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Middle East Political News

YEMEN POLITICS: UN Official to Saudis: ‘Stop War in Yemen, Fund 100% of Humanitarian Aid’

YEMEN POLITICS: UN Official to Saudis: ‘Stop War in Yemen, Fund 100% of Humanitarian Aid’

“Saudi Arabia should fund 100 percent of the needs of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” David Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme told Reuters, during a visit to Ethiopia. “Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them.”

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IRAN POLITICS: Senior Iranian Official to Iraqi Kurdish: Forgo Referendum for Secession

IRAN POLITICS: Senior Iranian Official to Iraqi Kurdish: Forgo Referendum for Secession

Mohsen Rezaei warns, “Iraq is a well-known nation and a member of the United Nations with international borders, and its breakup is a very wrong thing, because the disintegration of the country would be the starting point for dangerous insecurities in the region. It would have “dangerous” ramifications for the regional countries, said Rezai, who is currently the secretary of Iran’s top arbitration body, the Expediency Council, having served as the head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) all through the eight-year Iraqi war of the 1980s on Iran.”

“If the disintegration of Iraq begins, it will be extended to Syria and Turkey, and a separatist war will break up in the region, which may plunge the region to 20 years of insecurity. That is why the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq are strongly opposed to a geographical change in the region.”

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Russia Dismisses Israeli Concerns of Iranian Expansion in Syria

ISRAEL POLITICS: Russia Dismisses Israeli Concerns of Iranian Expansion in Syria

“Whatever area of cooperation between Iran and Syria, my position is that if their cooperation in whichever field does not violate the basic provisions of international law, it should not be cause for question,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press briefing in the Qatari capital Doha on Wednesday.

“We do not have any information that someone is preparing an attack on Israel,” Lavrov added.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Forces Fired Live Bullet at 60-Year-Old Palestinian Woman

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Forces Fired Live Bullet at 60-Year-Old Palestinian Woman

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the ongoing tensions since October 2015.

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SYRIA POLITICS: ‘Unacceptable Price for Civilians’: UN Says US-Led Coalition Airstrikes May Breach International Law

SYRIA POLITICS: ‘Unacceptable Price for Civilians’: UN Says US-Led Coalition Airstrikes May Breach International Law

“Given the extremely high number of reports of civilian casualties this month and the intensity of the air strikes on Raqqa, coupled with ISIL’s use of civilians as human shields, I am deeply concerned that civilians – who should be protected at all times – are paying an unacceptable price and that forces involved in battling ISIL are losing sight of the ultimate goal of this battle,” Zeid said in a statement on Thursday.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinians Vie With Israel Over Muslim Pilgrims to Jerusalem

PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinians Vie With Israel Over Muslim Pilgrims to Jerusalem

At the height of tensions in Jerusalem last month over Israeli controls on access to Al-Aqsa, Turkey’s Islamist-rooted president, Tayyip Erdogan, urged his compatriots to flock there in solidarity with the Palestinians.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Lawmakers Aqsa Visits Spark Palestinians, Jordan Anger

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israeli Lawmakers Aqsa Visits Spark Palestinians, Jordan Anger

Another Israeli legislator, Ahmad Tibi, also accused the right-wing Israeli lawmakers of seeking to change the status quo of the site.

“The Arab MKs come to their home, to their mosque. But the right-wing extremist MKs storm the mosque with the protection of … police, and they are the same ones who want to change the status quo to allow them to pray in the courtyard of the mosque,” he added.

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: ‘Saudi War on Yemen Absolute Policy Failure’

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: ‘Saudi War on Yemen Absolute Policy Failure’

“Most people in the United States and in the West believe that as Yemen becomes more and more destabilized, if the Houthi rebels are successful in taking over more and more of the country, once they have consolidated their gains, consolidated their power, then they would turn their power northward towards Saudi Arabia in terms of destabilizing that country. That is something that the United States and most of the West view as completely unacceptable,” the analyst said.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Israel Plans to Change Jerusalem al-Quds Demographic Make-Up

ISRAEL POLITICS: Israel Plans to Change Jerusalem al-Quds Demographic Make-Up

According to the report, the first part of the plan involves the deployment of 1,250 new policemen to Jerusalem al-Quds and the installation of thousands of cameras there, including in the Old City.

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LEBANON POLITICS: Changes to Proposed US Anti-Hezbollah Sanctions Allay Lebanon’s Fears

LEBANON POLITICS: Changes to Proposed US Anti-Hezbollah Sanctions Allay Lebanon’s Fears

Lebanon’s government, central bank and private banks have lobbied U.S. politicians and banks hard this year – and continue to do so – to persuade Washington to balance its tough anti-Hezbollah stance with the need to preserve stability.

