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URUK Net 31 August, 2009

Last updated: Friday, September 4, 2009 14:26

US Hummers Enter Pakistan, Undercover American Soldiers Swarm Islamabad
AHMED QURAISHI
Undercover armed Americans are swarming the Pakistani capital in the latest sign that the elected government has allowed Washington to dispatch what is believed to be a large number of American special operations agents and contractual security guards, including the infamous Blackwater private militia. This comes at a time when whistleblowers within the government and the military are reporting the arrival of a large number of US Marines in Pakistan. Some reports put the figure at 1,000 US soldiers, much of whom are thought to be arriving as part of the massive expansion of the US Embassy and four consulates across the country. While the US embassy continues to deny this, new buildings are under construction to house security teams. The expanded US embassy is supposed to become the largest US embassy in the world. Above is an exclusive picture taken by a source at the entrance of Port Qasim near Karachi, showing US Hummers being transported out of the facility…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57513

UNREPORTED REPORTS
Malcom Lagauche
In the past few months, we have seen numerous reports about Iraqi homosexuals being tortured and killed, many times by agents of the stooge Iraqi government. All the mainstream multi-million-dollar organizations, such as Newsweek and CNN are cashing in on their supposed “scoops.” However, they are three or four years out of time. In 2005, I, and a few others, notably Pat Sherman and Doug Ireland, wrote extensively about the issue. It took the mainstream media four years to come out with “revealing information.”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57517

Iraq’s execution policy slammed by rights group
CNN
At least 1,000 prisoners are on death row in Iraq, which now has one of the highest rates of execution in the world, the human rights group Amnesty International says in a report being released Tuesday. The courts that sentence people to death do not meet international standards, the report charged, and Iraqi authorities “provide very little information on executions, and some have been carried out secretly.” It criticizes the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, which issue the majority of death sentences in the country. “Defendants commonly complain that ‘confessions’ were extracted from them under torture,” the report alleges.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57520

PHR Analysis: CIA Health Professionals’ Role in Torture Worse Than Previously Known
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
The extent to which American physicians and psychologists violated human rights and betrayed the ethical standards of their professions by designing, implementing, and legitimizing a worldwide torture program is greater than previously known, according to a report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). A team of PHR doctors authored the new white paper, Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Demonstrated in the May 2004 Inspector General’s Report. The report details how the CIA relied on medical expertise to rationalize and carry out abusive and unlawful interrogations…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57521

Video – Cindy Sheehan: America needs to wake up
RussiaToday
In an exclusive interview with RT’s Anastasia Churkina, anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan talks about the need of accountability, an end to Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American psyche ignoring the truth…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57514

Iran News Agency Reports Prisoner Died of Abuse
MICHAEL SLACKMAN
In what may be the first admission that a prisoner died from abuse by Iranian prison authorities in the wake of post-election unrest, a semiofficial news service reported Monday that the son of an adviser to a prominent conservative politician had died of “physical stress, conditions of imprisonment, repeated blows and harsh physical treatment.” The report, by the Mehr News Agency, quoted “informed sources” as saying the medical examiner had determined that Mohsen Ruholamini, 25, died of abuse and neglect after being held in the Kahrizak detention center and then being transferred to Evin prison under “unsuitable conditions.”..

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Raw Video: Fuel Trucks Attacked at Afghan Border
AP
Suspected Taliban militants set fire to 18 container trucks carrying supplies for Western forces in neighboring Afghanistan in the Pakistani border town of Chaman, police said on Monday. Some 300 trucks were parked near the border crossing in the country’s southwest, as the border had been closed by Pakistani authorities since Friday in a row with their Afghan counterparts over the checking of trucks coming from landlocked Afghanistan…

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Taliban Ready if Afghan Government Fails, Analyst Warns
Reuters
Afghanistan’s government must fight corruption and quickly deliver services to Afghans, because Taliban militants are filling gaps and winning support to their cause, a top counter-insurgency expert said on Monday. The Taliban were already running courts, hospitals and even an ombudsman in parallel to the government, making a real difference to local people, said David Kilcullen, a senior adviser to U.S. commander General Stanley McChrystal… Kilcullen, an Australian military officer and adviser to past U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said Karzai’s government was failing to maintain a rapport with local people, who were now turning to the Taliban for court judgments, education and even fair taxation assessment…

