The Pope Says ‘It Is a Social Fact’ That Europe Is Seeing an ‘Arab Invasion’ – And It’s A GOOD Thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: ISIL Using Iraqi Children, Women as Human Shield

 

ISIL Using Iraqi Children, Women as Human Shield

Madrasas on Afghan-Pak Border Are Hub of Terror Activities: Advisor to Pak PM

One Indian Nun among 16 Dead in Gun Attack On Yemen Care Home

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Europe

The Pope Says ‘It Is a Social Fact’ That Europe Is Seeing an ‘Arab Invasion’ – And It’s A GOOD Thing

An Irish Imam Calls for Visiting Islamic Scholars to Reject ISIS

Yemen Attack: Pope Shocked By ‘Diabolical’ Violence on Care Home

Senior Muslim calls for charity watchdog to suspend top officials at Glasgow Mosque

Hollande says France, Germany on same page on migration crisis

EU chief sees first consensus on migrant crisis

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Arab World

ISIL Using Iraqi Children, Women as Human Shield

Several Militants Killed in Fierce Clashes with Kurdish Fighters in Aleppo

Jeish Al-Islam Disagrees with Ceasefire in Syria

Syria: Kurdish Fighters Capture 35 Square Kilometres of Militant-Ruled Land in Hasaka

Kurdish Fighters Score More Victories against Terrorists in Syria’s Raqqa

Gap Further Widening between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi over Yemen

World leaders hail ‘real progresses in Syria despite fresh strikes

ISIL Terrorists Ask Commanders to Dispatch Fresh Forces to Raqqa

Syrian Kurds: Turkey ‘Protects & Supplies’ Al-Nusra Camps at Border

Homs: Tough Battle Underway Between Army, Militants in Central Syria

Syrian Air Force Inflicts Major Losses on Terrorist Groups in Aleppo

Syrian Army Engages in Heavy Fighting with Militants in Deir Ezzur’s Neighborhoods

Hypocrites Declare Hezbollah Terrorist Group: Come Again?

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Pakistan

Madrasas on Afghan-Pak Border Are Hub of Terror Activities: Advisor To Pak PM

SC Upholds Life Sentence in Honour Killing Case

PM To Attend Summit of Saudi-Led Military Bloc

School near Faisalabad turns into gambling den in evening

Uber gives Pakistan drivers classes to deter sex harassment

Islamic bloc urged to boost trade

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India

One Indian Nun among 16 Dead in Gun Attack On Yemen Care Home

Why India Should Be Worried About Pakistani Tunnel at J&K Border

Pakistani fishing boat seized by BSF off the Kutch coast

Kejriwal to attend Karachi Literature Festival 2017

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South Asia

24 Militants Killed, 20 Wounded During Counter-Terrorism Operations: MoD

Turkey Sends ‘Peace Ball’ To Afghan Kid Who Charmed Internet with Plastic Bag Shirt

Afghan Army Rescue 15 Construction Workers from Taliban Militants in Wardak

MD-530s and A-29s to make a difference with the Afghan Air Force: Gen. Dunford

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Mideast

Turkey Keeps Shelling Kurds, Backing Terrorist Groups in Syria – Russian MoD

Zaman Newspaper Reopens under Government Control, Heavy Police Guard

Main opposition leader says Zaman takeover violation of media freedom

Gov’t takeover of critical media group draws international backlash

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia Will Not Join US Anti-ISIS Coalition: Envoy

Najib: Saudi Arabia not alone in facing any threat

Indonesia Calls for Boosting Energy Cooperation with Iran

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Africa

Boko Haram Falls Victim to a Food Crisis It Created

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Australia

Australia Could Be the Next Paris, Terrorism Expert Warns

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North America

Obama Says Impressed By Afghan Forces Courage in Fight against Terrorism

US Says Turkey’s Takeover of Zaman Daily Is ’Troubling’

UN calls for resettlement of 400,000 Syrians from Turkey

UN expecting staggered start to Syrian talks

US Senator asks colleagues to oppose F-16 deal with Pak

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/the-pope-says–it-is-a-social-fact–that-europe-is-seeing-an–arab-invasion—-and-it-s-a-good-thing/d/106563

 

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The Pope says ‘it is a social fact’ that Europe is seeing an ‘Arab invasion’ – and it’s a GOOD thing

05 Mar 2016

Pope Francis described the influx of migrants into Europe as an ‘Arab invasion’ before explaining that the new arrivals will enhance Europe for the better.

The pontiff was giving a speech to an audience of French Christians when he reflected on Europe’s history of migration and the positive impact it has had on its culture today.

He described the migrant crisis as ‘a social fact’ before explaining the change will help Europe in the future by making it more multi-cultural, according to Bloomberg.

‘Today we can talk about an Arab invasion. It is a social fact,’ he told his audience.

The pope went on to explain that the arrival of migrants, predominantly from Syria and Iraq, should be seen from a wider perspective in time and impact.

He insisted Europe will ‘go forward and find itself enhanced by the exchange among cultures.’

Speaking proudly of Europe, the Pope declared that the continent ‘can bring about a certain unity to the world.’

The news comes as Greek’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Austria and other Balkan countries of ‘ruining Europe’

The number of Syrians seeking asylum doubled to 362,800 last year while the growing number of Iraqi nationals has now reached 121,500, the European Commission said today.

The restrictions have been designed to try to slow the flow of migrants heading north from Greece.

Austria angered Greece by not inviting it to a meeting of Balkan leaders in Vienna last week to coordinate a slew of border restrictions.

The number of Syrians seeking asylum doubled to 362,800 last year and the number of Iraqis jumped to 121,500, the European Commission said today

Some 30,000 migrants are now stranded in Greece, waiting for Macedonia to reopen its border so they can continue their northward trek, mostly to Germany.

‘What those countries agreed on and decided goes against all of the rules and against the whole of Europe and we regard it as unfriendly,’ Tsipras told Germany’s mass-selling Bild newspaper in an interview due to be published on Saturday.

Tsipras urged his European Union partners to reject unilateral measures at a summit in Brussels on Monday. The summit will discuss progress on protecting the EU’s external borders and helping Greece to cope with the influx of migrants, who mostly arrive by sea from Turkey.

‘The situation is difficult but not out of control,’ Tsipras said. ‘We have fulfilled more than 100 percent of our commitments, whereas others have not even fulfilled 10 percent and prefer to criticise us.’

Germany, which has taken in more than a million migrants in the past year, strongly backs mandatory migrant quotas for all EU member states, but some countries, especially in former communist eastern Europe, are opposed to them.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3476959/The-Pope-says-social-fact-Europe-seeing-Arab-invasion.html

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ISIL Using Iraqi Children, Women as Human Shield

05 Mar 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) commander underlined that the ISIL terrorist group has launched large-scale campaign in Iraq to capture all civilians to use them as human shield as the government and popular troops are making remarkable advances in the Arab country.

“The present tactic used by the ISIL terrorists is using the civilians, specially women and children, as human shields across Iraq,” Hassan al-Sari told FNA on Friday.

He underlined the need for rescuing the civilians from the ISIL’s yoke.

In relevant remarks in December, an Iraqi activist said that the ISIL terrorists were using children as human shields to protect themselves from the continuous Iraqi army and popular forces’ attacks in Makhoul and Shirqat regions in Salahuddin province.

“The terrorist groups have recently stationed 150 under-15 children, a number of them disabled, as human shields at crossroads and certain important and sensitive positions of Makhoul in Salahuddin province and Shirqat near Nineveh province,” Safa al-Tamimi, a spokesman of Saraya al-Salam group affiliated to the Sadr movement, said.

“This clearly shows that the terrorist groups have resorted to using children and the disabled after sustaining heavy casualties in the Iraqi security and popular forces’ attacks, which shows ISIL’s weakness and vulnerability and is a failure for the terrorist group,” he added.

The recent victories of the Iraqi army and popular forces against the ISIL in various parts of Iraq, including Salahuddin, Anbar and Nineveh provinces, have incited the terrorists to intensify their blind attacks on the civilian targets.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000614

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Madrasas on Afghan-Pak border are hub of terror activities: Advisor to Pak PM

Mar 5, 2016

WASHINGTON: Madrasas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and tribal areas, in particular North Waziristan, had become a hub of terrorist activities, Pakistan’s top diplomat has said, but blamed it on the Afghan refugees, who entered the country when the US pushed the Taliban out of power after the 9/11.

