Expat sacked and deported from UAE for praising NZ attacks

This image grab from a self-shot video that was streamed on Facebook Live on March 15, 2019 by the man who carried out the terror attack in the two mosques in Christchurch. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 March 2019
0

Expat sacked and deported from UAE for praising NZ attacks

  • The unnamed man made inflammatory comments supporting the shootings on his Facebook account
  • The man has since been fired and deported back to his country

DUBAI: An employee at a Dubai-based security company was fired and deported for celebrating the deadly New Zealand mosque attacks under a fake identity on Facebook, the group said Wednesday.
“Over the weekend, a Transguard employee made inflammatory comments on his personal Facebook account celebrating the deplorable mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand,” the Transguard security group said in a statement.
“Despite posting under a false name, the employee responsible for last weekend’s inflammatory (Facebook) comments has been identified, terminated as per Transguard policy and handed over to the authorities.”
Transguard, which is affiliated with the Emirates Group that includes Emirates Airline, said the man had been deported by the UAE government.
It did not name him or reveal his nationality.
An Australian white supremacist shot dead 50 Muslims praying at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.
The attacks sparked global revulsion and drew condemnation from the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement following the attacks, the foreign ministry said the UAE stood in “full solidarity with the friendly state of New Zealand to confront extremism and terrorism and... safeguard the security and the safety of its citizens and all residents.”


Turkey, US at odds again over Ankara’s ouster from F-35 program

Updated 35 min 38 sec ago
0

Turkey, US at odds again over Ankara’s ouster from F-35 program

  • ‘F-35 fighter jet program cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform’

ANKARA: The US announced it was formally removing Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet program on Wednesday, following the delivery of the first part of a Russian S-400 missile defense system to Ankara. 

“F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the Pentagon said in a statement, adding that the removal would be completed by March 2020. 

Ankara, which has been cultivating closer ties with Moscow on defense procurement, had invested in the F-35 program, with Turkish defense companies producing 937 parts of the plane, and 100 of the jets expected to be bought by the Turkish military.

To fill the vacuum created by Turkey’s removal from the program, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced that Russia was ready to sell combat aircraft to Ankara. 

Dr. Can Kasapoglu, a defense analyst at the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy, an Istanbul-based think tank, said the F-35 and the S-400 were mutually exclusive defense acquisitions, not only technically but also politically, and that this had been a very well-known fact for a long time. 

“Militarily, it means that Turkey is cut off from a state-of-the-art fifth generation combat aircraft project that fits perfectly for network-centric warfare and gaining information superiority in the complex battle spaces of the 21st century,” he told Arab News.

“Although many in Turkey talk about ‘alternatives’ like the Russian Su-57, for now, there is no tangible ground for any co-production or tech-transfer ventures. Besides, the F-35 is an air-superiority asset and a situational awareness node. The Russian military aviation prioritizes very different features such as super-maneuverability and kinematic edge. These are completely distinct design philosophies.”

There are now questions over whether or not Washington will bring Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA ) sanctions against Turkey over its decision to purchase the Russian missile system.

“One should grasp the content of the CAATSA sanctions spectrum. There are some harmless articles such as cutting off the sanctioned entities from US export-import loans. Yet, if the US opted for following the Chinese precedent, namely sanctioning Turkey’s main procurement body, then Turkey could face hard times in its defense transactions,” Kasapoglu said. 

US Deputy Undersecretary of Defense David J. Trachtenberg told reporters at the Pentagon: “The US greatly values our strategic relationship with Turkey — that remains unchanged.

“As long-standing NATO allies, our relationship is multilayered and extends well beyond the F-35 partnership. We will continue our extensive cooperation with Turkey across the entire spectrum of our relationship.”

However, for Kasapoglu, it is a lose-lose situation for Turkish-US ties, while the ultimate geopolitical victor is Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

“He knows what he is doing, and there is no match for the Kremlin’s strategic calculus in the West. It is another unfortunate cold fact for the transatlantic strategic community. The S-400 has managed to do this without firing one single interceptor,” he said. 

Aaron Stein, director of the Middle East program at the US-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, thinks the negative repercussions of the S-400 have only just started and that the US-Turkish relationship may worsen. 

“Even with the F-35, CAATSA looms, and it is almost certain sanctions will be implemented,” he told Arab News. 

“Turkey has lost the aircraft it intended to build its future air force around. There is no real way Ankara can address this issue, other than to try and finish building its own fighter, a tremendously expensive endeavor dependent on foreign engines, or purchase aircraft from Moscow.”

In a press release the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “This unilateral step contradicts the spirit of alliance and does not rely on any legitimate justification,” and criticized Washington for leaving unanswered its proposal to form a working group on the issue.