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Islamic World News ( 31 Jul 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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‘This Is Not Islam’: Refugees Describe Life under ISIL in Raqqa, Syria





The extremist movement rules Raqqa, which it has declared the capital of its 'caliphate', with an iron fist

 


North America

‘This Is Not Islam’: Refugees Describe Life under ISIL in Raqqa, Syria

New US Anti-Muslim Campaign Criticised in Pakistan

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Mideast

‘Our Only Concern Is Islam’: Erdogan Slams Claims Of Turkey-ISIS Link

Around ‘260 PKK Members Killed’ In Turkey Air Strikes

Palestinian Toddler Burned To Death by Jewish Settlers

‘Al-Qaeda’ Suicide Bombing Kills Nine in Yemen

Yemeni Retaliatory Attacks Kill 5 Members of Saudi Forces

Europe responsible for refugees ‘drowning in the sea’: Erdogan

Erdoğan: Our only concern is Islam, Islam, Islam

Netanyahu to address U.S. Jewish groups on Iran deal

Yemeni Army, Ansarullah Hit Najran Border Guards Command Centre with Missiles

IRGC Quds Force Official: US Masterminding Wars against Humanity, Muslim World

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South Asia

Chief of One of the Most Dreaded Militant Groups Jalaluddin Haqqani Is ‘Dead’

Military Operation Kicked Off Against Taliban, Daesh In Nangarhar

Two Senior Taliban Commanders Killed In Takhar

Bomb blast kills three children in Bamyan

Afghan Taliban may split amid rifts over selection of new leader Mullah Mansoor

Death of Taliban’s Mullah Omar remains mystery

Taliban deny reports of Jalaluddin Haqqani's death

Taliban leaders swear allegiance to Mullah Mansour

US urges Taliban to make peace with Afghan govt

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Arab World

Aerial Attack Leaves 40 Iraqi Civilians Dead By Mistake

Several ISIL Terrorists Killed in Army Operations in Central Syria

25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack

Syria: 3 Senior Militant Commanders among Dozens of Militants Killed in Failed Terror Attack

8 Yemenis Killed in Saudi Air Attacks

Syria: Army Wins Back 3 Strategic Regions in Hama Countryside

Britain, Saudi investigate Bin Laden family crash

Three Saudi soldiers killed in cross-border shelling with Yemen

Two ISIS bridges destroyed in U.S.-led air strikes

Iraqi Kurdistan urges turkey to halt PKK bombardment

ISIS no weaker now than one year ago: U.S. intelligence analysts

Al-Nusra Front claims capture of U.S.-backed rebels

NATO agrees on support package for Iraq

WFP cuts aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan

Iraq forces inflict heavy losses on ISIL

Saudis execute Pakistani heroin smuggler

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India

Meet to Counter Allure Of IS Among Net-Savvy Muslims

Muslims Being Targeted, Clerics to Tell SP Chief

Is India doing business with Islamic State in Libya? Congress leader asks

Kalam a 'great statesman': UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon

Pak Rangers again violate ceasefire in Jammu

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Pakistan

Civil Military Leadership in Sync In Fight Against Terrorism: CM Shahbaz

Attempt to Obstruct CPEC Will Be Thwarted, Gen Raheel Tells China

Pakistan becomes associate member of CERN

US urges Pakistan to continue its efforts for Afghan talks

Allegations of political victimisation: UN receives MQM letter

Pakistan criticises world community for not acting decisively on massive human suffering

Pak PM to raise RAW interference at UNGA: Aziz

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Africa

Libyan Soldiers Killed In Clashes with ISIS

Suspected Boko Haram Bomb Attack Thwarted In Cameroon

Buratai urges successor to rescue Boko Haram captives

Buhari Orders Release Of N5b To Boko Haram Victims

Kalonzo Musyoka says border wall will not deter Al-Shabaab

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Southeast Asia

Stop Insulting Malaysia and Its Leaders: Malaysia's Islamic Authority

‘Moving close’ to solving MH370 mystery: Malaysia

Kerry to press Malaysia on human trafficking, not scandal

Issue of the day: Muslim groups condemn Tolikara incident

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Europe

Osama Bin Laden's Relatives Reportedly Killed In Private Jet Crash In Britain

Muslims creating havoc in France

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘this-is-not-islam’--refugees-describe-life-under-isil-in-raqqa,-syria/d/104127

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North America

 

‘This Is Not Islam’: Refugees Describe Life under ISIL In Raqqa, Syria

August 1, 2015

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — In the Syrian capital of the Islamic State and the Levant’s self-declared caliphate, Raqqa, the group’s extreme interpretation of Sharia law is enforced through extraordinary punishments, including death. The list of potential violations is long and reminders of the consequences of crossing the groups are on constant display, with executed and beheaded men displayed in public squares and roundabouts, their crimes often detailed in notices pinned to their corpses.

And even so, some say the chaos and destruction that characterizes most of Syria after four years of war is such that the comparative calm in Raqqa resulting from ISIL’s strict governance actually offers a respite.

Those who recently fled from Raqqa to Turkey describe a new form of governance taking root as ISIL, also known as ISIS or Daesh, continues its effort to entrench itself into the social fabric of the capital. Despite daily bombardment from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on the city, ISIL has managed to expand its reach both geographically and socially, taking control of even the minute details of everyday life.

The group has restored electricity supply, painted road signs, imposed taxes, implemented a new education system and operates a highly functional — albeit punitive and brutal — judicial system. The organization now controls about one-third of the country, and rules over millions of people across Syria and Iraq. The group has commandeered oil refineries and gas fields in the desert terrain, helping to finance its operations.

ISIL police battalions made up of mostly foreign fighters patrol the streets in 4x4’s and on foot, also setting up checkpoints across the city to inspect identification documents and report any violations to the strict code. Residents must provide tax receipts, proving they have paid the mandatory portion of their agricultural or retail dividends to the state, in order to cross.

Billboards, road signs and administrative buildings have been painted with the black flag of the Islamic State. ISIL has issued new drivers licenses, with the black ISIL logo on the back, and conducts driving tests. Armed traffic police issue fines and penalties for traffic violations.

Dress code is strict. Police inspect the length of men’s beards, with violent penalties including public lashings, or imprisonment enforced for those that are too closely shaved.

“They will stop you in the street and tell you your beard is too short. They will even demand to know where you shaved, and may go and arrest that barber!” said Sarmad Al-Jilane, an anti-ISIL activist with the Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently group, who is now living in Gaziantep.

Women must wear the full-length black Burqa, complete with Niqab and gloves. Female ISIL battalions are deployed to streets and schools to monitor and report any violations of the dress code. Many women have ceased to leave the house.

“My wife didn’t leave the house for six months,” said Mohammed Khedr, now an activist with the Turkey-based Sound and Picture Organisation, which documents human rights violations committed by the group through a network of activists and reporters on the ground.

A graphic designer and advertising professional, Khedr risked his life to print and distribute anti-ISIL leaflets and posters around Raqqa before being forced to flee after the group attempted to co-opt his skills for its propaganda newspaper in April.

“They broke into my house and basically arrested me, telling me I must design a logo for their new news agency, ‘Euphrates News Agency,’ Khedr said. “They offered me a lot of money.”

“I asked for three days to consider it and in that time I arranged to flee to Turkey. I was afraid of retribution against my family once they discovered I had escaped.”

An ISIL driver's license.

An ISIL driver's license.Lauren Williams

The new regime has banned some American products, including Apple phones, and publicly burned cigarettes and other forbidden items. Khedr said that in Raqqa, he smoked indoors for fear of being caught. Prayer time is rigorously enforced. Retailers must shutter their shops for prayer five times a day, or risk imprisonment or execution, according to Khedr and Jilane. Mosques are overflowing, with men kneeling in prayer filling the streets and sidewalks as the call to prayer echoes across the city.

And while school is not yet mandatory, ISIL has implemented an entirely new curriculum, replacing science, history and arts with only Islamic studies and Arabic. The group forced former teachers under the old regime to sign a document of “repentance” and attend religious instruction classes. Children must attend mosques, where sermons double as a recruiting tool, urging young men to sign up for military training camps.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled Raqqa and most minorities have left, including the city’s Christian and Shiite communities. For the Christians that remain, ISIL has imposed a special “jizya,” or tax.

But the city has also become a hub for foreign fighters leaving the West and other Muslim countries to join ISIL. Along with thousands of fighters, the new society has drawn hundreds of foreign professionals, keen to offer their skills in IT, medicine, communications and civics to ISIL.

The muhajireen, or “immigrants” have altered the social fabric of the city, with North African Arabic dialects, French, Russian, Urdu and English now commonly heard in streets and cafes, according to Khedr, as Libyans, Moroccans, Tunisians, French, Chechens, Afghans and Westerners flock to the city.

The influx of foreigners — and the currency they bring — has also augmented the local economy, and a class divide has emerged.

Wealthier foreigners are paid in dollars, often over two times their Syrian counterparts, who are paid in the depreciating Syrian pound, according to Khedr. The injection of cash has driven up prices of basic goods and accommodation, according to Khedr and others, who said Syrians can no longer afford to compete.

