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Islamic World News ( 12 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Eye on Pakistan, India and UAE Slam Terror as State Policy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abu Dhabi crown prince Al Nahyan at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Friday. (AFP photo)Abu Dhabi crown prince Al Nahyan at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Friday. (AFP photo)

 

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India

Eye on Pakistan, India and UAE Slam Terror as State Policy

ISI Wanted To Infiltrate Pune Army Command: Headley

JNU Campus Outrage: Tweet by Hafiz Saeed Sends Cops into Tizzy

After leT’s 26/11 mission, al-Qaida recruited Headley for strike in Delhi

India reacts strongly to US decision to sell 8 F-16 jets to Pakistan, summons envoy

Two soldiers Killed in encounter with militants in J&K

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Africa

ISIS Shoots down Fighter Jet in Libya’s Benghazi

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Arab World

Assad Vows To Retake All of Syria, Keep 'Fighting Terrorism'

Saudi Minister: ISIL Can Only Be Defeated If Assad Goes

Syria Civil War: World Powers Agree 'Cessation of Hostilities' In a Week's Time

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Continue Crushing Terrorists in Aleppo

Damascus: Syrian Army Hits Hard Militants' Positions in Eastern, Western Ghouta

Syria: Some Persian Gulf Arab States Continue to Supply Militants with New Arms

Syria: Army Destroys Terrorists' Military Positions in Dara'a Province

Syria: Militants Withdraw From More Lands East of Hama

Sisi pledges ‘new Egypt’ in first parliament speech

Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for government reforms

Saudi envoy urges Yemen aid groups to be cautious

Iraqi Volunteer Forces Warn to Strike Back at Saudi Arabia

Syrian Missile Units Target Militants' Machinery, Armored Vehicles in Aleppo

Homs: Terrorists' Positions, Gathering Centers Razed Down by Army

Syria: Gov't Forces Seal off Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway from ISIL Infiltration

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Southeast Asia

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Fortify Truce amid Stalled Peace Pact

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South Asia

Taliban Supporters Met In Kabul Hotel to Speak Against Afghan Forces

22 Militants Killed In Counter-Terrorism Operations Led By Afghan Army

Five security personnel martyred in Helmand suicide attack

Ex-Afghan governor Fazlullah Wahidi kidnapped in Pakistan

Taliban peace negotiators visit Islamabad

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Pakistan

No Daesh in Pakistan, Says Interior Minister

Pak President Urges People Not to Observe Valentine’s Day

Pak Foils Jailbreak Bid To Free Daniel Pearl Killer

Peshawar district council seeks ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations

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Mideast

Turkey Says Ready to Join Anti-ISIL Ground Operation with Saudi Arabia in Syria

Trustees Seize Control of Schools Sympathetic To the Faith-Based Gülen Movement

Assad Says He Sees Risk Of Saudi, Turkish Intervention In Syria

Russia, facing widespread criticism, denies bombing civilians in Syria

Military: More than 600 terrorists killed in southeastern Cizre

Former justice minister slams trustee takeovers, ’unprecedented’ pressure on judiciary

US says November elections in Turkey did not meet standards

Arab Israelis demand release of Palestinian hunger striker

Turkey says Syria ceasefire won’t hold if Russia does not stop airstrikes

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Europe

Another Large-Scale Terror Attack In Europe 'A Certainty', French PM Says

Paris Attacks Suspect's DNA 'Not Found On Suicide Belt'

France Urges Russia to Stop Bombing Syrians

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North America

Florida Man Pleads Guilty Over Threats to Bomb Two Mosques

IS militants have used, can make chemical weapons: CIA

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/eye-on-pakistan,-india-and-uae-slam-terror-as-state-policy/d/106340

 

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India

Eye On Pakistan, India And UAE Slam Terror As State Policy

TNN | Feb 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: Without naming Pakistan, India and the UAE in a joint statement on Friday called upon states to rein in "non-state actors" involved in perpetrating terrorist activities, saying terrorism could not be used as an instrument of statepolicy.

Taking off from where they had left in August last year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE, the joint statement, issued on the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said any link between extremism or terrorism and religion should be strongly rejected by the international community.

"They (the two leaders) reiterated their condemnation for efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries, or to use terrorism as instrument of state policy," the statement said.

