Turkey slams EU for backing Cyprus in drilling dispute

The first Turkish ship, Fatih, started drilling off the coast of Cyprus last month. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2019
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Turkey slams EU for backing Cyprus in drilling dispute

  • Turkish authorities said they will continue protecting the rights of Turkish Cypriots
  • Cyprus is accusing Turkey of drilling in waters where the island has exclusive economic rights

ANKARA: Turkey is rejecting European Union condemnation of its efforts to drill for gas in waters off the coast of Cyprus and says the bloc cannot be considered an impartial mediator for the divided island.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Turkey will press ahead with efforts to safeguard Turkish Cypriots’ rights until they are included in the island’s decision-making mechanisms, including concerning the sharing of the island’s resources.
Cyprus says Turkey is encroaching in waters where the east Mediterranean island nation has exclusive economic rights, and the European Union has threatened sanctions.
The Turkish Fatih ship started drilling last month 42 miles off Cyprus’ west coast. A second vessel, Yavuz, has now sailed to an area off the Karpas peninsula on Cyprus’ east coast.


US may have brought down second Iranian drone last week: US general

Updated 23 July 2019
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US may have brought down second Iranian drone last week: US general

  • The US said on Thursday that a Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz
  • Tensions in the Gulf region are high, with fears that the US and Iran could stumble into war

WASHINGTON: A US Navy ship may have brought down a second Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz last week, the head of US Central Command said on Tuesday.
The US said on Thursday that a Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel, but Iran said it had no information about losing a drone.
“We are confident we brought down one drone, we may have brought down a second,” General Kenneth McKenzie told CBS News in an interview.
A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the warship Boxer may have brought down a second drone last week, though they were still working to confirm it.
“We brought down one for sure. ... There might have been a second,” said the official.
Tensions in the Gulf region are high, with fears that the US and Iran could stumble into war.
The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May on shipping around the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil artery. Tehran rejects the allegations.
Iran in June shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile. Iran says the drone was in its airspace, but Washington says it was in international skies.
President Donald Trump said at the time the United States had come close to launching a military strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of the US drone.
The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington.