TPM World News

JERUSALEM (AP) — Muslim leaders urged the faithful on Tuesday to keep up their prayer protests and avoid entering a contested Jerusalem shrine, even after Israel dismantled metal detectors that initially triggered the tensions.

Israel said it would replace the metal detectors with new security arrangements based on “advanced technology,” reportedly including sophisticated cameras, but said it could take up to six months to install them.

Muslim clerics have demanded that Israel restore the situation at the shrine — the third holiest in Islam and the holiest in Judaism — to what it was before it installed the metal detectors last week.

The clerics said Tuesday that they need time to study the proposed new Israeli measures. “We need to know all the details before we decide to pray inside the compound,” said the mufti, or top Muslim cleric in Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein.

Muslim worshippers heeded the call of the clergy, with dozens performing noon prayers in the streets outside the shrine on Tuesday.

The continued protests meant that the escalating crisis between Israel and the Muslim world, which began in mid-July, has not been defused, even after Israel backed down on the metal detectors.

Jordan, the Muslim custodian of the shrine, has played a key role in trying to end the showdown over the holy site.

Over the weekend, Jordan’s efforts were complicated by a shooting at Israel’s Embassy in Amman in which an Israeli guard killed two Jordanians after being attacked by one with a screwdriver.

A 24-hour standoff was resolve after a phone call between Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jordan initially said the guard could not leave without an investigation, but then allowed him and the rest of the embassy staff to leave to Israel late Monday.

The timing of the events — the evacuation of the diplomats, followed by the removal of the metal detectors — suggested a larger deal had been struck between the two countries.

The 37-acre (15-hectare) holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City sits on the fault line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has triggered major confrontations in the past.

Israel had erected metal detectors at the gates to the Muslim-administered site last week after Arab gunmen killed two Israeli police guards there two days earlier.

The move incensed the Muslim world, amid allegations that Israel was trying to expand control over the site under the guise of security — a claim Israel denies.

The installation of the metal detectors set off widespread protests and deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence over the past week. Large crowds of Muslim worshippers prayed outside the shrine in protest every day, refusing to pass through the metal detectors.

Israel has denied it has a hidden agenda, portraying the metal detectors as a needed security measure.

However, the Israeli government has come under growing diplomatic pressure in recent days to reconsider the decision. It also faced growing domestic criticism that it had acted hastily, without weighing the repercussions of installing new devices at the volatile site.

The diplomatic crisis with Jordan lent more urgency to finding a solution. The deal also coincided with a visit to Israel and Jordan by Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy.

His visit marked the first on-the-ground involvement by the U.S. administration since the start of the crisis over the shrine.

Israel’s security Cabinet announced the decision to remove the metal detectors early Tuesday. It said police would increase the deployment of forces until the new measures are in place.

The statement said the government would budget 100 million shekels ($28 million) to implement the security plan over a period of “up to six months.”

As custodian, Jordan has the final say over Muslim policies at the shrine, but also needs to consider public opinion, including among Palestinians in the Holy Land.

In his phone call with Netanyahu, Jordan’s king stressed the need to “remove the measures taken by the Israeli side since the recent crisis broke out” and to agree on steps that would prevent another escalation in the future, Jordan’s state news agency Petra said.

Israel captured the Old City compound, along with other territories sought for a Palestinian state, in the 1967 war. Under arrangements put in place then, Muslims administer the site and Jews can visit, but not pray there.

Jordan’s ruling Hashemite dynasty draws much of its legitimacy from its role as protector of the holy site.

However, it also maintains strategic, if discreet, security ties with Israel — a relationship that has survived several crises and repeated friction over the Jerusalem shrine.

The swift resolution of the latest diplomatic row reflected the overriding interest by both countries to protect their relationship.

However, the peace treaty with Israel remains unpopular in Jordan and the tensions at the shrine and the embassy shooting inflamed anti-Israel sentiments.

