Ankara mayor: Turkey may be ‘targeted by man-made earthquakes’

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Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek. (AFP)
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A man with his motorcycle passes next to a damaged house after an earthquake in the village of Plomari on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, on Monday. (AP)
Updated 13 June 2017
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Ankara mayor: Turkey may be ‘targeted by man-made earthquakes’

JEDDAH: Ankara’s mayor blamed Monday’s earthquake, which hit western Turkey and the Greek islands, on foreign powers’ aim to undermine the country’s economy.
In a series of tweets, Ibrahim Melih Gökçek said that this is not the first time Turkey is being targeted by “man-made” earthquakes.
“Now I think that this might be a man-made earthquake. I do not say it is certain but it is a very serious possibility,” Gökçek tweeted.


“I say that it should definitely be investigated. Was there any seismic research ship sailing near the epicenter? If so, which country does it belong to?” he said.


An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 damaged scores of homes on the eastern Greek island of Lesbos Monday, injuring at least 10 people. It was also felt in western Turkey, including in Istanbul, and on neighboring islands.
The mayor later shared YouTube videos explaining the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), urging people to watch carefully.


Gökçek previously claimed that quakes in the western province of Canakkale could have been caused by dark external powers.
“Today a serious earthquake occurred in Çanakkale. I have investigated and there is a ship conducting seismic research nearby," the Mayor tweeted in Febuary.


"What this ship is researching and which country it belongs to should be solved urgently."


"I worry about a potential earthquake that could be triggered artificially. This should definitely be investigated and announced to the public,” he said.


According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management, the epicenter of Monday’s undersea earthquake was at a shallow depth of 7 km.
At least 25 aftershocks have been recorded following the initial quake at 3:28 p.m. (1228 GMT).
The earthquake was also felt in densely populated Istanbul and the western Turkish province of Izmir, but no injuries were reported there.
Earthquakes are frequent in Greece and Turkey, which are on active fault lines. Two devastating earthquakes hit northwestern Turkey in 1999, killing about 18,000 people. Experts in both countries said more aftershocks are to be expected from Monday’s earthquake.

 

 


Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, including 26 pro-regime forces

Updated 16 June 2019
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Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, including 26 pro-regime forces

  • Russian-backed regime forces try to retake villages seized by opposition forces and allied fighters
  • The clashes also left 26 pro-regime forces dead in the north of Hama province

 

BEIRUT: At least 10 civilians and 35 combatants, mostly pro-regime forces, were killed on Saturday in clashes and airstrikes that erupted at dawn in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said.

The flare-up came as Russian-backed regime forces tried to retake two villages seized by opposition forces and allied fighters earlier this month, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Since this morning, the Syrian regime and allied fighters have launched five failed attempts to regain control of Jibine and Tal Maleh in northwestern Hama province,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Syrian regime airstrikes killed nine opposition fighters, the war monitor said.

Ensuing clashes in the north of Hama province left 26 pro-regime forces dead, including eight who were killed in a mine explosion, the Observatory said.

In neighboring Idlib, regime airstrikes killed 10 civilians, including three children, the Observatory said.

The strikes hit the towns of Maaret Al-Numan and Al-Bara as well as the village of Al-Ftira, according to the war monitor.

The Idlib region of some 3 million people is supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal that Russia and Turkey signed in September.

But it was never fully implemented, as opposition refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarized zone.

In January, the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham alliance led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate extended its administrative control over the region, which includes most of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

The Syrian regime and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing nearly 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Turkey said on Friday that it did not accept Russia’s “excuse” that it had no ability to stop the Syrian regime’s continued bombardments in the last opposition bastion of Idlib.

“In Syria, who are the regime’s guarantors? Russia and Iran,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state news agency Anadolu in a televised interview.

“Thus we do not accept the excuse that ‘We cannot make the regime listen to us’,” he said.

His comments came as Turkey disagreed with Russia earlier this week after Moscow claimed a new cease-fire had been secured in the province following weeks of regime bombardments — a claim that was denied by Ankara.

Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-regime protests.

Russia launched a military intervention in support of the regime in 2015, helping its forces reclaim large parts of the country from opposition fighters and militants.