Category: Gulf States

Prime Minister Announces Conditions for Acquisition of Bahraini Nationality for Foreign Ships

Bahrain – Akhbar Al-Khaleej

In the Official Gazzette dated 26 January 2017, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has issued Decree no. 3 (2017), concerning the terms and conditions for granting Bahraini nationality to foreign ships.

Article I. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article II of the Maritime Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 23 (1982), it is permissible for the Minister of Transport and Communications to grant Bahraini nationality to ships owned by non-Bahrainis provided that they meet the following terms and conditions:

(1) That the age of the vessel does not exceed 20 years at the time of its request to be registered in the records of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
(2) That the gross tonnage of the vessel is not less than 3,000 tons, and that it is self-propelled.
(3) That the vessel be classified with one of the classification societies belonging to the International Association of Classification Societies, or with one of the classification societies recognised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
(4) That the vessel not be restricted by the blacklist of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for inspection and control of ships in any region of the world.
(5) That the operator of the vessel has obtained a certificate of compliance in accordance with the International Code of Safety Management.
(6) That the company owning the vessel be in good financial standing.
(7) That the company owning the vessel have a legal representative in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
(8) That the company owning the vessel was founded in a country which has diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain, and that that country not be under economic sanction from the international community.
(9) That the approval of the Bahraini Defence Force and the Interior Ministry to grant Bahraini nationality to foreign vessels is obtained. The Minister may not grant Bahraini nationality to foreign vessels owned by persons or companies belonging to states which are not friendly to the Kingdom, or do not have diplomatic relations with the Kingdom, or are in unfriendly relations with it or one of the Arab countries, except after approval of the Council of Ministers.

Article II. The Minister of Transport and Communications will implement this resolution, which takes effect from the day following the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

Al-Abadi Accused of Submitting to Kuwait


The Iraqi government’s decision to proceed with demarcation of the maritime border with Kuwait and the agreement on navigation arrangements in Khor Abd Allah have provoked a furious reaction in political and public circles, considering it a concession on the most important Iraqi access point on the Persian Gulf. They claim that the decision, which is due to be debated in parliament shortly, is a “betrayal”. The bay is situated north of the Kuwaiti islands Bubiyan and Warbah and south west of the Al-Faw Peninsula. It extends into Iraqi territory, where it joins with Khor Al-Zubair, where Umm Qasir port is located. The Iraqi government had set the year 2010 for laying the founding stone in the construction of a large port on the eastern side of Al-Faw.

Aliyah Nasif Jasim, a deputy for the State of Law Coalition led by Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, said that “the cabinet voted to grant the Khor Abd Allah to Kuwait, and to spend 750 thousand dollars on demarcating the sea border, despite everyone knowing that it belongs to Iraq alone. The sea channel is not included in international resolutions, and anyone using this empty excuse is attempting to hoodwink the Iraqi people. This decision is a betrayal of Iraq.”

Deputy Awatif Naimah said in a statement that “This is the most important Iraqi maritime territory, and the agreement gives Kuwait top priority in control of the channel, despite the fact that UN Resolution 833 gave Iraq total control of navigation within it.”

Dozens of people demonstrated in the Basra Governorate yesterday, protesting the government’s decision. A number of activists stressed the damage which would affect its residents, as well as their rejection of this “violation” of sovereign Iraqi territory. MP Hanan al-Fatalawi submitted a query to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in relation to the Khor Abd Allah agreement. She said in a press conference that she is waiting for the head of the Council of Representatives to set an appointment with al-Abadi or one of his representatives for an answer.

Mazen al-Mazni, a deputy for cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s “Al-Ahrar Bloc”, considers “the decision to proceed with implementing the UN Resolution and redraw the border with Kuwait simply a donation of Iraqi land.” He asked the government to be careful about “trifling with national assets, as they are the property of Iraq and its people, and not of any person, minister or party. We will not allow any damage to come to our land.”

In an interview with ‘Al-Hayat’, deputy Maysoon al-Damluji said that “the redrawing of the border is due to an international resolution made without the presence of Iraq, and is part of the punishments levied against the previous regime.”

