Shiite News

Quds Day Fight against Tyrannical Political System: Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

quds-day-fight-against-tyrannical-political-system-ayatollah-seyyed-ali-khameneiPublished in: Iran

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says defending the nation of Palestine is tantamount to defending the truth, not simply defending an oppressed nation that has been driven out of its home.

The Leader made the remarks in a meeting with university professors and scientific elites in Tehran on Wednesday on the verge of International Quds Day, which will be marked in Iran and other countries on Friday.

“The Quds Day is very important. It is not just that we are defending an oppressed nation that has been driven out of its home. We are actually fighting against an oppressive and arrogant political system,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader went on to note that today, defending Palestine is tantamount to defending the truth.

“Today, fighting against the Zionist regime [of Israel] is fighting against the [global] arrogance, [and] is fighting against the [entire] hegemonic system,” the Leader noted.

Referring to UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Agenda, also known as the 2030 Agenda, and efforts to implement it in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said various aspects of this document must be explained to the Iranian nation, because “this is a very important issue.”

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the 2030 Agenda was among UN’s upstream documents, which are aimed to impose an intellectual, cultural and practical system on the world.

Noting that UNESCO is just a tool to promote such documents, the Leader said, “There are hands behind the scenes of the United Nations, which formulate an intellectual and cultural and practical system for everything that world nations have [and insist] that nations must act upon them.”

“This is wrong and faulty. What right do these [international bodies] have to express opinions about countries and their traditions and beliefs [and tell them] that they must act in this way or that way,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei also noted that those who say such documents are not “binding” are simplistic, because every one of their provisions, which are not enforced, will be considered as a negative point for countries that have accepted them.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader touched upon the importance of the country’s independence, advising university professors to make the country’s youths appreciate its independence.

“They have not seen the time when whatever that America and Britain said was realized in this country. Therefore, they do not appreciate independence [of Iran], [and university] professors must make them understand this,” the Leader said.

Israeli Regime hails Saudi Coup, Trump calls New Crown Prince King-in-Waiting

israeli-regime-hails-saudi-coup-trump-calls-new-crown-prince-king-in-waitingPublished in: Saudi Arab

The Israeli regime has welcomed the palace coup in Saudi Arabia resulting in appointment of Mohammad bin Salman as Crown Prince, with US President Trump calling him king-in-waiting.

According to a White House statement released Wednesday, Trump called Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince to congratulate him.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal decree earlier in the day to replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud with his own son.

Trump also spoke with the king-in-waiting about the dispute with Qatar as well as their so-called war on terrorism.

In a visit to Riyadh one month ago, Trump signed an arms deal worth $110 billion with the Saudis, despite warnings he could be accused of being complicit in the regime’s war crimes in neighboring Yemen and its support for terrorism.

The Israeli regime also welcomed the palace coup in Saudi Arabia with Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, asserting that it “means more economic cooperation in the Middle East (West Asia) , and not just regarding oil.”

“The strengthening of relations with the Trump administration is the beginning of a new and optimistic time between Saudi Arabia and regional states, including Israel and the Jewish people,” Kara said in a statement.

The appointment of bin Salman is bound to ignite a power struggle in the kingdom with growing dicontent reported within the ruling Al Saud clan.

US interrogates inmates in secret UAE-run jails in Yemen: AP

us-interrogates-inmates-in-secret-uae-run-jails-in-yemen-apPublished in: Yemen

US forces have been involved in interrogation of hundreds of inmates in clandestine prisons run by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in war-torn Yemen, with reports of brutal torture and abuses at the facilities.

The Associated Press documented at least 18 secret jails across southern Yemen run by the UAE or by Yemeni militia loyal to the former Yemeni government, where prisoners face extreme abuse and torture on a routine basis.

On Wednesday, senior US defense officials confirmed that the American forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights violations.

Several torturing methods are being used at the jails, including the “grill” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spins in a circle of fire, according to the report.

Former inmates released from one main detention facility at Riyan airport in the southern city of Mukalla, said they were crammed into shipping containers covered with feces and blindfolded for weeks. They said they were beaten, trussed up on the “grill,” and sexually abused.

“The entire place is gripped by fear. Almost everyone is sick, the rest are near death. Anyone who complains heads directly to the torture chamber,” said a former detainee held for six months at Riyan airport.
So far, over 400 men have disappeared after being swept up in Mukalla.

The UAE secret jail network in Yemen was established during former US president Barack Obama’s administration and still continues its operations, according to the report.

