#AceWorldNews – TRIPOLI – October 24 – Lebanese troops arrested a recruiter for the Islamic State group wanted for the beheading of a captured soldier, in a raid Thursday that netted more suspects and killed three gunmen, the army said.
“A military intelligence unit carried out a security operation at dawn in the Dinniyeh area” of northern Lebanon on an apartment in which jihadist Ahmad Miqati was living, a statement said.
Miqati and his son Omar were arrested in the raid. They, along with a Miqati nephew identified as Bilal “were involved in the slaying of martyred Sergeant Ali Sayyid” in the border town of Arsal, the army said.
Tensions have soared in Lebanon since August when the army fought deadly clashes with jihadists of the IS and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front in Arsal.
The jihadists are demanding that Lebanon free Islamist prisoners.
#AceNewsServices – October 15 – The leader of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB), an al Qaeda-linked group, has called on Sunnis in Lebanon to attack Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist organization.
Sirajeddine Zurayqat, who has been reportedly named the new emir of the AAB, called for the anti-Hezbollah attacks in a series of posts on his official Twitter feed on Oct. 13. The tweets have also been collected into a single statement from the AAB leader.
Zurayqat addresses “our youth in Tripoli,” saying they should strike Hezbollah fighters and positions, not the Lebanese Army. Hezbollah is the “puppet master” behind the Army and Lebanon’s security services, Zurayqat writes, and it is Hezbollah that has turned the government against the nation’s Sunnis.
“Therefore, strike the puppet master and do not get preoccupied with the tools. If the head is broken, the hands become paralyzed,” Zurayqat argues in a tweet translated by The Daily Star. “You have [Hezbollah’s] centers, checkpoints, supply lines, leaders and members across Lebanon.
Kill them and avenge the children of Lebanon and Syria.”
The AAB leader also argues that Hezbollah has been Israel’s “loyal guard” since 1996. He attempts to recast the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel as “nothing more than breaking the rules of engagement.”
By failing to continue with the war, Zurayqat says, Hezbollah has provided international legitimacy for Israel’s existence.
Zurayqat’s words are intended to undermine public perceptions of Hezbollah as an effective anti-Israeli fighting force. Ironically, Iran and other allied groups have done more to fight Israel than the AAB or any other al Qaeda-backed group.
But the AAB and other al Qaeda-allied groups have claimed responsibility for smaller attacks on Israel, including during the conflict this past summer.
Zurayqat’s call to fight Hezbollah is consistent with the anti-Iranian propaganda campaign being waged by the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.
Al Nusrah operates in Lebanon and has called upon Sunnis in the country to rise up against the Lebanese government, Hezbollah and their Iranian-backers.
Both Al Nusrah and the Islamic State, a former branch of al Qaeda, have fought against Lebanese forces and Hezbollah. There are evenpersistent reports indicating that Al Nusrah and the Islamic State have conducted joint operations in Lebanon despite their bitter rivalry in Syria.
In August, Al Nusrah and the Islamic State took a number of Lebanese servicemen hostage, killing several of them after the negotiations to free them stalled. The Al Nusrah Front has blamed Hezbollah and Iran for the failure to reach a deal that would free the captives.
And Al Nusrah has used its hostages in videos that are intended to sway public opinion in Lebanon against the government and Hezbollah.
In September, Zurayqat addressed the Lebanese hostages in an audio recording that was released online. He blamed the men for joining the Lebanese Army, saying “if you fight the Sunnis there is nothing between you and us except the sword.”
According to Al Akhbar, Zurayqat threatened, “The mujahideen took Iraq in days, and in days they can be in the center of Beirut too.”
The AAB has conducted attacks against Iranian interests in Lebanon. In November 2013, the group claimed credit for twin suicide attacks outside of the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
Nearly two dozen people, including an Iranian cultural attache, were killed and more than 150 others were wounded in the blasts.
#AceWorldNews – LEBANON – September 24 – Lebanon should not be part of the US-led international coalition fighting terrorism, the leader of Hezbollah said in a televised speech Tuesday night.
The group also opposed US military intervention in Syria, including air-strikes on ISIS targets, the Daily Star quoted Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah as saying.
He stressed that the US had created or helped create terrorist groups which the coalition was now seeking to fight in Iraq and Syria.
Lebanon was capable of confronting terrorism alone, he said, adding that the government should negotiate with Islamist militants holding at least 21 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage “from a position of strength.”
