Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his ruling party on Tuesday that “no excuse can justify” the Israeli act of aggression against Syria.
“The airstrike Israel carried out on Damascus is completely unacceptable. There is no rationale, no pretext that can excuse this operation,” Erdogan said.
Turkish premier, whose country supports militants fighting against the Syrian government, also said that the Israeli attacks provided what he called a “golden opportunity” for President Bashar al-Assad to cover up massacres of opponents.
Israeli warplanes hit the Jamraya Research Center in the outskirts of Damascus on Sunday two days after striking another target in the country.
Syrian media reports say the Sunday attack caused a number of casualties and widespread damage. Some reports say Israel used depleted uranium in its airstrike… Continue reading
The official added that the tribesmen have asked Yemeni authorities to release a jailed member of their tribe held in the central prison in Abyan.
On Tuesday, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the abduction of the two engineers saying the Egyptian consul in the southern Yemeni city of Aden was working to secure their release from the hands of kidnappers.
Tribesmen or al-Qaeda militants frequently kidnap foreigners in Yemen in exchange for ransoms or for the release of jailed fellows. Most of the abductees are freed unscathed.
On February 27, a… Continue reading
The UK Ministry of Defense has claimed that chemical weapons were used in the Syrian conflict. Forensic evidence was collected after scientists analyzed soil smuggled out of the country in a secret British operation, the Times reported.
The sample was reportedly extracted from a neighborhood on the outskirts of Damascus in March by MI6 agents operating within Syria, the Australian reported at the time.
The soil was then smuggled out of Syria and handed over to UK Ministry of Defense’s chemical and biological research department.
Military scientists said the soil contained traces of “some kind of chemical weapon,” though they could not positively identify the type of weaponized chemical.
“There have been some reports that it was just a strong riot-control agent but this is not the case – it’s something else, although it can’t definitively be said to be sarin nerve agent,” one source told the… Continue reading
In the last week, two Palestinians have been sentenced to prison terms for online libel and slander of politicians. Meanwhile, an arrest order has been issued for a popular Egyptian satirist, raising fears of a crackdown on freedom in the region.
The Magistrate’s Court in Salfit, West Bank, sentenced a 29-year-old Anas Ismail to 6 months in jail, on charges of “libel and slander against former communications minister” as he was found guilty of “Liking”hostile messages towards the politician on Facebook.
One of the posts demanded the dismissal of the politician and another phrase demanded accountability from the minister.
According to Ismail, “Preventive Security locked me up for 17 days, on charges of libel and slander, and last Thursday I was sentenced in absentia by the Court of Salfit to six months in prison,” quotes Alresalah publication.
Ismail, who works in computer programming and… Continue reading
The 30-year-long Kurdish insurgency could be close to an end, after the acting leader of the separatist PKK movement officially announced an end to hostilities.
“We declare a ceasefire starting on March 23. If the Turkish Parliament and government do the legal groundwork for a commission, we could withdraw from Turkey,” said PKK field commander Murat Karayilan in a video message broadcast during the Nevruz festival celebrations in Bonn, Germany.
Turkey and PPK had been negotiating since October last year, but a statement from imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan on Thursday, in which he spoke of “fraternity” between Turks and Kurds, and a “move from armed to democratic struggle”, proved a decisive breakthrough.
“Ocalan’s decision is the decision of all of us. We accept and agree with this decision. We consider its content and scope historic, just and very important. It’s the beginning of… Continue reading
Some Syrian rebel groups get training and intelligence straight from CIA officers, US officials told media. The helping hand is meant to bolster the secular opposition against both governmental troops and Islamist forces.
The CIA’s increased involvement in Syria is part America’s greater engagement in the war-torn country, according to The Wall Street Journal. The spy agency has selected some small rebel units from the Free Syrian Army to receive combat training and fresh intel they can act upon, the newspaper says, citing unnamed US officials and rebel commanders.
The training is provided by the CIA, working together with British, French and Jordanian intelligence agencies. The rebels are taught to use various kinds of arms, including anti-tank weapons. They are also schooled in urban combat tactics and counterintelligence tactics.
The experience will supposedly help them stand against the professional Syrian army, which scores victories against the armed opposition thanks to… Continue reading
Iran’s most powerful authority, Ayatollah Ali Khemenei, said the Islamic Republic would raze the cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa “to the ground” if Israel launched a military strike against it.
“At times the officials of the Zionist regime [Israel] threaten to launch a military invasion, but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” Ayotollah Ali Khamenei said during an address on live state television.
Obama said Thursday time is running out for a diplomatic solution.
“Iran must know that time is not unlimited. I have made the position of the United States clear: Iran must not get a nuclear weapon,” he said.
He also said that the US will always protest Israel.
“Israel will never be destroyed as long as the United States exists. You are not alone,” he said.
Israel has… Continue reading
Syrian planes have bombed a Lebanese border town in eastern Bekaa Valley, the first such attack during the country’s ongoing crisis, according to a Lebanese army source.
The warplanes entered 1 kilometer into Lebanese airspace and struck the town of Kerbet Younan in the Wadi al-Khayl region of Arsal, where the majority of Sunni Muslim residents support Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, and fired four rockets at a remote section of the border with Lebanon, according to Reuters.
Conflicting reports have emerged over whether Lebanese territory was hit in the airstrike.
“Syrian planes bombed the border between Lebanon and Syria but I cannot yet say if they hit Lebanese territory or only Syrian territory,” Lebanese news website Naharnet quoted a military official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The mountainous desert region of Arsal is said to be ideal terrain for the smuggling of arms and… Continue reading
The targeting officers, who are based at CIA headquarters in Langley, have formed a unit with US intelligence agents in Iraq, to examine purported threats against “the US’ interests in Syria,” the report said.
The unit is closely working with Saudi, Jordanian and other regional spy services, according to the report. The CIA and the White House have declined to comment on the issue. According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 2,627 and 3,457 people have been killed by US drones in… Continue reading
During an interview with France Info radio, Fabius said that Paris and London request “the Europeans now to lift the embargo so that the resistance fighters have the possibility of defending themselves.”
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned his British counterpart William Hague that arming the militants in Syria was in violation of international law. “International law does not allow, does not permit supplies of arms to non-governmental actors and in our… Continue reading