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L’evoluzione di Idlib, la guerra silenziosa che inizia a far rumore in Europa

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Ad Idlib lo stallo apparente si è infuocato fino alla tregua di oggi, ma è sempre più alta la posta in gioco. Dal rischio di una strage fino alla crisi umanitaria che bussa all’Europa, tutto ciò è nelle mani di Erdogan.

 

Il precario equilibrio di Idlib ha subito nella scorsa settimana una svolta disastrosa.

Qui, nella provincia più a nord-ovest della Siria, ultima zona di conflitto tra le forze lealiste di Assad e i ribelli filo-turchi, la notte del 27 febbraio i caccia siriani Sukhoi Su-24 assieme ai loro omologhi russi Su-34 hanno portato a termine una serie di raid aerei su degli avamposti turchi, uccidendo nel complesso 33 soldati; si tratta della perdita più ingente che la Turchia abbia mai subito dall’inizio del conflitto. Ad oggi lo scontro tra le due parti si riduce in un fazzoletto di terra; le forze governative di Assad il 19 dicembre hanno lanciato un’offensiva che ha costretto nei mesi i ribelli a ritirarsi dietro al confine che era stato garantito loro, durante l’accordo di Sochi nel settembre 2018. Dall’inizio dell’assalto l’esercito siriano, grazie al supporto russo, ha riconquistato un’area di 4.000 km² lasciando la restante, di pari dimensioni, alle file dei ribelli, area in cui peraltro vi è il concreto rischio di un massacro dato che in questo territorio grande appena quanto il Molise sono concentrate circa 3 milioni di persone, di cui profughe un milione.

Ciononostante pochi giorni prima dell’attacco siriano e russo i ribelli erano riusciti, grazie anche al supporto dell’esercito turco, a prendere il controllo della città di Saraqib, snodo fondamentale da cui passano le autostrade M4 ed M5, che congiungono Aleppo a Laodicea e a Damasco; inoltre poche ore prima del raid siriano alcuni media russi avevano riportato degli attacchi ai loro caccia, resi bersaglio di alcune postazioni antiaeree turche.

La risposta di Erdogan e la sua solitudine
La reazione del presidente turco non si è fatta attendere e nella stessa notte ha chiamato d’urgenza una riunione con i vertici della difesa, a cui sono seguite dichiarazioni molto forti: “Le nostre operazioni in Siria continueranno fino a quando le mani sporche di sangue che hanno di mira la nostra bandiera saranno infrante. E’ stata presa la decisione di ritorcersi con maggior forza contro il regime illegittimo che ha puntato le armi contro i nostri soldati”. Poche ore dopo la stessa conferenza il ministro della difesa turco Hulusi Akar ha annunciato l’avvio della quarta operazione in territorio siriano tramite cui la Turchia da qui in poi applicherà il diritto di autodifesa sui suoi territori in Siria. Denominata ‘Spring Shield’, la manovra secondo i vertici militari turchi ha già neutralizzato (ovvero ucciso, ferito o imprigionato) circa 2.800 soldati siriani; dopo gli eventi di questa settimana appare quindi chiara ormai la frontalità dello scontro tra Ankara e Damasco, Erdogan non vuole che Assad esca da questo conflitto vincitore ed è pronto a non cedere il passo su Idlib, del resto ha fornito fin qui un ingente aiuto ai 30.000 ribelli tramite la dotazione di blindati, missili anti-tank e missili anti-aerei, nonché il supporto dell’esercito turco nei 12 avamposti.

Diversamente dall’approccio che Ankara ha con Damasco il presidente turco si guarda bene dall’inasprire il conflitto con la Russia di Putin, il vero leader della guerra, che ha saputo risollevare Assad quando tutta la comunità internazionale lo dava ormai per finito. Erdogan sa bene che deteriorare i rapporti con Putin potrebbe essere fatale, proprio per questo motivo nelle dichiarazioni congiunte al vertice della difesa il presidente turco evita di menzionare la Russia come nemico, ma tutt’al più come un nazione di rispetto con cui Ankara ha rapporti di parità e a cui ha chiesto “di togliersi di mezzo da Idlib e fare i suoi interessi”. Il rapporto fra i due paesi è incerto; nei mesi passati Ankara ha acquistato da Mosca quattro sistemi missilistici antiaerei S-400 per un totale di 2,5 miliardi di dollari contro il parere dei vertici NATO, i quali non hanno gradito l’affare e fin’ora hanno negato alla Turchia l’acquisto degli F-35, tuttavia su altre questioni di primaria importanza come la Libia i due paesi siedono sui fronti opposti: Erdogan appoggia il governo di Tripoli di Serraj, al quale ha inviato anche delle truppe di supporto, mentre Putin supporta il generale Haftar.

