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Islamic World News ( 17 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Iraqi Top Cleric’s Fatwa, Calling Iraqis to Resist the Group, Turning Tide against ISIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Adil Fozi is among the tens of thosands of volunteers who have joined al-Hashd al-Shaabi to fight against the IS

 

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Arab World

Iraqi Top Cleric’s Fatwa, Calling Iraqis to Resist the Group, Turning Tide against ISIS

Radioactive Material Stolen In Iraq Raises Security Fears

Suicide attack claims 14 lives in Aden

Scores of Takfiri Terrorists Killed in Aleppo City

Syrian Army Airstrikes Kill, Injure 140 Terrorists in Eastern Aleppo

Terrorists Killed in Syrian Army Ambush, Rocket Attack in Hama

Syrian Soldiers Capture Southern District in Darayya, Western Ghouta

Syrian Jets Heavily Pound Militants' Key Position in Eastern Ghouta

500 Terrorists Enter Syria via Turkey

Army Fends off ISIL Offensive against Eastern Airbase

Terrorists Squeezed by Syrian Army's All-Around Attacks in Hama

Military Strategist: Syria's Resistance Forces to Give Crushing Response to Foreign Aggressions

Turkish Army Readying to Launch Direct Military Invasion of Syria

IRGC Commander: Saudis Can't Launch Ground Assault on Syria

Military Expert: Syrian Army Blocking Terrorists' Supply Lines from Turkey

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India

Bishop House in Kerala Opens Doors for Muslims to Perform Prayers

Nawaz Sharif Accepts Kargil Was A 'Backstab' For Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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Pakistan

9 Policemen, 7 Terrorists Killed In Pakistan

Nine Khasadar Men Killed In Two Attacks in Mohmand Agency

Karachi school refuses polio team on behalf of parents

Afghan peace process quadrilateral talks in Kabul on Feb 23: Foreign Office

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South Asia

Foreigners among 24 Terrorists Killed In Badakhshan

UN Condemns Use of Child Soldiers in Afghanistan

3 schools, once used by Daesh, reopened for students in Nangarhar’s Achin District

4-day polio drive kicks off in Nangarhar

Ismail Khan urges government to implement Mujahideen’s suggestions for security

Atmar: Afghan Air Force needs more support from the U.S.

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Mideast

Blast Rocks Turkish Capital, 28 Killed

6 Soldiers Killed In Southeast Turkey Bomb Attack

Turkey launches airstrikes on Kurdish positions after Ankara bombing

Syrian PYD leader rejects responsibility for Ankara attack

Hundreds of Syria rebels re-enter country from Turkey to reinforce trapped insurgents

Rights associations oppose Turkey being pulled into war in Syria

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Africa

Official Help Suspected In Somali Plane Blast; ‘Chatty’ Bomber Taught At Islamic School

Bahrain Introduces E Visas for Eleven African Countries

Egyptian banks unconcerned with Africa

Netanyahu to mark Entebbe anniversary with Africa visit

US Senator Jeff Flake leads wildlife conservation delegation to four African countries

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Europe

Blast Hits Turkish Cultural Centre in Sweden

Atheism Is As Natural As Religion, Study Suggests

Germany Mulls No-Fly Zone in Northern Syria

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia Plans Tougher Anti-Terrorism Laws After Jakarta Attack

Philippines Aims to Be Most Attractive Tourist Destination for Muslim Tourists

U.S., Southeast Asian Nations Reaffirm Support for Regional Order

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North America

Obama Calls Republican Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Troubling

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/iraqi-top-cleric’s-fatwa,-calling-iraqis-to-resist-the-group,-turning-tide-against-isis/d/106389

 

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Arab World

Iraqi Top Cleric’s Fatwa, Calling Iraqis to Resist the Group, Turning Tide against ISIS

Sameer Arshad | TNN | Feb 18, 2016

KARBALA/NAJAF (IRAQ): Eighteen-day confinement to a hospital bed with half his body below waist paralyzed has not dampened Iraqi anti Daesh (IS) al-Hashd al-Shaabi force volunteer Adil Fozi's spirits. He flashed a victory sign as a group of Indian journalists interviewed him at the hospital overlooking one of Islam's holiest shrines - the mausoleum of Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Husain, in Karbala. The 35-year-old balding man vowed to return to the battlefield.

"I would join my brother who is fighting Daesh and would be proud to send my son to fight too,'' Fozi, whose commander Haji Talib Rahma was killed in action recently, told the journalists. Fozi's spirit is symptomatic of the resolve sweeping Iraq to rid the country of IS. It is reflected in great show of volunteerism to take on Daesh since Shia leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's fatwa calling Iraqis to resist the group in June 2014.

Hashd volunteers have since played a key role in reclaiming territories like Ramadi even as concerns over arming civilians remain. They are now assisting the Iraqi army in its efforts to liberate Mosul, the most important city under IS occupation. Fozi was among tens of thousands of volunteers to sign up for the force after Sistan's fatwa was issued after Iraqi army abandoned Mosul. Sistani's call had great symbolic value as it was made from Najaf, one of Islam's holiest cities where the prophet's son-in-law and fourth Caliph Ali lies buried. Ali is central to Shia devotion and they consider him the Prophet's only rightful heir unlike Sunnis. Most Sufi orders trace their lineage to Ali as he is believed to have inherited saintly powers from the Prophet besides being regarded as supreme Islamic metaphysician.

