Tag: Syria

Turkey’s Erdoğan, EU leaders, and British PM held a video conference to discuss Syrian refugee crisis and coronavirus pandemic
Middle East & Africa

Turkey’s Erdoğan, EU leaders, and British PM held a video conference to discuss Syrian refugee crisis and coronavirus pandemic

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Britain’s PM Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, held a video call to talk about Libya, the Syrian refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The four leaders were initially supposed to meet in person in Istanbul. However, the summit was held virtually due to travel restrictions.

Turkey has urged the four leaders in the conference to make new cash pledges to keep thousands of refugees from leaving the nation and attempting to arrive in Europe amid a Russian-Syrian assault in north-west Syria.

After a severe shelling in Idlib area a month ago, Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, encouraged thousands of refugees in the nation to proceed towards the borders of Greek islands and the Baltic.

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That push finished when the EU gave Turkey €6bn to dwell the displaced people in Turkey.

The leaders talked about the chances of a new refugee deal, ways to battle the continued Russian warning in Idlib, and the dread that coronavirus could spread the refugee camps flanking Syria in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, The Guardian reported.

The EU has likewise offered an enormous cash amount to the refugees to leave the Greek camps and come back to Turkey. About 13,000 refugees, as indicated by the UN, are stranded on the border with Greece and Bulgaria in Turkey’s Edirne region.

A couple of days back, Turkey announced that refugees inside its borders were free to go, and they accumulate along the Greek borders. The decision shocked the EU and compelled them to aid refugees and to help end the Syrian crisis.

EU leaders criticized the move as blackmail even as they scrambled to pacify Erdogan, The Guardian published.

Article Credit: The Guardian/Al-Monitor

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Another 200 terrorists previously transferred from Turkey to Libya reached Europe
Middle East & Africa

Another 200 terrorists previously transferred from Turkey to Libya reached Europe

The Syrian Observatory for Human reaffirms that in these days 200 pro-Syrian fighters arrived in Europe after have been transferred to Libya by Turkey. According to the Observatory report: “200 pro-Turkish mercenaries have emigrated across the Mediterranean from the coasts of Libya to Europe and have already reached the countries in southern Europe”. Also, according to the study, the fighters were members of factions of the North Falcons Brigade, of the Sultan Murad Brigade, of the Mutasim Division, of the Hamzat and Suleiman Shah militias. To these fighters, the NGO adds 117 others killed in Tripoli during the clashes with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who has tried to seize the capital since April 4, 2019. The Observatory added in a statement that the killed mercenaries were brought by the Turkish government to Tripoli to support the ranks of the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces.

The number of Syrian fighters who have reached Tripoli so far has increased to 4,750, while more than 1,900 others are being trained in Turkey to join their comrades in Libya soon added the same source. “Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that about 40 militiamen from Hamzat and other factions have fled to Italy in the last hours “. Egypt has also launched an appeal before the United Nations asking not to underestimate the recruitment and transfer of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya. Egypt’s permanent ambassador to the UN, Mohamed Edris, expressed concern about: “the blatant violation of international peace and security, including the relevant UN Security Council resolutions”. Edris then urged the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibilities, maintaining international peace and security through the application of UN resolution 2396 which prohibits the movement of terrorists to other countries. It seems clear that Turkey is continuing to destabilize the whole Middle East, which could favour terrorist infiltrations across Europe for its long-term purposes.

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Al Qaeda thanks Turkey for protecting it from Russia and Syrian army
Europe, Middle East & Africa

Al Qaeda thanks Turkey for protecting it from Russia and Syrian army

Turkish soldiers are fighting along jihadists in Syria and the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost many of his man in the last 2 weeks, as the coalition formed by Russia and the Syrian Army targeted many terrorist positions in the Idlib area. On March 7th, Al Qaeda’s now largest branch, Al Nusra Front, praised Erdogan because his Government stands beside Al Qaeda, and for other jihadist organizations which are trying to overthrow Syria’s legitimate Government of Bashar al-Assad. Al Qaeda in Syria now calls itself Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which recently reaffirmed to continue 9-year war against Syria’s Government, and it especially damns Russian president Vladimir Putin for assisting that secular Government’s efforts to destroy Al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations in Syria. It’s clear that al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Erdogan have the same goal, replace any man-made government with one made by God, so to apply the Islamic sharia law toward the creation of an Arab Islamic State.

