When jihadis come home: why no one is sure what should happen to Shamima Begum

Begum is just one of hundreds of foreigners from 40 different countries being detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces. No one is rushing to bring their citizens home. One of Islamic State’s most famous migrants, Shamima Begum, gave birth to her third child, a son, last weekend. Originally from Bethnal Green, east London, Begum travelled to IS territory with two friends
| News |

The caliphate crumbles: the last days of Islamic State

IS has been reduced to a small encampment in Baghouz – a tent city where hundreds of fighters and 2,000 civilians, surrounded on all sides, wait for the inevitable end. In Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, in the village of Soussa, I held the end of the Islamic State’s empire in the palm of my hand. It was in Hajin, on the road to
| News |

Who are the Tories who quit to join the Independent Group?

Your guide to the three new Conservative defectors. Sarah Wollaston, Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry resigned the whip today and joined the Independent Group, which already numbered eight former Labour MPs. All three support a second Brexit referendum and were among the 11 Conservative rebels in December 2017 who voted in favour of parliament having a
| News |

Convoy plucks women, children from last ISIS holdout in Syria

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria – A convoy of trucks evacuated dozens of people including women and children from the Islamic State group's (IS, formerly known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq) last Syria redoubt Wednesday, February 20, bringing US-backed forces closer to retaking the last sliver of the "caliphate." The implosion of ...
| News |

Reshaping the Middle East: Why the West Should Stop Its Interventions

Foreign intervention has pushed many Middle Eastern populations into poverty, at the same time making them more determined to confront and reject the global domination sought by the USA. The number of Middle Eastern countries and non-state actors opposed to … The post Reshaping the Middle East: Why the West Should Stop Its Interventions appeared first on Global Research .
| English, Syria War, United States |

The caliphate crumbles: the last days of Islamic State

IS has been reduced to a small encampment in Baghouz – a tent city where hundreds of fighters and 2,000 civilians, surrounded on all sides, wait for the inevitable end. In Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, in the village of Soussa, I held the end of the Islamic State’s empire in the palm of my hand. It was in Hajin, on the road to
| News |

When jihadis come home

Begum is just one of hundreds of foreigners from 40 different countries being detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces. No one is rushing to bring their citizens home. One of Islamic State’s most famous migrants, Shamima Begum, gave birth to her third child, a son, last weekend. Originally from Bethnal Green, east London, Begum travelled to IS territory with two friends
| News |

Revoking Shamima Begum’s citizenship shows the British government is weak

By washing its hands of the 19-year-old, the British government is taking the easy option. And helping other nations to do the same. The government will revoke the British citizenship of Shamima Begum, the 19-year-old who left the United Kingdom aged 15 to join Isis, who has just given birth to a baby in a refugee camp in Syria.
| News |

To save his project, Jeremy Corbyn must bring Labour’s old guard on side

The leader must build a broader shadow cabinet and not swap the chance to lead a government for the chance to control a party. For Labour members, losing eight MPs who have spent months gaslighting, slandering and sabotaging us, should be no big deal. They’ve spent months hopping on and off the couches of the talk shows, systematically undoing hours of activism on
| News |

US ‘actively engaging with Turkey’ on Syria safe zone

The United States is in active contact with Turkey on the formation of a possible safe zone in northern Syria, a State Department official said on Feb. 19.
| Turkey |

ISIS teen 'shocked' after UK revokes her citizenship

LONDON, United Kingdom (UPDATED) – A British teenager who joined the Islamic State group (IS, formerly known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq) in Syria in 2015 said Wednesday, February 20, she was shocked by a government decision to revoke her citizenship. Shamima Begum , who now wants to ...
| News |

Next Steps in Afghanistan

by Alia Ahmed In an about-turn of its two decades-old policy on Afghanistan, President Donald Trump tweeted in mid-December his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan (and Syria). Until September last year, the United States had held firmly to… Continue Reading  
| Afghanistan, Analysis, Al-Qaeda |

Germany’s Green Party: We accept return of Daesh fighters from Syria

Head of Germany’s Green Party Katrin Göring-Eckardt said yesterday that her party accepts the return of German fighters from Syria if they go through legal process, DPA reported. Göring-Eckardt said that there should not be a new Guantanamo, noting that dealing with Daesh fighters has many requirements which will put challenges ahead of the German judicial system. “The German government should take up these responsibilities and prepare for returning the [German] citizens who are accused of committing crimes and sending
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, Germany |