Kharijites (defectors) killed Ali with a poisoned sword in AD 661while he was praying years after he crushed their rebellion against Islam. A majority of Muslim scholars, including puritanical Saudi Arabian grand mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al ash-Sheikh, have denounced IS as modern-age Kharijites for adopting brutal ways. Shia clergy's likening of IS to the killers of Ali's son, Husain, and 72 members of the prophet's family in the epic battle of Karbala in 680 AD to save the true Islam has had great resonance in southern Iraq. It has drawn over one lakh volunteers to Hashd's ranks.

Virtually every lamppost and wall along the highway from southern Iraq's Najaf to capital Baghdad, 177km away, have pictures and eulogies to fallen Hashd fighters. Dismissing IS fighters as cowards, Fozi said, "They are unable to fight us face to face and use snipers and suicide bombers.'' Fozi returned to Iraq in 2014 to join Hashd from Syria.

"Our belief in real Islam, the faith Husain died protecting here (Karbala) pushes us to fight the evil,'' said Fozi. Fozi echoed the growing Iraqi irritation to western projection of Hashd as a Shia undisciplined militia. "We fight under the Iraqi Army and support them,'' he said. Jalandhar-born Sheikh Bashir Husain al-Najafi, a member of Sistani's council, insisted the resistance against IS was not that of Shias but of all Iraqis. He underlined Khaled al-Obeidi, a Sunni, was leading the war on IS as defence minister. "This disproves all western propaganda of ShiaSunni conflict in Iraq."

(The writer was in Iraq at the invitation of Karbala's Imam Husain shrine)

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iraqi-top-clerics-fatwa-turning-tide-against-IS/articleshow/51032429.cms

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Radioactive material stolen in Iraq raises security fears

Reuters | Feb 18, 2016

BAGHDAD: Iraq is searching for "highly dangerous" radioactive material stolen last year, according to an environment ministry document and seven security, environmental and provincial officials who fear it could be used as a weapon if acquired by Islamic State.

The material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, went missing in November from a storage facility near the southern city of Basra belonging to US oilfield services company Weatherford, the document obtained by Reuters showed and officials confirmed.

A spokesman for Iraq's environment ministry said he could not discuss the issue, citing national security concerns. A Weatherford spokesman in Iraq declined to comment, and the company's Houston headquarters did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The material, which uses gamma rays to test flaws in materials used for oil and gas pipelines in a process called industrial gamma radiography, is owned by Istanbul-based SGS Turkey, according to the document and officials.

An SGS official in Iraq declined to comment and referred Reuters to its Turkish headquarters, which did not respond to phone calls.

The document, dated November 30 and addressed to the ministry's Centre for Prevention of Radiation, describes "the theft of a highly dangerous radioactive source of Ir-192 with highly radioactive activity belonging to SGS from a depot belonging to Weatherford in the Rafidhia area of Basra province".

A senior environment ministry official based in Basra, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to speak publicly, told Reuters the device contained up to 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of Ir-192 "capsules", a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.

The material is classed as a Category 2 radioactive source by the International Atomic Energy Agency, meaning if not managed properly it could cause permanent injury to a person in close proximity to it for minutes or hours, and could be fatal to someone exposed for a period of hours to days.

How harmful exposure can be is determined by a number of factors such as the material's strength and age, which Reuters could not immediately determine. The ministry document said it posed a risk of bodily and environmental harm as well as a national security threat.

Dirty bomb fear

Large quantities of Ir-192 have gone missing before in the United States, Britain and other countries, stoking fears among security officials that it could be used to make a dirty bomb.

A dirty bomb combines nuclear material with conventional explosives to contaminate an area with radiation, in contrast to a nuclear weapon, which uses nuclear fission to trigger a vastly more powerful blast.

"We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of Daesh," said a senior security official with knowledge of the theft, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State. They could simply attach it to explosives to make a dirty bomb," said the official, who works at the interior ministry and spoke on condition of anonymity as he is also not authorized to speak publicly.

There was no indication the material had come into the possession of Islamic State, which seized territory in Iraq and Syria in 2014 but does not control areas near Basra.

The security official, based in Baghdad, told Reuters there were no immediate suspects for the theft. But the official said the initial investigation suggested the perpetrators had specific knowledge of the material and the facility: "No broken locks, no smashed doors and no evidence of forced entry," he said.

An operations manager for Iraqi security firm Taiz, which was contracted to protect the facility, declined to comment, citing instructions from Iraqi security authorities.

A spokesman for Basra operations command, responsible for security in Basra province, said army, police and intelligence forces were working "day and night" to locate the material.

The army and police have responsibility for security in the country's south, where Iranian-backed Shia militias and criminal gangs also operate.

Pollution risk

Iraqi forces are battling Islamic State in the country's north and west, backed by a US-led coalition. The militant group has been accused of using chemical weapons on more than one occasion over the past few years.

The closest area fully controlled by Islamic State is more than 500km (300 miles) north of Basra in the western province of Anbar. The Sunni militants control no territory in the predominantly Shia southern provinces but have claimed bomb attacks there, including one that killed 10 people in October in the district where the Weatherford facility is located.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Radioactive-material-stolen-in-Iraq-raises-security-fears/articleshow/51029642.cms

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Suicide attack claims 14 lives in Aden

Feb 18, 2016

ADEN: A suicide bomber killed at least 14 soldiers in Aden on Wednesday, in the latest attack on Yemen’s second city claimed by militants of the Islamic State (IS) group.

The southern port city has been the headquarters of forces loyal to President Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his backers in a Saudi-led military coalition but has seen growing violence by IS and its rival Al Qaeda.

“A man detonated his explosive vest among soldiers,” a military source said.

The troops were attending a training session run by Sudanese forces of the Saudi-led coalition, another military source said.

The bomber, who was disguised as a soldier, attacked the Ras Abbas camp in the west of Aden.

After the attack, panicking soldiers grabbed their weapons and fled the camp, witnesses said.

The little-known “Aden and Abyan Province” branch of IS said the suicide bombing was carried out by one of its militants and alleged it killed 20 “apostate” soldiers.

It came a day after Al Qaeda claimed an attack on the convoy of Aden’s governor and police chief in which four militants were killed. Since March last year, when the Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of Hadi, IS has ramped up its operations in Yemen.

Its rival Al Qaeda also has a significant presence in the south and southeast.

In October, IS claimed its first attacks in Aden — a series of bombings that targeted the government’s temporary headquarters and two military camps run by the coalition in which 15 people were killed. Coalition forces have been training pro-government militiamen whom Hadi merged into the army after they drove Iran-backed rebels out of Aden and other southern provinces last year.

dawn.com/news/1240182/suicide-attack-claims-14-lives-in-aden

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Scores of Takfiri Terrorists Killed in Aleppo City

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Three main neighborhoods in Aleppo city were targeted by the Syrian army units on Thursday, sources said, adding that dozens of terrorists were killed in the assault.

The Syrian army forces launched attacks against the Takfiri terrorist groups’ positions in the neighborhoods of al-Rashidin, al-Ramouseh and al-Sakhour, field sources said.

The attacks killed tens of Takfiri terrorists and injured others, destroying their military vehicles, weapons and ammunition, they added.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian air force destroyed the militants' sensitive military positions and gathering centers in three strategic towns in Aleppo province.

Scores of militants were killed and wounded in the army attacks on their positions in the towns of Al-Bab, Qabasin, Beza and Susian.

The terrorists' positions were also razed down by the Syrian fighter jets in Handarat and Hraytan. The militants sustained heavy losses and casualties in the Syrian airstrikes on their positions.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000135

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Syrian Army Airstrikes Kill, Injure 140 Terrorists in Eastern Aleppo

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army launched heavy airstrikes on ISIL positions in the Northern city of al-Bab in the Eastern parts of Aleppo province on Thursday, killing and injuring over 140 terrorists.

The Syrian air force carried out intensive sorties targeting hideouts of ISIL Takfiri terrorists in al-Bab city and the villages of Jub Qabsheh, Eibed, Souran, Tal Alam, Deir Qaq, Sarjeh and al-Zaalaneh, a military source said.

About 70 Takfiri terrorists were killed and 70 others were injured in the airstrikes, the source added.

He also said that a number of vehicles and key positions of ISIL militants were destroyed in the city which is the main route used by the terrorist group to send oil to Turkey.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian air force destroyed the militants' sensitive military positions and gathering centers in three strategic towns in Aleppo province.

Scores of militants were killed and wounded in the army attacks on their positions in the towns of Al-Bab, Qabasin, Beza and Susian.

The terrorists' positions were also razed down by the Syrian fighter jets in Handarat and Hraytan. The militants sustained heavy losses and casualties in the Syrian airstrikes on their positions.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000116

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Terrorists Killed in Syrian Army Ambush, Rocket Attack in Hama

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorist groups in the countryside of Hama city were ambushed by the Syrian army troops, battlefield sources said Thursday, adding that the army attack claimed the lives of over 17 militants and wounded many others.

17 terrorists were killed and dozens of others wounded in the Northern parts of Kharbat al-Naqous village in al-Ghab Plain when they came under the Syrian forces' attack today.

The Syrian army started its ambush with blowing up a number of explosive devices stashed by terrorists in the area.

It targeted other militants who were fleeing the battlefield with rockets.

Military sources said on Wednesday that the Syrian army jets and artillery units heavily pounded militants' positions in concerted operations across the Western province of Hama.

The Syrian air force jets pounded the military positions and gathering centers of the terrorists in the city of Letamenah, Rahajan, and Kafr Nabuda Northwest of Hama, inflicting heavy losses on them.

The Syrian artillery units also carried out several assaults on the militant groups' gathering centers and their sites inside Letamenah and Kafr Zita in the same province, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000340

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Syrian Soldiers Capture Southern District in Darayya, Western Ghouta

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian army forces, in a significant achievement on Thursday, managed to capture several Southern areas in the city of Darayya in Western Ghouta near Damascus, inflicting heavy blows on the militants in the city, sources on the ground said.

According to military sources, the Syrian army and popular forces in a concerted series of  attacks stormed the militants' fortified positions in al-Darayaneh neighborhood in al-Alaly districts and retook control of 18 settlements there, killing or injuring dozens of terrorists in fierce clashes.

In a recent development in Western Ghouta, the Syrian army troops stormed the militant groups' strongholds and pushed the terrorist back from more lands in the region.

The Syrian army, after several hour fighting, drove the militant groups back from the region of al-Fusoul al-Rabe'ah near the city of Darayya, which also left several militants dead.

The Syrian Air Force, for its part, targeted the terrorist groups' concentration centers in the small town of Khan al-Sheih in the Southwestern part of Damascus province, leaving many terrorists dead or wounded.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000275

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Syrian Jets Heavily Pound Militants' Key Position in Eastern Ghouta

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian air force destroyed a number of key militant positions and gathering centers in a strategic town in Eastern Ghouta near the capital city of Damascus on Thursday.

Scores of militants were killed and wounded in the airstrikes on the positions of “Liwa al-Islam” and “Jeish al-Islam" groups in the town of Kafr Batna, which also inflicted heavy damage on the militants' hardware.

