Monday, February 1, 2016

Martix kratos Breaking news (March 2016)

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 Syria called on the Turkish government on Tuesday to cease its violations of Syria’s sovereignty and respect the international law.
"The Syrian government considers this a blatant breach of international law and a crime against the Syrian civilians. 
It also demands that Turkey cease such violations and respect international law," SANA quoted the source as saying..........A source at the Foreign Ministry told SANA that the Turkish artillery on Monday opened fire at Atira village in the northern countryside of Lattakia, leaving several civilians injured.
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120 comments :

  1. France starts evacuation of Calais migrants camp...

    Under heavy presence of police, works started on Monday to dismantle the southern part of migrants camp in Calais, north France, local media reported.

    According to the daily Le Figaro, about one hundred police officers have been deployed in the shanty town to allow workers clearing the site where about 3,000 migrants were staying.

    "We intend to handle it smoothly, things do not happen in a day," Bruno Christmas, Regional Secretary Alliance Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy, was quoted as saying.

    Local reports added a British activist from the No Border, a network advocating freedom of movement and smoother migration policy, was arrested earlier on the day.

    On Feb. 25, an administrative court in Lille, north France upheld the decision to evacuate thousands of migrants camping in Calais, rejecting NGOs' request to halt the eviction order.

    French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve promised the camp's evacuation would be done "progressively, by persuasion and with respect for people's dignity."

    Local authorities proposed to relocate them in a state-run container shelter nearby or other refugees centers across France.

    Wars, political instability and poverty in many Arab and African countries forced thousands of people to displace and seek better life in European doors.
    Xinhua
    1/3/16

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  2. U.S., Russia in new Syria military safety talks...

    Pentagon officials spoke with Russian counterparts on Monday as part of a series of discussions aimed at avoiding military mishaps in Syria.

    Russia and a U.S.-led coalition are conducting separate military campaigns in war-torn Syria, with the United States targeting the ISIS and Russia supporting regime forces, and officials worry about a midair collision or some other accident.

    “The two sides discussed measures to enhance operational safety ... including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

    The video call was the latest communication in a “memorandum of understanding” agreed in October.

    Russia and the United States did not address Syria’s current “cessation of hostilities” aimed at bringing humanitarian aid into the country, as that partial ceasefire does not include operations against ISIS.

    “The events there (are) having no effect on our counter-ISIL campaign,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters, using an alternative acronym for the jihadist group.

    “There’s certainly no cessation of hostilities there.”
    AFP - alarabiya.net
    1/3/16

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  3. US-led coalition discussed possible Syria ground incursion, Saudi official says...

    Defense ministers from the US-led coalition against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) discussed the possibility of a Syrian ground incursion two weeks ago in Brussels, but have not made a decision, an aide to Saudi Arabia's defense minister told Reuters on Monday.

    "It was discussed two weeks ago in Brussels," Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said in a telephone interview from Riyadh. "It was discussed at the political level but it wasn't discussed as a military mission," he said.

    "Once this is organized, and decided how many troops and how they will go and where they will go, we will participate in that," he said. "We need to discuss at the military level very extensively with the military experts to make sure that we have a plan."

    Asseri also said the Kingdom was now ready to strike Islamic State from Turkey's southern İncirlik air base, where four Saudi fighter jets have arrived last week. The jets haven't yet participated in any attacks, he added...REUTERS...todayszaman.com

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  4. UK to send troops to Tunisia to help stop ISIS crossing Libyan border...

    London: Britain is to send troops to Tunisia to help prevent Islamic State fighters from moving into the country from Libya, the British Defence Minister has said.

    "A training team of some 20 troops from the 4th Infantry Brigade is now moving to Tunisia to help to counter illegal cross-border movement from Libya in support of the Tunisian authorities," Michael Fallon told Parliament on Monday.

    The move comes after growing Western concern that Islamic State (IS) is seeking to use Libya as a base to plan and carry out attacks. Last June, 30 British holidaymakers were killed when an Islamist gunman attacked a beach at a hotel on Tunisia`s Mediterranean coast.

    "I ... am extremely concerned about the proliferation of Daesh (IS) along the Libyan coastline, which is why we have been urgently assisting the formation of a new Libyan government," Fallon said.

    Jihadist groups have taken advantage of political chaos to expand their presence in Libya, and fighters loyal to Islamic State have taken control of the coastal city of Sirte..REUTERS..http://zeenews.india.com
    1/3/16

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  5. Paris police armed with assault rifles after November attacks...

    Parisian police will be given assault rifles and Kalashnikov-resistant shields in a first for the French capital’s officers, nearly four months after a devastating terror attack killed 130 people, the interior minister said on Monday.

    The weapons, up until now reserved for elite intervention forces, will allow members of certain police units “to intervene as fast as possible to reinforce the first patrols, notably when we are confronted with mass killings”, said the minister, Bernard Cazeneuve.

    “Some of the criminals you are confronted with no longer hesitate to use heavy weapons against you, and you must be equipped with the means to fire back, and adequate protection,” Cazeneuve told officers at a Parisian police station.

    The anti-criminal (BAC) police units, who most often operate in plain clothes, will be given 204 Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifles, 1,800 bulletproof vests and 241 shields that are resistant to Kalashnikov bullets.

    The new equipment, which also includes Taser guns and other items, is worth €17m (£13.3m/US$18m).

    The boosting of police capability comes after jihadist gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide bombs attacked a concert hall and several restaurants and cafes around Paris on 13 November, killing 130 and leaving hundreds injured.

    A member of the BAC police units – armed with a handgun – was the first to arrive on scene at the Bataclan concert hall, where he shot dead one of the jihadists who killed 90 people during a show.

    However, he was forced to retreat and await specialised police officers as he was not sufficiently equipped against the two attackers still alive in the building.

    The devastating attack saw authorities put in place a state of emergency, which has been extended until the end of May.
    (AFP)
    1/3/16

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  6. Russia has transferred to Syria the counter-battery radar...

    For the past three days in Syria to the airfield Hamim thrown two radar stations to detect the use of artillery by militants of violating the truce. This was stated in the defense Ministry, reports Interfax.

    Also on Hamim threw three sets of unmanned aerial vehicles designed for intelligence.

    Radar counter-battery stations is a mobile complexes designed for the accurate determination of coordinates of positions of enemy firepower. Exploration is conducted through the notch part of the trajectory of shells, mines, rockets in flight with the subsequent calculation of the starting point.....http://rushincrash.com

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  7. The next round of Syria peace talks will begin on the afternoon of March 9, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told Reuters on Tuesday...

    He had previously pencilled in March 7, but he said he had postponed the round for logistical reasons and to cement a cessation of hostilities that began on Saturday.

    "I will not delay it further," De Mistura said.
    AFP
    1/3/16

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  8. ISIS terrorists in ‘daily’ refugee flow to Europe: NATO commander...

    Terrorists, criminals and foreign fighters are part of the daily refugee flow into Europe, the top NATO commander in Europe told lawmakers, “masking the movement” of these dangerous elements and heightening the potential for an attack.

    In testimony Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove said the Islamic State extremist group is “spreading like a cancer” within this mix, “taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations” and the United States.

    In response to a question about whether the Islamic State will continue to infiltrate refugee flows, Breedlove said, “I think that they are doing that today.”

    Breedlove said Russia’s actions in Syria have “wildly exacerbated the problem.” Despite its public pronouncements, Russia has done little to counter the Islamic State but instead has bolstered Syrian President Bashar Assad...AP...http://kurdishdailynews.org

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  9. L'Otan accuse Moscou et Damas de chasser les Syriens de leur pays pour déstabiliser l'Europe...

    La Russie et la Syrie utilisent délibérément le flot des réfugiés syriens comme une arme pour déstabiliser l'Europe, a accusé mardi le chef des forces de l'Otan en Europe, le général Philip Breedlove.

    Le chef des forces de l’Otan en Europe, le général Philip Breedlove, a accusé Moscou et Damas, mardi 1er mars, d’utiliser la crise des migrants pour déstabiliser l’Europe.

    "Ensemble, la Russie et le régime de Bachar al-Assad utilisent délibérément la migration comme une arme pour essayer de submerger les structures européennes et casser la détermination européenne", a-t-il estimé devant la commission des forces armées du Sénat américain....france24.com
    2/3/16

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  10. Greece is to send 308 migrants — mainly Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians — back to Turkey under a 2002 deal signed with Ankara, a government source says...

    A source in the citizens' protection ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, said half of the group had already been sent back and the rest would travel by the end of Wednesday.

    Several dozen migrants from North African countries were sent back to Turkey under the deal at the beginning of January, the source said.....AFP.....alarabiya.net
    2/3/16

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  11. Philippine officials say China blocking access to disputed South China Sea atoll...

    China has stationed several ships near a disputed atoll in the South China Sea, preventing Filipino fishermen from accessing traditional fishing grounds and raising tensions in the volatile region, Philippine officials said on Wednesday.

    China had deployed up to seven ships to Quirino Atoll, also known as Jackson Atoll, said Eugenio Bito-onon Jr, the mayor of nearby Pagasa Island in the Spratly Islands.

    The Spratlys are the most contested archipelago in the South China Sea, a resource-rich region and critical shipping lane linking North Asia to Europe, South Asia and the Middle East.

    "This is very alarming, Quirino is on our path when we travel from Palawan to Pagasa. It is halfway and we normally stop there to rest," Bito-onon Jr told Reuters.

    "I feel something different. The Chinese are trying to choke us by putting an imaginary checkpoint there. It is a clear violation of our right to travel, impeding freedom of navigation," he said....reuters.com
    2/3/16

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  12. Some 19 militants and two Afghan army soldiers had been killed during military operations in countryside within the past 24 hours, the country's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday morning...

    The Afghan army, police and intelligence agency personnel carried out several joint raids in five of the country's 34 provinces against militants' positions, the ministry said in a statement.

    "Some five militants were wounded and seven others detained. The joint forces also seized weapons, a car and a motorcycle, bedsides defusing several rounds of roadside bombs and landmines," the statement that provides daily operational updates added.

