Connect with us

Latest News

Airstrikes as Turkey begins military operation in northern Syria | World News

Published

on

Turkey has launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria after US forces began withdrawing from the region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the campaign, which followed Donald Trump’s decision on Sunday to alter US policy.

“Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,” Mr Erdogan said in a tweet.

Explosions rock Syria's Tel Abyad. Pic: Haberturk
Image:
An airstrike hits the town of Tal Abyad just across the border with Turkey. Pic: Haberturk

He added that Turkish armed forces, together with the Syrian National Army, had launched what they called Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish fighters.

“We will protect the territorial integrity of Syria and free the people of the region from the clutches of terror.”

TV reports in Turkey said airstrikes hit the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad.

Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said Turkish warplanes were targeting “civilian areas” in northern Syria, causing “a huge panic” in the region.

Other reports suggested mortar shells had been fired into Turkey from the Syrian side of the border.

There has been no independent confirmation of these claims.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

NATO’s secretary general has urged Turkey not to “further destabilise the region”.

Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey “has legitimate security concerns” having suffered “horrendous terrorist attacks” and hosting thousands of refugees, but that it should act with “restraint” and any action should be “proportionate”.

And France, Britain and Germany are preparing a joint statement to condemn the offensive while the UN Security Council will meet on Thursday.

Image:
Turkey has proposed a safe zone, but the Kurdish-led Syrian Defence Force believe it will turn into a crisis zone
Streams of Turkish army vehicles arrived at the border on Tuesday
Image:
Streams of Turkish army vehicles arrived at the border on Tuesday

The Syrian Kurdish forces were long-time US allies in the fight against the so-called Islamic State group.

But expectations of an invasion increased after Mr Trump’s announcement on Sunday, although he also threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if the Turkish push into Syria went too far.

Mr Trump’s move has drawn criticism from both Republicans and Democrats at home as well as allies including France and Britain.

However, he defended it saying he is focused on the “BIG PICTURE” that does not include American involvement in “stupid endless wars” in the Middle East.

“Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East,” Mr Trump said in a series of tweets.

“The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!”

Turkey has been massing troops for days along its border and vowed it would go ahead with the military operation and not bow to the US threat.

Source link

Latest News

Beirut explosion: A city in pain that does not know how to heal its wounds | World News

Published

on

Seething with anger, Beirut is a traumatised city that is in danger of tearing itself apart.

Tens of thousands of people came from all over the country to the capital to show their utter disgust for the political class that they blame for the explosion that has wrecked the capital.

The protests were the biggest and most violent in months, with young and old gripped by fury at the authorities.

Protesters move through a cloud of tear gas
Image:
Protesters move through a cloud of tear gas

It is a sign of how the blast – which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people – has galvanised a desperate population already at breaking point from a deepening economic and political crisis.

The savings of ordinary people – if they had any – have been wiped out thanks to a plunging currency and Lebanon is now one of the most indebted countries in the world.

Makeshift gallows were constructed in Martyrs’ Square. Many here want to metaphorically hang the ruling elite and remove them from power; others want them to literally swing.

A cardboard cutout of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is placed in a noose
Image:
A cardboard cut-out of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is placed in a noose
A cutout of prime minister Hassan Diab was also placed in a noose
Image:
A cut-out of prime minister Hassan Diab gets the same treatment

One man quivering with rage shouted to me that he was going to kill the country’s leaders because they were responsible, through callous negligence, for the destruction of his beloved Beirut.

More from Beirut Explosion

As tear gas choked through the city a burning sense of righteous anger brought more and more people onto the streets.

They were determined to reach the parliament building – a symbol of the rottenness at the heart of the country.

Plastic bullets crackled through the air, and some of the protesters were seriously injured with blood once again spilling onto Beirut’s tired and weary streets.

This was an already battered people facing the full force of state security.

How this fresh wave of protests ends is not yet clear, but what is certain is that no one will accept a return to the status quo.



A vehicle burns as demonstrators try to break through a barrier near the parliament building







Tear gas and clashes in Beirut

In response the prime minister, Hassan Diab, made an unscheduled and brief TV appearance calling for early elections.

But it is a move unlikely to defuse the anger here, and people across country want reform of the entire system.

By early evening the protesters had taken over the foreign ministry, occupying one of the government’s seats of power.

The revolutionary fervour soon spilled into the main banking institution where offices were torched and equipment was smashed.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Protesters told me the blame for what is becoming a hellish descent into chaos lies only with the ruling class, who are accused of plundering the nation’s resources.

More protests are planned for the coming days, but for now this is a city in pain that does not know how to heal its wounds.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

Coronavirus: Paris imposes face masks along the River Seine and in other outdoors areas | World News

Published

on

Wearing a face mask outdoors in some crowded parts of Paris will become mandatory next week, as France battles a surge in coronavirus infections.

Areas of the French capital where the new measures will be enforced include the banks of the River Seine and along the Canal St Martin as well as open-air markets and other places where social distancing is difficult, local officials said.

Tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees boulevard were not included.

France is experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections. More than 2,200 new cases were reported on Friday, the biggest single-day increase since May. That brought the total for the week to 9,330.

Paris is imposing face masks in some outdoor areas
Image:
Masks will become compulsory along the banks of the River Seine

Under the new measures, masks will become mandatory for all people aged 11 and over as of Monday morning and will remain in place for one month.

Those breaching the order face a fine of €135 (£120).

Wearing a mask outdoors is also mandatory in some crowded parts of cities including Marseilles, the country’s second largest, Nice and Lille. The glamorous French Riviera resort of Saint-Tropez is also requiring face masks outdoors.

France has suffered more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The country made it compulsory to wear a face mask in closed public spaces such as shops and banks since 21 July.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

The national government’s top scientific body said this week that the situation is “precarious”.

“We could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain,” it said.

“It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter.”

European countries are experiencing new flare-ups after easing lockdown restrictions to try to limit the economic damage and alleviate public frustration.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

Beirut: Riot police fire tear gas at protesters as anger grows over port explosion | World News

Published

on

Tear gas has been fired in Beirut as people protesting against the government’s handling of this week’s explosion tried to reach the parliament building.

Riot police took action as about 5,000 people gathered in the central Martyrs’ Square and attempted to break through a barrier.

“The people want the fall of the regime,” protesters chanted, adding: “Leave, you are all killers.”

Demonstrators run away from tear gas fired by riot police
Image:
Demonstrators run away from tear gas fired by riot police

Makeshift gallows and nooses have been set up.

Sky News correspondent Alex Rossi, who is there, said residents have been “enormously angry” since the explosion happened, adding: “People here want to – metaphorically at least – hang their political class.”

He said there was a “huge amount of structural damage to the buildings” and hardly any windows have glass in them.

A vehicle burns as demonstrators try to break through a barrier near the parliament building
Image:
A vehicle burns as demonstrators try to break through a barrier near the parliament building

Student Celine Dibo, speaking as she scrubbed blood off the walls of her shattered apartment building, said there was “no trust” in the government, adding: “I wish the United Nations would take over Lebanon.”

More from Beirut Explosion

Psychologist Maryse Hayek said the Lebanese people are “living in ground zero”.

“I hope another country would just take us over. Our leaders are a bunch of corrupt people,” he said.

Lebanese demonstrators throw tear gas canisters back at security forces
Image:
Lebanese demonstrators throw tear gas canisters back at security forces

One of the demonstrators in Martyrs’ Square, Rose Sirour, said: “We want a future with dignity – we don’t want the blood of the victims of the explosion wasted.”

The number of dead has risen to 158, the Lebanese health ministry said. At least 6,000 have been injured, while 21 people remain missing.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending