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IS calls for jihad against US, Russia

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Damascus: The Islamic State (IS) militant group on Tuesday called for a jihad against Russia and the US for their “crusader’s war” in the Middle East.

In an audio message, the group’s spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said, “Oh Muslim youth everywhere come on for jihad against the Russians and Americans, because it’s a crusader war against the Muslims; the war of the atheists and idolaters against the believers,” Xinhua reported.

The message came just a day after the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front called for attacks against Russia.

Leader of Nusra Front Abu Muhammad al-Jolani urged the extremists in the Caucasus to “kill the Russians” in retaliation to the Russian airstrikes in Syria.

Al-Jolani urged all of the jihadi factions on ground to stop their infighting and “postpone the differences until the break of the crusader Western and Russian war on the Levant land (Syria)”.

The Russian air strikes started in Syria on September 30, targeting the positions of the Nusra Front and the IS among other terror groups in the war-torn country.

The strikes have raised the ire of the Syrian rebels, as several rebel groups called on regional countries to form an alliance against the Russian-led coalition, according to a statement released last week.

In the statement, over 41 rebel groups, including the powerful Ahrar al-Sham Movement, deemed the Russian military intervention in Syria as an “occupation”, and urged regional countries to form a coalition in order to face the Russian-led group which also includes Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The statement reflected the rebel groups’ resentment, who are on the receiving end of a strong pounding by Russian air strikes.

The Syrian wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood also issued a statement, calling on the Syrians to wage jihad against what they called the “flagrant Russian occupation of Syria”.

 

(IANS)

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International Conference On Border Security By U.S. State Department Cancelled Due To Shutdown

Trump is demanding $5.7 billion to build a wall along part of the U.S.-Mexico border that he says is crucial for U.S. national security.

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People enter the State Department building in Washington, Jan. 26, 2017. VOA

An international conference on border security that was to be hosted by the State Department has been canceled, due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. government over border security.

 

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks at one of border wall prototypes in San Diego, June 28, 2018. VOA

 

The State Department said 250 experts on export control and border security from 85 countries were expected to participate in the conference scheduled for mid-February in Edinburgh, Scotland.

CNN was the first to report that the director of the State Department’s Office of Export Control Cooperation, Kathryn Insley, sent a letter Jan. 16 to at least 55 U.S. embassies and missions worldwide, asking them to let officials in their countries know the conference has been called off.

The letter said the decision was made because of the “uncertainty associated with the continuing partial U.S. federal government shutdown.” Insley’s letter stated officials “are working to identify alternative dates” and would be in contact with participants “as soon as we are operational again.”

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President Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes in San Diego, March 13, 2018. VOA

“In light of the very limited funding available during the lapse in appropriations, the Department will exercise judicious use of limited, remaining resources,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill newspaper. “Travel, hiring, contracting, public affairs, and other activities will continue to operate in a constrained manner.”

Also Read: The Great U.S. Government Shutdown

The partial government shutdown has extended into its 32nd day, affecting more than 800,000 federal workers across the country.

Border security is at the center of the fight between U.S. President Donald Trump and the Democrats that has paralyzed a quarter of the federal government.

Trump is demanding $5.7 billion to build a wall along part of the U.S.-Mexico border that he says is crucial for U.S. national security. The Democrats have refused his demand, creating a stalemate. (VOA)