AIMIM President, Asaduddin Owaisi Condemns Newly Married
Girl’s Relative Attacking Her Husband Imtiyaz, Says ‘In Islam, Woman Can Marry
Man Of Her Choice’
A First, India Takes U Turn On Palestinian Policy, Supports Israel
Press Praises Caliphate-Seeking ‘Islamists’ in Indonesia for Charitable Work
Mind Interpol, Malaysia Can Decide Whether to Extradite Zakir Naik
Peace With India... To Spend On Fighting Poverty, Not Arms: Imran Khan
Forces, Affiliated Militants Steal Historical Artifacts in Raqqa
ISIS Militants and Families Is A Global Problem
Urges Moldova to Cancel Decision to Move Israeli Embassy from Tel Aviv to
Algeria, Egypt Call for a Cease-Fire in Libya
State in Afghanistan Aims To Attack US, General Says
Takes Back Six Orphaned Daesh Children: SDF
President, Asaduddin Owaisi Condemns SR Nagar Incident, Says ‘In Islam, Woman
Can Marry Man of Her Choice’
Needs To Create a Terror-Free Atmosphere: Modi Tells Xi
police raid Islamic State cell with links to Sri Lanka bombing mastermind
Is NDA's Muslim-Only Scholarship Scheme Different From Congress' 'Appeasement
Politics', Questions AAP
breaks out between terrorists, security forces in Pulwama
kill five Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir attack
in Bishkek: PM, Imran Khan sit across dinner table, don’t talk to each other
suspect with links to IS sent to judicial custody in Kochi
Charged With Insulting Islam, Prophet Muhammad, Changes Plea To Guilty
steps up security as Rohingya land on Thai beach
counter-terror Czar visits China’s Xinjiang
Kalimantan Police Arrest Several Suspects Planning Suicide Bombing in Jakarta
extends airspace ban along its eastern border with India till June 28
Khan will be thrown out of stadium by spectators: Nawaz Sharif
team asks NA speaker to issue Zardari’s production order
defiant as SJC take up references against judges today
Imran holds 'informal discussion' with Russian President Vladmir Putin in
body concerned by Pakistan’s growing Chinese debts
carries out rare attack in Shingal region
paramilitary fighters kill two Islamic State militants in Salahuddin
Remember Isis Massacres Five Years Later
Are Attacked in Mideast, and U.S. Says Video Shows Iran Was Involved
court sentences 296 to prison on terror charges
Groups Oppose Russian-Turkish Ceasefire in Idlib Province
vice Defence minister slams Iran’s ‘reckless escalation’ in backing terrorist
U.S. Counterterror Official Nathan Sales Heading To Turkey For Talks Amid
of Houthi missile attack describe moment explosion ripped through Abha airport
Arabia’s air Defence forces shot down five Houthi drones aimed at Asir region
Fire Breaks Syria Cease-Fire Negotiated by Russia and Turkey
Warns Iran Over Yemeni Rebel Airport Attack
fired from Gaza hits building in Israel
drones target Saudi's Abha airport for second time in a week
coalition hits Houthi targets after Abha airport attack
Al-Shabaab fighters dead after IEDs blow up prematurely
Says 88 People Killed in Suspected Boko Haram Attack
military rulers say they thwarted several coup attempts
military council head meets senior US diplomat in Khartoum
charges ousted leader al-Bashir with corruption
peace talks before seizing Libyan capital: Haftar allies
military rulers admit dispersing Khartoum sit-in
former President Bashir charged with corruption
Renewed clashes rock southern Tripoli
says neither Iran nor US are ready to make a deal
blames Iran for tanker attacks in Sea of Oman
No interest in engaging in new Mideast conflict
Defence minister calls US letter 'improper'
sanctions Iraqi firm for trafficking weapons to Iran-backed militias
budget doesn’t contain aid for Pakistan Army
Seeks Pakistan’s Support In Afghanistan, But Urges Caution On India
Mosque Attack Defendant Pleads Not Guilty
Javid says he was shut out of Donald Trump state banquet
Mohamed bin Zayed's Germany visit highlights global role for Year of Tolerance
Imam Leads 40 Muslim Educators in Visit to Knesset
Says He Wants to Visit Iraq In 2020
Le Pen Goes To Trial over Tweets on ISIS Atrocities
Germany Underline Commitment to Fighting Terrorism
European Drug Trade Revealed
warns Iran over ‘deeply unwise’ attacks on oil tankers
to shut Saudi-funded Centre in Vienna
Special Forces Seize Massive Cache of Weapons, Munitions of Taliban In Kabul
Fight To The Last Drop Of Blood against Terrorists Backed By Our Neighbours:
bomber kills 9 in eastern Afghanistan
bomb kills 6 civilians in southern Afghanistan
bomber kills 11 in Afghanistan
militants suffer heavy casualties in Farah clash
shadow district chief among dozens killed in Zabul clash
foreign terrorists killed, wounded as Afghan forces target Lashkar-e-Taiba
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi, President of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen
(AIMIM) condemned an incident which took place at SR Nagar area last week. He
said that in Islam, both man and woman can choose their spouse.
may be mentioned that a 21-year-old youth, Imtiyaz was in a relationship with a
girl. Later, the couple got married against the wishes of the girl’s family.
over the couple’s decision, girl’s relative attacked Imtiyaz in broad daylight.
the incident, Mr. Owaisi predicted that the girl will never visit her parent’s
house due to the attack.
the address, Mr. Owaisi said, “I am also a father but I can only suggest”.
NATIONS: In first at United Nations, India takes a step back from its
decades-old position on the two-state theory and vote against a resolution to
recognize Palestinian NGO called Shahed, signaling that India might have a new
to reports, India voted in favour of a decision introduced by Israel in the UN
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that “overwhelmingly rejected” Shahed’s
request to obtain observer status at UN institutions.
India voted last week, it came to light on Tuesday when Maya Kadosh, deputy
chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in India, had tweeted, “Thank you
#India for standing with @IsraelinUN and rejecting the request of terrorist
organization “Shahed” to obtain the status of an observer in #UN. Together we
will continue to act against terrorist organizations that intend to harm.”
day after, Israeli PM Netanyahu thanked PM Modi for pro-Israel vote. He
tweeted: “Thank you @NarendraModi, thank you India, for your support and for
standing with Israel at the UN.”
Palestinian non-governmental organisation lost its bid to join the ECOSOC by a
28-15 tally (28 in favour and 15 against, with five abstentions).
Indian governments made the country a strong ally of the Palestinian cause by
opposing the Zionist state. Under PM Modi, however, India has tilted in
Israel’s favour marking an unprecedented step in relations between the two
caliphate-seeking “Islamists” in the world’s most populous Muslim country,
Indonesia, are the “first” to step up to the plate and provide assistance
during natural disasters on the largest island nation in the world, the
Associated Press (AP) celebrated this week.
praised a “hardline Islamic group notorious for vigilante violence” — the
“Islamic Defenders Front” — for being the “first” group to provide help in the
absence of government assistance and international aid organizations when an
earthquake and tsunami struck the provincial capital of Palu in Indonesia in
experts have linked the front to terrorist activities, particularly against
Christians and other religious minorities in the country.
front is not the only Islamist group that has taken up charitable work in
Indonesia. Other Islamic groups, including the caliphate-seeking Hizbut Tahrir,
“have embraced charitable work, filling a void left by the government and
mainstream Muslim organizations,” AP added.
years, particularly in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, U.S. authorities have
connected several Islamic charities to terrorist activities.
the Islamic front’s alleged humanitarian activities throughout the article, the
AP noted near the end that the group has targeted Christians, adding that
Indonesian authorities charged its leader, Rizieq Shihab, with
pornography-linked crimes a few years ago. In June 2018, the Jakarta Post
reported that law enforcement dropped the probe into Shihab.
front’s rising political clout was evident in 2016-17, when it mobilized
hundreds of thousands to protest the Christian governor of the capital,
Jakarta. The governor, an ally of President Joko Widodo, was defeated and
imprisoned for blasphemy.
have been other setbacks. Front leader Rizieq Shihab fled to Saudi Arabia in
2017 to avoid arrest on what he said were fabricated pornography charges. An
online petition calling for the government to deny legal status to the front
has half a million signatures.
Interior Ministry accused the Islamic group of being involved in “dirty
practices,” the wire agency revealed.
spokesman for the ministry suggested to AP that the front is a wolf in sheep’s
clothing, noting that “under law, organizations involved in social or
humanitarian work should not be a guise for political activities.”
Suryadi Abdurrahman, the head of the front’s military arm known as the Islamic
Defender Troops militia, told AP:
goal is to make Indonesia, in which Islam is the majority religion of the
people, to be religious and clean from immorality. We want an Islamist country,
not an Islamic state, because a religious country will prevent the nation from
suffering social injustice. …We’ve tried to improve our image. We’ve changed
the ways of our demonstrations to be more persuasive and peaceful.
it claims to have “moderated its methods,” the front aggressively combats what
it considers “community diseases” such as prostitution, homosexuality, and the
celebration of Western holidays, claiming that it does so at the behest of
local communities, AP reported, adding:
its inception two decades ago, the front has pushed for Islamic law to govern
the lives of Indonesia’s 230 million Muslims, aiming to correct what it sees as
the errors of Indonesia’s 1945 constitution that established a secular state
and religious freedom.
that the Islamist non-governmental group (NGO) is “often dismissed as a fringe
group,” the American news wire agency noted that the organization had gained
political ground in recent times amid “the growth of orthodox Middle Eastern
Islam in Indonesia.”
pointed out that the Islamic Defenders Front maintains a “military-like command
structure” and presence in 23 (about 70 percent) of Indonesia’s 34 provinces.
NGO reportedly originates in the capital of Jakarta and is made up of elements
of Indonesia’s military after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998. It was
reportedly formed to combat pro-democracy activists and liberalism.
Islamic front came into prominence by participating in protection rackets and
boasts that the NGO has about one million members. However, AP learned from
researchers that the group’s membership is much smaller and likely stands in
the tens of thousands.
Mind Interpol, Malaysia Can Decide Whether To Extradite Zakir Naik
has extradition arrangements with many nations. In the past, there have been
numerous cases of successful extradition to India. The fairness of the Indian
justice system has never been in question,” Kumar said.
a certified medical doctor, has been living in Malaysia since 2016, having fled
India amid accusations that he had helped radicalise a group of teenagers who
carried out a terror attack on a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, which
killed 22 people.
National Investigation Agency accuses the preacher, who founded the Islamic
Research Foundation and the satellite television channel Peace TV, of using his
speeches and lectures to encourage terrorism. Though Zakir denies the claims,
both the foundation and the TV channel have been banned in India.
agency revoked Zakir’s passport in 2017 after he failed to appear when summoned
to cooperate in their investigation.
a separate case, Zakir faced an allegation that the Islamic International
School he was running did not have the relevant government permits. The
Maharashtra state school education department threatened to shut the school,
which was subsequently taken over by a trust belonging to a local lawmaker, Abu
faces hate charges in India, but is welcome in Malaysia
year later, the agency seized five properties in Mumbai belonging to the
fugitive cleric and he has since been banned from giving public talks in
Bangladesh, Canada and the UK, in addition to India.
Zakir’s controversial opinions are that apostates and LGBT people should be
executed by the state, that thieves’ hands should be chopped off and that the
September 11 attacks were “an inside job”. One of Naik’s YouTube videos shows
him saying that if Osama bin Laden “is terrorising America the terrorist, the
biggest terrorist, I am with him”.
who won Saudi Arabia’s 2015 King Faisal International Prize for services to
Islam, told The Week magazine in May that he was ready to return to India if
the Supreme Court gave an assurance he would not be arrested before any
the BJP government came, you could speak against the government, and at least
80 per cent of the times you would get justice. Today, the chances are 10-20
per cent,” he said.
Malaysia’s extradition treaty with India, it is required to return fugitives
unless they would be punished or prosecuted on the basis of their race,
religion or political opinion. Mahathir told local media on Monday that Zakir –
who has permanent residency in Malaysia – felt he was “not going to get a fair
trial”. Malaysia is yet to respond to the official request for extradition,
though some critics have suggested the Mahathir administration is loathe to
comply with the request as it fears alienating Malay-Muslim voters.
Enforcement Directorate is preparing to obtain a non-bailable arrest warrant
against Zakir from a Mumbai court on June 19. If this is secured, it will then
ask Interpol to issue a red notice, which would require members including
Malaysia to help in the India-born cleric’s arrest.
peace with India... to spend on fighting poverty, not arms: Imran Khan
Even as India declared yet again that Pakistan had failed to create the right
conditions for a dialogue between the two countries, Pakistan PM Imran Khan
reiterated his stance of a dialogue with New Delhi, saying his country hopes to
spend more on human development than on purchasing arms .
an interview with Russian news agency, Sputnik, ahead of leaving Islamabad for
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Khan said Pakistan
believed that progress comes with peace and was willing to pursue all options -
including international mediation – to resolve issues with India.
remarks came hours before the banquet by Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay
Jeenbekov, which he attended along with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
In the absence of any formal dialogue, sources said, nothing more than a
handshake or a quick exchange of pleasantries was expected.
is looking for any kind of mediation because it believes progress comes with
peace. When you have tensions with your neighbours, it detracts from resources
that could be spent on human beings. They end up getting spent on unproductive things
like arms," the Pak PM said.
so we believe in peace with all the neighbours, especially with India ... It is
my belief that the money should be spent on getting people out of poverty. And
our emphasis should be peace, resolving our differences through dialogue."
on Islamabad's efforts for peace with New Delhi, Khan said Pakistan has
repeatedly conveyed its willingness to talk.
is no way two nuclear-armed countries should think of resolving differences
through military means. ...Now that the (Indian) elections are over we hope
that the Indian leadership will grasp this opportunity... let's resolve all our
differences through dialogue.”
hope now that current PM [Narendra Modi] has one big mandate, we hope that he
will use this mandate to develop a better relationship and bring peace in the
further stated that peace among India and Pakistan was entirely dependent on
the issue of Kashmir. "The only difference, if we resolve that there will
be peace in the subcontinent, that's Kashmir. Unfortunately, Kashmir can only
be resolved if the people of Kashmir are given the right of self-determination,
which was guaranteed to them by the United Nations in 1945."
use of force by the Indian government to subdue has backfired. The more force
there has been used, the more the people of Kashmir have turned against the
Indian government, the more radicalisation has come in the young people of Kashmir.
And it is a future source of destabilisation of the continent. That's why it is
very important to resolve the Kashmir issue."
whether he finds his participation in the SCO helpful for improving relations
with India, Khan said: "The SCO provide all member-countries fresh outlets
to develop relationship with one another. And that means, of course, India as
the moment, the PM said his country's bilateral relationship with India is,
probably, at its lowest point. "And, yes, it will be an opportunity to
speak to the Indian leadership during this SCO conference," he added .
Arabic-language al-Khabour news website reported on Thursday that a convoy of
SDF forces along with several US military vehicles arrived in the historical
castle of Saffeyn in the Eastern parts of the town of al-Akirshi in
Southeastern Raqqa, adding that they carried out drilling operations to
SDF has so far stolen a large number of historical artifacts in regions under
their occupation in Eastern Euphrates to supply their financial resources.
the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that over 120 trucks
carrying military and logistical equipment were sent by the US-led coalition
from Northern Iraq to the SDF-occupied regions through Simalka corridor.
added that over 1,220 trucks carrying military and logistical equipment were
sent for the SDF in Eastern Syria after declaration of the end of the ISIL rule
in Eastern Euphrates.
reports said on Monday that the terrorist groups had ruined, stolen and
smuggled millions of antiques in Syria in the past 8 years.
of Syria's museum and historical monuments Mahmoud Hamoud told the
Arabic-language website of Sputnik that the terrorists had stolen and smuggled
at least one million pieces of antiques to regions outside the country,
specially Turkey, Jordan and the occupied Palestine.
added that at least 10,000 historical sites have been destroyed in the
extensive excavation operations by the terrorist groups in Syria.
also said that the occupying Turkish forces play an important role in the
destruction and looting of antiques in different parts of the lands occupied by
them, including Jandaris.