"They further deplored efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and pointed out the responsibility of all states to control the activities of the so-called 'non-state actors', and to cut all support to terrorists operating and perpetrating terrorism from their territories against other states," it added.

The two countries have also decided to launch an annual policy dialogue to discuss peace and security in the region.

Modi and Sheikh Mohamed also discussed the growing phenomenon of religious intolerance and radicalisation and pitched for sincere efforts to check these, besides agreeing to take steps to contain these bilaterally. The threat posed by Islamic State also figured in talks on Thursday.

The statement said the two sides agreed to work together towards the adoption of India's proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Eye-on-Pakistan-India-and-UAE-slam-terror-as-state-policy/articleshow/50968937.cms

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ISI Wanted To Infiltrate Pune Army Command: Headley

IANS | Feb 13, 2016

TOI file photo of David Coleman Headley.TOI file photo of David Coleman Headley.

MUMBAI: Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley told Special TADA Court Judge GA Sanap that post-26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, he had surveyed sensitive military establishments in Pune, here on Saturday.

When asked by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam what military establishments he referred to, Headley readily said it was the (Indian Army's) Southern Command Headquarters.

"The intentions here were similar to the nuclear establishments (BARC). The ISI wanted to recruit military officers and get 'classified information' from them," Headley told during his deposition on the sixth day.

He surveyed and videographed the Southern Command HQ Building between March 16-17, 2009, preceded by recce of Chabad Houses in Goa on March 15 and earlier Pushkar between March 11-13 that year - nearly four months after the terror attacks were executed in Mumbai on November 26-28, 2008.

The Pune assignment was carried out at the behest of Major Iqbal of the ISI, to whom the videos were later handed over.

Headley has been giving his deposition from a jail in the US at an undisclosed location via video-conferencing continuously since last Monday, barring February 10 when it was adjourned owing to certain technical up linking issues on the US side.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-wanted-to-infiltrate-Pune-Army-command-Headley/articleshow/50970893.cms

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JNU Campus Outrage: Tweet By Hafiz Saeed Sends Cops Into Tizzy

Rajshekhar Jha | TNN | Feb 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: Security agencies had a busy day on Friday as Jamat ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed allegedly opined on the JNU turmoil on Twitter. He even created a hashtag #PakStandsWithJNU and asked his "brothers" to trend it.

The handle used was @HafeezSaeedJUD, but it couldn't be verified if the tweet came from an official handle as it was soon deactivated.

Nevertheless, intel agencies alerted police about anti-national elements trying to cash in on the recent turmoil.

A year on, Afzal splits JNU down the middle

Commissioner B S Bassi also said that people with "whimsical ideas" shouldn't resort to "insolence". "Any activity that generates contempt or hatred against the nation or the government comes under the purview of IPC Section 124A...the punishment ranges from three years to life imprisonment."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Tweet-by-JuD-boss-sends-cops-into-tizzy/articleshow/50967716.cms

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After leT’s 26/11 mission, al-Qaida recruited Headley for strike in Delhi

Rebecca Samervel | TNN | Feb 13, 2016

MUMBAI: David Coleman Headley's life as an agent for multiple masters came to the fore on Friday as he revealed that after the "successful completion" of the 26/11 attacks with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, he was recruited by al-Qaida in a bid to strike terror in Delhi. "Yes, I was working for al-Qaida," he said in response to special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam's question. Deposing before special judge Govind A Sanap via video conferencing for the fourth day, he said the main target for the attack was the National Defence College (NDC) as it was a "high-value target due to the presence of senior officers."

The LeT, Headley said, was kept in the dark about the trip. "I knew they would not let me go. After the Mumbai attacks, media reports made them insecure and they feared I would be apprehended if I travelled to India," Headley said.

Headley's role in plotting attacks well documented

The terrorist, now deposing as an approver in the 26/11 case, said al-Qaida member Abdul Rehman Pasha, a retired Pakistani army officer, had reasoned that if the attack on the NDC was successful, they would be able to kill many more brigadiers than in any wars between India and Pakistan. Pasha had defected from the LeT.