He said the muhajireen earn between $600 — $800 a month, while the average Syrian salary previously had been about $400 a month, and is now closer to $75 because of currency depreciation.

Al-Jilane said the muhajireen were often given incentives to immigrate, including gas and electricity at subsidized rates and free housing.

“Electricity is provided for only two hours a day and there is a 3,000 Syrian pound fee (about $16) per month,” he said, adding that the migrants are often provided with free generators.

From his new, temporary home in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa, where he fled with his family in June so he could be treated for cancer, 45-year-old Ahmed said that Syrians now have second-class status in Raqqa.

“They are everywhere,” he said of the foreigners. “They occupy the houses of those that have fled, or sometimes just take apartments that they like in the good neighborhoods.” He said foreign fighters accused a friend of his of being associated with the regime and seized his home.

“The foreigners get two gas bottles for free and don’t have to queue for bread, while we had to pay 7,000 (about $37) a bottle.”

He said he was in Raqqa he was stopped in the street by a group of muhajireen who demanded to inspect his phone for any undesirable contacts.

“They raid Internet cafes and inspect mobile phones to see who you are talking to.”

But with no political solution to the conflict in Syria in sight, and exhausted after four years of war and neglect under the regime of Bashar Assad, some Raqqa residents welcome the restoration of administration in the city. Although under tight control, Raqqa offers one of the few places of order in a country wracked by the chaos of civil war.

“We have got used to it,” explained a Raqqa resident, who gave only his first name as Mohammed, citing fear of reprisals, as he waited to cross back into Syria from the Turkish Akcakale border crossing in January.

“If you are a good Muslim, you have nothing to worry about. As long as you pray five times a day, wear the niqab and don’t smoke,” he said.

Trading cotton across the border in Turkey from the plantations ISIL took control of over a year ago, Mohammed and others even praised the new administration.

Mohammed said he was offered a better salary by the group than he earned as a civil servant under Assad. After spending two years as a refugee in Turkey, he decided Syria under ISIL offered him a better standard of living.

Crime has also been all but eradicated given the extraordinary punishment and security apparatus.

Speaking via the social media messaging service Kik, one American ISIL fighter using the nom de guerre Abu Khalid Al-Amriki told Al Jazeera living in the caliphate was a virtual paradise.

“Imagine living in a drug-free society… where you can leave your business open and no one touches your stuff,” he said. 

But for many Syrians, the harsh new security state is an affront to their moderate values, and an atmosphere of fear and suspicion pervades the city.

Ahmed said the risk of death was a pervasive reality.

“I was driving with my children and nephews home one evening and there, in the center of the roundabout were three decapitated soldiers. Their heads had been impaled.”

“I couldn’t stop my kids from seeing it.” said Ahmed. “They call themselves Islamic, but this is not Islam.”

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/8/1/this-is-not-islam-refugees-describing-life-under-isil-in-raqqa-syria.html

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New US Anti-Muslim Campaign Criticised in Pakistan

1 August 2015

Islamabad, Jul 31 (Prensa Latina) The new campaign of the US government to supposedly combat violent extremism is targeted at Muslims, and will only cause more rejection and alienation among the community youth, it was reported here today.

The project wrongly assumes that ideas are the principal drivers of radicalization, but the reality is quite different, says an opinion article in Pakistan Today newspaper.

In this regard, it considers that the main causes of the terrorism in the United States are social and personal problems.

ItâÖs not surprising that, despite its faulty premises and well-known weaknesses, this campaign has become all the rage in Washington, it stresses.

The newspaper recalled that during the Clinton administration were created subjective profiles of Arabs and Muslims, which were expanded under the rule of his successor, George W. Bush.

In 2010, the Obama administration issued an order, then revoked, that required all passengers boarding flights from Arab and Muslim countries to be subjected to special scrutiny, it highlights.

However, the newspaper considers that "the net result of all these practices, other than their enormous costs, has been a total failure. No terrorists were caught or identified, but the impact on the affected communities was devastating."

Arabs and Muslims were traumatized by the treatment meted out to them, because the government validated the suspicions of the broader population against this group, it criticized.

In this respect, it notes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies maintain a constant monitoring of restaurants, social clubs, mosques and other facilities frequented by this religious group.

Now comes this latest fad to capture the fancy of American lawmakers: a clearly anti-Islamic strategy, the newspaper estimated.

Every year in that country there are more than 300 mass killings in which at least four people with firearms die, only a handful of these are carried out by Muslims, says the publication, which cites studies of several academic institutions, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Brennan Center.

sus/rly/ucl/rob

Modificado el ( viernes, 31 de julio de 2015 )

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4035391&Itemid=1

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Mideast

 

‘Our only concern is Islam’: Erdogan slams claims of Turkey-ISIS link

31 July 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday denied common claims that his country was assisting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, claiming that the group was damaging the reputation of Islam.

“We have only one concern. It is Islam, Islam and Islam,” Erdogan told a thinktank at the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, where he is on a three-day state visit.

“It is impossible for us to accept the overshadowing of Islam. Islam is damaged from what is all being done now,” the Istanbul-based Hurriyet newspaper quoted him as saying.

The president, who is also a cofounder of the ruling Islamic-rooted AK party, said that Turkey would continue its fight against ISIS, a week after Ankara began to launch strikes against the group and Kurdish PKK militants.

The PKK has accused Ankara of collaborating with ISIS, while Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party claims Erdogan is using strikes against the jihadists as “cover” for its main goal of eroding the PKK.

Though not naming the PKK, Erdogan said “dark powers” were spreading misinformation about Turkey, dismissing accusations against Turkey as “ungrounded and unjustified.”

“The footage disclosed to the world by the hand of this organization [ISIS] greatly damages the perception of Islam and Muslims in the world. We all have to defy this as Turkey does,” said Erdogan, adding that the group - who are notorious for publishing gruesome execution online – had no place in Islam.

Turkey had long been reluctant to take action against ISIS militants. Its failure to let U.S. planes use one of its airbases for raids against IS in Syria had caused severe irritation in Washington.

Turkey’s decision to lump ISIS together with Kurdish forces who bitterly oppose the jihadist group has surprised some Western allies, but NATO this week united behind the alliance’s only Muslim member.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/-Our-only-concern-is-Islam-Erdogan-slams-claims-of-Turkey-ISIS-link.html

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Around ‘260 PKK members killed’ in Turkey air strikes

1 August 2015

Around 260 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have been killed and hundreds more wounded in Ankara's week-long campaign of air strikes against targets of the group inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, the official Anatolia news agency said Saturday.

Without citing its sources, Anatolia said that among those wounded was Nurettin Demirtas, the brother of the leader of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas.

Ankara has launched a two-pronged "anti-terror" offensive against Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after a wave of attacks inside the country. But so far the bombardments have focused far more on the Kurdish rebels.

In the latest air strikes on Friday, 28 Turkish F-16s destroyed 65 targets of the PKK including shelters and arms depots, it said.

The heaviest air strikes were on Thursday, when 80 Turkish aircraft hit 100 targets of the PKK, Anatolia said.

"Up until now 260 terrorists have been rendered ineffective (killed) and 380-400 terrorists have been identified as injured, including the brother of Selahattin Demirtas, Nurettin Demirtas," Anatolia said. The air strikes are expected to continue, it added.

The Turkish government has so far refused to officially disclose casualty figures, with one official telling AFP that "this is not a soccer game".

But the sheer numbers of planes involved in the daily strikes on the PKK targets in northern Iraq has given an idea of the scale of the operation and raised concern in some Western capitals.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday urged Turkey not to "tear down the bridges" that had been built over the last years with its Kurdish minority.

The PKK's insurgency for greater rights and powers for Turkey's Kurdish minority, begun more than 30 years ago, has left tens of thousands dead. The current violence has shattered a ceasefire declared in 2013.

Selahattin Demirtas openly acknowledges that his elder brother Nurettin went to the Kandil Mountain in northern Iraq where the PKK's military headquarters are based.

"I don't even know if he's dead or alive," Selahattin Demirtas told AFP in an interview earlier this week.

Pressing ahead

Meanwhile, Turkey is pressing ahead with airstrikes against Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq amid international calls for restraint.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said as many as 28 F-16 jets raided 65 Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, targets in northern Iraq, including shelters and ammunition depots on Friday. A day earlier, as many as 80 jets hit more than 100 targets, the agency said.

Anadolu claimed some 260 PKK rebels were killed and 400 were wounded since the start of the raids. The PKK has not reported rebel casualties.

Turkey's allies have urged it to resume a Kurdish peace process.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/Around-260-PKK-members-killed-in-Turkey-air-strikes-.html

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‘Al-Qaeda’ suicide bombing kills nine in Yemen

31 July 2015

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed car into a Yemeni army checkpoint Friday, killing nine soldiers, a military source said, blaming Al-Qaeda for the attack.

Elsewhere, Riyadh said four Saudi security personnel were killed in cross-border rocket fire and shelling, while Yemeni sources said nine rebels were killed in clashes with pro-government forces in Dhaleh province.

The suicide bombing took place near the city of Qoton in southeastern Yemen's vast desert province of Hadramawt, where Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operates.

