Turkish army post ‘attacked’ from Syrian regime area

The attack was launched from what was named the Tall Bazan area and it was assessed to be deliberate. (File/AFP)
Updated 17 June 2019

Turkish army post ‘attacked’ from Syrian regime area

  • The ministry said its forces immediately retaliated with heavy weapons and it made representations to Moscow over the incident
  • It did not specify when the shelling occurred

ISTANBUL: One of Turkey’s observation posts was hit by shelling from an area controlled by Syrian regime forces in northwestern Syria, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
There were no casualties but the ministry said equipment was damaged in the assault while Turkish forces “immediately retaliated with heavy weapons.”
Shelling and mortar fire “understood to be deliberate” was fired from the Tall Bazan region held by Syrian regime forces hit the post in the Murak region, the ministry said in a statement.
The assault comes less than four days after three Turkish soldiers were hit in another attack Turkey said was “deliberate” on another observation post on Thursday.
Two Turkish soldiers were hurt in May in a similar attack blamed on Damascus.
Turkey has 12 military observation posts in Idlib, northwestern Syria, the last bastion of opposition forces, in a bid to prevent a large-scale offensive in the region.
Ankara fears such an assault would push hundreds of thousands of refugees into Turkey.
Damascus and Moscow have upped their bombardment in the region since late April, killing over 360 civilians, according to UK-based monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Turkish officials made representations to Russia about the latest attack, the ministry said. Moscow provides support to the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad.
Despite being on opposing sides in the war, Moscow and Ankara, which backs opposition fighters, have worked closely to seek a political solution and in September agreed a buffer zone deal.
The deal was meant to protect Idlib from a major regime assault but was never fully implemented, as fighters refused to withdraw from the planned demilitarized zone.
Russia announced a cease-fire in the province on Wednesday but Turkey said a complete cease-fire had not yet been secured.


Algerian court jails protesters over election

Updated 19 November 2019

Algerian court jails protesters over election

ALGIERS: An Algerian court has jailed four protesters for 18 months for disrupting a candidate’s campaign for the Dec. 12 presidential election which is opposed by a mass protest movement.
The court sentenced the four on Monday after protests on Sunday in the western city of Tlemcen, where one of the five candidates, Ali Benflis, was campaigning. No details were available on what their exact actions were.
Algeria’s authorities are trying to quell a protest movement that erupted in February to demand the departure of the country’s ruling hierarchy, an end to corruption and the army’s withdrawal from politics.
The army, which has emerged as the most powerful institution in the country, has pushed for next month’s election as a means to end the protests and restore normality. The former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, quit in April.
The judgment comes a week after a series of other prison sentences were handed down to protesters who had raised flags with Berber symbols during earlier demonstrations.
Several opposition leaders have also been held during the protests, and charged with contributing to damaging army morale.
However, the authorities have also detained numerous current and former senior officials on corruption charges, and have jailed some of them including the once untouchable former intelligence chief.
The protesters have rejected any presidential election carried out now, saying the continued presence of Bouteflika allies in the upper echelons of the government mean it cannot be free or fair.
Human Rights Watch said last week that the arrest of scores of protesters looked like “part of a pattern of trying to weaken opposition to Algeria’s interim rulers and their determination to hold presidential elections.”