In another report on Thursday, Human Rights Watch said the UAE runs two “informal detention facilities” in southern Yemen and has “moved high-profile detainees outside the country,” including to a base in Eritrea.

The New York-based rights group said it had documented 49 cases, including those of four children, who had been “arbitrarily detained or forcibly disappeared,” most of them by UAE-backed forces.

In a statement to the AP, the UAE’s government denied the allegations, saying, “There are no secret detention centers and no torture of prisoners is done during interrogations.”

However, lawyers and families say nearly 2,000 men have disappeared into the clandestine prisons across Yemen. The issue has triggered days of protests by families seeking information about missing sons, brothers and fathers.

Several US defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AP that American forces participate in interrogations of detainees in Yemen, provide questions for interrogators and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati forces.

They said senior US military leaders have looked into the allegations of torture at the clandestine prisons in Yemen, but were satisfied that there was no case of abuse when the US forces were present.

However, a member of the Hadramawt Elite, a Yemeni security force set up by the UAE, told AP that American forces were sometimes only yards away from the scene of torture.

According to international law experts, obtaining intelligence that may have been extracted by torture inflicted by another party is considered as violation of the International Convention Against Torture and constitutes an instance of war crime.

The UAE has served as an ally of Saudi Arabia in the latter’s US-backed campaign in Yemen to restore the impoverished country’s former Riyadh-allied government. The Elite Forces have been fighting in Yemen since the same year to assist the Saudi-led campaign.

According to various reports, Abu Dhabi holds notable sway in southern Yemen and looks to be trying to expand its leverage there by lending its support to southern separatists.

The separatists are led by two pro-Emirati officials of Yemen’s former president Hadi, who have been sacked by him over suspicions of serving the Emirates.

In March 2015, the Saudi regime and its allies began the campaign against Yemen to reinstall its former government. The war has killed over 12,000 civilians. The invasion has been compounded by a Saudi blockade of the country.

Iraq: Daesh blows up Mosul’s iconic al-Nuri Mosque

iraq-daesh-blows-up-mosul-s-iconic-al-nuri-mosquePublished in: Iraq

Daesh has blown up Mosul’s Grand al-Nuri Mosque, where the terrorist group’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi announced the formation of a so-called caliphate after capturing the northern city in 2014.

"Our forces were advancing toward their targets deep in the Old City and when they got to within 50 meters (yards) of the Nuri mosque, Daesh committed another historical crime by blowing up the Nuri mosque and the Hadba" minaret, said Nineveh Liberation Operation Commander Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah in a statement released on Wednesday night.
The blasts occurred as Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Service units had reached within 50 meters of the terrorists.

The terrorists claim that the mosque was destroyed by a US airstrike, but the so-called US-led coalition rejected the claim.

"We did not strike in that area," said US–led coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian.

"The responsibility of this devastation is laid firmly at the doorstep of Daesh," he added.
‘Mosque destruction Daesh’s admission to defeat’

After the army announced that Daesh had destroyed the mosque, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said, "It's an official declaration of defeat."

Earlier in the day, Iraqi military officials announced troops has had encircled the mosque -- Daesh’s stronghold in the Old City of Mosul.

Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha’abi, have made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the Mosul operation on October 17, 2016.

The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.

Foundation of the so-called caliphate by the militant invaders in June 2014 was heavily criticized and ridiculed by Islamic scholars inside and outside the Middle East.

What are the Goals and Consequences of Egypt Islands Transfer Deal?

what-are-the-goals-and-consequences-of-egypt-islands-transfer-dealPublished in: Articles

Over last year, one of the issues creating great controversy in Egypt has been transfer of the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

Respectively 80 and 33 square kilometers, the twin islands are uninhabited, with no energy resources.

But what makes them so strategically significant is their location. Located close to each other, the twin islands are lying at the mouth of the Aqaba Strait. Possessing them means domination over the sea traffic in the area.

The Aqaba Strait is significant for the Israeli sea transit as it provides access to the international waters. After 1954, Egypt blocked the strait and so grounded the Israeli vessels in the area. Egypt also barred the Israeli vessels from passing through the Suez Canal, pushing the Israeli sea transportation in dire straits for some time. Such Egyptian measures triggered the Six-Day Arab-Israeli war in 1967 that led to Israeli occupation of not only the Sinai Peninsula but also the two islands.

