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Shia militia accused of attacking Sunni village in Iraq

September 24, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

An Iraqi tribal elder on Saturday accused an Iran-affiliated militia of expelling civilians from a Sunni-majority village in western Iraq. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Sheikh Jabbar al-Hamoud said Shia fighters from the Iraqi Hezbollah faction had raided Makr al-Deeb village in western Iraq and forced villagers out to the desert. He, however, failed to cite a reason for the attack. Anadolu Agency could not reach members of the Hezbollah faction for comment. Read: Iraqi militia ‘will fight wherever Iran’s Khamenei wants’ The Iraqi Hezbollah faction is a member of the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi fighting force that was incorporated into the Iraqi army last year with the aim of fighting the Daesh terrorist group. The Hashd al-Shaabi has faced accusations in […]

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PKK captures major gas plant in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor

September 24, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The PKK’s Syrian wing, the PYD, took control of a major gas plant northeast of Deir Ez-Zour province in Syria, according to a local source. The US-backed group is advancing into the eastern Syrian province, home to some of the country’s most productive oilfields. There are 11 major oilfields in Deir ez-Zor from which the Daesh militants allegedly withdrew earlier without any shots fired. Backed by the US, the PYD began advancing into Deir ez-Zor without encountering any resistance from Daesh on September 9th. On Saturday, the PYD took control of Conoco Gas Plant, one of Syria’s main gas plants, located in Deir ez-Zor east of the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq, the source, who spoke anonymously due to […]

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Turkey to build shelters for 100,000 Rohingya

September 24, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkey would build shelters for 100,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, an official of Turkey’s state-run aid body said on Sunday. According to a press release, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA) Bangladesh Coordinator Ahmet Refik Cetinkaya held a meeting with Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya. “Turkey will soon provide 10,000 packets of aid [to Rohingya Muslims],” Cetinkaya told the minister. He said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag would visit Bangladesh. Since August 25, more than 429,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN’s migration agency. In total, more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees are now believed to be in Bangladesh, including the arrivals since August 25. Read: Turkey’s […]

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Death toll in Black Sea boat capsize rises to 23

September 24, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkey’s coast guard Sunday increased to 23 the death toll of migrants, who drowned when their boat sank in the Black Sea off northwestern province of Kocaeli on Friday. A body of a woman was found by the search-and-rescue teams on Sunday, a statement by Turkish Coast Guard said. Search teams managed to rescue 40 migrants after the boat sank at 5.03 a.m. local time (0203GMT) around 64 nautical miles north of Kefken village on Friday. Search efforts for the missing migrants are ongoing in the sea.

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Yemen’s Hadi sees only a military solution to crisis – Arabiya TV

September 24, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

A solution in Yemen’s two and-a-half year-old civil war will likely come through military rather than political means, the country’s Saudi-backed president said, blaming the Iran-aligned Houthis of obstructing chances of peace. Speaking in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi also told the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya channel that a plan to hand over control of the country’s main port to a neutral party remained blocked by the Houthis and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “The military solution is the more likely one for the Yemen crisis in light of the intransigence of the Houthi and Saleh coup militias which continue to take orders from Iran,” Hadi said in the interview, according […]

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Iran launches war games near Iraqi Kurdistan border

September 24, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Iranian forces have launched war games in an area near the border with Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Iran’s state media reported on Sunday, a day before a Kurdish independence referendum in the region. Turkey also said on Sunday its aircraft launched airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq’s Gara region on Saturday after spotting militants preparing to attack Turkish military outposts on the border. Iraq’s powerful neighbours, Iran and Turkey, strongly oppose the Kurdish vote as they fear could fuel separatism among their own Kurds. Iran also supports Shia groups who have been ruling or holding key security and government positions in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein. The Kurdistan Regional Government has resisted […]

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Border restrictions hinder Gaza boy from setting world record

September 23, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Youssef Al-Bahtini wants to leave the Gaza Strip so that he can enter the Guinness Book of World Records as a contortionist, but the closure of the borders of the enclave by Egypt and Israel looks set to prevent his record attempt from taking place. Two months ago, the talented 12-year-old received approval from the Guinness team to try for the record in Amman, Jordan. “We received approval two months ago for my brother Youssef to participate in the Guinness World Records competition in Jordan,” said Mohammad Al-Bahtini, 21. “Since then, we have been trying to leave Gaza, but the crossings are closed, into Egypt and into Israel.” The administrators of the Guinness World Records are aware of the difficulties […]

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Palestinian prisoners’ group hails Amnesty report on administrative detention

September 23, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Director of the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre for Studies has hailed an Amnesty International report which condemns Israel’s use of administrative detention, Quds Press reported on Friday. Riyadh Al-Ashqar described this as a “positive step” but said that it is not enough. He called for Amnesty to put more pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to stop this kind of “arbitrary” and “oppressive” imprisonment. In the report issued on Tuesday, Amnesty condemned Israel’s use of administrative detention against Palestinian rights activists. It cited the detention of Salah Hammouri, a field researcher for the Palestinian human rights NGO Addameer. “The arbitrary detention of Salah Hammouri is yet another shameful example of the Israeli authorities’ abusive use of administrative detention to detain […]

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‘Sudan will not accept people queuing like beggars for Western aid’

September 23, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The President of Sudan said on Friday that his country would not accept assistance from the West for those displaced in camps in Darfur, Anadolu has reported. President Omar Al-Bashir made his comment during a public speech in Shataya, South Darfur, which was aired on national television. “We do not need relief from abroad, and we have been working to establish development projects as well as providing services to the displaced,” he explained, adding: The displaced are standing in lines just like beggars to get help from foreigners. We will not accept that our people queue to receive aid. Al-Bashir insisted that the Sudanese are supposed to help other people. “We do not need the foreigners’ help. We will never […]

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