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Terrorist who planned to join Isis in Syria and plotted UK bomb attack jailed

Added: 23.11.2017 11:17 | 0 views | 0 comments

A terrorist who planned to flee to Syria to fight with Isis and hoped to carry out a bomb attack in the UK has been jailed for six years.

Tags: UK, Syria, ISIS
From: www.standard.co.uk

Lebanon’s Saad Hariri returns to Beirut amid Saudi resignation saga

Added: 23.11.2017 10:27 | 0 views | 0 comments


Saad Hariri returned to Lebanon late Tuesday for the first time since he stunned his country by announcing from Saudi Arabia that he was quitting as prime minister more than two weeks ago. His resignation, made in an uncomfortable televised statement from Riyadh, set off an international political crisis involving Paris and Washington, who were left without one of their chief partners in a region swirling in conflict. Hariri left Saudi Arabia for Paris on Saturday by invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, before traveling on to Beirut by way of Egypt and Cyprus on Tuesday. President Michel Aoun said he would not accept the resignation until Hariri delivered it in person. Hariri, looking solemn upon his arrival, was driven from the airport to pray at the grave of his father, the late Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. He then retired to his home in central Beirut. Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri visits the grave of former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri  Credit: AFP He was expected to join Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri at the army’s independence day parade Wednesday. Hariri was leading a coalition government with his political opponents in the militant group Hezbollah when he stunned Lebanon by announcing his resignation on Nov. 4. He accused Hezbollah of holding Lebanon hostage and hinted there was a plot against his life. The announcement pushed Lebanon back to the forefront of a pounding regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which until recently appeared to have a tacit agreement to find an accord to keep Lebanon stable. It also set off speculation that Hariri had been forced to step down by the Gulf kingdom and was being held there against his will. His announcement was accompanied by a sharp intensification of Saudi rhetoric against Hezbollah, which the kingdom accuses of meddling on Iran’s behalf in regional affairs. Hezbollah has been fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad in that country’s brutal civil war, where many of Assad’s enemies are rebels backed by Saudi Arabia. The kingdom says Hezbollah is also advising Houthi rebels waging a war against Yemen’s Saudi-backed government. Supporters of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri wave the Future Movement flags as they celerate in Beirut his return Credit: AFP Hezbollah says Saudi Arabia has partnered with Israel to conspire against regional independence. Hariri, in his only in depth interview since announcing his resignation, told his media station Future TV that he could retract his resignation if a deal could be struck with his opponents to distance Lebanon from regional conflicts. Hariri’s trek back from Saudi Arabia came by way of Paris, Egypt, and Cyprus, where he met with the presidents of those countries. Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and French leader Emmanuel Macron are reportedly trying to mediate a solution that would involve rolling back Hariri’s resignation. A dual Saudi-Lebanese national with vast business interests in the kingdom, Hariri told reporters after talks with the Egyptian leader: "Inshallah (God willing), tomorrow’s Independence Day in Lebanon will be a feast for all Lebanese." The celebrations are traditionally attended by the president, the prime minister and the parliament speaker - three pillars of Lebanon’s political system, with the president traditionally a Maronite Christian, the speaker a Shiite Muslim and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (C) arrives at Beirut International Airport  Credit: AFP Hariri met with el-Sissi at the presidential palace in Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis district and a cryptic statement by the Lebanese leader’s press office later said the two discussed the "latest developments in Lebanon and the region." Separately, el-Sissi spoke on the telephone with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, according to an official Egyptian statement. The two leaders emphasized that preserving Lebanon’s national unity and the country’s national interests was a top priority, the statement said. Hariri arrived in France on Saturday at the invitation of Macron, who has been trying to calm tensions and avert another proxy conflict in the region, between Saudi-backed and Iranian-backed camps in Lebanon. After meeting with Macron, Hariri said he would return home in time for Wednesday’s celebrations in Lebanon, where he said he would "declare my political stance." "As you know I have resigned and we will talk about this matter in Lebanon," Hariri said. Lebanon’s president, Aoun, has refused to accept Hariri’s resignation, accusing the Saudis of holding him against his will. Hariri denied this. Media reports and analysts say el-Sissi and Macron have been trying to persuade Hariri to negotiate with other Lebanese leaders on a way out of the crisis, thus preventing the country’s delicate political balance from unraveling and plunging it into a prolonged crisis that would fuel tension in the region. News of the joint Egypt-French effort was reported by Al-Akhbar, an authoritative Beirut newspaper that takes an anti-Saudi stand. It said in its Tuesday edition that French and Egyptian officials discussed Lebanon’s future in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, on the sidelines of el-Sissi’s visit to the island nation. El-Sissi returned home from Cyprus on Tuesday afternoon. El-Sissi, a general who has been Egypt’s president since 2014, has forged close ties with the Saudis, who are his country’s main Arab financial backer. He has, however, managed to pursue regional policies different from those of Riyadh, particularly in Syria and Yemen, without damaging relations with the Saudis. Responding to Riyadh’s escalation against Iran and Hezbollah, el-Sissi earlier this month said the region already was so fraught with tension and instability that it did not need a new crisis. But he also renewed his pledge to come to the rescue of Gulf Arab allies and benefactors if their security was directly threatened.  