When the Camp David Accords were reached in September 1987, Tel Aviv agreed to return the two islands to Egypt and so recognize their possession by Cairo. International forces were later deployed to them to help situation stay under control there. Egypt, according to the deal, guaranteed uninterrupted link between Gulf of Aqaba and the international waters.

On the other side, Saudi Arabia has frequently claimed the islands' ownership, only to be faced by the Egyptian argument that they were given to Egypt according to a 1906 deal with the Ottoman Empire, years before establishment of Saudi state that was founded in 1932. Riyadh rejects the Egyptian account and presses that they are Saudi Arabian and only were rented by Egypt for a certain time for use against the Israeli regime.

The dispute was taken to the UN by the two countries, only to see the international court rule that the islands are Egyptian. However, since past year the issue of transfer has kept making headlines as two sides discussed possible agreement.

So far, the strong Egyptian people’s nationalism and the government’s decline to recognize the Saudi claims have prevented their transfer to Saudi Arabia. But now things have changed.

What is behind this transfer and how does it change the geostrategic map of the region in favor of Tel Aviv?

Egypt’s goals and interests

Egypt will receive $16 billion in aids from Saudi Arabia once it concludes the transfer deal with the Arab kingdom. Moreover, the Egyptian officials say that drawing the sea borders with Saudi Arabia will pave the way for energy exploration and investment in the surrounding area.

But the critics of the deal at home accuse the government of “selling” the two islands. Egypt has had friendly relations with the Israeli regime for a couple of decades and so it no longer needs the islands to put strains on Tel Aviv. This is the main drive for Cairo officials who seek cash in return for handing over the islands to Riyadh.

On the other side, this transfer will make Saudi Arabia a close neighbor of the Israeli regime. This, the analysts say, will help Egypt disburden itself of the responsibility to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and instead Saudi Arabia will go under such duty. In case of handover, Riyadh will have to observe the terms of internationally recognized deal in relation to the islands, something in best interest of Tel Aviv.

Israeli goals and interests

The Israeli regime for years appeared an opponent of such a transfer deal as it feared losing Egypt as a neighbor in Aqaba Strait and getting a new one like Saudi Arabia, a state sponsor of terrorism and opponent of Tel Aviv. But things have changed in West Asia region during the past few years, particularly since the 2011 Arab uprisings that swept through the Arab world on the one hand, and Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia, gained further power and influence on the other hand. This raised the hackles of Riyadh and made Tel Aviv seek alliance with the Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, to counter Tehran.

Israeli green light to the transfer means Tel Aviv's show of good faith to Riyadh and Cairo. At the same time, this form of territory transfer will become normal in the eyes of the Arabs and the Israelis can expect compromises of this kind when it comes to the Palestinian territories.

Additionally, once the islands are transferred to Saudi Arabia, they will move out of Saudi and Egypt control in terms of sea traffic rules. In fact, the two countries will have to consider international laws in their dealing with Tel Aviv over the sea traffic without involvement of their national sovereignty in the case. This mean having to act more responsibly towards the Israeli regime while it still occupies Arab territories.

Consequences of the deal

By doing so, Saudi Arabia and Egypt will give the Israeli regime a special privilege because they have to even intensify adherence to international principles in relation to Tel Aviv. This means reducing the geostrategic significance of their territories in favor of the Israeli regime.

The years-long Iranophobia campaign led by Tel Aviv made the Arab countries misunderstand who is their real enemy and consequently take anti-Tehran stances.

Last week, the Egyptian parliament put to vote the transfer case and finally upheld it. The approval drew bitter opposition across the country. Some critics called the move a “treason” by the government and a decline to save national territory. The issue even stirred violence in Egypt and pushed up national distrust in the government of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi. The country now has ahead two ways: either people will remove the government through protests as they did before or the government will use iron fist policy to put down demonstrations. Tel Aviv will certainly benefit from such a situation while the Arabs will sustain damages.

Bahrain urged to grant human rights activist access to family, lawyers

bahrain-urged-to-grant-human-rights-activist-access-to-family-lawyersPublished in: Bahrain

A Bahraini rights group has expressed deep concern over the health condition of the country’s prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab, calling on the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty to grant him access to his family and lawyers.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) said its 52-year-old chairman has been unable to communicate with family members since last week, noting that the activist is currently being held in a military hospital after authorities failed to provide him with proper medical care following a long delayed surgery in April.

The BCHR highlighted that Rajab is unfit to be discharged from hospital, and his health condition will further deteriorate if he is sent back to prison.