The source said the dead soldiers were members of the army's First Division, loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Hadi was forced out of the country earlier this year after Shiite Huthi rebels seized the capital and large chunks of Yemen.

Separately, the source said AQAP militants flogged eight people in the Hadramawt provincial capital of Mukalla, a port city of more than 200,000 people that they control.

Charged with offences including adultery and drug and alcohol use, the eight received between 80 and 100 lashes each in a punishment carried out in a public square before hundreds of witnesses.

In March, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the Huthis and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in a bid to restore the authority of Hadi, who has taken refuge in Riyadh.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/-Qaeda-suicide-bombing-kills-nine-in-Yemen-.html

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Yemeni Retaliatory Attacks Kill 5 Members of Saudi Forces

Aug 01, 2015

Three Saudi soldiers and a member of a paramilitary force were killed in a rocket attack on Friday, the Saudi interior ministry said.

The three soldiers died and seven border guards were wounded as several rockets hit the Asir region, the ministry said.

In the neighboring region of Jazan, a paramilitary fighter was killed and another wounded in shelling from the Yemeni side of the border, the interior ministry said.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 129 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940510000676

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Europe responsible for refugees ‘drowning in the sea’: Erdogan

1 August 2015

JAKARTA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Europe on Friday of not doing enough to help refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq, suggesting it was responsible for people “drowning in the sea”.

Turkey, which has taken in some 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the conflict started in 2011, has repeatedly said that it has been left to shoulder a disproportionate burden as Western states stand by.

Erdogan has championed an “open-door” policy towards Syrian refugees, despite their increasing presence in major Turkish cities stoking tensions with locals.

The president complained again on Friday that Turkey had “welcomed” two million refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq while Europe had struggled to accept a tenth of that number.

“This is the type of country that we are,” Erdogan, through a translator, told an audience at a military think tank in Jakarta at the start of a two-day visit to Indonesia.

“But when you look at the whole of Europe, what you find is that they have not been able to welcome a mere 200,000 refugees in their countries.

“What’s more, when there are those who tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get into Europe, the attitude they have or the groundwork they lay is such that these people end up drowning in the sea,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197681/europe-responsible-for-refugees-drowning-in-the-sea-erdogan

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Erdoğan: Our only concern is Islam, Islam, Islam

July 31, 2015

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday radical terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is damaging the perception of Islam all over the world by engaging in acts of violence that have no place in the religion, adding, "Our only concern is Islam, Islam, Islam."

Paying an official visit to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Friday, Erdoğan spoke on the recently launched anti-terrorism campaign against ISIL and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) following a deadly bombing that claimed 32 lives in Suruç, a town in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. He emphasized that ISIL, like many other terrorist organizations, oppresses people both at home and abroad and that Turkey is now facing the ISIL threat in its territory.

"There is no place for acts of violence in Islam. Our belief encourages peace, not violence. But when you look at some Muslims, you see them defending atheists even though they [atheists] are terrorists just because these Muslims are from a different sect [of Islam]," Erdoğan said.

Full report at:

http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_erdogan-our-only-concern-is-islam-islam-islam_395201.html

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Netanyahu to address U.S. Jewish groups on Iran deal

1 August 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will nest week redouble efforts to scupper the international nuclear deal with Iran, making a personal appeal to Jewish groups across the United States.

Netanyahu, a strident opponent of the agreement, will make a web address Tuesday that will be available on computers, on mobile phones and in synagogues across America, according to organizers representing more than 100 Jewish groups.

The Israeli premier is also expected to take questions, in an address hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America.

"The issues involved with the Iran nuclear agreement are complex and of great consequence to the North American Jewish population," said Stephen Greenberg, chairman of the Presidents' Conference.

"We welcome this unique opportunity to present the prime minister, who has helped bring these vital issues to public attention."

Netanyahu's intervention comes amid a fierce battle with President Barack Obama over the agreement.

Netanyahu says the deal, which would curb Iran's nuclear program in return for international sanctions relief, is a "stunning, historic mistake."

He has infuriated the White House by actively opposing what Obama sees as a way to avoid a military conflagration with Iran and a signature foreign policy achievement of his presidency.

Obama has deployed chief lieutenants to make the diplomatic, military and technical case for the deal, ahead of a crunch vote in Congress.

The White House hopes to garner enough votes to prevent the Republican controlled legislative branch from voting against the agreement.

A "no" vote would not automatically kill the deal, but it would force Obama to issue a veto and rally enough Democratic votes to uphold it.

That has prompted a ferocious battle for public opinion, including within the Jewish community.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/Netanyahu-to-address-U-S-Jewish-groups-on-Iran-deal.html

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Yemeni Army, Ansarullah Hit Najran Border Guards Command Centre with Missiles

Jul 31, 2015

"The Yemeni popular forces pounded Saudi Arabia's al-Qaem Military Center with 11 missiles and they also fired 6 missiles at Jalah military center," a local source announced on Friday.

The Najran Border Guards Command Center and its intelligence office as well as Alab military base in Dhahran also came under the attacks of Ansarullah's missile and artillery fires.

The clashes between the Ansarullah fighters and the Saudi-backed al-Qaeda terrorists as well as the pro-Hadi militias continue in the Southern parts of the country as Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 128 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 5,313 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940509000592

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IRGC Quds Force Official: US Masterminding Wars against Humanity, Muslim World

Jul 31, 2015

"The arrogant powers (specially the US) are masterminding all wars that are currently underway against the humanity and the Muslim world," the Iranian Supreme Leader's representative at the IRGC Quds Force, Ali Shirazi, said, addressing a ceremony in Southern Tehran on Friday.

He reiterated that the global arrogance is the party that has, in fact, waged the wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain.

In June, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined complexity of the plots hatched by the enemies who use any means, even Islamic appearance, to create rift among various sects in Islamic societies.

Addressing a group of Qur’an reciters, the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution said that “the enemies’ intelligence apparatus” plays a role in fueling civil conflicts in a number of Islamic communities, including Iraq.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940509000476

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South Asia

 

Chief of One of the Most Dreaded Militant Groups Jalaluddin Haqqani Is ‘Dead’

August 01, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Chief of one of the most dreaded militant groups, Jalaluddin Haqqani died some one year back after protracted illness, foreign and local media reported quoting reliable sources in the Haqqani Network Friday.

Sources in the religious parties informed The Nation that rumours of Jalaluddin Haqqani remained rife in the past as well but were strictly denied and refuted by the Haqqani Network, which has strong influence in parts of restive Afghanistan.

Sources said that as Jalaluddin Haqqani, due to his illness and age factor, had handed over operational command of the network to his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, so his death would be of little effect on the group’s activities.

When asked, these sources said though the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who had spent his life fighting guerrilla war first against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan and then against the US-led allied forces, would be a big loss to the members of his network who idealised him.

But as far as the unity and operational capacities of the network were concerned, it would not be affected because Sirajuddin Haqqani was handling affairs of the group for the past several years.

When asked, these sources said they knew about the serious illness of Jalaluddin Haqqani but were not in a position to confirm his death as he was not seen in Pakistan for the past over a year and was somewhere in Afghanistan.

The sources said that contrary to the prompt and quick denial of his death rumours in the past, this time the people of Haqqani Network were silent that gives credence to the death news.

Sources further said that Jalaluddin Haqqani hit the fame in early 80’s when he fought against the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan.

At that time, he was considered among the blue-eyed of American CIA.

It was the time when he had cultivated relations in Pak Army and also was rubbing shoulders with Saudi leadership.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/01-Aug-2015/jalaluddin-haqqani-is-dead

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Military operation kicked off against Taliban, Daesh in Nangarhar

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL - Sat Aug 01 2015

A vast military operation has been launched against Taliban and Daesh militants groups in eastern Nangarhar province.

Numan Hatafi, spokesman for the 201st military corps in the east says that the operation started in Hisarak, Khogyani and Shirzad districs this morning and will continue for one month.

He said that the purpose of this operation is remove insurgents from these districts and strengthen security for the second road under construct between Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar, and Torkham border.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/military-operation-kicked-off-against-taliban-daesh-in-nangarhar-3689

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Two senior Taliban commanders killed in Takhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 01 2015

Two senior Taliban commanders have been killed in by security forces in northeastern Takhar province, an official said on Friday.

Khalil Asir, spokesman for the police headquarters of Takhar province said that the operations were conducted in Ishkamish and Khwaja Ghar districts.

Asir identified the dead Taliban commanders as Qari Salahuddin the Taliban so-called governor for Ishkamish District and Qari Ibrahim another Taliban commander.

He said that 25 other militants were killed and 19 wounded in these operations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/two-senior-taliban-commanders-killed-in-takhar-3688

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Bomb blast kills three children in Bamyan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 01 2015

Three children haven killed and another wounded in a landmine explosion in northeastern part of Bamyan province.

Officials say the blast took place in Tapa Boom area of Yakawlang District when children were collecting wood for burning.

Chaman Khan, officer of the Criminal Investigation Department of Bamyan said that the area where the explosion took place on Thursday has witnessed severe clashes between security forces and Taliban.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/bomb-blast-kills-three-children-in-bamyan-3687

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Afghan Taliban may split amid rifts over selection of new leader Mullah Mansoor

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Aug 01 2015

The Afghan Taliban network may split amid deep rifts within senior commanders over the selection of new leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor.

Although, Taliban spokesman announced that the central committee announced Mullah Mansoor, the Deputy to Mullah Omar, to be the successor to the “Emir” but sources say there are deep differences within the senior commanders over the selection.

Reuters news agency sighting attendees of Wednesday’s leadership meeting of the Taliban in Quetta as saying that the meeting was not attended by all members of the Shura (Council).

One source has said that “Actually, it wasn’t a Taliban Leadership Council meeting. Mansoor had invited only members of his group to pave the way for his election.”

Another said that “And when Yaqoob and Manan noticed this, they left the meeting.”

Mullah Abdul Manan (Mullah Omar’s brother) and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub (Mullah Omar’s son) are those who oppose Mullah Mansour’s selection.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-taliban-may-split-amid-rifts-over-selection-of-new-leader-mullah-mansour-3684

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Death of Taliban’s Mullah Omar remains mystery

1 August 2015

The White House said on Friday the U.S. intelligence community has confirmed the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but the circumstances of his death remain uncertain.

According to Reuters news agency, the White House said in a statement that his death "represents a chance for yet more progress on the path to a stable, secure Afghanistan."

Afghanistan said on Wednesday that Omar, the elusive leader of the Taliban movement fighting to topple the government, died more than two years ago. He had not been seen in public since fleeing when the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001 after s U.S.-led invasion.

Afghan and Pakistani media reports last week also said that the leader died about two years ago.

Abdul Hassib Seddiqi, the spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, said Wednesday that Mullah Omar died in a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi in April 2013.

“We confirm officially that he is dead,” he told The Associated Press.

Haqqani still alive?

On Saturday, the Taliban denied reports of the death of the founder of Haqqani network, its allied militant group blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan.

Some Pakistani media reported the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, said to be in his 70s, on Friday when his son Sirajuddin was announced as one of the deputy chiefs of the Taliban following the death of Mullah Omar.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/Death-of-Taliban-s-Mullah-Omar-remains-a-mystery.html

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Taliban deny reports of Jalaluddin Haqqani's death

Aug 1, 2015

Haqqani,” the Taliban said in a statement posted on their website.

“This claim has no basis. Haqqani... was ill before but he has been blessed with good health for a prolonged period now and has no troubles currently."

Haqqani's family also rejected rumours of his death, according to an Afghan Taliban commander who spoke to AFP from an undisclosed location in northwestern Pakistan.

“I talked to his grandson (who is somewhere in eastern Afghanistan) and he completely rejected rumours of his death,” the commander said.

“'My grandfather is alive, I talked to him last week. He was weak and sick but alive and in good spirits', he told me."

The Afghan Taliban named Mullah Akhtar Mansour as their new chief on Friday, a historic power transition that raises hopes a more moderate leadership will pave the way for peace talks despite divisions within insurgent ranks.

The Taliban also announced his deputies — Sirajuddin, who has a $10 million US bounty on his head, and Haibatullah Akhundzada, former head of the Taliban courts.

Formed 30 years ago to counter the Soviet invasion in the 80s, the Haqqani network is militarily the most capable and most dangerous of the Taliban factions.

The group was blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, including the Indian embassy bombing and the attack on Kabul Serena Hotel in 2008, and the 2009 coordinated attacks on the Afghan justice ministry.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197799/taliban-deny-reports-of-jalaluddin-haqqanis-death

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Taliban leaders swear allegiance to Mullah Mansour

BAQIR SAJJAD SYED

Aug 1, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Amidst reports of divisions in Taliban ranks over the choice of their chief, the group’s supreme council notified Mullah Akhtar Mansour as successor to the late Mullah Omar and named his two deputies on Friday.

“The supreme council agreed that he is the appropriate and eligible person, according to the requirements of Shariah, to lead the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” a statement issued by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on behalf of the Taliban shura.

The statement described Mullah Mansour as ‘Emir-ul-Momineen’ or the ‘leader of the faithful’ — a tag used by Mullah Omar during his life.

Know more: Afghan Taliban Shura elects new emir

The appointment had been reported a day earlier but the council announced his designation as the emir on Friday. Thursday’s statement by the Taliban spokesman, confirming the reports about the death of Mullah Omar, had said nothing about the news of Mullah Mansour’s appointment.

But on Friday, the spokesman said Mullah Mansour was ‘a close and trusted friend’ of Mullah Omar and deputised during his life. He said the choice had been made by the Taliban supreme council and leading clerics of Afghanistan.

Mullah Mansour, who is in his mid-fifties, served as head of the aviation department during the Taliban government and after their ouster from power remained the shadow governor of Kandahar. Within the organisation, he remained on the supreme council and deputy to Mullah Omar. He also headed the political and military division of Taliban, because of which he has been maintaining direct contact with the field commanders.

The elders, religious scholars and notables also swore allegiance to him after his election, the spokesman said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197774/taliban-leaders-swear-allegiance-to-mullah-mansour

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US urges Taliban to make peace with Afghan govt

August 01, 2015

WASHINGTON - The United States has urged the Taliban to seize the “opportunity” to make peace with the Afghan government, after Pakistan announced that the two sides have delayed their next meeting following the news about the death of Mullah Omar.

“It’s clearly a moment of opportunity and we would encourage the Taliban to use this time of opportunity to make genuine peace with the Afghan government and to rebuild their lives in peace in Afghanistan,” Mark Toner, deputy spokesman of the State Department, told reporters in response to a question at the daily press briefing on Thursday.

In making that statement, Toner said Pakistan has played a helpful role in the reconciliation process and “we want to continue to see them play that constructive role.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/01-Aug-2015/us-urges-taliban-to-make-peace-with-afghan-govt

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Arab World

 

Aerial attack leaves 40 Iraqi civilians dead by mistake

Aug 1, 2015

At least 40 civilians have been killed when Iraqi military aircraft mistakenly struck an area in the country’s troubled western province of Anbar as part of mop-up operations against ISIL Takfiri militants.

A local source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Iraqi fighter jets pounded two buildings in the town of Rutbah, situated about 428 kilometers (265 miles) west of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday, erroneously leaving 40 civilians dead and tens of others injured, Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network reported.

The source identified the victims as members of five displaced families from al-Karmah town, located about 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad, who had taken refuge in the buildings.

Iraqi officials have not yet commented on this report.

On July 6, a bomb fell from an Iraqi military jet accidentally and exploded in eastern Baghdad because of a technical problem, killing at least 12 people and wounding 25 others.

The Russian-made Su-25 warplane was returning to Rasheed air base after performing airstrikes against ISIL extremists in Anbar, when the bomb fell on three houses in Baghdad’s Jadida neighborhood.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/01/422793/Iraq-Rutbah-Baghdad-alKarmah-ISIL-Airstrikes

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Several ISIL Terrorists Killed in Army Operations in Central Syria

Aug 01, 2015

The sources said that there were bloody clashes in Unk al-Hawa, Rahoom, al-Shandkhania al-Shamalia and al-Rastan in Homs countryside between the army men and the ISIL terrorists who left behind tens of killed members in the battlefields.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940510000612

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25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack

1 August 2015

At least 25 Syrian rebels were killed in a failed attack on a makeshift army base outside the northern city of Aleppo, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

Nine regime forces were also killed in fighting that erupted after several rebel groups launched the attack late Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Three senior rebel commanders were among 25 fighters killed, said the Britain-based monitor.

Syria's official SANA news agency reported that "a number of terrorists were killed and wounded" by government forces in the west of the city.

The Observatory said sporadic fighting was continuing on the western outskirts of Aleppo on Saturday morning, with regime planes carrying out air strikes and rebels firing rockets on loyalist positions.

Once Syria's economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by fighting and divided between government control in the west and rebel control in the east since shortly after fighting began there in mid-2012.

In early July, two rebel alliance launched attacks against regime forces in the western outskirts of the city, sparking some of the heaviest violence since the country's war arrived in the city in 2012.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/25-Syria-rebels-killed-in-failed-Aleppo-attack-.html

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Syria: 3 Senior Militant Commanders among Dozens of Militants Killed in Failed Terror Attack

Aug 01, 2015

Three senior militant commanders were among 25 terrorists killed late Friday, said the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 230,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940510000808

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8 Yemenis Killed in Saudi Air Attacks

Aug 01, 2015

Saudi drones have launched three air strikes on the city of Harad in the province of Hajjah on Friday midnight.

On Thursday, Saudi warplanes bombed various areas in Maʼrib province. Fighter jets also fired dozens of rockets on the province of Sa'ada, killing at least four civilians, and injuring at least five others.

Saudi air strikes also hit areas in the provinces of Lahij and Aden, killing at least four people.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 129 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940510000460

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Syria: Army Wins Back 3 Strategic Regions in Hama Countryside

Jul 31, 201

The army units seized back al-Masoura and Kharba al-Qanous towns as well as Savame al-Hoboub area in Sahl Dasht region in Hama countryside.

