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Arab countries crucial in fight against IS
2014.09.16 02:13:07

Bringing in other Arab countries in terms of action against the IS group in Iraq is crucial to provide legitimacy, according to Ibrahim Sharqieh of the Brookings Institute.

Gulf countries are key in this intervention. They have announced their support... the other major country is Jordan. No surprise that Francois Hollande mentioned Jordan in his speech because they bring with them many is legitimacy, then intelligence, and finally the strength of security forces and their ability to deal with situation.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State

Hits: 123 |

Austria launches crackdown against IS sympathisers
2014.09.16 02:11:58

Austria says it plans to revoke the citizenship of people who travel abroad to fight with jihadists, amid calls to ban symbols of the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), in a crackdown announced by conservative government ministers.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner stressed a need for a zero-tolerance policy against jihadist sympathizers.

Her ministry was working on legislation to revoke citizenship from "foreign fighters" and to prevent minors traveling outside the European Union without the consent of their guardians.

"There is no place in our society for IS symbols on T-shirts and flags, so we want to ban IS symbols," she added.

Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter said the government would tighten hate crimes law so that people who urge violence against certain groups could be charged if their message reaches just 10 people instead of the current guideline of around 150.

Police should also be able to get telephone and Internet usage data on suspects in serious cases as long as a judge approves, he said, adding, "Whoever sows hate and violence in Austria will reap prison."


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Iraq | Austria

Hits: 114 |

Fouad Massoum statement from Paris conference on IS
2014.09.16 02:01:21

Iraqi president Fouad Massoum statement from Paris conference on IS

We would like to thank the US, countries in the European Union, especially Iran, Turkey, for all the humanitarian aid, all those who have been detained...all the security forces...This solidarity and humanitarian work. We should also spend more efforts, and therefore we ask to continue the air strikes against the terrorist positions...we will not give them any safe haven.

We have to hurry up and take decisive actions against all sorts of terrorist action and any ideology.

Victims of IS are from all faiths.

We came here after the success of performing a national government, which is represented by all different factions, which support the unity of Iraq, which is facing the biggest enemy which is trying to destroy Iraq.

These criminals are expert in brainwashing young people.

They have target the Kurdish army. They have targeted the Shia and Sunni. The only ideology is to get people to change the religion. With this criminal nature, they end up killing and beheading and imprisoning children.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 119 |

Kurdish forces advance against Islamic State fighters in Syria
2014.09.16 01:57:49

An activist group and a Kurdish official say heavy clashes are taking place in northeastern Syria, with Kurdish fighters capturing about a dozen villages from the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS).

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria's powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party (YPK), told The Associated Press news agency on Monday that YPK forces have captured at least 10 villages in the northeastern province of Hassakeh.

Kurdish fighters have been battling IS each other for more than a year in northern Syria.

The latest round of violence between the two sides began Saturday, when members of the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units, captured about 14 villages, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

[Associated Press]

Tags: Syria | Islamic State

Hits: 117 |

Francois Hollande statement from Paris conference on IS
2014.09.16 01:21:21

French president Francois Hollande statement from Paris conference on IS

We cannot waste any time. This aid must be humanitarian aid.

Around 200 million people have been displaced. In Erbil, I saw the distress of those who have abandoned everything. We must undertake an unusual and exceptional effort...set up a humanitarian bridge.

The purpose of the conference is to collect funds from friendly countries, to send necessary equipment, food. Iraq also needs military support. France for its part, has already delivered some, in conjunction with other countries. This is what Pres Obama has done...many countries have reacted inside the region and outside. threatens the whole of the Middle East.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 119 |

Germany tries first 'Islamic State jihadist'
2014.09.16 01:19:16

An alleged German jihadist has gone on trial accused of fighting in Syria for the group calling itself the Islamic State, amid calls for tougher action to prevent attacks in Europe by the group.

In the first German criminal proceedings involving IS, Kreshnik Berisha, a 20-year-old born to a family from Kosovo, has been charged with membership of a foreign terrorist organization.

