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Iran Urges War on Cyber Capabilities of Terrorists

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A ranking Iranian security official warned against a major shift in the methods and approaches used by terrorist groups, calling for concerted global action to curb terrorists’ cyber capabilities and counter their modern tactics. Addressing the 8th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues in Moscow on Wednesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani warned of the shifting nature and geographical distribution of terrorists in the world. Pointing to the cyber-infrastructures and modern communication systems that terrorist networks employ to recruit, organize, train and control forces in different countries, Shamkhani stressed the need for serious international determination to restrict such modern capabilities and counteract terrorists’ Internet-based activities. He further noted that Iran, with years of experience in combatting terrorism and its military, security, and cyber threats, could play a significant role in the global initiatives against terrorism. Shamkhani then attributed the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group’s acquisition of advanced communication systems, modern arms and weapons of mass destruction to the double standards adopted by certain “infamous governments” which sponsor terrorist groups. The top official further deplored the UN’s weak performance in dealing with regional crises, and urged certain states to end their “failed and dangerous policies” toward Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. Security officials from 95 countries around the world have gathered in Moscow for the 3-day conference to coordinate efforts in ensuring cyber security, addressing the regional and international threats, and countering the issues leading to crises.

UN document Human Rights: nearly 1,500 child soldiers in Yemen.

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In a statement by the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Shamdasani, 1476 Yemeni children were reported to have been recruited by Yemen’s warrying parties in particular by Shiite Houthi rebels between March 2015 and January 2017. The number of children is probably higher because many parents are not willing to talk about the recruitment of their children for fear of reprisals. The spokesperson also reminded all parties to the conflict that the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is strictly forbidden by international human rights law and international humanitarian law and added recruitment of children under 15 is a war crime.

Voluntary mobilization to front lines declared by Yemen tribes

Yemen tribes declared on Saturday voluntary mobilization to front lines to reinforce the national army and popular forces in confronting US-Saudi aggression coalition war and their mercenaries. The tribes also rose a lot of money to support the national troops and fighters of the national army and popular forces. Meanwhile, in Taiz, the warplanes from the US-backed Saudi aggression coalition launched five raids on the neighborhood of Sala Alskani in an attempt to support the advance of Saudi-American aggression mercenaries, but the raids led to the destruction of dozens of homes partially and totally.

Terrorists in Aleppo are using chemical weapons

BreakingNews @en di

According to a Russian Defense Ministry’s statement, Russian military experts have found unexploded shells indicating that terrorists in Aleppo have been using chemical weapons in their regular attacks on civilian and Syrian government-held areas of the cityTerrorists in Aleppo are using chemical weapons. Traces of chlorine and white phosphorus were detected during initial analysis of the samples. The use of chemical weapons was sued for many month and in late October, Syrian state media said that poison gas was fired at a government-held area of Aleppo, causing massive respiratory problems among the local population. The use of chlorine as a weapon is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria joined in 2013, after a Russian diplomatic effort. In January of this year, OPCW confirmed the destruction of all chemical weapons declared by the Syrian Arab Republic.

President of GPC: honorable peace or fight until victory

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President of the General People’s Congress (GPC), Ali Abdullah Saleh, said either honorable peace or continuing confrontation until victory: “We at the time of renewing our people readiness to positively deal with all peace-seeking initiatives that aim to stop bloodshed, preserve the Yemeni unity, integrity, security and stability, and achieve fair, comprehensive peace for Yemen and the region.., we at the same time confirm that if the Saudi aggression did not stop, then the Yemeni people are in the highest degree of readiness today, militarily and popularly, to continue fighting the aggression at all levels and in all circumstances until victory”.

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev on the Syrian issue

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On Friday, during an interview with China Central Television, Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, asserted that the key goal of the Syrian settlement is to preserve the country’s integrity and prevent its split into terrorist enclaves. According to Medvedev, Russia’s position is that there is no military solution to the Syrian issue. Medvedev noted that the key obstacle for settlement today is the issue of separating those who seek peace and have constructive positions from flagrant terrorist groups. Russian Prime Minister recalled that Russia implements the agreements with the Syrian government on maintaining military balance and takes part in the military operations on fighting against terrorists. Regarding to Bashar al-Assad,  Medvedev affirmed that he is the current president and the legitimate president and he is also a key figure of management of Syrian Crisis

800 mannequin limbs outside Russian Embassy to protest for Russia’s actions in Syria

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Russia’s embassy in London has sent a letter to the UK Foreign Office to complain about demonstrators who dumped around 800 mannequin limbs outside the building in protest of Russia’s actions in Syria. It is reported that the protesters were members of Syria Campaign and Syria Solidarity, UK groups that say the mannequins are symbolic of Russia’s campaign in Syria. Russia’s embassy said staff and visitors couldn’t enter the building, while police stood by indifferently. It was the first demonstrate against Russia since UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s call for such demonstrations last month. According to Russian authorities the demonstration was controlled by London’s officials.