Their main message has been that the last thing needed by the United States, which backs the Lebanese army in its fight against Islamic State and other militants spilling over from Syria, is another failed state in the Middle East.

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YEMEN POLITICS: Air Raid Kills at Least 12, Including Six Children

YEMEN POLITICS: Air Raid Kills at Least 12, Including Six Children

“Such loss of civilian life is outrageous and runs counter to the basic tenets of the law of armed conflict,” the deputy head of ICRC’s delegation in Yemen, Carlos Morazzani, said after visiting the site. “From what we saw on the ground, there was no apparent military target.”

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IRAQ POLITICS: Iraqi Kurdish Referendum Potential Reason for War: Turkish Nationalist Leader

IRAQ POLITICS: Iraqi Kurdish Referendum Potential Reason for War: Turkish Nationalist Leader

Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said Thursday that Ankara should oppose plans by the leader of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, to hold the referendum in September, adding that the move could ignite turbulence in Turkey’s southeast, which is populated by millions of Kurds.

“This is a rehearsal for Kurdistan. If necessary Turkey should deem this referendum as a reason for war,” said Bahceli, adding, “A position must be taken to the end against Barzani’s preparation for an independence referendum which incorporates Turkmen cities.”

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QATAR POLITICS: Qatar Enacts Law to Protect Foreign Domestic Workers

QATAR POLITICS: Qatar Enacts Law to Protect Foreign Domestic Workers

Like other wealthy Gulf Arab states, Qatar hosts tens of thousands of mostly female domestic workers, mostly from the Philippines, South Asia and East Africa. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have long complained that Gulf states do not properly regulate working conditions for low-income residents helping tend homes or toiling at omnipresent construction sites.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinian Officials to Britain: Recognize Independent Palestinian State

PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinian Officials to Britain: Recognize Independent Palestinian State

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said:

“Britain … and the rest of the world have to obligate the Israeli government to accept the principle of [the so-called] two states based on the June 4, 1967 borders, that is an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital … and a halt to all Israeli colonial activities.”

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IRAQ POLTICS: UN Aid Workers Urge Safe Passage for Civilians Fleeing Northern Iraq Ahead of Battle

IRAQ POLTICS: UN Aid Workers Urge Safe Passage for Civilians Fleeing Northern Iraq Ahead of Battle

Andrej Mahecic, spokesperson at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told journalists in Geneva about the ongoing operations to retake the city. “We fear that Iraqi civilians are likely to be held as human shields again and that attempts to flee could result in executions/shootings. Many talk of seeing dead bodies along the way, and there are reports that some were killed by extremist groups. Others appear to have died due to dehydration or illnesses.

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IRAN POLITICS: Political Geography Change in Iraq Creates Regional Insecurity: Major General Mohammad Baqeri

IRAN POLITICS: Political Geography Change in Iraq Creates Regional Insecurity: Major General Mohammad Baqeri

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said, “Any geographical change in the region, given the differences between the Kurds and the central Iraqi government about [the country’s northern province of] Kirkuk and other areas, can start tensions and conflicts inside Iraq and this issue will never be confined to Iraq’s geographical expanse.”

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IRAQ POLITICS: Kurds Might Put Off Independence Referendum in Return for Concessions From Baghdad: Official

IRAQ POLITICS: Kurds Might Put Off Independence Referendum in Return for Concessions From Baghdad: Official

The Kurds have been seeking an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East and left Kurdish-populated territory split between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Turkey, Iran and Syria, which together with Iraq have sizeable Kurdish communities, all oppose an independent Kurdistan. Prime Minister Abadi’s government has rejected the planned referendum as “unilateral” and unconstitutional.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Army Crushing Terrorists: Assad

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Army Crushing Terrorists: Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says, “We have managed to foil the Western project. West is like a chameleon due to its behavior to fit different situations. The psychological war against the Damascus government has failed to discourage us from fighting terrorism or even frighten us… We have fought terror since day one, and we will continue to fight it until there is no terrorist in Syria…”

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YEMEN POLITICS: Saudi-Led Aggressors War on Yemen Totally Failed to Achieve Objectives: Ansarullah Leader

YEMEN POLITICS: Saudi-Led Aggressors War on Yemen Totally Failed to Achieve Objectives: Ansarullah Leader

The Yemen war, which was launched in an attempt to crush the Houthi movement and reinstall the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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IRAN POLITICS: US Provocations Aimed at Demonizing Iran: UN Envoy

IRAN POLITICS: US Provocations Aimed at Demonizing Iran: UN Envoy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, “The new US administration officials should know that the failed experience of threats and sanctions forced their predecessors to come to the negotiating table. If they prefer to return to those times, Iran will definitely return to a situation much more advanced than the start of the [nuclear] negotiations, not within months and weeks, but in a matter of hours and days.”

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