An acrimonious session of Jordan’s parliament was cut short Tuesday after lawmakers walked out in protest over the government’s handling of the shooting.

The session began with Interior Minister Ghaleb al-Zobi presenting the initial findings of the investigation to lawmakers.

He confirmed previous accounts that the guard fired after being attacked with a screwdriver by one of two Jordanians delivering furniture to a residential building linked to the embassy.

The attack was preceded by a verbal dispute, the minister said.

The Jordanian was later identified as Mohammed Jawawdeh, the 16-year-old son of the owner of a furniture store. The owner of the building, who stood next to Jawawdeh during the confrontation, was also hit by gunfire and later died of his wounds.

Hundreds of mourners attended the teen’s funeral Tuesday. Mourners chanted slogans in support of the Jerusalem shrine and called Jawawdeh a “martyr” who died in defense of the holy site.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu praised the guard for acting “calmly” during the incident. Netanyahu met the guard and Israel’s ambassador to Amman on Tuesday in Jerusalem.

Read More →

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has deployed military police to monitor the cease-fire in a safe zone in the eastern suburbs of Syria’s Damascus, the chief of the Russian General Staff said on Monday.

Russia has been providing air cover for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s offensive against the Islamic State group since 2015 and previously deployed a military police force to patrol the city of Aleppo last year.

Russia, Iran, which supports Assad, and Turkey, which backs rebels fighting his forces, in May approved a plan to create four “de-escalation” zones in Syria, pressing Assad’s air force to halt flights over designated areas across the war-torn country.

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi told a news conference Monday that Russia set up two checkpoints and four monitoring posts in one of the zones, in the area known as eastern Ghouta. The Russian Defense Ministry last week said that the Syrian government and the opposition reached an agreement on the boundaries of the zone, several days after bombardment and airstrikes in the area.

Rudskoi also said the Syrian government and the opposition are still discussing the boundaries of another zone in Idlib province in northern Syria where there is a large al-Qaida presence.

Read More →

MOSCOW (AP) — The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine have vowed to go ahead with a peace plan for eastern Ukraine.

France, Germany and Russia have mediated talks between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed rebels who have been fighting since April 2014 in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s office said that French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call Monday and vowed to help implement the peace deal they had brokered.

The separatists last week proclaimed a new state that aspires to include not only the areas in eastern Ukraine that they now control but territory beyond that. Poroshenko’s office said both Macron and Merkel vehemently rejected the idea of the rebel state.

Read More →

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union officials are “activating all diplomatic channels” to press home their concerns that looming U.S. energy sanctions against Russia could impact Europe’s energy supplies.

U.S. lawmakers are scheduled to consider the sanctions package as early as Tuesday, and the bill could be sent to President Donald Trump before Congress breaks for the August recess. The measures are aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

Germany and Austria have criticized the penalties, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that the EU’s executive arm is “following this process with some concern regarding the European Union’s energy independence and our energy security interests.”

Read More →

JERUSALEM (AP) — A deadly shooting at Israel’s Embassy in Jordan further complicated Israeli government efforts on Monday to find a way out of an escalating crisis over a major Jerusalem shrine, including mass Muslim prayer protests and Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The shooting, in which an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanians after being attacked by one of them with a screwdriver, led to a diplomatic standoff between the two countries at a time when Jordan is heavily involved in efforts to defuse the crisis over the Jerusalem holy site.

Jordan is the Muslim custodian of the shrine, which is also holy to Jews. The 37-acre walled compound is the third holiest site of Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It is also the holiest site of Judaism, revered as the place where biblical Temples once stood.

Jordanian officials said Monday that the guard could only leave after an investigation, according to a news site linked to Jordan’s military. Israel insisted the guard has diplomatic immunity.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he spoke to the guard and assured him that Israel has experience in dealing with such a situation and would bring him home. He said Jordan’s ambassador to Israel came to the Foreign Ministry earlier Monday “to help solve the crisis.”