(English) School’s out for Syrian children in Turkey

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By Eleonora Vio

The majority of Syrian children in Turkey are not in school

ISTANBUL, 4 November 2015 (IRIN) – Not so long ago, Syria had an education system that was the envy of the Arab world and was reflected in its 90 percent literacy rate. But education has become yet another casualty of a civil war now in its fifth year.

Nearly half of the four million Syrians who have fled their country are living in neighbouring Turkey where authorities initially welcomed hundreds of thousands of the refugees in camps near the Syrian border. Many have since become tired of camp life and moved to cities in search of a more dignified existence.

Istanbul alone hosts more than 330,000 Syrians, according to 2014 figures from Turkey’s interior ministry, but with international aid mainly going to those living in the camps, urban refugees receive little assistance and live in poor conditions that are worsening as their exile continues and they are barred from the formal employment sector. Their children are paying the highest price for this enforced limbo.

Earlier this year, in the run-up to elections, the Turkish government backtracked on plans to grant Syrians in the country, who have only temporary protection status, the right to work. The government did adopt legislation aimed at improving their access to health care and education, but according to NGOs working on the ground, the majority of Syrian children still aren’t in school.

“Unfortunately, despite this new regulation, in Istanbul only 20,000 out of 80,000 [Syrian] children have access to school and amongst them less than 30 percent are enrolled in free Turkish schools,” said Suleiman Alaaraj, a Syrian staff member of the Syrian Commission for Education (SCE), which provides education services both in Free Syrian Army-controlled areas of Syria and in Turkey, with funding from Qatar Charity and the Islamic Bank.

Some of the Turkish schools simply don’t have space to admit more children while the language difference and Syrians’ lack of the required documents or information about enrolment procedures have also presented barriers.

Karyn Thomas, the founder of Small Projects Istanbul, an NGO based in Fatih, a working-class district with a high number of Syrian residents, noted that “the lack of the right to work for adults has a direct and strong impact on their children’s right to education.”

“People have no jobs, and when they do they are underpaid and exploited, and they can’t afford to pay for their children’s tuition fees”

“People have no jobs, and when they do they are underpaid and exploited, and they can’t afford to pay for their children’s tuition fees,” she told IRIN. “The result is that many young children either stay at home looking after their siblings and household or are forced to work and beg in the streets to provide their families with some income.”

 For the small number of Syrian children in Istanbul who are admitted into free Turkish schools that follow the national curriculum, Alaaraj acknowledged, “it’s often difficult for them to keep up with their classmates because of the language barrier and only one out of 10 succeed [in end-of-term exams].”

Across the city there are 60 Syrian schools (officially referred to as “temporary education centres”) where classes are taught in Arabic using a curriculum created by the opposition Syrian Interim Government, but only six of them are free. Some are located inside mosques and private or public buildings, but often only for a limited period of time before being moved somewhere else. SCE provides the schools with free textbooks, the content of which have been adapted by the Free Syrian Army and purged of what they view as the Syrian regime’s propaganda.

Reema Adadi is a Syrian teacher at a school located in a small mosque in Fatih. “The problem with this school is that each class is composed of kids of different ages,” she said, adding that attendance is sporadic because the children are often forced to work and contribute to the family’s income.

“[There are also] children who suffer from different traumas and should be taught by specialised personnel,” she told IRIN.

At a free school for Syrians hosted inside a mosque in Istanbul, a mentally disabled child tries solve some Arabic grammar exercises

At a free school for Syrians hosted inside a mosque in Istanbul, a mentally disabled child tries solve some Arabic grammar exercises

In addition to the Turkish and Syrian schools, there are several private schools funded by secular or religious organisations, which cost between US$590 and $690 per child for each academic year.  They are often products of community-based initiatives associated with the Syrian opposition in Turkey, and although they are usually well managed, some are still not registered with or recognised by the Turkish government.

Syrian families with several children and no regular income may be able to send one child to school “in the best-case scenario” said Alaaraj of SCE. “In the worst one, if perhaps they live far away from the school and must pay additional money for transport, they drop the whole idea.”

Alaaraj stressed that Syrian children not in school are “easy prey for the radical and criminal groups that are booming across the city.”

Small Projects Istanbul runs an education project aimed at helping Syrians, particularly single mothers who are struggling to make ends meet, enrol their children at Arab-language schools.