On Wednesday in Damascus province, the Syrian Army troops, in a several-hour-long battle, drove the militant groups back from more heights on the Eastern side of Qalamoun mountain in the Western part of the province near border with Lebanon.

The Syrian army scored more victories against the terrorist groups in Qalamoun mountain and seized back al-Kasarat height near the village of al-Mohassa.

The army also stormed one of the bases of the militants in the village and inflicted major losses on the militants' military hardware and machinery.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000232

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500 Terrorists Enter Syria via Turkey

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least 500 Takfiri terrorists crossed the Turkish border with Syria and are heading towards the Northern Syrian border town of Azaz in Aleppo province.

"At least 500 militants have crossed the Bab al-Salam border crossing on their way to the town of Azaz to help other terrorists in the face of the gains made by Kurdish forces in the Northern parts of the province," Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, was quoted as saying by Lebanon Debate news website on Thursday.

The monitoring base also said on Wednesday that the crossing of terrorists was carried out under the supervision of the Turkish officials.

The Wednesday's crossing was the second time a large group of militants have crossed the Turkish border and entered Syria in less than a week. On Sunday, 350 heavily armed terrorists entered Syrian territories via the Atme border crossing with Turkey.

A senior political analyst warned on Wednesday that Turkey will officially launch military invasion of Syria if the strategic town of Azaz in the Northern province of Aleppo is won back by the Syrian Kurds.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000304

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Army Fends off ISIL Offensive against Eastern Airbase

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops repelled the ISIL terrorist group's assault against Deir Ezzur military airbase in the Eastern parts of the country.

The Syrian government forces thwarted the ISIL attempts to infiltrat into Deir Ezzur airbase and forced them back from the battlefield with heavy fire power.

The Syrian Army, in a rapid offensive on Wednesday, had pushed back the ISIL terrorists from several farms near the airbase.

The Syrian army troops broke through the ISIL's lines of defense at al-Mura'yeh and reentered the farms around the village.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000171

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Terrorists Squeezed by Syrian Army's All-Around Attacks in Hama

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and air force units squashed the terrorists stationed in the Western province of Hama on Thursday by their heavy fire and airstrikes.

The Syrian forces killed and injured 27 Takfiri terrorists by attacking their positions on al-Qantara- Shimalya-Rmeilah road in Hama countryside.

The Syrian air force also hit positions of Jeish al-Fateh and other Takfiri terrorist groups in Kafr Zita, Jeb al-Rayan and Kafr Nabuda in the Northern countryside of Hama province.

Several vehicles, positions and strongholds of militants were destroyed and 7 Takfiri terrorists were killed and 5 others were injured in the airstrikes.

Sites for the ISIL Takfiri terrorists were also targeted in the army airstrikes in al-Rahajan village, East of Hama city.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941129000210

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Military Strategist: Syria's Resistance Forces to Give Crushing Response to Foreign Aggressions

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent military analyst blasted the Riyadh and Ankara governments for planning military interventions in Syria, and warned that Syria backed by its resistance allies will give a crushing response to the foreign aggressors.

"The resistance alliance forces will respond to any aggression by attacking Turkey," Military strategist Mohammad Issa al-Sheikh told FNA on Wednesday.

He underlined that the Turkish army will not dare to go beyond artillery attacks, because it is afraid of Russia's air force and it knows that its fighter jets will be downed by the Russian fighter jets.

The idea of Riyadh’s possible participation in ground operations in Syria was first raised on February 4 by Ahmed Asiri, a spokesman for the Saudi Defense Ministry.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are both part of an effort to create an alleged “Islam Army,” ostensibly aimed at combating terrorism in the region and consisting of 34 Sunni Islam nations.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941128000819

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Turkish Army Readying to Launch Direct Military Invasion of Syria

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army, worried about the imminent collapse of terrorist-held lands North of Syria, has sent more military equipment and troops to one of the Turkish border cities near Syria following the recent victories of the Syrian army and Kurdish fighters against the militants in the provinces of Aleppo and Lattakia, Turkish media disclosed.

The city of Kilis in the Southern part of Turkey near the border with Syria and the Gaziantep-Aleppo highway has been the destination of a growing number of Turkish army troops and their modern arms and military equipment, the Turkish language news agency, Duqan reported.

Under the pretext of fight against the ISIL, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have announced their readiness to dispatch ground forces to Syria.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941128001337

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IRGC Commander: Saudis Can't Launch Ground Assault on Syria

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari downplayed the Saudi rhetoric about sending ground troops to Syria, saying they don't have the guts to do so.

"The Saudis don’t and won't dare to launch ground war against Syria since they don't have what it takes to enter the Syrian territory. They can't do it when it comes to the actual ground invasion," General Jafari said in Tehran on Wednesday.

He also noted that the Saudi plan for airstrikes with US support is designed to help the terrorist groups but it will backfire as the Syrian Army and people will fight back.

Asked about Iran's reaction to possible military provocations in Syria, Jafari said, "Our position is clear. We have supported Syria by sending military advisors and we will continue our support come what may."

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941128001082

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Military Expert: Syrian Army Blocking Terrorists' Supply Lines from Turkey

Feb 18, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior military expert lashed out at the Ankara and Riyadh governments for supporting the terrorist groups in Syria, and said that the Syrian army has closed the border holes used by the militants as supply and logistical routes.

"The Syrian army has closed off the border checkpoints used by the terrorists as supply lines from the outside world," retired Lebanese Army General Walid Zeitouni told FNA on Wednesday.

He underlined that the Syrian army backed by its allies and Russian air force has achieved great and strategic military gains over the past two months.

