King Abdullah of Jordan yesterday said that the Islamic State (also known by the acronym ISIS) group was regrouping and was once again on the rise in the Middle East.
Months after the ousting of the group last year from their last Syrian holdout, Abdullah said his “major concern is that we have seen over the past year the re-establishment and rise of ISIS, not only in southern eastern Syria but also in western Iraq.”
“We have to deal with the reemergence of ISIS,” the king added in an interview with TV channel France 24 ahead of talks this week in Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris.
He also said many foreign fighters from Syria were now in Libya.
“From a European perspective, with Libya being much closer to Europe, this is going to be an important discussion in the next couple of days,” Abdullah said.
“Several thousand fighters have left Idlib [Syria] through the northern border and have ended up in Libya, that is something that we in the region, but also our European friends will have to address in 2020,” the king said.
Regarding last week’s spiking of tensions between Iran and the US, Abdullah said he hoped that “in the next several months we set the right tone for the region, which is really to bring the temperature down.”
“So far it looks like de-escalation, we hope that that continues to be the trend. We can’t afford instability in our part of the world,” he said. “Whatever happens in Tehran will affect Baghdad, Amman, Beirut, the Israeli Palestinian process.”
Abdullah added that the recent deployment of Turkish troops in a training capacity to Libya “will only create more confusion” in the country.
Both sides in Libya’s conflict agreed to a ceasefire from Sunday to end nine months of fighting, following weeks of international diplomacy and calls for a truce by power brokers Russia and Turkey.
A UN report in November last year said several countries were violating the arms embargo on Libya since 2011.
Jordan, whose stability is seen as vital for the volatile Middle East, hosts about 1.3 million refugees from Syria.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”