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Egypt hunts down the Brotherhood

THE LEVANT – Over the past eight months, the Egyptian government has sequestered 342 companies, 1107 charitable associations and 174 schools owned by Muslim Brotherhood figures, along with the finances of 1441 group leaders, a legal source from the movement said Monday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source told The …

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Breaking Palestine one house at a time

THE LEVANT – The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished on Monday a two-storey building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur/ Mount of Olives, leaving a family of 17 homeless, according to media sources. WAFA correspondent in Jerusalem said Israeli Police demolished a house belonging to a local Palestinian …

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Syrian army hits ISIL hard in Raqqa

THE LEVANT – Syrian government forces struck ISIL positions in and around the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, residents said on Monday, part of a growing campaign against militants who control a third of the country. Raqqa is a major stronghold of  ISIL, which took one of the Syrian army’s last …

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Kuwait briefly detains cleric US accuses of militant financing

THE LEVANT – Kuwait briefly detained a prominent preacher less than two weeks after the United States included him on a sanctions list on suspicion he was funnelling money to militants in Iraq and Syria, his lawyer said on Monday. Shafi al-Ajmi, who was detained on Sunday on the border with Saudi Arabia while returning home from a pilgrimage, was …

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Turkey trades northern Iraq’s oil

THE LEVANT – A seventh tanker filled with northern Iraqi oil has departed from the southeastern Turkish port of Ceyhan, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz announced on Monday. This brings the number of barrels of oil transferred via pipelines from Iraq to Turkey to 7.8 million. Relations between Irbil and Baghdad …

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Iraq’ second Sunni insurgency

THE LEVANT –  By Kirk H. Sowell – The state of Iraq in 2014 represents a dramatic reversal when compared with four years earlier. National elections in March 2010 took place during a period when the Sunni insurgency, having reached its peak in 2006, was at a low ebb, and …

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Iraq war – Mosul Dam is back under state control

THE LEVANT – Iraqi officials said on Monday that Kurdish and Iraqi forces had succeeded in retaking Mosul Dam from fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, although it was unclear whether they had seized control of the entire dam and the surrounding complex. Iraqi state television quoted …

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WFP to aid Yemen destitutes

THE LEVANT – The World Food Program – WFP – announced on Sunday working to provide aid to six million impoverished Yemenis over the next two years. “We want to help [Yemeni] people help themselves,” Bishow Parajuli, WFP project director, said in a statement. He added that the WFP’s upcoming project …

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Saudi Prince is attacked in Paris

THE LEVANT – Kalashnikov-wielding robbers have attacked the motorcade of a Saudi prince in Paris, making off with 250,000 euros ($335,000) in cash and reportedly stealing “sensitive” documents, French police said Monday. The theft took place in northern Paris as the motorcade was making its way from the Saudi embassy …

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Japanese national remains in the hands of ISIL

THE LEVANT  – Japan’s government said Monday it was investigating a video posted online that appears to show a kidnapped Japanese man being roughly interrogated by Syrian militants. The video, which surfaced over the weekend, shows a man who identified himself as Haruna Yukawa lying on the ground with blood …

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Earthquake in Iran claims lives

THE LEVANT – A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the province of Ilam in western Iran on Monday, causing injuries and damage, Iranian state television said, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities. The US Geological Survey reported the magnitude of the quake at 6.3 and said its epicentre …

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Trauma Kits and Body Bags Now Fill Aleppo School

THE LEVANT – By Shelly Kittleson – Volunteer civil defense units operating here in Syria’s largest city careen through crater-pocked routes of precariously hanging, pancaked concrete where barrel bombs have struck. Greyish dust blankets the dead, the alive and the twisted steel jutting out.  The panicked confusion immortalised in innumerable …

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Israel accused of mass executions in Gaza

THE LEVANT – Three weeks on, Rami Qaddih can still easily recall Israeli troops’ “war crimes” of mass-executing Palestinians outside their homes in his battered Khuza’a town in the Gaza Strip. “I saw with my own eyes Israeli troops shoot displaced residents who had been trying to flee the town under …

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Jordan says it will not ban the Muslim Brotherhood

THE LEVANT – Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has denied reports about planning to ban the Muslim Brotherhood in the Hashemite kingdom. “There is no plan to disband or ban the Muslim Brotherhood,” Ensour told a press conference on Saturday. “We guarantee the right of the Brotherhood to operate legally …

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Yemen peace committee negotiates with the Houthis

THE LEVANT  -A committee appointed by Yemen’s presidency to mediate a ceasefire in the northern Al-Jawf province between the army and allied tribes on one hand and Zaidi Houthi militants (branch of Shia Islam) on the other was reassigned to try to restore calm in the volatile province, a tribal …

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Egypt’s Brotherhood refutes violence claims in statement

