Middle-east

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The Cuban Five’s René González on history, revolution and solidarity with Palestine

The international community is not without outstanding examples of people to emulate, if it ever decides to prioritise Palestinian anti-colonial struggle over legitimising Israel and its violations of international laws and conventions. Although mostly ignored by mainstream media outlets, the Third International Arab Forum on Justice for Palestine welcomed the Cuban Five’s René González to speak at the inaugural session held in Beirut on the 14-15 May. González, a former anti-terror Cuban agent, was imprisoned in 1998 by the US along with four of his comrades for seeking to prevent terror attacks against Cuba which were being planned by ex-CIA agents. The trial leading to the Five’s imprisonment attracted worldwide attention for its irregularities and eventually sparked an international movement […]


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Israel demolishes Arab village of Al-Araqeeb for 113th time

Israeli forces yesterday demolished the Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev for the 113th time, and for the fifth time this year. The head of the local committee to defend Al-Araqeeb, Aziz Al-Touri, said that Israeli bulldozers, accompanied by riot police, raided the village in the morning and destroyed the makeshift homes locals had been living in “without any consideration for their residents”. Al-Touri explained that the owners of the demolished houses had rebuilt them last April after the Israeli forces razed them. He pointed out that the villagers return and rebuild their destroyed homes after each demolition “to emphasise their attachment to their village and lands.” #Bedouins in Al-Araqeeb (#Negev) are being ordered to pay for the Israeli-enforced […]


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Egypt army chief of staff meets Libya’s Haftar

Egyptian Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, yesterday met the leader of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, in the Libyan port city of Benghazi, the Anadolu Agency reported. According to a statement published on the LNA’s official Facebook page, Haftar welcomed Hegazy at his office in Benghazi’s ​​Rajma district. The visit is the first of its kind for an Egyptian or Arab military official since the start of Libya’s armed clashes, which erupted three years ago. Hegazy was welcomed in Benghazi’s Benina Airport, where he was greeted by the LNA’s Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Abdel-Razek Al-Nadoori along with other army officials, according to the LNA’s media office. Read: Libyan commander stages show of force […]


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Chinese sanctioned by US for aiding Iran missile development

China said today that it had lodged a complaint with the United States after Washington imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile programme. China has complained repeatedly to the United States about unilateral sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies linked to either Iran or North Korea’s nuclear or missile programmes. Chinese complaints come despite international recognition of the destabilising effect both Iran and North Korea have. North Korea possesses nuclear weapons, and many western countries as well as security experts suspect that Iran harbours designs to acquire atomic arms for itself, in addition to its suspected arsenal of chemical weapons that were produced during the 1980s. Read: China, Iran sign contract to redesign nuclear reactor […]


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Turkey wants Trump to fire US envoy as ‘supporter’ of Kurdish militants

Turkey said today that the US special envoy in the battle against Daesh should be removed because he supported Kurdish militants, and warned that Ankara would act unilaterally if it faced attack from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. The comments, which followed a White House meeting on Tuesday between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump, reflected Turkish anger at Trump’s decision to arm YPG fighters who are part of a force aiming to recapture the Daesh-held Syrian city of Raqqa. Ankara regards the YPG militia as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant groups fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeast Turkey that has killed tens of thousands of civilians, while Washington sees the YPG as […]


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Iran airline supplying arms to Assad bypassed US sanctions

An Iranian airline that is under US sanctions for supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Lebanese Shia jihadist group Hezbollah used a Maltese leasing company to bypass sanctions. According to various testimonies to the US Congress from an American think tank, Iranian airline Mahan Air used Malta to circumvent US sanctions, reported Malta Today. Mahan Air, which is a private airline with ties to Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was hit with US sanctions three times since the Syrian conflict broke out in 2011 to discourage the airline from transporting troops and weapons to Syria’s battlefields in support of Iran’s Shia jihadist proxies. Read: Saudi Arabia excludes Iran from Arab-Islamic summit with Trump However, an American […]


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14th round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over Renaissance Dam fail

The 14th round of talks between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the latter’s Renaissance Dam on the River Nile have failed. A statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation said on Tuesday that some remaining unresolved points will be discussed later, without announcing the date and place of the new meeting. The ministry pointed out said that this round of talks of the Tripartite National Committee aimed to study the effects of the dam on the respective countries’ share of water from the great river. The meetings were attended by specialists from all three countries and the current stage of the discussions will focus on determining the technical details of the method to be followed when conducting studies of the […]


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‘Goodbye,’ Turkey says as Germany threatens to leave Incirlik

Germany is free to withdraw its troops stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base if it wants to, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, adding Berlin should change its attitude towards Ankara. In an interview with broadcaster NTV, Cavusoglu said Ankara was not attempting to blackmail Berlin by preventing German lawmakers access to Incirlik, where some 250 German troops are stationed as part of the coalition against Daesh. Turkish officials have also told Reuters that such a visit by German lawmakers would not be appropriate at the moment. Read: German conservatives urge end to EU-Turkey talks after pro-Erdogan vote Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday said the German government had been evaluating possible alternatives to Incirlik for some […]


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Erdogan to Trump: Turkey will act if Syria Kurds attack

President Tayyip Erdogan told US President Donald Trump during his visit to Washington this week that Turkey would act “without asking anyone” if it faced any sort of attack from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, Turkish media reported earlier today. Trump’s approval, before the visit, of plans to arm the YPG as it advances towards Daesh’s Raqqa stronghold had overshadowed talks between the NATO allies, but Erdogan did not directly criticise the plan at the White House. Later, speaking to reporters at the Turkish embassy, Erdogan underlined Turkey’s concerns about the YPG, which Ankara regards as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeast Turkey. Read: US will arm Syrian Kurds, despite Turkey’s […]


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Arab tribes warn of Iran’s growing influence in Mosul

Arab tribes in Iraq’s Nineveh province have warned of Iran’s growing influence west of Mosul under the pretext of fighting Daesh and supporting the Popular Mobilisation Units, the Shia militia. The Council of Arab Tribes in the province said in a media statement that it rejects the Iranian expansion hidden within the Popular Mobilisation ranks “to seize areas west of the province of Nineveh.” Such expansion, they said, is a violation of the agreement and understanding reached between Baghdad and Erbil and the international coalition before the start of the battle in Mosul. The statement added that the expansion only serves the Iranian plan to open a road from Mosul to the Syrian border in cooperation with the Bashar Al-Assad […]