al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda Chief Called for ‘Mujahideen in Kashmir’ To Inflict ‘Unrelenting
Blows’ On The Indian Army And The Government
Free To Worship, But Don’t Spread Beliefs among Malaysian Muslims, Says Dr M
Two Dozen Countries Unite at UN to Condemn China’s Mass Detention of One
Million Muslims for First Time
Lanka Reconsiders the Nature of Its Relationship with Saudi Arabia
Detroit Muslims, Jews Work Together To Raise $26K for Border Asylum Seekers
Advocates Defend Ilhan Omar against Fox News
Groups, Lawmakers in Europe Want Apple to Ban ‘Fatwa’ App
Head of the Muslim World League, I See Islamic Leaders Calling For Tolerance
More Than Ever
Incidents In J&K Down By 28%: Govt
national missing in Kerala since March, Interpol says may have links with
suspends accounts of trio who posted video on Jharkhand mob attack
State Sympathizers Allowed to Go Home as Long as They Swear Allegiance to
Pancasila and NKRI
indigenous people protest forced conversions
on online anti-Shia militancy after seminar called off over bomb threat
minister explains why Zakir Naik, wanted by India, free in Malaysia
issue could turn into unbearable crisis for Bangladesh: ex-UN chief
cannot bear Rohingya crisis long: ex-UN head
for making Islamic tourism as global brand
Pakistani militants killed, wounded in a premature IED explosion in East of
Special Forces kill 10 Taliban militants in Faryab and Kunduz operations
kill 6 Taliban militants in Ghazni province
Forces detain 3 Taliban militants; destroy weapons cache, opium in Farah, Ghor
Sanctions on Iran “will soon be increased, substantially”
accuses Iran of nuclear extortion but remains open to talks
using nuclear weapons claims in vain to form global front against Iran: AEOI
troubled by rise in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
lawmakers introduce bill to recalibrate Saudi ties
still strikes fear in Germany amid reports of government losing track of 160
army chief: Situation in Gulf unlikely to ‘spiral out of control’
says 3 Iranian vessels unsuccessfully tried to stop British ship
announces military base in Mali
denies giving missiles to Haftar forces in Libya
Politicians Not To Get Media Time in Pakistan
Parties in Balochistan to Observe Black Day On 25th
Calls for Global Effort to Break Nexus between Terrorism, Organised Crime
blames PML-N, PTI for inadequate policies
releases more video clips of alleged meeting between accountability judge,
House confirms July 22 meeting between PM Imran, US President Trump
rule not being imposed in Sindh: Imran
Imposes Sanctions on Hezbollah Officials Accused of Supporting Iran
Vows To Retain Every West Bank Settlement
Iranian IRGC Members Killed In Northwest Iran
Turkish soldiers killed in attack by Kurdish militants: ministry
of Houthi militants killed in clashes
Houthi Court Sentences 30 to Death for Spying For Saudi-Led Coalition
Missile Strike Kills Dozens of Saudi Mercenaries in Kingdom’s Najran
settlers take over east Jerusalem home after court battle
Government Employees Face Prosecution for Working under ISIL
Least 3 Killed in ISIS Attack in N. Iraq
Forces Target ISIS Sleeper Cells
seeks to issue identification papers for IS children
Sanctions 3 Hezbollah Officials, Including 2 Members of Lebanese
SDF Steals $100m from Saudi Arabia's Financial Aid
chemical weapons team to launch first Syria investigations
envoy, Syria report progress in talks on post-war constitution
calls for 'comprehensive review' of US-Saudi relationship
watchdog visits Saudi Arabia to free journalists
Muslim Community Urged to Promote Peace and Unity
Upcoming Elections Vulnerable to Terror Threats, Experts Warn
Missiles Found in Libyan Rebel Camp Were First Sold to France
says its missiles found on pro-Haftar rebel base in Libya
rescues 71 Italy-bound migrants in the Mediterranean
police kill two Zakzaky supporters: Islamic group
executes 3 Al-Shabab members over 2017 hotel attack
by New Age Islam News Bureau
al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda Chief Called for ‘Mujahideen in Kashmir’ To Inflict
‘Unrelenting Blows’ On The Indian Army And The Government
DELHI: Al Qaeda terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri has, in a video released by the
global terror outfit, called for "Mujahideen in Kashmir" to inflict
"unrelenting blows" on the Indian Army and the government in Jammu
and Kashmir. In the video message titled "Don't Forget Kashmir", the
terror chief has also talked about Pakistan's involvement in fueling
cross-border terrorism in Kashmir.
am) of the view that the Mujahideen in Kashmir - at this stage at least- should
single-mindedly focus on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and
government, so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained
losses in manpower and equipment," Zawahiri says, an assault rifle on his
right and a Quran to his left.
Zawahiri does not mention Zakir Musa, the terrorist killed in May by security
forces in Kashmir, his photo flashes on the screen as he speaks on Kashmir.
Zakir Musa was the founder of the Indian cell of the Al Qaeda, titled
"Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind". Al Qaeda has been preparing the upstart
group for attacks on security forces in Kashmir.
calls Pakistan's army and government as "toadies of America" and says
terrorists should avoid falling in Pakistan's trap.
the Pakistani Army and government are interested in is exploiting the
mujahideen for specific political objectives, only to dump or persecute them
later," Zawahiri says.
"conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed
by the American intelligence," the Qaeda chief says. The words have led to
some experts suggesting the involvement of the Pakistani ISI in putting out the
video to show that it is not supporting terror.
also says the "fight in Kashmir" is not a separate conflict but part
of the worldwide Muslim community's "jihad against a vast array of
forces". He called on "unnamed" scholars to propagate this
(the scholars) must clearly state that supporting the jihad in Kashmir, the
Philippines, Chechnya, Central Asia, Iraq, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula,
Somalia, the Islamic Maghreb and Turkistan is an individual obligation on all Muslims,
until sufficient strength is achieved to expel the disbelieving occupier from
Muslim lands," he says.
also tells terrorists not to target "mosques, markets, and gathering
places of Muslims" in Kashmir.
agencies believe the Qaeda video is prompted by the government's success in
checking terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and isolating separatists.
has been a fall in terror attacks and a rise in the killing of terrorists in
Jammu and Kashmir. The video is an attempt to motivate terror cadre," a
home ministry official said.
free to worship, but don’t spread beliefs among Malaysian Muslims, says Dr M
LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today assured the people of their
freedom to practise any school of Islam as long as they respect the
Sunni-majority of Muslims.
they want to welcome Buddhists or Shias or whatever, it is their right as long
as they (minority sects) don’t try to spread their teachings among Malaysian
Muslims who are all Sunnis,” he told reporters in a press conference at the
follows reports yesterday that a seminar on the Amman Message – a declaration
signed by Muslim leaders worldwide pledging an end to sectarianism – organised
by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies was cancelled due to
a bomb threat.
Amman Message, signed in Amman by Jordan’s King Abdullah II in 2004, recognises
the validity of all eight Islamic schools, including Sunni and Shia, the two
biggest denominations in the Muslim world.
said threatening the organisers was “not the proper way to do it”.
to Bukit Aman spokesman Asmawati Ahmad, the threat, posted on the Facebook
account of a movement called Gerakan Banteras Syiah, was made on July 6.
organisers then cancelled the seminar which had been scheduled on July 13.
two dozen countries unite at UN to condemn China’s mass detention of one
million Muslims for first time
has been urged to stop its mass detention of Uighur Muslims by 22 members of
the United Nations Human Rights Council in the first such joint move on the
UN says at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained by
China in the western region of Xinjiang.
an unprecedented letter ambassadors from 22 countries voiced their concerns
about reports of unlawful detention in “large-scale places of detention, as
well as widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly targeting
Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang”.
France and Germany were among the European nations to join the call, along with
Australia, Canada and Japan, but not the United States, which quit the council
a year ago.
the letter fell short of activists demands for a formal statement to be read
out at the council, or a resolution submitted for a vote.
letter to the forum’s president, dated 8 July, cited China’s obligations as a
member of the 47-state forum to maintain the highest standards.
call on China to uphold its national laws and international obligations and to
respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion or
belief in Xinjiang and across China,” the letter said.
call also on China to refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions on
freedom of movement of Uighurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in
urged China to allow international independent experts, including Michelle
Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, “meaningful access” to
Bachelet, a former president of Chile, has lobbied China to grant the UN access
to investigate reports of disappearances and arbitrary detentions of Muslims in
month, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva said he hoped Ms Bechelet would
take up an invitation to visit.
diplomat told Reuters China’s delegation was “hopping mad” at the move and was
preparing its own letter in response.
a statement, Human Rights Watch welcomed the letter as “important not only for
Xinjiang’s population, but for people around the world who depend on the UN’s
leading rights body to hold even the most powerful countries to account”.
the start of the three-week session, which ends on Friday, the vice-governor of
Xinjiang responded to international condemnation of the state-run detention
camps by saying they were vocational centres which had helped “save” people
from extremist influences.
week, a study said thousands of Muslim children in the region were being
separated from their parents in what it called a “systematic campaign of social
re-engineering and cultural genocide”.
Lanka Reconsiders the Nature of Its Relationship With Saudi Arabia
Line Up Front
Sri Lanka continues to deal with the fallout from the Easter terrorist attacks,
the government is reportedly examining links to Saudi-exported Wahhabism.
are investigating Saudi-funded mosques and foundations to determine what impact
the austere brand of Islam pushed by Riyadh is having on radicalizing Sri
Lanka’s Muslim population.
Sri Lanka, many other countries have long been worried about the corrosive
effects of Saudi influence on local Muslim populations.
needs to be careful to avoid creating more anti-Muslim sentiment in a country
that has long struggled with ethnic tensions and religious violence.
over the spread of Saudi-funded Wahhabism throughout religious institutions,
charities and mosques are not new. For decades, Riyadh has spent millions or
more to spread an austere version of Islam throughout Southeast Asia, Africa,
Europe, and elsewhere. The money is earmarked specifically to build Wahhabi
mosques and train hardline preachers to take the Saudi version of the faith
back to their home countries. Sri Lanka is just the latest country to take a
more discerning look at precisely what the Saudis are funding in their country
and what the implications might be. This comes as the government is still
dealing with the impact of the devastating terrorist attacks that occurred this
past April on Easter Sunday that were targeted against churches and hotels
frequented by Westerners that killed at least 250 people. The Islamic State
claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were carried out by nine Sri
Lankan members of a local terrorist group called National Thowheed Jama’ath.
investigations into the attacks are still ongoing, and hundreds of people have
been detained for alleged involvement. At the center of the inquiry are
concerns over Saudi-funded institutions and possible connections to Salafi
jihadist ideology. In May, police arrested the founder of the Saudi-supported
Centre for Islamic Guidance, Mohamed Aliyar, on charges related to the
financing of terrorism. Aliyar had links to Zahran Hashim, a radical preacher
who mentored many of the Easter-attack bombers. Locals have claimed that they
relayed concerns to security officials about Hashim’s extremism, although these
leads were never acted upon. Other prominent Sri Lankan Muslim leaders have
also come under scrutiny as authorities review financial transactions between
Saudi Arabia and religious leaders in the South Asian island nation. Several of
these leaders have been forced to step down due to pressure from politically
influential Buddhist monks.
a drastic increase in sectarian violence, the Sri Lankan government must
protect its Muslim citizens from roving mobs and vigilantes. The government
will need to walk a fine line to balance reasonable concerns over the impact of
Saudi-funded hardline ideology on the Sri Lankan Muslim community, while
avoiding scapegoating and persecuting that population. In the weeks following
the bombings, there were widespread anti-Muslim riots throughout the country,
and authorities were criticized for not acting swiftly to protect Muslim lives
and property. There has been a long history of anti-Muslim sentiment and
violence in Sri Lanka, particularly throughout the thirty-year civil war that
ended in 2009. The majority Buddhist population comprises 70% of the total
population, with Muslims accounting for approximately 10%. Tensions between
Muslims and Buddhists in Sri Lanka remain high and could quickly worsen if the
government fails to act even-handedly. Moreover, there has been a rising tide
of militarism among Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka, some of whom have lent their
authority to vigilante mobs seeking to confront the country’s Muslims in more
aggressive, often violent ways.
rejects all criticism of the spread of its Wahhabi ideology and claims to
promote a moderate brand of Islam within the kingdom. Even if that is true of
the country’s domestic promotion of religion, it fails to address concerns
about the ultra-conservative style of Islam the Kingdom often exports. Radical
religious education that preaches dangerous sectarian narratives contributes
directly to incidents like the attacks in Sri Lanka, where identity politics
lead to real-world violence. Despite proclaiming in 2017 that he wanted to
moderate Saudi Arabia in terms of religion, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin
Salman has targeted moderate Islamic scholars and human rights activists. Sri
Lanka is not alone in trying to limit the influence of Saudi funding on its
mosques and schools. From Indonesia to Bangladesh, governments have been
worried for years about the massive infusion of money from Riyadh and how this
has led local Muslims with a history of moderate views to begin adopting the
hardline Salafism popular in Saudi Arabia, which is often at odds with more
tolerant local strains of Islam.
Detroit Muslims, Jews work together to raise $26K for border asylum seekers
on years of cooperation, Muslim and Jewish communities have come together to
help asylum seekers at Mexican borders, raising funds to offer living
essentials, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
have a lot in common as American citizens from all faiths. Whether we practice
our religion or uphold our Constitution, we have a lot in common,” Mahmoud
Al-Hadidi with the Michigan Muslim Community Council said.
to Rabbi Jen Lader with Temple Israel, when asylum-seekers arrive at border
cities as they try to enter from Mexico, they’re met with resistance and told
to find their own way.
then dumped in a downtown city with no food, no clothes, no lodging – often
with children in tow and they are expected, often without English skills, to
find their way to their sponsors, so they can have their asylum hearings in
that city,” Lader said.
she decided to cooperate with the Muslim community to raise funds for
Congregation Albert in New Mexico, where hundreds of families are being dropped
off with nothing.
cooperation is not the first for the Muslim and Jewish communities in Detroit,
Michigan, with a long history of helping others.
to this interfaith unity, $26,000 have been raised for toiletries, food,
underwear, and bus tickets.
they clear the process to give them essential health aid, transportation to
their destination, some cash. To give them some dignity and welcome to this
country that we all wish to receive when we enter any other country,” Al-Hadidi
packs of T-shirts, housing their families in hotel room for a night or two,
giving them $10 cash and a bus ticket for a three-day journey to somewhere else
in the country. So, we can’t be there on our hands to hug children had to hand
people sandwiches, but we are doing our best to partner with them in their holy
work on the ground,” said Lader.
taken years for the Jewish and Muslim faiths to work hand-in-hand.
September 2016, Muslim and Jewish communities came together to prepare a
struggling Detroit elementary school for New Year and counter potential fear
and mistrust among both communities.
months earlier, more than 100 Muslim and Jewish volunteers along with Nolan
students and parents came together to clean the school’s library, paint the
bathroom stalls and install new toilet seats, clean debris from the grounds and
complete a student-designed hallway mural.
year on Christmas season, American Muslim and Jewish families come together to
deliver gifts to poor families in Detroit.
