Shiite News

Deadly Israeli Strikes Target Syria's Quneitra Province

deadly-israeli-strikes-target-syria-s-quneitra-provincePublished in: Middle East

Israeli forces have attacked pro-Syrian government groups in the countryside of Quneitra, two days after carrying out similar strikes in the same region.

An Al Jazeera correspondent said Sunday's attacks targeted fighters loyal to the Syrian government in the Naba al-Fawwar area of Quneitra province, which is located in the 30 percent of the Golan Heights that is not under Israeli occupation.

Three fighters from the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) were killed and at least two more were wounded in the attack, an NDF official told AFP news agency.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed the attack but did not have additional details.

Rebel forces and other armed groups battling Syria's government and its allies control much of the Quneitra area.

The Israeli army said on Friday it had targeted positions inside Syria in retaliation for mortar fire that hit the northern part of the occupied Golan Heights.

"The Israeli army targeted the source of the fire," an army statement said without giving further details.

An army spokesperson told AFP she was unable to elaborate on how Israel retaliated or to identify any targets that were hit.

Syria's official news agency SANA said Israel struck a Syrian army position in Quneitra province on the Golan plateau on Sunday, "causing damage".

SANA said the Israeli fire came "after a bid by terrorist groups to infiltrate Syrian military positions was foiled".

The Syrian government labels rebels and other armed groups "terrorists" and accuses Israel of backing them.

Israel occupied 1,200sq km of the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

Iranian Official Warns of Plots to Redeploy Terrorists from Iraq, Syria to Afghanistan

iranian-official-warns-of-plots-to-redeploy-terrorists-from-iraq-syria-to-afghanistanPublished in: Iran

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council denounced the attempts by certain regional states to upset security in Afghanistan as part of a broader scheme to dispatch the “defeated terrorists” from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan.

“Some of the countries in the region are seeking to make Afghanistan insecure and weaken its security and law enforcement structure to pave the way for the transfer of defeated terrorists in Iraq and Syria to this country (Afghanistan),” Ali Shamkhani said in a telephone conversation with Afghanistan's national security adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Saturday.

It came after a fatal terrorist attack on an Afghan army base in the northern province of Balkh that killed at least 140 soldiers on Friday.

Condemning the attack on the Afghan Army base, claimed by the Taliban, Shamkhani voiced Iran’s readiness for whatever help for those injured in the fatal assault.

He also called for the “acceleration of security and intelligence cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan”, saying such interaction would contribute to the security and stability of the two neighbors.

For his part, Hanif Atmar stressed the need for constant consultations between Tehran and Kabul in the fight against terrorism and insecurity.

According to Afghan officials, the death toll has jumped to 140 following Friday's assault on an army base a few miles from Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh.

Another 160 people were wounded in the attack. Two of the attackers blew themselves up and seven were killed in the assault, which lasted several hours and targeted soldiers at a mosque and a dining facility, the Afghan Defense Ministry said.

Roadside Bomb in Somalia Kills 8 Soldiers, Police Say

roadside-bomb-in-somalia-kills-8-soldiers-police-sayPublished in: Rest of World

A Somali police official says a roadside bomb in a remote town in Somalia's semiautonomous state of Puntland has killed eight soldiers and injured three others.

Ahmed Mohamed tells The Associated Press that Sunday's blast targeted a military convoy in Galgala. Security forces have been battling Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) -linked fighters in the region.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but the ISIL-linked extremists have carried out such attacks in the past.

Fighters affiliated with the ISIL are a relatively new and growing threat in Somalia, where the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group has been entrenched for years.

Palestinians Hold Rally in Support of Hunger Strikers

palestinians-hold-rally-in-support-of-hunger-strikersPublished in: Palestine

Palestinian people took to the streets of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to express solidarity with the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Dozens of Palestinians on Sunday held a rally in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in the city of Ramallah, Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website reported.

On Saturday, prisoners of Section 11 of the Nafha Prison in the Negev desert town of Mitzpe Ramon stopped eating their food portions to denounce harsh conditions in Tel Aviv’s prisons.

