Tag Archives: Says

Turkey says its patience with Russia ‘has a limit’: newspaper

ROME Turkey’s foreign minister stated Ankara’s patience with Russia “has a limit” right after Moscow’s “exaggerated” reaction to a weekend naval incident between the two countries, an Italian newspaper reported on Monday.

A Russian destroyer fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean on Sunday to steer clear of a collision and summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident..

“Ours was only a fishing boat, it appears to me that the reaction of the Russian naval ship was exaggerated,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview.

“Russia and Turkey certainly have to re-establish the relations of trust that we have always had, but our patience has a limit,” Cavusoglu stated.

The incident is most likely to heighten tensions in between the two nations who are at odds more than Syria and Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane last month.

Cavusoglu stated Russia had currently “put itself in a ridiculous position” with accusations by its President Vladimir Putin that Turkey had shot down the jet to defend oil supplies from Islamic State.

“No-a single believed it” he mentioned.

He also criticized Russia’s military intervention in Syria, saying it was aimed at propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, not combating Islamic State.

“Sadly Russia is not in Syria to fight terrorists,” he mentioned, adding that only 8 % of its air strikes had been aimed at Islamic State whilst 92 % were against other groups hostile to Assad.

Cavusoglu also stated air strikes had been not sufficient to defeat Islamic State and soldiers on the ground have been essential, according to the interview.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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Amnesty urges Egypt to cost-free boy family members says was abused by police

CAIRO Egypt need to instantly release a 14-year-old boy who says he was sexually abused in detention by police using a wooden stick and bring his alleged torturers to justice, Amnesty International stated.

Mazen Mohamed Abdallah’s household told the rights group the teenager was repeatedly tortured in custody, such as also being offered electric shocks to his genitals.

“The horrific abuse described by Abdallah offers a sickening insight into the widespread and routine use of torture and ill-treatment by Egyptian safety forces in police stations,” Said Boumedouha, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa plan deputy director, said in a statement on Friday.

The boy’s case is a single of numerous highlighted over the previous weeks by rights groups who say police brutality is once once more widespread in Egypt.

The Interior Ministry declined quick comment on Amnesty’s accusations but mentioned it would situation a statement later.

It has stated it would investigate all abuse allegations.

The group said Abdallah was tortured into confessing membership of the Muslim Brotherhood and participating in an unauthorized protest.

The Brotherhood was removed from energy by the military in 2013 when then-military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted former President Mohamed Mursi, a member of the group, following mass protests against his elected rule.

The group was then outlawed and safety forces killed hundreds of its supporters and jailed thousands, with hundreds far more sentenced to death in mass trials.

Egypt’s police had been notorious for human rights abuses during the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak but melted away in the course of the uprising that toppled him in 2011. They have considering that produced a robust comeback under Sisi, who replaced Mursi as president.

Two police officers were sentenced on Saturday to 5 years in jail for torturing a lawyer to death in a police station in February.

On Friday, nine police were referred to a criminal court and charged with beating to death a father of 4.

He was one particular of at least three males who died in police custody in the space of a week in November, prompting riots in his house town and uncommon media scrutiny of police techniques.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein Editing by Alison Williams)

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China says senior Uighur official killed during raid in unruly Xinjiang

BEIJING A senior ethnic Uighur security official was killed in a police raid on a “nest of terrorists”, Chinese state media reported, providing specifics on a previously unannounced operation in the violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang.

Hundreds of individuals have been killed in the previous couple of years in the region which is property to the mostly Muslim Uighur individuals in violence blamed by the government on Islamist militants seeking an independent state called East Turkestan.

The official People’s Everyday, in a report late on Saturday, named the dead official as Maimaitijiang Tuohuniyazi, a deputy head of public security in Aksu, a vast element of western Xinjiang that borders Kyrgyzstan.

It said domestic safety chief Meng Jianzhu, who is currently in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, supplied condolences to Tuohuniyazi’s widow, praising him as a brave and selfless man.

“In order to rescue a herder who had been kidnapped by terrorists, he threw himself into the breach, charged into the nest of terrorists and however heroically sacrificed himself,” the paper mentioned, with no giving other details.

At least 16 people, like five police officers, were killed in an attack at a colliery in Aksu in September. Chinese safety forces later said they had killed 28 “terrorists” involved in that attack.

The newspaper mentioned Meng took element in an award ceremony for these involved in tracking down the coal mine attackers.

Meng stated that more than the past year, security solutions had “clear successes” in cracking down on terrorism, and had succeeded in stopping “far more than 98 %” of terror plots in the organizing stage. He gave no specifics.

China’s battle against the violence in Xinjiang has been hampered by poor intelligence in a element of the country where few officials realize the Uighur language or Islam and the government has had difficulty recruiting Uighur operatives, diplomats and specialists say.

Meng has previously said the government required to boost its intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing amongst different departments it if wanted to better deal with the threat of terrorism, a rare admission of the problems it faces.

Rights groups and exiles say the violence in Xinjiang stems much more from widespread Uighur resentment at Chinese controls on their religion and culture rather than the action of a nicely-organized militant group.