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Israeli Army official: “Hebron man killed in cold blood, soldiers were never charged”
Saed Bannoura
An Israeli military official confirmed the story of the family of Yasser Tmeizy, from the southern West Bank City of Hebron, who said that Israel soldiers killed their son in cold blood, but Israel never filed charges against them. Odi Ben Moha, an Israeli military commander in charge of the Hebron district, stated that it is a scandal that no charges were filed against the soldiers especially since the crime took place on January 13 this year…

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Girl, 15, seeks justice for Gaza in world court
AFP
A 15-year-old Palestinian girl who says Israeli troops killed her father and two siblings in Gaza in January, sought justice from the International Criminal Court on Monday. “I am here to lodge a complaint against the occupying army,” Amira Alqerem told journalists in The Hague, seven months after her family was killed in an early-morning assault in the Tal Al Hawa neighbourhood that also left her severely injured. “I hope this complaint will succeed because it is the truth,” the soft-spoken teenager said, seated next to her lawyer on his way to the ICC to file the complaint with the office of the prosecutor…

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Torturing the truth
Joseph Cannon, Cannonfire
Once again, the Washington Post tries to convince us that Dick Cheney saved the world by authorizing the torture of Khaled Sheik Mohammed.”KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete,” according to newly unclassified portions of a 2004 report by the CIA’s then-inspector general released Monday by the Justice Department. “What do you think changed KSM’s mind?” one former senior intelligence official said this week after being asked about the effect of waterboarding. “Of course it began with that.” The WP does acknowledge that KSM later told the Red Cross that he came up with false info — saying whatever the interrogators seemed to want to hear — in order to make the torment stop…

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US ‘needs new Afghan strategy’
Aljaeera.net
The top US general in Afghanistan says Washington and its allies need a new strategy to defeat the Taliban. In a review submitted to the Pentagon and Nato on Monday, General Stanley McChrystal described the Afghan situation as “serious” but said the war could still be won…Reports indicate McChrystal wants the Afghan army and police force – now totalling more than 160,000 – to be nearly doubled to more than 300,000, our correspondent said. The review comes amid news that August was the worst month on record for US fatalities in Afghanistan…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57516

PFLP calls on Italian and Swedish supporters of Palestine to reject Zionist attempts at intimidation
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called upon friends and supporters of Palestine in Italy, Sweden, and throughout Europe and the world to reject Zionist attempts to trample freedom of speech and the press and suppress the movement in support of Palestine. Responding to the statements of Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini, a PFLP spokesperson said that it is urgent that European countries and people internationally isolate Israel and fully investigate its abuses. The PFLP spokesperson harshly condemned the intervention of Frattini, who said that “there are limits to freedom of the press” and has pressed for expanded and increased economic and political relations between Israel and Europe…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57515

The Crisis Provocateurs: Israel’s Sabotaging of U.S. Negotiations with “Evil” North Korea
Maidhc Ó Cathail
While it may be a long way from Tel Aviv to Pyongyang, Israel bears considerable responsibility for North Korea’s increasingly fraught relations with the world. Indeed, through its small but influential support network in the United States, the self-styled Jewish state has played a rarely acknowledged but arguably decisive role in undermining progress towards a peaceful resolution of America’s longest running conflict. Though totally oblivious to this unwarranted intervention by a seemingly distant and irrelevant power, hundreds of millions of Koreans, Chinese and Japanese could have paid, and may yet pay, a terrible price for Israel’s covert meddling in East Asian politics…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57525

The Evidence Mounts Still Further
Andrew Sullivan, thepeoplesvoice.org
You will notice once again that the New York Times is able to use the word “torture” to describe torture – but only when it is committed by governments other than that of the US. The NYT under the editorial guidance of Bill Keller has, by cowardice and weakness, abetted the degeneracy that Cheney accomplished…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57524

Not one penny has reached Gaza
Omar Karmi
It has been six months since the international community pledged nearly US$5 billion (Dh18bn) in aid to the Palestinian people, chiefly for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after Israel’s devastating offensive there this year. None of this aid has reached Gaza and no reconstruction has started… Of the billions of dollars pledged for reconstruction by the international community, UNRWA noted in a press release on August 17, “not one penny” has reached Gaza, and reconstruction has proven to be a “mirage”. The humanitarian situation in Gaza, according to the UN, “remains precarious”. That such serious humanitarian disasters as a cholera epidemic did not emerge in Gaza, said William Corcoran, the president of the American Near East Refugee Aid agency, (Anera) is partly down to “dumb luck”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57508

Iraq’s Mosul under tight curfew
By Jareer Mohammed
Major parts of the Province of Nineveh of which the city of Mosul is the capital are under tight curfew for fear of rebel attacks. The authorities have intensified security measures, setting up road blocks and checkpoints at the main entries to Mosul and placing villages and towns under curfew. The measures come in the aftermath of massive bomb attacks in Baghdad targeting heavily guarded government ministries and causing huge damage and hundreds of casualties….