ISIS militants and families is a global problem
the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in war-battered Iraq and Syria,
governments around the world — including the United States — are struggling
with a new challenge from the terrorist group: What to do about thousands of
family members of dead or captured ISIS fighters?
of women from around the world — America, Western and Eastern Europe, Central
Asia and beyond — traveled to Iraq and Syria at the height of ISIS's power,
marrying into its ranks and bearing children. Others were taken as captives
from Kurdish, Yazidi, Christian and other Iraqi and Syrian religious-minority
communities overrun by IS and eventually absorbed into the terrorist
organization, in one form or another.
of those women want to return to their home countries, along with their
children, since the IS "caliphate" is no more, and Iraq and Syria are
not eager to accept them as citizens. Whether or how they can be reintegrated
is an incredibly difficult issue, with enormous potential security
implications, especially for Central Asia nations that face their own ethnic,
religious, political and security issues.
recently announced the repatriation of 156 IS survivors, mostly women and
children who had been living in parts of Syria controlled by Islamist groups.
Another 300 Uzbeks still stranded in the Syrian desert may soon follow them
home, and the presidential administration said they would be “provided good
housing and employment.”
governments of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have announced the return of their own
expatriates who had joined extremist groups.
Central Asian governments are taking the bit between their teeth, as opposed to
European governments that have been accused of “outsourcing” the trial and
punishment of terrorism suspects from their countries. (Early this year, the
U.S. quietly repatriated two small groups of women and children from Syria.)
reintegration of IS supporters will be a challenge, but it also is an
opportunity to stanch future radical recruitments and to develop Islamic
education that reflects the experiences and sensibilities of Central Asia,
built on the region’s intellectual tradition which produced foundational work
in astronomy and medicine.
observer claimed the welcome given to the family members was a “considerable
softening” of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s 2017 declaration that Uzbeks
involved in fighting in Iraq and Syria would be stripped of their citizenship.
Actually, what Tashkent is doing is consistent with Mirziyoyev’s remarks in
June 2017 that drew a distinction between “delusioned persons” and people with
blood on their hands: “There is no point of talking to them and expostulating
reintegration process, if successful, will have immediate, long-term payoffs.
The adults will probably undergo extensive debriefing to collect intelligence
and to determine the extent of their culpability in IS crimes. In the longer
term, the reintegration of the women and, most importantly, their children will
be a hallmark of the government’s effort. Success could make radical
recruiters’ jobs a lot harder when the youngsters they are pitching in
late-night chat rooms know first-hand that their country shows mercy to those
who return to the “straight path.”
Uzbekistan can create a successful reintegration effort — one that could be a
model for other nations — with the ready collaboration of imams, the government
and civil society, as it won’t have to deprogram citizens who received a
state-sponsored education in intolerance, as in the Palestinian territory or
Pakistan. That said, Svante Cornell has pointed out that the Soviet legacy of
atheism left many in Central Asia with no strongly rooted religious tradition
to form a counterweight to extremism.
repatriation of the IS families has now moved the discussion of
de-radicalization from the theoretical to the practical and the public.
legacy of Soviet atheism, the lack of religious education and the threat of
increased online recruitment that will accompany the government’s loosening of
restrictions on the internet present the government an opportunity to make its
own religions tradition, free of any Middle Eastern entanglements. And the
leadership likely remembers the Soviet Union’s efforts to control Islam in the
interest of revolutionary socialism, further encouraging it to revitalize its
organic resources, such as establishing a Centre for Islamic Civilization in
Tashkent to train qualified imam-khatibs. Training imams locally will ensure
they know local languages and customs and, most importantly, that the local
community knows them.
make this happen, the Uzbek government may apply more “manual control” than
some advocates of religious freedom are comfortable with, so it will have to
spend some time explaining what it is doing and why.
2017, Uzbekistan found itself a target of the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom, accused of limiting the rights of all religious groups,
attempting to control religious activity and censoring religious materials. The
U.S. State Department followed up by designating Uzbekistan a "country of
particular concern" (CPC).
commission was rebutted by Central Asia scholars who pointed out that
Uzbekistan’s rules “help protect secular Muslims, women, and minorities from
religious coercion” and that its recommendations will punish a country that
observes strict separation of church and state, has refused to designate Islam
as a formal state religion, and maintains secular laws and courts — in contrast
with major non-NATO allies of the United States, such as Afghanistan and
2018, the State Department declined to designate Uzbekistan a CPC for
restrictions on religious freedom, in recognition of “substantial changes” made
by the country.
State Department decision will give Tashkent some breathing room as it pursues
its de-radicalization project, which Mirziyoyev said starts with an emphasis of
the spiritual welfare of youth, and labeled a whole-of-society effort when he
recalled that “One child has seven parent-neighbors.”
and its Central Asian neighbors have the means and opportunity to apply the
tools of jobs, religious education and community involvement to rescue wayward
adults and give their innocent children a chance for a real life — the rebuke
the terrorists fear most.
urges Moldova to cancel decision to move Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned Moldova’s decision to
move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, urging
officials in the Eastern European country to rescind their plan.
57-member organization, in a statement released on Thursday, called on the
government of Moldova to “reverse this decision and respect its legal and
political obligations under international law and resolutions.”
also urged Moldova to adopt positions that support the chances of establishing
peace on the basis of the so-called two-state solution, and promotion of
security and stability in the Middle East region and across the world.
illegal move constitutes a violation of Security Council and the UN General
Assembly resolutions on al-Quds, which affirm the rejection of any measures
that would prejudice the historical, legal and political situation of the
occupied city of al-Quds,” the OIC stated.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Foreign Ministry
have, in two separate statements, condemned Moldova’s decision, describing it
as a blatant violation of international law.
Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said in a statement Moldova
must be treated as a “rogue state” for being complicit in Israeli crimes.
PLO Executive Committee strongly condemns Moldova's unlawful decision to move
its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied al-Quds. This is an act of unreserved
hostility against the Palestinian people and their rights as well as the letter
and spirit of international law, the United Nations Charter, and relevant UN
resolutions,” added Ashrawi.
the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said former Moldovan prime minister Pavel
Filip’s decision came shortly before the fall of his government, and was meant
to gain the support of the United States and Israel in the face of the other
parties that have agreed to form a new government in the country.
“has implicated his country in a violation of international law and the UN
Charter to keep rule in his hand or to win American and Israeli support,” the
ministry said in a statement.
the embassy move on Tuesday, Filip said the decision was “a long overdue
commitment to support our allies" and that he wanted it to be respected
“regardless of what happens after the snap elections.”
decision came after a political crisis in the small former Soviet state, which
on Sunday saw the Constitutional Court revoke President Igor Dodon's powers and
appoint Filip as interim president. He then swiftly dissolved the country's
parliament and called a snap election to be held in September.
which declared independence from the Soviet Union on August 27, 1991, has been
no stranger to political crises and turmoil. It has had eight prime ministers
in the last six years.
Algeria, Egypt call for a cease-fire in Libya
Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt have expressed their “deep concern” over the chaotic
situation in Libya and called for an immediate cease-fire in the country.
foreign affairs ministers of the three countries, all neighboring Libya, held a
meeting on Wednesday in Tunisia’s capital Tunis.
a statement released overnight, they denounced “the continuous flow of weapons”
and the “influx of foreign terrorist fighters” in Libya.
agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the
this week, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all countries to
implement an arms embargo against Libya, saying illegal weapons transfers by
land, sea and air are fueling the fighting in the oil-rich country.
was plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed
State in Afghanistan aims to attack US, general says
AIR BASE, Germany — The Islamic State group in Afghanistan is a “very
worrisome” threat to the United States, and U.S. counterterrorism efforts have
yet to shrink its extremist ambitions, a senior American general said
Gen. Frank McKenzie said IS would be hard pressed, however, to carry out an
attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.
in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States,” McKenzie
said. “It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it
will be hard for them to do that.”
head of U.S. Central Command with responsibility for managing American military
operations across the greater Middle East, spoke in Germany with reporters
returning home with him from an eight-day trip that took him to Qatar, Iraq,
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. He also spent two days aboard
the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the North Arabian Sea.
stopped at Germany’s Ramstein air base to refuel his airplane before flying to
his headquarters in Florida.
this week, the Associated Press cited U.S. and Afghan security officials In
reporting that the Islamic State group in Afghanistan is expanding its
footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States
and other Western countries.
a veteran of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, said he believes IS in Afghanistan
has not expanded its capabilities but remains a big problem.
are very worrisome to us” in their strongholds in eastern Afghanistan, he said,
adding that combat operations have failed to reduce the group’s fighting ranks.
Others have said they are thought to number in the thousands.
Islamic State affiliate appeared in Afghanistan shortly after the group’s core
fighters swept across Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014, carving out a
self-styled Islamic empire in both countries. The Afghanistan affiliate refers
to itself as the Khorasan Province, a name applied to parts of Afghanistan,
Iran and central Asia in the Middle Ages.
forces in Afghanistan are combatting the Islamic State group separately from
their mission of advising and assisting Afghan Defence forces in their battle
against the Taliban.
Taliban and IS are sharply divided over ideology and tactics, with the Taliban
largely confining their attacks to government targets and Afghan and
international security forces. The Taliban and IS have fought each other on a
number of occasions, and the Taliban are still the larger and more imposing
takes back six orphaned Daesh children: SDF
Belgium has taken back six orphaned children of Daesh members from Syria, the
US-backed militia which is holding thousands of militants and their family
members said late on Thursday.
must be extended to men and women in our camps and prison, not only children,”
Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said on
Twitter, announcing Belgium’s move.
SDF controls the quarter of Syria east of the Euphrates river after driving
back Daesh in a series of advances from 2015 that culminated in March with the
group’s defeat at its last territorial enclave in Baghouz, near the Iraqi
it says it is unable to indefinitely hold the thousands of Daesh fighters and
members and their families who surrendered during its offensive.
of those in custody or held at overcrowded displacement camps in northeast
Syria are foreigners, and many remain unrepentant supporters of violent jihad.
members also brought a large number of children into their zone of control or
bore babies who are now orphaned, destitute or even stateless, and whose future
SDF has warned that keeping them in northeast Syria where there is no long-term
political settlement to underpin its control of the area is a security risk,
and has called for help in managing a humanitarian crisis in the displacement
countries have so far been unwilling to take back their citizens who went to
Syria to join Daesh — seeing them as a security risk if they return home but
knowing they may be unable to prosecute them.
United States, France and the Netherlands have each repatriated a small number
of women or children from northeast Syria, but many others remain there.
SDF has also handed over numerous Daesh militants to Iraq, which is putting
many former militants on trial and executing some of them.
Iraqi court sentenced a Belgian man, Bilal Al-Marchohi, 23, to death by hanging
in March for being part of Daesh. Pictures on his phone showed him posing with
weapons and cradling his infant son.
needs to create a terror-free atmosphere: Modi tells Xi
DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told President Xi Jinping that
Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free from terror and take concrete
action to end the scourge but does see Islamabad doing it at this stage.
was conveyed by Modi to Xi during their brief meeting on the sidelines of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting here even as Pakistan Prime
Minister Imran Khan arrived here for participating in the grouping’s meeting.
was a brief discussion on Pakistan. We have a consistent position with respect
to Pakistan. The Prime Minister recalled that he has made efforts and these
efforts have been derailed. Pakistan is an all-w
has informed the Chinese President that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere
free of terror and at this stage, we do not see this happening. We expect it to
take concrete action,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters here when
he was asked whether terrorism sponsored from Pakistan that was spoiling the
situation in the region came up at the meeting.
between India and Pakistan have spiralled following the deadly February 14
Pulwama terror attack. New Delhi has remained rooted in its stand, saying that
terror and talks with Islamabad cannot go together.
the meeting, Modi noted that strategic communication between the two sides
improved which had led to long-pending issues being resolved such as the
opening of a Bank of China branch in India and the listing of JeM chief Masood
Azhar as a global terrorist.
two leaders had a warm and cordial discussion on a range of subjects. Xi
Jinping congratulated the Prime Minister for his victory in the general
elections and said it was reflective of the aspirations and trust that the
people had placed on the Prime Minister. Both leaders reviewed the bilateral
ties and noted a new momentum in this bilateral relationship since the Wuhan
summit in last April,”
Prime Minister noted what had improved between two sides is strategic
communication and in that context, we have been able to resolve long pending
issues like the opening of Bank of China branch in India and the issue related
to the listing of Masood Azhar,” he said.
May, the United Nations (UN) designated Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’ after
China blacklisted him by lifting its technical hold.
the past, China had stalled India’s proposal to enlist Azhar as a ‘global
terrorist’ at least four times in the last 10 years, the latest being in March
this year. Beijing had previously blocked New Delhi’s bid three times — in
2009, 2016 and 2017.
his first visit for a multilateral forum meeting after reelection, Modi met
Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in
which both the sides discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations.
birthday falls on June 15. On behalf of the people of India, I give my best
wishes to you. After election results, I received your message and you
congratulated me again. I am obliged. Together, we can move forward and work
with each other in various areas in the coming days,” Modi said in his opening
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “Building on
the momentum of high-level exchanges, PM @narendramodi had a warm meeting with
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Leaders discussed all aspects of enriching our
bilateral relations & recognised the positive role of strategic
communication in deepening our partnership.”
is the first bilateral meeting between Modi and Xi this year.
DELHI (Reuters) - Indian police raided seven locations in the southern city of
Coimbatore on Wednesday in pursuit of a suspected Islamic State cell with links
to the suicide bombers who killed over 250 people in Sri Lanka in April,
National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it was questioning seven men from
Coimbatore, aged between 26 and 38, on suspicion of propagating Islamic State
ideology to recruit people for carrying out attacks in southern India.
State claimed responsibility for the bombings in neighbouring Sri Lanka and has
been looking to bolster its presence in the sub-continent after being driven
out of its self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
month Islamic State claimed the establishment of a “province” in India after a
clash between jihadists and security forces in the contested, northern Kashmir
had recently registered a fresh case against a new ISIS module in Coimbatore,”
an NIA official told Reuters, using another name for Islamic State, explaining
Wednesday’s raids during which a number of electronic devices were also seized.
main accused in the case, Mohammed Azarudeen, had been Facebook friends with
Zahran Hashim, the suspected mastermind of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings,
NIA said in a statement.
a radical preacher, led the National Tawheed Jamaath, one of the two local
Islamist groups that were involved in the synchronised blasts in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s
capital, and two other towns.
NIA, India’s federal agency responsible for fighting militant groups, has
conducted multiple searches in southern India this year in connection with a
case concerning 15 people who apparently left the country to join Islamic State
late April, the NIA arrested a 29-year-old man from the southern state of
Kerala for suspected involvement in a planned suicide attack.
a first, India takes U turn on Palestinian policy, supports Israel
is NDA's Muslim-only scholarship scheme different from Congress' 'appeasement
politics', questions AAP
Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday criticized the scholarship scheme for Muslim
students announced by the NDA government questioning as to how the scheme was
different from the "appeasement politics" that BJP accused Congress
of indulging in.
Muslim scholarship is being publicized by the government with great fanfare.
AAP welcomes the fact that the NDA government's attention has been drawn to
Muslim students. But the question is - why discriminate between students on
religious grounds? How is this different from the same appeasement politics
that BJP used to accuse the Congress of indulging in?" AAP leader Sanjay
Singh said while addressing a press conference.
demanded that all students, regardless of the community they belong to should
be given scholarships for education.
schemes should not be on religious grounds alone," he said.
all remember the kind of language used by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his
party and its leaders in the run-up to the election against minorities in the
country. The sharp distinction between then and now is clearly visible to the
people of the country. The BJP's hypocrisy on the issue stands exposed,"
An encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces in Jammu and
Kashmir's Pulwama district on Friday morning, police said.
forces have launched a cordon and search operation in Brobunduna area of
Awantipora in the district in south Kashmir after receiving intelligence input
about presence of terrorists in the area, a police official said.
the forces were conducting searches in the area, the terrorists fired upon them
and the forces retaliated, the official said.
said exchange of firing was going on.
