Iraq forces capture airbase from Daesh near Hawija

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 2, 2017

imgIraqi forces and Shiite paramilitaries captured an airbase from the Daesh terror group on Monday, the army said, gaining a strategic foothold in the north of the country as they push towards the town of Hawija.

Iraq launched an offensive on September 21 to dislodge Daesh from Hawija, which lies west of the oil city of Kirkuk and is one of two areas of the country still under the control of the militant group. Read the rest of this entry »

US-backed force scours Daesh ex-fort in Raqa

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 2, 2017

US-backed fighters on Monday combed through a central district of Syria’s Raqa that once housed key Daesh group command centres, recovering communication equipment and weapons used by the militants.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured around 90 per cent of Daesh’s one-time bastion Raqa, including about half of the Al Nahda neighbourhood on the western edge of the city centre.

After hard-fought battles against Daesh this week, SDF units on Monday were searching house-by-house for weapons or documents left behind by Daesh. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq urges KRG to cancel referendum results

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 2, 2017

The Iraqi government has called on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to cancel the results of an illegitimate independence referendum before engaging in dialogue.

“The KRG has to cancel the illegitimate referendum results to empower Iraq’s unity for a serious dialogue with Baghdad,” Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said in a statement on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Monday, October 2, 2017
Posted in category Special Analysis

EXCLUSIVE: ISIS In Libya Threatens U.S., Italy, France; Encourages Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
A 17-minute video released September 24, 2017 by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya’s Al-Barqa (Cyrenaica) Province documents the organization’s activities in the desert regions of eastern Libya, focusing on raids and suicide attacks on checkpoints and other military facilities of the Eastern Libya government forces. The video, titled “But They Never Lost Assurance Due to What Afflicted Them” (Quran 3:146), was distributed by the ISIS-affiliated media outlet Nasher News.
ISIS In Khurasan Says It Timed Deep Strike Operation Against Kabul Airport To Coincide With U.S. Defense Sec’y James Mattis Visit, Releases Photo Of Fighters
On September 27, 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) in Khurasan Province released a statement claiming it had timed a deep strike operation targeting Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan to coincide with the visit to Afghanistan of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Al-Qaeda Calls Upon The Muslim Brotherhood To Unite In Jihad
On September 26, 2017, Al-Qaeda’s media company Al-Sahab released its Issue 17 bulletin titled “Shaykh Mehdi Akif in Allah’s Protection,” calling for Al-Qaeda to unite ranks with the Muslim Brotherhood and bridge the gap between their viewpoints, while upholding the principles of jihad, rejecting peaceful solutions, and abandoning the attempt to establish Islamic rule through democratic elections.
EXCLUSIVE: Video Footage Of Melbourne Train Station, Sydney Subway Station With Threat, Australian Mall Posted On Pro-ISIS Telegram Channel
On September 28, 2017, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel circulated three videos featuring locations in Australia as potential targets for terror attacks. The first video shows the Flinders St. train station in Melbourne, captioned “Security Detail Flinders St. Train station” and nearly three minutes long. The second video’s caption reads: “Security detail Sydney Town Hall Subway.”
(by memri.org)

Egypt condemns terrorist attack in southern France

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 2, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Egypt has condemned the terrorist attack that took place in the city of Marseille in southern France, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The foreign ministry offered Egypt’s condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for those injured in the attack.

The ministry also expressed Egypt’s solidarity with the French government and people against terrorism, calling on all countries to take serious and immediate steps to end terrorism and target its sources of funding.

Libya reopens Benghazi port after 3 years

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 2, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Benghazi port in east Libya reopened Sunday for the first time in three years after being forced to cease operations because of clashes in the cradle of the 2011 revolution.

Commercial operations at the port had ended in 2014 when armed movements, including the Islamic State group, occupied the North African country’s second city. Read the rest of this entry »

UN says Libya rivals made progress in Tunis talks

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 2, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

UN says Libya rivals made progress in Tunis talksRepresentatives of Libya’s rival authorities have made progress on amending a deal on a political transition for the North African country, the special UN envoy said on Sunday.

The UN envoy Ghassan Salame opened new talks in Tunisia between the rival Libyan administrations on Tuesday, less than a week after presenting a plan to end the chaos in the conflict-wracked country. Read the rest of this entry »

US, NATO pledge support for Afghanistan in fight against terror

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017

imgThe North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States have said they will not abandon Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joined Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Defense Secretary James Mattis at the news conference after holding closed door meeting, and reaffirmed the alliance’s commitment to Afghanistan, saying ‘NATO wants to ensure the country doesn’t become a safe haven for terrorists again’. Read the rest of this entry »

India, Afghanistan review bilateral relations

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017

India and Afghanistan reviewed their bilateral relationship during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday.

“Strengthening strategic partnership with a close neighbour,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Read the rest of this entry »

14th India-EU summit to be held on October 6

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017

India and the European Union will hold their 14th summit talks on October 6 during which both sides are expected to discuss a host of key issues including ways to remove hurdles for the long pending free trade agreement.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MAE) said the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the president of the European Commission, Jean—Claude Juncker, will be here on a working visit from October 5—7 for the summit. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq starts 2nd phase of anti-Daesh operations in Kirkuk

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017

Iraqi forces on Friday recaptured four villages and cut a supply route used by Daesh terrorists in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, according to an Iraqi military source.