Se Erdogan si trovasse a fronteggiare le forze di Assad da sole avrebbe certo più possibilità di muoversi, ma la forte presenza russa gli impone un’estrema cautela; la Russia è padrona dello spazio aereo di Idlib e nelle scorse settimane ha ripetutamente negato alla Turchia la possibilità di sorvolare i cieli siriani. Fin’ora l’unica mossa di Ankara oltre all’esercizio dell’autodifesa è stata chiedere il ripristino dei confini come erano stati garantiti a Sochi nel 2018, ma è quasi impossibile che vengano concessi da Assad a meno che Erdogan non riesca a persuadere il suo “amico” Putin. Una sorta di immobilismo quello turco, molti analisti paragonano la situazione della Turchia a quella di un vicolo cieco da cui Erdogan sta cercando di uscire in tutti modi.
Effettivamente l’ex Impero Ottomano soffre di una certa solitudine a livello internazionale, complice anche il fatto di aver agito in solitaria nella questione siriana e spesso non rendendo chiari i propri intenti, basti pensare che dopo l’attacco subito Erdogan ha fatto appello “alla voce di aiuto del popolo siriano, il quale chiede di essere protetto dal regime e dal terrore” quando però nel territorio di cui ha il controllo, appena a 5 km dai confini turchi, è stato trovato lo scorso novembre dall’intelligence americana Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader dell’ISIS. Il presidente allora ha necessariamente bisogno di supporto dalla comunità internazionale per aver più peso al tavolo con il Cremlino, e vorrebbe che i suoi partner, che sono tali perlomeno sulla carta come la NATO e l’Unione Europea, lo appoggiassero nelle sue azioni.
La questione profughi, un’arma nei confronti dell’Europa

A questo scopo Ankara dispone di un asso nella manica pesantissimo che è riuscito a gestire nel tempo ed è pronto a utilizzare contro l’Europa se questa non dovesse mostrare il suo appoggio. Nel marzo 2016, a 5 anni di distanza dallo scoppio della guerra e in piena crisi umanitaria, l’Unione per evitare l’acuirsi del fenomeno migratorio dei siriani e combattere l’insurrezione delle destre nei rispettivi paesi membri, aveva deciso di concordare con la Turchia il blocco della rotta balcanica prevedendo il ritorno in territorio turco di tutti quei migranti trovati in viaggio verso la Grecia; l’accordo prevedeva il pagamento di 7 miliardi complessivi fino al 2020.

Lo scenario di collaborazione in questi 4 anni è totalmente cambiato; dai tempi dell’accordo la Turchia è diventata protagonista attiva nella guerra siriana, prima nella provincie di Afrin e di Rojava per fermare l’espansionismo delle forze curde delle SDF, e poi ad Idlib tramite il rifornimento e la partecipazione diretta contro il regime. Inoltre ad Erdogan la questione migranti (si stima un bacino di circa 3,6 milioni di profughi siriani in territorio turco) ha causato un “crollo” di popolarità a favore del partito rivale CHP, il partito popolare-repubblicano, il quale ha conseguito la maggioranza nelle principali città. Quindi, ora che è da poco terminato l’accordo di trattenimento dei profughi, la Turchia sta facendo pressione all’Europa, specie dopo che la morte dei 35 militari turchi il 27 febbraio non ha trovato eco di sostegno da parte di Bruxelles.
Il presidente turco all’indomani dei raid ha denunciato la situazione in Turchia, ormai incapace di trattenere i civili siriani, e avvisato l’UE di aver già aperto i propri confini con la Grecia e la Bulgaria: “Gli ufficiali turchi hanno già caricato più di 600 migranti su dei pullman diretti in Europa, in questi giorni se ne riverseranno a milioni”. Non è nemmeno valsa l’offerta da parte dell’Europa di un miliardo di euro per trattenerli in attesa di una soluzione definitiva, che in questi giorni si sono già riversati migliaia di profughi sia nelle città di confine lungo il fiume Evros che sull’isola di Lesbo, dove d’altronde l’UNHCR già attesta la presenza di 16 mila profughi. L’Unione Europea ha offerto il pieno sostegno alla Grecia, in questi giorni il commissario europeo Ursula von der Leyen e il presidente del parlamento David Sassoli saranno nelle zone di confine per valutare la possibilità, ormai quasi certa, di un intervento di Frontex, l’agenzia di difesa di confini europei.
Arriva intanto, oggi 6 marzo, l’ennesima tregua, concordata dopo numerose ore di negoziati; Putin ha ricevuto al Cremlino Erdogan e i due hanno stabilito il cessate il fuoco, dei pattugliamenti congiunti al confine e un corridoio di sicurezza lungo sei chilometri in prossimità di Saraqib e dell’autostrada M4. Nonostante i leader al termine dei colloqui si congratulino reciprocamente per la vittoria diplomatica emerge sempre più un fatto, ovvero la precarietà delle tregue in Siria; difatti Erdogan ribadisce che qualsiasi violazione da parte delle autorità siriane verrà vendicata mentre gli interessi di Putin sono sempre più contrastanti con quelli turchi, la base russa di Khmeimim ad esempio è stata ripetutamente resa bersaglio di attacchi da parte delle milizie jihadiste dei ribelli. Si tratta pur sempre di una guerra che dura da 9 anni, eppure nemmeno gli ultimi episodi riescono a cedere il passo al futuro della Siria in silenzio.

