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The Taliban and their Drug Problem

Drug cultivation is one of Afghanistan's most important sources of income. Die WELT visited the fields and talked to the people who live from growing opium and marijuana. The Taliban banned the cultivation of these plants once before. But this time is different.   16/10/2021 This article was originally published by  Die Welt  on October 13, 2021. The original can be found  here . Translation by SyriacPress  By  Alfred Hackensberger   correspondent for WELT In the full afternoon heat, they huddle together in the shade of the last remaining grave on the grounds of the dilapidated cemetery of Mazar-i-Sharif. Some smoke crystal meth from small glass pipes, others heroin on aluminum foil, or opium. The relaxed mood of the ten or so men are changes abruptly when an armed member of the Taliban appears. He suddenly hits one of the drug users with the butt of his rifle and kicks him when he’s down. “The Taliban beat us all the time,” says the sturdy and tall Noorallah after the Taliban figh
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  Turkish-backed Syrian fighters hoist the Turkish flag in Afrin, north-western Aleppo province, March 17, 2021. Source: AFP 19/06/2021 North Syria: How a German association helps finance Erdoğan’s fantasies of great power In northern Syria, Turkish President Erdoğan wants to establish a mini-Turkey, including schools, universities, and mosques. Turkish aid organizations are an important tool in this expansionist foreign policy. The trail of aid money leads back to Germany.   19/06/2021 This article was originally published in German on June 16, 2021 by  Die WELT . Translation by SyriacPress  By  Alfred Hackensberger  Correspondent for North Africa and Arab countries for  Die Welt “A warm house – 30 square meters, two rooms, bathroom, toilet, kitchen, running water and sewage.” The fundraising poster reads that the costs of accommodation are only 700 euros, “a benefaction for disadvantaged and oppressed Syrian families.” The poster includes an image of a woman with headscarf and a chil

Iraq now belongs to Tehran’s henchmen – with fatal consequences

In neighboring Iraq, Tehran's militias glorify their fallen heroes such as General Qassem Soleimani. He was killed in an American drone strike in 2020. Photo: Sebastian Backhaus By  Alfred Hackensberger  Correspondent for WELT – photos by Sebastian Backhaus Translation by SyriacPress  Sadjad’s left arm is tightly wrapped in a blue bandage. The shiny metal rod that stabilizes the bone protrudes from the bandage. “A sniper shot me,” says the 27-year-old in front of a glass of water with fresh mint on the roof terrace of the Babylon shopping mall in Baghdad. The wind high up in the open air makes the afternoon heat of 48 degrees somewhat bearable. On the other hand, you have a breathtaking view of the skyline of the Iraqi capital of 8 million with villas, skyscrapers, and palm groves. Sadjad takes out his cell phone and shows me the pictures of the fateful day he was wounded. Photos of the gaping hole the bullet tore in his upper arm. Images of him lying on a stretcher, contorted in p

Iraq is threatened with the exodus of all Christians

Historical papal visit: Pope Francis is the first Catholic leader ever to visit Iraq. War and the Corona-pandemic could not stop the Catholic leader from travelling to the crises-ridden country. With his visit Pope Francis wants to encourage Iraqi Christians to stay. Whether he will succeed in his mission is doubtful.   07/03/2021 This article was translated by Syriacpress .   By  Alfred Hackensberger  Correspondent for Die Welt The papal plane from Rome landed at exactly  2pm. on Friday  at Baghdad airport. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustapha al-Kadhimi waited on the red carpet to receive Pope Francis and lead him to the VIP lounge for the official welcome ceremony. From there, the motorcade drove through the Iraqi capital. From a bulletproof BMW Pope Francis greeted the cheering people standing on the roads. First stop was the presidential palace of head of state Barham Salih. A flock of doves of peace rose to the sky. A military band was playing. Men in white kaftans and drawn sabers stoo