Archive for the ‘Middle Orient’ Category
Greece will launch consultations with Egypt and Greek Cyprus to establish maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on April 29. Tsipras, who was visiting Greek Cyprus, said those boundaries – which are normally a precursor to a state licensing for offshore oil and gas exploration – would be defined in […]
France opposes foreign intervention in Lebanon but will do its best to encourage the election of a new president as soon as possible, French President François Hollande said Tuesday. “France is ready to take initiative in international gatherings to speed up the presidential election process,” Hollande told Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in a meeting in […]
French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed Monday the interrelation between the security and stability of Europe, on one hand, and that of the Middle East and the Arab region on the other. The situations in the Arab region impact not only on the French nationals in the region but on the citizens inside […]
Lebanon received today the first batch of French armaments under a Saudi-financed deal worth US$3 billion to boost the country’s defensive capabilities. The handing over ceremony was held at Beirut Air Base and attended by Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Sameer Muqbel, French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon, […]
Over 2,000 families have been forced to flee the Iraqi city of Ramadi owing to heavy clashes between the Islamic State (IS) militants and government forces. Most of the displaced families headed to capital Baghdad and settled in predominantly Sunni districts in southern and western Baghdad, a security source said.
Aid from the Egyptian Armed Forces to Syrian refugees in Lebanon will arrive in Beirut over three days starting Tuesday. The aid, which will be loaded in three airplanes, consists of medicine, medical supplies, foods, tents, blankets and other relief supplies, and will go to refugees in Arsal in east Lebanon.
The UN Security Council has demanded humanitarian access to Syria’s Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp as residents described fleeing in terror after the arrival of jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The advance by the extremists into the battered neighbourhood of south Damascus has alarmed the international community and Palestinian officials, […]
Tunisa’s foreign ministry says it has recalled its ambassador to Syria because of the “dangerous” developments in that country. President Bashar Assad’s regime has dramatically escalated the crackdown on a five-month-old uprising since the start of the holy month of Ramadan in August, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.
Iraqi forces have retaken the Salaheddin provincial government headquarters in Tikrit from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a significant advance in the battle to recapture the city, officials said March 31. The spokesman for the Badr militia said members of the Popular Mobilisation units — pro-government paramilitary forces dominated by Iran-backed […]
Arab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced on Sunday at a summit overshadowed by a Saudi-led offensive on Shi’ite rebels in Yemen. Arab representatives would meet over the next month to study the creation of the force, according to the resolution adopted by the leaders on […]
Turkey will provide a military facility in the southern province of Hatay, along with the Hirfanlı military base in the central Anatolian province of Kırşehir, for the training-equip program with the U.S. in the struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Turkish official announced.
The EU Monday decided to appoint an Italian diplomat, Fernando Gentilini, as new special representative for Middle East, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini told a news conference at the end of a meeting of EU foreign ministers. Analysts opine that the re-establishment of the post of the special EU envoy for the Middle East signals […]
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said the Obama Administration is willing to engage in talks with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad towards a peace deal in Syria. Kerry’s comments came on the fourth anniversary of the Syrian uprising. UN figures put the number of dead at more than 220,000.
EU foreign ministers began a meeting here Monday focussed on Libya, migration and relations with Africa, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini told journalists ahead of the meeting.
France on Monday again ruled out a role for President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria in finding a solution to the four-year conflict in that country and pointed to his responsibility for 220,000 dead in his country and the sharp growth in terrorism. The French comments from Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal echoe an earlier statement […]
At least 26 people including seven children were killed and more than 100 wounded in Syrian government air strikes near the capital Damascus today, a monitor said. The raids on the town of Douma, northeast of the capital, came as the conflict entered its fifth year and the death toll soared to more than 215,000.