India (Reuters) - Militants killed five Indian paramilitary police on Wednesday
in an attack on security forces deployed in a Kashmiri town, a senior police
paramilitaries, a local policeman and a woman bystander were wounded, and one
militant was killed when the police returned fire, he said.
attack in Anantnag town was claimed by Al Umar Mujahideen, an Islamist militant
group based in Kashmir. It was the deadliest in Indian Kashmir since February,
when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a bus, killing 40
bombing raised tensions between nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan,
part of whose border runs through the disputed, Muslim-majority region.
on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet agreed to extend direct
federal rule over the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Himalayan region has been being directly governed by New Delhi since 2018,
after Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) quit a regional
coalition and called for federal authorities to take control.
is claimed in its entirety by Pakistan, and Indian forces have struggled to
quell a revolt there for decades.
for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan sat across the table at a dinner at the
Frunze restaurant, but there was no exchange of pleasantries.
dua-salaam nahin hua (there was no exchange of pleasantries),” a source told
The Indian Express, after the dinner. At the gala concert after the dinner at
the Kyrgyz National Philharmonic, the two leaders sat in the front row, but
were separated by at least seven leaders in between.
was different from what had happened two years ago with then Pakistan PM Nawaz
Sharif. In June 2017, more than 17 months after Modi met Sharif in Lahore, the
two had met in the leaders’ lounge at the opera house in Astana where they had
gone for the SCO summit to watch a cultural performance — just like today.
they had exchanged greetings and since it was the first occasion when the two
leaders came across each other after Sharif’s surgery, Modi had enquired about
his health, his mother and family.
landing in Bishkek, Khan told Russian news agency Sputnik that Pakistan’s
relationship with India is probably at its “lowest point”, and hoped Modi will
use his “big mandate” to resolve all differences, including the Kashmir issue.
that the SCO countries provide these fresh outlets and developing relationship
with other countries, he said, “And that means, of course, India as well
because at the moment our bilateral relationship with India is, probably, at
its lowest point. And, yes, it will be an opportunity to speak to the Indian
leadership during this SCO conference.” There is no bilateral meeting scheduled
Friday as well.
to Modi’s re-election, Khan told Sputnik, “But we hope now that the current
Prime Minister has one big mandate, we hope that he will use this mandate to
develop better relationship and bring peace in the subcontinent.”
whether he is ready to sit down with Modi at the table, Khan said, “Well, we
have already indicated to India that after the elections. We actually tried
before the elections, but unfortunately we felt that before the elections Prime
Minister Modi’s party was building up this hysteria, unfortunately,
anti-Pakistan feeling among its people, appealing to its right-wing Hindu
nationalists, and so there was no chance of peace before the elections.”
that the elections are over, we hope that the Indian leadership will now grasp
this opportunity, avail this opportunity that Pakistan is offering — that let’s
resolve all our differences through dialogue. In fact, that is the only way of
resolving our differences.
is no way two nuclear-armed countries should think of resolving the differences
through military means. It is madness. So we hope that now we can progress, use
dialogue to resolve our differences.”
National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi on Thursday remanded Mohamed
Azarudeen (32), to two weeks judicial custody. Azarudeen was arrested from
Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday for alleged links with terror outfit
NIA said he was the leader of the module and maintained a Facebook page
“KhilafaGFX” to attract youngsters to the Islamic State ideology. The NIA is
also questioning five of his associates and raids continued for the second day
today in various parts of Tamil Nadu.
the remand report, NIA said Azarudeen was a key operative of the terror outfit
and had planned attacks in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. “He has been a Facebook
friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the
module have also been sharing radical content attributed to Hashim over social
media,” the NIA said. They were also in touch with Riyas Abubacker, an alleged
suicide bomber, who was arrested from Palakkad (Kerala), a week after the
Easter bombings in Lanka, it said.
to the police, all six including Azarudeen were into various trades ranging from
jewellery to running a travel agency to selling honey but they were held
together by their radical ideology. Following NIA raids, the Tamil Nadu police
also searched some of their premises.
Azarudeen, a resident of Ukkadam in Coimbatore, owns a travel agency, Y Sheikh
Hidayathulla (38), also of the locality, is into the sale and marketing of
honey. A Saddam Hussain (26), of Podannur, is a partner in a jewellery shop and
so is Akram Jindha (26) of the same area. Ibrahim Shahin Shah (28) is into the perfume
business and M Abubacker (29) of Kuniyamuthur works at a marriage hall.
LUMPUR, June 13 — A man who previously claimed trial to two counts of insulting
Prophet Muhammad, Islam and PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, on
Facebook, changed his plea to guilty, in the Sessions Court here today.
Antoni, 28, entered the plea after the charge against him was read again before
Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy during mention of the case today.
court then fixed July 17 for sentence hearing.
the first count Danny was charged with using the Facebook account of Danny
A’antonio Jr, to post an insulting statement against Prophet Muhammad and Islam
which could threaten harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims at 1.21am on
charge, under Section 298A (1) (a) of the Penal Code, provides for a maximum
jail term of five years, upon conviction.
was also charged with committing the same offence against PAS president Datuk
Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the same place, date and time.
charge framed under Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act
1998 punishable under Section 233(3) provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or
imprisonment of up to one year or both, upon conviction.
postings were read at the Cyber Crime and Multimedia Investigation Division,
Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Bukit Aman Police headquarters,
Menara KPJ here at 10am on March 4.
deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Asyaraf Md Kamal urged for a severe sentence
taking into account the seriousness of the offence.
P. Rajsurian representing Danny appealed for a concurrent jail sentence from
the date his client’s arrest and to take into consideration that the accused is
the sole breadwinner. — Bernama
STEPPED up security measures along its border with Thailand after a group of 65
Rohingya landed in southern Satun province this week on their way to the
predominantly Muslim neighbouring country.
maritime police, custom officials and border guards were seen patrolling along
the border yesterday. Malaysia has been the prime destination for Rohingya
people, and as of April, 24,720 refugees have been given shelter in the
country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. Prime
Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday ordered an investigation after a
boat carrying 65 ethnic Rohingya and five Myanmar men swept ashore at Satun.
Deputy Government spokesman Lt-General Weerachon Sukondhapatipak said Prayut
wants an investigation into who was behind the landing of the vessel at Koh
Rawi in Tambon Koh Sarai of Satun’s Muang district.
premier has also called on public health agencies to provide the immigrants
with health check-ups as per humanitarian principles and also to prevent the
spread of any contagious diseases they may be carrying, he added. Searching for
accomplices National Police inspector-general Pol General Suchat Theerasawat,
who surveyed the boat’s route by helicopter, said police were searching for
more accomplices. Thai boat captain Sangkhom Paphan, 49, and five Myanmar
nationals have so far been charged with bringing illegal immigrants into the
country. Police are also checking to see if they are part of a
human-trafficking ring. Suchat said the
65 Rohingya people were being screened by the Social Development and Human
Security Ministry to see if they are human-trafficking victims. Officials are
looking for an interpreter to help interview the refugees, he said. A high-ranked official source said that the
system of trafficking Rohingya has changed. Now, the refugees currently in
Malaysia contact a trafficking ring in Myanmar directly to bring their
relatives to a third country by boat, car or train. The traffickers then hire
Thais to transport the refugees through Thailand to their destination, the
source said. The source added that this
change took place after Lt-General Manas Kongpan was arrested in 2015 along
with Pajjuban Angchotephan, the |former president of the Satun Provincial
Administrative Organisation, and Padang |Besar Municipality’s former mayor,
Banjong Pongphon. Manas and Pajjuban
were jailed for 20 years each and Banjong for 10 years in May. Manas was linked
to the 2015 discovery of a mass grave in a jungle in the southern border
province, where traffickers had hidden their victims’ remains. Most of the
victims were ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh. Bangladesh has
sheltered 900,000 Royingya refugees, 740,000 of whom fled from violence in
Rakhine State since August 2017. Dhaka
and Nay Pyi Taw have signed a pact to repatriate, but the plan has been on hold
since November as the refugees have resisted due to fear for their safety. Asean leaders are expected to discuss the
Rakhine crisis during a summit in Bangkok later this month in order to seek a
solution to help facilitate the repatriation.
counter-terror czar visits China’s Xinjiang
YORK: The UN’s counter-terrorism czar is on a visit this week to China’s
Xinjiang region, where Beijing insists one million Uighurs and other Muslims
are detained because of a terrorist threat, UN sources and rights activists
Voronkov, the under-secretary-general for counter-terrorism, is the highest
level UN official to visit Xinjiang, which activists have described as an
open-air prison, deprived of religious freedom.
spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed that Voronkov, a Russian diplomat, was on an
official visit to China, but did not provide details of his itinerary.
stressed that the UN counter-terrorism office works to ensure that measures
used to fight terror respect human rights.
argues that internment camps in Xinjiang are “vocational training centres” to
steer people away from extremism and reintegrate them, in a region plagued by
violence blamed on Uighur separatists or Islamists.
visit to Xinjiang, first reported by Foreign Policy magazine, drew sharp
criticism from rights activists.
UN allowing its counterterrorism chief to go to Xinjiang risks confirming China’s
false narrative that this is a counterterrorism issue, not a question of
massive human rights abuses,” Louis Charbonneau, the UN director for Human
Rights Watch, told AFP.
rights chief Michelle Bachelet asked Beijing in December for permission to carry
out a fact-finding mission in Xinjiang but has been left waiting.
on Thursday, China’s new ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Chen Xu,
said the UN high commissioner for human rights would pay a visit when “we can
find a time which is convenient to both sides.”
has insisted that the fate of the estimated one million Uighurs, ethnic
Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslims is an internal matter.
the request of the United States and other Western countries, UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in May raised the plight of the Uighurs
during his visit to China.
Police detained 34 people in Central Kalimantan on Tuesday for their alleged
involvement in plans to carry out a suicide bomb attack in Jakarta, an official
items, including bomb-making material, were seized during the arrests in two
people, including four women and five children, were arrested in Palangkaraya,
the provincial capital, and the remainder in Gunung Mas district. At least two,
identified by the initials T., alias Tomi, and A., are fugitive members of
Islamic State-affiliated Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
the four women arrested in Palangkaraya is the third wife of Abu Hamzah
Hussain, a JAD member arrested in Sibolga, North Sumatra, in March. One of his
wives denotated a bomb, killing herself and her two children, when police tried
to arrest her at their home.
were in so-called uslah, or exile, while preparing [for their next operation].
They conducted training, which, based on reports, included archery, and
gathered funds through farming activities and illegally mining for gold,"
Central Kalimantan Police spokesman Chief Comr. Hendra Rochmawan told Metro TV
Mas is known for its rich gold deposits and many illegal mines are found in the
said the terror suspects are residents of Aceh and Sulawesi and were invited by
one of the two suspects, identified as Anshari. Those from Aceh were part of a
JAD group that managed to escape raids by the National Police's elite
counterterrorism unit, Detachment 88, in the Gunung Salak area at the end of
were ready to depart for Jakarta, just waiting for a command, because they had
sufficient training and funds," the police spokesman said.
the information we have gathered, they wanted to conduct an 'action against the
democratic system' in Jakarta," Hendra added.
previously uncovered a plot by JAD members to use the rally by supporters of
losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto against the result of the 2019
election as a cover to launch attacks, mostly targeting police officers.
rally in front of the offices of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in
Central Jakarta on May 21 ended in a riot, which continued in the following days.
Nine protesters were killed in the riots, but the National Commission on Human
Rights (Komnas HAM) said the bullets found in victims' bodies were different
from those issued to police.
said the women who were arrested are the radicalized wives of terror suspects.
Police are evaluating the children to determine whether they have also been
affected by the terror group's doctrines.
Pakistan on Thursday extended its airspace ban along its eastern border with
India for the third time till June 28, according to a notice issued by the
country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force struck a
Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot.
then, it has only opened two routes, both of them pass through southern
Pakistan, of the total 11. Pakistan's civil aviation authority is expected to
review the situation on June 15.
IAF announced on May 31 that all temporary restrictions imposed on Indian
airspace post the Balakot airstrike have been removed.
CAA notice issued to airmen (NOTAM) on Thursday says: "Pakistani airspace
will be closed until June 28 along its eastern border with India. The Panjgoor
airspace will remain open for overflying transit flights from the western side
as Air India had already been using that airspace."
Pakistan government official told PTI that since there has been no official
communication between the two countries regarding opening of their airspace for
each other the "status quo" will prevail.
if some development takes place at the government's level in this respect
before June 28," he said.
Wednesday Pakistan gave a special permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's
VVIP flight to use its airspace for his official trip to attend the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Modi's flight avoided flying over Pakistan. Earlier, Pakistan had allowed
India's (former) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly though
Pakistani airspace to participate in the meeting of SCO foreign ministers in
Bishkek on May 21.
earlier had indicated that it may lift the airspace ban along its eastern
border with India imposed on February 27 to reciprocate India's decision to
remove all restrictions on all air routes in the Indian airspace.
a result of the ban, foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to
take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan.
closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia. The flights from
Europe and the US flying in and out of New Delhi have been the worst hit.
Pakistan's airspace closure, the airfare on many routes have gone up
significantly, including Delhi-Kabul, Delhi-Moscow, Delhi-Tehran and
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif on Thursday accused Pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan of indulging in corruption and targetting his
opponents for political benefits, claiming that the cricketer-turned-politician
will be "thrown out of the stadium by spectators."
Khan is a player who will soon be thrown out of the stadium by spectators. His
Bani Gala residence is in the midst of corruption. He should be ashamed of
himself," Geo News quoted Sharif as saying while speaking to reporters at
Kot Lakhpat prison here.
former Pakistan prime minister called Khan "incompetent" and claimed
that his "downfall is imminent."
(PML-N) came into power through the public's mandate and they (PTI) do not have
that. I am neither a seer nor a fortune teller. But I know that Imran Khan's
downfall is imminent. Imran Khan is incompetent and to hide his incompetence,
he is blaming the previous government. His incompetence has brought the country
to the edge of destruction," Sharif said.
alleged that the ruling government was putting people behind the bars without
the Khan-led dispensation over the IMF deal, Sharif said, "We had said
goodbye to the IMF and now they are bowing down in front of them. PML-N had
left full coffers, built motorways and took steps to control inflation. Imran
Khan had said he would commit suicide if he ever went to IMF. But he did not do
so and the nation is suffering."
our tenure, the dollar was in control and our exports were increasing. If Imran
Khan was not the selected prime minister then the country would not be in this
condition. He has disheartened the nation in just 10 months," he added.
comments came after former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari and Punjab
Opposition leader Hamza Shahbaz were arrested in cases related to money
laundering and corruption earlier this week.
a late night address to the nation, Khan on Tuesday had said that he will form
a high-powered commission to investigate graft and the rise of Pakistan's debts
in the last one decade, at a time when the country is grappling to overcome a
severe financial crisis.
