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The meeting of the UN Security Council on the issue of the Turkish army attack on the city of Afrin was held today, but the meeting ended with a joint statement without condemning the attacks.

The meeting was held at the request of France to discuss the situation in Afrin, Idlib and East Ghouta, but there was no statement condemning the attacks of the Turkish army.

Ambassador of France to the Security Council during the meeting called on Turkey to exercise restraint and solve problems through dialogue.

 

 

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Barzani and ِAbadi meet at Davos forum

The World Economic Forum in Davos is scheduled to start on Tuesday (January 23rd) with the participation of 300 leaders and the president of 70 countries , will continue until 26 this month.

The forum will be attended by Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi and Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul-Jabbar al-Luaibi. Barzani is scheduled to meet with Abadi on the sidelines of the forum to discuss solving problems between Erbil and Baghdad.

 

 

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Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Salahuddin Muhammad Bahaaudin visited the city of Koysanjaq , and met with a number of party cadres there.

Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Salahuddin Muhammad Bahaaudin on Monday 22/1/2018 was received by the official of the organizational unit of the Kurdistan Islamic Union in the city of Koysanjaq , and a number of party cadres stressed that they support all the legitimate demands of citizens.

He visited the family of the martyr (Hirsch) one of the victims of the recent demonstrations in the city.

Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union also participated in the funeral ceremony of the mother of one of the party cadres in Koysanjaq .

 

 

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Turkish troops have taken control of 11 Kurdish positions and created "safe zones" in neighbouring Syria's northwestern region of Afrin, according to Turkish media.

Reports on Tuesday said the army, aided by Free Syria Army rebels, is pushing towards the southern part of the Syrian region with fronts on the west and the east.

The Turkish army, which launched the Afrin operation on Saturday, captured the villages of Shankal, Qorne, Bali and Adah Manli, as well as the rural areas of Kita, Kordo and Bibno and four other hills in Afrin, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

State-run Anadolu news agency said that the forces launched a second front towards Afrin from Syria's Azaz on Monday to squeeze the People's Protection Units (YPG) - a Syrian Kurdish force - from both west and east in order to advance on southern Afrin.

Turkey sees the YPG as a "terrorist group" that acts as the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody three-decade fight against the Turkish state.

Reported casualties

Turkey's military announced its first fatality of the campaign after a soldier was killed in clashes with the YPG southeast of the border town of Gulbaba.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 22 Syrian civilians have been killed by Turkish attacks and two more by Kurdish fire during the operation.

 

It said 54 Syrian fighters were killed, including 19 Ankara-backed rebels, 26 Kurdish fighters and nine unidentified figures.

Ankara has denied inflicting civilian casualties, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accusing the YPG of sending out "nonsense propaganda and baseless lies".

 

The UN Security Council discussed Turkey's offensive and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria on Monday but did not condemn or demand an end to the Turkish operation.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, while visiting London, said he was "concerned" about the offensive, and EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said she would discuss the situation with Turkish officials.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed impatience with US demands to set a clear timetable, saying the campaign would be over "when the target is achieved".

"How long have you been in Afghanistan? Is that over in Iraq?" he said, referring to long-running US military presence in those countries.

Erdogan has previously indicated that once control is imposed in Afrin, Turkey wants to head east to defeat the YPG in the town of Manbij.

Meanwhile, Russia and Iran - who have a military presence in Syria and are working with Turkey on a peace process - have also expressed concern.

Erdogan insisted Turkey had discussed the operation in advance with Russia, and Moscow was in "agreement".

 

 

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Army arrests presidential hopeful Sami Anan

Egypt's army has arrested its former chief of staff and presidential hopeful Sami Anan, a top aide from his presidential campaign told media.

The Supreme Committee of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Egypt has accused Anan of committing violations that "warrant official investigation".

In a statement released on Tuesday, SCAF said that the 69-year-old, who announced his candidacy for the March presidential elections on Sunday, had forged official documents to end his military service and had not obtained the army's approval to run.

"The Armed Forces do not condone the blatant breach of the rules and regulations of military service that the accused has committed, such as committing the crime of forgery represented in the termination of his service in the armed forces, which led to his inclusion in the electoral roster," the statement said.

The statement also said that Anan was seeking to divide the armed forces and citizens.

Anan had announced his intention to run, two hours after current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared his plan to seek a second term.

In a speech posted on his Facebook page, Anan called on the country's civil and military institutions to be neutral in the presidential race.

He said he was running because the plight of the Egyptian people was worsening with the military's overbearing control of the administration.

This, he said, did not enable the private sector to play its role in running the affairs of the state.

Earlier, Egyptian authorities stormed the homes of Anan's presidential campaigners and arrested a number of them. Anan's campaign announced the suspension of work on their Facebook page out of fear for their employees' safety.

