Showing posts with label Kurdistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kurdistan. Show all posts

Friday, March 30, 2018

Turkey says will take action if militants do not leave Syria's Manbij

MARCH 28, 2018 / 8:09 PM / 2 DAYS AGO
Reuters Staff

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will take action if militants do not withdraw immediately from Syria’s Manbij region and areas in the country east of the Euphrates, Turkey’s National Security Council said on Wednesday.

Turkey, which stormed the northern Syrian town of Afrin last week after a two-month offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, has repeatedly threatened to push its operations further east to Manbij where U.S. troops are stationed.

Expanding Turkey’s military campaign into the much larger Kurdish-held territory further east, which President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to do, would risk confrontation between the NATO allies who have been at loggerheads over the U.S. policy in Syria and other issues.

“In the meeting, it is stated that the terrorists in Manbij should be removed from the area, otherwise Turkey will not hesitate to take initiative by itself as it did in other regions,” the statement from the security council, chaired by Erdogan, said.

It said the same approach also applied to the militants on Syrian soil at the east of Euphrates, without elaborating where that would specifically apply to, or who it might target.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the state, and has been infuriated by the support Washington has provided the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

The Council said it also expected Iraq’s government to prevent the PKK operating in Iraq, especially in towns of Sinjar and Qandil. If that was not possible Turkey would prevent them itself, the council added.

“In the meeting it is stated that aside from Syria, Turkey expects Iraq to prevent operations by the separatist terrorist organization in its territory and if it is not possible Turkey will prevent them by itself,” the council statement said using the term it applies to PKK.

On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraqi armed forces would prevent Kurdish militants based in northern Iraq from staging cross-border attacks against Turkey during a phone call with his Turkish counterpart.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The United States and Turkey should fix their relationship—Before it’s too late

ORDER FROM CHAOS
Amanda SloatFriday, February 16, 2018

The Brookings Institute

Editor's Note: It is positive that Washington is going to Ankara this week. Engagement by America’s three most senior national security officials with their Turkish counterparts in the same week sends a strong signal about the seriousness with which the United States takes this relationship. At the same time, U.S. officials must express their concerns about Turkish actions that are contributing to fractious ties. This piece originally appeared on Foreign Policy.

American diplomats are out in force in Turkey this week. On Sunday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster met in Istanbul with Ibrahim Kalin, his nominal counterpart. On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli in Brussels on the margins of the NATO ministerial summit. Later this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to visit Ankara for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Turkey assails US over ties with Syrian Kurdish militia


By Associated Press February 12 at 7:39 AM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s foreign minister assailed the United States on Monday, claiming that American forces in Syria are intentionally stalling the fight against Islamic State militants as an excuse not to cut ties with Syrian Kurdish militiamen as Ankara has demanded.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Istanbul that U.S. forces are leaving “pockets” with IS militants intact to justify continued cooperation with the Kurdish militia.

Speaking ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later this week, Cavusoglu said Turkey’s ties with the U.S. are at a make-or-break stage and that Washington needs to take “concrete steps” to regain Turkey’s trust.

“Our relations are at a very critical stage,” Cavusoglu said. “Either we will improve ties or these ties will totally break down.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Turkey Leaks Secret Locations of U.S. Troops in Syria

Ankara has long been angered by the alliance between Washington and Kurdish factions. But a new report exposing secret American bases is a dangerous way to strike back.

Roy Gutman
ROY GUTMAN
07.19.17 1:00 AM ET

The Daily Beast

ISTANBUL—In the latest display of Turkish anger at U.S. policy in Syria, the state news agency has divulged the locations of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where the U.S. is leading an operation to destroy the so-called Islamic State in its self-styled capital of Raqqa.
The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a U.S. presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region—a distance of more than 200 miles. The Anadolu news agency even listed the number of U.S. troops in several locations and in two instances stipulated the presence of French special forces.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Turkey strikes Kurds in Iraq, Syria, drawing condemnation

The Washington Post

By Suzan Fraser | AP April 25 at 2:26 PM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish warplanes struck suspected Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Baghdad and criticism from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which is allied with Kurdish factions in both countries.

Syrian activists said the attack killed at least 18 members of the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which is a close U.S. ally against IS but is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey’s Kurdish rebels.