At U.N., U.S. tells Russia it's isolating itself by backing Assad.

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The United States told Russia at the United Nations on Wednesday that is it isolating itself by continuing to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain said its scientists found sarin was used in a deadly toxic gas attack on Syrian civilians last week. Russia is set to block a push by Western powers at the United Nations later on Wednesday to bolster support for international inquiries into the April 4 toxic gas attack in Syria. It will be Moscow’s eighth veto in support of the Assad government since the Syrian war began six years ago. “To my colleagues from Russia – you are isolating yourselves from the international community every time one of Assad’s planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death”, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told the U.N. Security Council.

Russia denies Assad to blame for chemical attack, on course for collision with Trump

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Russia denied on Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was to blame for a poison gas attack and said it would continue to back him, setting the Kremlin on course for its biggest diplomatic collision yet with Donald Trump’s White House. Western countries, including the United States, blamed Assad’s armed forces for the worst chemical attack in Syria for more than four years, which choked scores of people to death in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in a rebel-held area on Tuesday. Washington said it believed the deaths were caused by sarin nerve gas dropped by Syrian aircraft. But Moscow offered an alternative explanation that would shield Assad: that the poison gas belonged to rebels and had leaked from an insurgent weapons depot hit by Syrian bombs.

EU must demand a say in Syria negotiations.

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This week Europe will hold a conference on the future of Syria. The EU is the largest humanitarian donor for Syria, but has become marginalised in political negotiations. By initiating this conference, the EU illustrates its readiness to take up a significant part of Syria’s reconstruction. But jumpstarting a large-scale reconstruction programme without a mutually consented political solution under UN auspices could become an implicit endorsement of Assad’s control over Syria, and hence a betrayal to the aspirations of large parts of Syria’s civil society. The EU should now leverage its role as the largest financial donor, to demand a say in any negotiations on the political transition and future of Syria.

 

 

Le Pen in Lebanon: Assad was the most reassuring solution for France

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France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen refused Tuesday to go into a meeting with Lebanon’s grand mufti on Tuesday after his aides asked her to wear a headscarf. Le Pen, who is on a three-day visit to Lebanon this week and has met senior officials, was scheduled to meet with Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, Lebanon’s top Sunni Muslim religious authority. Shortly after she arrived at his office Tuesday morning, one of his aides handed her out a white headscarf to put on. Following a discussion that lasted a few minutes, she refused and walked toward her car and left. Le Pen has tried to raise her international profile and press her pro-Christian stance with her visit to Lebanon, a former French protectorate. On Monday, she met with President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, declaring that Syrian President Bashar Assad was “the most reassuring solution for France”. On Tuesday, after walking away from the meeting with Derian, she said that before it, she had told the cleric’s office that she was not planning to don a veil during the encounter and was not told not to come. “They didn’t cancel the meeting so I thought they would accept the fact that I wouldn’t wear one”, she said. “They tried to impose it upon me, make it a matter of fact. You can’t put me before a matter of fact”

Assad: Liberating Raqqa isn't a Syrian government priority

Liberating Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, a Daesh stronghold, is not a top priority for the Syrian government, even though it is on the list of important objectives, Syrian President Bashar Assad said. He stressed that Raqqa is “no more than a symbol of the Islamic State [Daesh]”, and that “the IS [Daesh] is present everywhere” – near Damascus, in Palmyra, eastern Syria. Priorities are everywhere. And they depend on the military development. But for us everything is important — Raqqa, Idlib, Palmyra”, Assad told French radio station Europe1 in an interview published on Thursday.

Assad also said US-Russian cooperation in stepping up the fight against ISIL

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismissed a US-led coalition against ISIL in Syria as “illusive,” saying the terrorist group “was expanding” during the operation.Speaking to a group of Belgian reporters, Assad has also cast doubt at new US President Donald Trump’s pledge to fight ISIL terrorists, SANA reported. Assad also said US-Russian cooperation in stepping up the fight against ISIL, as suggested by Trump, would have positive repercussions but it was too early to expect any practical steps. Assad said the European Union should have no role in the reconstruction of Syria unless it changes its policy toward the country. EU countries, he said, back militants who inflicted destruction on Syria.  He also accused UN institutions of acting unfairly towards his country, saying “they are biased because of the American influence and the French and British, mainly.” He made the remarks in response to a December decision by the UN General Assembly to gather evidence on war crimes in Syria towards prosecuting those responsible for atrocities there.”For me, as president, when I do my duty, the same for the government and for the army, to defend our country, we don’t look to this issue, we don’t care about it,” he added.

Syrian President believes Trump will become an ally against terrorism

Syrian President Bashar Assad said US President-elect Donald Trump will become a “natural ally” if he carries out his vow to battle “terrorists.” “We cannot tell anything about what he’s going to do, but if… he is going to fight the terrorists, of course we are going to be allies, natural ally in that regard with the Russian, with the Iranian, with many other countries,” said Assad, RTP reported.

Hot Spot – The Crisis Areas

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There are several hot spot in the world. The International press shown below talk about geopolitical crisis, wars and clashes in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and South America.

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Syria

October 14

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratified an agreement with the Syrian government that allows Russia to use the Hmeimim air base in Syria indefinitely, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday he had “no special expectations” for Saturday’s talks on the Syria crisis that will be held in Lausanne because Moscow had not yet seen reciprocal steps from its western partners. Russia does not intend to put forward new initiatives on resolving the conflict in Syria, Lavrov told reporters in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

October 17

Russia said all participants in talks in Lausanne had agreed Syrians should decide their own future through inclusive dialogue and that the country should remain whole and secular, after the meeting ended without a breakthrough. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that in order for a U.S.-Russian ceasefire agreement to succeed and to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries, Syria’s moderate opposition must separate from Jabhat Fatah al Sham, previously known as the Nusra Front, and other “terrorist groups” affiliated with it.

Syrian opposition monitoring groups say an airstrike on a rebel-held village in Northern Syria has killed at least 23 people. The activists said the attack on the village of Oweijel in the Northern province of Aleppo occurred on Monday.

October 19

According to informations handed over to the Russian Center by the local council of the Syrian city of Afrin, the village of Hassadjek suffered an air attack in which six people died and four more were injured, the center said in a statement published by the Russian Defense Ministry website, SANA reported. It was reported that two residential buildings were destroyed as a result of the attack by US-led coalition warplanes. The statement stressed that neither Russian nor Syrian air forces were carrying out any missions in the area.

October 20

Moscow has extended the humanitarian pause in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo for another 24 hours, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.

The Turkish military opened fire against the Kurdish self-defense forces in northern Syria after several mortar shells, allegedly fired by the Kurdish troops, had exploded in the south of the country, Turkey’s General Staff said on Thursday.

 

Yemen

October 16

The Supreme Political Council on Sunday held the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia full responsibility on Oct. 8 air attacks for the air attacks on a funeral of Al Al-Ruwaishan in the capital Sanaa that left over 700 civilian dead and injured. In a statement received by Saba, the political council recognized the Saudi-led coalition’s statement that was attributed to the so-called ” joint investigation team”, which was issued on Saturday, Oct. 15, as an attempt to escape from the responsibility and try to clear the the aggression coalition’s responsibility that are filled with crimes and massacres against the Yemeni civilians.

President Saleh al-Sammad called the United Nations security council to stop Saudi-led barbaric aggression and blockade on Yemen, in a letter sent to the UN late on Saturday. In the letter, the president detailed brutal and inhumane crimes committed by the Saudi-led barbaric coalition during 18 months of aggression against the Yemen people, including last week cruel air attacks on a funeral in the capital Sanaa that killed and injured over 700 civilian mourners, which violate the international humanitarian laws.

October 17

A total of 81 persons have been arrested on charges of various crimes in several governorates over the past two days, a police official told Saba on Monday.

October 19

Dozens of Saudi soldiers were killed in a military operation by the army and popular forces in Jizan region, a military official told Saba on Wednesday. Among the dozens killed, two Saudi soldiers were killed by the army`s snipers in al-Karn and al-Dawd military site in Jizan. Saudi aggression warplanes launched five strikes on al-Mahrokh, kharab Sadeek sites and al-Dawd mount. The planes continued flying heavily over the sky for hours.

October 20

Saudi aggression warplane waged five strikes on Bani Hushish district of Sanaa province overnight.

 

Saudi Arabia

October 16

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen wrongly attacked a funeral there after receiving incorrect information from Yemeni military figures that armed Houthi leaders were in the area, an investigative body set up by the Arab coalition said on Saturday. “The coalition command expresses its regret at this unintentional incident and the ensuing pain for victims’ families. The incident is not in line with the coalition’s objectives, namely protecting civilians and restoring safety and stability in Yemen,” the coalition said in a statement.

October 17

The Houthi militias, which are backed by Iran, have — for the third time in less than a week — attacked US Navy in the strategic Bab Al-Mandab Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Saturday night’s attack came after the first one on Monday, Oct. 10.