"As the terrorists' supply routes from Turkey are cut, they will be forced to surrender themselves to the government forces," Brigadier General Zeitouni added.

He, meantime, pointed to the plans by the Turkish and Saudi governments to send ground troops to Syria, and called on the international community to prevent them from achieving their goals.

In relevant remarks earlier today, another prominent military analyst blasted the Riyadh and Ankara governments for planning military interventions in Syria, and warned that Syria backed by its resistance allies will give a crushing response to the foreign aggressors.

"The resistance alliance forces will respond to any aggression by attacking Turkey," Military strategist Mohammad Issa al-Sheikh told FNA.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941128001157

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India

Bishop House in Kerala opens doors for Muslims to perform prayers

17 February 2016

By Shafeeq Hudawi

Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when communal prejudices seem to be returning with a vengeance, Kerala has shown a heartening case of communal harmony. Christians of the state opened doors of their Bishop’s house for their Muslim brothers for the valedictory session of the 90th anniversary of Samastha Kerala Jam’iyyathul Ulama, held at Alappuzha beach on Sunday.

Bishop House in Kerala opens doors for Muslims to perform prayers

The functionaries of Alappuzha Bishop House, head quarters of Roman Catholic Diocese of Alleppey, opened their halls for Muslims in order to help the perform their Maghrib and Isha prayers. Besides, their Muslims brothers were allowed to use the toilets and other facilities of the Bishop house.

“People in huge crowd began to throng to the beach from Sunday afternoon. They were helpless to find a place to perform their prayers. We opened our doors for our brothers as it occurred several times in our history,” Father Febi, secretary of Bishop House told Twocircles.net.

Full report at: twocircles.net/2016feb17/1455715162.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29#.VsV80bR97IW

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Nawaz Sharif accepts Kargil was a 'backstab' for Atal Bihari Vajpayee

TNN | Feb 18, 2016

Indian Army soliders at the Kargil war memorial (File Picture)Indian Army soliders at the Kargil war memorial (File Picture)

NEW DELHI: Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday acknowledged that Pakistan's occupation of Kargil in 1999 was a "misadventure" and a "stab in the back" of his former counterpart Atal B Vajpayee.

The admission by Sharif comes at a time when both countries are locked in efforts to kickstart the comprehensive bilateral dialogue (CBD) which they had announced last December. The CBD is the new name for the composite dialogue process launched in 1998 when both Vajpayee and Sharif were at the helm as prime ministers. The dialogue had been stalled after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Government sources in New Delhi said Sharif's admission had not been communicated to them officially. However, an official said that, if true, this was a very positive development.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Nawaz-Sharif-accepts-Kargil-was-a-backstab-for-Atal-Bihari-Vajpayee/articleshow/51032439.cms

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Pakistan

9 policemen, 7 terrorists killed in Pakistan

PTI | Feb 18, 2016

PESHAWAR: At least nine tribal police personnel and seven terrorists were killed in three separate incidents at a tribal agency in Pakistan's restive northwestern region bordering Afghanistan.

The first incident occurred at Karpa Latri camp area in Lower Mohmand Agency where some unidentified terrorists armed with automatic weapons opened indiscriminate fire on a security picket, killing seven Tribal Police personnel also known as Khasadars, on the spot.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/9-policemen-7-terrorists-killed-in-Pakistan/articleshow/51038427.cms

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Nine Khasadar men killed in two attacks in Mohmand Agency

Feb 18, 2016

PESHAWAR: At least nine personnel of the Khasadar force were killed in two separate attacks in Mohmand district of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on Thursday, officials said.

Seven Khasadar personnel were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire at a security checkpost in Karapa area of Pandyali tehsil in Mohmand Agency.

The Jamatul Ahrar faction of banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in a statement.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240339/nine-khasadar-men-killed-in-two-attacks-in-mohmand-agency

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Karachi school refuses polio team on behalf of parents

Syed Wasim — Updated 23 minutes ago

KARACHI: A private school in Ayesha Manzil did not allow a polio team to enter its premises on Thursday, citing parents’ refusals.

School administration submitted in writing that it would not allow polio workers on its premises due to a small enrollment of young children and parents’ refusals beforehand.

Officials from the district administration are negotiating with school administration, and plan to take legal action against the school for obstruction of official duties under section 186 of the penal code.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240355/karachi-school-refuses-polio-team-on-behalf-of-parents

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Afghan peace process quadrilateral talks in Kabul on Feb 23: Foreign Office

Mateen Haider — Updated about 2 hours ago

ISLAMABAD: The next round of quadrilateral talks centred on the Afghan peace process will take place on Feb 23 in Kabul, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Thursday during a briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Quad­ri­lateral Coordination Group (QCG) aims to facilitate dialogue between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban. The four-nation process was established in December on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference with Pakistan, Afghanistan, the US and China agreeing to devise a mechanism under which they could work together for the resumption of the reconciliation process.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240352/afghan-peace-process-quadrilateral-talks-in-kabul-on-feb-23-foreign-office

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South Asia

Foreigners among 24 terrorists killed in Badakhshan

By Khaama Press - Thu Feb 18 2016

24 terrorists have been killed and 17 others wounded in separate security incidents in northeastern Badakhshan province.

Spokesperson for the provincial governor said security operation has been launched in Argu District which is successfully going on.

Ahmad Nawid Froutan added that 17 Taliban militants have been killed and 10 others wounded in the operation so far.

Those killed include important commanders of the group including Hamidullah, Froutan said.

The governor’s spokesperson further said that security forces rebuffed a Taliban attack in Souch village of Jurm District on Tuesday night.

Froutan added that the clash left seven militants killed and as many others wounded.