A three-member opposition delegation on Thursday called on National Assembly
Speaker Asad Qaiser at the latter’s official residence to make a formal demand
for issuance of production orders for four arrested MNAs, including former
president Asif Ali Zardari, to allow them to attend the ongoing budget session.
opposition members — Syed Khursheed Shah and Senator Raza Rabbani of the
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of the Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — urged the speaker to issue the production order
for Mr Zardari so that he could represent the people of his Nawabshah
constituency during the debate on the federal budget.
an official handout was issued by the National Assembly Secretariat quoting
Speaker Asad Qaiser as saying that he was cognisant of his responsibilities and
was playing his constitutional role.
speaker said that he was the custodian of the house and all the members were
being treated with equality. He said the PPP and the PML-N members had
requested him to issue the production order for Mr Zardari.
speaker said that he had told the opposition members that he had solicited
legal advice from legal experts; therefore, a decision in this regard would be
taken after receipt of the advice in question.
official handout stated that on the directives of the speaker, the National
Assembly Secretariat had sought a legal opinion from the Ministry of Law and
Justice on the request of the PPP for issuance of Mr Zardari’s production
to reporters after meeting Mr Qaiser, PPP’s Khursheed Shah said the speaker had
sought some more time to consider their request and had promised that he would
play his parliamentary role.
asked if they had only raised the issue of production order for Mr Zardari, Mr
Shah said the PPP had already asked the speaker through a letter to issue the
production orders for the two MNAs from the erstwhile Federally Administered
Tribal Areas, Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, who were in jail on charges of
attacking an army post in North Waziristan last month.
he said, the speaker should issue the production order for the PML-N MNA from
Lahore, Khawaja Saad Rafique.
Shah said a speaker was not a part of the government and was considered to be a
custodian of the house.
Senate chairman Raza Rabbani said he believed that the speaker realised that
the members from tribal areas, Lahore and Nawabshah should be allowed to
represent their constituents who were being taxed in the budget.
response to a question, Mr Rabbani said he stood by his earlier statement that
there was a need for an intra-institutional dialogue in the country presently
facing a “crisis of state”, besides the crises of economy and national
PPP delegation had also visited the residence of the speaker on Wednesday
evening, but they could not meet him as he was in his hometown of Swabi.
Zardari, who is under custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on an
11-day physical remand, was taken to the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology
(RIC) for a medical check-up on Thursday evening.
NAB team took the former president to the hospital from Islamabad and his
computed tomography (CT) angiography and other tests were conducted under the
supervision of retired Major General Azhar Mehmood Kiani, the director of the
senior doctor of the RIC told Dawn that the routine check-up of Mr Zardari was
done to evaluate his health condition. He said the initial report verified that
the former president was suffering from cardiac disease.
said the former president was kept in the hospital for a few hours under
observation after CT angiography.
NAB issued a statement, saying that two medical boards had been examining Mr
Zardari on a daily basis.
As all eyes are on the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) which will take up on
Friday (today) the references against two superior court judges, Supreme Court
Bar Association (SCBA) president Amanullah Kanrarni renewed his commitment to
burn copies of the references outside the Supreme Court and lawyers, barring a
part of the legal fraternity, announced observing strike across the country on
the call of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).
five-member SJC comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice
Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed
Ali M. Shaikh and Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth will
commence hearing of the references at 2pm against Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the
Supreme Court and Justice Karim Khan Agha of the SHC for allegedly possessing
properties in the United Kingdom.
General Anwar Mansoor, who had received a notice from the SJC to appear as a
prosecutor, will try to convince the council to begin formal proceedings in the
matter. If the council is convinced by his arguments, it will issue notices to
the judges, asking them to furnish replies to the allegations levelled against
them, or it may decide to drop the proceedings.
may be recalled that the Karachi Bar Association has already cancelled the
membership of Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan and Law Minister Barrister
Reference against judges
different lawyer bodies, senior government functionaries also decided at a
meeting to watch the entire proceedings of the council from a distance and not
to interfere in any manner rather accept whatever decision the SJC takes about
the fate of the two judges.
renewing his pledge to protest, but in a peaceful manner, against the SJC
proceedings on the premises of the Supreme Court building, SCBA president
Kanrani told the media that the council was a subordinate institution to the
apex court which had on July 20, 2007, thrown out a reference instituted by
then military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf against former chief justice Iftikhar
Mohammad Chaudhry on misconduct.
13-judge SC bench by a majority of 10 to three had held the reference illegal
filed with mala fide intention. Therefore, Mr Kanrani said, the SJC did not
need to examine the current references rather drop the proceedings in line with
the SC majority verdict.
said, “we will offer thanksgiving prayers on Friday in case of good news”. He
said lawyers would hold a countrywide protest on the call of the PBC and not
appear in courts. Mr Kanrani rejected a perception that there was a division
among the lawyers, saying that every individual had an independent mind and
thinking and a joint strategy would be decided after the SJC proceedings.
secretary Azmatullah Chaudhry believed that no protest should be held on the SC
premises and lawyers should be allowed to participate in the proceedings,
though provincial bar councils and associations could observe protest at their
respective places. He was of the view that lawyers should have confidence in
the SJC which should be allowed to complete its constitutional task without any
fear or pressure.
SCBA president Ali Ahmed Kurd termed the SJC a weak body, subordinate to the
apex court. About the cancellation of membership of Law Minister Farogh Naseem
by the PBC, he said that morally the minister had left with nothing since the
highest body of lawyers had thrown him out of their fold. He wondered why the
SJC instantly initiated the references against the two judges when it was
seized with around 300 references.
counsel Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan also decided not to attend the court proceedings
on Friday to honour the PBC call. He said the leadership of lawyers was in safe
hands and they were doing fine to protest against the filing of the references.
a private reference against Justice Isa was filed in the SJC by Advocate Waheed
Shahzad Butt under Article 209 of the Constitution for allegedly violating the
code of conduct for judges by writing two letters to President Dr Arif Alvi.
The reference pleaded that the judge had committed a gross misconduct by
writing the letters and then allegedly sharing it with the media, thus liable
to be removed on the recommendations of the SJC.
choosing a public forum for voicing his personal and subjective views and
opinions, the judge has denounced the judiciary of this country as a whole,
targeted the chief executive (prime minister) of the country and used offensive
language to criticise the matter,” the reference alleged.
chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry also entered a caveat before the SJC by asking
the council not to entertain rather reject the reference against Justice Isa by
holding it against the constitutional provisions and being false, untrue and
communication by Justice Chaudhry also asked the SJC to suggest appropriate
action against the president and the prime minister as provided under Rule 14
of the Supreme Judicial Council Procedure of Inquiry 2005. He said the prime
minister and the president, as per the requirements of their oath under
Articles 42 and 91(5) of the Constitution were bound not to communicate or
reveal to any person any matter which would be brought under their
consideration or become known to them except as may be required for the
discharge of their duties.
in the instant case, before commencement of the proceedings by the SJC on the
reference, the contents along with a few documents were made public, due to
which the judge as well as the judiciary as a whole had been scandalised.
caveat stated that the prime minister had not complied with the constitutional
provisions as well as the apex court judgement in the 2006 Mustafa Impex case since
without discussing and seeking approval of the cabinet, the reference was
forwarded to the president. Therefore, the reference was unwarranted and thus
not maintainable before the SJC, he stated.
Sindh Bar Council (SBC) said that in solidarity with the PBC and the SCBA, it
requested all bar associations of Sindh to observe a complete boycott of courts
on Friday in protest against the references filed against Justice Faez Isa
Justice K.K. Agha. In a statement, the SBC said it condemned the mala fide
attempts allegedly made by the government to create an impression of division
in the legal fraternity by promising posts and benefits to a handful of
opportunists and warned that any lawyer working against the independence of the
judiciary would face cancelation of licence.
a joint press conference held on the premises of the City Courts in Karachi,
office-bearers of the SCBA, SBC and the Karachi Bar Association unanimously
announced that a complete boycott of the legal proceedings would be observed in
the superior and subordinate judiciary in the city and the rest of the province
on Friday in protest against the filing of references against Justice Isa and
Justice K.K. Agha.
also reiterated their resolve to stand by the honest judges and the PBC in its
struggle for the independence of the judiciary. However, they clarified that
the legal fraternity had no other agenda except for standing up for the
independence of the judiciary.
vice president Salahuddin Gandapur, former National Judicial Commission member
Mehmoodul Hasan, SBC member Ghulam Rasool Soho and Hanif Kashmiri also spoke.
Minister Imran Khan on Thursday had an 'informal' talk with Russian President
Vladmir Putin after reaching Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to represent Pakistan at the
19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation
in the day, in an interview with Sputnik News, the premier had expressed his
hope to meet Russian President Putin on the sidelines of the summit.
think this will just be an informal meeting on the sides of the SCO conference.
I already met him briefly during my visit to China, where there was a
conference by Chinese President Xi. So I met him, but this time I hope to have
an informal chat with him. I already met the prime minister of Russia in China
on my first visit," Sputnik News had quoted PM Imran as saying.
prime minister also had a cordial meeting with the Kyrgyz President Sooronbay
Sharipovich Jeenbekov on the sidelines of the SCO summit, a statement released
by the Prime Minister Office said.
to Radio Pakistan Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov had extended the
invitation to Prime Minister Imran to attend the two-day summit.
prime minister congratulated the Kyrgyz president on hosting the summit, who in
turn "appreciated Pakistan's role in the SCO", the statement added.
two countries agreed to strengthen land and air connectivity between Pakistan
two leaders also reviewed bilateral relations and agreed to comprehensively upgrade
mutual cooperation in diverse fields," according to the statement.
both leaders also agreed to a "joint ministerial commission and bilateral
political consultations soon".
was also decided that Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan must enhance people-to-people
contact and boost tourism through visa-friendly regimes.
Imran extended an invitation to the Kyrgyz President to visit Pakistan.
upon his arrival, Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev and
health minister Kosmosbek Sarievich Cholponbaev received the premier, the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) shared on social media.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs
Mohammad Usman Dar are accompanying the premier on this trip.
prime minister is set to address two sessions of the meeting. Leaders of SCO
Members and observer states, as well as, representatives of important
international organisations will attend the meeting.
Minister Imran is expected to conduct meetings with other participating leaders
as well on the sidelines of the event.
is expected that a number of decisions will be approved by the leaders
attending the meeting, besides signing of agreements to intensify cooperation
in diverse fields.
becoming an SCO member in 2017, Pakistan has been actively participating in
various SCO events, including ones involving foreign affairs, defence, national
security, economy and trade, science and innovation, youth and women
empowerment, tourism and media.
A parliamentary committee on Thursday observed that China is charging only 2 to
2.5pc on government-to-government loans with a repayment term that goes into a
guarantees are also only required on government projects. There are currently
21 ongoing projects worth $19 billion,” PPP Senator Sherry Rehman informed the
Senate Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
special committee met for details on CPEC financing and debt uptake besides the
benefits of the project for the Gwadar Port City.
the committee showed concerns about Pakistan’s growing debts to China under
CPEC, the members conveyed apprehensions of provinces that have arisen as a
result of the capacity and coordination deficit of the current government.
Rehman informed the members that China was still concerned about the current
government’s seriousness about CPEC projects and to take it forward.
Planning and Development Zafar Hasan briefed the members on the $49 billion
CPEC. He said repayment of infrastructure development would start in 2021. The
total cost of the phase two of Thakot to Havelian section of Karakuram Highway
was $1.3 billion.
for Planning Khusro Bakhtyar conceded that Balochistan had been neglected under
the government is now focused on Balochistan starting with the installation of
a Rs17 billion electricity grid besides developing highways, small dams and the
Rs80 billion Kachi Canal. The government has given top priority to development
of Balochistan before moving on to the erstwhile Fata and southern Punjab which
have also been neglected in the past,” Mr Bakhtyar said.
he added, the western corridor of Balochistan had been neglected.
members were also informed that under CPEC Gwadar was being transformed into an
oil city while encouraging foreign investors to inject money into different
development and modernisation of agriculture practices were all included in
CPEC. Rejuvenation of industrial development and stimulating the agriculture
sector besides other projects will generate 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.
the committee was displeased with the planning of the $1bn fast track project
which included advancements in health, education, water supply and poverty
alleviation throughout the country. The committee will invite chief secretaries
of all provinces for their feedback on these projects.
and Development Department officials explained that Pakistan had also taken up
the relocation of Chinese export-focused light manufacturer and consumer
products industry to add to exports.
(Kurdistan 24) – The Islamic State on Wednesday claimed responsibility for an
attack against the Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) in Sinjar, an armed group
affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
semi-official Islamic State media outlet, Amaq, claimed itsfighters ambushed a
“military unit of the PKK” on Tuesday and then detonated a car bomb against a
group of PKK forces near the al-Jazira complex in the vicinity of Sinjar
terror group claimed it also targeted a house and detonated an Improvised
Explosive Device (IED) that targeted a YBS vehicle.
the incident, the YBS deployed more forces to the area, prompting Islamic State
fighters to withdraw, but not before they set-off another car bomb.
media said the Islamic State fighters attacked a YBS position near the village
of Hellus in Madiwan town at around 5:45 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
attack was carried out with four bomb-laden vehicles.
the local media reported that the attack was repelled, and the car bomb was
destroyed before it reached its target.
attack comes after wildfires plagued farmlands in Shingal, including the
destruction of 79 mass graves that contain the remains of Yezidis (Ezidis) who
suffered genocide in August 2014 at the hands of the terror group.
late May, Islamic State-run magazine Naba claimed responsibility for fires in
Syria and Iraq and said the goal was to hit the “farms of the apostates.”
Wednesday, the YBS said it carried out operations in coordination with the Iraqi
army against the Islamic State in the area.
State fighters fled toward the al-Ba’aj district of Mosul, south of Shingal,
where the terrorists have some local support.
to Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi, a scholar who studies militant groups, Tuesday
morning’s incident was not the first time the terrorist group has claimed
responsibility for operations in the Shingal area.
not surprising. They have some local support, and they also had local support
when they moved into the area in [August] 2014,” Tamimi said.
April, Islamic State members launched an assault on the Iraqi village of
Madfa’, which is part of Ba’aj, near the Syrian border.
to Hayrî Demir, the editor-in-chief of EzidiPress, it was unexpected of the
Islamic State to launch such an attack in its present situation.
said many Ezidis believe local Sunni tribes who are direct members of the
terror group or provide shelter for its fighters were behind the attack.
the attacks in Ba’aj, however, the Ezidi fighters, as well as the Iraqi troops,
expected such an attack and were, therefore, prepared differently than usual,”
he stated. “The attack could, therefore, be repulsed.”
Sunni Arab tribes to the south of Shingal have begun to slowly return to the
area after the Iran-backed Shia-dominated Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the
Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), took control of the region in 2017.
Ibrahim, the founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation
(FYF), told Kurdistan 24 that the Islamic State attacks began in May, and “will
continue because they could represent a new weapon [for] ISIS to gain power.”
importantly, she said the Islamic State’s ideology remains undefeated.
Ezidis believe they [ISIS] are not finished with the genocide they started,”
Ibrahim said. “The eradication of our people is still on their minds and will
by Mohammed Ebraheem
(IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi paramilitary Hashd Shaabi fighters killed on Wednesday
two members of the Islamic State militant group in Salahuddin province.
two terrorists, identified as Abdullah Mohamed al-Jabouri and Bassam Mohamed
al-Jabouri, were plotting to carry out terrorist attacks against civilians in
al-Shirqat town in Salahuddin, according to a statement by the pro-government
operation, according to the statement, was carried out based on intelligence
declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017
with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which
was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
Seth J. Frantzman
shocking takeover of a large part of central and western Iraq by Islamic State
in 2014 haunts people today across the country.
fires burning in Sinjar, an area ISIS targeted in August 2014 and the scene of
its genocide of the Yazidi minority, people can’t help but remember that five
years after ISIS blitzkrieged its way into Mosul, it is still a threat.
Questions also remain about how the Iraqi army failed to stop the advance and
whether the enemy will return.
Twitter local photographer and academic Ali Y. Al-Baroodi tweeted a photo of Mosul
on June 10, 2014, when ISIS had attacked Iraq’s second largest city. He
recalled the first morning under ISIS control. “The battle was still raging,
the army did not fight. High ranking commanders were the first to flee.”
