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IS ‘sleeper cell’ launches surprise attack on Kirkuk, Iraq

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IS 'sleeper cell' launches surprise attack on Kirkuk, Iraq

Suicide bombers targeted government buildings and a power plant, killing at least 16 people, as Iraqi forces advance on the militants’ stronghold of Mosul.

Suicide bombers infiltrated the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, occupying buildings and killing 16 people in a dawn attack on Friday.

Intense clashes erupted in the Kurdish-controlled city after gunmen in suicide vests attacked buildings including a police station, mosque and hotel and stormed a power plant.

The attack comes as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul, IS’ last bastion in the country.

“Three suicide bombers attacked the power plant at around 6:00am (0300 GMT), killing 12 Iraqi administrators and engineers and four Iranian technicians,” Dibis mayor Abdullah Nureddin al-Salehi told AFP.

The power plant near Dibis, a town about 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Kirkuk, was being built by an Iranian company.

A police lieutenant colonel confirmed the casualty toll.

The mayor said the attack led to clashes with security forces, who killed one of the bombers before he detonated his vest. The other two blew themselves up once they were surrounded, he said.

Hours earlier, a team of suicide bombers armed with rifles attacked multiple locations in Kirkuk.

A Kurdish intelligence officer said four suicide bombers attacked the main police headquarters at around 3.00am (2400 GMT Thursday).

“The security forces managed to shoot one of them dead, the other three blew themselves up,” he said.

Several other targets in the south of the city were attacked by IS militants, sparking intense clashes with security forces that were still ongoing five hours later.

IS claimed the attacks in online statements.

A Kirkuk official said that a curfew was imposed on the city “until further notice”.

(Source / 21.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Posted in Revolution Iraq

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Egypt considers cutting internet for 80 percent of users

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Egypt considers cutting internet for 80 percent of users

Egypt’s telecommunications minister announced plans to tackle ‘illegal internet’, but most Egyptians rely on it

Egypt’s telecommunications minister has threatened to cut the internet supply for around sixteen million subscribers that are accessing the internet illegally.

Yasser al-Qadi, speaking on the Egyptian television show ‘Every day’, said that the government was going to update the country’s internet infrastructure to a 4G connection at the beginning of 2017, in a move which would ‘eliminate any illegal connections’.

“There are 4.2 million internet subscribers that are legitimate and 16 million subscribers that are using Internet connections illegally, putting pressure on the networks,” Qadi said in an interview with the show’s host, Amr Adib.

Qadi also said that the maintenance of all current internet lines will end this year as the country will upgrade to a faster connection.

“We [Egypt] are one of six countries out of 154 that do not currently have 4G connection,” he said.

“We are upgrading [to 4G] in early 2017, but we will not stay at a 4G connection – films will be downloaded faster and the speeds will be unprecedented.”

According to a recent study, Egypt currently has one of the slowest internet speeds in the world.

It is unclear if the government will cut internet connection to the old lines or if the old internet connections will continue as usual until the lines become too old for purpose.

Unfortunately, in a situation that many of Egypt’s internet users may be able to associate with, it is not possible to transcribe more of the minister’s comments because the television channel’s official YouTube recording has been corrupted.

The Egyptian government has a history of blocking public access to the internet. Lawmakers voted to ban Facebook’s low-cost Free Basics Internet service in May and considered banning the social network site completely, after Facebook refused to allow the government spy on their own citizens.

Cybercrime and anti-terrorism laws have also helped prosecute online activists who use the internet to propagate anti-establisment views.

(Source / 21.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Revolution Egypt

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Detailed Account of One Month of Syrian-Russian Attacks on the Neighborhoods of Eastern Aleppo

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Human Rights Council must hold the Security Council Responsible for the Mounting War Crimes in Syria

the Neighborhoods of Eastern Aleppo

SNHR has published the report:” Detailed Account of One Month of Syrian-Russian Attacks on the Neighborhoods of Eastern Aleppo”
The report documents the most notable violations of human rights that were perpetrated by government forces and their allies the Russian forces in the neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo one month after Cessation of Hostilities statement ended on 19 September 2016 which. The report draws upon the archive that has been built over the course of the period covered by the report through the daily and ongoing documentation and monitoring in addition to accounts from survivors and eyewitnesses.