“The jihad and resistance are a legitimate path for the peoples whose abode has been usurped, and freedom taken captive, and sons bound behind bars, so let them defend themselves and their land by force and arms and patience and insistence and in that the rights are regained, and the fate of the lands is that they should return to their people however long the night of the oppressors lasts and the occupier through its grip takes root over the hearts of the defenceless peoples”. Wrote Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, described by experts as a pro-jihadist ’scholar. In a statement titled “The Moscow Agreement: A New Mirage”, Al-Tamimi condemns what he calls as “the criminal gang in Damascus, supported by Russia” and praise Turkey to support rebels and terror organizations. “We thank the Turkish government for clearly standing with and supporting the Syrian revolution and participating with it in defending the civilians and protecting them in the recent battle.”

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No support from EU to Erdogan in Syria, the Turkish sultan left Brussels without a deal

No support from EU to Erdogan in Syria, the Turkish sultan left Brussels without a deal

EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday to respect the terms of a previous deal to keep migrants away from Europe’s borders, after the Turkish leader visited Brussels to request more support. There was no disguising the tension at the European Council after the talks, with Erdogan choosing to head straight for the airport rather than a joint press conference with EU leaders. Von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, told reporters that “Clearly we do have our disagreements, but we have spoken plainly and we have spoken openly to each other”.

Back to 2016 Ankara agreed to block migrants and refugees from heading to Greece in exchange for billions of euros in EU aid. This deal between the EU and Turkey remains valid, Von der Leyen and Michel both stressed. Michel also reaffirmed that the top EU diplomat, Josep Borrell, would be working with his Turkish counterpart foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the next few days “to be certain that we are on the same page that we have the same interpretation about what we do, in Turkey and at the level of the European Union, in order to implement the deal.”

Beforehand, Erdogan had made clear that his priority was to seek more support for his country in the conflict in Syria and to cope with millions of refugees from the fighting, but EU has very little to offer in terms of military support in Syria, where it has condemned Turkey’s engagement. The 27-nation bloc, in which most members are also Ankara’s NATO allies, has dangled the promise of further aid – but in time and under conditions. “The events at the Greek-Turkish border clearly point to politically motivated pressure on the EU’s external border,” the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said before talks with Erdogan.

“Finding a solution to this situation will require relieving the pressure that is put on the border.” Erdogan did not speak to reporters after the meeting, despite Turkish officials saying earlier that he planned to do so.

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Putin and Erdogan agree on a new ceasefire in Syria

Putin and Erdogan agree on a new ceasefire in Syria

Russia and Turkey agreed to establish a new truce in the Syrian province of Idlib. This is the outcome of the talks between the presidents of the two countries, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which took place in Moscow on Thursday, March 5. After a meeting lasting about six hours, reporters were informed that a new ceasefire in northern Syria would enter into force on March 6th.

“Based on the results of our negotiations, we agreed on a joint document, the provisions of which will be announced by the foreign ministers. It sets out the decisions that we, together with the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, developed during today’s more than six-hour consultations,” Putin said at a press conference after negotiations with Erdogan.

Erdogan, in turn, stressed that Turkey will take “all necessary steps” for a ceasefire. “Our task is to not further aggravate the humanitarian situation in this region,” the Turkish leader said. “We will make every effort to provide the necessary assistance to all those in need and to help refugees return to their homes,” Erdogan added.

At the same time, Turkey reserves the right to respond to attacks from the Syrian army, the Turkish leader emphasized. At the same time, he promised that Ankara would coordinate its actions with Moscow on this issue. “In this process, we will be in contact with my dear friend, and our relevant bodies will continue to contact,” the Turkish president said.

The talks between the leaders of Russia and Turkey lasted a total of about six hours: first, Putin and Erdogan talked face to face for three hours, then members of delegations, in particular the heads of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defense of both countries, joined them.