Soldiers were left aimless, without orders or clarify of what to do.
is a large city that sits bestride the Tigris river.
the western side is the old part of the city with its warren of alleys and also
the airport. On the eastern side, what locals call the left bank, is the more
modern suburbs, the ancient ruins of Mosul, the five-star hotels and the
city had been famous for its merchants and also for local support for Saddam
Hussein in the 1980s. But after the US invasion of 2003 the city was rocket by
terror attacks, rising to daily bombings and shootings. The reaction of the
government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the years before ISIS was a
found support when it arrived, but no one expected it to conquer the city so
swiftly. Instead the Iraqi army seemed to evaporate, abandoning thousands of
vehicles across Iraq, and towed artillery, weapons, and other items that would
help ISIS in its quest to take over Iraq.
residents didn’t know what to expect. Some fled the ISIS surge and then
returning, hoping it wouldn’t be so bad. Instead ISIS began a systematic
crushing of dissent, expelling Christians from the city, and preparing for the
speech ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would give in early July 2014,
declaring a “caliphate.” Baghdadi spoke at the al-Nuri mosque, overlooked by
the Hadba, or leaning humpbacked minaret. In 2017 the mosque would be destroyed
when the last battle against ISIS took place in the city.
ISIS was conquering Mosul with one column of fighters it also struck at Camp
Speicher north of Baghdad. There it captured more than 1,700 mostly Shi’ite air
force cadets. In several days of mass murder it slaughtered and filmed the
deaths of the young men. ISIS bragged on social media about its crime.
of the world remained silent. “Camp Speicher Massacre remains one of the most
horrific yet under-reported tragedies in armed conflict history,” tweeted
journalist Rasha Al-Aqeedi on Wednesday. “A combination of rampant sectarianism
against Shia, grudges of the old regime, mismanagement of the security
apparatus and other ills that much reflected Iraq.”
crimes five years ago were largely ignored abroad. Kenneth Roth, head of Human
Rights Watch, tweeted on June 12, 2014 that “ISIS in Iraq reportedly tried not
to alienate local population, unlike PM Maliki and his violent sectarian
repression.” Executing 1,700 people would seem to be a form of alienation in
Iraq today fires are smouldering, many of them allegedly set by ISIS. The group
has settled in for a “war of attrition” and has been carrying out bombings,
sniper attacks and starting fires. It is hard to keep track of the numerous
security incidents that stretch from Sinjar to villages like Hamam al-Alil
south of Mosul to Diyala and other provinces north of Baghdad.
as Iraq must face a continued threat there are families looking for loved ones
lost in 2014. This includes men from Camp Speicher who were never found and
more than 3,000 missing Yazidis kidnapped by ISIS in August 2014.
— Explosions crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday in what
the United States called “unprovoked attacks” by Iran, raising alarms about
immediate security and potential military conflict in a vital passageway for a
third of the world’s petroleum.
called the accusations part of a campaign of American disinformation and
explosions forced the crews of both vessels to evacuate and left at least one
ablaze, and hours later the causes were still under investigation. Yet the
backdrop of steeply rising threats between President Trump and Iranian leaders
gave the stricken ships a grave significance even before the facts became
afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that American intelligence
agencies had concluded Tehran was behind the disabling of both ships. He
pointed to the weapons used, the expertise and resources required and the
similarity to other recent attacks attributed to Iran.
most compelling evidence to support Mr. Pompeo’s claim was video footage
released Thursday night by the United States Central Command. A military
spokesman, Capt. Bill Urban, said the video showed an Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps patrol boat pulling up alongside the Kokuka Courageous, one of the
stricken ships, several hours after the initial explosion, and removing an
unexploded limpet mine in broad daylight.
on Thursday night, the United States military released two photographs of the
ship’s hull, showing damage and what it said was likely the unexploded mine.
as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international
peace and security,” Mr. Pompeo told a news conference in Washington.
American officials had already blamed Iran for similar attacks last month
against four tankers on the same waterway. Iranian officials, who denied any
involvement in those attacks, also rejected assertions they were behind the
events on Thursday and said Iran had been framed.
doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning,” Mohammad Javad
Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, wrote on Twitter. Mr. Pompeo, firing back at
his news conference, said Mr. Zarif “may think this is funny, but no one else
in the world does.”
Kokuka Courageous was about 20 miles off the Iranian coast when it transmitted
an emergency call for help after an initial explosion. When the crew surveyed
the damage from the first explosion, they saw a second unexploded mine attached
to the hull and evacuated the ship, according to the American officials, who
spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.
confrontation also played out at the United Nations in a meeting of the
Security Council, where the acting United States ambassador, Jonathan Cohen,
told other members that Iran was behind the attacks. Iran’s United Nations
mission issued a statement afterward denouncing the “inflammatory remarks” by
the American representative, calling them part of “another Iranophobic
campaign” of disinformation.
U.S. and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous
plots as well as false flag operations in the region,” the Iranian statement
Thursday, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, expressed
“deep concern” that the new episode might lead to a military escalation.
more about the narrow waterway that is the world’s most important oil route.]
its importance as a petroleum highway, the Persian Gulf also divides bitter and
heavily armed rivals, with Iran on one side and the American-backed Arab
monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the other.
two sides have fought for years through surrogate forces in neighboring
countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Bahrain. Saudi and Emirati forces
have been battling directly for more than four years to roll back a takeover of
Yemen by a faction aligned with Iran.
over the shared dependence on the vulnerable Persian Gulf shipping lanes have
always been central to their animosities, and a commitment to guaranteeing the
flow of oil through the same channels is behind the substantial American
military presence in the region.
officials on Thursday suggested the new attacks might be the product of an
elaborate conspiracy by their enemies, seemingly pointing to American allies
like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Israel, which have long urged
Washington to take a more muscular approach to Iran.
many analysts said there was a growing consensus in the West that Iran had been
behind last month’s attacks, which took place near the port of Fujairah in the
United Arab Emirates. And they argued that Iran appeared to be seeking to
demonstrate it could imperil the world’s oil markets, but without leaving the
kind of fingerprints that could trigger American military retaliation.
long as there is significant ambiguity the attacks won’t produce a casus
belli,” or cause for war, said Jack Watling, a researcher at the Royal United
Services Institute in London. “But Iran is demonstrating its capabilities. It
is saying, ‘We can impose a cost on our adversaries in this confrontation, and
it will be high.’”
oil prices rose more than 3 percent in response to the crippling of the two
ships on Thursday, indirectly boosting Iran’s revenue as an oil producer.
initial White House response on Thursday was measured. Sarah Huckabee Sanders,
the White House press secretary, said Mr. Trump had been briefed and that the
“U.S. government is providing assistance and will continue to assess the
was only a few hours later that Mr. Pompeo publicly blamed Iran.
escalation came against the backdrop of a visit to Iran by the prime minister
of Japan, Shinzo Abe, who was hoping to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and
Washington and avert any “accidental clashes.”
Abe was carrying a note from Mr. Trump to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s
supreme leader, who rebuffed the overture. “I do not see Trump as worthy of any
message exchange, and I do not have any reply for him, now or in future,” Mr.
Khamenei said Thursday after meeting with Mr. Abe, according to the ayatollah’s
animosity between Washington and Tehran began rising a year ago after President
Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 deal with international powers
that limited Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for eased economic sanctions
on the country of 80 million people.
laying out sweeping demands for Iran to alter its policies toward the region,
Mr. Trump in April ratcheted up the pressure by imposing severe sanctions aimed
at cutting off Iran’s exports of oil, the lifeblood of the now-struggling
Iranian economy. He also designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a part of the
military, as a terrorist group.
May, citing unspecified warnings of imminent Iranian attacks on American allies
or interests, the Trump administration announced it was dispatching an aircraft
carrier group to the Persian Gulf as a deterrent.
Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Mr. Trump said on
Twitter last month. “Never threaten the United States again!”
Yube, top Centre, the director of Kokuka Sangyo, speaking to the news media in
Tokyo on Thursday after one of the company’s ships was attacked near the Strait
leaders, in response, have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a
potential Persian Gulf chokepoint. After complying with the nuclear pact for a
year even after the American withdrawal, Iran has also raised the possibility
of breaching the accord by taking initial steps to expand its supply of
Iranian allies around the region have stepped up their attacks on allies of
Washington, fueling fears of a wider conflict. The Houthi faction in Yemen,
which is backed by Iran, has launched attacks on Saudi oil pipelines and other
targets, and this week a Houthi missile hit the arrivals hall of a Saudi
airport, injuring 26 people, according to Saudi news reports.
attacks in May on the four tankers near Fujairah were relatively minor, causing
only limited damage to the hulls. An international investigation presented to
the United Nations later concluded that the damage was done by divers deployed
from small “fast boats” who had placed limpet mines against the hulls.
a visit to the United Arab Emirates about two weeks ago, John R. Bolton,
President Trump’s national security adviser, said Iran was “almost certainly”
responsible. A few days later, Mr. Pompeo called the attacks “efforts by the
Iranians to raise the price of crude oil.”
explosions that disabled the tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday were far
took place around dawn, with distress calls at 6:12 a.m. and 7 a.m., according
to a statement from the United States Fifth Fleet, which said the U.S.S.
Bainbridge, a guided missile destroyer, was “rendering assistance.”
Norwegian company that owns one of the ships, the Front Altair, confirmed that
it was on fire. The crews of both vessels — about 23 in one and 21 in the other
— were evacuated in lifeboats.
owners and operators of both vessels described the incidents as deliberate
Front Altair, registered in the Marshall Islands, was chartered by the CPC
Corporation, the Taiwanese oil company, to carry naphtha, a petroleum product,
from the Emirati port of Ruwais to Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Kokuka Courageous was carrying methanol, headed from the Saudi port of Al
Jubail to Singapore. Yutaka Katada, the president of the ship’s operator,
Kokuka Sangyo, told a news conference that its Filipino crew had abandoned ship
in lifeboats after what he described as two attacks three hours apart.
– An Egyptian military court has sentenced 32 people to life in prison on
terror charges including plotting to assassinate President Abdel-Fattah
court in Cairo Wednesday said the defendants attempted the president's
assassination twice, including when he was on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia in
court also sentenced 264 other defendants, to three to 15 years in prison, all
on terror charges, including militant attacks in the Sinai. Two were acquitted,
and one defendant died during the trail, while a minor was referred another
half of the defendants were tried in absentia. The verdict can be appealed.
Arabic-language website of RT quoted Head of the Russian Centre for the
Reconciliation of Conflicting Parties in Syria Victor Koochiching as saying on
Wednesday night that a ceasefire was established since midnight of June 12 in all
parts of Idlib province under the supervision of Moscow and Ankara.
added that the terrorist groups have targeted the two towns of Mahradeh and
Souran in Hama since the declaration of ceasefire in the region.
some dissident sources said that the ceasefire will last for three days.
the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that terrorist groups have
launched several offensives against the towns of Qamhaneh, al-Majdal and
al-Shir and the nearby areas in Northern Hama, adding that the Syrian army has
targeted their positions in response.
Spokesman of the so-called National Liberation Front terrorist group, which is
affiliated to Ankara, Naji Mostafa dismissed any ceasefire in Northern Syria,
saying that it is a unilateral move by Damascus and Moscow. Also, Spokesman of
Jeish al-Izza terrorist group Mostafa Ma'arati rejected any ceasefire in
Syrian army on Wednesday repelled the massive attacks by Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and other
terrorist groups in al-Hamamiat and Karnaz regions as well as the towns of
Sheikh Hadid and al-Qasabiyeh in Northwestern Hama and Southern Idlib,
inflicting heavy tolls and damages on the militants.
reports said on Wednesday that Turkey had ordered the terrorist groups
stationed in Northern Syria to continue fighting the Syrian army and keep their
positions until the 2019 G20 Osaka summit in Japan later this month in a bid to
find a pressure leverage to stop the army's military operations.
newspaper quoted dissident sources close to the Ankara-backed terrorists in
Idlib as saying on Wednesday that the Turkish officers deployed in regions
under the supervision of Ankara in Idlib province have ordered the terrorist
commanders in Northern Hama, Southern Idlib and Northeastern Lattakia to launch
preemptive attacks against the army-controlled areas and prevent the Syrian
army forces' advance.
added that Turkey insists on improvement of battlefield and military conditions
of the so-called National Liberation Front, Jeish al-Izza and Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at terrorists in Hama, Idlib and Lattakia, noting that Ankara seeks to
use the G20 summit in Osaka to meet his Russian and US counterparts and
pressure them to prevent the Syrian army's military operations.
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Defence slammed the Iranian regime for
“spreading chaos” in the Middle East by backing terrorist organisations such as
Yemen’s Houthi militia.
40 years, the Iranian regime has been spreading chaos, death and destruction,
by sponsoring and financing terrorist organizations including the Houthis,”
Prince Khalid bin Salman said in a post on his Twitter account.
bin Salman خالد بن سلمان
40 years, the Iranian regime has been spreading chaos, death and destruction,
by sponsoring and financing terrorist organizations including the Houthis.
AM - Jun 13, 2019
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people are talking about this
newly appointed minister’s comments came a day after the Iran-backed Houthi
militia attacked Abha International Airport in the southwestern province of
Asir. The attack injured 26 people, including three women and two children.
“The targeting of Abha Airport
by Iranian-backed Houthi militia and injuring innocent civilians of various
nationalities, is a continuation of their immoral and criminal behavior that is
in line with the malign behavior of their patrons,” the Prince said. Khalid bin
Salman خالد بن سلمان
targeting of Abha Airport by Iranian-backed Houthi militia and injuring
innocent civilians of various nationalities, is a continuation of their immoral
and criminal behavior that is in line with the malign behavior of their
patrons. I pray for a quick recovery for the wounded
people are talking about this
minister blamed the Iranian regime as the only party in the region that pursues
“reckless escalation through the use of ballistic missiles and drones to target
civilian installations and civilians.”
Iranian regime is the only party in the region that has been pursuing reckless
escalation, through the use of ballistic missiles and uavs to directly target
civilian installations and innocent civilians.
people are talking about this
concluded by saying that the continuation of the Iranian regime’s “aggression
and reckless escalation, whether directly or through its militias, will result
in grave consequences.”
“The international community
must carry out its responsibility to avoid this outcome,” he added.
continuation of the Iranian regime’s aggression and reckless escalation,
whether directly or through its militias will result in grave consequences. The
international community must carry out it's responsibility to avoid this
U.S. counterterror official Nathan Sales heading to Turkey for talks amid
State Department’s top counterterrorism official is heading to Turkey to
discuss future U.S cooperation with Ankara, days after the Pentagon threatened
to cut the NATO ally out of a key weapons program.
Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Amb. Nathan Sales has been in talks
with his Turkish counterparts on regional terrorism issues since Monday. The
talks are focused on repatriation and prosecution of captured Islamic State and
al Qaeda terrorists, border security and “countering the Kurdistan Workers
Party” or PKK according to a department statement.
visit comes days after Pentagon officials terminated training programs for
Turkish pilots aboard the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Defence Department
officials made the move in protest of Ankara’s plans to buy the Russian S-400
missile system, which the U.S. and other European allies fear could compromise
has said it is determined to proceed with the Russian purchase, saying it
turned to Moscow following Washington’s refusal to sell its Patriot missile
As Nadia Assiri waited inside a regional Saudi Arabian airport for her sister
to arrive from the capital Riyadh, an explosion threw her to the floor and
ignited a fire.
shrapnel tore through the arm and leg of another woman, Indian-national Um
Karim, when a missile hit the arrivals hall of Abha airport where she had been
sitting in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a night flight.
we were sitting we heard a noise and then saw fire and the blast threw me
far," said Assiri, a 33-year-old Saudi.
Karim's son-in-law said that the explosion shook the car as the family came to
pick her up. "I was scared there would be a second blast," he told
Houthis said a cruise missile strike destroyed the control tower.
Iran-aligned Houthi movement, which is locked in a war with the Arab coalition
in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the attack. The coalition said 26 people
were hurt, including Saudi, Yemeni and Indian nationals.
Coalition responded on Thursday with air strikes around the Houthi-held Yemeni
capital Sanaa that it said targeted the group's military assets.
Saudi airport that was struck, Abha, is about 200 km (125 miles) north of the
border with Yemen. When media visited the airport on Thursday, it smelled of
fresh paint. The flat bitumen roof of the arrivals hall had been patched up,
but scorch marks could be seen.