The Syrian army started fresh military operations against the Takfiri terrorists in Hama countryside on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, army units destroyed the terrorists' strongholds in Qastoun, al-Ankawi, Kafar Zeta in Hama countryside.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940509000369

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Britain, Saudi investigate Bin Laden family crash

1 August 2015

A Saudi private jet carrying three passengers and a pilot crashed in southern England on Friday, reportedly including members of the family of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who died in Pakistan in 2011.

The plane crashed killing all onboard. A spokesman for Britain's Hampshire police service said an investigation into the causes of the incident had been launched.

British media reports said the plane was carrying Osama bin Laden's half-sister and stepmother.

The Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, offered his condolences to the Bin Laden family on his Twitter page, but did not confirm the identities of the victims.

The embassy said it is collaborating with British authorities to investigate the incident and ensure the speedy handover of bodies to the kingdom.

The Embraer Phenom 300 jet crashed into a car auction center near Blackbushe airport in Hampshire on Friday, killing the three passengers and a Jordanian pilot.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/Britain-Saudi-investigate-Bin-Laden-family-air-crash.html

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Three Saudi soldiers killed in cross-border shelling with Yemen

31 July 2015

Three Saudi soldiers were killed and seven border guards were wounded by shelling from Yemen on Friday, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

The shelling took place in Dhahran Aljanoub, a governorate in the Saudi border region of Aseer, SPA said, citing the security spokesman at the interior ministry.

The statement did not say who carried out the shelling, but the Iran-backed Houthi militia group and forces loyal to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh have carried out similar attacks in the past.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/Three-Saudi-soldiers-killed-in-cross-border-shelling-with-Yemen-.html

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Two ISIS bridges destroyed in U.S.-led air strikes

31 July 2015

U.S.-led coalition air strikes destroyed two key bridges used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group on Syria’s side of the border with Iraq early Friday, having pounded the militants with 41 strikes the previous day, a monitor and a joint command statement said.

The coalition “destroyed two bridges between the Syrian city of Albu Kamal and the Iraqi border,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“These bridges are strategically important for ISIS’s movements between Albu Kamal and Iraq,” he said.

Also read: U.S. airstrikes hit Nusra Front in Syria

Thursday's strikes concentrated on the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, a joint command statement said on Friday. The U.S.-led coalition aims to reduce the freedom of movement of ISIS, who command a large area across the borders of the two conflict-ridden countries.

ISIS seized the city of Albu Kamal and the nearby border crossing in July 2014, linking the group’s territory in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor to areas it controls in Iraq’s western Anbar province.

According to Abdel Rahman, the two bridges leading out of Albu Kamal -- one to the east, and one to the southeast -- were ISIS’s “main routes to the Iraqi border.”

“Using these bridges, it would take ISIS only a few minutes to reach the Iraqi border from Albu Kamal,” he said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/U-S-led-raids-destroy-ISIS-bridges-on-Syria-Iraq-border-monitor.html

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Iraqi Kurdistan urges turkey to halt PKK bombardment

1 August 2015

Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region urged Turkey on Friday to halt its air strikes against PKK guerrilla bases on its territory and called for a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

On a visit to Washington, Kurdistan's head of foreign relations, Falah Mustafa, criticized the PKK for abandoning its ceasefire but said bombarding them was not the answer.

"Of course we do not want our country to be bombarded and we don't believe it will help solve this situation," he told reporters.

"It will only escalate the tension," he warned. "Therefore we urge both sides to go back to the ceasefire."

"Yes, we do not agree with the actions of the PKK recently, but that doesn't mean that the response should be through bombardment."

"We believe that there is no military solution to such kind of problems. The best way forward would be peace and talks."

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/Iraqi-Kurdistan-urges-turkey-to-halt-PKK-bombardment-.html

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ISIS no weaker now than one year ago: U.S. intelligence analysts

1 August 2015

American intelligence agencies have concluded that despite billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago.

U.S. military commanders on the ground aren’t disputing the assessment, but they point to an upcoming effort to clear the important Sunni city of Ramadi, which fell to the militants in May, as a crucial milestone.

The battle for Ramadi, expected over the next few months, “promises to test the mettle” of Iraq’s security forces, Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, who is helping run the U.S.-led coalition effort in Iraq, told reporters at the Pentagon in a video briefing from the region.

The U.S.-led military campaign has put ISIS on defense, Killea said, adding, “There is progress.” Witnesses on the ground say the airstrikes and Kurdish ground actions are squeezing the militants in northern Syria, particularly in their self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa.

But U.S. intelligence agencies see the overall situation as a strategic stalemate: ISIS remains a well-funded extremist army able to replenish its ranks with foreign jihadists as quickly as the U.S. can eliminate them. Meanwhile, the group has expanded to other countries, including Libya, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Afghanistan.

The assessments by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and others appear to contradict the optimistic line taken by the Obama administration's special envoy, retired Gen. John Allen, who told a forum in Aspen, Colorado, last week that “ISIS is losing” in Iraq and Syria. The intelligence was described by officials who would not be named because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

“We’ve seen no meaningful degradation in their numbers,” a defense official said, citing intelligence estimates that put the group's total strength at between 20,000 and 30,000, the same estimate as last August, when the airstrikes began.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/ISIS-no-weaker-now-than-one-year-ago-U-S-intelligence-analysts.html

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Al-Nusra Front claims capture of U.S.-backed rebels

31 July 2015

Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, Al-Nusra Front, said Friday it had captured “moderate” rebel fighters who had received training from the United States.

Al-Nusra accused Washington of recruiting “forces from what it calls ‘the moderate opposition’... to undergo a training and rehabilitation program run by the Central Intelligence Agency.

“A few days ago, one of these groups called Division 30 entered Syria... so Al-Nusra arrested several soldiers of this division,” the group said in an online statement.

It did not specify how many rebels had been captured, or where or when the incident took place.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group had reported that Al-Nusra kidnapped eight rebels from Division 30 in a village in the northern province of Aleppo late Wednesday.

On Thursday, a U.S. defense department spokeswoman denied the report.

In its statement, Al-Nusra accused Division 30 of being “agents of American interests and projects in the area, to fight the ‘terrorist organizations,’ as they (the US and its rebel allies) described it.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/Qaeda-in-Syria-claims-capture-of-U-S-backed-rebels-.html

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NATO agrees on support package for Iraq

31 July 2015

NATO allies have agreed on a package of measures to help strengthen Iraqi security and defense forces, including in the fields of military training, demining and countering improvised explosive devices.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aid program, approved Friday by NATO member nations, is designed to help Iraq by providing support in areas where NATO “is best placed to add value.”

Stoltenberg said the assistance program was developed at Iraq’s request, and in close consultation with Iraqi authorities.

NATO plans to help Iraq in seven priority areas. They include advising on security sector reforms, civil military planning, cyber defense, military medicine and civil emergency planning.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/NATO-agrees-on-support-package-for-Iraq.html

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WFP cuts aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan

31 July 2015

The cash-strapped World Food Program has cut in half food aid to most Syrian refugees in Jordan and says only a last-minute U.S. donation prevented the program from being scrapped.

Friday's announcement raises new concerns about more than half a million refugees who live in Jordanian communities rather than camps. Largely unable to work legally, most urban refugees live in poverty and rely on food vouchers for survival.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/31/World-Food-Program-cuts-aid-to-Syrian-refugees-in-Jordan.html

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Iraq forces inflict heavy losses on ISIL

Aug 1, 2015

Iraqi Army and popular forces battling the ISIL terrorist group have inflicted heavy losses on its members and purged some areas in the country of its presence.

Intense confrontation between Popular Mobilization forces and Takfiri elements in the Ta’awun district of the city of Samarra in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad, killed and injured dozens of the terrorists and forced some others to flee.

Iraqi security forces also fully liberated the al-Halabsah district in the province from the clutches of the ISIL. The Wa’ad Allah unit, affiliated with the Iraqi Army, killed a number of ISIL militants in the operation before heading towards the al-Rashad district.

The popular forces also reported the liberation of the al-Fahimi district in the west of the western Iraqi province of Anbar from ISIL.

The forces together with Army troops also attacked the al-Soufiyah district in the province on three sides, bringing a vast expanse of it under control.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/08/01/422783/Iraq-ISIL-Salahuddin-Anbar-Samarra

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Saudis execute Pakistani heroin smuggler

August 01, 2015

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia on Friday beheaded a convicted Pakistani heroin trafficker, adding to a sharp increase in executions this year.

Shah Faisal Azeem Shah was found guilty of smuggling the drugs hidden in his body, the interior ministry said in a statement reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Authorities carried out the sentence against him in the capital Riyadh.