    The Taliban militant group has yet to make comments.....Xinhua
    2/3/16

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  13. Thousands in Turkey's Kurdish-majority town of Cizre started returning to their homes Wednesday after authorities partially lifted a curfew in place since December for a controversial military operation to root out separatist rebels...

    The regional governor's office announced Tuesday that the curfew -- in place since December 14 -- would be lifted each day from 5:00am (0300 GMT) to 7:30pm (1730 GMT) and would be in force from 7:30pm to 5:00am in the southeastern town.

    Thousands of residents carrying their belongings formed long queues at the entrance of the town where checkpoints had been put up, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

    Many houses sustained serious damage, even visible from the entrance of Cizre. Some houses were burned and shops destroyed.

    People are trying to recover their belongings from the rubble and checking if there are any corpses, the correspondent reported. In normal times, Cizre is home to some 100,000 people....AFP..ahram.org.eg
    2/3/16

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  14. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off Sumatra island in western Indonesia Wednesday, local officials said, triggering a tsunami warning...

    The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), triggering a tsunami alert for parts of Sumatra, including West Sumatra, North Sumatra and Aceh, the local BMKG quake monitoring agency said.
    AFP

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  15. Possible debris from Malaysia flight MH370 found near Mozambique: NBC ...

    A piece of debris found along the eastern African coast between Mozambique and Madagascar may be from the tail section of the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared two years ago, NBC News reported on Wednesday.

    Citing U.S., Malaysian and Australian investigators who have looked at photos of the possible debris, NBC said the piece could be a horizontal stabilizer from a Boeing 777, the same type of plane as the flight MH370 aircraft that was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when authorities lost track of it in March 2014.

    Reuters could not immediately confirm the report, and Mozambican authorities have no information on the sighting of such an object off the coast of Inhambane province, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Inacio Dina....reuters.com
    2/3/16

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  16. Afghan Taliban leadership is in Pakistan, Islamabad says...

    A top Pakistani official has said for the first time publicly that the Afghan Taliban's leadership enjoys a safe haven inside his country, which Islamabad uses as a "lever" to pressure the group into talks with Kabul.

    The admission by Pakistan's foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz comes after years of official denials by Islamabad that it offers shelter or exerts any influence over the Taliban, whose 14-year-insurgency against Afghan and NATO forces has claimed tens of thousands of civilian and military lives.

    Speaking at the Council on Foreign Affairs in Washington on Tuesday, he said: "We have some influence on them because their leadership is in Pakistan and they get some medical facilities, their families are here.

    "So we can use those levers to pressurize them to say: 'Come to the table'," he added, according to a transcript on the think tank's website.

    The remarks confirm what has become an open secret in diplomatic circles, particularly since Pakistan began brokering direct peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban last summer. The negotiations faltered after Afghan intelligence leaked the news the group's founder Mullah Omar had died in 2013.......http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/104897-160303-afghan-taliban-leadership-is-in-pakistan-islamabad-says

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  17. Two Italian hostages probably killed in Libya attack: Italy...

    Two Italian civilians held hostages in Libya were probably killed in fighting in the western Libyan city of Sabratha, the Italian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    Libyan security forces said they had killed seven suspected Islamic State fighters in a raid on a militant hideout in Sabratha on Wednesday, and later released photographs of two Western men who had also apparently been killed in the attack.

    Italy's Foreign Ministry said the men might be two of the four employees of the Italian construction company Bonatti who were kidnapped last July near a compound owned by oil and gas group Eni.....reuters.com
    3/3/16

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  18. EU's Tusk warns illegal economic migrants: Do not come here...

    European Council President Donald Tusk has warned illegal economic migrants against coming to Europe, during a new push to solve the EU migrant crisis.

    He said illegal economic migrants were risking "lives and money" for nothing.

    Mr Tusk is visiting Greece and Turkey to try to secure agreement on reducing the flow of migrants travelling west.

    More than 25,000 migrants have been left stranded in Greece by a tightening of border controls to the north, raising fears of a humanitarian crisis....NEWZ.GR

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  19. The Pentagon has approved a deal to sell $682.9 million worth of an unspecified quantity of smart bombs to Turkey through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) scheme, defensenews.com has reported...

    The Pentagon awarded the contract to Ellwood National Forge and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems for the sale of BLU-109 bunker-busting bombs and components.

    Clashes between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) resumed in July 2015 after a two-year-long cease-fire, which had come following intense clashes since the mid-1980s between the two parties. Turkish fighter jets have routinely bombed the strongholds of the PKK in northern Iraq, also known as Kandil.

    This is the first reported sale of BLU-109 bombs to Turkey. Turkish officials expect deliveries to be completed by 2020.

    “The deal was timely as we are deeply engaged in asymmetrical warfare and need smart bombs,” one Turkish military official was quoted as saying by the website.

    BLU-109s have been in the Pentagon’s inventory since 1985 and are reported to have been used on fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was mated to a laser-guided system during operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991.

    The bomb contains 550 pounds of high explosive Tritonal, a combination of 80 percent TNT and 20 percent aluminum powder. The BLU-109’s tail fuse delays the bomb’s detonation until the bomb has penetrated the targeted bunker, ensuring complete destruction of the location.
    hurriyetdailynews.com
    3/3/16

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  20. Turkey has sentenced two Syrians to four years in prison over the death of a toddler and his family who drowned en route to Turkey...

    Turkish state media said Friday the Syrians - Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad - were convicted of human trafficking and given four years and two months in prison.

    Among the refugees who drowned was 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a toddler who became a visual symbol of the refugee crisis when media published a photograph of his tiny, lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach.

    The other refugees who perished included Aylan's mother and brother.

    The trial of the two Syrians opened February 11 at the criminal court in Turkey's western resort town of Bodrum.

    The family members of Aylan Kurdi were among hundreds of thousands who took the risk to reach Greece in the hope to be able to travel farther north for a better life in the prosperous countries of northern and western Europe.
    [voanews.com]
    4/3/16

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  21. Former Brazilian leader Lula detained in graft probe...

    Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was detained for questioning Friday in the latest phase of a sweeping anti-graft investigation, according to officials.

    Police searched the former Brazilian leader’s house in Sao Paulo, the Lula Institute, and brought him in for questioning, a spokesman for Lula and his institute told AFP.

    The houses of family members were also searched, according to officials.

    The federal police also issued a statement confirming earlier media reports of this dramatic development in Brazil's huge corruption probe, dubbed Operation Car Wash and centered around the state-owned oil company Petrobras.....france24.com

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  22. Les Etats-Unis préviennent leurs ressortissants: attention au risque d'attentat sur le sol européen...

    Selon les américains, le risque d'attentat sur le sol européen est toujours une réalité. Washington renouvelle son alerte mondiale, antiterroriste, à l'attention de ses ressortissants. Et estime que des informations crédibles indiquent que des groupes terroristes, dont l'Etat islamique, projettent de nouvelles attaques en Europe.

    Le ministère américain des Affaires Etrangères dirigé par John Kerry renouvelle son alerte mondiale antiterroriste. Voici les derniers conseils aux Américains qui voyagent en Europe. Des informations crédibles indiquent que des groupes terroristes tels que l'Etat Islamique continuent de projeter des attaques prochainement. Tous les pays européens restent vulnérables. Les parlementaires américains ont aussi rédigé un rapport sur l'évolution du terrorisme. Les tentatives d'attentat ne font qu'augmenter depuis 2 ans. 75 viennent d'être déjouées. 57 % de l'ensemble des attaques ont pu être évitées. Cela fait 43% de réussite et à chaque attentat, il y a de plus en plus de victimes et c'est ce qui s'est passé ce 13 novembre à Paris.....rtl.be
    4/3/16

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  23. Emine Esmer, the co-mayor of Şırnak's Silopi district, who was elected on the ticket of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was taken into custody by the police Friday morning, the Doğan news agency reported...

    Esmer was detained, along with her driver Cemal Yiğit, while she was at the mayoral building. Esmer and Yiğit were taken to a police station. While the cause of the detention remains unknown, the pair had been briefly apprehended in late February on a number of charges such as being a member of an outlawed organization, malpractice and enabling an outlawed organization to utilize public property. They had both been released pending trial by a court.
    todayszaman.com
    4/3/16

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  24. At least 16 people, including four Indian nurses, were killed when gunmen opened fire Friday at an elderly care home in Yemen's main southern city of Aden, security officials said...

    Four gunmen stormed the care home in Aden's Sheikh Othman district, killing a guard and shooting randomly at residents, the officials told AFP.

    Dozens of stricken family members arrived at the site following the attack, witnesses said.

    One official said the attackers were "extremists" and blamed the Islamic State group, which has been gaining ground in Aden in recent months.

    But no group claimed responsibility for the attack, the first of its kind in Yemen, where the internationally-recognised government is grappling with an Iran-backed rebellion on one side and a growing jihadist presence on the other.

    President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has declared Aden Yemen's temporary capital as Sanaa remains in the hands of the Huthi rebels and their allies since they seized it in September 2014.

    Al-Qaeda and IS have stepped up attacks in Aden despite the efforts of the government and its backers in a Saudi-led coalition battling the Huthis and their allies to secure it....AFP

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  25. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the Syrian people, and not foreigners, are the ones to decide the fate of President Bashar al-Assad...

    In an interview given to France 24 on Friday, de Mistura wondered why not let Syrians decide that, and why must others say in advance what the Syrians will say as long as they have the freedom and the chance to do so.

    He stressed that the solution should be led by Syria and should belong to Syrians, adding that he is still optimistic about cessation of combat activities in Syria despite some breaches....http://sana.sy/en/?p=71199

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  26. MH370 families urged to file claims before two-year deadline ...

    Families of those onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were urged on Friday to file their claims before the deadlines as they prepare to mark the second anniversary of the accident.

    Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai urged the families "regardless of nationality to file claims" under the Montreal Convention against Malaysia Airlines by March 8 to preserve their legal rights.

