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Turkey to Continue with Afrin Operation in Syria: Erdoğan

- 45f0ea8f5a500c271486f609d56c4bb6 L - Turkey to Continue with Afrin Operation in Syria: Erdoğan


ERBIL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 14, “Clearing off terrorism will continue in the upcoming days with an operation into Syria’s Afrin, as the Turkish military hits the People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in northern Syria.”

During a speech at a provincial congress meeting of the ruling AK Party in the Central Anatolian province of Tokat, Erdoğan said, “Keep watching us. Any slightest harassment on our borders will be seen as a signal flare of the steps to be taken.”

“Turkey will continue the operation to clear our the southern border from terror with Afrin,” he added.

Erdoğan reiterated  “We can come overnight all of a sudden.”

He gave indication that Turkey is determined to fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across its borders, as well as inside the country.

The Turkish president said that he also expects support from allies in Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

“We expect from our allies that they behave in accordance with the spirit of our deep-rooted relationship during this process.”

The president slammed once again the US for supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) whose main components are the YPG fighters whom Ankara sees as part of the PKK in Syria. 

He warned the “western countries” that they should know that such attitude is harming the bilateral relations and added, “Don’t you fool us”.

“Despite everything, we believe we have common interests with America in the region, we hope to act together. Because it’s time to help Turkey, time to qualify strategic cooperation,” he noted.

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Middle East

Iraq sentences German woman to death for joining Isis, reports say

- 1516551522 mosul - Iraq sentences German woman to death for joining Isis, reports say


An Iraqi court has sentenced a German woman to death after she ran away to join Isis.

The court in Baghdad convicted the unnamed German woman of “providing logistical support and assistance to the terrorist group to commit crimes” and has ordered her execution.

The spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, says the woman acknowledged joining Isis after travelling from Germany to Syria and then to Iraq along with her two daughters. Both daughters later married militants. 

She is believed to have been living in the Mannheim region of Germany when she travelled to Syria but is reportedly of Moroccan descent. 

The woman is believed to have been among a number of women in July 2017 who were captured after the Battle of Mosul when Iraqi forces pushed Isis out of Iraq’s second city.

She now faces hanging but can still appeal her sentence, Mr Bayrkdar said.

Iraqi forces have detained a number of foreign women after they drove Isis from its former territory in northern and central Iraq. 

It is estimated that over 27,000 foreign fighters, including 6,000 Europeans, have travelled to Iraq and Syria since the start of the Arab Spring in 2011 but not all of them have joined Isis, according to data published by the Soufran Group.

A Russian Isis fighter was sentenced to death in Iraq last year for joining the hardline group.

Meanwhile one of those in prison awaiting trial is German teenager Linda Wenzel who ran away to Syria when she was just 15 years old. 

Wenzel also faces the death penalty if convicted of aiding Isis. Iraqi authorities say she admitted to working as a sniper during the battle but Wenzel claims she was mostly kept as a domestic servant.

Iraq declared victory last month over Isis, which had seized control of nearly a third of the country in 2014. However, the terror group continues to carry out bombings and other attacks in the country.

Additional reporting by agencies​

Independent

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Middle East

France Calls for Urgent UNSC Meeting Over the Turkish Attack on Afrin

- 6d35699da25d5ed17995fd336cb43987 L - France Calls for Urgent UNSC Meeting Over the Turkish Attack on Afrin


ERBIL — French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed that his country has called for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing Turkish military incursion into the Kurdish-held Syrian Canton of Afrin.

“France has requested an urgent meeting of UN Security Council,” Le Drian said on his Twitter account.

He urged those involved in the conflict to stop the fire immediately and open the path for humanitarian aid to reach the affected area.

French foreign minister talked to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier, following which he said in an official statement that Ankara is urged to restraint and end any action which could further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“France is attentive to the security of Turkey, its territory and borders. Paris calls on the Turkish authorities to exercise restraint in the complicated context of a humanitarian situation in several Syrian regions in view of military activities of Damascus and its allies,” reads the statement.

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Middle East

YPG Repels Turkish Ground Attack Near Afrin

- 483e465d9a269f55d26c3cdda3226147 L - YPG Repels Turkish Ground Attack Near Afrin


ERBIL — The US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Sunday repelled the first Turkish ground offensive on Bulbul district of Afrin Canton.

The Turkish troops, accompanied by heavy arms and tanks, were marching towards the territories of  Balia village when faced fierce resistance from the YPG fighters, said Hawar news agency (ANHA).

Many Turkish artillery and heavy arms are said to have been forced to retreat while there remains some attacking troops, according to the same source.

 

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