Turkey’s Heritage (Mis)management

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Heated debates about heritage management in Turkey over the Mosque reversions of Hagia Sophia and the Chora Museum, and the planned demolition of the Bomonti beer factory expose the tensions that exist between conservation, ownership, use and accessibility.

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Albanian Leader in Montenegro Wants Minorities in Government

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Albania, Balkans, Eurasia, Montenegro

Nik Gjeloshaj tells BIRN that Montenegro’s national minorities can fight for their goals better inside the government, signaling an end to years of cooperation with the once-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists

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Ditching Dinars: Will the Balkans Take to Cryptocurrency?

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Balkans, Eurasia

The daring few involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain in the Balkans say the benefits could be big, if the regulatory framework is put in place.

Cash may still be king in the Balkans, but growth in online payments – particularly in the era of COVID-19 – is fuelling optimism among those in the region pressing the case for cryptocurrency.

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Serbia’s Blacklisting of Hezbollah ‘a Concession to Israel, US’

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient

Belgrade’s decision to declare Hezbollah in its entirety ‘a terrorist organisation’ is a purely diplomatic move – and does not reflect any previous security assessments, experts told BIRN.

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Is Abbas Rival Mohammed Dahlan Plotting a Comeback, With the UAE’s Help?

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

After the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain broke with most Arab countries and established diplomatic relations with Israel, there are already signs of growing tensions in the Palestinian territories. Mahmoud Abbas, the longtime president of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, is apparently trying to foreclose a potential challenge to his leadership from an old rival. Forces loyal to Abbas have been rounding up supporters of Mohammed Dahlan, once a powerful player in Abbas’ ruling Fatah party, who is now living in exile in the UAE. He and Abbas had a dramatic falling out nearly a decade ago.

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Syrian Military Suffers Heavy Casualties in ISIS Attack

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Islamic State (ISIS) carried out a large attack against the Syrian Armed Forces near the Raqqa-Homs administrative border this week.

According to reports from the front, a group of ISIS terrorists ambushed the Syrian army and National Defense Forces near the historical ruins of al-Rusafa, resulting in heavy casualties in the ranks of the latter.

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Saudi monarch slams Iran and calls for disarming of Hezbollah

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

King Salman reiterated his stand that the 2002 Arab peace initiative should be the basis for a “comprehensive and just solution” in the Middle East.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz strongly waged a frontal attack on Iran and called for a “comprehensive war” against it, as he spelled out Riyadh’s priorities at present.

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Greece is preparing to acquire a squadron of 24 F-35 fighter jets

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

If Greece wants its Armed Forces to be combative, competitive and able to face the constant threat from the East, then they should proceed to the necessary reinforcement with new weapons systems and modernization of the old ones.

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GNA and Turkish forces captured Russian Pantsir-S1 missile systems in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Libyan Government’s National Accord Government (GNA) forces, led by Faiz Saraj, claim to have captured Russian-made Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile-cannon systems (ZRPK) south of Tripoli.

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Iran- Turkey Partnership: A New Front in Libya

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient, Turkey

There is strategic consensus among political elites currently ruling the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey states. Despite of few turmoil, both states want to retain cordial relations that can lead towards the support of each other’s national sovereignty and stability.

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US Occupation of Syria Is Now Official

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Pentagon regime officials claim this came after a series of incidents between US and Russian troops in the country, who will be operating in northeast Syria on a 90-day deployment.

They say the additional soldiers and vehicles will serve as a “show of presence” to discourage Russia from entering the eastern security zone where US forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces operate. It’s more than that.

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Ain Issa | As Russian and regime forces’ movements continue in the region, Turkish forces withdraw heavy weapons

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Very reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that Turkish forces withdrew their heavy weapons and gears from Kuramuzat village in Ain Issa city in northern Al-Raqqah. The reasons behind this development, which coincides with ongoing movements by Russian and regime forces in Ain Issa, have not been known yet.

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Military diplomat: Russia’s tough maneuvers in the Black Sea are a signal for NATO

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The Black Sea is becoming a region for the use of the military language between the armies of Russia and NATO,.

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East Med Gas Forum turns into regional organisation, in blow to Turkey

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Through this step, Egypt becomes a regional energy centre.

The Mediterranean countries allied under the cover of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum have moved to a more realistic stage after announcing the transformation of this project into a regional organisation that aims to counter Turkish harassment and officially turn Egypt into the natural gas capital of the region.

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Turkey: Erdoğan’s Soft Spot for Hamas

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

So far, Erdoğan’s fanaticism has come without any cost to him internationally, or any damage to his domestic political survivability. He has every ideological and pragmatic reason to keep up his love affair with Hamas.

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Turkey Embarks on Naval Buildup, Stoking Tensions

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Turkey is in the midst of a major naval construction program, seeking to restore regional maritime influence lost since the collapse of the Ottoman empire, and the project is already generating regional tensions.

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DOD Anticipates Significant Troop Reduction in Afghanistan

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Afghanistan, Eurasia, South East Asia

Based on the current conditions in Afghanistan, the Defense Department expects there will be fewer than 5,000 U.S. military service members in that country by the end of November, said David F. Helvey, who is currently performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.

