• After 5-Year Stop Syria Inaugurates 59th Round of Damascus International Fair
    18 Aug 2017 14:10 After 5-Year Stop Syria Inaugurates 59th Round of Damascus International Fair

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    The Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis, representing President Bashar al-Assad, inaugurated on Thursday the 59th round of Damascus International Fair at Fairgrounds with the participation of 43 Arab and Foreign states.

    The Fair witnesses various activities, lectures on economics and direct marketing events including direct sales.

    This event is a clear-cut evidence which proves that Syria has approached the complete victory over the international terrorist war launched on its state, army and people in 2011.

     

    Source: Al-Manar Website

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  • Syrian Army, Hezbollah move in position to launch last Lebanese border offensive
    18 Aug 2017 14:09 Syrian Army, Hezbollah move in position to launch last Lebanese border offensive

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    The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah have moved in position to launch their last western Qalamoun offensive in order to take full control of the Lebanese border once and for all.

    According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) sent a large convoy of reinforcements to the western slopes of the Qalamoun Mountains to beef up their numbers in the region.

    The primary objective of this offensive will be to expel the Islamic State from the Jarajeer and Qarah barrens, which they have had control of since 2015.

    Once the Islamic State’s expelled from the Jarajeer and Qarah barrens, the Syrian government will have full control of the Lebanese border for the first time since 2011.

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  • Photos- Up Against Uncle Sam: Venezuelans Condemn US Military Threats
    18 Aug 2017 14:06 Photos- Up Against Uncle Sam: Venezuelans Condemn US Military Threats

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    People poured into the streets of capital, Caracas, to condemn the US President Donald Trump’s remarks over Washington’s “military option” in Venezuela and show their support for the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

      

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  • Photos- Venezuelan Armed Forces Fully Ready to Confront Possible US Aggression
    18 Aug 2017 14:05 Photos- Venezuelan Armed Forces Fully Ready to Confront Possible US Aggression

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    Members of the National Armed Forces attended a news conference given by Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino. Venezuelan DM warned that the US wants to steal the country’s oil reserves, after President Donald Trump threatened the Caracas government of a possible military action.

        

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  • Hamas condemns Rafah attack, hails Interior Ministry
    18 Aug 2017 14:05 Hamas condemns Rafah attack, hails Interior Ministry

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    Hamas Movement has strongly condemned the Rafah attack on the border with Egypt and hailed the role of the Interior Ministry in Gaza in controlling the border area as well as maintaining public order and security despite all the obstacles and challenges.

    In a statement on Thursday, the Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stressed the necessity to deal firmly with all of the outlaws.

    The Movement also mourned the death of Nidal al-Ja’fari, one of its field commanders in Rafah area, after a suicide bomber detonated himself at a Palestinian security force at an early hour on Thursday.

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  • Political analyst: Hamas aware of the political reality around it
    18 Aug 2017 14:04 Political analyst: Hamas aware of the political reality around it

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    Noted political analyst Naji Sharab has said that the Hamas Movement’s openness to Egypt reflects its flexibility in steering relations with other countries and its awareness of the political reality around it.

    Sharab, a professor of political science at al-Azhar University in Gaza, told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that the need to find solutions to the crises in the Gaza Strip would make Hamas more able to seek untraditional, innovative and new ideas to exit from the tragic reality which the Gaza population lives in.

    In another context, the professor warned of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) intention to convene a meeting for the Palestinian National Council in the absence of other political factions, saying such a step would deepen the national division further.

    He also criticized the sanctions that were imposed by the PA and Fatah’s central committee against Hamas and Gaza, affirming that the latter would suffer more from the negative impacts of its decisions than those targeted with the measures in Gaza.

    He stressed that Gaza is not a separate entity that can be punished away from the people in other areas of the occupied Palestinian land.

    “These [PA] measures and sanctions have affected the lives of ordinary citizens,” Sharab said.

