Archive for December 24th, 2014

Kurds advance against IS group in Syria, Iraq

December 20, 2014

BEIRUT (AP) — Kurdish fighters advanced on the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria on Saturday, pushing into the contested, refugee-packed Sinjar mountains and gaining ground in the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani after heavy clashes, Kurdish officials and an activist group said.

In Syria, Kurdish Democratic Union Party spokesman Nawaf Khalil said Kurdish fighters advanced in six neighborhoods and have besieged the IS-held cultural center east of Kobani. He added that Kurdish fighters captured the Yarmouk school, southeast of Kobani where eight bodies of IS fighters were found.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the main Syrian Kurdish force known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, killed 10 IS fighters. The IS group began its Kobani offensive in mid-September, capturing parts of the town as well as dozens of nearby villages. Hundreds of fighters on both sides have been killed since. Kurdish forces have gradually pushed the extremist group back in recent weeks with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

The push in Kobani came a day after YPG fighters opened a corridor between their positions in northeastern Syria and Mount Sinjar in neighboring Iraq where Iraqi peshmerga fighters have been on the offensive as well. Earlier this week, Iraqi peshmerga fighters were also able to open another corridor to Mount Sinjar.

Iraq’s Kurdistan Region Security Council said peshmerga fighters launched a new offensive on Saturday toward Mount Sinjar and were able to capture the nearby area of Mushrefa. The statement said that early Saturday, 32 truckloads of food, water and other aid departed from the northern Iraqi city of Erbil to Mount Sinjar through the “corridor established by the courageous Peshmerga forces.”

Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition circled overhead as peshmerga troops returning from the front said the city was full of roadside bombs and snipers. The peshmerga had set up a base overlooking the city on the summit of Mount Sinjar, which included a makeshift hospital, they added.

Spokesman Jabbar Yawar said Peshmerga fighters were fighting their way into Sinjar and nearby areas in coordination with allied air support. The Islamic State group captured almost a third of Iraq and Syria earlier this year, plunging the region into deep crisis.

In early August, the militants captured Iraqi towns of Sinjar and Zumar, prompting tens of thousands of people from the Yazidi minority to flee to the mountain, where they became trapped. Many were eventually airlifted by a passageway through Syria back into Iraq, where they found refuge in Iraq’s northern Kurdish semi-autonomous region.

With reporting by Dalton Bennett in Sinjar.

‘Miles of Smiles 6’ aid convoy in Gaza

Fri Oct 7, 2011

The humanitarian aid convoy called the “Miles of Smiles 6” entered Gaza on late Wednesday with about 100 tons of urgently needed medicines, a Press TV correspondent reported from Gaza.

The activists accompanying the convoy are mostly from European, African and Asian countries.

The “Miles of Smiles 6” aims at providing medical supplies that are not available because of the ongoing Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip. The convoy wants to raise awareness about the life in Gaza.

A convoy member from South Africa, Ibrahim Ismael told Press TV “Obviously we are well aware of the siege and we want to make our presence felt in regard to the unethical nature of the siege as well as assist the people of Gaza in the times of need.”

A Kuwaiti member of the “Miles of Smiles 6” said, we have come to support Palestinian people in Gaza as much as we can.

Earlier on Wednesday, separate delegations from Germany and Tunisia representing civil organizations concluded their visits to Gaza by holding press conferences in Gaza City.

German activist of Pax Christy Society, Wiltrud Rosch Metzler told reporters that “It’s important for us to continue our work against the siege.”

She added, “We also supported the Free Gaza Movement last year. It is important to work against the siege of Gaza and for the end of (Israeli) occupation. ”

Tunisian Dignity Convoy activist, Sabrin Al-Areebi, stated that we are here to show solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters as people in Gaza also want a decent and dignified life.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://www.presstv.com/detail/203197.html.

Jordanian King arrives in Bahrain

21 December 2014 Sunday

King Abdullah II of Jordan on Saturday arrived in the Bahraini capital Manama for talks with the Gulf state’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

King Abdullah’s visit to Bahrain comes only one week after he paid a visit to Saudi Arabia where he met with King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz.

At Bahrain International Airport, the Jordanian King was received by King Al Khalifa, the official Bahraini news agency said.

It added that the two leaders held “cordial talks” later about cooperation between their respective states.

Earlier in the day, Jordan’s official news agency said the King would head to Bahrain for talks with King Hamad on means of bolstering bilateral ties.

The Jordanian King’s visit to Saudi Arabia last week came only three days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi paid a visit to Amman and held talks with King Abdullah II.

Talks between the Egyptian President and the Jordanian monarch reportedly focused on the Middle East peace process and the situation in both Syria and Iraq.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/151306/jordanian-king-arrives-in-bahrain.