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Turkey coup?

Old 7th Jul 2019, 09:25
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by phil9560 View Post
At first glance I thought this was a thread about what my dear departed Mum made with Christmas leftovers
No, that is turkey hotpot. 😂

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Old 7th Jul 2019, 09:58
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ves-off-cyprus

Turkey insists on right to drill for energy reserves off Cyprus

Tensions over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean have risen sharply after Turkey said it would “exercise its sovereign rights” to drill off Cyprus in flagrant defiance of warnings from western allies.

As the dispute over potential gas reserves intensified, Ankara insisted its state-of-the-art drilling ship, the Fatih, and its support vessels would begin operations in waters viewed by the EU as being within the island’s exclusive economic zone.

“Turkey does not recognise the unilateral and illegitimate exclusive economic zone claims of the Greek Cypriots,” its foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, announced in a letter released by the state-run Anadolu news agency. “Third parties should refrain in taking sides in overlapping maritime boundary claims and they should not act as if they are in a court in rendering judgement on bilateral maritime boundaries.”

Despite international condemnation, the ships, escorted by a naval frigate, have been deployed 39 nautical miles off the divided island’s western coast for the past week. The closest Turkish shore lies almost 80 nautical miles away. But Ankara, which refuses to recognise Cyprus – instead acknowledging the self-proclaimed Turkish republic in the north – argues the region is part of its own continental shelf and, as such, it is complying with international law. It is a stance that, increasingly, has put the Nato country at odds with allies.

On Sunday a senior Cypriot official said Nicosia will issue international and European arrest warrants “for all involved” if, as looked likely, drilling did take place.

Earlier this month, the EU’s policy chief, Federica Mogherini, expressed “grave concern” over Turkey’s intentions. In a statement that highlighted growing alarm at the sabre-rattling, she hinted that sanctions could follow if Ankara did not heed the bloc’s warnings. “We urgently call on Turkey to show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone [EEZ] and refrain from any such action to which the European Union will respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.” The European council president, Donald Tusk, said Brussels was closely monitoring the situation. “We stand united behind Cyprus,” he said of the island, the EU’s most easterly member state.

Any exploration would not only escalate tensions dramatically but increase fears of a “hot incident” with repercussions across a region where the race to tap underwater spoils is becoming ever more intense........

The escalating dispute comes less than a week after Turkey launched its largest-ever naval exercise, Operation Seawolf, with more than 130 warships in the region. Much of the naval deployment is set to occur in waters close to the island. “Our aim … is to show that the Turkish armed forces are extremely determined, committed and capable of ensuring the security, sovereignty, independence, maritime rights and benefits of Turkey,” said the country’s defence minister, Hulusi Akar.......

Cyprus, which lacks a navy, is not a member of the alliance but has launched a far-reaching diplomatic initiative to shore up solidarity among partners. Stepping up those efforts, officials confirmed the president, Nicos Anastasiades, had sent a letter at the weekend to the British prime minister, Theresa May, protesting about “unacceptable” comments that cast doubt over the island’s sovereignty of the area where Turkey intends to push ahead with the drilling. The UK’s stance is at odds with every other EU member state, they said. Anastasiades said he will raise the issue with Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, when he visits Nicosia on Monday.
Interesting that a s200 apparently made it to northern cyprus then....
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 05:36
  #183 (permalink)  
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...gas-off-cyprus

Turkey rejects claims it is drilling illegally for gas off Cyprus

Turkey has hit back at Greek and EU officials, denying claims it is acting illegally by drilling for gas in waters off Cyprus.

The country’s foreign ministry criticised EU condemnation of its efforts to tap the region for potentially lucrative energy resources, saying the bloc could not be considered an impartial mediator for the divided island. In a statement that will cause dismay in Brussels, Ankara vowed to press ahead with offshore exploration to safeguard the rights of Turkish Cypriots to the offshore resources.

Tensions over hydrocarbons escalated sharply after the discovery of possibly huge gas reserves off Cyprus, where there are conflicting claims over territorial waters. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdo
ğan, has repeatedly warned international oil companies commissioned by the Greek Cypriot government not to participate in the search for underwater deposits. ExxonMobil, Total and Eni are among the firms that have won licences to search in blocks around the island. Last year Turkish gunboats were dispatched to prevent Eni, an Italian oil company, from conducting drilling operations.

On Wednesday Ankara dug in its heels, pledging a second drilling vessel, the Yavuz, would expand exploration activities. The ship dropped anchor off the island’s north-eastern Karpas peninsula on Monday. ts arrival came two months after another ship, the Fatih, began drilling off Cyprus’s west coast escorted by a frigate.

In Athens, Ankara and Nicosia, diplomats fear the showdown could trigger military confrontation, and worry Erdoğan may be looking for a showdown to divert attention from domestic troubles........

Ankara insists it is acting within its own continental shelf or in territorial waters where Turkish Cypriots would also be entitled to an equal share of any finds. Its determination to press ahead with drilling follows Nicosia’s decision to take legal action, with arrest warrants issued for the crew of Fatih........

Last month the EU threatened economic sanctions against Ankara.

On Tuesday, Washington urged all parties to exercise restraint. “The United States remains deeply concerned by Turkey’s repeated attempts to conduct drilling operations in the waters of Cyprus,” the state department said in a statement. “We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint and refrain from actions that increase tensions in the region.”

Brussels also voiced “grave concern” over Turkey’s declared intention “to illegally conduct” a new drilling operation off the island. In a statement on Monday the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, pledged the bloc would continue to stand by its most easterly member, describing the dispatch of the second drilling ship as an “unacceptable escalation”.

“We call on Turkish authorities, once again, to refrain from such actions, act in a spirit of good neighbourliness and respect the sovereignty and sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with international law,” she said. “The European Union will respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.”

France also stepped in this week, calling on Turkey to avoid any action that would endanger regional stability. Ankara and Paris have been at loggerheads over the issue since the French president, Emmanuel Macron, came out in support of Cyprus at a meeting of heads of EU Mediterranean states last month.

“We want to take the road of calm. We want to resolve this peacefully between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus,” said one EU ambassador based in Athens. “That’s what we want, but frankly, who knows?”




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Old 12th Jul 2019, 15:58
  #184 (permalink)  
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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-t...-idUSKCN1U7116

Russia confirms it has started delivery of S-400 missile systems to Turkey

Reuters) - Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation confirmed on Friday it had started delivering S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey and that the deliveries would continue as per an agreed schedule, the RIA news agency reported.

The Turkish defense ministry said earlier on Friday that the first parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system had been delivered, a development set to escalate tensions with the United States which has warned of sanctions over the deal.



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Old 12th Jul 2019, 19:13
  #185 (permalink)  
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-spat-heats-up

EU to Cut the Flow of Funds to Turkey as Drilling Spat Heats Up

The European Union is poised to freeze most high-level contacts with Turkey and cut the flow of funds to the country, while holding back for now on sanctions that could target Turkish companies involved in offshore drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.

EU diplomats have agreed on the wording of a draft decision due to be formally adopted by the bloc’s foreign ministers on Monday, two officials familiar with the talks said. The draft calls for suspending negotiations on an aviation agreement with Ankara, halting scheduled ministerial meetings, reducing aid and inviting the European Investment Bank to review sovereign-backed lending to Turkey.

The bloc will also reiterate that it’s working on targeted sanctions in light of Turkey’s continuing controversial drilling practices, according to the final draft of the communique seen by Bloomberg. The statement was agreed on Friday afternoon after several rounds of redrafting, and it will be rubber-stamped by EU ambassadors on Monday before ministers sign off later in the day.......

Despite renewed tensions in the Mediterranean, the EU is wary of an escalation that would risk a landmark 2016 migration agreement, under which Turkey stemmed the bulk of refugee flows to Europe in exchange for financial assistance. Even though options for targeted sanctions were mandated by the bloc’s leaders last month, they are not being activated at this stage.

