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Showing posts from July 14, 2017

JAYSH AL-ISLAM OFFICIALLY UNITES WITH AL-QAEDA IN EASTERN GHOUTA

Jaysh al-Islam issued an official video announcing the approval of Jaysh al-Islam on the initiative launched by the Military Council in Damascus and its countryside. The goal is to solve problems between Jaysh al-Islam and the joint forces of Faylaq al-Rahman and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda). The initiative will dissolve all armed groups in Eastern Ghouta and unite them into one armed organization under any agreed name. “Despite all the attempts of military escalation against us by the alliance of Faylaq al-Rahman and the Al-Nusra Front, we haven’t been dragged into confrontation with those we see as brothers in religion, arms and revolution like Faylaq al-Rahman, and we have never stood up to any initiative to unite the ranks and heal the rift”. Jaish al-Islam spokesman Hamza Birqdar said in the video. “We declare our agreement, in the leadership of Jaysh al-Islam, to the initiative launched by the Military Council in Damascus …

CHINA SAYS TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA GREW ONLY 10.5% IN FIRST 6 MONTHS OF 2017

New data released by the Chinese government suggests trade with its restive neighbor, North Korea, has only increased by a modest degree since the beginning of the year, rebutting criticisms from President Donald Trump and UN ambassador Nikki Haley that the world’s second-largest economy is undermining US efforts to curb trade with the North. China’s national flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium, August 8, 2008. The stadium is also known as the Bird’s Nest. Jerry Lampe/Reuters A Chinese official said Thursday that China’s trade with isolated North Korea rose more than 10 percent in the January-June period from a year earlier, according to Reuters.The data show a sharp decline in trade in April, May and June after data released by China Customs in April showed a 37.4 percent increase in trade with North Korea in the first quarter of 2017. However, data released a week ago by China’s Ministry of Commerce show trade between…

PRO-SAUDI FORCES CONTINUE ATTEMPTS TO IMPOSE SIEGE ON YEMENI CAPITAL OF SANAA (MAP UPDATE)

Pro-Saudi forces have continued attempts to seize the Houthi-controlled town of Sirwah located east of Sanaa. Forces loyal to the Saudi-led coalition have captured al-Makzara, but they have not been able to capture Sirwah. An intense fighting is ongoing. The Saudi-led coalition seeks to the Sirwah area in order to get a foothold for possible advance on the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. Click to see the full-size map