Archive for May, 2012

Ankara (AFP)
Sept 2, 2011

Turkey plans to deploy an early warning radar by the end of the year as part of NATO’s missile defense system for Europe, officials said Friday.

Leaders of the 28-member NATO alliance endorsed plans in Lisbon last year to launch a Europe-wide ballistic missile shield, which US officials say is aimed at thwarting missile threats from Iran.

Technical negotiations about the deployment of the defense system in Turkey “have reached a final stage,” Selcuk Unal, spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry, said in a written statement.

“It is foreseen that the early warning radar system dedicated by the United States to NATO will be deployed in our country,” Unal said.

“Turkey’s hosting of this element will contribute to the … defense system, which is developed under NATO’s new strategic concept (and) strengthen NATO’s defense capacity and Turkey’s national defense system,” he added.

In Washington, the Pentagon on Friday welcomed Turkey’s decision as a step forward for the missile defense project, which initially will rely on naval ships equipped with interceptors designed to knock out incoming missiles.

“The hope is to have it deployed by the end of this year,” spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan told reporters.

“This component will link in to the ballistic missile defense capable AEGIS ships that we operate in the Mediterranean,” Lapan said.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Turkey’s decision marked “a critical contribution to the Alliance’s overall defense against current and emerging ballistic missile threats.”

He further applauded Ankara for its contribution to “NATO’s capability to provide protection to its European territory populations and forces against the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles.”

Turkey, concerned over its delicate position with neighboring Iran, persuaded NATO allies to leave out any mention of Iran when the missile defense plan was approved at an alliance summit in November.

Reacting to Turkey’s announcement, Russia’s foreign ministry restated Moscow’s demand for guarantees that “the anti-missile systems deployed in Europe are not aimed at the strategic nuclear forces of Russia”.

Source: Space War.


Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian credited with launching the Arab Spring, is featured on the poster for the 2011 Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam, TAP reported on Friday (September 2nd). The event opens September 7th with Tunisian director Mongi Farhani’s “Al-Charara”. Forty films from 20 Arab and European countries will be presented at the festival, initiated in 2000 by Tunisian Khaled Shawkat, who lives in the Dutch city.

Source: Magharebia.


Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) foreign emissary Mahmoud Jibril on Saturday (September 3rd) led a delegation to Tunisia for bilateral talks with Interim President Foued Mebazaa and Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, TAP reported. Discussions reportedly focused on the protection of national security. Tunisia will “spare no effort to strengthen co-operation with Libya in all fields… to contribute to the construction of a better future for the two countries and for the two peoples”, Mebazaa said.

Source: Magharebia.


Tunisia on Friday (September 2nd) imposed an overnight curfew on Sbeïtla, TAP reported. According to the defense ministry, a row that started at a wedding led to clashes between security services and young people. A 17-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet. Another curfew was imposed Friday on the Kebilie town of Douz, after clashes between youths from El Kalaa and Abedla left 30 people injured.

Source: Magharebia.


Libyan rebels on Saturday (September 3rd) encircled the Kadhafi stronghold of Bani Walid and besieged Sirte, Jufra and Sabha, BBC reported. National Transitional Council (NTC) Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil said that the cities under siege were being given humanitarian aid but had one week to surrender “to avoid further bloodshed”. According to Al Jazeera, a team of negotiators from Bani Walid told the rebels that they wanted two more days before surrendering their weapons.

In other news, Algeria denied political asylum to some 30 high-ranking military and intelligence officials from the Kadhafi regime who tried to enter Algeria last week near Debdeb, El Khabar reported on Saturday (September 3rd). Following the refusal of Algerian authorities to allow them entry, the Libyan officers reportedly headed in a convoy to the border with Niger.

Source: Magharebia.

Sun Sep 4, 2011

Local fighters say they have shot down a suspected United States operated aerial vehicle in the south of Somalia near the capital, Mogadishu. Press TV reported.

Al-Shabaab fighters say the drone crashed into the sea after it was hit near the lower Shabelle region in Merka town, located south of the capital.

The fighters say six other drones have been seen flying over Mogadishu and the nearby town of Merka.

Numerous US remote-controlled drones have in the past few weeks crashed in Somalia.

Drone attacks in Somalia make the lawless state the sixth country where the US military has used remote-controlled aircraft to conduct such lethal strikes.

The United States has now employed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen to launch aerial bombings.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Source: PressTV.

Sun Sep 4, 2011

Dozens of supporters of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas have rallied in the streets of Gaza to show support of Turkey’s decision to cut its diplomatic relations with Israel.

Chanting slogans in support of Ankara and against Tel Aviv, the demonstrators condemned the recent UN-leaked report on the deadly Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound relief aid convoy Freedom Flotilla in international waters in 2010.

The marchers slammed the report, which offers an air of legitimacy to Israel’s prolonged blockade on the Gaza Strip, burning flags of Israel, Xinhua reported.

On Friday, Turkey expelled Israel’s envoy from Ankara and suspended all its military ties with Israel after Tel Aviv refused to apologize for its deadly attack on the Gaza-bound aid convey.

Meanwhile, following the release of the UN report, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara would take legal action against Israel’s blockade on Gaza at the International Court of Justice.

The report, written by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, approved Israel’s blockade of Gaza — tightened a year after the election of Hamas in Palestine’s general elections of 2006 — as a so-called security measure.

It terms the Israeli raid “excessive and unreasonable,” but also blamed Turkey and the flotilla organizers for contributing to the killing of pro-Palestinian activists.

The top Turkish diplomat challenged the report, saying the latest report is in contrast with an earlier report prepared by the UN Human Rights Council in September, which blamed Israel for violating international law.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza when the Hamas government took control of the territory in 2007.

