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Tag Archives: The Levant

Houthi leader calls for civil disobedience

THE LEVANT – Defying calls by the U.N. Security Council to end hostilities against the Yemeni government, a Houthi tribal leader on Sunday urged supporters to wage a campaign of civil disobedience until their demands are met. The Houthis have massed tens of thousands of supporters on the outskirts of …

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Iraq will be ISIL’s grave says former PM Al Maliki

THE LEVANT – Iraq’s outgoing prime minster pledged Monday to turn his country into “a big grave” for Sunni militants from the Islamic State group and commended security forces who achieved a rare victory over insurgents by ending the siege of a Shiite town. Nouri al-Maliki made the comments during …

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5 Lebanese troops are freed

THE LEVANT – An al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebel group has released five members of the Lebanese security forces captured earlier this month in a cross-border raid, Lebanon’s military said Sunday. The men were taken hostage when militants from Syria took over the Lebanese border town of Arsal for five days before withdrawing …

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Yemen President wants to negotiate with Al Qaeda

THE LEVANT –  Yemen’s President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi said on Saturday that his government was ready to negotiate with Al-Qaeda, provided that the militant organization gets foreign nationals fighting within its ranks outside Yemen. “We are ready to negotiate with Al-Qaeda in case it gets foreign nationals fighting within …

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Mass grave in Israel – Truth Out!

THE LEVANT – It has been revealed that the remains of dozens of Palestinians killed during the Israeli-Arab in 1948 were found in six mass graves in the Jaffa district of Tel Aviv on Wednesday. The graves were found when ground subsided as builders carried out renovation work in the area, …

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Bahrain’s Freedom Fighters

THE LEVANT – As she rushed to her father’ side as he’s been taken ill, Maryam Al Khawaja, daughter of prominent rights activist and main figure of the opposition in Bahrain – Abdel Hadi Al Khawaja, was once again confronted with the reality of state-run oppression. A pariah in her …

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Rebuilding Gaza

THE LEVANT – An international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years under current levels of restrictions to rebuild the Gaza Strip’s battered and neglected housing stock following the war between Hamas and Israel. Most of the new building would be to make up for the …

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Rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

THE LEVANT – Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict. Other U.N. peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment that …

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Friends of Israel … no more

THE LEVANT –  By Connie Bruck – The lobbying group AIPAC has consistently fought the Obama Administration on policy. Is it now losing influence? For AIPAC, it is crucial to appeal across the political spectrum. But Israel has become an increasingly divisive issue with the public. CREDIT Illustration by Matt Dorfman   On July 23rd, officials of …

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Maryam Al Khawaja is denied entry to Bahrain

THE LEVANT – Leading Maryam Al-Khawaja, a Bahraini citizen and the Co-Director of the Gulf Center For Human Rights, was denied entry to her country today [August 30, 2014]. According to the organisation, she was planning to visit her father, prominent human rights activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is in prison and on his …

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Lebanese soldier is beheaded by ISIL

THE LEVANT – Protesters blocked several roads Thursday in the Akkar town of Halba over unconfirmed reports that the ruthless Islamic State jihadist group has beheaded a captive Lebanese soldier called Ali al-Sayyed. Earlier, an alleged IS militant calling himself Abu Musaab Hafid al-Baghdadi posted pictures on his Twitter account that …

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29 ISIL gunmen killed in Diyala

THE LEVANT – Twenty-nine “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) gunmen have been killed in on-going battles with the Iraqi army to retake villages and towns on the border with Amerli, Diyala province, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence said Friday. “Since Thursday, the army has killed 29 ISIL …

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Bahrain activist in a coma

THE LEVANT – Less than a week in to his new hunger strike, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has reportedly fallen into a coma. The family plans to appeal to Denmark for help. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the jailed Danish-Bahraini activist who began a new hunger strike on Monday, is in a coma according to …

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Gaza War in numbers

THE LEVANT – A seven-week war between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip has ended with an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire. Here is a look at the results of the war, the terms of the cease-fire and unresolved issues that are to be tackled in a future round of indirect negotiations …

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Abbas slams Hamas over Gaza war

THE LEVANT – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of needlessly extending fighting in the Gaza Strip, causing a high death toll. Abbas told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday that “it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (damaged or destroyed).” …

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US delivers military aid to Lebanon

