Morocco severs ties with Iran over support for West Sahara Polisario front-official

File photo showing Moroccan people protesting in support of Western Sahara. (AFP)
Updated 01 May 2018
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Morocco severs ties with Iran over support for West Sahara Polisario front-official

RABAT: Morocco will sever ties with Iran over Tehran’s support for the Western Sahara independence Polisario front, the Moroccan foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Morocco will close its embassy in Tehran and will expel the Iranian ambassador in Rabat, Nasser Bourita told reporters. Al Arabiya News channel reported that Morocco is severing ties with Iran as the Lebanese militia Hezbollah have been training polisario militants. Morocco stated that Iran's Lebanese ally Hezbollah has been involved in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Polisario Front, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said Tuesday.
He told reporters that "a first shipment of weapons was recently" sent to the Algerian-backed Polisario Front, which is seeking independence, via an "element" at the Iranian embassy in Algiers.Several countries have expressed solidarity with Morocco over breaking up its relation with Iran. Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain were quick to express their support to Rabat's move. A source at the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry said that Riyadh condemns all interference in Moroccan affairs, and supports the steps taken by Rabat against Iran. The Saudi Arabian source added that Hezbollah militia training of Polisario militants aims to destabilze Morrocco and threaten its security. 


 

 


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
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Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

  • Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil
  • Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is suspected to be involved in the killing

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday launched an air attack on Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the killing of a Turkish diplomat in the region, the country’s defense minister said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, was behind the attack.
“Following the evil attack in Irbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organization,” defense minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as “armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
“Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK’s armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.