Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Saudi Arabia destroys 400 year old center of Shi'ite village in Qatif

By Rannie Amiri
While the United States was preparing to sign a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, royal forces laid siege to al-Awamiya, a restive town of approximately 30,000 in the Qatif district of the country’s Eastern Province. Bulldozers, backed by armored tanks and helicopter gunships, systemically leveled homes and put entire families on the street in the historic Mosawara neighborhood. This came under the guise of a development and "renovation" project for the long-neglected and impoverished city although the regime saw fit to post doctored images of allegedly captured weapons to imply was also a security operation.
Last month, anticipating such a move, United Nations experts on poverty, culture and housing rights, " … called on the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to immediately halt the planned demolition of a 400-year-old walled neighborhood in the village of Awamia. The UN experts warned the development plan for the Al-Masora quarter threatens the historical and cultural heritage of the town with irreparable harm, and may result in the forced eviction of numerous people from their businesses and residences.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

WHO: In Yemen as many as 200.000 affected by cholera

Yemen is facing the "world's worst cholera outbreak", with about 1,310 people dying due to the disease since late April, according to the World Health Organization. More than 200,000 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded in the Arabian Peninsula country and as many as 300,000 people could become infected by the end of August, Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general, said in a statement on Saturday. 
"In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every governorate of this war-torn country," Chan and Anthony Lake, UNICEF executive director, said. "Already more than 1,300 people have died - one quarter of them children - and the death toll is expected to rise."
Cholera is a highly contagious bacterial infection spread through contaminated food or water. It can be fatal within hours if left untreated. Although the disease is easily treatable, doing so in Yemen, a country riven by conflict, has proved particularly difficult.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Saudia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt give Qatar an ultimatium of 13 points

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt handed Qatar a lists of demands which have to be fulfuilled within 10 days, or the four countries will continue their blockade and boycot of the Emirate. The list comes down to an ultimatum and does not sound realistic at all, as what the four are asking comes down to a complete surrender. Qatar has to give up its own foreign policy line and start to submit completely the the lines set by the rest of the Gulf and, in the first place, Saudi Arabia. It has to get rid of its poliy of relative free speech and feedom of movement (relative to the lack of such policies in the other four countries). The only merit of the demands is the provision that Qatar has to cut its (supposedly continuing) ties with ISIL and al Nusra. But at the other hand can be said that Qatar's role in supporting these and other terrorist groups dwarfs in comparison to those of Saudi Arabia. And then we did not even mention the war in Yemen, which is led by the Saudis and where the UAE just a day ago was exposed as torturing prisoners of war on a large scale.    
 Qatar has not answered yet. But eralier this week it's foreign minister, sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani, said this Monday that Qatar will not negotiate unless the measures the four countries installed against the Emirate earlier this month, are lifted.
The list of demands: 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Iran fires rockets at IS in Deir az Zor in Syria

Iran's Revolutionary Guard says it has fired several missiles at positions of IS in Syria's Deir Az Zor province in retaliation for two deadly attacks in Tehran earlier this month that were claimed by the armed group.
"Medium-range missiles were fired from the (western) provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdestan, and a large number of terrorists were killed and weapons destroyed," the Guard said in a statement published on its Sepahnews website on Sunday. It said the attack targeted "a command base .. of the terrorists in Deir Ezzor", using a different version of the name for the province in eastern Syria. "The spilling of any pure blood will not go unanswered," it added.
The firing of the missiles, the first in 30 years outside Iran's own territory, came hours after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a statement on his website, vowed Iran would "slap its enemies" in honour of the victims' families, including those killed in Syria and Iraq. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IS claims attack on Iranian parliament and shrine of Khomeiny

Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault. Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building.
The attacks took place at a particularly charged time after Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of backing Tehran and militant groups."This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they were involved in the brutal attack," a Guards statement said.
Saudi Attackers dressed as women burst through parliament's main entrance in central Tehran, deputy interior minister Mohammad Hossein Zolfaghari said, according to the Tasnim news agency.One of them detonated a suicide vest in the parliament, he said. About five hours after the first reports, Iranian media said four people who had attacked parliament were dead and the incident was over.