Archive for December 6th, 2017

5 Jordanians go missing in Saudi Arabia

December 3, 2017

Five Jordanian nationals have gone missing in Saudi Arabia, according to a Jordanian foreign ministry source.

The five were on a hunting trip in the northwestern Tabuk region when they disappeared, the source told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to media.

He, however, denied reports that the five had been found dead.

There was no comment from Saudi authorities on the report.

Source: Middle East Monitor.

Link: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171203-5-jordanians-go-missing-in-saudi-arabia/.

Advertisements

China to deploy ‘Night Tigers’ to Syria in support of Assad’s forces

29 November, 2017

China will deploy troops to Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, as the East Asian country becomes increasingly concerned about the presence of Islamic militants in its far western region of Xinjiang.

The Chinese Ministry of Defense intends to send two units known as the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers” from the Special Operations Forces to aid regime troops against militant factions, New Khaleej reported, citing informed sources.

Some 5,000 ethnic Uighurs from China’s violence-prone region of Xinjiang are fighting in various militant groups in Syria, the Syrian ambassador to China said earlier this year.

Chinese state media has blamed violence in Xinjiang on extremists who were trained in Syria.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Xinjiang in the past few years, most in unrest between Uighurs and ethnic majority Han Chinese. The government blames the unrest on Islamist militants who want a separate state called East Turkestan.

Uighurs themselves complain of discrimination and say their traditional and religious way of life is being eroded by Chinese domestic policy and an influx of settlers from elsewhere in China.

China has said that “East Turkestan terrorist forces” had posed several threats against the government.

Assad has previously praised “crucial cooperation” between Syria and Chinese intelligence against Uighur militants, adding ties with China were “on the rise”.

Chinese military personnel have been on the ground in Syria since at least last year, training Syrian forces to use China-made weapons.

China has also joined Russia in blocking resolutions critical of the regime at the United Nations Security Council, as one of the five vetoing powers on the panel.

Source: The New Arab.

Link: https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/11/29/china-to-deploy-night-tigers-to-syria.

Police question Israeli leader’s ally on corruption charges

December 03, 2017

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police on Sunday questioned a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges dating to his pre-parliament days as he was pushing for pro-Netanyahu legislation widely seen as stifling police investigations.

Coalition whip David Bitan was grilled in relation to accusations that he promoted the interests of criminals in return for debt relief while he was a municipal politician years ago. Bitan is the driving force behind a legislation push seen as aiding the beleaguered Netanyahu, who faces multiple corruption accusations. Bitan’s so-called “recommendations bill” would end the police’s current practice of recommending to the state prosecution office whether to indict suspects upon completing their investigations.

It also aims to stem leaks from the investigations themselves, stating that no police recommendations be made public and penalizing those found leaking to the media. Netanyahu’s Likud party was set to bring the bill for a parliamentary vote on Monday, but appears to be short on numbers and will likely delay it. Their hope is to move the bill forward quickly so that it will also apply to investigations currently taking place regarding Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has been questioned in two cases and police say they suspect him of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Police have already grilled him six times regarding gifts he received from Hollywood and business figures, and in another probe about secret talks with the publisher of a major Israeli newspaper in which Netanyahu allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for reining in a free pro-Netanyahu daily. One of his closest former aides has become a state’s witness against him.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and calls the accusations a witch hunt orchestrated by a hostile media. Another investigation has engulfed his close associates and dominated news in Israel. The probe relates to a possible conflict of interest involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines.

Netanyahu’s personal attorney, who is also his cousin, represented the German firm involved and is suspected of trading his influence over the prime minister in return for a hefty cut of the deal. A former Cabinet minister and top former navy and security officials have been questioned by police. Netanyahu has yet to be named a suspect in that probe.

Bitan’s questioning comes a day after tens of thousands of Israelis poured into the streets of Tel Aviv Saturday night for an anti-corruption rally calling on Netanyahu to resign. It was one of the largest demonstrations yet against Netanyahu’s lengthy rule.

“I think the time has come to change the government. The government is corrupt. We’re sick of the corrupt,” said protester Avi Elmozlinu. Organizers are hoping that the grassroots movement picks up steam and becomes a regular Saturday night ritual that eventually forces Netanyahu from power.

Advertisements