Turkey launches air strikes against Kurdish militants in Iraq ‘planning attack’

Above, Turkish soldiers at Mount Bersaya north of the Syrian town of Azaz during their operation “Olive Branch” against the Kurdish People's Protection Units militia. Turkey also launched air strikes in northern Iraq against Kurdish militants, which Ankara claimed were planning na attack. (AFP)
Updated 23 January 2018
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Turkey launches air strikes against Kurdish militants in Iraq ‘planning attack’

ANKARA: Turkey launched air strikes in northern Iraq on Kurdish militants planning an attack, the army said on Tuesday, just days after Ankara began an offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria.
The strikes took place on Monday in the Zap region of northern Iraq, not far from Turkey’s southeastern border, the Turkish military said in a statement.
The army said it was targeting members of the “separatist terrorist organization” — Turkey’s official term for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The militants were planning an attack on border security posts and bases, the military said, adding that the strikes destroyed weapons emplacements and shelters.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, and is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.
After a two-year cease-fire collapsed in 2015, the Turkish army intensified its military operations against the PKK in the Turkish southeast.
The Turkish air force has regularly carried out raids on PKK rear bases around the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq since then.
Turkish troops also sometimes stage ground incursions into the area.
The strikes in Iraq come four days after Turkey started a military operation, supporting Syrian rebels, against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in a bid to remove it from its western enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.
Ankara views the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK and repeatedly calls them “terrorists.”


Palestinian President Abbas hospitalized: Palestinian official

Updated 20 May 2018
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Palestinian President Abbas hospitalized: Palestinian official

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalized in the West Bank due to complications after minor surgery last week, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.
It was the third time Abbas, 82, had been hospitalized in a week. He underwent minor ear surgery on Tuesday and was hospitalized again briefly overnight on Saturday/Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
A Palestinian official in Ramallah said Abbas went back into hospital again later on Sunday because his temperature was high “so doctors advised that he go back into hospital.”
Two statements were issued by Wafa on Sunday. The first, half an hour after midnight, said Abbas had gone into hospital “for a checkup to review the surgery that he had in his middle ear a few days ago at Al-Istishari hospital in Ramallah. At the end of the tests, the results turned out to be excellent,” the statement said, and Abbas left hospital.
A second statement carried by Wafa on Sunday afternoon reported the medical manager of Al-Istishari hospital, Dr. Saed Sarahneh, said the results of the medical tests were “good” and that his medical condition was “reassuring.”
A Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the high temperature may have resulted from a failure of an ear inflammation to heal completely.
In February, Abbas was hospitalized in the United States for medical checks during a trip to address the UN Security Council in New York.
Abbas became Palestinian president after the death in 2004 of Yasser Arafat. He pursued US-led peace talks with Israel but the negotiations broke down in 2014.
He is also chairman of the executive committee of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, a position to which he was re-elected unopposed on May 4.