They were the latest group to join the ongoing mass hunger strike against detention conditions.

Over 1,500 prisoners from all Palestinian political factions are taking part in an open-ended hunger strike to denounce harsh prison conditions and restrictions on family visits.

The long-planned mass strike, which is led by a jailed leader of the Fatah Movement, Marwan Barghouti, began on April 17.

Hunger striking as a method for pressuring the Tel Aviv regime has become increasingly prevalent among Palestinian prisoners in recent years. In 2012, approximately 1,500 Palestinian prisoners launched a similar hunger strike for close to a month before managing to obtain their rights.

And, in 2014, 800 prisoners staged a strike against administrative detention for 63 days before a reaching a deal with the Israeli prison authorities and deciding to end their strike.

North Korea Says Ready to Strike US Aircraft Carrier

north-korea-says-ready-to-strike-us-aircraft-carrierPublished in: Rest of World

North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, as two Japanese navy ships joined a US carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific.

US President Donald Trump ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to rising tension over the North's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the United States and its Asian allies, Reuters reported.

The United States has not specified where the carrier strike group is as it approaches the area. US Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday it would arrive "within days" but gave no other details.

North Korea remained defiant.

"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a US nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.

The paper likened the aircraft carrier to a "gross animal" and said a strike on it would be "an actual example to show our military's force".

The commentary was carried on page three of the newspaper, after a two-page feature about leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a pig farm.

North Korea will mark the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday.

It has in the past marked important anniversaries with tests of its weapons.

‘UK banks closing accounts of Iranians despite lifting of sanctions’

uk-banks-closing-accounts-of-iranians-despite-lifting-of-sanctionsPublished in: Rest of World

A UK law firm handling dozens of complaints by Iranian nationals who have had their bank accounts in Britain closed because of their nationality says closures continue despite the lifting of economic sanctions.

Blackstone Solicitors that represents a number of Iranians has reported a continuation in such closures since US President Donald Trump assumed office on January 20, the Guardian reported on Friday.

Iranians living in Britain often have to expend great efforts when opening a bank account and many who already have accounts have complained about their accounts being closed, the report said.

Some banks refuse to provide reasons why they close accounts of Iranian nationals, while others mention sanctions against the country as the main problem.

Blackstone Solicitors said the bank accounts of Iranians were being closed despite the removal of economic sanctions after the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, which are the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany.

Trump has 'dangerous mental illness,’ some experts say

trump-has-dangerous-mental-illness-some-experts-sayPublished in: Rest of World

A group of American psychiatrists have warned that US President Donald Trump has a "dangerous mental illness" and is unfit to lead the country.

Over thirty mental health experts said Thursday at a conference at Yale University that Trump was “paranoid and delusional” and that they were responsible for warning Americans about the “dangers” Trump poses.

“We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump's dangerous mental illness,” Dr. John Gartner said at Yale’s School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Gartner said Trump’s false claim about having the largest crowd at his inauguration was just one of many that served as warnings of a wider problem.
Gartner leads a group of mental health experts that believes President Trump suffers from a combination of anti-social personality disorders and extreme narcissism and is unfit for the job. He started an online petition earlier this year on calling for Trump to be removed from office.

Iran sees no need to negotiate Mideast issues with US: Shamkhani

iran-sees-no-need-to-negotiate-mideast-issues-with-us-shamkhaniPublished in: Iran

A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic is not willing to negotiate Middle East issues with the United States, stressing that Washington cannot act as “judge, jury and executioner” in the troubled region.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in an interview with the French daily Le Monde, which was published on Friday.

“Concerning the Middle East issues, we neither have any intention to negotiate with the US nor do we have any inclination or see any need to do so,” he said.
He said US President Donald Trump’s words and deeds have always been contradictory during his tenure, adding that he “understands all matters using the economic logic, and does not have a correct comprehension of international relations.”

“However, we do not seek tension in the region [either] as we consider it to be to the detriment of regional stability,” the official added.