On December 22, 2016, Bahraini authorities accused the pro-democracy campaigner of making comments that “harm the interests” of the Manama regime and other Persian Gulf kingdoms through an article attributed to him and published by French daily Le Monde.

The article slammed the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group for their crimes against humanity and Persian Gulf Arab countries for their failure to stop the spread of the violent Wahhabi ideology.

Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by its clerics, fuels the ideological engine of such terror organizations as Daesh and Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda's Syrian branch formerly known as al-Nusra Front. Takfiri terrorists use the ideology to declare people of other faiths “infidels,” justifying the killing of their victims.

Rajab, who was detained on June 13 last year for tweets that criticized Manama’s role in the deadly Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen, could face up to 15 years in jail. Liz Throssell, the spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement that Rajab was arrested for “exercising his right to freedom of expression."

The United Nations Committee against Torture called on the Bahraini regime on May 12 to release Rajab and open an investigation into widespread reports of ill-treatment and torture of detainees.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.

Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.

On March 5, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3.

Iraqi children face sheer horror, unimaginable violence: UN

iraqi-children-face-sheer-horror-unimaginable-violence-unPublished in: Iraq

The UN warns against the extremely horrible conditions of Iraqi children as Daesh terrorists resort to more brutal tactics to save their last foothold in the country, saying children, particularly those in Mosul, are dying and suffering amid one of the “most brutal wars in history.”

“Across Iraq, children continue to witness sheer horror and unimaginable violence,” the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said in a Thursday statement.

“They have been killed, injured, abducted and forced to shoot and kill in one of the most brutal wars in recent history,” it added.

The statement, prepared by UNICEF’s representative in Iraq Peter Hawkins, noted that Daesh terrorists deliberately target and kill children in Mosul to punish families and deter them from fleeing.

“They are using children as a weapon of war to prevent people from fleeing,” the statement said. “This just highlights how indiscriminate and catastrophic this war is.”

According to the report, 1,075 Iraqi children have been killed and 1,130 wounded or maimed since Daesh occupied nearly a third of Iraq in 2014. Over the past six months alone, 152 children were killed and 255 others injured, it added.

Meanwhile, over 4,650 children have become separated from their families.

Iraqi children have also been forced to take part in violence as Daesh and other armed groups have recruited at least 231 children under the age of 18, the report added.

UNICEF’s report said that over one million children have had their educations put on hold as a result of either militant rule or displacement.

“The country’s future security and economic strength is determined by what is happening to its children today,” the report said.

Last October, Iraqi army forces launched a massive operation to liberate Mosul and they are currently close to recapture the entire city, which served as their de facto capital of Daesh in Iraq.

The battle is estimated to have killed and injured thousands of civilians and displaced over 850,000 people. On the city’s west, entire blocks have been flattened by clashes and airstrikes.

Taking back the Old City of Mosul, a densely populated warren of narrow alleyways on the western side of Mosul, is crucial to recapturing the whole of the northern city.

The United Nations says over 100,000 civilians are trapped in the neighborhood, with Daesh militants using them as human shields.

US president’s son-in-law meets Israeli, Palestinian leaders

us-president-s-son-in-law-meets-israeli-palestinian-leadersPublished in: Palestine

US President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law has held separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a trip to the Israeli-occupied territories to help resume the so-called peace process between the two sides.

The White House said in a statement Jared Kushner along with Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt held “productive” talks with Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday in an attempt to broker a deal to revive the Israeli-Palestinian talks that stalled backin 2014.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also took part at the meeting with Netanyahu.

“The three United States officials discussed Israel’s priorities and potential next steps with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” the White House said in a statement.

Greenblatt and Kushner had accompanied Trump in his first visit as president to the occupied Palestinian territories in May.

The two US officials, along with US Consul General Donald Blome, also met Mahmud Abbas and his senior advisors in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“Kushner and Greenblatt discussed with President Abbas priorities for the Palestinians and potential next steps, acknowledging the need for economic opportunities for Palestinians and major investments in the Palestinian economy,” the statement said.

According to a White House official, Greenblatt and Kushner are expected to visit the region multiple times in the coming months as part of the US bid to mediate between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

The visit came just after Israel started building its first new settlement in the West Bank in 25 years in defiance of the international law and the latest UN Security Council resolution against the illegal move.

Since 1992, Israel’s settlement construction in the occupied territories has involved expansion of the existing outposts, increasing the number of illegal Israeli settlers from 20,000 to 700,000.

The expansion of illegal settlements has been a major hurdle in the way of the so-called peace talks, which opened between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accord in 1993.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

According to data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday, expansion of the illegal settlements in the West Bank soared by 70 percent between April 2016 and March 2017.