#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – April 14 – (PressTV) – Three journalists working with Lebanese al-Manar television have been killed after coming under attack from foreign-backed militants in the Syrian town of Ma’loula.
According to al-Manar, correspondent Hamza al-Hajj Hassan, technician Halim Allaw and cameraman Mohammed Mantash were gunned down by “armed groups” on Monday.
The shooting came shortly after Syrian armed forces retook full control of Ma’loula.
Meanwhile, Press TV’s crew that is covering the conflict in the strategic Qalamoun region, says Iran’s al-Alam Arabic-language news channel crew has been met with gunfire as well.
On March 8, Omar Abdel Qader, a cameraman who worked for Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television channel, was killed in Deir Ezzor, the largest city in eastern Syria.
The privately-owned channel said Abdel Qader lost his life on his 27th birthday while covering clashes between Syrian troops and the foreign-backed militants in the city.
Dozens of journalists, including a Press TV correspondent, have been killed in Syria since the deadly conflict began more than three years ago.
#AceWorldNews – CAIRO – March 28 – Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi has apologized to the Libyan people.
The Libyan television aired footage of Saadi asking for forgiveness for “chaos and instability” in the country.
Representatives of the prison authorities say the reason was broadcast in response to rumours that Saadi had been tortured, Lebanese agency Daily Star reported.
“I am being treated well,” Gaddafi’s son said. “I ask the Libyans for forgiveness for the harm inflicted upon them.”
#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – March 26 – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov discussed the Syrian crisis and the situation around Ukraine at an Arab-League Summit in Kuwait, Foreign Ministry sources reported on Wednesday – Tass
“An address of Russian President Vladimir Putin was conveyed to the participants of the Arab League summit,” the ministry said.
Bogdanov met on the sidelines of the summit with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah, Arab League’s Secretary General Nabil Elaraby, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Libyan Foreign Minister Muhammad Abdelaziz, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdallah al-Qirbi, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, UN Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and opposition Syrian National Coalition chief Ahmed Jarba.
They discussed “issues on the agenda of the Arab League summit with an emphasis on a need for an early political settlement of the Syrian crisis and a just settlement of the Palestinian problem in line with principles of international law and the UN Charter, as well as certain issues concerning bilateral relations,” the ministry said.
Russian News and Media Sources
#AceWorldNews – LEBANON – 23 March – Gun battles between armed men loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and rivals have left one dead and 13 people wounded in the Lebanese capital, say local security forces.
As a result of the clashes, the Lebanese authorities have deployed troops to bring the situation under control.
The unrest began when Sunni gunmen opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades in the neighbourhood of Tariq Jadideh, early on Sunday morning.
Middle East News Sources
#AceWorldNews – Seven people were killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli during fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, Reuters reported.
Four civilians, including an elderly man, were shot dead by snipers.
Eleven others were injured.
Three people who were wounded in earlier clashes also died on Friday, according to security and medical sources.
Tripoli, situated 30 miles from the Syrian border, is mostly populated Sunni Muslims who often clash with the minority from Assad’s Alawite sect.
#AceWorldNews Syrian troops on Sunday seized full control of the rebel bastion Yabrud in the strategic Qalamun region near the Lebanese border, Syrian state media reported.
“Our brave armed forces have full control over Yabrud in Damascus province and are combing through the town and removing explosive devices placed by terrorists,” state television said, citing a military source.
Opposition sources said civilians and activists from the town had fled across the nearby border into Lebanon overnight before Yabrud fell.
The loss of the town will be a symbolic and practical blow for the opposition.
It has been a rebel stronghold since early in the uprising that began in March 2011 and has proved a key strategic prize because of its proximity to the Lebanese border, across which weapons and fighters can be smuggled.
It also lies on the important highway that connects Damascus to Syria’s third city Homs.
#AceWorldNews says the Twelve Lebanese and Syrian nuns, who were kidnapped from the historic Christian town of Maaloula in December, have now been released and are on their way to Syria, Lebanese security source said.
The nuns were transferred to the village of Arsal, western Lebanon, earlier in the week, the source told Reuters on Sunday.
Their whereabouts and condition remained unknown for over three months, with first reports of the abduction emerging in early December as Islamic rebels seized the ancient quarter of Maaloula, a predominantly Christian town and UNESCO heritage site in eastern Syria.