These madrasas had well-oiled terror infrastructure, beyond imagination, running bomb-making factories, terrorists training centres and those to train suicide bombers – all under multi-storeyed basement under the mosque, Pakistan prime minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz told a group of defence writers.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Madrasas-on-Afghan-Pak-border-are-hub-of-terror-activities-Sartaj-Aziz/articleshow/51266957.cms

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One Indian nun among 16 dead in gun attack on Yemen care home

PTI | Mar 4, 2016

SANAA: One Indian nun was among 16 people killed on Friday when unidentified gunmen stormed a retirement home run by Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity in the southern city of Aden and started shooting at them, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said.

Two gunmen surrounded the home for the elderly in Aden while another four fighters entered the building, witnesses and officials said.

They said the gunmen moved from room to room, handcuffing the victims before shooting them in the head.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.

One nun who survived and was rescued by locals said that she hid inside a fridge in a store room after hearing a Yemeni guard shouting “run, run.”

Khaled Haidar told The Associated Press that he counted sixteen bodies, including that of his brother, Radwan.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/One-Indian-nun-among-16-dead-in-gun-attack-on-Yemen-care-home/articleshow/51256739.cms

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Europe

The Pope says ‘it is a social fact’ that Europe is seeing an ‘Arab invasion’ – and it’s a GOOD thing

05 Mar 2016

Pope Francis described the influx of migrants into Europe as an ‘Arab invasion’ before explaining that the new arrivals will enhance Europe for the better.

The pontiff was giving a speech to an audience of French Christians when he reflected on Europe’s history of migration and the positive impact it has had on its culture today.

He described the migrant crisis as ‘a social fact’ before explaining the change will help Europe in the future by making it more multi-cultural, according to Bloomberg.

‘Today we can talk about an Arab invasion. It is a social fact,’ he told his audience.

The pope went on to explain that the arrival of migrants, predominantly from Syria and Iraq, should be seen from a wider perspective in time and impact.

He insisted Europe will ‘go forward and find itself enhanced by the exchange among cultures.’

Speaking proudly of Europe, the Pope declared that the continent ‘can bring about a certain unity to the world.’

The news comes as Greek’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Austria and other Balkan countries of ‘ruining Europe’

The number of Syrians seeking asylum doubled to 362,800 last year while the growing number of Iraqi nationals has now reached 121,500, the European Commission said today.

The restrictions have been designed to try to slow the flow of migrants heading north from Greece.

Austria angered Greece by not inviting it to a meeting of Balkan leaders in Vienna last week to coordinate a slew of border restrictions.

The number of Syrians seeking asylum doubled to 362,800 last year and the number of Iraqis jumped to 121,500, the European Commission said today

Some 30,000 migrants are now stranded in Greece, waiting for Macedonia to reopen its border so they can continue their northward trek, mostly to Germany.

‘What those countries agreed on and decided goes against all of the rules and against the whole of Europe and we regard it as unfriendly,’ Tsipras told Germany’s mass-selling Bild newspaper in an interview due to be published on Saturday.

Tsipras urged his European Union partners to reject unilateral measures at a summit in Brussels on Monday. The summit will discuss progress on protecting the EU’s external borders and helping Greece to cope with the influx of migrants, who mostly arrive by sea from Turkey.

‘The situation is difficult but not out of control,’ Tsipras said. ‘We have fulfilled more than 100 percent of our commitments, whereas others have not even fulfilled 10 percent and prefer to criticise us.’

Germany, which has taken in more than a million migrants in the past year, strongly backs mandatory migrant quotas for all EU member states, but some countries, especially in former communist eastern Europe, are opposed to them.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3476959/The-Pope-says-social-fact-Europe-seeing-Arab-invasion.html

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An Irish Imam Calls for Visiting Islamic scholars to reject ISIS

04 Mar 2016

An Irish Imam has called for Muslim scholars travelling to Ireland to sign a declaration in which they reject extremist views before they are allowed to preach in Mosques.

Imam al-Qadri is also chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council. ©rollingnews

Blanchardstown Imam Umar al-Qadri said that the declaration should be formulated and devised by Ireland’s leading Islamic scholars, and would require preachers to accept democracy, respect for the LGBTQ community, and reject the militant group calling itself the Islamic State.

Imam al-Qadri is also chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council.

Al-Qadri’s proposal comes as two Salafist preachers were invited by Thabat, an Irish Kuwaiti student organisation, to visit Ireland and give talks to Irish Muslims at this year’s Dublin Islamic Conference.

Salafism is a hyper-conservative, extremist branch of fundamentalist Islam, with it’s roots in Saudi Arabia.

“One of them has expressed support for Al-Nusrad” said Imam al-Qadri, spreaking to UTV Ireland. “He is known in the Islamic world.”

The al-Nusra front (sometimes called al-Qaeda in Syria) is a militant Islamic extremist group currently fighting against the Syrian government.

“We have to accept that some people here like what these preachers say. I am worried that young Irish Muslims being exposed to these extremist ideas could lead them being radicalised, it is not helpful to have such extremist views being preached.”

In addition, another leading Irish Muslim scholar, Imam Ali al-Saleh, lodged a complaint with gardaí regarding the views of the invited speakers in question.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Imam al-Saleh said: “Salafi and Wahhabi ideology is about spreading extremism and sectarianism. If we want to protect our youth, we have to stop these kinds of preachers and stop them getting access to students.”

http://utv.ie/News/2016/03/04/Imam-calls-for-visiting-Islamic-scholars-to-reject-ISIS-55170

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Yemen attack: Pope shocked by ‘diabolical’ violence on care home

March 5, 2016

Pope Francis has slammed as”diabolical” an attack on an elderly care home in Yemen which killed at least 16 people, including four nuns, the Vatican said on Saturday. “His Holiness Pope Francis was shocked and profoundly saddened to learn of the killing of four Missionaries of Charity and 12 others at a home for the elderly in Aden,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said.

“He sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence,” Cardinal Parolin said in a statement. Four gunmen stormed the facility housing dozens in Aden’s Sheikh Othman district yesterday, killing a guard before tying up and shooting employees, security officials told AFP.

Screams of elderly residents echoed from the home during the shooting rampage, witnesses said. Among the dead were four Indian nurses, while the rest of those killed were Yemenis. The Argentine pontiff “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue,” Parolin said.

“He calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the sisters and their helpers sought to serve,” he added.

No group claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack, the first of its kind in Yemen, where the internationally-recognised government is grappling with an Iran-backed rebellion on one side and a growing jihadist presence on the other.

One official said the attackers were “extremists” and blamed the Islamic State group, which has been gaining ground in Aden in recent months. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council backing the Yemeni government “strongly” condemned the attack which it said “reveals the goals of forces which are against the return of security and stability to Yemen”.

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has declared Aden Yemen’s temporary capital as Sanaa remains in the hands of the Huthi rebels and their allies since they seized it in September 2014.

indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/yemen-attack-pope-francis-missionaries-of-charity/99/print/

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Senior Muslim calls for charity watchdog to suspend top officials at Glasgow Mosque

4 March 2016

A prominent Scottish Muslim has called on watchdogs to suspend seven officials running the country’s biggest mosque amid concerns that “the charity and its asset are at risk”.

Mohammad Farooq, a long-standing member of the ruling committee of Glasgow Central Mosque, has requested the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) investigate the actions of seven colleagues.

The veteran has also told the watchdog of “altercations” inside the mosque which have been reported to the police.

Mr Farooq himself late last month made a formal complaint to Police Scotland over alleged threatening behaviour from a member of the congregation.

His move came after the mosque’s caretaker president, Mohammed Shafi Kausar, also wrote to OSCR to say the seven men had been “illegally” appointed.

Asian Image: Exterior of the Glasgow Central Mosque.Picture by Stewart Attwood

The two formal complaints represent a dramatic escalation of the bitter turf war at what is Scotland’s single biggest single place of worship of any faith.

And they place OSCR in the difficult position of having to consider using its powers, including suspension, against an important religious body.

The watchdog has already published damning interim findings about the way the Mosque has been managed in the past.

A new generation of liberal Scottish Muslims had been in control of the facility until earlier this month, when they resigned en masse citing threats and intimidation.

Mr Farooq was one of just five members of the committee not to stand down. However, he now believes that members who were resigned were replaced illegally.

Mr Farooq said in a statement: “I have written to OSCR advising them of the illegal committee.

“I have asked them to investigate that the process in the selection of seven new committee members, which was not constitutional.

“I think OSCR should come in and suspend all of these new individuals.