Foreigners were among those killed, the governor’s spokesperson said.

khaama.com/foreigners-among-24-terrorists-killed-in-badakhshan-4585

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UN condemns use of child soldiers in Afghanistan

AP | Feb 17, 2016

KABUL: The United Nations on Wednesday condemned all sides in Afghanistan's conflict for using child soldiers, noting that while government forces have curbed the practice, insurgent groups continue to train large numbers of fighters under the age of 18.

The Afghan government has made progress on the issue, said Leila Zerrougui, the UN representative for children and armed conflict. But she said the Afghan Local Police - government-allied groups that often operate as independent militias and are widely seen as unprofessional and corrupt - are major perpetrators.

The Taliban, who have been battling the government for over 15 years, mainly recruit children in provinces bordering Pakistan and other areas where the fighting is fiercest, she said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/UN-condemns-use-of-child-soldiers-in-Afghanistan/articleshow/51027604.cms

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3 schools, once used by Daesh, reopened for students in Nangarhar’s Achin District

By Khaama Press - Thu Feb 18 2016

Government forces have pushed back fighters of the Islamic State (IS), the terrorist group which is locally known by its Arabic name Daesh, from several areas in Achin District of eastern Nangarhar province.

Three educational institutions, including Deh Sarak High School, have reopened for students in these areas.

The schools reopened during a ceremony on Monday.

Saleem Khan Kundozi, the provincial governor who attended the ceremony in Deh Sarak High School praised civilians for assisting the security forces who finally defeated Daesh in their areas.

Full report at: khaama.com/3-schools-once-used-by-daesh-reopened-for-students-in-nangarhars-achin-district-4589

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4-day polio drive kicks off in Nangarhar

By Zabihullah Moosakhail - Wed Feb 17 2016

4-day polio campaign has kicked off in eastern Nangarhar province.

Mobile polio teams are going door-by-door to give polio drops to some 667,000 children under five years of age.

The drive was officially launched when health officials give the drops to a few children during a ceremony in the compound of the Directorate of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Jalalabad city on Tuesday morning.

Full report at: khaama.com/4-day-polio-drive-kicks-off-in-nangarhar-4583

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Ismail Khan urges government to implement Mujahideen’s suggestions for security

By Khaama Press - Tue Feb 16 2016

Mohammad Ismail Khan, a prominent Jihadi leader and former Minister of Energy and Power has urged government to get the assistance of Mujahideen for security.

While talking to a gathering in western Herat province, Ismail Khan said that government has failed to maintain security and therefore it should adopt changes in the rankings of security institutions.

Full report at: khaama.com/ismail-khan-urges-government-to-implement-mujahideens-suggestions-for-security-4580

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Atmar: Afghan Air Force needs more support from the U.S.

By Khaama Press - Tue Feb 16 2016

Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) says that Afghan Air Force needs further assistance from the United States.

Mohammad Hanif Atmar told US’s Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre on Monday that his country has played a key role in suppressing terrorism in Afghanistan and the region.

Full report at: khaama.com/atmar-afghan-air-force-needs-more-support-from-the-u-s-4579

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Mideast

Blast rocks Turkish capital, 28 killed

AFP | Feb 17, 2016

ANKARA: At least 28 people were killed and 61 wounded Wednesday by a car bomb targeting the Turkish military in the heart of the capital Ankara, the latest in a string of attacks to shake the country.

The blast struck a convoy of military service vehicles but it was still not clear who carried it out, said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, confirming the latest toll.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed retaliation against the perpetrators of the attack, which came on the heels of a spate of deadly strikes in Turkey blamed on jihadists but also on Kurdish rebels.

The car bomb detonated when a convoy of military buses carrying dozens of soldiers stopped at traffic lights in central Ankara, creating scenes of panic and chaos.

"This attack has very clearly targeted our esteemed nation as a whole and was carried out in a vile, dishonourable, treacherous and insidious way," said Kurtulmus.

Plumes of smoke could be seen from all over the city rising from the scene, close to the headquarters of the Turkish military and the parliament.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Blast-rocks-Turkish-capital-28-killed/articleshow/51030191.cms

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6 soldiers killed in southeast Turkey bomb attack

February 18, 2016

Six Turkish security force members were killed and one soldier was seriously wounded in a blast in the mainly Kurdish southeast, the armed forces said in a statement on Thursday.

A handmade bomb detonated by remote control killed the soldiers while travelling in a military vehicle, the military said, a day after a car bomb attack in the capital Ankara killed 28 people.

At the time of the blast, the military vehicle was searching for mines on the highway linking Diyarbakır, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast, to the district of Lice.

todayszaman.com/national_6-soldiers-killed-in-southeast-turkey-bomb-attack_412631.html

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Turkey launches airstrikes on Kurdish positions after Ankara bombing

Matt Payton | The Independent | Feb 18, 2016

A police officer gestures as he walks at the site of an explosion while firefighters try to extinguish flames after an attack targeted a convoy of military service vehicles in Ankara on February 17, 2016. (AFP Photo) <br />A police officer gestures as he walks at the site of an explosion while firefighters try to extinguish flames ... Read More

Turkey has launched overnight air strikes on Kurdish rebel camps in northern Iraq after a car bomb in Ankara killed at least 28 people.

Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's Prime Minister, has announced members of the Kurdish YPG militia group based in Syria were responsible for the rush hour attack.

Davutoglu said YPG had worked alongside the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey, BBC reports.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Turkey-launches-airstrikes-on-Kurdish-positions-after-Ankara-bombing/articleshow/51039018.cms

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Syrian PYD leader rejects responsibility for Ankara attack

February 18, 2016

The leader of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) has rejected the accusation that the organization carried out the Wednesday evening bombing attack in Ankara that killed 28 people and wounded 61.

