Russian experts to visit Fordow enrichment facility: Iranian official

Author : Admin | Friday, February 2, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Iran News, Iran Press

An Iranian nuclear official says a team of Russian specialists will visit the Fordow enrichment facility on Sunday as part of a project on stable isotopes.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, who is the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Thursday that Tehran and Moscow reached a deal on stable isotopes about a year ago.

US condemns Benghazi attacks

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, February 1, 2018

United States, France, Italy and the United Kingdom have condemned in the strongest terms Benghazi twin car bomb explosions, describing them as “horrific terrorist attacks.”

In a joint statement by their ambassadors and chargés d’affaires on Thursday, the four countries said they will continue their efforts with their international partners to combat “terrorism” in Libya, and pursue action against those who are complicit in such horrific attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Libya air force strikes terrorist stronghold in eastern city

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, February 1, 2018

imgLibyan eastern-based army air force on Saturday attacked terrorist sites in the eastern city of Derna.

“The air force targeted sites and observatories of terrorist groups in Bukhtal farms in southern Derna.” Media office of the Libyan army’s Omar al-Mukhtar unit said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

US renews support for peace in Sudan

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, February 1, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Khartoum, Steven Koutsis, on Tuesday has stressed his country’s support for peace efforts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The U.S. diplomat discussed with Sudan’s Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid ways to enhance peace and stability in the country ahead of a new round of the Two Areas talks scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

Hamid, who also heads Sudan government negotiating team on the Two Areas talks, expressed his government’s keenness and commitment to achieve peace in Darfur and the Two Areas through negotiations. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria rules out to get involved in military conflicts beyond its border

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, February 1, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Algeria will never send troops to neighboring countries such as Libya and Mali to help fight terrorism, Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Monday.

“Algeria will never get involved in military conflicts beyond its border, and everyone knows this,” Messahel told the Algerian Channel III radio. Read the rest of this entry »

French President visits Tunisia

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, February 1, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has made numerous trips to Africa, is in Tunisia for two days to further boost the close partnership between France and the North African country, a budding democracy struggling economically while contending with Islamic extremists.

It is Macron’s first state visit — the highest-level trip — since taking office last May, underscoring the importance of Wednesday and Thursday’s event for both sides. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria army kills Al-Qaeda propagandist

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, February 1, 2018

img21The Algerian army has killed a senior official of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in an operation in the northeast of the country, officials said on Wednesday.

Adel Seghiri – also known as Abu Ruwaha al-Qasantini – was among those running the group’s Al-Andalus media wing responsible for putting out videos and statements. Read the rest of this entry »

Iran plans to increase gas storage capacity

Author : Admin | Monday, January 29, 2018
Posted in category Iran, Iran Press

Head of Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) Hassan Montazer Torbati said Iran can bring the number of its gas storage facilities to seven from only two currently, Fars News Agency wrote.

Amir-Abdollahian: Charges against Iran over Yemen completely baseless

Author : Admin | Monday, January 29, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Iran Press

In a meeting with the UN special representative for Iraq Ján Kubiš on Sunday, Iranian Parliament’s General Director for International Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said “…The charges against Iran over Yemen are completely baseless. Tehran has never advocated a military solution to the region and Yemen. Yemen’s future belongs to all Yemeni people. We have said it from the beginning that the solution to the Yemen crisis is purely a political one.”

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Monday, January 29, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Special Analysis