    The Montreal Convention sets a limitation of two years to file claims......http://www.china.org.cn/world/2016-03/05/content_37945710.htm
    5/3/16

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  27. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested building a new city in northern Syria to house some of the millions of refugees escaping the country's civil war, reports said Saturday...

    Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul late Friday that the new city would be located near the Turkish border and said he had even discussed the idea with US President Barack Obama.

    "I am going to tell you something. What is the formula? We found a city in the north of Syria," said Erdogan, quoted by the Anatolia news agency.

    He said that the city would be 4,500 square kilometres in area and its infrastructure could be built in cooperation with the international community.

    Refugees from Syria could be "resettled" there, he said. Such an area would make the city comparable to some of the largest urban centres in the United States.

    "We have discussed this with Mr Obama and even set the coordinates but it has not yet come to fruition," said Erdogan. He gave no timescale for how the project could be realised.

    Turkey has repeatedly sought to persuade its Western allies to help create a so-called safe zone inside Syria that could house Syrian refugees.

    But this appears to to be the first time that Erdogan has proposed building a permanent city in which they could be housed.......http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/190186.aspx
    5/3/16

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  28. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday that Syrian President Bashar Assad must leave at the beginning of a political transition, not at the end...

    "For us it is very clear it's at the beginning of the process, not at the end of the process, it's not going to be 18 months," Jubeir said during a visit to France.

    His comments came days before the United Nations plans to reconvene peace talks to try to end the five-year-old civil war in Syria...
    REUTERS

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  29. Taliban Casts Doubt on Peace Talks With Afghan Government ...

    Afghanistan's Taliban has cast further doubt on prospects for peace talks with the Kabul government.

    In a Pashto language statement given to VOA Saturday, the Taliban said its leadership has not yet decided to engage in peace talks with the Kabul government because it believes no such effort will be productive until all foreign forces leave the country, sanctions on insurgent leaders are removed and Taliban prisoners are released.

    The statement said U.S. night raids in Afghanistan are still continuing. It added that fresh American forces have deployed to the battlefield and that Afghan forces have also intensified their operations. It said in the light of these developments any peace talks will be meaningless......http://www.voanews.com/content/taliban-casts-doubt-on-peace-talks/3220977.html
    5/3/16

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  30. Slovak PM Fico wins election but faces tough task to form majority...

    Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico won Saturday's parliamentary election, nearly complete results showed, but gains by opposition parties including far-right extremists will complicate formation of a new government.

    Fico, a leftist whose anti-immigration views are in line with neighbors Poland and Hungary, took 28.7 percent of the vote, far ahead of others but less than around 35 percent predicted in opinion surveys, results from 91 percent of voting districts showed.

    With euro zone member Slovakia due to take over the European Union's rotating presidency from July, giving it a bigger role in EU policy discussions over the bloc's migration crisis, the election is being watched closely in Brussels.

    Fico bet on a combination of popular welfare measures such as free train rides for students and pensioners and his opposition to accepting refugees to secure a third term, after ruling from 2006-2010 and 2012-2016......reuters.com
    6/3/16

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  31. Czech president floats idea of Greece paying debts by hosting migrant centers...

    Greece could pay down its foreign debts by hosting deportation centers, giving Europe another option in tackling the migrant crisis, Czech President Milos Zeman said on Sunday.

    Zeman, speaking in a broadcast interview with Czech television channel Prima, said the idea came from one of his advisers and called it "an original idea that could kill two birds with one stone".

    "Detention centers would be built on Greek islands to where migrants from Europe would be deported ... and Greece would, by maintaining these detention centers, pay its otherwise uncollectible foreign debt," he said...REUTERS...todayonline.com
    6/3/16

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  32. North Korea has warned of "indiscriminate" nuclear strikes on the US and South Korea as they begin their largest ever military drills...

    The exercises, involving more than 300,000 personnel, are an annual event and always generate tension.

    The order for a "pre-emptive nuclear strike of justice" was made in a statement put out by Pyongyang.

    Such rhetoric is not uncommon, and experts doubt the North's ability to put nuclear warheads on its missiles.

    North Korea sees the annual US-South Korean war games as a rehearsal for invasion.

    Last year, it threatened to turn Washington into a "sea of fire"....BBC

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  33. EU leaders sit down with Turkey's premier on Monday seeing a glimmer of hope for an end to the refugee crisis that has divided Europe...

    The leaders are troubled by having to seek favours from a government that scorns their ideas of human rights.

    With tens of thousands of migrants hoping to reach Germany stranded in Greece by closing borders, the summit will formalize the closure of the Balkan route out of Greece, diplomats said, while pledging help to Athens and seeking assurances that Turkey will, with NATO naval back-up, bar the sea to people smugglers.

    The leaders in Brussels are likely to tell Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of concerns about rights after the Turkish government seized control of a critical newspaper. But EU officials said they will also be anxious not to alienate Ankara just as hopes are rising of a solution to the crisis.....alarabiya.net

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  34. Tunisia security forces clashed with gunmen near the Libyan border on Monday, less than a week after killing five militants who had slipped across, state television reported...

    The gunmen attempted to attack a National Guard post and an army barracks in the town of Ben Guerdane, triggering a firefight, the television said.

    A security source said that at least four civilians had been wounded.

    Mosaique FM radio said the violence erupted at 4:30 am (0330 GMT) and residents told AFP it was still raging after daybreak.

    The interior ministry said it had no immediate comment. The defence ministry could not be reached.

    Troops have been on alert in the border area following reports that militants had been slipping across since a US air strike on an Islamic State group training camp in Libya on February 18 killed dozens of Tunisian militants.

    At least four of the five militants killed in an hour-long firefight near Ben Guerdane last Wednesday were Tunisians who had entered from Libya in a bid to carry out attacks in their homeland, the interior ministry said....AFP
    7/3/16

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  35. Malaysia, Australia still 'hopeful' on MH370 anniversary...

    Malaysia and Australia said they remained "hopeful" of solving the mystery of flight MH370 as the second anniversary of the plane's disappearance arrived Tuesday with no end in sight for devastated families.

    The anniversary will be marked in Malaysia with the release of a progress report by investigators probing the baffling case, but it remained unclear whether it would contain any new revelations.

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said authorities conducting a painstaking and still-fruitless search for a crash site in the Indian Ocean remain committed to solving the "agonizing mystery".

    "The current search operation is expected to be completed later this year, and we remain hopeful that MH370 will be found," he said in a statement.

    If the search fails, Malaysia, Australia and China will meet "to determine the way forward," he added.

    The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew onboard, mostly from China and Malaysia. Authorities believe it flew far out over the remote southern Indian Ocean and went down....http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/105428-160308-malaysia-australia-still-hopeful-on-mh370-anniversary
    8/3/16

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  36. Syria renews call for unified efforts to end scourge of terrorism upon Tunisia attacks...

    Syria expressed strong condemnation of the terrorist attacks that ISIS organization committed in the Tunisian Ben Gardane town.

    A number of civilians and military members were killed in clashes with ISIS terrorists who attacked military and security posts in Ben Gardane that is close to Tunisia’s border with Libya. 36 terrorists were reported to be killed and 7 others were arrested.

    Syria voices “solidarity with brotherly Tunisia and sympathy with the families of the innocent victims,” an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement to SANA on Tuesday....http://sana.sy/en/?p=71479
    8/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  37. Iran test-fires ballistic missiles: report...

    Iran's Revolutionary Guards conducted military tests on Tuesday, test-firing several ballistic missiles as part of an exercise, according to the ISNA news agency.

    The Reuters news agency reports that the local Iranian news service said that the test was intended "to show Iran's deterrent power and also the Islamic Republic's ability to confront any threat against the (Islamic) Revolution, the state and the sovereignty of the country."

    In January, the United States announced new sanctions linked to Iran's ballistic missile program, just a day after sanctions targeting its nuclear program were lifted.

    At the time. Adam J. Szubin, acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said that "Iran's ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions."
    i24news.tv
    8/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  38. The United States is trying to determine whether an airstrike last week in Syria killed a top Islamic State leader...

    A U.S. official confirmed the strike was carried out Friday near town of al-Shaddadi, but there was no clear determination of the fate of Tarkhan Batirashvili, also known as Omar the Chechen. CNN was first to report the airstrike.

    The U.S. had a $5 million reward on the IS leader's head and said he "coordinated closely" with Islamic State's financial section.

    The latest development followed reports last week of an airstrike near Aleppo that killed IS official Amr al-Absi, also known as Abu al Athir.

    U.S. officials told VOA they had not been able to confirm al-Absi's death and said that if he was killed in an airstrike, it wasn't by the U.S.
    voanews.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Iran: ‘Our missiles are designed to reach Israel’...

    Iran's medium-range ballistic missiles are designed to be able to hit Israel, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' missile battery was quoted as saying on Wednesday as the Guards test-fired two missiles.

    "The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2000 km (1,200 miles) is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance," Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency.

    Iran said its armed forces had fired two more ballistic missiles as it continued tests in defiance of U.S warnings.

    "Long-range Qadr-H and Qadr-F precision missiles were fired today... which destroyed targets" some 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away, official media quoted the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Hossein Salami, as saying.....http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/03/09/Iran-officer-says-missiles-designed-to-reach-Israel.html
    9/3/16

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  40. Afghan Taliban Makes Assault in Helmand...

    Authorities in Afghanistan's restive southern province of Helmand say a group of at least 10 heavily-armed Taliban fighters have staged a coordinated assault, triggering a gun battle with security forces.

    The attack early Wednesday in the Gereshk district targeted the police headquarters and offices of the Afghan spy agency.

    A senior provincial security official, Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, told VOA that security forces have gunned down seven assailants while a gunfight is underway to eliminate the rest of the militants. He added that authorities suspect there were suicide bombers among the attackers.

    The militant attack has left at least one police officer dead while several others wounded, according to local officials.....http://www.voanews.com/content/afghan-taliban-makes-assault-in-helmand/3227001.html
    9/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  41. La chaîne britannique Sky News affirme avoir mis la main sur les noms de 22 000 jihadistes de l'EI...

