World Bulletin/News Desk
The most senior member of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's entourage still at large has encouraged Sunni Muslim anti-government protesters to stand their ground until Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is toppled.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri heads Saddam's Baath party, which was banned after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that overthrew the Sunni dictator.
Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands of Sunnis, some waving Saddam-era flags, have staged demonstrations in a show of anger against Maliki, whom they accuse of marginalising their community and monopolising power.
"The people of Iraq and all its nationalist and Islamic forces support you until the realisation of your just demands for the fall of the Safavid-Persian alliance," said Douri, addressing the protesters in footage broadcast on Alarabiya television.
Safavid is a reference to the ruling dynasty of Shi'ite Iran from the 16th to 18th centuries that at times also controlled parts of modern-day Iraq.
Surrounded by men in military uniform, Douri said the Baath party leadership was considering launching a campaign to "justly and decisively" punish civilians and soldiers who supported what he described as Iran's "Safavid project" for Iraq.
"It is a clear plan to destroy Iraq and annex it to Iran," he said. "We warn those traitors, agents and spies ... who support the dangerous project ... that the national resistance will confront them before Maliki and his evil alliance".
The authenticity of the video could not be verified. Douri said he was speaking from the Iraqi province of Babil.
After the 2003 invasion, Douri was ranked sixth on the U.S. military's list of 55 most wanted Iraqis and a $10 million reward was offered for his capture. U.S. officials accused him of organizing the insurgency that peaked in 2005-07.
Douri was the deputy head of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council under Saddam, and took over the Baath Party leadership after Saddam was executed in 2006.
He has seldom been seen since 2003. In a statement in 2009, he called on Sunni insurgent groups to move into politics.
Conservative presidential candidate says France is marred by 'quasi-civil war' atmosphere during campaign
Movement for Rights and Freedoms' decision to select Attack party candidates criticized
The Geneva-based body was holding its first meeting with Washington's seat occupied by an envoy from President Donald Trump's government.
The blaze began early in the morning, sending thick plumes of smoke billowing over the Somali capital as flames devoured market stalls whose hodge-podge placement made it difficult for firefighters to contain the inferno.
Such rescue operations "should be reevaluated", Fabrice Leggeri told Germany's Die Welt daily, also accusing the groups of not effectively cooperating with security agencies against human traffickers.
Report comes amid expectations of state-level report rumored to be critical of PM’s handling of 2014 Gaza War
Iraqi forces are fighting to drive ISIL militants from western Mosul
State Councillor Yang Jiechi will meet senior American officials on Monday and Tuesday to discuss "bilateral ties and issues of common concern", the foreign ministry announced late Sunday.
Jasek was reportedly making a film about the persecution of local Christians in Sudan when he was arrested
"A projectile fired from the Gaza Strip hit an open area...in southern Israel," a military statement said.
A ministry official said Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar would travel to Washington on Tuesday for a "wide-ranging bilateral discussion", without giving further details.
UNHCR said refugees have reported walking for five to seven days to reach Sudan's border state like White Nile, and that 90 percent of the new arrivals there are women and children.
Tekebayev's arrest sparked protests around the Central Asian country, as his supporters blasted the accusations against him as "a fabrication".
Le Pen, speaking at a rally in the western city of Nantes, launched a series of attacks on the 39-year-old independent who has emerged as a frontrunner to become France's next leader.
The region has seen rising violence as the result of a conflict between the FPRC and a rival group, the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC).