Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lone wolf or complex plot? Analysing the Manchester bombing


The use of an improvised bomb may suggest a more elaborate plan than other recent attacks


Economist

Britain
May 23rd 2017

DETAILS of the Manchester Arena bombing are slowly emerging. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. The police have confirmed that the murderous act last night was carried out by a single suicide-bomber who detonated an improvised explosive device packed with shrapnel in a crowded foyer. He has been named as Salman Abedi, reportedly a Manchester-born 22-year-old with family of Libyan origin. Separately, a 23-year-old man has been arrested in a Manchester suburb in connection with the crime. Wrenching photos of the first young victims and missing concert-goers have been posted online.

What an Attack at an Ariana Grande Show Means for Teen Girls

By NATALIE SHUTLERMAY 23, 2017

The New York Times

The pink balloons, floating above the maelstrom of panicked concertgoers, are what struck me first. Images of innocence, bumping along above hordes of shrieking children, many of whom refused to release their balloons even as they fled the arena.

Do you remember your first pop concert? That first time you watched a female hero belt it out onstage without apologies? I was in eighth grade when my dad agreed to drive me and my best friend to see Garbage, a Scottish pop band led by the coolest woman of all time, Shirley Manson. Her anger, confidence and sexuality stood in for stirrings of teenage passion that I had no way to express. I was awkward and insecure — weren’t we all? — but when I stood in the presence of a woman who stared down the system with a growl in her voice, I forgot about how weird it felt to be 13.

British prime minister raises nation’s threat level, saying another attack ‘may be imminent’


The Washington Post

By Griff Witte, Karla Adam and Souad Mekhennet May 23 at 5:32 PM
MANCHESTER, England — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday night raised the nation’s threat level and deployed the military to guard concerts, sports matches and other public events, saying another attack “may be imminent” following a bombing Monday night that left 22 people dead.

The announcement, which takes Britain’s alert level from “severe” to its highest rating, “critical,” clears the way for thousands of British troops to take to the streets and replace police officers in guarding key sites.

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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Syria has secretly executed thousands of political prisoners: rights group


The Washington Post

By Liz Sly February 6 at 8:18 PM
BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government secretly executed between 5,000 and 13,000 people in just one prison as part of its campaign to eliminate opposition to his rule, a new report by the watchdog group Amnesty International has found.

The killings took place over a four-year period between 2011 and 2015 in the notorious Sednaya facility outside Damascus, and the bodies were later disposed of in mass graves, according to the report released Monday by Amnesty.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Russia, Turkey, Iran discuss Syria ceasefire implementation in Astana

Mon Feb 6, 2017 | 12:42am EST

Ruters

Experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations have started a technical meeting in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, to discuss in detail the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire agreement, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"Representatives of Jordan are expected to take part for the first time," a ministry spokesman said of the talks.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Syrian army says it will press on against Islamic State near Aleppo

WORLD NEWS | Thu Feb 2, 2017 | 9:08am EST

Reuters

By John Davison and Tom Perry | BEIRUT
The Syrian army signaled on Thursday it would press on with operations against Islamic State northeast of Aleppo, in a veiled warning to Turkey which backs a separate military campaign in northern Syria.

Syrian government forces have rapidly driven Islamic State back in the last two weeks, advancing to within 6 km (4 miles) of the city of al-Bab that the jihadists are fighting to hold.

The army's gains risk sparking a confrontation with Turkey, which has sent tanks and warplanes across the border to support Syrian insurgents who are trying to seize al-Bab in a separate offensive.

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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Turkey Extends State of Emergency in Wake of Attack Claimed by Islamic State

Ankara is contending with aftermath of New Year’s assault in Istanbul

The Wall Street Journal

By EMRE PEKER
Updated Jan. 4, 2017 4:26 a.m. ET

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s parliament voted to extend the government’s state-of-emergency powers following the deadly New Year’s attack claimed by Islamic State, as the country struggles to contain rising terrorist threats and law enforcement contends with depleted ranks in the wake of last year’s failed coup.

The gunman remains at large after the assault that killed at least 39 people, although Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said authorities had identified the man, without providing details, according to the Anadolu state news agency. There is little information about the gunman’s identity beyond photographs of a suspect released by authorities.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Germany’s Merkel Says Full Force of Law to Bear in Berlin Attacks

by Patrick Donahue
December 2016, 1:12 μ.μ. EET


  • Germans in mourning after ‘horrific and unimaginable’ attack



  • Anti-immigration AfD party lays blame at Merkel’s door


Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German authorities were working on the assumption that the deaths of 12 people after a truck plowed into a Christmas market were a terrorist attack, and pledged to use the full force of German law to bring the perpetrators to justice.

In a nationally televised statement in Berlin, Merkel said that people across Germany were mourning after the “horrific and unimaginable” deaths and injuries sustained in the capital on Monday evening. She said she planned to tour the scene of the attack later on Tuesday.

Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey by Gunman Invoking Syria

by Benjamin Harvey  and Selcan Hacaoglu
20 December 2016, 6:35 π.μ. EET

Bloomberg

Russia’s ambassador was shot dead in the Turkish capital on Monday in an assassination apparently linked to Syria’s civil war, heightening tensions over a conflict that’s drawn in almost all the region’s main powers.