    La chaîne d'information Sky News a affirmé, mercredi, avoir mis la main sur des documents contenant les noms de 22 000 membres de l'organisation État islamique. Une fuite potentiellement cruciale, si la liste s'avérait authentique.

    La chaîne d'information britannique Sky News a affirmé, mercredi 9 mars, avoir reçu une clé USB contenant des documents et les noms de 22 000 jihadistes de l'organisation État islamique (EI). La chaîne a précisé avoir récupéré ces informations, qui doivent encore être authentifiées, par un ancien membre désabusé du groupe, qui avait volé ces données au chef de la police interne de l'EI.

    Les documents en question, qui contiennent les noms, adresses ou encore numéros de téléphone des recrues, sont des formulaires remplis par des ressortissants de 55 pays ayant rejoint l'EI, a ajouté Sky News, qui a publié quelques reproductions de formulaires.....france24.com
    10/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  42. Japanese Red Cross Notes 5-Year Anniversary of Tsunami ...

    The Japanese Red Cross Society says thousands of families and elderly people are still displaced five years after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country's northeast coastline and set off a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    In a statement Thursday the Red Cross said some 170,000 people are either housed in temporary or rented accommodation, or have moved to other parts of the country to restart their lives.

    It says radioactive contamination from the Daiichi nuclear plant has prevented over 100,000 families from returning home. It notes that some families have been able to return, permanently or temporarily, thanks to decontamination efforts......voanews.com
    10/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  43. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned March 10 that closing the route used by migrants through the western Balkans “does not resolve the problem” and that Greek cannot shoulder the weight of the refugee burden if the European Union and Turkey cannot strike of deal...

    “That’s why I am seeking a real European solution, that is, a solution for all 28 [EU members],” she said.

    A deal discussed with Turkey at an EU summit on March 7 and due to be finalized on March 17-18 would see the country take back illegal migrants landing in Greece.

    Ankara proposed an arrangement under which the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee from camps in Turkey in exchange for every Syrian that Turkey takes from Greece, in a bid to reduce the incentive for people to board boats for Europe....AFP

    ReplyDelete
  44. Japan marks fifth anniversary of devastating 3/11 disasters...

    At 2:46 p.m. Friday, millions of people observed a moment of silence across Japan as the country marked the fifth anniversary of the March 2011 quake and tsunami that devastated coastal areas of the Tohoku region, killing at least 19,304 and leaving an additional 2,561 still unaccounted for as of Thursday.

    The anniversary comes as about 174,000 evacuees from disaster-hit areas are still living outside their damaged hometowns.

    They include more than 43,000 from Fukushima, most of whom are believed to have fled the radioactive fallout from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was wrecked by the killer tsunami.....http://www.japantimes.co.jp
    11/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  45. US Secretary of State John Kerry has said Washington believes that the UN - sponsored peace talks in Geneva should go ahead on Monday and that violence had been reduced by 80 to 90 percent...

    Speaking after breakfast with Saudi Foreign Minister Adelal-Jubeir, Mr Kerry said Russian and American monitors were to meet in Amman and Geneva today to discuss "perceived" ceasefire violations by the Syrian government, and that he planned to request a call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

    "The level of violence by all accounts has been reduced by 80 to 90 percent, which is very, very significant. And what we want to do is continue to work to reduce these," Mr Kerry said.

    "But we've made it very very clear that the Assad regime cannot use this process as a way to exploit the situation, when others are trying in good faith to abide by it. And there is a limit to the patience with respect to that."
    rte.ie
    12/3/16

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  46. Pyongyang menace de lancer "un blitzkrieg" en Corée du Sud...

    Pyongyang menace de lancer un "blitzkrieg" contre les troupes sud-coréennes et américaines qui effectuent en ce moment des manœuvres conjointes et de "libérer toute la Corée du Sud", a annoncé ce samedi l'agence officielle nord-coréenne.

    Alors que ces manoeuvres américano-sud-coréennes annuelles, qui provoquent à chaque fois la colère de Pyongyang, sont en cours, l'agence de presse officielle KCNA, citant un communiqué du commandement militaire, a agité la possibilité d'"une frappe préemptive contre les groupes ennemis" qui participent à ces exercices.

    Pyongyang envisage de lancer en réplique à ces manoeuvres "un blitzkrieg", "une opération pour libérer toute la Corée du Sud y compris Séoul", a déclaré KCNA. En réaction, le ministère sud-coréen des Affaires étrangères a appelé Pyongyang à cesser ses menaces et ses provocations, selon l'agence de presse sud-coréenne Yonhap....rtl.be
    12/3/16

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  47. The Syrian government delegation to shaky peace talks in Geneva will wait no more than 24 hours for the opposition delegation to arrive, the country's foreign minister said Saturday...

    "Our delegation will leave for Geneva tomorrow... We will wait 24 hours and if no one is there, then we will return," Walid Muallem told a news conference in Damascus.
    AFP

    ReplyDelete
  48. At least 12 people shot dead during attack at Ivory Coast resort town...

    At least 12 people have been killed, including four Europeans, during an attack at the Ivory Coast resort town of Grand Bassam, police source said.

    Four attackers opened fire on tourists, said a witness.

    Grand Bassam, about 40km east of the commercial capital Abidjan, is a weekend retreat for Abidjan residents and its beaches, bars and hotels are also popular with westerners.

    "For the moment, we have a total of 12 dead, including four Europeans ... We don't know yet if there are others. We are doing clean-up operations right now," the police officer said.

    A video taken by another witness showed seven people lying on the ground following the attack.....rte.ie

    ReplyDelete
  49. The United States and France accused the Syrian government of trying to disrupt a new round of peace talks set to begin on Monday and said Russia and Iran would need to show the Syrian government was "living up to" what had been agreed...

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Saturday that his government would not discuss presidential elections at peace talks in Geneva this week or hold talks with any party wishing to discuss the question of the presidency.

    "It's a provocation ... a bad sign and doesn't correspond to the spirit of the ceasefire," French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told a news conference with his British, German, Italian, U.S. and EU counterparts.....REUTERS

    ReplyDelete
  50. Iran will continue its strong support to Syria in the fight against terrorism, and to the political settlement of the crisis as well as to upholding its solidarity and sovereignty, Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hussein Amir Abdullahian said...

    ” Syria is an important country in the resistance front ,” Abdullahian told the Iranian News Agency /IRNA/ on Sunday.

    He said “The future of Syria shall be determined only by its people.”

    Last Wednesday, Abdullahian reiterated that settling the crisis in Syria is dependent on respecting and protecting Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
    sana.sy
    14/3/16

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  51. Russia ready to cooperate with U.S.-led coalition in fight for Syria's Raqqa: Interfax...

    Russia is ready to coordinate its actions with the U.S.-led coalition in Syria to push the Islamic State group out of Raqqa, Interfax news agency quoted Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.

    "We are ready to coordinate our actions with the Americans, because Raqqa is in the eastern part of Syria, and the American coalition is mainly ... acting there," Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying in an interview with the Ren-TV television channel.

    "Perhaps, this is no secret, if I say that at some stage the

    Americans suggested performing a 'division of labor': the Russian Air Forces should concentrate on the liberation of Palmyra, and the American coalition with Russian support will focus on the liberation of Raqqa," the minister added.
    REUTERS
    14/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  52. The UAE said on Monday that a fighter jet had gone missing during a Yemen combat mission...

    "The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces announced today that a fighter jet taking part in the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia... in Yemen was missing," said a statement on the official WAM news agency.

    The UAE is a major backer of the Arab -led coalition fighting on behalf of Yemen's internationally recognized government against Houthi militias that control the capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.
    [ alarabiya.net]
    14/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  53. The White House offered a cautious initial response to President Vladimir Putin`s surprise order Monday to withdraw some Russian military forces from Syria...

    "We will have to see exactly what Russia`s intentions are," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said minutes after Putin`s televised comments.

    Putin ordered his defense minister to begin withdrawing from Tuesday "the main part of our military contingents from the Syrian Arab Republic."

    His shock announcement -- after months of operations to prop up Assad`s regime -- was greeted with skepticism by many observers.

    Putin launched air strikes in September followed by a massive troop deployment, turning the tide of a long and brutal war in Assad`s favor, rescuing his regime from the brink of collapse.

    But there was also some hope Putin`s latest gambit could signal a willingness to accept Assad`s exit or lead to a breakthrough in peace talks in Geneva, which began Monday.

    Opposition groups, the United States and key European countries have called on Assad to go as part of a negotiated transition.

    "We have talked about how Russia`s continued military intervention to prop up the Assad regime made the efforts to reach a political transition even more difficult," said Earnest.

    "It`s hard for me to assess what sorts of implications this will have on the talks what sort of change it will bring about to that dynamic."
    AFP
    14/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  54. 41 civilians dead in coalition raids on Yemen market...

    At least 41 Yemeni civilians were killed when Saudi-led coalition warplanes hit a market Tuesday in the rebel-held northern Hajja province, medics and tribal sources said.

    An official at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said the facility had received the bodies of 41 people killed in the raids, along with 35 people who were wounded.

    A health official in Hajja said the casualties were civilians and included children, adding that "the toll could rise".

    Local officials and tribal sources told AFP that coalition warplanes carried out several raids on the market in the town of Mustabaa.

    The rebel-run sabanews.net website said that the coalition carried out two raids at the market and a restaurant in the area and gave a toll of 65 civilians dead and 55 wounded.....http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/106295-160315-41-civilians-dead-in-coalition-raids-on-yemen-market-medics
    15/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  55. Albania is getting Italian help to improve security measures along its border with Greece in case migrants barred from taking the main Balkan route to the European Union try to go via Albanian territory instead, a Tirana official said on Tuesday...

    Under a deal being worked out, Italy would help Albania to record the biometric data of refugees entering the country and to electronically share information on their identities and the route they had taken with EU border agency Frontex and possibly Greece, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

    The agreement is expected to be finalised when Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano visits Albania next week.