Advocates Defend Ilhan Omar Against Fox News
head of a Muslim advocates group has condemned conservative talk show host
Tucker Carlson for accusing US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of being "living
proof that the way we practice immigration has become dangerous to this
Simpson, public advocacy director of Muslim Advocates, said in a statement on
Tuesday that, "Tucker Carlson’s latest rant on Rep. Ilhan Omar is a
dangerous escalation of his anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric. These
remarks are part of a clear pattern of racism, sexism and white nationalism
that Carlson has long championed."
speaking on his Fox News show, noted that Omar is "a warning to the rest
of us that we better change our immigration — or else." He stated multiple times that Omar
"hates" America, and is encouraging immigration from places
"whose values are simply antithetical to ours."
is not a critique of Omar’s ideas or politic," Simpson said on behalf of
Muslim Advocates, the national civil rights organization that works to end
bigotry through legal and political change. "This is hate speech directed
at her as a Muslim and as an immigrant. Attacks on mosques and hate crimes
against Muslims have skyrocketed in recent years and these bigoted tropes
contribute to a toxic culture where divisiveness and racism trump American
values of religious freedom for all people."
statement concluded with a call to fire Carlson and a plea to advertisers to
stop funding Fox News.
Wells, Senior Executive Producer of FOX News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, responded
who values democracy and free expression should be gravely concerned when
members of Congress demand that their critics be silenced," Wells said.
"Tucker will address this on tonight’s show.”
continued his rant against Omar on Wednesday night.
about that for a minute. Our country rescued Ilhan Omar from the single worst
place on earth. We didn’t do it to get rich. In fact, it cost us money. We did
it because we are kind people. How did Omar respond to the remarkable gift we
gave her? She scolded us and called us names," Tucker said on his show.
"Omar has made a career of denouncing anyone and anything in her way as
racist. That would include virtually all of her political and personal
opponents, and even inanimate objects, like the proposed border wall, the
United States congress and the entire state of North Dakota. Omar may be from
another country, but she learned young that crying racism pays."
(CNSNews.com) – A French senator and a British lawmaker have joined with other
campaigners to call for a ban on a mobile application linked to the Muslim
Brotherhood and its perceived spiritual leader, the controversial Egyptian
cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
a recent press conference at the Senate in Paris, Senator Nathalie Goulet, who
previously led a commission investigating militant networks in Europe, and
British member of parliament Ian Parsley Jr. called on Apple to ban the Euro
of three British associations which counter extremism said the app was
dangerous, conveys hate, and has a negative impact on young Muslims in their
complaints, Google reportedly pulled it from its Google Play Store around
mid-May. (The Saudi daily Arab News quoted a Google spokesman at the time as
saying, “While we can't comment on individual apps, we'll take swift actions
against any app that break our policies once we've been aware of them,
including those that contain hate speech.”)
Euro Fatwa app is available on the Apple app store in English, Arabic, Spanish
and Portuguese, and its stated aim is “to enable the European Muslims to adhere
to the regulations and manners of Islam and to fulfil their duties as Muslim
in April for iPhone and Android, it contains all fatwas issued since 1997 by
the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), a Muslim Brotherhood-linked
group founded in London that year by Qaradawi and others.
argued that terror online has no borders and spreads easily thanks to new
are happy that Google had reacted quickly as soon as we let it know which kind
of application Euro Fatwa is, and banned it from its Google [Play] Store,” he
Paisley voiced disappointment that Apple had not taken the step.
said that he has been calling on the British government to take action against
application like this is sophisticated, complicated and expensive to put in
place,” he said. “We want the government to find out how it’s financed and to
block all its money.”
fatwa is a formal ruling or interpretation on a point of Islamic law given by a
qualified legal scholar or a recognized authority, often called a mufti. Fatwas
are usually issued in response to questions from individuals or Islamic courts.
Nuseibeh, chairman of London-based nonprofit organization Muslims Against
Anti-Semitism, said the app includes extremist and anti-Semitic views.
aims not only to incite anti-Semitism, but also to isolate Muslim communities
from mainstream European life,” he said, adding that the groups are looking
into taking legal action.
values are now threatened by radical speeches,” said Fiyaz Mughal, founder and
director of Faith Matters, a British organization that works on countering
extremism and community integration. “Their impacts are huge and could lead,
for instance to the killing of civilians and to problems between communities and
said the app conveys hate and the content is often anti-Semitic and hostile to
Muslim integration into European and British society.
also called on European governments to restrict the Muslim Brotherhood, noting
that Qaradawi has been banned from Britain, the United States, and several
is living in Qatar under the protection of the ruling family of the small,
oil-rich Arab state which is supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Rafiq of the London-based counter-extremism organization Quilliam said
prohibiting the Muslim Brotherhood was not enough since the organization has
“set up intricate networks of organizations, including the one that launched
the app. They run hundreds of such organizations in Europe.”
said deradicalization efforts carried out by the French government are not
working. She said it makes more sense to prevent radicalization, than to fight
French senator pointed out that the lower legislature in her country voted just
days ago for a law requiring Internet platforms and search engines to remove
hateful content within 24 hours, or risk large fines.
was absurd not to view Euro Fatwa as a terrorist application with hateful
content, she said.
ECFR has not commented publicly on the calls to ban the app.
press room did not respond to queries. The UAE daily The National earlier
quoted an Apple spokesman as saying, “We are reviewing Euro Fatwa again for
possible violations of our guidelines and, if we find content that violates our
guidelines and is harmful to users, we will notify the developer and may remove
it from the store.”
Head Of The Muslim World League, I See Islamic Leaders Calling For Tolerance
More Than Ever
tensions mount in the Middle East, it might be easy from the West to imagine
the Islamic world locked in an internecine political struggle, with each side
wielding threats of open conflict and the violent rhetoric of exclusion.
the testy politics, however, Islamic religious leaders are speaking in greater
unison than ever before. The message we are advancing is one of moderate Islam,
and the promotion of peace, tolerance and love.
May, I gathered with more than 1,200 Muslim leaders, scholars, academics and
religious teachers in Mecca for the Muslim World League's Conference on
Moderation. We represented more than 139 countries and 27 different Islamic
sects. Our four days of discussions focused on combating the global rise in
hate speech and political intolerance plaguing so many of our communities.
did not obsess over Shiite vs. Sunni or the questions of theological interpretation
that have proved so divisive over time. Certainly, no one in our congregation
recited "Death to America," "A curse on the Jews" or any of
the other political slogans so often deployed by the extremists, and so
regularly replayed in television hits, newspaper quotes and rapid-fire
our mission centered on advancing harmony among Muslims, and coexistence
between Muslims and everyone else. After the horrifying terrorist attacks on
the Islamic community in Christchurch, New Zealand, and similar atrocities
against synagogues in the United States and churches in Sri Lanka, we know we
have a global problem.
solution is the Charter of Mecca, a document of groundbreaking frankness that
received the endorsement of the entirety of the Islamic scholars who
participated. It received political backing as well through its first
signatory, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
charter's 30 points send a clear message not just to the Muslim world but to
the entire global community and worshippers of all faiths: We must put aside
our differences and embrace our religious and cultural diversity. For isolated
and independent of one another, we will never overpower the voices of hate.
have a great challenge before us. Everywhere we look, we see old divides and
outdated superstitions calcifying. We see the forces of intolerance and
fanaticism finding new followers, spurred by social media and a culture that
magnifies our disagreements and ignores our commonalities.
do we win this battle? From the Muslim world, it starts with commitments the
likes of which we have never formally adopted or connected to tolerance.
charter demands that we safeguard natural resources and manage industrial
development; support climate treaties, fight hunger and poverty; eliminate
disease and discrimination, and preserve the human rights of all people,
including women and minorities. It includes a special obligation to empower
women through social equality and economic opportunity, and to reject any
effort that is disrespectful or marginalizing toward women.
will take each of these commitments home with us, and exhort our community
members to adhere to them. We must.
is impossible not to feel that we have reached an inflection point in history.
We can climb the roughhewn ladder toward greater unity and cooperation, or
slide down the convenient chute of conflict and divisiveness.
me, the choice is obvious. It is the only viable choice.
the Charter of Mecca instructs us, we must build cultural and religious ties
among each other, deepen understanding between different communities, construct
civilized partnerships, stand arm-in-arm against hatred and declare now and
forevermore that every culture is a reflection of God's will, with an
inviolable right to exist. We must view every conflict in the world as an
opportunity for dialogue.
can play a leading role. The charter provides a blueprint for how the Muslim
world should interact with other faith traditions, including precise guidance
on how we ought to welcome differences and affirm our common ethical, social
and environmental values. It demands that we go beyond mere theory and empty
slogans by taking concrete actions to reconcile, not radicalize, our future
short, it compels us to we choose the ladder over the chute, no matter how
difficult the climb.
is the objective at the heart of the Charter of Mecca, which we would ask
everyone to embrace. We must all be leaders in building the world we want to
incidents in J&K down by 28%: Govt
DELHI: The home ministry on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that while the
number of counter-terror actions initiated by security forces in Jammu &
Kashmir had gone up by 59% during the first half of 2019 as compared to the
corresponding period of 2018, the number of incidents initiated by terrorists
declined by 28% over the same period.
that the government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism,
minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha
said that the concerted and synergized efforts of security forces had led to an
improvement in the security situation in the state this year.
the Pulwama attack and now, 93 terrorists have been neutralised by the security
forces. Investigation by NIA into the attack resulted in conspirators, suicide
attacker and vehicle provider getting identified. Further the operations on
ground resulted in neutralisation of the conspirator, his associate and owner
of the vehicle used in the attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
June this year, there were 261 terrorist attacks and 125 actions initiated by
security forces in J&K. The fatalities suffered by the forces included 15
Army personnel, 48 CRPF personnel and 7 J&K police personnel.
the CRPF, the fatal casualties so far this year have far surpassed the numbers
recorded in 2016 (11), 2017 (12) and 2018 (7).
that Kerala is not the Bermuda Triangle where objects or people disappear
without a trace, but the case of Lisa Wiese, a German national who has been
missing since March 10, has left the state police in a state of bother. This is
more so because the Interpol has signalled that she may have links with terror
March 7, Lisa Wiese landed in Thiruvananthapuram along with a UK national Ali
Muhammad. Police say Lisa last contacted her family in Germany on March 10. But
since then, there has been no news about her whereabouts. Her mobile phone is
switched off and her Google accounts have reportedly been deleted, the police
Kerala Police launched a search for the 31-year-old German national after her
mother lodged a complaint recently. However, despite 11 days of search, the
police have been unable to trace her. A team headed by Assistant Commissioner
of Police R Ilango is investigating the case.
her embarkation form, Lisa had declared that she would be visiting the
Amritandandamai Math in Vallikavu, Kollam. This was apparently to be her second
visit to the Math. She had stayed there for two months in 2011 when she visited
say Lisa's visa (which was valid for a month) expired on April 5. She had flown
to Thiruvananthapuram from Stockholm via Dubai and checked out of the airport
on March 7.
are investigating the case and have sought help from the Interpol to locate
Lisa's travel companion Ali Muhammad (a UK national)," Police Commissioner
Dinedra Kashyap told India Today.
Muhammad returned to the UK from Kochi on March 15.
Police Commissioner Dinedra Kashyap said they have issued a look out notice for
Lisa and have also shared her details and photographs with police forces of
far we have found that Lisa has not left India," Dinedra Kashyap said.
say that in his embarkation form, Lisa's travel companion Ali Muhammad too had
declared that he would be travelling to the Amritanandanmai Math.
Math authorities have told the police that neither Lisa nor Ali visited the
their investigation, the police found that Lisa and Ali visited a hotel in
Kovalam Beach and Varkala after they landed. Police have also found that during
their stay in Kerala, Lisa and Ali, did not fill Form C that is mandatory for
foreigners while staying at a hotel or in a home-stay.
indicates two possibilities. Either Lisa stayed with a private home or in a
hostel run by religious groups," a senior police official who is privy to
the investigation told India Today, adding that she has not checked in any
other ports in India with her passport.
questionnaire has also been prepared by police to be sent to the relatives of
the missing woman through the German consulate, a senior official investigating
the case said.
per the findings of the police investigations, Lisa Wiese is a Jew and was
converted to Islam in 2012. She converted to Islam while working with an NGO in
married a US citizen Abd-ul-Rehman Hashim and has two children. But in 2016,
the two separated.
DOES INTERPOL CLAIM?
order to trace Lisa and her travel companion Ali, the Kerala Police has
requested help from Interpol to trace Ali. According to the Kerala Police,
Interpol has informed them that the NGO that Lisa and Ali were working with in
Egypt has links with terror outfits.
is no information however about who these outfits are and whether Lisa and Ali
were involved in terror activities in any manner.
July 8, the Interpol issued a yellow notice, a global alert to trace Lisa.
besides the puzzling mystery of Lisa's disappearance, Kerala Police is under
tremendous pressure with diplomatic pressure mounting.
what could be the first for the platform in India, video-sharing app TikTok has
taken down the accounts of three users after their video on the attack on
Tabrez Ansari by a mob in Jharkhand stirred up a controversy.
Sena’s IT cell chief Ramesh Solanki had filed a complaint regarding the videos
with Mumbai Police on Sunday.
was assaulted in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharswan district on June 18 by a mob
which, according to a video widely shared on social media, allegedly demanded
that he say “Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman”. He succumbed to injuries four days
three whose accounts were suspended had verified accounts – collectively, they
had millions of followers for videos that often showcased them lip-syncing with
a group called “Team 07”.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Tuesday that thousands of Indonesian
Islamic State sympathizers will be allowed to return to their home country on
the condition they take an oath to be loyal to the Unitary State of the
Republic of Indonesia and its official state ideology Pancasila.
must also admit their wrongdoing, show contrition and promise not to join
terrorist groups upon their return, the former Army commander said in Jakarta.
those things [then they can return home]. Don't come home if they still believe
in IS," Ryamizard said.
officials will be dispatched to Syria to bring these IS sympathizers back home
on humanitarian grounds.
government has been facing a conundrum on what to do with Indonesian IS sympathizers
who are still stranded in Syria after the caliphate was wiped out early this
Indonesian citizenship law, despite having professed allegiance to IS these
sympathizers are still considered Indonesian citizens and technically there is
nothing to stop them from coming back to Indonesia.
returnees from Syria have often been involved in domestic terrorist attacks,
such as the suicide attacks on two churches in Surabaya last year.
suicide bombers turned out to be a family of six who had spent time in Syria as
government has been working with lawmakers at the House of Representatives to
find a way to ensure these returnees will not cause trouble once they are
indigenous community wants the government to end the practice of coerced
conversion to Islam in the Muslim-majority country and show respect for others
and their culture.
as Orang Asli (native people), the original inhabitants of the Malaysian
peninsula claim that the insidious nature of the country’s Islam-first policy
is diluting their way of life without their consent.
group of them this week handed over a memorandum to the nation’s parliament
urging Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government to halt the practice of
sending Muslim preachers to convert their community to Islam.
group’s spokesman, Anjang Aluej, said outside Kuala Lumpur’s Parliament House
that the issue had been ongoing for many years and many of them had been
surprised to find that they had even been registered as Muslims in their identity
is a big offense to us as we should be given prior and informed consent before
such changes are made,” he told reporters.
is as if we do not have the freedom to choose our religion. Not only are we
slowly losing our land, we are also losing our identity.”
claimed that their children were also being subjected to discrimination and
bullying in government schools.
would like to also emphasize that this also applies to Christian proselytizers
who come into our villages to spread the Christian faith. Please leave us and
our customs alone,” he said.
memorandum also highlighted commercial activities like logging and mining on
their traditional land. The community discovered that there were plans by the
government to build hydroelectric dams near their villages, potentially forcing
them to leave their homes.
group also noted that Malaysian authorities had not been able to prevent
encroachment and hunting taking place by outsiders on their land.
said there were also instances of outsiders living in their villages without
the community’s consent.
government services such as family planning programs that included distribution
of medicines has not been adequately explained and were viewed with suspicion
by the community, he said.
visit to Parliament House to highlight the problems the disadvantaged community
faced followed a tragedy that hit the community last month.
government was forced on the defensive after 15 Orang Asli died in the space of
a month. Three of the deaths were confirmed as being caused by measles but
autopsies conducted on the remaining 12 bodies were inconclusive.
