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Middle East – Africa - page 3

24 killed in Turkish airstrikes against ISIS stronghold

Eleven minors including small children were among the 24 civilians killed in new Turkish airstrikes against al Bab, the national observatory for human rights in Syria (Ondus) said Thursday. Eight women were also reportedly among the dead. Ondus said 89 civilians including 27 minors and 16 women have died in Turkish air strikes against the last remaining ISIS stronghold in northwest Syria in the last 10 days.

Egypt-allied Haftar met Al-Sarraj in Cairo, as part of initiatives aimed at resolving Libya's crisis

A military leadership will never take hold of Libya” Belhaj told Middle East Eye. “Haftar has no chance at ruling this country at all and the coming days will attest to this”.Belhaj, who heads the al-Watan Party, is based in Tripoli where the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) has held power since December 2015. But the GNA’s authority faces huge challenges. Egypt-allied Haftar and the head of the Presidential Council of the GNA, Fayez Al-Sarraj, met in Cairo earlier this week as part of a series of Tunisian-Algerian-Egyptian initiatives aimed at resolving Libya’s crisis. Although Sarraj and Haftar refused to meet face-to-face, they agreed to honor a plan to create a joint committee to negotiate reconciliation and elections by February 2018, despite lingering tensions. The discussions revolved around forming a mini-government that would have a unified military council headed by Haftar in cooperation with military officers from all across Libya. The initiative reportedly gathered support from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, three countries that have over the past months been involved in mediation efforts focused on launching a Libya-Libya dialogue for national reconciliation. Despite the combined pressure from Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt to resume peace talks, the political process is unlikely to move forward in the foreseeable future because on the one hand Haftar is convinced he doesn’t need a deal and the other side is very fragmented.

Saudi Arabia dismantles four ISIS cells, 18 arrests

The interior minister confirmed the arrest of 18 individuals in the Kingdom belonging to four islamic state in Iraq and Syria. Fifteen of them were Saudi citizens and the other three were from Yemen and Sudan. During the arrests about two million riyals were confiscated and the spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry al-Turki said most of those arrested supply materials to the ISIS cells in Riyadh. The ministry affirmed that ISIS cells in Saudi Arabia have spread to Mecca, Medina, Riyadh and Qassim regions.

Car bomb kills 45 people in southwestern Baghdad

An explosion occurred in southwestern Baghdad on Thursday killing 45 people and wounding another 56 second the CNN. The explosion was due to a car bomb which hit a busy car market in the predominately Shia district of al-Bayaa. Medical sources told Reuters that the death toll is expected to rise as the wounded are in critical condition while ISIS claimed the responsibility with an online statement.

 

300 civilians kidnapped by Houthi militias in the district of Ramid

300 civilians were kidnapped by the Houthi militias in the district of Ramid maybe in revenge for the killing of Houthis commander Al-Alwi last Friday in the district. Before kidnapping civilians, militias raided the houses, drove out families by force and now they continue to surround the village blocking its entrance and exit points. The majority of the civilians kidnapped are children and according to local and international human rights reports many of the detained are subjected to torture,beatings,flogging and electrocution and exposed to frost and ironing with fire to force them to confess crime they did not commit.

The arrested HDP co-chair Demirtas asks for release

Selahattin Demirtas, the arrested co-chair of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), has requested his release from jail in a petition written to the Eighth Heavy Penal Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Demirtas, who is currently jailed in the northwestern province of Edirne, stated in the petition that he was arrested with “an exaggerated and non-proportional raid aimed at creating a political sensation”. “We have no doubt that the [arrests of HDP lawmakers] are being directed from a center” he said, noting that 31 summaries of proceedings were prepared for him and 11 of the prosecutors who prepared them had themselves been arrested for being members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have been behind Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt. “My indictment was increased to 501 pages and the sentence being sought for me was determined as 142 years in order to create a negative perception in the public. They wanted to create the impression that my arrest was necessary” Demirtas added. The HDP co-chair said in his petition that his right to a fair trial was violated and his rights stemming from being a deputy were seized from him through his arrest. At present a total of 11 HDP figures, including Demirtas and the HDP’s other co-chair, Figen Yüksekdag, remain in prison and face hundreds of years in jail.

KSA: World Bank cooperates in Yemen's reconstruction

King Salman and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim met in Riyadh and dicussed aspects of cooperation between the Kingdom and the World Bank Group. Kim expressed the Bank’s desire to partecipate in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The President of the World Bank also met with Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the two talked about cooperation on reconstruction of Yemen to overcome the current crisis and make available of the basic needs for Yemeni people.

Gatilov: there isn't only the fight against terrorism in Yemen, but also the intra-Yemeni conflict

At the opening of an annual student conference in Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gatilov said the humanitarian disaster in Yemen is a tragic catastrophe. In Yemen there is not only the fight against terrorism, but also the intra-Yemeni conflict, which is a serious humanitarian disaster. As Gatilov said about 80 percent of the population in Yemen is affected by humanitarian crisis, but western countries are more focused on what is happening in Syria. Finally he said that a solution should be found.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have same views on regional conflicts. Salman and Erdogan discussed security cooperation and terrorism

During the talks between King Salman and Turkish President Erdogan in Riyadh on Tuesday they focused on political,security and commercial bilateral subjects. As turkish ambassador Yunus Demirer said the two leaders discussed key regional issues like Syria,Yemen,Lybia and Iran besides bilateral security cooperation and terrorism. The turkish President also met the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the two focused on combating terrorism and cooperation on security issues. Due to the call for a safe zone in northern Syria by Erdogan on Monday, Syria was a key issue during these talks with top Saudi officials and Foreign Minister al-Jubeir said the Kingdom and Turkey have identical positions on that.

Guterres met El-Sisi to discuss cooperation between Egypt and the UN

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated there is no alternative solution to the two-state solution in resolving the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. Guterres statement came during a joint press conference with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo. Guterres met with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi Wednesday to discuss regional developments and cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations. On regional issues, the UN chief underlined the importance of carrying on with the Geneva track on ending the Syrian crisis, as well as providing a suitable atmosphere for reaching national reconciliation in Libya.

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