Clashes amid efforts for Kurd pullout from Syria border town

A Syrian couple use a motorcycle to flee the countryside of the northeastern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border, toward the west to the town of Tal Tamr on October 19, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 21 October 2019

Clashes amid efforts for Kurd pullout from Syria border town

  • The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Turkish troops and their allied Syrian fighters have continued their offensives the past 24 hours, forcing its fighters to retaliation

AKCAKALE/TURKEY: Kurdish-led fighters and Turkish-backed forces clashed sporadically on Sunday in northeastern Syria amid efforts to work out a Kurdish evacuation from a besieged border town, the first pull-back under the terms of a US-brokered cease-fire. Turkey said one of its soldiers was killed in the day’s violence.
The planned evacuation of Kurdish fighters and civilians from the town of Ras Al-Ain would open the way to a pullout of the fighters from a broader swathe of territory along the border, a senior official in the Kurdish-led forces told the Associated Press.
The official, Redur Khalil, said on Saturday evening that the evacuation could take place on Sunday if there were no new problems.
Turkey’s Defense Ministry said the soldier was killed in a Kurdish attack with anti-tank weapons and small arms fire near the border town of Tal Abyad.
That brought the Turkish military’s death toll to seven soldiers since it launched its offensive against Kurdish-led fighters in northeast Syria on Oct. 9.

FASTFACT

Erdogan is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian town of Sochi on Tuesday where he will tell Putin that Ankara does not want either Syrian forces or Kurdish fighters along the border.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Turkish troops and their allied Syrian fighters have continued their offensives the past 24 hours, forcing its fighters to retaliation.
Meanwhile Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian town of Sochi on Tuesday. His spokesman Kalin said he will tell Putin that Ankara does not want either Syrian forces or Kurdish fighters along the border because refugees would not go back to areas under their control.
“We want to create conditions that will be suitable for them to return where they will feel safe.”


Egypt arrests alleged serial sexual predator

Updated 04 July 2020

Egypt arrests alleged serial sexual predator

  • Allegations have been widely circulating on social media detailing horrific sexual abuse and related blackmail suffered by women at the hands of the same man
  • Trending hashtags carrying the alleged abuser’s name widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, urging government action

CAIRO: Egyptian authorities on Saturday arrested a man who allegedly sexually abused dozens of girls and women, in a case that has sparked outrage online, a security source said.
Allegations have been widely circulating on social media since Wednesday detailing horrific sexual abuse and related blackmail suffered by women at the hands of the same man.
One allegation claimed that he attempted to abuse a 14-year-old girl.
“The person accused of harassing the girls has been arrested and will be facing the prosecution following the allegations carried on social media,” the security source said.
“Those affected should submit formal reports of the harm they endured,” the source added.
The source did not identify the suspect.
According to the social media reports, the first of which was published on an Instagram account, the abuse had been going on since at least 2018.
Trending hashtags carrying the alleged abuser’s name widely circulated on Twitter and Facebook, urging government action.
Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW) lodged an official complaint with the public prosecutor to investigate the allegations on Saturday.
“The NCW has followed the social media account on Instagram, which was launched by girls and women complaining that a man raped some of them and sexually assaulted and harassed others,” it said on Facebook.
It also said that several victims, who reached out to the council, recounted that the man “blackmailed and threatened to defame them using photos and clips documenting his heinous crimes.”
The council urged the women to submit official complaints to the prosecutor.
Some online reports suggested the perpetrator was a university student.
The American University in Cairo acknowledged the suspect had studied there but said he left the university in 2018.
He “is not a current student at the American University in Cairo,” a statement said.
Sexual harassment is highly prevalent in Egypt.
United Nations surveys have found that most Egyptian women have been subject to harassment, ranging from catcalling to pinching and groping.
Egyptian authorities have criminalized sexual harassment since 2014, but many women complain that the problem remains rampant.