ANKARA, February 18 -- The US may continue to have a military presence in Syria after the withdrawal of troops, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News circulated on Monday.
"Where will they pull out to, will someone else replace them, who will they leave the arms, will their presence continue? When they pull out, their presence will most probably not end, it will continue in some way," Peskov said. "All these questions are on the agenda, the presidents are talking about them. The general attitude is the same, there is no reason for optimism, and uncertainty is troubling. And this situation is not helping the crisis in Syria and hope for a solution at all," the spokesman emphasized.
On December 19, 2018, US President Donald Trump said that the United States had defeated ISIS (Islamic State, a terrorist organization banned in Russia) in Syria, which was the only reason for the US troops being there, so all US troops would be pulled out of Syria. According to US officials, the US would withdraw its entire force of 2,000 service members from Syria within 60 to 100 days.
YANGON, February 16 -- Myanmar's powerful army chief has given a rare foreign media interview to insist there was no "certain proof" the military had persecuted the country's stateless Rohingya Muslim community.
Around 740,000 Rohingya fled over the border into Bangladesh after a bloody military campaign in 2017. The UN condemned the crackdown as ethnic cleansing and investigators called for top military leaders, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, to be prosecuted for genocide. But the military has maintained its operations were justified to root out Rohingya insurgents following a series of deadly attacks on police posts and has denied nearly all allegations of wrongdoing.
In an interview Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper published Friday, Min Aung Hlaing doubled down on previous claims, arguing "there is no certain proof that the national army was involved in the persecution" of Rohingya. The army chief added that accusations the military committed atrocities "hurts the nation's dignity". Min Aung Hlaing rarely speaks to the press and has instead preferred to communicate over Facebook, but the social media giant kicked him off the platform last year for his role in stoking hate speech. His comments were at odds with testimony from Rohingya in the crowded, sprawling camps in Bangladesh. The refugees have recounted widespread murder, rape, torture and the burning of entire villages to the ground at the hands of Myanmar soldiers. A UN probe report released in September also outlined atrocities committed by the military in meticulous and searing detail. It said Myanmar's "clearance operations" were disproportionate to the insurgent attacks and cited prior troop deployments as evidence of premeditation.
Investigators called for Myanmar to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) but any road to prosecution would be long and fraught with political difficulties at the UN. Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government remains in a fragile power-sharing agreement with the military, which holds three key ministries and a quarter of parliamentary seats.
Suu Kyi's international reputation lies in tatters for refusing to stand up for the Rohingya. In Myanmar, the Rohingya are widely seen as interlopers from Bangladesh and have been denied citizenship, rights and access to services for decades under what Amnesty International calls apartheid-like conditions.
January 21 -- Kurdish communities in Europe send out a message and recalled that the Leyla Guven’s hunger strike is on the 75th day.
The Kurdish groups noted that Leyla Guven’s life is at grave risk, her demands should immediately be met. The co-chair of the DTK and MP for HDP, Leyla Guven, political prisoners in North Kurdistan, Kurdish activists in South Kurdistan, Europe and Canada are on a hunger strike campaign to protest the strict isolation imposed on the Kurdish People’s leader, Abdullah Ocalan and demand his freedom.
Kurdish youth community in Europe has also initiated a social media campaign, and continue to express their solidarity with Leyla Guven. The youths emphasized that Leyla Guven’s life is at risk, and they strongly criticized the silence of the international organizations.
ANKARA, January 15 -- After talks with US President Donald Trump Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed his country’s intention to create a buffer zone in northern Syria.
Erdogan was speaking on Tuesday at a meeting with parliament members from the Justice and Development Party he leads. "In yesterday’s telephone conversation US President Donald Trump reaffirmed his decision to pull troops out of Syria. We’ve decided to go ahead with our contacts on all issues involving Syria, including the security zone Turkey will create," the daily Sabah quotes Erdogan as saying.
VIENNA, January 14 -- Authorities in Austria say they've arrested a 19-year-old Syrian man in connection with the killing of a teenage girl near Vienna.
Markus Bauer, spokesman at the Lower Austria prosecutor's office, said Monday that the suspect was arrested overnight after police received tips about his whereabouts. The victim, a 16-year-old Austrian, was found Sunday covered in leaves and branches in a park in Wiener Neustadt, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Vienna.