After Musharraf, Headley confessions, India tells Pakistan to stop terror export

Headley said the institute was also high on the target list of the LeT earlier. He revealed that after 26/11, he came back to India from Pakistan on March 7, 2009, on a 10-day trip at the behest of Ilyas Kashmiri, a senior alQaida operative. "Kashmiri mentioned a few places he wanted me to visit and conduct reconnaissance for the purpose of terror attacks. These included the NDC and Chabad house in Delhi and the Chabad houses in Pushkar and Goa," Headley said.

During the trip he had stayed at Holiday Inn and Anand Hotel. "Kashmiri told me to go to the college for defence officers. That was the primary target, Chabad House was second," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/After-LeTs-26/11-mission-al-Qaida-recruited-Headley-for-strike-in-Delhi/articleshow/50968762.cms

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India reacts strongly to US decision to sell 8 F-16 jets to Pakistan, summons envoy

TNN & Agencies | Feb 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: India is "disappointed" that the US has approved the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan and it plans to summon the US ambassador to New Delhi to convey its "displeasure".

"We are disappointed at decision of the Obama administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism," the ministry of external affairs said on Saturday. US ambassador Richard Verma is to be summoned about the matter, news agency ANI reported.

The Defence Security Cooperation Agency - a wing of the Pentagon - said in a statement, that this proposed sale worth nearly USD 700 million contributes to US foreign policy objectives and national security goals by helping improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia. The Pentagon said the proposed sale improves Pakistan's capability to meet current and future security threats sand won't alter the military balance in the region,

The Indian government said Pakistan's record in encouraging cross-border terrorism "for the last many years speaks for itself".

The US government's notification on the sale of the fighter jets, equipment, training, and logistics support comes despite mounting opposition from influential lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

"This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded," said the Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

These additional F-16 aircraft will facilitate operations in all-weather, non-daylight environments, provid self- defence and area suppression capability, and enhance Pakistan's ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

"It will increase the number of aircraft available to the Pakistan Air Force to sustain operations, meet monthly training requirements, and support transition training for pilots new to the Block-52. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional aircraft into its air force," the Pentagon agency said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a State Department official defended the decisions of the US government. "We strongly support the proposed sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan. This platform will support Pakistan's counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency operations, and has contributed to the success of these operations to date," the official said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-reacts-strongly-to-US-decision-to-sell-8-F-16-jets-to-Pakistan-summons-envoy/articleshow/50969837.cms

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Two soldiers Killed in encounter with militants in J&K

TNN | Feb 13, 2016

SRINAGAR: Two security personnel were injured after an encounter broke out on Friday between militants and security forces in a village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.

Police assisted by army launched a cordon and search operation at Marseri village in Chowkibal area following specific information about a group of militants hiding in a house, officials said.

Soon after the cordon was established, the search party were attacked by the hiding ultras. The security forces then returned fire, they said.

Two security personnel, including an officer, were injured in the gunbattle which took place this afternoon, they said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-soldiers-injured-in-encounter-with-militants-in-JK/articleshow/50969366.cms

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Africa

ISIS shoots down fighter jet in Libya’s Benghazi

13 February 2016

Before crashing, the fighter had carried out raids on ISIS positions around 15 kilometers from Derna. (File Photo: AP)

A MiG-23 fighter of Libya’s internationally recognized government was shot down Friday as it carried out air strikes on opposition positions in the coastal city of Benghazi, the military said.

Nasser el-Hassi, spokesman for the government’s forces, told AFP the plane was “shot down in Qaryunes, northwest Benghazi, as it bombed positions of the (Mujahedeen) Shura Council”, a coalition of Islamist militias close to Al-Qaeda.

The ISIS militant group claimed its fighters downed the plane, according to SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. monitor of militant activity on the Internet.

A military source said the pilot survived having parachuted to safety, but his whereabouts were not immediately clear.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/13/Mig-23-fighter-shot-down-over-Libya-s-Benghazi.html

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Arab World

Assad vows to retake all of Syria, keep 'fighting terrorism'

AFP | Feb 13, 2016

DAMASCUS, SYRIA: President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to recapture the whole of Syria and keep "fighting terrorism" while also negotiating an end to the war, as international pressure mounts for a ceasefire. His defiant stance, in an exclusive interview with AFP released on Friday, doused hopes of an imminent halt to hostilities that world powers are pushing to take effect within a week.

