
people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest
marches also put pressure on the ruling military council as it and the Forces
for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, planned
to meet to sign a power-sharing agreement. African Union envoy Mohammed
el-Hassan Labat originally said a meeting would take place on Saturday night.
But Ahmed Rabei, a spokesman for the SPA, said later the protest movement
called for the talks to be postponed until Sunday “for more consultations”
within the FDFC on the deal.
signing ceremony was expected to take place earlier this week, but several
delays have been announced, raising suspicions the two parties might still be
divided over the agreement’s details.
Sudanese Communist Party, which is part of the protest movement, criticized the
“vague” talks between the military council and the FDFC. Mahmoud al-Khateib,
the party’s political secretary, said his party rejected the current members of
the military council participation in the transition.
deal, which also includes an FDFC-appointed cabinet, was meant to end a
weeks-long political deadlock between the military and protesters since the
Khartoum sit-in site was cleared.
also agreed on an independent Sudanese investigation into the deadly crackdown
by security forces on the protests last month, though it’s unclear if anyone
will be held accountable.
Mohammed Hamadan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council, told a gathering
of military supporters in the Nile River province, about 100 kilometers (62
miles) north of Khartoum, that his forces, the paramilitary Rapid Support
Forces, “are not angels and we will try all offenders.”
RSF grew out of the notorious Janjaweed militias used by al-Bashir in the
Darfur conflict in the early 2000s. Protesters accuse it of leading the
nationwide crackdown and the SPA has called for the force to be disbanded.
restarted in Sudan on Saturday after a short pause since nationwide
demonstrations began on June 30.
Sudanese opposition called for demonstrations in the capital of Khartoum to
commemorate protestors who were killed on June 3 when government forces
dispersed a sit-in outside the military headquarters, killing more than 100
marched in the streets on Saturday protests, calling for the prosecution of
those responsible for the killing.
and security forces have attempted to disperse demonstrators using tear gas and
firing live ammunition in the air to disperse the protesters.
the meantime, the African Union mediating team that sponsors power-sharing
talks between the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) and opposition
alliance of Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said dialogue between the two
sides was in its final stages.
Saturday, Police revealed that they arrested an Al Shabaab member in relation
to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that hit a police land cruiser on June
Abdi Adan was arrested on July 2, 2019, and is currently in police custody
being processed to face justice.
to a police report posted on their Facebook page, initial investigations reveal
that Abdirashid is a Marehan clansman who fraudulently obtained Kenyan
identification documents indicating that he is a Degodia.
his arrest, Al Shabaab engaged in a frantic activity to secure his release and
frustrate investigations, including relocating his family from the border with
Wajir further into Somalia,” Charles Wahong’o, the director of corporate
police director revealed that sustained operations have seen many of the
militia pushed into the Somali side of the border.
group thus resorted to targeting specific clans within the border regions in a
bid to intimidate and gain support.
are notorious for laying explosives within Somalia to target Kenyan businessmen
who operate across the border.
July 9, 2019, they laid an explosive in Wajir county targeting a Degodia
businessman, but it exploded killing five civilians traveling in a truck.
same day, another IED killed three civilians on their way to refill water.
the IED attack on police in Wajir, blogger Robert Alai and prison warder
Patrick Safari were arrested for sharing the deadly pictures online.
Muslim Brotherhood as auxiliaries of the Pentagon
Islamists controlled by the Pentagon
the beginning of the 1990’s, the Pentagon decided to work with the Islamists,
who had hitherto depended only on the CIA. This was operation Gladio B, by
reference to the secret services of NATO in Europe (Gladio A ). For a
decade, all the Islamist chiefs – including Osama Bin Laden and Ayman
al-Zawahiri – travelled on aircraft of the US Air Force. The United Kingdom,
Turkey, and Azerbaidjan participated in the operation . As a direct result,
the Islamists – who had so far been secret combatants – were publicly
integrated into the NATO forces.
Arabia – which is both a state and the private property of the Saud family –
officially became the company charged with the management of world Islamism. In
1992, the King proclaimed a Fundamental Law, which stated “The state protects
Islamic Law and applies the Sharia. It imposes Good and fights Evil. It obeys
the duties of Islam (…) The defence of Islamism, of society and of the Muslim
homeland is the duty of every subject of the King”.