US Defence Secretary and Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said on Wednesday that the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group may take longer than the three year timeline stipulated in President Barack Obama’s force authorisation request. “I cannot tell you that our campaign to defeat ISIL (IS) would be completed in three years,” Carter […]
Secretary of State John Kerry urged lawmakers Wednesday to give President Barack Obama updated war powers to go after Islamic jihadists at “a pivotal hour” in the battle against the militants. “Our nation is strongest when we act together — and we simply cannot allow this collection of murderers and thugs to achieve its ambitions,” […]
Kurdish forces drove Islamic State militants back from the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Monday, in an advance backed by heavy air strikes from a US-led coalition. Speaking to a local television channel near the frontline, Kirkuk governor Najmaldin Karim, who was wearing a helmet, said the purpose of the offensive was […]
The US-led anti-terror coalition on Sunday evening struck an oil refinery under the control of the Islamic State (IS) militants in a border Syrian town near Turkey, killing 30 militants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Arab Foreign Ministers on Monday started their 143rd session at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo to discuss draft resolutions prepared by the permanent delegates on several issues, mainly the protection of Arab national security. First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah is leading Kuwait’s delegation partaking in […]
“Turkey won’t be a part of an armed clash in Iraq or Syria. We can supply aid to Mosul, but we won’t be involved in a direct clash,” Davutoğlu said in his remarks to reporters en route to New York. However, he added that if there were to be a direct attack against Turkey, it […]
Heavy clashes erupted on March 5 between Syrian regime forces and rebels near an intelligence headquarters the opposition had tried to seize in a spectacular attack, a monitor and security source said. “There are very heavy battles between regime forces and (rebel) fighters in the area of yesterday’s attack, with the two sides shelling the […]
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is not a “credible” partner in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), French President Francois Hollande said March 5 after meeting Syria’s exiled opposition chief. Hollande said in a statement after meeting Khaled Khoja that Assad “is the main cause of his people’s suffering, and for the rise of […]
Two cargo planes carrying Turkish military aid to Iraqi soldiers arrived in Baghdad on March 3, a Turkish official said, stressing that the assistance includes non-lethal military equipment aid for 500 soldiers of the central government. The military aid includes camouflage desert caps, assault vests, helmets, sleeping bags, blankets for 500 soldiers, and 50 cold […]
Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces on Monday began a large-scale military operation to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), state TV said, a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants. The city of […]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met King Abdullah II of Jordan on Thursday as the two held a “closed session” in which they discussed concerted efforts in the “fight against terrorism”, a presidential statement said on Thursday. The statement added that military and security cooperation between the two states has been “deepening” and that both […]
The US-led coalition launched a total of 31 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against ISIL between 8 a.m. on Thursday, and 8 a.m. on Friday, local time, the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced in a statement. In Syria, attack, fighter, bomber, and drone aircraft launched 20 airstrikes: near Al Hasakah, where […]
The US has condemned the Islamic State’s attacks on predominantly Assyrian Christian villages in the northeast Syria and called for the immediate and unconditional release of the civilians taken captive. “ISIL’s latest targeting of a religious minority is only further testament to its brutal and inhumane treatment of all those who disagree with its divisive […]
Kurdish militia pressed a big offensive against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northeast Syria Feb. 25, cutting one of its supply lines from Iraq, as fears mounted for dozens of Christians abducted by the hardline group that recently beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts. The new Kurdish offensive launched at the weekend was […]
France deployed an aircraft carrier in the Gulf today as part of the US-led military campaign against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq, a defence ministry official said. “The integration of the Charles de Gaulle in the operation… (in Iraq) begins this morning,” a member of Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s staff said as […]
The United Nations envoy to Syria said Feb. 17 he has received a commitment from the Syrian government to suspend airstrikes and artillery shelling on the city of Aleppo for six weeks to allow a proposed U.N. plan to “freeze” hostilities in the country’s largest city to be tested. Staffan de Mistura was briefing the […]
Turkey and the United States have hammered out a deal for providing training and equipment to moderate opposition groups in Syria, a Turkish spokesman said here on Tuesday. Both sides are set to sign an agreement for a training and equipping program for Syrian opposition in the next few days, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju […]
Turkey decided to shut its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, and evacuate its diplomatic staff as a result of the worsening security situation in the country. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had issued a new travel warning for Turkish citizens on Saturday, urging them to leave Yemen immediately.
France repeated its position on Friday that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad must step down as part of any political transition aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian conflict. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal reiterated the French position after UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said that Al-Assad “is part of the solution” and […]