Houthis, who control Yemen's capital and the territory where most of the
population lives, have for years targeted Saudi cities and infrastructure with
drones and missiles, most of which have been intercepted by Saudi defence
strike on a civilian target inside Saudi Arabia came at a time of elevated
tensions in the region between Iran and Gulf Arab allies of the United States.
fact that civilians have been injured (in Abha) puts additional pressure on the
Saudis to respond to this attack. This just adds more fuel to the fire,"
said Jean-Marc Rickli, a defence expert at the Geneva Centre for Security
Wednesday, the coalition said evidence indicated that Iran's Revolutionary
Guards had supplied the Houthis with the weapon used in the Abha attack. The
spokesman for the Arab coalition said on Thursday the fact the missiles were
not intercepted did not mean there was a failure in Saudi defences.
month the Houthis claimed responsibility for an armed drone strike on two
oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia, the first time they had struck the
kingdom's oil infrastructure.
Saudi Arabia's air Defence forces shot down five drones launched by Houthi
terrorists against targets in the Kingdom's southern border region of Asir, a
spokesman of the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said
Turki Al-Maliki said in a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
that the drones were targeted at Abha international airport and the city of
Khamis Mushayt on Thursday night.
traffic and airspace at Abha International Airport are operating normally, and
there is no delay in flights and passenger traffic," Al-Maliki said.
said that "the Houthi terrorist militia is trying to target civilian
facilities in desperate and repeated attempts, without achieving any of their
irresponsible and hostile objectives."
drones were exposed and dropped. We stress on our legitimate right to take
appropriate deterrence measures, with such hostile acts and in conformity with
international humanitarian law and its customary rules," he said.
Lebanon — A cease-fire negotiated between Syrian rebels and government forces
in the country’s war-battered northwest was on shaky ground after intermittent
bombing and shelling resumed overnight Thursday in Idlib Province, the
country’s last piece of rebel-held territory.
and Turkey, two of the dominant foreign powers in the area, had negotiated the
cease-fire between the groups. It took effect on Wednesday, and was aimed at
ending more than six weeks of fighting, bombing and shelling as the Syrian
government moved to reclaim parts of the northwest.
amid sporadic breaches of the agreement, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut
Cavusoglu, told reporters on Thursday that “it is not possible” to call it a
“full cease-fire right now.”
and Iran as guarantor countries should put pressure” on the Syrian government
“for the attacks to stop,” Mr. Cavusoglu added. “They should fulfill their
terms of the cease-fire remained unclear, and neither Turkey nor Russia said
how long it was supposed to last.
residents of Idlib and the surrounding countryside said the airstrikes and
shelling that had hounded them day and night had quieted considerably. But
shelling on the neighboring Hama area breached the cease-fire overnight
Thursday, residents said. Airstrikes also resumed around the area of Jabal al
Zawiya, civilians and activists said.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Britain-based war monitor, said that
pro-government airstrikes on Idlib and Hama, which destroyed many hospitals,
schools and homes in the pro-government offensive, had declined overnight
Thursday. But it counted about 55 airstrikes between early Thursday morning and
the early afternoon, as well as artillery shelling that killed four people.
the announced cease-fire, a doctor at one hospital, Omar Ibrahim, said the
hospital was continuing to receive people wounded by airstrikes on Thursday.
is calmer compared to the past few days,” he said, “but still too early to say
how long it’ll last.”
Thursday morning, the Turkish Defence Ministry said Syrian government forces
had attacked a Turkish military observation post in Idlib, hitting it with
mortar fire 35 times.
believe that was deliberate,” Mr. Cavusoglu said, adding that three soldiers
had been slightly wounded. He said Turkey would “do what is necessary” if such
Defence Ministry said on Thursday that Russian jets had bombed forces it called
terrorists in Idlib four times after the Turkish military outpost was shelled.
government offensive to retake Idlib, one of the last areas of Syria outside
the control of President Bashar al-Assad after eight years of civil war, has
displaced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, killed hundreds of
civilians and made it nearly impossible for people there to find shelter or
is home to about three million people, mostly civilians, including some who
came to the province as a last resort after refusing to surrender to the
government in their own regions. The population also includes a mix of
extremist and more moderate rebel groups.
maintains some control over much of Syria’s northwest, with military outposts
in Idlib, and a de-escalation deal between with Russia had kept the Syrian
government from invading the area until recently.
accused its arch-foe Tehran on Thursday of ordering a Yemeni rebel missile
strike which wounded 26 people at a Saudi airport and warned of "grave
continuation of the Iranian regime's aggression and reckless escalation,
whether directly or through its militias, will result in grave
consequences," deputy defence minister Prince Khaled bin Salman tweeted.
Huthi rebels hit the civilian airport in the popular mountain resort of Abha in
the southwest of the kingdom on Wednesday, damaging the arrivals hall and
forcing its closure for several hours.
will confront the Huthi militia's crimes with unwavering resolve," said
Prince Khaled, a son of King Salman.
targeting of a civilian airport exposes to the world the recklessness of Iran's
escalation and the danger it poses to regional security and stability."
and the Yemeni rebels both follow arms of the Shiite branch of Islam but Tehran
has always denied providing more than moral support to the rebels.
has accused the rebels of being Iranian proxies ever since it led its allies in
launching a military intervention against them in March 2015.
Iranian regime is the only party in the region that has been pursuing reckless
escalation, through the use of ballistic missiles and UAVs (unmanned aerial
vehicles) to directly target civilian installations and innocent
civilians," Prince Khaled said.
40 years, the Iranian regime has been spreading chaos, death and destruction,
by sponsoring and financing terrorist organisations including the Huthis."
has been a spate of rebel attacks on Saudi targets in recent weeks which have
coincided with reports of intensified coalition strikes on rebel strongholds on
the other side of the border.
rebels say that missile and drone strikes against Saudi Arabia are one of few
ways that they can retaliate against more than for years of bombing by the
Saudi-led coalition which has exacted a heavy civilian death toll in Yemen.
2015, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them
civilians, relief agencies say.
has triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis,
with 24.1 million Yemenis -- more than two-thirds of the population -- in need
rocket fired from Gaza on Thursday hit an empty building in the Israeli border
town of Sderot, without causing casualties, authorities said.
Israeli army, which said air raid sirens had been triggered in the south of the
country, said a “projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip towards the town of
Sderot”, without giving further details.
Israeli police confirmed no-one was wounded in the strike, saying the building
was damaged after being hit “with full force”. A student told Israeli media the
rocket had hit the religious school he attends.
rocket fell two meters from where I was standing,” said Shalom Kahlon. The
incident came hours after Israeli warplanes bombed bunkers at a Hamas base in
southern Gaza, causing no casualties, according to a Palestinian security
strike came after Israeli air Defences intercepted a previous rocket launched
from Gaza, the first since hundreds were fired from the enclave in early May in
a flare-up, which killed 25 Palestinians and four Israelis.
authorities on Wednesday announced a ban on fishing off Gaza, in response to
the launching of balloons, fitted with incendiary devices, into Israeli
territory to set fire to farmland.
armed forces have carried out retaliatory drone attacks on an airport in
southwestern Saudi Arabia for the second time in a week.
Qasif-2K drones targeted the airport in the Saudi province of Asir in the early
hours of Friday morning, two days after a cruise missile attack by army
troopers and allied fighters from Popular Committees at the strategic Saudi
facility, Yemen's al-Masirah television network reported.
have been no immediate reports of possible casualties or the extent of damage
caused as a result of the attack.
Saudi-led coalition spokesman said in a statement released by the Saudi Press
Agency that the country's air missile Defence systems had intercepted five
Yemeni drones over the Saudi airport on Friday morning.
Wednesday, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, the spokesman for Yemeni Armed
Forces, said US-built surface-to-air missile systems stationed at Abha airport
could not intercept the cruise missile, which he said had hit the designated
target with great precision.
noted that the missile hit the observation tower in the airport, which is about
200 kilometers north of the border with Yemen and serves domestic and regional
routes, causing significant disruption to air travel.
pointed out that the missile attack on Abha airport was part of retaliatory
measures by Yemeni soldiers and their allies in the face of the Saudi-led
coalition’s crimes against Yemeni people.
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen launched airstrikes on Thursday that destroyed
Iran-backed Houthi militia targets around the capital, Sanaa.
alliance had pledged a “stern response” to Wednesday’s Houthi missile attack on
a Saudi civilian airport, in which 26 people were injured.
said Thursday’s strikes targeted “foreign experts from terrorist organizations
working with the Houthis.” “The targets that were destroyed in Yemen include
missile depots, weapons and manufacturing plants,” the coalition said.
Houthi-run Masirah TV admitted that coalition jets bombed three sites,
including military targets belonging to Houthi forces, on the outskirts of
Sanaa. Residents said the strikes had targeted military camps west and north of
Arabia vowed on Thursday to take “appropriate” action to confront and deter
will confront the Houthi militias’ crimes with unwavering resolve,” said Deputy
Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman. “Their targeting of a civilian
airport exposes to the world the recklessness of Iran’s escalation and the
danger it poses to regional security and stability.
targeting of Abha airport, injuring innocent civilians, is a continuation of
their immoral and criminal behavior that is in line with the malign behavior of
measures will be taken to confront and deter these terrorist militias. We will
stand against all those who aim to inflict harm on our security and interests.
40 years, the Iranian regime has been spreading chaos, death and destruction by
sponsoring and financing terrorist organizations, including the Houthis.
Al-Shabaab militants died in Lamu County on Thursday after the improvised
explosive devices (IEDs) they were planting blew up prematurely.
died at the scene of the incident at about 3am near Kwa Omollo Bridge along
Kanyiri, director of the Linda Boni operation and the Lamu County Commissioner,
said the fourth terrorist was severely injured in the explosion and died while
other gunmen were injured in the incident.
Kanyiri said, "[The bodies of the three were found at the scene while the
fourth one was found in a bush metres away. He had been trying to run
added that police found three loaded AK 47 rifle magazines, 12 loose bullets
and a magazine pouch.
Omollo Bridge is within the dense Boni Forest where the multi-agency Linda Boni
security operation is taking place.
government launched the operation in September 2015 as part of efforts to flush
out the terrorists.
Kanyiri said security agencies were determined to smoke out the criminals.
is no cause for alarm. Citizens should rest assured that we’re determined to
ensure peace and stability is restored in Lamu and other places where the
operation is ongoing," he said.
will not relent in the war against criminals. We will smoke them out."
Regional Commissioner John Elungata lauded the agencies securing Boni Forest and
other parts of Lamu.
should not be deterred. Our security agencies are determined to ensure peace is
maintained,” he said.
who use Hindi-Kiunga and Bodhai-Bargoni roads asked the government to clear
bushes so the enemies lack places to hide.
appreciate the efforts by the government in dealing with Al-Shabaab and ending
the war in our area. We haven’t experienced any attacks recently, enough proof
that the operation is successful," said Mr Dida Athman of Basuba Village.
are, however, appealing to the government to ensure bushes are cleared so that
these enemies don’t find places to hide and attack us and security
than 80 people were killed, including 16 Cameroonian soldiers, during an attack
by suspected Boko Haram Islamists in the north of the country, the Defence
civilians and 64 fighters also died in the pitched battle in the Darak locality
of Cameroon’s Far North Region on June 9, while another eight fighters were
taken prisoner, Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said in statement handed to
reporters in the capital, Yaounde.
in Nigeria, Boko Haram has been waging a violent campaign since 2009 to impose
its version of Islamic law in Africa’s most populous country. Its attacks have
left tens of thousands of people dead and the violence has spilled into Niger,
Chad, and Cameroon.
military rulers said on Thursday they had thwarted several coup attempts
different groups of people who had attempted coups had been arrested, the
Transitional Military Council’s spokesman said.
group consisted of five people while the other had more than 12 members, he
military council for the first time on Thursday admitted it had ordered the
June 3 dispersal of a Khartoum protest sit-in that left dozens dead and
military council decided to disperse the sit-in and a plan was made... but we
regret that some mistakes happened,” spokesman Shamseddine Kabbashi told
said the military would not allow any further protest camps to be set up near
armed forces sites, after the sit-in outside army headquarters in central
Khartoum was cleared.
said the findings of an investigation into the events of June 3 would be
released on Saturday.
military rulers said that Ethiopia’s prime minister had suggested that
negotiations between the rulers and the Sudanese opposition on a transition to
democracy move to Addis Ababa.
head of Sudan’s ruling military council met with US diplomats in Khartoum on
Thursday, the council said.
ruling Transitional Military Council said Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah
al-Burhan met with Tibor Nagy, the US assistant secretary for Africa, and
veteran diplomat Donald Booth, who was appointed US envoy to Sudan on
public prosecution has charged ousted President Omar al-Bashir of corruption,
the official SUNA news agency said on Thursday.
quoted an unnamed official as saying that Bashir is facing charges including
“possessing of foreign funds, acquiring suspected and illegal wealth and
ordering (the state of) emergency.”
speaker of east Libya’s parliament, which is aligned with troops trying to
seize capital Tripoli from the UN-backed government, says there could be no
peace negotiations until they captured the city.
Libya has been divided between two rival governments, the Tobruk-based House of
Representatives and the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord
(GNA) in Tripoli.
parliament is aligned with the so-called Libyan National Army (LNA), led by
strongman Khalifa Haftar, who launched an offensive in early April to conquer
Tripoli and oust the GNA.
who enjoys the loyalty of a group of armed militia and backing from Saudi
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, has taken upon himself to
protect the government in Tobruk.
assault, however, has stalled in the face of resistance from local armed groups
aligned with GNA.
(military) operation must be resolved. The political solution should in any
case come even after the liberation of the Libyan capital,” Aguila Saleh, the
chief of the Tobruk-based parliament, said.
rejected proposals for the LNA to withdraw troops or agree to a truce, while he
admitted that “the campaign to liberate Tripoli is not easy.”
someone could get these groups out peacefully, then the army would return to
the barracks,” Saleh said, referring to the GNA’s armed groups.
claimed that GNA troops were using more than two million Libyans and buildings
in the capital as shields, while Haftar’s militia was refraining from using
heavy weapons to limit damage to property.
army could have carried out a powerful operation and used all kinds of weapons
but these are Libyans and we will save any drop of blood, no matter what,”
and his supporters claim that they are trying to liberate the capital from the
grips of militias which they blame for destabilizing the North African country since
the ouster of Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
ouster created a huge power vacuum, leading to chaos and emergence of numerous
militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
UN-backed GNA, however, blames Haftar for the crisis.
ruling military council has admitted for the first time admitted it had ordered
the June 3 dispersal of a Khartoum protest sit-in that left dozens of people
dead and hundreds more injured.
military council decided to disperse the sit-in and a plan was made... but we
regret that some mistakes happened," spokesman Shamseddine Kabbashi told
said the military would not allow any further protest camps to be set up near
armed forces sites, after the sit-in outside army headquarters in central
Khartoum was dispersed.
said the findings of an investigation into the incident would be made available
of protesters had held a round-the-clock sit-in outside the army complex since
April 6, initially seeking the army's help to oust longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.
army toppled Bashir on April 11 but since then the ruling generals have
resisted calls to hand over power to a civil administration.
continued with the sit-in even as they held negotiations with the generals over
the form of a new governing body.
state prosecutor’s office has charged former President Omer Al-Bashir with
corruption, local media reported on Thursday.
state-run SUNA news agency confirmed that the prosecutor’s office has completed
the probe into two cases of "possessing foreign currency and suspected
media office of the state general prosecutor has also pointed out the state
prosecutor has concluded the investigation in two cases of possessing illegal
foreign currency and “suspected illicit wealth”.
clashes on Thursday morning renewed between the UN-recognized Libyan government
and its rival forces affiliated with Gen. Khalifa Haftar in the southern
districts of the capital Tripoli.
the airport road and the al-Khula area have seen the fiercest clashes between
the two sides, while explosions have been heard in different districts of the
late Wednesday, Haftar-affiliated warplanes pounded forces of the UN-recognized
government concentrated in the two areas of Mashrou al-Moz and Ain Zara, south
UN-recognized forces announced that they have destroyed a tank affiliated with
the Haftar forces.
another development, pro-Haftar forces said in a Thursday statement that they
had shot down a warplane allegedly belonging to the UN-recognized government
near the city of Misrata, some 200 kilometers (124.27 miles) east of Tripoli.
pilot was killed in the attack, the statement read.