Campaigns Using WhatsApp Launched In Syria To Recruit Fighters And Aid For The Factions Opposing The Regime
While tough battles are currently being fought between the rebel factions and the Syrian regime, mainly in northern Syria, last week several of these factions launched campaigns to recruit new fighters, as well as aid, and support for the fighters. Those interested were asked to make contact via several Whatsapp accounts.
Hizbul Mujahideen Deputy Emir: ‘Kashmiri Youths Are Ready To Fight Against India Shoulder To Shoulder With The Pakistan Army’
Shamsher Khan, deputy emir of the Pakistan-backed anti-India jihadi organization Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), has said that “Kashmiri youths are ready to fight against India shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistan Army,” according to the Urdu-language daily Roznama Siasat.
On Telegram, Afghan Taliban Spokesman Says 700 More U.S. Troops ‘Will Not Win’ The Afghan War, Warns: ‘Stop Testing Your Wretched Luck In The Graveyard Of Empires’
Zabihullah Mujahid, one of the spokesmen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization), has responded to media reports that U.S. President Donald Trump will send 700 more American troops to Afghanistan. Using his account on Telegram, Zabihullah Mujahid issued the following statement.
“Qureshi, Who Started As A Staunch Students’ Islamic Movement Of India (SIMI) Activist In 1998, Left His Job As An IT Engineer In 2001″
“One of India’s most wanted terrorists, Abdul Subhan Qureshi, who co-founded Indian Mujahideen (IM) and allegedly masterminded the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts, was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell Saturday night [January 21] after a brief encounter. (by memri org).

Middle East events and news

Author : Admin | Monday, January 29, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Special Analysis

EXCLUSIVE: Article In Pro-ISIS Newspaper Gives Detailed Instructions On Use Of Ricin In Lone-Wolf Attacks On Restaurants, Shopping Malls
On January 22, 2018, the Sunni Shield Foundation, a media company affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), published Issue 7 of its Al-Anfal newspaper featuring an article encouraging lone wolves to use the poison ricin in combination with knives or explosives in their attacks.
Hamza Bin Laden Accuses Founder Of Saudi Arabia Of Betraying Muslims By Siding With Britain Against Ottoman Empire
On January 18, 2018, Al-Sahab, the media arm of Al-Qaeda, released Part Four of a video series featuring Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, accusing the founder of Saudi Arabia, the late King Abd Al-Aziz, of betraying the Muslims by signing a number of agreements with Britain.
ISIS Claims Combined Attack On British, Swedish NGOs And Other Targets In Jalalabad
On January 24, 2018, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a combined attack on several targets in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, including a British NGO, a Swedish NGO and a government building. (by memri org.)

Iraqi army announces fresh anti-Daesh ops in Diyala

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, January 29, 2018

Iraqi forces on Friday began fresh military operations aimed at finding and neutralizing Daesh terrorist cells in the eastern Diyala province, according to a local police source.

“Army forces backed by Hashd al-Shaabi fighters have launched a major security operation against Daesh remnants in Diyala’s Azim sub-district 60 kilometers north of Baqubah,” Police Captain Read the rest of this entry »

US reaffirms support for Iraq’s reconstruction

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, January 29, 2018

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan expressed during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi support for reconstruction efforts in the country.

Sullivan was quoted by a government statement as saying the US support for Iraq would continue, particularly to rebuilding the country, boosting economy, attracting investment and creation of jobs. Read the rest of this entry »

Algerian military kills 8 Islamic extremists

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, January 29, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Algeria’s Defense Ministry say military forces have killed eight Islamic militants in the east of the country.

The ministry said in a statement that the extremists were shot on Friday during a military counterterrorism operation in Chechar, 520km east of the capital, Algiers. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraqi army announces fresh anti-Daesh ops in Diyala

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, January 27, 2018

imgIraqi forces on Friday began fresh military operations aimed at finding and neutralizing Daesh terrorist cells in the eastern Diyala province, according to a local police source.

“Army forces backed by Hashd al-Shaabi fighters have launched a major security operation against Daesh remnants in Diyala’s Azim sub-district 60 kilometers north of Baqubah,” Police Captain Read the rest of this entry »

30th AU summit to focus on continent’s peace, security issues

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will brief African Union (AU) leaders on continent’s peace and security issues during the upcoming 30th AU summit, according to the pan African block.

Mourad Ben Dhiab, Secretary General of the African Union Commission (AUC), while briefing members of the media on the preparations of the summit on Wednesday disclosed that al-Sisi is expected to brief the assembly of AU heads of state, which is scheduled to take place on Jan. 28 and 29, on the continent’s peace and security issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt, French FMs discuss Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Friday had a phone conversation with French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, with whom he discussed political developments relating to Syria.

