Showing posts from January 29, 2017

US-backed PKK affiliate SDF claims to start new phase in Raqqa assault

The US-backed Syrian   Democratic Forces (SDF) claims to have started a new phase of its campaign against the city of Raqqa held by Daesh terrorists on Saturday, aiming to complete its encirclement and sever the road to terrorist strongholds in Deir al-Zor province. The SDF said in a statement that the action was being undertaken with "increasing support from the (U.S.-led) international coalition forces through guaranteeing air cover for our forces' advances, or via the help provided by their special teams to our forces on the battle ground". The SDF, which is dominated by terrorists from PKK Syrian affiliate the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG), launched its multi-phased campaign aimed at encircling and ultimately capturing Raqqa in November. A SDF commander told Reuters the forces had so far advanced a few kilometres (miles) in the latest phase, which aims to capture areas to the east of the city, including the highway l

U.N. lifts sanctions on notorious Afghan warlord

KABUL  (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council has dropped sanctions against Afghan strongman Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, potentially paving the way for the notorious warlord to return openly to Afghanistan. The Afghan government requested the move as part of a peace deal with Hekmatyar and his militant group, Hezb-i-Islami, in September. The deal was criticised by some Afghans and human rights groups for the pardon it granted to Hekmatyar and many of his fighters. While playing only a small role in the current insurgent conflict in Afghanistan, Hekmatyar was a major figure during the bloody civil war of the 1990s, when he was accused of indiscriminately firing rockets into Kabul, as well as other human rights abuses. The Afghan government welcomed the U.N.‘s decision made on Friday as a “a major step toward peace and stability in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, a political advisor for President Ashraf Ghani. “This was a demand of the people and government of A


Around 3000 people demonstrated in Vienna on Friday night against a traditional right-wing ball. The annual event – which takes place in the  Austria n capital’s historic Hofburg palace – was held under a heavy police presence, though the number of people  protest ing were said to be lower this year. The Academics’ Ball, which is part of the annual Viennese ball season, frequently attracts leading members of  Austria ’s far-right Freedom Party. The lower  protest er turnout is thought to be mainly down to December’s presidential election, in which former Green leader, Alexander Van der Bellen, beat the far-right Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer. Source:


Several police raids have taken place across  Paris  after a man wielding machetes tried to enter the Louvre Museum. The suspect, who is only believed to have entered France a few days ago, has been identified as Egyptian Abdullah Reda Refaei al-Hamamy. The 29-year-old is said to be in a critical condition after he was shot by a soldier trying to stop him. Police are trying to establish if he was working alone. Prosecutor Francois Molins said al-Hamamy arrived in France from Dubai on a tourist visa late last month. “The investigation which has just been launched is ongoing and will continue both inside and outside France in the context of international crime cooperation to ascertain the journey the perpetrator took and his motives, but also to find out if he acted alone, spontaneously, or on the contrary if he was following instructions,’‘ Molins said. One soldier – part of a four man patrol – is said to have sustained minor injuries when the suspect was stopped. Presid

Military botches release of video seized in Yemen raid

Washington (CNN) The US military is scrambling to explain an embarrassing mix-up after it released video obtained from Sunday's raid in Yemen that turned out to have already been published online. A military spokesman acknowledged it was released without having been thoroughly analyzed. The video was meant to demonstrate the value of the weekend raid whose stated aim was to recover key intelligence about al Qaeda. But the footage released Friday morning actually consisted of video that was previously available to the public. The video was pulled because "we didn't want to make it appear that we were trying to pass off old video," said US Central Command spokesman Col. John Thomas. The mistake was due "to our lack of having time to properly analyze it." "We were trying to provide an example of some of the things recovered on the raid," Thomas said. Thomas was adamant there was no pressure to release anything. He insisted it was CENTC

Two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants killed in encounter

Srinagar, Feb 4 (PTI) A "major terrorist operation" was today thwarted as two top Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in north Kashmirs Baramulla district. Superintendent of Police (Operations) Shafqat Hussain and a Sub-Inspector, Mohammad Murtaza, were also injured in the gun battle which took place near Amargarh village of Sopore, 50 kms from here, after police intercepted the two militants travelling in a vehicle, a police spokesman said. "An information was received that militants were travelling in a vehicle and were planning some terrorist action in Sopore area. Police and security forces immediately swung into action and intercepted them near Amargarh Sopore. Ads by ZINC "While being challenged, terrorists lobbed a grenade and fired on police party in which the SP (Operation) Baramulla and a Sub-Inspector were injured. In the re

JuD stopped from holding ‘MPC’ on Kashmir

HYDERABAD: Police stopped Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) from holding a ‘multiparty conference’ (MPC) on Kashmir issue at the press club on Friday reportedly after receiving ‘orders’ from high-ups in the wake of house arrest of JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.  JuD leaders decided to cancel the conference and disperse peacefully. Later, they informed media persons through an SMS that the MPC had to be cancelled because of some ‘unavoidable circumstances’. A heavy contingent of police had sealed the road with barbed wire outside the press club. JuD Sindh emir Faisal Nadeem said the MPC was not organised by JuD only, it was held by Tehreek-i-Azadi Kashmir, a platform founded by JuD and other parties to discuss Kashmir’s freedom movement. He said that such MPCs were earlier held in Badin, Sukkur and other districts and were attended by Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Samiul Haq, PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, PML-N and others in the