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  • Hamas holds anonymous parties responsible for ad hominem campaigns
    18 Aug 2017 14:03 Hamas holds anonymous parties responsible for ad hominem campaigns

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    Hamas slammed on Thursday intelligence parties for propagating counterfeit data on the group’s leaders and activities.

    Hamas strongly condemned the smear campaigns launched by news sites and outlets claiming that internal disagreements have severed the ties between Hamas leaders.

    Hamas added that rival sources have been backbiting against the group’s leaders, namely ex-prisoner Saleh al-Arouri.

    Hamas said such ad hominem campaigns, which come from parties that oppose Hamas’s anti-occupation struggle, will never dampen the group’s spirits.

     

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  • North Korea to UN: Nuclear program non-negotiable
    18 Aug 2017 14:01 North Korea to UN: Nuclear program non-negotiable

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    North Korea has informed the United Nations that its nuclear program is not negotiable as long as the United States continues its “hostile policy and nuclear threat” toward Pyongyang.

    The North’s Deputy UN Ambassador Kim In-ryong conveyed the message during a phone conversation with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the North Korean mission to the UN said in a statement on Thursday.

    “As long as the US hostile policy and nuclear threat continue, the DPRK… will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiation table or flinch an inch from the road chosen by itself, the road of bolstering up the state nuclear force,” Kim told Guterres.

    Alarmed by Washington and Pyongyang’s aggravating war of words over the latter’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, Guterres (pictured below) said Wednesday that it was time to “dial down rhetoric and dial up diplomacy.”

    Last week, US President Donald Trump claimed that his country was ready to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea, a message experts said was pointing to a possible preemptive nuclear attack by the US in future.

    A day later, the American leader doubled down on his threat, saying a military option against North Korea was “locked and loaded.”

    North to make US ‘pay dearly’

    In his conversation with the UN chief, Kim made it clear that any military action by the US will be met with a harsh response by North Koreans.

    “The DPRK will make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crime it commits against the state and people of this country,” Kim said, according to the North Korea UN mission.

     

    The North Korean official also said his country was ready to retaliate America’s pressure on the North’s economy and other fields.

    “As the US launched full-scale provocation against the DPRK across all fields of politics, economy and military, nothing can alter the will and resolve of the army and people of the DPRK to respond by taking resolute retaliatory measures,” Kim said.

    Earlier this month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution that imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang, slashing its $3 billion annual export revenue by about a third.

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  • Binladin Group to resume expansion of Mecca Grand Mosque: Report
    18 Aug 2017 13:58 Binladin Group to resume expansion of Mecca Grand Mosque: Report

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    Saudi construction conglomerate Binladin Group reportedly plans to restart a $26.6-billion project to expand the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, nearly two years after a deadly crane crash halted the development operation.

    The construction work is set to resume after the annual Hajj pilgrimage, Reuters cited informed sources as saying on Thursday.

    According to a notice that Saudi Binladin Group sent to banks, the company will pay outstanding salaries to staff involved in the project beginning on August 20, the report said.

    Banking and construction industry sources confirmed the plan, but Saudi Binladin Group and the Finance Ministry were not available to comment.

    Saudi Binladin Group was founded decades ago by the father of terrorist group al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was allegedly killed by US commandos in Pakistan in 2011.


    Muslim pilgrims walk towards the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca on September 13, 2015.

     

    Development of the Grand Mosque and its surrounding area is aimed at accommodating more worshippers, as the Saudi government seeks to diversify the country’s economy beyond oil exports and rely on more revenues from religious tourism and infrastructure schemes.

    The project was halted after a huge construction crane collapsed into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing more than 100 pilgrims and injuring over 200 others. The project then remained on hold as government finances were reduced due to low oil prices.

    Following the crane crash, about a dozen defendants went on trial over accusations of negligence, ignoring safety guidelines and damaging public property. The defendants included at least one Saudi “billionaire” and nationals of Pakistan, the Philippines, Canada and several Arab countries.

    About two weeks after the crane crash, a fatal human crush occurred during Hajj rituals in Mina, near Mecca, reportedly killing thousands of people.

