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Extremists in Lebanon Provide Terrorists in Syria with Weapons, Underscores Aoun

BEIRUT, (ST) –"Syria's steadfastness in the face of the war of terrorism has rid the region of extremists, and marked the beginning of the extremist terrorists' recession,"said Head of the Change and Reform bloc, Lebanese MP Michel Aoun.

The Lebanon-based al-Nour Radio quotes  Aoun as saying that "since the beginning of the war on Syria, extremists in Tripoli in northern Lebanon worked to smuggle weapons into it,"

Aoun made it clear  that despite claims that illegal crossing points have been closed down, there are still armed individuals in Tripoli who are attempting to control its harbor in order to provide terrorists in Syria with  weapons through Akkar.


Tens of thousands at Aqsa mosque on first Friday of Ramadan

Tens of thousands of Palestinians performed prayers in the al-Aqsa mosque on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

The number of worshipers was around 250,000, the head of Islamic endowments said.

Sheikh Azzam al-Ahmad said that a huge number of people arrived at the al-Aqsa compound from the West Bank and "we hope the number increases in the next few days."

Jerusalem mufti Sheikh Mohamed Hussein called on Palestinians to continue visiting the city and the mosque.

“The praying crowds send a message that al-Aqsa is an integral part of our faith, that we cannot give up,” he added.

More than 3,000 Israeli police were deployed in the walled Old City, where the compound is located, and elsewhere in occupied east Jerusalem.

The site houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

In a Ramadan concession, the military extended the opening hours of crossing points from the West Bank and allowed those aged 60 and over to pass without the usual mandatory entry permit.

Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are usually barred from and from east Jerusalem, which "Israel" occupied in the 1967 war and then unilaterally annexed.

 Source: PIC


Tehran: West’s Attempts to Arm Terrorists in Syria Hinder Holding International Conference

TEHRAN--Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hussein Amir Abdullahian has stressed that the West’s attempts to send weapons to terrorists in Syria is not a good start to hold the Geneva international conference on Syria.

In a statement to the Iranian News Agency IRNA on Saturday, Abdullahian said that “the Western countries’ attempts to arm terrorists in Syria is no good start for holding the proposed international conference on Syria,” pointing out that the Syrian government has spared no effort to fight terrorism and attain reforms.

Abdullahian affirmed that launching national dialogue, halting violence and giving up the decision to send weapons to armed groups in Syria can guarantee the success of the International conference to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

H. Mustafa

Saudi Arabia seeks to destabilize Iraq: Analyst

Saudi Arabia seeks to destabilize Iraq by propping up extremist terrorist groups in the country, a political analyst tells Press TV.

 “The al-Qaeda in Iraq has been dramatically bolstered. It has gained ground in terms of its power, prowess and influence in Iraq and that is all because of the arming, funding and salaries paid and logistical support given by Saudi Arabia mainly and Qatar,” said Zayd al-Isa in a Friday interview.

The analyst argued that Saudi rulers “desperately need to see a "sectarian" war” in both Iraq and Syria “in order to stave off the internal popular uprising and to tell their people that it is engaged in confronting and combating an existential major threat [and] make it very difficult and extremely hard for their people to stand up and defy the [Riyadh] regime.”

The remarks come as a spate of terrorist attacks continues to claim lives across Iraq

On Friday, 38 people were killed and 29 others injured in a bomb attack near a cafe in Iraq’s northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

On Thursday, a wave of attacks in Iraq, mostly targeting security forces and citizens, killed at least 39 people and injured dozens more, across the country.

Iraq has seen a surge in violence since the start of the year, with the UN reporting that more than 2,500 people were killed from April through June, the highest level since 2008.

Earlier this month, UN Special Representative to Iraq Martin Kobler advised Iraq’s leaders to hold meetings to address the country’s problems, including the recent wave of car bomb attacks.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that militant groups and the remnants of the former  regime are responsible for the latest wave of violence in the country.


Egyptian Army Expanded Operations in Sinai

CAIRO ,(ST)_Egyptian military sources announced that the Egyptian army expanded its  security operations in North Sinai in  cooperation with the police to tighten security control of the Sinai and the face of the criminal elements.

The sources said in an exclusive statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm Friday that the security operation in Sinai has not been suspended, but has rather been expanded after coordination with Palestinian security forces.

The Egyptian Air Force flew above the border with Gaza to comb the area and monitor outlaws, the sources added.

The Second Field Army, border guards, and commandos are taking part in the operation.

The sources said that there is complete coordination with the Interior Ministry in North Sinai and members of the National Security Agency.

The sources said that the security operation has been expanded to include other criminal outposts using the latest means of tracking and surveillance. They added that the majority of outlaws are centered near the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The armed forces are targeting elements that are a threat to Egypt's national security, elements that have attacked the police and the armed forces in recent days.

Sinai will be cleansed of the largest possible number of Jihadist elements in the near future in order to allow the region to develop economically, the sources said.

Meantime,  Egypt geared up for another day of protests Friday as the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi  amid a widening crackdown on the Brotherhood, and as Reuters reported that Egypt's interim prime minister expressed the hope that a new government would be sworn in by the end of next week.

Morsi supporters have taken to the streets for over a week, vowing not to back down on calls that he return to the presidential post to which he was democratically elected. The Brotherhood says it is defending democracy against "military coup tyranny."

The struggle between the military and the Brotherhood escalated in the early hours of Monday morning when more than 50 people were killed. Security forces opened fire on pro-Morsi demonstrators outside a Republic Guard facility in Cairo's Nasr City.

Head of the High Constitutional Court Adly Mansour was sworn in as the interim president and this week Hazem El-Beblawi was named prime minister. Mansour issued a constitutional declaration that will serve as the country's ruling document until a new constitution is in place. Parliamentary and presidential elections are expected to take place by next spring.

Meanwhile, Egypt's interim leaders are moving forward with the transition plan and are working to form a new cabinet.

Some opposition political groups are also planning for a mass gathering Friday. Egypt's Tamarod — or rebel — movement, which planned the mass protests against Morsi on June 30, is calling for Egyptians to break fast together in Tahrir Square at sunset in an effort to overcome political divides, local news media reported.

T. Fateh