Since Trump’s inauguration in January, the regime in Tel Aviv has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land.

In his last month’s visit to the occupied territories, Trump reportedly urged Netanyahu to hold back on such controversial projects, which could further cloud chances of Trump’s “ultimate deal” for a so-called two-state solution.

Thousands of Muslims attend funeral of Nabra Hassanen in US

thousands-of-muslims-attend-funeral-of-nabra-hassanen-in-usPublished in: Rest of World

Thousands of American Muslims have attended the funeral of Nabra Hassanen, who was murdered on Sunday morning in what her father calls a hate crime.

Hassanen, 17, was kidnapped from near a mosque in northern Virginia and was beaten to death by a man named Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, with a baseball bat.

Police said the killing was being investigated as a road rage incident. But Nabra's father has rejected the police theory and said his daughter was attacked because she was Muslim. According to some reports, the teenager might have been raped before she was murdered.

More than 5,000 people participated in the funeral of Hassanen in Sterling, Virginia, on Wednesday. The killing of the Muslim girl has sparked both sorrow and outrage, as most of the American Muslims view the incident as a hate crime that could have happened to other Muslim teenagers.

“There is nothing like losing a child, especially in the way that we lost Nabra,” said Imam Mohamed Magid, the religious leader of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.

"My daughter is 17 years old and she didn't know Nabra, but another friend knew her. And I think my daughter is in the same situation. She is wearing

According to reports, Hassanen was walking with other Muslim friends after Ramadan services when she was attacked and bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat. Her body was later found in Sterling area outside Washington with signs of beating. Torres has been charged with the killing.

In a phone interview with The Guardian on Monday afternoon, Nabra’s father, Mohmoud Hassanen, said, “He killed my daughter because she is Muslim. That’s what I believe. That’s what I told him.”

Struggling to keep his emotions in check, the 60-year-old father recounted the version of events they were given. “My daughter fell down. When she fell down, the guy hit her with a baseball stick. He went and drove his car and came back, and picked her up and threw her in a lake a mile from the mosque.”

“He followed the girls, and all of them had head cloths, meaning they are Muslim, and he had a baseball stick,” said Egyptian-born Hassanen who moved to the US in 1987.

Social media have been flooded with shock and resentment, with Muslims calling on authorities to investigate the murder as a hate crime, not as a road rage incident.

Iran Armed Forces to counter any national security threats: Irani Chief of Staff

iran-armed-forces-to-counter-any-national-security-threats-irani-chief-of-staffPublished in: Iran

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says the country’s security is a red line, pledging to firmly respond to any threats or acts of aggression against the Islamic Republic’s national security.

Baqeri made the remark in a message issued on Wednesday following Iran’s missile attack against the Daesh targets in eastern Syria last week.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired six medium-range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles into Daesh bases in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr on Sunday in retaliation for the June 7 twin terrorist attacks in the Iranian capital Tehran, which killed at least 17 people and injured over 50 others.

“The IRGC’s powerful operation to fire medium-range missiles into the command center of the Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr showed that national security is a red line for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and efforts to safeguard it will not be neglected even for a moment,” read part of the statement.

Baqeri said the missile attack, which came as the US Senate voted for fresh sanctions against Iran, made the enemy understand that “any threat or acts of aggression against the country’s security… will be met with [Iran’s] Armed Forces’ response.”

He added that the strike demonstrates that all Iranians unanimously agree that the US is leading terrorists and acts of terror.

The US Senate on June 15 overwhelmingly passed a bill imposing sanctions on Iran over its missile program among other things.

The legislation still must pass the Republican-led House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump to become law.

Iran has said it will give a fitting response to the new US sanctions.

Russian, Syrian Warplanes Hit Hard ISIL’s Military Positions, Movements in Eastern Hama

russian-syrian-warplanes-hit-hard-isil-s-military-positions-movements-in-eastern-hamaPublished in: Middle East

The Russian and Syrian fighter jets in a joint military operation pounded ISIL's military positions and movements in Eastern Hama and inflicted heavy losses on them.

The Russian warplanes pounded the positions of ISIL deep inside Badieh (desert) in Eastern Hama which resulted in the death and injury of tens of ISIL terrorists and destruction of their military vehicles and equipment.

The Syrian air force warplanes strongly pounded ISIL’s movements in the direction of the oil pipeline and Tabareh al-Dibeh in Eastern Hama.