“Federal Police units and the Hashd al-Shaabi [a unit of the Iraqi army] have liberated the villages of Al-Awasi, Hamad al-Suwaid, Al-Amoudiya and Ghareeb al-Alkaya in Kirkuk’s Hawija district,” Army Captain Jabbar Hassan said. Read the rest of this entry »

US opens new military base in Iraq’s Nineveh province

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017

The U.S. has built a new military base in the Makhmour district of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, according to a high-ranking Peshmerga officer.

“U.S. forces are transferring supplies from the Qayara Base [near Mosul] to the new base to support forces now fighting to retake Kirkuk’s Hawija district from Daesh,” Jamal Iminiki, chief-of-staff of Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Read the rest of this entry »

UN seeks more peacekeepers for CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic (CAR) is requesting about 750 more troops to help fill a “security vacuum” worsened by the withdrawal of US special forces as violence surges again, according to a confidential cable obtained by The Associated Press.

The additional troops are needed in the southeast after the withdrawal this year of US and Ugandan troops hunting the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, according to the message from mission head Parfait Onanga-Anyanga to the UN’s head of peacekeeping operations in New York. Read the rest of this entry »

Somali: army base attacked by Shabaab jihadists

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Shabaab jihadists attacked a Somali army base early Friday in the southern town of Barire, killing at least eight soldiers and stealing equipment, officials and witnesses said.

The assault on the Somali National Army military camp in Barire, around 40km west of the capital Mogadishu, began with two suicide attackers detonating their car bombs before gunmen overran the base. Read the rest of this entry »

Libya strongman asks Europe for helicopters to fight migration

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 29, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar asked Europe for helicopters and drones to fight rampant migration on the southern border of the war-wracked country.

The request came after the commander, who backs a Tobruk-based administration that controls much of the east and south of Libya, travelled to Rome and Paris to bolster his stature as a key player in international efforts to stabilise the country. Read the rest of this entry »

Italian Defence Minister, Haftar discuss Libya situation

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgItalian officials urged Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar on Tuesday to “contribute effectively” to the U.N. effort to stabilize Libya, and ruled out any military solution to end Libya’s chaos.

Haftar met Tuesday with Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti as part of Italy’s efforts stabilize its former colony and stem the flow of migrants to Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

UN Launches New Talks On Action Plan To End Crisis In Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame launched a new round of talks on an action plan here on Tuesday in order to solve the political crisis in Libya.

The meetings in Tunis will discuss certain issues in Libya, namely, the appointment of the commander-in-chief of the army, the preparation of a draft constitution in addition to the recomposition of the Presidential Council. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt says supports South Sudan’s efforts to achieve peace

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The Egyptian government has vowed not to relent towards South Sudan’s efforts to achieve peace and security, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Affairs minister, Sameh Shook reportedly met South Sudan’s First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, during which he affirmed North African country’s historic relationship with South Sudan. Read the rest of this entry »

92% of Kurdish voters choose independence from Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

More than 92 per cent of Kurdish voters chose independence from Baghdad’s central government, Kurdish election monitors said on Wednesday.

Hendrin Mohammed, head of the Iraqi Kurdish region’s election commission, announced the official results at a press conference, saying the referendum passed with 92.73 per cent support and a turnout of more than 72 per cent. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Editorial In Al-Naba Weekly Exhorts ISIS Members To Honor Their Oath Of Allegiance To Al-Baghdadi
The September 15, 2017 editorial of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) Al-Naba weekly, posted on the Nasher News Agency Telegram page and elsewhere, urges ISIS members to adhere to their oath of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Issue 6 Of Pro-ISIS How-To Guide Praises London Bombers And Suggests Improvements For Future Attacks
On September 19, 2017, a pro-ISIS Telegram channel,[1] likely administered by jihadi operatives in South-east Asia, posted the sixth guide in its English-language how-to series for lone jihadis titled “Knights Of Lone Jihad.”… The document, written in poor English, provides tips about how to carry out a more efficient and lethal Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack on public transport than the London attempt.
AQAP Video Condemns Saudi, UAE Involvement In Yemen, Features Former Guantanamo Detainee Ibrahim Al-Qusi
On September 19, 2017, Al-Malahem, the media office of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), released a new video condemning Saudi Arabia and UAE for their involvement in Yemen and documenting AQAP attacks against the Elite Shabwa Forces. In the video, which is part eight of the AQAP series “Repulsion Of Aggression,” the group featured its senior official Ibrahim Al-Qusi, who stressed the importance of jihadis in restoring the glory of Islam and the dignity of Muslims. (by memri.org.)

New round of Geneva talks on Syria expected in early November

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Eighth round of talks in Geneva to start no later than early November, UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura says.

A seventh round in July and a sixth in May ended without any breakthroughs in the almost six-and-a-half-year conflict.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and in excess of 10 million displaced, according to the UN.

