How serious is Russia’s commitment to Libya settlement?

A member of east Libyan forces holds his weapon as he stands in front of a destroyed house in Benghazi, Libya, Jan. 28, 2017 A rare attempt to broker a deal last week in Cairo between the rival governments of Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Gen. Khalifa Hifter generated a lot of speculation, although the talks failed. Delegations representing Sarraj’s UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and governing bodies supporting Hifter in Tobruk, arrived in Egypt for a number of meetings, including what had promised to be the first face-to-face encounter between the two leaders in their … Continue reading How serious is Russia’s commitment to Libya settlement?

Iraqi Forces Push into Western Mosul, Seize Airport from ISIS

Iraqi security forces drive past a destroyed Mosul’s airport building after driving out ISIS’ militants south west Mosul, Iraq Elite Iraqi security forces advanced deeper into the first neighborhood in western Mosul on Friday and recaptured the international airport on the city’s southwestern edge from the ISIS group, according to Iraqi officials. The gains came one day after launching attacks on several fronts towards ISIS’ last main stronghold in the city, as troops entered a west Mosul neighborhood for the first time since the start four months ago of the offensive to retake the city. Earlier on Friday, spokesman of … Continue reading Iraqi Forces Push into Western Mosul, Seize Airport from ISIS

Coalition’s Vice-president: We Will Focus on Political Transition in Geneva Talks

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Hakim Bashar stressed that the opposition will seek to make political transition in accordance with international resolutions the main focus of the current round of negotiations in Geneva. Speaking from Geneva on Friday, Bashar said that the opposition’s delegation will meet with the UN envoy to Staffan de Mistura later on Friday to discuss the agenda of the current round of the talks. Bashar said the opposition delegation will call on de Mistura to press the Assad regime to commit to the basis of the political process as well as to put political transition … Continue reading Coalition’s Vice-president: We Will Focus on Political Transition in Geneva Talks

No breakthrough expected at new Syria talks

Men run at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel-held, besieged Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Feb. 19, 2017 WASHINGTON — United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said that he was not expecting a breakthrough at a new round of Syria talks set to get underway in Geneva on Feb. 23. Instead, he aimed to gain momentum on talks toward a political settlement while a fragile cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey late last year has mostly held. “Am I expecting a breakthrough? No, I’m not expecting a breakthrough,” de Mistura told journalists at a press conference in Geneva … Continue reading No breakthrough expected at new Syria talks

Whistleblowers get greater protection in Tunisia

Tunisian parliament in session in Tunis, Tunisia Tunisia yesterday voted in favour of a law which protects whistleblowers in corruption cases. The Assembly of People’s Representatives (APR) unanimously adopted an amended version of a draft law on the denunciation of corruption and the protection of its whistleblowers. All 145 members supported the adoption of Article 17 of the draft law which will provide protection for whistleblowers. Proposals to amend the article in relation to the protection of investigative journalists were rejected. Read: Amnesty accuses Tunisia security forces of abuses According to the Speaker of the Assembly of People’s Representatives, Mohamed … Continue reading Whistleblowers get greater protection in Tunisia

FSA Announces Full Control over Town of Albab Northeast of Aleppo

The Free Syrian Army fighters have seized control of the key town of Albab northeast of Aleppo from the ISIS extremist group as part of the Turkish-backed Operation Euphrates Shield offensive. A commander of an FSA group taking part in the offensive said that the FSA fighters were now clearing mines and explosive devices laid by ISIS in the town. The announcement of the liberation of Albab came hours after the FSA groups have captured all the strategic points in the center of the town, most notably the security complex, ISIS’s biggest and most heavily defended bastion. The town of … Continue reading FSA Announces Full Control over Town of Albab Northeast of Aleppo

Pakistan on Edge as Fresh Bombing Hits Lahore

Pakistani security officials examine the site of a bomb attack in Lahore on February 23, 2017 At least eight people were killed and 20 injured after a bomb ripped through Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore Thursday, officials said, the tenth attack in just under a fortnight pointing to a resurgence in violence. The blast, the second to hit the provincial capital this month, crumpled cars and sent panic rippling through the city after the wave of attacks across Pakistan killed more than 130 people. The building where the bomb went off was under construction in a market crowded with people, … Continue reading Pakistan on Edge as Fresh Bombing Hits Lahore