THE LEVANT – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has refuted accusations by Egyptian security authorities of forming “cells” to sabotage power facilities across the country. “We have nothing to do with the allegations made by police and army spokespersons and their allied media figures,” the Brotherhood said in a statement on Sunday. The …

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ISIL the butcher of Syria

THE LEVANT – Those executed are all members of Al-Sheitaat tribe, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director says. ‘Some were arrested, judged and killed.’ The Islamic State militant group has executed 700 members of a tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria during the past two weeks, the majority of …

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Israelis demonstrate for peace

THE LEVANT – Thousands of Israeli supporters of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority to end the Gaza conflict demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday. The pro-peace protest was the largest in Israel since it launched operation Protective Edge on July 8, an offensive that has seen at least 1,980 …

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No water in Gaza makes life unbearable

THE LEVANT – Feriel al-Zaaneen hasn’t had a shower in more than a month. Like thousands of Palestinians, she doesn’t have enough water to wash, adding to the miseries of life in war-battered Gaza. In searing summer heat, where temperatures can reach 34 degrees Celsius, (93 Fahrenheit), Feriel is one …

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Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah Speech Commemorating al-Quds day

THE LEVANT – Speech full transcript In His Name I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be upon the Seal of Prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad, on his chaste and pure Household, on …

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Hassan Nasrallah – Hezbollah will claim victory over chaos

THE LEVANT – [embedplusvideo height=”450″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1v4OEsG” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/o1MLnCRiKoo?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=o1MLnCRiKoo&width=450&height=450&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5369″ /]   Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stated on Friday that Lebanon is facing an existential threat by ISIL and the countries backing it, yet stressed that this threat can be confronted and defeated with deed. In a televised …

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Israel has fired 2.5 millions bullets at Gaza

THE LEVANT – At least 2.5 million bullets and tens of thousands of projectiles were used by the Israeli occupation army during its military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip, an Israeli army official said on Thursday evening. The Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth quoted the anonymous army official as saying that …

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President Gül bows out under pressure

THE LEVANT – Faced with a smear campaign aimed at discrediting him, outgoing President Abdullah Gül has bowed to the pressure from circles close to President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and has withdrawn invitations to an upcoming reception that were extended to independent journalists who are critical of the government. Gül’s …

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Erdogan to pick successor next week

THE LEVANT  – Turkey‘s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will pick a new party chief next week, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, according to local media reports Friday. The party chief is widely expected to take over as prime minister from Erdogan, who won presidential elections this week …

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UN Security Council moves against ISIL

THE LEVANT – The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists in Iraq and Syria by cutting off funding and the flow of foreign fighters. The measure represents the most wide-ranging response yet by the top United Nations body to the jihadists in Iraq …

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Journalists under fire in Yemen

THE LEVANT – Militias and security forces targeting news providers as security crisis intensifies. Reporters Without Borders is gravely concerned about the security situation in Yemen, in which journalists are easy prey for both sides in the armed rebellion under way in the country’s northwest. A national dialogue, concluded in January …

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George Galloway on ISIS and Gaza

THE LEVANT –  George Galloway, Head of the British party Respect.   [embedplusvideo height=”450″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1AjU8To” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/YIU4aZ7uBtc?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=YIU4aZ7uBtc&width=450&height=450&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep4216″ /]

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Can Israel-Gaza truce hold?

THE LEVANT – A fragile ceasefire around Gaza held for a second day Friday as Israel’s relations with its US ally showed new signs of strain with tough talks looming on a more lasting peace. Washington denied a report that the White House was tightening the reins on the routine …

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UNSC goes to vote on Islamic terrorism

THE LEVANT – The UN Security Council is set to vote on Friday on a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists in Iraq and Syria by choking off funding and the flow of foreign fighters. The measure proposed by Britain would be the council’s toughest response yet to the jihadists who …

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Jordan bank goes on trial for “financing terrorists”

THE LEVANT – Jordan’s Arab Bank went on trial Thursday in New York accused of aiding terror by transferring support funds to the families of Palestinians who died in the conflict with Israel. The families of several Americans killed in early 2000s attacks by the Islamic movement Hamas said the …

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Al Maliki welcomes new Prime Minister

THE LEVANT – Iraqis and foreign brokers breathed a sigh of relief Friday after Nuri al-Maliki dropped his bid for a third term as prime minister, a move seen as vital to tackling a spiralling military and humanitarian crisis. A day after Washington claimed its air strikes averted genocide in …

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Nasrallah: Battles would have reached Beirut if Hezbollah had not intervened in Syria

THE LEVANT – Al-Akhbar conducted an exclusive six-hour-long interview with Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. In a multi-part series published over the last two days, journalists Ibrahim al-Amin, Wafic Qanso, Hassan Ileik and Maha Zureikat sat down with the party’s leader, where he discussed in detail issues ranging from Syria, ISIS, the …

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