Assad said the main aim of a Russian-backed regime offensive in Aleppo province that has prompted tens of thousands of people to flee was to cut the rebels' supply route from Turkey.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Assad-vows-to-retake-all-of-Syria-keep-fighting-terrorism/articleshow/50968732.cms

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Saudi minister: ISIL can only be defeated if Assad goes

February 12, 2016

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants will only be defeated if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power and this goal will ultimately be achieved, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia said on Friday.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Adel al-Jubeir called Assad the "single most effective magnet for extremists and terrorists in the region" and said his removal was crucial for restoring stability.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/world_saudi-minister-isil-can-only-be-defeated-if-assad-goes_412216.html

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Syria civil war: World powers agree 'cessation of hostilities' in a week's time

Andrew Buncombe | The Independent | Feb 12, 2016

The people of Syria have been handed a glimmer of hope after world powers agreed to seek a nationwide "cessation of hostilities" within a week.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Munich that Syrian peace negotiations should resume in Geneva as soon as possible. He said that the cessation in hostilities would not include Western operations against Isis and other miliant groups fighting in Syria.

Kerry said the ceasefire plan was "ambitious" and said the real test would be whether the parties honoured the commitments.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Syria-civil-war-World-powers-agree-cessation-of-hostilities-in-a-weeks-time/articleshow/50960072.cms?

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Continue Crushing Terrorists in Aleppo

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) captured more lands in the Southwestern part of the town of al-Zahra in the Northern part of Aleppo province.

The Syrian army troops and the NDF drove the militants back from their positions near al-Tamourah quarry and won back al-Tamourah heights following hours of tough battle, which left tens of the terrorists dead or wounded.

The Syrian government forces' operation ended in the liberation vast territories in the Southwestern side of Nubl and al-Zahra.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000843

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Damascus: Syrian Army Hits Hard Militants' Positions in Eastern, Western Ghouta

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in Eastern and Western Ghouta in Damascus countryside, killing and injuring scores of militants in tough battle.

In Western Ghouta, the Syrian army attacked the gathering centers of the terrorist groups in Darayya town.

Scores of militants were killed and many more were injured in fierce clashes with the militants in Darayya town.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000751

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Syria: Some Persian Gulf Arab States Continue to Supply Militants with New Arms

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia and Qatar have dispatched new cargoes of arms and ammunition, including advanced missiles, to the militant groups in Aleppo to help the terrorists defend their positions against the government forces' advances in the Northern battlefields of the country.

The terrorists of Harakat Ahrar al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), al-Shamiyah Front, and Nouriddeen al-Zinki received a new shipment of advanced missiles from their allies in the Persian Gulf on Friday in order to help combat the pro-government forces that are advancing in the Aleppo province's Northern battlefield.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000601

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Syria: Army Destroys Terrorists' Military Positions in Dara'a Province

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces destroyed the concentration centers of the terrorist groups in Dara'a province, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

The terrorists' military positions were razed in Western and Southwestern parts of al-Maneshia region.

The arms depot of the terrorists was also destroyed in the army attacks in al-Maneshia region.

Meantime, the gathering centers, arms depot and military hardware of the Al-Nusra Front terrorist group were destroyed in the Southern part of al-Yadoudeh town in the Northwestern parts of Dara'a and al-Naima town in Eastern Dara'a.

In a relevant development on Friday, the Syrian Army troops engaged in an intense battle with the militant groups in the Southeastern territories of Dara'a province, and pinned the terrorists down behind their defense lines.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000469

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Syria: Militants Withdraw From More Lands East of Hama

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and its popular allies continued to advance against the militants in the Eastern part of Hama province and drove them back from their defense lines along a main road in the Central province.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces stormed the militant groups' fortified positions near the villages of Jubb al-Sa'ad and Rasm Amon and several hills surrounding them along a road connecting Salamiyah to Ithriyah.

Scores of the terrorists were killed or injured and their military equipment and vehicles were damaged in the attack. 

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000449

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Sisi pledges ‘new Egypt’ in first parliament speech

13 February 2016

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday pledged his country was heading in a new direction, promising an increase in economic growth and more foreign and domestic investments.