Federal prosecutors say Berisha traveled to Syria in July 2013, planning to join the fighting to create a "caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq.

Soon after his arrival, Berisha allegedly underwent firearms training and was put to work as a medic and a guard.

In the six months he spent in Syria, he is believed to have fought in at least three battles with IS against President Bashar al-Assad's troops.

He could face 10 years in prison if convicted by the city's superior regional court.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Germany

Hits: 116 |

France begins spy flights to Iraq
2014.09.16 01:04:23

France has joined Britain in carrying out reconnaissance or surveillance flights in support of the US air campaign against armed groups in Iraq, the defense minister said on Monday.

"This very morning, the first reconnaissance flights will be carried out in agreement with the Iraqi and Emirati authorities," Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French troops, including pilots, at the Al-Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates.

Le Drian's visit to the base came as Paris prepared to host an international conference on a fightback against the IS group, who have seized swathes of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

[Source: AFP]

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 112 |

US, Austria launch efforts to halt Islamic State group recruitments
2014.09.16 00:46:00

The US Justice Department has said it is launching a series of pilot programs to deal with American citizens intent on joining the Islamic State group fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Attorney General Eric Holder says in a video message released Monday that the programs will involve religious leaders, prosecutors and community representatives.

Meanwhile, Austria has said it plans to introduce a law banning symbols of the Islamic State group and 18 other armed groups.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner also says that dual nationals will lose their Austrian citizenship upon joining any foreign paramilitary organization.

[Source: AP]

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Austria | Syria

Hits: 124 |

Shelling in the rebel-held city of Donetsk
2014.09.16 00:32:52

Six people were killed in shelling in the rebel-held city of Donetsk on Sunday, municipal authorities said on Monday, putting further strain on a 10-day ceasefire between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

A monitoring team from the OSCE said it was also shelled twice in the city on Sunday despite the ceasefire.

Separately, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in Kiev there had been some deaths among Ukrainian troops over the weekend, although he did not provide details, and said 73 soldiers had been freed in an exchange with the rebels.

The truce started on Sept. 5 and has been broadly holding despite sporadic violations which both sides blame on the other.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 119 |

Heavy fighting erupted
2014.09.15 03:29:05

Heavy fighting erupted around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.

Donetsk council said there had been civilian casualties and described the situation in the city as "critical" but gave no further information.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 162 |

The pro-Russian party would boycott next month's parliamentary polls
2014.09.15 03:28:17

The pro-Russian party that ruled Ukraine under ousted president Viktor Yanukovych said Sunday it would boycott next month's parliamentary polls and form an "opposition government" to fight for regional powers and against Kiev's westward course.

The decision by the once-dominant Regions Party came as top politicians formed leadership lists for the October 26 election that was called early to regain people's trust after two decades of post-Soviet corruption and economic malaise.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 164 |

NATO weapons are on the way to Ukraine
2014.09.15 03:14:45

Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Heletey says that NATO weapons are on the way to Ukraine after agreements about weapons delivery were reached at the NATO summit in Wales.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | NATO

Hits: 147 |

Reports of shelling
2014.09.15 03:13:27

Reports of shelling of neighborhoods near in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Sunday , jeopardizing the cease fire agreement.

The city council of Donetsk said Sunday that two neighborhoods in the north of the city had been repeatedly hit by shelling.

That part of the city is closest to the government-held airport, which has become the site of increasingly intense fighting between the pro-Russian separatists and Kiev's forces.

Volodymyr Polyovyi, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, told journalists Sunday that Ukrainian troops had repelled an attack at the airport by about 200 fighters during the night. He said
there were no military casualties.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 147 |

Kerry 'extremely encouraged' by pledges of military support against IS
2014.09.15 02:59:17

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was "extremely encouraged" by pledges of military assistance against the Islamic State group by countries inside and outside the Middle East.

On the CBS program 'Face the Nation,' Kerry said some countries have offered ground troops for the effort, but "we are not looking for that at this moment anyway." He did not identify the countries.

