Tag Archives: islamic state

Somalia bans Christmas and New Year celebrations

Newsroom24x7 Desk

SomaliaMogadishu: The ruling government of Somalia issued a ban on global festivity of Christmas as well as discouraged New Year celebrations in the Muslim country on the pretext of religion based celebrations. The government issued a statement indicating that such celebrations were not related to the majority community of Somalia which followed Islam as its religious discourse. Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow, Director of Somalia’s ministry of religion, said on state radio — The festivities have nothing to do with Islam. We warn against celebration of Christmas, which is only for Christians. This is a matter of faith. The Christmas holiday and its drum beatings have nothing to with Islam.

Kheyrow added that ministry had sent letters to police, national security intelligence and officials in the capital Mogadishu instructing them to prevent Christmas celebrations. The announcement had tones akin to Islamist militants al Shabaab, which earlier controlled the capital Mogadishu until 2011. The dictats of the then militant group included a ban on Christmas celebrations. The population spread of Somalia is leaning heavily towards followers of Islam, the Muslim community. But the population density also comprises of thousands of African Union (AU) peacekeepers, mostly aligned to pro-Christian countries like Burundi, Uganda and Kenya. Migratory polulation of this country, which is struggling to emerge from two decades of fighting and chaos, also stands witness to a growing number of Somalis returning from Europe and North America. These migratory home-comers do carry a bit of foreign traditions and attitudes with them, and it is interpreted as a warning to these group of migratory residents.

Officials from the ruling government also pointed towards the rising unrest of terrorism and said that Christmas celebrations might attract attacks from the Islamist militants al Shabaab and the government was determined to guard against any such disruptions in the normalcy of Somalia.

Putin defends Russia’s air strikes on Syria

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Russia syriaRussia : Russia began its air strikes in Syria on 30 September and has been continuously supporting its action and clarifying its stand on it. A recent one came from the country leader himself, when President Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s military operations in Syria, saying the aim has been towards stabilizing the legitimate authority of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin expressed his views and clarified his government’s stand on Syria, while speaking to Russian media. He told Russian state TV that Russia wanted to create conditions for a political compromise in Syria. On words spreading about Russia targeting opposition groups on the sly, Putin strongly condemned and denied that Russian air strikes were hitting moderate opposition groups rather than Islamic State militants. Putin said Russia’s aim was to stabilize the government in Damascus.He stressed that without Moscow’s support for President Assad there was a danger that terrorist groups could overrun Syria.Assad’s government was currently under siege and militants were at the edge of Damascus, he added.The Russian leader also urged other nations to unite efforts against this evil (terrorism).

Syria is reeling under pressure of attacks, but Syrian forces are said to have made significant advances against rebels. Government gaining a strong hols in Idlib, Hama and Latakia provinces were on Sunday reported both by Damascus and opposition activists. The main battlefront presently is located in the region close to the key highway that links the capital with other major cities, including Aleppo. The strategy of Assad’s forces are supposedly centered around the plan of seeking cutting off of rebels in Idlib.

The US-led coalition – which has been carrying out its own air strikes in Syria – earlier said it would not be co-operating with Russia. Russia has been placed on the edge due to several countries – including the UK and Turkey – having described Russia’s support for President Assad as a mistake. Russia announced on Sunday that its aircraft carried out more than 60 missions over Syria in the past 24 hours, and that IS was its main focus target.

Syria crisis: Russia begins air strikes against Assad

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Syria_Russian air strikesDamascus: Russian aircraft soared the skies and began bombarding the rebel captive areas in Syria. This came in as a continuation of Syria’s civil war which has been going on for almost four years during which a varied number of armed groups have fought against the ruling government with an objective of overthrowing and toppling the government time and again.

The latest update on Syria crisis is this air strike which has been initiated by Russian defence personnel.Russia has begun carrying out air strikes in Syria against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.The strikes reportedly hit rebel-controlled areas of Homs and Hama provinces, causing casualties. Russian defence officials informed that aircraft carried out about 20 missions, targeting Islamic State.

The upper house of the Russian parliament earlier granted President Vladimir Putin permission to deploy the Russian air force in Syria.This air strike has then begun as a follow on activity of this permission to deployment of Russian air base in the war-struck state of Syria.Russian defence ministry said the country’s air force had targeted IS military equipment, communication facilities, arms depots, ammunition and fuel supplies – and did not hit civilian infrastructure or areas nearby.

Syrian opposition activists said Russian warplanes had hit towns including Zafaraneh, Rastan and Talbiseh, resulting in the deaths of 36 people, a number of them children.But they added that none of the areas targeted were controlled by IS.

The US responded to these air strikes, saying, says it was informed an hour before they took place. but US officials said that so far the Russians did not appear to be targeting IS-held territory.US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was prepared to welcome Russian military action in Syria – but only as long as it was directed against IS and al-Qaeda-linked groups.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, Mr Kerry said the US would have grave concerns if Russia conducted strikes against other groups.He said the US-led coalition against Islamic State would dramatically accelerate America’s efforts, but care and precaution would be taken for which US was prepared to hold talks with Russia about avoiding accidental conflicts between the two air strike campaigns as early as possible.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said the Russian strikes were probably not in IS-controlled areas. But he warned that Russia’s military moves were doomed to fail.

US and its allies have insisted that President Assad should leave office, while Russia has backed its ally remaining in power.