“What the Syrian army achieved in Yabroud facilitated this process,” Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Louka Khoury speaking to reporters at the border.
Earlier Post – 14.06 GMT http://wp.me/p165ui-4b1
Previous story of kidnap back in December 2013 – http://on.rt.com/lvdrnu
#AceWorldNews says at least 10 Lebanese and Syrian nuns, who were kidnapped last year from the historic Christian town of Maaloula, may be released on Sunday, according to Arab media sources. – RT.
A pro-regime Syrian news agency said a deal has been reached to release the nuns who were captured by the al-Nusra Front, one of the Islamist radical groups fighting President Assad’s forces.
Meanwhile the head of Qatari intelligence, Saadeh el-Kbeisi, has arrived in Lebanon.
Along with Lebanon’s General Security Chief, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Qatar has become a crucial player in the negotiations to release the nuns.
Latest update on their release http://wp.me/p165ui-4b7
#AceWorldNews says that Hezbollah will respond to an Israeli air strike that hit one of its bases Monday night, the militant group said Wednesday.
“The new aggression is a blatant assault on Lebanon and its sovereignty and its territory,” according to a statement on Hezbollah run Al-Manar Television.
Hezbollah “will choose the time and place and the proper way to respond to it,” the group said, adding that the strike hit the Lebanese-Syrian border near the Bekaa Valley village of Janta.
Israel has not confirmed the strike, Reuters said.
#AceWorldNews – latest on the Beirut car-bombing is that 7 people were killed and 128 wounded in the twin blasts in Beirut’s Bir Hasan neighbourhood on Wednesday morning, the Daily Star newspaper reports, citing Lebanese security sources.
Seven people are in “critical condition,” the country’s Red Cross said. Twin suicide car bombings targeted the Iranian Cultural Centre in a busy Beirut suburb Wednesday.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility, saying the attacks were carried out in retaliation to Hezbollah’s and Iran’s roles in the Syrian war.
Previously Reported at http://wp.me/p165ui-3K2
#AceWorldNews says (Reuters) – A Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul, killing 21 people including three United Nations staff and the IMF’s top representative in Afghanistan.
Gunmen burst into the Lebanese restaurant spraying diners with bullets after the bomber blew himself up near the entrance around 7.30 p.m. on Friday, just as people sat down to dinner.
Thirteen foreigners were among those killed, according to police, and details about the victims began to trickle through on Saturday.
The U.S. embassy said on Twitter at least two U.S. private citizens were killed. Britain and Canada confirmed they each lost two nationals. Denmark said one of its citizens also died.
The American University of Afghanistan said two of its U.S. employees died in the attack on La Taverna du Liban, a popular dining spot whose charismatic owner, Kamal Hamade, was also killed.
#AceBreakingNews says at least seven people were killed and 15 others wounded by rocket fire on the Lebanese border town of Arsal on Friday, Lebanon’s National News Agency said. One rocket hit Arsal, and local sources said at least seven rockets hit the area. Arsal is located on the frontier with neighbouring Syria.
#AceWorldNews says nearly nine years after a truck bomb killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others, the trial is starting of four Hezbollah members suspected of organizing his assassination. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague is trying the suspects for plotting the assassination in their absence, AP reported. Lebanon’s influential Shiite militia Hezbollah has vowed never to arrest the suspects. The suicide assassination with a ton of explosives on February 14, 2005, fueled sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
#AceWorldNews says It has taken more than six months of intense lobbying to convince the Lebanese government to allow even a trial run of the Ikea units. Now that they are permitted, it’s likely to take just as long to get a sufficient number of the shelters into the country, leaving entire families exposed to the elements as Lebanon’s vicious winter storms drive freezing rain, snow and wind through the informal refugee settlements that have sprung up across the country. UNHCR has delivered tens of thousands of emergency kits containing plastic tarps, blankets and timber to the estimated 125,000 refugees that have not been able to find adequate shelter. Still, it means that many can expect to spend the winter with little more to protect them from the elements than a thin plastic sheet. The government turnaround is a positive development, says Jean-Marie Garelli, UNHCR’s program director for the Syrian refugees. “However it will take some time to put these shelters in place. You won’t see a miracle in a week.”#Syria
Ace says here is a video link: http://world.time.com/2013/12/16/lebanon-says-no-to-ikea-housing-for-syrian-refugees-because-its-too-nice/