Israel PM hails common front with Arabs on Iran in Warsaw talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hails as a breakthrough a conference in Warsaw where he is standing side-by-side with Arab powers to confront Iran, hoping their common front can pave the way to greater normalisation of relations.

US declaration has instigated tension among Arabs & Muslims all over Middle East’ – analyst

Meanwhile the US is boosting security in the region, and has issued a travel alert for Americans there.

That’s after Friday was declared a Day of Rage, with pro-Palestinian groups vowing that US President Donald Trump will pay dearly for his decision.

RT talked to political science Professor Mkhaimer Abuseda about the current situation and its likely consequences in the Middle East region.

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Suspecting Ethiopian Israelis & Arabs of crime is ‘natural’ – Israeli police chief

Israel’s police chief has said it is ‘natural’ for his officers to treat Arabs and Israelis of Ethiopian descent as potential criminals, adding that his controversial claim is backed up by studies on crime rates among immigrants ‘the world over.’

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Caught Between the Islamic State and the Kurds: Exiled From Tal Abyad

In June 2015, Kurdish forces — supported by the Free Syrian Army and US-led coalition airstrikes — drove out the Islamic State (IS) from the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad — a strategically important gain in the battle against the jihadists. Yet the fighting also forced waves of refugees to cross the border into the Turkish town of Akcakale.

The advance on Tal Abyad, containing a diverse population of Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds, provoked the Turkish government and a coalition of rebel groups to accuse Kurdish forces of “ethnic cleansing” and displacing Arabs and Turkmen — an accusation strongly denied by the Kurdish forces.

Yet allegations of forcible displacement persist among refugees, with some telling VICE News that their hometown is now under another hostile occupation, and others stating that life under IS rule was better.

Many refugees in Akcakale have had to set up camp in parks, or rent overcrowded housing. There is a lack of food and a number of children require immediate medical attention.

VICE News meets the refugees and activists of Tal Abyad, where they describe their new life in Turkey, as well as their fears for the future.

Watch “Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1OySUxB

Read “Tal Abyad Has Declared Autonomy — and That May Worry Turkey” – http://bit.ly/1GTDAnr

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Exiled From Tal Abyad (Trailer)

In June 2015, Kurdish forces — supported by the Free Syrian Army and US-led coalition airstrikes — drove out the Islamic State (IS) from the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad — a strategically important gain in the battle against the jihadists. Yet the fighting also forced waves of refugees to cross the border into the Turkish town of Akcakale.

The advance on Tal Abyad, containing a diverse population of Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds, provoked the Turkish government and a coalition of rebel groups to accuse Kurdish forces of “ethnic cleansing” and displacing Arabs and Turkmen — an accusation strongly denied by the Kurdish forces.

Yet allegations of forcible displacement persist among refugees, with some telling VICE News that their hometown is now under another hostile occupation, and others stating that life under IS rule was better.

Many refugees in Akcakale have had to set up camp in parks, or rent overcrowded housing. There is a lack of food and a number of children require immediate medical attention.

VICE News meets the refugees and activists of Tal Abyad, where they describe their new life in Turkey, as well as their fears for the future.

Watch “Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1OySUxB

Read “Russian Jets and Syrian Troops Are Attacking Aleppo” – http://bit.ly/1hIY4bP

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Kurds Fight for Control of Kirkuk: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 3)

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Up until a week ago, the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq was one of the most hotly contested areas in the country, with a mishmash of Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomans, who all had strong claims to the land. Now that the Iraqi army has fled and ISIS has been repelled, the Kurds are fully in control, and hope to integrate the city into the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

Despite a large Kurdish presence in Kirkuk, this still might not be so easy. The Arab and Turkoman populations have long resisted Kurdish rule, and the large amount of oil nearby — which all of these groups want a fair share of — will only complicate matters further.

The Kurds, however, insist that control over the city is more a matter of dignity. Beginning in the 1960s and continuing throughout Saddam Hussein’s rule, many Kurds in the area were forced off the land during an Arabization process, which sought to change the demographics of the city. Poor Arabs were offered land, houses, and money to move to the city and take over formerly Kurdish lands.

During the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Kurdish forces and American soldiers took the city from the Baathist party. But the Kurdish forces mostly withdrew, and the city was not annexed to the KRG.

Since then Kirkuk has been under a sort of coalition rule, though it is still considered a disputed territory. Kurds have sought to implement Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, which would allow the people of Kirkuk to vote on whether or not the city should join the KRG or remain part of Iraq. But this vote has been delayed numerous times.

As recently as 2012, the Iraqi army and the Kurdish fighters, know as Peshmerga, engaged in a standoff that at times seemed like it could break out into conflict. For now though, the Kurds are firmly in control — though south of the city, sporadic attacks continue.

VICE News spoke with Falah Mustafa Bakir, the head of foreign relations for the KRG, who said that the Kurds have no intention of giving up their control of Kirkuk.

Here’s Who Is Fighting in Iraq and Why: http://bit.ly/1yFN1ET

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