The drama played out as President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, headed to the Holy Land on Monday. It was the first sign of a high-level, on-the-ground attempt by the Trump administration to end the standoff between Israel and the Muslim world.

The holy site is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

The escalation began earlier this month when Arab gunmen fired from the holy site, killing two Israeli policemen. In response, Israel installed metal detectors at the site, a move that incensed the Muslim world.

The shooting at Israel’s embassy in the Jordanian capital of Amman could further inflame Jordanian public opinion against Israel.

The Amman shooting took place on Sunday evening in a residential building used by the embassy staff.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the incident began when two Jordanian workmen arrived at the building to replace furniture. It said one of the workers, later identified as a 17-year-old of Palestinian origin, attacked an Israeli security guard with a screwdriver.

The guard opened fire, killing the teen. A second Jordanian, the owner of the building who was also a physician, was hit by gunfire and later died of his wounds. The guard was lightly hurt, the ministry said.

The Jordanian news site Hala Akhbar, which is linked to the kingdom’s military, quoted diplomatic and security officials as saying that Jordan refused to let the guard leave without an investigation.

The website quoted the officials as saying that Jordan might take “diplomatic measures” if Israel refuses to meet the demand.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry did not refer to Jordanian demands, but said the guard enjoys diplomatic immunity under international conventions.

An Israeli government official said talks were under way whether to evacuate the embassy staff, given the tensions in Jordan.

He said either all or none of the staff would be evacuated, and that the security guard would not be left behind. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the diplomatic efforts underway to defuse the situation.

The father of the slain teen on Monday called for an investigation and said he would not bury his son until he was shown security camera footage of the incident.

Zakariah al-Jawawdeh told The Associated Press that his son Mohammed is a “son of Jordan who was shot on Jordanian soil” and he deserved justice.

He described Mohammed as apolitical, saying his son spent long hours working in the family furniture store and had no time to watch the news.

Israel’s security Cabinet met from late Sunday until the early hours of Monday to discuss the crisis at the shrine and the embassy shooting, and was to convene again Monday afternoon.

Netanyahu said Israel is in regular contact “with security and government officials on all levels in Amman to bring as speedy a resolution as possible to this event.”

Israel and Jordan signed a peace deal in 1994, but the agreement remains deeply unpopular in the kingdom where many residents are of Palestinian origin. Jordan and Israel have close security ties, but frequently clash over Israeli policies at the Jerusalem shrine.

Jordan’s ruling Hashemite dynasty, said to trace its ancestry to the Prophet Muhammad, draws much of its legitimacy from its role as protector of the shrine.

Meanwhile, the security Cabinet reached no decision after a six-hour meeting on how to defuse the crisis over the Jerusalem shrine, Israeli media said. The ministers were reportedly reviewing the initial decision on installing the metal detectors and weighing possible alternatives.

Israel has said the metal detectors were a needed security measure to prevent future attacks. However, the government is facing growing domestic criticism, with some commentators saying it did not fully weigh all the repercussions of introducing new measures at the most volatile spot of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Muslim religious leaders have alleged that Israel is trying to expand its control at the site under the guise of security — a claim Israel denies. The tensions have led to mass prayer protests and deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Ikrema Sabri, a senior Muslim cleric, said Monday that Jerusalem’s police chief, Yoram Halevi, met a day earlier with a lawyer representing the Muslim leadership to discuss solutions to the crisis.

Sabri said newly installed security cameras, described in media reports as a possible alternative to the metal detectors, were discussed.

He said the lawyer was to brief the Muslim leadership later Monday on Israel’s responses.

In another sign of the tense atmosphere, a Palestinian assailant stabbed an Arab citizen of Israel in the neck in central Israel, apparently mistaking him for a Jew, police said. The assailant was detained.

Read More →

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber rammed his car packed with explosives into a bus carrying government employees in the Afghan capital early on Monday, killing 24 people and wounding 42 others, Kabul’s chief police spokesman said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault.

