Showing posts from August 7, 2016

IS frees hundreds of abducted civilians in Syria

The so-called Islamic State group has freed hundreds of civilians used by the jihadists as human shields while retreating in northern Syria, US-backed forces and a monitor said today. A source from the Syrian Democratic Forces, which pushed IS out of the city of Manbij this week with the aid of US-led air strikes, told AFP that some of the civilians were able to escape while "others were freed". The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said that several hundred of the civilians taken were no longer held by IS. The SDF, an Arab-Kurdish alliance, launched an assault in May on Manbij, on a key jihadist supply route between the Turkish border and IS's de facto Syrian capital Raqa. IS fighters seized around 2,000 civilians as they fled Manbij yesterday, using them as protection against air strikes en route to the jihadist-held town of Jarabulus, on the Turkish-Syrian border. "Among the civilians taken by IS there were people used as

‘US, Saudi presence in Syria illegal’

PressTV- A senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s presence in Syrian territory is illegal. “The presence in Syria by such countries as the US and Saudi Arabia, who intervene there without the Syrian government’s consent, is illegal,” Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises the Leader on international affairs, said on Saturday. “Making decisions as to Syria’s future is up to Syrian people,” he said, adding, “Others are disallowed to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs.” Saudi Arabia is widely reported to be providing lavish financial and ideological support for the Takfiri militants operating in Syria. Riyadh also backs the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which is an opposition group. The HNC has so far turned down two United Nations (UN) proposals aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict. Many of the Takfiri terrorists operating against Damascus in Syria are believed to follow Wahhabism,

The 10,000 Kidnapped Boys of Boko Haram

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria—In a forest of thorn trees somewhere far outside this city, the Boko Haram insurgency ran a boot camp for about 100 boys. Children as young as 5 years old learned to handle assault rifles and march through the woods in flip-flops. Their teacher was only 15. “I was terrified if I didn’t do it, they would kill me,” said Idriss, the teenage instructor, in an interview. He said he was kidnapped by the militants in 2014 but has since escaped. While the world focused on Boko Haram’s mass kidnappings of women and girls, the Islamist group was stealing an even greater number of boys. Over the past three years, Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 10,000 boys and trained them in boot camps in abandoned villages and forest hide-outs, according to government officials in Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon, and to Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group. Abubakar was abducted by Boko Haram and forced to participate in the violent terrorist group's campa

Complete defeat of ISIL in Syria will require political solution tocivil war - says Mogherini

YEREVAN, AUGUST 13, ARMENPRESS. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said the “Islamic State” terrorist group continues to pose a threat to Syria, Iraq, as well as the region to Europe and beyond, "Armenpress" reports citing the EU official website. “The use of civilians as human shields in Manbij, Syria, and the reported abduction of 2000 people by ISIL/Da’esh from the town shows that civilians are yet again the main victims of Syria’s conflict”, she said. She said the recent military advances against Da’esh by the Global Coalition together with the Syrian Democratic Forces in North West Syria are welcome and the EU will continue to commit its efforts, as part of the Coalition, to its non-military fields of activity. Mogherini said the complete defeat of ISIL in Syria will require a political solution to the civil war, addressing the main cause of its expansion in Syria. S

Ruling party official kidnapped, killed in Turkeys southeast

An official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was abducted on Aug. 13 by suspected militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in southeast Turkey. Naci Adıyaman, the president of the party's youth branch in the Beytüşşebap district of the southeastern province of Şırnak, was seized alongside his cousin Fikri  Adıyaman  when their car was stopped near the village of Ayvalık, which lies around 11 kilometers north of the Syrian border.       Security forces launched a search for the pair, and the dead body of Naci  Adıyaman  was found Aug. 13 afternoon one kilmoter from the spot they were abducted, according to Doğan News Agency. The operation to rescue Fikri  Adıyaman  continued, according to Doğan.     The cousins are from a leading family in the pro-state Kurdish Jirki tribe.       An older member of the family, Tahir Adıyaman, stood as an AKP candidate for Şırnak in the June 2015 general election. He leads the local village guard militia and was

EU Says Need Political Solution in Syria to Defeat Islamic State

European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said “a political solution to the civil war” in Syria is needed in order to defeat Islamic State. Start your day with what’s moving markets. Get our markets daily newsletter. Islamic State, also known as Da’esh, “continues to pose a threat to the people of Syria, Iraq, the region as well as to Europe and beyond,” Mogherini said in a statement late Friday. “The recent military advances against Da’esh by the Global Coalition together with the Syrian Democratic Forces in North West Syria are welcome and the EU will continue to commit its efforts, as part of the Coalition, to its non-military fields of activity.” “Complete defeat of Da’esh in Syria will require a political solution to the civil war, addressing the main cause of its expansion in Syria,” Mogherini said. “The use of civilians as human shields in Manbij, Syria, and the reported abduction of 2,000 people by ISIL/Da’esh from the town shows that civili

Does this road go to the peace process?

