Anti-Government Protesters End Islamabad Sit-In To Block Roads

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A radical Pakistani cleric has called off a two-week sit-in on the capital’s main highway, but told his supporters to start blocking roads across the country.

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British Refusal to Publish Russia Report Fuels Suspicions of Kremlin Links

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The British government is refusing to publish a report examining Russian interference in its democratic process, despite widespread calls for its release before the December general election. The move is fueling suspicions that the details could be damaging for the ruling Conservative party.

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Trump, Erdogan Discuss Turkey’s Purchase of Russian Missile Defense System

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

There was no indication of any breakthrough following talks Wednesday between the leaders of Turkey and United States at a time when their relationship is at a low ebb.

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Turkey removes four more Kurdish mayors over alleged terror links

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Turkey removed four more mayors on Wednesday as part of a widening government crackdown on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), bringing to 20 the number of mayors who have been dismissed after being elected earlier this year.

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Jordan says it thwarted terror plot against US, Israeli diplomats

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Two followers of Islamic State accused of planning to use cars, guns and knives in attacks on embassy staff and service personnel stationed in Jafr.

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Turkey hosts Iranian tied to Jewish center bombing in Argentina

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

Dershowitz said that “ while serving as Tehran’s ambassador to Spain from 1985–1989, he reportedly oversaw a sleeper cell there and maintained contact with Hezbollah activists.”

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Hamas Claims It Has ‘Thousands of Missiles,’ Miles of Underground Terror Tunnels

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Top Hamas officials are claiming to have thousands of missiles pointed at Israel and miles of underground tunnels running into the Jewish state, offering these new disclosures amid a wave of renewed violence by the Palestinian terror group.

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Iran: Europeans hypocrites for condemning steps away from deal

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Iran accused European nations trying to salvage the moribund 2015 nuclear deal of hypocrisy for criticising and threatening to reimpose sanctions after Tehran took a major step away from the historic agreement.

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Israel targets Islamic Jihad leadership, sending message to Iran

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Israel on Tuesday targeted two senior commanders from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, killing one in the Gaza Strip and missing the second in Syria as it stepped up its battle against Iran and its proxies across the region.

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Cease-fire reached with Israel to end Gaza fighting, Islamic Jihad says

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Islamic Jihad militant group early Thursday announced it had reached a cease-fire with Israel. The deal, brokered by Egyptian mediaries, took effect at 5:30 a.m. local time, Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Berim said.

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As Islamic Jihad and Israel Battled, Hamas, in a Twist, Sat on the Sidelines

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

With Israel exchanging blows with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas faced a stark choice: Join the fight or redouble efforts to keep the Gaza border quiet.

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Hezbollah could be hastening the demise of the system it is trying so hard to preserve

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

On Tuesday, Lebanese president Michel Aoun sat down with two journalists to speak about the worst crisis his country has seen since the end of the civil war in 1990. For nearly a month, nationwide protests have taken place because of deteriorating economic conditions and the pervasive corruption of the ruling class. The protesters have been demanding a government free of politicking, clientelism and sectarianism.

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Lebanon slides deeper into turmoil, no sign of new government

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 17, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A new wave of protests paralyzed Lebanon on Wednesday after President Michel Aoun enraged demonstrators by urging them to end their revolt against corruption and cronyism in the political establishment.

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£2.8bn armoured vehicle contract secured for British Army

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A contract worth £2.8 billion has been signed to provide state-of-the-art armoured fighting vehicles to the British Army.

The Defence Secretary has announced that the army will receive more than 500 Boxer 8×8 high mobility, network-enabled armoured vehicles to transport troops onto the frontline.

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Middle East: The Anti-Iran Revolution is Well Underway

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The nationwide protests taking place in both Arab states [Lebanon and Iraq] are also driven by a burning desire to end Iran’s blatant attempts to turn them into de facto fiefdoms of Tehran.

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India Reportedly Wants Russia to Expedite S-400 Missile Delivery Schedule

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, India, South East Asia

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, leading an official delegation which includes over 50 businessmen, is expected to hold discussions with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, on all areas of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation.

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Tehran Begins Uranium Enrichment at Fordow Facility – Iran Atomic Energy Organisation

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, said Wednesday that preparations for the fourth stage of a reduction in Iran’s commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal, have begun.

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Serbia To Receive Russian Antiaircraft Missiles Despite U.S. Sanctions Risk

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Balkans, Eurasia

Russia will deliver a sophisticated short-range air-defense missile system to Serbia despite U.S. warnings of possible sanctions against the Balkan country if the transaction goes through.

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Iran’s enrichment capacity to hit pre-JCPOA level: AEOI spokesman

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says with the new centrifuges installed following the third step that Iran took to reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, the country’s enrichment capacity is to reach the level it was before signing the agreement.

