Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reports: Assad’s Security Adviser, Ali Mamlouk met Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammad Ibn Salman, in Riyadh

    Thursday, July 30, 2015   No comments
Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered the sit-down between Mamlouk—who is one of Assad’s top advisors—and Prince Mohammad Ibn Salman, who also serves as Saudi Arabia’s defense minister and is the son of King Salman.

 Russia then proceeded to fly Mamlouk to Riyadh, where he held an ice-breaking meeting with Prince Mohammad in which the two agreed to keep the newly established channel of communication open.

According to al-Safir Report, Mamlouk appealed for Saudi Arabia to change its policy on Syria, while the Saudi deputy crown prince voiced Saudi fears over Iran’s rising influence on the Assad regime.  The report in Al-Safir mirrored an account published  by Al-Akhbar—a left-leaning Lebanese daily—which said that Russia was working to open talks between Riyadh and Damascus, with Mamlouk serving as an envoy.

Syrian regime and Saudi news outlets have made no mention of the reported meeting.

Putin brokers meeting

The Lebanese dailies reported that Putin had broached opening the Damascus-Riyadh line of communication during his June 19 meeting with Prince Mohammad, who assented to the proposal.

 Al-Akhbar claimed that Prince Mohammad had agreed “albeit reluctantly” with Putin’s assertion that

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Senior Western official: Links between Turkey and ISIS are now 'undeniable'

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015   No comments
Comment: This connection might explain why Erdogan and his current caretaker government is now attack Kurds, not ISIL, which was behind the attack on Turkish civilians. 
A US-led raid on the compound housing the Islamic State's "chief financial officer" produced evidence that Turkish officials directly dealt with ranking ISIL members, Martin Chulov of the Guardian reported recently.

The officer killed in the raid, Islamic State official Abu Sayyaf, was responsible for directing the terror army's oil and gas operations in Syria. The Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) earns up to $10 million a month selling oil on black markets.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Seattle mayor proposes sharia-compliant loans for Muslim home buyers

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015   No comments
The mayor of Seattle and his housing committee are exploring options to make home loans accessible to Muslims who are unable to participate in standard mortgage programs due to religious prohibitions.

In an effort to address housing affordability in Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray has released a proposal which calls for community leaders and lenders to collaborate on exploring different options.

Among the ideas suggested to make housing more affordable for Seattle residents is a segment that will allow Muslims to obtain home loans that are compliant with sharia law.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Turkey's AKP run government may push for HDP’s closure to win in possible early elections

    Monday, July 27, 2015   No comments
HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş speaks with reporters
Military operations recently launched against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as well as remarks by a leading ruling party figure implying that a pro-Kurdish party often accused of being affiliated with the PKK could be closed down may well be part of a government plan to carry the acting ruling party to power in a possible early election.

After criticizing the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for failing to condemn the recent PKK violence, Mustafa Şentop, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said on Sunday political parties can be closed down only for one reason in Turkey, namely being linked to a terrorist organization.

The AK party lost a significant number of voters to the HDP in the predominantly Kurdish Southeast in the June 7 election. This was a large blow to the AK Party as it failed, for the first time since coming to power in 2002, to win enough seats in Parliament to form a single-party government.

Human Rights Watch on the War on Yemen: Coalition Strikes on Residence Unlawful, War Crime

    Monday, July 27, 2015   No comments
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members.
The failure of Saudi Arabia and other coalition members to investigate apparently unlawful airstrikes in Yemen demonstrates the need for the United Nations Human Rights Council to create a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of laws-of-war violations by the coalition, the Houthis, and other parties to the conflict, Human Rights Watch said.

 “The Saudi-led coalition repeatedly bombed company housing with fatal results for several dozen civilians,” said Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher. “With no evident military target, this attack appears to be a war crime.”

Human Rights Watch visited the area of the attack a day-and-a-half later. Craters and building damage showed that six bombs had struck the plant’s main residential compound, which housed at least 200 families, according to the plant’s managers. One bomb had struck a separate compound for short-term workers about a kilometer north of the main compound, destroying the water tank for the compounds, and two bombs had struck the beach and an intersection nearby.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quran Fragments, Said to Date From Time of Muhammad, Are Found in Britain

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015   No comments
Oldest surviving copies fragments of a Quran manuscript
Fragments of what researchers say are part of one of the world’s oldest manuscripts of the Quran have been found at the University of Birmingham, the school said on Wednesday.
The ancient fragments are probably at least 1,370 years old, which would place the manuscript’s writing within a few years of the founding of Islam, researchers say, and the author of the text may well have known the Prophet Muhammad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015   No comments
Turkish government and Erdogan feel the heat from ISIL and opposition, prompting AKP leaders to lash out at HDP

A Turkish online magazine that supports the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has slammed Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the first time.

“Konstantiniyye” (the Ottoman word for Istanbul) published its second issue on July 17. The magazine, which did not criticize or threaten Turkey in its first issue earlier this year, changed its tone dramatically as Ankara toughened its stance against ISIL.

“[In this issue] we tried to explain that the state of Turkey, which is trying to confront the Islamic State by displaying erratic behavior, is moving toward disintegration with its support and concessions to the [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK,” the issue’s

Monday, July 20, 2015

At least 28 dead in suspected ISIL suicide bombing in Turkey's border with Syria

    Monday, July 20, 2015   No comments
Comment: ISIL's attack add pressure on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling party who supported armed groups like ISIL and Nusra in Syria and allowed fighters and weapons to flow into that country despite warnings that such policy will destabilize Turkey. Turkey must rethink its foreign policy in the region to stop further attacks.