Andrey Karlov was shot in the back at an art exhibit in Ankara on Monday and died from his injuries, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. “Allahu akbar,” the gunman shouted, and then “don’t forget Aleppo” -- a reference to the Syrian city where mostly Islamist rebels have been defeated this month by Russian-backed government troops. The attacker, who was killed by security forces, was a 22-year-old active-duty police officer. His possible connection with organized groups is being probed, Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives


The Washington Post

By Karen DeYoung and Louisa Loveluck December 3 at 6:03 PM
Three years after the CIA began secretly shipping lethal aid to rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, battlefield losses and fears that a Donald Trump administration will abandon them have left tens of thousands of opposition fighters weighing their alternatives.

Among the options, say U.S. officials, regional experts and the rebels themselves, are a closer alliance with better-armed al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, receipt of more sophisticated weaponry from Sunni states in the Persian Gulf region opposed to a U.S. pullback, and adoption of more traditional guerrilla tactics, including sniper and other small-scale attacks on both Syrian and Russian targets.

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.

Monday, September 5, 2016

U.S., Russia not yet eye-to-eye on possible resumption of Syrian cease-fire

The Washington Post
By William Wan, Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly September 4 at 2:05 PM

HANGZHOU, China— Efforts by the United States and Russia to forge a deal for a cease-fire in Syria and to coordinate their counterterrorism operations there faltered again Sunday, even as a major new Syrian-Russian offensive in the besieged city of Aleppo appeared to undermine key components of the proposed agreement.

After an anticipated news conference did not take place, Secretary of State John F. Kerry told reporters that his negotiations here with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov snagged on “a couple of tough issues” — nearly identical to the language he used when the two failed to reach agreement in their last meeting, just over a week ago in Geneva. Officials said they would meet again Monday.

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Turkish Military Begins Major Offensive Into Syria in Fight Against ISIS

By TIM ARANGO and CEYLAN YEGINSUAUG. 24, 2016
The New York Times

ISTANBUL — Turkey mounted its largest military effort yet in the Syrian conflict on Wednesday, sending tanks, warplanes and special operations forces over the border in a United States-backed drive to capture an Islamic State stronghold in Syria.

The joint offensive on the city of Jarabulus, one of the last border strongholds of the Islamic State, began hours before Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The timing seemed aimed at easing tensions between the two countries raised by the failed coup in Turkey last month.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Greece Returns 12 Syrians to Turkey; Will Build 4 More Camps

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
APRIL 27, 2016, 10:54 A.M. E.D.T.


The New York Times

ATHENS, Greece — Greece on Wednesday returned 12 Syrians, including a woman and her four children, to Turkey as part of a European Union-Turkey agreement aiming to stop the flow of refugees and migrants across the Aegean to Europe's more prosperous heartland.

The 12 were flown from the Greek island of Lesbos to Adana in Turkey by a plane chartered by the European border agency Frontex, Greece's citizens' protection ministry said, noting all had expressed the wish to return and none had applied for asylum in Greece.

Under last month's EU-Turkey deal, people arriving clandestinely on Greek islands from Turkey from March 20 onward face being returned unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece. So far, 386 people have been returned under the deal, Greece says.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Islam, interment and Greece


Burying drowned migrants is part of a broader Greek problem
Apr 20th 2016, 12:55 BY M.TZ. AND ERASMUS | MYTILENE
Timekeeper
The Economist

THE newly established graveyard, a short drive west of Mytilene port, is a desperately sad place. In the middle of an olive grove, there are dozens of mounds of crumbly earth, some created only a month ago, with markers offering perfunctory information about the people who lie underneath: a name, a date of death or discovery and a date of interment. Sometimes the name is not known.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

ISIS Expands Reach Despite Military and Financial Setbacks

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, HELENE COOPER and NICHOLAS KULISHAPRIL 12, 2016

The New York Times

WASHINGTON — American airstrikes have killed 25,000 Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria and incinerated millions of dollars plundered by the militants, according to Pentagon officials.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces have taken back 40 percent of the militant group’s land in Iraq, the officials say, and forces backed by the West have seized a sizable amount of territory in Syria that had been controlled by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

But the battlefield successes enjoyed by Western-backed forces in the Islamic State’s heartland have done little to stop the expansion of the militants to Europe, North Africa and Afghanistan. The attacks this year in Brussels, Istanbul and other cities only reinforced the sense of a terrorist group on the march, and among American officials and military experts, there is renewed caution in predicting progress in a fight that they say is likely to go on for years.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Protests Against Migrants' Presence in Greece and Turkey

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSAPRIL 2, 2016, 12:30 P.M. E.D.T.

The New York Times

IDOMENI, Greece — 'Anti-migrants protesters staged demonstrations in Turkey and Greece against the plan to send back migrants from Greece to Turkey is set to be implemented starting Monday.

At the same time, migrants stranded at a makeshift camp in this small town on Greece's border with Macedonia staged a protest demanding that the border be opened and that they be allowed to continue their journeys to central and northern Europe.

Several dozen people living in the Idomeni camp staged a protest Saturday morning, blocking a local road for about an hour to demand the evacuation of more than 11,000 stranded migrants to "transit centers" across the Greek mainland.