[Tolo News] A senior al-Qaeda leader who was released from prison on two separate occasions by the Afghan government is now leading the group's Death Eater activities in northern Kunduz province, according to local officials.
The Kunduz police have identified the krazed killer leader as Qari Belal, who fled to Pakistain after the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001 but was then invited to return to Kunduz by the Peace Council chaired by Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, the former Afghanistan's Caped President.
Kunduz court officials have indicated Belal was jugged Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! by Afghan cops twice since his return to the country, but that both times he was released. The said the releases were ordered by President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai ... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use... .
Security officials have labeled Belal a high ranking al-Qaeda commander who commands some three hundred fighters in Kunduz. Local police believe Belal has criminal masterminded numerous suicide kabooms and overseen the planting of roadside kabooms throughout the province. They have connected him directly to the killings of several Afghan soldiers.
"The al-Qaeda commander has been released by those hidden hands who are supporting the network and currently he takes charge of commanding al-Qaeda related fighters in Kunduz and fighting the security forces," Kunduz Police front man Syed Sarwar Hussaini told TOLOnews.
The reports from Kunduz come as snuffies have ramped-up violence around the country this summer, a push that many Afghan security officials and military analysts have in part attributed to ill-advised prisoner releases. Some have been more direct in blaming President Karzai, who has tried to defend the some 3,000 prisoners that he has released over the years by saying they were either wrongfully imprisoned or had insufficient evidence against them.
According to Qazi Abdul Malik, an official at the Kunduz provincial court, Belal has been charged in the Chahar Dara district of Kunduz before, but was released on the basis of Presidential Palace policy
."The president and our elders have always released the killers of the people of Afghanistan from jail before carrying out justice, this is a betrayal of the innocent people of Afghanistan," Kunduz MP Wahdood Paiman told TOLOnews.
Documents indicate that the al-Qaeda commander was initially brought to Kunduz by the province's Peace Council. In an official letter, signed by Sibghatollah Mujadidi, the committee had asked the security forces in Kunduz not to disturb Belal.
But when security forces previously searched Belal's home, they discovered that he was carrying many Afghan and Pak ID cards and passports under different names.
Belal is not the only krazed killer leader who was released from prison and is currently waging war against the Afghan government in Kunduz. Mullah Salam has also been identified by local security forces, and is said to command some 3,000 fighters at present.
[Tolo News] A number of gunnies gang raped four women who were on their way home from a wedding ceremony last Friday evening.
Last week on Friday around 9 p.m. on Paghman-Qargha road a group of gunnies stopped two vehicles carrying eight women home from a wedding they had attended in Paghman, a district of Kabul, in a township known as De Araban 20 kilometers away from Kabul City. The women and two men were forced to exit the vehicles.
When the men and women got out of the car, their jewelry and money were robbed and the two men were beaten by the group of 14 unknown gunnies.
While the men were being brutally beaten, three eyewitnesses stopped to help the men in danger, instead were beaten as well.
"We could not see what condition the women were in because we were scared," Ahmad Zahir, one of the three men who stopped to help, said. "We wanted to escape the scene alive. They took us to a place where animals don't even go."
Noorullah, the other eyewitness of the three, said he and his friends were tortured badly that night, but recalls the horrifying screams and cries of the women.
"They took the women out of the cars and harassed them...a lot," Noorullah said. "The women were captive to those men until 2 a.m."
Sources on the condition of anonymity said that four of the eight women were transferred to a nearby hospital on Saturday morning, but the families of the victims did not want the tragedy to be publicly disclosed, so they left the hospital with the women.
However, it's easy to be generous with someone else's money... hospital officials have confirmed the incident, but did not want to come before the camera.
When the tragic incident took place the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI) was not prepared to confirm the incident even after four days had passed and after consecutive phone calls and messages from TOLOnews news hounds.
A week later, on Thursday the Kabul police department confirmed that two of the 14 men have been tossed in the clink Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! in connection to the looting of the jewels and money of the victims, but not the heinous crime.
"What was reported to us was that jewels and money were robbed," Kabul Police Chief Gen. Zahir Zahir said. "So far no one has complained about a gang rape. These men have not talked to us about the harassment of the women. If it is proved that they have raped the women, I command my men to bring the remaining criminals to me dead."
The Kabul police department has said that efforts are underway to arrest the criminals that are still out there.
The perpetrators will be arrested and their jewels and money will be returned, but reviving the honor of the family and healing their wounds is impossible.
