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Iran: Rouhani Calls for 'Year of Unity' on Revolution Anniversary

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:54
As Iran commemorates the 39th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, president Hassan Rouhani is caling for "a year of unity", just weeks after widespread anti-government protests throughout the country. "I request that the 40th year of the revolution, the coming year, be the year of unity.  I ask conservatives, reformists, moderates and all parties and all people to come and be together," he told a crowd Sunday in Tehran. "Our revolution was victorious...
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Tillerson Aims to Strengthen US-Egyptian Commitment to Fight Terrorism

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 20:37
Building on Vice President Mike Pence's recent visit to Cairo, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to strengthen a shared commitment between the United States and Egypt to fight terrorism. Tillerson is in Cairo to begin a five-country Middle East trip. He is also visiting Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Kuwait from February 11-16.   The chief U.S. diplomat is meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss other regional...
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India's Modi in UAE to Boost Ties with Gulf Arab States

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 19:33
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the second day of his visit to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday by unveiling a model of the first Hindu temple that will be built in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, a testament to the stronger ties that both countries seek. Standing on stage at the Dubai Opera, Modi spoke before hundreds of diplomats and Indian expatriates about the historical ties linking India with the small, but oil-rich and increasingly influential UAE, where 3.3 million...
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Israel Dealt 'Severe Blows' to Iranian, Syrian Targets

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 18:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his country had dealt "severe blows" to Iranian and Syrian forces inside Syria and would continue to combat any further aggression. "We made clear to everyone that our rules of engagement will not change in any way," Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. "We will continue to harm anyone who tries to harm us. This was our policy and this will remain our policy." Saturday's raids came...
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To List of Yemen’s War Tragedies, Add Its Ancient History

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 12:34
Along a narrow road in Yemen, choked by natural gas tankers and heavily armed soldiers, lies an ancient temple neglected and threatened in a nation now at war. The Awwam Temple links a region now on the front lines of the Saudi-led war against Shiite rebels to Arabia’s pre-Islamic past, a time of spice caravans and the mysterious Queen of Sheba. Experts fear the temple, as well as other historic and cultural wonders across Yemen beyond those acknowledged by international authorities,...
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Egypt: 16 Militants Killed in Major Sinai Operation 

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 11:58
Egypt’s military said Sunday it has killed 16 militants and arrested more than 30 suspects in a major counterterrorism operation that was launched last week, targeting terrorist and criminal elements and organizations across the country. Reuters reports Army spokesman Colonel Tamer el-Rifaal said Sunday that vehicles, weapons caches, communications centers and illegal opium fields were targeted in the sweep. The army said Friday in a televised statement announcing the operation that...
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White House: Israel Has Right to Defend Itself

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 10:27
A statement from the White House press secretary Sunday affirmed that “Israel is a staunch ally of the United States, and we support its right to defend itself from the Iranian-backed Syrian and militia forces in southern Syria.” The statement follows Israel’s attack Saturday on a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. Israel conducted the air strikes after anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli warplane returning from a raid on Iranian-backed positions in Syria. Earlier Israel said it...
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Family: Iranian Environmental Activist Dies in Prison

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 02:30
An Iranian academic and environmental activist imprisoned by Iranian authorities last month has died in prison, his son wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Kavous Seyed-Emami was the managing director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, which seeks to protect Iran's rare animals, and a U.S.-trained scholar in sociology. Seyed-Emami's son, the Iranian musician Raam Emami, wrote on Twitter that his father was arrested on January 24, and that his mother had been informed of...
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Modi Voices Support for Palestinian State in West Bank Visit

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 01:58
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed support Saturday in Ramallah for an independent Palestine and said he hoped for the return of peace to the region, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on India to support multicountry sponsorship of future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Modi's three-hour stop in Ramallah, the first by an Indian prime minister, was being seen as New Delhi's bid to balance its blossoming ties with Israel. Saying that...
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Egypt Continues Sinai Security Effort Amid Reports of Israeli Help

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 20:00
Egypt's armed forces Saturday continued what it describes as "intensive airstrikes against terrorist targets and gatherings" in Central and North Sinai. An Egyptian Army spokesperson, in a statement Saturday, confirmed the military operation will continue but gave no details or numbers on casualties or arrests. The military campaign is part of what the Egyptian government calls "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018.” The mission, announced Friday, is intended to...
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Upsurge in Yemen Fighting Sends Thousands Fleeing

