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IS militants attack prison of Hasaka, all inmates set free

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Damascus: The Islamic State (IS) militants on Friday advanced into Syria’s northern city of Hasaka amid ferocious battles with the Syrian government forces, according to activists.

The IS continued to advance against the government forces, storming the central prison of Hasaka, and releasing all inmates, Arab media cited the IS reports as saying.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 20 security forces were killed on Friday when the IS militants blew up a car bomb near a security headquarters in Hasaka.

The state news agency SANA said that the IS militants blew up a booby-trapped vehicle near an intelligence headquarters in the city, spelling no further details.

A day earlier, the IS militants unleashed a massive attack against Hasaka, capturing the Nashweh neighbourhood in the southern part of the city, following intense battles with the Syrian forces.

Activists said the IS militants kept the momentum of their attack on Friday.

Syria’s Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi said on Friday that defending Hasaka in the face of the terrorist group was the duty of every person in Hasaka, calling on all men capable of holding weapons to take part in defending the city against the massive offensive of the IS militants. (IANS)

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Defames The United States as “Head of Global Terrorism”

Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”

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In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony marking "National Day of Nuclear Technology," in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the United States Tuesday as the actual “head of global terrorism,” one day after the U.S. designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization.

“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” President Donald Trump declared in a statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”

The U.S. action, which takes effect next week and includes the IRGC’s elite secretive Quds Force, means it will be a federal crime to provide any type of support to the IRGC.

Rouhani said the U.S. designation would only bolster the reputation of the Revolutionary Guards and promote harmony among Iranians.

“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region,” Rouhani said. “America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of guards Tuesday, describing the U.S. action as a “vicious move” that “will bear no fruit.”

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting with a group of Revolutionary Guards and their families, in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019.
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting with a group of Revolutionary Guards and their families, in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the U.S. decision as the “climax of stupidity and ignorance.” Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keivan Khosravi warned without elaborating that “any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behavior by a terrorist group.”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression.

“We oppose power politics and bullying by any countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

U.S.
The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization. Pixabay

Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”

U.S. officials, in comments to reporters, are also referring to the IRGC as a “death cult” that, they say, is the true face of Iranian foreign policy.

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Pompeo declined to say, when asked by a reporter, whether the terrorist designation means that the U.S. military will target IRGC leaders the same way it does those of the Islamic State group.

Iran responded Monday to the U.S. action by putting U.S. military forces on its list of terror groups. (VOA)