In the Syrian conflict, Russia is the most important ally of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. With the support of Russian military aviation, Assad’s troops are currently conducting an offensive in the province of Idlib, considered the last bastion of terrorists and the Syrian opposition, which, in turn, is supported by Turkey.

Due to several months of fighting in the province of Idlib, about a million of its residents left their homes and headed towards the Turkish border. In this situation, Ankara said it would not be able to accept these refugees in addition to the 3.6 million Syrians already in camps in Turkey.

On the night of February 28, 33 Turkish troops were killed as a result of a strike by the Syrian army in Idlib. In response, the Turkish army launched air and ground attacks on Syrian government forces. Amid the escalation of the military conflict, accusing the EU of non-compliance with the refugee agreement, Erdogan ordered on February 28 to open the border with the EU.

On March 2, Erdogan said, however, that he hoped to agree on a ceasefire in Idlib at a meeting with Putin.

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Russia accused Turkey of not fulfilling its obligations in Syria’s Idlib

Russia accused Turkey of not fulfilling its obligations in Syria’s Idlib

Russia accused Turkey of not fulfilling its obligations, according to the agreement that aims to create a demilitarized zone in the Syrian Idlib and to help terrorists. A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said the terrorist fortifications merged with Turkish observation posts in Idlib, causing daily attacks on the Russian air base in Hmeimim in Syria. The Russian spokesman indicated that Turkey has violated international law by increasing the number of troops in the Idlib area.

According to al-Arabiya, Turkey had amassed troop numbers in Idlib equal to a mechanised division, violating international law. The Russian accusation came on the eve of a Thursday meeting in Moscow between President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. They are expected to discuss the situation in Syria and Libya, trying to reach a de-escalation of the recent tensions that have brought Turkey and Russia very close to direct military confrontation. Russia and Turkey, are not only engaged in a direct shooting conflict, but also want totally different outcomes from the current crisis. Tensions have escalated after dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed in Syria’s Idlib province last week.

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Do you know why Greece tightens control on Turkish border ?

Do you know why Greece tightens control on Turkish border ?

Holding back the flow of migrants from Turkey, the Greek police used water cannons and tear gas. Refugees threw stones and other objects at law enforcement officers.

To prevent migrants from crossing the border from Turkey, Greek police used heavy water cannons and tear gas against them. According to local media, the incident occurred on Sunday, March 1. Refugees threw stones and other objects at police units.

Greek radio reported that during a collision at a border crossing on the Evros River, closed since February 28, one policeman was injured. According to the Ministry of Migration in Athens, only at this crossing, border guards did not allow almost 10 thousand migrants to enter the country.

The Bulgarian government said that the situation on the border with Turkey remained calm and not a single migrant passed through it.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on the Turkish side of the 212-kilometer border with Greece in the evening of February 29 there were more than 13 thousand people hoping to infiltrate the EU after Ankara refused to restrain this flow.

Due to the increasing flow of refugees, the European border protection agency Frontex has increased its alertness along the entire length of the borders of the European Union with Turkey to the highest level. On Sunday, the agency informed that, in response to a request from Athens to strengthen the border, steps had already been taken to send additional personnel and technical equipment.

Almost 400 Frontex employees are located on the Greek islands, another 60 in Bulgaria. A small contingent is located on the Greek side of the border with Turkey.

The agreement concluded between Ankara and Brussels in March 2016 suggests that migrants from Syria going to the EU countries will not pass through the Turkish borders. For this, the European Union promised the Turkish side financial support.

According to relevant UN data, Turkey has accepted about 3.6 million refugees from Syria. These numbers have risen recently against the backdrop of a Russian-supported offensive by the Syrian government forces in Idlib. In addition to the Syrians, in Turkey there is a significant number of forced migrants from Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Macron, Merkel and Erdogan held phone talks on Syria

Macron, Merkel and Erdogan held phone talks on Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan held telephone conversations, during which they noted the need for a four-way meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the situation in Syria in the near future. This is stated in a statement distributed on Friday by the French leader’s administration.

