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Osama bin Laden tracked Prince Harry’s deployment to Iraq, CIA files reveal

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Osama bin Laden tracked Prince Harry’s planned deployment to Iraq, according to documents found at the al-Qaeda leader’s compound.

The al-Qaeda leader downloaded a number of documents about the royal, including news articles about his military deployment.

One was headlined: “Prince Harry moves into the line of fire”, while another read: “Prince Harry in Iraq could raise troops’ risk”.

Osama Bin Laden’s son shown as adult for first time in home video

The prince was scheduled to travel to Iraq, but officials changed their mind and he served a tour in Helmand in Afghanistan later that year.

Published by the CIA on Wednesday, the documents were among 470,000 files recovered in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The agency said it released the trove “in the interest of transparency and to enhance public understanding of al-Qaida and [bin Laden]”.

The articles were among more than 18,000 document files recovered from the property, where the al-Qaeda boss died.

A journal was also found, which appeared to reveal bin Laden’s hatred for the West grew after a summer trip to the UK as a teenager.

When he was 13 years old, bin Laden visited Shakespeare’s birthplace and became convinced the West was “decadent”.

Among more than 10,000 video files published by the CIA is the first image of the 9/11 architect’s son as an adult. Footage of Hamza bin Laden, believed to be the Al-Qaeda boss’s favourite son and potential successor, was previously only seen in childhood photographs used as propaganda by the terror group. 

The hour-long video that shows Hamza preparing his wedding is believed to have been recorded around 10 years ago, when he was around 17 or 18 years old and living under house arrest in Iran.

The footage shows him sitting on the floor with a group of men while another man is heard chanting passages from the Quran in the background. 

The documents seized from the Abbottabad property also show a complex relationship between the Sunni-dominated terror group and Iran.

Iran is run by Shia clerics and is the sworn enemy of the Sunni powers, such as Saudi Arabia, which have often been accused of funding al-Qaeda.

Critics have said a 19-page report assessing al-Qaeda’s relationship with Tehran was “evidence of Iran’s support of al Qaeda’s war with the United States”.

At various points Tehran is alleged to have offered al Qaeda help in the form of “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon” in exchange for attacking US and Saudi targets. Iran has firmly denied cooperating with al-Qaeda.

Independent

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Middle East

15 Civilians Killed, Injured in Turkish Strikes on Afrin: Official

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ERBIL — At least two civilians were killed and 13 others were wounded on Sunday as a result of the Turkish military assault on Afrin, northwest of Syria, a local official said.

Osama Sheikh Issa, co-chair of Afrin local administration told Kurdistan24 that what Turkey is trying to achieve is having revenge on the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) fighter’s victory against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

“All of the casualties of the Turkish attacks were civil people who had nothing to do with the war” he pointed out.

Issa also asserted that the residents of Afrin are confidently staying in their city, but the displaced Syrian people who had found refuge in Afrin are in danger because of the Turkish assault on the city.

He further ensured that “none of the YPG and YPJ units have been targeted by the Turkish strikes, in deed all the attacks have been aimed at the homes of civilians in Afrin”.

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Middle East

Iran Calls on Turkey to Halt Afrin Operation

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ERBIL — The Islamic Republic of Iran has called on Turkey to halt the Afrin operation and respect Syria’s territorial integrity, said a spokesperson for Iranian Foreign Ministry.

According to Mehr News Agency, Bahram Ghasemi said that Iran is closely and concernedly following the current developments in the city of Afrin.

“Iran hopes that the operation will immediately come to an end to stop the deepening of the crisis in the border areas of Turkey and Syria” he added. 

“The continuation of the crisis in Afrin may further strengthen the takfirist-terrorist groups in the northern Syrian regions, and flare up the fires of war ” warned the Iranian foreign ministry.

Qasemi also drew attention to the Astana peace talks and stated that all countries, especially Turkey, are expected to remain committed to the political solution, especially Astana peace process, for the Syrian crisis and continue observing their commitments and playing their constructive role in the resolution of the crisis.

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Middle East

[Watch]: YPG Destroys Turkish Tank near Afrin

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ERBIL — The US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) released a footage on Sunday which shows them destroying a Turkish tank near the border city of Afrin.

The YPG fighters appear in the video destroying a Turkish tank with an anti-tank missile.

Turkey on Saturday launched a new air and ground operation on Afrin, a Kurdish city in the northwest of Syria, dubbed as the “Olive Branch Operation”.

The assault has so far left dozens killed and injured, including civilians and fighters from the both sides.

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