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Islamic World News ( 9 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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ISIS Active in India under Different Names, Claims Sufi-Sunni Muslims Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: European Council President Donald Tusk. (Photo: AP)

 

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India

ISIS Active in India under Different Names, Claims Sufi-Sunni Muslims Body

Clashes at JNU As Left-Leaning Students Mourn Afzal Guru's Death Anniversary

Did Ajmal Kasab and gang have a getaway plan?

Talks in limbo, Pakistan flirts with J&K separatists

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Europe

'Violence More Common' In Bible than Quran, Text Analysis Reveals

EU, Turkey Say Russian Bombing Exacerbates Situation in Syria

Kremlin rejects Merkel’s criticism of Russia over Syria bombings

Refugee crisis: Thousands of child asylum seekers deported back to war zones, UK home

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South Asia

Taliban Shadow District Governor among 38 Killed In Security Operations

US To Send More Troops to Aid Afghan Forces Pressed By Taliban

Two children killed in Kunar blast

Foreign guesthouses possible target of attack in Kabul, U.S. Embassy warns

Islamic State smuggling timber into Pakistan, say Afghan officials

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Africa

At Least Six Killed At Cameroon Funeral by Two Suicide Attackers

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Arab World

Syrian Army Ready to Fight against Saudi Aggressors at Border with Jordan

Car Bomb in Syrian Capital Kills 10: Report

Iraqi Troops Retake Ramadi From IS, Reopen Baghdad Road

Syria: Gov't Forces Fortify Positions North of Lattakia near Border with Turkey

Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi Military Positions in Al-Rabou'a Region

Military Analyst: Militants Trying Hard to Compromise with Syrian Government in Aleppo

Aleppo: Al Nusra Front Calls for Backup Militants as Army Advances towards Tal Rafat

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Keep on Advances against Militants in Lattakia

Strategic Military Airbase near Aleppo Recaptured in Joint Operation

Gov't Force Launch Fresh Anti-ISIL Operation in Central Syria

Soon, UAE to get ministers for happiness and tolerance

Syrian Soldiers Deployed in Hama Planning to Carry out Massive Operation in Raqqa

Report: US Blackwater to Withdraw Mercenaries from Yemen

Oil-rich Gulf states’ debt to double by 2020

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Pakistan

Pakistan Says Direct Talks with Afghan Taliban Soon

Firing Near Rawalpindi School Sparks Panic, Students Evacuated

Pakistan a dangerous place for media persons: Report

Obama administration proposes $860 million in aid for Pakistan

Germany for more trade with Pakistan

Pak court accepts plea to bring back Koh-i-Noor from UK

ASI killed, constable injured in Mardan raid

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Mideast

PKK Militants Kill 3 Turkish Security Force Members

US-Turkish Differences on Syrian Kurdish PYD Deepen

Turkey Slowly Accepts Syrian Migrants amid UN Calls

'PYD should not determine the overall texture of relations'

Turkey detains 34 people with explosives, suicide vests at Syrian border

Iran to Test New Generation Emad Ballistic Missile, Builds Battle Tank Like Russian T-90

Number of migrants reaching Europe by sea soars 10-fold, says migration agency

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North America

Islamic State Determined To Strike US This Year, Say Intelligence Officials

Pak's Growing Nuclear Stockpile, Doctrine Pose Risk: Pentagon

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

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India

ISIS Active in India under Different Names, Claims Sufi-Sunni Muslims Body

Mon, 9 Feb 2016

At its day-long 'Anti-Terrorism' conference held in New Delhi, the AITUI also made a strong pitch for "critical examination" of Islamic studies imparted across varsities in the country and sought to promote Sufi content to remove "extremist influence" on youth.

A body representing Sufi-Sunni Muslims on Monday claimed that dreaded terror outfit Islamic State (ISIS) is "active" in the country under "different names" and sought a ban on fronts representing such groups to prevent threats to national security.

The comments by the All India Tanzeem Ulema-E-Islam (AITUI) came against the backdrop of remarks by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on December 27 that ISIS has not been able to "establish its roots" in the country due to family values of the Indian culture.

At its day-long 'Anti-Terrorism' conference held in New Delhi, the AITUI also made a strong pitch for "critical examination" of Islamic studies imparted across varsities in the country and sought to promote Sufi content to remove "extremist influence" on youth.

"Terror activities are on rise in the world. We condemn it and assert the Sufi-Sunni Muslims are in no way engaged in such activities. But we want to highlight, the ISIS is active in India under different names. The ISIS front outfits are holding conferences and receiving funds from Saudi Arabia and Qatar for it. We want Centre to ban all such outfits in view of national security," AITUI president Mufti Mohammed Ashfaq Hussain Qadri told reporters.

Appealing to Sufi-Sunni Muslim youth in India against "falling prey" to extremist elements, clerics participating in the conference insisted that the Government promote Sufi content in syllabus taught as part of higher Islamic studies.

The clerics, who had gathered here from different parts of the country, also urged Centre to give up efforts to change minority status of educational institutions--an apparent reference to Government's stand on AMU and Jamia Milia Islamia varsities--and instead take efforts to gain confidence of community youths.

The clerics also favoured enacting a law that will provide for capital punishment to those who insult prophets and Gods worshipped by people of any religion.

dnaindia.com/india/report-isis-active-in-india-under-different-names-claims-muslim-body-2175437

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Clashes at JNU As Left-Leaning Students Mourn Afzal Guru's Death Anniversary

By SIDDHARTHA RAI

9 February 2016

Afzal Guru, who was hanged on February 9, 2013 for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament, and the lesser-known co-founder of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in 1984, are “martyrs” in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

The university turned into a battleground on Tuesday as the Right and Left clashed when a group of Left-oriented students called a meeting to commemorate the “judicial killing” of the duo.

The situation turned violent and the administration had to call in the police. A poster, which was pasted all across the campus, read: “There will be an art and a photo exhibition portraying the history of the occupation of Kashmir and the people’s struggle against it.”

A protest against the 'judicial killings' of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat was held at Saraswati Hostel and Ganga Dhabha on JNU campus

A protest against the 'judicial killings' of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat was held at Saraswati Hostel and Ganga Dhabha on JNU campus

Interestingly, the commemorative meeting went ahead even after the JNU administration revoked permission for the programme in the wake of complaints from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Peeved at this, the ABVP has called upon its cadre to impose a general bandh on the JNU campus on Wednesday.

While the meet, couched as a “Cultural Evening of Protest” in solidarity with the “struggle of the Kashmiri People for their democratic right to self-determination” was supposed to commence in front of the Sabarmati hostel at 5pm, the ABVP registered its reservations against the move with the vice-chancellor (VC) M Jagdesh Kumar.

Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013 after being convicted in the Parliament attack case

Afzal Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013 after being convicted in the Parliament attack case

Tensions rose after Kumar cancelled permission for the event.

“As the vice-chancellor of the university, it is my responsibility to maintain the peace and tranquility of the campus. Hence, the top administrations of the campus met this evening and decided that this protest cannot be given permission. We informed the organisers that we had cancelled permission, which they claimed to be a cultural event. The top administration of the varsity decided that in the interest of the peace and calm of the university, the permission was cancelled,” Kumar told Mail Today.

Meanwhile, the station house officer (SHO) of Vasant Kunj police station told Mail Today that the JNU administration had informed the police about the possibility of a confrontation between students of differing ideological hues over the contentious issue, thus the police presence on the campus.

“No untoward incident occurred at the venue, though preventive measures had been taken by the police,” said the police official.

Joint secretary of JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) Saurabh Kumar Sharma told Mail Today that not only did the protest meet take place in front of Sabarmati hostel, the protesters staged a march from the hostel to the Ganga Dhahba near the main gate.

“We had expressed our reservations against such anti-national activities taking place on the campus to the authorities. Despite them having denied permission for the event, it still went ahead. This is deplorable,” said Sharma.

Meanwhile, president of the JNUSU and AISF leader Kanhaiya Kumar told Mail Today that the Left organisations were against curbing of freedom of expression and the right to protest democratically and had thus supported the meet.

“The administration told the organisers at the last moment that the programme had been cancelled who in turn informed the administration that the denial had not come in time. Though we did not organise the event, we went to support it in principle. ABVP is not the police, nor the guard here,” he said.

dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3439277/Clashes-JNU-left-leaning-students-mourn-Afzal-Guru-s-death-anniversary.html#ixzz3zlNGShSl

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Did Ajmal Kasab and gang have a getaway plan?

Rebecca Samervel | TNN | Feb 10, 2016

MUMBAI: David Coleman Headley's deposition about his reconnaissance in Mumbai raises questions on whether Ajmal Kasab and the nine other 26/11 terrorists were on a suicide mission or had a getaway plan.

Implying that there could have been an exit plan for the attackers, Headley, when shown pictures of CST in a bid to gather information on the potential terror targets he had surveyed in 2008, said, "CST was not surveyed as a target. But for people who came, for them to leave." However, no more information was revealed on the subject as the prosecution did not ask Headley any further questions on the point.

Headley's statement on CST is a departure from the statement given to a US court in his plea bargain. The agreement states Headley's handler in LeT told him the team would travel to Mumbai by sea, use the landing site recommended by Headley and fight till death, without attempting to escape following the attacks. CST would be a target, members would use GPS and would remain in touch with LeT member A (Headley's handler whose name was not disclosed).

Headley also told the court that his LeT contact Sajid Mir had specifically asked him to make a video on the Siddhivinayak temple. He further stated that during all of his visits between 2006 and 2008, he had conducted surveillance and taken pictures and videos of city landmarks such as Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Naval Station, Air Station, Maharashtra Police State headquarters, BARC, Oberoi Hotel and Chabad House.

He further revealed that he also made a video of the entire stretch of Bhagat Singh Marg at Colaba. Hotel Leopold is situated on this stretch. Headley was shown pictures of several of the places and he recognised all of them. He said during his first visit to take a general video in 2006, he did not know the Taj Mahal Hotel was a target. He said that during his visit in 2008, he did surveillance of multiple targets for attacks as well as selected a landing site. Headley also said he had used the GPS device so he could store various locations in Mumbai, including locations in the Arabian Sea. This device with the stored information was handed over to Sajid Mir.

The terrorist said the decision to attack the city was taken in November 2007, in a meeting at Muzzafarabad. Headley said he did not know why the city was chosen and in an earlier meeting, Bangalore and Delhi were also contenders for his first visit.

Headley said he had attended the 2007 meeting along with his LeT contact Sajid Mir and Abu Kahfa. "I was assigned the task to conduct reconnaissance of Taj Mahal Hotel. Amock-up of Taj was also prepared," he said. Headley said the team asked him several questions on the pictures and videos he had taken on an earlier trip to the city in 2006. "They were discussing the entrance, exits of the building and location of the convention hall on the second floor." Headley said the plan was to attack a meeting of Indian defence scientists scheduled to take place there.

