Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, US

Turkish President and the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the AK Party's parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, Turkey on April 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, US

ANKARA: Turkey does not stand with or against any country on Syria and its policy in the region is different from that of Iran, Russia and the United States, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday.
The comments by Bozdag, the government spokesman, were in response to a reporter’s question about an earlier remark from French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Turkey’s support of missile strikes against Syria showed it had “separated” from Russia.
The United States, Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles at Syria on Friday in a “one-time shot” the Pentagon said followed evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack using at least chlorine gas.
“Turkey’s Syria policy isn’t to stand with or against any country. There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out,” Bozdag told reporters in Qatar.
“We do not have a united policy with the United States on the YPG issue, and Turkey’s stance has not changed. We are also against the unconditional support for the (Syrian) regime and we are at odds with Iran and Russia on this,” he said.
While Turkey is cooperating with both Russia and Iran to wind down some of the violence in Syria, Ankara has long demanded that President Bashar Assad must go and has backed rebels against him. Assad’s main supporters are Moscow and Tehran.
Turkey has also been at loggerheads with Washington over US support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization linked to Kurdish militants waging a decades-long insurgency in Turkish soil.
Turkey supported the air strikes by US, British and French forces, saying the move sent a message to Assad.
Bozdag said Turkey did not hesitate to work together with any country who defended “correct principles” on Syria.


Arab Coalition: We will investigate the alleged targeting of a wedding in Yemen

Updated 24 April 2018
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Arab Coalition: We will investigate the alleged targeting of a wedding in Yemen

  • The Arab Coalition said that it was following with concern what has been circulated in some media outlets that coalition forces allegedly targeted a wedding in the northern governorate of Hajjah
  • The spokesperson said that the coalition will announce preliminary results of this incident upon the completion of a comprehensive and operational audit

The Arab Coalition said on Tuesday that it was following with concern what has been circulated in some media outlets that coalition forces allegedly targeted a wedding in the northern governorate of Hajjah in Yemen, Saudi state channel Al -Ekhbariya reported. 

Media reports on Monday reported that an airstrike hit a wedding in the Bani Qaais district.

Coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki Al-Malki said that the joint leadership of the coalition usually reviewed post-action procedures for all its executed operations and noted that the preliminary results of this incident will be announced upon the completion of a comprehensive and operational audit.

He stressed the keenness of the joint forces to adopt and implement the rules of engagement, in accordance with the rules and provisions of international humanitarian law, the most important of which was “the assumption that every person in Yemen is a civilian until proven otherwise.”

He also stressed the commitment of coalition forces to legally and morally protect civilians and non-military installations, as well as to take all precautionary and preventive measures and ensure that military operations were in accordance with the highest standards and mechanisms of modern targeting.

He explained that these include determining the legitimate military objective to achieve operational goals. Adding that this also involved selecting and distinguishing the target and applying the principle of proportionality by taking into account the humanitarian factors and using all sources and means of intelligence to confirm it.