Archive For 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 January February Submit Security 2021-02-26 US strikes on Iran-backed militias in Syria send 'unambiguous message' US President Joe Biden authorised the strikes near the Iraq-Syria border following attacks against US and coalition personnel in Iraq, as the US vows to hold Iran responsible for its Iraqi militias. Security 2021-02-25 US military stresses partner nation relationships as key to Gulf security Ongoing joint training has given US and Gulf partner nations the ability to quickly and seamlessly form a multi-national interim force. Crime & Justice 2021-02-24 Germany convicts Syrian in landmark torture trial Prosecutors say former Syrian intelligence service agent was part of a system where torture was practiced on an 'almost industrial scale'. Security 2021-02-24 Yemen urges end to Iranian arms smuggling to Houthis A panel of UN experts say Iran continues to smuggle arms to the Houthis through various maritime routes, undermining the security of Yemen and the entire region. Security 2021-02-23 US vows to hold Iran responsible for actions of its Iraqi militias The statement came after a volley of rockets targeted the high-security zone in Baghdad where US and foreign embassies are based. The attack was the third of its kind in a week. Crime & Justice 2021-02-23 New Iraqi front group threatens Gulf States under direction of Tehran Another smokescreen group, which claimed attacks on Saudi Arabia and issued threats against the UAE, is allowing the IRGC to threaten its adversaries with plausible deniability. Security 2021-02-22 Wary of Iran's influence, Sistani supports integrating PMF into security forces Calls have been mounting to bring PMF fighters under the fold of Iraq's military and limit the influence of factions loyal to Iran. Human Rights 2021-02-22 China deems Xinjiang rape, abuses as 'shining examples' of progress China's foreign minister declared at the UN that his country's systematic abuses of Muslims, which include gang rape, show Beijing's commitment to human rights progress. Security 2021-02-19 NATO to expand Iraq training mission to around 4,000 personnel Defence ministers agreed to bolster a training mission aimed at strengthening the Iraqi military as it works to curb an ISIS resurgence. Crime & Justice 2021-02-19 'Cyber army' paves way for assassinations of Iraqi activists opposed to Iran When militias decide to eliminate an opponent, cyber units launch a disinformation campaign against that individual, putting up defamatory posts that may include accusations of treason. Energy 2021-02-18 Iraq sees hopeful signs of economic recovery amid turmoil In a sign that Iraq is beginning to recover from its troubles, its oil sector has seen gains that are boosting its position in the global market. Security 2021-02-17 Divisions inside Iran in the open as armed forces slam intelligence chief Iran's intelligence minister said a member of the armed forces was involved in the assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Iran's armed forces did not appreciate the news. Security 2021-02-16 Pro-Iran front group claims deadly rocket attack in Erbil Security officials say Awliyaa al-Dam is a front group for prominent pro-Iran militias that have been blamed for similar attacks in the past, including Kataib Hizbullah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq. Security 2021-02-15 Indebted ISIS fighters in eastern Syria forced into banditry In addition to organised robbery, surviving ISIS members have even stooped to fraud via social media by misrepresenting their accounts as belonging to widows and needy people. Human Rights 2021-02-12 Muslim women recount China's campaign of systematic rape in Xinjiang One victim described witnessing a gang rape of a young woman whom camp staff brought before dozens of other detainees. Policemen took turns raping her in front of everyone. Security 2021-02-11 Locals report major increase in IRGC militia activity in eastern Syria Iran-aligned militias are ramping up their presence and recruitment efforts in Deir Ezzor, even as they engage in tactics to avoid becoming targets for air strikes. Security 2021-02-10 IRGC hides behind Syria private security companies Amid mounting pressure on militia activities, a growing number of IRGC elements are operating under the guise of security companies. Human Rights 2021-02-10 Iran's Sunni community blasts Islamic Republic's 'Muslim unity' claims Sunnis in Iran are excluded from holding senior positions in government and the regime bars them from repairing dilapidated mosques or building new ones. Crime & Justice 2021-02-10 Massive captagon seizure represents latest anti-drug success for Lebanon Despite the political turmoil and stalemate, the Lebanese armed forces' efforts to tackle drug trafficking carried out by groups like Hizbullah have reduced crime and improved security. Crime & Justice 2021-02-09 'Inside job' in killing of Iranian nuclear scientist highlights growing unrest Iran's intelligence ministry admitted a member of Iran's armed forces was involved in the November 2020 assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Analysis 2021-02-09 Sanad employs local youth to protect Russian commercial interests in Syria The private security company has been actively recruiting Syrian youth in Aleppo, Homs, Deir Ezzor and al-Mayadeen under the pretext that it is a 'normal' company. It carries out Russia's bidding. Analysis 2021-02-08 Russia exploits Syrian territory to advance its military involvement in Libya New trench work by Wagner mercenaries and secretive jet deployments suggest the Kremlin sees Libya as its latest shiny object. Human Rights 2021-02-08 Yazidi ISIS victims laid to rest in Sinjar mass funeral The remains of 104 Yazidi victims of ISIS have been reinterred in the Sinjar district village of Kojo after being identified by forensic experts. Security 2021-02-05 Iran-backed militias forced to withdraw following air strikes in eastern Syria The air strikes in mid January killed nearly 60 militia members and destroyed vital command and control buildings. Hundreds of IRGC-backed militants have since left. Security 2021-02-04 Private security companies provide facade for Russian hegemony in Syria Russian and Syrian mercenaries are helping the Kremlin to nail down gains in Syria and pave the way for lucrative reconstruction contracts. Crime & Justice 2021-02-03 How Iran lured a dissident from France to execution Iranian dissident Rouhollah Zam, lured to Iraq in October 2019, was abducted and taken to Iran, where he was hanged a year later. Analysis 2021-02-02 Iran's missile programme: a long history of failure and mishap The IRGC constantly downplays its failures and boasts about occasional successes, while the skyrocketing cost of its missile programme diverts key funds away from impoverished Iranians. Health 2021-02-01 Iranian leaders, medical experts clash over 'dangerous' Russian vaccine The Iranian medical community is opposing the regime's decision to administer Russia's COVID-19 vaccine in Iran. Sputnik V is yet to be approved by the international community.