Middle East News

Kurds in Aleppo protest in solidarity with Mahabad against Iran, Assad

May 10, 2015

Afrin‬, ‎Aleppo‬ province, 10-05-2015: Residents of the majority-Kurdish town of Afrin in Aleppo province today staged a protest in solidarity with fellow Kurds in Mahabad in Iran over Iranian security forces' brutal repression of protests in Mahabad and other Kurdish towns and cities in Iran. Protesters in Afrin carried the Free Syrian flag (seen in picture), as well as Kurdish flags, chanting against the Iranian and Assad regimes.

Israel preparing to attack Syria after Assad falls: Israeli analyst

May 10, 2015

10-05-2015: In preparation for the post-Assad scenario in Syria, Israeli sources have confirmed that the Israeli military is set to launch attacks on “jihadist organisations” operating in Syria after the fall of the Assad regime.

Military affairs commentator Alon Ben-David confirmed that the Israeli army and air force are currently working on preparations for a strategy to defeat a range of jihadist organisations on the assumption that these organisations will turn their weapons on Israel after the fall of the Assad regime.

A Syria for Iran bargain at the U.S.-GCC summit?

May 10, 2015

By Joyce Karam, Al Arabiya

With all eyes on Washington ahead of next week’s summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and America’s traditional allies at the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), it is the Syrian crisis that could shape its outcome without being officially on the agenda.

The Gulf leaders, who have been disappointed time and again with the Obama administration’s reluctant approach to Syria, see, according to diplomatic sources in Washington, an opportune strategic moment for requesting U.S. support on Syria in return for theirs on an Iran nuclear deal.

Kurdish Opposition Leader: If Iranians Use Force We Won’t Back Down

May 10, 2015

An Iranian Kurdish opposition leader in the Kurdistan Region has warned Tehran not to use force against peaceful protesters in Iranian Kurdistan cities.

Deputy leader of the Iranian Kurdistan Freedom Party (KFP) expressed concerns about the situation in Kurdish areas and urged demonstrations to continue until justice is done, and the Iranian army officer who caused the death of a Kurdish woman is punished.

Piles of Hezbollah mercenaries' bodies returned to Lebanon in pick-up trucks as Qalamoun battle continues

May 10, 2015

Hezbollah's al Manar TV has been tirelessly broadcasting triumphal reports of its 'victories' in the Qalamoun region of Damascus province in coordination with Assad's forces. The Tehran-backed militia's media arm hasn't, however, been reporting the less than dignified return to Lebanon of the heaped bodies of Hezbollah mercenaries, killed there while fighting for Assad and Tehran, in the backs of pick-up trucks, as shown in this photograph taken by activists in the area.

Photo from Ahmed Mansour

US Unhappy at Prospect of Real Action Against Assad by Saudi-Turkish Alliance

May 07, 2015

Casting aside U.S. concerns about aiding extremist groups, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have converged on an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The two countries — one a democracy, the other a conservative kingdom — have for years been at odds over how to deal with Assad, their common enemy. But mutual frustration with what they consider American indecision has brought the two together in a strategic alliance that is driving recent rebel gains in northern Syria, and has helped strengthen a new coalition of anti-Assad insurgents, Turkish officials say.

Saudi King: Gulf must confront Iran

May 06, 2015

KSA, 06-05-2015: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said on Tuesday that Gulf leaders must stand up to Iran at a conference held amid growing regional tension.

Salman’s call came at a meeting of Gulf monarchs in Riyadh also attended by French President Francois Hollande, who said his country was “by the side” of Gulf nations.

In a clear reference to Iran, Salman spoke of the need to confront an external threat that “aims to expand control and impose its hegemony,” threatening regional stability and creating “sectarian sedition.”

Assad issued Hariri’s death sentence in 2004: Jumblatt

May 06, 2015

The Syrian regime likely decided to execute Rafik Hariri after a tense meeting between the former prime minister and Bashar Assad in August 2004, Walid Jumblatt told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon Tuesday.

“I think that when [Hariri] visited Bashar Assad on Aug. 26, 2004, the death sentence was made then,” Jumblatt told the court.

But for months after the fateful meeting, Hariri thought that diplomacy could mend his fraught relationship with Damascus.

Hezbollah offensive in Qalamoun protects Assad, not Lebanon: Hariri

May 05, 2015

Lebanon‬, 05-05-2015: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri attacked Hezbollah Tuesday over its preparations for an anticipated large-scale battle in Syria's Qalamoun region against Nusra-led rebels, saying the fight is meant to protect the Syrian government, and not Lebanon.

“Media channels and some leaders in Lebanon have been ringing the bells for the Qalamoun hills battle, while the Syrian regime is silent,” Hariri said in a statement released by his media office.

Hezbollah Recruiting Children as Young as Eight as Its Next Generation of Terrorists

May 04, 2015

04-05-2015: Hezbollah has begun recruiting children as young as eight to join the Mahdi Scouts, which prepares boys to become armed jihadists when they grow up. The scouts number some 50,000 members ranging in age from 8 to 18 and has branches in areas such as Beirut and south Lebanon, according to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Janubiya.

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