October 19

The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire which is to take effect shortly before midnight Wednesday, the UN special envoy to Yemen announced Monday. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said, before the Ahmed’s ceasefire announcement, that Saudi Arabia is prepared to agree to a cease-fire in Yemen if the Iran-allied Houthis agree, adding that he was sceptical about efforts for peace after previous cease-fire attempts had failed. “Everybody wants a cease-fire in Yemen, nobody more so than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the coalition members,” he told reporters in London.

 

Iraq

October 18

The only thing people seem to agree about the current battle for Mosul is that Isis will be defeated militarily and the city retaken. Militarily, Isis is losing. But progress on giving Sunnis in Mosul reasons to believe in their future and to support the country’s Shia-dominated government remains elusive. And this is the key battleground: without victory here, we will be locked into a cycle of violence without end.

October 19

As many as 1.2 million people could be displaced by the fighting in Mosul, according to the United Nations. About 213,000 people from Mosul, Falluja and Qaiyara now live in refugee camps in northern Iraq. Another 200,000 people are expected to flee Mosul in the initial stages of the offensive.

 

Afghanistan

October 18

The negotiations for brokering the peace deal began years ago – under the previous Afghan government – its successful conclusion last month could only have happened with US acquiescence. The signing of the peace pact and its timing has the full backing of Washington. It shows beyond doubt that the key to peace deals with Afghan armed groups is with the United States and Pakistan, where Afghan rebels are based. However, the deal will not have any immediate impact on the security situation.

October 20

A factory producing Improvised Explosive Device (IED) for the Taliban militants was destroyed during an operation of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in southern Helmand province.The officials further added at least 15 suspected Taliban insurgents were also arrested during the operation.According to the UN mission, the anti-government elements remain responsible for 60 percent of the civilian casualties with ground engagements continuing to cause the highest number of civilian casualties, followed by complex and suicide attacks and improved explosive devices.

 

Israel

October 15

Iran demanded that all arms sales to Israel and Saudi Arabia be halted immediately based on “humanitarian law”. The comments were made during the UN’s annual Disarmament and International Security Committee meeting at the world body’s headquarters in New York. “We are deeply concerned about the destabilizing repercussions of the continual entry and export of such weaponry into the region, especially into Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime of Israel,” said Iran’s Deputy permanent representative at the UN GholamHossein Dehqani.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova told MK Tzipi Livni that her organization would battle the delegitimization of Israel, as well as continue to promote Jewish heritage around the world and fight against Holocaust denial. Bokova made the comments in a response to a letter that the Zionist Union lawmaker and former foreign minister sent ahead of Thursday’s UNESCO vote on a resolution that effectively rejects Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s holy sites.

October 18

Three people were lightly injured in two rock-throwing attacks in East Jerusalem on Tuesday. In one incident, two people were lightly hurt when stones were thrown at an Israeli car in the A-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, police said. The two were treated at the scene by Magen David Adom rescue personnel. Security forces later arrested a 15-year-old East Jerusalem resident suspected to be behind the attack. In a separate incident, one person was lightly hurt after he was hit by stones near the Lions’ Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

In spite of an Israeli effort to delay a final vote, the UN cultural agency on Tuesday adopted a controversial Arab-sponsored resolution on East Jerusalem that ignores Jewish and Christian historical ties to Jerusalem holy sites. Twenty-three nations approved the motion on Tuesday, six voted against (including the US, UK and Germany) and 25 abstained. That vote was identical to Thursday’s poll in the committee stage, except that Mexico moved from a yes vote to an abstention.

October 19

A Palestinian woman allegedly attempted a stabbing attack at the Tapuah Junction, south of Nablus in the West Bank, on Wednesday, and was shot dead by Israeli police.

PM Netanyahu is set to contact many of the leaders of 21 member nations of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Executive Board in hopes of swaying them not to support next week’s vote on a resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Carmel Shama-Hacohen said that Israel faced a stiff battle before that committee because it’s composed of countries with a history of voting against Israel.

October 20

A group of four Palestinians, including one who was granted Israeli citizenship on humanitarian grounds, planned to carry out a terror attack at a wedding hall and also kidnap an IDF soldier to be used for leverage in negotiations with Israel, Israeli security officials said on Thursday. The release did not detail what type of attack was planned at the hall or where it was located.

 

Palestine

October 15

After the declaration of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova to battle the delegitimization of Israel as well as continue to promote Jewish heritage, Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riad Malki, refuses her comments. Dr. Malki said that Irina Bokova has out stepped the scope of her mandate by speaking out against the last resolution.This unacceptable position is an affront to the will of the Member States who voted to adopt the resolution successfully.

A number of Palestinians were injured on Saturday during clashes that broke out with Israeli forces in the village of Beit Surik to the north-west of Jerusalem. Forces reportedly fired rubber baton rounds and tear gas canisters at the village locals and their homes, causing injuries to a number of locals. They further targeted a medical clinic in the area, causing suffocation to people who were present inside. A number of locals were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, including a child who was struck in the head.