[Tolo News] Afghan military officials on Friday announced that among the 28 turbans who were killed on Thursday in crossfire with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in Do Ab district of eastern Nuristan province revealed a number of Pak hard boys.
The officials of the 201 Selab Military Corps said that after eight days of fighting against the hard boys, the ANSF have regained control of the district.
They said that they found Pak documents on the bodies of the dead hard boys, adding that among the dead were two Taliban leaders, Mullah Nematullah and Sultan.
"The flag of the country can, once again, be raised in Do Ab district as the Afghan troops built the way toward reconstruction and defeated the enemies," Mohammad Zaman Waziri, commander of the 201 Selab Military Corp, said.
Officials explained the detail of their operation saying that the Taliban had destroyed the routes to enter Do Ab so that the Afghan forces could not enter the area.
During the eight-day operation, U.S. military forces, Afghan commandos and police were working alongside each other. The clash resulted in the death of an Afghan police and soldier.
[Iran Press TV] Libyan militias claim that they have shot down a plane belonging to forces of retired General Khalifa Haftar.
The militias said on Friday that they had fired a missile at the plane and downed it in the eastern city of al-Bayda.
However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... Haftar's front man Mohammed Hegazi rejected the claim, saying that the crash was caused by a technical fault.
"The plane was on a military mission when it crashed due to a technical malfunction. The pilot, identified as Ibrahim al-Manfi, was killed in the crash."
Haftar launched a military offensive in the country's east on May 16, vowing to crush the bully boyz and "establish stability in Libya."
Libyan authorities have denounced Haftar's attack as a "coup" bid.
The inter-militia battles are part of the chaotic situation posing security concerns all over the North African country.
A top Libyan official warned the United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... Security Council on Wednesday that the country could descend into a "full-scale civil war" if militias are not disarmed.
The situation in Libya "since the 13th of July, has become even more complicated and the situation might unravel into a full-blown civil war if we're not very careful and wise in our actions," Libya's UN Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the Security Council.
[Libya Herald] According to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, four Egyptians were kidnapped in Libya yesterday, near Sirte,, targeted specifically because they were Christians.
The four victims are all related -- three are brothers and the fourth is the son of their cousin. The Egyptian human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... group, which received notification of the kidnapping from a member of the victims' family, said that the four had been on their way from Tripoli ...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn... to the Egyptian border when they were kidnapped.
They were in a vehicle with three other Egyptians, who are Moslems, and had just passed through Sirte when they were stopped at a checkpoint. Armed men asked to see the passengers' papers and passports. Then they began asking each passenger about his religious beliefs.
According to one of the other passengers, when the gunnies realised that four of the Egyptians were Christians, they ordered them to disembark and ordered the driver to depart with the other three. One of the passengers and the driver tried to ask what was going to happen to the victims. The abductors became angry and began to threaten them, telling them to leave immediately.
When the remaining passengers reached Egypt, one of them informed the family of the victims. According to the human rights group, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been notified and has promised to take action.
The four men are named as brothers Jamal Matta Hakim, Rafat Matta Hakim, and Romani Matta Hakim, and the son of their cousin, Adel Sadiki Hakim.
Egyptians leaving Tripoli had been leaving via the Tunisia border crossing. It was reported yesterday that Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Egyptians not to use that border crossing anymore, citing dangerous living conditions at the border. This is thought to be the reason why the men traveled the longer distance east from Tripoli toward Egypt's Salloum crossing.
[MAGHAREBIA] Several Ansar al-Sharia ...a Salafist militia which claims it is not part of al-Qaeda, even though it works about the same and for the same ends. There are groups of the same name in Libyaand Yemen, with the Libyan versions currently most active. Tunisia's Shabaab al-Tawhid started out an Ansar al-Sharia and changed its name in early 2014. It still uses the old name now and then, probably because the stationery's not all used up and the web site hasn't expired yet... snuffies wanted in Tunisia were jugged Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! in Libya, Mosaique FM reported on Thursday (August 28th) quoting a security source. The authorities are negotiating the transfer of the detained snuffies to Tunisia.
One of the detainees, Ahmed Rouissi, is wanted in connection with the Chokri Belaid murder and the Jebel Chaambi terrorist attacks.
[MAGHAREBIA] Malian gangs on Thursday (August 28th) agreed to cease all hostilities before peace negotiations resume next week in Algiers, AFP reported.
The six rebel groups also agreed during their Burkina Faso ...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and will leave office feet first, one way or the other... meeting on a united position for the upcoming talks with Bamako.