40 Saudi Mercenaries Killed in Yemeni Army’s Attack

40-saudi-mercenaries-killed-in-yemeni-army-s-attackPublished in: Saudi Arab

The Yemeni Army and the Popular Committees, in a retaliatory attack against the forces of the Saudi-led coalition, managed to kill 40 mercenaries of the Riyadh regime in Yemen’s southwestern province of Taiz, military sources said.

In a unique operation launched on Friday by the Yemeni army troops near the port city of Mocha in Taiz, 40 mercenaries of the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh, were killed and dozens more were wounded, Lebanon’s Arabic-language Al Mayadeen TV quoted the sources as saying.

In another development, heavy clashes erupted between the Yemeni forces and the mercenaries of Hadi near an air defense base in northwestern parts of Taiz.

According to the Yemeni Defense Ministry, a number of other mercenaries were also killed in missile attacks by the country's army and Popular Committees east of Marib.

The attacks against Saudi mercenaries came in retaliation for the continued massacre of civilians and destruction of Yemen’s infrastructure by a coalition led by the Saudi regime.

Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the coalition for more than two years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to Hadi.

Over 12,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.

Syria’s Zabadani, Madaya under Full Control of Army

syria-s-zabadani-madaya-under-full-control-of-armyPublished in: Middle East

The towns of Zabadani and Madaya, situated in Rif Damascus Province near Syria's border with Lebanon, were emptied entirely following an evacuation deal between the Arab country’s government and militants.

According to Tasnim dispatches, all Takfiri militants and their families were transported out of Zabadani, Madaya and other nearby oppositions-held areas on Friday and resettled in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

In the meantime, nearly 8,000 residents were evacuated from the Syrian towns of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib and relocated to their permanent residents in Latakia and Homs under the deal.

The evacuations marked the end of the first stage of the deal brokered by Iran and Qatar. A second phase is due to begin in June.

Foua and Kafarya are the only government-held enclave in Idlib's militant-held area. The towns of some 20,000 people have been under siege since 2013. The humanitarian situation remains dire, with a lack of food and basic necessities.

The report added the towns of Zabadani, Madaya, and its surrounding areas are now under the full control of the Syrian army, adding that the government forces have begun clearing land mines and explosives left behind by the militants in the regained areas, the report added.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

Bahraini Youths Continue Sit-In in Support of Sheikh Qassim

bahraini-youths-continue-sit-in-in-support-of-sheikh-qassimPublished in: Bahrain

Bahraini youths continued a sit-in staged in the resistive village of Diraz to express their solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the Shiite majority in the Arab kingdom, activists said.

According to the activists, the sit-in in front of the house of Sheikh Qassim in the northwestern village has continued for 306 consecutive days.

Holding placards and photos of Sheikh Qassim, the participants in the sit-in protest emphasized on Friday night that they will defend the cleric against the conspiracies of the ruling Al Khalifa regime.

The Manama regime announced on June 20, 2016, that it had revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Qassim. The regime later said it would put the senior cleric on trial on charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism”.

Back in March, Manama postponed the trial of Sheikh Qassim as nationwide rallies were held in solidarity with the top cleric.

The trial session of Sheikh Qassim had been slated for March 14, but was adjourned until May 7.

Some sources have said that the Bahraini regime plans to send Sheikh Qassim to exile in Turkey in a bid to ease tensions.

Lebanese Army Arrests 10 Suspected Militants in Raid near Syrian Border

lebanese-army-arrests-10-suspected-militants-in-raid-near-syrian-borderPublished in: Lebonan

Lebanon's army said it arrested ten suspected members of militant groups on Saturday after they came over the northeastern border from Syria, and a security source said a local Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) commander was killed in the same raid.

No army personnel were reported injured or killed in the raid on Arsal, a town which militants briefly overran in 2014.

The army says it stages regular operations against ISIL and former al Qaeda-linked militants in the mountainous region, Reuters reported.

"An army unit carried out a swift raid at dawn today in Arsal, resulting in the arrest of 10 dangerous terrorists who had previously infiltrated it," the military statement said.

A number of attacks in Lebanon in recent years have been linked to the war in Syria, where Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance group is fighting against Daesh terrorists.