Health Ministry later acknowledged that the villagers had been suffering from
malnourishment and had not been vaccinated.
animists, several members of the community have over the years embraced Islam
and Christianity following state-sponsored proselytizing by Muslims and
evangelism by Christian missionaries.
against non-Muslims is well known. In June 2007, members of the community
claimed a church in one of their villages had been torn down by the Islamic
state government in Kelantan.
JAYA: The circumstances which led to the last-minute cancellation of a seminar
on the problem of sectarianism in the Muslim world have brought into the open
fears on the rise of Salafist Islam, a strand of thinking whose promoters have
often considered those outside their folds as deviants and apostates.
check by FMT revealed that several social media accounts have been set up in
recent months, where minority Muslims such as the Shias – who belong to the
second largest Muslim school of thought that Malaysia’s religious authorities
have labelled deviant – are targeted, including with threats of violence.
make a bomb, throw it at their gatherings,” said one post on a Facebook account
called “Gerakan Banteras Syiah” (Anti-Shia Movement).
account has garnered close to 19,000 followers within less than two months.
is not the right place to discuss destroying the Shias. Maybe there are more
Shias here than Sunnis,” said user Suratman Hj Mandira.
FMT reported that a seminar on the Amman Message – a declaration signed by
Muslim leaders worldwide pledging to end sectarianism, including the age-old
Sunni-Shia conflict – was cancelled on security grounds.
International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies lodged a police report
following a threat to bomb the seminar venue, posted on the same Facebook page.
said the threat was made by one Amirol Md Zain on July 6.
Facebook account owner said: ‘We are bombing this place’,” Bukit Aman spokesman
Asmawati Ahmad told FMT.
Amman Message, signed in Amman by Jordan’s King Abdullah II in 2004, brought
together some 200 senior Islamic scholars worldwide representing different
schools of thought.
document recognises the validity of all eight Islamic schools, including Sunni
and Shia, the two biggest denominations in the Muslim world.
Islam is predominant in Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain and several parts of Saudi Arabia
some scholars aligned to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi ideology have branded Shias as
heretics, although stopping short of banning them from visiting Mecca where
only Muslims are allowed in.
the 1990s, Malaysia’s Islamic authorities have echoed such views, with a 1996
ruling by the National Fatwa Council declaring Shia teachings “deviant”.
have in the past raided private religious events by Shia Muslims, arresting
them and charging them with violating local Islamic laws on the basis of the
has also banned books which it claims promote Shia Islam, while muftis such as
Perlis’ Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin have often criticised Shia Islam.
Faizal Musa, better known by his pen-name Faisal Tehrani, can personally relate
to the government’s anti-Shia stand.
of his novels, sometimes themed on ancient Muslim figures revered in Shia
Islam, are still banned.
this, Faisal, an academic who has often questioned the prevalent narratives in
the studies of Malay history, was himself targeted by Salafist groups on social
example is a Facebook page called “Bongkar Ajaran Sesat”, which posted pictures
of Faisal and where users left threatening comments.
you see him crossing the road, just ram into him,” says one comment.
said he is used to the death threats.
showed FMT at least three death threats he received on Twitter, including one
calling for his beheading.
actually tried to ignore the threats because I regard them as a group of uneducated
extremists,” said Faisal, whose seven books still remain under a ban slapped by
the previous government.
Faisal said he would have to take such threats more seriously in the wake of
the threat to attack the seminar on the Amman Message.
said those behind anti-Shia groups would often cite writings and opinions of
“certain Muslim scholars and muftis” who are associated with Wahhabism.
said there is little protection for those who do not toe the official line.
is what happened to people like Amri Che Mat,” he said, referring to the Perlis
activist who went missing in 2016.
LUMPUR, July 11 — Controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not listed on
the International Police Organization’s Red Notice of wanted criminals or
fugitives, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin confirmed today.
home minister said the Malaysian permanent resident born in Mumbai — wanted by
India on money-laundering charges related to terror activities — was also not
listed as a terror suspect by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions
Ministry had conducted a search on the Interpol’s Red Notice and found that the
name Zakir Naik is not listed as a wanted man. His name was also not found as a
suspect when we checked with the UNSCR terrorist list,” he said in a written
parliamentary reply to PAS’ Kubang Kerian MP Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
said the government allowed Dr Zakir free travel into and out of Malaysia, as
well as within its borders, because the latter had followed all procedures and
had abided by the laws of the country.
denied claims that the government was giving Dr Zakir preferential treatment.
added that Malaysia has the right to refuse the provisional arrest request from
the Indian government in its diplomatic note dated December 29, 2017 and the
formal extradition request for Dr Zakir made on January 19, 2018.
minister explained that there is a provision in the Extradition Treaty between
Malaysia and India which allows the restriction on return of fugitive criminals
if the charges against the person are political, religious or racists in nature
and the person charged is in danger of being punished.
Rohingya issue would eventually become an unbearable crisis for Bangladesh,
former UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday as he criticised Myanmar for being
reluctant in taking back tens of thousands of persecuted Rohingya Muslims.
to the UN estimates, nearly 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims have fled to
Bangladesh to escape violence in the Rakhine state since August 2017 when the
Myanmar army launched a military crackdown
Myanmar does not recognise Rohingya as an ethnic group and insists that they
are Bangladeshi migrants living illegally in the country.
is not possible for Bangladesh to host such a large number of Rohingyas for
long," Ban told newsmen while visiting Rohingyas' makeshift camp along
with Marshal Islands President Hilda Heine and World Bank CEO Kristalina
Georgieva at southeastern Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar.
former South Korean diplomat, who subsequently served as the eighth
Secretary-General of the UN for two consecutive terms from January 2007 to
December 2016, said Rohingyas appeared as a huge "burden" for a
country like Bangladesh.
former UN chief said that Myanmar's role in repatriating Rohingyas was much
less than what was expected. "Myanmar government should do much more so
that Rohingyas can return to their homeland without fear and persecution,"
however, lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladeshis for extending
refuge to more than 1.1 million Rohingyas on humanitarian ground despite
constrains of internal resources.
sought a harmonious solution to the Rohingya crisis through their dignified and
fearless return to Myanmar and thanked the UN organisations for extending
humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas.
arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday to attend a meeting on climate change adaptation
along with Heine and Georgieva.
World Bank CEO lauded Hasina and Bangladeshi people for their generosity to the
opened its border while its people open their heart to Rohingyas,"
Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen and Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Minister M Shahab Uddin accompanied the foreign dignitaries.
is hosting over 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar
district and most of them arrived there since August 25, 2017 after a military
crackdown by Myanmar, termed as "textbook example of ethnic
cleansing" by the UN.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday warned of Bangladesh’s
incapability to carry the burden of a huge Rohingya refugee group for a long
is not possible for Bangladesh to host such a large number of Rohingya for a
long time,” state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency quoted Moon as
saying while visiting a Rohingya makeshift camp in the southern Cox’s Bazar
was accompanied by Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and World Bank CEO
also criticized Myanmar for its visible reluctance to take back the forcibly
displaced Rohingya people to their home country.
to permanent solution of the crisis, Moon said that safe and dignified
repatriation of the displaced people is a must for the harmonious solution of
the Rohingya crisis.
government should do much more so that Rohingya can return to their homeland
without fear and persecution,” Moon said.
Bangladesh’s generosity to the persecuted Rohingya, World Bank’s Georgieva
said: “Bangladesh opened its border while its people opened their heart to
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, extending
the figure of the persecuted people here more than 1.1 million.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The
Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for taking prompt measures to
make Islamic tourism as a global business brand considering its huge potential
since it witnesses 8.3 percent annual growth.
value of Islamic tourism market will increase to $243 billion by 2021 with an
annual 8.3 percent growth. So, all-out efforts and roadmap aims at promoting
Islamic tourism as a global business brand is urgently required,” she said
while inaugurating the two-day “Dhaka OIC City of Tourism 2019 “in a city hotel
prime minister has also proposed allocating a separate tourist spot for the OIC
member states in Cox’s Bazar.
upon all the OIC member states to work together for flourishing Islamic
tourism, she said, “In realising our targets (to be a developed and prosperous
nation), flourish of tourism sector can play an important role. In this case,
Islamic tourism is the best possible area where we have the opportunity and
potential to work together.”
has been playing a significant role in upholding solidarity and unity among the
Muslims following Islamic values of fraternity, justice, cohesion and inclusion
as a whole since Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman joined
the second OIC conference in 1974, the premier said.
to a report of Thomson-Reuters that forecasted tremendous potential of Islamic
tourism, the premier said, “Muslim populations globally spent a total of $151
billion on travel in 2015 (excluding Hajj and Umrah).
the amount, OIC member states contributed to $109 billion.”
2020, the world’s Muslim population will be 26 percent of the entire world
population while the number of Muslim tourists will rise to 180 million from
156 million within that year, she mentioned.
premature Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion killed or wounded at
least 7 Pakistani militants in Kunar province of Afghanistan.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said an Improvised Explosive Device went off
prematurely in Khas Kunar district of Kunar province.
statement further added that explosion killed 4 Pakistani militants and wounded
the 201st Silab Corps said preliminary reports indicate the explosion killed or
wounded Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) militants.
Afghan Special Forces killed 10 Taliban militants during the operations which
they conducted in Faryab and Kunduz provinces.
informed military officials said Wednesday that the Special Forces killed 6
Taliban militants in Gurziwan district of Faryab.
officials further added that the Special Forces killed 4 Taliban militants
during a similar operation in Khanabad district of Faryab.
security forces conducted a series of airstrikes in Ghazni province in
South-east of Afghanistan killing at least six Taliban militants.
military officials said Monday that an airstrike killed 4 Taliban militants in
Ghazni district of the province.
the security forces killed 2 Taliban militants by conducting an airstrike in
Andar district of Ghazni province.
Forces detain 3 Taliban militants, destroy weapons cache, opium in Farah, Ghor
Special Forces arrested three Taliban militants during the operations in Farah
and Ghor provinces.
informed military officials said Wednesday that the Special Forces arrested a
Taliban fighter in Khak-e Safayd district of Farah.
officials further added that the Special Forces also destroyed 12 kgs of opium
and a cache of small weapons during the same operation.
the Special Forces arrested 2 Taliban militants during a similar operation in
Tulak district of Ghor province.
Donald Trump accused Iran on Wednesday of secretly enriching uranium for a long
time and warned that US sanctions will be increased soon, as the UN nuclear
watchdog held an emergency meeting on Tehran’s breach of a nuclear deal.
has long been secretly ‘enriching,’ in total violation of the terrible 150
Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration. Remember,
that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be
increased, substantially!” Trump said on Twitter.
Iran has long been secretly “enriching,” in
total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and
the Obama Administration. Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number
of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!
PM - Jul 10, 2019
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United States used an emergency meeting of the UN International Atomic Energy
Agency’s board on Wednesday to pressure Iran over breaches of the 2015
international nuclear deal, accusing it of extortion and pledging to continue
sanctions while still offering to hold talks.
the past two weeks Iran has breached two limits central to the 2015 nuclear
deal, which aimed to extended the time Iran would need to obtain enough fissile
material for a nuclear weapon.
Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran’s measures were within the framework
of the deal, which Trump pulled the United States out of last year.
meanwhile, is set on isolating Iran to force it to negotiate over the nuclear
pact, its missile program and its actions in the region.
secretary of state Kerry spearheaded the diplomacy that led to the 2015 accord
between Iran and world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
deal promised sanctions relief, economic benefits and an end to international
isolation in return for stringent curbs on the Islamic republic’s nuclear
Tehran says it has lost patience with perceived inaction by European countries
more than a year after Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement,
reimposing stinging sanctions.
announced on Monday it had surpassed 4.5 percent uranium enrichment -- above
the 3.67 percent limit under the accord -- though still far below the 90
percent necessary for military purposes.
Rouhani said in May that Iran would roll back its commitments under the deal in
stages every 60 days in an effort to force the other parties to deliver on
their side of the bargain.
tensions rose, the United States dispatched a naval carrier, bombers and extra
troops to the region to counter perceived threats from Iran.
said last month he had called off a retaliatory military strike against Iran at
the last minute after the Islamic republic shot down a US drone that it said
had crossed into its airspace, a claim denied by Washington.
United States said on Wednesday Iran’s breaches of its nuclear deal are an
attempt at extortion, warning Tehran that it is isolating itself while at the
same time repeating that Washington is open to talks.
is no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear program, and there is no
way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to
extort payments from the international community,” the US statement to an
Atomic Energy Agency board meeting said.
United States will never be able to form a global front against Iran by falsely
claiming that the Islamic Republic is
looking to develop nuclear weapons, says the spokesman for the Atomic Energy
Organization of Iran (AEOI).
that Iran wants nuclear weapons, America is trying to form a coalition against
this country and put Tehran under pressure but these political attempts are in
vain," Behrouz Kamalvandi said in Tehran on Wednesday.
the fact that nuclear weapons are not part of Iran's defense doctrine, the
official said even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed
Tehran's declaration that it is not seeking such weapons.
country with Iran's strategic and security level and its civilization history
doesn't need nuclear weapons," he said. "The Islamic Republic has
never sought nuclear weapons and never will."
Trump is sincere then he should remove unilateral sanctions against Iran after
hearing the IAEA's confirmations, Kamalvandi added.
and its allies have long tried to use issues such as human rights, terrorism
and nuclear energy to project Iran as a threat, he argued.
human rights and terrorism didn't work as they wanted and so they are now using
nuclear energy to scare the world," Kamalvandi said.
official asserted that all aspects of Iran's nuclear activities were covered in
Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with the US, the UK, France, China, Russia and
US President Donald Trump's decision in May 2018 to leave the deal, which is
known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran and the remaining
signatories have been working to salvage it in the wake of Washington's
sanctions against Tehran.
Iran wants is based on its rights in the JCPOA," he asserted.
also downplayed America's call for an emergency meeting of the 35-member Board
of Governors of the IAEA to discuss Iran's nuclear program, which was due to be
held in Vienna, Austria on Wednesday.
meeting request comes after Iran reduced some of its commitments under the
JCPOA in response to the European signatories' failure to deliver their end of
the bargain and protect bilateral trade from US sanctions.
announced this week that it was enriching uranium to 4.5% purity, above the
3.67% limit set by the international treaty.
took the chance Wednesday to repeat hollow threats against Tehran, accusing the
country of violating the nuclear deal.
has long been secretly “enriching,” in total violation of the terrible 150
Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration. Remember,
that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased,
said that 20% purity was also an option if Iran's demands to save the deal were
intends to save nuclear deal'
envoy to the IAEA Kazem Gharib Abadi said Wednesday that Iran wanted to
preserve the JCPOA provided that other parties also fulfilled their
we’re doing only has one aim: We want to preserve the nuclear treaty,” he said.
