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Regional Briefs: Iraq, UAE, Israel, Yemen, Somalia - Daily News Egypt

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Regional Briefs: Iraq, UAE, Israel, Yemen, Somalia

Iraq An adviser to the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said the recently defected Syrian Ambassador to Iraq made a confession of complicity in regards to several attacks launched by Al-Qaeda within Iraq some years ago, according to the BBC. The former Syrian Ambassador, Nawaf Fares, told media sources that his government had formed an …


Iraq

An adviser to the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said the recently defected Syrian Ambassador to Iraq made a confession of complicity in regards to several attacks launched by Al-Qaeda within Iraq some years ago, according to the BBC. The former Syrian Ambassador, Nawaf Fares, told media sources that his government had formed an alliance with Al-Qaeda in order to disrupt US forces in Iraq. According to Fares, after the 2003 United States-led invasion of Iraq, Al-Qaeda and Syria entered into an alliance. Fares admitted he helped Damascus send “Jihad units” into Iraq. These same units, he said, have also been involved inside Syria, operating under the direct orders of the Syrian regime. The Iraqi government is said to be taking legal action in the near future against Fares for his participation in the matter, accusing Fares and Syria of being at least in part responsible for the deaths of many Iraqis at the hands of Al-Qaeda.

UAE

The United Arab Emirates has recently begun cracking down on ‘foreign-linked organisations’ planning to commit crimes against security. Activists on Monday reported that six members of the Islamist Al-Islah group were arrested a day after a Bedoon activist was deported to Thailand. The UAE public prosecuting authority ordered arrests pending an investigation into the “extent of the conspiracy,” was being planned by the unnamed group. Unlike other Gulf states, the UAE forbids the Muslim Brotherhood from operating within their borders. To the government, the Al-Islah group is seen an extension of the Brotherhood, which they believe is attempting to destabilise the region. Al-Islah meanwhile has said they may share common ideas with the Brotherhood, but they are an independent group with no ties to any other foreign agency.

Israel

The Israeli parliament’s Interior and Environment Committee approved a bill on Tuesday granting private security guards the authority to use ‘reasonable force’ in order to prevent violence. The Knesset bill will allow the private security guards in places such as nightclubs to use violence in order to prevent violence if security personnel feel the situation could escalate. Security guards are authorised to incapacitate and detain suspects until police arrive. This bill is a response to an uptick in violence at nightclubs, which include stabbings. Meanwhile, the Israeli Public Defender’s Office and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel have warned the Knesset that such a law would be an infringement on civil rights and also represents a de facto privatisation of the police force.

Yemen

Yemeni security forces successfully prevented a suicide bomber from targeting a military parade on Tuesday. The bomber, allegedly a soldier who had planned to detonate the belt bomb inside one of the Central Security camps, was arrested with the explosive belt inside his suitcase. The arrest came as security forces had received information about the planned bombing after the soldier told one of his colleagues not to attend the parade. The Yemen Observer has identified the man as Fayez Al-Sofi, a new military recruit. Yemen’s military has recently been the target of numerous suicide bombings and attacks. Last week, four Yemeni officers, including the deputy director of the central prison in the city of Taiz, and four others were reportedly killed in an ambush. Over the past two months, suicide bombers have managed to kill hundreds of military personnel, among them commanders, officers and soldiers.

Somalia

A recent United Nations investigation has uncovered several cases of corruption in Somalia, one of which accused the Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed of granting several pirate leaders diplomatic immunity. According to the report, Sheikh Ahmed provided these pirates with diplomatic passports, which granted them immunity from investigation. The report further said the president defended his decision to give Mohamed Abide Hassan “Afweyne,” a pirate leader, a diplomatic passport by saying it was a part of a larger operation to dismantle the pirate network. In a letter to the Chairman of the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee, Somali President Ahmed called the report one sided, saying that the principal author of the report “seems hell bent on soiling the good names of private members of the Somali people by throwing at them unsubstantiated allegations.”

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