“Wrong is wrong.

“Just this morning they changed locks to Mosque offices without any authority.”

In his letter to OSCR, seen by The Herald, Mr Farooq wrote: “There have been several altercations in the Mosque. These have been reported to Police Scotland.”

He added: “Our charity requires OSCR intervention as the charity trustees have been effectively rendered inoperable.”

Dr Kausar, the Mosque’s president, has told OSCR that the a list of trustees submitted to the watchdog is “false and untrue”.

He claims appointments were made when he was in hospital recovering from a heart attack.

One of the men appointed to the committee, Pervaz Aslam, denied any wrongdoing. He told The Herald the new committee members had already responded to OSCR.

He said: “As far as we are concerned everything is above board and we have no problems. But, if OSCR deems otherwise, we are happy to provide anything they are looking for.”

Mr Aslam confirmed constitutional changes had been made at an extraordinary meeting of the Mosque last week.

Dr Kausar claimed this meeting was “null and void”.

Mr Aslam said: “Dr Kausar is entitled to his opinion. If he feels aggrieved on any matter, that is up to him.

“We have kept OSCR up to date. Obviously there are some issues but I cannot elaborate on them with you.”

Solicitor Aamer Anwar, pictured, who has advised liberals, said: “I find it shocking that once again the future of Glasgow Central Mosque is being jeopardised.

“The last thing anybody wants is for the Mosque to be shut down, but it is not above the law or charity regulations.”

Background: Mr Anwar’s essay for the Sunday Herald on the cultural war for the soul of Glasgow Central Mosque.

OSCR has confirmed that it had received complaints. Police Scotland confirmed it was investigating allegations of threatening behaviour towards Mr Farooq.

heraldscotland.com/news/14321010.Senior_Muslim_calls_for_charity_watchdog_to_investigate_top_officials_at_Glasgow_Mosque/

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Hollande says France, Germany on same page on migration crisis

AFP | Mar 4, 2016

French President Francois Hollande.French President Francois Hollande.

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande said on Friday that Paris and Berlin had “the same spirit and the same will” in handling the migrant crisis, which has at times strained bilateral ties.

Hollande met Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris to discuss the crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands flooding to the EU to escape poverty and conflict, notably in Syria.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in February that Paris was “not in favour” of Merkel’s proposal to set up a permanent system to redistribute more refugees around Europe.

“France has committed to take 30,000 refugees … but no more,” Valls said.

He also said that Merkel’s liberal refugee policy, which brought 1.1 million asylum seekers to Germany in 2015, was not sustainable in the long run.

However despite their differences, Hollande insisted Friday that “France and Germany are working with the same spirit and the same will” on the crisis.

And Merkel said that “together, we are convinced that unilateral solutions won’t help us. It won’t lead to a reduction in refugee numbers.”

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Hollande-says-France-Germany-on-same-page-on-migration-crisis/articleshow/51257815.cms

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EU chief sees first consensus on migrant crisis

AFP | Mar 5, 2016

BRUSSELS: EU president Donald Tusk struck an unusually upbeat note on the migrant crisis on Friday as Turkey raised the possibility of taking back non-Syrian asylum seekers.

Wrapping up a whirlwind diplomatic tour with a meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tusk predicted an agreement to shut down the Western Balkans route that most refugees and migrants have taken into the European Union.

His prediction ahead of a crucial summit in Brussels on Monday came as new official figures showed that a record 1.2 million asylum seekers arrived in the EU in 2015 — more than double the figure from the year before.

“For the first time since the beginning of the migration crisis, I can see a European consensus emerging,” Tusk said in an invitation letter to leaders ahead the summit, which will include Turkey.

He warned success depended largely on securing Turkey’s agreement at the summit for the “large-scale” deportation from Greece of economic migrants who do not qualify as refugees and the curbing of the flow of new arrivals.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his government was mulling the possibility of taking back asylum seekers from countries other than Syria.

“We have started looking at the possibility of re-admitting asylum seekers, notably from Morocco, Pakistan or Afghanistan,” he said in a joint press conference in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

“We already have readmission agreements with Greece, Bulgaria and other countries and we are preparing to sign others.”

Cavusolglu said Greece had submitted 860 requests for Turkey to take people back, “99 percent” of which had been accepted.

Also on Friday, Slovenia approved legislation toughening conditions for asylum seekers to curb the flow of migrants and to avoid the Alpine state becoming a bottleneck on the migrant route.

Brussels meanwhile unveiled a plan for saving the passport-free Schengen zone, which has been jeopardised by several countries closing their borders in response to the huge influx of humanity from Syria and elsewhere.

The Aegean crossing has been the scene of hundreds of deaths, and a Turkish court on Friday jailed two Syrian people smugglers over the death of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old boy who drowned and was washed up on a beach in September.

The EU has been deeply divided on how to handle the biggest migration crisis to hit the continent since World War II, with a series of summits since the start of 2015 failing to produce a solution.

French president Francois Hollande said at talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris on Friday that they had the “the same spirit and the same will” in handling the migrant crisis.

But Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras poured cold water on Tusk’s optimism, saying his country, the main port of entry for migrants coming to Europe, could not stop migrants heading to the richer northern countries like Germany.

In the French port town of Calais, where police were working to demolish the “Jungle” camp where migrants have been living in the hope of crossing the channel to Britain, protests continued.

A dozen Iranian refugees with their mouths sewn shut demonstrated for the third straight day, holding signs with slogans such as “Are you going to listen now? Wake up!”.

The sheer scale of the crisis was underscored by the latest figures from the EU statistics agency.

Syrians fleeing the civil war were the largest group of the 1.2 million who entered Europe, numbering nearly 363,000, followed by 178,200 Afghans and 121,500 Iraqis.

Separate EU figures showed that an average of 1,943 people were still crossing to Greece every day in February, way above what Brussels wants.

“We need to see the flows from Turkey drastically down soon,” EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a news conference as he unveiled the bloc’s new “roadmap” for Schengen.

The plan calls for the end of temporary border controls and the restoration by the end of 2016 of full free travel across the 26-country Schengen zone.

Brussels also called for the creation of an EU coastguard force by the summer.

If Schengen collapses and border controls return it could cost the EU between five billion and 18 billion euros ($5.5-$20 billion) a year — equivalent to 0.05 percent to 0.13 percent of the bloc’s economic output, Brussels said.

The crisis now poses an “existential” threat to the EU, challenging its ideals of peace and solidarity that were formed in the ashes of World War II, former European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso told AFP.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/EU-chief-sees-first-consensus-on-migrant-crisis/articleshow/51264471.cms

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Arab World

ISIL Using Iraqi Children, Women as Human Shield

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) commander underlined that the ISIL terrorist group has launched large-scale campaign in Iraq to capture all civilians to use them as human shield as the government and popular troops are making remarkable advances in the Arab country.

“The present tactic used by the ISIL terrorists is using the civilians, specially women and children, as human shields across Iraq,” Hassan al-Sari told FNA on Friday.

He underlined the need for rescuing the civilians from the ISIL’s yoke.

In relevant remarks in December, an Iraqi activist said that the ISIL terrorists were using children as human shields to protect themselves from the continuous Iraqi army and popular forces’ attacks in Makhoul and Shirqat regions in Salahuddin province.

“The terrorist groups have recently stationed 150 under-15 children, a number of them disabled, as human shields at crossroads and certain important and sensitive positions of Makhoul in Salahuddin province and Shirqat near Nineveh province,” Safa al-Tamimi, a spokesman of Saraya al-Salam group affiliated to the Sadr movement, said.

“This clearly shows that the terrorist groups have resorted to using children and the disabled after sustaining heavy casualties in the Iraqi security and popular forces’ attacks, which shows ISIL’s weakness and vulnerability and is a failure for the terrorist group,” he added.

The recent victories of the Iraqi army and popular forces against the ISIL in various parts of Iraq, including Salahuddin, Anbar and Nineveh provinces, have incited the terrorists to intensify their blind attacks on the civilian targets.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000614

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Several Militants Killed in Fierce Clashes with Kurdish Fighters in Aleppo

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL terrorists in the Northern parts of Aleppo province, battlefield sources said Friday, adding that the clashes inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists.

“The village of Naseriyeh near the town of Kobani (Ein al-Arab) was the scene of heavy clashes between the ISIL and the Kurdish fighters,” the sources said, adding, “Dozens of the ISIL combatants were killed ore wounded and their weapons were damaged badly in the clashes.”