U.S. voiced concern Wednesday to the UN's Yemen envoy over a recent uptick in
Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia.
of State Mike Pompeo thanked Martin Griffiths for his efforts to end the Yemen
conflict but "expressed concern over the recent increase in
Iranian-supported Houthi attacks into Saudi territory that exacerbate the
conflict and deepen mistrust," the State Department said.
Secretary and the Special Envoy agreed that parties must continue working
toward a political settlement and an end to the conflict in Yemen,"
spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Houthi rebels used a drone to strike Abha International Airport in southern
Saudi Arabia, the group’s Al-Masirah TV said Monday.
Houthis have increasingly used drones to target southern Saudi Arabia,
including Abha. Two drones previously hit the city's airport, killing at least
one person and wounding more than 30.
has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran
much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Wednesday that could
dramatically overhaul U.S.-Saudi ties.
Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch was joined by Republican Senator
Marco Rubio and Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Coons in
sponsoring the Saudi Arabia Diplomatic Review Act of 2019.
addition to initiating a sweeping and strategic review of bilateral relations,
the bill would revoke or deny visas for members of the Saudi royal family that
serve in executive posts. It would further address in a yet-unspecified manner
the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.
close U.S.-Saudi ties have been strained by the Kingdom's air campaign in
Yemen, which has exacerbated widespread famine in what was already the Arab
world's poorest country and has resulted in mass civilian casualties, as well
as Riyadh's brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in
said that while Saudi Arabia's conduct is not new, "it reached a turning
point" with Khashoggi's murder.
of us in Congress agree that we need to see a change in Saudi conduct going
forward,” he said in a statement accompanying the bill's introduction.
legislation is meant to address the tensions between our two nations,
reevaluate our bilateral relationship, and change Saudi conduct moving forward."
bill makes specific mention of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi
Arabia's de facto leader whom the CIA concluded with a relatively high degree
of certainty ordered Khashoggi's killing despite the Kingdom's official
says that bin Salman's actions since having been elevated in Riyadh's
succession hierarchy in 2017 "have had the potential to significantly harm
the United States' historic relationship with Saudi Arabia".
Crown Prince has frequently behaved in a reckless manner, including arresting
those opposed to his rule," it says.
Islamic State caliphate may have fallen in the Middle East, but the terrorist
group still strikes fear in Germany.
newly released German government intelligence report for 2018 finds a high
level of danger from ISIS returnees. Of the more than 1,000 Germans who
traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the terrorist group, 350 are back in
Germany. Others have died, or remain in Kurdish prisons, mainly in Syria, with
a small number in Iraq.
of the returnees are in German jails, while others await trial. Some are in
hiding after slipping through the European Union’s porous borders. The German
government has admitted having completely lost track of more than 160 of the
former ISIS militants, the DW reported.
report by Germany’s domestic security agency, Bundesamt fur Verfassungsschutz
(BFV), warns that the returnees, who are glorified by domestic radical Islamic
groups, may commit crimes.
are greeted as heroes because they fought for an Islamic state,” Deidre Berger,
director of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), told Fox
report states that in regards to the risk of returnees, "the picture is
spectrum is assessing these persons ranges from the 'disillusioned,' whose
activities significantly decline after return and/or are no longer detectable,
to persons with combat experience ready to commit violence," it says.
"In principle, it must be assumed that Islamist attitudes prevail in most
cases. Their ability to move inconspicuously in Western countries, from the
jihadi groups' perspective, predestines the returnees to plan and commit
attacks in their home countries."
those who welcome these fighters is Germany’s growing community of Salafists –
Muslim fundamentalists who shun German secular life and pose security threats.
Islamic state for which the returning Germans fought was guilty of atrocities
that were often videotaped and seen around the world. A trial in Munich
provides an example of one atrocity.
German woman identified as Jennifer W. bought a five-year-old Yazidi girl as a
slave and chained her outside for bedwetting. The girl died of thirst in the
scorching heat. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were sold to ISIS members as
slaves when the fighters overran the Yazidi homeland in northern Iraq. The
Yazidi people follow an ancient, non-Muslim religion that ISIS considers devil
judge charged Jennifer W. with murder and war crimes.
German parliament has passed legislation that strips Germans with dual
nationality of their citizenship if they join foreign terrorist militias. The
law’s wording was deliberately left vague so that, while aimed at ISIS, it
could be applied to other terrorist groups.
government spokesperson Steve Alter said the government faces a big challenge
in bringing the former ISIS fighters to justice. German law requires concrete
proof of wrongdoing such as photos or social media accounts, which makes it
difficult to bring charges. It is often impossible to gather such evidence
because Germany does not have an embassy in Syria where Kurdish forces hold
many of the fighters. German courts have had to drop cases for lack of
Jensen, who writes about extremism for the center-right daily newspaper Der
Tagesspiegel, told Fox News that according to the German Interior Minister,
Horst Seehofer, each prisoner must be thoroughly investigated in Syria, or Iraq
before they can be brought to trial in Germany.
have a huge danger from Islamic terror in Germany, and many people don’t want
them to come back,” said Jensen, recalling the 2016 Muslim terrorist attack
that killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin.
get aggressive suddenly and end up stabbing people,” he added, noting that many
have been left with deep emotional scars from their exposure to combat and
government is trying to rehabilitate them, he said, but it will take a long
time to normalize their behavior.
don’t know whether the government is willing to accept a lengthy
de-radicalization program," Jensen said.
is guilty of many crimes against humanity. For example, Khaled Al Asaad, the
chief archaeologist in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, was beheaded for
refusing to reveal the location of hidden artifacts. And young girls, who have
been gang-raped, have disfigured themselves to avoid being repeatedly
in Germany are now speaking out for the victims.
should be served on all who participated in the ISIS state,” Berger said.
“Including those who continue to propagate the deadly and inhumane philosophy
of the movement in Germany and Europe.”
in the Gulf are unlikely to spiral out of control, French armed forces chief
Francois Lecointre said on Thursday after Britain accused Iran of harassing a
British oil tanker.
is a clash of wills underway between the United States and Iran with posturing,
reactions, signals and which can from one day to the next get out of control,”
Lecointre told CNews television.
think it is under control now... I don’t think it can spiral out of control but
there can be escalation,” he added.
says three Iranian vessels unsuccessfully tried to impede the passage of a
British commercial vessel through the Strait of Hormuz.
British government said in a statement Thursday that the Iranian vessels only
turned away after receiving “verbal warnings” from a UK navy vessel
accompanying the commercial vessel British Heritage.
statement says “we are concerned by this action and continue to urge the
Iranian authorities to de-escalate the situation in the region.”
Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British
Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned
away,” a British government representative said in a statement.
marked the latest escalation of tensions in the Arabian Gulf over the 2015
nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the Trump administration
abandoned last year.
in Gibraltar seized an Iranian supertanker last week for allegedly trying to
breach Western sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. Tehran had warned there
would be repercussions.
this week, Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri,
said Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar last week will
not be “unanswered.”
of the Iranian oil tanker based on fabricated excuses ... will not be
unanswered and when necessary Tehran will give appropriate answer,” Bagheri
claim that Iran tried to stop one of their oil tankers in the Gulf on Wednesday
is worthless, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday,
according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
the British tanker has passed. What they have said themselves and the claims
that have been made are for creating tension and these claims have no value,”
Zarif said, according to Fars.
Revolutionary Guards denied on Thursday that they had impeded a British oil
tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the force’s Sepah news agency said.
has inaugurated a new temporary military base in the West African country of
Mali, the French Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
temporary base in the rural commune of Gossi, in Gourma was officially
inaugurated by Gen. Frederic Blachon, the commander of France's Barkhane force,
on 26 June, a statement said.
August 2014, France's anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane has had around 4,500
troops deployed in five West African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania,
Niger, and Chad.
on Wednesday denied providing missiles to forces loyal to commander Khalifa
Haftar in Libya’s east.
commands forces loyal to a rival government based in eastern Libya.
to media reports on Wednesday, forces of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of
National Accord (GNA) based in capital Tripoli had seized four French missiles
when it overran a camp of Haftar forces in June.
statement by the French Defense Ministry said the anti-tank Javelin missiles
were intended for the “self-protection” of French forces deployed for
counterterrorism, confirming the presence of French forces on Libyan territory.
the statement added that the missiles "have not been transferred to local
missiles were "damaged and unusable", it added.
early April, Haftar launched a wide-ranging campaign to take the capital, but
his forces have failed to achieve their primary objective, although they have
captured several strategic towns and cities in the vicinity.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led
to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more
than four decades in power.
politicians not to get media time in Pakistan
Pakistan has decided to block media coverage and interviews of politicians who
are convicts or on trial.
have also directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra)
to fulfil its “responsibility” to discourage airing of such programmes.
in a press conference, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood said that Prime
Minister Imran Khan and members of his cabinet unanimously made this decision.
who have plundered national wealth and brought the country on the verge of
collapse should not be glorified. No democracy permits interviews and media
coverage of those who have been arrested on charges of corruption,” the
minister quoted the prime minister as saying.
cabinet meeting on Tuesday, presided over by Imran, also unveiled details of
foreign visits by former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime ministers
Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. It claimed that they had made 245
foreign visits, which cost more than Rs3.5 billion (Dh80 million) was spent,
Dawn newspaper reported.
the issue of the video leak related to an alleged conversation between
Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik and Nasir Butt, a close aide of Nawaz
Sharif, the cabinet reached the conclusion that as the video was made public by
Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Sharif and a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N), therefore the onus to prove the allegations against the
judge was on her and not the judge and the judiciary.
however, said the government had not directed Pemra to close down any private
TV channel as it was an independent body competent to take its own decisions.
suspended transmission of three private TV channels a couple of days ago for
airing an interview of PPP leader Zardari, who is in the custody of the
National Accountability Bureau and facing trial in a fake accounts/money
authority also took off air an interview of the former president that was being
conducted by anchor Hamid Mir on July 1, on the premises of the Parliament
House where the former had come to attend a National Assembly session after the
house’s speaker had issued his production order.
government is reportedly of the view that the production orders for Zardari
were issued only to enable him to attend the assembly session and not for him
to give any interview to ‘undermine’ the judiciary and trial court.
to the allegations, the government’s spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan Awan
explained that the interview was pulled under Pemra rules for specific reasons.
an under-trial suspect who is in the custody of the National Accountability
Bureau cannot appear in an interview before cameras in the parliament” she
the permission of the National Assembly speaker is a prerequisite to bring
cameras in the parliament.
interview was conducted in violation of the rules of parliament,” she
parties in Balochistan to observe black day on 25th
A multiparty conference (MPC) organised by the opposition parties in
Balochistan decided on Wednesday to observe July 25 as black day against
unprecedented hike in prices, imposition of heavy taxes, alleged rigging in the
last year’s general elections and fake cases against their leaders.
others, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Balochistan chapter president Ali Madad
Jattak, National Party’s secretary general Mir Jan Mohammad Buledi, Abdul Rahim
Ziaratwal of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Mir Gohar Khan Mengal
of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP)
Balochistan chapter general secretary Mabat Khan Kakar and Amir of Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Balochistan chapter Maulana Abdul Wasay attended the
conclusion of the MPC, Maulana Abdul Wasay said at a press conference that this
conference was in continuity of the Islamabad conference. Despite being a part
of the coalition government of Balochistan, the ANP attended the conference.
opposition leaders criticised the federal government and said that it had
failed to deliver but increased the people problems of by adopting wrong
said the country was facing the worst economic crisis in history as the masses
were facing unprecedented increase in prices of gas, electricity and other
leaders said that the government had imposed heavy taxes in the federal budget
which had broken the backbone of the poor people as their purchasing power was
Wasay said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had no right to stay in power and
the opposition parties would not allow it to rule any more as it would destroy
the country’s economy.
will have to launch a movement against the PTI government to save democracy and
the country from further destruction,” he said, adding that if the opposition
parties did not launch movement against the government the people would not
JUI-F leader said that his party would stage a million march in Islamabad on
Rehim Ziaratwal of the PkMAP said that the people’s mandate was stolen through
massive rigging in the 2018 general election. “We will observe a back day on
July 25 against rigging in elections.”
Madad Jattak of the PPP said that the PTI government had become a
disappointment with its lack of interest in solving public issues. “Inflation
is forcing people to commit suicide. The PTI is only focusing on political
vendetta as the recent arrest of PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah is a glaring
example of it.”
calls for global effort to break nexus between terrorism, organised crime
YORK: Pakistan on Wednesday urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to
ensure “evidence-based” responses to the nexus between terrorism and organised
crime and insisted that a supply-demand approach to counter-narcotics is most
at the UNSC, permanent representative to UN Maleeha Lodhi said that only
through collective regional and international efforts could the world community
choke off the various sources that support terrorist outfits through organised
will continue to play our role to sever the vicious link between terrorism and
organised crime in our region,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
is critical for our own people, as well as for our neighborhood and indeed the
rest of the world,” she said, adding the crime-terrorist nexus varies across
different contexts, with several common areas of confluence, including
financing tools, recruiting vulnerable youth and operating in areas outside
one of the principal victims of terrorism, Pakistan’s resolve to eliminate this
scourge is clear and unwavering,” she added.
its commitment in that regard, Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies continued to
make record drug seizures every year.
Pakistani envoy added it was a “tangible manifestation of our consistent and
dedicated efforts to not only protect our own country but also protect the rest
of the world from this scourge.
global drug problem must be addressed effectively at local, national, regional
and international levels,” the ambassador said citing a range of ongoing
regional initiatives to tackle the illicit trade.
to do so can include allocation of proper resources to better understand the
correlation between terror financing and transnational organised crimes,
re-establishment of government control over territories used for drug
production, and promotion of development to provide alternative livelihoods,
the global drug problem, Ambassador Lodhi called for focusing on reducing both
the supply and the demand for narcotics drugs through a well-integrated,
comprehensive and balanced approach.
The International Monetary Fund has implicitly blamed two political governments
of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for misaligned
policies and inadequate policy action, respectively, for the critical economic
challenges the country is facing.
its staff report on $6 billion bailout to Pakistan approved by its executive
board earlier this week, the IMF has given a background of how the economic
difficulties emerged and how corrective measures were delayed.
directly naming the two governments, the IMF held the PML-N government
responsible for unbalanced policies and unfinished reforms. “Misaligned
economic policies, including large fiscal deficits, loose monetary policy, and
defence of an overvalued exchange rate, fuelled consumption and short-term
growth in recent years, but steadily eroded macroeconomic buffers, increased
external and public debt, and depleted international reserves,” it said.
economic growth has been relatively fast — averaging close to five per cent
over the past five years — macroeconomic vulnerabilities have rapidly increased
on the back of weak policies supporting a consumption- and import-driven growth
model. In particular, procyclical fiscal policies led to a surge in the FY2018
fiscal deficit to 6.5pc of GDP, 2.5pc higher than budgeted, pushing public debt
to 75pc of GDP.
