Syrian army units attack Mesraba in Ghouta to secure entry - state TV reports

Syrians run for cover in Hamouria during Syrian government shelling on rebel-held areas in the Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on March 6, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Syrian army units attack Mesraba in Ghouta to secure entry - state TV reports

Syrian army units attacked rebel defences in Mesraba in Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday with “preparatory fire” to secure entry of infantry units, state TV reported.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Syrian regime brought reinforcements to Eastern Ghouta the Syrian observatory said.
Meanwhile, Syrian rebels in Eastern Ghouta will defend the territory and there are no negotiations over a withdrawal that has been proposed by Russia, the military spokesman for one of the main Eastern Ghouta rebel groups said on Wednesday.
“There are no negotiations about this subject. The factions of Ghouta and their fighters and its people are holding onto their land and will defend it,” Hamza Birqdar told Reuters in a text message.
Russia, President Bashar Assad’s most powerful ally, has offered to give rebel fighters safe passage out of eastern Ghouta, near the capital, Damascus, with their families and personal weapons.


Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

Updated 14 December 2018
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Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

  • The Istanbul public prosecutor ordered arrest warrants for 219 soldiers on active duty
  • They are believed to have ties to the group led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities on Friday ordered the arrest of over 200 military personnel in new raids against suspects linked to the attempted coup in 2016, state media reported.
The Istanbul public prosecutor ordered arrest warrants for 219 soldiers on active duty including four colonels and five lieutenant colonels, state news agency Anadolu said.
Istanbul police launched an operation to capture the suspects on Friday morning.
They are believed to have ties to the group led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, a former ally turned foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara accuses Gulen of being behind the failed coup but he strongly denies any links.
In Ankara, the capital’s public prosecutor issued arrest warrants on Friday for 48 people, mainly working in the arms industry, also over alleged links to Gulen.
Turkey refers to the group as the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” but followers insist they have peaceful goals of promoting Islam and secular education.
Over 50,000 people have been arrested since the failed putsch in a purge lambasted by human rights activists and Ankara’s Western allies.
Nearly 130,000 public sector workers have been sacked.
Last week, dozens of people including airforce personnel were detained for suspected links to coup-plotters in nationwide operations.
Turkish officials insist the raids are necessary to cleanse state institutions of the “virus” of infiltration by the Gulen movement.