    With FYROM and other states the so-called Western Balkan corridor route to the EU having sealed their frontiers, there has been speculation that migrants will seek out alternative routes to try to reach destinations in western Europe...channelnewsasia.com
    15-16/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  56. EU risks defaulting on human rights in Turkey deal - UN rights chief...

    The European Union risks compromising its human rights values if it fails to ensure Turkey offers proper protection to all refugees under a deal to curb migrant flows to Europe, the United Nations' human rights chief said on Tuesday.

    The EU is pushing for an initial agreement this week with Turkey to start taking back refugees and migrants reaching Europe from its shores. The U.N. and rights groups have criticised the notion of mass returns to Turkey, which restricts Geneva Convention rights for refugees to Europeans.

    "We believe that Turkey should lift all restrictions on Geneva," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, told Reuters.....channelnewsasia.com
    15-16/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  57. Un avion de l'armée équatorienne, avec 22 personnes à bord dont 19 parachutistes, s'est écrasé mardi dans la province de Pastaza, en Amazonie, et il n'y a aucun survivant, a annoncé le président Rafael Correa...

    "Un avion de l'armée s'est écrasé à Pastaza. Il avait 22" personnes à bord, a écrit le chef de l'Etat sur son compte Twitter, faisant part de sa "profonde tristesse", avant d'ajouter quelques minutes plus tard: "Il n'y a pas de survivant"....rtbf.be

    ReplyDelete
  58. Israel has appropriated a large tract of fertile land in the occupied West Bank during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Israel, officials and local media said Tuesday...

    Israel's coordinator of the government's activities in the West Bank confirmed that about 2,300 dunams (about 568 acres) were declared as "state lands" by Israel.

    He added that the move was made following "a decision by the political echelon and in agreement with the examination of professional bodies".

    The coordinator declined to comment on the timing of the expropriation but Israel's Army Radio reported it took place on March 10, as Biden was concluding his two-day visit to Israel.

    The appropriation means that under Israeli law, the land is now a property of the Israeli government. The region is located deep in the West Bank, a territory that Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War...http://www.china.org.cn/world/2016-03/16/content_38036418.htm
    16/3/16

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  59. An Argentinean coastguard vessel fired on and sank a Chinese fishing boat, the coastguard said in a statement on Tuesday...

    The incident happened Monday in the coastal waters of Chubut Province, with more than 30 crew members on board, said local media citing the statement.

    No casualties were reported. The captain and three crew members were rescued by the coastguard vessel while the remaining were taken on board by another Chinese vessel.

    Argentinean authorities are in touch with the Chinese embassy concerning the matter, according to the statement.
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/974035.shtml
    16/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  60. UN envoy to meet pro-Russia Syria opposition group at talks...

    A Syria opposition group that is close to Russia and tolerated by Damascus will meet UN envoy Staffan de Mistura at peace talks in Geneva, a delegation member told AFP Wednesday

    "We received an invitation to take part in the Geneva talks," said Fateh Jamous, a member of the so-called Moscow Group, which includes ex-Syrian deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil, who is considered a moderate opposition leader by the regime.
    AFP
    16/3/16

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  61. The Turkish capital has ruled out a planned move by Syrian Kurds to declare a federal system in the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria, arguing that such a move would not have “any validity.”...

    “Syria’s national unity and territorial integrity is the basis [of Syria],” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Hürriyet Daily News on March 16, after Idris Nassan, an official in the foreign affairs directorate of Kobane, one of three autonomous areas set up by Kurdish groups two years ago, told Reuters that they would make the announcement on March 16.

    “Syrian people, with the participation of all segments, will collectively make their decision on the administration style and administrative structure of Syria with the new constitution, which will be drafted within the framework of ‘a political transition process,’” said the official, speaking under customary condition of anonymity.

    “Apart from that, unilateral acts cannot have any validity,” the official added.....hurriyetdailynews.com
    16/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  62. The European Union has agreed sanctions on three Libyan leaders who oppose a Western-backed unity government, clearing the way for travel bans and asset freezes to be imposed in the next few days, diplomats said...

    EU governments have been hesitating for months, fearful of derailing peace efforts, but Western powers recognised a unity cabinet as Libya's only legitimate government on Sunday, and are pushing for it to move to Tripoli and start work.

    The sanctions deal marks a breakthrough for France, which hopes the measures will help accelerate the formation of a government and avoid Libya slipping fully into the hands of Islamic State group militants.

    "Sanctions have been agreed," a senior EU diplomat told Reuters, saying that although the legal text to support the sanctions still needs to be drawn up, no government is expected to object to the proceedings.....REUTERS
    16/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  63. Radical Kurdish group close to PKK claims deadly Ankara attack ...

    A radical Kurdish group with ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Thursday claimed the deadly suicide car bomb attack that killed 35 people in Ankara last weekend.

    "On the evening of March 13, a suicide attack was carried out... in the streets of the capital of the fascist Turkish republic. We claim this attack," the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) said in a statement on their website.

    The group said it was a response to security operations carried out by Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of the country.

    Meanwhile, German institutions in Turkey were closed Thursday for security reasons, the consulate in the country said.

    Sunday's attack came three weeks after a similar car bombing in Ankara killed 29 people, also claimed by TAK......AFP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Germany's embassy in Ankara and its general consulate in Istanbul were closed on Thursday on indications of a possible imminent attack, the foreign ministry said...

      The ministry said the German school in Istanbul had also been shut due to an "unconfirmed warning". On Tuesday, Germany had issued an alert to its citizens in Ankara warning of an "imminent attack".
      REUTERS
      17/3/16

      Delete
  64. Canada wants long-term plan before committing to new anti-ISIS mission in Libya...

    Canada would need to hear a number of things from its allies - notably a long-term strategy - before deciding to commit troops to an Italian-led training mission in Libya to counter the advance of Islamic extremists, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

    Signs that western allies are preparing for some kind of intervention in the North African country have been growing stronger in the last few weeks and Sajjan has already indicated that the Trudeau government is willing to consider some kind of involvement.

    The signals became stronger in the last few days with reports in Europe that a mission to train and advise Libyan security forces was coming soon and Britain might contribute 1,000 troops....ctvnews.ca
    17/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  65. Japan is investigating reports that a journalist is being held captive by an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria, after a video was uploaded to Facebook...

    When contacted by a Japanese news agency on Thursday, a Syrian man who uploaded the footage told Kyodo that he had received the video of Jumpei Yasuda from a person representing the al-Nusra Front.

    He said that the group -- which has been fighting Basher Assad's regime since 2011 -- is demanding a ransom from the government, but it is yet to respond.

    In December 2015, rights group Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that Yasuda has been held by an armed group in Syria since July.

    It added that his captors had threatened to kill him or sell him to another group unless a ransom was paid....JT.JN
    17/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  66. Australia Thursday hailed its controversial regime of turning back asylum-seeker boats as a success after 600 days with no vessels arriving, and almost 700 people being repelled since the policy was launched...

    Under the hardline measures, asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia by boat are turned back to their country of departure or sent to remote Pacific island camps, where conditions have been criticised with allegations of rape and other abuse.

    They are blocked from resettling in Australia even if they are found to be refugees in a policy the conservative government has defended as stopping deaths at sea.

    "Tomorrow (Friday) marks 600 days since the last successful people-smuggling venture to our country and the government`s absolutely determined to make sure that it stays that way," Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said in Canberra.....AFP
    17/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  67. North Korea has fired another ballistic missile, days after the United States imposed new sanctions on the reclusive state...

    South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile flew 800 kilometers before crashing off the North's eastern coast early Friday. The South said it tracked the projectile and was monitoring the situation.

    A U.S. defense official says the U.S. tracked the launch of two ballistic missiles from North Korea. The official said neither was assessed to be a threat to the U.S. or its allies, and noted that the launches are a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

    President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing new sanctions Wednesday in response to the authoritarian regime's latest nuclear and ballistic missile tests...
    [voanews.com]
    18/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  68. Brazil's political crisis deepened as a judge blocked the appointment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to his successor just moments after his tumultuous swearing-in ceremony held amid heated protests...

    Current President Dilma Rousseff's opponents accused her of a transparent manoeuvre aimed at helping the once popular Silva avoid legal woes that saw him taken in for questioning in a sprawling corruption probe less than two weeks ago. Cabinet members cannot be investigated, charged or imprisoned unless authorized by the Supreme Court.

    Rousseff has insisted the Cabinet appointment has nothing to do with the former president's legal problems, saying Silva would help put the country back on track economically and spearhead the fight against attempts to oust her over allegations of fiscal mismanagement. The impeachment process moved a step closer Thursday as the lower house established a special commission on the matter...AP....ctvnews.ca

    ReplyDelete
  69. China and Gambia announced on Thursday they would resume diplomatic relations, 21 years after the West African country broke its ties with the Chinese mainland and turned to Taiwan...

    Observers said the move will pressure Taiwan's incoming new leader Tsai Ing-wen to rethink the stance of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that could sour future cross-Straits ties.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Gambian counterpart Neneh MacDouall-Gaye signed a joint communiqué in Beijing on Thursday to resume diplomatic relations.

    "The Gambian government recognizes that there is only one China in the world and that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory," the communiqué says.

    The two countries established formal diplomatic links in 1974 but the mainland suspended the relations in 1995 when Gambia resumed "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan......http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/974554.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  70. German embassy, consulate in Turkey closed for second day over threat of possible attack...

    The German Embassy in Ankara and the German Consulate in Istanbul have remained closed for a second day over the threat of a possible attack after German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said they had received very serious intelligence about a possible terror attack against German missions in Turkey on March 17.

    Security measures are continuing in front of the German Consulate in Istanbul building with armored police vehicles.

    “We have received very concrete intelligences over the fact that there have been preparations for terror attacks at German representation offices in Turkey. Therefore, I decided for the closure of Embassy in Ankara, Consulate in Istanbul and German schools in the two cities last night. This was a necessary precaution for the protection of German citizens and working people have priority,” German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier said at an urgent press meeting in Berlin on March 17.