IMF said the lacklustre progress in structural reforms continued to hamper
investment and allowed inefficient state-owned entities (SOEs) to linger and a
large informal economy to expand. While the macroeconomic deterioration, which
eroded the stability gains achieved during 2013-16, had been largely due to
homemade factors, the increase in oil prices and more limited capital flows
added to this difficult picture.
the IMF also blamed the current PTI government for delayed and yet
unsatisfactory policy action for correction. Hence despite some exchange rate
depreciation and significant monetary policy tightening, sizeable foreign
exchange interventions continued through April 2019. “Similarly, fiscal
slippages in the first half of the fiscal year have been significant despite
the adoption of two budget amendments. Finally, increases in power and gas
tariffs have not been sufficient to stem the accumulation of quasi-fiscal
losses,” the Fund noted.
also pointed out that sizable short-term financing from bilateral creditors
provided critical financing relief, but “also deferred the urgency to tackle
the underlying problems while increasing the maturing debt obligations due in
on the back of weakening confidence, economic activity has slowed considerably
and inflation accelerated. High-frequency indicators, including the large-scale
manufacturing index, domestic cement dispatches and motor vehicle sales, have
continued to deteriorate, confirming a marked slowdown in economic activity.
fiscal imbalances have continued to build. Despite the adoption of two
supplementary budgets, the overall fiscal deficit (excluding grants) widened to
over 7pc of GDP against the budgeted target of 5.1pc. “This deterioration is
largely driven by a significant revenue shortfall, equivalent to 1.4 per cent
of GDP relative to the budget target,” the Fund noted.
said the authorities were committed to carrying out the new programme, but the
outlook was subject to considerable risks. The risks relate mainly to domestic
policy implementation as well as external events. It said Pakistan’s capacity
to repay its Fund obligations in a timely manner was adequate but was subject
to “higher than usual risks”.
to Pakistan’s repayment capacity have increased on account of the continued
decline in reserves and a delay in the adoption of adjustment policies.
Adequate capacity to repay and debt sustainability will depend on strong policy
implementation and adequate execution of the existing financing commitments.
Fund also highlighted that despite the safeguards included in the design and
financing of the programme, the risks to the programme were “particularly
successfully the transition to a market-determined exchange rate will be
crucial to ensure popular support for the programme. In this respect, failure
to maintain an adequately tight monetary policy could lead to exchange rate
overshooting and second-round effects on inflation.
slippages and resistance to some of the fiscal measures could undermine the
programme’s fiscal consolidation strategy, thus putting debt sustainability at
risk. Progress in governance and institutional building may be opposed by
vested interests, weakening structural reforms and medium-term growth prospects.
the absence of the ruling party’s majority in the upper house of parliament may
hinder the adoption of legislation needed to achieve programme objectives.
Also, there is a risk that provinces may underdeliver on their commitments to
leader Maryam Nawaz on Wednesday shared two more video clips on Twitter to
corroborate her claim that Accountability Judge Arshad Malik allegedly met a
PML-N ‘sympathiser’ to confess that he had been "pressurised and
blackmailed" to convict her father, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in
the Al-Azizia reference.
Saturday, a video purported to be about the conversation between Judge Malik
and PML-N supporter Nasir Butt was played on a screen projector during a
hurriedly called presser at the PML-N's provincial headquarters in Lahore.
a press release issued a day later, Judge Malik acknowledged to have met Nasir
Butt in the past, but rejected Maryam's allegations that he had convicted Nawaz
under any sort of pressure, saying that the former premier was convicted on the
basis of evidence.
videos shown during the press conference are fake and based on lies and
assumptions," the judge had said in the press release.
to Twitter today, Maryam shared a new video which she claimed shows Judge
Malik's "official car with a green number plate" coming to escort
Nasir Butt, who then allegedly follows the car to the judge's residence.
video, shot by a person riding a motorcycle, appears to show a white sedan with
a green number plate approaching a Land Cruiser before both vehicles drive
away. None of the occupants of the vehicles are clearly visible in the video.
video "belies all claims of Judge Arshad Malik [sahib] that he mentioned
in his press release," Maryam claimed.
tweeted a second video which she claimed shows Nasir Butt entering the judge's
residence. "Judge Arshad Malik sb comes in, greets Nasir sb & switches
the lights on," she wrote.
veracity of the contents of either of the video clips could not be verified
independently by Dawn.com.
Malik in the press release issued on Sunday had said that he had seen Maryam's
press conference as well as the video attributed to him. "Serious
allegations were made against me; it was a conspiracy to affect my credibility
as well as that of my institution and my family. Therefore, I want to present
am a resident of Rawalpindi where before becoming a judge, I worked as a
lawyer. The individual shown in the video, Nasir Butt, is also from the same
city and is an old acquaintance. Nasir Butt and his brother Abdullah Butt have
met me many times at numerous instances.
video shown in Maryam Safdar sahiba's press conference is not only contrary to
the facts but it is also a despicable attempt to mesh together various
instances and topics spoken about, and to present them out of context.
White House on Wednesday confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet US
President Donald J. Trump on July 22.
to a press release issued by the White House, the US president will welcome the
confirmation came amidst confusion over if the meeting would actually happen.
in the day, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had issued a tweet
to address questions about the certainty of the visit.
wish to caution against speculation about the prime minister's visit. We are in
close contact with the US side. As per practice, formal announcements are made
at the appropriate time," he had said.
FO spokesperson's remark had come after a section of the media reported that
the US State Department had expressed its ignorance of the visit, which had
cast doubt over whether the meeting was actually happening.
visit will focus on strengthening cooperation between the US and Pakistan to
bring peace, stability and economic prosperity to a region that has seen far
too much conflict," read the release, issued on Wednesday by the White
Trump and PM Imran will discuss a range of issues, including counterterrorism,
defense, energy and trade, with the goal of creating the conditions for a
peaceful South Asia and an enduring partnership between our two
countries," the statement added.
will be Imran Khan's first visit to the US since assuming power last year
following PTI's victory in the general elections.
FO reiterated in a subsequent statement that the premier will visit the US from
July 21 to 23 on the invitation of US President Trump.
the visit, it said, the prime minister will also be meeting prominent members
of the US Congress, corporate leaders and opinion makers as well as members of
the Pakistani diaspora.
to the statement, the prime minister will outline his vision of "Naya
the regional context, the prime minister will underscore Pakistan’s commitment
to peace and stability and the importance of constructive engagement to promote
a political solution in Afghanistan."
will also highlight Pakistan’s policy of 'peaceful neighbourhood' aimed at
resolving disputes through dialogue and promoting the vision of peace, progress
and prosperity in South Asia and beyond," it added.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had told reporters last month that President
Trump had invited the prime minister in June but he could not undertake the
visit because of the budget session.
foreign minister had also said that talks between the two leaders would focus
on “important regional matters”. Pakistan has helped the United States in
jump-starting the ongoing US-Taliban dialogue.
on January 3, Trump had told a cabinet meeting that he wanted “to have a great
relationship with Pakistan, but they house the enemy, they take care of the
just can’t do that. So, I look forward to meeting with the folks from — and the
new leadership in Pakistan, we’ll be doing that in the not-too-distant future,”
he had said.
in March, Trump had said he hoped to meet Pakistani leaders soon as he
acknowledged that relations between the two countries are “now very good”.
Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday dismissed the possibility of imposing
governor’s rule in Sindh province.
one has talked about imposing governor’s rule in Sindh and nor will it happen
in near future,” the prime minister said while talking to media here. He
reiterated that all the corrupt elements, who had burdened the country with
whopping debt of Rs 30,000 billion, will be brought to justice because the
country cannot progress without holding accountable such corrupt politicians
and former rulers.
a veiled reference to the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the prime minister said they are out to
create panic by blaming the government for the price hike. “Unless they are
held accountable, the country cannot be put on track of progress. They just
want to hear three words ‘NRO’ from me, which I will not utter as it will
amount to treachery with the country,” he added.
prime minister said the country is passing through hard times because of the
two previous NROs and the subsequent debt of Rs 30,000 billion. “Why we should
not talk of the past corruption and plunder of the previous rulers,” he said,
adding that keeping silence on their misdeeds will amount to treason with the
country. He maintained that unless the nation punishes the corrupt elements who
burdened it into huge burgeoning debt trap, there will be no future. “In the
past, about 10 to 12 billion dollars were laundered from the country. When
these corrupt elements are not brought to book, there will be no end to
corruption and no future for the country,” he added. Citing China, which is
witnessing fast-paced economic progress, the prime minister noted that it has
jailed about 415 ministers and bureaucrats on allegations of corruption in the
last five years. The prime minister said the country has immense potential to
move ahead on the path of progress and prosperity, and appealed to the people
to pay taxes for a strengthened economy. The country cannot move ahead if the
people and traders are reluctant to pay taxes, he said, and maintained that
only one per cent out of the total 220 million population pay taxes.
said fewer people in the country are overburdened with taxes as the industry is
paying 70 per cent of taxes alone. The government cannot go on printing
currency as it will escalate price hike, he said, and cautioned that if the
people do not realise their responsibility to pay taxes, the country can run
into hyperinflation. “There is dire need to change the mindset for paying
taxes,” he emphasised.
prime minister said the government is striving to generate taxes. He said the
business community has been told to become a partner with the government in its
efforts for the stability of the economy. “When there are investment and
business activities, there will be ample employment opportunities and
industrialisation, thus enabling the country to shake its debt off,” he opined.
prime minister said Pakistan is ideally located in the region and gifted with
immense potentials, adding that it is surrounded by the countries rich with
natural resources. He said he has himself taken the responsibility to introduce
tax reforms in the country as well as reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue
(FBR). The government set the target of collecting tax amounting to Rs 5,550
billion in the next fiscal year, he added.
Khan regretted that half of the country’s tax collection in a year was spent on
the payment of interest on Rs 30,000 billion debt. He said for economic
stability, the business community should be taken on board and
industrialisation be given a boost with surge in exports. On the contrary, in
Pakistan, export is on the nosedive with rampant mismanagement and corruption,
Khan spelled out that with the collective efforts of the government and the
business community, the gap between imports and exports can be bridged. The
government is keen to facilitate the business community with all the possible
incentives to enable a thriving industry, he added.
to the presence of his economic team, the prime minister resolved that they
will remove all the hurdles for the business community. He said the country’s
exports have witnessed a quantum term of 30 per cent by reducing the import.
“The government is trying to lure investments. Different memorandums of
understanding have been signed with a number of countries, including Saudi
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, etc, while negotiations are underway with
others,” he said, adding that Pakistan has also entered into the second phase
of free trade agreement with China. He also mentioned the austerity measures
the federal government has introduced by slashing its expenditures and cited
the announcement made by the federal cabinet and army in this regard.
prime minister said during his forthcoming visit to the United States, he will
stay at the Pakistan Embassy with a very small entourage, which is also a part
of the austerity measures. Replying to different media queries, he said the
governments of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and China extended financial help to
Pakistan as an honest leadership was in power here. “Had they not helped out
Pakistan on time, the country could have been bankrupted,” he added.
the examples of Scandinavian countries, the prime minister said all those
states are prosperous today where there is no corruption, while the ones ruled
by the people like Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are poverty stricken.
Lashing out at the leadership of PML-N and PPP, Imran Khan said former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif siphoned off the Hudabiya Papers Mills money, laundering
the same abroad through Hundi and then bringing it back through banking
channels for whitening it. Former president Asif Zardari also did the same in
the fake bank account cases, while Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif’s sons
are also involved in the benami account cases, he added.
— The Trump administration imposed sanctions on three senior Hezbollah
officials in Lebanon on Tuesday, accusing them of having a “malign agenda” to
support the Iranian government.
sanctions were the first to directly target members of Lebanon’s Parliament and
underscored the White House’s intention to ratchet up pressure on Iran by
punishing groups with ties to its government.
United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization even though members
of the group have embedded into legitimate parts of the Lebanese government.
Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, who are members of Parliament, and Wafiq
Safa, a senior Hezbollah security official in Lebanon, were added to the
Treasury Department’s sanctions list.
uses its operatives in Lebanon’s Parliament to manipulate institutions in
support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to
bolster Iran’s malign activities,” Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s
under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
between the United States and Iran has been rising as Iran violated a key provision
of the 2015 international accord to restrict its nuclear program this month.
Tehran has also warned that it would begin enriching its nuclear fuel to a
purer level, potentially moving it closer to developing a nuclear weapon.
President Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in 2018, the United States has
renewed sanctions on Iranians and warned other countries not to do business
with Iran. In June, the Trump administration issued a new sanctions order
barring Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and his office from
access to the international financial system. The administration also levied
sanctions on eight Iranian military commanders last month.
administration officials said that the sanctions announced on Tuesday were meant
to emphasize to the world that the United States saw no distinction between the
political and military wings of Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran. They
urged Lebanon’s leaders to sever ties with anyone affiliated with Hezbollah.
threatens the economic stability and security of Lebanon and the wider region,
all at a cost to the Lebanese people,” Ms. Mandelker said. “The United States
will continue to support efforts of the Lebanese government to protect its
institutions from exploitation by Iran and its terrorist proxies, and to secure
a more peaceful and prosperous future for Lebanon.”
new sanctions are sure to irritate Lebanon. When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
visited Beirut in March, and denounced Hezbollah as a terrorist group, he faced
us, Hezbollah is a Lebanese party, not terrorists,” said Gebran Bassil,
Lebanon’s foreign minister. “Its members of Parliament were elected by the
Lebanese people, with high popular support.”
Trump administration’s sanctions on Iran have affected Hezbollah’s finances —
the group has had a harder time paying its members.
Pompeo noted in a statement on Tuesday that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of
Hezbollah, made a plea for financial support for the first time ever this year.
Trump administration has been frustrated that Europe continues to support the
nuclear agreement and has threatened secondary sanctions against allies that
continue to buy Iranian oil.
broader use of sanctions by the United States has struck some critics of its
approach as overreach.
notion of simply listing people and freezing their accounts without evidence of
their specific financial support to Iran or specific terrorist activities, that
is a reach,” said George A. Lopez, a professor at Notre Dame and an expert in
economic sanctions. “But it is consistent with the use — some would say misuse
— of sanctions by this administration. The emphasis is less on direct causal
linkage and more guilt by association.”
Trump administration has also considered imposing economic penalties against
militias in Iraq that are supported by Iran. Similarly, however, the militias
have members in Parliament, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Iraqi
government officially recognizes the militias, which are grouped under the
umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces, and pays their salaries. The
militias fought against the Islamic State, with the help of the Iranian
officials said on Tuesday that more sanctions against Iran were in the pipeline.
late June, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that sanctions targeting
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, were forthcoming. While they
have yet to be announced, an administration official described Mr. Zarif as a
figure of key interest and said that additional sanctions were being explored.
in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he was keeping a close eye on
Iran’s enrichment activities.
we’re going to see what happens with Iran,” Mr. Trump said. “Iran is doing a
lot of bad things right now, and they better be very careful.”
Wong and David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington, and David D.
Kirkpatrick from London.
vows to retain every West Bank settlement
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Wednesday not to dismantle even the
remotest Jewish settlement in the West Bank, in a message to settlers ahead of
next month’s general election.
media had speculated that after US President Donald Trump handed Netanyahu
valuable political prizes by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its
annexation of the Golan Heights, Trump might expect concessions in return when
he finally unveils his long-awaited proposals for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
shall not allow the dismantling of any settlement in any peace plan,” Netanyahu
told an audience at the settlement of Revava in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
also make no distinction between the settlement blocs and isolated settlement
sites,” he said in Hebrew. “Every such spot is Israeli from my point of view.”
occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.
settlements are viewed as illegal under international law and major obstacles
to peace since they are located on land the Palestinians see as part of their
Iranian Irgc Members Killed In Northwest Iran
Seth J. Frantzman
members of the Hamza Saiyid al-Shohada, a local force of the Iranian Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), were killed near Piranshahr, just a few
kilometers from the Iraqi border in northwest Iran. This is a serious incident,
and although no group initially claimed responsibility, focus will likely shift
toward Kurdish dissident groups that operate in the Kurdish regions of
fall, the IRGC fired ballistic missiles at Koya in northern Iraq, targeting
Iranian Kurdish opposition groups. This led to a cessation of attacks by
several Kurdish groups, including PJAK, KDP and PKK, all of which oppose Iran’s
regime and had been alleged to be behind several attacks in the summer of 2018.
Tansim News Agency said that the IRGC members were attacked at the entrance to
the city by “terrorists,” who Iran claimed were “affiliated with the arrogance
of the world,” a generalization that likely means Tehran sees US or Western
hands behind the attack. The names of two of the killed were released on
Tuesday night. The IRGC said that it would continue its intelligence work and
search for “terrorists” in the area.
a Kurdish news network, said the attack comes as clashes have increased in
Kurdish areas of Iran, where a variety of opposition groups exist. The attack,
the most serious in almost a year, will likely lead to an increased Iranian
security presence in the border areas and could mean that Iran will demand that
Iraq crack down on any Iranian dissident groups that operate in Iraq.
Turkey (Reuters) - Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants launched an attack
on a Turkish military vehicle in southeast Turkey on Tuesday, killing two
soldiers and wounding another, the country’s defense ministry said.
said the attack occurred in the Hakkari province of Turkey, which borders Iraq
and Iran, and was carried out from a distance. It did not specify what form the
PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and
the European Union, launched its insurgency in 1984 and seeks autonomy in
Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast.
The Yemeni army killed 20 Houthi militants during clashes in Dhale province,
south of the country, Saudi national news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.
militia were trying to infiltrate a district in Dhale when the Yemeni troops
launched a counter attack, forcing them to flee.
further 23 militants were killed in clashes with army forces in Saada province
Houthi court sentences 30 to death for spying for Saudi-led coalition
Yemeni court run by Houthi rebels sentenced 30 people to death on charges of
espionage for Saudi Arabia and its allies in the international coalition
fighting in Yemen, a judicial source has said.
source, cited by AFP news agency, said that 30 men, mainly academics, trade
unionists and preachers, were handed death sentences on Tuesday and six others
were acquitted by the criminal court in the Houthi-controlled capital city of
defendants have been detained for a year, the source added.
said the men were found guilty of providing the coalition with information on
Saudi-led coalition has been engaged in a military campaign in Yemen since
2015, after the Houthis overran Sanaa and ousted Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh
Mansour Hadi, who is backed by Riyadh.
to end the fighting have failed so far, with neither side coming to a long-term
'mockery of justice'
International dismissed Tuesday's trial as a “flawed legal process” and “a
mockery of justice” that targeted mainly individuals opposed to the Houthi
Maalouf, Amnesty’s Middle East director of research, said the Houthi-led
criminal court has systematically targeted critics and opponents since the
rebels assumed control of Sanaa’s justice system in 2015.
thirty individuals, and all of their loved ones, are bracing for what is the
ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and handed down following
such flagrantly unfair trials,” Maalouf said in a statement.
call on the Houthi de facto authorities to quash these unjust convictions and
brutal sentences and release the 30 men immediately.”
run by the Houthis in Yemen have issued several death sentences against Yemeni
citizens convicted of spying for the coalition, but executions have yet to be
May last year, two men were sentenced by the same court for "providing
information to a foreign state and co-operating with aggressor state Saudi
Arabia between 2015 and 2016".
January, the court condemned to death 22-year-old mother Asmaa al-Omeissy and
two men on charges of aiding the UAE.
2017, the same court sentenced President Hadi and six senior officials in his
administration to death on charges of “high treason”.
bin Haydara, a member of Yemen’s Bahai religious community, was also sentenced
to death by the Sanaa court in January 2018 on charges of apostasy.
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) called on
the Houthi court to overturn the death sentence and release Haydara, “a
religious prisoner of conscience”.
Houthis have stepped up their cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent
weeks, killing at least one person and wounding dozens in attacks targeting
mainly civilian airports.
Arabia has accused Iran of arming the Houthis, a charge both the Houthis and
United Arab Emirates, a key partner in the coalition, announced on Monday it
was scaling down its involvement in the war in a shift from a
"military-first strategy" to a "peace-first strategy".
missile strike kills dozens of Saudi mercenaries in kingdom’s Najran
of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, have been killed and scores of others sustained injuries when
Yemeni army forces and their allies fired a domestically-manufactured ballistic
missile at their camp in Saudi Arabia’s southern province of Najran.
spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said on
Wednesday afternoon that Yemeni missile defense units launched a Badr-F missile
at a position of Saudi mercenaries near al-Khazra border crossing.
added that the missile hit the designated target with great precision, leaving
45 Saudi-paid militiamen killed and tens of others injured. The death toll is
expected to further rise as some of the injured are in critical condition.
in the day, a woman and her two children suffered injuries when Saudi-led
coalition forces launched a barrage of artillery rounds at a residential
neighborhood in July 7 area of the strategic western Yemeni province of
and mortar shells also rained down on several villages in the Monabbih district
of Yemen's mountainous northwestern province of Sa'ada. There were no immediate
reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying
hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in
dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme
levels of hunger.
Tuesday, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has called for the full withdrawal
of the Saudi-led military coalition from the conflict-ridden Arab country,
after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key part of that alliance, said it was
going ahead with plans to reduce the number of troops in Yemen.
call on the countries of aggression to declare withdrawal from Yemen. The
Republic of Yemen rejects the aggression, siege and aerial embargo,” Mohammed
Ali al-Houthi, the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen,
wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page.
added, “Withdrawal from Yemen is the ideal decision that must be taken at this
particular time. It is just good enough for the countries of aggression to use
Yemen a test field for European and American weapons for five years, and prove
the ugliness of their crimes to the world.”
unnamed senior Emirati official told reporters on July 8 that the Persian Gulf
country was planning troop drawdown in Yemen in what was claimed to be a shift
from a military strategy to a "peace" plan instead.
added, “We do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in
(the Red Sea city of) Hudaydah and reasons that are tactical” in other parts of
Palestinian family was evicted from a home in east Jerusalem near the Old City
on Wednesday after Israeli settlers won a court battle that stretched more than
two decades, activists said.
apartment in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan was home to a 53-year-old
woman and her four children, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now, which opposes
Israeli settlement expansion.
arrived and evicted the residents from the apartment and they will at least
temporarily stay with relatives.
Israeli court found that the Elad foundation, which seeks to increase the
Jewish presence in mainly Palestinian east Jerusalem, had legally purchased
that portion of the property and ruled in its favor.
take us from the house is like taking my heart from my body,” one of the
Palestinian residents, Ali Siyam, 20, told AFP.
said in a statement “the property was purchased by Jewish people in accordance
with the law, in good faith and in a fair and legal transaction.”
added that “three separate courts verified that the property was lawfully purchased
foundation, known in English as the City of David foundation, also oversees a
nearby archaeological center in Silwan that seeks to demonstrate Jews’
historical connection to Jerusalem.
was in the news recently when US officials attended an inauguration of an
archaeological project it organized in Silwan, another break with traditional
diplomatic practice by President Donald Trump’s White House that drew
attendance was seen as further US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over east
say Israel and groups such as Elad are on a systematic campaign to force them
out of Jerusalem.
occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move
never recognized by the international community.
sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians view the eastern
sector as the capital of their future state.
Jerusalem includes highly sensitive holy sites for Christians, Muslims and Jews
that are located in the Old City near Silwan.
600,000 Israeli settlers now live in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem
among around 2.9 million Palestinians.
Now said in a statement “the settlement in Silwan not only harms the prospects
for a conflict-ending agreement and stability in Jerusalem, it is also cruel
government employees face prosecution for working under ISIL
Iraq - As the city fell to the occupation of Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant (ISIL) five years ago, many doctors in Mosul's public hospital ripped
off their scrubs and fled.
a doctor himself, was unable to join his colleagues in their escape as he had
just reached the hospital with his wife who was showing complications in her
were lots of gunshots... The doctors even left their patients and ran
away," Labeeb, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, told
Al Jazeera in an interview last month.
wife needed a caesarean section though the anaesthetist had already fled,
leaving her to bear a child with a birth defect at 8pm on June 9, 2014 - the
same day ISIL took over the city.
child was about to die. It was a tough time. It forced me to stay in the
hospital and witness everything," he said.
employed by the Iraqi government, is one of the hundreds of government
employees under investigation for working under ISIL, also known as ISIS.
the group occupied the city, it began building its administration from the
foundations of the existing Iraqi government workforce.
was the blueprint the armed group set up across all the territories it
controlled. At its peak, ISIL employed thousands of teachers, doctors and
various civil employees, even down to municipality drivers.
Labeeb remained in Mosul to care for his wife and newborn child, ISIL took
advantage of his expertise.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has pointed out in various reports, including Flawed
Justice - Accountability for ISIS Crimes in Iraq, all civil employees are
subject to investigation and prosecution under the government's blanket system
for dealing with ISIL affiliates under its counter-terrorism law.
a month after the birth of his child, Labeeb received a phone call informing
him to meet in a cafe in Mosul to discuss going back to work.
felt shocked because I didn't know who they were," he said.
number was obtained by ISIL from the Nineveh government employment records.
teacher Younis Muawiyah, 35, a government employee at Mosul High School since
2008, fell into the same position as Labeeb when the armed group seized control
of the city.
first they sent me a message saying: 'You should come into the school because
we need you.' I didn't answer them. I ignored it at first," Muawiyah said.
second day they sent me another message: 'You should come otherwise we'll
reluctantly went back to work, teaching a class of 150 ISIL children.
learned English in order to know what their enemies, such as the US,
said," he added.
are no exact numbers of government workers currently prosecuted or facing
investigation under the counter-terrorism law, though HRW has documented charges
against a "wide range" of individuals.
Muhammed Noori, chief judge of Nineveh Court, told Al Jazeera it was difficult
for a government employee to work for ISIL.
said people did not have to stay in Mosul when ISIL came. "A lot of
important people left the city," Noori added.
Iraqi justice department has an investigation division that looks into the
cases of those who worked for ISIL, gathering written witness statements and
said only in a handful of cases has the court questioned witnesses or called
them in to give evidence.
many arrests are based on names provided to the security forces from ordinary
civilians, there are cases where feuds between people have resulted in
someone's name being submitted as an act of revenge, residents told Al Jazeera.
said, due to false witness accounts, there were many people in prison who did
not work with ISIL.
I hate you, I can go to the police station and say this person worked with
ISIL. You're innocent but you'll stay in prison until they check, and after
that the government just says 'sorry'," Muawiyah said.
confirmed this version of Iraqi "amnesty".
somebody is sent to prison because they killed someone then afterwards we find
the person is not dead - they get out of prison," he explained.
also highlighted charges are often based on confessions extracted under duress.
continued working for three years under ISIL rule, even after the Iraqi
government cut salaries in mid-2015, and the group offered no payment.
worked at the Mosul Oncology Hospital, in which ISIL's leadership used the
basement as a hiding place and patients and workers as human shields from air
raids, Labeeb explained.
was instructed not to examine female patients, but he refused their order.
couldn't punish doctors because numbers were very few and they needed us, so
they would only say bad things to us," Labeeb said. He said his constant
refusal to follow ISIL's orders led to the investigation against him to be
dropped by Iraqi authorities.
intelligence says I didn't join ISIL. It was proved I was innocent,"
Labeeb said. "I tried to get away from them as much as I could, so I
didn't interact with them. Others may have had direct contact with them, [so
they are] the people who are in danger now," he added.
the Nineveh Counter-terrorism Court, under which the Mosul region falls, if
someone is found guilty of a killing in the name of ISIL they are sentenced to
death by hanging.
minimum sentence given for someone who joined ISIL, including those who worked
under the group, is 15 to 20 years in prison.
said each case is carefully considered, but he acknowledged it was not an easy
ISIL never had any human rights and did so many bad things to the Iraqi people,
[we have] guarantees to protect these suspects," he said.
those convicted in Iraqi courts, some may be entitled to release under the
General Amnesty Law.
this to be possible, the person convicted would have to provide evidence
showing they joined ISIL against their will and did not commit a serious
Wille, HRW's senior Iraq researcher, said it is difficult for people to prove
they were forced to work for the armed group because the bar has been set so
government would argue that you should have stayed at home, because by then you
aren't working for the Iraqi government any more. So why did you continue to
work," Wille said.
though this law exists, and would benefit the government workers forced to work
under ISIL, HRW found the majority of judges handing counter-terrorism cases
are not applying it.
detailed a senior counter-terrorism judge in Nineveh who expressed his refusal
to apply the law "because he thought no one who provided any support to
ISIL deserved an amnesty".
is also noted a senior judge recommended the death penalty for a man who was a
cook for ISIL fighters.
said there should be broad amnesty applied to people who are not linked to
for those in government functions that helped keep the rights of people in that
area, so people could continue to have access to water, electricity, et
cetera," Wille said.
way prosecutions are being handled are misguided and not helping the future of
Iraq, she added.
no comprehensive transitional justice action plan where prosecutions play a key
role in helping to heal wounds and foster reconciliation," Wille said.
least three people were killed in northern Iraq on Tuesday in what authorities
said was an attack by ISIS militants.
people were wounded when three mortar bombs hit the town of Shirqat, police
officials and hospital sources said.
in the area said ISIS was involved in the attack and the mortars were fired
from a nearby mountainous area were militants are still active.
fighters are hiding in (the) Makhoul mountains area and use it as a launchpad
for their attacks," said Shirqat police colonel Khalil Sahan, according to
has recently mounted a series of hit-and-run attacks aimed at undermining the
army units, backed by the international coalition and with the participation of
the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), continue to target ISIS terrorists in
three governorates: Nineveh, Salaheddine, and al-Anbar on the Iraqi border with
Ministry of Defense issued a statement announcing that the military operation
dubbed “Will of Victory” would continue under the supervision of the Joint
Operations Command, indicating that the island’s operations command was able to
destroy two terrorist sites and two explosive devices.
operations command added that the air force succeeded in killing three
terrorists inside a vehicle, asserting the operation will continue until
achieving all of its objectives.
the Popular Mobilization Forces confirmed the participation of about 13
brigades in “Will of Victory”, less than a week after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel
Abdul Mahdi announced a plan to restructure the PMF within the Defense
Ministry's military forces.
PMF issued a statement saying their forces and security forces developed a plan
to maintain the security and stability of the region after its liberation from
Diyala, the provincial police command announced the implementation of a
security operation in Balad Ruz district within operation “Will of Victory”.
statement issued a statement saying the joint security forces from Diyala's
second, fourth, and seventh emergency brigades, the SWAT Brigade, and the Balad
Ruz police department carried out a security operation in a number of areas
south of the district.
statement added that the security forces will search a number of villages under
the operation command to target the terrorists and prevent them from finding
safe havens in these areas.
is noteworthy that the international coalition air force participates heavily
in this operation, whether through providing logistical support or coordinates
of the terrorists' locations, making it easier for the Iraqi forces to target
coalition's participation in an operation involving the PMF comes at a time
when the forces refuse US presence in Iraq, saying they support ISIS.
does not threaten the national security, but threatens the border and remote
areas, National Security Professor at al-Nahrain University Hussein Allawi told
than two years have passed since Iraq was liberated from the Islamic State
(IS). The Iraqi government is now working to issue identification documents for
children born under IS rule.