According to a Foreign Ministry statement, the two men agreed on the need to coordinate efforts between their two countries with a view to “encouraging Syria’s political process and preserving the unity of the Syrian state and its institutions”. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria hosts conference on security instability in the region

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018

The Algerian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Algeria will host the 14th Foreign Ministers Conference of Western Mediterranean 5+5 Dialogue on Sunday.

The conference will focus on “overall, shared and sustainable socio-economic development” in the western Mediterranean region, the statement said. Read the rest of this entry »

UN demands handover of Libya commander after new killings

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United Nations demanded on Thursday the immediate surrender of a Benghazi commander wanted by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges after evidence emerged suggesting he had carried out new summary executions in Libya.

Mahmoud al-Werfalli commands the Al-Saiqa Brigade based in Libya’s second city and is loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar whose forces dominate the east of the North African country.

When the ICC issued a warrant for Werfalli’s arrest last August over summary executions in which at least 33 people were killed in 2016 and 2017, Haftar’s forces insisted he was in their custody and would face a military trial. Read the rest of this entry »

UN urges CAR mission to safeguard civilian lives

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

An internal inquiry for the United Nations recommends tactical changes to the UN mission in the Central African Republic to protect civilians, according to findings made available on Friday to AFP.

“(The mission) MINUSCA should overhaul its strategy to protect civilians to ensure that its operational response is better adapted,” said a statement by the independent panel set up by the UN department for peacekeeping operations.

MINUSCA troops and civilian staff, totalling some 14 000 in December, were first deployed in 2014 as clashes between ex-rebels and vigilante militias took on a religious dimension and both Muslim and Christian communities became targets. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraqi PM meets Kurdish regional PM first time after referendum

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Saturday met with the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani for the first time since the controversial independence referendum last year, Kurdish media said.

Abadi received Barzani, who was accompanied by his deputy Qubad Talabani and Fuad Hussein, head of the regional presidency office, the Kurdish Rudaw Media Network said in a brief report. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq, Kuwait discuss military ties

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, January 26, 2018

Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan Al-Hayali expressed wishes yesterday to bolster military cooperation with Kuwait to enhance the security and stability of the region. Iraq is keen is cooperate with Kuwait in security and military fields and to conduct joint ground military exercises between the two nations’ armies, and to create better coordination and communication, said Hayali during a meeting with a visiting Kuwaiti media delegation. Read the rest of this entry »

Range of Iran’s missiles proportionate to threats: ex-defense chief

Author : Admin | Thursday, January 25, 2018
Posted in category Iran, Iran Press

“Our missiles range are based on potential threats. This does not mean that we are not able to build missiles with longer range, but this is our policy and we do not see the need to increase range of our missiles,” Dehqan said in an interview with Mehr news agency published on Wednesday.

Iran takes initial step to join UNTOC

Author : Admin | Thursday, January 25, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Iran News, Iran Press

The Iranian parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill to join the international body against organized crime, formally known as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).

Europe strongly supports Iran’s nuclear deal: EU lawmaker

Author : Admin | Thursday, January 25, 2018

A senior member of the European Parliament says the EU strongly supports the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, calling for closer ties with Tehran within the framework of the landmark accord.
David McAllister, who heads the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, made the remarks in a meeting with Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi in Brussels on Wednesday, presstv.ir reported.

THE WEST BANK: STATEHOOD OR STATU QUO?

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Several events that took place at the end of 2017 and the beginning of this year brought to the attention the complex situation in the West Bank and the still not solved Palestinian problem. Some of these developments indicate a significant shift in the approach of the issue by the United States of America, until now the main power actor in the endless “peace process” in the region.

The West Bank in brief

The West Bank is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, most of it under Israeli control or under joint control of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). The final status of the entire area is yet to be determined. The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640 km2 plus a water area of 220 km2, consisting of the northwest part of the Dead Sea. The West Bank has an estimated population of 2,785,366 Palestinians and approximately 371,000 Israeli settlers, with approximately another 212,000 Jewish Israelis in East Jerusalem.

