#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:June.20: An Iraqi minister on Saturday slammed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plans to turn the site of the tomb of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Mosul – which it destroyed last year – into a park as a “crime” perpetrated against the country’s heritage, a local news outlet reported.
Qais Hussain, the deputy minister of Antiquities and Tourism told the local al-Sumaria News that “there are reports about ISIS’s intention of transforming the tomb into a park and fun city which is another crime against Iraqi heritage.”
Hussain also said the ministry has “a plan after liberating conquered cities from ISIS,” adding that there is “a committee that is currently working to minimize damages being done to heritage sites.”
The site of the tomb is located in the northern city of Mosul, which ISIS seized in June last year. So far the Iraqi government, already backed with Shiite volunteer fighters known as the Popular Mobilization units, has not been able to recapture the city, which has become the group’s stronghold in the country.
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#AceNewsReport – BAHRAIN:June.20: The Bahraini government has released a Sunni opposition leader who had been imprisoned for four years for taking part in Shiite-backed anti-government protests, the Waed secular group – his party, announced on its Twitter account.
Ibrahim Sharif became a prominent face in the 2011 uprising that demanded a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister. He was later charged along with 20 other activists for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Sunni rulers of Bahrain – a Shiite-majority country.
He received a five-year sentence, which was one of the lesser sentences. Eight others received life. News of the release comes four days after another opposition leader – the Shiite Ali Salman – received a four-year sentence for inciting disobedience. Salman’s group was also a key force in the 2011 uprising.
Some 90 people have died in clashes with security forces since then, according to rights groups. Hundreds more have been put on trial.
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#AceNewsServices – IRAN (Tehran) – June 18 – Iran‘s president vowed on Wednesday to defend Shi’ite holy sites in Iraq, where Sunni militants battled their way into the biggest oil refinery in what is rapidly turning into a sectarian war across the frontiers of the Middle East.
(Iran’s President vows to Protect Shiite Holy Sites in Iraq)
Sunni fighters were in control of three quarters of the territory of the Baiji refinery north of Baghdad, an official said there, after a morning of heavy fighting at gates defended by elite troops under siege for a week.
(Fighting for Justice or Oil)
A lightning advance has seen Sunni fighters rout the Shi’ite-led government’s army and seize the main cities across the north of the country since last week.
The fighters are led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant which aims to build a caliphate ruled on mediaeval precepts, but also include a broad spectrum of more moderate Sunnis furious at what they see as oppression by Baghdad.
Iraq Preparing for Holy War as US Protects their Financial Interests)
Washington and other Western capitals are trying to save Iraq as a united country by leaning hard on Shi’ite Prime Minister to reach out to Sunnis. Maliki met Sunni and Kurdish political opponents overnight, concluding with a frosty, carefully-staged joint appearance at which an appeal for national unity was read out.
But so far Maliki’s government has relied almost entirely on his fellow Shi’ites for support, with officials lashing out at Sunni political leaders as traitors.
Extra-legal Shi’ite militia – many believed to be funded and backed by Iran – have mobilized to halt the Sunni advance, as Baghdad’s million-strong army, built by the United States at a cost of $25 billion, crumbles.
#AceBreakingNews says at least 49 people have been killed in a series of bomb blasts in the capital Baghdad and the city of Hilla in central Iraq, police and medics said.
Several explosions rocked mainly Shiite districts in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday killing 14 people. The deadliest attack took place in the district of Bayaa, when a bomb inside a parked vehicle exploded near a bus station, killing five and wounding 24,
Reuters said citing sources.
Further 35 people were killed in the central Iraq, when three car bombs went off in different locations in the city of Hilla and four more in nearby towns.
“Hilla hospital has received 35 bodies so far from seven car bomb blasts,” said one health official.
#AceNewsServices says `Militants Storm Iraqi Transportation Ministry’ today.
Militants stormed an Iraqi government building in north east Baghdad on Thursday, police said, adding that several suicide bombers could remain inside. Militants shot dead two guards near the main gate to the Transportation Ministry and entered the building, Reuters said. No casualties among those inside the building were immediately reported. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which some people were taken hostage, according to police sources.
#AceWorldNews `Bahrain Closes Shiite Clerics’ Council’
A Bahraini court on Wednesday shuttered a Shiite Muslim clerics’ council. Authorities in the Sunni-ruled kingdom earlier accused it of politicization and illegal operations. The court ordered the closure of the Olamaa Islamic Council and the liquidation of its assets following a lawsuit by the ministry of justice, Islamic affairs and endowment, AFP reported, citing a judicial source.
In September, the ministry said that the office had been “functioning outside the law.” The verdict came as authorities crack down on opposition action by Shiites. They make up the majority of the population.
#AceNewsDesk says they say that every `Picture Tells A Story’ well this one certainly does
“Suicide Blast Rocks Beirut”
Courtesy of AFP/Photo