Ten killed in Turkish attack on Kurd-held Syrian region: militia

Smoke billows on the Syrian side of the border at Hassa near Hatay, southern Turkey on January 20, 2018 as Turkish jet fighters hit the People's Protection Units (YPG) positions. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Ten killed in Turkish attack on Kurd-held Syrian region: militia

BEIRTU: Turkish attacks in the Afrin region of northern Syria killed ten people on Saturday, mostly civilians, a spokesman for the Kurdish militia which controls the area said.
“Seven civilians were killed, including a child, as well as two female fighters and one male fighter,” said Birusk Hasakah, spokesman for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, adding that the child was an eight-year-old boy.
The YPG’s political branch, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), said earlier on Saturday that 25 civilians had been wounded in the Turkish bombing.
Ankara also said were casualties but were all Kurdish militants.
Afrin, a hilly region that falls in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, is home to more than a million people including displaced families.
Turkey and allied Syrian rebels on Saturday began an air and ground operation, dubbed operation “Olive Branch,” aimed at ousting the YPG from the Kurdish-majority pocket.
The launch came despite warnings that the operation could be militarily tough against an already battle-hardened foe and complicate relations with both Washington and Moscow.
Turkey vehemently opposes the YPG because of its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey for three decades.


Egypt arrests activist Hazem Abdel-Azim, former El-Sisi supporter

Updated 27 May 2018
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Egypt arrests activist Hazem Abdel-Azim, former El-Sisi supporter

  • Egyptian security officials say a prominent activist has been detained

CAIRO: Egyptian security officials say a prominent activist has been detained, the latest in a new wave of arrests since presidential elections earlier this year.
The officials say Hazem Abdel-Azim was taken from his home in a Cairo suburb late Saturday on accusations that include disseminating false news and belonging to an outlawed group.
Abdel-Azim has been known for his harsh criticism of the government since he left President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s campaign in the 2014 elections.
The officials spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to media.
Egypt has arrested a number of secular activists since El-Sisi was re-elected in March in a vote in which he faced no serious challengers.
The latest arrests come amid a wider crackdown on dissent in which thousands of people have been jailed.