1993, Charles, the Prince of Wales, placed the Oxford Centre for Islamic
Studies under his patronage, while the head of the Saudi secret services,
Prince Turki, took over its direction.
openly became the nerve centre of Gladio B, to the point where people spoke of
“Londonistan” . Under the umbrella of the Muslim World League, the Arab
Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami created a large number of
cultural and cult-based associations around the mosque in Finsbury Park. This
system enabled the recruitment of many kamikazes, from those who attacked the
Russian school in Beslan to Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber”. Above all,
Londonistan was the home for a number of medias, publishing houses, newspapers
(al-Hayat and Asharq al-Awsat – both directed by the children of the present
King Salman of Arabia) – and television channels (the group MBC of Prince Walid
ben Talal broadcasts about twenty channels). They are not destined for the
Muslim diaspora in the United Kingdom, but are broadcast in the Arab world. And
since the agreement between the Islamists and Saudi Arabia had been extended to
the United Kingdom, they enjoyed total freedom of action, although they were
banned from interfering in domestic UK politics. The system employed several
thousand people and handled gigantic quantities of money. It was to remain
publicly in place until the attacks of 11 September 2001, when it became
impossible for the British to continue to justify such open collaboration.
Musab “The Syrian” – a survivor of the aborted coup d’état in Hama, who had
become a liaison officer between Bin Laden and the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA)
of Algeria – posited the theory of “decentralised jihad”. In his Call for a
Global Islamic Resistance, he advanced, in Islamic terms, the well-known
doctrine of the “strategy of tension”. This concerned provoking the authorities
in order to spark fierce repression which would lead the people to rise against
them. This tactic had already been used by the CIA/NATO Gladio networks in
manipulating the European extreme left wing in the 1970’s and 1980’s (the
Baader-Meinhof Complex, the Red Brigades, Action Directe). Of course, there was
no question that the strategy would allow the people to prevail, and the
CIA/NATO knew that it had no chance of doing so – they were never victorious
anywhere – but it was intended to use the repressive reaction of the state to
topple the existing élite and place its men in power.
Syrian” pointed to Europe – but above all, away from the United States – as the
next Islamic battlefield. He fled France after the attacks of 1995. Two years
later, he created the Islamic Conflict Studies Bureau in Madrid and
Londonistan, on the model of Aginter Press, the Gladio cell which the CIA had
created in Lisbon during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Both these structures excelled
in the organisation of false-flag terrorist attacks (from those attributed to
the extreme left at the Piazza Fontana, in 1969, to those blamed on Muslims in London
in 2005 ).
the Brotherhood elaborated a vast programme of training for pro-US Arab
leaders. The Libyan Mahmud Jibril El-Warfally, professor at the university of
Pittsburg, taught them how to speak the language known as “politically correct”.
Thus he trained Emirs and Generals from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the
Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Tunisia (but also Singapore). Mixing the
principles of public relations with studies of reports by the World Bank, the
most brutal dictators were now able to expound straight-faced on their
Democratic Ideal as well as their profound respect for Human Rights.
war against Algeria spilled over into France. Jacques Chirac and his Minister
for the Interior, Charles Pasqua, interrupted French support for the Muslim
Brotherhood and even banned books by Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the Egyptian
Brotherhood preacher). For them, it was essential to maintain French presence
in the Maghreb, which the British wanted to wipe off the map. The Armed Islamic
Group of Algeria (GIA) took the passengers of an Air France Algiers-Paris
flight hostage (1994), exploded bombs in the Métro and various points of the
French capital (1995) and planned a gigantic attack – which was foiled – during
the World Football Cup in France (1998), including the crash of an aircraft
onto a nuclear power plant. Each time, the suspects who managed to flee were
able to find refuge in Londonistan.