Reports said earlier today that a senior commander of the ISIL terrorist group was killed in airstrikes Northeast of Aleppo province.

Source from the Syrian Army’s “Tiger Forces” said that Abu Mu’awiya al-Halabi (Abdolqader Badawi), originally from the village of Tadil near Aleppo, was killed in the Syrian Air Force’s operation in Touman.

Also on Friday, the top Emir (leader) of the ISIL terrorist group was killed in the Syrian fighter jets’ combat flight Northeast of Aleppo.

Omar al-Absi (AKA “Abu al-Athir) was reportedly killed by the Syrian Air Force inside the village of Touman in al-Bab Plateau.

The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last month.

The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.

Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.

In February, the YPG and SDF fighters prevailed over the terrorists in the highly strategic city of Tal Rifat in Northern Aleppo and captured the city.

The YPG, who enjoyed the Russian air backup, prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with the Kurdish units of the SDF who entered the town from the North.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000668

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Jeish Al-Islam Disagrees with Ceasefire in Syria

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syria’s Jeish Al-Islam (Army of Islam) militant group in a statement on Friday voiced its opposition to a ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia in Syria.

“We will not agree with the ceasefire and we will not remain committed to it,” the Jeish al-Islam said in its statement.

The militant group further said that the Syrian army is mobilizing its forces to take control of the ISIL-controlled areas.

Syria has been mired in war since 2011, with terrorist and extremist groups fighting the Syrian Army.

Russia and the United States reached an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria on February 22. The accord took effect on Saturday, generally holding across the country despite reported minor violations. The truce was backed by the UN Security Council, which adopted a resolution on Friday shortly before the ceasefire came into force.

The Syrian government has confirmed its halt to its military actions in accordance with the Russia-US agreement. Some opposition forces have been skeptical about the ceasefire, but in general have agreed to adhere to it.

The cessation of hostilities does not apply to designated terrorist organizations operating in Syria, including ISIL (Daesh) and al-Nusra Front, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, and Jeish Al-Islam. Both groups are banned in Russia.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000735

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Syria: Kurdish Fighters Capture 35 Square Kilometers of Militant-Ruled Land in Hasaka

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) continued to push the ISIL terrorists back from more strongholds in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and seized full control over at least 35 kilometers of their territories.

The Kurdish fighters stormed the ISIL lines of defense in the Western side of Jabal Abdolaziz region and forced the terrorist group to retreat forces from their positions which ended in the liberation of at least 35 square kilometers of land.

The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll in the attacks.

The Kurdish fighters have another plan to capture a region between the Southern side of al-Shaddadi and the Southern side of Tal Abyadh.

On Tuesday, the Kurdish fighters thwarted the ISIL attempts to prevail over their lines of defense Northwest of Hasaka near the border with Turkey and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The ISIL’s large-scale attack at the village of al-Nasiriyeh in the Northwestern part of Hasaka province was fended off by the Kurdish fighters near the Turkish border-crossing.

The ISIL militants suffered a heavy death toll and their military hardware sustained major damage in the failed attack.

The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last month.

The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.

Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.

In February, the YPG and SDF fighters prevailed over the terrorists in the highly strategic city of Tal Rifat in Northern Aleppo and captured the city.

The YPG, who enjoyed the Russian air backup, prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with the Kurdish units of the SDF who entered the town from the North.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000570

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Kurdish Fighters Score More Victories against Terrorists in Syria’s Raqqa

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) on Friday won two more battles against the ISIL terrorists in the Northern part of Raqqa province near the border with Turkey.

The Kurdish fighter, in two intense battles, drive the ISIL back form more positions near Tal Abyadh and imposed full control over the villages of Tarwaziyeh and al-Serba al-Sharghiyeh.

The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll and its military equipment also sustained major damage in the offensives.

Reports said on Thursday that the Syrian army forces blocked the ISIL terrorists’ entry into Syria from Turkey by killing 76 of them.

The Kurdish YPG killed the terrorists when they were attempting to cross the Turkish border towards Tal Abyadh in Raqqa province in Northern Syria.

The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last month.

The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.

Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.

In February, the YPG and SDF fighters prevailed over the terrorists in the highly strategic city of Tal Rifat in Northern Aleppo and captured the city.

The YPG, who enjoyed the Russian air backup, prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with the Kurdish units of the SDF who entered the town from the North.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000537

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Gap Further Widening between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi over Yemen

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The differences between Saudi Arabia and the UAE over Yemen have increased to such levels of severity that the Abu Dhabi government has announced that it will set up two Salafi brigades in Aden province, local sources announced.

“The city of Aden has been the scene of clashes between pro-UAE and pro-Saudi Arabia forces in recent days as the UAE announced that it will set up two brigades of extremist forces in the Southern Yemeni city,” provincial Yemeni military sources said.

The sources reiterated that the Salafi brigades will be set up in al-Masharee and Dar Sa’ad regions, and said, “A person named Mehran al-Qatebi has been appointed as commander of one of the brigades.”

Tens of pro-Hadi and pro-Saudi forces have been killed and wounded in heavy clashes between them.

The differences between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Yemen have heightened after the UAE replaced its soldiers with Blackwater mercenaries which faced the stern oppositions of the Riyadh government.

As a result, fugitive President Mansour Hadi and his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah have been running a feud for the past several months, and their differences grew noisy when a number of Saudi officials worked out a plan to replace the former president with his premier – who had both fled to Saudi Arabia then – in order to encourage the revolutionary forces back in Yemen to work with him and allow him to start a new government.

Political observers believe that the quarrel between Hadi and his prime minister derives from the underlying row between Saudi Arabia as supporter of Hadi and UAE as supporter of Bahah.

Meantime, Lahij and Aden provinces have been the scenes of numerous attacks against pro-Hadi forces; the latest case was assassination of Aden governor Ja’afar Saeed.

In a relevant development in late December, Hadi’s palace in Aden came under siege by his opponents, forcing him to flee Yemen to Saudi Arabia again.

A newly-formed militant group calling itself ‘Southern Yemen’s Resistance Forces’ had besieged Hadi’s place of residence in Aden, Arab media outlets reported on December 23.

Political analysts speculate that the siege of Hadi’s palace had taken place with the green light of the United Arab Emirates as a result of a row between the UAE and Saudi Arabia over Hadi and his prime minister.

The speculations came as the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed had met the leaders of Southern Yemen, including a senior Yemeni Salafi leader Hani bin Barik, in Abu Dhabi.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000717

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World leaders hail ‘real progress’ in Syria despite fresh strikes

March 5th, 2016

PARIS: World leaders hailed “real progress” in Syria on Friday, but fresh air strikes showed the fragility of the week-old truce and the many obstacles still in the way of peace talks.

Warplanes struck a key rebel bastion east of the Syrian capital for the first time since the fragile truce began last weekend, a monitor said.

“Two air strikes hit the edge of the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta and one person was killed,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He said the strikes were conducted by either Syrian or Russian planes.

Eastern Ghouta, the largest rebel bastion east of Damascus, was regularly and fiercely bombarded by government forces, but has been relatively calm since the ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia.

“This cessation of hostilities is by no means perfect but it has reduced the level of violence, it has created an opportunity for some humanitarian access,” said British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond after meeting with his French, German and EU counterparts in Paris.

The group said the focus now was on convincing all parties to return to UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland.

“We want a speedy resumption of the negotiations in Geneva, but two conditions must be fulfilled: access for all Syrians to humanitarian aid, and full respect of the ceasefire,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

The group also met with Riad Hijab, head of Syria’s main opposition body, the High Negotiations Committee which has expressed scepticism that the regime will stick to the truce.

“We’ve encouraged Dr Hijab, whatever his reservations, to be prepared to return to the discussions in Geneva,” said Hammond.For the first time in years, hundreds of Syrians nationwide took advantage of the truce to resume anti-government protests under the slogan “The Revolution Continues!” Waving the three-starred tricolour flag that has become the uprising’s emblem, demonstrators in opposition-held areas of Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa and Homs called for the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“You could say we’ve gone back to the beginning,” said Hasaan Abu Nuh, an activist from the flashpoint rebel town of Talbisseh in central Homs province.

Meanwhile, world leaders expressed a sharp difference of opinion over Assad’s plans to hold elections next month — way ahead of a roadmap agreed in November that did not envision polls for at least 18 months.

“The idea that there could be elections (in April) is not just provocative but totally unrealistic,” said French President Francois Hollande, after meeting his German counterpart Angela Merkel in Paris.