October 18

Marking the United Nations-designated International Day of Eradication of Poverty, the European Union (EU) and the Ministry of Social Development launched a new €1.5 million capacity building program for the improvement of social protection systems in Palestine, an EU statement said on Monday. The new program focuses, in particular, on the effectiveness and coherence of Palestine’s social protection system through focusing on improving the social services that in turn will contribute to the goal of ending poverty in all its forms in Palestine, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Tunisia

October 15

The poor performance of the Tunisian financial sector, which is fragmented and dominated by the state is a major challenge for the Tunisian economy. According to the report published by the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the theme: “Addressing Together the Bank 5 for Transforming North Africa.” As the one of March 2015, the capital asset ratio for the banking system was 9.5% less than the statutory requirement of 10%, due to the 3.5% ratio for state-owned banks, the report reads. The document notes that “Poor governance in the Tunisian banking sector has led to inadequate risk monitoring, a poor diversification of credit portfolios and an unusually high rate of bad debts (16% of loans in 2015, down from 24.2% in 2011 but high compared to the ratios recorded in other regional countries).

October 17

The state has not identified all of its land property and does not have an accurate map of them, 60 years after independence, Mabrouk Kourchid, Secretary of State to the Minister of Finance, responsible for State Property and Land Affairs said in an interview with TAP

 

Libya

October 15

Across Tripoli, extra check points were springing up this evening because of the Presidency Council, reacted angrily to the attempted coup by former members of Libya Dawn’s National Salvation government, by ordering the arrest of the ringleaders. As darkness fell, there were unconfirmed reports of skirmishes between armed groups. PC chief, Faiez Serraj, who was with his colleagues in Tunis, yesterday, when Khalifa Ghwell launched his coup by seizing the old parliament building in the Rixos, chaired a meeting this afternoon at the prime ministry building in Sikka Road.

The Libyan Investment Authority has not ruled out an appeal after a London judge dismissed its $1.2billion claim against Goldman Sachs over the total collapse of high-risk derivatives investments. In a judgement, Mrs Justice Rose ruled that the US investment bank had not misled the LIA about the risks involved and had not used undue influence in order to secure deals from which it reaped some $200 million in profits while the LIA lost everything.

October 17

Clashes have erupted in the Libyan capital between militias loyal to a UN-backed government and those supporting a rival administration that had ruled Tripoli until March this year, said Libyan security officials on Sunday. The clashes, which began late Saturday, continued Sunday. The United States affirmed that is concerned about reports of the use of force to seize the offices of National Accord government in Tripoli.

October 18

US aircraft hit Daesh targets with more 30 strikes over the last three days on the Libyan city of Sirte as pro-government forces push into its last militant-held districts, the US military said on Monday. Libyan forces are close to ending a six-month campaign to liberate Sirte from the Daesh group, which took over the city more than a year after taking advantage of factional infighting that emerged after the fall of strongman Muammer Qadhafi in 2011. Forces mostly from nearby Misrata city are pushing ahead street by street, facing snipers and suicide bombers. They are helped by US air strikes since August and co-ordination with small teams of Western special forces on the ground. On Sunday, Libyan forces recaptured the city’s Cambo area, and swept out tunnels used by militants to hide and prepare ambushes, and seized a field hospital. They found charred bodies of militants hit by air strikes.

October 19

The artillery of the Khalifa Haftar-led Dignity Operation forces have renewed the shelling on civilian houses in Ganfudah, a source at the Benghazi Shura Council reported. The source said the bombing of the neighbourhood came from different axes by the Dignity Operation forces that were positioned in the “customs area” that overlooks Ganfudah neighbourhood in Benghazi. “A foreign warplane was hovering above the Ganfudah district but did not carry any attacks” the sources added.

October 20

The very worrying standoff in Tripoli must be ended by peaceful means Martin Kobler reccomended for the neighbors of Libya, adding that the country’s situation had become increasingly delicate in the last seven months. Kobler was in the Niger capital Niamey yesterday talking to the ninth ministerial meeting of countries bordering Libya.

 

Egypt

October 18

Egypt passed legislation on Monday to crack down on people traffickers linked to a major surge in the numbers of migrants departing from the country’s Mediterranean coast on often disastrous sea journeys to Europe. This law is the first major official step by the largest Arab nation toward developing a strategy to combat what has turned into a growing smuggling industry along its northern seaboard. It imposes prison terms and fines on those found guilty of smuggling potential migrants or acting as brokers or middlemen. It also imposes prison sentences on those who provide shelter to trafficked migrants, and gather, transport or otherwise facilitate their journey.

 

Nigeria

October 15

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday responded to criticism from his wife about his leadership, saying “she belongs to my kitchen”. Buhari said this while addressing the press following talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Berlin, Germany. “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room,” Buhari said while standing next to Merkel, who seemed to glare at him.