The kingdom resumed executions last week after a pause for Ramazan and the subsequent Eidul Fitr holiday.

http://nation.com.pk/national/01-Aug-2015/saudis-execute-pakistani-heroin-smuggler

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India

Meet to counter allure of IS among net-savvy Muslims

by Sreenivas Janyala

Aug 1, 2015

Cyberabad Police has sought the cooperation of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to keep tabs on Rohingya refugees living illegally in Cyberabad and Hyderabad area amidst growing security concerns and stepped vigilance. Last November, Khalid Mohammed, a Rohingya Muslim living in Hyderabad was arrested by the NIA in connection with the Burdwan blasts. While police has increased surveillance, it has no data on the number of Rohingya refugees and what they are doing. “Under the United National Refugee Convention, refugees coming from war-torn countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and from Myanmar etc., are issued a ‘Refugee Certificate’ valid for 2 years and renewable after that. This is the only protecting document for them. But most of the refugees in Hyderabad- Cyberabad, have entered illegally and are staying illegally. Over a period of time, many of them have obtained voter ID cards, Aadhaar Cards, SIM cards and cell phones. But they not being monitored by security agencies and local police which is leading to security concerns,’’ an official said. As per records with Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA) which is associated with UNHCR, 1806 Myanmar refugees were registered with COVA and on physical verification, only 1725 refugees are presently staying camps in Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police Commissionerate areas. Only 461 Myanmar refugees were issued UNHCR cards and the others are under process.  Officials said that the refugees are living at 10 different locations. At Camp-I in Balapur there are 298, Camp-II Balapur (150), Camp- III Balapur, Pahadishareef (87), Royal Colony(160), Near Fatima Masjid, Balapur (258), Baba Nagar, Kanchanbagh (412) Barkas, Chandrayangutta (51), Shaheen Nagar, Pahadishreef (127), Shastripuram, Mailardevpally (29), Kishanbagh, Bahadurpura (153).

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/rohingya-muslims-in-hyderabad-and-cyberabad-come-under-scanner/

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Muslims Being Targeted, Clerics to Tell SP Chief

Aug 1, 2015

LUCKNOW: Shia clerics will meet Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav at his Delhi residence next week and tell him that members of their community were being targeted, a spokesman said on Saturday.

The delegation comprising clerics from all across the country will also discuss with Yadav issues related to minority communities.

At a meeting held at the residence of Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad late on Friday, it was decided that if the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister does not act on their complain, they would stage a sit-in at Yadav's residence.

"If required, we will court arrest in a sustained manner in Lucknow thereafter," the spokesman said.

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Muslims-Being-Targeted-Clerics-to-Tell-Mulayam/2015/08/01/article2951905.ece

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Is India doing business with Islamic State in Libya? Congress leader asks

Aug 1, 2015

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Saturday questioned whether India was "doing business" with militant outfit Islamic State in Libya.

"Happy two Indians released in Sirte, Libya. Pray for others. Question- since (Foreign Minister) Sushma Swaraj claiming credit - is India doing business with IS in Libya," Manish Tewari tweeted on Saturday.

"Since foreign minister seems to have direct "hotline" to IS or ISIS in Libya what happened to 57 people from Punjab, are they dead or alive FM," Manish Tewari asked in another tweet.

Condemning Congress leader Manish Tewari for his controversial tweet, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said "this method of speaking with a forked tongue" is normally seen in Pakistan.

"This method of speaking with a forked tongue, one normally sees in Pakistan. I am surprised when senior leaders of the Congress Party are using that kind of language," BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.

"At one side you are expressing happiness about the release of two Indians, and on the other side, you are raising questions on the government which secured the release," he added.

"It raises questions in one's mind as to why does the Congress Party feel unhappy or perturbed when the Government of India achieves something for Indian citizens; whether it was the rescue in Yemen, Libya and or a Christian priest from Afghanistan from the Taliban. Now, these two people from Karnataka who are released? Why does the Congress Party constantly want to run down the achievements of Government of India which is in favour of the Indian citizen? Like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, an insurance scheme," Kohli added.

Kohli said pretty soon the Congress Party may be considered anti-development and anti growth, and suggested that the latter should make its stand clear.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Is-India-doing-business-with-Islamic-State-in-Libya-Congress-leader-Manish-Tewari-asks/articleshow/48305488.cms

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Kalam a 'great statesman': UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon

Aug 1, 2015

NEW YORK: Describing former President A P J Abdul Kalam as a "great statesman", UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has said that the outpouring of grief around the world following his death is a testament of the respect and inspiration he has garnered during and after his Presidency.

In a special gesture, the UN chief visited the Permanent Mission of India to the UN here on Friday to sign the condolence book placed following the death of the 11th President of India and an accomplished scientist.

The book has been open over the last couple of days to Ambassadors of all member state to express their condolences.

Ban expressed his deepest condolences on the passing of the former Indian President in his message.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kalam-a-great-statesman-UN-secretary-general-Ban-Ki-moon/articleshow/48306130.cms

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Pak Rangers again violate ceasefire in Jammu

Aug 1, 2015

JAMMU: Pakistani Rangers on Saturday violated the ceasefire by resorting to small arms firing and mortar shelling on border out posts along the international border in Jammu district, drawing retaliation from the BSF.

Three border out posts (BOPs) of BSF were targeted in the firing.

A BSF spokesman said, "Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing by small arms and few mortar shells on BoPs along IB in Akhnoor sector around 1040 hours".

BSF troops guarding the borderline also retaliated and the exchanges continued till 1140 hours, he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-Rangers-again-violate-ceasefire-in-Jammu/articleshow/48306506.cms

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Pakistan

 

Civil military leadership in sync in fight against terrorism: CM Shahbaz

August 01, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, has said that the civil-military leadership was on the same page to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country.

While speaking at a passing-out parade of the third batch of the Punjab Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF) today, the chief minister said the CTF and the police were working on the blueprint of the National Action Plan to crackdown on terrorists and saboteurs. He said that all resources were being utilized to train the CTF and all the induction in the force has been made on merit. On the occasion, the chief minister was apprised of the function and training of the force.

http://nation.com.pk/national/01-Aug-2015/civil-military-leadership-in-sync-in-fight-against-terrorism-cm-shahbaz

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Attempt to obstruct CPEC will be thwarted, Gen Raheel tells China

Aug 1, 2015

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif reiterated on Friday his firm reso­lve that any attempt to obstruct or impede the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would be thwarted at all costs.

Speaking on occasion of the Chinese army’s 88th anniversary, he said cooperation on the CPEC would benefit the entire region.

According to ISPR, the COAS said recent strides and the holistic concept of the CPEC spoke volumes in this regard.

“We will see both nations progressing and further maximising the dividend of our geostrategic relations.”

He said the entire world looked at the CPEC through the same lens.

He had visited the site of the project and the pace of work was in full gear, he said.

Gen Sharif said both countries had deep and resolute relations. “The all-weather friendship is sweeter than honey, higher than the Himalayas and deeper than oceans. Our friendship will further grow in these testing times.”

He said: “Your enemy is our enemy. Eliminating the East Turkistan Independence Move­ment (ETIM) is its manifestation.”

The COAS said that the Pakistan-China cooperation for regional stability would squeeze space for anti-state and non-state actors and help ensure a stable Afghanistan.

He congratulated the Chinese people and their army for their sacrifices in pursuing dreams and said the PLA was one of the best armies.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197775/attempt-to-obstruct-cpec-will-be-thwarted-gen-raheel-tells-china

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Pakistan becomes associate member of CERN

Aug 1, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, has formally conferred its associate membership on Pakistan, following completion of required internal ratification process by it.

Pakistan has thus become the first member of CERN among Asian countries, said a press statement issued by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) on Friday.

The associate membership will open a new era of cooperation that will strengthen the long-term partnership between CERN and the Pakistani scientific community.

Pakistan can now participate in the governance of CERN, by attending meetings of its council.

The membership will allow the country’s scientists to become members of the CERN staff and participate in its training and career-development programmes.

It will also allow the Pakistani industry to bid for CERN contracts, thus opening up opportunities for industrial collaboration in areas of advanced technology.

The cooperation between Pakistan and CERN rooted back to signing of a cooperation agreement in 1994. After Pakistan sought membership back in 2013, CERN sent its task force to evaluate the country’s science and technology base and industrial capabilities in early 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197791/pakistan-becomes-associate-member-of-cern

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US urges Pakistan to continue its efforts for Afghan talks

Aug 1, 2015

WASHINGTON: Despite a change in the Taliban leadership, the United States wants Pakistan to continue its efforts for promoting talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, says the US State Department.

“We think the time is right for these reconciliation talks to move forward, and there’s an opportunity here,” the department’s deputy spokesperson Mark Toner told journalists in Washington.

Know more: US urges Taliban to stay engaged with Kabul

Pakistan was forced to postpone the second round of the Afghan reconciliation talks, which were to begin in Murree on Friday, after Kabul announced earlier this week that Taliban chief Mullah Omar was dead.

Asked if the US would have preferred the Pakistanis not to postpone the talks, Mr Toner said: “We think they should go forward.”

Pakistan, he said, had played a helpful role in the reconciliation process and “we want to continue to see them play that constructive role”.

The US official refused to comment on the power struggle that followed the announcement of Mullah Omar’s death, saying that he was “not going to wade into those kinds of political situations that are so fraught”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197792/us-urges-pakistan-to-continue-its-efforts-for-afghan-talks

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Allegations of political victimisation: UN receives MQM letter

Aug 1, 2015

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations said on Friday that it had received a letter sent by Muttahida Qaumi Movement as reported in the Pakistani media.

The UN deputy spokesman Farhanul Haq said the letter had been received and “we are studying it.”