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From 1517 through 1917, the area was part of the Ottoman Empire, included in the provinces of Syria. At the end of World War I, the winning powers allocated the region to the British Mandate of Palestine (1920-1947). In 1947, it was designated as part of a proposed Arab state by the United Nations’ partition plan for Palestine which was to replace the British Mandate with a Jewish State, an Arab State and an internationally administered enclave of Jerusalem. However, following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the West Bank was captured by Transjordan (renamed Jordan two years after independence in 1946). The region was named then “West Bank” or “Cisjordan”, while “East Bank” or “Transjordan” designated the area east of the river. Jordan ruled over the West Bank from 1948 until 1967, when the West Bank and East Jerusalem were captured by Israel as a result of the Six Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian no man’s land, the West Bank was not annexed by Israel but came under Israeli military control until 1982. In 1982, as a result of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, the direct military rule was transformed into a semi-civil authority, but the Israeli settlements were administered directly by Israel, under the name of “Judea and Samaria.”

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority (PA) officially controls a geographically non-contiguous territory comprising approx. 11% of the West Bank (known as Area A) which remains subject to Israeli incursions. Area B (approx. 28%) is subject to joint Israeli-Palestinian military and Palestinian civil control.

 

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Area C (approx. 61%) is under full Israeli control, including control of all land-related civil matters. That means Israel controls land allocation, planning and construction and infrastructure. Area C also holds virtually all of the Israeli settler population of the West Bank.

The future of the so-called “two-state” solution[1] is playing out in Area C, which has most of the land of a future Palestinian state. It is also crucial for building and locating infrastructure such as waste treatment facilities and industrial zones, which cannot be placed in cities. This land has also vital mineral and water resources.

The UN General Assembly resolution 58/292 (17 May 2004) affirmed that the Palestinian people have the right to sovereignty over the area. The West Bank is considered to be the core of the would-be State of Palestine, already recognized by the majority of the UN member states, within the Palestinian Territories, which are recognized by Israel to constitute a single territorial unit.

From the legal point of view, a 2004 advisory ruling of the International Court of Justice concluded that events that came after the 1967 occupation of the West Bank by Israel, including the Jerusalem Law, Israel’s peace treaty with Jordan and the Oslo Accord did not change the status of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as occupied territory with Israel as the occupying power.

Though 164 nations refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem as “occupied Palestinian Territory”, the state of Israel is of the view that only territories captured in war from “an established and recognized sovereign” are considered occupied and that since the West Bank wasn’t under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six Day War, it shouldn’t be considered an occupied territory. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has defined the West Bank as “disputed territory”, whose status can only be determined through negotiations. Read the rest of this entry »

Spokesman denies reports on cancellation of Zarif’s visit to Davos in last minute

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Posted in category Iran, Iran News, Iran Press

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said, “Nowadays, no decision had yet been adopted for foreign trips of the foreign minister due to the enforcement of new structure of the Foreign Ministry.” Speaking on late Monday, he denied a news released by one of the western media outlets, saying that Iranian foreign minister has canceled his visit to Davos Economic Forum in the last minute and reiterated, “No decision had not been adopted for foreign trips of the foreign minister,” MNA reported.

Enemies’ actions have empowered resistance front: general

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Posted in category Iran, Iran News, Iran Press

The IRGC Qods Force deputy chief on Monday hailed the growing power of the anti-Israeli resistance front, saying the enemies’ actions have backfired and helped strengthen the movement.
The conditions of the resistance front is improving day by day, General Esmaeil Qa’ani said in an address to a conference about Palestine and the liberation of al-Aqsa Mosque held in Tehran on Monday, Tasnim reported.