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* Yemeni-Iranian relations strained by al-Houthi rebellion
Nasser Arrabyee
The Yemen Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, said Monday his country would make some “hard decisions” regarding Iran if it did not stop supporting the al-Houthi rebels. The Minister said he delivered a memo to the Iranian ambassador to Sana’a and to the Iranian Foreign Ministry in which he informed them of Yemen’s displeasure with the Iranian support for the rebels…

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America’s Tortured Past
Stephen Lendman
…The 2006 Military Commissions Act authorized torture, created the lawless category of “unlawful enemy combatants,” denied them judicial fairness, claimed they can be disappeared, indefinitely detained with no right to counsel, then tried by kangaroo tribunals with no right of appeal and executed. To protect national security, they may be subjected to all forms of abuse, innocent or guilty, and the right of “military necessity” justifies the most extreme mistreatment. Any form of intense and prolonged physical and psychological torture may be inflicted short of causing injuries resulting in death, organ failure, or permanent damage – continuing America’s long tradition of inflicting abusive barbaric treatment. The Times gave examples, but omitted prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, painful shackling, severe beatings, electric shocks, induced hypothermia, exposure to bright lights and eardrum-shattering sounds 24 hours a day, denial of medical care, proper food or enough of it, excruciating force-feeding to hunger-strikers, induced psychological trauma, forced sodomy, threats and bites by attack dogs, being blindfolded and hung from the ceiling by their wrists, and subjected to repeated humiliations, indignities and barbarism for months, even years, although most Guantanamo detainees (and others) committed no crime and were turned in for bounties that snared children as young as 13…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57491

Duel in the Sun: America’s Iraqi Clients Play the Al Qaeda Card on Syria
Chris Floyd
…And so the client state led by sectarian extremist Nouri al-Maliki has turned to the time-honored tactic used by governments since time immemorial to divert attention from its own manifest failures: blaming foreign devils. Naturally, the Maliki regime cannot blame its foreign masters in Washington for unleashing, arming, abetting and exacerbating the murderous chaos in the conquered land. Nor can they blame their long-time mentors and supporters in Iran. So that leaves Syria. With the televised confessions, the Maliki regime has moved swiftly from blaming Baathist diehards who have been hiding amongst the multitude of Iraqi refugees to accusing the Damascus regime of openly directing the attackers — and now, in the latest show-trial spectacle, of supporting al-Qaeda training camps on Syrian soil. This is heavy stuff indeed…

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Jewish settlers plan massive construction
Vita Bekker
The accelerating pace of Jewish settlement expansion in East Jerusalem this year may spur violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the city and cripple new efforts by the Obama administration to kick-start peace talks, an Israeli anti-settlement group warned yesterday. The “massive” construction being planned by Jewish settlers within Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem is likely to prompt clashes, said Yudith Oppenheimer, the executive director of Ir Amim, a Jerusalem-based advocacy group…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57507

US Audacity of Hope Falters
By Ramzy Baroud
The US has decided to be ‘flexible’ regarding its once touted call for a total Israeli freeze on the expansion of its occupied territories’ settlements, all illegal under international law. A senior official spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity on August 27. “It was more important that the scope of a settlement freeze was acceptable to the Israelis and the Palestinians than to the United States,” Reuters reported, citing the senior official. This means that peace negotiations can resume while Israeli bulldozers are carving up Palestinian land, demolishing homes and cutting down trees…

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Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Mark Tran
The soldiers from the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were killed in an explosion while on foot patrol north of Lashkar Gah district, southern Helmand, this morning. Two more British soldiers have died in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today, bringing the total number of deaths of UK personnel since operations began in 2001 to 210. The soldiers from the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were killed in an explosion while on foot patrol north of Lashkar Gah district, southern Helmand, this morning…

