Turkish drill ship violates our rights: Cyprus

The Turkish army frigate Gelibolu, right, and the drilling vessel Fatih, left, which was deployed to search for gas and oil in waters considered part of the EU state’s exclusive economic zone maneuver in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Cyprus in this September 25, 2019 photo. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2019

Turkish drill ship violates our rights: Cyprus

  • Turkey has sent an oil and gas drilling ship to waters off southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded exploration rights
  • The Cypriot presidency accused Turkey of ‘bullying tactics of an era long gone’

ATHENS: Cyprus on Friday said Turkey’s action in sending a drill ship to an area Nicosia has licensed for offshore hydrocarbons exploration was a ‘severe escalation’ of what it called Ankara’s violations of the island’s sovereign rights.
Turkey has sent an oil and gas drilling ship to waters off southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded exploration rights to Italian and French companies.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Cypriot presidency accused Turkey of ‘bullying tactics of an era long gone’ and called on Turkey to withdraw its assets from the area.
“This new provocation is exemplary of Turkey’s defiance of the European Union’s, and the international community’s, repeated calls to cease its illegal activities,” it said.
The statement also urged Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources within its maritime zones.
“It is yet another proof of the utterly provocative and aggressive behavior of Ankara, which has chosen to speedily and irreversibly depart from international legality, thus putting security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean at risk.”
On Friday morning the drill ship, the Yavuz, had stopped about 51 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus.
Turkey has already drilled two wells in waters to the island’s east and west, triggering strong protests from Nicosia and the European Union.
Turkey says some of the areas where Cyprus is exploring are either on its own continental shelf, or in zones where Turkish Cypriots have equal rights over any finds with Greek Cypriots.
The island was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.
The internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government represents Cyprus in the European Union, while a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north is recognized only by Ankara.


Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Daesh leader

Updated 5 min 11 sec ago

Eastern Libyan forces say they killed Daesh leader

  • Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi, also known as Abu Abdullah Al-Iraqi, had entered Libya in 2014 and became the group’s leader in 2015
  • LNA) spokesman Ahmed Al-Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi was among nine militants killed during the raid

BENGHAZI: Eastern Libyan forces said on Wednesday they killed the leader of Daesh in North Africa during a raid in the southern desert city of Sebha earlier this month.
The Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed Al-Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi was among nine militants killed during the raid but was only identified afterwards.
Daesh in Libya was formed by Al-Qaeda militants who took advantage of the chaos after the 2011 uprising against Muammar Qaddafi to seize territory and launch attacks.
The group took control of the central coastal city of Sirte in early 2015 and established a presence in the vast southern desert as well as active affiliates or cells in major cities.
However, it was driven from Sirte in late 2016 and its influence since then has been limited to occasional attacks including one on National Oil Corporation’s headquarters in 2018 and another at the Foreign Ministry in 2019, both in Tripoli.
Masmari said Abu Moaz Al-Iraqi, also known as Abu Abdullah Al-Iraqi, had entered Libya in 2014 and became the group’s leader in 2015 when his predecessor was killed.
Daesh’s global threat has reduced in recent years after its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria was militarily defeated and much of its leadership killed. However, it remains capable of inspiring attacks around the world, security experts say.
The LNA controls eastern and much of southern Libya and has for years been in conflict with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.