Opinion

Turkey says preparations for Syria push continue

Turkey's military struck the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria. (AFP)
Updated 12 October 2019

Turkey says preparations for Syria push continue

  • On Tuesday, Turkey's military struck the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria
  • Ankara is starting a military incursion in the region

ANKARA: A planned Turkish incursion into northeast Syria has not begun, but final preparations are being made and the deployment of troops and equipment has been completed, Turkish officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Turkish soldiers with heavy equipment have removed a concrete section of the border wall, one of the officials said after media reports said that Turkish troops were crossing into Syria

Earlier on Wednesday, the Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Syrian border “shortly,” President Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said. 
In a tweet, Fahrettin Altun said that Kurdish militants there could either defect or Ankara would have to “stop them from disrupting” Turkey’s struggle against the Daesh militants.

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On Tuesday, Turkey's military struck the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria, Turkish officials told Reuters.


Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

Updated 05 June 2020

Jordan reopens mosques for socially distanced prayers

  • The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak

AMMAN: Mosques in Jordan opened for communal prayers for the first time in over two months on Friday, with thousands of police deployed to enforce strict social distancing rules at the usually packed places of worship.
The kingdom is gradually easing restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak, which killed nine people in Jordan.
From Saturday, cafes and hotels can reopen and domestic flights will resume, although schools, universities and cinemas remain closed and most public gatherings are still banned.
Over 30,000 police were deployed to oversee crowds attending prayers at the country's 7,000 mosques on Friday, officials said.
Worshippers in the predominantly Muslim country were asked to wear masks, limit prayer time and perform the ablution rite, the act of washing the face, arms and legs before prayer, at home. In some mosques, the floor was marked to designate the spots where worshippers could lay down their prayer rugs at a safe distance from their neighbours.
Since a strict lockdown began in mid-March, the authorities have arrested several people, including clerics, for flouting the ban on prayers inside mosques.