October 17

The Islamic State-allied faction of Boko Haram has reportedly expressed its willingness to negotiate assaqwesasasdazxzxzszathe release of 83 more Chibok girls after freeing 21 of the more than 200 abductees last week. According to SABC, Presidential Spokesperson Garba Shehu disclosed the development, adding that the Nigerian government was willing to broker a deal with the group. The ISIS-allied splinter group said the rest of the kidnapped Chibok girls were with the part of Boko Haram under the control of Shekau, according to the report.

October 18

Boko Haram on Monday claimed it killed 20 soldiers in northeastern Nigeria, in violence marring the celebrations following the release of some of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.

October 19

Following incessant attacks on some communities in Southern Kaduna, a member of the House of Representatives, Barrister Sunday Mashall Katung, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare total war on the killer herders who have in the last couple of months continued to launch attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna.

 

Niger, Mali

October 15

An American NGO worker was kidnapped on Friday night in the Niger town of Abalak, northeast of the capital Niamey, before being taken by his abductors to Mali. The security force said that it is too early to determine the identity of the kidnappers, who have returned to Mali. The authorities have put the region on maximum alert”. Northern Mali, which fell under the control of al-Qaeda-linked jihadi groups in 2012 before a French-led military intervention pushed them out, remains subject to attacks by jihadists. But this it is the first time that a US national has been kidnapped in Niger.

October 17

An US aid worker kidnapped in Niger is likely being held by jihadists from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), the country’s Interior Minister said Sunday. Jeffery Woodke – the first American to be kidnapped in the West African country – was seized at gunpoint from his home in the central town of Abalak on Friday. Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum told AFP that Niger’s forces had tracked the kidnappers across the border into Mali, towards the region of Menaka which is controlled by the al-Qaeda linked Mujao.

 

Niger

October 17

Niger’s Interior and Public Security Minister says that gunmen attacked Koutouake prison that holds jihadists and were repelled by security forces. The attack comes days after suspected extremists abducted an American aid worker, killing two people before fleeing with the man towards the border with Mali. Landlocked Niger is surrounded by instability and threats of extremist violence by Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgents to the south, al-Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists in Mali to the west and jihadists in Libya to the north.

October 20

The Koutoukalé Prison located near the border between Niger and Mali repulsed an attack by Nigerian security forces Monday, October 17. The site of Mauritanian information Alakhbar, traditional communication channel of the jihadist groups in the Sahel, on Wednesday received a claim for the attack on behalf of the Islamic State group.

 

Mali

October 14

Malian Army spokesperson says four soldiers have been killed and nine wounded after armed men attacked a convoy in the central Segou region. Colonel Abdoulaye Sidibe said an army vehicle hit a land mine on Thursday, and assailants then shot at the convoy traveling between Diabaly and Nampala. He said three of the nine wounded soldiers are in serious condition. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but maybe it has ties to the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine extremist group.

 

Brazil

October 15

Petrobras, which hasn’t adjusted gasoline and diesel prices for more than a year, will set prices at or above parity with international levels, Parente said in an interview with Bloomberg. The company plans make changes more frequently on factors including international prices, the exchange rate and its market share, he said. From now on, Petrobras will only benefit from the gap between domestic prices and the international market.

 

Argentina

October 16

The Argentine government feels “upset and deeply disappointed” with the announced British military exercises in the Falklands/Malvinas, which includes the launching of missiles, but nevertheless the government will continue working “to build the opportunity of a dialogue which eliminates the presumptions of conflict” with the UK.

October 18

Argentina’s main state-run bank said it lowered its headline interest rates for loans to businesses on Monday amid expectations that inflation will begin to slow in Latin America’s third-largest economy, a move that will help put credit back within firms’ reach. Banco Nacion, the country’s largest financial institution and which also acts as a development bank, set its annual nominal reference rate for business loans at 27%, down from 32%.

Argentine foreign minister Susana Malcorra said that the recent diplomatic row with the UK over military exercises in the Falkland Islands shows that the consequences of the war persist and reiterated her disappointment with London for not giving the Argentine government any previous warning.

 

Colombia

October 17

CDC, the main colombian political force behind the campaign to vote NO in the referendum held on 2 October, pointed out that the statement from the NYT editorial constitutes an offence for the millions of Colombians who opposed a peace accord which granted total impunity to those responsible for crimes against humanity and even rewarded them with political participation.

 

Russia

October 15

Russian warships are expected to sail through the Channel next week at a time of heightened tensions between Britain and Moscow over the war in Syria. The navy said it and Nato routinely monitor other nations’ fleets when they enter UK waters, but the voyage comes amid western anger at Russia’s alleged complicity in bombing civilians. The row has fuelled concerns that Russia will use the naval journey as a show of military strength, with reports suggesting fighter jets may launch drills from the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

October 17

The UE divided the issue of more anti-Russian sanction, as Washington demands a “harsh response” to Russia’s support for the Syrian government’s anti-terrorist operations. On Sunday, UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, threatened to impute more sanctions on Russia, which is providing military support to the Syrian government in its fights against militant Islamic terrorism. On Monday, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that none of the European Union’s member states has proposed the introduction of sanctions against Russia for the Syrian Crisis.

