Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

China News Agency Middle East Web Site

Syrian refugees flood into Turkey to flee IS violence 2014.09.25 04:04:16
·At least 59 killed in air strikes, clashes in Iraq 2014.09.24 23:10:47
·9 PKK rebels surrender to Turkish military 2014.09.25 07:41:17
·U.S. airstrikes hit IS positions in Syria 2014.09.24 19:37:32
·Dozens Palestinians clash with police in Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem 2014.09.24 17:39:21
·Middle East issues should be resolved by its own people: China's envoy 2014.09.24 05:59:51
·News Analysis: Palestine pressures Israel, U.S. to end occupation 2014.09.24 19:42:12
·Jordan court orders release of radical cleric Abu Qatada 2014.09.24 15:30:05
·U.S. informs Damascus of strikes against IS beforehand 2014.09.23 15:38:43
·WFP assistance reaches over 1 mln displaced in Iraq 2014.09.24 09:22:27

Middle East News Web Sites

Scotland votes ' No ' to independence 19 September 2014

Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.

With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and urged the unionist parties to deliver on more powers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and that commitments on extra powers would be honoured "in full".

Mr Cameron said the three main unionist parties at Westminster would now follow through with their pledge of more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

He announced that Lord Smith of Kelvin, who led Glasgow's staging of the Commonwealth Games, would oversee the process to take forward the commitments, with new powers over tax, spending and welfare to be agreed by November, and draft legislation published by January.

Results graphic

World and Local News wednesday, September 24th, 2014


World News Web Sites September-2014

  • Fleeing ISIS, Refugees Pour into Turkey (Sept. 1): About 130,000 mostly Kurdish refugees from north-central Syria flood into Turkey as ISIS militants seize large swaths of territory in the region and unleash attacks on the population. The influx of refugees create a humanitarian crisis. More than 1 million refugees had already entered Turkey from Syria.
  • ISIS Members Kill Second American Journalist (Sept. 2): ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, 31, who worked for Time and had been abducted in 2013 in Syria. Sotloff's execution comes two weeks after American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS in reaction to the U.S. airstrikes against the terrorist group. Sotloff is executed even though his mother pleaded directly to ISIS's top leader to spare her son's life. Meanwhile, the day before, a coalition of Shiite militias delivers ISIS its first major setback in Iraq. ISIS had been surrounding and attacking Amerli, a town between Erbil and Baghdad that is home to Shiite Turkmens, for about three months before the militias, aided by U.S. airstrikes, beat back ISIS, ending the siege. (Sept. 10): President Obama authorizes airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. He also asks Congress to authorize money to fund and train moderate rebel groups in Syria to aid in the fight, which it does in late September. During a prime-time televised speech, Obama says, "ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East-including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States." The White House uses the name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Sept. 13): ISIS beheads a third victim, 44-year-old British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines. (Sept. 23): Airstrikes begin in Syria, with Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates joining the U.S. in its campaign against ISIS bases and training camps in Raqqa, which is considered the group's capital, and four other provinces.
  • Ukraine Cease-Fire Begins (Sept. 5): Representatives from the Ukrainian government, the Russian-backed separatists, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who had been meeting in Minsk, Belarus, announce that they have agreed on a cease-fire. The terms include an immediate end to fighting, the exchange of prisoners, amnesty for those who did not commit serious crimes, a 6-mile buffer zone along the Ukrainian-Russian border, decentralization of power in the Donbass region (the area dominated by the Russian-backed rebels), and the creation of a route to deliver humanitarian aid. "The whole world is striving for peace, the whole of Ukraine is striving for peace, including millions of citizens in Donbass," Poroshenko says in a statement. "The highest value is human life, and we must do everything possible to stop the bloodshed and put an end to suffering."
  • Scotland Votes to Remain with UK (Sept. 18): In an independence referendum, Scottish voters opt, 55% to 45%, to remain part of the United Kingdom. More than 4.2 million voters (86% turnout) take to the polls in record numbers to vote on the referendum question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" When the votes are tallied, it is 2,001,926 (55.3%) for No to 1,617,989 (44.7%) for Yes. Moving forward, the Westminster powers that be will have to take a hard look at the very structure of the United Kingdom. A margin of victory of 10% is decisive; however, British leaders have promised to listen to the 1.6 million who voted for independence.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