The convention hall at the Taj Mahal hotel was closely examined by Headley during his stay there with his now ex-wife Faiza Outullah between April 28-30, 2007.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Did-Ajmal-Kasab-and-gang-have-a-getaway-plan/articleshow/50924016.cms

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Talks in limbo, Pakistan flirts with J&K separatists

TNN | Feb 10, 2016

NEW DELHI: Amid uncertainty over the foreign secretarylevel talks, Pakistan has sought to keep the Kashmir pot boiling by insisting that the dispute will top its agenda for the dialogue with India.

Pakistan's envoy to India Abdul Basit followed up Islamabad's recent assertions on J&K with a meeting with Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Tuesday. Basit assured him that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support "to the people of J&K and their legitimate right to self-determination".

Basit also expressed hope that the J&K dispute would be settled between Pakistan and India through dialogue in accordance with the aspiration of the people of the state, Pakistani sources said.

Basit had expressed the same sentiment before moderate Hurriyat member Mirwaiz Umar Farooq when he met him at the high commission on Monday evening. Farooq said after the meeting that Basit had also assured him that the Gilgit-Baltistan region would continue to be a part of the state.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Talks-in-limbo-Pakistan-flirts-with-JK-separatists/articleshow/50923586.cms

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Europe

'Violence More Common' In Bible than Quran, Text Analysis Reveals

Samuel Osborne | The Independent | Feb 10, 2016

An analysis into whether the Quran is more violent than the Bible found killing and destruction occur more frequently in the Christian texts than the Islamic.

Investigating whether the Quran really is more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts, software engineer Tom Anderson processed the text of the Holy books to find which contained the most violence.

In a blog post, Mr Anderson explains: "The project was inspired by the ongoing public debate around whether or not terrorism connected with Islamic fundamentalism reflects something inherently and distinctly violent about Islam compared to other major religions."

Using text analytics software he had developed, named Odin Text, he analysed both the New International Version of both the Old and New Testaments as well as an English-language version of the Quran from 1957.

It took just two minutes for his software to read and analyse the three books.

By categorising words into eight emotions - Joy, Anticipation, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, Surprise, Fear/Anxiety and Trust - the analysis found the Bible scored higher for anger and much lower for trust than the Quran.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Violence-more-common-in-Bible-than-Quran-text-analysis-reveals/articleshow/50924921.cms

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EU, Turkey say Russian bombing exacerbates situation in Syria

February 09, 2016

Top European Union official Donald Tusk denounced Russian air strikes in Syria as helping the "murderous" government of President Bashar al-Assad and triggering fresh waves of refugees fleeing toward Europe.

Separately, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called on the international community to speak out against Russia for "mercilessly bombing civilian targets" in Syria.

Davutoğlu also said on Tuesday that Russia will eventually retreat from Syria in "embarrassment" -- in a similar manner to the Soviet forces that once left Afghanistan.

The war in Syria has caused millions to flee their homes and is one of the main drivers of Europe's worst migration crisis in decades. The influx has divided EU members, who cannot agree on how to tackle it.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_eu-turkey-say-russian-bombing-exacerbates-situation-in-syria_411843.html

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Kremlin rejects Merkel’s criticism of Russia over Syria bombings

February 09, 2016

There is "no credible evidence" of civilian deaths as a result of Russian air strikes in Syria, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, reacting to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's criticism of Russia's bombing campaign which she said was causing suffering among civilians.

During her visit to Ankara on Monday, Merkel said she was "not just appalled but horrified" by the suffering caused by the bombing in Syria, primarily by Russia.

Merkel said Russian bombing had forced tens of thousands of Syrian civilians to flee, suggesting that the attacks violated a UN Security Council resolution that Moscow itself signed in December.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_kremlin-rejects-merkels-criticism-of-russia-over-syria-bombings_411839.html

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Refugee crisis: Thousands of child asylum seekers deported back to war zones, UK home office admits

Maeve McClenaghan | The Independent | Feb 10, 2016

Greek Coast Guard officers move a girl from a dinghy carrying refugees and migrants aboard the Ayios Efstratios Coast Guard vessel, during a rescue operation at open sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Lesbos on February 8, 2016. (Reuters Photo)Greek Coast Guard officers move a girl from a dinghy carrying refugees and migrants aboard the Ayios Efstratio... Read More

Thousands of young people who sought refuge in Britain as unaccompanied child asylum-seekers have been deported to repressive regimes and countries partly controlled by ISIS and the Taliban, the Home Office has admitted. Over the past nine years 2,748 young people - many of whom had spent formative years in the UK, forging friendships and going to school - have been returned to countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria.

The figures were finally published by the Home Office minister James Brokenshire this week. Previous Home Office figures significantly understated the scale of the deportations.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Refugee-crisis-Thousands-of-child-asylum-seekers-deported-back-to-war-zones-UK-home-office-admits/articleshow/50924903.cms

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South Asia

Taliban shadow district governor among 38 killed in security operations

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 10 2016

A shadow district governor of Taliban militants have been killed by security forces in eastern Nangarhar province.

According to the Ministry of Interior, Gul Agha Pacha, the so-called governor of Taliban for Kot District was killed and 11 of his companions wounded in one of the several raids conducted in Nangarhar, Urozgan, Kunar and Kandahar provinces since yesterday.

37 other militants were also killed in these raids.

Gul Agha Pacha is the second district governor Taliban group is losing in Nangarhar province since yesterday.