    Steinmeier also advised German citizens to closely follow travel warnings in the upcoming days.....hurriyetdailynews.com
    18/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  71. Turkish premier Ahmet Davutoglu warned there would be no "bargaining" over the plight of refugees as he entered crunch talks Friday with EU leaders about plans to curb the unprecedented numbers reaching Europe...

    Davutoglu threw down the gauntlet to the leaders who overnight forged a common position including "red lines" that they will present to him at talks in Brussels led by European Council President Donald Tusk.

    "For Turkey, the refugee issue is not an issue of bargaining but an issue of values, humanitarian values as well as European values," Davutoglu told reporters as he arrived for the summit...AFP

    ReplyDelete
  72. The United States has seen Chinese activity around a reef China seized from the Philippines nearly four years ago that could be a precursor to more land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy chief said on Thursday...

    The head of US naval operations, Admiral John Richardson, expressed concern that an international court ruling expected in coming weeks on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims could be a trigger for Beijing to declare an exclusion zone in the busy trade route.

    Richardson told Reuters the United States was weighing responses to such a move.

    China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims....REUTERS
    18/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  73. Two French police officials have told The Associated Press that Salah Abdeslam, the main fugitive from Islamic extremist attacks in Paris in November, has been arrested in Belgium's capital after four months at large...

    They said he was arrested Friday in a major police operation in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek. Both officials are in contact with people involved in the operation and spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing operation.

    Abdeslam was among several attackers who targeted cafes, a rock concert and a stadium in Paris' deadliest attacks in decades, which killed 130 people.
    AP

    ReplyDelete
  74. Explosion rocks tourist shopping area in Turkish city of Istanbul, some reports of injuries

    ReplyDelete
    Replies


    1. Four people, including the bomber, were killed and six others injured in a suicide attack on a major shopping street in Istanbul today.

      Three of the wounded are reportedly Israeli citizens.

      The explosion was in Istiklal Street, a wide boulevard closed to traffic that is lined with international stores and shopping centres.

      A Reuters witness in the area saw police helicopters circling overhead and television footage showed people running from the area.

      A car bomb tore through the capital Ankara earlier this month, killing 37 people.

      Delete
  75. Turkish president accuses Europe of backing terrorism ...

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday accused European countries of backing the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) outlawed by Turkey.

    In a televised speech marking the 101st anniversary of the Gallipoli Battle in Turkey's western city of Canakkale, the president criticized Belgium for allowing PKK supporters to pitch tents behind the European Council building in Brussels prior to a summit between the European Union and Turkey.

    "This is called surrendering to terrorism," he said, warning that there is no reason to believe that a bomb that exploded in Ankara, Turkey's capital, will not explode in Brussels......http://www.china.org.cn/world/2016-03/19/content_38065296.htm

    ReplyDelete
  76. A soccer derby between Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Galatasaray scheduled for Sunday evening was postponed and fans evacuated after the Istanbul Governor's office said "serious intelligence was obtained" about a potential security threat, CNN Turk TV said...

    The cancellation of the match, which was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), came a day after a suicide bomber killed himself and four other people, and wounded dozens more, in an attack on Istanbul's most popular shopping district.
    REUTERS
    20/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  77. At least two dozen Iraqi security forces were killed in suicide attacks launched by ISIL on Sunday in restive Anbar province, the scene of near-daily violence...

    The news comes as the United States announced the deployment of more US Marines on the ground to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS.

    An Iraqi military source told Al Jazeera at least 24 Iraqi forces were killed, while 12 others were wounded in the blasts in the municipality of Haqlaniyah, southwest of Hadeetha city.

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  78. Russie: la pilote ukrainienne Savtchenko reconnue coupable de meurtre ...

    La pilote ukrainienne Savtchenko a été reconnue coupable du meurtre de deux journalistes russes.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Some US Marines on ground in Iraq ‘to fight ISIS’...

    A detachment of US Marines is on the ground in Iraq to support US and coalition efforts against ISIS, the US military said on Sunday.

    A group of Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU, will add to the US forces already in Iraq battling ISIS, it said.

    The 26th MEU is currently deployed in the US 5th Fleet area of operations, which covers the Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean.....alarabiya.net
    21/3/16

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  80. North Korea has fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off the country's east coast...

    South Korean officials say the projectiles were launched Monday from the eastern city of Hamhung.

    The officials did not say what type of missiles or rockets may have been fired.

    Last week South Korean officials said the North fired medium-range missiles into the sea in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

    North Korea has been threatening for weeks to initiate preemptive nuclear strikes against Washington and Seoul to protest South Korea-U.S. military drills. The North sees the drills as a rehearsal for a military invasion.
    voanews.com

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  81. At least six soldiers were killed Monday in an attack in western Iraq claimed by the Islamic State group that began with five suicide bombers ramming explosives-laden vehicles into a checkpoint, officials said...

    Several foreigners were among the bombers, including a Frenchman, according to a statement by IS which said its fighters carried out the attack.

    A senior officer in the Iraqi army, manning the checkpoint near the town of Al-Baghdadi in Anbar province, said nine soldiers were also wounded.....i24news.tv

    ReplyDelete
  82. 1,600 migrants land in Greece, despite EU-Turkey deal...

    More than 1,600 migrants have landed in Greece since a landmark EU-Turkish deal on curbing the influx took effect, officials said on Monday, highlighting the challenges still facing efforts to tackle the crisis.

    The EU and Ankara reached an agreement at a summit on Friday aiming to cut off the sea crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands that enabled 850,000 people to pour into Europe last year, many of them fleeing conflict in Syria.

    The deal, under which all migrants landing on the Greek islands face being sent back to Turkey, went into effect early on Sunday but the influx has continued, according to the SOMP agency, which is coordinating Athens' response to the crisis.

    Since the agreement took effect, 1,662 migrants have landed in Greece, SOMP said, including 830 on Chios and 698 on Lesbos, two islands in the northeast Aegean which lie close to Turkey, SOMP said....AFP....timesofindia.indiatimes.com
    21/3/16

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  83. Attentats: le monde se mobilise pour Bruxelles...

    Depuis ce matin les médias sociaux servent à rassurer ses proches, trouver des informations, mais aussi a recevoir des messages de soutien venant du monde entier. Des hastags comme #bruxelles #prayforbrussels #jesuisbruxelles #tousensemble ont fait leur apparition sur Twitter.....rtbf.be

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  84. Le niveau de la menace passe à 4 pour l'ensemble du pays: 225 militaires supplémentaires....

    Le niveau de la menace a été relevé à 4 pour l'ensemble du pays, a annoncé mardi un porte-parole du ministre de l'Intérieur Jan Jambon.

    La décision émane de l'Organe de Coordination pour l'Analyse de la Menace (OCAM). La phase fédérale de la gestion de crise a été implémentée. Deux explosions ont eu lieu vers 8 heures mardi à l'aéroport de Zaventem (Brussels Airport). Dans ce cadre, 225 militaires supplémentaires ont été dépêchés dans la capitale.....rtl.be

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  85. Quinze morts et 55 blessés dans l'explosion à Maelbeek...

    (Belga) L'explosion survenue mardi matin dans une rame située à la station de métro Maelbeek a fait 15 morts et 55 blessés, dont 10 sont dans un état grave, indique la Stib dans un bilan provisoire.

    Une explosion s'est produite mardi vers 09h11 dans une rame de métro qui se trouvait à l'arrêt à la station Maelbeek, en direction d'Arts-Loi. "Selon un premier bilan, l'explosion a fait 15 morts et 55 blessés, dont 10 sont dans un état grave. L'évacuation de la station vient de se terminer", précise la société bruxelloise de transports publics.....rtl.be

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  86. Al-Azhar, the top Muslim body based in Cairo, has said the Brussels attacks "violate" Islamic teachings. Nobody has claimed the bombings yet, but supporters of the Islamic State group have hailed them on social media.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Netanyahu hopes U.S. will reject U.N. resolution on Palestinian statehood...

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he hoped the United States would continue to reject any move towards a U.N. Security Council resolution backing Palestinian statehood.

    "A Security Council Resolution to pressure Israel would further harden Palestinian positions and thereby could actually kill the chances of peace for many, many years," he told a meeting of the powerful American-Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbying group.

    Netanyahu's speech returned the conference focus to policy after a turn to partisan politics on Monday when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took to the stage and denounced President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

    AIPAC's leaders distanced the group from his remarks before Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday....reuters.com
    22/3/16

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  88. The Belgium friendly match against Portugal, scheduled for next Tuesday at King Baudouin Stadium, has been cancelled for security reasons, according to a statement released on Wednesday on the website of the Royal Belgian Football Association...

    "For security reasons and precaution, the City of Brussels has asked the Belgian FA to cancel the match Belgium-Portugal on 29 March," the note said.
    EFE
    23/3/16

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  89. Attentats de Bruxelles: le FBI va venir en Belgique ...

    Une délégation du FBI et de la police de New York va se rendre à Bruxelles, a annoncé mardi soir le responsable de la lutte antiterroriste de la police de New York John Miller, expliquant que des Américains figuraient parmi les victimes des attentats.

    "Parce qu'il y a des victimes américaines et des personnes des États-Unis dans les attentats en Belgique, ce sera une enquête du FBI, venant de la force conjointe antiterroriste de New York", a déclaré John Miller, lors d'une conférence de presse. Il a ajouté qu'une délégation pourrait partir "dès ce soir ou demain".....rtbf.be

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  90. 2 Iraqis Sentenced in Finland for Posting Severed Head Images Online ...

    Courts in Finland handed suspended sentences of 16 and 13 months respectively to an Iraqi Shi'ite militiaman and an Iraqi army sergeant on Wednesday for posting images of themselves holding severed heads of enemy fighters on Facebook.

    The two were arrested after arriving in Finland last year and were charged with war crimes involving desecration of bodies in incidents in 2014 and 2015 in Iraq, where Iraqi government forces are embroiled in war with Islamic State (IS) militants.

    At trials in two separate district courts, the defendants admitted posting the pictures online but denied involvement in the deaths of the decapitated fighters.....voanews.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Turkish authorities in June 2015 detained and later deported one of the individuals behind the attacks in Brussels that killed 31 people, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday...