Telegraph reported June 22 that nearly 45,000 children in Iraq do not have
identification documents due to being born in IS territory. This has obstructed
the issuance of identification documents following liberation.
Iraqi government has now altered its previously undeclared position — that it
would not issue documents to these children — and will move to grant them Iraqi
citizenship. Such a step aims to prevent thousands of children from unknown
al-Sheikh, the rapporteur for the Children and Women’s Affairs Committee of the
former parliament, said June 26 that the government has started developing
mechanisms to resolve the problem.
government adopted fair and just mechanisms away from any personal and
sectarian stances," she said. "Hence, those children will be granted
18 of the Iraqi Constitution stipulates that children born to an Iraqi father
or mother shall be granted citizenship, meaning that children born under IS
rule are entitled to Iraqi citizenship.
Ismail Saad said the Iraqi government’s move to grant these children
identification documents is “a positive” step that would save them from living
is necessary for these decisions to be implemented in a way that does not
obstruct the issuance of identification documents," he said. "It is
also necessary to speed up the issuance of papers for those who need to be
enrolled in schools.”
born under IS rule, the children were registered at IS-affiliated "Sharia
courts," which issued them birth documents. The Iraqi government has
refused to recognize such documents.
children, a number of whom continue to live in the camps, have not received any
health care and cannot be enrolled in school unless the government issues them
al-Jamili, the rapporteur for the parliamentary Human Rights Committee, said
that special tribunals will be established for the registration of children
born under IS rule. They will be given birth certificates based on papers and
witness depositions, she said, adding that the process will be easier for
children whose parents are alive.
is unacceptable to leave Iraqi children without identification documents that
would guarantee their right to health, education and food," she said.
source at the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq spoke to Al-Monitor about how
the documents will be issued. “The issuance of documents will be an easy
process for those whose parents are still alive," he said. "The
parents and two witnesses will need to show up in the courtroom.”
added, “DNA testing will probably be adopted. This will, however, take a long
time and result in months of delay before a number of them get health care and
can be enrolled in the government or civil schools and nurseries.”
judicial source indicated the authorities fear that the parents are affiliated
is not a new issue in Iraq. Former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in 2016
that the government does not have a problem registering children born under IS
rule in their hometowns.
are two categories of children in areas IS controlled. First are the children
whose parents are known and not affiliated with IS. The Iraqi government is
working to issue documents to these children. Next are the children born to
Iraqi women and IS foreign fighters who entered the country illegally. Many of
the latter parents were killed, detained or disappeared. The children remained
with their relatives or foster parents. This category is the real problem for
the Iraqi government, as it knows nothing about their parentage.
Sirwan Kajjo, Mehdi Jedinia
- The U.S. government announced new sanctions Tuesday on three senior officials
of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah for its role in undermining Lebanon's
financial system and assisting Iran's agenda in the country.
targeted Hezbollah officials are Amin Sherri, Muhammad Hasan Ra'd and Wafiq
Safa. Sherri and Ra'd are members of the Lebanese parliament, while Safa is
known to be a major Hezbollah facilitator.
is the first time that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has targeted members
of the Lebanese parliament who are affiliated with Hezbollah, which the U.S.
has designated a terrorist organization.
have assisted the Iranian regime in its efforts to undermine Lebanese
sovereignty," U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said
during a press conference Tuesday.
officials have exploited their positions to smuggle illicit goods into Lebanon,
undermining Lebanese financial institutions to assist Hezbollah and to evade
U.S. sanctions against Hezbollah facilitators and financiers," she added.
said targeting the three officials was part of the U.S.' efforts to counter
Hezbollah's "corrupting influence in Lebanon."
is backed by the Iranian government. The group has a growing influence over
Lebanon's political and military establishments. The Shiite terror group is in
control of the country's parliament after winning the majority of seats in the
country's 2018 elections.
Smyth, a researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said
sanctioning Hezbollah-linked officials is a significant move, as Iran and
Hezbollah have infiltrated the Lebanese political system.
is a way of demonstrating that the United States understands not only that
philosophy and ideology (are) guiding these groups, but it also sends a message
that (Hezbollah) can no longer use political elements as a face or a veneer for
the party," he told VOA.
officials said Hezbollah's presence in the Lebanese parliament has benefited
the group and its benefactor, Iran.
uses its operatives in Lebanon's parliament to manipulate institutions in
support of the terrorist group's financial and security interests, and to
bolster Iran's malign activities," Sigal Mandelker, Treasury
under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement
experts believe that Iran's influence in Lebanon could be reduced through U.S.
is a strong signal to Tehran that their efforts will not go unabated anymore,
in terms of how the U.S. recognizes Hezbollah's general control over the
Lebanese state and the influence that they wield," Smyth said.
Alex Vatanka, an analyst at the Middle East Institute in Washington, doubts the
effectiveness of such measures.
elected politicians who came to power through democratic means will not only
muddle the cause but may also bring more complexity to the intentions made upon
blacklisting these Lebanese officials," he said.
usefulness of this tool has not (been) proven yet," Vatanka told VOA.
"I think it will have a minimal effect on the course of politics in
Lebanon and its next election, nor will it change Tehran's policies or its
trajectory for the region."
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted dissident sources as saying that the
SDF has robbed $100 million from a hefty sum paid by Saudi Minister Samer
al-Sahban during his recent visit to the Eastern regions of Syria.
noted that Saudi Arabia had paid the sum to buy the companionship of the tribal
leaders of Eastern Syria on the pretext that it was an aid to those tribes
whose farms Raqqa, Deir Ezzur and Hasaka had been ruined during the recent SDF
war with the ISIL. After the SDF withheld the huge sums paid by Riyadh, it also
forced the administrative employees of those regions to levy tax from the local
sources pointed to people's fury over SDF's measures, and said corruption,
plundering and robbery of people's assets in the occupied areas have
a relevant development on Sunday, the SDF continued their pressures to force
children into their ranks and train them in their secret military bases in
Eastern Syria despite an agreement with the United Nations.
al-Watan newspaper quoted dissident sources as saying that despite SDF's
agreement with the UN not to forcefully recruit child soldiers in Eastern
Syria, it still continues to arrest and transfer the detained children to SDF's
secret military bases in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
source noted that the SDF is arresting boys and girls aged under 18 years in
areas under its control in Deir Ezzur and Raqqa and transfers them to its
secret military bases, and said, "The SDF has recently arrested a 14-year-old
child in the town of Ahras in Eastern Aleppo, and forced the kid to join the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also pointed to the SDF's forced
recruitment of 130 teachers in the town of al-Darbasieh in Hasaka province, and
said that the SDF's behavior has resulted in a wave of anger by civilians
new team established by the global chemical weapons watchdog to attribute blame
for the use of banned munitions in Syria will investigate nine alleged attacks
during the country’s war, including in the town of Douma, sources briefed on
the matter told Reuters.
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was created in 1997
as a technical body to enforce a global non-proliferation treaty. It had until
now only been authorized to say whether chemical attacks occurred, not who
perpetrated them. Last June, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT)
was established by the OPCW’s member states during a special session, a move
that has brought deeper political division to the UN -back agency. Now it has
identified the locations of its first investigations to be conducted in the
coming three years.
United Nations and the Syrian Foreign Ministry report progress in talks on a
constitutional committee that could pave the way for a political solution to
the country’s eight-year conflict.
believe we have made a very solid progress and we are very close to have
agreement on establishing the constitutional committee," the UN Syria
envoy, Geir Pedersen, told reporters after meeting Syrian Foreign Minister
Walid al-Muallem on Wednesday.
Syrian Foreign Ministry also said in a statement that great progress had been
made in the talks.
also reiterated that the constitutional committee should be a purely Syrian
affair to be decided by the Syrian people alone without any foreign
a new constitution for a post-war Syria is part of a potential political
solution to end the eight-year crisis in the Arab country. To that end, an
agreement was made in the Russian town of Sochi last year for the formation of
a UN-backed Constitutional Committee composed of 50 members from the incumbent
Damascus government, 50 opposition members, and another 50 independent figures
chosen by the world body.
DC - Citing the war in Yemen, the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
and other human rights abuses, a leading Republican senator has introduced
legislation calling for a "comprehensive review" of the US
relationship with Saudi Arabia. The bill
also seeks to criticise Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and impose
travel restrictions on Saudi royals until the kingdom improves its human rights
Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the
bill at Senate hearing on President Donald Trump's "emergency"
designation allowing $8bn in precision-guided weapons sales and high-technology
transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
bill is the latest in a series of attempts to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for
the mounting death toll in Yemen, as well as the murder of Khashoggi who was
killed last October in a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
has been working for months with his Republican and Democratic colleagues in
the Senate and White House officials to put together legislation that Trump may
accept. Trump vetoed a bipartisan measure passed by Congress to end the US
military's role earlier this year.
US president has also threatened to veto a measure passed by the Senate that
expresses disapproval of his administration's move to bypass Congress to
complete the $8bn in weapons sales. The House is expected to vote on that
measure next week.
am really hoping that all of us can come together and pass a piece of
legislation" that provides "a bipartisan method for re-evaluating our
relationship", Risch said at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on
has headed south on us since about 2015 and unfortunately it comes at a time
when Iran presents an increasing challenge to us," Risch said.
bill, which does not mention the weapons sales, is cosponsored by Senator
Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump who has been critical of MBS, and Senator
Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, among others. The Foreign Relations Committee will
vote on the bill later this month.
bill said that MBS's "actions have had the potential to significantly harm
the United States historic relationship with Saudi Arabia".
Mohammed "has frequently behaved in a reckless manner", the proposed
to reports, US intelligence agencies have concluded that MBS ordered the 2018
murder of Khashoggi - a conclusion Saudi Arabia denies. Since the murder, there
has been increased pressure by members of Congress on Trump to hold MBS
bill would authorise the president to suspend US visas of citizens of Saudi
Arabia, including specifically government employees and descendants of King
Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the late founder of modern-day Saudi Arabia. The bill,
however, allows for exceptions for diplomatic personnel and heads of state.
defending the Trump administration's recent "emergency" designation,
R Clarke Cooper, assistant secretary of state for political and military
affairs, said the US believed Iran was prepared to make an attack on US forces
or allies in the region.
came under sharp criticism from Republicans and Democrats during Wednesday's
you began your tenure your department has shown only disdain for
Congress," Democratic Senator Bob Menendez said.
secretary of state's message is clear: 'Congress can review arms sales, just
don't take too long, or ask tough questions. Otherwise, I will ignore the law
and cut you out of the process'," Menendez added.
has introduced separate legislation that would impose financial sanctions on
Saudi individuals involved in Khashoggi's murder and requiring a report from
the State Department on Saudi Arabia's abuse of human rights of journalists,
bloggers and women's rights advocates.
Ted Cruz, a Republican, described Saudi Arabia as a "problematic
partner" which has too often embraced enemies of the US.
process the administration followed on these arms sales was crap," Cruz
Without Borders visited Saudi Arabia to seek freedom for at least 30 jailed
journalists amid sustained criticism of Riyadh following the murder of
journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Paris-based rights group, known by its French acronym RSF, said its
secretary-general led a four-member delegation to the Gulf kingdom from April
21 to 23, in what it described on Wednesday as an "unprecedented"
RSF team met the Saudi foreign, justice and media ministers as well as the
public prosecutor during the three-day visit to engage directly with the
government on the need for urgent press-freedom reforms.
said it kept the trip "confidential" as it hoped Riyadh would pardon
the 30 journalists and citizen reporters during the month of Ramadan, which
started in May.
idea was discussed with officials but "the Saudi government did not
act", it added.
kingdom has come under heightened international criticism over its human rights
record after Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by Saudi operatives inside
its Istanbul consulate last October.
real low point'
CIA and some Western countries allege the killing was ordered by Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman, which Saudi officials deny.
UN special rapporteur investigating the murder said the powerful prince and
other senior officials should be investigated given credible evidence against
murder of Jamal Khashoggi caused extensive damage to Saudi Arabia's
international image, marking a real low point for a country that has one of the
world's worst press freedom records," RSF Secretary-General Christophe
Deloire said in a statement.
signal of strong political will from the Saudi government is now needed for
this damage to begin to be repaired," she added.
rights lawyer Amal Clooney accused world leaders on Wednesday of failing to
protect journalists and faulted their "collective shrug" over
the British government's envoy on media freedom, said at a conference on press
freedom that "journalists are under attack like never before", not
just while covering wars but for exposing crime and corruption.
vast majority of these murders go unpunished," she said, adding
"world leaders responded with little more than a collective shrug" to
the 30 that RSF wants to be released is Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was
sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012 for insulting Islam and has received 50
of 1,000 lashes to which he was sentenced.
al-Shehi, a columnist for Arabic-language daily al-Watan, was sentenced last
year for accusing the royal court of corruption.
detention and trial of about a dozen women's rights activists - including
journalist Hatoon al-Fassi and bloggers Eman al-Nafjan and Nouf Abdulaziz - on
charges that include contacts with foreign media, have sparked outrage.
journalists, Yemeni Marwan Al-Muraisy and Jordanian Abdelrahman Farhaneh, who
were victims of enforced disappearances, are also in jail in Saudi Arabia.
said releasing the journalists was necessary for Riyadh to maintain its
chairmanship of the G20 summit, which it is set to hold next year.
prospect of Prince Mohammed, viewed by many as Saudi Arabia's de-facto leader,
greeting leaders of 19 of the world's biggest economies as well as the European
Union at the next G20 summit in the kingdom has already raised eyebrows.
communique issued at the end of the G20 summit in Japan last month confirmed
that Saudi would host the next summit in 2020. So far no G20 member has
announced a boycott.
assassination of Khashoggi last year further darkened Saudi Arabia's already
bleak press freedom credentials.
Minister of Gender, Disability and Social Welfare, Grace Kwelepeta, has hailed
the Muslim Community in the country for maintaining and promoting peace in the
(L) presents certificates to Muslims
praised the Islamic faithful on Sunday when she presented certificates to 20
women on Muslim studies during the closing of madrasa at Paulosi Village in
Traditional Authority Malemia in Zomba which was organized by Bayani Islamic
are commended for maintaining and promoting peace which reflects positively on
the religion," she said.
encouraged the Muslim women to be proactive and not look down upon themselves.
program is significant as it empowers women to conduct themselves in a Muslim
way on culture and beliefs, hence promoting self-reliance," she said.
deputy minister who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Zomba Malosa
Constituency, promised to support the adult literacy school with resources from
also donated 40 robes to women from various madrasas in Zomba and Machinga.
District Commissioner for Zomba, Dr. Raphael Piringu said the council was
impressed with the initiative the Muslim Society was implementing.
further said there was need to pump more resources on women education,
especially adults, as Muslims are peaceful and promote cleanliness.