The attack took place in a western Kabul neighborhood where several prominent politicians reside and at rush hour, as residents were heading to work and students were on their way to a nearby private high school, said Basir Mujahed, the spokesman.

“The bomber attacked at one of the busiest times of the day,” the spokesman said. “There were traffic jams with people going to work and to the university and schools. Many of the shops had just opened.”

Several residents of Kabul who were lightly wounded in the explosion criticized the lapse in security measures they say enabled the bombing.

Amir Helam, whose friend died in the explosion, told Afghanistan’s Tolo TV that “every day people are dying. If you cannot bring peace then please leave and bring other people.”

The bus was completely destroyed, along with three other cars and several shops in the area, said Mujahed, adding children were among the wounded.

Noorullah, who uses just one name, was in his dormitory at a nearby university when the explosion occurred. He says he “saw so many injured people and cars burning.” Noorullah received minor injuries from flying glass.

Kabul has been battered by explosions claimed by the Taliban and by the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan. On May 31, the Afghan capital saw its worst suicide attack since the Taliban’s collapse in 2001 — an attack that killed 150 people and wounded scores.

In a statement the Interior Ministry called Monday’s attack “a criminal act against humanity.”

The police spokesman said the minibus was carrying employees of the mines and petroleum ministry.

The Taliban, in a statement to the media, said they were behind the bombing and that the attack was carried out by an insurgent only identified as Ahmad.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said the target of the bombing was the intelligence services and their employees. He claimed the bus was filled with employees of the intelligence services and that Taliban insurgents spent the last two months shadowing the intelligence services employees before carrying out the attack. He also claimed 37 people were killed, but the Taliban often exaggerate their battlefield gains and death tolls.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the bombing.

“Once again, these terrorist are attacking civilians and targeting government staff,” Ghani said in a statement.

Pakistan issued a statement condemning the attack and saying that “terrorism is a common enemy.”

Pakistan has been bitterly criticized by both the United States and the Afghan government for providing safe havens to Taliban insurgents, a charge it strongly denies. Both countries routinely accuse the other of harboring their enemy insurgents.

Monday’s attack was the second against employees of the mines and petroleum ministry. Last year, a bus carrying the ministry’s employees was also targeted in an attack that killed several people.

The western Kabul neighborhood where the attack occurred is home to many prominent political leaders, such as Hazara leader Mohammad Mohaqiq.

Several attacks have occurred in the neighborhood, including the suicide attack last month that killed prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Ramazan Hussainzada, who was also a senior leader of the ethnic Hazara community.

Eyewitnesses to Monday’s attack said shattered glass from nearby buildings was scattered all over the street.

“The sound was very strong, the ground shook,” said Mohammed Nader, who owns a convenience store in the neighborhood.

The Taliban have stepped up their attacks against both Afghan forces and civilians since U.S. and other NATO-led foreign combat troops pulled out of the country at the end of 2014, leaving only an advisory and training contingent of international forces. In addition, American troops in Afghanistan have a counterterrorism role.

The insurgents have also steadily expanded their reach across the country, staging offensives targeting entire towns and expanding their footprint.

The Afghan military and security forces, with 195,000 soldiers and more than 150,000 policemen, have struggled to contain insurgency on their own.

Read More →

KOBANI, Syria (AP) — Advances against the Islamic State group in its stronghold in the Syrian city of Raqqa have slowed down amid stiff resistance from the militants, said the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group.

U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon estimates there are around 2,000 IS militants in the northern city, saying they are using civilians and children as human shields.

“We know this is not going to be an easy fight,” Dillon told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Thursday night.

The U.S. has partnered with the Kurdish-dominated coalition fighting force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in its fight against IS in Syria. In the seven weeks since they launched their offensive for Raqqa, they have encircled the militants and breached the heavily fortified Old City, gaining a foothold inside.