This is while the terrorists’ military bases and movements also came under airstrikes by the Syrian fighter jets along Sheikh Halal-Rasm al-Timeh axis which resulted in the death of a number of ISIL terrorists.

In Northern Hama, the army troops engaged in clashes with the terrorists who had attacked al-Mosaseleh checkpoint and inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists before thwarting their invasion.

The Syrian army also pushed ahead with its anti-ISIL military operations in Eastern Hama, forcing the Takfiri terrorists to withdraw from more regions.

After liberating Rasm al-Ammoun and Rasm al-Tineh, the Syrian army resumed military operations in the Eastern parts of Hama on Sunday, hitting ISIL's centers North of the terrorist group's strategic stronghold, Aqayrabat.

The Syrian soldiers, backed by Russian bombers, managed to break through the ISIL defense lines after a series of bloody battles.

They also recaptured several villages and points in the Eastern parts of Hama province.

According to reports, pro-gov't forces regained control of the villages of Jubb al-Sa’ad, Hanifah and Hasso al-Albawi which are all located along the main road between Ithriya and al-Sa’an.

The Syrian army forces also engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists after taking back control of the Points 8 and 9 and could seize back Point 7 along the Petrol Line region in the Southern parts of Aqayrabat, Eastern Hama.

Earlier reports said that the Syrian army sent tens of military vehicles, a large number of weapons and ammunition and hundreds of fresh forces to intensify the anti-ISIL operations in Hama.

A military source said that the army has deployed forces in Eastern Salamiyeh to launch concurrent air, missile and artillery strikes on ISIL bases in Aqayrabat region.

The Syrian army backed by the country's air force continued its military operations against the ISIL in Eastern Hama province Saturday and managed to take control of more strategic heights and also pave the way for its advances towards a strategic dam.

The government forces recaptured Debareh al-Dibeh hilltop and Tabarat al-Dibeh region after engaging in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern countryside of Hama, focusing on recapturing Aqarib dam East of Salamiyeh after regaining control over the strategic Debareh al-Dibeh hilltop.

Meanwhile, the Syrian and Russian bombers carried out a number of combat flights over ISIL's supply lines to the strategic town of Aqayrabat as Army troops continued operation in Eastern Hama to expel terrorists from the region.

The Syrian and Russian forces, backed by the two countries' warplanes, have started a new phase of military operations to expel the ISIL from Eastern Hama in bid to secure the strategic city of Salamiyeh.

Saudi Princes Warn King Salman against His Son's Succession

saudi-princes-warn-king-salman-against-his-son-s-successionPublished in: Saudi Arab

A petition signed by the Saudi princes was released on Wednesday after Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz's decision to replace Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman, warning the king to give up the decision.

The petition that comes in the backdrop of widening differences in the Saudi royal family shows that they had protested at King Salman and his decision to dethrone bin Nayef to replace him with bin Salman.

The Arabic-language Al-Ahd news website released the documents related to the petition, and reported that the petition was sent from the office of Prince Muqrin bin Abdolaziz, the former crown prince, last December, and was signed by 21 princes.

According to the report, the princes had strongly warned the King against any such replacement of the heir to the throne.

Based on the report, the princes who opposed bin Salman's succession to the post of the crown prince declared in the petition that their intel shows that Mohammed bin Salman plans to become the de facto king if appointed as the next in line to the throne.

The princes believed that the move would simply shatter the Saudi royal family and create an ambiguous future for the family.

The Saudi king replaced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince and defense minister.

According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and shall maintain his post as defense minister, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

Saudi media announced that King Salman has called for a public pledge of allegiance to the new crown prince in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday night.

The SPA also confirmed that 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s succession committee chose Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.

Just days ago, the Saudi king stripped Nayef of his powers overseeing criminal investigations and designated a new public prosecution office to function directly under the king’s authority.

In a similar move back in 2015, the Saudi king had appointed his nephew, then deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the heir to the throne after removing his own half-brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from the position.

Under the new decree, King Salman further relieved Mohammed bin Nayef of his duties as the interior minister. He appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef as the new interior minister and Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem as deputy interior minister.

Mohammed Bin Salman is already in charge of a vast portfolio as chief of the House of Saud royal court and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which is tasked with overhauling the country’s economy.

The young prince was little known both at home and abroad before Salman became king in January 2015.

However, King Salman has significantly increased the powers of Mohammed, with observers describing the prince as the real power behind his father’s throne.