The MQM alleges in the letter that their workers are being mistreated during the current security operation being conducted in Karachi, and law-enforcement agencies are unlawfully detaining their activists.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197790/allegations-of-political-victimisation-un-receives-mqm-letter

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Pakistan criticises world community for not acting decisively on massive human suffering

MASOOD HAIDER

Aug 1, 2015

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan on Thursday criticised the international community for not acting decisively on the massive human suffering as a consequence of the “global wave of displacement and forced migrations — in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in East Asia and elsewhere”.

Addressing a gathering organised by the Pakistan mission at the United Nations, to highlight the massive humanitarian emergency, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that the international community — to its shame — has ignored massive human suffering in the past.

Also read :Pakistan expresses concern at plight of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

“We are reminded of Rwanda and Srebrenica, among other crises. The current crisis of refugees could mark a new flag of shame,” she pointed out.

“Unless addressed effectively, this multiple crisis could produce grave consequences for world order and security,” Lodhi warned.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197783/pakistan-criticises-world-community-for-not-acting-decisively-on-massive-human-suffering

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Pak PM to raise RAW interference at UNGA: Aziz

August 01, 2015

ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly was informed Friday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will raise the issue of India's fanning terrorism in Pakistan at the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Replying to a question in the lower house, Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said that the government will definitely expose Indian spy agency RAW's engagement in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan and Fata, on all international forums including the UNGA.

Mr Aziz explained that the government has already pointed out Indian involvement in internal affairs of Pakistan to different foreign dignitaries, adding that Islamabad would again reach out to international community in this regard.

Mr Aziz left the house immediately after the Question Hour, though lawmakers wanted him to say in the house to inform them about the future course of action Pakistan would adopt after Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s demise.

Earlier, replying to a question of Ms Munaza Hassan, the adviser said Pakistan has taken up the issue of RAW's activities at the high level as well as with India bilaterally, and has utilised media to expose Indian involvement in the terrorist activities in Pakistan.

He said during the foreign secretary-level talks held on March 3, 2015 in Islamabad, the Pakistani foreign secretary had raised the issue with his Indian counterpart SJ Shankar and identified the areas where the neighbouring county was intruding through its spying agency.

To a supplementary question about threat of Indian home minister to Pakistan after the Gurdaspur incident, Aziz said the Foreign Office has issued two statements in this regard.

He said the Foreign Office spokesman on Thursday categorically negated and rejected these baseless allegations.

He added that it has been repeatedly made clear that Pakistan was capable enough to give befitting reply in case of any threat from Indian side.

He added that Kashmir issue must be resolved as per UN resolutions as Kashmir is the core issue in Pak-India relations and bilateral talks.

To a question of Sheharyar Khan Afridi of PTI about overcrowding and bad condition of some of the jails in Saudi Arabia where these Pakistanis are languishing, the adviser told the House that it was in government's notice.

He said out of a total of two million Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia, only 2,309 were imprisoned and the government is utilising all channels to provide relief to these prisoners.

In his written reply, the adviser said the nature of crimes of prisoners include theft, forgery/fraud, possession, sale and trafficking of narcotics, rape, murder, adultery, bribery, immoral activities and overstay or illegal stay.

He said the Pakistani diplomats and community welfare officers were in contact with these prisoners, adding that they have conducted 247 visits of various jails to get first hand information about condition of Pakistani prisoners.

He said the cases of 1,084 prisoners in total have been followed up by the Pakistani missions during the year 2014-15.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/01-Aug-2015/pm-to-raise-raw-interference-at-unga-aziz

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Africa

 

Libyan Soldiers Killed In Clashes with ISIS

1 August 2015

Seven Libyan soldiers were killed on Friday when Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants stormed a checkpoint manned by forces loyal to the official government, military officials said.

Five soldiers were killed and 15 have been missing since the ISIS fighters attacked the checkpoint outside the eastern town of Ajdabiya, near the oil port of Bregaattack, one military official said. Two more soldiers were killed when the government sent reinforcements. Five were wounded.

“Fighting is continuing some 100 kilometers outside Ajdabiya,” one official said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on social media, saying it had captured ammunition and military equipment. It said it had attacked 200 soldiers.

ISIS has exploited a growing security vacuum in Libya, where two governments and parliaments are fighting for control four years after the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi.

The official prime minister has been based in the east, working with his cabinet out of hotels, since the capital, Tripoli, was seized by a rival group that set up its own government.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/01/Seven-Libyan-soldiers-killed-in-clashes-with-ISIS.html

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Suspected Boko Haram bomb attack thwarted in Cameroon

Jul 31, 2015

Cameroon officials have arrested three suspects carrying a bag containing improvised explosive devices in the northern town of Maroua where a spate of suspected Boko Haram suicide attacks killed at least 40 last week, sources said Friday.

The men were caught Thursday evening at the entrance of the city following a tip-off, a senior military source with the country's special forces in Maroua told Reuters.

"The suspect who was carrying the bag with the explosives is a Nigerian. The other two are Cameroonians, according to their identity cards," another senior local government administrator said by telephone from Maroua.

Another suicide attack kills at least 10 in Cameroon

Suspected Boko Haram fighters kill 23 in Cameroon

He said the young men, all around 20 years old, were suspected Boko Haram militants who were planning another attack.

Cameroon has increased troops and tightened security in the northern regional capital following the suicide bombings, the deepest incursion by suspected Boko Haram militants from neighbouring Nigeria.

Full report at:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/suspected-boko-haram-bomb-attack-thwarted-in-cameroon-1.3176117

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Buratai urges successor to rescue Boko Haram captives

July 31, 2015

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Yusuf Buratai, has asked his successor at the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Ilya Abbah, to ensure the liberation of all territories held by insurgents.

Mr. Buratai, a major general, who gave the charge while handing over to the new commander in Abuja on Friday, urged him to ensure the rescue of all captives.

According to him, there is need for the new commander to ensure adequate collaboration among the forces in order to achieve set objectives of the multinational force.

“The mandate of MNJTF includes liberation of every held territory in all the joint nations and rescue of captives, including the Chibok girls.

“The task ahead also requires deployment of diplomacy. It is also to conduct stabilisation of territories liberated so that civil authorities can function very well.

“The force is also expected to assist humanitarian organisations in their operations and movement within the area’’, he said.

Mr. Abbah, in his response, pledged total commitment to the task assigned to him.

“Even if there is language difference between the participating nations, the language of war is the same since we all have common adversary (Boko Haram insurgents).

“With adequate capacity building, logistics support and administration of all the forces, the story will be different,’’ he said.

Full report at:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/187601-buratai-urges-successor-to-rescue-boko-haram-captives.html

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Buhari Orders Release Of N5b To Boko Haram Victims

• Corporate Organisations, Individuals Yet To Redeem Pledges To Fund

1 August 2015

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the immediate release of N5 billion to the Victims Support Fund (VSR) to enable it carry out its assignment of providing succour to the immediate families of those killed by Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east, and other terrorist-related activities in other parts of the country.

The President’s directive followed a briefing by the Presidential Committee on Victims Support Fund led by the erstwhile Defence Minister, Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Most individuals, corporate organisations, including the federal government, who made pledges to the fund at its launch in July last year, are yet to redeem their pledges.

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had on July 31, 2014 launched the VSF in the heat of the controversy generated by the abduction of the 276 female students of the Government Girl’s Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State in aid of the victims and immediate families of those who died as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Jonathan pledged N5 billion on behalf of the federal government, but Danjuma lamented that one year after, the federal government, some corporate organisations and individuals are yet to fulfil those pledges.

Altogether, N58.79 billion was realized at a fund-raising dinner which was held at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, with N8.79 billion in excess of the initial N50 billion target.

Some of the biggest donors included Theophilus Danjuma, $10 million; Aliko Dangote, N1 billion; Jim Ovia, N1 billion; Tony Elumelu, N2.5 billion; Mike Adenuga, N1 billion; Wale Tinubu, N1 billion; Arthur Eze, $5 million; Mohammed Ndimi, $5 million; Kabiru Rabiu, N500 million; Dahiru Mangal N500 million; and Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, N500 million.

Others included a group of oil sector players, N17 billion; bankers, N15 billion; telecom sector players N1 billion; state governors, N3.7 billion; and ministers, N50 million.

But concerned about the report of the federal government’s non fulfilment of its pledge, the President directed the Head of Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, to facilitate the immediate release of the N5 billion pledged by the Federal Government since August 2014 last year.

Full report at:

http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/08/buhari-orders-release-of-n5b-to-boko-haram-victims/

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Kalonzo Musyoka says border wall will not deter Al-Shabaab

BY WARKA • JULY 31, 2015

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses University of Nairobi students on July 30, 2015.

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has chided the government’s intention to built a security barrier along the Kenya-Somali border.

Speaking to a group of law students at the University of Nairobi Parklands Campus, the former vice president argued it would be unreasonable to build a wall since some Kenyans have joined the Al-Shabaab.

“Al-Shabaab has now taken a different dimension. Al-Shabaab is not (just) people from Somalia. It is now Kamba, Kikuyu, Luo and Luhya.

“It is therefore ridiculous to hear that a wall is being constructed along the border. I wonder if they will construct another in Eastleigh…then you ask yourself…how many walls are we going to construct…” he said.

