Kuwait summons Iran envoy over Soleimani killing claim

People walk past a picture of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 21, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Kuwait summons Iran envoy over Soleimani killing claim

  • Al-Jarallah told the ambassador, Mohammed Irani, that Kuwait had already denied any role in the deadly attack in Baghdad
  • He said such a claim “risks damaging relations” between Kuwait and Iran

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s foreign ministry summoned Iran’s ambassador Friday after a high-level Iranian official implicated the country in the US drone attack that killed top general Qassem Soleimani, official news agency KUNA reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah expressed Kuwait’s “amazement” at the claim that one of its air bases had been among those used to carry out the January 3 attack, KUNA said.

It said he was referring to a statement by Brig.-General Amirali Hajjizadeh, aerospace commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

“MQ-9 UAVs (drones) were flying in the region (at the time of the attack) that had mostly taken off from Kuwait’s Ali Al-Salem” base, Hajjizadeh told Iranian state television Thursday.

Al-Jarallah told the ambassador, Mohammed Irani, that Kuwait had already denied any role in the deadly attack in Baghdad.

He said such a claim “risks damaging relations” between Kuwait and Iran.

Soleimani had been at the center of power-broking in the region for two decades as chief of Iran’s external operations Quds Force of the elite Revolutionary Guards.


Turkey’s Erdogan says no agreement yet on four-way Syria summit

Updated 25 February 2020

Turkey’s Erdogan says no agreement yet on four-way Syria summit

  • Turkey has sent thousands of troops and equipment to Idlib to head off the campaign driven by Russian air raid

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that there was not yet full agreement on holding a proposed March 5 summit with Russia, France and Germany on the conflict in Syria’s Idlib, but he may meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin on that date.
Syrian government forces are pushing to retake the last large rebel-held region in Syria after nine years of war and nearly a million Syrians, mostly women and children, have been displaced by the fighting since early December.
At a news conference in Ankara before departing on a trip to Azerbaijan, Erdogan said that a Russian delegation was set to come to Turkey on Wednesday to discuss the Idlib situation.
“There is no full agreement yet between (French President Emmanuel) Macron ... (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, and Putin,” he said. Macron and Merkel have both urged Putin to end the conflict, concerned about the humanitarian situation.
On Saturday, Erdogan said that Turkey had set out a “road map” for Syria after calls with the three leaders, while the Kremlin has said it was discussing the possibility of holding a four-way summit.
Turkey has sent thousands of troops and equipment to Idlib to head off the campaign driven by Russian air raids and 17 members of the Turkish forces have been killed. Turkey already hosts 3.7 million Syrian refugees, says it cannot handle another wave and has closed its borders.