Erdogan vows no Daesh fighters will escape Syria

Ankara has vowed to take control of all detention centers in its operational area. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 October 2019

Erdogan vows no Daesh fighters will escape Syria

  • The United States slapped sanctions on Turkey Monday as it demanded an end to the military operation
  • Kurdish authorities claim the Turkish assault makes it difficult to maintain security at their detention centers

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed not to allow any Daesh fighters to escape northern Syria, in an editorial published Tuesday, following fears from Western nations over its offensive in the region.

“We will ensure that no ISIS (Islamic State) fighters leave northeastern Syria,” Erdogan wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

But he added that Western countries were hypocritical to worry that Turkey’s operation against Kurdish militants risked a mass escape of jihadists.

“The same countries that lecture Turkey on the virtues of combating ISIS today, failed to stem the influx of foreign terrorist fighters in 2014 and 2015,” Erdogan wrote.

The United States slapped sanctions on Turkey Monday as it demanded an end to the military operation, accusing its NATO partner of putting civilians at risk and allowing the release of extremists.

Kurdish authorities claim the Turkish assault makes it difficult to maintain security at their detention centers.

They say 800 Daesh family members escaped a camp at Ain Issa on Sunday, and five jihadists broke out of another prison on Friday.

Turkey says Kurdish forces have deliberately set free detainees “to fuel chaos in the area.” Some relatives of Daesh family members have made the same claim to AFP.

Ankara has vowed to take control of all detention centers in its operational area. “We are prepared to cooperate with source countries and international organizations on the rehabilitation of foreign terrorist fighters’ spouses and children,” Erdogan wrote in the Wall Street Journal editorial.


Egyptians largely follow law on wearing masks, some worry about cost

Updated 01 June 2020

Egyptians largely follow law on wearing masks, some worry about cost

CAIRO: Most Egyptians appear to be following a new law that says they must wear face masks in public, the latest move by the authorities to slow the spread of the coronavirus as reported cases rise.
The law, which came into effect on Saturday, adds to measures including closing airports to international travel, shutting restaurants and suspending school classes.
Those who fail to comply with the rules on masks risk a fine of around $252.
“This was supposed to happen from the very beginning, so that (people) learn discipline and learn the rules. We are a country that needs discipline,” Isis said, standing near a shop in central Cairo and wearing a mask.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, has registered nearly 25,000 cases of the coronavirus and reported 959 deaths.
Infections rose sharply during the last week marking the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan, when families typically gather for the festivities. A total of 1,536 cases were confirmed on Sunday, double the number on the same day a week ago.
Egypt’s population is overwhelmingly young, but cities are crowded, making it more difficult for people to socially distance.
Reuters witnesses said that police in Cairo were not allowing people inside some banks and metro stations on Sunday and Monday if they were not wearing masks.
“Today people are following the rules. It is good that people are becoming more aware and abiding by this decision ... People today are protecting themselves, protecting their homes, protecting their families,” Adel Othman said through his mask, as he stood in line to enter a bank.
Some people worried that the new rules would add to the financial burden on a population where millions live in poverty.
“I need to spend 30 Egyptian pounds ($1.89) a day to buy masks for my family of six which adds up to 900 pounds a month. My entire salary is 2,200 pounds. How?” said Essam Saeed, an employee at the education directorate in Beni Suef, south of Cairo.
The government said in May that it was going to offer cloth face masks at 5 Egyptian pounds ($0.31) a piece that were viable for use for one month.
Egypt is looking to produce 30 million of the cloth masks a month to meet local demand and will in the coming days produce 8 million as part of an initial trial, the trade minister said in a statement on Sunday. ($1 = 15.8800 Egyptian pounds)