The United Nations ...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks... envoy to Mali and mediators from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will meet the gangs on Friday before going to Algeria for the talks, which start on September 1st.
After a week of talk of eliminating the "cancer" of ISIS, President B.O. said Thursday that he was not planning to significantly expand the war against the Islamic bad boy movement anytime soon. His remarks came after days of heated debate inside the top levels of his own national security bureaucracy about how, where, and whether to strike ISIS in Syria. But those deliberations, which included a bleak intelligence assessment of America's potential allies in Syria -- failed to produce a consensus battle plan.
There were deep divisions inside the administration's deliberations over Syria. One set of officials advocated for a campaign to decimate ISIS in both countries by striking ISIS targets across Syria. This camp pushed for hitting near Aleppo where they are advancing, and with at least some coordination with the moderate Syrian rebels. The group, which included officials from State Department, intelligence community and some parts of the military, came up with extensive targeting options for the president that included not only ISIS military assets, but their infrastructure, command and control, and their financial capabilities. Even the oil pipelines they use to export crude for cash were on the target list.
Another group of officials -- led by White House and National Security staffers but also including some intelligence and military officials -- favored a more cautious approach that spurned any cooperation with the Free Syrian Army ... the more palatable version of the Syrian insurgency, heavily influenced by the Moslem Brüderbund... and focused strikes inside Syria on targets near the Iraqi border. The objective: cut off ISIS supply lines to Iraq. That strategy would fall more squarely within the existing limited missions that Obama has already outlined for his war.
Inside the intelligence community, there is a dispute about whether the Free Syrian Army, which has been fighting ISIS in Syria all year with little international support, can be a reliable partner for any military mission inside Syria. Concerns about working with the FSA in part stem from worries that elements of the opposition have in the past joined forces with Jihadist forces like al-Nusra, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria. Obama himself has expressed concern ...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended... about this as well, telling New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... columnist Tom Friedman earlier this month that arming the moderate Syrian opposition would have made no difference in the civil war there and the idea that moderate rebels could defeat the Assad regime was a “fantasy.”
Obama addressed the White House press corps Thursday afternoon just before personally chairing a meeting of his National Security Council, his top cabinet members and national security staffers. The meeting was the culmination of an intense week-long process that included series of lower level meetings and at last one Principals' Committee that officials described as an effort to convince Obama to expand his air war against ISIS in Iraq to Syria as well. But before the meeting even started, the president seemed to have made up his mind.
His "strategy" is to find a way out and he's found it. Besides, a defeated ISIS [and global jihad] could result in victory for a U.S. led force, the benefits of which, would likely not come during his watch. Besides, he does not see U.S. dominance of anything as a positive.
BLUF: There's nothing in any of this for him or his entitlement constituency, therefore it will not happen. He's off raising campaign funding for a lagging political party which he hopes can defeat 'the man.' He has no interest in building a coalition of the willing against jihad.
[Iran Press TV] President Barack Obama Because I won... is facing intense criticism for admitting the United States does not have a strategy to address the ISIL terrorist organization after a week of bluster about eliminating that "cancer."
The US president said Thursday that he was not planning to significantly expand the military action against ISIL anytime soon. American military planes have carried out over 100 Arclight airstrikes against the terror network in Iraq since August 8.
"I don't want to put the cart before the horse. We don't have a strategy yet," Obama said in a briefing with news hounds at the White House.
"My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back and that Iraq has the opportunity to govern itself effectively and secure itself," he stated.
Obama's remarks came after days of heated debate within his national security team about whether to strike ISIL in Syria. Earlier this week, Obama authorized military surveillance flights over Syria, a move that was seen as a prelude to subsequent Arclight airstrikes.
Republican critics were quick to bounce Thursday, criticizing the president for his self-admitted lack of strategy while ISIL is growing in strength in both Iraq and Syria.
Sen. John Maverick McCain ... the Senator-for-Life from Arizona, former presidential candidate and even more former foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution... , one of Obama's fiercest foreign policy critics, tweeted Thursday that ISIL was the largest and richest terrorist group in history.
At an event in Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, Thursday night, Rep. Paul Ryan ...U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, serving since 1999. He is a member of the Republican Party. He proposed an alternative to President Obama's 2011 budget and made himself the target of both Democrat and Republican verbal pies... , (R-Wis.) also responded to Obama's comment, saying the US needed a "strategy to finish them off."