Hafiz Saeed’s JuD gets a new name, Tehreek Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir

Hafiz Saeed’s JuD gets a new name, Tehreek Azaadi Jammu and Kashmir The donation camps and ambulance services, which were closed down after Saeed was put under house arrest, have been restarted albeit under a new name The terrorist group, Jamaat ud Dawa, has renamed itself as ‘Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir’, following  JuD  chief and 26/11 mastermind  Hafiz Saeed ’s house arrest. It may be noted the  JuD  and its charitable wing, FIF, were put on observation under Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. The organisation has resumed its normal activities—donation camps and ambulance centres. These have restarted calling for the independence of Jammu and Kashmir. These centres, which were closed down after Saeed was put under house arrest, have been restarted albeit under a new name. On February 5, the group is planning to hold a  Kashmir Day conference in Lahore after evening prayers. The TAJK has reactivated its donations centres in different districts of Punjab, including Lahore, which is the hub

Saudi Arabia Is Building A 600-Mile 'Great Wall' To Shield Itself From ISIS

When a raiding party from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacked a Saudi border post last week, it was no mere hit on a desert outpost. The jihadists were launching an assault on the new, highest-profile effort by Saudi Arabia to insulate itself from the chaos engulfing its neighbours. The Saudis are building a 600-mile-long "Great Wall" - a combined fence and ditch - to separate the country from Iraq to the north. Plans for the 600-mile wall and ditch Saudi Arabia will build with Iraq in an effort to insulate itself from the chaos engulfing its neighbors. The Telegraph Much of the area on the Iraqi side is now controlled by Isil, which regards the ultimate capture of Saudi Arabia, home to the "Two Holy Mosques" of Mecca and Medina, as a key goal. The proposal had been discussed since 2006, at the height of the Iraqi civil war, but work began in September last year after Isil's charge through much of the west and north of the country gave it a substantial

On the run from IS in no man's land

Some 80,000 people fleeing so-called Islamic State are stranded in no man's land on the border between Syria and Jordan.  They can't enter Jordan and they can't return home. Aid organisations are struggling to help them.  BBC journalists Feras Kilani and Ben Allen visited the settlement. They are the first journalists to enter the area. Source

French soldier shoots with a machete shouting "Allahu Akbar" outside Louvre

AP A big security operation is under way A French soldier guarding the Louvre in Paris has shot a man who tried to attack a security patrol with a machete shouting "Allahu Akbar", police say. The man, who tried to gain entry to the Louvre's shopping centre, was shot in the abdomen and seriously injured. One soldier sustained a slight head injury. PM Bernard Cazeneuve said the attack was "terrorist in nature". The Louvre, home to numerous celebrated art works, is the world's most visited museum. The incident began at 10:00 local time (09:00 GMT) in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre at stairs leading to an entrance to the museum itself. A patrol of four soldiers are reported to have tried to subdue the assailant using non-lethal force after he rushed at them. When this failed and after one soldier was injured, five shots were fired. The suspected attacker was taken to hospital. Jiao Liyang Visitors to the Louvre were told to crouch on the floor, seen in

The Women Who Escaped Slavery at the Hands of ISIS

In mid-November Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes,  managed to expel ISIS fighters from the Iraqi city of Sinjar.  The militant group had overrun the town in August 2014—killing and enslaving vast numbers of the Yazidi religious minority in what came to be known as the Sinjar Massacre. Thousands of Yazidi fled to Mount Sinjar , where they faced desperate conditions while waiting for rescue. In the village, men, children, and  older women were killed , while thousands of younger women were kidnapped, raped, and sold into slavery. Closely following this story was Kurdish photojournalist Seivan Salim, who was born in Iraq but forced to flee as a child. In a refugee camp, months after the massacre, she met some of the women who had escaped from slavery and was so haunted by their stories that she knew she had to do something—anything—to bring injustice to light. Syhan, 30 From:  Kojo, Sinjar area
 Date of Capture:  08/15/2014 Length of captivity:  Ten months  Syhan fell pregnant du

Indonesia, Australia to work together to stem flow of funding for terror activities

JAKARTA - Indonesia and Australia have pledged to work together to stem the flow of funding for terrorist activities, said chief security minister Wiranto on Thursday (Feb 2) after a meeting with his counterparts from Canberra. "We had discussed at today's meeting how we can further our efforts to curb such flows of funds," said Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, who was responding to a question on how a terrorist money-trail between Australia and Indonesia was detected recently. "The terrorism funding may flow from anywhere, so we don't want to be trapped in a blame game, making accusations about where the funds came from, we must have a common understanding about the importance of working together to combat these flows of funds," he added. Overseas fund transfers into Indonesia in 2014 and 2015, which were allegedly linked to terrorism amounted to well over 10 billion rupiah (S$1 million). About 6 billi