World News September-23-2014 Obama Syria strikes

Strikes came in three waves
The attacks were "very successful," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Tuesday.
While the military can't comment in detail about future plans, the strikes "were only the beginning," Kirby added.
The airstrikes came in three waves, with coalition partners participating in the latter two, Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville Jr. said Tuesday. The first wave, which mostly targeted the Khorasan Group, started at 3:30 a.m. (8:30 p.m. ET Monday) and involved U.S. ships firing missiles into eastern and northern Syria.
The second wave, 30 minutes later, involved planes striking northern Syria, with targets including ISIS headquarters, training camps and combat vehicles. The third wave, begun shortly after 7 a.m., involved planes targeting ISIS training camps and combat vehicles in eastern Syria, Mayville said.

Map: Airstrikes in Syria Map: Airstrikes in Syria
Map: Airstrikes in SyriaMap: Airstrikes in Syria
It's too early to say what effect the U.S. strikes had against the Khorasan Group, Mayville said.
The strikes marked the first time the United States used F-22 Raptor stealth aircraft in a combat role. The military has previously run into problems with the aircraft.
Monitor group estimates at least 70 ISIS militants killed
The airstrikes against ISIS focused primarily on the city of Raqqa, the declared capital of ISIS' self-proclaimed Islamic State.
The operation began with a flurry of Tomahawk missiles launched from the sea, followed by attacks from bomber and fighter aircraft, a senior U.S. military official told CNN.
The goal: Taking out ISIS' ability to command, train and resupply its militants.
In all, 200 pieces of ordnance were dropped by coalition members, and four dozen aircraft were used, a U.S. official told CNN. About 150 weapons used were precision-guided munitions. The United States fired 47 Tomahawk missiles, eight of them against Khorasan targets.
The number of casualties was not immediately clear. But U.S. Central Command said the strikes damaged or destroyed ISIS targets including fighters, training compounds, command-and-control facilities, a finance center and supply trucks.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 70 ISIS militants were killed and more than 300 were wounded. But CNN and other news outlets were unable to confirm the figures.
U.S. strikes Khorasan Group and ISIS
U.S. begins airstrikes in Syria
Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants wait behind a fence in Suruc, Turkey, on Sunday, September 21. As many as 200,000 people have left the area surrounding the Syrian city of Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, as ISIS advances, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday, September 22. The civil war in Syria has destabilized the country and created an opening for the militant group, which is also advancing in Iraq as it seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the region.Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants wait behind a fence in Suruc, Turkey, on Sunday, September 21. As many as 200,000 people have left the area surrounding the Syrian city of Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, as ISIS advances, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday, September 22. The civil war in Syria has destabilized the country and created an opening for the militant group, which is also advancing in Iraq as it seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the region.
Syrian civil war in 2014
Photos: Syrian civil war in 2014 Photos: Syrian civil war in 2014
CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend said these attacks focused on infrastructure, but were just the beginning.
Eventually, she said, there will likely be "a real campaign to go after leadership targets."
Celebration amid fear
For months, civilians in Raqqa have been living under the harsh rule of ISIS after militants took over their city, which had been one of Syria's most liberal cities. The group now controls much of their lives, imposing a strict brand of Sharia law and doling out barbaric punishments, such as beheadings and crucifixions.
Abo Ismail, an opposition activist inside Raqqa, said Tuesday that residents were elated to see the U.S. attacking ISIS targets there.
But at the same time, he said, ISIS has increased security in the city.
"I would dance in the streets, but I am too afraid," Ismail said.
A U.S. intelligence official said that while law enforcement is aware the airstrikes against ISIS in Syria could incite a response, there is no evidence to suggest any terrorist strike is in the works against the United States.