But Assad’s key ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, shot back that the plan for elections “does not interfere with steps to build the peace process”.Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said tens of thousands of displaced Syrians along Turkey’s border have not returned home despite the truce.

“Some 100,000 people gathered near the border — including 50,000 in past weeks after the spike in violence in early February from the Syrian government coalition — have not yet started to return home because it’s too dangerous”, MSF head Joanne Liu said.

“We’re in a transition period and I think it will take another few days for things to settle and for people to become convinced there really is a truce”.

But “the movement of people fleeing the (northern) Idlib and Aleppo provinces to the border has decreased enormously”, she added.

An official in the UN’s humanitarian coordination office said that a convoy of “food, nutrition, and medical supplies” was to be distributed to 20,000 people in the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian opposition has criticised both the regime and the United Nations for what it says are delayed and insufficient deliveries.

Hijab said Thursday that aid was “only entering very limited areas”.

dawn.com/news/1243632/world-leaders-hail-real-progress-in-syria-despite-fresh-strikes

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ISIL Terrorists Ask Commanders to Dispatch Fresh Forces to Raqqa

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Recent victories of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have forced the ISIL terrorists to call on their commanders for reinforcement troops in the Northern part of Raqqa near the border with Turkey, sources said Friday.

“The ISIL militants, who have been defeated by the Kurdish fighters in several battles in the recent week, have not been able to regroup and have begged for fresh forces from the other provinces to deploy them in the Northern part of Raqqa near the small town of Sulouk,” the sources said.

Reports said on Thursday that the Syrian army forces blocked the ISIL terrorists’ entry into Syria from Turkey by killing 76 of them.

The Kurdish YPG killed the terrorists when they were attempting to cross the Turkish border towards Tal Abyadh in Raqqa province in Northern Syria.

The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last month.

The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.

Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.

In February, the YPG and SDF fighters prevailed over the terrorists in the highly strategic city of Tal Rifat in Northern Aleppo and captured the city.

The YPG, who enjoyed the Russian air backup, prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with the Kurdish units of the SDF who entered the town from the North.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000610

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Syrian Kurds: Turkey ‘Protects & Supplies’ Al-Nusra Camps at Border

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists have pitched their camps right next to the border and receive regular supplies from the Turkish side, Syrian Kurdish forces told RT’s Lizzie Phelan, who traveled with YPG to investigate suspicious activity there.

An RT crew has filmed a number of vehicles coming through the Bab al-Salam crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border, on the outskirts of the northern town of Azaz, which is partially controlled by Al-Nusra, according to reports, RT reported.

“We can actually see here the important border town of Azaz, that Turkey is determined to prevent YPG from taking. Just a little beyond that you can see the Bab al-Salam border crossing and a heavy flow of vehicles coming from Turkey into Azaz,” the RT correspondent said, reporting from the Turkey-Syria border, an area that TV crews rarely gain access to.

“When we zoom in we can see Turkish military vehicles, probably around a kilometer away, maybe less. And just in front here’s another small village that YPG say Al-Nusra uses for training,” Phelan said.

“Beyond that we can see the Turkish flag flying, that’s on the Turkish side of the border, and through there the YPG says they monitor a regular supply of weapons coming from Turkey to that Al-Nusra camp.”

According to the Kurds, after the terror group was excluded from the ceasefire, Al-Nusra have taken down most of their flags, which would give their location away and invite airstrikes. However, the RT crew still managed to film some flags flying above their positions.

YPG are unequivocal about Turkey’s sponsorship of terrorist groups in Syria.

Head of the YPG in Afrin, Abdu Khalil, says Turkey is definitely providing support for terrorist groups in the area.

“Turkey wanted to make a coalition against terrorism, but any country which would be in a coalition against terrorism should not open its border to Al-Nusra Front,” he said.

“When there is a Kurdish prisoner, when he is in Turkish hands, they deliver him to Al-Nusra Front, whereas a wounded man from Islamic State who is in a Turkish hospital: he gets immunity and guards. No one can even look at him. What more evidence do you want than that?”

Abdu Khalil also said that some of the corpses that they found on the battlefield “that belong to Al-Nusra Front were of Turkish origin and we even found IDs and passports. And the ammo we found in their warehouses – closed boxes of ammo – they were closed and stamped by the Turkish government. We even found clearance documents to allow [the boxes of ammo] cross the borders which proved that they were approved to cross the borders.”

Ankara says its direct strikes against the YPG are justified due to its links with the Turkish-based militant group the PKK, which Turkey has recently resumed its war against at home.

The rebel fighters on the ground say they are certain Turkey is providing assistance to IS, Al-Qaeda and Al Nusra.

“The reason Turkey is on the ground is to support groups like Al-Qaeda. Support for ISIS is coming from Turkey. They are shelling because it wants to occupy our land, not to help our people. Turkey dismissed many of the armed groups, and supported Al Nusra against us,” Abu Jouma Benawii, a general in the FSA and co-founder of Jaish al-Thuwar (Army of Revolutionaries), told RT.

“Our fronts against the regime have stopped, but our fronts against ISIS are going on and against Al Nusra as well. We are committed to the ceasefire, one million percent,” he added.

Asked if he would have changed his mind about joining the uprising, Abu Jouma Benawii said in hindsight: “Really I would have changed my mind, because everybody contributed to destroying Syria, at the beginning and the end it is only the people who lose.”

“Had we known that Syria’s friends would be like this, we wouldn’t have been with them. All our people were forced to flee,” he added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said Turkey has the right to carry out military operations not only in Syria, but in any other country hosting terror groups that threaten the Turkish state. He alleged that Ankara’s stance has “absolutely nothing to do with the sovereignty rights of the states that can’t take control of their territorial integrity.”

“On the contrary, this has to do with the will Turkey shows to protect its sovereignty rights,” Erdogan added.

Turkish forces have been shelling YPG, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization, as well as government army positions in Syria, since mid-February. The bombings of YPG targets, the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), have been underway despite the US, Ankara’s ally, viewing the Kurdish fighters as a vital partner in fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

There were reports of dozens of Turkish military vehicles crossing into Kurdish northern Syria, with servicemen digging trenches in the area. Turkey’s “provocative” military buildup on the border and shelling of the Syrian territory could thwart the fragile truce and disrupt the peace process in the Arab Republic, the head of the Russian ceasefire monitoring center Lt. Gen. Sergey Kuralenko said this week.

The ceasefire in Syria, which came into force on February 27, brokered by leading world powers, including the US and Russia, is designed to pave the way to reconciliation between the Syrian government and moderate rebel forces. They would together agree on a peaceful transition in the country. Some of the forces in Syria, including IS and Al-Nusra, are not subject to the ceasefire.

Experts have been criticizing moderate rebel forces, but even they think that the situation is shifting now.

Moderate rebels used to be “a fable, a pure lie,” Syrian political analyst Taleb Ibrahim told RT.

“Everyone remembers what happened to the rebels who had been trained in Turkish camps by the CIA, and when they returned to Syria, and turned to Al-Nusra Front”.

However, the situation is starting to change slowly, as more and more Syrian rebel fighters “discover that they are destroying their country and serving external plans to divide Syria.”

Russian aircraft continue to carry out airstrikes against Al-Nusra front militants to “stabilize the situation” in the regions north of the city of Aleppo, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

There have been at least 31 violations of the Syrian ceasefire over the past three days, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, adding that during the same period the number of local ceasefire agreements between various factions had increased to 38.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000774

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Homs: Tough Battle Underway Between Army, Militants in Central Syria

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army announced minutes ago that its troops and their popular allies are engaged in an intense battle with the ISIL terrorists Southeast of Homs province.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces stormed the ISIL strongholds near the ancient Assyrian town of Quaryatayn, which has thus far claimed the lives of many terrorists.

The ISIL military equipment also sustained heavy damage in the battle.

Reports said earlier today that the Syrian fighter jets carried out several combat sorties over the ISIL strongholds in the Eastern and Southeastern parts of Homs province and inflicted major losses on the terrorists.

The ISIL positions in the Western and Eastern sides of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur), the village of Rasm al-Arnab and Wadi Abyadh in the Eastern part of province came under the heavy bombardments of the Syrian warplane, which ended in the destruction of a number of the terrorists’ vehicles.

