Iraq to resume paying war reparations to Kuwait in 2018

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 27, 2017

Iraq is to resume paying war reparations to Kuwait at the start of 2018, in UN-endorsed compensation for Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of the emirate, the president’s office announced Friday.

It said the two countries had agreed during a visit to Kuwait City by President Fuad Masum on Monday for Iraq “to resume payment of the five-percent tax on oil sales and to try to settle border disputes”. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt vows ‘brutal’ response to mosque attackers

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgAn angry Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged to respond with “brutal force” against militants who massacred at least 235 people at a mosque during weekly prayers on Friday.

“The army and police will avenge our martyrs and return security and stability with force in the coming short period,” he also said in a televised speech.

Egypt mosque attack death toll rises to 305

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

he death toll from an attack on a mosque in Egypt’s Sinai rose to 305 including 27 children, the state prosecution said Saturday in a statement detailing the gruesome massacre.

It said there were between 25 and 30 attackers with long hair and beards, dressed in camouflage and flying a black banner with the Muslim profession of faith on it, which could be a description Read the rest of this entry »

US airstrikes IS group in northeastern Somalia

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe US military says it has carried out an airstrike against the Islamic State group in northeastern Somalia that killed one extremist.

The statement from the US Africa Command says the airstrike was carried out on Monday afternoon in coordination with Somalia’s government. Read the rest of this entry »

Mali delays December regional election until April 2018

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 27, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Mali has delayed regional elections due next month until April 2018 in order to address dissatisfaction with the timing from powerful armed groups, the government said on Monday.

Tieman Hubert Coulibaly, minister for territorial administration, met former rebel groups and pro-government factions who registered “concerns” over the vote’s timing, a government statement said. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq to declare final victory over Daesh after desert campaign

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi said on Tuesday the Daesh extremist group had been defeated from a military perspective but he would only declare final victory after Daesh militants were routed in the desert.

Iraqi forces on Friday captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Daesh control, signalling the collapse of the group’s “caliphate” proclaimed after it overran much of Iraq’s north and west in 2014.

Securing desert and border areas is what remains in the campaign against Daesh, military commanders say. Read the rest of this entry »

US sees no need to appoint special envoy on Iraq-Kurdistan crisis

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The United States has said there was no need to appoint a special envoy to resolve the crisis between Iraq and Kurdistan Region, saying that such a dispute could be resolved “internally”.

“We certainly heard about that idea to appoint a special envoy. We believe at this point that this is an issue that can be worked out internally, that it can be worked out between Baghdad and Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq PM: IS defeated from a military perspective

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Iraq’s prime minister has announced the defeat of ISIL “from a military perspective” but says he will only declare final victory once security forces have eliminated the extremists from the desert.

Rawa, the last remaining town under ISIL’s control, was captured by Iraqi forces on Friday, signalling the collapse of the group in Iraq after it overran much of the country in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Egypt security forces kills four militants in Sinai

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The Egyptian Second Field Army – who are assigned with the task of securing North Sinai and Ismailia from an extremist insurgency – killed four militants on Tuesday during operations against the Islamic State group.

A statement released by the military’s official spokesperson said the operation resulted in the destruction of a large amount of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which were in possession of the militants.

The statement also noted that a small truck had been found containing 25 bullets and explosive material used for manufacturing IEDs. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria condemns terrorist bombings in Nigeria

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Algeria on Thursday condemned the terrorist bombings which hit the city of Maiduguri in north-eastern Nigeria, killing more than 12 civilians.

“Our conviction is consistent that this terrorist attack, especially those targeting civilian population, will not discourage Nigeria’s government, army and security forces to eradicate the Read the rest of this entry »

US strike in Somalia kills more than 100 Shabaab fighters

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

US forces conducted an air strike against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab group in Somalia on Tuesday, killing more than 100 jihadists, military officials said.

