A 106-year-old woman thought to be the world’s oldest refugee is set to be deported after being denied asylum in Sweden.
Bibihal Uzbeki’s son and grandson carried her on their backs as they fled from Kunduz in northeastern Afghanistan via Iran and Turkey in the hopes of finding haven in Europe.
Their journey made headlines in 2015, when they were part of a huge influx of people who came to Europe from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. They traveled by foot and on trains through the Balkans before reaching Sweden.
Afghan refugee Bibihal Uzbeki, 106 years old, lies in bed in Hova, Sweden, Sept. 3, 2017.
Two years later, she and her 11 family members are living in the small village of Hova, in central Sweden.
Her family says Uzbeki has suffered a stroke since her application was rejected. They say traveling back to Afghanistan is out of the question for the bed-bound centenarian who is unable to see, speak or walk.
The family is appealing the decision
The Swedish Migration Agency confirmed in a statement to the Associated Press they had “taken a decision regarding an expulsion in the case,” adding “generally speaking, high age does not in itself provide grounds for asylum.”
People whose applications are rejected are allowed up to three appeals, a time-consuming process. The applications of other family members are in various stages of appeal.
News Courtesy: VOA NEWS
Ahmad Alkhald, a Syrian national from Aleppo who played a key role in the Islamic State (IS) terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, has been identified as a specially designated global terrorist by the United States, the U.S. State Department said.
The designation Thursday — which also included an Iraqi national who has provided close protection to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader in Iraq and Syria — imposed “strict sanctions” on the individuals and prohibited any dealings with them.
Alkhald is an IS bomb maker and the terror group’s explosives chief who helped carry out the November 2015 attacks in Paris and the March 2016 attacks in Brussels, the State Department statement said.
The series of the deadly terrorist attacks on several public places killed 130 people in Paris and 32 in Brussels.
Alkhald reportedly traveled to Europe, where he made the explosive vests used in the Paris attacks.
Island a gateway to Europe
According to French media, he crossed into Europe via the Greek island of Leros in September 2015. The island has been a gateway for some other IS attackers who have reportedly sneaked in among Syrians seeking refuge in Europe in the aftermath of the country’s civil war.
Alkhald returned to Syria shortly before the Paris attacks and continued helping other IS plots in Europe, including the March 2016 attacks in Brussels.
“Alkhald is wanted internationally and a European warrant for his arrest has been issued,” the statement said.
Abu Yahya al-Iraqi, also known as Iyad Hamed Mahl al-Jumaily, was the second individual identified as a specially designated global terrorist in Thursday’s statement.
Al-Iraqi is a senior IS figure close to al-Baghdadi, the terror group’s leader. He is reportedly a key IS leader in Iraq and Syria and has played a major role in providing security for al-Baghdadi.
The designation “notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Alkhald and al-Iraqi have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism,” the State Department said.
The statement said the designation and action by the State Department would help expose and isolate the two men, and help law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world in their efforts against them.
A response to 9/11 attacks
Specially designated global terrorist (SDGT) is a designation established by the U.S. government in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Individuals designated as SDGTs are believed to pose a threat to U.S. national security by committing acts of terrorism.
The State Department has placed 272 individuals from different terrorist entities on the designation list, including 20 IS leaders and operatives.
“These designations are part of a larger comprehensive plan to defeat [IS] that, in coordination with the 73-member global coalition, has made significant progress toward this goal,” the State Department said.
News Courtesy: VOA NEWS
The U.S. attack on a Syrian air base Friday morning came after years of heated debate and deliberation in Washington over intervention in the bloody civil war.
Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of the conflict, with the U.N. blaming three attacks on the Syrian government and a fourth on the Islamic State group.
Here’s a timeline of this week’s events:
April 4, 2017
One of the worst chemical attacks came Tuesday in rebel-held northern Idlib where dozens were killed in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Witnesses said the attack was carried out by either Russian or Syrian Sukhoi jets. Moscow and Damascus denied responsibility.
That attack prompted President Donald Trump, on day 77 of his presidency, to dramatically shift U.S. policy on Syria. Trump issued a statement saying that the “heinous” actions of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government are the direct result of Obama administration’s “weakness and irresolution.”
After the attack, hospitals around Khan Sheikhoun were overwhelmed, and paramedics sent victims to medical facilities across rebel-held areas in northern Syria, as well as to Turkey.
President Donald Trump and Jordan’s King Abdullah II hold a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, April 5, 2017.
April 5, 2017
Trump says Assad’s government had “crossed a lot of lines” with the chemical attack in Syria. At a joint Rose Garden news conference alongside Jordanian King Abdullah II, Trump said the attack “cannot be tolerated.”
U.S. forces are said to have targeted Shayrat Airfield in western Syria, in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack that American officials believe Syrian government aircraft launched on a rebel-held town with a nerve gas, possibly sarin.
April 6, 2017
The U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Friday morning in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack against civilians. Trump said strike on Syria in the “vital national security interest” of the United States.
U.S. officials had said they hoped for a vote Thursday night on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would condemn the chemical attack, but the vote did not take place.
April 7, 2017
Syria decried a U.S. missile attack on a government-controlled air base where U.S. officials say the Syrian military launched a deadly chemical attack earlier this week, calling it an “aggression” that led to “losses.”
A Syrian opposition group, the Syrian Coalition, welcomed the U.S. attack, saying it puts an end to an age of “impunity” and should be just the beginning.
Major Jamil al-Saleh, a U.S-backed rebel commander whose Hama district in the country’s center was struck by a suspected chemical weapons attack, said he hoped the U.S. attack on a government air base would be a “turning point” in the six-year war.
Text Credit: VOA
Web Link: http://syrianobserver.com/EN/News/32397/In_Aleppo_Pro_regime_Militias_Loot_Official_Buildings_Steal_Power_Generators
Web Link: http://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2016/12/20/assailant-who-killed-russian-envoy-suspected-to-be-gulenist-as-new-evidence-surfaces“The home address written in the official document above is also the Turkish address of Abdullah Bozkurt, a high-ranking Gülenist militant currently living in the U.S. and the former Ankara correspondent of now-closed newspaper Today’s Zaman..”
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Italy has proposed targeted attacks against people smugglers in Libya to counter the flow of migrants to its southern shores. Rescuers are still searching for survivors and bodies following the capsizing of a migrant boat Sunday, which was carrying up to 900 people. That incident — one of the worst ever recorded — has prompted the European Union to convene an emergency summit meeting later this week to tackle the issue. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.Courtesy:VOA