 

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region during a press conference held on Monday in Erbil, referred to his recent visit to Baghdad and Tehran.

Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, during the press conference announced that his visit to Baghdad was a good start to resume dialogue and resolve outstanding issues and during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi discuss the issue of oil ,salaries of staff ,airports and border crossings of the Kurdistan Region.

On his visit to Iran, the Prime Minister noted that their relations with Iran are good and discussed with Iranian officials the consolidation of bilateral relations between Erbil, Tehran and Baghdad and the development of economic relations.

For the city of Afrin, Barzani announced that the events taking place in Afrin is a source of concern and hoped to solve problems through dialogue.

 

 

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Against the background of the demonstrations that took place in the cities of the Kurdistan region in the past few months, a number of young people burned a number of the headquarters of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union announced that they decided to pardon the young men who attacked and burned the headquarters of the Kurdistan Islamic Union and decided to withdraw the lawsuits against those young people in courts.

Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Salahuddin Muhammad Bahaaudin in a message entitled "The Decision of Forgiveness", in which declared that from the standpoint of a sense of moral and national responsibility and to develop a spirit of tolerance and peace. As a solution to the issue of young people who attacked the buildings of the Kurdistan Islamic Union we pardon them and withdraw the lawsuit cases on them in the courts.

 

 

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A technical delegation of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority and the Iraqi Ministry of Transport and Communications is due to arrive in the Kurdistan Region on Tuesday and visit the airports of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah for the purpose of resuming flights.

A news sourse quoted a source of the negotiation delegation that a technical delegation from the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority and the Iraqi Ministry of Transport and Transport is due to arrive in Erbil to take the final decision on the reopening of airports in the Kurdistan Region.

The source added that there is no problem with the resumption of flights and the two sides agreed on coordination in airport management.

 

 

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Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Salahuddin Muhammad Bahaaudin on Sunday 21/1/2018 confirmed the party's move forward for reform.

Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union Salahuddin Muhammad Bahaaudin during a speech to his advisers and officials of party centers in the Erbil axis, renewed the adherence of the Islamic Union to the moderate approach, and struggle for the sake of God and serve the citizens.

He also pointed to the latest political developments in the Kurdistan ,Iraq and the region, and the file of the upcoming parliamentary elections, explaining the importance of rapprochement between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve the differences and outstanding crises between the two sides.

 

 

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As the start of the working week begins in the United States, and with Republicans and Democrats still unable to come to an agreement over government spending, hundreds of thousands federal employees will not be allowed to report for duty.

Senate Republicans and Democrats failed late on Sunday to reach a compromise to end the shutdown, which began at midnight on Friday as a result of an impasse over negotiations on immigration.

Democrats and Republicans traded blame throughout the weekend, with President Donald Trump calling for the "nuclear option" on Twitter. The so-called nuclear option would change the 60-vote rule and allow Republicans to pass legislation without Democrat approval.

According to US media, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not support the option and it is unclear whether Republicans would still have the 51 votes needed to pass a spending bill. 

Why can't Democrats and Republicans agree?

Democrats want Republicans and Trump to negotiate an immigration plan as part of the budget deal. But Republicans say no agreement will be reached while the government is shut down. 

As part of any immigration deal, Democrats want protections for the nearly 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients. 

Last year, Trump announced the end of the DACA programme, which protects undocumented children brought to the US by their parents. He gave Congress until March to resolve the issue.

A group of senators worked through the weekend to try to come up with an agreement to extend the budget and end the shutdown. Many were optimistic when McConnell announced he would allow a vote on immigration reform in February if the Democrats agreed to fund to the government.

But by Sunday evening, no deal had been reached and a vote on government spending was postponed until midday (17:00 GMT) on Monday.

 

The weekend only showed small signs of a shutdown, but as the working week begins, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed, meaning they will be put on temporary unpaid leave.

Additionally, many government services, such as passport and visa application processing will be halted, national museums will be closed and many government agency work will be slowed.

'Not much Trump can do' 

Al Jazeera's Heidi Zhou-Castro said that it is unclear if and when a deal over government spending will be reach. 

"With shifting stances and with the finger pointing coming from Trump on Twitter, it remains to be seen when and if a compromise to reopen the federal government will occur," she said. 

Jeanne Zaino, a professor at Iona College, said that "there's not much the president can do except use his bully pulpit to try to convince the American people to convince their senators or the senators themselves to get the government open".

She also told Al Jazeera that "the president is feeling a bit of frustration because if you recall in 2013, he roundly criticised President [Barack] Obama for not having the skills and the leadership to strike a deal to bring people together".

The last government shutdown took place in 2013 and lasted for just over two weeks. It came as a result of a Republican push to defund the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

 

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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