In a statement on social media, Ihsan al-Shammari, a close associate of the Prime Minister, wrote that the accusations being made against the government were “an attempt by corrupt politicians to shuffle the deck and sow confusion after the victories achieved by our heroic forces, in particular the successful expeditions in the left bank of Mosul. They are spreading these lies across websites and through the media in the hopes of gaining an early election.” He added that “Parliament passed a maritime law for Khor Abd Allah between Iraq and Kuwait on 22 August 2013. The former Council of Ministers ratified it on 27 January 2014, during a meeting of the Iraq-Kuwaiti joint higher committee. The day before yesterday, the cabinet was briefed on the report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs related to modernising the borders according to international standards, and this does not include a change in the reality of the current borders. It is a complete record of the 3rd session of the joint higher committee in 2013, which as mentioned was ratified 27 January 2014. The Council of Ministers committed to the implementation of the resolution, based on the obligations of the previous government.”

Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

The Mind of the Terrorist

Emarat Al-Youm – Abdullah Al-Qamzi

More than a week has passed since the sinful and despicable terrorist attacks which struck the governor’s base in Kandahar in Afghanistan, and which killed a group of our countrymen, who have given the most valuable thing they possessed while extending a helping hand to the needy and the vulnerable, and it is several days since I watched the film ‘Patriot’s Day’, about the terrible terrorist bombing which killed and maimed many during the marathon in the American city of Boston on April 15, 2013.

A friend of mine studying Islamic law told me that if a person arrives at a state of religious intolerance or delusion, then it is very rare that he will return to the right path, and when I thought about his words, I found them to ring true. Examples abound, in more than one Arab country, of religious outcasts who returned to terrorism after rehabilitation programmes. I don’t understand these minds, which justify the killing of civilians in the name of religion, nor do I understand how they can be convinced by the recruiters for terrorist organisations.

Terrorism even rouses them to kill parents! What a bold contradiction to the Holy Qur’anic texts, which urge devotion to the parents. As a result, the equation of Islam with terrorism has become a common idea. This is utterly void, and the religion has suffered from this scourge since the days of the Assassins, and their leader, Hassan-i Sabbah. The idea found popularity among so-called intellectuals influenced by the ideas of European Orientalists, who promoted the idea that Islam is spread by the sword. This false idea is contrary to the tolerance of the religion.

But wherever it strikes, this vicious terrorism is conuterproductive, because its aim is sabotage and destruction and nothing more. If it strikes in Europe or America, it rallies the community with Muslims, and causes the spread of cooperation and solidarity among individuals in the community, and this is the biggest proof of its failure to achieve any goal. And if it strikes in any Muslim country, it has the same effect of solidarity against it, and that is because the killing of man is an ugly crime of a wicked and criminal mind, not justified by religion, nor by ideology, nor by logic.

Terrorism is the devil’s work, and it distinguishes no one, nor does it enhance their political or religious goal. It is a warped tool for killing, for vandalism, and for spreading corruption in the land. Its fate is failure. Human nature is charitable love and its diffusion through the community, help for the downtrodden and the needy, and defence of the oppressed. Islam is a religion of this nature.

To conclude: In the film ‘Die Hard 3’, which explores the subject of terrorism, there is a scene featuring the evacuation of a school in New York because of the presence of a bomb. Police officers discover two boys hiding in a classroom after the evacuation, and a policewoman rushes to rescue them. When she realises that there will not be enough time, she decides to take them to the roof of the school, and embraces them. The scene carries profound weight because she is white, and the two boys are African-American, and this reflects community solidarity, regardless of religion or race, in the face of wretched terrorism. In another scene from the film, the villain reveals that the bomb he placed in an area teeming with children is a decoy, saying “I’m a soldier, not a beast.”

The soldier: Fights to achieve political goals.

The beast (the terrorist): Kills people to wreak havoc.

Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article can be found here.

Weapons stores and a number of Enemy Saudi sites destroyed in Najran, Asir, and Midi

(26 September News)

Units from the army and the Popular Committees today managed to burn down enemy weapons stores, and shelled a number of Saudi sites in Najran, Asir, and Midi, scoring direct hits.

