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Iranian regime faces digital disruption

Newspapers in the region chose to focus on a variety of topics during this week

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On Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s Al Yaum newspaper said that the Yemeni army was advancing quickly to reclaim Sana’a, resulting in the collapse in the rebels’ ranks. The paper said that this collapse indicated that the battle would conclude soon.

“Areas to the north and west of the occupied city of Taiz have already been liberated, which paves the way to Sana’a. The intensive air strikes carried by Saudi-led coalition against Al Houthis in the Yemeni capital conveys the strong message that Sana’a will be reclaimed from the clutches of the rebels, and it is these airstrikes that can be credited for the swift and surprisingly quick advancements of the Yemen’s army. In addition, the rebels are now suffering casualties to their commanders, who are falling one after the other. Couple that with the successive victories of the Yemeni army against Al Houthis on the Al Saa’dah front — the stronghold of Al Houthis, and it becomes abundantly clear that Al Houthis will soon be driven out of the city.”

The editorial in UAE’s Al Khaleej revolved around Israel’s decision to impose taxes on properties belonging to churches, which comes to around $190 million (Dh698.82 million) from 887 properties. The paper pointed out that Israel is no stranger to such acts of discrimination, which it already perpetrates on Palestinians regardless of their religion. “Israel’s decision against churches also applies to properties owned by the Vatican and the United Nations. The decision aims to exert enough pressure on the churches to make them abandon said properties and endowments, particularly after Israel also decided to freeze the bank accounts of churches. Imposing excessive taxes is tightening the noose on churches, an open war against [occupied] Jerusalem to drive out the Muslims and Christians of the city so that Israel can fulfil the complete judaisation of the city. The decision of United States President Donald Trump announcing [occupied] Jerusalem as the capital of Israel only served to embolden this Israeli approach.”

The London-based Pan-Arab paper Asharq Al Awsat said that in this month, 40 years ago, the Iranian Revolution achieved a victory that reverberated across the region and the world. The paper wrote that times, however, have changed, and Khomeini’s revolution is facing the troubles of turning 40, in a world very different from the one in which it was born. “The generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps must know that there are new generals, who represent more threat to the Iranian regime than US generals. These aforementioned generals are Google General Larry Page, Microsoft General Satya Nadella and his predecessor Bill Gates, Facebook General Mark Zuckerberg, Apple General Tim Cook and others. They are generals who come from scientific, technological and digital revolutions. Generals, who cannot be intercepted at the border, nor can they be faced by rockets and the mobilisation of militias.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Daily Star noted that Lebanon was confronting very serious challenges that can only be overcome with a united front and an amicable atmosphere. “That is the objective and it is incumbent upon all Lebanese to see it realised. This week’s chaotic and unruly protests jolted the security and stability of Lebanon and threatened the fragile peace. It quickly became clear that we were in need of dedicated firefighters who, by fighting the blaze, will also stamp out all troublemakers, warmongers, naysayers and opportunists who rear their heads.”