Dillon said the Kurdish-led forces are still making steady advances, but acknowledged a slower pace than the first two weeks of the operation, which saw quick and immediate progress. He said the distance between the SDF forces on the eastern side of the city and on the western fronts is now just under 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

Dillon said IS militants are using many of the same tactics employed in the Iraqi city of Mosul, including the use of tunnel networks, vehicle-borne IEDs, drones.

But he said in Raqqa, more than in Mosul, the militant group relies more on using civilians, sometimes children, to prevent coalition forces from striking specific areas in the city.

“We know that it is not going to be an overnight success but the coalition and the SDF will continue to push forward and will be victorious,” he said.

Dillon also said the coalition is concerned about Turkish shelling and threats to launch a cross-border operation into Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in western Syria near the border with Turkey, saying the SDF should remain focused on defeating IS in Raqqa.

He said, however, that the Raqqa campaign has so far not been affected.

“As far as we know the same amount of forces that were dedicated to defeating IS in Raqqa from the beginning has sustained and has stayed the same,” he said.

Read More →

JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Muslims prayed Friday in the streets near a contested shrine in Jerusalem’s Old City, kneeling on mats spread on cobble stone to protest the installation of metal detectors at the holy site.

The prayers largely ended peacefully. In three areas near the Old City, Israeli forces fired tear gas to disperse small groups of Palestinian stone-throwers.

Muslim leaders had urged the faithful not to enter the sacred compound until Israel removes the detectors, portraying Israel’s measures as an encroachment on Muslim rights — a charge Israel denies.

The city’s top Muslim cleric, Mohammed Hussein, told worshippers Friday that he expects a “long test of wills” with Israel.

Israel also dug in, saying the devices would stay. Israel had installed the metal detectors after three Palestinians launched an attack from the shrine, killing two Israeli policemen a week ago. Police said the metal detectors are needed to prevent further attacks.

On Friday, police severely restricted Muslim access to the area of the Muslim-administered shrine, which is revered by Muslims and Jews.

Police set up checkpoints in and around Jerusalem to prevent widespread protests.

Some 3,000 police were deployed near the Old City, turning away Muslim men under the age of 50. Some worshippers who came from Israel and the West Bank were intercepted before reaching Jerusalem.

The dispute over the detectors has led to rising tensions between Israel and the Muslim world.

Jordan, the custodian of the Jerusalem shrine, has repeatedly appealed to Israel to remove the devices. The two countries cooperate closely on regional security issues, but frequently disagree on Israel’s policies at the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

On Friday, several thousand Jordanians protested against Israel in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The raised 37-acre (15-hectare) platform in Jerusalem houses the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosques. It is the third holiest site of Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The compound, once home to biblical Temples, is Judaism’s holiest site. The Western Wall, a Temple remnant, is the holiest site where Jews can pray.

The shrine sits at the center of rival Israeli and Palestinian national narratives and has triggered major confrontations in the past.

On Friday, thousands of worshippers gathered in the streets near the shrine, laying out their prayer mats under a scorching sun. Volunteers distributed water.

One of the main gathering points was the Old City’s Lion’s Gate, near the spot where the policemen were killed last week.

Jerusalem resident Hashem Abu Diab, 60, led the crowd at Lion’s Gate in chants of “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Great,” before noon prayers, the highlight of the Muslim religious week.

Abu Diab said the dispute has united Jerusalem’s Palestinians who consider the compound as their last sanctuary from Israel’s 50-year occupation of the eastern part of the city.

“The Al Aqsa Mosque is the last place we have in this country,” he said. “If Al Aqsa goes, we lose everything. We don’t leave until they remove the metal detectors.”

Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, delivered the sermon at Lion’s Gate, where dozens of Israeli police stood near five metal detectors.

Hussein said the faithful must not enter the compound until Israel has removed the devices.

“We are exhausting Israel because all their military and intelligence are in the streets,” he said.” We are steadfast and we will not back off.”

Israeli police said in a statement that the metal detectors will remain in place, but suggested police may at times choose to only conduct spot checks. “Israeli police can decide on the level of checks,” said police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

The age restriction and police deployment came hours after Israel’s security Cabinet decided not to overrule an earlier police decision to install the metal detectors.