Sisi was giving his first speech in front of the newly convened parliament, which ended a four-year legislative hiatus.

His speech focused on securing rights for minorities including women, Copts and Egyptians living with disabilities.

This was the first time an Egyptian president gave a speech in front of the parliament since ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s November 2010 address.

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Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for government reforms

13 February 2016

Iraq’s influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is calling for the inclusion of more technocrats in government and is threatening to withdraw from the political process if his proposal is not accepted.

Al-Sadr spoke Saturday following Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s call for a Cabinet reshuffle this week in an effort to break the current deadlock after months of stalled progress on a proposed reform package.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/13/Influential-Iraqi-Shiite-cleric-calls-for-government-reforms.html

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Saudi envoy urges Yemen aid groups to be cautious

13 February 2016

Saudi Arabia's permanent representative in Geneva says his country sent letters to the U.N. humanitarian agency chief calling on aid groups to "be careful" to avoid damage from air strikes led by the Saudi-led coalition in war-torn Yemen.

Ambassador Faisal Bin Hassan Trad cited one Saudi letter to OCHA chief Stephen O'Brien which said the coalition's request for caution "in no way can be misinterpreted to indicate any hindrance to humanitarian access and the delivery of the humanitarian assistance in Yemen."

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/13/Saudi-envoy-urges-Yemen-aid-groups-to-be-cautious-.html

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Deputy FM Describes Saudi Arabia's Syria Deployment Plan as A Joke

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific and Commonwealth Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour said on Saturday that the Saudi rhetoric of sending ground troops to Syria is a joke, arguing that it simply shows their utter failure in Yemen.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Rahimpour said the current situation in Syria is not desirable to either Iran or Turkey, adding that the only way out is greater cooperation between those having stakes in the war-torn country as well as staying out of its internal politics.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000739

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Iraqi Volunteer Forces Warn to Strike Back at Saudi Arabia

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) in a statement warned Saudi Arabia not to even think about dispatching military forces to Iraq.

The warning came after some Arab media reported that Saudi Arabia and its allies are planning to conduct a joint military maneuver near Iraq's Western borders.

"We will turn Iraq into graveyard for Saudi forces if they dare to attack Iraq," the Arabic-language media outlets quoted Iraqi Volunteer Forces Spokesman Ahmad al-Assadi as saying on Saturday.

"We warn Saudi Arabia and any other country that dreams of making an aggression against Iraq that if they get near the Iraqi soil, the volunteer forces will stand up to them," the statement added.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000569

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Syrian Missile Units Target Militants' Machinery, Armored Vehicles in Aleppo

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army's missile units opened fire at the militant groups' armored vehicles, tanks and construction machinery in the Southern parts of Aleppo province and damaged a number of them.

The Syrian army's missiles hit a parking of the militant groups' tanks and bulldozers near a road connecting the village of Tal Hadiyeh and ICARDA region, which ended in destruction of several of them.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000718

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Homs: Terrorists' Positions, Gathering Centers Razed Down by Army

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army destroyed the terrorists' positions in the Northern part of Homs province, killing and injuring scores of militants.

The army units destroyed the al-Nusra Front terrorists' military positions in Abu al-Sansil hill in al-Darvish region near Um Shahrshouh village and Kiseen village.

In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded the terrorists' gathering centers in Terima'ala village in Talbiseh region in Northern Homs.

Scores of militants were killed and injured in the Syrian army attacks on their positions in the Northern parts of Homs province.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000697

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Syria: Gov't Forces Seal off Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway from ISIL Infiltration

13 February 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and popular forces continued to advance against the ISIL terrorists in the Northeastern part of Hama province and restored security to a long chunk of Salamiyah-Raqqa highway following hours of intense battle.

The Syrian army troops, Liwa Suqour al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), Fouj al-Joulan (Golani Regiment), the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwa al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) made significant advances in the Eastern territories of Hama, and cutoff the ISIL access to the Zakiyeh crossroad that leads into the Hama province's Eastern side.

With the Zakiyah crossroad under their control in Southern Raqqa, the Syrian Armed Forces successfully sealed off the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway.

The government forces continued to push Northeast towards the strategic Tabaqa Military Airport in Raqqa province.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941124000552

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Southeast Asia

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Fortify Truce amid Stalled Peace Pact

Feb. 3, 2016

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government and Muslim rebels have extended the stay of international cease-fire monitors at their first meeting since their peace pact stalled amid fears of fresh fighting.