Rustam Haqyar was the group’s shadow governor for Rodat District who was gunned down along with nine of his men in a raid on Tuesday.

khaama.com/taliban-shadow-district-governor-among-38-killed-in-security-operations-4565

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US to send more troops to aid Afghan forces pressed by Taliban

David Jolly | NYT News Service | Feb 10, 2016

KABUL, Afghanistan — The US Army will deploy hundreds of soldiers to the southern Afghan province of Helmand, where government forces have been pushed to the brink by Taliban militants, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

It will be the largest deployment of US troops outside major bases in Afghanistan since the end of the NATO combat mission in 2014. Though the military insists that the soldiers will not take active combat roles, US Special Operations forces have increasingly been drawn into the fighting in Helmand as one important district after another has fallen or been threatened by Taliban insurgents.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/US-to-send-more-troops-to-aid-Afghan-forces-pressed-by-Taliban/articleshow/50926137.cms

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Two children killed in Kunar blast

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 10 2016

Two children have been killed in a blast in Wata Poor District of eastern Kunar province.

Police said the incident took place in Managy area around 5 pm on Tuesday.

According to Kunar’s police chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhil and his spokesperson Faridullah, the blast was caused by an old shell, apparently left over from the Soviet time.

The children killed are brother and sister to each other.

Due to decades of war, remote areas of Afghanistan have been rigged with explosive devices or unfired shells which claim dozens of lives every year.

khaama.com/two-children-killed-in-kunar-blast-4565

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Foreign guesthouses possible target of attack in Kabul, U.S. Embassy warns

By KHAAMA PRESS - Tue Feb 09 2016

The Embassy of the United States in Kabul has issued a security alert regarding a possible attack on foreign guesthouses in capital Kabul.

“The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has received reports that as of early February 2016, unidentified insurgents are planning to attack unidentified foreign guesthouses in Kabul City, possibly near the Qala-e Fatullah neighborhood,” a statement b U.S. Embassy said.

The attack could also occur near Ansari or Haji Yaqub roundabouts in Kabul City, the statement said, adding that there is no further information regarding the timing, target, location, or method of any planned attack.

Full report at: khaama.com/foreign-guesthouses-possible-target-of-attack-in-kabul-u-s-embassy-warns-0100

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Islamic State smuggling timber into Pakistan, say Afghan officials

By News Desk: February 10, 2016

Islamic State is cutting down trees in Afghanistan and smuggling them into Pakistan on a daily basis, Voice of America reported.

According to Afghan officials and tribal leaders, timber-loaded trucks are sent to Pakistan daily, while some of the timber is sold in local markets in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Rafique, a local resident of Kunar, Afghanistan, said timber is smuggled to Peshawar, as well as through Kandahar to Quetta and onward to Karachi and Lahore. Some of the timber is sent to Dubai from Karachi.

“Smuggling takes place … in areas alongside the Durand Line,” Malak Hashem, a tribal elder in Naziyan, said, referring to the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Locals in the Afghan province say the terror group has imported tree-cutting machines and has been cutting trees in the Achin, Naziyan and Dehbala districts of Nangahar province.

Further, tribal elders accuse the Afghan government of turning a blind eye to the smuggling.

Full report at: tribune.com.pk/story/1043687/islamic-state-smuggling-timber-into-pakistan-say-afghan-officials/?utm_source=Daily+Roundup+Newsletter&utm_campaign=2643ec8198-Daily_Roundup_5pm&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_19961368d8-2643ec8198-94109145

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Africa

At least six killed at Cameroon funeral by two suicide attackers

February 10, 2016

DOUALA: At least six people were killed and 30 injured in northern Cameroon on Wednesday by two Islamist suicide bombers at a Muslim funeral gathering, two officials in the region said.

The attackers were from Boko Haram, the group based in neighbouring Nigeria that has stepped up cross-border attacks in Cameroon´s far north despite the setting up of a roughly 9,500-strong regional military task force.

One of the officials said the attack in Nguetchewe, about 10 km (6 miles) east of the Nigerian border, is the first known Boko Haram strike in Cameroon at a funeral gathering, although the militants have made an attack on a baptism in the past.

The US military refers to Boko Haram as the "most lethal" extremist group in the world and thousands are thought to have been killed during their more than six-year insurgency.

thenews.com.pk/latest/97338-At-least-six-killed-at-Cameroon-funeral-by-two-suicide-attackers

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Arab World

Syrian Army Ready to Fight against Saudi Aggressors at Border with Jordan

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army has dispatched more soldiers to the country's Southern provinces to be deployed at the border with Jordan to defend the country against the possible aggression of the Saudi Army, sources in Dara'a said.

"A large convoy of reinforcements from the Syrian capital of Damascus arrived to the 5th Armored Division headquarters of the Syrian army in the town of Izra in the Northern part of Dara'a province and the Eastern part of Sheikh Meskeen," the sources said.

"The Saudi Army has been conducting a number of military drills in the Kingdom of Jordan in recent weeks, raising the alert level of a possible war in the Dara’a province," the sources said, adding, "So far, nothing has come of these Saudi military drills and it is very unlikely that they will attempt to enter Syria."

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000648

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Car bomb in Syrian capital kills 10: Report

AP | Feb 10, 2016

BEIRUT: A car bomb driven by a suicide attacker exploded Tuesday near a police officers' club in the Syrian capital Damascus, killing at least 10 people and causing wide material damage, state media said.

The state-run SANA news agency said Tuesday the blast went off near a vegetable market in the northern neighborhood of Masaken Barzeh.

State TV reported the blast occurred near a police officers' club, killing at least 10. It showed footage of the blast scene, including several damaged vehicles and one burnt-out car. The club and the market are next to one another.

