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Tag Archives: The Levant

Gaza evaluates as truce holds

THE LEVANT – An open-ended cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was holding Wednesday, as many people on both sides of the conflict wondered what was gained during 50 days of fighting. The Gaza war – the third round of fighting since the Islamic militant group Hamas …

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Ceasefire reached in Gaza

THE LEVANT – Palestinian and Israeli authorities have reportedly reached an agreement on a permanent ceasefire for the besieged Gaza Strip after more than a month of Israeli terror campaign on the coastal territory. According to Palestinian sources, the Palestinians and the Israelis agreed to a permanent ceasefire on Tuesday. “The …

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Islamic State starves the disabled

THE LEVANT –  By Leith Fadel – Da’oud and Sa’ad Georges  – a disabled father and son – were found dead outside of the city of Bashiqa in the Mosul District. The two men were kidnapped by Islamic State militants , who proceeded to starve the Georges men; ultimately, leading to …

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Hunger strike campaign spreads in Egypt

THE LEVANT – Prominent Egyptian activist imprisoned for three months has joined a growing number of prisoners in an ongoing hunger strike to protest the government’s crackdown on dissent, a Cairo-based rights group and her lawyer said Monday. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said at least a dozen …

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Campaign is launched in Bahrain to free blind detainee

THE LEVANT – Nine Bahraini human rights organizations, along with human rights activists in Bahrain, have launched a campaign for the release of the blind Bahraini detainee Jafar Matooq, who is in urgent need of medical treatment. This campaign was launched as a result of the deteriorating situation in general, found …

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Syria retaliates against Israel?

THE LEVANT – “At least five rockets fired from Syria hit different locations across the Golan Heights,” the Israeli army said in a statement on Sunday. An army spokeswoman told AFP that it was not known who launched the rockets and the Israeli military did not return fire. She said there …

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Qatar denies fundind IS

THE LEVANT – The Gulf nation of Qatar is hitting back at suggestions that it supports the Islamic State extremist group, saying that “determined, collective action” is needed to end sectarian violence gripping Iraq and Syria. The energy-rich OPEC member has come under renewed scrutiny over its ties to militants, including …

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IS expansion: Continuous Risks

The Levant Exclusive – By Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh*     Regional developments have created the pressure towards a solution to the ongoing security crisis created by the Islamic State in Iraq. While there are various aspects and pressure points, the challenges facing those countries bordering Iraq are still increasing. …

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Fighting rages on at Syrian airbase – video

THE LEVANT – Fighters from the Islamic State group have taken over an air base in northeast Syria, capturing it from government forces after fighting that cost more than 500 lives, a monitoring group and state media have said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a London-based monitoring group, said at least 346 Islamic State …

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Houthi demonstration in Sana’a

THE LEVANT – The Houthis of Yemen have vowed to force all Islamists out of government. While the group’s most fervent detractors insist the Houthis represent a threat to national security, militants and supporters of Abdel-Malel Al Houthi have warned no amount of propaganda or intimidation will make them abandon …

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Again and again Israel strikes Gaza

THE LEVANT – A new round of Israeli airstrikes and tank fire pounded Gaza on Monday as officials in the coastal strip said two more Palestinian civilians died from the violence. There has so far been no end in sight for the war, which has already killed more than 2,100 Palestinians …

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West poised to join Syria against Islamists

THE LEVANT –  By Patrick Cockburn – Islamist forces are fighting their way into western Syria from bases further east, bringing forward the prospect of US military intervention to stop their advance. If Isis, which styles itself Islamic State, threatens to take all or part of Aleppo, establishing complete dominance over …

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Syrian airbase falls to Islamic State

THE LEVANT – Islamic State fighters captured a major military air base in northeastern Syria on Sunday, eliminating the last government-held outpost in a province dominated by the extremist group, activists and state media said. The jihadis launched their long-anticipated offensive last week to seize the sprawling Tabqa air field, located …

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ISLAMIC AUTHORITY: EXTREMISTS NO ‘ISLAMIC STATE’

THE LEVANT – The top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched an Internet-based campaign Sunday challenging an extremist group in Syria and Iraq by saying it should not be called an “Islamic State.” The campaign by the Dar el-Ifta, the top authority that advises Muslims on spiritual …

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Iran downs Israeli drone near nuclear site

THE LEVANT – Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said Sunday its forces shot down an Israeli drone as it approached an Iranian nuclear site, without offering further details. Israeli officials could not be immediately reached for comment. The statement comes as Iran negotiates with world powers over its nuclear program and hard-liners …

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Tensions rise in the Yemeni capital

THE LEVANT – A presidential negotiating team Sunday, August 24, abandoned talks with the Houthis, accusing them of seeking to ignite a war, as the tension-filled Yemeni capital braced for rival protests. President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s envoys had held talks with rebel commander Abdel-Malek al-Houthi since Thursday, August 21, …

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Gaza sky-scraper bites the dust

THE LEVANT – Two multi-storey buildings in Gaza have been completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes in less than 24 hours, possibly signalling a new tactic in Israel’s military campaign. A 12-storey apartment building in Gaza City was brought down on Saturday evening and a seven-floor office building in Rafah …

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Al Qaeda Yemen gets behind ISIL

THE LEVANT – The most terrifying and brutal branch of Al Qaeda, the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), vows its solidarity with the ISIS against the American and Iranian conspiracy and their agents of the apostate Gulf rulers. The solidarity was announced after U.S. launched air strikes in Iraq against the …

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The UN Strikes Back at ISIL’s Black Economy

THE LEVANT – By Luay Al Khatheeb – The United Nation Security Council dramatically escalated the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Al Nusra Front (JNF) and other Al Qaeda splinter groups by passing UN Resolution 2170 in August 2014, thereby expanding the range of retaliatory measures (short …

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Al Abadi turns down Al Maliki’s advice

THE LEVANT  – Prime Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi rejected a call made by his predecessor Nuri Al-Maliki not to entertain “preconditions” from Iraq’s Sunnis, stressing that he is committed to forming a national unity government that includes all Iraqi political and sectarian factions. In a statement on Thursday, Abadi said: “I am …

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Hamas is not backing down

THE LEVANT – Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday said that the Palestinians would not accept anything less than an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, as Israeli forces continued to attack the besieged enclave. Haniyeh accused Israel of using negotiations as a cover for their crimes and said it …

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Abbas pushes for truce in Gaza in Egypt

THE LEVANT – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Islamic Jihad leaders including deputy secretary general Ziyad al-Nakhala and Khalid al-Batsh in Cairo on Friday evening, after arriving from Qatar earlier in the afternoon.The Islamic Jihad media office said the meeting aimed to discuss ceasefire initiatives that adhere to Palestinian demands. Abbas …

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Hamas compares Israel with ISIL

THE LEVANT  – Izzat Al-Risheq, member of the Hamas political bureau, issued the following statement: The attempt by Netanyahu and his spokesman Ofir Gendelman to link Hamas and compare us with other groups is a deception and disinformation campaign that will not fool anyone. We strongly condemn and reject how Netanyahu, Gendelman …

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Benomar issues communique on Yemen situation

THE LEVANT –  The following is a copy of a communique issued by Jamal Benomar, UN Special Adviser to Yemen. Statement from the Office of the Special Adviser on ‪Yemen The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Yemen,‪ Jamal_Benomar‬, is doing his utmost to help address the roots of the current …

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Yemen’s waiting game

THE LEVANT – Thousands of supporters of Yemen’s powerful Shiite rebel group escalated their standoff with the government on Friday, setting up tents near three ministries to press for the replacement of a prime minister they depict as “manipulated” by their rival Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. In their fifth …

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