The declaration comes after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said a member of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the PYD, was behind the attack.

"We are not responsible for the Ankara bombing," Saleh Muslim was quoted by the Arbil-based Rudaw media network as saying.

Davutoğlu vowed retaliation against Syrian Kurdish militants for the attack.

Salih Neccar, a Syrian national, was named as a prime suspect in the bombing by Turkish authorities.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_syrian-pyd-leader-rejects-responsibility-for-ankara-attack_412633.html

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Hundreds of Syria rebels re-enter country from Turkey to reinforce trapped insurgents

February 18, 2016

At least two thousand Syrian rebel fighters have re-entered the country from Turkey over the last week to reinforce insurgents fending off an assault by Syrian Kurdish militias, rebel sources said on Thursday.

The rebel fighters, with weapons and vehicles, have been covertly escorted across the border by Turkish forces over several nights, before heading into the embattled rebel stronghold of Azaz, the sources said.

"We have been allowed to move everything from light weapons to heavy equipment mortars and missiles and our tanks," Abu Issa, a commander in the Levant Front, the rebel group that runs the border crossing of Bab al-Salam, told Reuters giving his alias and talking on condition of anonymity.

"There is tight security on the four-hour drive from one border crossing to the other," he added, saying rebels being transported excluded the hardline Jabhat al-Nusra Front fighters and other jihadist groups.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_hundreds-of-syria-rebels-re-enter-country-from-turkey-to-reinforce-trapped-insurgents_412634.html

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Rights associations oppose Turkey being pulled into war in Syria

February 17, 2016

Two leading rights groups in Turkey, the Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV), have voiced their objection to the possibility of Turkey going to war in Syria, saying they defend peace both at home and abroad.

The organizations held a joint news conference at İHD headquarters in Ankara on Wednesday during which they talked about the ongoing clashes between Turkish military forces and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the country's Southeast and Turkey's plans for an intervention in Syria.

"We are against Turkey being pulled into a war [in Syria] through a fait accompli," said İHD President Öztürk Türkdoğan, who spoke on behalf of both groups, adding that war means the killing of men, women, the young and the elderly, as well as animals.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_rights-associations-oppose-turkey-being-pulled-into-war-in-syria_412572.html

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Africa

Official help suspected in Somali plane blast; ‘chatty’ bomber taught at Islamic school

Feb 17, 2016

MOGADISHU – He was a teacher at an Islamic school, known in his hometown in northwestern Somalia as a talkative, religious man with a sense of humor.

He has also been identified as a suicide bomber who tried to bring down an airliner.

Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh boarded a plane on Feb. 2 with a bomb that exploded at 11,000 feet. The blast created a hole in the fuselage of the Airbus 321, just above the wing, and Borleh was blown out, his body falling to earth and landing in the Somali town of Balad.

Borleh said he was going abroad for health reasons, according to Sheikh Mohamed Abdullahi, a mosque imam in Hargeisa near where Borleh was from, and who met with him in January. Abdullahi estimated Borleh’s age at between 50 and 52, described him as “chatty,” and said that he had a leg problem that required him to sometimes walk with a cane.

Full report at: japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/17/world/official-help-suspected-somali-plane-blast-chatty-bomber-taught-islamic-school/#.VsVwmLR97IU

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Bahrain introduces e Visas for eleven African countries

Feb 18, 2016

Bahrain has introduced e Visas to visitors from eleven African countries, marking the third phase of the Kingdom’s new visa policy. The new phase allows nationals from Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Cameroon, Gabon, Senegal, Mauritius and Seychelles to obtain their visas online ahead of travel, via the government’s e Visa website. The…

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https://businessdayonline.com/2016/02/bahrain-introduces-e-visas-for-eleven-african-countries/

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Egyptian banks unconcerned with Africa

Feb 18, 2016

Ezz El-Din Hassanein, a banking expert and general manager of an Arab banks operating in the Egyptian market

Despite Egyptian banks’ dedication to expanding operations in overseas markets, they are still significantly unconcerned with Africa, whether northern or southern countries.

The National Bank of Sudan (NBS) was established by National Bank of Egypt (NBE) as well as two representative offices of NBE in South Africa and Ethiopia.

Suez Canal Bank has a representative office in Libya while Banque du Caire has a branch in Uganda called Cairo International Bank in Kampala.

Full report at: dailynewsegypt.com/2016/02/17/egyptian-banks-unconcerned-with-africa/

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Netanyahu to mark Entebbe anniversary with Africa visit

Feb 18, 2016

This would be the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Sub-Saharan Africa since Yitzhak Shamir visited four west African states in 1987.

The trip is expected to be among the issues on the agenda when Kenyan President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta arrives for a visit next week.

This would be the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Sub-Saharan Africa since Yitzhak Shamir visited four west African states in 1987.

While Netanyahu had plans to visit Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia in 2011, that trip was scuttled because of security concerns.

Full report at: jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/PM-to-mark-Entebbe-anniversary-with-Africa-visit-445141

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US Senator Jeff Flake leads wildlife conservation delegation to four African countries

Feb 18, 2016

Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona is currently leading a US delegation to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia to talk to the private sector, representatives of civil society, and government officials. The US Embassy said in a statement that the delegation’s objective is to carry out a fact finding mission with the emphasis on regional security and wildlife conservation concerns.  

