UK backs Syria peace talks in Astana

The British government has said that it supports the Syrian peace talks set to be held in the Kazakhstani capital Astana next week, Anadolu news agency reported yesterday. “We support this process because it provides an opportunity to get back to talking about a political solution to the conflict,” a UK government spokesperson told Anadolu during a weekly press conference. She said: “These talks have obviously come about following [a ceasefire backed by] Russia and Turkey, and some of those talks are about cessation of hostilities [under] the UN Security Council resolution that we firmly supported.” The spokesperson added: “We have said throughout that ultimately [dialogue is] the way to really bring peace and stability to Syria…We will continue to […]

UK backs Syria peace talks in Astana

The British government has said that it supports the Syrian peace talks set to be held in the Kazakhstani capital Astana next week, Anadolu news agency reported yesterday. “We support this process because it provides an opportunity to get back to talking about a political solution to the conflict,” a UK government spokesperson told Anadolu during a weekly press conference. She said: “These talks have obviously come about following [a ceasefire backed by] Russia and Turkey, and some of those talks are about cessation of hostilities [under] the UN Security Council resolution that we firmly supported.” The spokesperson added: “We have said throughout that ultimately [dialogue is] the way to really bring peace and stability to Syria…We will continue to […]

Yemen Houthi women hold a parade in Sana’a

Yemeni Houthi rebels have sparked outrage on social media after photos and videos of around three thousand female Houthi loyalists parading in Sana’a were released. The women were captured on camera marching, holding weapons and even babies while shouting the Houthi slogan: “God is Great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse the Jews! Victory to Islam.” [Tweets to embed:] The women were captured on camera marching, holding weapons and even babies while shouting the Houthi slogan: “God is Great! Death to America! Death to Israel! Curse the Jews! Victory to Islam.” #Houthi_militias are recruiting women . Yesterday at Sanaa #Houthi_terrorist_group pic.twitter.com/qvcU4OiJC7 — Ahmed A. BinMubarak (@BelovedAden) January 18, 2017 More than three thousand women Yemeni Mwaliat to Houthi group […]

Djibouti, Saudi Arabia finalise military base deal

Djibouti and Saudi Arabia are finalising an agreement allowing Riyadh to build a military base in the Horn of Africa nation. “We’re going to signal a military co-operation settlement quickly in Riyadh,” Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssef told The Financial Times. “I cannot provide the particulars…as it is classified. But you will know when it goes ahead,” he added. Youssef said that Riyadh signed a security agreement with the government last year and Djibouti followed up the agreement by confirming the agreement with its judiciary earlier this month as it prepared to set up its base. Saudi officials could not be reached for comment.

Qatar, Ethiopia played role in lifting US sanctions on Sudan

A Sudanese official revealed yesterday that intense diplomatic efforts made by Sudan to persuade other countries and international bodies that the US embargo against Khartoum were “unethical” and “illegal” had bore fruit, as diplomatic efforts from other states allowed for sanctions to be lifted. In a press conference held in Khartoum, State Minister Kamal Ismail hailed the efforts of the Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and many of Arab countries and international bodies who played a role in lifting the sanctions regime. Ismail mentioned several countries by name, but extended a special thanks to Qatar and Ethiopia, who he said had presented evidence that the economic embargo was illegal. According to the minister, this evidence was accepted […]

Hamas’ ‘girls’ are at least something to celebrate

When we look at the “sea of failures” in the Arab world, we look for at least some bright points for balance and to revive our broken souls a little in order for us not to fall into a dark black hole of misery and hopelessness. We are used to seeing our Arab “goal posts” shake with every goal scored by our foes, friends and sometimes even our “brothers”. Even our goalkeeper scores goals in our own net. We could even say that our “fans” always disappoint their team and not only score own goals, but even tear the net. Amid such failure, one holds on tight to any achievement or success, even if it is a tiny success. We […]

Hamas’ ‘girls’ are at least something to celebrate

When we look at the “sea of failures” in the Arab world, we look for at least some bright points for balance and to revive our broken souls a little in order for us not to fall into a dark black hole of misery and hopelessness. We are used to seeing our Arab “goal posts” shake with every goal scored by our foes, friends and sometimes even our “brothers”. Even our goalkeeper scores goals in our own net. We could even say that our “fans” always disappoint their team and not only score own goals, but even tear the net. Amid such failure, one holds on tight to any achievement or success, even if it is a tiny success. We […]

Egypt destroys 3 tunnels between Sinai and Gaza

The Egyptian army has destroyed three tunnels between the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian-controlled Sinai desert, military spokesman Colonel Tamer Al-Refae said yesterday. In statements about the efforts of Egyptian border guards against “criminal gangs, smugglers and drug dealers,” Al-Refae noted that three tunnels were discovered and destroyed by the Egyptian army. He also noted that the Egyptian army had caught many drug dealers in addition to hundreds of hashish, cigarettes and marijuana shipments across the country. Al-Refae also noted that several smugglers were caught near the Gazan city of Rafah, but did not mention whether they were heading to Gaza or entering Egyptian territory. The military spokesman said that the army’s efforts were targeting illegal activities that endanger Egyptian […]

Egypt destroys 3 tunnels between Sinai and Gaza

The Egyptian army has destroyed three tunnels between the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian-controlled Sinai desert, military spokesman Colonel Tamer Al-Refae said yesterday. In statements about the efforts of Egyptian border guards against “criminal gangs, smugglers and drug dealers,” Al-Refae noted that three tunnels were discovered and destroyed by the Egyptian army. He also noted that the Egyptian army had caught many drug dealers in addition to hundreds of hashish, cigarettes and marijuana shipments across the country. Al-Refae also noted that several smugglers were caught near the Gazan city of Rafah, but did not mention whether they were heading to Gaza or entering Egyptian territory. The military spokesman said that the army’s efforts were targeting illegal activities that endanger Egyptian […]

Signs of US reorientation as Congresswoman visits Syria

A US Congresswoman’s trip to Syria has fuelled further speculation that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is no longer “beyond the pale” in US politics and policymaking circles. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard who, according to The Washington Post, has charged the Obama administration with funnelling money to Daesh and Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, visited Damascus this week in what her office called a “fact-finding trip…to promote and work for peace.” Commenting on the Congresswoman’s pro-Assad stance, The Washington Post also stated that Gabbard had called for the Obama administration to abandon all assistance to armed groups and stop seeking Al-Assad’s overthrow, saying that the effort undermines the fight against Daesh. With the Obama administration taking a hard line against the Assad regime […]