An EU diplomat said the bloc in its Monday decision will seek a balance between sending a clear message to Ankara and agreeing on measures that won’t harm the interests of EU nations or cut all ties with Turkey. The EU wants to keep some lines of communication open in areas such as migration and terrorism, the diplomat said, asking not to be named discussing sensitive issues.

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Old 13th Jul 2019, 05:53
  #186 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon...ion-is-silent/

Turkey has the S-400. The Trump administration is silent.

WASHINGTON — After months of threatening quick, severe action against Turkey should Ankara accept the Russian-made S-400 air defense system, the Trump administration has yet to react to the delivery of the weapon system.

A Turkish Defense Ministry statement early Friday said “the first group of equipment” of the S-400 air defense systems reached the Murted Air Base near Ankara on Thursday evening. The delivery of parts of the system will continue in the coming days and authorities will decide “how it will be used” once the system is made operational, Turkey’s defense industry authority said in a statement.

The Pentagon initially called an 11:15 AM press briefing to discuss the S-400 retaliation. It was then switched to 1:45, then postponed indefinitely. A defense official told reporters that Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke with his Turkish counterpart for half an hour during the afternoon, but said there will be no readout from the call. There has been no statement issued from the White House or State Department......

Gen. Mark Milley, Trump’s choice to be the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said in written testimony to the Senate Thursday that “my recommendation would be to discontinue the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey and unwind Turkey from the F-35 program if Turkey accepts delivery of the S-400. The S-400 is a Russian system built to shoot down aircraft like the F-35.”........

While the administration has yet to respond, Congressional leaders were vocal Friday. In a joint statement Friday afternoon, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate defense and foreign relations committees said “there must be consequences” for Turkey accepting the S-400. “We urge President Trump to fully implement sanctions as required by law under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” they said in the statement. “Additionally, while all F-35 material deliveries remain indefinitely suspended, we call on the Department of Defense to proceed with the termination of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program.”........

The U.S. actions against Turkey with the F-35 are a bilateral issue, but questions now arise about how the S-400 delivery will impact the relationship between Ankara and NATO.

Jim Townsend, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe now with the Center for a New American Security, noted that there are often political disagreements inside the NATO alliance. But the potential of the S-400 fight is a different level that “actually undercuts” the alliance military capability, he said. “This isn’t something you can negotiate around,” Townsend said. “This is a big deal, where action has to be taken. It will confront NATO with a political problem that is pretty unique, in the sense of, what do you do with a NATO ally that has taken actions to weaken the military capability of the alliance? How do you deal with that?”

But while the alliance may be getting caught in the “frag pattern” of the fight between the U.S. and Turkey, Townsend also sees it as unlikely that Turkey would leave the alliance, nor be pushed out (legally, NATO experts say, there is no mechanism to force a state out of the alliance.) And he sees a potential path forward where Turkey can claim a political victory while walking back the S-400 purchase, if the U.S. and other allies will allow it: that Turkey accepts the S-400 deliveries but leaves everything crated up in a warehouse while reopening U.S. negotiations, eventually leading to an agreement with the S-400 never set up.

“Delivery is starting. It hasn’t ended yet. Once delivery is done, these things will stay in crates until Russian technicians come in to help set it up. Then the Turkish forces need training. So there are a lot of steps for this,” Townsend said. “NATO has to come up with something that helps Erdogen get out of this corner. And the question is, will NATO be patient, or will they be too mad?”





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Old 17th Jul 2019, 07:44
  #187 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/congress...ns-are-coming/

Lawmakers say Trump is locked into Turkey sanctions

Lawmakers said the law is very clear: Trump has no choice but to sanction its NATO ally.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 12:11
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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No F-35's to Turkey.

Are there not a handful of Turkish F-35's inside the USA currently?

What happens to them?


https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...ets-to-turkey/
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Old 18th Jul 2019, 07:39
  #189 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019...-f-35-program/

Turkey officially kicked out of F-35 program, costing US half a billion dollars

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has removed Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program, and Turkey will lose its production work on the jet by March 2020, following its acceptance of the S-400 Russian-made air defense system last Friday. However, a top Pentagon official would not close the door on Turkey rejoining the programin some form, should it reverse the decision to buy the S-400.

