Toll of Turkish airstrike in Iraq rises to 8

Toll of Turkish airstrike in Iraq rises to 8
Turkey regularly targets northwest Iraq in operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). (File/AFP)
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Updated 19 August 2021

Toll of Turkish airstrike in Iraq rises to 8

Toll of Turkish airstrike in Iraq rises to 8
  • Turkey regularly targets northwest Iraq in operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
  • The Kurdish separatists have waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey and maintain bases in the rugged mountains across the border in Iraq

The death toll in a Turkish air raid on a clinic in Iraq’s Sinjar province has risen to eight, local officials said Wednesday, a day after the attack.

Turkey regularly targets northwest Iraq in operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.

The Kurdish separatists have waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey and maintain bases in the rugged mountains across the border in Iraq.

“The number of martyrs in the Turkish bombardment is eight,” officials said in Sinjar, updating an initial toll of three.

Those killed were four employees of the clinic and four fighters from the PKK-linked 80th Brigade of Iraq’s powerful, state-sponsored Hashed Al-Shaabi coalition.

The 80th Brigade is made up of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, who were persecuted by the Daesh group from 2014 and whose bastion is Sinjar.

One local source said drones were used in the attack.

On Monday, another Turkish strike killed a senior official from the 80th Brigade.

Repeated Turkish raids have stoked tensions with Baghdad, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that his country will “deal with” the PKK presence if Iraq is unable to do so.

Iraq regularly decries violations of its sovereignty and has repeatedly summoned the Turkish ambassador over Ankara’s cross-border military campaign.

On Wednesday, Iraq’s national security council, chaired by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, issued a statement condemning “unilateral military actions, which violate the principles of good neighborliness.”

Making no specific mention of Turkey, the PKK or the recent attacks, the statement also rejected “the use of Iraqi land for settling scores.”

Turkey has installed around a dozen military bases over the past 25 years in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, and it launched a new cross-border offensive in the spring against the PKK, consisting of both aerial and ground attacks.

Ankara is one of Baghdad’s key trading partners.


Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE

Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE
Updated 7 sec ago

Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE

Jordanian woman stabbed to death by husband in UAE
  • CCTV footage shows the victim being stabbed 15 times in her car before the attacker drove off in it

LONDON: A Jordanian woman was stabbed to death by her husband in Sharjah, UAE on Friday, local media reported.

The 20-year-old woman was stabbed 15 times following a dispute with her husband, according to the Sharjah Police.

The suspect, who fled in the victim's car, was arrested on a beach within two hours of the crime.Col. Faisal bin Nassar, the head of Sharjah Police CID, said CCTV footage from the young woman's residence parking lot showed the suspected killer attacking the woman inside her car.

After the suspected attacker was seen leaving in the vehicle, police were able to trace it where the found her body inside it.

The man confessed to killing the woman due to personal differences and has now been transferred to the Public Prosecution.

Following the incident, people took to Twitter to express their outrage.

One user tweeted: “The World is no longer safe for us women.”

Another wrote: “Now tomorrow who is the next victim?”

Only two days prior, a female student was killed by a male shooter inside a private university in Amman, Jordan.


Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 

Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 
Updated 26 June 2022

Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 

Qatar ‘likely’ venue for Iran, US nuclear deal talks: Report 
  • Iran’s indirect talks with the US on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said

Talks between the US and Iran on the 2015 nuclear deal are “likely” to be held in Qatar, Iran International reported on Sunday, citing a website close to Iran’s security council.

Efforts by Qatar to help restart talks for lifting US sanctions on Iran made “Doha’s chances for hosting the upcoming negotiations higher” than other countries, Iran International website said, quoting Nour News.

Nour News, according to Iran International, reflects the views of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary, Ali Shamkhani.

Iran’s indirect talks with the US on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said on Saturday amid a push by the EU’s top diplomat to break a months-long impasse.

“We are prepared to resume talks in the coming days. What is important for Iran is to fully receive the economic benefits of the 2015 accord,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, adding that he had held a “long but positive meeting” with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Borrell met Iran’s top diplomat on Saturday, Iranian state TV reported, as the bloc seeks to break an impasse between Tehran and Washington over reinstating a nuclear pact.

The pact appeared close to being revived in March when the EU — which is coordinating negotiations — invited foreign ministers representing the accord’s parties to Vienna to finalize an agreement after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and President Joe Biden’s administration.

(With Reuters)


Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved
Updated 26 June 2022

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved

Israeli PM convenes Cabinet before parliament is dissolved
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, who now has an opening to return to lead the country

TEL AVIV: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett convened what is likely his last Cabinet meeting as premier on Sunday, with parliament expected to dissolve itself this week, triggering new elections in the fall.
Bennett’s decision to head to elections puts an end to an ambitious political project that united eight ideologically disparate parties that chose to put aside their differences to oust former leader Benjamin Netanyahu, the current opposition leader, who now has an opening to return to lead the country. The elections, the fifth the country has held in three years, deepen an unprecedented political crisis in Israel.
At the meeting, Bennett listed a series of accomplishments under his year-old government and thanked his coalition partners, which included dovish parties that support Palestinian statehood, nationalist ones who don’t, and for the first time in Israeli history, an Arab political faction.
“It was an excellent government that relied, yes, on a complicated coalition. And here in this room there is a group of people that knew how to put aside ideological disagreements, to rise above, and to work for the state of Israel,” he said.
As part of the power-sharing agreement that brought Bennett to power, he is set to hand over the premiership to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, a centrist former broadcaster, once parliament is dissolved. Elections are expected around the end of October and polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party is expected to garner the most seats.
But as in most rounds of voting during the current political turmoil, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, has been unable to muster a majority to form a coalition government, with some of his traditional allies refusing to join him. That could further extend the crisis after the upcoming vote.
While Bennett’s government helped steady the economy and navigated the last year of the coronavirus pandemic, it was beset by disagreements over the very issues it sought to avoid, particularly Israel’s 55-year occupation of the West Bank. Bennett said he decided to put an end to his political experiment because the government was unable to renew regulations that enshrine separate legal systems for Jewish settlers in the territory and Palestinians.
Bennett’s own nationalist faction, Yamina, was dogged by defectors, legislators who said the prime minister, a former settler leader, had veered too much toward the center in his bid to keep the coalition intact.
Bennett, who entered politics a decade ago, hasn’t said whether he’ll run in the upcoming elections.


Detained Tunisia ex-PM Jebali hospitalized: lawyer

 Hamadi Jebali. (AFP)
Hamadi Jebali. (AFP)
Updated 26 June 2022

Detained Tunisia ex-PM Jebali hospitalized: lawyer

 Hamadi Jebali. (AFP)
  • Jebali, a former senior official in the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party that is a key rival of President Kais Saied, was detained in relation to transfers of large sums of money from overseas to a charity in Tunisia

TUNIS: Tunisia’s former prime minister Hamadi Jebali, on hunger strike after being arrested earlier this week on money-laundering allegations, was rushed to intensive care on Saturday, his lawyer said.
“His condition rapidly deteriorated because he is on an intense hunger strike and he didn’t take his medicine” for cardiovascular conditions and diabetes, lawyer Zied Taher told AFP.
Police had not delivered the drugs in question to Jebali’s cell despite prosecutors allowing the family to take them to the police station, he added.
Jebali, a former senior official in the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party that is a key rival of President Kais Saied, was detained in relation to transfers of large sums of money from overseas to a charity in Tunisia.
Ennahdha has dismissed the allegations and said the arrest was part of a campaign of settling political scores.
Saied in July last year sacked the government and suspended the Ennahdha-dominated parliament in moves opponents have called a coup in the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings.
He later dissolved the assembly, extended his powers over the judiciary and moved to change the constitution.
Many Tunisians have backed Saied’s moves against a system seen as corrupt and self-serving.
Jebali is not the first senior Ennahdha figure to be detained since Saied’s power grab — former justice minister Noureddine Bhiri was also held under house arrest for two months before being released without charge.


Erdogan signals no progress on Sweden’s NATO bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his party’s parliamentary group meeting in Ankara
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his party’s parliamentary group meeting in Ankara
Updated 26 June 2022

Erdogan signals no progress on Sweden’s NATO bid

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during his party’s parliamentary group meeting in Ankara
  • Erdogan told Stoltenberg that ‘Sweden and Finland should take concrete and sincere steps’ against outlawed Kurdish militants

ISTANBUL; Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled on Saturday that no progress had been made in Sweden’s bid to join NATO, urging Stockholm to take “concrete actions” to meet Ankara’s concerns, his office said.
In a phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, Erdogan reiterated that “Sweden should take steps regarding such fundamental matters as combating terrorism,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement.
Turkey “wanted to see binding commitments on these issues together with concrete and clear action,” he added.
Finland and Sweden discussed their stalled NATO bids with Turkey in Brussels on Monday, but Ankara dampened hopes that their dispute will be resolved before an alliance summit next week. Turkish officials said Ankara does not view the summit as a final deadline for resolving Ankara’s objections.
Ankara has accused Finland and in particular Sweden of providing a safe haven for outlawed Kurdish militants whose decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Erdogan told Andersson that Sweden “should make concrete changes in its attitude” toward the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian affiliates, the presidency said.
“In this regard no tangible action aimed at addressing Turkey’s concerns was seen to have been taken by Sweden,” it added.
The Turkish leader also voiced expectations that Sweden would lift an arms embargo against Turkey that Stockholm imposed in 2019 over Ankara’s military offensive in Syria.
He also said he hopes that restrictions on Turkey’s defense industry would be lifted, and that Sweden will extradite several people Ankara has accused of involvement in terrorism.
The phone call comes after Erdogan discussed the two countries’ bid with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.