Advisor on Islamic matters, Sheik Imran Mtenje said the skills gained from the
training would enhance education and knowledge of the Islamic community in
is committed to promoting different religions in this country as the
institutions are partners in development," Mtenje said.
also commended President Arthur Peter Mutharika for promoting freedom of
worship and also allowing Muslim learners to put on Hijab during lessons,
making sure that they are accessing education without any hindrance.
then encouraged every Malawian to attend primary, secondary and tertiary
education in order to be knowledgeable and for Malawi to develop.
further urged Muslims to continue promoting peace and unity to make Malawi a
better nation to live in.
said the Islamic Religion will not allow some Malawians to disturb peace and
unity the country has been enjoying
an estimated 6.7 million Tunisian voters prepare to head to the polls to elect
their next government later this year, a growing fear of terrorist attacks
could risk undermining the democratic process in the North African country,
some analysts warn.
suicide attackers blew themselves up in two separate bombings against police in
the capital Tunis on June 27, leaving at least one police officer dead and
injuring eight people. A third bombing occurred on July 2 after a militant
surrounded by police blew himself up.
State militant group claimed responsibility for all three attacks.
incidents occurred during the peak of the country's tourism season and as the
country prepares to hold parliamentary elections in October and presidential
elections in November.
elections are critical for Tunisians in consolidating their democratic process,
which began after the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali during the
Arab Spring protests in 2011, said Sarah Yerkes, an expert on Tunisia at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) in Washington. As such, the
country is going through "a dangerous time" because jihadist
organizations that flourish in chaos will likely increase their activities to spread
fear among voters.
think we are going to see more of these attacks in the months leading up toward
the elections," Yerkes said, speaking Tuesday at the "Tunisia at a
Crossroads" panel discussion at CEIP.
its southern neighbor, Libya, where terrorism and armed conflict has plagued
the country, Tunisia has taken strides to maintain a relative security, Yerkes
said, adding, "Tunisia has done a tremendous job, largely because of the
U.S. assistance and the European assistance, at shoring up its security
services, security sector reform, and border control."
jihadists remain active and pose a serious threat to the Arab country's
stability, she said.
charged that increased terror attacks could also risk subverting the democratic
process by giving authorities a justification to keep the country in a state of
fear is whether these attacks will be a pretense to have a harsher security
measure. You can picture that you want to protect the elections and you want people
to go out to vote. But if you have heavily armed election stations and if you
have soldiers out at polls, that could hamper the democratic process by scaring
has been in a state of emergency since mid-2015, when an IS-inspired attack
killed 38 people at the Sousse tourist resort in northern Tunisia.
Beji Caid Essebsi, after leaving hospital Friday, extended the state of
emergency for another month in response to the recent bombings in Tunis.
security concerns, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed signed a government order
Friday that prohibits wearing a full-face veil — known as niqab — in public
Sfaxi, a public policy consultant on Tunisia, said Tunisian officials are
concerned a militant threat could be imported from its south and western
borders, as Islamists use escalation of Libya's conflict and the Algerian
political crisis to gain influence.
and Tunisia have open borders in a way that you can just cross with an SUV
between Tunisia and Libya. Libya has been an open battlefield with guns all
over," Sfaxi said, adding that inability to control Tunisia-Libya borders
allowed hundreds of radicalized Tunisians to travel to join jihadi groups such
as IS in Iraq and Syria.
think that foreign powers in general need to keep supporting the Tunisian
effort to control its borders as a regional security measure because if Tunisia
fails, as the southern border of Europe, it is going to become a mess in the
region," Sfaxi said.
study by Tunisian Center for Research and Studies on Terrorism has found that
about 69% of Tunisia's jihadists had first traveled to Libya for military
training. It concluded that the uncontrolled border has allowed the free flow
of weapons and fighters between the two neighbors.
to the United Nations, about 5,500 Tunisian citizens have traveled in recent
years to Libya, Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State and al-Qaida. Human
Rights Watch, however, estimates the number could be higher, with nearly 6,500
having traveled to Syria and Iraq and about 1,500 to Libya.
the IS territory in Iraq, Syria, and Libya retaken, many of those Tunisian
jihadists who did not die in the battlefield escaped or were captured by
U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi government.
Ben Nasr, the head of the government's National Counterterrorism Commission,
last February warned that about 1,000 of the jihadists had returned home
between 2011 and 2018. Of the returnees, he said, some were arrested but a
larger number re-entered the country covertly.
Ben Abdallah, a human rights researcher and Tunisia analyst, said the Tunisian
government should step up its de-radicalization efforts as more fighters return
home and risk spreading the jihadi ideology.
recommendation at this stage is to focus more on rehabilitation programs,"
Ben Abdallah said, warning that children and frustrated young people could
easily fall prey to those who have returned from combat zones.
Eric Schmitt and Declan Walsh
— A cache of powerful American missiles was sold to France before ending up in
the hands of rebel fighters loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who is seeking to
overthrow the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli.
four Javelin anti-tank missiles, which cost more than $170,000 each and are
usually sold only to close American allies, were recovered last month by Libyan
government forces during a raid on a rebel camp in Gheryan, a town in the
mountains south of Tripoli.
French military adviser denied on Tuesday that the weapons were transferred to
General Hifter, which would violate the sales agreement with the United States
as well as a United Nations arms embargo. It would also put Washington at odds
over Libya policy with France, a staunch NATO partner and ally in other hot
spots like West Africa.
the past several days, the State Department investigated the origins of the
missiles, using their serial numbers and other information, and concluded that
they had originally been sold to France, which has been a strong supporter of
General Hifter. France agreed to buy up to 260 Javelins from the United States
in 2010, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
United States officials said the State Department briefed House and Senate
foreign relations panels on Monday about its conclusion that the missiles were
sold to France. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss
the classified briefing. Spokesmen for the congressional committees and the
State Department declined to comment.
Tuesday, an adviser to the French armed forces minister confirmed that the
Javelin missiles found in Gheryan belonged to French forces but said they were
damaged and no longer usable. Responding to questions from The New York Times,
he said the missiles were being temporarily stored in a warehouse awaiting
destruction and were not transferred to local forces.
French adviser, who under his government’s policy was not authorized to be
identified by name to discuss the issue, said the weapons were among those that
were bought from the United States in 2010, and were intended to protect French
troops deployed in Libya for intelligence and counterterrorism operations.
said they did not violate arms embargoes in Libya, calling it out of the
question that the missiles would be sold or otherwise transferred to “anybody”
that account left many questions unanswered about how the weapons ended up in a
rebel compound near the front lines of a battle that the United Nations said on
Tuesday has led to over 1,000 deaths since April, including 106 civilians.
special forces troops deployed to Libya, including three killed in 2016, have
largely been based in the east of the country, far from Tripoli where the
fighting has been concentrated.
issue could come up on Wednesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
hears testimony from R. Clarke Cooper, the assistant secretary of state in the
bureau of political-military affairs. Mr. Cooper is scheduled to testify about
the Trump administration’s use of an emergency declaration to push through arms
sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a plan he defended last
month to a House committee.
Hifter relied on military assistance from the United Arab Emirates, France and
Egypt in his fight to capture the eastern city of Benghazi, his current
Javelin missiles were discovered after forces loyal to the United
Nations-backed national unity government carried out a successful surprise
attack on June 26 on Gheryan, a mountain redoubt 40 miles south of Tripoli.
Gheryan was the headquarters for General Hifter’s military campaign to seize
control of Tripoli.
capturing Gheryan, pro-government fighters uncovered Chinese-made attack drones
and the stack of four American-made Javelin missiles at an abandoned base.
Known in the military as “fire and forget” weapons, the Javelins are guided by
infrared technology and are capable of destroying all currently fielded main
on the missiles’ shipping containers at first appeared to indicate that they
were originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, an important American
partner, in 2008. Other crates at the captured base, containing 155 mm
artillery shells, had markings of the Emirati military, but the Emirati
government, one of General Hifter’s most committed foreign backers, strongly
denied providing the general’s forces with the missiles.
discovery of the Javelin missiles confirmed longstanding fears that foreign
sponsorship on all sides of Libya’s conflict is amplifying the fighting.
Hifter, the aspiring strongman based in eastern Libya whose forces were storing
the Javelins, relied on military assistance from the United Arab Emirates,
France and Egypt in his fight to capture the eastern city of Benghazi, his
the grinding battle for control of Benghazi between 2014 and 2017, the Emiratis
supplied attack helicopters, warplanes and drones to General Hifter’s air
force. Egypt carried out airstrikes against the eastern city of Derna in
support of his forces.
in July 2016, the then-president of France, François Hollande, said that three
members of the French Special Forces had been killed in a helicopter crash in
Libya during “dangerous intelligence operations.” Days earlier, an Islamist
militia fighting against General Hifter said it had shot down a helicopter 45
miles south of Benghazi.
year later, France told a panel of United Nations investigators that its
military activities in Libya conformed to international law.
though, said it was another example of how the United Nations arms embargo, in
place since 2011, has been widely flouted by Middle Eastern and European powers
seeking to influence the outcome of the war.
Nations inspectors have documented numerous breaches of the embargo by the
United Arab Emirates, which has stationed warplanes on an air base that it runs
in eastern Libya, in territory controlled by General Hifter. More recently,
experts say, the Emirates has stepped up its military assistance to General
Hifter as he presses his assault on Tripoli, including armed Chinese drones and
a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system.
the other side of the war, Qatar and Turkey have funded Islamist factions in
Libya since 2011. American officials say the Qataris have scaled back their
involvement in recent years, but Turkey has ramped up its engagement.
the fight for Tripoli intensified, the Turks sent armed drones and armored
vehicles to the forces of the Government of National Unity, which is backed by
the United Nations and was defending the capital against attack by General
July 10, 2019
earlier version of this article misstated the timing of a United Nations
statement regarding the death toll from conflict in Libya. The statement was
made on Tuesday, not Thursday.
The French government said Wednesday that its missiles had been found in Libya
on a base used by rebel forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, in an embarrassing
admission that raises fresh questions about its role in the conflict.
a report in the New York Times, the defence ministry said in a statement that
US-made Javelin missiles discovered in a camp south of Tripoli at the end of
June had been purchased by France.
it denied supplying them to rebel commander Haftar and breaching a UN arms
embargo, saying French forces operating in the war-torn country had lost track
of them after they were judged to be defective.
and out-of-use, these weapons were being temporarily stocked in a warehouse
ahead of their destruction," the statement said. "They were not
transferred to local forces."
anti-tank missiles, worth 170,000 dollars (150,000 euros) each, were seized
when forces loyal to the UN-recognised government in Tripoli overran the rebel
base in Gharyan, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Tripoli.
of them, as well Chinese-made shells bearing the markings of the the United
Arab Emirates (UAE), were shown off to journalists including AFP reporters on
statement from the French ministry did not explain how the missiles had been
lost and will likely increase suspicions that Paris is backing Haftar on the
ground, while also giving him diplomatic support internationally.
has publicly called for the UN arms embargo to be enforced, while an EU naval
mission off the Libyan coast called Operation Sophia is trying to stop the flow
of foreign weapons into the conflict.
special forces and members of its DGSE intelligence service are known to be
operating in Libya, which descended into chaos after a 2011 uprising and
NATO-backed military campaign against late dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
weapons were for the protection of forces undertaking intelligence and
counter-terror missions," the French statement added.
Libyan conflict has drawn in a range of regional and international actors who
are all competing for influence.
say Haftar has been backed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Russia and France
during offensives against Islamist militias that have brought most of the
country under his control.
he has been branded a warlord and dictator-in-the-making by his opponents and
on April 4 he launched an offensive on Tripoli seeking to overthrow the
government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
fighting has claimed at least 1,000 lives and displaced tens of thousands of
UN-recognised government in Tripoli headed by Sarraj controls a much smaller
amount of territory in the east and draws support from Turkey, Qatar and Italy,
May, it posted pictures showing the arrival of Turkish BMC Kirpi armoured
vehicles at Tripoli port.
role in the conflict under President Emmanuel Macron has caused tensions.
threw himself into diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict after his
elections in May 2017, seeing the instability across the Mediterranean as a
major security worry and a source of migration to Europe.
invited Haftar along with Sarraj to a peace conference in Paris in 2017 which
was seen as giving the rebel commander international legitimacy for the first
move also ruffled feathers in Italy, the former colonial power in Libya which
had led European policy in the country until then.
Haftar launched his offensive on Tripoli in April, France was accused by Sarraj
of being complicit in the violence which was condemned by the international
authorities rescued 71 migrants as their boat began to sink after setting out
from neighboring Libya for Italy, the National Guard said Tuesday.
night’s rescue operation came just days after a boat taking the same route
across the Mediterranean capsized with more than 80 people on board.
National Guard spokesman Houcem Eddine Jebali said the boat had set off from
the Libyan town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli, and started to leak as it
approached Tunisia’s Kerkennah Islands.
brought to shore all 71 passengers, including 37 citizens from Bangladesh,
eight Moroccans, eight Egyptians, seven Algerian, four Sudanese, two Chadians,
and a Tunisian, Jebali told AFP.
of them are safe and sound, he added.
of migrants who have tried to reach Italy from Libya have been rescued in
recent weeks off Tunisia’s shores.
many others have drowned or have been reported missing, including the
passengers of the ill-fated boat that took off from Zuwara last week.
boat tipped over only hours after setting out to sea.
authorities have so far retrieved 16 bodies from that tragedy, including those
of a pregnant woman and a toddler.
Malian survivor told the UN’s migration agency that 86 people had been on board
the dinghy, which capsized.
were terrified as water started pouring in, some of them fell into the water.
They stayed down there,” survivor Soleiman Coulibaly told AFP.
in Nigeria have killed two supporters of jailed Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim
al-Zakzaky, who were demanding his release in the capital, Abuja, according to
the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), an organization that he heads.
two, who were members of the IMN, were shot and killed outside the National
Assembly on Tuesday.
erupted there as protesters gathered outside the parliament and then sought to
enter to register a demand for the cleric’s release.
security... took our report to go and give the legislators but perhaps they
refused to inform the legislators, or the legislators refused to respond. So,
we decided to enter and submit it ourselves,” said one protester. “But they
stopped us and started spraying tear gas and shooting live bullets
sporadically. I saw more than three people collapsing.”
also arrested 40 people during the rally.
a statement, police claimed two officers had been shot and wounded in the legs,
and six other officers had been injured. They said they had “used minimum force
to disperse the unruly protesters.”
to human rights groups, Nigerian forces have killed at least 400 members of the
IMN over the past four years.
group regularly organizes protests outside the assembly to demand the release
of its leader, whose life is reportedly in danger due to health issues.
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by
security forces that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons
dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds.
Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), based in London, said earlier this week
that the cleric’s health condition has further deteriorated, since he was
reportedly poisoned in prison.
cleric’s son, Mohammad, told Press TV on Saturday that his father was in dire
need of medical treatment, as “large and dangerous quantities of lead and
cadmium have been found in his blood.” He said that the authorities intended to
murder his father since they refuse to take any measures.
Somalia executed three men on Wednesday convicted of participating in the
bombing of a Mogadishu hotel that killed 18 people in 2017 as members of the insurgent
group Al-Shabab, the state-run news agency said.
were accused of being Al-Shabab members. They were also among the attackers in
the bombing of the Nasahablod Two Hotel, in which 18 people died and 47 others
were injured,” Somalia’s state news agency said on its website.
were executed by gunshot.
Shabab, an Islamist militant group which is trying to topple Somalia’s central
government, was ejected from Mogadishu in 2011 and has since been driven from
most of its other strongholds.
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