The opposition's Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast killed eight policemen and wounded 20 after it was detonated in the parking lot of the officers' club.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Car-bomb-in-Syrian-capital-kills-10-Report/articleshow/50917790.cms

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Iraqi troops retake Ramadi from IS, reopen Baghdad road

February 10th, 2016

BAGHDAD: Iraq has completely retaken Ramadi from the militant Islamic State (IS) group, but now faces the enormous challenges of removing bombs, reestablishing basic services and rebuilding the shattered city, officials said on Tuesday.

Government forces recaptured areas on the eastern outskirts of the Anbar provincial capital from IS after weeks of fighting, and authorities say that all areas immediately surrounding the city have been retaken.

“All of Ramadi is now liberated” and responsibility for security is being handed over to local police, Anbar Governor Sohaib al-Rawi told journalists in Baghdad.

But the city’s civilian population has been displaced, and “the biggest challenge before us is clearing the areas of mines” so residents can return, Rawi said, adding that he hopes to obtain international support to remove explosives.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1238514/iraqi-troops-retake-ramadi-from-is-reopen-baghdad-road

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Syria: Gov't Forces Fortify Positions North of Lattakia near Border with Turkey

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and Hezbollah fighters ended their successful mop-up operation in the Northwestern part of Lattakia province near the mountainous village of al-Sarraf and fortified their stronghold near the border with Turkey.

The Syrian army troops and Hezbollah fighters carried out cleansing operation near the border crossing of Kassab and hunted down the rest of the terrorists of Jeish al-Fatah.

The Syrian government forces liberated several heights near the village of al-Sarraf and then stormed the village and pushed the militants back from al-Sarraf and its nearby lands.

The Syrian soldiers and their allies later moved towards the village of al-Hayat to the North of al-Sarraf and Nawareh to the South of al-Sarraf and pushed the terrorist groups back from these two villages and their surrounding heights and restored security to the region.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000439

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Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi Military Positions in Al-Rabou'a Region

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces attacked and destroyed the military positions of the Saudi forces in the Eastern part of al-Rabou'a region in Asir province, and fortified their control over the city.

The Yemeni forces hit hard the Saudi positions on the heights of the Eastern and Northern surrounding areas of al-Rabou'a city over the past two days.

The Yemeni army and popular forces razed the artillery positions of the Saudi army in the South of Fersha Qahtan and Wadi al-Baqar.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000541

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Military Analyst: Militants Trying Hard to Compromise with Syrian Government in Aleppo

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent military analyst disclosed that the terrorists groups are preparing to reconcile with the Damascus government as the Syrian army has made considerable advances in Aleppo and Lattakia provinces very close to the border with Turkey.

"The terrorist groups are now completely on the defensive as the Syrian army has cut all their supply routes in the province," Mohammad Farid Issa told FNA on Wednesday.

The military analyst, meantime, pointed to the Syrian army's recent achievements in Aleppo province by breaking the siege of Nubl and al-Zahra towns, and said, "Thousands of combatants who were defending Nubl and al-Zahra over the past four years have now joined the Syrian army to help the government forces take control of Tal Rafat and Ezaz towns and to block the passage that the terrorists use for their logistics to lay siege on Aleppo city."

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000824

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Aleppo: Al Nusra Front Calls for Backup Militants as Army Advances towards Tal Rafat

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Al-Nusra Front terrorist group has recalled all its militants to move towards Tal Rafat strategic town in the Northern part of Aleppo as the army and popular forces are advancing in multiple fronts in the province.

The Strategic city of Tal Rafat is located only 17 kilometers from the Turkish borders and the Syrian army is preparing to win back Tal Rafat by attacking the adjacent Kafr Naya town.

The residents of Tal Rafat are also waiting for the army to take control of the town.

The Al-Nusra Front, however, is preparing for confrontation with the Syrian army and popular forces.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000762

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Keep on Advances against Militants in Lattakia

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army announced on Wednesday that the capture of Bashoura in Kurds mountain paved the way for the more rapid advances of the country's soldiers and the National Defense Forces (NDF) against the militants in the Northeastern parts of Lattakia and the Southern parts of Idlib provinces.

The Syrian army, backed up by the NDF, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), Liwa Suqour al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), and the Syrian Marines are steadily advancing along the several fronts in Lattakia province's Northeastern part that ultimately lead to the rebel stronghold of Kinsibba.

Following the capture of Bashourah on Tuesday afternoon, the Syrian government forces  shifted their focus towards the rebel stronghold of Kabani, where they have attempted to position themselves along two different directions in order to strike the militant groups from the high ground.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000953

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Strategic Military Airbase near Aleppo Recaptured in Joint Operation

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Kurdish fighters of People's Protection Units, supported by Syrian and Russian air backup, recaptured a strategic military airbase North of Aleppo province.

The Kurdish militias in a concerted operation, backed by joint Russian and Syrian air cover, managed to establish full control over the Menagh Air base, 6 kilometers South of Ezaz town in Aleppo province, and restored total security to the strategic facility.

Early this week, Kurdish fighters in a similar concerted action managed to win back a military base north of Aleppo and several other sites in the region formerly held by the terrorists.

During the intensive ground offensive, the mainly Kurdish force, helped by joint Russian and Syrian jets, liberated Military Base 55 in Northern Aleppo, consolidating the anti-militant pool's grip on newly emancipated Aleppo-Ezaz road, which was the main supply route of militants in northern Syria's territories near Turkish border.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000772

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Gov't Force Launch Fresh Anti-ISIL Operation in Central Syria

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army said minutes ago that its troops and popular forces have launched joint operation in the Northeastern parts of Hama province and have thus far pushed the ISIL militants back from more territories.

The Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF), Liwa Suqour al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwa al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade), Fouj al-Joulan (Golani Regiment), and Kata'ebat al-Ba’ath stormed the ISIL defense lines in the Eastern and Northeastern parts of Ithriyah on the town's road to Raqqa and seized back the strategic Height No.5 in the early hours of their offensive.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000782

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Soon, UAE to get ministers for happiness and tolerance

PTI | Feb 10, 2016

Dubai: Dubai's ruler said on Monday the United Arab Emirates will privatise some government services in the oil rich country, as well as create a state minister position devoted to ensuring the happiness of its citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the UAE's prime minister, made the comments on Twitter after appearing at the World Government Summit being hosted in his city-state.

He also announced that some government ministries would be merged, while also creating a minister of state position to oversee tolerance in a country that is home to many faiths and ethnicities.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Soon-UAE-to-get-ministers-for-happiness-and-tolerance/articleshow/50923392.cms

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Syrian Soldiers Deployed in Hama Planning to Carry out Massive Operation in Raqqa

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources announced on Wednesday that the Syrian Army has dispatched a large number of fresh forces to the Northeastern part of Hama province bordering Raqqa province eyeing to end ISIL control over one of the main military airbases in Eastern Syria.

"Over 800 fighters from Liwa Suqour al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwa al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade), Fouj al-Joulan (Golani Regiment), and Kata'ebat al-Ba’ath arrived at the town of Ithriyah in the Northeastern part of Hama province in anticipation for an imminent offensive in Raqqa province to end over 18 months of the ISIL control over the Tabaqa Military Airport," the sources said.

On Tuesday, the Syrian fighter jets pounded the ISIL training camp in the Northeastern province of Raqqa, inflicting major losses on the terrorist group.

Scores of the ISIL fresh recruits and military trainers were killed or wounded after one the terrorist group's main training camps came under the Syrian air attacks.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000743

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Report: US Blackwater to Withdraw Mercenaries from Yemen

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US Blackwater company is preparing to withdraw its forces from Yemen after its recent defeats in the Arab country, media reports said.

The Blackwater security company decided on Tuesday to take out its strike forces from Al-Amri Front in Ta'iz province, the Arabic-language Bemanioun news website reported on Wednesday.

The Blackwater's decision came after its forces sustained heavy losses in al-Amri front.

Seven Blackwater mercenaries were killed and 39 others were injured in Al-Amri front.

Meantime, the Arabic-language Sahafa24 website reported that 49 percent of the US Blackwater company belongs to the UAE's ruling family.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000681

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Oil-rich Gulf states’ debt to double by 2020

February 10th, 2016

KUWAIT CITY: Public debt of the oil-rich Gulf states is expected to double and assets decline by a third by 2020 as they seek to finance budget deficits due to sliding prices, a report said on Tuesday.

After having posted massive deficits of $160 billion last year and faced with a $159bn deficit in 2016, the six Arab states of the Gulf will have to borrow and tap into their huge fiscal reserves to finance the budget shortfall, said the report released by the head of research at Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz), M.R. Raghu.

In 2012, in contrast, the Gulf states posted a combined surplus of $220bn.

The report said public debt of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will rise to 59pc of GDP in five years, from 30pc at the end of 2015.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1238465/oil-rich-gulf-states-debt-to-double-by-2020

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Pakistan

Pakistan says direct talks with Afghan Taliban soon

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Feb 10 2016

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Taliban CommanderPakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry who is among the four main factors of the process launched to convince Taliban for laying down their weapons says direct talks with the militants would start soon.

He told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday that efforts are underway that all factions of Afghan Taliban are united and direct talks started with them by the end of this month.

While responding to a question as to what would be the next course of action if some factions reject talks, Chaudhry said the Quadrilateral Group of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China has decided to give the reconciliation process a chance.

Full report at: khaama.com/pakistan-says-direct-talks-with-afghan-taliban-soon-4564

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Firing near Rawalpindi school sparks panic, students evacuated

February 10th, 2016

RAWALPINDI: Students at Viqar-Un-Nisa School and College for Girls were evacuated as fear and panic gripped the area following an incident of firing near the institute.

Parents and students across the country have been edgy following the attack on Bacha Khan University earlier in January, which brought back memories of the tragic Army Public School attack.

Shots were heard as police exchanged fire with car thieves, Regional Police Officer Fakhar Sultan said.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1238601/firing-near-rawalpindi-school-sparks-panic-students-evacuated

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Pakistan a dangerous place for media persons: Report

IANS | Feb 10, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is notorious for increasing incidents of killings of journalists and is considered one of the most dangerous places for media persons in the world, said a Pakistani daily on Wednesday.

An editorial "Media under siege" in the Daily Times said that an attack on City 42 television channel's office in Lahore by unidentified armed men has "further panicked journalists, who are already living under the shadow of fear due to constant threats from the terrorists".

So far the police are clueless about the perpetrators of the attack.

"In the wake of similar attacks on media offices and personnel in Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi, this emerging onslaught on the media is becoming more common, with the obvious aim of further stifling its freedom.

"It seems part of a broader agenda to put the mainstream media under siege. The journalist community and political parties' leaders have condemned the attack and demanded the arrest of the culprits as soon as possible," the daily said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-a-dangerous-place-for-media-persons-Report/articleshow/50928037.cms

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Obama administration proposes $860 million in aid for Pakistan

PTI | Feb 10, 2016

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has proposed USD 860 million in aid for Pakistan, including USD 265 million for military hardware, which it said would help the country fight terrorists, secure nuclear weapons and improve ties with India.

