ISIS’s Turkish Homecoming

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia
If the Kurds cannot guard the ISIS captives, then who will? (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

It is, therefore, the epitome of hypocrisy for Mr Erdogan to offer to take responsibility for the ISIS fighters being held in Kurdish-run detention camps… If that really were to happen, and the ISIS captives were repatriated to Turkey, it would, for some, be more like a homecoming.

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Iranian oil tanker hit by two blasts in Red Sea

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Two separate explosions, possibly caused by missile attacks, have hit an Iranian oil tanker operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, in what Tehran calls a “dangerous adventure”.

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Residents Flee as Turkish, Kurdish Forces Battle for Border Towns

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

NATO is urging Turkey to exercise restraint in its incursion into northeastern Syria.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged Turkey’s legitimate security concerns about the Syrian Kurdish fighters, but warned that the offensive could “jeopardize” progress made against the Islamic State terror group.

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U.S. Forces Come Under Turkish Fire As Ankara Presses On In Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

U.S. troops at a military outpost in northeast Syria came under artillery fire from Turkish positions, as Ankara’s forces pressed on with their offensive against U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters.

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U.S. Sends Additional Capabilities to Saudi Arabia

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

In the wake of an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities last month, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper announced that more capabilities have been authorized to deploy in support of the long-time U.S. partner.

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Mattis: Daesh will surge back after Trump’s Syria withdrawal

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Former US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said that Daesh “will resurge” in Syria, following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of troops from the region.

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Pakistan PM Says Ready to Host Iran-Saudi Peace Talks

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan held talks Sunday with leaders in Iran to formally begin a diplomatic offensive he said was aimed at defusing the neighboring country’s escalating tensions with Saudi Arabia and the United States.

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Kurds Strike Deal with Syrian Army to Counter Turkey

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Syrian government forces will deploy along the Turkish border to help repel the Turkish military incursion against Syrian Kurds, Kurdish officials announced Sunday.

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Western threats won’t stop Turkey’s operation in Syria: Erdogan

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says threats of sanctions and arms embargoes by Western powers will not halt his country’s cross-border military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria’s northeast.

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Trump Pulls out Remaining Troops from N. Syria; Warns of ‘Powerful Sanctions’ on Turkey

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The U.S. is withdrawing all remaining troops from northern Syria, as President Donald Trump said Sunday it was “very smart… for a change” to not be involved in the fighting sparked by Turkey’s onslaught against the U.S.’s long-time battlefield ally, Kurdish fighters.

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Islamic State sleeper cells target Raqqa

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Tuesday night, two small Islamic State sleeper cells inside Syria’s Raqqa governorate, which is held by the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), targeted two separate SDF positions in region.

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Turkish invasion of Syria would be ‘godsend’ for ISIS, experts warn

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

“We have more work to do to keep ISIS from coming back,” the spokesperson for the Kurdish-led forces said. “If America leaves, all will be erased.”

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Hezbollah threatens to flood Europe with refugees

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

In an attempt to draw European support for Lebanon as it grapples with financial unease, Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raed threatened the bloc with the sensitive issue of Syrian refugees.

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STL Asks Lebanese Public for Info on Accused from Hezbollah

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has invited the Lebanese public to submit any information on the whereabouts of Hezbollah member Salim Ayyash to the court through an audio-visual and audio public service announcement, and as a poster with info on the accused in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

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US Criticizes Lebanese Government for Tolerating Hezbollah

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Eurasia News, Middle Orient

The United States is unhappy with the Lebanese government for tolerating Hezbollah, a western diplomatic source told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday.

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Turkish offensive in Syria could reinvigorate Islamic State – Germany

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Germany on Wednesday urged Turkey to halt a military operation in northern Syria, saying the incursion would destabilise the country and risked helping a resurgence of the Islamic State militant group.

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‘Huge concerns’ thousands of ISIS prisoners may escape as Turkey invades Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 14, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Fears are growing among American officials that thousands of ISIS fighters may escape from prisons in Syria as the Kurdish personnel guarding them gear up for a fight with Turkey, which launched a military offensive in northeastern Syria on Wednesday.

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The United States Betrays Its True Allies in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

On Sunday evening, the Trump administration released a statement from the White House press secretary that signals a major shift in U.S. policy toward Syria.

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Second Whistleblower Comes Forward in Trump-Ukraine Scandal

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

A second U.S. intelligence whistleblower has come forward with concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump’s July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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Thousands In Kyiv Protest President’s Plan For Local Elections In Eastern Ukraine

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Thousands of demonstrators have rallied in Kyiv against President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s plan to hold local elections in eastern Ukrainian territory that is under the control of Russia-backed separatists.