war in Bosnia-Herzegovina began in 1992 . On instructions from Washington,
the Pakistani secret services (ISI), still supported financially by Saudi
Arabia, sent 90,000 men to participate in the fight against the Serbs, who were
supported by Moscow. Osama Bin Laden received a Bosnian diplomatic passport and
became the military advisor to President Alija Izetbegović (for whom US citizen
Richard Perle was diplomatic advisor, and the Frenchman Bernard-Henri Levy was
Press advisor). Bin Laden formed an Arab Legion with ex-combatants from
Afghanistan and supplied financing from the Muslim World League. Either by a
sense of confessional solidarity or in competition with Saudi Arabia, the
Islamic Republic of Iran also came to the help of the Bosnian Muslims. With the
Pentagon’s blessing, it sent several hundred Guardians of the Revolution and a
unit of the Lebanese Hezbollah. Above all, it delivered the main weapons used
by the Bosnian army. The Russian secret services, who penetrated Bin Laden’s
camp, found out that the Arab Legion’s entire bureaucracy was written in
English, and that the Legion was taking its orders directly from NATO. After
the war, a special International Tribunal was created. It launched criminal
proceedings against a number of combatants for war crimes, but not one was a
member of the Arab Legion.
three years of quiet, the war between Muslims and Orthodox Christians started
up again in ex-Yugoslavia, this time in Kosovo. The Kosovo Liberation Army
(UÇK) was composed of mafia-style groups trained in combat by the German
Special Forces (KSK) at the Turkish base of Incirlik. The Albanians and the
Muslim Yugoslavs shared a Naqshbandi culture. Hakan Fidan, the future head of
the Turkish secret services, was a liaison officer between NATO and Turkey. The
veterans of the Arab Legion joined the UÇK, of which one brigade was commanded by
a brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri. He systematically destroyed Orthodox churches
and monasteries and forced the Christians to flee.
1995, reviving the tradition of political assassination, Osama Bin Laden
attempted to eliminate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He did the same a year
later with the Libyan Guide, Muammar Gaddafi. This second attack was paid for
with £100,000 by the British secret services, who sought to punish Libya for
supporting the Irish resistance . However, the operation failed. Several
Libyan officers fled to the United Kingdom. Among them was, Ramadan Abidi,
whose son, many years later, was to be tasked, still by the British secret
services, with carrying out a terrorist attack in Manchester. Libya transmitted
its evidence to Interpol and issued the first international arrest warrant for
the person of Osama Bin Laden, who still maintained a public relations bureau
1998, the Arab Commission for Human Rights was founded in Paris. It was
financed by the NED. Its President was the Tunisian Moncef Marzouki, and its
spokesman was the Syrian Haytham Manna. Its objective was to defend members of
the Muslim Brotherhood who had been arrested in different Arab countries for
their terrorist activities. Marzouki was a left-wing doctor who had been
working with the Brotherhood for a long time. Manna was a writer who managed
the financial investments of Hassan el-Turabi and the Sudanese Brothers in
Europe. When Manna retired, his partner stayed on as the Director of the
association. Manna was replaced by the Algerian Rachid Mesli, a lawyer. He was
incidentally the lawyer for Abassi Madani and the Algerian Brotherhood.
1999 (after the war in Kosovo and the power grab by the Islamists in Grozny),
Zbigniew Brzeziński, with a cohort of neo-conservatives, founded the American
Committee for Peace in Chechnya. While the first war in Chechnya had been an
internal Russian affair in which a few Islamists had taken part, the second war
was aimed at the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Ichkeria. Brzeziński, who
had been preparing this operation for several years, attempted to reproduce the
Afghan experience. The Chechen jihadists, like Shamil Basayev, had not been
trained in Sudan by Bin Laden, but in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Throughout
the whole war, they benefited from the “humanitarian” support offered by
Necmettin Erbakan and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkish Millî Görüş, and the “IHH
– Human Rights and Freedoms”. This Turkish association had been created in
Germany under the name of Internationale Humanitäre Hilfe (IHH). Thereafter,
they organised several major operations – notably against the Moscow Theatre
(in 2002 – 170 dead, 700 wounded); against a school in Beslan (in 2004 – 385
dead, 783 wounded); and against the town of Nalchik (in 2005 – 128 dead, 115
wounded). After the massacre in Beslan and the death of jihadist leader Shamil
Basayev, Millî Görüş and the IHH organised an extravagant funeral service at
the Fatih mosque in Istanbul – the body was not present, but tens of thousands
of militants attended the ceremony.
this period, three important terrorist attacks were attributed to al-Qaeda. But
however important these operations may have been, they represented an abasement
for the Islamists, who were an integral part of NATO, but at the same time
found themselves relegated to the level of anti-American terrorists.
In 1996, a truck bomb exploded in front of an eight-story tower in Khobar,
Saudi Arabia, killing 19 US soldiers. First attributed to al-Qaeda,
responsibility for the attack was next pinned on Iran, and then finally, on no
one at all.
In 1998, two bombs exploded in front of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and
Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania, killing 298 Africans – but no US citizens – and
wounding more than 4,500. These attacks were claimed by a mysterious “Islamic
Army for the Liberation of Holy Places”. According to US authorities, the
attacks had been committed by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in response
to the extradition of four of their members. And yet the same authorities
accused Osama Bin Laden of being the instigator of the attacks, and the FBI
issued – finally – an international arrest warrant for him.
In 2000, a suicide boat exploded against the hull of the destroyer USS Cole,
harboured in Aden, Yemen. The attack was claimed by al-Qaeda in the Arab Gulf
Peninsula, but a US tribunal blamed Sudan.
attacks occurred while the collaboration between Washington and the Islamists
was on-going. Osama Bin Laden therefore held onto his bureau in Londonistan
until 1999. Situated in the neighbourhood of Wembley, the Advice and
Reformation Committee (ARC), served to disseminate Bin Laden’s declarations and
also to cover the logistical activities of al-Qaeda, including matters of
recruitment, payments, and the acquisition of equipment. Among his
collaborators in London, we find the Saudi Khalid al-Fawwaz and the Egyptians
Adel Abdel Bary (father of the suspected Jihadi John) and Ibrahim Eidarous,
three men who were the objects of international arrest warrants, but had
nonetheless received political asylum in the United Kingdom. It was in perfect
legality in London that Bin Laden’s bureau published, in February 1998, his
famous Appeal for a jihad against Jews and Crusaders. Seriously ill with kidney
disease, Bin Laden was hospitalised, in August 2001, at the American Hospital
in Dubai. A head of one of the Gulf states assured me that he had visited him
in his room, where security was provided by the CIA.
fusion of the two “Gladio” networks and the preparation of Daesh
the same logic, the Bush administration blamed the Islamists for the gigantic
attacks which occurred on 11 September 2001 in the United States. The official
version prevailed, although it contains innumerable incoherences. The Justice
Secretary assured that the planes were hijacked by the Islamists, despite the
fact that, according to the airline companies themselves, none of the suspects
were on board. The Department of Defense published a video in which Bin Laden
claimed responsibility for the attacks, despite the fact that he had publicly
denied it, and that experts in facial and vocal recognition affirmed that the
man in the video was not Bin Laden. In any case, these events served as the
pretext for Washington and London to launch the “Endless War” on terrorism and
attack their ex-allies, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
Osama Bin Laden suffered from chronic kidney disease, he died on 15 December
2001 from the consequences of Marfan Syndrome. A representative of MI6 was
present at his funeral in Afghanistan. For a while, several more or less
life-like body doubles kept his image alive, one of whom was himself
assassinated in 2005 by Omar Sheikh, according to Pakistani Prime Minister
August 2002, MI6 organised a conference in London for the Muslim Brotherhood on
the theme “Syria for All”. The speakers developed the idea that Syria was
oppressed by the Alawite cult, and that only the Muslim Brotherhood could offer
Sayyed Qutb and Abu Musab “the Syrian”, the Islamists found a new strategist,
Abu Bakr Naji. In 2004, this character, who seems never to have existed,
published a work on the Internet, “The Management of Savagery, a chaos theory”
. Although certain authors believed they could recognise the style of an
Egyptian writer, it seemed that the book had been written in English, sprinkled
with superfluous Qu’ranic quotes, and then translated into Arabic. The
“Savagery” in the book’s title did not refer to a recourse to terrorism, but a
return to the state of nature before civilisation created the state. It was
about dragging Humanity back to the time when “Man is a wolf for Man”. The
strategy of chaos is explained in three phases:
First, demoralise and exhaust the state by attacking its least-protected
flanks. Choose secondary targets, often without strategic value, but easy to
destroy and disperse. The point is to give the impression of a general
uprising, a revolution.
Second, when the state has withdrawn from the suburbs and the countryside,
conquer certain zones and administer them. It will be necessary to rely on the
Sharia to signal the passage to a new form of state. During this period, build
alliances with all those who are opposed to Power – they must be given weapons.
Then the war will become a war of position.
Third, proclaim the Islamic state.
treatise draws on contemporary military science. It places much importance on
psychological operations, notably the use of spectacular violence. In practise,
this strategy has nothing to do with revolution, but with the conquest of a
country by exterior powers, because it supposes a massive investment. As always
in subversive literature, the most interesting aspects are those which are not
clearly stated, or quoted only incidentally.
The preparation of populations to gladly welcome the jihadists supposes the
previous construction of a network of mosques and social works, as was done in
Algeria before the “civil” war.
The primary military operations require arms, which must be imported
beforehand. Above all, after the campaign, the jihadists will have no
possibility of acquiring weapons, and even less ammunition. They will therefore
need to be supplied from outside. - The
administration of the occupied zones supposes the participation of senior
executives who have been trained in advance, like those of regular armies
tasked with “rebuilding states”.
Finally, the war of position supposes the construction of enormous
infrastructures which will require a great deal of equipment, materials,
engineers and architects.
invoking this treatise the Islamists revealed their intent to continue playing
a military role on behalf of external forces, but this time on a massive scale.
2006, the British asked Emir Hamad of Qatar to place his pan-Arab TV channel,
al-Jazeera, at the service of the Muslim Brotherhood . The Libyan Mahmud
Jibril, who had trained the royal family to speak in democratic language, was
tasked with carefully introducing the Brotherhood into the channel, and
creating channels in foreign languages (English, and then later, Bosnian and
Turkish), as well as a channel destined for children. The preacher Yusuf
al-Qaradawi became the “religious advisor” for al-Jazeera. Of course, the
channel broadcast and validated the audio and video recordings of the various
“Osama Bin Ladens”.
the same period, US troops in Iraq were faced with a growing uprising. After
having been utterly demoralised by the suddenness and brutality of the invasion
(the “Shock and Awe technique”), the Iraqis were beginning to organise their
resistance. John Negroponte, US ambassador in Baghdad, and then Director of
National Intelligence, proposed to overcome the resistance fighters by turning
their anger against themselves, and transforming the resistance to the
occupation into a civil war. An expert in secret operations, he had notably
participated in Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, then organised a civil war in
Salvador and the Iran-Contras operation in Nicaragua, and guided the collapse
of the Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas in Mexico. Negroponte called on one
of the men he had worked with in Salvador, Colonel James Steele. He entrusted
him with creating Iraqi Shiite militias against the Sunnis, and Sunni militias
against the Shiites. For the Sunni militia, Steele used the Islamists. From
al-Qaeda in Iraq, he armed a tribal coalition, the Islamic Emirate in Iraq
(future Daesh), under cover of the Special Police (“the Wolf Brigade”). In
order to terrify the victims and their families, he trained the Emirate in
torture, according to the methods of the School of the Americas and the
Political Warfare Cadres Academy in Taiwan, where he taught.
a few months, a new terror came crashing down on the Iraqis and divided them
according to their religion. Thereafter, when General David Petraeus took
command of the US troops in-country, he designated Colonel James H. Coffman to
work with Steele and provide him with reports on the operation, while Brett H.
McGurk advised the President directly. The principal heads of the Islamic
Emirate were recruited at the detention center at Camp Bucca, but were
conditioned at Abu Ghraib prison, according to the “brainwashing” techniques of
professors Albert D. Biderman and Martin Seligman . The whole programme was
supervised from Washington by the Secretary for Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who
was Steele’s direct superior.
2007, Washington informed the Brotherhood that it intended to overthrow the
secular régimes in the Greater Middle East, including those of the allied
states, and that it should prepare to exercise power. The CIA organised the
alliances between the Brotherhood and the secular parties or personalities from
all the states in the region. At the same time, it connected the two “Gladio”
branches by reinforcing the ties between the Western Nazi groups and the
Oriental Islamist groups.
alliances were sometimes unstable – for example during the “National Conference
of the Libyan Opposition”, in London, the Brotherhood was only able to bring
together the Islamic group fighting in Libya (al-Qaeda in Libya) and the
Wahhabi Senussi Brotherhood. The platform of the programme involved
re-establishing the monarchy and making Islam the state religion. More
convincing was the constitution of the National Salvation Front, in Berlin,
which officialised the cooperation of the Brotherhood and ex-Syrian vice
President Abdel Halim Khaddam.