While there was no mention of Pakistan in President Barack Obama's budgetary proposals, secretary of state John Kerry in his proposals said the budget includes USD 859.8 million towards sustaining ties with Pakistan and making progress to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat violent extremist groups".

"The requested funding will support the country's counter-insurgency missions, and bolster stability, energy access, economic growth, and social reform," Kerry said in a letter accompanying his proposals.

"Pakistan lies at the heart of the US counter-terrorism strategy, the peace process in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and economic integration in South and Central Asia," state department said making its case for the aid to Pakistan under the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Obama-administration-proposes-860-million-in-aid-for-Pakistan/articleshow/50926030.cms

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Germany for more trade with Pakistan

February 10th, 2016

LAHORE: With a young and growing population of nearly 200 million people, Pakistan is an interesting market which cannot be ignored in the long-run by multinational companies, said the German Ambassador to Pakistan, Ina Lepel on Tuesday.

She was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Bosch’s office in Lahore, the first in the country.

“Bosch’s latest venture is an important milestone in our bilateral economic relations with Pakistan,” the German Ambassador said.

The German Ambassador noted that Pakistan was expected to register a steady GDP growth rate of 4.5 per cent over the next two years according to the International Monetary Fund, with lower inflation positively affecting domestic purchasing power.

Reflecting on Pakistan’s economic growth, President Bosch Turkey and Middle East, Steven Young said: “We are keen to be part of Pakistan’s rising growth story.”

dawn.com/news/1238469/germany-for-more-trade-with-pakistan

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Pak court accepts plea to bring back Koh-i-Noor from UK

February 10th, 2016

LAHORE: A Pakistani court has accepted a petition seeking direction to the government to bring back Koh-i-Noor from British Queen Elizabeth-II, overruling the objection to the plea for the famed diamond, which India has been trying to get from the UK for years.

Lahore High Court Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan yesterday overruled the objection by the court's registrar office to the petition which has named Queen Elizabeth II and British High Commission in Pakistan respondents in the case.

The plea filed by Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffry made Pakistan's claim over the 105-carat gem on the basis that it hailed from the territory that became Pakistan in 1947.

The court directed the office to fix the petition before any appropriate bench for hearing.

In December last year, the registrar office's had dismissed the plea terming it as non-maintainable and said that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case against the British Queen.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-court-accepts-plea-to-bring-back-Koh-i-Noor-from-UK/articleshow/50917765.cms

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ASI killed, constable injured in Mardan raid

February 10th, 2016

PESHAWAR: One police official was killed and another injured during a raid in the Sajan area of Mardan district on Wednesday morning, District Police Officer Faisal Shahzad said.

Police were conducting a raid on the house of a wanted individual, Imran, when they were ambushed, police said, but the suspect, Imran, was hiding in a nearby house belonging to Bakhtaj.

During an exchange of fire with the suspects, Assistant Sub-Inspector Sultan Mehmood was killed and Constable Shoaib injured.

Constable Shoaib was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Mardan for treatment, and both suspects were arrested during the raid, police said.

dawn.com/news/1238600/asi-killed-constable-injured-in-mardan-raid

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Mideast

PKK militants kill 3 Turkish security force members

February 09, 2016

Terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) killed two Turkish soldiers and one police officer, sources from Turkey's military and state-run media said on Wednesday, with the militants in one incident trying to cross the border into Turkey from neighboring Syria.

In Şırnak province's Cizre district, security forces spotted seven PKK members entering Turkey from Syria on Tuesday evening and as they clashed one soldier was killed and one wounded, the Turkish armed forces said.

The armed forces added in a statement that another Turkish soldier was shot dead on Tuesday by PKK militants in the Sur district, under curfew since last December. The district is in Diyarbakır, the largest city of Turkey's mainly Kurdish Southeast.

Turkish security forces have been trying to clear southeastern towns and cities of PKK militants since last July, when a two-year cease-fire collapsed, shattering a peace process and triggering the worst violence in two decades.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_pkk-militants-kill-3-turkish-security-force-members_411908.html

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US-Turkish differences on Syrian Kurdish PYD deepen

February 09, 2016

Despite President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent demand that Washington choose either Turkey or the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as an ally, the US has said that unlike Turkey, it does not consider the PYD to be a terrorist organization and will continue to support it in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

"We do not recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization. We recognize Turks do," US State Department spokesman John Kirby told a daily press briefing on Monday.

The different objectives and interests of the US and Turkey with regards to Syria have been clear since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. Turkey has supported the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, while the US has emphasized that the priority should be on eliminating the threat of ISIL. The PYD and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG) has emerged as one of the most effective forces in the fight against ISIL and has gained support from the US and other coalition partners. While Turkey considers the PYD a terrorist organization due to its links with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the US does not have the same opinion. The PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_us-turkish-differences-on-syrian-kurdish-pyd-deepen_411890.html

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Turkey slowly accepts Syrian migrants amid UN calls

February 09, 2016

Turkey is admitting Syrian refugees in a "controlled fashion" and has so far let in 10,000 of the roughly 50,000 people who have reached its borders in the latest influx, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Tuesday amid calls from the UN to open its border to refugees.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Hungarian counterpart during a visit to Budapest, Çavuşoğlu said the current flood of refugees to Turkey could reach 1 million people if the Russian and Syrian military campaign against the opposition continues.