    "One of the Brussels attackers was detained in Gaziantep (in southern Turkey close to the Syrian border) and then deported" to Belgium, Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.

    He said the Belgian authorities had failed to confirm the suspect's links to terrorism "despite our warnings" following his deportation.
    AFP

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  92. Security officials have told The Associated Press that the ISIS has trained at least 400 attackers and sent them into Europe for terror attacks...

    The network of interlocking, agile and semiautonomous cells shows the reach of the extremist group in Europe even as it loses ground in Syria.

    The officials, including European and Iraqi intelligence officials and a French lawmaker who follows the militants’ networks, describe camps designed specifically to train for attacks against the West.

    The officials say the fighters have been given orders to find the right time, place and method to carry out their mission.
    The Associated Press

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  93. UN war crimes judges will deliver a keenly-awaited judgement Thursday on wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, accused of genocide for some of the worst atrocities committed in Europe since World War II...

    Once the feared leader of Bosnia’s Serb minority during the Balkan country’s brutal 1992-95 war, Karadzic faces charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the bloody slaughter that claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced 2.2 million others.

    Karadzic, sporting his familiar bouffant hairstyle, will face judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at 1300 GMT for the historic ruling.

    Now 70, the one-time psychiatrist will be the highest-profile politician from the Balkan wars to face judgement, after former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic died in his prison cell in The Hague while on trial in 2006.

    Karadzic, as president of the breakaway Republika Srpska, is accused of taking part in a joint criminal scheme to “permanently remove Muslim and Bosnian Croat inhabitants... from areas claimed as Bosnian Serb territory”.....http://www.france24.com/en/20160324-karadzic-verdict-un-war-crimes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide and nine other war crimes charges, UN judges at The Hague said Thursday, sentencing him to 40 years in prison...

      Karadzic, the most senior political figure to be convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, was found guilty of 10 out of 11 charges for his role in Bosnia's brutal 1992-95 war that claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced 2.2 million others.

      Presiding Judge O-Gon Kwon said the former Bosnian Serb leader was criminally responsible for murder, attacking civilians and terror for overseeing the deadly 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

      Kwon said Karadzic used a campaign of sniping and shelling targeting the city's civilians as a way of furthering his political goals.

      But Karadzic was acquitted of a second count of genocide, judges having ruled that there is insufficient evidence to prove that crimes committed in Bosnian municipalities amounted to genocide......http://www.france24.com/en/20160324-karadzic-found-guilty-bosnia-genocide-srebrenica-hague

      Delete
  94. Irakische Armee startet Großoffensive auf IS-Hochburg Mossul ...

    Der Irak hat mit ausländischer Unterstützung die lange erwartete Militär-Offensive zur Rückeroberung der Stadt Mossul begonnen. Dabei seien mehrere Dörfer im Umland Mossuls eingenommen worden, hieß es in einer am Donnerstag im Fernsehen verlesenen Erklärung der irakischen Streitkräfte. Die Offensive ist die erste Phase einer Militäraktion, mit der die Regierung die Extremistenmiliz Islamischer Staat (IS) aus der größten Stadt im Norden des Landes vertreiben will.

    Die Offensive startet von dem Stützpunkt Makhmour. Die Stadt liegt rund 70 Kilometer südöstlich von Mossul. Schon im Februar begann die irakische Armee Truppen dorthin zu verlegen. Die Soldaten im Stützpunkt sollten auf 4500 Mann aufgestockt werden. "In diesem Jahr ist die Zeit gekommen, in der wir Daesh im Irak militärisch ein Ende setzen", sagte Regierungschefs Haidar al-Abadi damals.

    In Mossul lebten einst rund zwei Millionen Menschen. Die IS-Kämpfer nahmen die Metropole 2014 in einem Blitzangriff ein. Es ist die bei weitem größte Stadt in Irak und Syrien, die der IS unter seine Kontrolle brachte......http://diepresse.com

    ReplyDelete
  95. Revelations from Turkey that it had informed Belgium that at least one of the bombers in the March 22 Brussels attack was a jihadist fighter have rocked the Western European country after authorities failed to prevent the deadly assault...

    Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Geens offered their resignations over the Brussels attacks, but they were rejected by Prime Minister Charles Michel, Belgian media reported March 24.

    Belgian authorities are facing embarrassment after Turkey said on March 23 that last year Ankara deported back to Europe Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers who carried out the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks on March 22, and warned Belgium he was a militant.

    “We informed the Brussels embassy of the deportation process of the attacker with a note on July 14, 2015. However, the Belgians released the attacker despite his deportation,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 23, adding that one of the perpetrators of the Brussels attack had been detained by Turkish authorities in June 2015 in the southeastern province of Gaziantep and deported.....hurriyetdailynews.com

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  96. Islamic State targeting Europe because caliphate is 'collapsing': Kerry...

    United States Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that the Islamic State is focusing on Europe because the international coalition fighting it in the Middle East is making their caliphate "collapse before their eyes," the New York Times reports.

    Kerry Arrived in Brussels on Friday to offer Washington's support to Belgium after attacks claimed by the Islamic State group killed 31 dead and left 300 injured.

    Speaking next to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel , Kerry said that “the very reason that Daesh is resorting to actions outside of the Middle East is that its fantasy of a caliphate is collapsing before their eyes,” using the Arabic acronym for the group.

    “Its territory is shrinking every day, its leaders are being decimated, its revenue resources are dwindling, and its fighters are fleeing,” he added.....i24news.tv
    26/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  97. Atomanlage als potenzielles Terrorziel ...

    Entging Belgien nur knapp einem Terrorangriff auf eine Nukleareinrichtung? Das Pariser Blatt „Libération“ veröffentlichte soeben eine ausführliche Recherche, die den Schluss nahelegt, dass die Dschihadisten-Zelle, die die jüngsten Attentate in Brüssel und zuvor in Paris durchführte, schon seit längerem auch belgische Atomanlagen im Visier hatte.

    Ein erster Hinweis findet sich knapp nach dem Gemetzel von Paris im November. Die belgische Polizei nimmt Mohammed Bakkali fest, einen der mutmaßlichen Waffen- und Sprengstoff-Beschaffer der Paris-Attentäter, die vom Brüssler Stadtviertel Molenbeek aus agieren. In seiner Wohnung werden auch zehnstündige Videoaufnahmen entdeckt. Weil auf dem Streifen ein Linienbus aufscheint, kann die Polizei den Standort ausmachen. Die Kamera war in einem Gebüsch gegenüber einem Haustor versteckt und filmte das Ein- und Ausgehen eines Leiters eines Atomforschungszentrums. Die anschließend ausgewerteten Überwachungskameras der Umgebung zeigen, dass zwei Männer den Videostreifen abholen. Bei den zwei dürfte es sich um die Brüder Ibrahim und Khalid El Bakraoui handeln - zwei der Selbstmordattentäter von Brüssel......http://kurier.at
    26/3/16

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  98. New images have emerged from Palmyra, hours after Syrian troops recaptured it from the Islamic State group (IS)...

    The pictures reveal the extent of destruction wrought by the group during their 10-month occupation of the Unesco World Heritage site.

    While some treasured monuments have been destroyed, much of the ancient city's ruins are said to remain intact.

    Syria's antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said authorities had been "expecting the worst".

    But he told the AFP news agency that "the landscape, in general, is in good shape"....BBC

    ReplyDelete
  99. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed 72 people at a popular park in Lahore on Easter Sunday, saying it had targeted Christians...

    "We carried out the Lahore attack as Christians are our target," Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, told AFP by telephone on Monday, adding that the group would carry out more attacks in the future, including on schools and colleges.

    Officials said the bomber had detonated the explosives packed with ball bearings near a children's playing area in the popular Gulshan-i-Iqbal park.

    A spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban had earlier been quoted by NBC News, saying: "We proudly take responsibility for the suicide attack in a park in Lahore. Members of the Christian community who were celebrating Easter today were our prime target......i24news.tv
    28/3/16

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  100. At least 12 Algerian soldiers were killed when a military helicopter crashed in the south of the country, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday...

    Further details were not immediately available. The crash occurred near Reggane town and two other soldiers were injured, the ministry said.
    REUTERS
    28/3/16

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  101. A Saudi-led military coalition on Monday said it had completed a prisoner swap in Yemen, exchanging nine Saudi prisoners for 109 Yemeni nationals ahead of a planned truce and peace talks aimed at ending the year-long war with Houthi rebels...

    The statement did not say which group the deal was made with, but the Iran-allied Houthi movement said on Sunday it had exchanged prisoners with its enemy Riyadh, as a first step towards ending a humanitarian crisis prompted by the conflict.

    The Iran-allied Houthis are battling Yemeni government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.

    Saudi Arabia received its nationals on Sunday, the coalition statement published on Saudi Arabia's state news agency SPA said. The alliance "hopes to begin a truce in conflict areas of the Republic of Yemen," it added.....todayonline.com

    ReplyDelete
  102. Iraq's Kurds demand at least 20 percent of new gov't posts...

    As Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi has continued consultations with a view to reshuffling his cabinet, Kurdish lawmakers have demanded at least 20 percent of the new government posts.

    Under pressure from firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, al-Abadi has begun talks aimed at forming a new government of technocrats untainted by corruption or sectarianism -- both of which, critics say, have hamstrung Iraq’s previous post-invasion governments.

    "The Kurds will not accept less than 20 percent of the ministerial posts in any new cabinet," Kurdish MP Ala Talabani said at a Sunday press conference following talks with Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri.....http://aa.com.tr

    ReplyDelete
  103. Japan opens radar station close to disputed isles in move bound to rile China...

    Japan on Monday switched on a radar station in the East China Sea, giving it a permanent intelligence gathering post close to Taiwan and a group of islands disputed by Japan and China, drawing a muted initial response from Beijing.

    The new Self Defence Force base on the island of Yonaguni is at the western extreme of a string of Japanese islands in the East China Sea, 150 km (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.....REUTERS
    28/3/16

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  104. Syria’s antiquities chief said on Monday that his department would need five years to restore the ancient ruins of Palmyra damaged by ISIS...