Government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and her rebel counterpart, Mohagher Iqbal, expressed disappointment over Philippine Congress’s failure to pass a Muslim autonomy bill that’s required under a 2014 peace accord that ended decades of fighting in the southern Philippines.

Their joint statement was issued Friday after two days of talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which has brokered the peace deal.

Full report at: seattletimes.com/nation-world/philippines-rebels-fortify-truce-amid-stalled-peace-pact/

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South Asia

Taliban supporters met in Kabul Hotel to speak against Afghan forces

By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Feb 12 2016

kabulA group of individuals affiliated with the Taliban group recently met in Intercontinental Hotel to speak against the Afghan security forces who are currently busy in clearing operations in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan.

A source privy of the development told Khaama Press that the individuals met on Thursday in a gathering organized in Intercontinental Hotel to launch a media campaign against Afghan forces, accusing them of cutting the trees and attacking the houses of local residents.

Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-supporters-met-in-kabul-intercontinental-hotel-to-speak-against-afghan-forces-0115

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22 militants killed in counter-terrorism operations led by Afghan army

By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Feb 12 2016

Afghan army operationsAt least 22 anti-government armed militants were killed in the latest counter-terrorism operations conducted jointly by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in the past 24 hours in nine different provinces.

A statement by MoD said at least 11 anti-government armed militants were also injured during the same operations.

Full report at: khaama.com/22-militants-killed-in-counter-terrorism-operations-led-by-afghan-army-0113

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Five security personnel martyred in Helmand suicide attack

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Feb 13 2016

Explosion-Police at siteFive security personnel have embraced martyrdom in a suicide attack in southern Afghanistan.

The attack took place near a military installation in Sangin District of Helmand province this morning.

Full report at: khaama.com/five-security-personnel-martyred-in-helmand-suicide-attack-4573

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Ex-Afghan governor Fazlullah Wahidi kidnapped in Pakistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Feb 12 2016

Fazlullah-WahidiUnknown gunmen gave reportedly kidnapped the former provincial governor Fazlullah Wahidi in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan.

Wahidi has previously served as the governor of eastern Kunar and western Herat provinces of Afghanistan.

According to the authorities in Pakistan, Wahidi was on a visit along with his family when he was kidnapped by the gunmen.

Full report at: khaama.com/ex-afghan-governor-fazlullah-wahidi-kidnapped-in-pakistan-0116

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Taliban peace negotiators visit Islamabad

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Feb 13 2016

Taliban DelegationTwo senior members of Taliban’s political office in Qatar have made a visit to Islamabad ahead the resumption of face-to-face peace talks with Afghan government.

The delegation reportedly visited Islamabad on February 6, on the eve of third round of the quadrilateral talks for finalizing the three-step roadmap for restarting the halted process.

Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-leaders-secretly-visit-pakistan-on-the-eve-of-peace-efforts-4568

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Mideast

Turkey says ready to join anti-ISIL ground operation with Saudi Arabia in Syria

February 13, 2016

Turkey and Saudi Arabia support a ground operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.

In remarks published on Saturday, Çavuşoğlu also said that Riyadh is set to deploy warplanes at an air base in southern Turkey and is ready to send troops as well.

“Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been in favor of a ground operation in the fight against Daesh. We have been saying in all meetings of the [US-led anti-ISIL] coalition that there should be a comprehensive strategy. We have said if such a strategy is put in place, we, as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, can join a ground offensive,” Çavuşoğlu told pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper, referring to ISIL with an Arabic acronym.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-says-ready-to-join-anti-isil-ground-operation-with-saudi-arabia-in-syria_412229.html

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Trustees Seize Control of Schools Sympathetic To the Faith-Based Gülen Movement

February 13, 2016

A judge in İstanbul has ordered that trustees be appointed to 12 companies, including some private schools established by people sympathetic to the faith-based Gülen movement for allegedly being affiliated with Kaynak Holding.

The trustees were appointed to nearly 50 private prep schools, foundations and associations belonging to 12 educational institutions by the Anatolia 4th Criminal Court of Peace in İstanbul on Friday. Among the schools to which trustees were appointed are the Mizan and Sema Education Institutions and the Anadolu Fen Education Institutions.