An explosion on Monday outside a cultural center in the Turkish town of Suruç, which is near the country's border with Syria, killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 100, in what may have been a suicide bomb attack by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

The explosion occurred at around 11:50 a.m. in front of the Amara Culture Center while a large number of Socialist Youth Association (SGDF) members, who came from İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Diyarbakır, were making a press statement regarding the reconstruction of the Syrian border town of Kobani. Turkish media reports said 300 people from the SGDF were preparing to travel to Kobani to help with the rebuilding.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Al Qaeda Fights on Same Side as Saudi Arabia and UAE in Yemen in support of Hadi

    Saturday, July 18, 2015   No comments
Saudi Connections to al-Qaeda?
Special forces from United Arab Emirates said to have joined battle

Local militias backed by Saudi Arabia, special forces from the United Arab Emirates and al Qaeda militants all fought on the same side this week to wrest back control over most of Yemen’s second city, Aden, from pro-Iranian Houthi rebels, according to local residents and Houthi forces.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

WikiLeaks Cables Show a Saudi Obsession With Iran and interference in business of academic institutions around the world

    Thursday, July 16, 2015   No comments
Saudis wanted to fire university president
For decades, Saudi Arabia has poured billions of its oil dollars into sympathetic Islamic organizations around the world, quietly practicing checkbook diplomacy to advance its agenda.

But a trove of thousands of Saudi documents recently released by WikiLeaks reveals in surprising detail how the government’s goal in recent years was not just to spread its strict version of Sunni Islam — though that was a priority — but also to undermine its primary adversary: Shiite Iran.

The documents from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry illustrate a near obsession with Iran, with diplomats in Africa, Asia and Europe monitoring Iranian activities in minute detail and top government agencies plotting moves to limit the spread of Shiite Islam.


Israel Assassinated Senior Syrian Official

    Thursday, July 16, 2015   No comments
On Aug. 1, 2008, a small team of Israeli commandos entered the waters near Tartus, Syria, and shot and killed a Syrian general as he was holding a dinner party at his seaside weekend home. Muhammad Suleiman, a top aide to the Syrian president, was shot in the head and neck, and the Israeli military team escaped by sea.

While Israel has never spoken about its involvement, secret U.S. intelligence files confirm that Israeli special operations forces assassinated the general while he vacationed at his luxury villa on the Syrian coast.

The internal National Security Agency document, provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, is the first official confirmation that the assassination of Suleiman was an Israeli military operation, and ends speculation that an internal dispute within the Syrian government led to his death.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Presidential News Conference on Iran Nuclear Deal -- JCPOA

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015   No comments

President Obama held a news conference on the Iran nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- JCPOA). The deal limits the country’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in return for the lifting of international sanctions and an eventual lifting of the arms embargo. The president talked about why the deal is in the national security interest of the United States and addressed some of the criticisms of the agreement. He also answered

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015   No comments

Only hours after the conclusion of an agreement with Iran to lift oil and financial sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, President Obama is a man who evinces no second thoughts whatsoever about the deal he struck. In a 45-minute interview in the Cabinet Room, the president kept stressing one argument: Don’t judge me on whether this deal transforms Iran, ends Iran’s aggressive behavior toward some of its Arab neighbors or leads to détente between Shiites and Sunnis. Judge me on one thing: Does this deal prevent Iran from breaking out with a nuclear weapon for the next 10 years and is that a better outcome for

Monday, July 13, 2015

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed

    Monday, July 13, 2015   No comments

"The road to imperial glory is always paved by the blood, sweat, and skulls of the vulnerable and oppressed"

The past has a disconcerting habit of bursting, uninvited and unwelcome, into the present. This year history gate-crashed modern America in the form of a 150-year-old document: a few sheets of paper that compelled Hollywood actor Ben Affleck to issue a public apology and forced the highly regarded US public service broadcaster PBS to launch an internal investigation.

The document, which emerged during the production of Finding Your Roots, a celebrity genealogy show, is neither unique nor unusual. It is one of thousands that record the primal wound of the American republic – slavery. It lists the names of 24 slaves, men and women, who in 1858 were owned by Benjamin L Cole, Affleck’s great-great-great-grandfather. When this uncomfortable fact came to light, Affleck asked the show’s producers to conceal his family’s links to slavery. Internal emails discussing the programme were later published by WikiLeaks, forcing Affleck to admit in a Facebook post: “I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed.”

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saudi Arabia rejects UN declared cease-fire and continues bombing cities in Yemen, more civilians are killed

    Saturday, July 11, 2015   No comments
Saudi Arabia rejects UN declared cease-fire and continues bombing cities in Yemen, more civilians are killed

Saudi-led air strikes hit Yemen’s capital and another main city causing explosions, residents reported, two hours after a United Nations humanitarian truce took effect.

Bombing pounded Yemeni military positions east of the capital Sanaa and also Yemen’s third largest city Taiz.

The U.N.-brokered pause in the fighting was meant to last a week to allow aid deliveries to the country’s 21 million people who have endured over three months of bombing and civil war.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Relentless Terror: The Everyday Horrors of the Islamic State... and ... The Allure of the Islamic State: Money and Status Attract Fighters

    Monday, July 06, 2015   No comments
 Relentless Terror: The Everyday Horrors of the Islamic State
In late June, images made their way around the world of four men as they were locked in a car and killed with a rocket-propelled grenade. They showed seven men, chained together with explosive necklaces, as they were blown up. And they provided evidence that five men had been locked in a metal cage and lowered into the water to drown. As we learned last week, 16 men in total were murdered in these brutal ways. We know this because the executioners with the group calling itself "Islamic State" wanted to film their victims as they were dying.

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