8 May 2007, in Ternopol (West Ukraine), a number of small Nazi and Islamist
groups created an anti-Imperialist Front in order to fight Russia.
Organisations from Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Russia participated,
including the Islamist separatists from Crimea, Adygea, Dagestan, Ingushetia,
Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Ossetia, and Chechnya. Since he could
not travel there because of international sanctions against him, Doku Umarov –
who had abolished the Republic of Chechnya and proclaimed the Islamic Emirate
of Ichkeria – had his contribution read on his behalf. The Front was presided
over by Dmytro Yarosh, who, during the coup d’état in Kiev, in February 2014,
was to become Assistant Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine.
Lebanon, May-June 2007, the national army began the siege of the Palestinian
camp of Nahr al-Bared, after members of Fatah el-Islam had taken refuge there.
The combats lasted for 32 days and cost the lives of 76 soldiers, about thirty
of whom were decapitated.
FM Zarif heading to New York for UN conference
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was on his way to New York on Saturday to
attend a United Nations conference, the official Islamic Republic News Agency
trip comes at a time of spiraling US-Iranian tensions. The United States blames
Iran for several recent attacks on oil tankers and the two foes came close to
direct military conflict last month when Iran shot down a US drone and
President Donald Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off
minutes before impact.
A US service member was killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday, NATO said,
in a Taliban-claimed attack that comes as America tries to forge a peace deal
with the insurgents.
soldier is the 10th member of the US military to be killed this year - compared
to 12 in all of 2018.
name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours
after notification of next of kin is complete," Resolute Support, the
US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
did not provide any details about the incident for which the Taliban claimed
said they had blown up an "American tank" in the Sayed Abad district
of Wardak province. The US does not use tanks in Afghanistan.
insurgents, who frequently exaggerate claims, said two US "invaders"
were killed and three wounded.
US troops were killed in the same area last month in another Taliban-claimed
attack, while the US and Afghan forces continue to conduct daily operations
against the insurgents.
the nearly 18 years since the US-led invasion to oust the Taliban in late 2001,
some 2,300 American soldiers have died and more than 20,400 have been wounded.
Administration’s nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has warned
against early pullout of US forces in Afghanistan while insisting that China
will remain the “primary challenge” to the American military for up to 100
think pulling out prematurely would be a strategic mistake," said current
Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley at his confirmation hearing for the top
military post before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday,
military news outlet Task & Purpose reported Saturday.
a recent national poll by Pew Research Center, which found that 58 percent of
US veterans surveyed believed that the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq were not
worth the sacrifice, Milley still emphasized that American troops should stay
in the war-ravaged country until a negotiated settlement is reached with
Taliban terrorists – the very group the US forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001
to root out in the name of “war on terror.”
think it is slow; it's painful; it's hard – I've spent a lot of my life in
Afghanistan," Milley stated. "But I also think it's necessary."
further boasted that the US-led occupation of Afghanistan has been partly
successful, arguing that Washington’s initial reason for invading the country
was to make sure it would never again be used as a base for a terrorist attack
on the homeland.
there hasn't been such an attack since 2001, "We've been successful to
date," he underlined.
confirmed, Milley will succeed outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen.
Joseph Dunford, to become the highest-ranking military officer in the United
States and principal military adviser to President Donald Trump.
transition would come as the Trump administration confronts a variety of
geopolitical challenges, including the continued expansion of China’s military
might, as seen in areas such as the South China Sea.
is improving their military very, very rapidly -- in space, air, cyber,
maritime, land domains," Milley said during the hearing. "They're
outspending us in research and development and procurement ... We, the United
States, need to make sure that we do not lose our advantages that we have
relative to other countries, specifically relative to China."
army general, however, further pointed out that "China is not the
enemy," but instead was a "competitor"
term "enemy" means "you're at war," he added. "We're
not there. We don't want to be there. We want peace, not war, with China."
US military officer has been killed in Afghanistan, the NATO military
alliance’s so-called Resolute Support (RS) mission in the country has announced
without spilling more details.
unnamed soldier's death on Saturday brings the number of US service members
killed so far this year in Afghanistan to 10, local press reports said.