Bauer said the suspect and the victim knew each other, but he couldn't confirm reports that they had previously been in a relationship. Austrian media reported that the victim appeared to have been strangled.
ROTTERDAM, January 14 -- It's an interesting controversy. And useful to understand the stubborn dynamics of Islamist thinking.
The topic being whether Muslims, as the hadith commands, should respectfully mourn the dead (The hadith says: "... even if the deceased had notoriety for being an evildoer Prophet Mohammed said they should be remembered [or mentioned] with benevolence...), the controversy, once again, shed light to one of the pillars of political Islam: discourtesy for the "other," because the "other" is the "infidel" who does not deserve benevolence – even when dead.
Yeni Akit, a daily newspaper and a more-than-staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is widely known with its militant Islamist past and present. One of its common journalistic practices is to curse any deceased whom the newspaper deems infidel/Zionist/traitor/terrorist/crusader plus you name it; practically categorised as "anyone who does not think, believe and practice like we do."
After the recent death of a theatre actress, known with her secular views, Yeni Akit returned to its Islamist journalistic book of rules and followed the pattern. In protest, Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan, himself a former Islamist, reminded Yeni Akit of the hadith that commands Muslims to respect the dead. "Always remember your dead with benevolence."
This columnist, always curious about the intellectual codes of Islamist thinking, enthusiastically waited for an explanation from Yeni Akit. If these Islamists are so grossly violating a well-known hadith they should have an explanation – and least to convince themselves, if not the others. And they always have an explanation. Yeni Akit's reply to Mr Hakan came a day after, and it offered us non-Islamist souls [infidels, in Islamist lexicon] a fascinating opportunity to further decipher political Islam and the age-old question of why political Islam is about rage, not peace.
Yeni Akit's editorial response to Mr Hakan essentially argued that:
Yes, there is the hadith that commands Muslims to respect "your dead." And we do so. About "our dead," Yeni Akit explained, explicitly telling Mr Hakan that "the other dead are not our dead." So, in this thinking the Islamists have "their dead and other dead" and they are not obliged to respect the other dead. Fine, gentlemen, do remember your dead with benevolence and ours with curses and blasphemy. Your shy, subtle appeals to the civilised world that "political Islam is well compatible with universal norms of democracy" look more and more ridiculous.
Mosques are popping up all over Britain, especially in it’s capital city of London. Sharia courts are already in function in London; handing out actual decisions to London’s ever growing Muslim population. There are now officially 100 Sharia courts in London. The allowance of these justice systems in parallel with British courts has made Brits somewhat worried. It’s now fully legal for Sharia courts to operate in Britain thanks to British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution
LONDON, January 14 -- “London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries,” Islamic preacher Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi told local media.
Churches still outnumber mosques in Britain, but there are many mosques that are becoming overcrowded. Five years ago the Daily Mail published photos of churches and mosques in London. The difference was astonishing. The St Mary’s Church had only 12 people attending mass. While nearby at the Brune Street Estate mosque there were over 100 Muslims, full to capacity. Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. While this was going on, mosques have been popping up all over London. From 2012 to 2014 the number of Brits who identified as Muslim has grown by over one million.
According to saudigazette.com. by 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. There are now officially 100 Sharia courts in London. The allowance of these justice systems in parallel with British courts has made Brits worried. It’s now fully legal for Sharia courts to operate in Britain thanks to British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. As London becomes more Islamic, you may wonder when they will rename the city “Londonistan”. Well it may not be that far off.
He who told him he was hit by “a two-by four”. Bremen Police had claimed there was no such object on the CCTV, leading to an unprecedent attack on the AfD and the assault victim for allegedly lying about the attack. The CCTV footage released by Bremen Police seems to support Magnitz’s story, showing the attacker hitting the elected representative over the head with an object in his left hand, and then hurriedly passing the object to an accomplice. The police are asking for witness to come forward in the case.
Frank Magnitz is the father of six children and is married to a Turkish woman. A post by Bremen Antifa taking credit for the attack nevertheless called him “racist” and “far-right”.