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France’s Macron Says NATO ‘Brain-Dead,’ Russia Says Comment ‘Golden’

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned fellow European countries that NATO is dying because of Washington’s lack of predictability under President Donald Trump, a view quickly rejected by Germany but hailed by Russia.

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US Says It’s Guarding Oil Fields for Syrian Kurds

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

U.S. troops tasked with protecting oil fields in northeastern Syria are helping ensure any profits flow to the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, a key partner in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

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US, Gulf allies sanction Hezbollah-Iran network

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The United States and six Gulf allies announced sanctions Wednesday on 25 entities associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, in a move to tighten controls on both group’s finances.

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Qatar invests millions in US lobbying, but PR problems remain

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Qatar’s PR campaign has done little to fundamentally alter the state’s image problems.

More than two years after Qatar was boycotted by its Arab neighbours for its alleged support for extremism, the tiny Gulf state is spending millions to repair its image in Washington, only to see new perception issues crop up.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Qatar has allocated at least $24 million in US PR and lobbying since 2017.

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U.S. Deterrence in the Middle East Is Collapsing

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

As welcome as was the U.S. raid that lead to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend, it can’t erase the damage done to U.S. interests in the Middle East over the past few months. Whatever explanations U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters put forward to justify his impulsive decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northeastern Syria earlier this month, the searing images that followed told a far different tale. U.S. soldiers in chaotic retreat. Wartime allies abandoned. Hard-won battlefield gains surrendered to some of America’s most dangerous adversaries. And all to avoid confronting the threats of a viscerally anti-American Turkish authoritarian whose economy and military could be devastated by decisions made in Washington. Rightly or wrongly, both friends and foes of the United States have rapidly been reaching the conclusion that Trump, despite all his bluster and chest thumping, has no stomach for a sustained fight. Baghdadi’s death may mitigate, but does not reverse, the spreading perception that U.S. deterrence in the Middle East is collapsing.

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Hezbollah’s road to power in Lebanon just got harder

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was a victory for anti-government protesters flooding the country’s streets by the millions. It also was a wake-up call for Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim organization that wields substantial power in the region and is regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States.

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After Baghdadi, Terrorism Without Ideology

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, a few weeks after Europe was racked by four separate incidents classified as terrorism: a truck-ramming in Limburg, Germany; a series of stabbings at a police station in Paris; a shooting at a synagogue in Halle, Germany; and another set of stabbings at a shopping mall in Manchester, England. While the investigations are still under way, at this stage it doesn’t appear that any of these attacks had any structured link to a terrorist group like Baghdadi’s Islamic State. Most of the perpetrators displayed some awareness of an extremist ideology, but we don’t know that any of them were directed to do what they did.

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U.S., Gulf Nations Sanction Iranian Financial Network in Joint Action

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 11, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and four other Gulf nations joined the U.S. in imposing sanctions on a financing network controlled by Iran’s military and several men linked to the Tehran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah.

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Turkey begins joint patrols with Russia in northern Syria, hands over 18 captured Syrian troops

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Turkey has begun joint patrols with Russia in northern Syria after Kurdish militants met a 150-hour deadline to leave border areas near Turkey as part of a deal struck between Ankara and Moscow in Sochi late last month.

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US Withholding $105Mln in Military Aid for Lebanon – Reports

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The United States is withholding $105 million in security assistance to Lebanon, media reported on Thursday citing two US officials.

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US envoy: Iran has spent $16 billion on militias in Iraq, Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Remarks by Brian Hook come amid growing concern in Israel over potential attack by Tehran in retaliation for efforts to thwart arming of Iranian proxies.

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Troops, armored vehicles enter Syria to protect oil fields from ISIS

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

U.S. troops and armored vehicles entered Syria Thursday on a mission to protect oil fields from falling into the hands of Islamic State terrorists, according to a U.S. official.

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Iranian Generals in Iraq, Hezbollah Thugs in Lebanon: Tehran Demonstrates How to Snuff Out Dissent

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A month ago, a little after the mass protests began in Iraq against the government, Iranian general Qasem Soleimani arrived on a night flight at the Baghdad airport. Soleimani continued on in a helicopter from the airport to the heart of the Green Zone in Baghdad, the area where the Iraqi government ministries and defense establishment are located – alongside the American Embassy, according to a report from The Associated Press.

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Iran and Hezbollah financers listed by Gulf anti-terrorism coalition

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

The seven-member Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre in Riyadh on Wednesday designated 25 targets affiliated with Iran and Hezbollah, in the largest single designation to date.

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Turkey Wants Refugees to Move to a ‘Safe Zone.’ It’s a Tough Sell.

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

With forces from the Assad regime deploying in their old lands, Syrians are afraid to go back home.

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Syria’s Assad says Kurdish controlled northeast Syria must return to state authority

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that his government’s ultimate goal was to restore state authority over Kurdish controlled areas in northeast Syria after an abrupt U.S. troop withdrawal but he expected it to happen gradually.

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