THE LEVANT –  The United States has delivered its first emergency shipment of weapons to Lebanon, officials said Friday, to help bolster military forces as part of a broader regional response to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic extremists. The delivery is in response to a request by the …

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Lessons to be learned from the MERS outbreak

THE LEVANT – Only a few months ago, the threat from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in large parts of the Gulf region appeared to be growing. Dozens of new cases were being reported every month and a key panel set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) advised that the “situation had …

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Yemen fuel subsidy cuts hit poor hardest

THE LEVANT – A sharp increase in fuel prices threatens to plunge hundreds of thousands of Yemenis into poverty and food insecurity in the Arab world’s poorest country – particularly if regular welfare payments to Yemen’s poorest people continue to be dispersed erratically, aid organizations have warned. The government’s decision to …

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ISIL beheads Kurdish fighter

THE LEVANT – The jihadist Islamic State group has posted video of the execution of a captured Kurdish fighter, in a warning to Iraqi Kurdish leaders to end military cooperation with Washington, a monitoring group said. The United States has carried out a wave of air strikes against the jihadists …

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Syrian refugee crisis reaches all-time high

THE LEVANT – The number of refugees from the conflict in Syria now tops three million, the United Nations said Friday, as US President Barack Obama admitted he still has no strategy to tackle advancing jihadists. UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres said Syria had become the “biggest humanitarian emergency …

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Lebanon issues warrants for two Syrians on terror charges in Arsal attack

THE LEVANT –  A Lebanese judge Thursday issued arrest warrants for two Syrian nationals, including the alleged ISIS commander whose apprehension by the Lebanese Army ignited gun-battles in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal earlier in August. Military Investigative Judge Imad Zein issued arrest warrants for Imad Ahmad Jomaa, accused of being ISIS commander in Syria’s Qalamoun region, and Ahmad …

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Breaking News – Lebanon goes to war

THE LEVANT –  Education Minister Elias Bou Saab said Thursday Lebanon was in a state of war with thousands of militants who have infiltrated the country’s border with Syria. “The situation in Arsal is the most dangerous case and the gunmen, estimated in their thousands, have crossed the border into [Lebanon]. They are well trained and well-armed,” …

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Breaking News – Heavy clashes in Golan Heights – video

THE LEVANT – Syrian activists say government warplanes are targeting rebels near the country’s frontier with Israel in the Golan Heights, a day after opposition fighters captured a crossing point there. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian airstrikes struck several areas near the border in Quneitra province, …

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The Islamic State in Syria

THE LEVANT –  By Zeina Karam – As the U.S. strikes Islamic State targets in Iraq, extremists belonging to the same militant group across the border in Syria are capturing new territory and becoming bolder by the day. There, in its power base, the Islamic State group controls thousands of square …

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President Hadi warns the Houthis – video –

THE LEVANT – Yemen’s president Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi  has warned the Houthis, a faction organized under the leadership of Abdel-Malek Al Houthi leading mass protests in the country’s capital that the United States and other world powers oppose the “rebellion.” President  Hadi’s remarks Wednesday, carried by Yemen’s official SABA news agency, …

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We will do what we want in Syria

THE LEVANT – The U.S. State Department’s Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, affirmed that the United States will under no circumstances seek approval from the Syrian Government to conduct airstrikes in Syria.’ “We’re not going to ask for permission from the Syrian regime.”  – Jen Psaki Psaki’s comments come one day after the …

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Syria’s Christians stand in the line of fire

THE LEVANT – Jabhat Al-Nusra has began their siege of the Christian village of Mhardeh, two days after their capture of Halfaya in the Hama Governate. Mhardeh is an imperative city that is the gateway to the provincial capital of Hama from the north. The summer offensive for Jabhat Al-Nusra began …

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United States to send more aid to Iraq

THE LEVANT – The Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants, U.S. defense officials said Wednesday. The mission, if it went forward, would be the second recent U.S. military humanitarian intervention …

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War Crimes – The Islamic State commits atrocities in Syria

THE LEVANT – Islamic State (IS) militants have committed “mass atrocities” in Syria, including the recruitment of children as fighters, the United Nations says. In a report, investigators say public executions are a “common spectacle” in areas run by IS, which recently joined fighting against Syria’s government. The report also accuses …

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UN worries over Syria

THE LEVANT – The Syrian government has likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians while the Islamic State group has committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians in two provinces in the country, an independent U.N. commission said Wednesday. The report from the commission, which has been tasked to investigate …

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