VERDA ÖZER >  The coup attempt on July 15 targeted not only President Tayyip Erdoğan and the government, but all politicians and Turkish people. The fact that the Turkish parliament was bombed indicated that the putschists targeted all political parties and the public’s will. It was exactly this common fate which unified the Justice and Development Party (AKP), main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and pushed millions of people across all factions out to the streets, squares and the democracy rally in Istanbul’s Yenikapı last Sunday. Kurds have probably been the ones who have felt this trauma most deeply, since they are the segment who suffered most from and have sacrificed the most lives to the coup d’états in the past. This is why Kurds in the southeast of Turkey have poured into the streets. According to the latest survey by Konda research center, Kurds composed 12 percent of the masses protesting against the coup attempt

SDF declares victory in Manbij, ISIS flees with 2,000 civilian human shields

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have declared victory over Islamic State in Manbij but fleeing Islamic State militants abducted around 2,000 civilians to use as human shields to cover their escape. “Let’s broadcast the good news of the victory and the liberation of the great Manbij from the hands of the terrorists,” SDF spokesperson Shervan Derwish announced in a post on Facebook. “We start a new history after closing the book of darkness.” A day terror being defeated again by our immortal martyrs, heroic freedom fighters & Intl Coalition support. #MMC #SDF — Shervan Derwish (@servankobane)  August 12, 2016 The SDF on Friday launched the final phase of the operation to liberate Manbij, targeting ISIS where they were holed up in the northern neighbourhood of al-Sarb.  ISIS militants were hiding behind an unknown number of civilians who they were using as human shields and the SDF extended three offers to the group to release the hostages in exchange for fr

Germany mulls revoking citizenship of extremists in tough anti-terror proposals

Under new anti-terror proposals unveiled in Germany on Thursday ,  those with dual nationality in the country will lose their German citizenship if they go abroad to fight for terror groups. Addressing a press conference Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said deportations of convicted criminal migrants will be sped up, while extra personnel, machinery and surveillance powers will be made available to the police. He also said the burqa will not be banned in the country, adding the move would be "problematic" and "you cannot ban everything that you reject". The minister said the border police would come up with a new scheme wherein refugees who are resettled in Germany under the Turkey-EU deal and who do not have passports, will have to  hand over their smartphones  to the police for checking. "If you want to come to Germany, we have to make safety checks on you. And to make safety checks, we will ask you to show us your Facebook contacts from the last f

Could Norbert Hofer's far-right party win power? Party gains MORE support in Austria

As Austrians gear up to take to the polls again fear is spreading through the country the Freedom Party’s candidate Norbert Hofer could become their next leader. The right-wing politician was narrowly defeated by former Green leader Alexander Van der Bellen, a 72-year-old economics professor, in one of the closest presidential elections the country has seen in recent history. After the contest in which the Greens won by less than 0.5 per cent of the eligible voters the country's - Constitutional Court announced a fresh vote was needed. The announcement just days before the inauguration ceremony shocked the nation but accusations of procedural errors could not be ignored. GETTY Alexander Van der Bellen, a 72-year-old economics professor, was originally victorious Since the vote, pro-EU Van der Bellen has gained further popularity following the uncertainty brought about by Brexit, but attacks across the west in France Belgium and Germany are pushing voters towards the F