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin hold hour-long phone call on foreign affairs

Added: 23.11.2017 8:42 | 0 views | 0 comments


Donald Trump has spoken on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss issues involving Syria, Iran, North Korea and Ukraine, the White House has said. Mr Trump and Mr Putin spoke informally multiple times last week at a summit in Vietnam, where they reportedly agreed on several principles for the future of war-torn Syria. Mr Trump's more that one-hour phone call with Mr Putin comes a day after the Russian president met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Bad day for Saudi diplomacy: Lebanese reversal, Syria summit

Added: 23.11.2017 8:28 | 0 views | 0 comments


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi diplomacy is not having a good day — in fact, it's a double whammy — and the kingdom's bullish 32-year-old crown prince is seen as the driving force behind the foreign policy blunders.

From: www.yahoo.com

Putin urges 'compromise' ahead of new Syria peace talks

Added: 23.11.2017 7:42 | 0 views | 0 comments


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that efforts to end Syria's six-year war were entering "a new stage" ahead of a planned meeting of Syrian government officials and opposition leaders, warning both sides that compromise would be necessary. The new talks should happen soon, Putin said after a summit with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insisting that they would reinvigorate a hobbled peace process. "It is obvious that the reform process will not be simple, it will require compromise and concessions from all parties, including obviously the Syrian government," Putin said after two hours of talks with Rouhani and Erdogan in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

ISIS beheaded 15 of its own fighters: Afghan official

Added: 23.11.2017 7:08 | 0 views | 0 comments

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheaded 15 of its own fighters due to infighting in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said, while a separate suicide attack on Thursday (Nov 23) tore into a crowd in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, killing at least eight.

From: www.straitstimes.com

Iraq launches operation to clear desert region bordering Syria of ISIS militants

Added: 23.11.2017 5:30 | 0 views | 0 comments

Iraqi forces launched an operation on Thursday (Nov 23) to clear the desert bordering Syria of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces in a final push to rid Iraq of the militant group, the military said.

From: www.straitstimes.com

Syria in ruins but Assad's hold on power looks firm

Added: 23.11.2017 4:28 | 0 views | 0 comments


BEIRUT (AP) — His nation is a smoldering ruin, much of it held by rival armed factions, domestic or foreign. Half the population is displaced, hundreds of thousands have died and much of the West regards him as a tyrant and human rights abuser. But Syrian President Bashar Assad appears to have survived the war and is likely to hold onto power for the foreseeable future.

From: www.yahoo.com

Iran Revolution Guards chief says disarming Hizbollah non-negotatiable

Added: 23.11.2017 4:16 | 0 views | 0 comments

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards will play an active role in establishing a lasting "ceasefire"in crisis-hit Syria, its chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, adding that disarming Lebanon's Hizbollah was non-negotiable, state TV reported on Thursday (Nov 23).

Tags: Syria, Fire, ISIS, Iran
From: www.straitstimes.com

Putin hosts Iran, Turkey leaders in major new Syria diplomacy push

Added: 23.11.2017 3:28 | 0 views | 0 comments

Russia's Vladimir Putin hosted the presidents of Turkey and Iran to discuss Syria on Wednesday, launching a major diplomatic push to finally end a civil war that has been all but won by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian opposition groups, meeting in Saudi Arabia to seek a unified position ahead of peace talks, decided to stick to their demand that Assad leave power, Al Arabiya television reported, following speculation they might soften their stance after their hardline leader quit.

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