The decision to defer to police came amid reports of disagreement among Israel’s security services about the need for the metal detectors. The military and the Shin Bet security services, which deal directly with Palestinians and potential unrest, were reportedly opposed to the devices.

Israel had come under growing pressure this week, including from Jordan, to remove the metal detectors. The rule of Jordan’s Hashemite dynasty, said to trace its ancestry back to the Prophet Muhammad, rests to a large degree on its role as guardian of the site.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who oversees autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, asked the United States to “intervene urgently” and compel Israel to remove metal detectors, said an adviser, Nabil Abu Rdeneh.

Abbas discussed the growing tensions in Jerusalem in a phone call with Trump’s top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, Abu Rdeneh said.

The Palestinian leader told Kushner that the situation is “extremely dangerous and may go out of control,” Abu Rdeneh said.

Read More →

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions against eight individuals and businesses linked to the Islamic State extremist group and al-Qaida.

The eight additions to the U.N. sanctions blacklist include IS leaders in Southeast Asia, IS-affiliated extremist groups in Syria, foreign fighters from the Caucuses and illicit money exchange businesses.

The U.S.-drafted resolution adopted Thursday also urges greater international cooperation to cut off funding to extremist groups, prevent them from acquiring weapons, and step up cooperation to address the issues of fighters for IS and al-Qaida returning home.

U.S. deputy ambassador Michele Sison called the resolution “another important step” to defeat the two extremist groups, stressing that “for the United States, there is no higher priority.”

Sison said “there will be more designations” to the sanctions blacklist.

Read More →

AIN ISSA, Syria (AP) — Some 250 residents of Syria’s Raqqa province Thursday became the latest batch to graduate from a brief U.S. training course, part of an internal security force to hold and secure areas as they are captured from Islamic State group militants.

The graduation ceremony in the desert town of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa, was attended by a few American trainers who oversee the force and its preparation. Members will man checkpoints, identify IS sleeper cells and detect explosives.

The U.S. has partnered with a Kurdish-dominated coalition fighting force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against IS in Syria, but the issue of who would hold and administer predominantly Sunni Arab areas freed from the militants is an uneasy one.

U.S. officials say once Raqqa is liberated, the SDF will hand over local governance to the Raqqa Civilian Council, a local group of primarily Arab locals who will govern and administer essential service.

Col. Joseph Scrocca, a spokesman with the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition, told AP in an email last month that security will be provided by the Raqqa Internal Security Forces, a vetted multiethnic force expected to reach approximately 3,500 members.

Wissam, a Kurdish resident of Ain Issa who gave only his first name, is one of the trainers. He said so far around 800 forces have been trained and deployed around at least five areas in Raqqa province.

One American official at the site said the Internal Security Forces of Raqqa are not a combat or police force, but are trained to be a hold force in the areas as they are liberated from Islamic State militants. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The training program appears to be accelerating as the campaign to liberate the city of Raqqa enters its seventh week and the need for a security force to secure the city post-IS becomes more pressing. Critics say the Kurdish-led SDF forces and the affiliated Kurdish administration are not apt for holding the majority Arab province.

The newly graduated force is comprised mostly of Arab cadets.

For Wissam Eid, a 17-year old resident of Raqqa, this is personal. His twin brother was shot in the head by IS after they detained him for seven months in late 2015. At the age of 15, his brother Ayman was accused by the IS militants of collaborating with the Kurdish militias that operate in northern Raqqa and Aleppo. A friend had ratted on him.

Eid said he too was detained for three months as they investigated his brother, held in solitary confinement for a month and hung from this arms for over 12 hours. After he was released he went looking for the person who ratted on his brother.

It was his mother that urged him to join the new force. “If you arrest a Daesh, just drink his blood, she told me,” Eid said, using a variation on an Arabic saying.

Read More →

LiveWire