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Tag Archives: The Levant News Site

Egypt forces kill top jihadist in Sinai

THE LEVANT – Egyptian soldiers killed Friday a top member of the jihadist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis who was involved in a deadly attack on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said. Shahtah Farhan al-Maatqa was killed in a raid in the town of Rafah on the border …

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Egypt to host donor conference for war-hit Gaza

THE LEVANT – Envoys from dozens of countries will gather Sunday for a conference that aims to raise billions of dollars to rebuild conflict-battered Gaza, despite fears of renewed violence and “donor fatigue”. The United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency has described the financial needs as “unprecedented” ahead of the Cairo …

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We must negotiate with IS, says father of slain US reporter

THE LEVANT – The father of James Foley, the US reporter beheaded at the hands of Islamic State militants in August, said Friday he believed governments would have to negotiate with the extremists “eventually”. The father of James Foley, the US reporter beheaded at the hands of Islamic State militants …

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What Makes Islamic State So Formidable?

THE LEVANT  – By Charles Recknagel –  From the use of suicide car bombs against enemy front lines to slaughtering prisoners of war to frighten opponents, Islamic State militants have proven brutally effective on the battlefield. Here are five things that make the group a formidable force. Suicide Bombers Many …

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Crusaders and Zionists

THE LEVANT – By Uri Avnery – Lately, the words “Crusaders” and “Zionists” have been appearing more and more often as twins. In a documentary about the ISIS I just saw, they appeared together in almost every sentence uttered by the Islamist fighters, including teenagers. Some sixty years ago I …

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Priest is freed from Al Nusra Front

THE LEVANT – A priest kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in northwestern Syria was released on Thursday, the Franciscan Order said, days after his abduction alongside 20 other Christians. “Father Hanna Jallouf has been released this morning… he is under house arrest at the convent of Qunyeh,” the order said in …

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Nabeel Rajab is back behind bars – Bahrain

THE LEVANT – Leading rights activist Nabeel Rajab is to remain in custody and go on trial from October 19 on charges of posting tweets deemed insulting to authorities, prosecutors said Thursday. A general prosecutor, Hussein al-Buali, said Rajab was charged with “publicly insulting government institutions,” after the defence and …

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Libya PM says Egypt will help train army

THE LEVANT – Libya’s embattled prime minister, Abdullah al-Thani, said on Wednesday Egypt would help to train his army and called on compatriots to fight Islamist led-militias that have overrun the capital. Thani and the majority of an internationally recognised parliament elected in June are in virtual domestic exile in …

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US pressing Turkey to join anti-IS coalition

THE LEVANT – The United States is pushing Turkey to join the fight against Islamic militants, amid frustration and wariness in both governments heightened by Ankara’s unease at helping besieged Kurdish communities. Retired US general John Allen, and the US pointman on Iraq, Brett McGurk, will Thursday begin two days …

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Ancient prophecies of apocalypse rally IS jihadists

THE LEVANT – An infidel horde flying 80 banners meets a Muslim army at the Syrian town of Dabiq in an apocalyptic battle. The Muslims are decimated but ultimately prevail, ushering in the end of days. This ancient Sunni Muslim prophecy — mentioned in canonical accounts of the Prophet Mohammed’s …

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When America’s moderates act radical

THE LEVANT – Yesterday, an Antiochian Orthodox priest was kidnapped by Jabhat Al-Nusra from his monastery outside of the west Idlib city of Jisr Al-Shughour. Sources in the area confirmed the kidnapping of Father Hanna Moussa of Qanaya from the St. Joseph Monastery by members of the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist …

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When Israeli denial of Palestinian existence becomes genocidal

THE LEVANT –  By Ilan Pappe for Electronic Intifada – In a regal interview he gave the Israeli press on the eve of the state’s ” Independence Day,” Shimon Peres, the current president of Israel, said the following: “I remember how it all began. The whole state of Israel is …

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ISIS in Kobani – Islamic state or empire?

THE LEVANT – By Patrick Cockburn – Isis is close to capturing the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, just a short distance from the Turkish border, after a three-week siege in which US air strikes turned out to be ineffective in preventing Isis winning an important victory. With Isis fighters …

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Assad’s troops seize strategic area outside Damascus

THE LEVANT -Syrian government forces on Monday seized control of a strategic area outside Damascus used by rebels to fire mortar shells at the capital, state media and a monitor said. State television broadcast live images from Dakhaniyeh, southeast of Damascus, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that …

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Iraqi Yazidi woman awarded Anna Politkovskaya prize

THE LEVANT – Iraqi legislator Vian Dakhil on Monday received the Anna Politkovskaya prize for her denunciation of the jihadist group Islamic State over its brutal treatment of Yazidi women. The award – handed out by London-based organisation RAW in WAR to honour women working to help those trapped in …

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Twin blasts kill 30 Kurdish fighters in Syria: monitor

THE LEVANT – Twin truck bombings by jihadists killed at least 30 Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters and security officers on Monday in Syria’s northeastern town of Hasakeh, a monitoring group said. “At least 30 members of the YPG and asayesh were killed when two Islamic State suicide bombers …

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Hamas poised to develop weapons of resistance: Haniyeh

THE LEVANT – A senior Hamas leader says the Palestinian resistance movement is set to continue building and developing the weapons of “resistance” until the liberation of Israeli-occupied Palestinian lands. In a Saturday sermon on the occasion of Eid al-Adha in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh said Hamas “would continue to …

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After the Gaza slaughter

THE LEVANT – By Shahar Benhorin, Socialist Struggle Movement – In a period of 50 days, the nearly two million residents of the devastated Gaza Strip were bombarded day and night from the air, sea and land, by an estimated 20,000 tons of explosives – the equivalent of the atomic bomb dropped …

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Heavy toll in Iraq’s “forgotten” Anbar

THE LEVANT – Nine months of shelling, airstrikes and street battles have taken a heavy toll on Iraq’s “forgotten” province of Anbar, the first to be overrun by militants from the group now calling itself the Islamic State (IS). The cities of Ramadi and Fallujah have been reduced to bombed-out wrecks: hospitals, homes, …

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“My Syrian brother, you are welcome in Lebanon”: Activists meet discrimination against refugees with solidarity

THE LEVANT – Insults, attacks and curfews have become commonplace experiences for some Syrian war refugees in Lebanon, with rights watchdogs saying the community faces growing discrimination. In many parts of the country, it is no longer unusual to see posters prohibiting “foreigners” – understood to mean Syrians – from …

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2 million Muslims stone the devil during hajj

THE LEVANT – Two million Muslims ritually stoned the devil Saturday in the last major ritual of this year’s hajj in Saudi Arabia, while fellow believers around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice. Two million Muslims ritually stoned the devil Saturday in the last major rite of …

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