    “If we have UNESCO’s approval, we will need five years to restore the structures damaged or destroyed by IS,” Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP, using another name for the militants.

    In addition to two historic temples razed by the group just months after taking Palmyra from the regime in May, Syrian state TV aired footage showing damage to the city’s historic castle it said were “deliberate acts of demolition” by ISIS.

    The Syria army’s retaking of Palmyra on Sunday has been hailed by President Bashar al-Assad and two of his key allies, Russia and Iran......http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/03/28/Syria-s-Palmyra-can-be-restored-in-five-years-.html
    28/3/16

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  105. EgyptAir hijack: Most passengers freed at Larnaca airport...

    Most of the passengers on board a hijacked Egyptian airliner that was forced to divert to Cyprus have been freed, the airline says.
    EgyptAir said negotiations had resulted in the release of all those on board Flight MS181 apart from the crew and four foreign passengers.
    Video from Larnaca airport has shown people leaving the plane and boarding a bus.
    It was taken over after a passenger said he was wearing an explosives belt.
    Flight MS181 was carrying 81 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo.....BBC
    29/3/16

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  106. An Egypt Air plane heading from Alexandria to Cairo has been hijacked and forced to land in Cyprus at Larnaca international airport...

    The hijacker threatened to detonate an explosive vest which he said he had on board, the Egyptian civil aviation ministry said.

    "The Airbus A-320 carrying 81 passengers and flying between Alexandria and Cairo was hijacked. The pilot said that a passenger told him he had an explosives vest and forced the plane to land in Larnaca," a ministry statement said....rte.ie
    29/3/16

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  107. Un passager de l'avion d'Egypt Air détourné mardi sur l'aéroport de Larnaca à Chypre a menacé de faire détonner une ceinture d'explosifs, a annoncé le ministère égyptien de l'Aviation civile. Selon Egypt Air, tous les passagers ont été libérés sauf 4 étrangers et l'équipage.

    Un avion de ligne de la compagnie Egypt Air transportant 81 passagers a été détourné par des inconnus et a atterri à Larnaca, à Chypre, où des passagers égyptiens ont été libérés, selon la télévision publique chypriote et des responsables égyptiens...



    Passagers étrangers et les membres d'équipage encore prisonniers

    L'individu qui a détourné le vol a libéré tous les occupants de l'appareil à l'exception de quatre passagers étrangers et les membres de l'équipage, a annoncé Egypt Air sur son compte Twitter.

    "Les négociations avec le pirate de l'air ont contribué à faire libérer tous les passagers sauf quatre étrangers et les membres de l'équipage", indique la compagnie nationale égyptienne sans donner la nationalité des otages.....rtl.be

    ReplyDelete
  108. Seven people, including three passengers, remain on board the hijacked EgyptAir plane, Egypt’s Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy told reporters on Tuesday...

    The EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked on Tuesday morning. The airline said there were 81 people onboard the plane. The jet landed at Larnaca Airport, Cyprus, at around 6 a.m. GMT. Media reports suggested that personal motives could be behind the incident and the hijacker requested political asylum in Cyprus.....http://tass.ru/en/world/865771

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hijacker of an EgyptAir airliner surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, according to Cyprus's state broadcaster, which said the man emerged from the aircraft with his hands in the air...

      The stand-off came to a peaceful end more than six hours after the Cairo-bound plane was diverted to the southern coast of Cyprus.

      The hijacker, reportedly a disgruntled Egyptian national, freed most of the passengers after the plane landed in Larnaca, but kept four foreigners and the crew as hostages.

      Local Cyprus radio reported he was armed, while Egyptian civil aviation said the hijacker had threatened to detonate an explosives belt.

      It nevertheless appeared that no one was injured in the international, high-risk incident.
      A crisis team was deployed to the airport, which was closed amid the hostage situation, with flights diverted to the western city of Paphos.

      Egypt said it had sent a plane to Cyprus to pick up stranded passengers, some of whom had been traveling from Alexandria to Cairo for connecting flights abroad.

      Delete
  109. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday that he believes his embattled successor and protege can survive mounting pressure in Congress for her impeachment...

    Silva told international journalists that President Dilma Rousseff will be able to resist even if leaders of a major ally, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, announce its members are leaving her governing coalition as expected Tuesday. Both Silva and Rousseff belong to the Workers Party.

    Rousseff recently appointed Silva as her chief of staff in a much-discussed move that still must be confirmed by Brazil's top court...AP...ctvnews.ca
    29/3/16

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  110. Paris, Londres, Washington et Berlin dénoncent les tirs de missiles iraniens ...

    Paris, Washington, Londres et Berlin affirment que les récents tirs de missiles balistiques iraniens contreviennent aux résolutions de l'ONU et invitent le Conseil de sécurité à se saisir de cette violation, dans une lettre commune.

    Les quatre pays ont adressé cette lettre, datée de lundi, à l'ambassadeur espagnol Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, qui pilote ce dossier au sein du Conseil. Ces mêmes pays ont conclu avec Téhéran un accord historique sur le nucléaire en juillet 2015.

    Selon la lettre dont l'AFP a eu copie, ils considèrent que les tirs de missiles "étaient provocateurs et déstabilisateurs et qu'ils ont été menés au mépris de la résolution 2231 de 2015". Cette résolution a repris les dispositions de l'accord nucléaire.

    Elle a entériné la levée de la plupart des sanctions internationales contre Téhéran mais a maintenu l'interdiction faite à l'Iran de tirer des missiles balistiques capables d'emporter des ogives atomiques. Or, souligne la lettre, les deux types de missiles tirés en mars (le Shahab-3 et le Qiam-1) "sont de par leur conception capables de transporter des armes nucléaires".....rtbf.be
    30/3/16

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  111. La Chine envisage de bloquer tous les sites Web étrangers...

    Le gouvernement chinois a rendu public, ce 28 mars, un ensemble de propositions de nouvelles règles pour le fonctionnement d’Internet dans le pays. Elles prévoient notamment un blocage général de tous les sites Web « étrangers » – les sites qui ne disposent pas d’une adresse « .cn ». Le pays a par ailleurs récemment renforcé ses règles concernant l’attribution de noms de domaine en « .cn », pour l’achat desquels il est désormais obligatoire de fournir une pièce d’identité.

    Si ces règles, qui n’en sont qu’au stade de propositions et sont ouvertes aux commentaires sur le site du ministère de l’industrie et de la technologie, étaient adoptées, elles contraindraient tous les fournisseurs d’accès à bloquer l’accès à la majeure partie du Web, sous peine d’amende. A l’heure actuelle, la censure chinoise décide individuellement des sites à bloquer – Facebook, par exemple, est inaccessible en Chine, sauf à utiliser des outils de contournement de la censure.

    La Chine a adopté à plusieurs reprises des règles draconiennes de contrôle du Web, mais ces dernières n’ont pas toujours été appliquées de manière stricte.
    lemonde.fr
    30/3/16

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  112. Maduro vows to veto Venezuela amnesty for political prisoners ...

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday promised to veto amnesty legislation that would free political prisoners, claiming it could set free criminals and gang leaders.

    “I am assured that this law will not pass. Laws protecting terrorists and criminals will not go,” he said during a televised speech while the National Assembly was preparing to approve the bill. “Do not go here, whatever you do, sir.”

    The measure, which seeks to release from jail approximately 76 "political prisoners" and hundreds of others who have been "persecuted and exiled" for opposition to former President Hugo Chavez, has already received initial approval by the opposition majority in parliament.

    The legislation is part of one of a set of main proposals by the opposition that controls the National Assembly with 109 of 163 deputies.....http://aa.com.tr
    30/3/16

    ReplyDelete
  113. The European Union backs the European diplomats who attended a controversial trial of two Turkish journalists charged with espionage after their appearance was bitterly attacked by Ankara, an official said Wednesday...

    Turkey issued a protest Monday over comments on social media made by some diplomats present at the trial last week of the opposition Cumhuriyet daily's editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul.

    "EU diplomats regularly attend trials throughout the world as observers, in particular also in candidate countries," an EU spokesperson told AFP in an emailed statement.

    "This is thus part of their regular work in Turkey, a country committed to the highest democratic standards, in conformity with the European standards."
    AFP
    30/3/16

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  114. Turkish security, protesters clash in Washington ahead of Erdogan speech...

    urkish security and pro-Kurdish protesters clashed outside of a U.S. think tank Thursday ahead of a speech there by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Erdogan was in Washington to attend a major nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama, and was giving a speech at the Brookings Institution.

    Scuffles erupted as Turkish security moved to clear out about 40 protesters who had gathered outside the building carrying banners of Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and chanting "Erdogan baby killer."

    A small pro-Turkish counter-demonstration also turned up at the scene, with one banner reading, "No difference between PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and ISIS."....AFP
    31/3/16

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  115. Iraqi forces advance towards western town held by ISIS...

    Iraq's counter-terrorism forces backed by army troops and U.S.-led coalition air strikes advanced towards the western town of Hit on Thursday in an attempt to dislodge Islamic State militants, the military said.

    A senior officer from the counter-terrorism forces, the elite U.S.-trained units which led the recapture of nearby Ramadi three months ago, said his troops were one kilometre from the town centre, 130 km (80 miles) west of the capital Baghdad.

    The recapture of Hit, strategically located on the Euphrates River near Ain al-Asad air base where several hundred U.S. forces are training Iraqi army troops, would push IS further west towards the Syrian border, cutting a connection to the northern town of Samarra and leaving Falluja their only stronghold near the capital.

    Baghdad has had success in pushing back the militants in recent months and has pledged to retake the northern city of Mosul later this year, but progress has often been fitful.

    Another officer, on a frontline less than 3 km from Hit, said the operation had begun at 0600 (0300 GMT) and was progressing swiftly.....REUTERS
    31/3/16

    ReplyDelete

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“The U.S. must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people" : US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard

US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, recently visited Syria, and even met with President Bashar Al-Assad. She also visited the recently libe...

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