A military source explained to the Yemen News Agency (SABA) that army and Committee units had destroyed Saudi weapon stores east of the government complex in al-Rabuah, in addition to targeting a group of Saudi vehicles and troops in Manfad Alab. They also shelled a new site behind al-Hager military camp and obtained direct hits.

The source noted that military artillery had pounded Riqabat al-Hamr, an al-Sudais site, and sites neighbouring Najran with barrages of rockets and artillery shells. They also remarked that groups of enemy mercenaries in the northern Midi desert were targeted by artillery fire, resulting in a number of deaths and injuries.

Translated by Conor Fagan

View original article here.

Al-Subhan: Saudi Arabia does not need intercession with Iran

The Saudi minister for Gulf Affairs Thamir Al-Subhan has stated that Saudi Arabia does not require reconciliation with Iran, though he indicated at the same time that he was not aware of information regarding the mediation between the two countries. Al-Subhan said in a statement to Al-Hayat: “We have received nothing regarding mediation between Riyadh and Tehran. Saudi Arabia does not require reconciliation with Iran.” He added that “the Iranians know what they must do if they want an improvement in relations with the kingdom.”

According to Reuters, Iranian state television yesterday said that the Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari had carried messages between Riyadh and Tehran in an ongoing effort to contain the dispute between Iraq’s two neighbouring countries. The network quoted Al-Jaafari’s statement that “Steps towards reconciliation have been continuous since last year,” and that “oral messages were transferred between officials of both countries during the past several months, which will try to draw their positions closer together.”

Al-Hayat on Saturday published the announcement by the Kuwaiti deputy minster of foreign affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah that Kuwait will pass a message to the Iranian side on behalf of the Gulf Co-operation Council . Al-Jarallah confirmed that “communications were still ongoing with the Iranians to find a suitable time to deliver this message.” On the other hand, the Iranian Ministry of Communications yesterday blocked the Saudi Press Agency website. The news agency Miyzan, which belongs to the Iranian judiciary, quoted a Ministry of Communications source who said that the Ministry of Culture, which is concerned with public information, had asked the Ministry to block the Saudi Press Agency’s official site.

Sources in Iran confirmed that they were unable to browse the SPA site without the use of programs for circumventing the block. Use of such programs to bypass website restrictions has been widespread in Iran since 2009 .

An official source at the Ministry of Communications said that the reason for the block was a request from the Ministry of Culture, and that a spokesman for the Assembly of Experts and Nateq Nouri, head of the Inspection Committee at the office of the Supreme Leader, have previously warned Iranians about Persian-language Saudi sites, especially ‘SPA Farsi’ and ‘Farsi News.’ These sites were able to reach Iranian readers who had long been monopolised by the Iranian government, and to correct misinformation and improve the negative image of Saudi Arabia which had been propagated by Iranian media.

Commenting on the block, Hani Al-Ghafli, a spokesperson at the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Media, told Al-Hayat that SPA publishes in six different languages, including Persian, and this block does not really worry us, because the spread of information is no longer a monopoly. Information now reaches us through websites, social media, or instant messaging like ‘Whatsapp’ and other programs. Al-Ghafli added that the block is not a surprising move by the Iranian regime, which has previously attacked the Saudi Embassy there. Demonstrators set fire to the building last year, prompting Riyadh to sever diplomatic, trade, and transport links with Iran.

Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

Ansar al-Sharia statements regarding suicide bombing and IED attack in Sana’a, 10 October 2014

More than fifty apostate Houthis killed and dozens injured in Ansar al-Sharia suicide bombing in Sana’a

More than fifty apostate Houthis were killed and dozens of others were injured after Ansar al-Sharia carried out a suicide bombing on a gathering of apostate Houthis in the Yemeni capital Thursday morning.