“In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, US forces conducted an air strike in Somalia against an al-Shabaab camp on Tuesday, November 21 at approximately 10:30 am local Somalia time (0730 GMT), killing more than 100 militants,” the US Africa Command said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Posted in category Eurasia News

EXCLUSIVE: Short Unofficial Video Threatening London Circulated On Pro-ISIS Telegram Channels
On November 15, 2017, a 33-second video clip was circulated on various pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channels. The clip featured scenes of London landmarks Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, and the London Eye being blown to pieces in a massive bomb attack.
Pro-ISIS Al-Wafa Media Group Circulates Graphic On Telegram Threatening Christmas Attack At The Vatican
On November 14, 2017, Al-Wafa, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media group, circulated a graphic on Telegram showing a masked jihadi in the driver’s seat of a vehicle positioned in front of the Vatican.
ISIS Supporters Circulate Posters Threatening Saudi Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir, Grand Mufti Aal Al-Sheikh
In recent days, pro-Islamic State (ISIS) outlets circulated posters threatening the lives of Saudi Foreign Minister ‘Adel Al-Jubeir and Saudi Grand Mufti ‘Abd Al-’Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh.
Pro-ISIS Group Of Hackers Claims To Have Hacked American And Other Sites; Threatens To Continue Hacking Sites Of Coalition States
On November 7-9, 2017, a Telegram page that is apparently run by Islamic State (ISIS) supporters in the Gaza Strip published a list of sites that it claimed were hacked by another hacking group.
(by memri.org)

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Posted in category Eurasia, Special Analysis

IRGC Commander Jafari: U.S. Will Have To Remove Its Bases Outside The 2,000-Kilometer Range Of Our MissilesIRGC Commander Ali Jafari said on October 8: “If America’s new sanctions law [targeting the IRGC] is actualized, America will have to move its military bases outside the 2,000-kilometer range of Iran’s missiles.
EXCLUSIVE: Pro-ISIS Telegram Channel Hints At Christmas, New Year’s Attack, Posts Image Threatening Pope FrancisOn November 16-17, 2017, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) channel that regularly issues threats released one graphic hinting at an attack around Christmas or New Year’s, and another showing an ISIS militant standing over the beheaded corpse of Pope Francis.
EXCLUSIVE: French ISIS Operative To ISIS Supporters: ‘I Swear By Allah That Your State, Oh Muslims, Has Neither Been Defeated Nor Weakened, But Rather Your Lord Is Strengthening It’On November 7, 2017, a French-speaking ISIS media operative posted a lengthy text he authored that looks back on six years of fighting in Syria and promises that ISIS is not dead and will not disappear. In it, he describes the current situation as just another challenge in advance of the ultimate victory.
(by memri.org)

US to support Eastern Europe against Russian aggression

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017
Posted in category Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe U.S. Senate is about to offer support to the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine, in order to deter the Russian aggression. Respective mentions may be found in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

The law offers to assign money for that purpose; in the particular case with Ukraine, it is clearly defined in Sections 1243, 1250, 6207-6208 and others. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraq retakes Rawa, last Daesh town in the country

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017

Iraqi forces on Friday captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Daesh control, signalling the collapse of the group’s self-proclaimed territory.

Rawa’s capture marks the end of Daesh’s era of territorial rule over a so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. Read the rest of this entry »

Syria retakes Albu Kamal stronghold from Daesh

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017

yria’s army and loyalist militiamen Sunday ousted the Daesh group from its last urban stronghold in the country as regime strikes claimed more lives in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus.

The army said it had taken full control of Albu Kamal in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which has changed hands several times. Read the rest of this entry »

Algerian army seizes batch of weapons on border with Mali

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe Algerian army on Thursday discovered a large batch of weapons on the border with Mali, a statement from the defense ministry said.

The arms were hidden in a bunch in the locality of Bordj Badji Mokhtar in the southernmost province of Adrar, according to the statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Libya carries out operations in north region against IS

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

Libyan army units on Saturday carried out extensive sweeps in the region known as the “oil crescent” in north Libya to monitor movements of IS members, according to a military source.