In the meantime, the Syrian army’s jets pounded the ISIL positions in the Eastern side of the town of Maheen, which claimed the lives of several militants and destroyed their military hardware.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000683

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Syrian Air Force Inflicts Major Losses on Terrorist Groups in Aleppo

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Several militants were killed or wounded and their military hardware and vehicles were badly damaged in the Syrian fighter jets’ heavy bombardments in the Northeastern part of Aleppo province.

The Syrian army’ air fleet targeted heavily the ISIL positions near the Northeastern city of al-Bab and the villages of Sarja Kabireh and Mazare’ al-Madyouneh, which ended in the killing or injuring of tens of the terrorists and destruction of their machinegun-equipped vehicles.

Reports said earlier today that the top Emir (leader) of the ISIL terrorist group was killed in the Syrian fighter jets’ combat flight Northeast of Aleppo.

Omar al-Absi (AKA “Abu al-Athir) was reportedly killed by the Syrian Air Force inside the village of Touman in al-Bab Plateau.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000451

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Syrian Army Engages in Heavy Fighting with Militants in Deir Ezzur’s Neighborhoods

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group sustained a heavy death toll after its positions in different neighborhoods of the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur came under the heavy offensives of the Syrian soldiers.

The Syrian army men stormed the ISIL strongholds and concentration centers in the neighborhoods of al-Haweiqa, al-Jabileh and al-Sina’ah, which not only claimed the lives of several terrorists but inflicted serious damage on their military vehicles and equipment.

Reports said earlier today that the ISIL left behind nearly 30 dead and many more wounded members and retreated after their attempts to prevail over the government forces’ lines of defense near Deir Ezzur were thwarted by the Syrian Army’s strong defense and Russian air force’s bombardments.

The Syrian army, backed up by the Russian fighter jets, repelled the ISIL offensives near the strategic Deir Ezzur airbase, which ended in the killing of nearly 30 terrorists and wounding of 30 more.

The Russian warplanes did not leave any chance for the ISIL to regroup and targeted their convoy of fresh forces before reaching to the battlefield.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000623

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Hypocrites Declare Hezbollah Terrorist Group: Come Again?

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The reactionary monarchies of the Persian Gulf have decided to put the cart before the horse, declaring Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terrorist group – with blatant sectarian incitement and torrents of weaponized religious Fatwas.

The six-nation Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait) added Hezbollah to its so-called list of “terrorist” organizations without providing any evidence for their allegations. For the US allies whose main exports include extremist outfits of the Al-Qaeda and ISIL variety, labelling the Lebanese political party as a terrorist organization takes their hypocrisy to a whole new level:

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000849

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Pakistan

Madrasas on Afghan-Pak border are hub of terror activities: Advisor to Pak PM

Mar 5, 2016

WASHINGTON: Madrasas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and tribal areas, in particular North Waziristan, had become a hub of terrorist activities, Pakistan’s top diplomat has said, but blamed it on the Afghan refugees, who entered the country when the US pushed the Taliban out of power after the 9/11.

These madrasas had well-oiled terror infrastructure, beyond imagination, running bomb-making factories, terrorists training centres and those to train suicide bombers – all under multi-storeyed basement under the mosque, Pakistan prime minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz told a group of defence writers.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Madrasas-on-Afghan-Pak-border-are-hub-of-terror-activities-Sartaj-Aziz/articleshow/51266957.cms

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SC upholds life sentence in honour killing case

NASIR IQBAL , 05 03 16

ISLAMABAD: The Sup­reme Court maintained on Friday a Lahore High Court judgment of sentencing a man to life in prison for killing his daughter in the name of honour in 2005. The man had injured his wife and two other daughters as well.

The LHC had on May 2, 2013, converted the death sentence awarded to Mohammad Zaman by an additional sessions judge Lahore on July 28, 2007, into life imprisonment by holding that although the accused was found guilty of committing the crime, it was not on case record what circumstances had led him to kill his daughter Kauser and injure wife Husna Bib and two other daughters Kahkashan and Komal.

The case was reported to Lahore’s Mughalpura police station by the man’s fourth daughter Kiran Zaman.

A three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, had taken up a jail appeal of Mohammad Zaman, but instead of considering the convict’s plea of innocence, it issued a notice to him to explain why his sentence should not be enhanced to death from life. The apex court had also appointed Advocate Siddique Khan Baloch to represent the convict.

On Friday, Advocate Siddique argued that the notice had not been issued in accordance with the law and that the high court had rightly reduced the sentence because nobody knew what had happened between the wife and daughters which forced the father to kill his daughter.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1243638/sc-upholds-life-sentence-in-honour-killing-case

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PM to attend summit of Saudi-led military bloc

THE NEWSPAPER’S STAFF REPORTER —March 5th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to pay a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia from March 9 for underscoring the importance of the kingdom for Pakistan.

The visit has not been officially announced yet, but multiple government sources confirmed that Mr Sharif planned to visit Saudi Arabia from March 9 to 11.

During the visit, the prime minister is likely to meet Saudi King Salman.

Separately, there are reports that he might also attend the inaugural summit of the 34-nation military alliance which Saudi Arabia has announced for fighting terrorism.

The meeting is reportedly taking place on March 10.

The prime minister is making the trip ahead of a planned visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Islamabad that is likely after March 20.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1243639/pm-to-attend-summit-of-saudi-led-military-bloc

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Shool near Faisalabad turns into gambling den in evening

MOHAMMAD SALEEM — March 5th, 2016

FAISALABAD: Once the school is over, the compound of the Government Primary School, Chak 422-GB in Tandlianwala, becomes a den of gamblers, addicts and drug pushers.

The recent drive to increase security of schools after the Bacha Khan University attack, did not make any difference to the school whose boundary wall is missing.

Up to 70 boys and girls are enrolled in the school having one male and three female teachers.

The school lacks functional toilets, furniture and drinking water. Its electric motor was stolen a couple of months ago.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1243703/school-near-faisalabad-turns-into-gambling-den-in-evening

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Uber gives Pakistan drivers classes to deter sex harassment

AFP | Mar 4, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Uber is teaching its drivers in Pakistan how not to sexually harass women, a spokeswoman said on Friday, after the popular transport app launched in the conservative country where women are often hassled on public transport.

In Pakistan, “there is lack of knowledge on what constitutes sexual harassment”, said Shaden Abdellatif, a spokeswoman for ride-hailing service that launched in the teeming eastern city of Lahore on Thursday.

“It seems it is not part of the conversation in basic education”, she added, saying only Uber drivers in Lahore and in the Egyptian capital Cairo had to undergo the training.

California-based Uber was officially banned from the Indian capital Delhi after one of its drivers raped a young woman passenger there in 2014 in a case that made international headlines.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Uber-gives-Pakistan-drivers-classes-to-deter-sex-harassment/articleshow/51261405.cms?

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Islamic bloc urged to boost trade

March 5th, 2016

KARACHI: The member states of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) should enhance productivity and competitiveness, and go for diversification and value-addition of products, said the president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Friday.

Abdul Rauf Alam said the FPCCI was going to take up intra-trade promotion issue between the member countries in the forthcoming meeting of Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this month.

There was greater need to set up free export processing zones, promote inter-OIC investment in public and private sectors and raise the share of intra-OIC trade to 25 per cent in the global trade, he said in a statement.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1243601/islamic-bloc-urged-to-boost-trade

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India

One Indian nun among 16 dead in gun attack on Yemen care home

PTI | Mar 4, 2016

SANAA: One Indian nun was among 16 people killed on Friday when unidentified gunmen stormed a retirement home run by Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity in the southern city of Aden and started shooting at them, Yemeni security officials and witnesses said.

Two gunmen surrounded the home for the elderly in Aden while another four fighters entered the building, witnesses and officials said.

They said the gunmen moved from room to room, handcuffing the victims before shooting them in the head.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.

One nun who survived and was rescued by locals said that she hid inside a fridge in a store room after hearing a Yemeni guard shouting “run, run.”

Khaled Haidar told The Associated Press that he counted sixteen bodies, including that of his brother, Radwan.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/One-Indian-nun-among-16-dead-in-gun-attack-on-Yemen-care-home/articleshow/51256739.cms

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Why India should be worried about Pakistani tunnel at J&K border

TNN | Mar 5, 2016

NEW DELHI: The BSF on Friday lodged a protest with Pakistan over a cross-border tunnel along the international border in RS Pura sector of Jammu district. The BSF had on Thursday found the 30-metre-long well-constructed tunnel about 10 feet below the ground.

Why is it significant?