US discouraging Gulf states from restoring ties with Syria

The US is pressing Gulf states to hold off restoring ties with Syria, a move they’ve taken to counter the influence of regional rival Iran, five senior sources have told Reuters. Several Arab states have sped up reconciliation efforts with the Syrian regime in recent months, as the government seems to emerge as the victor of the eight-year conflict. However, Washington, backed by Gulf countries Saudi Arabia and Qatar, does not want Syria welcomed back into the international community until
| Asia & Americas, Middle East, News |

Headlines for February 19, 2019

Trump Attacks President Maduro at Miami Rally, Calls on Military to Defect, President Maduro Fires Back at Trump Attacks on Socialism, Daily Beast: U.S. Considering Extending TPS to Venezuelans, Senator Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Presidential Bid, Sen. Warren to Unveil Universal Child Care Plan, West Virginia Teachers Launch Strike, 16 States Sue over Trump's Nat'l Emergency Declaration, Mexican Migrant Dies While in Border Patrol Custody, Transgender Salvadoran Woman Killed After Deportation from U.S., Syria: Bomb Attacks Kill 15 in Idlib,
| News |

Israel worried about possible Daesh attack from Syria, Egypt

Israeli security services have raised high alert regarding the near defeat of Daesh in Syria, fearing it would turn into an elusive organisation that carries out attacks around the world, Arab48 reported yesterday. According to Israeli news website Walla, which is close to the Israeli security services, Daesh has recently carried out attacks in Iraq, Syria, the Philippines, Afghanistan and other countries. In a report, Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence estimated the number of Daesh members to between 150,000 and 200,000 around the
| Africa, Asia & Americas, Egypt |

Video: French Officer Is Punished for Revealing Truth About US Role in “Defeating ISIS” in Syria

Over the past few days, the military situation has notably escalated in central and western Syria. On February 15, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) backed up by pro-government militias launched a scale combing operation in the deserts of Damascus, Deir … The post Video: French Officer Is Punished for Revealing Truth About US Role in “Defeating ISIS” in Syria appeared first on Global Research .
| English, Ankara peace process, France |

Nearly 312,000 Syrians return home after Turkish ops: Minister

Nearly 312,000 Syrians have returned home after Turkey’s counter-terror operations in northern Syria, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said.
| Turkey |

Bashar Al-Assad calls on Syrian refugees to return to their own country

The Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad called on refugees living abroad to return to their country, ignore what rumours about threats of their arrest, and cut the way for the sponsors of terrorism who attempt to make use of the refugees’ card. Al-Assad said in his speech on Sunday that “the Syrian state is working to return every refugee and displaced who left his home because of terrorism since this return is the only way to end their suffering.” He added
| News, Syria |

Twin bombing kills 24 in Syria's Idlib – monitor

BEIRUT, Lebanon – A double bomb attack in Syria's jihadist-held city of Idlib on Monday, February 18, killed 24 people, including 4 children, a war monitor said. The first blast was caused by a bomb planted under a car in the main city of the Idlib region, the Syrian Observatory for ...
| News |

Twin car-bombings kill 15 in Syria’s Idlib

Two bomb-laden vehicles exploded on Monday in opposition-held parts of Syria’s Idlib, killing 15 and injuring 79, according to civil-defense officials, reports Anadolu Agency. Both explosions occurred in Idlib’s Kusur district, Mustafa Haj Yussef, director of the White Helmets civil-defense agency, said. “After our people arrived at the scene following the first blast, a second car bomb went off in the same area,” he told Anadolu Agency, adding that three White Helmets responders had been among the victims. According to
| Middle East, News, Syria |

Suspect in Istanbul nightclub attack denies charges

The main suspect in a New Year’s Day shooting which killed 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub two years ago denied the charges against him in court on Monday, reported Anadolu Agency. Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbek national, was captured on January 17, 2017, by police who said he acted on behalf of Daesh. The jihadist group claimed credit for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria. Masharipov was one of 58 defendants, 39 of who
| Europe & Russia, News, Turkey |

Palestinian girl dies from cancer in Lebanon after lack of treatment

A three year-old girl born to Syrian-Palestinian refugees in Lebanon has died after failing to get access to treatment for leukaemia. The Working Group for Palestinian Syrians said in a statement that the family of Maria Tamer Abu Azara – originally from Palestine – had been displaced from their home in Syria to Lebanon, only discovering their daughter’s condition after they arrived as refugees. Doctors at Lebanon’s Ghassan Hammoud Hospital informed Maria’s parents that she needed to be placed in intensive
| Lebanon, Middle East, News |

Can Maduro Emulate Cuba and Syria to Keep NATO’s Imperialist Hands Off Venezuela?