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United States Involvement in the Coup in Honduras
Karine Walsh
After more than 60 days following the kidnapping of President Zelaya and the seizure of power by the usurper “government” of Roberto Micheletti, it became impossible for Washington to continue to deny its direct involvement in this reprehensible and internationally condemned act. Arnold August, Montreal author and expert on Cuban democracy, was invited on August 24 by Sylvia Richardson of CJSF Radio to shed light on the June 28 events in Honduras and the revelations surrounding the case which are being exposed over time…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57501

Covering for Cheney
The Press and Torture
Ray McGovern
EXTRA! Read all about it in the Washington Post: Torture worked; Cheney and torture practitioners vindicated; morale at CIA harmed. It seems coverage of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” has been put back on track by the editors of the Washington Post and their “sources,” who appear determined to highlight the supposed successes of waterboarding and other forms of torture. In the last few days the Post has markedly increased its effort to “catapult the propaganda” (to borrow a phrase from former President George W. Bush). When the wind is still, Nazi propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels can be heard cheering from the grave…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57500

Afghan bombs kill two US soldiers
AFP
Bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed two US soldiers today as the commander of 100,000 Western troops in the country called for a revised strategy to defeat Taliban insurgents, the military said. The soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force were killed in separate improvised-explosive device attacks in southern Afghanistan, the military said in a statement. Within nine months, 2009 is on record as the deadliest for foreign troops serving in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57497

Are the Taliban Surrounding NATO Armies and Cutting them Off?
Why Washington Needs Iran and Russia
Juan Cole
There is an old saying in military affairs, that everyone wants to do strategy and tactics, but real men do logistics. That is, moving persons and materiel around and managing supplies seems tedious, but they are crucial to success. The Obama administration has substituted the Logistics of War for the War on Terror. It is moving troops and equipment and assets around in the millions, on a vast scale, and therefore its enemies—whether the Sunni radicals in Iraq or the neo-Taliban, are also concentrating on logistics. The staccato, desultory news items of bombings here and air strikes there, make sense if the individual incidents are viewed as struggles over supply lines— whether supply lines for military purposes, or supplies of intangibles such as international legitimacy. And in this context, the gingerness with which Washington is now approaching Russia and Iran makes perfect sense…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57496

The River in Reverse: Looking Back at the Drowning of New Orleans
Chris Floyd
…And if Katrina happened today, in our bold new progressive era, where would those vital resources be? Still gone — gone into the trillions of dollars now committed to bail out the rapacios financial elite, gone to the still-raging, ever-expanding wars of terror and domination that our leaders — “progressive” and conservative alike — keep waging…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57494

Cheney defends torture policy and CIA torturers
By Patrick Martin
In an interview broadcast Sunday, former vice president Dick Cheney defended the brutal interrogations carried out at CIA secret prisons under the direction of the Bush administration and denounced the proposed investigation of a handful of CIA agents for some of the most flagrant acts of torture. The interview itself was a demonstration of journalistic sycophancy, as Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace avoided using the word “torture” at any point in his questioning of Cheney. The 25-minute discussion focused largely on last week’s release of a heavily censored report by the CIA inspector general, drafted in 2004, which detailed acts that clearly violate the International Convention Against Torture, ratified by the US government a quarter-century ago…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57490

BDS: Avnery’s dangerous argumentation
Helena Cobban
…The argument he published yesterday that was against the burgeoning BDS movement was had some deeply flawed and dangerous arguments in it. Anees of Jerusalem has highlighted one serious (and apparently very racist) flaw in Avnery’s argument. His criticism was of these statements: Blacks in South Africa are very different from the Israelis, and from the Palestinians, too. The collapse of the oppressive racist regime did not lead to a bloodbath, as could have been predicted, but on the contrary: to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Actually, Avnery’s argument there is not only racist— with the clear implication that the Palestinians (”unlike the blacks of South Africa”) are indeed intent on a bloodbath; but also illogical…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57485

And the war drags on . . .
The Common Ills
…James Dao deserves an award for humor writing if only due to this passage: “And some groups, including Moveon.org, have yet to take a clear position on Afghanistan beyond warning that war drains resources from domestic programs.” Hey, Dao, when you’re reporting on the anti-war movement, don’t include a group which, eight years after the start of the Afghanistan War, can’t figure out their position on the war. WalkOn, WalkOn.org. Robert Greenwald whines, “We lost funding from liberals who didn’t want to criticize Obama.” As if. You whored it and we’re tired of paying whores. We didn’t even get good sex, now did we? We closed our checkbooks to you for the same reason that we won’t support Robert Parry or any of the other faux ‘reporters,’ you’re nothing but whores. You support a whore for too long, suddenly they’re Vicki Morgan and you’re Alfred Bloomingdale and the only way out is death or palimony. It’s just not worth it. They lost their funding because they couldn’t stop whoring for Barack. They still do it today. They haven’t taken a position against Barack..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57493