The power struggle inside the House of Saud came to light earlier this year when the Saudi king began to overhaul the government and offered positions of influence to a number of family members.

In two royal decrees in April, the Saudi king named two of his other sons, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Prince Khaled bin Salman, as state minister for energy affairs and ambassador to the United States, respectively.

Late April, media source disclosed that Mohammad bin Salman has literally bribed the new US administration by paying $56m to Donald Trump.

According to reports, bin Salman is paying off the US to buy its support for finding a grip over the crown.

"Since Uncle Sam's satisfaction is the first step for the Saudi princes to get on the crown, paying off Washington seems to be a taken-for-granted fact," Rami Khalil, a reporter of Naba' news website affiliated to the Saudi dissidents wrote.

He added that since the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is like a sword over the head of the al-Saud, they have no way out but to bribe the US, noting that the Yemen quagmire is also another reason for Riyadh to seek Washington's support.

Also, a prominent Yemeni analyst said earlier this month that the US has been paid several trillion dollars by Saudi Arabia to protect its crown, adding that Riyadh has recently bribed Washington's support for the Yemen war with $200bln.

"Washington has asked for more money to defend the Saudi regime and Riyadh has recently paid $200bln to the US for the costs of its support for the war in Yemen," Saleh al-Qarshi told FNA.

"This is apart from the huge amounts of money that Saudi Arabia pays to the US treasury for protecting its crown," he added.

According to al-Qarshi, former Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki al-Feisal revealed last year that his country has bought the low-profit US treasury bonds to help the US economy.

As the defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman has faced strong international criticism for the bloody military campaign he launched against neighboring Yemen in 2015 amid his rivalry with bin Nayef, the then powerful interior minister.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 14,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Yemen also announced that more than a thousand Yemenis have died of cholera since April 2017 as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, continues hitting residential areas across Yemen.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has drove the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. The Al-Saud aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

The WHO now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.

Yemen Crisis News Blackout Amid Arab Diplomatic Row

yemen-crisis-news-blackout-amid-arab-diplomatic-rowPublished in: Articles

The crisis in relations of Qatar and the Saudi-led Arab bloc has been making headlines on the regional and international media during the past two weeks. The political crisis sparked following comments made by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as well as other officials of the small Persian Gulf emirate.

Initially, four countries, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain, severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and then some other countries allied to Riyadh took the same steps, drawing focus of the regional and international media. This is while the other major regional crisis, namely Yemen crisis in which Saudi Arabia has been involved for two years, gradually lost its publicity and media coverage.

A country subjected to heavy Saudi-led bombing campaign, a major ground offensive, and strict blockade from the sea, air, and land during the past two years, Yemen is now grappling with three essential crises: famine, insecurity, and cholera outbreak.

The famine is presently hitting Yemen in a tragic scale, making the nation suffer from one of the worst situations of starvation in decades. Additionally, outbreak of cholera during the past few months took lives of thousands of the civilians in the war-ravaged country while the nation is deprived of its basic sanitary services amid a full-scale siege imposed by the Arab military coalition led by Riyadh. Moreover, since the start of war in early 2015, over 33,000 Yemenis were killed and injured, and relentless bombing of the infrastructural facilities like the bridges, ports, power plants, as well as water and electricity distribution networks has made the living conditions calamitous.

What is considerable is the ongoing Saudi fighter jets strikes across Yemen amid unfolding political crisis with Qatar. Perhaps one of the major instruments contributing to this campaign is the Saudi Arabian media game. Riyadh counts on media as one of its regional policies' main instruments. Such news channels as Al Arabiya and Al Hadath, both owned by Saudi Arabia, are among the most-watched regional news outlets as the kingdom spends millions of dollars on them for more viewer attraction. They, the analysts suggest, are the top contributors to Riyadh in its pursuit of policy in the region. The Rotana television group, the largest Saudi-run media group in the Arab world, is another powerful arm serving the Saudi policy. Other media outlets like Asharq Al-Awsat and Al-Hayat newspapers with their millions of readers across the Arab world are providing the same service to the Saudi Arabian strategies in the region.

Over 700 Saudi-funded media outlets are existing, with aim to serve the Riyadh interests, including a promotion of the Saudi views rather than simply giving information, through shaping the public opinion across the Arab world in a desired fashion. This issue is glaringly apparent in reactions to the Yemen conflict. What is currently going on in Yemen amounts to a humanitarian disaster, however, it is overshadowed by the Saudi-Qatari political row. Along with running a campaign to meet their owners' objectives amid a political crisis with Doha, these media are pushing in news blackout the daily pounding of various Yemeni cities from air and ground.

