The regional powder keg and the threat of conflagration

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

There are varying assessments on the factors that might trigger a large scale conflagration in the Middle East. There are those who believe that this major outbreak of hostilities may occur in May, when President Trump makes a final decision on the Iranian nuclear deal. Some argue that the overwhelming Iranian pressure on the borders of the Zionist entity from Syria and Lebanon will be the immediate factor behind an escalation. Israel has stated that it will not put up with the reality which ...

Radwan al-Sayed

Aid reaches Syrians displaced by Turkey’s Afrin assault

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Humanitarian aid on Tuesday reached desperate families displaced to the northern Syrian town of Tal Rifaat by a nearby Turkish offensive, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Ankara's two-month assault on Kurdish fighters in the region of Afrin, further west, has forced tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in Tal Rifaat. The humanitarian situation in the town has been dire, and on Tuesday the ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent began delivering much-needed aid. "The ...

Turkish forces will not remain in Syria’s Afrin

Monday, 19 March 2018

Turkish forces will not remain in Syria’s Afrin and will leave the region to its "real owners", Ankara’s main spokesman said on Monday, after Turkey’s military and its Syrian rebel allies stormed the town over the weekend. Bekir Bozdag, a deputy prime minister, also told reporters that Turkey had significantly reduced threats to its borders after capturing the town of Afrin. He said Turkey had collected "most" of the weapons given to Kurdish fighters by the ...

Erdogan says Afrin is now under ‘total’ Turkish control

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Turkey's President Erdogan said on Sunday that allied Syrian forces have taken control of town center of Afrin, driving out  theKurdish militia. A war monitor had earlier reported the news on Sunday. “Fighting is ongoing inside the city, where Turkish forces and allied rebels have seized some neighborhoods,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. Pro-Ankara rebels said they “broke into the city from the eastern and western sides” ...

Pregnant women among dead as Turkish strike hits hospital in Syria’s Afrin

Saturday, 17 March 2018

A Turkish bombing raid struck the main hospital in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian town of Afrin on Friday, killing sixteen civilians, a monitor said. The Kurdish Red Crescent medical service, which supports the hospital, confirmed to AFP the hospital was hit but did not give a toll. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Turkish air strike "directly" hit the medical facility. "Sixteen civilians were killed, including two pregnant women," said ...

Nine dead in Turkish air strike on hospital in Syria’s Afrin

Saturday, 17 March 2018

A Turkish bombing raid struck the main hospital in the Kurdish-controlled Syrian town of Afrin on Friday killing nine people, a monitor said, as Ankara pressed its nearly two-month assault. "There are at least nine dead. We don't know if there are medical staff among them," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor. Earlier on Friday, 18 civilians, including five children, were killed in Turkish artillery shelling of the northern Syrian city of Afrin, the Syrian ...

Turkey ramps up assault on Kurdish enclave in Syria

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Turkey turned up the heat on Syria’s Afrin on Wednesday, as pro-Ankara forces bombarded the Kurdish enclave and closed in on its main city. The development -- which could redraw the map of northern Syria as the conflict enters its eighth year -- came as Russian-backed regime forces pounded shrinking rebel pockets in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, killing 31 civilians. Turkish-led bombardment killed 10 civilians in Afrin city, which lies in the heart of a Kurdish-majority enclave against ...

‘Tremendous battles’ still loom in Syria, says UN adviser Egeland

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Syria could see “tremendous battles” for two remaining rebel enclaves even once a government onslaught on the last insurgent pocket near Damascus is over, a senior UN adviser said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday. International attention has focused on the battle for besieged eastern Ghouta outside the capital and for Afrin in the far north where Turkey sent in forces to combat Kurdish militia it sees as a threat to its security. But they are not the last flashpoints as ...

Erdogan hopes Afrin will be ‘totally encircled’ by evening

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes Turkish forces will have completely encircled Afrin by Wednesday evening, a presidential source said, clarifying his earlier comments in a speech indicating the Kurdish-held Syrian city would fall by then. "In the president's speech the sentence 'I hope that Afrin will have completely fallen by the evening' should be understood as 'the encirclement will have been completed by the evening'," said a presidential source in a message to media, asking ...

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