The White House issued a statement Wednesday confirming the move, which Washington had threatened for months.

“Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible,” the White House statement read. “The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities. Turkey has been a longstanding and trusted partner and NATO Ally for over 65 years, but accepting the S-400 undermines the commitments all NATO Allies made to each other to move away from Russian systems," the statement continued.

Shortly after the statement was released, the Pentagon held a rare on-camera press conference to explain the process moving forward, with Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Ellen Lord and Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy David Trachtenberg. “Turkey cannot field a Russian intelligence collection platform in proximity to where the F-35 program makes repairs, and houses the F-35,” Lord said. “Much of the F-35′s strength lies in its stealth capabilities, so the ability to detect those capabilities would jeopardize the long term security of the F-35 program. We seek only to protect the long term security of the F-35 program.”..........

Lord avoided saying that the door was shut on Turkey returning to the program should the S-400 be removed from its soil and repeatedly used the term “suspension” to characterize Turkey’s status in the F-35 program. When asked twice whether Turkey could be welcomed back if the situation changes, Lord did not give a direct answer one way or the other. “At this point, the Turks have made a decision. We have said the F-35 and S-400 are incompatible. We will work forward at this point to unwind the relationship," she said.

All Turkish F-35 personnel have been informed they must leave the U.S. by July 31, including 20 individuals assigned to the Joint Program Office. Neither official would comment on if any of those individuals have requested asylum.

By March 2020, Turkey’s industrial participation in the F-35 program, which includes production on about 900 parts for the stealthy fighter, will be “unwound." Lord said the projection is this will cost Turkey’s economy around $9 billion over the life of the program. American suppliers will initially fill those production roles, but the goal is to eventually farm some of it out to other partners. Lord said the process will have “minimal” impacts on the larger F-35 program because of the planning that has already gone on for several months.

To move the production from Turkey to the U.S. will require between $500-$600 million in nonrecurring engineering costs, Lord said. Which partners, if any, would be willing to buy the F-35s already in production for Turkey was still being worked out.

Trachtenberg consistently delivered the same message over and over: that this situation is not one that should impact the broader NATO alliance. That includes Turkey’s participation in NATO exercises, particularly upcoming events in Georgia, Germany and Ukraine. Asked several times how Turkey having an air-defense system that cannot be linked to other NATO systems and could be used to spy on NATO jets would not harm alliance cohesion, Trachtenberg repeatedly said the relationship between Turkey, the U.S. and NATO will be able to continue.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 program, said, “This is a government-to-government matter, and as always, we are following official U.S. Government guidance as it relates to delivery of the F-35 to Turkey and the export of goods from the Turkish supply chain. Over the last several months we’ve been working to establish alternative sources of supply in the United States to quickly accommodate Turkey’s current contributions to the program. These actions will limit any future production or sustainment impact and we remain on track to meet our commitment of delivering 131 F-35s this year,” the statement added.

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Old 18th Jul 2019, 21:14
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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I do hope the nukes at Incirlik (if the media and Canadian Senator are to be believed) have or will soon be moved out of country.
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 06:43
  #191 (permalink)  
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Production of T129 ATAK helicopters for #Turkey's Gendarmerie General Command & #Pakistan Army Aviation is now stopped in #Turkish Aerospace Industries (#HAI) facility due to the fact that Rolls Royce has stopped delivering LHTEC CTS800-4A turboshaft engines for T129.
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Old 21st Jul 2019, 08:44
  #192 (permalink)  
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https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ori...operation.html

Will Erdogan risk an operation in Syria?

The crisis between Turkey and the United States over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems may have pushed the Turkish threat of a military incursion into northern Syria against the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) into the background for a time. The topic, however, is back on the agenda as Ankara beefs up its military presence along the Syrian border, leading to fresh speculation that an operation by Turkey is imminent.