Romania to but first Patriot system this year

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, September 27, 2017

imgRomania’s Army will procure its first Patriot missile system by the end of the year, Defense Minister Mihai Fifor said on Wednesday.

“We are waiting for the approval letter of the United States so that we can move on to contracting and we can purchase the first program,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Romanian President cancels visit to Ukraine over education law

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017

img2Romanian President Iohannis announced on Thursday that he had cancelled the visit he planned to pay in October to Ukraine, due to the adoption of the education law by the Ukrainian Parliament, arguing the law drastically limits the access of minorities to education in their native language.

“Subsequently, I have cancelled my visit to Ukraine and I have also called off the reception of Parliament’s Chairman, who had taken an appointment with me for late September, thus conveying extremely strong diplomatic signals. Calling off a presidential visit is a very strong signal,” Iohannis said.

He pointed out that the education law passed in Ukraine opposes mutual good intentions. Read the rest of this entry »

EU expresses regret over Kurdish referendum in Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The European Union stressed Tuesday that it has consistently confirmed its full support for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

“It therefore appealed for the referendum not to be held in this unilateral manner, and especially not in disputed areas. It regrets that these calls have not been heeded,” said a spokesperson for EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in a statement. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq held a “referendum on independence” on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Croatia to support Western Balkans EU integration

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Posted in category Balkan News, Balkans, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Croatia – will help together for the European integration of the Western Balkans countries. This is the reason why the foreign ministers, Ekaterina Zaharieva, Nikos Kodzias, Teodor Melescanu and Maria Peichinovic Bouric, met at a working meeting in New York.

Ministers have reviewed what has been achieved so far by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and have agreed to give political and expert Read the rest of this entry »

US airstrike kills at least 8 IS terrorists in Afghanistan

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017

At least eight terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group’s offshoot, ISIS Khorsan have been killed in an airstrike by the United States forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment in a statement said the airstrike was carried out in Nazian district of Nangarhar. Read the rest of this entry »

Libya’s rival governments discuss peace

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe United Nations opened talks with Libyan factions on Tuesday in the first stage of a new Action Plan which it hopes will bring peace to the country.

Delegates from rival parliaments in Tripoli and Tobruk met at a national conference in Tunis, capital of neighbouring Tunisia, to debate changes to a proposed transitional constitution, with UN envoy Ghassan Salame warning that time to find solutions is running short. Read the rest of this entry »

UN seeks more peacekeepers for CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic (CAR) is requesting about 750 more troops to help fill a “security vacuum” worsened by the withdrawal of US special forces as violence surges again, according to a confidential cable obtained by The Associated Press.

The additional troops are needed in the southeast after the withdrawal this year of US and Ugandan troops hunting the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, according to the message from mission head Parfait Onanga-Anyanga to the UN’s head of peacekeeping operations in New York. Read the rest of this entry »

Mali: at least 3 peacekeepers killed

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

At least three UN peacekeepers were killed on Sunday when their vehicle hit an explosive device in Mali’s troubled north, the UN’s mission to the conflict-torn country said.

MINUSMA said the attack, which also left another five soldiers seriously wounded, took place early on Sunday on a road between the city of Gao and a village called Anefis. Read the rest of this entry »

US airstrikes killed 17 ISIS members in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United States says it has launched airstrikes in Libya that killed 17 Islamic State militants and destroyed three vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, US Africa Command says that in coordination with Libya’s internationally recognised Tripoli-based government, it struck a camp on Friday some 241km southeast of the coastal city of Sirte. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq starts operation to retake Hawija from IS

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 22, 2017

imgIraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced on Thursday that the first phase of the liberation to retake the town of Hwaija from the so-called Islamic State (IS) has begun.

Al-Abadi said in a press statement that the operation began at dawn on Thursday, just two days after Iraqi forces began an offensive against IS’ holdouts in the western Anbar province. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisia backs UN drive to hold Libya elections this year

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 22, 2017

Khemaies Jhinaoui, Tunisia’s foreign minister, used his address to the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Friday to give strong backing to the special envoy’s roadmap for Libya.

Mr Jhinaoui said Tunis was co-ordinating closely with Egypt and Algeria as Libya’s neighbours to back Ghassan Salame’s drive to revise the Libya Political Agreement by mid-December. Read the rest of this entry »

EU, US blast DRC army for excessive force

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United States and European Union on Wednesday urged Congolese security forces to refrain from using “excessive force” after soldiers fired on Burundian refugees last week, killing over 30.

“The US government is dismayed by the violence and death of more than 30 Burundian nationals and a Congolese soldier in Kamanyola, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

UN makes new push for Libya stability

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The United Nations on Wednesday launched a new push to bring stability to Libya, which has been ravaged by chaos since the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and a new UN envoy on Libya, Ghassan Salame, met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with countries involved with the country’s troubles. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump to consider resuming military aid to Egypt

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled he would consider resuming military aid to Egypt which had been frozen because of concerns over its human rights record.

“We’re going to certainly consider it,” Trump said as he met President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Read the rest of this entry »