Friday, January 20, 2017

As caliphate crumbles, Islamic State lashes out in Iraq

Wed Jan 18, 2017 | 8:51am EST

Reuters

By John Davison | BAGHDAD
Two days after Iraqi forces launched a new push against Islamic State in Mosul, bomb blasts ripped through a marketplace in central Baghdad - the start of a spate of attacks that appear to signal a shift in tactics by the Islamist group.

The Sunni jihadists have targeted Shi'ite Muslim civilians. Raids on police and army posts in other cities, also claimed by Islamic State, have accompanied the bombings.

The attacks show that even if Islamic State loses the Iraqi side of its self-styled caliphate, the threat from the group may not subside.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Turkey Moves to Crush Kurdish Party After Deadly Bombing

Jared Malsin/Istanbul @jmalsin  Dec. 12, 2016    

Turkish government makes hundreds of arrests

TIME

Turkish authorities arrested at least 291 officials and members of a major parliamentary opposition party on terrorism charges Monday, following a deadly twin bomb attack in Istanbul that killed at least 44 people.

The arrests marked the continuation of government reprisals against the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (known by the Turkish acronym HDP), which controls the third-largest bloc in Turkey’s parliament. The arrests come in the context of a broader crackdown on critics of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has moved to shore up his own power after surviving a deadly military coup attempt last July.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mosul battle: 'IS leader Baghdadi' urges no retreat

3-11-2016
BBC

The so-called Islamic State group has released an audiotape which it says is from its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
If true, it would be the first public message from him in about a year and would dispel rumours that he is dead.
The voice on the audio calls on Iraqis to defend the city of Mosul against the Iraqi army, which is attempting to re-take it from the militants.
Baghdadi's whereabouts remain unknown. Some officials have said he may be inside Mosul alongside IS fighters.
It has not been independently verified that the voice in the audio belongs to Baghdadi. There have been repeated rumours of his death through the years, including last year when the Iraqi military said it had hit his convoy.
Mosul, the last IS urban stronghold in Iraq, is where Baghdadi declared a caliphate two years ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Turkey will fight Isis in Mosul, President Erdogan says

Bitter row between Ankara and Baghdad over role of Turkish troops in battle to retake Mosul threatens future of operation, US says

Bethan McKernan Beirut

Independent

It is “out of the question” for Turkish troops to stay out of the US-backed Iraqi army offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul from Isis, the Turkish president has said.

“We will be in the operation and we will be at the table,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated in a televised speech on Monday. “Our brothers are there and our relatives are there. It is out of the question that we are not involved.”

Mr Erdoğan's comments came as Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the long-awaited operation to reclaim the city has begun.

The Iraqi army begins the liberation of Mosul


Even with backing from Kurds, Shia militias and an American-led international coalition, the campaign will be hard
Oct 17th 2016 | Middle East and Africa

The Economist

“THE time of victory has come…today I declare the start of these victorious operations to free you from the violence and terrorism of Daesh [Islamic State].” With these words, broadcast at 2am on October 17th, Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced the start of the long-awaited offensive to liberate Mosul, the country’s second-biggest city, which was seized by IS in June 2014, and is the only significant place in Iraq that the jihadists still hold. Mr Abadi added: “The Iraqi flag will be raised in the middle of Mosul and in each village and corner very soon.” Across the rest of Iraq, following a series of victories this year, it already has been.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kurdish Troops Advance on ISIS-Held Villages East of Mosul


By MICHAEL R. GORDON and TIM ARANGOOCT. 17, 2016

The New York Times

BADANA PICHWK, Iraq — Kurdish forces on Monday morning began advancing on a string of villages east of Mosul, the start of a long-awaited campaign to reclaim Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State, which seized it more than two years ago, officials said.

About 4,000 Kurdish pesh merga troops are involved in the operation to retake 10 villages, the opening phase of a battle that could take weeks or months and could involve nearly 30,000 Iraqi and Kurdish troops, with American warplanes providing air support. Iraqi counterterrorism forces, which work closely with American Special Operations commandos in Iraq, are also expected to join the Kurdish forces in the coming days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

U.S. says foreign forces in Iraq should be there with Baghdad's approval

Tue Oct 11, 2016 | 4:36pm EDT

Reuters

Foreign military forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of the Baghdad government and under the umbrella of the anti-Islamic State coalition, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Turkey and Iraq disagree over the presence of about 2,000 Turkish troops at a base in northern Iraq, as the coalition prepares for an attack on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Syria war: Turkey hits out at US over Kurds comments