Imperial logic I: External crises distract from internal ones Empires with internal problems tend to create external crises to distract the public opinion and unite their political and economical ruling class in a fictitious nationalistic fervor. The current United States … The post Can Maduro Emulate Cuba and Syria to Keep NATO’s Imperialist Hands Off Venezuela? appeared first on Global Research .
| English, NATO, Nicolás Maduro |

Syria: Over 300 chemical attacks by Assad forces, says report

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and its affiliated forces have carried out more than 300 attacks using chemical weapons over the course of the country’s eight-year civil war. The statistics were announced by the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) yesterday and constitute the most comprehensive, up-to-date findings on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The study – published by the Washington Post – could be cited as part of possible international war crimes cases against the Syrian
| Middle East, News, Syria |

Erdoğan defies US persistence on scrapping Russian S-400 deal

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has turned down a call by the U.S. to scrap a deal to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, saying Washington should not conflate the issue of Ankara’s procurement of defense systems with the two NATO allies’ cooperation in Syria.
| Turkey |

French colonel slams US tactics against Daesh in Syria

A senior French officer faces punishment after publicly condemning the US-led coalition’s military tactics against Daesh in the east of Syria, accusing Washington of prolonging the conflict and disregarding a growing civilian death toll, the army said on Saturday. Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier – who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October – said the coalition’s focus had been on limiting its own risks and this had greatly increased the death toll among
| Europe & Russia, France, Iraq |

Q&A: Who are the Independent Group and what do they stand for?

The Labour splitters describe their not-quite-new party in their own words. The Independent Group of former Labour MPs gave its first press conference today – but left many more questions than answers. While it is clear what Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Luciana Berger are against, their policy platform and organisational structures are
| News |

Syria’s Assad: No foreign parties to interfere in new constitution

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said yesterday that he will not allow “any other party” to interfere in drafting a new constitution for Syria. During a meeting with heads of local councils, Al-Assad said that “the political process has not achieved anything so far, because aggressor states and terrorism supporters are still determined to block any serious process such as Sochi and Astana,” referring to the joint talks between Russia, Iran and Turkey aimed at resolving the Syrian civil war. Al-Assad
| Middle East, News, Syria |

British Bombing in Syria Reaches Record High

Britain carried out a record number of air strikes in Syria during the last month of 2018, despite mounting concerns over civilian casualties and costs. New data obtained by research group Drone Wars has “laid bare” the scale of British … The post British Bombing in Syria Reaches Record High appeared first on Global Research .
| English, Syria War, United Kingdom |

Idlib Province Syria: Infested with US-Supported Terrorists

On the ides of March a few weeks from now, US aggression in Syria to gain another imperial trophy will enter its 9th year – with no prospect for resolution. Mass slaughter and destruction continue daily by Pentagon-led terror-bombing and … The post Idlib Province Syria: Infested with US-Supported Terrorists appeared first on Global Research .
| English, Syria War, Terrorism |

Douma Chemical Weapons Hoax Exposed by BBC Producer

It is beyond doubt that the White Helmets ‘staged’ the false flag operation at the Douma hospital that caused President Trump to attack Syria last April. Days after the attack the much to be admired, yet still maligned by many, … The post Douma Chemical Weapons Hoax Exposed by BBC Producer appeared first on Global Research .
| English, BBC, chemical weapons |

Russia 'open to Turkish ops in Syria under Adana Agreement'

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have once again met in the Russian city of Sochi to determine the fate of Syria. Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov gave an interview to Hürriyet Daily News right after the trilateral summit. Peskov answered our questions in Turkish.
| Turkey |

ISIS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

OMAR OIL FIELD, Syria (UPDATED) – Jihadists defending their last dreg of territory in Syria have no choice but to surrender, a Kurdish-led force said on Monday, February 18, ahead of a victory declaration expected within days. The warning by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) comes as EU ...
| News |

US commander: US cannot back Syrian forces who align with Assad

The United States will have to sever its military assistance to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling Daesh if the fighters partner with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or Russia, a senior US general said on Sunday, Reuters reports. The remarks by Army Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, who is the commander of the US-led coalition battling Daesh in Iraq and Syria, underscore the tough decisions facing the SDF as the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Syria. Syrian Kurdish
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, Iraq |

Pompeo to visit Kuwait next month, says Kuwait’s deputy foreign minister

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Kuwait next month to hold the third round of strategic dialogue between the two countries, Kuwait’s state news agency quoted the deputy foreign minister, Khaled Al-Jarallah, as saying on Sunday, Reuters reports. Pompeo visited several Arab capitals in January, including in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in part to reassure allies after President Donald Trump said he would start withdrawing US troops from Syria. He had to cut a short his Middle East
| Africa, Asia & Americas, Egypt |

