Tuesday April 23, 2019
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Twin Bombings in Syria, 8 lives lost

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Damascus: Twin explosions on Friday took toll on the Druze city of Swaida in southern Syria. Xinua with reference to the state-run TV reported that at least eight people were killed in the explosions.

Four people were killed in the first blast that took place at the Daher al-Jabal area in Swiada, while 11 others were left wounded.

The governor of Swaida, Atef al-Naddaf, said that the blasts aimed to stir sedition in Swaida, which has remained largely calm during the country’s long-running conflict.

Meanwhile, the second explosion was caused by a booby-trapped car that went off near the National Hospital. The TV and sources revealed that it caused a high number of casualties, including doctors.

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Image Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

The Druze minority, along with other minority groups in Syria, has emerged as supporters of President Bashar Al Assad, fearing the expansion of radical jihadist groups that showed no tolerance of minority groups in Syria.

However, the Druze support of the Syrian regime didn’t stop them from criticizing the government’s conduct in that city near the Jordanian borders.

Last week, several dozens of people staged protests before government institutions in Swaida, urging for reforms.

Due to its proximity to the southern province of Daraa, which has largely fallen to jihadi groups, the Druze in Swaida formed their own militias to defend their city against the threats of the jihadists, which attacked some areas in the countryside of Swaida in recent months.

Those local militias, while formed in coordination with the Syrian army, enjoy some independence as their ranks largely comprise volunteers.

(with inputs from 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.

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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)