Sergey Rudskoy, Chief of the main operations directorate of Russia’s General Staff, said that Russia is ready to cease operations in Aleppo at any moment to allow medics access to the Syrian city and ensure the evacuation of injured civilians. He added that Russian and Syrian forces will refrain from military activity in Aleppo starting from 8am till 4pm local time of the 20th of October to allow the passage to civilians and the withdrawal of militants from the city.

 

Ukraine

October 9

Journalist from Ukraine’s Ukrinform News Agency Roman Sushchenko, who has been arrested in Moscow, was left without food and water on the first day of his detention, and he has lost about six kilograms while in custody, according to Russia’s Novaya Gazeta, Sushchenko told them he had lost about six kilograms.

 

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Hot Spot – The Crisis Areas

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There are several hot spot in the world. The events shown below talk about geopolitical crisis, wars and clashes in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

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Afghanistan
September 9 The construction of the 3rd segment connecting Iran and Afghanistan started this morning. Ceremony was attended by Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi, Mahmoud Baligh, Afghanistan’s Minister of Public Works, and Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Afghanistan’s Minister of Finance on Thursday at the border point of Chahsorkh in Herat Province of Afghanistan.

 

Syria
September 10 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov reach a ceasefire deal from September 12.

September 12 The Russian special envoy for the Middle East and African countries declared that intra-syrian dialogue could restar in early October. He also said that the new deal reached by U.S. and Russia doesn’t mean the imposition of no-fly zones on syrian territory, but could give a positive effect on the peace process.

September 15 Violence in Syria importantly dropped following the ceasefir, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said. He added that the United Nations is ready to prepared a humanitarian convoy, when Damascus governemnt will give all legal permissions.

 

Lebanon
September 12 Intermittent explosions have been heard since early morning coming from Shebaa Farms and the extremities of Golan. The echo of explosive sounds could be heard as far as Shebaa and Marj Ayoun.
Syrian Army and Hezbollah killed five ISIS militants in the western Qalamoun region.

September 13 An Israeli gunboat launched an explosive device into the water of Lebanon’s southern coast.
No casualties after that a landmine exploded in Marjeyoun under a vehicle belonging to the Spanish.

 

 

Turkey
September 10 PKK militants detonated a bomb-laden vehicle near a police checkpoint in front of the provincial headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the central Beşyol area.

September 12 Militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) were killed in airstrikes by Turkish jets in the Şemdinli.

 

 

China
September 9  Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) activated a contingency plan following a suspected nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

China is ready to participate in the United Nations’ new fast-response peacekeeping force. Minister of National Defense Chang Wanquan said on Thursday that Beijing will fully support the UN Peacekeeping Department’s initiative to set up a “vanguard brigade” of 4,000 rapidly deployable troops.

September 13 China and Vietnam will work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and manage and control disputes, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

 

India
September 9 India and the 18-nation East Asia summit members reaffirmed their support to promote nuclear disarmament and nuclear non proliferation.

September 10 A guy was killed by security forces during protests in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday.

 

Pakistan
September 10 At least 4 terrorists and a security guard were killed by paramilitary forces in Punjab’s Rajanpur district on Saturday.

September 13 At least 10 people, including 4 policemen, were injured by a suicide bomber during Eidul Azha prayers in an Imambargah at Shikarpur district’s Khanpur tehsil.

 

Nigeria

September 12 A female suicide bomber was near a military checkpoint in Dikwa. Explosion injured three soldiers at the checkpoint.

September 14 Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) said that its strike forces brought down the Afiesere Ere-Iwhenene major delivery line in Delta State. Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the head of state oil firm NNPC Maikanti Baru and Nigerian government stepped up efforts to keep fuel flowing into Nigeria without repeating the price increase of May and risking civil unrest.
Libya
September 12 Libyan National Army lead by General Khalifa Haftar on Sunday seized the three strategic oil ports of Ras Lanuf, Sidra and Brega from the outlaw militias that have controlled the facilities since 2013.

September 13 Italy is ready to send 200 soldiers and 100 deploy medics in Libya, as Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti declared.

September 15 LNA’s takeover of three eastern oil terminals divided the Presidency Council. Meanwhile, both General Khalifa Hafter and the President of the House of Representatives Ageela Saleh called for oil exports to restart the terminals.

 

Egypt
September 13 A police vehicle was targeted by an improvised explosive device in the North Sinai city of Al–Arish but should have not caused injuries or deaths.

 

Tunisia
September 13 500 jihadists should have received training over the special forces in US military bases for years, Alon Ben-Meir, a political analyst, revealed.

 

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