Turkey, Qatar criticize US designation of IRGC as terror group

Turkey's minister for Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) shaking hands with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2019

Turkey, Qatar criticize US designation of IRGC as terror group

  • Trump on Monday said he had officially decided to include the IRGC on the US list of terrorist organizations

JEDDAH: Turkey and Qatar on Tuesday objected to US President Donald Trump’s decision to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group.
“The United States issued this one-sided decision in the context of sanctions and pressure on Iran,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
“We do not support Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Syria, but no country can declare another country’s armed forces a terrorist organization. We also do not support unilateral decisions.” Such measures “would lead to instability in the region,” Cavusoglu said.
Al-Thani said disagreements over the Iranian army’s behavior, or that of any other army, should not be solved by imposing sanctions.
Trump on Monday said he had officially decided to include the IRGC on the US list of terrorist organizations, marking the first time that America formally labels another nation’s military as a terrorist group.
In response, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council decided to include the US Central Command, which is responsible for American military activities in the Middle East and Central Asia, on Iran’s list of terrorist organizations.


Libyan navy says more than 300 migrants rescued

Updated 44 min 37 sec ago

Libyan navy says more than 300 migrants rescued

  • 128 Sudanese were in the boats, in addition to migrants from Chad, Egypt, Niger, Benin and Eritrea
  • It came days after Libyan navy patrols “rescued 278 migrants on board four inflatable boats

TRIPOLI: The Libyan navy said Sunday 335 migrants had been rescued and one body recovered in separate operations off the coast, as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
Nine children were among 57 migrants in a wooden boat rescued Saturday about 40 nautical miles from the town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli, navy spokesman General Ayoub Kacem told AFP.
He said they were from Ethiopia and Egypt.
It came days after Libyan navy patrols on Tuesday “rescued 278 migrants on board four inflatable boats northwest and northeast of Tripoli,” Kacem added.
The operations took place off the coasts of the cities of Khoms, 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Tripoli, and Sabratha, located 70 kilometers west of the capital.
According to the statement, 128 Sudanese were in the boats, in addition to migrants from Chad, Egypt, Niger, Benin and Eritrea, including 35 women and 11 children.
One body was also recovered by the coast guard.
Libya, which has been wracked by chaos since the 2011 uprising that killed dictator Muammar Qaddafi, has long been a major transit route for migrants, especially from sub-Saharan Africa.
In general, migrants rescued at sea are first met by humanitarian agencies that provide medical care and food.
They are then taken into the charge of the body working to combat immigration at the interior ministry of the UN-recognized Government of National Accord.
On August 9, the Libyan navy accused the authorities of failing to manage migrants rescued at sea, claiming that it could be forced to let people go free once brought back to land.
Despite the risks, migrants continue to attempt to reach Europe by sea, preferring to take their chances than stay in Libya, where they are subject to abuse, extortion and torture, according to humanitarian organizations.