Turkey to conduct naval exercises off Cyprus coast

Above, the Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis being escorted Turkish naval ships in the Mediterranean Sea on August 10, 2020. (Turkish Defense Ministry via AFP)
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Updated 12 September 2020

Turkey to conduct naval exercises off Cyprus coast

  • Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean

ISTANBUL: Turkey announced it would conduct a live fire naval exercise off the coast on Cyprus between Saturday and Monday despite the looming threat of EU sanctions.
Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean, sparking fears of more severe conflict.
In a message on NAVTEX, the international maritime navigational telex system, Turkey said on Friday there would be a gunnery exercise off the coast of Sadrazamkoy in northern Cyprus.
The announcement comes after southern European leaders warned on Thursday they were ready to back EU sanctions against Turkey if Ankara shunned dialogue.
The issue will be discussed again at a EU summit on 24-25 September.
Tensions escalated after Turkey sent the Oruc Reis seismic research vessel and a small navy flotilla to waters claimed by Greece on August 10.
Greece then responded by shadowing the Turkish ships and staging naval exercises with several EU allies and the United Arab Emirates in its own show of force.
The Oruc Reis is supposed to remain in the disputed waters until Saturday.


Lebanon suffers another record in COVID-19 cases

Updated 20 September 2020

Lebanon suffers another record in COVID-19 cases

  • The new cases registered by the Health Ministry bring the overall number of confirmed cases in Lebanon to 29,303
  • It was the third consecutive record-breaking day of confirmed virus cases

BEIRUT: Lebanon registered a record 1,006 cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the government announced Sunday, amid a sharp increase in infections and deaths due to the new coronavirus.
Health Minister Hamad Hassan recommended a total lockdown for two weeks to stem the alarming rise in daily detected infections, but authorities will find it difficult difficult to impose another lockdown amid an unprecedented economic collapse.
The new cases registered by the Health Ministry bring the overall number of confirmed cases in Lebanon to 29,303, while deaths have reached 297 since the first case was reported in the country in late February.
It was the third consecutive record-breaking day of confirmed virus cases.
The rise began after a lockdown was eased and the country’s only international airport was reopened in early July. The surge continued after the massive Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut’s port that killed 193 people, injured at least 6,500 and devastated much of the city.
The blast also overwhelmed Beirut’s hospitals and badly damaged two that had a key role in handling virus cases.