According to the court's decision, eight of the companies are located in İstanbul and two in Ankara. The remaining two are located in İzmir and Samsun.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_trustees-seize-control-of-schools-in-government-led-move_412182.html

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Assad says he sees risk of Saudi, Turkish intervention in Syria

February 12, 2016

Syrian President Bashar Assad has said he saw a risk that Turkey and Saudi Arabia, key backers of the opposition, would intervene militarily in Syria.

Speaking to AFP at his Damascus office on Friday, the embattled Syrian leader said a major Russian-backed government offensive under way in the northern province of Aleppo was aimed mainly at severing the opposition's supply route from Turkey, adding that he saw a risk that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would intervene militarily in Syria.

The Financial Times newspaper reported on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is making plans with Turkey to deploy ground troops in Syria.

“Saudi Arabia is discussing plans to deploy ground troops with regional allies, including Turkey, for a safe zone in Syria, in a last-ditch effort to keep alive a rebellion at risk of collapse as a Russian-backed offensive by Syrian regime forces encroaches on the northern province of Aleppo,” reported the daily.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_assad-says-he-sees-risk-of-saudi-turkish-intervention-in-syria_412217.html

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Russia, facing widespread criticism, denies bombing civilians in Syria

February 13, 2016

France led international criticism of Russia on Saturday for bombing civilians in Syria, a charge Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev rejected as major powers bickered openly just a day after they agreed a pause in combat in Syria.

The differences between the stakeholders in a Syria settlement highlighted their lingering divisions despite Friday's "cessation of hostilities" agreement, which was not signed by any of the warring parties on the ground - government forces and the opposition - and does not take effect for a week.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/anasayfa_russia-facing-widespread-criticism-denies-bombing-civilians-in-syria_412231.html

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Military: More than 600 terrorists killed in southeastern Cizre

February 12, 2016

More than 600 militants linked with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist group have been killed in Cizre, a southeastern town where a security operation under way since mid-December was completed this week, the Turkish military said on Friday.

In a statement posted on its website, the Turkish General Staff said 16 members of the separatist organization, a reference to the PKK, were killed in Cizre on Thursday, bringing the total number of militants killed in the district to 619. It also said bodies of another 24 terrorists killed earlier were retrieved from eight buildings.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_military-more-than-600-terrorists-killed-in-southeastern-cizre_412167.html

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Former justice minister slams trustee takeovers, ’unprecedented’ pressure on judiciary

February 13, 2016

Hikmet Sami Türk, a jurist and a renowned Turkish politician who served as a justice minister in the past decade, has denounced what he called “unprecedented” political pressure on the judiciary, saying the judges and prosecutors were not subject to such intimidation even during periods of military coup.

Speaking in an interview with Today's Zaman, Türk also criticized appointment of trustees to take over the management of privately-owned companies affiliated with Gülen movement. “Appointments of trustees have nothing to do with the law. It has become a trend; they appoint trustees everywhere,” he said.

Tens of private companies, including commercial firms, a publishing house, newspapers, television channels and, most recently, prep schools have been placed under trustee management over the past months in what is widely believed to be a part of a government-backed witch hunt against the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_former-justice-minister-slams-trustee-takeovers-unprecedented-pressure-on-judiciary_412228.html

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US says November elections in Turkey did not meet standards

February 12, 2016

The United States has said the November 2015 elections in Turkey, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) regained its parliamentary majority, were plagued with restrictions, particularly on the free flow of information.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said at a daily press briefing on Thursday that the US concurs with findings by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that restrictions on media freedom during electoral campaigning had hindered campaigning and the free flow of information to the public.

The OSCE acknowledged that Turkey offered voters a variety of choices but that the challenging security environment and violent attacks against party members prevented free campaigning.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_us-says-november-elections-in-turkey-did-not-meet-standards_412204.html

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Arab Israelis demand release of Palestinian hunger striker

13 February 2016

Arab Israelis demonstrated on Friday in support of a Palestinian journalist who has been on hunger strike for 80 days, demanding an end to his detention without trial by Israel.

