Deadly Islamic State Bombing Hits Kurds in Syria
Two bombs struck a Kurdish security headquarters and a government building in Qamishli, Syria, this morning, killing at least 50 people. The Islamic State has claimed credit for the attack, which occurred when a truck bomb exploded on the western edge of the town, followed moments later by a second suicide bomber on a motorcycle. ...
Two bombs struck a Kurdish security headquarters and a government building in Qamishli, Syria, this morning, killing at least 50 people. The Islamic State has claimed credit for the attack, which occurred when a truck bomb exploded on the western edge of the town, followed moments later by a second suicide bomber on a motorcycle.
Another suicide bombing occurred in Baghdad, killing three police officers and three civilians at a checkpoint in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of Shula. Though no group has claimed credit for the attack yet, it is believed to have been carried out by the Islamic State.
Turkey Increases Pressure for Gulen Extradition
The Turkish government issued another public call for the United States to immediately extradite Fethullah Gulen, the cleric the government accuses of masterminding the recent failed coup. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote in an editorial for Al-Jazeera that “Turkish people are appalled at the US’ insistence in harboring him” and that the extradition ruling “may shape the future relations” of the United States and Turkey. Nearly two-thirds of the country believes that Gulen orchestrated the coup, according to a new public opinion poll.
Assailant in France Church Attack Identified
One of the Islamic State-aligned terrorists who killed a priest in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, France, yesterday has been identified as Adel Kermiche, a 19-year-old French citizen whose parents are Algerian immigrants. He had been arrested twice while trying to reach Syria to join the Islamic State and was wearing an electronic monitoring tag while awaiting trial when he carried out the attack. Kermiche was shot and killed during the attack yesterday along with a second attacker who has not been identified.
- Eight Eastern European countries have sold more than $1.3 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Turkey since 2012, much of which was then sent to groups in Syria and Yemen, according to a report by two investigative journalism groups.
- Egypt is seeking a $12-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to stabilize its economy; IMF negotiators will arrive in Cairo this weekend to begin talks.
- Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated against a new “bill of reconciliation” proposed by proposed by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, which would grant amnesty to people charged with corruption if they repay illegal earnings with an additional penalty.
- Israeli troops killed one Hamas militant and arrested three others on a raid in Surif, in the West Bank, to capture the men responsible for a July 1 drive-by shooting that killed a rabbi.
- The United States has frozen $239 million in contracts to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria and Syrian refugees through various agencies on account of widespread complaints of fraud.
- At the Arab Summit on Monday, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki announced that the PA is preparing to file a lawsuit against the British government over the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
Arguments and Analysis
“How the failed coup affects Syrian refugees in Turkey” (Veronique Barbelet, Overseas Development Institute)
“The three-month state of emergency declared on 21 July is the first step towards the planned extraordinary emergency measures announced last week. These will most likely result in a closure (or at least reduction) of the working space for civil society. The few centres where refugees can ask for help and get some support in this fast-changing policy environment are run by Turkish NGOs. Their ability to continue their work providing support and aid for those who came to Turkey to seek refugee may soon be in serious jeopardy. The future of Turkey and of all its inhabitants, including Syrian refugees, is uncertain — a challenge many Syrian refugees were already finding difficult to manage in their new lives in Istanbul.”
“Statement on book ban in Egypt” (Jack Shenker, Medium)
“I’m very happy that my book is now no longer effectively banned by Egypt’s government, but I’m also under no illusions regarding the role my relative privilege has played in that outcome. Egypt’s system of cultural censorship is byzantine, opaque and completely shielded from democratic scrutiny; a foreigner like myself, who is associated with a major international media organisation and can rely upon a good network of contacts to ask questions in the right places, stands a much better chance of plotting a way through it than an Egyptian colleague who might find themselves locked behind bars for daring to bring their books, films or artwork to a wider audience. Under the presidency of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a war on cultural freedoms – targeting novelists, satirists, publishing houses, galleries and theatres, among many others – is being waged. Writer Ahmed Naji is currently serving a two-year jail term for ‘violating public modesty’ (you can sign the petition against his imprisonment here); musicians, poets and TV hosts have been intimidated or arrested; blasphemy cases continue to be prosecuted by the state. An anti-terror law allows for the levying of huge fines against anyone publishing news that contradicts the official government narrative on ‘matters of national security’, and Egypt now incarcerates more reporters than any other country in the world bar China. These facts give the lie to government claims that free expression is upheld in Egypt, that the constitution and the rule of law is respected, and that those not engaged in terrorism have nothing to fear.”
-J. Dana Stuster
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