Russian big gun rolls out latest hardware for Gulf customers

Author:  Mon, 2019-02-18 01:11 LONDON: As the region’s biggest military exhibition gets underway in Abu Dhabi, Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Russian defense conglomerate Rostec, spoke exclusively to Arab News about the company’s regional ambitions. What is the expected value of your exports this year?  The order portfolio of Rosoboronexport, Rostec’s subsidiary, currently exceeds $50 billion. Russia is the second-largest arms supplier
| News |

Germany cool on Trump appeal to take back Daesh fighters from Syria

Germany can take back Daesh fighters captured in Syria only if the suspects have consular access, the interior ministry said on Sunday, playing down the likelihood of Berlin meeting demands made by US President Trump to his European allies. With US-backed fighters looking poised to defeat Daesh in Syria, Trump on Saturday called on Britain, France and Germany to take back more than 800 captured Daesh fighters and put them on trial. “In principle, all German citizens and those suspected
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, Germany |

Syria’s Assad pledges no bargaining over constitution

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday his government would not bargain over the country’s constitution with the Turkey-backed opposition, lambasting a UN peace process that aims to rewrite its terms. A congress convened by Russia, Assad’s key ally, last year tasked the UN envoy for Syria with forming a committee to draft a new constitution, after many rounds of talks to end the war had failed. The stalled process is meant to lead eventually to new elections. US commander:
| Middle East, News, Syria |

Rouhani says Iran ready to improve ties with Gulf states

Iran is ready to work with all of its neighbours to secure peace in the Middle East in the face of US and Israeli aggression, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday according to a Reuters report, in his latest attempt to weaken ties between regional rival Saudi Arabia and America. Iran and Saudi Arabia have been fighting proxy wars for years, backing opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen. But pressure is building on Tehran after President Donald Trump
| Iran, Middle East, News |

UK teen who joined ISIS has given birth in Syria – family

LONDON, United Kingdom – A runaway teenager who has divided British opinion after joining the Islamic State group in Syria but now wants to return home, has given birth, her family said on Sunday, February 17.  Shamima Begum , whose fate has prompted British soul-searching since she and two friends stirred ...
| News |

Daesh ‘caliphate’ on brink of defeat in Syria

US-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Daesh’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat as US President Donald Trump spoke of “100 percent victory”. According to a Reuters report, Jiya Furat said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had cornered the remaining militants in a neighbourhood of Baghouz village near the Iraqi border, under fire from all sides. “In the coming few days, in
| Asia & Americas, Middle East, News |

Trump urges Europe to ‘take back’ Daesh fighters

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday the United States was asking European allies to “take back over 800” Daesh fighters captured in Syria and put them on trial. “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS [Daesh] fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,” he said in a Tweet. “The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we
| Asia & Americas, Middle East, News |

Turkey supports Syrian unity in anti-terror fight: Minister

Turkey supports the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria while conducting military operations against the YPG, the defense minister said on Feb. 17.
| Turkey |

UN convoy distributes aid among 40,000 Syrians in hard-to-access Rukban

The biggest UN humanitarian convoy yet to operate inside Syria has successfully distributed aid to 40,000 desperate people in a hard-to-access desert camp near the country’s southern border with Jordan, the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Aff
| News |

Take back jihadists, Trump tells Europe

WASHINGTON, United States – European nations must take back hundreds of Islamic State group fighters captured in Syria, President Donald Trump said late Saturday, February 16 after a delay in announcing what he said would be the end of the "caliphate." Trump shocked allies in December by declaring the pullout ...
| News |

US sees ‘shared interests’ between Israel, Arab states

There are “shared interests” between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Jordan and Israel, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday. “The US is building a coalition which is intent on delivering something that the world has been looking for for quite some time, taking down the threat and the risk that’s associated with terrorism in the Middle East,” Pompeo told Poland’s Polsat, adding that the risk to which he referred was Iran. Speaking on the
| Asia & Americas, Bahrain, Iran |

UN envoy to Syria: ‘Serious discussions could open doors to political process’

The new UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, said yesterday that “some serious discussions could be a door-opener to a political process that will lead to a negotiated outcome to the conflict [in Syria]”. Pederson recognised that there are serious obstacles ahead of reaching a point from which to start a political process in the war-torn country, but said: “I see the constitutional committee as the potential door-opener for the political process.” While speaking about this issue in Geneva, Switzerland,
| Middle East, News, Syria |