Mercenary Armies: A Worldwide Threat and a Menace to Peace
Sherwood Ross
The growing use of private armies not only subjects target populations to savage warfare but makes it easier for the government to subvert domestic public opinion and wage wars. Americans are less inclined to oppose a war that is being fought by hired foreign mercenaries, even when their own tax dollars are being squandered to fund it…

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Cheney Says He May Not Cooperate With Torture Probe if Asked
Jason Leopold
Dick Cheney, in a defiant half-hour interview Sunday on Fox New, launched into a blistering attack on the Obama administration, saying the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a federal prosecutor to conduct a “preliminary review” of about a dozen cases of torture “offends the hell out of me.” Cheney added he may not cooperate with the investigation if asked to do so by Assistant U.S…

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Prison conditions plummet during month of Ramadan when family visits are banned and food is inedible
PNN
Abu Amara was just released from Hasharon Prison. The Nablus resident told the Center for Prisoners Studies that conditions during the month of Ramadan are particularly harsh. Relations between political prisoners and Israeli management are especially tense after last week. Palestinians refused to comply with invasive inspections, which Abu Amara believes will result in the withdrawal of basic achievements. In a report drawn up by the Center for Prisoners Studies upon his release, Abu Amara also remarked on the problematic situation for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. Due to the siege, Israeli forces are not allowing citizens of the Strip to receive visits. Bans of family visits are among the most devastating aspects of prison life, the Palestinian Prisoners Society has reported on several occasions…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57498

East Jerusalem Shuts Out Thousands of Prayers
By Mel Frykberg
The future of East Jerusalem and of Palestinian access to it has again been brought under the spotlight. Thousands of Palestinians were turned away at West Bank checkpoints leading into Jerusalem by Israeli security forces as they tried to attend Friday Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. IPS witnessed dozens of heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police cordoning off the Qalandia border crossing south of Ramallah, and preventing hundreds of Palestinians from crossing through.

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57489

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinians accuse Israel of organ theft – 31 Aug 09
AlJazeeraEnglish
A diplomatic row between Sweden and Israel has emerged after a leading Swedish tabloid printed an article suggesting Israeli soldiers stole body parts from Palestinians after killing them. Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros visited a family at the centre of the organ trafficking controversy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57499

Military parade in Rafah refugee camp honors Comrade Leader Abu Ali Mustafa
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -PFLP
…The spokesperson for the PFLP pledged to continue the path of resistance of the martyr Abu Ali Mustafa and to achieve the objectives of our people – freedom, self-determination, independence and return. The spokesperson called for a formation of a united resistance front of all the military wings of the national and Islamic resistance factions in Gaza. The spokesperson said that the blood of Abu Ali Mustafa is a commitment to stay on the path of resistance, and that we will continue to march on the path of resistance as we know that this is the only way to restore our Palestinian national rights, for which Abu Ali gave his life and his death and for which our leader, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the PFLP, remains behind the bars of the Zionist enemy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=57488

Israeli warships bombard Gaza fishing boat
Ma’an News
Israeli warships bombarded Palestinian boats off the Sudaniyya shore north of Gaza City on Monday morning, according to Nizar Ayyash, head of the Fishermen’s Union. The official said the boat, which belonged to Umar Ibrahim Al-Habeil, was set ablaze by several shells fired from an Israeli naval unit operating in the area. Al-Habeil was reportedly injured in the attack…

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Syria’s Assad slams Iraq over “immoral” charges
Reuters
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday described as “immoral” Iraq’s accusation that Damascus was responsible for attacks inside its territory and again asked Baghdad to produce evidence. His remarks were the latest salvo in an escalating war of words between the two neighbours since Iraqi officials accused Syria of complicity in a spike of militant attacks in Iraq. “When Syria is accused of killing Iraqis, while it is housing around 1.2 million Iraqis … this is considered an immoral accusation,” Assad told a joint news conference with visiting Cypriot President Demetris Christofias in Damascus..

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