NEWS DESK

On Saturday morning, papers tackled the US withdrawal from Syria, the return of the latter to the Arab League, in addition to the hunger strike of politicians in Turkey till death protesting against the conditions of the arrest of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat: America begins to "relocate" its forces east of Syria

On the Syrian issue, al-Sharq al-Awsat dealt with the American withdrawal and quoted a spokesman for the US-led coalition to fight IS, Colonel Shawn Ryan as saying that the coalition «our planned withdrawal from Syria has begun, for the sake of security operations, we will not announce timetables, sites or movements specific forces."

Al-Arab: US conflicting messages on withdrawal from Syria

"The withdrawal process has turned into a mysterious game that in some respects suggests that there are qualitative disagreements about staying in Syria, which is revealed by the conflicting messages of high-ranking officials. But this game may also represent, an opportunity for the United States to test the plans of countries such as Turkey, Iran and Russia to fill the gap after the withdrawal.

If Turkey has revealed an unruly desire to succeed US influence in northern Syria and has sought a mandate from Washington to play the role of a policeman protecting its interests, Iran has so far made public statements in the context of its usual rivalry with the United States in an effort to reassure Washington on pulling out.

US Secretary of State John Bolton said on Friday in a radio interview that Trump and Foreign Minister Pompeo were aware that Turkey was committed to "not harming the Kurds" and that "what we continue to follow in these military discussions concerns guarantees, rules and procedures so that each side feels comfortable with the course of things. We hope that these discussions, which will continue next week, will produce results acceptable to both sides."

Al-Arab: Syria's return to the Arab League is conditioned by move away from Iran

As for the return of Damascus to the Arab League, al- Arab newspaper said, "a high-level Arab source confirmed that the time is not right for Syria to return to its seat in the Arab League, and it is necessary to move away completely from Iran to be able to seriously consider this step.

"It is difficult for Syria to return after its membership was frozen in November 2011 to be a voice for Tehran at the foreign ministers' meetings or at the Arab summit in Tunis in March," said the senior source at the Arab League.

Al-Hayat: Death "threatens" a Kurdish deputy in Turkey who is on hunger strike in her prison

On the Turkish issue, Al-Hayat newspaper reported that the Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party in Turkey announced that MP Leyal Guven, who is on hunger strike in her prison, is in a critical health condition as "life-threatening."

He said she lost "about 15 kilos" of her weight "and can no longer take care of herself or walk alone." And added "Her heartbeat and blood pressure are very low," she said. "She can no longer take fluids, including water."

He said that "171 political prisoners are on hunger strike in Turkish prisons... The party held the Turkish government responsible for "all the negative effects of the detention of Guven and the rest of the activists who continue to strike in prison."

Guven, who has been arrested since January 2018, began her hunger strike on November 8 to protest against the detention of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Al-Arab: Two Lebanese crises in one after the cessation of al-Mustaqbal

On the Lebanese issue, al-Arab newspaper said that contrary to the declaration of the management of the newspaper al-Mustaqbal of the cessation of its paper edition and its continuation as an electronic site, beginning in early February, deepened the financial crisis experienced by the Lebanese press for several years. On the other hand, a Lebanese politician described cessation of al-Mustaqbal as "two crises in one crisis, Lebanon crisis.”

In a statement to the newspaper, the politician summed up the crisis in Lebanon partly because of the Arab conviction that the country was "militarily and politically dead" in Iran's hands. The management of al-Mustaqbal newspaper attributed the decision to stop the printing press to the changes taking place in the press industry in Lebanon and the world, the continued decline in the domestic market in sales and advertising revenues and al-Mustaqbal has been issued regularly from Beirut since March 1998 as a culmination of the desire of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to find himself a position in the Lebanese media arena through a newspaper and a television station.

The newspaper added, "Rafik Hariri initially sought to appoint a person loyal to the Syrian regime to be able to issue the newspaper under the objections of Damascus and insist that it alone is the final command in Lebanon and noted political sources that at a time when Iran is strongly working to focus its Lebanese presence on the media, its adversaries retreat daily for several reasons. Among these reasons is the absence of Arab support for Lebanese independent media from Iran.

Al-Hayat: France is preparing for violence during today's protests

On the French issue, Al-Hayat said: "The French authorities are more likely to mobilize the protestors of the “yellow vests” movement  on Saturday and prepare for violence in the ninth week of protests and rose on Saturday the level of participation in the protests, after a retreat during the holidays the authorities counted 50 thousand demonstrators, including 3,500 in Paris and these demonstration had witnessed violence in the capital, especially the storming of protesters with a vehicle of the office of the government spokesman and hitting two policemen."

"We expect a return to pre-Christmas level of mobilization," said police chief of the National Police Erik Morphane. Paris police chief Michel Delebash was likely to see more mobilization in the capital than last Saturday, with more attempts to commit violence. "He added:" We observe every week a deviation in the direction of increasingly violent behavior, carried out by small groups and targeting the headquarters of the government."

Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Foreign experts hover drone to al- Houthi

In the Yemeni issue, al-Sharq al-Awsat said “The coalition forces to support the legitimacy in Yemen on Friday, the destruction of a military communications network of the Houthi militia in Yemen, and foreign experts show that the control drones aircraft the coalition said that the Houthis seized the site of a Yemeni company, and turned it into an operational communications center and control of drone aircraft. Pointing out that the destruction of the communications and control center is in line with international humanitarian law and the principle of "dual use."

AL-Arab: an international summit to curb Iran's activities

On another subject, Al-Arab newspaper pointed to the convening of an international summit on Iran, the Department of State said on Friday that the United States intends to participate in hosting an international summit focusing on the Middle East, specifically Iran, in a move that reflects the seriousness of the administration of President Donald Trump in the face of Iran's influence in a statement that the summit will be held on February 13 and 14 in the Polish capital Warsaw, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the summit "will focus on stability in the Middle East and peace, freedom and security in the region, and this includes an important effect of which is to ensure that Iran is a destabilizing effect."

Al-Hayat: calls of Sudanese government's departure continue... “police” disperse protesters with "tear gas"

On Sudanese protests, the Sudanese police dispersed demonstrators in several areas of the Sudanese capital and the city of Omdurman yesterday with tear gas, where sit-ins and chants from several mosques in the Sudanese capital and the city of Omdurman began following Friday prayers demanding the departure of the government. Hit and run operations took place between police forces and protesters who flowed in hundreds of the mosque of Sayed Abdul Rahman in Omdurman, chanting slogans condemning the government and demanding to drop it, and hundreds of demonstrators came out of the mosque of Sayed al-Morsalin in the area of ​​Jabra south of Khartoum, and al-Mantika mosque in the city of Jili, south al-Khartoum.”

(T/S)

ANHA