We should not fail to consider the international news about Yemen crisis before eruption of the Persian Gulf political crisis. Such international organizations as FAO and UNICEF have provided reports on impoverishment and diseases outbreak, giving a clear picture of the depth of disaster Yemen is dealing with.

The issue was so serious that even drew concern of Mark Warner, Senator of Virginia, whose country helps Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen. He expressed his worries about rising casualties of civilians in war on Yemen, blaming Saudi Arabia as responsible party for the situation. Therefore, any media reflection on the Yemen tragedy will damage the Saudi picture regionally and internationally.

The Saudi dealing with Yemen and Qatar crises is directed by a combination of media and power. To put it differently, Saudi Arabia– along with the allied UAE– a country producing influential media material, is pushing for its agenda among the regional public opinion. This is observable in the recent Persian Gulf crisis in which the rift with Qatar received the major concentration and the tragic Yemen conditions are pushed to the sidelines in terms of media coverage. This media blackout of Yemen plight greatly helps the Arab kingdom to easily rain down bombs on the capital Sana’a and other major provinces like Taiz.

Zionist Soldiers Cross Lebanon Southern Border

zionist-soldiers-cross-lebanon-southern-borderPublished in: Lebonan

19 Zionist soldiers crossed on Wednesday morning the technical fence off the bordering town of Mays Al-Jabal in southern Lebanon.

It is worth noting that the Zionist enemy forces have repeatedly violated that bordering area.

Raheel Sharif cannot be recalled from Saudi Arabia, Senate told

raheel-sharif-cannot-be-recalled-from-saudi-arabia-senate-toldPublished in: Pakistan

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that former chief of army staff Raheel Sharif had taken command of the 41-nation Saudi-led military coalition in his personal capacity and he cannot be recalled from Saudi Arabia.

Millions set to hold rallies across globe on International Quds Day

millions-set-to-hold-rallies-across-globe-on-international-quds-dayPublished in: Palestine

Millions of people are set to attend the International Quds Day rallies in various parts of the world to show their solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people and condemn Israeli atrocities.

Millions of people across Pakistan and other countries will stage massive rallies on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Pro-Palestinian groups have called for a high turnout.

Calls for boycotting Israel remained the main theme of this year’s demonstrations, a trend that has been promoted by pro-Palestinian activists for years as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or the BDS.

Anti-Israeli sentiments have risen among people across the world over Tel Aviv’s discriminatory policies in the occupied territories and toward the besieged Gaza Strip.

The occupied Palestinian territories have seen tensions ever since Israel introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015. More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of October 2015.

Each year, millions of people around the world stage rallies on this day to voice their support for the Palestinians and repeat their call for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities and its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Scores of protesters already took to the streets of London to mark the day. The demonstration was held on the last Sunday of the holy month of Ramadan and saw people marching down the Regent Street before gathering at the junction with Oxford Street.

Co-organized by the Islamic Human Rights Council, the event also featured Jewish speakers who drew a line between being anti-Israeli occupation and anti-Semitism, an accusation that pro-Israeli lobbies often use to stifle protests.

The protesters chanted “Free Palestine” and carried signs that read “Boycott Israel”, “Freedom for Palestine” and “Zionism = racism.”

In August 1979,  Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as the International Quds Day, calling on Muslims across the world to mark the annual occasion by holding street rallies.

Iraqi forces invade Islamic State’s birthplace mosque in western Mosul

iraqi-forces-invade-islamic-state-s-birthplace-mosque-in-western-mosulPublished in: Iraq

Iraqi government forces invaded on Wednesday the vicinity of a medieval mosque in western Mosul where Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” was first declared in 2014, military media said.

The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said forces destroyed a weapons reservoir and killed ten militants near the Grand Nuri al-Kabeer Mosque in the Old City, where Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a sermon declaring the establishment of the group’s rule in Iraq and Syria.

Three other militants were pounded by army warplanes inside their vehicle on the district’s outskirts, according to the statement.

Akhbar Alaan quoted military sources saying the troops were searching for senior IS leaders hiding among civilians they had brought to the Old City from neighboring districts. It added that the forces had reached al-Farouq street which leads to the mosque.

The website also said it received information that IS militants had executed 150 civilians who tried to flee towards security forces as they approached the mosque.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, took over eastern Mosul from IS in January after three months of fighting, later launching another offensive in mid February to retake the western side of the city.