UN-recognized government has yet to comment on these claims.
forces have so far been unsuccessful in seeking to capture Tripoli from the
U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord in an offensive that began in
his forces remain deployed in several areas around the capital.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi
was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday saying that neither Iran nor US are
ready to make a deal.
I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a
deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!" he said.
administration of US President Donald Trump blames Iran for attacks on two oil
tankers in the Sea of Oman without providing evidence as Iranian Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called the incident "suspicious"
which occurred during a landmark visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to
the Islamic Republic.
Thursday morning, Iranian rescuers rushed to the assistance of two oil tankers
hit by yet unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman, transferring all of their
44 crew members to Iran's southern shores.
of the two involved tankers -- one sailing under a Panama flag and owned by
Japan and another bearing the Marshall Islands’ ensign -- sank during the
incident, said the director general of Ports and Maritime Department in the
southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, Allah-Morad Afifipour.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Iran of carrying out the
attacks without providing any evidence to back up his accusation.
is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of
Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,”
Pompeo told reporters in a brief appearance at the State Department in
assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise
needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping,
and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and
proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said.
agrees with US
Arabia – a key ally of the US in the Middle East – said on Thursday that it
agrees with the United States that Iran was behind the attacks.
have no reason to disagree with the secretary of state. We agree with
him," Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told CNN.
"Iran has a history of doing this."
agrees with US, warns Iran
has also agreed with the US and said that Iran is responsible for the attacks,
and warned Tehran that these actions were "deeply unwise.”
is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension. I have been in
contact with Pompeo and, while we will be making our own assessment soberly and
carefully, our starting point is obviously to believe our US allies,"
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement on Thursday.
are taking this extremely seriously and my message to Iran is that if they have
been involved it is a deeply unwise escalation which poses a real danger to the
prospects of peace and stability in the region," he added.
Trump administration had also accused Iran of being behind a similar attack on
May 12 on four oil tankers in the Persian Gulf while independent analysts
blamed US and Israeli intelligence agencies for carrying out a false flag
operation in order to ignite a conflict in the Middle East region.
week, the United Nations Security Council held a meeting on the vessel attacks
near the UAE port of Fujairah, but member states refused to blame any party
despite Abu Dhabi's claim that a "state actor" was behind the
incident. Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov told reporters that no
evidence on Iran's alleged link to the attacks were presented during the
before the Security Council briefing, hawkish US National Security Adviser John
Bolton had vowed to present to the UN evidence on Iran's involvement in the
Fujairah attacks, but he didn't.
on Thursday, hours after the attacks occurred, Zarif, said, “Suspicious doesn't
begin to describe what likely transpired this morning.”
the fact that attacked tankers were bound for Japan, Zarif noted, “Reported
attacks on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with
Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks.”
foreign minister then stressed that promotion of a regional dialogue forum was
necessary to deal with the recent attacks on commercial ships in the Persian
Gulf, in what was a clear allusion to his previous call for the formation of a
such a forum for the Persian Gulf littoral states in an attempt to restore
peace and stability to the region.
calls for international probe
Qatar has called for an international investigation into the attacks on
Pentagon said Thursday it had no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the
Middle East as it sent a destroyer to the scene of attacks on two tankers in
the Gulf of Oman.
will defend our interests, but a war with Iran is not in our strategic
interest, nor in the best interest of the international community," U.S.
Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a
remarks came after two commercial tankers -- the Marshall Islands-flagged Front
Altair and Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous -- were on their way to Taiwan and
Singapore from Qatar and Saudi Arabia respectively when they were attacked near
the Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.
strait is a vital waterway, with roughly one-third of the world's liquefied
natural gas and a fifth of its oil consumption transiting through it each day.
said the destroyer USS Mason was en route to the scene of the attacks.
Thursday's attacks "a clear threat to international freedom of navigation
and freedom of commerce," Brown said the U.S. and its partners in the
region will take all necessary precautions to "defend ourselves and our
the USS Bainbridge rescued 21 mariners from the Kokuka Courageous and they are
currently aboard the destroyer.
USS Bainbridge remains in close contact with the M/V Kokuka Courageous and is
the on-scene U.S. command authority," said Brown. "No interference
with the USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated."
to his U.S. counterpart, Turkey’s Defence chief on Thursday brought up an
“improperly” worded letter sent by the U.S. last week, said an official Turkish
phone call between Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s national Defence minister, and Patrick
Shanahan, the acting U.S. Defence secretary, came after Akar said Wednesday the
letter was “not in line with the spirit of the alliance.”
the call, Minister Akar emphasized the improper wording” of the letter, said a
Defence Ministry statement.
letter said that Washington was cutting short a F-35 fighter jet training
program for Turkish pilots over "safety concerns."
between the U.S. and Turkey have simmered over Ankara’s purchase of Russian
S-400 Defence systems.
claims the purchase will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet
program and has threatened sanctions.
has said there is no conflict between the S-400 and the F-35 and has called for
a working group to clarify the issue.
Thursday’s phone call, the statement added, also discussed were mutual issues
between the two countries, regional security issues, and Defence industry
US Treasury has placed sanctions on an Iraq-based company and two Iraqi
citizens for trafficking weapons worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Iraqi
militias backed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its foreign
operations arm, the Quds Force.
Treasury said that in addition to weapons smuggling, South Wealth Resources
Company, also known as Manabea Tharwat Al Janoob General Trading Company,
"moved millions of dollars to Iraq for illicit financial activity
benefiting the IRGC-QF and its Iraq-based militia groups".
SWRC and its two associates, Makki Kazim Abd Al Hamid Al Asadi and Muhammed
Husayn Salih Al Hasani, have also been placed on the US State Department's list
of "Specially Designated Global Terrorists", according to a Treasury
statement released on Wednesday.
US move tightens pressure on the IRGC after designating it as a foreign
terrorist organisation in April. The Quds Force was designated in 2007 for
new sanctions freeze any assets that the targets may have in US jurisdictions
and bar Americans from doing business with them.
Treasury said SWRC also generated profit in the form of commission payments for
Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, an US-sanctioned adviser to Quds Force commander Qassem
is taking action to shut down Iranian weapons smuggling networks that have been
used to arm regional proxies of the IRGC Quds Force in Iraq, while personally
enriching regime insiders," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a
United States’ budget for the upcoming financial year does not include any
security assistance for Pakistan’s military but only civilian assistance
programming, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia
Alice Wells will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) in a
hearing on ‘US Interest in South Asia and FY 2020 Budget’.
per the statement released by HFAC, the budget request for India will be
increased and those for Afghanistan and Pakistan will be “rationalized”.
to reports, the statement also refers to the February 14 Pulwama attack ,
saying it “underscored the importance and immediate need to halt terrorist
activity in the region,” adding that the multilateral effort in sanctioning
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar at the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee
“sends an important message that the international community will not tolerate
statement also notes that while Pakistan has taken “important” steps to detain
militants and seize their assets in recent months, these actions are
must sustain these measures and expand upon them, including by prosecuting
terrorist leaders. The reality is that terrorist organisations such as
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and JeM will continue to pose a grave risk to
international peace as long as they are able to operate freely in Pakistan,”
the statement says.
seeks Pakistan’s support in Afghanistan, but urges caution on India
The United States wants Pakistan to continue supporting the Afghan peace
process but also expects Islamabad to end its allegedly “unacceptable support”
to militants, say two key US officials, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and
Assistant Secretary Alice G. Wells.
President Trump, we’ve taken our defence cooperation to new heights … and taken
a far tougher stand on Pakistan’s unacceptable support for terrorism in the
region,” Secretary Pompeo told a gathering of mainly Indian-Americans in
Washington on Wednesday.
approach to Pakistan has focused largely on securing Islamabad’s support for
the Afghan peace process and for Pakistan to follow through on its pledges to
take sustained and irreversible actions against all militant groups operating
from within its territory,” said Wells, who looks after South Asian affairs at
the State Department.
Pompeo, who will visit India later this month, also addressed India’s
hyper-sensitive approach in its dealings with China and Pakistan.
get it. We realise it’s different to deal with the likes of China and Pakistan
from across the ocean than it is when they are on your borders,” he said.
Wells outlined the administration’s priorities for Pakistan before the House
Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation, which
began a hearing on Thursday on the State Department’s budget requests for the
South and Central Asian regions.
relationship with Pakistan remains one of our most complex and most
consequential,” she said. “Our engagement with Pakistan on nonproliferation
issues is also crucial. The United States and Pakistan both attach high
importance to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
United States, she said, also remains concerned about Pakistan’s development of
certain categories of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
Afghanistan reconciliation, we recognise that Pakistan has taken steps to
encourage Taliban participation in peace negotiations, which has been important
to the progress we have made thus far,” she said.
there is much more work to be done to achieve our ultimate goal of a peaceful
Afghanistan free of terrorist groups.”
that no other country will benefit more from a peaceful Afghanistan than
Pakistan, she said: “We expect Pakistan to continue to play a constructive
role in reconciliation efforts.”
Wells noted that the Pulwama terrorist attack in February sparked a crisis
between India and Pakistan and underscored the importance and immediate need to
halt terrorist activity in the region.
continue to urge Pakistan’s leaders to make good on their pledges to take
sustained and irreversible actions against terrorist groups operating within
the country’s borders, which is necessary for the long-term stability and
prosperity of the region,” she said.
US official acknowledged that in recent months, Pakistan had detained some
militants and seized assets belonging to front organisations raising funds for
these steps are important, they are still reversible. Pakistan must sustain
these measures and expand upon them, including by prosecuting terrorist
Wells warned that terrorist organisations, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and
Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), would continue to pose a grave risk to international
peace as long as they were able to operate freely in Pakistan.
US official also took credit for the May 1 listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar
at the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee — “an achievement 10 years in the making”.
She argued that this listing sent an important message that the international
community would not tolerate terrorism.
progress on these two issues — reconciliation and counterterrorism — will lie
at the heart of a renewed bilateral relationship,” Ms Well said. “We believe in
the potential of the US-Pakistan relationship to foster regional stability and
State Department official told the congressional panel that her department’s
budget request for 2020 did “not include security assistance funding for
Pompeo, who will visit India, Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea from June 24 to
30, also cited BJP’s popular election slogan — “Modi hai to mumkin hai” — while
expressing the Trump administration’s desire to build a strong partnership with
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his latest campaign, ‘Modi hai to mumkin
hai,’ or ‘Modi makes it possible’, I’m looking forward to exploring what’s
possible between our people,” he said.
Pompeo noted that the first batch of India’s Apache helicopters were coming off
Boeing’s production line in Arizona. Other defence equipment made available to
India include Lockheed Martin’s F-21 and Boeing’s F/A-18 are state-of-the-art
fighters that could give New Delhi an edge in air capabilities.
Trump Administration has also allowed American companies to export more high
technology items to India, including cutting-edge defence platforms like armed
UAVs and ballistic missile defence systems.
have already launched the Asia-EDGE programme, to help India raise private
capital to meet its energy security and access needs,” Mr Pompeo said.
mosque attack defendant pleads not guilty
man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque
attacks pleaded not guilty to multiple murder and terrorism charges Friday and
was committed to stand trial next year.
in Christchurch High Court via audio-visual link from a maximum-security prison
in Auckland, Brenton Tarrant sat silently as lawyer Shane Tait said his client
pleaded “not guilty to all charges”.
self-proclaimed white supremacist has been charged with 51 counts of murder, 40
of attempted murder and engaging in a terrorist act over the March 15 atrocity
in the South Island city.
28-year-old Australian allegedly opened fire in the packed al-Noor mosque
during Friday prayers, then traveled across town to continue the carnage in the
suburban Linwood mosque, while live-streaming his actions on social media.
court heard that mental health assessments had found Tarrant was fit to stand
trial for the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history.
issue arises regarding the defendant’s fitness to plead, to instruct counsel,
and to stand his trial. A fitness hearing is not required,” Judge Cameron
Mander said in a statement issued shortly after the hearing.
80 survivors and relatives of those killed packed into the courthouse’s public
gallery for a glimpse of Tarrant. Wearing a grey crewneck jersey, Tarrant
smirked at times during the hearing.
Mander set a trial date of May 4 next year, with Tait saying it was expected to
last at least six weeks.
court endeavors to bring serious criminal cases to trial within a year of the
arrest. The scale and complexity of this case make this challenging,” Mander
said. Tarrant was remanded in custody to appear for a case review hearing to be
held on August 15.
barred news outlets from taking photographs or video of Tarrant’s appearance,
although he said images from an earlier hearing in April could be used.
Zealand’s government tightened the country’s gun laws in the wake of the attack
and has said it will review laws dealing with hate speech.
has also supported international efforts to ensure that social media giants to
do more to combat online extremism.
home secretary and Conservative Party leadership contender Sajid Javid has
expressed confusion about why he was not invited to last week's state banquet
for US President Donald Trump.
Javid was the only top-level Cabinet minister not to be invited to the dinner
at Buckingham Palace, sparking speculation that his previous comments about Mr
Trump’s Twitter activity may have been behind the snub.
don’t know,” he told the BBC. “I’ve asked… but I was just told normally home
secretaries aren’t invited.”
Javid responded angrily to the US president retweeting a post from far-right
group Britain First in 2017.
tweet, written during his tenure as minister for communities, said Mr Trump had
“endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me
and people like me”.
refuse to let it go and say nothing,” he wrote.
POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that
hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say
AM - Nov 30, 2017
people are talking about this
if his Muslim background may be behind the lack of invite, Mr Javid replied:
“No, I’m not saying that at all, but I really don’t know.”
Labour Secretary of State Jacqui Smith weighed in on the idea that home
secretaries are not ordinarily invited, writing on Twitter : “I went to every
state banquet for visiting leaders as Home Secretary”.
odd. I went to every state banquet for visiting leaders as Home Secretary
Javid: It is 'odd' I wasn't invited to Donald Trump dinner at Buckingham Palace
PM - Jun 13, 2019
people are talking about this
Javid's predecessor as home secretary, Amber Rudd, also attended state banquets
for foreign leaders during her term in office.
participation isn’t guaranteed. In 2011 Mrs May herself, then in charge of the
Home Office, did not attend a State Banquet for Barack Obama.
spokesman for the Prime Minister said the banquet was hosted by the Queen and
“it would not be appropriate to discuss in public who did or did not ask to
home secretary made the comments shortly before the first round of voting in
the Conservative leadership contest.
Merkel. the German chancellor, took the opportunity to embrace the UAE Year of
Tolerance during the official visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed this week.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
arrived home on Thursday from a two-day trip to Berlin in which the highlight
was a joint statement that rolled over the 15-year strategic partnership
between the two states.
visit also highlighted the importance of jointly appointed special envoys in
promoting strong bilateral exchanges in future.
