US lawmaker warns Iraq against misuse of US arms against Kurds

US Senator John McCain, the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Iraq’s government on Monday of “severe consequences” over any further misuse US-provided weaponry against Kurdish forces. “The United States provided equipment and training to the government of Iraq to fight (Islamic State) and secure itself from external threats — not to attack elements of one of its own regional governments, which is a longstanding and valuable partner of the United States,” McCain said. “Make no mistake, there will be severe consequences if we continue to see American equipment misused in this way.”

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Israel demolition orders to leave 30 Palestinians homeless

Israeli occupation authorities yesterday handed five Bedouin families demolition orders in the Jabal Al-Baba community, east of occupied Jerusalem. Representative of the community, Atallah Muzar’a, said Israeli civil administration crews and army troops stormed the area at noon yesterday and handed over demolition writs to civilians. According to Muzar’a, at least 30 Palestinians, including women and children, will be left homeless if the homes are razed. The Israeli authorities ordered the families to evacuate their properties in less than a week’s time. Home demolition is among the tactics used by the Israeli occupation authorities as part of the so-called E1 project aiming to hold sway over 12,000 dunums of Palestinian lands in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank in favour […]

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Iraq forces remove Kurdish flag from Kirkuk

Iraqi forces have today lowered and removed the Kurdish flag which was hoisted on Kirkuk governorate building, leaving only the Iraqi flag raised. The move comes after fighting was reported in the city after government forces, supported by the Shia Mobilisation Forces, entered the province to regain control of it from Peshmerga forces which had taken over after Iraqi forces retreated during their fight with Daesh. The Kurdish flag was raised in the disputed city in April with Iraqi Prime Minster Haidar Al-Abadi slamming the move which he said was aimed at creating “sedition” in the divided city. Though security sources had reported that a convoy of elite Iraqi military forces took control of the governorate building in central Kirkuk […]

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‘Egypt’s role in Palestinian reconciliation worrying Israel’

Human rights activist and head of the Integrity Foundation for Humanitarian and Human Rights, Essam Youssef, believes that Israel is benefitting from the instability in Sinai at a time when Palestinian reconciliation is being achieved. In an interview with Quds Press today, Youssef stated that the attacks on security checkpoints and members of the Egyptian army in Sinai, carried out by militants, are increasing in brutality and frequency and aim to disturb the relationship which has witnessed positive developments between Egypt and Gaza. “These developments recently led to reaping the fruit of the Palestinian reconciliation.” “The fact that timing of these attacks coincide with the Israeli claims of rockets being fired into the Eshkolot settlement, surrounding Gaza, indicates the implication […]

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Russia: ‘Unreliable’ US damaging the world

Russian Foreign Minsiter Sergey Lavrov has hit out at US President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, saying that Washington could not be trusted which will make North Korea think twice about striking a deal with the US. Speaking at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi today, Lavrov told delegates that the withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal are damaging the already bad situation in the world. Lavrov leapt on Trump’s decertification of the dal and Washington’s approach towards North Korea to condemn the US saying that it was “pursuing solely it’s own geopolitical goals, which harms joint work”. Accusing Washington of wanting to “benefit” from crises and conflict, Lavrov went […]

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‘Egypt considers Turkey a bigger threat than Iran’

Egyptian Ambassador to Washington Yasser Reda said Cairo believes Turkey is more dangerous than the Iran; a leaked telegram published the Twitter account of anonymous social media activist Nafez Nafez revealed. Speaking during a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart, Reda spoke of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a very negative way saying that the problem with Ankara is that the Arab countries have different positions on it. Turkey has refused to maintain diplomatic ties with Egypt since the military coup which ousted the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Reda went on to say that Jordan and Egypt have been successful in their fight against terrorism, both Daesh and other groups, while Saudi Arabia has not […]

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Israel issues 40 administrative detention issues in 10 days

Israeli occupation authorities have issued 40 administrative detention orders against Palestinian prisoners in the first 10 days of October, Quds Press reported today. The Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC) said in a statement that the Israeli occupation authorities issued 16 new administrative detention orders and renewed 24 others. It said that the 40 administrative detentions ranged between three to six months, noting that some of those who had their detention orders renewed spent years under administrative detention inside the occupation’s jails. “Israel is using the administrative detention to deter the Palestinian resistance,” the PPC said. Israel keeps the reason these prisoners are detained as a “secret”. Read: Palestinian child narrates horrifying experience of 10-hour detention by Israeli forces NGO Military Court Watch […]

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Morocco: Law amended to allow Benkirane to run for third term

Morocco’s ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) yesterday amended its internal law allowing the party’s Secretary-General, Abdellah Benkirane, to run for a third term as party leader. “twenty-two members of the committee voted in favour of the amendment of Article 16 of the party’s internal law while ten members rejected the amendment,” a member of the party’s administration and legal affairs committee told the Anadolu Agency. The committee member, who preferred not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said: “The committee members have debated a lot on the issue.” Article 16 of the Party’s Rules of Procedure limits the mandate of the secretary-general to two terms. Read: Morocco’s Benkirane calls on party to move […]

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Senior Iranian military leader killed in Syria

Iranian General Abdullah Khesrawi, the chief of Al-Fatahin Brigade in the Revolutionary Guards, was killed in Syria, Arabi21 reported Iranian mass media saying yesterday. According to the Iranian news website Jame Jam, Khesrawi was one of the leaders of the Revolutionary Guards in the Iranian city of Arak. He was dispatched to Syria to take part in the war. Al-Fatahin Brigades are considered the most important among the Iranian forces taking part in the Syrian war. Its leaders are those who took part in the Iranian-Iraqi war in the 1980s. According to Iranian reporter Hussein Shamshad, Shia cleric Ahmed Qanbari was also killed in Syria. Read: There is no place for Iran in Syria

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Algeria: Death sentence for Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Algeria yesterday sentenced Mokhtar Belmokhtar, known as “Belaawer” (the One-Eyed), to death in absentia after finding him guilty of forming and leading a terrorist organisation and in possessing of, trading in and marketing weapons and ammunition. The Criminal Court of Oran found Belmokhtar guilty of setting up Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Mokhtar Belmokhtar was tried in 2012 and sentenced to death by the Criminal Court in Oran, along with nine members of a terrorist group; four of them absconded, including Belmokhtar. Three of his accomplices were sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in absentia. Read: 63 terrorists killed in Algeria this year Five others, all of them from the state of Oran, were sentenced to eight years of imprisonment, while […]

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