“Patrols of army units are securing desert areas of the oil crescent region, in search of IS fighters,” an army officer said. Read the rest of this entry »

EU sets mid-December to Libyan parliament to amend political agreement

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

The European Union (EU) and some other major European countries have set mid-December as a deadline for the Libyan eastern-based parliament to amend the political agreement on ending the country’s political crises, a parliament member said. Read the rest of this entry »

UN to send 900 more peacekeepers to CAR

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, November 20, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgThe UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday to send an additional 900 peacekeepers to a UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“The Council decided to increase the Mission’s troop limit by 900 military personnel, resulting in an authorized troop ceiling of 11,650 military personnel, including 480 military observers and military staff officers, 2,080 police personnel and 108 corrections officers,” the UN said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Iraqi troops block IS attack west of Anbar

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

Security forces have repulsed an attack by Islamic State militants in western Anbar.

Army troops repelled an IS attack in al-Jazeera region, located between Annah and Rawa towns.

Thirteen villages were freed, while forty-five IS members and two suicide bombers were killed in three days, according to a statement issued earlier by the War Media Cell.Advance toward Rawa is Read the rest of this entry »

US coalition says Daesh has lost 95% of territory

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Daesh militant group has lost 95 per cent of the cross-border territory it declared three years ago in Iraq and Syria, the US-led coalition fighting it has said.

“Since our coalition was formed in 2014, Daesh has lost 95 per cent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria,” Washington’s envoy to the coalition, Brett McGurk, said late Wednesday after a meeting in Jordan.

“More than 7.5 million people have now been liberated from Daesh,” McGurk said in a statement, adding that the group’s finances are now “at their lowest levels to date.” Read the rest of this entry »

Trump calls on UN to extend probe on chemical weapons in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

US President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the UN Security Council to vote to renew a join investigative panel looking into possible chemical weapon attack by the Syrian regime, despite Russia’s veto threat.

“Need all on the UN Security Council to vote to renew the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) for Syria to ensure that Assad Regime does not commit mass murder with chemical weapons ever again,” Read the rest of this entry »

Libya air strikes kill dozens of IS members in Sirte

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

Libya’s Air Force on Wednesday carried out air raids on Islamic State (IS) sites near the city of Sirte, killing dozens of militants and destroying all of their equipments, according to a military source.

“The air force carried out four raids targeting sites near the desert road leading to the town of Harawa, east of the city of Sirte, a site used by IS to store weapons and military vehicles,” an army officer said. Read the rest of this entry »

Algeria counter-terrorism troops arrest 4 in Batna province

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

imgAlgerian counter-terrorism troops arrested on Sunday four individuals suspected of providing support to terrorists in the province of Batna, 400 km southeast of Algiers, Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The source specified that the four suspects were arrested after the exploitation of accurate intelligence by counter-terrorism troops. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisian-Algerian-Egyptian to hold meeting on Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaïes Jhinaoui will participate in a tripartite consultation meeting on Libya to be attended by the Foreign Ministers of Libya, Algeria and Egypt on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting will examine the steps to take to implement the initiative of President Beji Caid Essebsi on Libya. Read the rest of this entry »

French President to visit Algeria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron is due to visit Algeria on Dec. 6.

The visit was decided following consultations between Algerian and French competent institutions.

Macron was set to visit Algeria in September, but his visit was postponed to anther date. Read the rest of this entry »

Egyptian army arrets 74 militants, kills 3 in Sinai

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 16, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News

imgEgypt’s armed forces said on Thursday that they have killed three “high-level” suspected militants and arrested 74 others in sweeps in the troubled northern Sinai Peninsula in recent days.

Five four-wheel-drive vehicles and four bomb-making workshops were destroyed in the raids, as well as ammunition and fuel stocks, military spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifai said.

Security forces have been battling militants in northern Sinai for years in an insurgency that picked up after the 2013 military ouster of an elected but divisive Islamist president. Read the rest of this entry »

LATIN AMERICA AND THE IMF – PAST AND PROSPECTS (Case studies: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela)

Author : Admin | Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The recent economic and social developments in Latin America and especially the prospect of an electoral year for nearly all of the countries in the region are closely watched by analysts who see that, while currently in all of these countries pragmatic and moderate candidates are dominating the polls, there is a high risk of hard populist turns to the right and the left that could radically change policies toward security, trade, the economy, and Latin America’s relationships with the world.