"Not to contain them ... but to fundamentally finish them off. And I don't think the president sees this moment for what it is," he added.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-Texas) said on Fox News that the B.O. regime's strategy to address the ISIL terror network was inadequate.
"He did say we don't have a strategy, but he followed that up by saying the strategy is to nip it in the bud. Well, unfortunately, it's not in a bud, it's full-blossom," Gohmert said.
Calls for striking ISIL grew more intense following last week's brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Death Eater group in Syria which was posted in a video online.
Obama said Thursday that military leaders were presenting him with a "range of options" for addressing the terrorist group that, according to some intelligence officials, poses the greatest threat to the US homeland since al-Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
would one of these options possibly include "Kick their asses"? /sarc
Posted by: Bov Flimbers ||
He'll be nominating a U.S. Ambassador, recommending U.N. membership, and providing foreign aid for the moderates of the Caliphate before he leaves office. Anyone note the protestations and senior leader resignations and retirements at the Five Sided Nut Pentagon, U.S. State Department, and DIA CIA ?
A Prediction: when Obama leaves Office, he will do 2 things for sure; 1) become SecGen of the UN - they will kick BKM to the curb to get TheOne; 2) Revert to Islam, thus starting a trand among the clueless in this country and others - "coz he is cool an I wanna be just like him"
Call me wrong in 2017
Posted by: Bov Flimbers ||
Obama has no strategy to defeat ISIL because he does not want to defeat them. He choose sides and the mainstream media did not even care to notice. All his policies in the Middle East has been to support the Muslim extremists.
Doctrine sez everyone is born Muslim. Thus infidels have, by definition, departed (which is why it's ok to kill us all). So technically there is no such thing as converting, as converts are actually reverts.
Apt terminology, if one considers "reversion" as regression to the worst, basest human impulses.
[DAWN] QUETTA: At least nine people were killed and eight injured in two different firing incidents in Quetta and Awaran districts of Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... in less than 24 hours, officials said.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Imran Qureshi told Dawn.com that armed motorcyclists shot up a butcher shop in Sariab Road area of the Balochistan capital. He said three people sitting inside the shop were killed.
"The incident seems to be an act of assassination," Qureshi said. The assailants drove away on their cycle of violence after the attack.
In another incident, six people of Zikri community were killed and eight injured in a firing incident in Balochistan's Awaran district on late Thursday night, officials said.
Armed holy warriors opened an indiscriminate fire at a worship place of Zikri sect in Pao area of Awaran.
A levies official, who requested anonymity owing to sensitivity of the matter, told Dawn.com via telephone that four holy warriors tiding two cycle of violences attacked the Zikirs' worshiping place.
The attackers fled away on their cycle of violences after the attack.
Levies personnel reached the area and shifted the dead bodies and injured to a nearby health unit. According to doctors, all the victims had received multiple bullet wounds and the condition of two of the injured was serious.
Panic prevailed in the remote village of Balochistan in the aftermath of cold blooded murder of six people. Zikris in the area had already been receiving threats by holy warriors groups. However, today is that tomorrow you were thinking about yesterday... there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The firing incidents have come a day after the killing of two journalists working for Online news agency and their accountant in Kabir Building area of Quetta's Jinnah Road.
Armed men barged into the office of the local news agency and killed Irshad Mastoi, the Bureau Chief of Agency along with news hound Ghullam Rasool and accountant Muhammad Younas.
[AnNahar] Gunman opened fire on worshipers at a shrine in southwest Pakistain, killing at least six members of a minority Islamic sect and wounding seven others, officials said on Friday.
The attack came at a shrine of the Zikri community in Awaran district, around 650 kilometers southwest of Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... province.
Oil and gas rich Balochistan is wracked by a separatist insurgency, Islamist Death Eaters and sectarian violence and attacks on minority groups are not uncommon.
"Three gunman came on two cycle of violences and fired at the worshipers, praying at sunset. At least six people have been killed and seven others are injured," Akbar Harifal, the senior administration official in the area, told Agence La Belle France Presse.
"The gunnies escaped after the attack."
Provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani also confirmed the attack.
Zikris are relatively a new sect of Moslems in Pakistain who worship in groups at shrines and on mountains in remote, sparsely populated Balochistan.
No group has claimed the attack but graffiti warning Zikris and Hindus to embrace mainstream Islam or face being killed appeared on the walls in the province last week.
Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is Pakistain's largest province but also its poorest and least developed.