There is also a sense of urgency on the Turkish side after Britain and France responded positively to President Donald Trump’s call to send troops to lands held by the YPG with US support. Multiple reports since November have also indicated that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have sent troops to the region to assist US forces, pouring more fuel on Ankara’s sense of urgency.......

There is also growing speculation that links the start of deliveries of the S-400s to Turkey last week — and the threat of US sanctions because of this — with a cross-border operation east of the Euphrates.

Bulent Aydemir, who heads the Ankara office of the popular daily Haberturk, said the S-400s will be activated in 1 to 1½ months and provide security for Turkey’s next operation in Syria — which, he said, “is just around the corner.” “Together with the S-400s it will be out of the question to prevent a Turkish operation against [YPG] targets east of the Euphrates with the threat of US sanctions,” Aydemir wrote.........






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Old 21st Jul 2019, 21:38
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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The Chinese are surely smiling.
Turkey is too far away for them to do much, but they will be able to highlight the real price the US exacts when one purchases US arms.
Meanwhile, the US military provide the security for Chinese entrepreneurs and capitalists to put South East Asia and Africa into debtors prison.
Seems very poor strategy for the US.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 20:04
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Was it cheaper for Turkey to buy the S-400 system than pay a financial penalty to leave the F-35 project?
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 09:07
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-...-f-35-program/


Israel reportedly lobbied Washington to drop Turkey from F-35 program

Officials from Jerusalem said to have pressured Washington behind the scenes to exclude Ankara from fighter jet program in bid to preserve military qualitative edge

By TOI staffToday, 9:06 am
Israel worked behind the scenes to ensure the United States blocked the sale of its F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey as part of its efforts to preserve its military qualitative edge in the region, Channel 12 reported Wednesday.

Israel in recent months lobbied Washington to drop Ankara from the F-35 program after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went ahead with a purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system that would give Turkey advanced air capabilities.

Washington said the S-400 missile defense batteries would compromise the F-35 program and aid Russian intelligence. Channel 12 reported that Israeli officials were similarly concerned that details of the aircraft’s advanced capabilities would leak to neighboring countries.

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In a major break with a longtime ally, US President Donald Trump earlier this month announced that Ankara was being kicked out of the F-35 program for purchasing the Russian-made system.

The White House said the American fighter jet program “cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.”Military vehicles and equipment, parts of the S-400 air defense systems, are unloaded from a Russian transport aircraft at Murted military airport in Ankara, Turkey, July 12, 2019. (Turkish Defense Ministry via AP, Pool)
Turkey — which had ordered more than 100 of the F-35s for some $1.4 billion — dismissed claims the Russian system would be a danger to the American warplanes, and urged Washington to reverse its decision.

The fifth-generation F-35 has been lauded as a “game-changer” by the military, not only for its offensive and stealth capabilities, but for its ability to connect its systems with other aircraft and form an information-sharing network.

Israel has agreed to purchase at least 50 F-35 fighter jets from the US defense contractor Lockheed Martin. So far, 16 aircraft have been delivered, and the remaining planes are slated to arrive batches of twos and threes until 2024.

Israel is the second country after the US to receive the F-35 from Lockheed Martin and one of the few allowed to modify the state-of-the-art aircraft, known in Israel as the Adir.

In 2018, the Israeli Air Force revealed it had used the F-35 operationally — including at least once over Lebanon — making it the first military in the world to do so.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 09:27
  #196 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/...e-s-400-issue/

A last chance for Turkey? There could still be time to fix the S-400 issue


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...um-middle-east

Turkey May Rethink Boeing Plane Orders, Erdogan Says

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Old 19th Aug 2019, 21:08
  #197 (permalink)  
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Syria Bombs Turkish Convoy

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...dlib-9bxh38wl9

Three dead as Turkish convoy is bombed in Idlib

Airstrikes on a Turkish military convoy shortly after it crossed into Syria have killed three civilians and wounded 12 others, Ankara said.