"This is a strategy coming together as the coalition comes together and the countries declare what they are prepared to do," Kerry said in the interview taped on Saturday in Egypt.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Syria | John Kerry | Egypt

Hits: 162 |

Qardawi criticizes US role against Islamic State
2014.09.15 02:57:35

Prominent Sunni Muslim scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has criticized the US's role in a campaign against the Islamic State group (IS) in Iraq and Syria as purely self-interested.

Qatar-based Qaradawi, seen as a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in his native Egypt, said on Saturday that he disagreed with the plan that "the one to fight it [IS] is America."

"I totally disagree with Da'ish [Islamic State group] in ideology and means, but I don't at all accept that the one to fight it is America, which does not act in the name of Islam but rather in its own interests, even if blood is shed."

The US won backing on Thursday for a "coordinated military campaign" against IS from 10 Arab countries - Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Iraq | Qatar | Muslim Brotherhood | Egypt

Hits: 110 |

Ukrainian government accuses pro-Russian separatists
2014.09.15 02:55:08

The Ukrainian government accused pro-Russian separatists on Sunday of threatening a tenuous push for peace as booming rounds of heavy artillery fire echoed across the insurgent stronghold of Donetsk.

It said the rebels had been intensifying their attacks on government positions in eastern Ukraine despite a ceasefire backed by Kiev and Moscow nine days ago.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 109 |

France says 930 citizens or residents involved 'in jihad'
2014.09.15 02:43:03

The French interior ministry say around 930 French citizens or residents, including at least 60 women, are either actively engaged in jihad in Iraq and Syria or are planning to go there.

In an interview with Le Journal de Dimanche weekly, Bernard Cazeneuve, said "930 French citizens or foreigners usually resident in France are today involved in jihad in Iraq and Syria."

According to the minister, "350 are on the ground, including 60 women.

Around 180 have left from Syria and 170 are en route for the zone."

In addition, some 230 people are looking to head to areas held by jihadists. Added to this total of 930, an estimated 36 have already died out there, said Cazeneuve.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France | Syria

Hits: 93 |

Indonesia arrests four Turks over Islamic State link
2014.09.15 02:41:10

Indonesia's anti-terrorism police have arrested four Turks and three Indonesians suspected of being linked to the Islamic State group.

The elite Detachment 88 police squad arrested the men, along with three Indonesians, after tailing their car on Saturday in central Sulawesi district of Poso, police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told the AFP news agency.

"They are Turkish," Amar said, confirming the arrest and adding that the men were being investigated for their connection to the dreaded Islamist group.

"We suspect they are linked and are investigating further," he said.


Tags: Indonesia | Islamic State | Syria | Iraq

Hits: 105 |

Germany's Committee on Eastern European Economic relations
2014.09.15 02:39:53

Eckard Cordes, chairman of Germany's Committee on Eastern European Economic relations, said his group, which represents the interests of about 200 companies with investments in Russia, had wanted sanctions to be delayed to help bolster the ceasefire.

"The European Union's new economic sanctions against Russia are a "mistake" because they were imposed just as a week-old ceasefire was bringing calm to the embattled east of Ukraine"


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Germany

Hits: 91 |

Australia commits 600 troops to anti-IS campaign
2014.09.15 02:24:02

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said Australia would deploy 600 troops to the United Arab Emirates to join the US-led international coalition gearing up for war against the Islamic State group.

Abbott said the deployment of about "400 air personnel and about 200 military personnel" followed a formal request from Washington for Australia to contribute to the international coalition against the rampaging Islamist group.

"Australia is prepared to engage in international operations to disrupt and degrade ISIL (IS) because of the threat that this murderous death cult poses not just to the people of Iraq, not just to the people of the Middle East, but to the whole world including to Australia."

Abbott's announcement comes two days after Canberra lifted its terror alert level to "high" on growing concern about Australian jihadists returning from fighting in Iraq and Syria.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Syria | Australia

Hits: 98 |

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