An AFP journalist in the northern Israeli town of Afula said that firebrand Islamic cleric Raed Salah delivered a sermon to hundreds of worshippers at the end of weekly prayers held outside the hospital where Mohammed al-Qiq is being held under guard.

"Pray for the victory of the prisoner who is being held hostage, oppressed and detained without reason," said Salah, who is himself awaiting the outcome of an appeal against an 11-month jail sentence for inciting violence against the Jewish state.

Qiq, 33, a correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah and placed under administrative detention, an Israeli procedure allowing indefinite imprisonment without trial.

He has been refusing food since November 25 in protest against the "torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation", according to Addameer, a Palestinian rights organization.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/13/Arab-Israelis-demand-release-of-Palestinian-hunger-striker-.html

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Turkey says Syria ceasefire won’t hold if Russia does not stop airstrikes

February 12, 2016

If Russia does not end its strikes on Western-backed Syrian opposition forces, a cease-fire reached by major powers will not hold and humanitarian access will not be effectively secured, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday.

Çavuşoğlu was speaking after a meeting in Munich at which the United States, Russia and more than a dozen other nations agreed to cease hostilities to pave a way for a political transition in Turkey's war-torn neighbor.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-says-syria-ceasefire-wont-hold-if-russia-does-not-stop-airstrikes_412146.html

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Europe

Another large-scale terror attack in Europe 'a certainty', French PM says

AFP | Feb 13, 2016

Munich: More major attacks in Europe are a "certainty", French prime minister Manuel Valls told an audience at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"We have entered -- we all feel it -- in a new era characterised by the lasting presence of 'hyper-terrorism'," said Valls, whose country was hit by two Islamist attacks last year.

"We must be fully conscious of the threat, and react with a very great force and great lucidity. There will be attacks. Large-scale attacks. It's a certainty. This hyper-terrorism is here to stay," he said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Another-large-scale-terror-attack-in-Europe-a-certainty-French-PM-says/articleshow/50973408.cms

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Paris attacks suspect's DNA 'not found on suicide belt'

AFP | Feb 13, 2016

PARIS: No DNA from fugitive Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in November's Paris attacks, has been found on a suicide belt discovered in the French capital, a source close to the inquiry said on Friday.

The explosive belt was found in a dustbin in the southern Parisian suburb of Montrouge on November 23, ten days after the jihadist bomb and gun attacks that left 130 people dead and hundreds more injured.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Paris-attacks-suspects-DNA-not-found-on-suicide-belt/articleshow/50968759.cms

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France urges Russia to stop bombing Syrians

13 February 2016

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on Russia on Saturday to stop bombing civilians in Syria, saying this was crucial for achieving peace in the country.

“France respects Russia and its interests ... But we know that to find the path to peace again, the Russian bombing of civilians has to stop,” Valls said in a speech at a security conference in Munich.

Valls also warned that the European project could “disappear” if policymakers were not careful.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/13/France-urges-Russia-to-stop-bombing-Syrian-civilians-.html

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North Africa

Florida man pleads guilty over threats to bomb two mosques

13 February 2016

A Florida man pleaded guilty on Friday to a federal hate crime for threatening to bomb two mosques and shoot their congregants shortly after November’s deadly attacks in Paris.

Martin Alan Schnitzler, 43, of Seminole, pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley of the Middle District of Florida said.

Schnitzler entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed in Tampa.

The defendant faces up to 20 years in prison, but is likely to get much less under recommended federal guidelines. He remains free pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/02/13/Florida-man-pleads-guilty-over-threats-to-bomb-two-mosques.html

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IS militants have used, can make chemical weapons: CIA

PTI | Feb 12, 2016

WASHINGTON: The Islamic State militant group has used chemical weapons and can make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas, CIA Director John Brennan has said, warning of the possibility that the dreaded outfit could seek to export the weapons for financial gain.

"We have a number of instances where ISIL (ISIS) has used chemical munitions on the battlefield," Brenna told CBS News in an interview, the excerpts of which was released yesterday.

"There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and ammunitions that they can use," Brennan said in response to a question.

According to the CBS news, CIA believes that ISIS has the ability to manufacture small quantity of chlorine and mustard gas.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/IS-militants-have-used-can-make-chemical-weapons-CIA/articleshow/50956792.cms

 

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