Colombia: Sexual Violence By FARC Guerrillas Exposed

“The worst thing is that you can’t have a baby,” Andrea told  Human Rights Watch  when we interviewed her in 2002. Andrea was describing her time as a 11-year-old girl in the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of  Colombia  (FARC) guerrillas. Two years before we interviewed her, aged just 12, FARC members had terminated Andrea’s pregnancy against her will, after telling her they merely wanted to check on her health. EXPAND A Colombian guerilla woman holds her AK-47 as she takes part in a line of rebels during an army parade of fighters of the FARC in Villa  Colombia  camp near San Vicente del Caguan, Caqueta province, April 29, 1999.  © 1999 Reuters Before leaving office last week,  Colombia ’s acting Attorney General Jorge Fernando Perdomo announced the results of an investigation by his office into sexual violence in the FARC guerrilla movement. His office documented 232 cases in which boys and girls in FARC ranks suffered sexual crimes at the hands of guerril

Police brutality rooted in US racist nature: Pundit

Anti-black crimes by US officers are happening across police departments, because America is fundamentally still a racist country, a Washington-based columnist and political scientist has said. Speaking on Press TV’s 'The Debate' program on Thursday night, Wilmer Leon touched on Department of Justice's report about the routine abuse of Baltimore citizens by police forces, saying it speaks to the US history of 'repression'. “The history of the United States is replete with examples of how police departments have been used for generations as occupying forces and as forces of repression,” he said. The new report, Leon said, indicates that officers make frequent stops, mostly in poor, black neighborhoods, with insufficient justification and unlawfully arrest citizens. “Investigators found supervisors have issued explicitly discriminatory orders such as arresting all black people wearing hoodies,” he said. "The fundamental problem with police de

US military `manipulated` intel in ISIS fight

District of Columbia:  US military  leaders painted an overly optimistic picture of American efforts to fight the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, a damning government report released Thursday found. The interim report stems from a congressional task force investigating whistleblower allegations that intel bosses cherry-picked information that soft-pedaled the risk of IS while overstating US efforts to train local forces to fight the jihadists.  "From the middle of 2014 to the middle of 2015, the United States Central Command`s (CENTCOM`s) most senior intelligence leaders manipulated the command`s intelligence products to downplay the threat from ISIS in Iraq," Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said in a statement, using an IS acronym Source:

Mehta: Bring Santos and FARC members to my concert and they will shake hands

BOGOTA –   Indian conductor Zubin Mehta said in an interview with EFE that music helps make peace and if Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC guerrilla leaders attend his next concert in Bogota, they would end up shaking hands with a smile. The 80-year-old Mehta, who will lead the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Bogota's Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo on Thursday, told EFE that music of all kinds causes spirits to soar. Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C major, also known as "The Great Symphony," is special for South Americans since it makes people feel good after listening to it and that is why it was selected for the orchestra's tour of the region, Mehta said. Regarding pop music, Mehta said it elicited a similar response to classical music in listeners, especially among young people. Pop music, however, is more ephemeral, while classical music endures for centuries, the conductor said. Mehta, who was born in Mumbai, expressed

'Zio-American empire' behind Daesh havoc: Academic

Press TV has conducted an interview with Anthony James Hall, a professor at the University of Lethbridge, about former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's remarks that Israel  is the main supporter of Takfiri terrorists in the Middle East. The following is a rough transcription of the interview. Press TV : How do you feel about Nouri al-Maliki’s statement? Hall : Well, Nouri al-Maliki [was prime minister] of Iraq from 2006 and 2014. The US turned against him as he ceased to play the role of kind of a puppet leader and began to actually criticize US policy and represent Iraqi people. Here he is observing that Daesh is in fact backed by Israel and of course this is well-known in the Middle East and it’s well-known in Iran but it’s not known at all in the United States, in Europe. This interpretation flies in the face of propaganda we received through Zionist agencies like SITE Intelligence. And I’m looking at a case where a young black professor at Oberlin College is bei

2nd poll confirms majority in Colombia opposes peace deal with FARC

If Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wants to close peace with the FARC, he best begin campaigning hard as a second poll confirmed that the majority of voters rejects the current peace agreement. According to pollster Ipsos, 50% of Colombians currently reject the deal that would end more than half a century of violence. Another 39% supports the peace agreement as it stands. The Ipsos poll confirms Colombians’ negative attitude towards the peace deal measured last week by Datexco. What is curious about the Ipsos poll is that it seems that support for peace has dropped since Santos and the FARC agreed to a bilateral ceasefire and details about the guerrillas’ disarmament became public. According to Ipsos, in June a convincing majority of 56% said it would vote in favor of the deal. Why Colombians reject the peace deal The latest poll clearly shows why Colombians oppose the peace deal that took more than four years of tense negotiations. According to Ipsos, a staggeri