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Iraq’s al-Sadr dispatches fighters to ‘secure’ Kirkuk

October 20, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Prominent Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of Iraq’s influential Sadrist movement, has ordered fighters from the Saraya al-Salaam, his group’s military arm, to “restore security” in the volatile Kirkuk province. “Saraya al-Salaam’s rapid-reaction brigade set out this morning [Friday] to Kirkuk province upon al-Sadr’s instructions,” Saraya officer Ihab Mohammed told Anadolu Agency. The deployment, he said, “is aimed at ensuring security and protecting civilians in light of recent events in Kirkuk after [Iraqi] federal forces seized control of the province”. For years, al-Sadr’s Saraya al-Salaam force has maintained an armed presence in Iraq’s Saladin province north of capital Baghdad. It did not, however, take part in the recent months-long army offensive to recapture Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group. Earlier […]

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Israel security official’s computer stolen from his home

October 20, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Israeli media sources have revealed that unknown individuals broke into the home of the spokesperson for the country’s security minister stealing his laptop which contained official documents. Israel’s Channel 7 reported that “unknown individuals broke into the home of Noam Sela, stealing documents and computers containing information and documents pertaining to both Israel Police and the Israeli government.” The break-in occurred early yesterday morning. The Israeli media outlet noted that police had opened an investigation and there is concern that the stolen laptop contained classified material. Sela is the spokesperson for Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and lives in the Nehalim, central Israel. Israeli army regulations forbid leaving laptops in military vehicles or personal homes out fear of theft. There […]

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Tunisia commutes sentence of couple guilty of public indecency

October 20, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Tunisian High Court has reduced the sentence of an Algerian man and a Tunisian girl after they were accused of public indecency, stripping and hugging in the street. According to the BBC, the Court of Appeal in Tunis sentenced the young man to four months in jail, instead of four months and a half, for “public indecency and refusing to obey the police”, while the girl was sentenced to two months, instead of three, for the first charge. The first verdict, issued on 4 October, was met with anger on social media and in the press. Spokesman for the General Prosecutor in Tunis told AFP that “the verdict is independent and what was reported by local and global press […]

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EU official: Turkish police detain leading activist at airport

October 20, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Turkish police have detained prominent activist and businessman Osman Kavala at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Turkish media and a senior European parliamentarian said on Thursday. Kavala, whose Anadolu Kultur centre says it campaigns for rights and cultural diversity including Kurdish issues, was taken to the city’s counter-terrorism police department, the T24 news website cited his lawyer as saying. Istanbul police declined to comment and there was no immediate statement from the government. “Very disturbing news that Osman Kavala has been detained in Istanbul,” The European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, Kati Piri, wrote on Twitter. Read More: Turkey builds anti-drone system for civilian use T24 said he was detained on Wednesday evening as he returned from a meeting in the southeastern city of […]

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Sudan doubles 2017 gold production targets in 9 months

October 20, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Sudan has doubled its 2017 gold production targets in just nine months, Sudan’s Ministry of Minerals announced yesterday. In a report the Ministry declared that 74.6 tons of gold had been mined during the first three quarter period of this year, “The traditional mining companies produced 63.2 tons, doubling the planned production, while the small mining companies produced 0.2 tons and the major mining companies produced 11.2 tons,” the report said. The Ministry said in the same report that Sudan had plans to expand mineral production in 2018, monitor company licences, attract new investment in a bid to introduce modern mining technology. The mining sector is currently dominated by private gold prospectors who are regulated by central government policy for […]

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Kuwait renews its commitment to Palestinian cause

October 20, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

In a speech at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East on Wednesday, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, the Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations, said that the State of Kuwait, which is about to join the Security Council as a non-permanent state member for the period 2018-2019, would like to stress the importance of making practical progress that would be led by the concerned international authorities and the Security Council, in particular the five permanent state members as well as the Quartet on the Middle East and international partners. He added that these efforts should focus on setting a clear timeframe to complete the negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides […]

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Senior Syria general killed in Deir Ez-Zor

October 19, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

One of the Syrian army’s most prominent leaders, Major General Issam Zahreddine, has been killed in the city of Deir Ez-Zor after his vehicle struck a landmine believed to have been planted by Daesh fighters, the Associated Press reported yesterday. The 56-year-old commander of the 104th Airborne Brigade of the elite Syrian Republican Guard had been fighting Daesh militants in the country’s eastern Deir Ez-Zor province since 2014. His death, which comes after a series of successes for the Syrian government, is being mourned by regime supporters. Zahreddine was considered one of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s most trusted generals and key instigator of violence against opposition fighters and activists. In July, the European Union added the general to a list of […]

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