Everything ready for liberation of Palestine: general

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Posted in category Iran, Iran News, Iran Press

Everything is ready for the liberation of Palestine, an Iranian general said on Monday, calling the Palestinian people to unite to defeat Israel, Mehr reported.
“As the Supreme Leader has said, efforts should be made to arm the West Bank, because efforts in this regard would lead to the collapse of Israel,” said Ahmad Vahidi, president of the Supreme National Defense University of Iran.

French foreign minister ‘absolutely wrong’: Iran

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Posted in category Iran, Iran News, Iran Press

“The Islamic Republic of Iran would definitely not bow to pressure and would not change its stances when facing strict policies,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said at a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Special Analysis

Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen Claims IED Attack On Convoy Of Forces From The U.S., Kenya, And The Somali Government
The official Telegram channel of the Shahada news agency of the Al-Shabab Al-Mujahideen organization reported on January 17, 2018, that they “activated two roadside bombs against a military convoy of forces from the U.S., Kenya, and the Somali government in the suburbs of the city of Kismayo in southern Somalia, and there were reports of both human and material damage.”
Turkey Hosts Third Round Of Unofficial Peace Talks Between The Taliban And Afghan Government Officials
Mawlawi Abdul Rauf, an alleged leader of the Afghan Taliban who heads a Taliban delegation for peace talks in Turkey, has claimed that the five-member delegation represents all factions of the Taliban, according to an Afghan television channel. Mawlawi Abdul Rauf was a governor during the Taliban regime that ruled in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
Pro-ISIS Media Group Posts Entire 2017 Archive On ‎Telegram, Internet Archive, Google Drive
On January 8, 2018, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media group released its entire archive from 2017 on Telegram. (by memri org.)

Middle East events and news

Author : Admin | Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Posted in category Eurasia, Special Analysis

EXCLUSIVE: Russian-Speaking ISIS Fighter Announces New ‘Battalion,’ Threatens Terrorist Attacks In Russia In New Video
On January 18, 2018, supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) distributed via Telegram a three-minute video in which an armed, masked man, speaking in Russian, announced the establishment of a new force that will operate for ISIS in Russia, especially in the Caucasus, and threatened terrorist attacks against Russia. Judging by his accent, the armed man is likely of Tatar or Bashkiri origin.
Al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Video Features Men Accused Of Spying, Announces Banning Of Cellphones, Internet
On January 17, 2018, Al-Malahem, the media arm of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a video stressing the danger of revealing the group’s secrets over the phone or to other members, saying these actions had caused the death of hundreds of mujahideen.
ISIS Branch In Mali Claims Responsibility For Killing Of U.S. Special Forces Soldiers In Niger
On January 12, 2018, the Nouakchott News Agency published a communique issued by the Islamic State (ISIS) branch in Mali, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, led by Adnan Abu Al-Walid Al-Sahrawi, in which it claims responsibility for the attack against a joint patrol of U.S. Special Forces and soldiers of the Nigerian Army that was safeguarding the border area between Niger and Mali on October 4, 2017.(by memri.org)

UNSC to discuss Afrin operation on Monday

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, January 22, 2018

The United Nations Security Council said it would hold an emergency session on Monday to discuss the situation in Syria following Turkish cross-border operations, France’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday.

The French Foreign Ministry said the UN Security Council had agreed to hold a session to address Turkey’s attack on the Syrian Kurds in Afrin at France’s request, adding that all issues need to be resolved through peaceful means. Read the rest of this entry »

EU voices concern over Turkish operation against Kurdish group in Sydia

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, January 22, 2018

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said Monday that she is “extremely worried” about the Turkish military operation in Afrin, Syria, against the Kurdish YPG fighters.

“We discussed this today with the ministers at the opening of our meeting. I am extremely worried and I will discuss this, among other things, with our Turkish interlocutors,” she told a press conference at the end of an EU foreign ministers meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

EU welcomes destruction of Libyan chemical weapons

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, January 22, 2018

The European Union welcomed on Monday the recent announcement by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the elimination of chemical weapons in Libya as “a positive step towards the complete and permanent eradication of all chemical weapons in the country.”

The chemical weapons were removed from Libya and transported to Germany for destruction. Read the rest of this entry »