The report notes that Neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo have been under siege since the beginning of September 2016 where the medical situation is deteriorating in light of the shortage in medical resources and the medical points’ and hospitals’ limited capacity that is unable to take in the huge numbers of the injured. Additionally, the Syrian regime and its allies prevent anyone from getting in or outside the city, and local relief organizations don’t even think of passing the regime’s and its militias’ checkpoints.
Also, the report notes that a large part of the service infrastructure was damaged as a result of the concentrated and continued bombardment on eastern Aleppo’s neighborhoods. The General Management of Services has announced on Tuesday 18 October 2016 that 80% of the drinking-water network in the city is inoperable and the maintenance was halted on account of the lack of necessary materials.

Fadel Abdul Ghani, chairman of SNHR, says:
“We certainly welcome the U.N. emergency meeting on Friday, and we put all the documented incidents and civilian death toll before them. The Human Rights Council has to issue a strong and clear message to the Security Council as a whole and to the inhumane and immoral Russian veto. The history books will always remember, and the memories of Rwanda and Bosnia are still vividly present in our minds.”
The report documents the killing of 414 civilians including 338 civilians killed by Russian forces among whom were 104 children and 54 women whereas government forces killed 76 civilians including 14 children and nine women.

Furthermore, the report records that Russian forces perpetrated 16 massacres and carried out 30 attacks on vital civil facilities while government forces perpetrated three massacres and carried out four attacks on vital civil facilitates.
The report also documents six attacks that involved the use by incendiary weapons by forces we believe are Russian while government forces helicopters dropped 151 barrel bombs on the neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo.

The report stresses that the Russian and Syrian regimes have, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2254 which both state that indiscriminate attacks must be halted. Also, they violated Article 8 of Rome Statute through the act of willful killing which constitutes war crimes.
Additionally, the bombardment mentioned in this report has targeted armless civilians. Therefore, the Russian and Syrian forces have violated the rules of the international human rights law which guarantee the right to life. Additionally, these violations were perpetrated in a non-international armed conflict which amount to a war crime where all elements were fulfilled.
The report calls for investigations to be launched regarding the mentioned incidents. Also, the Syrian people must be informed about the findings of these investigations and all those who were responsible must be held accountable. Additionally, all affected centers and facilities must be compensated, rebuilt and re-equipped. In addition, all the families of the victims and wounded, who were killed by the present Russian regime, must be compensated.

Also, the recommendations included a call on the Security Council to take additional steps as it has been a year since Resolution 2254 was adopted which states explicitly “that all parties immediately cease any attacks against civilians and civilian objects as such, including attacks against medical facilities and personnel, and any indiscriminate use of weapons, including through shelling and aerial bombardment.”
The report calls for the referral of the Syrian case to the International Criminal Court and for all those who were responsible to be held accountable including the Russian regime whose involvement in war crimes has been proven. Furthermore, the Security Council has to instill peace and security in Syria and implement the norm of the Responsibility to Protect in order to save the Syrian people’s lives, culture, and arts from being destroyed, stolen, and ruined. Lastly, the report calls on the Security Council to expand the sanctions to include the Russian and Iranian regimes who are directly involved in committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Syrian people.

View full Report

(Source / 20.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 20, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Syrian Coalition: UN Proposal on Aleppo ‘Flawed,’ & Made amid Mass Forced Displacement Operations around Damascus

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Members of the Syrian Coalition said that the proposal put forward by the United Nations on Aleppo is flawed and is not based on the relevant UN resolutions on Syria, stressing that the proposal was made whilst mass forced displacement operations are being currently carried out by the Assad regime in the Damascus suburbs. Residents of these suburbs were forced to agree to evacuation deals whereby they were moved Idlib province.

Secretary of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Riad Hasan said that the UN proposal on Aleppo talks about the evacuation of rebel fighters from eastern Aleppo while ignoring the delivery of humanitarian aid or guarantees for protection of the aid convoys.