20,000 foreign troops – most of them Americans – remain in the war-torn nation
as part of a US-led NATO mission to purportedly “train, assist and advise”
Afghan military forces.
US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the guise of the war on terror to
topple the very Taliban militants they’re now negotiating with. Some 18 years
on, terrorism rages on across the country chiefly by the Taliban, which now
control more Afghan territory than at any time since being ousted in 2001.
US troops in Afghanistan are engaged in what Washington has described as
“counter-terrorism operations” against radical militant groups.
least 2,300 American forces have also been killed and more than 20,400 wounded
in the country during the 18-year war there.
June, the Pentagon announced the deaths of two Army officers in Afghanistan’s
Uruzgan province during combat operations.
attacks come as the United States continues to negotiate a peace deal with the
leading perpetrator of terror attacks across Afghanistan, the Taliban militant
group, which targets mostly Afghan civilians and security forces.
week, US special envoy to the “peace talks” with the Taliban militants Zalmay
Khalilzad described the latest round of the negotiations held in the Persian
Gulf state of Qatar as the “most productive session.”
is still important work left to be done before we have an agreement,” Khalilzad
wrote in a Twitter message last Saturday, further claiming that substantive
progress had been made on all parts of a peace deal.
Afghan-born US diplomat, who has been negotiating since last year with the
radical militant group, intends to secure a political settlement with the
Taliban, which have recently intensified their attacks in capital Kabul and
elsewhere in the nation.
two sides want to forge a plan for the withdrawal of the US-led foreign
military forces in exchange for guarantees by the Taliban that they will not
use Afghanistan as a base for launching attacks on the US and its allies.
in July, US President Donald Trump vowed during an interview with Fox News to
maintain a “very strong intelligence” presence in Afghanistan, while repeating
earlier claims that he intended to withdraw American troops from the
will be leaving very strong intelligence, far more than you would normally
think,” Trump said, calling Afghanistan "the Harvard of terrorists.”
Saturday, a car bomb attack by a Taliban militant killed at least a dozen
people, including security forces and civilians, in the country’s central
province of Ghazni. Authorities said the blast left eight security forces and
four civilians dead, while leaving more than 50 more injured.
July 1, nearly 100 people, including dozens of children, were wounded in a
similar Taliban bomb attack in Kabul, which was followed by gunmen battling
Special Forces in an area housing military and government buildings.
MP: Perak exco, accuser should not leave country until rape claim probe
UDA NADIRAH IBRAHIM
LUMPUR, July 14 — Perak executive councillor Paul Yong, who had allegedly raped
his Indonesian domestic worker should have the latter’s passport surrendered if
police feel there is a flight risk, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng said today.
said the alleged rape victim, who had lodged the report on Monday should not
leave the country as well until the case has been resolved.
police should apply for Paul to surrender his passport to the authority if the
police think that he might be a flight risk however small the possibility may
the same time, the alleged rape victim should not be allowed to leave Malaysia
until the police have investigated the case thoroughly and the case has been
tried in court in the event that Paul is charged for allegedly raping her,” he
said in a statement today.
said police must have had followed the Standard Operating Procedure and
gathered enough reasonable evidence before arresting Yong as the rule of law
must be upheld at all times, regardless of the person involved in the case.
arrest of Paul Yong, an executive councillor of the Perak state government who
is accused of rape by his former Indonesian maid has indeed brought into focus
once again the police’s Standard Operating Procedure.
police must have gathered enough reasonable evidence before arresting Paul,
otherwise the police would categorise the complaint as ‘no further action
(NFA)’ or investigate the maid for making a false police report,” the statement
Wednesday, Yong had acknowledged that he is the Perak official accused of
raping his Indonesian helper, but rejected the allegation as false and
State Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs and New Villages
Committee chairman was arrested on Tuesday after news of the allegation
surfaced following a police report lodged by the domestic worker on Monday.
allegedly raped the Indonesian woman at his house in Meru, Perak.