“We also hold Turkish classes for them and their children to cope with their daily lives and integrate into Turkish society,” said Thomas.

Teachers with Small Project Istanbul tell a popular Syrian fairy tale to a class of Syrian children in both Arabic and Turkish

Teachers with Small Project Istanbul tell a popular Syrian fairy tale to a class of Syrian children in both Arabic and Turkish

With limited funding, she added, “we do what we can and, unfortunately, it’s only a drop [in the ocean] compared to the Syrian schooling catastrophe we are facing.”

“To not end up with a whole generation of young Syrians without education, and zero prospects for their future inside or outside their home country, there is just one solution,” Thomas told IRIN. “The Turkish government must give Syrians the right to work, and therefore a chance to build a decent life here. Until then, the international community must provide them with financial help, and bring education back to the top of Syrians’ priorities – as it used to be before the war.”


The Kurdish wars

Middle East - Africa/Politics di

Against Isis, against Erdogan’s threats, against Barzani that wants to be the president of KRG forever.

While on the turkish border, President Erdogan is exploiting international aid to face Isis and, at the same time, try to hit the Kurds of PKK, the president of the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government), Barzani, is organizing military parades in order to retain his mandate, beyond the two-year extension already granted. KRG is the only form of government able to represent Kurdish people, divided between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran.

The Kurdistan Regional Government was established in Iraq after the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and is now subjected to the same power struggles that caused the instability of the Middle East. During the years Kurdish people were, and still are, discriminated against. Saddam Hussein has made the Kurds the target of his chemical weapons causing real massacres as in Halabja in 1988. The persecution took the traits of the genocide through the “Anfal Campaign”.

In Turkey , as well as in Syria, over the years, the persecution never stopped and Kurdish people did not get more favors. Their conditions has come to international attention since the irregular army of KRG, the Peshmarga, took their weapons to face the advancing of Isis. The pages of history books written now, will describe the heroic resistance of these mixed troops made of men and women, who fought to protect cities like Kobanî. But this is not enough for Turkey that is ready to exploit the Isis justification to attack the Kurdish army.

If the elections on June 7 in Turkey seemed to be a turning point with the entrance in Parliament of HDP; recent events like the connection of the Democratic party of the Kurdish people to PKK after exceeding the threshold of 10% of the preferences set by Erdogan, seem to record a sharp setback.In recent years, the bombings inflicted by the Turkish on the Kurds of northern Iraq never stopped and have caused the reaction of the Kurdish militants. On August 10th, the escalation of violence caused 9 victims, killed in four separate attacks. Near the US Consulate and a police station in Istanbul and near a convoy and a military helicopter in the south-east of the country, Sirkin, in Kurdish territory.

Episodes that are triggering the danger of a real civil war. The DHKP-C claimed the shots against the US consulate that brings the terrorists of the Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of the People, and PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party of Ocalan, was responsible for the two attacks in the south-east . The reasons that led Erdogan to attack the Kurds, causing their reaction, is to be found in the victory of the Kurdish minority in the last election.

The entry of HDP into Parliament has removed the AKP, the Party for Justice and Development which belongs to Erdogan, that had held absolute majority for 13 years. After the attacks of August 10, Erdogan is supporting the need to go to early elections and get back to the majority denied last June. The attacks claimed by DHKP-C and PKK will cause a loss of votes in the Kurdish party of Hdp at they will be used at his advantage. If it is not possible now to talk about a probable alliance between the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the terrorists of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), however, it is certain that the Kurds are increasingly unwilling to accept the requests of the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, in 2006.

From the prison of Imral he asked his fighters to seek dialogue with the Turkish government to reach a cease-fire. If the risk, in Turkey, is to come to a war against the Kurds, the chances that serious internal unrest will happen in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan are just as real . Days ago, the President of the KRG, Massoud Barzani organized a military parade in Erbil. A clear message designed to get to what he has been asking for a long time, that Is a new confirmation of his role. According to the internal laws to KRG, the presidential term of four years is extendable just for only one renewal. Then, the President decades automatically. Barzani has already achieved a two-year extension that will run out on the next August 19. However, he does not intend to give up his role. The first elections in the KRG took place in 1992. Neither political parties PUK and PKK, represented by Jalal Talabani and Masoud Barzani reached a majority and an agreement. Those conditions caused the dreadful civil war that has killed more than 3,000 civilians. When the civil war ended in 2005, Talabani became the Iraqi President and Barzani the KRG’s President.