Hasan stressed that the UN proposal and the meetings held in Geneva on Wednesday completely ignored the main cause of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Aleppo, namely the continued war crimes by the Assad regime and its Russian allies. The Assad regime and Russia’s air forces carry on with their relentless bombing campaign on Aleppo, targeting mainly vital civilian facilities such as hospitals and bakeries and using internationally banned weapons against civilian areas.

Hasan said that the UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura called for the exit of Fatah al-Sham Front fighters from Aleppo while turning a blind to the presence of 18,000 mercenaries belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization militias who are fighting alongside regime forces in Aleppo and committing the most heinous war crimes in the city and its countryside.

Member of the Coalition’s political committee Riad Seif said that the main goal of the Russian aerial campaign on Aleppo is to force civilians living in the rebel-held parts to leave their homes as part of the massed forced displacement campaign carried out by the Assad regime in different areas including the Damascus suburbs of Moadamiya, Qudsayya, and Daraya. Although Fatah al-Sham Front does not have any presence in these suburbs, its residents were forced to agree to an evacuation deals under the threat of besiegement and starvation.

Seif pointed out that “Russia is directly responsible for undermining chances of a political solution and for the collapse of previous truces as its intervention in Syria is aimed at assisting the regime in its mass forced displacement policy and at propping up the Assad regime.”

Seif regretted the fact that the UN is facilitating and covering up the mass forced displacement operations being carried out by the Assad regime as well as “keeping silent on the war crimes the Assad regime and its allies are committing in Syria.” He urged the next UN Secretary-General António Guterres to reconsider the UN positions on Syria, adding that statements and suggestions made by the UN representatives in Syria are being exploited by the Assad regime and its allies to carry on with their war crimes.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 20.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 20, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Jojah: Assad’s Policies Seeking Demographic Change in Syria Risk Fueling Sectarian War

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Member of the Syrian Coalition’s political committee Mohammed Jojah said that the mass forced displacement operations carried out by the Assad regime, which amount to war crimes, risk causing an all-out sectarian war with unpredictable and dire consequences on the security of the entire region. He said that these operations are being carried out with political and military cover by Russia, with Iran benefiting from the situation and sending more and more militias to Syria.

The Assad regime, backed by Iranian-backed foreign militias, continues to intensify the bombing and killing in besieged Damascus suburbs, especially in Moadamiya and Qudsaya with the aim of forcing civilians out of their homes.

The Assad regime looks poised to deploy the same tactics in the town of Khan Alsheeh in southern rural Damascus as regime forces escalated the barrel bombing on the town as well as on the nearby town of Zakiya on Wednesday. Regime forces also shelled the roads linking the two towns with heavy artillery, killing six civilians, including three women and a child. Russia’s air force also raided the area using white phosphorous and incendiary bombs. The Assad regime helicopters dropped leaflets on Khan Alsheeh ordering the FSA fighters to lay down their weapons in preparation of an evacuation deal.

Jojah criticized the international community’s failure to take action against the Assad regime’s policies. He said that apart from shy calls by some friendly countries to end the conflict, the international community has not yet assumed its responsibility to put an end to crimes of the Assad regime and its allies.

Jojah called on the FSA and rebel fighters in eastern and western Ghouta as well as in the Southern Front to ‘ignite frontlines’ against the Assad regime to stop the mass forced displacements and demographic change operations by the Assad regime, especially in the western Damascus suburbs.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 19.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 19, 2016 at 6:31 pm

Posted in Revolution Syria

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Amnesty International Warns Iraqi Forces of Violations in Mosul

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Peshmerga forces ride on military vehicles on the east of Mosul during preparation to attack Mosul, Iraq, October 15, 2016

Kirkuk and Erbil – Leader of the Iraqi Arab Coalition Shiekh Fahran al-Sadid said that it is not acceptable for a group to participate in the liberation of Mosul while it threatens its people and vows vengeance for their own sectarian agenda.

He added that many parties had asked the Prime Minister not to include the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the Mosul operations.

