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Turkey presses assault on Kurdish militia in Syria

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies pressed an assault on a border enclave held by Kurdish militia on Tuesday but the fighting was more narrowly focused, a monitor said.Turkish warplanes carried out new strikes on the northwest of the Afrin enclave and also hit the outskirts of the mainly Kurdish-held city of Qamishli far to the east, wounding two children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.“The fighting is fierce but the focus is much narrower than yesterday ...

Egypt army says ex-military chief Sami Anan’s presidential bid is ‘incitement’

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Egyptian army announced in a statement that former military chief of staff and presidential candidate Sami Anan has been summoned over ‘violations’. They added that Anan allegedly forged his end of army service document therefore his decision to run in the elections amounts to incitement against the military. They did not give any further details on the kind of violations he committed. Egyptian Election Commission excluded ex-military Chief Sami Anan from candidates’ ...

Senior Qaeda leader calls for attacks on Jews, Americans over Jerusalem

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

A senior al-Qaeda leader has called on Muslims “everywhere” to rise up and kill Jews and Americans in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.In a video released Monday, Khalid Batarfi said Trump’s decision was “a declaration of a new Jewish-Crusader war” and every Muslim had a duty to “liberate” the holy city, the SITE Intelligence monitoring group reported.“No Muslim has the right to ...

IN PICTURES: Piles of washed up trash on Lebanese shore cause outrage

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Environmentalists say a winter storm has pushed a wave of trash onto a Lebanese shore just outside Beirut, stirring outrage over a waste management crisis that has choked the country since 2015. Zouq Mosbeh’s beach was covered in a mantle of garbage on Tuesday, after an extended storm battered the Mediterranean country. Paul Abi Rached of the NGO EcoMovement says rough waves last week dislodged a faulty retaining wall around a coastal dump, spilling trash into the sea. Civil society ...

UN Security Council refrains from condemning Turkey

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The UN Security Council discussed Turkey’s intensifying offensive against Kurdish militias and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria on Monday but did not condemn or demand an end to the sensitive Turkish operation.Already scheduled to hear a report from UN aid chief Mark Lowcock on his recent visit to Syria, at France’s request the Security Council also touched on the latest Turkish offensive as well as the Syrian campaign in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta.Turkish President Recep ...

Pence says US embassy in Jerusalem to open by end of 2019

Monday, 22 January 2018

US Vice President Mike Pence pledged Monday that his country would move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “by the end” of 2019, a step fiercely opposed by Palestinians.In the same speech from the rostrum of the Israeli Parliament Pence urged the Palestinians to resume long-stalled peace talks with the Jewish state.“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and as such President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United ...

Abbas urges EU countries to ‘swiftly’ recognize state of Palestine

Monday, 22 January 2018

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Monday urged EU member states to “swiftly” grant official recognition to the state of Palestine as he arrived to meet foreign ministers from the bloc in Brussels.“We truly consider the European Union as a true partner and friend, and therefore we call its member states to swiftly recognize the state of Palestine and we confirm that there is no contradiction between recognition and the resumption of negotiations,” Abbas told reporters.The ...

Jordan’s king says East Jerusalem must be capital of Palestinian state

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Jordan’s King Abdullah told US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday he looked to Washington to rebuild “trust and confidence” in moving toward a two-state solution in Israel after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the country’s capital. With Pence sitting across from him in the royal palace, King Abdullah said Jordan viewed the Israel-Palestinian conflict as a “potential major source of instability”. He said he had raised his concerns for some ...

EXCLUSIVE: African Union’s Thabo Mbeki intervenes in Sudan unrest

Sunday, 21 January 2018

KHARTOUM - Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has called on leaders of the Sudanese opposition to meet with African Union mediators to hold consultations in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on the current protests in Khartoum. Mbeki has long been involved in Sudan as an AU meditator and headed the African Union’s high-level implementation panel which helped ensure a peaceful solution to Sudan’s conflict. In February, he is also holding a round of negotiations between the ...

Turkish border town of Kilis hit by missile from Syria

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Turkish border town of Kilis was struck by a missile fired from Syria on Sunday, a Reuters witness said, the fifth cross-border missile fired in the same day. There were no immediate reports of casualties, as Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria's Afrin province after launching artillery and air strikes on a US-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.  

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