This risk is considered to be mainly the result of poor economic policy and large-scale corruption, but also a consequence of the policies enforced in Latin America by the international financial institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Recent developments

Starting with November 2017, nearly two out of three Latin Americans will choose a new leader over the next 12 months. Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil will hold presidential elections and other eight Latin American elections are scheduled in 2019, a process that is already seen as being the most consequential regional political realignment in a generation.

The region experienced a leftist revival during the 2000s, with left-wing presidents from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua who benefited from the period of high commodity prices and relentless Chinese demand for natural resources. The trend began to reverse, both politically and economically, once commodity prices began falling in 2011. Restored to power, the region’s political moderates applied some of the IMF inspired measures and have produced positive economic results in recent years. Most of the region’s economies are growing after six years of crisis, but the growth is not yet seen by the average people.

In spite of Latin America’s economies improving, the liberal policies are seen as frustrating for many voters and faith in democratic politics around Latin America is at historic lows. The proportion of Latin Americans supporting democracy fell from 66 percent in 2014 to roughly 58 percent, with more than 40 percent saying they are prepared to support a military coup to tackle crime and corruption. Young people are especially disillusioned – with 20 million of Latin American aged 15-29 being unemployed. The prospect of low-paying jobs is forcing a good number into the informal economy, including crime.

Populists and strongmen

In the case of Brazil, President Michel Temer, who has overseen his country’s recovery this year has only a 3 percent popularity rating, largely owing to public disgust with far-reaching government corruption scandals and kickback schemes, and the fact that most Brazilians have yet to feel the stirrings of economic recovery. A majority of Brazil’s citizens are suspicious of existing political institutions: over 70 percent say they care less about the political parties competing for votes than the message of individual candidates, and more than 91 percent believe no political party is free of corruption.

The fact that almost 60 percent would like to see a president who does not belong to one of the big parties favors presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who at various points in his political career has advocated shutting down the National Congress and restoring military rule. Modeling himself on U.S. President Donald Trump, he has also long been an advocate of protectionist economic policies, looser gun laws, and repressive approaches to public security. Bolsonaro is currently on the second place in most of the polls for 2018, with a strong chance of even winning it.

In Mexico, the war of words with Washington has reduced the political space for cooperation. If pushed too far, Mexican voters may well prioritize domestic pride over economic probity. The political fortunes of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a former mayor of Mexico City and a leftist nationalist, are rising. After two failed presidential runs in 2006 and 2012, AMLO, as he is known, is at the top of most of the polls for 2018. There is a real possibility López Obrador will be elected, initiating a hard left turn of the country.

Colombia’s political landscape is also getting more unstable, with many Colombians being upset with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos. Colombia’s former Vice President Germán Vargas Lleras and ex-mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro lead in the current polls, but as in Brazil, Colombians disapprove of traditional parties. The forces of the far right, including their standard-bearer, former President Álvaro Uribe (who served from 2002 to 2010) are gathering force.

An exception seems to be Argentina, where a more moderate path is seen as possible after the reforms pushed by President Mauricio Macri which are improving investment and household spending. In 2016, more than a decade after its economists were last welcomed in Buenos Aires, an IMF delegation has returned to Argentina for its first “article IV” economic consultation[1] in Argentina since its economists were last received in 2006. Roberto Cardarelli, who led the IMF team, said that “important progress has been made” since Mauricio Macri took office and unveiled a wave of reforms.

The October 2017 midterm vote in Argentina was considered a referendum on the reformist agenda and, after his governing coalition scored a resounding victory, President Macri said he will seek more sweeping reforms for Argentina, especially in tax, education and labor.