The Zimbabwe visit was set to explore the US-Zimbabwe bilateral relationship. The Zimbabwe Minister of Environment indicated that there were issues with the USA following the ban on the importation of elephant trophies from commercial hunting operations in Zimbabwe.  The delegation met with President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday, and a source told the Herald Newspaper that whilst there was some talk about the rule of law, sanctions, and land resettlement issues, the main focus of the meeting was to address issues relating to wildlife preservation. Senator Flake reportedly said that the meeting had been at Mugabe’s invitation and that they were “pleased with the meeting."

Full report at: us.blastingnews.com/world/2016/02/us-senator-jeff-flake-leads-wildlife-conservation-delegation-to-four-african-countries-00792829.html

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Europe

Blast hits Turkish cultural center in Sweden

February 18, 2016

An explosion severely damaged part of a building that housed a Turkish cultural association in a Stockholm suburb late on Wednesday but no one was injured, police said.

Police said all the windows of the center were blown out and that technicians were on site to investigate the cause. The center was located in the basement of a building in Fittja, in southwest Stockholm.

"No one was inside. No one was injured. It had been locked since earlier in the evening," a police spokesman said.

No one has been arrested and there are currently no suspects, he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, 28 people were killed and dozens wounded in Turkey's capital Ankara when a car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses near the armed forces' headquarters, Parliament and other government buildings.

todayszaman.com/world_blast-hits-turkish-cultural-center-in-sweden_412609.html

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Atheism is as natural as religion, study suggests

Rebecca Flood | The Independent | Feb 18, 2016

Atheism is as natural as religion, new research suggests, throwing doubt onto the notion humans are preprogrammed to believe in deities.

A new study by the University of Cambridge has discovered that, contrary to popular belief, vast swathes of the ancient world did not believe in Gods

Largely written out of the history books, many atheists in fact thrived in polytheistic societies - those that worshipped multiple deities - according to a new book.

The claims, made in Battling the Gods by professor of Greek Culture, Tim Whitmarsh, throw doubt into the idea we are hardwired to believe in a higher power - referred to a 'religious universalism'.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Atheism-is-as-natural-as-religion-study-suggests/articleshow/51035013.cms

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Germany mulls no-fly zone in northern Syria

AP | Feb 18, 2016

DAMASCUS: Germany has revived calls for a no-fly zone in northern Syria, an idea that once might have greatly helped the beleaguered rebels and protected civilians from bombardment but now is more complicated, dangerous and unlikely due to Russia's air campaign supporting President Bashar Assad.

The proposal came amid international efforts to coax at least a temporary truce and as the government allowed humanitarian aid to head for besieged areas around the country, part of an effort described by a Russian official as a first step toward implementation of an agreement reached among world powers in Munich last week.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Germany-mulls-no-fly-zone-in-northern-Syria/articleshow/51033278.cms

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia plans tougher anti-terrorism laws after Jakarta attack

Feb 18, 2016

Indonesia has drawn up plans for tougher anti-terrorism laws following last month's militant attack on the capital, including detention without trial for up to three months compared with a week now, government sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The proposals are likely to draw fire from human rights activists, who have warned against jeopardizing hard-won freedoms over nearly two decades since the end of authoritarian president Suharto's rule.

However, officials anticipate little opposition in parliament to the legislation, which would not be as strict as counter-terrorism laws passed in recent years by neighbors Australia and Malaysia.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/asia/2016/02/16/Indonesia-plans-tougher-anti-terrorism-laws-after-Jakarta-attack.html

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Philippines Aims to Be Most Attractive Tourist Destination for Muslim Tourists

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Philippines Aims to Be Most Attractive Tourist Destination for Muslim Tourists

Rabat – The Philippines is accelerating its plans to become one of the world’s preferred destinations for Muslim tourists.

The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) has unveiled a series of initiatives to create a long-term infrastructure across the country with the purpose of attracting Muslim tourists from Asia and the Middle East.

Full report at: moroccoworldnews.com/2016/02/180113/philippines-aims-to-be-most-attractive-tourist-destination-for-muslim-tourists/

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U.S., Southeast Asian Nations Reaffirm Support for Regional Order

February 17, 2016

WASHINGTON, February 17, 2016 — Along with the leaders of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations, President Barack Obama yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to a regional order in which international rules and norms and the rights of all nations, large and small, are upheld.

The president spoke at the end of the U.S.-ASEAN conference in Rancho Mirage, California. ASEAN members are Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei and Burma.

“When ASEAN speaks with a clear, unified voice, it can help advance security, opportunity, and human dignity, not only for the more than 600 million people across ASEAN, but for people across the Asia-Pacific and around the world,” Obama said.

The leaders discussed many issues, from economic development to reinforcing the rule of law to security, the president said. In the security realm, he added, the leaders discussed the need for tangible steps in the South China Sea to lower tensions. These steps include a halt to further reclamation, new construction and militarization of disputed areas, he said.

Full report at: defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/656790/us-southeast-asian-nations-reaffirm-support-for-regional-order

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North America

Obama calls Republican anti-Muslim rhetoric troubling

Feb 18, 2016

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has said that anti-Muslim rhetoric of leading Republican presidential candidates was troubling for the world.

Speaking to the media at the US-Asean leaders summit in California on Tuesday evening, Mr Obama also had a message for Republican front-runner Donald Trump: he was unqualified for the job he aspired for.

“I continue to believe Mr Trump will not be president. And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people,” he said. “I think they recognise that

being president is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It’s not promotion. It’s not marketing.”

So far, Mr Trump is the only presidential candidate in US history who hosted a reality show.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240180/obama-calls-republican-anti-muslim-rhetoric-troubling

 

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