The United Nations called on Turkey on Tuesday to open its borders to thousands of desperate Syrian refugees fleeing Aleppo, in line with its international obligations to protect people fleeing conflict or persecution.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-slowly-accepts-syrian-migrants-amid-un-calls_411878.html

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'PYD should not determine the overall texture of relations'

Feb 10, 2016

Speaking to Today's Zaman on the deepening US-Turkish differences concerning the PYD, veteran diplomat former Turkish Ambassador to Washington Faruk Loğoğlu said, “The PYD is turning into a bigger issue in Turkish-American relations than it really is or deserves to be.”

“The conflicting positions on such a limited issue as the PYD should not determine the overall texture of Turkish-American relations, especially at a time when their cooperation in the region and more particularly in Syria is more vital than ever,” Loğoğlu said. He also called on Turkish officials to tone down their rhetoric because “getting personal or name-dropping” is not a good idea and does not serve Turkey's interests. “Catering to populist feelings as AK Party [Justice and Development Party] leaders are doing is only further undermining Turkey's credibility and feeds unfriendly sentiments toward our country,” Loğoğlu added.

According to Loğoğlu, in the Syrian context the PYD is a political party and has not threatened or undertaken terrorist attacks against Turkey; it says that it supports the independence and territorial integrity of Syria and enjoys the backing of both the US and Russia.

“The PYD's ties with the PKK must be handled separately by Turkey without necessarily making it a part of the Syrian peace process,” said Loğoğlu. He also stressed that Ankara would be better off if it were to shift its focus away from the PYD and toward the success of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva and push for a negotiated settlement. “This would also be in line with what the overarching strategy of Turkey toward the Kurds in the region should be: friendship and solidarity,” he added.

Former diplomat and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Öztürk Yılmaz said on Tuesday that at the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the US encouraged Turkey behind the scenes to remove Assad.

In a press conference in Parliament, Yılmaz claimed that the US later moved away from this policy and began to focus on eliminating ISIL first. He said the US supports the PYD because it is the leading force on the ground against ISIL. “Turkey's Syria policies have failed,” Yılmaz said, calling on Turkey to simply engage in damage control while it is still possible.

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Turkey detains 34 people with explosives, suicide vests at Syrian border

February 10, 2016

The Turkish military detained 34 people and seized up to 15 kg of explosives and four suicide-bomber vests as they tried to enter Turkey from Syria, Turkish media reported the army as saying on Wednesday.

The private Doğan news agency and other media outlets said the group, consisting of four men, 10 women and 20 children, was detained on Tuesday night in the Oğuzeli district of southeastern Gaziantep province, across the border from an area controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

todayszaman.com/anasayfa_turkey-detains-34-people-with-explosives-suicide-vests-at-syrian-border_411909.html

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Iran to Test New Generation Emad Ballistic Missile, Builds Battle Tank Like Russian T-90

Feb 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has manufactured a new tank dubbed 'Karrar' which is as deadly as the Russian T-90, Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said, adding that the country also plans to test a new generation of Emad precision-guided ballistic missile.

"The defense industry designed and built the new battle tank from scratch. If not better, it's still as deadly as the Russian T-90," Dehqan said in an interview with the state-run TV on Tuesday night.

He said "Karrar" stands among the most modern battle tanks in the world.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000287

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Turkey summons US ambassador to protest PYD remarks

February 09, 2016

Turkey has summoned US Ambassador John Bass to the Foreign Ministry to protest remarks by a State Department spokesman over Syrian Kurdish militants.

On Monday, the spokesman John Kirby said the US understands Turkey's longstanding concerns over Syria's Kurdish militias, but that it does not view them as a terrorist group and will continue supporting them in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Full report at: todayszaman.com/latest-news_turkey-summons-us-ambassador-to-protest-pyd-remarks_411897.html

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Number of migrants reaching Europe by sea soars 10-fold, says migration agency

February 09, 2016

Ten times as many migrants and refugees arrived in Europe by sea in the first six weeks of the year as in the same period of 2015, and the number of deaths also soared, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

The number of arrivals topped 76,000, and the number of deaths shot up to 409 on Mediterranean routes from 69 in the first six weeks of 2015, it said.

The IOM also said it expected no fall in the number of arrivals in Europe and predicted that next month Greece would receive its 1 millionth arrival since the migrant crisis began.

More than 1.1 million people fleeing poverty, war and repression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa reached Europe's shores last year, most of them heading for Germany.

Around half the arrivals are refugees from the Syrian war, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_number-of-migrants-reaching-europe-by-sea-soars-10-fold-says-migration-agency_411855.html

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North America

Islamic State determined to strike US this year, say Intelligence officials

AP | Feb 10, 2016

WASHINGTON: Leaders of the Islamic State are determined to strike targets in the United States this year, senior intelligence officials have said, telling lawmakers that a small group of violent extremists will attempt to overcome the logistical challenges of mounting such an attack.

In testimony before congressional committees, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other officials described the Islamic State as the "pre-eminent terrorist threat." The militant group can "direct and inspire attacks against a wide range of targets around the world," Clapper said on Tuesday.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Islamic-State-determined-to-strike-US-this-year-say-Intelligence-officials/articleshow/50931461.cms

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Pak's growing nuclear stockpile, doctrine pose risk: Pentagon

PTI | Feb 10, 2016

Washington: Expressing concern over Pakistan's evolving "tactical nuclear weapons" doctrine, a top American spymaster on Tuesday warned the Congress about the increasing risks of an "incident" associated with the growing nuclear arsenal.

"Pakistan's nuclear weapons continues to grow. We are concerned that this growth, as well as the evolving doctrine associated with tactical weapons, increases the risk of an incident or accident," Defence Intelligence Agency Director Vincent Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Paks-growing-nuclear-stockpile-doctrine-pose-risk-Pentagon/articleshow/50923234.cms

 

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