Bahrain jails 138 for plotting to form Iranian-linked ‘terror’ group

Bahrain jailed 138 people and revoked their citizenship on Tuesday for plotting to form a “terror” group with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2019
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Bahrain jails 138 for plotting to form Iranian-linked ‘terror’ group

  • Court handed men prison terms of three years to life for trying to build Bahraini Hezbollah
  • Some members had received military training in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq

DUBAI: Bahrain jailed 138 people and revoked their citizenship on Tuesday for plotting to form a “terror” group with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the public prosecutor said.
The court, whose rulings can be appealed, handed the men prison terms of three years to life for having tried to build a Bahrain Hezbollah, similar to the Shiite militia active in Lebanon, said prosecutor Ahmad Al-Hammadi.
Some members had received military training in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, he said in a statement.
Bahrain repeatedly claims that Iran trains and funds cells in order to topple the government — an accusation Tehran denies.
Another man was also jailed but his citizenship was not revoked, while 30 others were acquitted, said the statement posted on the prosecution Instagram account.
The source also said that 111 were already in custody while 58 were sentenced in absentia.
In Tuesday’s court ruling, the prosecutor said 69 defendants were sentenced to life in jail, 39 to 10 years, 23 to seven years and the rest to between three and five years imprisonment.
Ninety-six of the defendants were also fined 100,000 Bahraini dinars ($265,000) each.


Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters get a major boost as Ankara backs them with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them hold their ground. (Reuters)
Updated 26 May 2019
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Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

  • Ankara signals readiness to preserve its influence in Syria’s Idlib province in northwestern region

AMMAN: Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian opposition fighters it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and opposition sources said on Saturday.
Russia is backing the Syrian army’s large aerial and ground assault as it seeks to gain control of the last big stretch of opposition-held territory in the northwest of the country.
Syria’s Bashar Assad launched the assault last month, saying fighters had breached an existing cease-fire, triggering a civilian exodus by bombarding Idlib and adjacent areas. It has been the biggest escalation since last summer between Assad and the opposition fighters in Idlib province and a belt of territory around it.
Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey, two senior opposition figures said.

FASTFACT

Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey.

In doing so Turkey signaled its readiness to preserve its influence in northwestern Syria, where it has beefed up its troop presence in a dozen military bases that were set up under a de-escalation deal with Russia, a senior opposition commander said. Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment.
Overnight, a Turkish military convoy arrived in a base in northern Hama near opposition-held Jabal Al-Zawiya, where Russian and Syrian jets have been pounding for weeks, a fighter and a witness said.
The delivery of dozens of armored vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles helped roll back some army gains and retake the strategically located town of Kfar Nabouda.