The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the territory.

Source: PressTV.

Sun Sep 4, 2011

Turkey says it plans to challenge Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip at the International Court of Justice, amid rising tensions between Ankara and Tel Aviv.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the decision on Saturday, one day after the release of a United Nations report on Israel’s May 31, 2010 attack on a Gaza-bound aid convoy in international waters and the deaths of nine Turkish nationals on board the fleet.

The report, written by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, approved Israel’s blockade of Gaza — tightened a year after the election of Hamas in Palestine’s general elections of 2006 — as a so-called security measure.

It called the Israeli raid “excessive and unreasonable,” but also blamed Turkey and the flotilla organizers for contributing to the killing of pro-Palestinian activists.

Davutoglu rejected the Palmer report saying it was in contrast with an earlier report on the incident prepared by the UN Human Rights Council in September, which found that Israel violated international law by attacking the civilian aid convoy.

He argued that the recent document was not endorsed by the United Nations and was therefore not binding.

“What is binding is the International Court of Justice,” Davutoglu said.

“This is what we are saying: let the International Court of Justice decide,” he added, explaining that Ankara was preparing the necessary grounds for the legal action.

The comments came a day after Turkey, irked by Israel’s refusal to apologize over its deadly attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, expelled Tel Aviv’s ambassador to Ankara and froze all military ties with Israel.

Turkey, which has been actively pursuing the case of Israel’s flotilla attack, also promised to support legal actions against Israel by the families of the victims of the attack.

It also vowed to take measures to ensure freedom to navigate in the eastern Mediterranean, a move that analysts suggest could mean sending navy forces to escort future aid convoys.

In his Saturday comments, Davutoglu warned Tel Aviv that its persistence in disdaining to apologize could seriously endanger Israel’s interest in Arab and Muslim countries, swept by popular revolutions and a surging wave of Islamic Awakening.

“If Israel persists with its current position, the Arab spring will give rise to a strong Israel opposition as well as the debate on the authoritarian regimes,” he said.

Source: PressTV.

KHARTOUM (BNO NEWS) — Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has declared a state of emergency in the Blue Nile State following heavy fighting in the region, the Sudan Tribune reported on Saturday.

Bashir has also dismissed Blue Nile state governor Malik Agar, who is also chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), amid reports of aerial bombardments in the region. He instead appointed the commander of Sudanese army (SAF) base in the Blue Nile’s capital of al-Damazin, Major General Yahya Mohamed Khair, as a military ruler of the state.

The announcement came after fighting broke out on Friday between the SAF and the SPLM, and the house of Agar was allegedly targeted during a military offensive.

The warring sides traded accusations over who started the fight. SPLM-N secretary-general Yasir Arman told the Sudan Tribune that Sudan’s army instigated the clashes by attacking the SPLM-N’s Joint Integrated Units and the residence of Agar. Meanwhile, Sudan’s army said that SPLM-N forces carried out attacks in al-Damazin and more than four areas in the vicinity.

According to the army’s official spokesman, Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad, SPLM-N was mobilizing its forces to launch coordinated attacks on a number of army units. In contrast, Agar told Sudan Tribune that the Sudanese army was the one who instigated the fighting by attacking the positions of SPLM-N’s troops and accused Sudan’s army of carrying out aerial bombardments.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s foreign ministry announced that it intends to include the violent events in al-Damazin to the complaint it lodged to the UN Security Council (UNSC). The Sudanese government this week sent a letter to the UNSC accusing South Sudan of supporting SPLM-N rebels in South Kordofan State which neighbors the Blue Nile.

The government in Khartoum has been engaged in clashes with SPLA forces in South Kordofan, another state in the north that is on the southern border, since last June. Both states are part of north Sudan but their population sided largely with the South during the second Sudanese civil wars 1983-2005.

South Sudan became the world’s newest country when it broke away from Sudan on July 9 as a culmination of a six-year peace process which began in January 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM.

More than two million people, most of them civilians who died due to starvation and drought, were killed during the 20-year civil war in Sudan. Although there were hopes that South Sudan secession would lead to peace, violence has continued both on a local level in South Sudan as well as with the Sudanese forces.

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.

الجمعة 02-09-2011

قال الحراك الشبابي الاردني أنه سينظم إعتصاماً مساء الاحد امام السفارة البحرينية في عمان للتضامن مع الشعب البحريني المطالب بالحرية – على حد وصف بيان صدر عنهم الخميس -.

وعبر التحرك عن رفضه للتدخل الأمني الاردني في الخارج. ووجه الناشطون دعوة للاعتصام أمام السفارة البحرينية الكائنة في الشميساني عند الساعة السادسة من مساء الأحد القادم تضامنا مع الثورة الشعبية في البحرين، ورفضا للتدخل الأردني ضد الثورة هناك.

وبحسب المنظمين يهدف الاعتصام إلى التعبير عن التضامن مع الشعب البحريني في مطالبه المشروعة ،ورفض القمع بحقه، ورفض “الاحتلال السعودي” للشعب البحريني على حد وصفهم.

ويشدّد الداعون لهذا الاعتصام على رفض إقحام قوات الجيش والدرك الأردنية في معارك ليست بمعاركنا كما يحصل في البحرين وافغانستان وليبيا.

ومن الجدير بالذكر أنّه قد تمّ الكشف عن إرسال الأردن لقوات من الدرك لمساعدة السلطات البحرينية في استعادة النظام والقضاء على الثورة الشعبية استجابة لطلب من الحكومة البحرينية.

المصدر: الجزيرة العربية.