  1. The BSF says the tunnel was dug for a major terror attack. “The tunnel even bypassed the three-tier fencing beneath the agriculture field and was designed exclusively for infiltration. A big terrorist attack was being planned,” BSF IG Rakesh Sharma said.
  2. Army and police installations along the Jammu-Pathankot national highway have been the main target of terrorists in Samba and Kathua districts for some years now.
  3. During the terror attack at the Pathankot air base in January this year, more than six security personnel were killed in an attack by Jaish terrorists.
  4. Terrorists arrested have in the past talked about tunnels being used for infiltration.

How was it found?

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Why-India-should-be-worried-about-Pakistani-tunnel-at-JK-border/articleshow/51264789.cms

———-

 

Pakistani fishing boat seized by BSF off the Kutch coast

March 5, 2016

pakistan, india pakistan news, indo pak news, indo-pak, pakistan fishing boat, pakistan boat in india, india-pakistan border, pakistani boat seized A Border Security Force or BSF soldier patrols an area. Representative image. Source: AP Photo

A Pakistani fishing boat was seized by a BSF patrol party after its occupants fled upon seeing the border security personnel in the Koteshwar creek area off the Kutch coast along the Indo-Pakistan border.

“An Pakistani fishing boat was seized yesterday from the Koteshwar creek area after its occupants fled to the Pakistani side on seeing a patrol party,” BSF officials said.

Nothing suspicious was found in the boat, they said.

This is the fifth such seizure in that area by BSF in the last five months. Last month too they had seized one boat from the Koteshwar creek area.

Earlier in January, a boat was found in the Sir Creek area. In December last year, a fishing boat was found at Padala creek near Koteshwar while in November, two fishing boats were found in another area of Kutch.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pakistani-boat-seized-confiscated-by-bsf-off-the-kutch-coast/99/print/

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Kejriwal to attend Karachi Literature Festival 2017

ANI | Mar 5, 2016

NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday accepted the invitation from the organizers of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) for 2017.

Earlier, veteran actor Anupam Kher, who was to attend the Karachi Literature Festival on February 5 this year, was denied visa by Pakistan.

Kher was due to arrive in Karachi to attend the festival as one of the distinguished guest.

The festival, founded by Ameena Saiyid, OBE, and Dr Asif Farrukhi, is jointly organized by Oxford University Press, Pakistan and British Council.

The festival consists of literary discussions, book launches, and creative writing workshops. There is also an opportunity to meet authors, book signings and visit a book fair.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kejriwal-to-attend-Karachi-Literature-Festival-2017/articleshow/51267415.cms?

———-

South Asia

24 militants killed, 20 wounded during counter-terrorism operations: MoD

By Khaama Press – Fri Mar 04 2016

At least 24 anti-government armed militants were killed 24 others were wounded in the latest counter-terrorism operations conducted by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

The operations were conducted in various provinces of the country to clear the areas where the anti-government armed militants are active.

A statement by MoD said at least 10 militants were killed and 5 others were wounded in Achin district of Nangarhar province.

The statement further added that 9 militants were killed and 6 others were wounded during an operation in Khanshin district of Helmand.

In a separate operation in Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province, at least 3 militants were killed and 2 others were wounded, the statement added.

3 militants were killed and 7 others were wounded in separate operations in Imam Sahib district of Kunduz and Geru district of Ghazni province, MoD said, adding that the Afghan security forces also confiscated various types of weapons, ammunition and explosives during the same operations.

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier also lost his live during the clearance operations, MoD added.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the operations so far.

khaama.com/24-militants-killed-20-wounded-during-counter-terrorism-operations-mod-0244

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Turkey sends ‘peace ball’ to Afghan kid who charmed internet with plastic bag shirt

By Khaama Press – Sat Mar 05 2016

Shortly after receiving signed jerseys from the football star Lionel Messi, the Afghan kid has received a gift pack of ‘Peace Ball’ from Turkey.

The 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi attracted global attention after his photographs went viral, charming the internet with a shirt prepared from plastic.

According to the local media reports in Turkey, the gift pack was sent as part of a campaign by Firat University’s Prof. Sebahattin Devecioglu, who is coordinating the “Peace Ball Project”.

Full report at: khaama.com/turkey-sends-peace-ball-to-afghan-kid-who-charmed-internet-with-plastic-bag-shirt-0250

———-

 

Afghan army rescue 15 construction workers from Taliban militants in Wardak

By Khaama Press – Sat Mar 05 2016

The Afghan National Army (ANA) forces rescued 15 construction workers in the restive Maidan Wardak province, the local officials said Saturday.

The Taliban militants were looking to kidnap the construction workers from Syedabad district where they were on the way to the road construction work in Azadkhel and Haft Asia area.

The provincial government media office in a statement said a clash broke out between the Taliban militants and Afghan army soldiers as they tried to kidnap the workers.

The statement further added that the Taliban militants killed the driver of the construction workers and injured two others while attempting to kidnap them.

The Afghan army soldiers interferred and stopped the militants to take the workers with them, the statement added.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-army-rescue-15-construction-workers-from-taliban-militants-in-wardak-0249

———-

 

MD-530s and A-29s to make a difference with the Afghan Air Force: Gen. Dunford

By Khaama Press – Sat Mar 05 2016

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford has said that the addition of MD-530 helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano light attack fixed-wing aircraft to Afghan Air Force will make a difference as integration of aviation assets into the Afghan combined arms campaign will receive more attention this year.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Gen. Dunford took the advantage to assess the capabilities of the Afghan forces during his visit to Afghanistan as the change of the command was the highlight of his visit to the country.

Gen. Dunford said he was pleased with what he saw and believes integration of lessons learned from operations last year will make the Afghan army and police more effective forces going forward.

Full report at: khaama.com/md-530s-and-a-29s-to-make-a-difference-with-the-afghan-air-force-gen-dunford-0251

———-

Mideast

Turkey keeps shelling Kurds, backing terrorist groups in Syria – Russian MoD

5 Mar, 2016

Ankara bears responsibility for the ongoing ceasefire violations in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, the head of the Russian ceasefire monitoring center Lt. Gen. Sergey Kuralenko told journalists at a briefing on March 4.

Militants continue to freely cross the Turkish-Syrian border, Kuralenko noted, presenting the latest reconnaissance video featuring a “large terrorist unit in a forested border area.”

Another video depicted Turkish artillery in a border garrison near the Yanankey settlement targeting Kurdish positions in Syria.

“Artillery shelling of Kurdish militia units, fighting against Nusra Front, continues from the territory of a Turkish border post near Yanankey,” Kuralenko said.

Full report at: rt.com/news/334609-turkey-syria-kurds-terrorists/

———-

 

Zaman newspaper reopens under government control, heavy police guard

05.03.2016

Istanbul (dpa) – Zaman newspaper, an opposition media outlet which has been taken over by the government, reopened Saturday under heavy police guard.

Staff took to social media to post photos of armed special forces at the building, which was surrounded by barricades.

Police used tear gas and water cannons and forced their way into the newspaper‘s offices on Friday night. They detained and handcuffed a German journalist covering the event, but he was released after several hours.

Full report at:

en.europeonline-magazine.eu/zaman-newspaper-reopens-under-government-control-heavy-police-guard_442343.html

———-

 

Main opposition leader says Zaman takeover violation of media freedom

March 04, 2016

Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), slammed on Friday a court decision to appoint trustees to take over the management of the Feza Media Group, calling it a “violation of media freedom” and evidence that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government consider “all dissenting voices as criminal organizations.”

The Feza Media Group includes Turkey’s biggest-selling newspaper Zaman, Today’s Zaman and the Cihan news agency.

“The decision to appoint trustees that was made by a group of judicial bodies to serve the expectations and the ambitions of the [Justice and Development Party] AK Party and the Presidency is a violation of law targeting media freedom,” Kiliçdaroglu said.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_main-opposition-leader-says-zaman-takeover-violation-of-media-freedom_414045.html

———-

 

Gov’t takeover of critical media group draws international backlash

March 04, 2016

Ahead of the pending government-led takeover of the Zaman Media Group, international voices have stated their concerns over the impending implementation of trustees to take over the management of Zaman newspaper as issued by the Istanbul Sixth Criminal Court of Peace at the request of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Freedom House blasted the court decision to seize Zaman, calling on the Turkish government to stop the crackdown on the press.

“The appointment of trustees to run Zaman amounts to a government takeover of a private media outlet, and is a flagrant violation of both rule of law and freedom of the press,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president. “The European Union and the United States, as Turkey’s partners and allies, should not trade Turkey’s support on migration and Syria for silence over the dismantling of democratic institutions.”