Akhbar Ansar al-Sharia’s correspondent in Sana’a province explained that the martyred brother, Abu Mu’awiyah al-Sana’ani – God accept him – detonated a suicide belt among a gathering of Houthis during their preparations to rally in Tahrir Square in the capital Sana’a. His explosion left dozens killed and injured among their ranks, although it is difficult to determine the exact number of casualties.

It is important to note that local and international media outlets reported that the suicide attack led to the death of more than fifty Houthis and injured 150 others, most of them with critical injuries.

Ansar al-Sharia statement regarding suicide bombing in Yemen

Houthi leader targeted with IED planted in his car by Ansar al-Sharia

Ansar al-Sharia targeted apostate Houthi leader Ibrahim al-Mahtouri with an IED, blowing up his car Friday around midday in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

Akhbar Ansar al-Sharia’s correspondent explained that the mujahideen had earlier planted the IED on al-Mahtouri’s vehicle, before exploding the device while he was in the vehicle at 11:30 am in a residential area of the Sa’wan neighbourhood of the capital, Sana’a. Our correspondent indicated that the mujahideen confirmed al-Mahtouri suffered serious injuries from the explosion, but were unable to confirm if he was killed.

It is important to note that Ibrahim al-Mahtouri is the nephew of Murtada bin Zayd al-Mahrouri, a well-known Houthi religious authority.

Ansar al-Sharia statement regarding IED attack in Sana'a

Translated by Kevin Moore.

*Note: Content contained in the above statement is that of Ansar al-Sharia, and is not endorsed by the translator.

Ansar al-Sharia statements regarding recent attacks in al-Bayda, Akhbar Ansar (Yemen), 8 October 2014

Ansar al-Sharia launches broad offensive against military and security centres in al-Bayda – Part One

Ansar al-Sharia launched a broad offensive today (Wednesday) at 1:00 am, targeting several military and security centres in the city of al-Bayda in the al-Bayda province of central Yemen.

A correspondent of “Akhbar Ansar al-Sharia” in al-Bayda explained that the mujahideen attacked the military base of Special Security Forces (formerly Central Security) in the city with a car bomb driven by the martyred brother, Abu Dajana al-Lahji — God have mercy on him; the ocrerspondent indicated that the mujahideen also attacked General Security and rescue police headquarters, a government compound, as well as the al-Zahar and Azza military checkpoints.

In a conversation with him shortly before, the correspondant added that “dozens of army soldiers were killed and injured during the mujahideen’s storming of the military headquarters and clashes are ongoing. Thanks to God, the mujahideen took many war spoils.”

It should be noted that Ansar al-Sharia’s attack on al-Bayda comes on the background of the Houthi apostates signalling their intention to fighting the Ahl al-Sunnah there on the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda. This matter has been realized in the terms of the peace and partnership agreement between the apostate Houthis and the Sana’a regime, which rules that the Houthi’s hold the reins to manage the country.

Ansar al-Sharia statement on attacks in al-Bayda - 1

Ansar al-Sharia launches broad offensive against military and security centres in al-Bayda – Part Two

An Akbhar Ansar al-Sharia correspondent in the al-Bayda province reported that the mujahideen  stormed the leadership building of the Special Security Forces (formerly Central Security) camp in the city of al-Bayda and burnt the contents of rooms in the building and the enemy’s equipment located in the headquarters.

He added that “the mujahideen began their attacks simultaneous attacks on the military, security and government centres in the city of al-Bayda close to midnight; they attacked the gate of the Special Security Forces’ camp to clear the way for the martyred brother Abu Dajana al-Lahji — God have mercy on him — who stormed the base in a Toyota Hilux packed with nearly a tonne of explosive materials before blowing up his car at the building housing the soldiers. Dozens of them were injured or killed. The correspondent indicated that the mujahideen then stormed the leadership building and burnt the contents of all the rooms, as well as the Special Security Forces’s equipment around the building.

On another front, our correspondent explained that Ansar al-Sharia’s mujahideen also attacked the Azza checkpoint in the city, which led to the death of two soldiers, while the remainder fled. The mujahideen plundered two military vehicles, an SUV and two anti-aircraft missiles before taking complete control of the checkpoint.

Ansar al-Sharia statement on attacks in al-Bayda - 2

Ansar al-Sharia withdraws from al-Bayda after launching successful attacks on military and security targets

The mujahideen of Ansar al-Sharia withdrew from the city of al-Bayda at dawn on Wednesday after simultaneously launched successful attacks that continued for hours against military and security targets in the city.

Our correspondent in the al-Bayda province explained that the attack that laster nearly five hours, from midnight Tuesday until dawn on Wednesday, led to major casualties and material losses among the ranks of the apostate Yemeni army. Our correspondent indicated that the attack came after confirmed reports reached the mujahideen about the holding of joint sessions between Houthi apostates and military/security leaders to arrange the surrender of the Special Security Forces’ base, with all of its military hardware, to the Houthis, under direct supervision of the army; just like the army recently surrendered Amran and Sana’a to the Houthis.

Ansar al-Sharia statement on attacks in al-Bayda - 3

Translated by Kevin Moore.

*Note: Content contained in the above statement is that of Ansar al-Sharia, and is not endorsed by the translator.

Breaking: Six Houthi apostates killed in Ansar al-Sharia ambush in al-Bayda, Akhbar Ansar al-Sharia (Yemen), 28 September 2014

Ansar al-Sharia statement on ambush inBayda

Six Houthi apostates* lost their lives after being subjected to an ambush carried out by Ansar al-Sharia mujahideen in the province of al-Bayda Sunday night.

Our correspondent in al-Bayda explained that the mujahideen launched the ambush on a red Suzuki Grand Vitara in which Houthi apostates were traveling on their way from the city of al-Bayda to the city of Rida’a. Our correspondent indicated that upon the vehicle passing the ambush at exactly 7:00 pm, the mujahideen sprayed it with a barrage of bullets, leading to the death of those on board and the vehicle going up in flames before the mujahideen withdrew safely.

* Note: AQAP refers to Houthis as “rawafid/rafidites” as they follow the Zaidi Shi’a school of Islamic jurisprudence, which does not align with AQAP’s puritanical Salafi school of thought.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

View original statement on Twitter.

Breaking: Dozens of Houthi apostates killed and injured in Ansar al-Sharia suicide attack using a car bomb, Akhbar Ansar al-Sharia (Yemen), 28 September 2014

Ansar al-Sharia statement - Attack on Jafra hospital

Dozens of Houthi apostates* were killed and injured this evening after an Ansar al-Sharia suicide bomber targeted a gathering of them at the al-Jafra hospital in the Majzar region of the Ma’rib province with a car bomb.

Akhbar Ansar al-Sharia’s correspondent in Ma’rib explained that the suicide bomber, Abu Jandal al-San’aani, drove a car laden with explosives into a gathering of Houthis at the hospital, which the Houthis had transformed into a headquarters at the expense of the public benefit for Muslims among the region’s residence. The correspondent indicated that the mujahideen’s targeting of a gathering of Houthis in al-Jafra verified its strategic importance for them do to the fact that it represents an advance of their fighters in the region.

He added that aside from the human casualties, the Houthis also suffered material losses represented in the destruction of 4 dump trucks, 3 four-wheel drive military vehicles and 2 armoured Hummers.

* Note: AQAP refers to Houthis as “rawafid/rafidites” as they follow the Zaidi Shi’a school of Islamic jurisprudence, which does not align with AQAP’s puritanical Salafi school of thought.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

View original statement on Twitter.

Breaking: Ansar al-Shari’a targets US embassy in Sana’a with LAW rocket, Akhbar Ansar al-Shari’a (Yemen), 27 September 2014

Ansar al-Shari’a targeted the American embassy in the capital Sana’a this evening with a LAW1 rocket.

Akhbar Ansar al-Shari’a’s correspondent in Sana’a explained that initial reports indicated that the attack led to injuries among the embassy guards and damaged an armoured vehicle. He explained that the attack came in response to American drones which targeted Muslim children in the province of Jawf yesterday (Friday), critically injuring them.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

View original statement here.

1 Light Anti-Tank Weapon or Light Anti-Armour Weapon.