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  • US plans decades-long military presence in northern Syria: Militia group
    18 Aug 2017 13:57 US plans decades-long military presence in northern Syria: Militia group

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    A US-backed militia group in northern Syria says American forces plan to remain in the Arab state “for decades to come” after the fall of Daesh, adding that Washington is not providing support to anti-Damascus militants “for free.”

    In a Thursday report by Reuters, Talal Silo, the spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), said the SDF believes that Washington has “strategic interests here after the end of Daesh.”

    “They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria)… and the US administration,” Silo said.

    The Kurdish-dominated SDF holds 400-kilometer (250-mile) stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border. The US has deployed forces at several locations in northern Syria, providing support to the SDF with air strikes, artillery and special forces on the ground.

    The SDF is involved in an operation against Daesh terrorists in Raqqah Province.

    In July, the head of the YPG said the US had established seven military bases in northern Syria, including a major air base near the border town of Kobani.

    “They (recently) referred to the possibility of securing an area to prepare for a military airport. These are the beginnings – they are not giving support just to leave. America is not providing all this support for free,” Silo said.

    He suggested that the US could turn northern Syria into a new base for its forces in the region, adding, “Maybe there could be an alternative to their [Incirlik] base in Turkey.”

    Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, refused to provide a timeline for the US presence in northern Syria, saying, “The Department of Defense does not discuss timelines for future operations. However we remain committed to the destruction of ISIS (Daesh) and preventing its return.”

    Meanwhile, there are concerns within the SDF that the US may not provide enough support to their forces and civil councils which control northeast Syria.

    “We are constantly asking them (the US) for clear, public political support,” Silo said. “At the moment there are no meetings being held for a real discussion of Syria’s future. There are initiatives for developing political support for our forces, but we hope this will be bigger,” he added.

    The SDF offensive is backed by US-led airstrikes, which have claimed hundreds of civilian lives in Raqqah over the past months. Besides its role in Raqqah, Washington has, since 2014, been leading an alliance of mainly NATO states in what is called a military campaign against Daesh.

    On Wednesday, the Syrian government called on the UN to put an end to the US-led coalition’s crimes against Syrians in their so-called mission against Daesh.

    Damascus also accused the US-led coalition of using guided bombs and internationally-banned white phosphorus munitions in flagrant violation of international law and human rights principles.

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  • Zionist Trump encourages gross violence against Muslims after Barcelona attack
    18 Aug 2017 13:56 Zionist Trump encourages gross violence against Muslims after Barcelona attack

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    US President Donald Trump has suggested that some Muslims should be executed with bullets dipped in pig’s blood, hours after a deadly terror attack in Barcelona, Spain.

    “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”

    Trump’s tweet referenced a dubious story about US Army General John Pershing’s handling of Muslim prisoners during the Moro Rebellion (1899–1913) in the Philippines. The rebellion was an armed conflict between Muslims and the United States military.

    During the 2016 election campaign, Trump frequently told a tale of how Pershing had Moro Muslim prisoners in the Philippines executed with bullets soaked in pig’s blood to quell rebellion against American rule.

    Speaking at a rally in Charleston February last year, Trump said General Pershing “took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood.”

    “And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem,” he said.

    According to some historians, Trump’s tale is false. They have concluded it would have been “out of character” for Pershing.

    But some other historians have suggested that American troops did use pigs or pig’s blood to intimidate Muslims during the Philippine conflict in the early 20th century.


    US troops in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War (1899–1902)

     

    “So yes, there were deliberate efforts to offend Muslim Filipinos’ religious sensibilities,” Christopher Capozzola, a history professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told TIME last year.

    “And yes, there was large-scale violence against their communities. But I know of no event like the one that Mr. Trump describes,” he stated.

    Muslim advocacy groups have challenged Trump to debate a representative from the American-Muslim community “on the issues” he has “raised about Islam and Muslims.”

    Earlier in the day, Trump condemned the attack in Barcelona. At least 13 people were killed and 80 were injured after a van plowed into a crowd in the Spanish city.

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