Syrian state media reported the Turkish convoy to be heading across the border this morning to deliver weapons to rebels in Jisr al-Shughur, a town in Idlib province which is controlled by extremist factions linked to al-Qaeda. Hours later,

Turkish state media reported that a convoy had been hit as it travelled to one of the 12 military observation outposts that Ankara has set up in Idlib province, under negotiations it has been holding with Russia, President Assad’s sponsor, since 2017.

The Turkish defence ministry said that three civilians had been killed and 12 others wounded.

The attack could have been carried out by either Syrian regime or Russian jets, both of which are launching fierce bombardments of Idlib as Assad seeks to retake one of the last rebel bastions in his country.

In its report shortly before the attack, Sana, Syria’s state news wire, reported that the convoy was carrying weapons to an al-Qaeda-linked faction, “affirming again the continued unlimited support provided by the Turkish regime to the terrorist groups”. An official from the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry added in their statement to Sana that Syria “holds the Turkish Regime fully responsible for the consequences”.

A video of the strike aired on Al Masdar, a Lebanese pro-Assad channel, shows a Syrian jet strike close to a convoy.

The report claims it was hit accidentally in a strike on militants.....


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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 15:30
  #198 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/w...base-rrlpdwqpg

Syrian forces surround Turkish military base


Assad regime forces have encircled a Turkish military observation post, setting up a tense standoff as they continue to press into rebel-held territory in the northwest of Syria.

Syrian state media said that government troops seized the villages of Latamneh, Latmeen, Kfar Zeita and Lahaya today, along with the village of Morek, where Turkey maintains its military post, closing a rebel pocket of control in southern Idlib province. The army’s recent gains also include parts of the northern Hama countryside that had been under rebel control since 2012, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Government forces are stationed on high points east of Morek, it added.

The Turkish observation post is one of 12 established as part of a “buffer zone” deal between Syria’s ally Russia and Ankara, which has long provided weapons and training to various opposition factions.

On Monday an airstrike hit close to a Turkish convoy heading for Morek. Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister, warned Damascus “not to play with fire” and said that Ankara would “do whatever is necessary to ensure the security of our soldiers and observation posts”. With no land route into or out of the encircled post, it is not yet clear how that could now be accomplished.....
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 23:41
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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Ball's in Erdogan's court.
Does he blink?
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 06:21
  #200 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/p...ters-97l9gxdnh

Putin offers Erdogan his stealth fighters

President Putin confirmed yesterday that Russia is ready to sell Turkey its Su-57 stealth fighters, which could push relations between the buyer and its fellow Nato members to breaking point.

Mr Putin made the comment while accompanying President Erdogan to the Maks-2019 international air show near Moscow. The leaders inspected the cockpit of a fifth generation Su-57, after which Mr Erdogan inquired if the aircraft were available for purchase. “You can buy,” a smiling Mr Putin replied. The Russian president later hailed what he said were growing opportunities for arms sales to Turkey, which has also expressed an interest in Russia’s Su-35 fighter jets.......

Russian analysts said it was likely that Turkey would now step up its purchases of Russian weaponry in defiance of Nato. “The Americans won’t like it, of course,” Evgeny Buzhinsky, a former member of the Russian general staff, told Russian state media. “But no one will exclude Turkey from Nato because it’s too important an ally.”.......

Mr Erdogan’s trip to Moscow coincided with a renewed military offensive by the Kremlin-backed Assad regime in Idlib province, northwest Syria. Mr Erdogan said the assault on the jihadists who control the province was a threat to Turkey’s national security and was causing a major humanitarian crisis. He has warned that Turkey is preparing to send in ground troops to secure its borders.......

The Morek observation point, one of 12 set by the Turkish army in Idlib under the terms of the agreement, was surrounded last week as the regime and Russian forces closed in on the area. The Turkish flag now appears to have been lowered. A video posted online on Monday night showed regime soldiers holding the flag, mocking the Turkish troops and chanting: “With our blood and souls, we sacrifice for you Bashar [Assad]”.

Mr Putin said yesterday that he and Mr Erdogan had agreed on additional steps to reduce hostilities in Idlib but gave no details.

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