The long-awaited reconciliation meeting between re-elected President Joko
"Jokowi" Widodo and his long-time rival Prabowo Subianto finally
happened on Saturday on board Jakarta's brand new MRT train as the two leaders
spent nearly 20 minutes traveling together from Lebak Bulus to Senayan.
and Prabowo admitted the tightly contested presidential election had created
unnecessary political division and now is the time to end it.
described today's meeting as a meeting between "best friends and
two appeared relaxed in public despite the fact the election had nearly divided
the nation in half.
months Prabowo refused to accept the official result of the election that
showed a clear Jokowi win with 55.5 percent of the total vote.
of the former Army Special Forces commander rallied on the streets of Jakarta
on May 21 and 22. The demonstrations turned violent and ended in isolated riots
that killed nine lives.
also launched an appeal to overturn the result of the election at the
Constitutional Court. The appeal was dismissed on June 27 and Jokowi and his
running mate Ma'ruf Amin were officially declared president and vice president
of Indonesia for the next five years.
kiss and make up meet-up between Jokowi and Prabowo is expected to finally ease
political tension in the world's third biggest democracy.
why he had delayed congratulating Jokowi for his re-election, Prabowo said,
"I have to follow ewuh pakewuh, manners, a congratulation should be
conveyed face to face."
that's what I'm doing now, congratulations," Prabowo said as he shook
your duties in the next five years. And congratulations for your new grey
hairs," Prabowo said.
laughed heartily at Prabowo's attempt at a joke.
also said he will assist the Jokowi administration whenever he could, but will
not refrain from criticizing the two-term president when necessary.
meeting is a symbol that the presidential election is now, finally, over,"
Gajah Mada University researcher Nyarwi Ahmad told Kompas TV on Saturday.
are already offering their takes on the two leaders' "MRT date,"
during which Jokowi and Prabowo chatted amiably as they sat side-by-side on the
MRT train's shiny blue plastic bench.
the meeting took place not in the palace but in a public transportation... this
[can be read] as a reconciliation not just for the country's political elite
but also for the public," Nyarwi said.
there has been no hint on what Jokowi and Prabowo discussed inside the train.
decided to take a ride on the MRT this morning because I know Pak Prabowo has
not tried it," Jokowi said.
said even though the meeting had a relaxed air about it, it should be
recognized as an important moment in recent politics.
executive director of political consultant company Charta Politika, Yunarto
Wijaya, said the chosen venue for the meeting could be read as a hint of things
was not an elitist meeting. It wasn't held in the palace or in a luxury hotel
but in a public space… it wasn't just a reconciliation between Jokowi and
Prabowo, but [also symbolized one] between the people," Yunarto told
Gun Hariyanto, a political analyst from State Islamic University Syarif
Hidayatullah, meanwhile said the meeting was still elitist because the two
leaders refused to divulge what they had discussed.
optics] looked populist but in essence it was still elitist because we didn't
know what was discussed and what had happened backstage," he said in an
interview with Kompas TV.
More 'Cebong' Vs. 'Kampret'
a long year of campaigning that culminated in the country's first simultaneous
legislative and presidential elections in April, Jokowi's supporters were
pejoratively called "cebong" (tadpoles) and Prabowo's supporters were
nicknamed "kampret" (bats).
two partisan camps traded insults, accusations and threats constantly on social
media, leading to what critics feared was a permanent rupture in Indonesian
Jokowi and Prabowo now call for an end to the destabilizing division.
no more cebong or kampret. The only thing left is Garuda Pancasila,"
Jokowi said, referring to Indonesia's national emblem.
agree [with what Jokowi said]. There is no more cebong or kampret, all we have
is the Merah Putih," Prabowo said. The Merah Putih (Red and White) is the
national flag of Indonesia.
briefly facing the press at the Senayan MRT Station, Jokowi and Prabowo walked
to the nearby FX Entertainment mall where they had lunch at Sate Khas Senayan,
a restaurant specializing in Indonesian cuisine.
and Court Jesters
and Prabowo occupied a table at the restaurant with a background of punakawan
are court jesters in Indonesian wayang who symbolize understanding and
and Jokowi both ate the restaurant's signature satay dish before saying their
was an impressive [meeting]... they didn't use it to make any political
deal," Gun Gun said.
Secretary Pramono Anung, who was also at the meeting, said the two political
leaders will hold other meetings in the future.
meeting was also attended by National Intelligence Agency chief Budi Gunawan,
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, the head of Jokowi's campaign team
Erick Tohir, Prabowo's Gerindra Party secretary general Ahmad Muzani and
Gerindra deputy chairman Edy Prabowo.
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