Kurdish militants claim car bomb attack in Turkey’s Izmir

Family members react as police officers carry the coffin of police officer Fethi Sekin, who was killed in a car bomb attack Thursday, during his funeral cortege in the Aegean city of Izmir, Turkey, on Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)
Updated 11 January 2017
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Kurdish militants claim car bomb attack in Turkey’s Izmir

ISTANBUL: Kurdish militants have claimed responsibility for last week’s car bombing attack that killed a policeman and a courthouse employee in western Turkey.
The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK, says that two members of its “revenge team” died in the Jan. 5 Izmir attack, according to a news agency close to Kurdish militants.
Firat News Agency, quoting a statement by the group Wednesday, identified the attackers as “comrades” Mustafa Coban and Enes Yildirim, aged 29 and 25 respectively.
TAK threatened “new acts of revenge” against the “fascist” Turkish state, which is fighting Kurdish rebels in the southeast.
The two assailants were shot dead after they detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a roadblock and engaged in a shootout with police.
Turkish authorities consider TAK to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.
The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency and is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its allies, including the US
TAK has claimed multiple attacks in the past year, including two bombings that killed 45 people near a soccer stadium in Istanbul last month.


Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

Updated 20 April 2018
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Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

  • Syrian government claims Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen
  • Opposition leader says the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire

JEDDAH: Bashar Assad’s forces are using the threat of Daesh to justify brutal acts against civilians, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi said.

His remarks on Thursday came as Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen, surrendered by the terror group six months ago.

At least 13 insurgents were killed in the raid, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Daesh was continuing its advance on the town from the Badia desert, observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The attack was the largest since the terror group was expelled from the town in October 2017, he added.

However, the opposition spokesman described the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire.

“As for those so-called 25 regime soldiers, the regime is abducting people, training them on how to pull the trigger and sending them to die.

“They are being used to send a message that the regime is still fighting terrorism,” Al-Aridi told Arab News.

He claimed that Mayadeen “still holds people who could be classified as Daesh, and the regime exploits that any time it wants.”

Regime airstrikes and artillery fire also pounded Daesh-occupied areas in the south of Damascus on Thursday. Warplanes targeted “the dens of terrorists from Al-Nusra Front and Daesh in Hajjar Al-Aswad,” a southern district of the capital, pro-Assad media said.

Iraq’s air force also carried out “deadly” airstrikes on Daesh positions inside Syria, Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s office said.

Meanwhile, the US warned that the Assad regime could still carry out limited chemical attacks despite last week’s coalition strikes. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the US military’s Joint Staff, said the regime retained a “residual” chemical capability at sites across the country.

Separately, the regime took control of Dumayr, a town northeast of Damascus, after rebels evacuated to north Syria.