The power of the Kurdistan Regional Presidency was stronger than the one of the Parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), to counterbalance the Iraqi presidency. For the KRG, the presidency was a new institution with unlimited powers. The result is that corruption has grown exponentially, national resources have been squandered, private militias and intelligence services are increasingly loyal to their parties as opposed to the country, and there is ever-growing social inequality. The country is bankrupt and most people are struggling to make ends meet, while 10,000 millionaires and 15 billionaires have emerged in a short period of time. Society is polarized between lackeys who live on political parties’ handouts and good honest citizens who have to wait for wages that are three months behind. In fact the system is almost near a dictatorial regime than a Presidential one. It’s true that is a well-established Middle-Eastern-Fact that the presidential system only breeds dictators and corrupt leaders.

In 2013, when Barzani’s term was extended, the political system became an absolute presidency according to legistlation and the chances required by Barzani, to get the president’s powers greater than those of any other president in the region. Just to have an idea, here’s a few of the KR President’s powers: highest executive power in KR, chief of General Staff, power to dissolve Parliament, can announce a State of Emergency [without parliament’s consent], power to appoint KR’s Constitutional Court members and members of the Judges Assembly, power to control KR’s Security Council and KR’s Intelligence services and most importantly of all, the power to approve or reject legislation passed by parliament.

The oppositions tried to make alliance to oppose Barzani but every attempt has been unconclusive. When the war against IS began, only the attack to Shingal and the following capture of a 1,000 women and children made Barzani act. Before that violences Barzani was refusing to engage in the conflict. Nowadays even the war hasn’t motivated Barzani to get his act together with Yazidis and unite the Peshmerga into a strong national army. There can only be two explanations for the multidimensional crisis Barzani has dragged the nation into: either he is too weak to accept responsibility and tackle these matters head on or else he is directly involved in the wrongdoing and exploitation of national resources.

What could happen is Barzani left? The response is not easy at the moment. Now, KRG is governed from the two-party coalition of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Kurdistan List). At the opposition we found four parties, PUK, Gorran, KIU and KIG that might accept another KDP candidate o tolerate another term for Barzani only if KDP accepts constitutional amendments to establish a full parliamentary system and limit the powers of the president.
But at the moment KDP has not an influential leader who can be accepted by both of the main wings of their party. The PUK seems to have given up on the position since they already have Iraq’s presidency. Gorran also hasn’t declared any interest in the presidency. Just one thing is certain. If the parties do not reach a consensus in the next few months, KR will face a political crisis which could potentially lead to civil unrest.
Monia Savioli


US-Russia: Obama runs the show

Europe di

Relationship between Us and Russia are becoming always colder. The G7 without Putin and the degeneration of war in Ukraine are the effects of this context.

In the last year Washington’s strategy in the Middle East was to not bring out a State predominant in terms of economic strength and leadership in the Arab world. Meanwhile in Europe there’s a different strategy. Putin’s exclusion from the G7 and the threat of new sanctions arise from a precise intention.

Ukraine, Iran, West: the Us strategy is only one. Moscow must deal directly with Washington. And, then, go back to that bilateralism concise in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. With Europe forced even more to a marginal role. With states such as Poland and the Baltics defended by the United States. The White House which uses the Russian ruble crisis and high inflation as charges against the Kremlin

And Europe? If China is a corridor to not completely block trade relations with Russia damaged by the penalties, on the other hand it’s becoming more and more a partner of choice with regard to energy issues. Recently, in fact, the second agreement, called “Western Route”, consisting of the construction of a gas pipeline linking the Western Siberia to Beijing.

If Europe is politically supporting the United States, is even more evident that the damage to bilateral trade relations but, above all, the gas matter, could do to change course policy leader of the Old Continent.

On this regard, the Ukraine, where the fighting resumed at a level almost equal to the previous step to the agreements of Minsk, becomes once again decisive: “If the crisis in Ukraine is getting worse – Maros Sefcovic, European Commission Vice President and Head of Energy Union said – and if Russia closes the gas pipelines to Europe, we can hold out for six months. But I think that is fitting in Moscow, as we are their largest customer, “he added again.

September will be decisive to solve the war in Ukraine.The partial recognition of the pro-Russian regions autonomy could be the starting point for thawing between the US and Russia. For these reasons, Putin journey in Italy has an important political relevance. If with Renzi it was reiterated the importance of a return to historical trade and economic relations between Rome and Moscow, even more significant was the visit to Pope Francis. The Russian leader is hoping to find an ally in the Pontiff and his will of a detente between the Catholic and Orthodox.

The relations with the Vatican, the need to keep Europe as the first partner for the supply of gas, the penalties like an obstacle for economic recovery in Russia. While there might be an international recognition of the autonomy of the pro-Russian regions in Ukraine, the end of hostilities with Kiev and the direct relationship with Washington will be crucial if Putin wants to exit from the Western isolation.
Giacomo Pratali


Giacomo Pratali
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