Amnesty International said government’s takeover of Zaman newspaper is the latest deeply troubling episode in the Turkish authorities’ ongoing onslaught on dissenting media.

“By lashing out and seeking to rein in critical voices, President Erdogan’s government is steamrolling over human rights,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey expert.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_govt-takeover-of-critical-media-group-draws-international-backlash_414060.html

———-

Southeast Asia

Indonesia Will Not Join US Anti-ISIS Coalition: Envoy

March 05, 2016

Indonesia is unlikely to join the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS, or ISIS) in the foreseeable future, a leading Indonesian diplomat told a forum in Washington, D.C. Thursday.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, continues to battle a rising IS threat in the country, with deadly attacks in Jakarta in late January killing eight, including the four attackers. Yet, as I have noted previously, the country has thus far not joined fellow Southeast Asian countries Malaysia and Singapore as part of the U.S.-led Global Coalition Against ISIL, which now boasts 66 members.

Speaking at an event this week, Arto Suryodipuro, the deputy chief of mission at the Indonesian embassy in the United States, said he did not expect Indonesia to join the coalition anytime soon.

Full report at: thediplomat.com/2016/03/indonesia-will-not-join-us-anti-isis-coalition-envoy/

———-

 

Najib: Saudi Arabia not alone in facing any threat

Mar 5, 2016

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said Saudi Arabia was not alone in facing any threat following the formation of the Islamic Military Alliance participated by 34 countries.

Malaysia, he said, is part of the alliance formed by Saudi Arabia.

“The alliance gives a clear signal that the stability, security and position of Saudi Arabia in the Islamic world is very important to Malaysia and other Islamic countries,” he said in his latest posting on his Facebook today.

Najib said part of his latest working visit agenda to Saudi Arabia was to visit the Malaysian Armed Forces personnel taking part in the Northern Thunder military exercise at Hafar Al Batin.

Najib was on a working visit to Saudi Arabia from March 1 to 3.

Accompanying him on the visit were Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom and Abdul Wahid Omar as well as senior government officers.

malaysiakini.com/news/332873

———-

 

Indonesia Calls for Boosting Energy Cooperation with Iran

Mar 5, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said called for the expansion of mutual cooperation with Iran in the oil and gas industries.

“The grounds are now well prepared for signing contracts with Indonesian state-run companies on direct shipment of Iran’s liquid gas to Indonesia,” the Indonesian energy minister told reporters on Friday.

In late February, senior officials of Iran and Indonesia signed an agreement on cooperation in the areas of oil, gas and petrochemicals.

The agreement was reached between Director General for Asia and Pacific at the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum Marziyeh Riyahi and Indonesia’s Director General for Oil and Gas at the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Wiratmaja Puja.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941214000547

———-

Africa

Boko Haram falls victim to a food crisis it created

DIONNE SEARCEY | NYT News Service | Mar 5, 2016

MORA, Cameroon: At first, the attack had all the hallmarks of a typical Boko Haram assault. Armed fighters stormed a town on the border with Nigeria, shooting every man they saw.

But this time, instead of burning homes and abducting hostages, the fighters gathered cows, goats and any kind of food they could round up, then fled with it all.

Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group terrorizing this part of the world, is on the hunt — for food.

After rampaging across the region for years, forcing more than 2 million people to flee their homes and farms, Boko Haram appears to be falling victim to a major food crisis of its own creation.

Farmers have fled, leaving behind fallow fields. Herdsmen have rerouted cattle drives to avoid the violence. Throughout the region, entire villages have emptied, leaving a string of ghost towns with few people for Boko Harm to dominate — and little for the group to plunder.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Boko-Haram-falls-victim-to-a-food-crisis-it-created/articleshow/51265702.cms

———-

Australia

Australia could be the next Paris, terrorism expert warns

March 5, 2016 – 9:58PM

French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan following fatal shootings in Paris. Photo: Reuters

How IS lights up the brains of recruits

Progress in the bombing campaign against Islamic State has heightened the risk of the terror group lashing out and striking back on Australian soil, one of the world experts on suicide terrorism has warned.

Professor Robert Pape, the director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, has told a series of top-level meetings with Australian government officials and researchers that IS is purposely lashing out at members of the coalition involved in the air strikes.

University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape warns Australia is on the IS radar.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Professor Pape said Australia must not be complacent and think it is too far away or out of reach. He said Australia is very much on the radar of IS.

Full report at: smh.com.au/nsw/australia-could-be-the-next-paris-terrorism-expert-warns-20160303-gn9k68.html#ixzz421fcOs00

———-

North America

Obama says impressed by Afghan forces courage in fight against terrorism

By Khaama Press – Fri Mar 04 2016

The U.S. President Barack Obama has hailed the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) performance and courage in fight against terrorism.

The Office of the President, ARG Presidential Palace, said President Barack Obama hailed the performance of the Afghan forces during a video teleconference.

The video teleconference was also attended by Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

According to ARG Palace, the video teleconference between the leaders of the two nations focused on security, governance, and peace process.

“President Barack Obama told President Ghani that he is impressed by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) performance and courage to fight terrorism,” the ARG Palace said.

Full report at: khaama.com/obama-says-impressed-by-afghan-forces-courage-in-fight-against-terrorism-0247

———-

 

US says Turkey’s takeover of Zaman daily is ’troubling’

March 05, 2016

The White House said the takeover of Zaman newspaper by Turkish authorities is the latest in a series of “troubling” actions, urging the Turkish government to uphold media freedom.

An Istanbul court ruled to appoint trustees over the Zaman daily, the country’s best-selling newspaper. Riot police stormed the newspaper late on Friday, forcing out reporters and beating some.

“This is the latest in a series of troubling judicial and law enforcement actions taken by the Turkish government targeting media outlets and others critical of it,” White House said in a statement on Friday.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/anasayfa_white-house-says-turkeys-takeover-of-zaman-daily-is-troubling_414071.html

———-

 

UN calls for resettlement of 400,000 Syrians from Turkey

March 04, 2016

The United Nations refugee agency says that 400,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey should be resettled around the world to help ease the burden on the country.

The UNHCR Europe bureau director, Vincent Cochetel, said on Friday that the refugees could be distributed from Turkey over the next two years, and he called on Europe, Russia and the United States to do more.

More than 2 million refugees, most of them Syrians, are currently on Turkish soil.

Cochetel said that only 7,500 refugees were resettled from Turkey last year, including 1,100 Syrians.

His call comes as the European Union seeks to send more migrants arriving in Greece back to Turkey.

todayszaman.com/diplomacy_un-calls-for-resettlement-of-400000-syrians-from-turkey_414017.html

———-

 

UN expecting staggered start to Syrian talks

Saturday 05 March 2016

The United Nations envoy to Syria expects a staggered start to peace talks next week, with participants arriving over several days for “indirect meetings”, he said in an interview with pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat.

“I see us beginning on March 10 when we will launch the process,” Staffan de Mistura said. “Some (participants) will arrive on the 9th. Others, because of difficulties with hotel reservations, will arrive on the 11th. Others will arrive on the 14th.”

The talks will be conducted indirectly rather than face-to-face.

“We will hold preparatory meetings and then go into detail with each group separately,” he said.

Full report at: rte.ie/news/world/2016/0305/772784-syira/

———-

 

US Senator asks colleagues to oppose F-16 deal with Pak

PTI | Mar 5, 2016

WASHINGTON: A top Republican Senator has asked his colleagues in the Senate to join him in opposing the sale of eight nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying it was “past time” to demand accountability from the country whose “coziness” with terrorists has harmed the US military.

“Selling military hardware to Pakistan — with a generous subsidy from American taxpayers — is no way to convince them to become responsible players in the international community and assist in the fight against terrorism,” Rand Paul said.

“It is past time to stand up and demand greater accountability from Pakistan — that it fully severs its ties with terrorist organizations, and that it respect the rights of its own people,” Paul said in an official correspondence to other members of the US Senate.

In the letter, Paul urged Senators to join him in blocking the sale of F-16s to Pakistan in an over $ 600 million deal.

“I request that you support the resolution of disapproval when it comes up for consideration.”

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-Senator-asks-colleagues-to-oppose-F-16-deal-with-Pak/articleshow/51267010.cms

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/the-pope-says–it-is-a-social-fact–that-europe-is-seeing-an–arab-invasion—-and-it-s-a-good-thing/d/106563

 

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