The conservative leader has been pushing a free-market reform agenda to try to overhaul Argentina’s economy, but his ordering of layoffs of state workers, the elimination of tariffs aimed at protecting local industry, and hikes in utility rates has also fueled labor unrest. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle east events and news

Author : Admin | Monday, November 13, 2017
Posted in category Special Analysis

EXCLUSIVE: New Group Claims Deadly Ambush On Egyptian Security Forces Southwest Of Cairo
On November 3, 2017, a hitherto unknown group that calls itself Ansar Al-Islam publicly claimed responsibility for the largescale ambush against Egyptian security forces which occurred on October 20, 2017, in the Al-Wahat Al-Bahriyyah area (“the Bahriyyah Oasis”) southwest of Cairo.
In New Audio, Osama Bin Laden’s Son Hamza Bin Laden ‎Calls On Muslims To Target Americans To Avenge His ‎Father, Urges Preparations For New Armed Uprising
On November 7, 2017, the Al-Qaeda media wing Al-Sahab released an audio recording by Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, on its Telegram channel. In the recording, titled “Osama… The Fighter Against Invaders And The Inciter of Rebellion Against Tyrants,” Hamza emphasizes his father’s role in igniting the spirit of jihad across the Muslim ummah and in transforming jihad from “the jihad of the elite to the jihad of the ummah.”
Pro-ISIS Kashmiri Group Declares Taliban Members Apostates And Denounces Their Treatment Of Women
On November 4, 2017, the pro-ISIS media project called “Did You Know?” released a 7-minute video with the title “The Deviation of the Taliban,” which argues that members of the Taliban should be considered disbelievers. The video was distributed on the group’s Telegram channel, and is said to be the first episode in a series. The decision to declare that Taliban adherents are apostates clearly places the project in the pro-ISIS and anti-Al-Qaeda camp on the jihadi ideological spectrum.
Iraqi Resistance Elements: The Units “Are Already Prepared To Begin Their Operations” Against The Americans In Iraq
On November 1, 2017, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar published an article quoting “Iraqi resistance” elements declaring their intent to attack U.S. troops in Iraq, who, according to the article, number between 7,000 and 25,000. (by memri.org)

Iraqi paramilitary troops repulse IS attack in Diyala

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, November 10, 2017

The pro-government paramilitary troops have repulsed an Islamic State attack against a security checkpoint in Diyala, a security source said on Thursday.

“Troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] managed to repel an attack launched by IS to target a checkpoint in al-Bou Eissa village, north of Udhaim, in Diyala,” the source told Baghdad Today. Read the rest of this entry »

British FM calls on US to “keep pressure on Russia”

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 9, 2017
Posted in category Eurasia, Eurasia News

Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday urged the United State to “keep the pressure on Russia” over its involvement in Syria and Ukraine ahead of possible US-Russia talks.

Johnson, on an unexpected visit to Washington this week, praised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s efforts in drawing Russia for talks on the Middle East and specifically Syria, where the US and Russian forces agreed to a ‘deconfliction’ zone in the south of the country, in an interview with Fox and Friends. He pushed for more pressure on the Russians to make a deal on Syria.

Johnson’s visiting Washington while President Donald Trump and Tillerson are in Asia. Trump was expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Thursday to discuss North Korea, but Tillerson told the press there was no conclusion on whether the two leaders would meet. Read the rest of this entry »

Pence, Turkish PM discuss Middle East situation

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 9, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday “to reaffirm the enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey,” the Office of the Vice President announced.

The two “expressed hope that their meeting would help to usher in a new chapter in US-Turkey relations, and agreed on the need for constructive dialogue, as friends and allies, on bilateral challenges,” the announcement said. Read the rest of this entry »

Syria announces victory over Daesh

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 9, 2017

Syria’s army declared victory over Daesh on Thursday, saying its capture of the militants’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their project in the region.

The army and its allies are still fighting Daesh in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria, near the border with Iraq, the army said.

But the capture of the town ends Daesh’s era of territorial rule over the so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across Iraq and Syria and in which millions suffered under its hardline, Read the rest of this entry »

Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to discuss Libya on Nov 15

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, November 9, 2017

The tripartite meeting of Libya’s neighbouring countries (Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt) will be held on November 15 in Cairo, Egypt, Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui said in a statement after his meeting with President Beji Caid Essebsi on Tuesday at Carthage Palace. Read the rest of this entry »