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China Releases Details on Its Own Unreliable Entity List

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

China’s Ministry of Commerce has released long-awaited provisions on its “unreliable entity list,” in a move seen as a countermeasure to similar actions taken by Washington.

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Putin Decrees ‘Military-Political Work’ For Russian National Guard

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the introduction of “military-political work” in the country’s National Guard, paving the way for Soviet-style ideological political education within its ranks.

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Russian Icebreaker Arktika, Dubbed The ‘Nuclear Titanic,’ Sets Off On Maiden Arctic Voyage

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The Arktika, Russia’s new nuclear-powered icebreaker championed by the Kremlin as the largest and most-powerful of its kind in the world, has set sail on its maiden voyage to the Arctic as part of the country’s efforts to tap the region’s commercial potential.

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Turkey prepares offensive in Syria, sends thousands of troops and equipment

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Turkey is preparing a large-scale offensive in Syria in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.

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Turkey: ‘Let Egypt attack us, we need scrap metal from their Russian tanks and aircraft’

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

On July 30, Turkish bloggers posted videos on YouTube about Egyptian soldiers who allegedly found themselves on the front lines in Greater Idlib, in northern Syria.

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Russia’s EW systems have captured more than 20 US Tomahawk missiles in Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

According to sources from the Russian Ministry of Defense, Russia has managed to deactivate about 40 American Tomahawk missiles that were fired during hostilities in Syria.

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Turkish artillery fired on a Syrian army position, the Russian response is expected

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Our sources in Syria, as well as a number of Russian media, claim that yesterday, on September 21, the Turkish artillery units fired on the main defense point of the Syrian army in the city of Sarakib.

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Russia launches Kavkaz-2020 military drills, featuring forces from Iran, China

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Romania

Russia has launched the Kavkaz (or Caucasus) 2020 joint military drills with neighboring countries in its Southern Military District and in the Black and Caspian Seas.

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China-US tensions: video of PLA ‘attack’ on Pacific airbase uses footage from Hollywood movies

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

China’s latest military propaganda film appears to show, once again, that the People’s Liberation Army’s publicity team has a passion for Hollywood blockbuster action movies.

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Russia rejects U.S. terms, sees ‘minimal’ chance to extend New START nuclear pact

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Russia sees minimal chances of extending the New START treaty with the United States – their last major nuclear arms pact – as it does not accept conditions set out by Washington, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Monday.

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Russia claims bombers set world record flight

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Russia is claiming a pair of their supersonic bombers recently set a world record for longest non-stop flight.

According to the Russian TASS news agency, the Tupelov Tu-160 bombers – known in NATO as Blackjack – set a new record for distance and duration by flying more than 25 hours and covering a distance of more than 20,000 kilometers, about 12,500 miles.

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Germany tries to forge a deal on who can play ball in Europe

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Time is ticking for Germany to find a compromise on letting American, British and other non-European Union countries tap into the bloc’s emerging defense cooperation scheme.

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Hat trick: Air Force flies B-1s, B-2s, B-52s over Europe, Pacific in major bomber mission

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The Air Force on Monday flew all three types of bombers in its fleet over Eastern Europe and western parts of the Pacific Ocean in a major bomber task force mission.

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Political Infighting Could Obstruct a Nascent Peace Process in Cameroon

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

In July, jailed separatist leaders in Cameroon fighting for the creation of an independent state held their first formal talks with the government about ending the violence plaguing the country’s two Anglophone regions.

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Preparing for a World Without the World Trade Organization

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, September 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The World Trade Organization is dying. We’ll miss it when it’s gone, for many reasons. But one stands out in particular: The WTO helps keep national leaders from doing economically harmful things for domestic political reasons. Without that constraint, we can expect governments to take more and more actions that are politically popular but harmful to both their national economies and to the global economy.

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Aoun tells the Lebanese, if no agreement, they are ‘going to hell’

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Lebanese President blames Mustapha Adib and the Shia duo for the failure to form the government.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun assured the Lebanese that they’ll be “going to Hell” if no agreement is reached soon enough on solutions to form a new government. Aoun was speaking at a press conference on Monday, during which he put the blame on Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib for seeking to form a government without consulting the parliamentary blocs.

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Battles and airstrikes in Syrian desert | Nearly 30 regime soldiers and ISIS members killed in 24 hours

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

SOHR activists have reported ongoing attack by ISIS members on regime positions in Al-Rasafah desert in Al-Raqqah countryside, near Aleppo-Hama Al-Raqqah triangle. Fierce clashes are underway between both sides, amid intensive airstrikes by Russian jets since morning in an attempt to repel ISIS attack. Meanwhile, regime forces have sent military reinforcement to the battle fronts.

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Idlib | Turkish jets fly over Syria border strip with Iskenderun, while HTS fires rockets on regime positions in Kafr Nubl

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, September 25, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Syrian Observatory activists have monitored Turkish jets “F16” flying over the border strip between Idlib and Iskenderun region. Meanwhile, Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham fired several rockets on regime positions in Kafr Nubl city in southern Idlib.

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