Turkey will not leave Syria until Syrian people have an election, Erdogan says

Turkey will not leave Syria until the Syrian people hold an election, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2018

Turkey will not leave Syria until Syrian people have an election, Erdogan says

ISTANBUL: Turkey will not leave Syria until the Syrian people hold an election, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
“Whenever the Syrian people hold an election, we will leave Syria to its owners after they hold their elections,” Erdogan said at a forum in Istanbul.
Erdogan agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month to set up a demilitarized zone between rebel and government fighters in northern Syria. It also has a presence in the northwest Afrin region and further east, around Jarablus.
Erdogan also said on Thursday that Turkey is not experiencing difficulty in conducting talks with radical groups in Idlib, the last major rebel-controlled enclave outside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s control.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which includes the Al-Qaeda-linked group formerly known as Nusra Front, is the most powerful extremist alliance in Idlib. Turkey designated the group a terrorist organization in August, matching a decision by the United Nations in June.
Last month, in a summit in Sochi, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to create a demilitarized zone with a depth of 15-20 km, from which radical groups will withdraw by Oct. 15.
On Thursday, Erdogan said that in addition to 12 observation hosted by Turkey in the area, Russia has 10 observation points and Iran has six.
“Securing this corridor means securing Idlib,” he said. “And we have started fortifying our observation posts.”


Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

Updated 22 January 2021

Daesh claims deadly and rare twin blasts in Baghdad

  • Militant group said the bombing ‘targeted apostate Shiites’

BAGHDAD: The Daesh has claimed responsibility for a rare and deadly twin suicide bombing that rocked central Baghdad killing over 30 and wounding dozens.
The group said the bombing “targeted apostate Shiites,” on a statement circulating in an Daesh-affiliated website late Thursday. The statement said the first bombing was carried out by Abu Youssef Al-Ansari and the second by Mohammed Arif Al-MuHajjir.

Iraqi Prime Minister said Yesterday's bombing is a security breach, and the country will not allow it to be repeated. He added that Baghdad is working on a comprehensive security plan to confront the challenges of extremism.
At least 32 people were killed and over 100 people wounded in the blasts on Thursday. Some were in severe condition. According to officials, the first suicide bomber cried out loudly that he was ill in the middle of the bustling market, prompting a crowd to gather around him — and that’s when he detonated his explosive belt. The second detonated shortly after.
The US-led coalition recently ceased combat activities and is gradually drawing down its troop presence in Iraq, sparking fears of an Daesh resurgence. The group has rarely been able to penetrate the capital since being dislodged by Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition in 2017.
The attack was the first in nearly three years to hit the capital. Elsewhere, in northern Iraq and the western desert, attacks continue and almost exclusively target Iraqi security forces.
An increase in attacks was seen last summer as militants took advantage of the government’s focus on tackling the coronavirus pandemic and exploited security gaps across disputed territory in northern Iraq.