Ethnic Baluch rebels have long waged a low-level insurgency seeking either full independence or a greater share of the province's mineral wealth.
The province has also been the scene of numerous bloody terror attacks on Shiite Moslems.
[AnNahar] The jihadist Islamic State group has posted video of the execution of a captured Kurdish fighter, in a warning to Iraqi Kurdish leaders to end military cooperation with Washington, a monitoring group said.
"Resistance is useless!"
The United States has carried out a wave of air strikes against the jihadists in northern Iraq, helping Kurdish forces to claw back ground lost to the murderous Moslems earlier this month.
The video, titled "A message in blood to the leaders of the American-Kurdish alliance," opens with 15 men in orange jumpsuits standing around the IS flag.
Three of the men ask Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani "and the Kurdish government to end their relationship with the U.S. ... military intervention in northern Iraq," the SITE Intelligence Group monitoring service said.
Consider them dead, as they will be the moment someone over there gets in a mood, and work to erase IS from the face of the Earth. nothing less will do.
"Any mistake or recklessness from you will lead to the (loss) of our life," SITE quoted one of the men as saying.
The video then cuts to three masked men dressed in black standing in front of a mosque with another man wearing an orange jumpsuit kneeling in front of them. They then behead him.
Golly, only one instead of all? They must be more concerned about the Kurds than the Shiites as foes.
The video follows another released by IS showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley and threatening another kidnapped news hound Steven Sotloff with the same fate if U.S. air strikes are not halted.
It also comes hot on the heels of video of scores of bodies that IS boasted were those of Syrian soldiers they had captured and executed following their seizure of a northern key air base last weekend.
Kurds are offering Iraqi Christians sanctuary. Their women are also fighting with them, sometimes referred to as the Amazonian Corp. Jihadis believe that if they are killed by a woman they will not get to heaven so they are cautious about who they get into a firefight with in Kurdistan.
[ARABNEWS] Negotiations are going on for the release of 43 United Nations ...the Oyster Bay money pit... Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers in the Golan Heights who are being held hostage by Syrian rebels, the UN said Friday.
The UN said the captured soldiers are from Fiji and another 81 peacekeepers who are trapped in their positions are from the Philippines.
A UN press office said in a statement on Friday that the peacekeepers were seized "during a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of separation in the Golan Heights."
"The United Nations is making every effort to secure the release of the detained peacekeepers, and to restore the full freedom of movement of the force throughout its area of operation," it said.
In Suva, Fijian Commander Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga said three vehicles filled with about 150 armed rebels had converged on the soldiers' post at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday. He said the rebels demanded the soldiers leave within 10 minutes and insisted they go in rebel vehicles. He said they were then taken by the rebels to an unknown location. He said he's been told they were later transported back to their original post.
In Manila, the Philippine military said in a statement that gunnies had surrounded the Philippine contingent's encampments with Fijian hostages in tow and demanded that the Filipino troops surrender their firearms.
"The Philippine peacekeepers held their ground and demonstrated their resolve to defend their positions," it said. "They did not surrender their firearms as they may in turn be held hostage themselves."
The Security Council issued a statement strongly condemning the seizure of the peacekeepers and calling for their immediate release. UN Secretary-General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... echoed the council word's in his own statement of condemnation. Reporters asked UN front man Dujarric if the United Nations was in contact with the group holding the Fijians. He declined to specify who the world body was in contact with but said there was communication under way.
UN officials say that the peacekeepers, whose job is to monitor the cessation of hostilities, carry small arms that are only to be used in extreme circumstances. In previous situations where UNDOF peacekeepers were held hostage, the troops did not use their weapons.
"In extreme circumstances, these troops are trained and prepared and equipped to defend themselves, but, obviously, each situation has to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis," UN front man Stephane Dujarric said. He said there are contacts being held at different levels, on the mission and on the ground.
"They are talking to representatives of various gangs that they have ... operational contact with. They are talking to countries in the region." The Quneitra crossing on the Golan is a strategic plateau captured by Israel in a 1967 Middle East war. Syria and Israel technically remain at war. Syrian troops are not allowed in an area of separation under a 1973 cease-fire formalized in 1974.
UNDOF monitors the area of separation, a narrow strip of land running about 45 miles (70 km) from Mount Hermon on the Lebanese border to the Yarmouk River frontier with Jordan. There are 1,223 UNDOF peacekeepers from six countries.
Before the Syrian civil war, now in its fourth year, the region was generally quiet and the peacekeepers had mostly found their biggest enemy to be boredom. The force's personnel come from Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands and the Philippines.