Macron, Merkel and Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria, in particular Idlib, and recent events in Libya,” the administration noted. “As for Idlib, they expressed general concern about the disastrous humanitarian situation in which the civilian population is , and the danger of escalation. They agreed that the crisis needed a political solution. “

“In this regard, they considered it necessary as soon as possible, in a quadripartite format, to meet with the President of [Russia Vladimir] Putin,” they concluded in the Champs Elysees.

The situation in the de-escalation zone in Idlib in Syria escalated at the end of January, when, in response to violations by the militants of the ceasefire, the Syrian forces were forced to launch a counterattack, as a result of which a significant territory of the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib was liberated.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed support for these actions in the fight against terrorists, while in Ankara they regarded them as a violation by the government forces of the Sochi peace agreement, in connection with which Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced the Turkish military retaliatory operation in Idlib.

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Turkey seeks U.S. Patriot Missiles to secure troops in Syria

Turkey seeks U.S. Patriot Missiles to secure troops in Syria

On Thursday, Turkey expressed it doesn’t want any trouble with Moscow over Syria’s offensive near borders, yet guaranteed it might accept U.S. Patriot missiles to secure Turkish forces.

Pressure has mounted in recent few months amid Turkey, which backs a portion of the rebels and Syrian ally Moscow over President Bashar Al Assad’s assault in north-west Idlib.

In the month of February, 14 Turks were killed in two different episodes of regime shelling in Idlib, the rebels’ last grip in Syria, The National published.

Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar spoke to CNN Turk, “We have no desire for an altercation with Russia.” Talks would proceed with Russian authorities. One of the matters addressed is of airspace above Idlib, and Turkey expects Russia doesn’t get affected, Akar included.

As per The National, there has been no solid understanding among Turkey and Russia after two rounds of discussions between their delegations in Moscow and Ankara this month.

Ankara demands that it needs to maintain a strategic distance from a humanitarian fiasco yet additionally needs to deflect a surge of refugees into Turkey, which is now home to 3.6 million Syrians.

Turkey has 12 observation stations in the Idlib region, set up following an agreement marked with Russia in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2018 to forestall a regime assault.

The Syrian regime attacks have left several hundred dead in Idlib and constrained 900,000 individuals to escape their homes since December.

Akar stated, “There could be ‘Patriot’ support as there is the danger of airstrikes and missiles against our nation.”

He was pointing towards the US-made missile named Patriot, which is capable of destroying airplanes and different rockets. Akar later renounced any U.S. troop support, the National reported.

Article Credit: The National

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White House: Quit backing Assad ‘wrongdoings’, Trump presses Russia

White House: Quit backing Assad ‘wrongdoings’, Trump presses Russia

The White House on Sunday announced that President Donald Trump had asked Russia to end its backing for the Syrian regime’s “offenses” as he communicated the US worry over brutality in the Idlib area. 

Turkey’s foreign minister likewise urged his Russian partner over the assaults by Damascus on the last rebel-held bastion in the nation. 

On Sunday, supported by Russian airpower, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad made recent gains as he increased his attack on the holdout northwestern area of Idlib. 

In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump “stated worry over the brutality in Idlib, Syria and … communicated the United States’ longing to see a conclusion to Russia’s aid for the Assad regime’s monstrosities.” 

As per the National, Four of the Turkish posts are believed to be encircled by Syrian forces, and Ankara has taken steps to assault Damascus if they don’t withdraw before the finish of February. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at the Munich Security Conference after he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that “I stressed that the assaults in Idlib must end, and it was essential to build up an enduring truce that would not be breached. 

Radical supporter Turkey and Damascus partner of Russia have worked intently on Syria lately regardless of being on rival sides of the nine-year battle. 

On Monday, A Turkish delegation will visit Moscow following Russian authorities visit Ankara last weekend however failed to arrive at a solid deal. 

On Sunday, War monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights expressed that government forces “were in charge of all the small towns and villages around Aleppo for the first occasion since 2012.” 

Regime forces have, for quite a long time, been making gains in northwestern Syria and working on an area held by jihadists and allied rebels, concentrating their most recent plan on the West of Aleppo territory. 

The UN expressed that the Russian-led offensive has set off the most significant influx of relocation in Syria’s civil war, with 800,000 individuals escaping since it started in December.

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