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 16:34
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR reports an upsurge in violence in battle-scarred Yemen has sent more than 85,000 people fleeing for their lives in the past 10 weeks, adding to the already huge displacement that exists across the country. More than two million people have become internally displaced in Yemen since March 2015.  That is when a Saudi-led coalition began a bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in support of Yemen’s government.   The UNHCR is alarmed by the recent...
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US, Israel Say Israel Has Right to Defend Itself

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 10:55
The U.S. Defense Department said Saturday that Israel was entitled to protect itself against acts of aggression. The statement was made after Israel attacked a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria earlier in the day. "Israel is our closest security partner in the region and we fully support Israel's inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people," said Pentagon spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway, adding that the U.S. was not involved in...
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US Clamping Down on Islamic State’s Global Network

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 06:05
The United States is ramping up pressure on regional and local Islamic State operatives and facilitators, part of an effort to shut down the terror group’s global financial lifeline. The U.S. Treasury Department Friday announced sanctions against a series of individuals and companies from Somalia, Turkey and the Philippines, describing the moves as part of a larger campaign targeting networks that helped give the terror group access to money, weapons and even drones. “Each individual...
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Freed Captives, Families of Murdered Western Hostages Demand Justice 

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 03:21
The detention in northern Syria by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters of two notorious British jihadists, the remaining members of a militant quartet that tortured and beheaded Western hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, is being greeted with pleas by former Western captives of the terror group that they face trial. Nicolas Henin, a French reporter held for 10 months by the British gang, has told British and U.S. broadcasters that he wants the militants...
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Egypt Launches New Sinai Security Effort Amid Reports of Israeli Help

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 00:13
Egypt and Israel have fought three wars, but now they reportedly are cooperating as they face a common foe: a jihadist insurgency in the Sinai. However, neither state is acknowledging the warming ties. On Friday, the Egyptian military spokesmen announced the launch of a major security operation against "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" across the country, focusing on the northern and central Sinai region, where last year militants attacked a Sufi mosque...
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Tillerson to Press Turkey to Free Detained Americans, Show Restraint in Afrin

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 00:02
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will press Turkey to release Americans detained by Ankara, and urge the NATO ally to show restraint in military operations in northern Syria, according to senior U.S. officials. "At times like this, engagement is all the more important," said a State Department official on Friday, while acknowledging, "It's going to be a difficult conversation." Turkey is the second stop of Tillerson's five-nation visit to the Middle...
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Egypt Launches Nationwide Counterterror Operation

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 22:02
The Egyptian military, including ground units, the air force, navy and police, launched a nationwide operation against terrorists Friday, focusing on the northern Sinai region, Egypt's Delta, and areas close to the Libyan border. Egyptian media report that strategic sectors of the country are on high alert.   Amateur video on Arab TV showed Egyptian Air Force planes targeting regions of the northern Sinai where intermittent insurgent attacks have kept the country's military on...
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US Steps Up Effort to Avert Confrontation With Turkey Over Syrian Kurdish Militia

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 21:51
U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is due in Turkey this weekend, as a potential military confrontation looms between the two countries over Syria. The NATO allies disagree over Turkey’s military intervention in Syria against a Kurdish militia which is a key U.S. ally in the war against Islamic State. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu this week lambasted Washington, accusing it of making deals with Islamic State militants and claiming his government has lost confidence...
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Libya: Twin Bombings Kill Two, Injure Dozens

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 18:13
At least two people were killed and dozens more injured in twin bombings Friday on a mosque in the Libyan city of Benghazi, medics said — the second attack on a place of worship in Benghazi in the past month. At least 62 people were wounded in the attacks on the Saad Ibn Ibada mosque near the Majouri district of Libya's second city during Friday prayers. The devices appeared to have been detonated remotely. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Two...
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Britain Targets Global Corruption With Law to Seize Unexplained Wealth

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 13:50
Politicians, public figures and criminals suspected of buying property with corrupt money will be forced to explain their wealth or see their assets seized under new legislation that has come into force in Britain this month. The so-called Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) have been welcomed by campaigners, who say the British capital is at the center of a global web of embezzled money. The anti-corruption organization Transparency International has identified five properties they say...
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