The United Nations said this week that the Philippines has decided to pull out of UNDOF, and from a UN force in Liberia, which is struggling with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Blue-helmeted UN troops were seized by gunnies in March and May 2013. In both of those cases they were released safely.
Austria, Japan and Croatia have all pulled their troops out of UNDOF due to the deteriorating security situation and spillover from the Syrian war. Despite the latest crisis, Fijian Army Commander Brig.-General Mosese Tikoitoga told Rooters in an interview on Friday that he would not be recommending to his government that Fiji follow suit.
[ArutzSheva] Reports Friday indicate that Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Terror of Aleppo ... 's forces have partially recaptured the Quneitra region just east of the Israeli-Syrian Golan Heights border, which rebel forces captured in intense fighting on Wednesday.
According to the reports from the Iranian Fars news agency as cited by Walla!, the Syrian army has regained control over several Quneitra villages, including Jaba, Tel Krum and Al Ruachi.
The fighting continues on Friday morning in an attempt to take back full control after rebels seized the Quneitra crossing to Israel from the Syrian side.
Senior IDF sources predicted Assad's move, projecting that he would try to reconquer the vital area over the course of Thursday night. One source defined the security situation as "troubling," while adding "it's clear to us that the Syrian army doesn't want to deteriorate the situation and is being very careful about errant fire towards the Israeli side."
[AnNahar] The Lebanese army detained on Friday a pickup truck driver trying to transport wanted Syrians to the neighboring country through the northeastern border town of Arsal, media reports said.
The army issued a communique saying that "an army checkpoint locked away Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try! at 08:30 pm on Thursday the driver of a Hyundai pickup, Khaled Deeb al-Krenbi, who didn't hold any identification papers and had in his possession a gun and its ammo."
"Two Syrians were detained with Krenbi... Mohammed Abdul Sater and Adullah Mohammed al-Akkouk, who are suspected of fighting against the army in the region of Arsal."
The army statement said that the detainees were handed over to the competent authority for legal action against them.
The National News Agency reported earlier that al-Krenbi was smuggling two wanted "terrorists," who are reportedly the escorts of Imad Ahmed Jomaa, a member of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
Jomaa's arrest prompted festivities on August 2 between the army and Islamist faceless myrmidons in Arsal, which left 19 soldiers, 16 civilians, and dozens of jihadists dead.
He was known to be a member of al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syria franchise, but a video that surfaced in recent weeks shows him pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, which reportedly appointed him as the leader of the turban Fajr al-Islam Brigade.
Media reports said that the three men were detained at Ain al-Shaab army post.
The detainees were transferred to the army barracks in Ablah region and later moved to Beirut for questioning.
[AnNahar] Dozens of heavily armed Philippine peacekeepers defied Syrian rebels on Friday in a Golan Heights standoff, hours after the fighters took hostage 43 Fijian soldiers there, the Filipinos' commander said.
Seventy-five Filipino troops were defending two fortified posts in the U.N.-patrolled zone after gangs surrounded them on Thursday and demanded they give up their weapons, Colonel Roberto Ancan told news hounds in Manila.
Ancan, the commander of the Philippines' peacekeeping operations division, said no shots had been fired during the stand-off, but that his troops were prepared to engage in combat.
"We can use deadly force in defense of the U.N. facilities," Ancan said.
"I (would) just like to emphasize our troops are well-armed, they are well-trained... they are well-disciplined warrior peacekeepers."
The military said the soldiers were occupying U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) posts about four kilometers (2.5 miles) apart in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel that was created after a 1974 ceasefire.
The U.N. earlier said 81 Filipino peacekeepers were surrounded, but Ancan said there were only 40 Filipinos in one post and 35 in the other.
On Wednesday Syrian rebels, including murderous Moslems from the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, stormed one section of the buffer zone and exchanged fire with Israeli troops.
A day later the fighters captured 43 Fijians, forcing them to surrender their weapons then taking them hostage.
Ancan said the rebels used an English-speaking Fijian hostage to relay their demand to the Filipino peacekeepers, who refused and stood their ground.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino described the situation in the Golan Heights as "tense".
But, in brief comments to news hounds, Aquino sought to calm fears about the fate of the troops.
"So far, we should not worry. The news is that the situation looks stable," Aquino said.
There are currently 1,200 UNDOF peacekeepers: from the Philippines, Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal and the Netherlands.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.