CIVIL WAR

Mr Kalonzo was at the institution to talk to the students about ethnic strife and lessons Kenyans can learn from the South Sudan civil war.

The government has indicated that it will put up a barrier to stop the Al-Shabaab Somali militants from crossing into Kenya.

Mr Kalonzo asked the students to avoid ethnic exclusions because “it is the same challenge that has affected” South Sudan and Somalia.

Full report at:

http://www.mareeg.com/kalonzo-musyoka-says-border-wall-will-not-deter-al-shabaab/

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Southeast Asia

 

Stop insulting Malaysia and its leaders: Malaysia's Islamic authority

31 Jul 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's federal Islamic authority has warned Muslims in the country to stop maligning and insulting Malaysia and its leaders.

In its sermon commemorating Warriors' Day on Friday (Jul 31), the Malaysian Islamic Development Department said those who continue to do so could be seen as victims of foreign powers who are trying to tarnish Malaysia's dignity and prestige.

At the historic Independence Square in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's government marked Warriors’ Day by re-enacting scenes from the 40s. An annual event, it marks how forefathers of Malaya sacrificed their lives to save the country from communist insurgents and other foreign forces.

At Friday prayers, mosques played sermons reminding the predominantly Muslim community that those who slander the leadership do not love the country. The message was clear; the people must unite and reject forces that are trying to sow hatred among Malaysians in a bid to bring down the government.

Clare Brown, founder of whistleblower website Sarawak Report was labelled an enemy of the state. A British national and sister-in-law of a former prime minister, Brown is responsible for a series of exposés on troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which has chalked up debt of more than US$11 billion in debt.

Allegations were also made about nearly US$700 million being funnelled into Prime Minister Najib Razak's private bank accounts.

The police are investigating Brown under Section 124 of the Penal code for being detrimental to parliamentary democracy - a serious crime that is punishable for up to 20 years’ jail if she is found guilty.

Full report at:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/stop-insulting-malaysia/2021286.html

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‘Moving close’ to solving MH370 mystery: Malaysia

1 August 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Investigators are “moving close to solving the mystery of MH370,” Malaysia’s deputy transport minister said on Friday, adding that a piece of wreckage found in the Indian Ocean has been confirmed as coming from a Boeing 777.

“I believe that we are moving close to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean”, Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said.

He said a part number stencilled on the piece of wreckage recovered on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion on Wednesday confirms it came from a Boeing 777.

The ill-fated jet, which vanished 16 months ago with 239 people aboard, was a Boeing 777.

Investigators believe it mysteriously diverted off its flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March of last year and later crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. There have been no other crashes of that aircraft model in that part of the world.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197687/moving-close-to-solving-mh370-mystery-malaysia

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Kerry to press Malaysia on human trafficking, not scandal

August 1, 2015

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will press Malaysia to redouble efforts against people trafficking on a visit next week but will not become embroiled in a scandal involving corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

Kerry will be in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday and Thursday for meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Malaysia currently chairs, and will have bilateral talks with Najib and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman.

The visit comes just days after the United States took Malaysia off its list of worst offenders in human trafficking in an annual report, removing a potential barrier to a signature Asia-Pacific trade pact despite opposition from human rights groups and nearly 180 U.S. lawmakers.

A senior U.S. State Department official said Kerry was expected to “make a push for a redoubling of efforts on the parts of the Malaysians to expand prosecutions” for trafficking.

He said experts had judged there had been some improvement in Malaysia’s approach to trafficking, but in reference its new grading in the U.S. report, added: “It’s very important to recognise that ‘tier two watch list’ is not a good grade.”

Asked what impact the allegations against Najib would have on the talks, the official said Malaysia was at an “extraordinary delicate and complicated moment” politically, but Kerry was going there for ASEAN-related meetings.

“The secretary of state of the United States is not going to get into the middle of an internal political scandal, or a legal investigation that’s occurring in a foreign country merely because he’s attending meetings there,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/08/01/kerry-to-press-malaysia-on-human-trafficking-not-scandal/

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Issue of the day: Muslim groups condemn Tolikara incident

 August 01 2015

Despite a peace agreement after an incident in Tolikara, Papua, thousands of Muslims from various groups in Surakarta, Central Java, staged a rally on Friday to protest the violence.

Under tight police security, the protesters from Koran Interpretation Council (MTA), Islamic People’s Soldiers, Muslim Students Action Front, Surakarta Sharia Council, Muhammadiyah and the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), marched the 3 kilometers from Jl. Slamet Riyadi to the Gladag circle.

The march was followed by speeches from various leaders including Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) Surakarta chapter head Zainal Arifin Adnan, Ngruki Islamic boarding school director Wahyuddin and politician Mudrick Sangidoe.

Your comments:

When there is a riot at a mosque, the whole of Indonesia comes together to condemn the violence, yet nothing is done to prevent the growing religious intolerance of other groups such as the Ahmadiyah, Shia and the Christian faiths.

Matty H

They should also be protesting the unfair treatment of non-Muslim Indonesians next to their hometown, Yogyakarta.

A students’ camping trip was cancelled, a church was forced to close down and other intolerant acts have been committed toward religious minorities.

Where are these same public figures voicing their condemnation of discrimination toward Christians? Why don´t they also stand up for those minority groups who are facing increased intolerance from the majority?

Simba

Unhealthy religious beliefs have caused suffering for many people. It’s self-destruction. The Indonesian national education system has failed and the result is intolerant

behavior.

Why? A fanatical, naive faith is always occupied by its mono-disciplinary approach instead of a multi-disciplinary approach, sectarianism instead of secularism and enforcing a mono-religious culture stead of multi-religious culture.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/01/issue-day-muslim-groups-condemn-tolikara-incident.html

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Europe

 

Osama bin Laden's relatives reportedly killed in private jet crash in Britain

1 August 2015

LONDON: A private jet crashed in southern England on Friday, killing four people on board, a spokesman for Britain's Hampshire police service said, while Saudi and British media said the passengers were relatives of deceased Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

A spokeswoman for the British police told Reuters: “There were no survivors, unfortunately. There were four people onboard including the pilot”, but she did not provide their identities.

Without confirming the identities of the victims, the Saudi Ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, offered condolences on the embassy's official Twitter account to the bin Laden family, a prominent Saudi Arabia clan with vast business interests.

“His royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, the ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United Kingdom, offered his condolences to the sons of the late Mohammed bin Laden and their relations for the grave incident of the crash of the plane carrying members of the family at Blackbushe airport,” he said in the tweet.

The Saudi embassy said it was working with British authorities to investigate the incident and to ensure the speedy handover of the bodies for funerals and burials in the kingdom.

The Saudi-owned Al Hayat newspaper, citing a statement by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), said on its website that the Embraer Phenom 300 with three passengers and the pilot crashed during takeoff from Blackbushe airport.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1197802/osama-bin-ladens-relatives-reportedly-killed-in-private-jet-crash-in-britain

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Muslims creating havoc in France

Aug 1st, 2015

France has approximately five million residents of Muslim descent, though exact estimates are hard to gather due to fact that ethnic and religious affiliation constitutes a private matter under French laws. This estimate would imply that the Muslim population of France is now approximately 10% of the country’s total population of around 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that Islam and the question of Muslim immigration are an ever-present topic in news headlines as well in academic debate. In recent years, the debate over Islam in France has shifted from topics such as multiculturalism and social integration to those related primarily to security issues. The reason for this shift can be attributed to the troubles the Muslim population is constantly creating in the French Republic. The June 26, 2015, terrorist attack on an American-owned chemical factory in Lyon, France, has again raised concerns across French society about jihadist violence and ISIS-inspired domestic terrorism. It comes in the wake of the January, 2015 attacks in Paris, in which 12 people were murdered at the satirical news outlet Charlie Hebdo, including four journalists and two police officers, and then the killing of a policewoman and four hostages at a Kosher supermarket.

As mentioned earlier, France has Europe’s largest population of Muslims, and some of them talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah law. In order to achieve their professed aim, the Muslims of France have no hesitation in joining hand with the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist organization. This notion is reinforced when one considers the fact that the attackers who killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo claimed to be members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen. Witnesses said they spoke perfect French, a strong indication that they are home-grown terrorists who received help from AQAP or another group.

The major Muslim population centres in France are Paris, Marseille, and Lyon and their outlying suburbs (banlieues). As their population continues to increase, and their attraction towards radical Islam intensifies, they pose a major threat to the natives. In 2014, the French city of Marseille, comprising of about 30 to 40% Muslim population was named the most dangerous city in Europe. Muslim volunteers from France have been identified training with the Taliban and after Mohammed Merah’s massacre at a Jewish school, a group of Jews in Marseille were attacked by Muslim men shouting, “Vive Mohamed Merah, F— the Jews, Palestine will win.”. In localities of Paris, where Muslim are in a majority, the white French people are regularly beaten up by predominantly Islamic gangs.

These events prompted the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to remark that Muslim dominated regions in France are emerging as fertile grounds for extremism, criminality, and radical Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.newdelhitimes.com/muslims-creating-havoc-in-france123/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘this-is-not-islam’--refugees-describe-life-under-isil-in-raqqa,-syria/d/104127



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