Sheikh Sadid confirmed that PMF units are stationed on the borders of Mosul and they tend to randomly bomb and launch missiles at the residential areas inside the city, which led to several causalities.

The sheikh also confirmed that civilians inside Mosul are contacting them daily and reporting the situation from inside, while expressing their fears that ISIS might resort to killing them before fleeing the city.

According to Sadid, the citizens in Mosul are also afraid that the liberating forces will enter the city, especially PMF who are dressed as security forces, and repeat the same scenario as that of Fallujah and Tikrit.

Political advisor of Uniters for Reform Coalition Jaafar Abdul Karim Habib said that the people of Nineveh are sensitive towards PMF because of what happened in Anbar, Saladin, and Moqdadiyyah.

The advisor hoped that PMF would understand their position is not sectarian but rather comes from fear of repetition of the situation.

Political and strategic analyst Ali al-Rabei said that certain infiltrates entered PMF units and thus created distrust between citizens of Mosul and PMF.

The analyst, who is also from Mosul, said that prior to the liberation operation of Mosul, it had been agreed that PMF will remain at the outskirts of the city and will not enter it.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International warned “Iraqi authorities must take concrete steps to ensure there is no repeat of the gross violations witnessed in Falluja and other parts of Iraq during confrontations between government forces and the Islamic State armed group.”

“Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi’s instructions to exercise ‘caution and vigilance’ to ensure protection of civilians must be more than token words.

The Iraqi authorities must exercise effective command and control over militias, and they must ensure that personnel implicated in past violations do not take part in the Mosul operations.

All parties to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties during their attack on Mosul,” ,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

(Source / 19.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Revolution Iraq

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Altercations between Armed Militias in Libya

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Anti-Gadhafi militants celebrate the fall of Sirte in the town, Libya

Cairo – Forces fighting ISIS in Sirte and loyal to the government of national accord became involved in the struggle between the government and the illegitimate forces in Tripoli.

Of the first foreign states to comment on recent developments, France officially condemned the occupation of the Libyan High Council of State.

The ministry issued the statement on its website, which said: “France condemns the occupation by force of the Libyan High Council of State, the institution created by the inter-Libyan political agreement, the only legitimate framework and only possible way to restore peace and stability in Libya.”

The ministry also reaffirmed its full support for Prime Minister Fayez Serraj’s Government of National Accord and support the efforts of Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General Martin Kobler.

France called on all political forces in the country to unite under the authority of the Presidency Council in order to bring about national reconciliation, effectively combat terrorism and human trafficking and work toward the country’s reconstruction.

Meanwhile, al-Nabaa television station reported official spokesperson of Solid Structure operations Mohammed al-Ghosari saying that the forces will not allow anyone to tarnish the legitimate political agreement and its institutions.

Libya’s Rebels room stated that it supports the return of the former parliament and its government. The room asked its brigades belonging to the chief staff to be fully prepared and stand against traitors.

For their part, presidential security said in a statement issued that the only legitimate body is the illegitimate parliament of Tripoli.

Parliament of Tripoli condemned the attempt to kidnap MP Mohammed Morghem. The parliament asked executive bodies and justice system to make sure the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

Last Friday, former authorities in Tripoli announced they had regained its powers after taking the state council in Tripoli without any clashes.

PM of former government Khalifah Ghuweil called upon all ministers and bodies to perform their missions and jobs as usual, especially those that affect the daily life of the citizens.

Meanwhile, media center of the Solid Structure Operations announced that the terrorist organization ISIS in Sirte is living its last day. The media center added that the presence of civilians in the city is delaying the complete liberation of the city.

The center mentioned that eight Eritrean women surrendered themselves after the Libyan Air Force dropped fliers asking them to. The women were slaves bought and sold among the leaders of the organization.

The center also briefly explained that the forces are advancing in District 3 of the city where there are few ISIS terrorists.

Chaos began in Libyan following the revolution that ousted the late Libyan leader Mouammar al-Ghaddafi, while Sarraj government that was formed in March faces forces that do not declare its legitimacy including the parliament in the east of Libya.

(Source / 19.10.2016)

Written by altahrir

October 19, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Revolution Libye

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