Merkel said the ties went far beyond strong economic links and the one million
Germans that visited the UAE every year. She said the Year of Tolerance and the
visit of Pope Francis to Abu Dhabi in February was a demonstration of the
state's wider influence.
would like to emphasise – and this is very important to us – the tolerance
initiative of the Emirates," she said. "At the beginning of the year,
the first pope's visit to the Arabian Peninsula took place within this
framework. The fact that the Special Olympics were hosted by the United Arab
Emirates also shows that all population groups should be involved. These
Special Olympics were a great success.
talked about the importance of building bridges across different religions and
denominations, as well as between neighbours, given the conflicts in the
region. Extremism and hatred must be resolutely opposed to tolerance and
friendship between peoples. Of course, this includes the fight against
including Iran, Syria and Yemen.
am very glad that in our joint statement we agreed that there is a need to
support the process initiated by the United Nations with the Special Envoy as
well," she said of the peace efforts in Yemen. "Small successes can
be seen but unfortunately we are still a long way from resolving the
Iran, the German leader said the 2015 nuclear deal was one consideration among
others. "Even if the United Arab Emirates and Germany sometimes have
slightly different points of view, we are united by the desire to find peaceful
solutions," she said. "We have recently had a lot of exchanges on
this. It has to be said that there are activities of Iran – for example the
ballistic missile programme or even some activity in Syria – that of course
his part Sheikh Mohamed underlined the long-term nature of the relationship and
how both sides wished to invest in an expanded partnership.
am extremely happy to be here in Germany as we are celebrating the 15th
anniversary of signing our Strategic Partnership Agreement," Sheikh
trade exchange at that time was $3 billion and now it is close to $14bn. Our
visit to Germany confirms that we have a new road map for another 15 years.
are looking forward to double our trade exchange. We have discussed a variety
of issues and we agree on many of them. We hope to see our bilateral relations
and co-operation getting stronger."
Merkel warmly welcomed the visit of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to Berlin as a
continuation of his last trip in 2016 and her visit to the UAE in 2017.
said the talks with Sheikh Mohamed tackled a wide range of bilateral issues,
most notably the celebration of the 15-year strategic partnership between the
Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, a central public figure and founder of the “Conference
of Imams,” visited the Knesset on Wednesday at the head of a delegation of 40
Muslim educators from France and met with Israeli officials.
Chalghoumi is known for his efforts to promote moderate Islam and his criticism
of radical Islam and fundamentalism, as well as his actions to encourage
inter-religious dialogue and collaboration.
is on his second visit to the Jewish state as part of a visit organized by the
European Leadership Network (ELNET), which brings together leaders who believe
in the importance of close relations between Europe and Israel.
France, he is viewed as an Islamic leader who represents an essential
alternative to radical movements. He also maintains a close relationship with
the Jewish community of France, and recognizes the right of existence of a
Jewish state in Israel.
2014, he headed a delegation of imams who visited Israel as part of an
initiative that promotes peace.
has been facing death threats after he met with IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen.
Ronen Manelis in Paris in July 2018 and posted the historic meeting on social
family lives in Bahrain due to threats on his life from the Islamic State
May 2006, his home was ransacked following a Holocaust memorial ceremony that
he conducted in Drancy, the site of Nazi deportations.
cooperation with Jewish organizations in France has won him the epithet “Imam
of the Jews.”
the event at the Knesset, Chalghoumi noted that tensions in Belgium and France
are high and that anti-Semitic incidents have risen by 74 percent. However, he
said, extremist Muslims in these countries are a small and unrepresentative
minority. While religious-political radicalization is occurring in all of
Europe, he urged the media to reflect the true face of the populations, which
seek coexistence, he said.
of Knesset (MK) Eli Avidar, who was present at the meeting, said the world is a
better place because of people like Chalghoumi, who is not driven by fear.
says he wants to visit Iraq in 2020
City, June 10. 2019: Announcing his desire to visit Iraq in 2020, Pope Francis
called for a peaceful resolution to crises in the Middle East.
also warned that God would unleash his wrath on hypocritical leaders who liked
to talk about peace while selling weapons to warring nations.
escaping, crowded on boats, they cry out, seeking hope, not knowing which ports
will be able to welcome them in a Europe which opens its ports to vessels that
have to load sophisticated and costly weapons, capable of wreaking havoc that
doesn’t even spare children,” he said.
pope made his comments during a meeting June 10 with a Vatican coalition of
funding agencies, known by its Italian acronym ROACO. Coordinated by the
Congregation for Eastern Churches, ROACO assists Eastern-rite churches around
the world as well as the Latin-rite church in North Africa and the Middle East.
It was holding its annual general meeting at the Vatican.
said their meetings with experts, including papal diplomats, would help them
“hear the cry of the many who have been robbed over these years of hope.”
included people from Syria, where the risk of a major humanitarian crisis still
looms, he said, underlining the plight of so many people left without food,
medicine, schools and loved ones who have died or been killed.
people may be “insensitive” to such tragedy, God is not, because he is moved by
the cries of his children, and he seeks to protect and guide them with
tenderness, the pope said.
many times, I also think about God’s wrath, which will be unleashed upon those
nations’ leaders who talk peace, but sell arms to make these wars. This is
hypocrisy. This is a sin.”
pope said his thoughts were also with Iraq, “where I have the desire to go next
said he hoped this nation could pursue building the common good through “the
peaceful and shared participation” of all people, of every religion. He said he
hoped it would not succumb to tensions fanned by conflicts between regional
I cannot forget Ukraine, that its people may find peace,” he said.
said he hoped leaders in the Holy Land would work with other local and
international leaders to be able to live together in peace, harmony and
pope also noted the many signs of hope and consolation that are the fruit of
“that tireless charitable outreach that has been made possible also thanks to
each of you and the agencies that you represent.”
Le Pen goes to trial over tweets on ISIS atrocities
French judge has ordered Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s right-wing
Rassemblement National party, to stand trial over gruesome images of atrocities
committed by ISIS she shared on Twitter, according to The Local France.
December 2015, the French politician sent three tweets showing the decapitated
body of American reporter James Foley, a man on fire in a cage and a victim
being driven over by a tank. The images were captioned “This is Daesh,” another
name for ISIS.
2017, she was stripped of legal immunity by the European Parliament, and in
February 2018 Le Pen was charged with circulating “violent messages that incite
terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity" that can be seen
by a minor.
only shows French citizens what the EU is, what the European Parliament is and
that it's all part of the system that wants to stop the French people's
candidate that I am," Le Pen said in response to being stripped of
immunity, according to the site.
Pen refused to attend a police interview during a law enforcement investigation
into the tweets, telling AFP "I am being charged for having condemned the
horrors of Daesh” and that “in other countries this would have earned me a
crime is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of approximately
$91,000, the Local reported.
was also ordered to undergo psychiatric testing by a district court in
Nanterre, France, last year as part of the investigation, a demand she railed
against on Twitter.
thought I had been through it all: well, no! For denouncing the horrors of
Daesh (Isis) by tweets the 'justice system' has referred me for a psychiatric
assessment. How far will they go?!" she said, as translated by
UAE and Germany have reaffirmed their joint commitment to the fight against
terrorism and violent extremism, in all its forms, at both regional and
a joint statement issued Wednesday on the occasion of the visit of Sheikh
Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme
Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Germany, the two countries expressed
their shared view that terrorism and violent extremism are threats to the
reiterated their unequivocal rejection of all forms of terrorism that
represents a threat to international peace and stability and ensure security
cooperation in this regard, reported the UAE news agency (WAM).
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sheikh Mohammed held in-depth talks on the current
security situation in the Gulf, on issues relating to regional security, as
well as increasing political, economic, humanitarian and cultural cooperation
between Abu Dhabi and Berlin.
UAE and Germany said that terrorism and violent extremism are threats to the
international order. They underscored their unequivocal rejection of all forms
of terrorism, that represents a threat to the international peace and
stability, and ensure security cooperation in this regard.
agreed on rallying efforts on counter-terrorism issues, exchanging of expertise
and information on combating terrorism and strengthening individual training
and capacity-building in that regard.
acknowledged their role in playing a stabilizing role in their respective
regions, along with positive contributions to global affairs. Particular
importance is to be ascribed in this regard to multilateralism, international
law and rules-based order and international institutions as a means of
addressing joint challenges and achieving peaceful coexistence.
Yemen, the UAE and Germany strongly encouraged a political solution, taking
into account the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and its
executive mechanism, the outcomes of the Yemeni national dialogue conference
and all relevant resolutions of United Nations Security Council. They
underlined the importance of the implementation of the Stockholm deal and
expressed their unequivocal support for the ongoing efforts of UN special envoy
to Yemen Martin Griffiths.
Iran, both the UAE and Germany expressed concern for growing tensions in the
region and called on Iran to play a constructive role and refrain from any
stressed the urgency for all actors in the regions to refrain from any actions
that could escalate existing tensions. The UAE and Germany also view that the
importance of respecting sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs
is essential to guarantee regional security and stability.
terror group Hezbollah is bypassing US sanctions against Iran by laundering
many millions of dollars in the drug trade in Europe.
news comes as the result of a study about how Hezbollah’s political wing serves
its military wing and further enshrines that there is no real distinction
between the two. It showed that Hezbollah acts as intermediaries in the global
drug route from South America to West Africa to Europe, with only 5-10% of
total drugs being intercepted.
Cohen of the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at the
Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya said: “We are showing how all the drug
distribution works and supports money laundering… Our study links Hezbollah’s
political wing with its military wing, and we went down to the field level and
are showing how all the drug trafficking system supports money laundering. At
least 20%-25% of the [profit] goes back to Hezbollah and is used for arming,
weapon purchases, salaries and more.”
countries, including the US, Britain, and the Netherlands, consider the group
as a whole to be a terror organization, but some, notably the European Union,
mistakenly distinguish between the two by only sanctioning the military wing.
US Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Derek Maltz said: “These
Hezbollah operatives are actually overseeing all the illicit finance and the
drug trafficking activities, not just in Europe, but in South America, the
Tri-Border region, moving about $200 million a month.”
explained that Hezbollah will use the drug money to buy cars, watches and
jewellery, which is then sold in Hezbollah to pay the traffickers in South
said: “It is a trade-based money laundering scheme, generating millions and millions
of dollars to help support these radical terrorists like Hezbollah.”
Prosor, the current head of the Abba Eban Institute, urged Europe to take
action against the scheme.
development comes shortly after a Daily Telegraph article about how Britain’s
security services uncovered a huge Hezbollah explosives cache in London in
2015, acting on a tip from an unnamed foreign intelligence agency. During a
raid on four properties in North West London, MI5 and the Metropolitan Police
found thousands of disposable ice packs containing three tons of ammonium
nitrate, an ingredient in homemade bombs. Supposedly, this was part of a wider
plan for future attacks.
is working on the basis that Iran is responsible for attacks on two oil tankers
in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, and warned Iran that these actions were
“deeply unwise,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.
is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension. I have been in
contact with (US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and, while we will be making
our own assessment soberly and carefully, our starting point is obviously to
believe our US allies,” Hunt said in a statement.
are taking this extremely seriously and my message to Iran is that if they have
been involved it is a deeply unwise escalation which poses a real danger to the
prospects of peace and stability in the region,” he added.
Austrian government confirmed Wednesday that it will shut down a Saudi-funded
Centre for religious dialogue in the capital Vienna.
decision came after members of parliament demanded that the King Abdullah bin
Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
(KAICIID) be closed down amid ongoing criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights
political parties approved a motion in parliament to shutter KAICIID.
motion was prompted by the recent sentencing to death of Murtaja Qureiris, an
18-year-old who has been detained since he was 13 for taking part in a protest
against the Saudi government when he was 10.
Special Forces seize massive cache of weapons, munitions of Taliban in Kabul
NDS Special Forces seized a massive cache of weapons and munitions belonging to
Taliban group in Kabul.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said the NDS Special
Forces discovered the cache in Paghman district.
statement further added that the Special Forces of the Directorate seized 52
RPG rockets, 38 RPG boosters, 16 rounds of 82mm mortars, 5 Ak-47 rifles, 1000
rounds of Ak-47 ammunitions, 9 boxes of PKM ammunitions and a large quantity of
other military kits.
National Directorate of Security also added that the Talibjan militants were
looking to use the weapons and munitions to stage attacks in Kabul city.
fight to the last drop of blood against terrorists backed by our neighbors:
police forces foiled a large-scale attack plot by Taliban militants in Obe
district killing at least 20 Taliban fighters.
Police Headquarters of Herat in a statement said a large number of Taliban
militants had gathered to launch a large-scale attack to capture Obe district
and Ganabad village.
the police forces launched an operation before the militants stage the attack
killing at least 20 militants and injuring 10 others.
Herat Police Chief Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel said the security forces have
recently arrested several foreign militants which proves that the neighboring
countries specifically Pakistan support the terror groups in Afghanistan.
Amarkhel assured the residents of Herat province that the security forces will
fight to the last drop of blood to thwart enemy conspiracies for disrupting the
security of Herat, harming the lives and dignity of the people and territorial
integrity of the country.
Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber walked up to an Afghan police vehicle in
Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, and detonated an
explosive device that killed three police and six civilians on Thursday, said
provincial health department official Shoaib Sahak. He said another 13 people
were wounded, some of the seriously.
Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said security forces were the
target of the attack. Several of the injured were police, he said.
Islamic State group, through its Amaq news agency, claimed responsibility for
the suicide attack. The group claimed eight people were killed. Both IS and the
Taliban operate in Nangarhar province, located on the border with Pakistan and
considered an IS stronghold.
security forces come under near-daily attacks by both Taliban and IS-affiliated
fighters. Afghan forces have suffered staggering casualties in recent years,
even as the Taliban hold peace talks with U.S. Peace Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. He
is currently in the Afghan capital, Kabul, trying to restart stalled peace
talks aimed at ending the country's 18-year war and America's longest-running
Taliban have held talks with prominent Afghans, including former President
Hamid Karzai and members of opposition political parties, but so far they have
refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, calling them U.S.
Wednesday, the Afghan government freed 490 Taliban prisoners from jails across
the country in a goodwill gesture that doubled as an attempt to further the
Afghan official says six people were killed when a civilian vehicle struck a
roadside bomb in southern Kandahar province.
councilman Yousof Younosi says all the victims were from a single family — two
children, two women and two men. The attack took place on Tuesday in Dand
one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Younosi blamed the
Taliban who are active in the province and regularly stage attacks against
Afghan forces and government officials.
Jawad Hajri, spokesman for the governor in northeastern Takhar province, said
security forces repelled Taliban attacks on checkpoints in Khoja Ghor district
A suicide bomber targeted a police checkpoint on Thursday in the eastern Afghan
city of Jalalabad, killing at least 11 people and wounding 13 others, an
Afghan arm of the IS group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was
committed by an assailant on foot, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the
governor of Nangarhar province. There was at least one child among the
fatalities, while three others were wounded.
wave of violence across Afghanistan in recent weeks has claimed the lives of
dozens of civilians and security forces.
18 years of conflict, the Taliban are in negotiations with US peace envoy
Zalmay Khalilzad for some sort of peace settlement. A resolution still seems
far off, with the two sides struggling to agree on several key points.
is in the country now meeting with political leaders and members of civil
society in the hope of launching intra-Afghan talks with the Taliban.
EU envoy for Afghanistan, Roland Kobia, is also here to support the process.
a gesture of goodwill, the government announced on Thursday it has released 490
Taliban prisoners who are ill or have less than a year left to serve. They are
among 887 prisoners that President Ashraf Ghani promised to free in early June
as he marked the end of Ramazan.
is due to travel to Qatar in coming days for a new round of talks with the
Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties during a clash with the security
forces in Farah province.
informed military sources said Thursday that the clash broke out after Taliban
militants attacked a security check post in Bala Boluk district.
sources further added that the security forces killed 7 Taliban fighters and
wounded 11 others during the clash.
Afghan security forces killed Mawlavi Abdul Bari, the shadow district chief of
Taliban for Daichupan district of Zabul.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said the security forces also killed
44 other militants including two of their senior commanders during the
statement further added that the militants were killed after attacking
security forces also killed the chief of operations of the group Farid and
commander Malook during the clash.
Afghan security forces targeted a compound of Lashkar-e-Taiba group in Kunar
province killing at least 3 foreign terrorists.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said the 2nd Brigade of Silab Corps conducted
artillery strikes on Lashkar-e-Taiba compound in ASmar district on Wednesday.
statement further added that the compound belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba commander
Majid alias Adalat.
security forces killed 3 foreign terrorists of the group and wounded 5 more
during the operation, the 201st Silab Corps added.
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