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Pompeo Inks New Defense Pact With Greece, Criticizes Russia, Iran, China

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The United States and Greece have signed an updated defense-cooperation pact, a move Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said was not aimed against any one nation in the region, including Turkey.

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U.S. pulling troops from northern Syria posts, leaving Kurdish allies to face Turkey

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

American troops have begun pulling back from positions in northern Syria in line with an order from the White House. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the action hours after the White House said U.S. forces in northeast Syria would move aside and clear the path for an expected Turkish incursion.

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Israel should focus more on Iran’s nuclear weapons than on Hezbollah’s missiles

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A senior Israeli official recently said that Israel’s top priorities are to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon and to thwart Hezbollah’s precision missile project.

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Is Iran’s Regime Really Be About To Collapse?

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

Iran and the United States are as close to direct conflict as they have been for three decades, since Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 which was, at the time, the largest surface naval engagement since World War II.

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Israeli citizen indicted for trying to join ISIS, produce explosives

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A resident of the southern Israeli town of Tel Sheva was indicted on Sunday for attempting to join the ISIS terrorist organization and produce explosives.

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Conditions propitious for extremism in the Arab world

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Washington played a major role in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood to reach power in Egypt after the revolution of January 25, 2011.

If we want to have some control over our present and our future – and avoid repeating mistakes, it is essential we develop an acute awareness of history. This is the argument put forth by Mahmoud Ismail, a professor of Islamic history at Ain Shams University, when he tries to determine the future of extremist religious groups in the Arab world.

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US sanctions on Iran-backed Hezbollah deepen Lebanon’s economic crisis

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Head of business section in news daily warns country could experience an economic collapse like Venezuela if terror group ‘decides to fight America with the money of the Lebanese’.

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Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia was ill-timed and premature

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

On Sept. 14, the news that Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities had been attacked and damaged came as a shock. While there had been a gradual escalation in Iranian-led hostilities following the U.S. dismantling of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (aka the Iran nuclear deal), the general expectation was that this standoff would still be contested in proxy theaters or on the periphery of the Gulf oil industry.

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After Aramco: Will halting Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia end Yemen’s war?

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

On Sep. 20, Mahdi al-Mashat, a senior leader in the Houthi insurgency (Ansar Allah), announced that the group would halt attacks on Saudi Arabia, whether by drones or missiles, in the hopes that the kingdom would reciprocate.

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The war in Syria is far from over, but its nature is changing

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Since the beginning of 2018, the Syrian regime has expanded its control of territory across the country from approximately 52 percent to 62 percent. That 10 percent of territory gained was a crucially important 10 percent, encompassing opposition-held areas in Syria’s southwest, rural Homs, and eastern Ghouta, as well as a small pocket of northern Hama’s countryside. That territorial expansion — in part facilitated by increasing international fatigue with the crisis in Syria — saw opposition holdings decline from approximately 13 percent to 10 percent. As ISIS’s territorial “state” was simultaneously rolled back and then defeated, an international consensus increasingly emerged that claimed Syria’s war was “winding down.”

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Hezbollah dominance starts to drag on Lebanon

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Eurasia News, Middle Orient

Relying on the legacy of his supremely connected late father, Prime Minister Saad Hariri used to repeatedly conjure solutions for Lebanon to survive economic trouble.

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Nasrallah: Hezbollah will ‘enter occupied Palestine’ with improved intelligence

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday issued further threats against Israel, saying the Lebanese terror organization’s “unprecedented levels of intelligence” would soon lead to its fighters “entering occupied Palestine.”

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Whistleblowers Arrested In Iran, Accused Of Terrorist Intentions

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran

Security forces have arrested nine people connected to a whistleblower page on social media platform Telegram, the chief of Police in the province of Kurdistan, western Iran, says.

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Syria Demands Immediate Withdrawal of U.S. and Turkish Forces, Again

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Syria’s foreign minister demanded on Saturday that American and Turkish forces evacuate the war-ravaged country immediately or face “any and all countermeasures authorized under international law.”

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U.S. Sees Rising Threat in the West From Qaeda Branch in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

American counterterrorism officials are voicing increased alarm about a Qaeda affiliate in Syria that they say is plotting attacks against the West by exploiting the chaotic security situation in the country’s northwest and the protection inadvertently afforded by Russian air defenses shielding Syrian government forces allied with Moscow.

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