Turkey condemns UN report on its state of emergency

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, salutes before addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party members at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, March 6, 2018.(Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 20 March 2018
0

Turkey condemns UN report on its state of emergency

ISTANBUL: Turkey on Tuesday slammed a United Nations rights report on its state of emegency as rife with unfounded allegations and said the criticism chimed with propaganda efforts of terrorist organizations.
The report called on Turkey on Tuesday to end the state of emergency that it said had led to massive human rights violations including the arrest of 160,000 people and dismissal of nearly the same number of civil servants, often arbitrarily.
President Tayyip Erdogan declared the emergency after a failed July 2016 coup and issued more than 20 decrees which have often led to torture of detainees, impunity and interference with the judiciary, the UN human rights office said.
Turkey should “promptly end the state of emergency and restore the normal functioning of institutions and the rule of law,” it said in a report.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement, however claimed the report “contains unfounded allegations matching up perfectly with the propaganda efforts of terrorist organizations.”


Syria media says no attack on airport after reported air defense fire

Syrian pro-government forces hold a position near the village of al-Malihah, in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor, on September 9, 2017, during the ongoing battle against Daesh group. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2018
0

Syria media says no attack on airport after reported air defense fire

  • The accidental downing of a Russian transport aircraft by Syrian ground batteries during an Israel air strike on September 17 killed 15 service personnel

DAMASCUS: Syrian state media said Sunday that air defenses had opened fire near Damascus airport, before withdrawing the report after what appeared to be a false alarm.
“Our air defenses engaged hostile aerial targets in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport,” the official SANA news agency said, without providing more details.
But the report was later withdrawn by both SANA and state television without explanation.
SANA then quoted sources at the airport as saying that “there was no aggression” and that “traffic was normal.”
A well-informed source told AFP that “there was evidently a false alarm.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the sound of explosions rocked an area close to the airport and fire from air defenses was also heard.
The latest incident comes just over a week after Syria accused Israel of striking south of the capital.
The Britain-based Observatory said those were the first missiles to hit Syria since an air defense upgrade after the downing of a Russian plane in September.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in neighboring Syria against what it says are Iranian targets, many of them in the area south of Damascus.
Iran and Russia are the government’s key allies in the civil war that has raged Syria since 2011, and Moscow’s intervention in 2015 dramatically turned the tables against the rebels.
The accidental downing of a Russian transport aircraft by Syrian ground batteries during an Israel air strike on September 17 killed 15 service personnel.
Moscow pinned responsibility for the downing on Israel, saying its fighter jet used the larger Russian one for cover, an allegation Israel disputed.
Russia subsequently upgraded Syrian air defenses with the delivery of the advanced S-300 system, which Damascus insisted would make Israel “think carefully” before carrying out further air raids.
The move raised fears in Israel that its ability to rein in its arch foe Iran’s military presence in Syria would be sharply reduced.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russia that Israel would continue to hit hostile targets, while also maintaining “security coordination” with Moscow.