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UN threatens sanctions after Libya talks

THE LEVANT – The UN Security Council on Thursday threatened sanctions against those who reject peace in Libya in a bid to shore up UN-brokered talks on ending the violence. UN special envoy Bernardino Leon held a first round of talks with rival politicians on September 29 that the council …

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Iran warns Turkey against aggravating regional tensions

THE LEVANT – Iran warned neighbouring Turkey Thursday against doing anything that might aggravate tensions in the region, after the parliament in Ankara voted to authorise military intervention in Syria and Iraq. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke by telephone with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and “criticised the method …

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Turkish MPs to Vote on Military Action Against ISIS

THE LEVANT – Turkey has deployed tanks and armored vehicles to reinforce its border with Syria as the Turkish parliament prepares to authorize military action against Islamic State (IS) jihadists. But analysts warn these moves are being met with resistance as questions remain over what form military action would take. …

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Mossad recruits online

THE LEVANT  – By Aaron Heller – It used to be that if you wanted to join one of the world’s most secretive espionage organizations you had to sneak into a foreign embassy, answer a cryptic newspaper ad or show up in a nondescript building in Tel Aviv to meet …

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Iran to help Lebanon fight extremism

THE LEVANT – Iran will supply the Lebanese army with military equipment to be used in fighting Muslim extremist groups, a visiting senior Iranian official said on Tuesday. The announcement marks the first time that Iran has said it would give Lebanon military assistance. Tehran has offered help in the …

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#IamTawfik: Grieving Civil Society Initiates Campaign

THE LEVANT – By Ayat Mneina – Grieving friends and admirers of Tawfik Bensaud and Sami El-Kawafi have started a social media campaign in their names less than a week after their assassinations.  This is the first time the vicious operation against Benghazi and Derna-which has previously targeted Libyan military figures, judges, …

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At UN, Syria closes the door on peace talks

THE LEVANT – Syria will not begin talks to end the three-and-a-half-year war while Islamist militants are rampaging through the country, the foreign minister told the United Nations on Monday. “We cannot start any political solution while terrorism is still rampant in Syria,” Foreign Minister Walid Mualem told the UN …

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Egypt court jails 68 pro-Morsi protesters

THE LEVANT  – An Egyptian court sentenced 68 people to up to 15 years in prison Tuesday over protest clashes, in the latest mass sentencing of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. They were accused of taking part in street violence in October 2013 in which more than 50 …

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British warplanes take off for Iraq

THE LEVANT – British warplanes flew their first mission over Iraq since parliament authorised strikes against Islamic State jihadists, but returned without bombing on Saturday, the Ministry of Defence in London said. Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 combat jets returned to Britain’s RAF Akrotiri base on Cyprus without dropping any …

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Yemen Al-Qaeda claims rocket attack near US embassy

THE LEVANT – Yemen’s Al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for a rocket that hit near the US embassy in Sanaa Saturday, shortly after the mission said it was unlikely the target. “Ansar al-Sharia have targeted the US embassy in Sanaa with a (shoulder-launched) LAW rocket,” the jihadist group posted on …

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Yemen cuts fuel prices under deal between Houthis, state

THE LEVANT – The Yemeni government has reduced fuel prices by around 15 percent following a deal with the Ansarullah revolutionaries. The country’s state oil company made the announcement on Wednesday, cutting back a price rise introduced back in July that triggered nationwide protests. The company said the price of petrol …

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UAE economy report

THE LEVANT – The Corporate Perception Indicator: A Global Survey from Main Street to the Executive Suite polled 25,000 individuals from the general population and 1,800 business leaders in 25 countries, including the UAE, on their opinions about the role of corporations in society and the economy. International polling firm …

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Yemen: Provide Whereabouts of ‘Disappeared’ Activist

THE LEVANT –  Yemeni authorities should urgently provide information on the whereabouts of a forcibly disappeared southern movement activist, Human Rights Watch said today, following a letter to the interior minister on September 17, 2014, which received no response. The authorities should provide Khaled al-Junaidi, 42, immediate access to his …

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Jordan Arrests IS Affiliates Preparing Terrorist Attack In Kingdom

THE LEVANT – Jordanian security authorities arrested several militants associated with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Sunday. The detainees confessed to having connections with the group’s commanders in Syria, and said they were entrusted with carrying out terrorist operations in Jordan targeting …

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El Sissi’s interview

THE LEVANT – Following is a transcript of The Associated Press’s interview with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Q: What role will Egypt assume in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group? A: Let me assert here that we are fully committed to cooperate in counterterrorism in the region and …

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Iran welcomes ‘political reconciliation’ in Yemen

THE LEVANT – A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic welcomes any political reconciliation that would end the ongoing deadlock in Yemen. “The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes any political reconciliation in Yemen, which would guarantee the rights of people and all domestic parties in this country,” Iranian Deputy Foreign …

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Several jihadist suspects held in Kuwait

THE LEVANT – Kuwait has arrested several suspected members of the Islamic State group and is monitoring dozens more under its commitment to the US-led international coalition against the jihadists, media reported Thursday. The Gulf state’s secret service has arrested at least five suspected members of IS which has seized …

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Lebanon – Who killed Sergeant Ali Al Sayed?

THE LEVANT – The identity of the man who beheaded Lebanese Army officer, Sgt. ‘Ali Al-Sayed, has been revealed by the Lebanese Government. According to sources in Lebanon: Jabhat Al-Nusra member, ‘Umar Al-Makati of the ‘Akkar District in the Lebanese province of Tripoli, was the man identified as Sgt. Al-Sayed’s …

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