31 August 2016
BBC
Turkey has hit out at the United States over criticism of its ongoing role in the conflict in Syria.
Turkish forces have targeted so-called Islamic State (IS) inside Syria, but have also gone after Kurdish fighters in the same region.
The pursuit of Kurdish forces, whom Ankara considers terrorists, has led to criticism by the United States.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Islamic State Strikes Oil, Gas Facilities in Iraq

Attacks at AB2 gas compressor station, Bai Hassan oil field kill at least five local workers

The Wall Street Journal

By SARAH KENT and  GHASSAN ADNAN
Updated July 31, 2016 2:01 p.m. ET

BAGHDAD—Islamic State claimed twin attacks on oil and gas facilities in northern Iraq on Sunday that killed at least five local employees, the latest in northern Iraq by the extremist group, which relies on oil for a significant portion of its revenue.

Four suicide bombers hit the Bai Hassan oil field, prompting an hourslong standoff with local forces, said a colonel with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces that control the area. The field is one of the largest in the region of Kirkuk, producing more than 175,000 barrels a day, according to oil officials.

Three of the attackers were dead, he said, and one remained at large.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

These 5 Facts Explain Why Turkey Is in Deep Trouble

Ian Bremmer @ianbremmer  Feb. 19, 2016

TIME

As Turkey ramps up its involvement in the war in Syria, it risks being hit by serious international blowback
It’s been a bad week for Turkey. As the country intensifies its military campaign in Syria, a bomb ripped through Ankara in apparent retaliation on Feb. 17, killing 28 people and injuring 61 others. Sadly, it’s an all too familiar sight. These five facts explain the mounting threats Turkey faces from Syria’s war next door.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kurds Warn Turkey of ‘Big War’ With Russia If Troops Enter Syria

 Henry Meyer
Stepan Kravchenko

Bloomberg

February 18, 2016 — 2:51 PM EET Updated on February 18, 2016 — 5:18 PM EET


Russia has promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria in case of a ground offensive by Turkey, a move that would lead to a “big war,” the Syrian group’s envoy to Moscow said in an interview on Wednesday.
“We take this threat very seriously because the ruling party in Turkey is a party of war,” Rodi Osman, head of the Syrian Kurds’ newly-opened representative office said in Kurdish via a Russian interpreter. “Russia will respond if there is an invasion. This isn’t only about the Kurds, they will defend the territorial sovereignty of Syria.”

Ankara blast: Turkey vows retaliation for deadly bomb attack

18-2-2016
49 minutes ago

BBC

Turkey has vowed to retaliate against the perpetrators of a powerful blast in the capital Ankara that left at least 28 people dead and 61 injured.
"Turkey will not shy away from using its right to self-defence at any time, any place or any occasion," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Officials said a vehicle full of explosives was detonated as military buses were passing by on Wednesday.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Kurds enter Sinjar 'from all directions' - Kurdistan security council

Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:52am GMT Related: WORLD
NEAR SINJAR TOWN
Reuters

Kurdish peshmerga forces entered Sinjar "from all directions" on Friday to begin clearing the northern Iraqi town of Islamic State militants, the Kurdistan regional security council said in a tweet.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Peshmerga forces heave Isis away from Mount Sinjar

As many as 300 militants are believed killed as US-led airstrikes assist the Kurdistan regional government in northern Iraq

Fazel Hawramy on Mount Sinjar
The Guardian, Sunday 21 December 2014 21.55 GMT

Kurdish peshmerga forces backed by US-led air strikes pushed Islamic State militants out of a large area around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, according to Kurdish officials.

“We have managed to free 3,000 sq km during the last 24 hours,” Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, told reporters on top of Mount Sinjar. “Most of Sinjar is under our control now and with the help of God, we will free all of it.”

The Kurdistan regional government mobilised close to 10,000 peshmerga fighters last week in an ongoing operation to drive Isis from the Sinjar area, which is near the Syrian border.

Monday, October 20, 2014

U.S. Air Drops Arms To Kurdish Forces Fighting ISIS In Kobani

 AP      | By ROBERT BURNS
Posted: 10/19/2014 10:16 pm EDT Updated: 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military said Sunday it had airdropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish forces defending the Syrian city of Kobani against Islamic State militants.

The airdrops Sunday were the first of their kind and followed weeks of U.S. and coalition airstrikes in and near Kobani, near the Turkish border. The U.S. said earlier Sunday that it had launched 11 airstrikes overnight in the Kobani area.