Monday 23 July 2012
Issue No .3
Netanyahu accuses Iran of involvement in the bombing of Bulgaria
Israel vowed to strike back at Iran for a brazen daylight bombing Wednesday that killed at least seven people on a bus full of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. The bombing was the latest in a series of attacks, attributed to Iran, which have targeted Israelis and Jews overseas and threatened to escalate a shadow war between the two arch-enemies. Iran has denied involvement in the past but did not comment on Wednesday’s attack. President Barack Obama termed it a “barbaric terrorist attack” and called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pledge U.S. help in finding the perpetrators. The blast gutted the bus at the airport in the quiet Black Sea resort city of Burgas, some 400 kilometres east of the capital, Sofia, where the Israelis had just arrived on
Iranian spy operation has been discovered in Yemen Two al-Qaida militants and an army officer have been killed in separate incidents, a Yemeni military official said Wednesday, Another official claimed an Iranian spy operation has been discovered, and Yemen’s president called for Iran to refrain from interfering in his country. In Sana’a, an army officer supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed, while leading an attack on the house of a general who defected to the opposition last year during the uprising against Saleh. The clash showed an undercurrent of tribal and political tensions, though Saleh has been replaced.
Morocco condemns statements by Israeli govenment’s legal adviser on status of Al Aqsa Mosque The Kingdom of Morocco denounced as “unacceptable” the statements by the legal adviser of the Israeli adviser claiming that the Al Aqsa mosque is part of Israel. Morocco, whose Sovereign chairs the Al-Quds Committee, an offshoot of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), condemns these statements which “contradict UN resolutions,” the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement. Morocco deems the inclusion of Al-Aqsa mosque in the Israeli legislation on archaeological heritage as an “unacceptable” act and a “profanation of Islam’s holiest sites. It is also a violation of the UN’s resolution that prohibits altering the status of occupied Palestinian territories, including Al Quds,” the statement added. Morocco is fully aware of the real motivations behind the statements, which coincide with a series of unprecedented measures and decisions taken by the Israeli government to impose a fait accompli, through the judaization of the holy sites of Al-Quds and altering its religious and civilizational character, the statement went on to say. “The Kingdom of Morocco draws the attention to the seriousness of the Israeli practices that violate international charters and resolutions and calls upon the international community to fully assume its responsibilities to put an end to these breaches of the sacredness of the Islamic and Christian holy sites ,” the same source said
a charter flight from Tel Aviv carrying 154 people, including eight children. The resort town has become a popular travel destination in recent years for Israelis, particularly for recent high school graduates before they are drafted for mandatory military service. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which wounded 30 others. But suspicion immediately fell upon Iran and its Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah guerrilla group. “All signs point to Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Just in the past few months, we have seen attempts by Iran to harm Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and more. This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading across the world. Israel will react forcefully to Iran’s terror.”
Syria conflict: Ministers killed in suicide attack Three men at the heart of President Assad’s defence team have died in a suicide bombing, Syrian state TV says. The president’s defence minister, brotherin-law and head of his crisis team were at a meeting at national security headquarters in Damascus. It comes as rebels claim to have launched an offensive on the capital. For the past three days, rebels have fought with troops in several parts of the city, declaring their operation, entitled Damascus Volcano, a final battle for the capital. The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a jihadist group calling itself Lord of the Martyrs Brigade both said they were behind the security headquarters bombing. Security sources say the suspected bomber worked as a bodyguard for members of President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle. As events in Damascus unfolded, a UN
Security Council vote on a Westernsponsored resolution threatening Syria with tougher sanctions was postponed until Thursday following a request by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Condemning the violence, Mr Annan urged members of the Security Council to take strong, concerted action to help stem the bloodshed. State TV said : “The terrorist explosion which targeted the national security building in Damascus occurred during a meeting of ministers and a number of heads of security agencies.” General Daoud Rajiha had been defence minister for less than a year, serving previously as chief of staff, and was on a US blacklist for his role in the suppression of dissent. He was believed to be an Orthodox Christian - a rarity in the Alawite-dominated Syrian
military and government. General Assef Shawkat was married to Mr Assad’s sister Bushra and considered a top security chief and a member of the inner circle of the regime. He is the closest person to the president to be killed so far and his loss is a triple blow for the ruling family. General Hassan Turkomani was a former defence minister and assistant to the vice president as well as being in charge of President Assad’s crisis management office. Hisham Ikhtiar, director of the National Security Bureau, and Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Shaar, were among those hurt in the attack, state TV said. Rebel commander Riad al-Asaad said from his base in neighbouring Turkey: “God willing, this is the beginning of the end of the regime. Hopefully, Bashar will be next.”
King Abdulla of Jordan Syria on the brink of civil war A bomb attack that killed core members of the Syrian regime was a “tremendous blow” to President Bashar al-Assad, who now has a last chance to avoid civil war, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, pictured in January 2012, said Wednesday. “In other words, it’s getting very, very messy to a point where I think the worstcase scenario for all of us in the region is when you get full-out civil war. There is no coming back from the abyss,” the king told CNN. Abdullah, leader of Syria’s southern neighbour, was speaking after a bomb attack in Damascus killed three key Syrian security officials, including Defence Minister Daoud Rajha and Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat.
The Jordanian king told the US news network the attack was a serious blow to the regime, but played down speculation that its collapse was imminent. “Definitely this shows some cracks in the system, but again, I don’t think we should jump to any conclusion writing the regime off in the near future,” he said, while warning that time was running out for a political solution. “I think as we continue to pursue the political option, the realities on the ground may have overtaken us. Therefore I think the clock is ticking,” he said. “I think we should continue to give politics its due. But if we haven’t already passed that window, I think we’re getting very close to it.
Iraq urges its citizens to return home from Syria
Iraq’s government is strongly urging Iraqi citizens, currently in Syria, to return home in order to avoid getting injured or killed due to the deteriorating crisis there. Many of the Iraqis, residing in Syria, initially fled as a result of the strife in Iraq during the 8-year-war there. The Iraqi government is calling upon them to
return to their home country due to the “increasing attacks,” on them in Syria. The Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh stated that “Iraqis are guests who live temporarily in Syria and the Iraqi government calls on them to return to the country.” This call comes a day after the bodies of two Iraqi journalists, who were stabbed
and shot dead in the Syrian capital, were handed over to the Iraqi authorities at the Al-Waleed border post, which is located on the southern end of Iraq’s border with Syria. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reported that around 1.5 million Iraqi refugees are in Syria with only about 150,000 of them registered.