China strongly denies abusing human rights in Xinjiang, and says it is facing a determined campaign from Islamist radicals and separatists.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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Al Qaeda’s Syria wing says truces only benefit government

BEIRUT Truces in between the government and opposition fighters in Syria only advantage Damascus, the leader of one of the largest insurgent groups in the conflict stated in comments broadcast on Saturday.

The comments by Abu Mohamad al-Golani, head of al Qaeda’s Syria wing Nusra Front, came after the implementation of a truce deal in Waer, the last insurgent-held location of Homs city, among the regional government and insurgents.

“Truces are the first step to surrender and take place only in the interests of the regime,” he stated in comments to reporters broadcast on the opposition-affiliated Orient News Tv channel.

It was not quickly clear when the recording took location. Golani’s face was digitally obscured.

Beneath the Waer deal, fighters who rejected the terms and some civilians have been permitted leave and humanitarian aid was allowed in. Nusra Front fighters were among these who rejected the ceasefire and left.

A senior United Nations official told Reuters this week the Waer ceasefire was a great model to construct on and could aid market a nationwide truce in the practically 5-year conflict that has killed 250,000 men and women.

U.N. officials were present when fighters began to leave Waer final week.

Golani also criticized a Saudi-hosted Syrian opposition conference held last week as “a conspiracy” and stated fighters who had attended had not followed the orders of their leaders.

Nusra Front, a Sunni Muslim hardline group, was not invited, and Golani mentioned would not have wanted to attend anyway.

“(The conference) was not in the interests of the men and women of Syria, which is unacceptable,” he said. He also added that these who attended did not have the capacity to implement any outcomes on the ground.

Golani gave a rare two-portion interview to the Qatari-financed Al Jazeera channel earlier this year in what appeared to be an attempt by his group to cast itself to an Arab audience as a Syrian national movement.

“We took the path of jihad and we have to complete the process, and we are speaking about liberating much more than 80 % of Syrian territory,” he stated on Orient News.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall in Beirut and Ali Abdelatti in Cairo Editing by Ros Russell)

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Yemen’s Houthi group says ceasefire to start off on December 14: spokesman

DUBAI A ceasefire in Yemen’s civil war will start off on December 14, on the eve of planned peace talks in Switzerland subsequent week, the head of the Houthi delegation to the peace talks said on Saturday.

“Based on what had been agreed upon, there will be a halt of the aggression on the 14th of this month,” Mohammed Abdel-Salam told a news conference broadcast reside from the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

The Iran-allied Houthis describe military operations by a Saudi-led Arab alliance in Yemen as an aggression. The alliance says it had intervened in response to a request by Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari, writing by Sami Aboudi Editing by Dominic Evans)

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Syria’s Assad says he will not negotiate with armed groups

BEIRUT/MOSCOW Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on Friday that he would not negotiate with armed groups, appearing to scupper peace talks that Russia and the United States hope to bring about subsequent month.

Washington helped broker an agreement reached on Thursday by far more than one hundred members of Syria’s opposition parties and far more than a dozen rebel fighting groups ranging from Islamists to Western-backed Cost-free Syrian Army (FSA) groups – but not Islamic State – to send a joint team to meet the government below U.N. auspices next month.

The initiative is driven at least partly by their concentrate on defeating a common enemy in the kind of Islamic State, which has seized massive parts of Syria and Iraq and is increasingly ordering or inspiring attacks on the West and Russia.

But in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE, Assad stated he would not hold political talks with any armed groups, and accused Washington and its ally Saudi Arabia of wanting “terrorist groups” to join negotiations.

He stated Syria had contact with armed groups for one purpose only: “to attain a predicament exactly where they give up their armaments and either join the government or go back to their typical life … This is the only way to deal with the militants in Syria.

“There’s no point in meeting in New York or anyplace else without having defining terrorist groups,” he said. “For us, in Syria, everyone who holds a machinegun is a terrorist.”

Foreign ministers of nations opposed to Assad are due to meet in Paris on Monday to prepare for talks with Russia and Middle Eastern nations in New York on Thursday with a specific concentrate on trying to kind the opposition delegation for the peace talks.

Prior to Assad’s remarks have been published, Washington said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would travel to Moscow on Tuesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The experience of a failed peace conference in Switzerland two years ago had kept expectations for the newest push low.


The rebel groups issued a statement at the finish of their two-day conference in Riyadh saying Assad need to leave energy at the start of a transitional period, and calling for an all-inclusive, democratic civic state.

Despite the fact that the demand goes beyond what Western powers are calling for, it is rejected by Assad’s patrons Russia and Iran.

A list of 34 members of a secretariat designated to choose the opposition’s negotiating group contained 11 representatives of rebel fighting groups, nine members of the exiled political opposition, six from Syria’s internal opposition and eight independents.

The potent Islamist insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham was represented, along with a quantity of FSA groups that have received military help from states opposed to Assad, such as Saudi Arabia and the United States.

At one point on Friday, Putin appeared to hold out an olive branch to the West, creating what appeared to be Russia’s first explicit statement of support for rebels opposed to Assad in the fight against Islamic State.

At an annual meeting at the Defense Ministry, he mentioned the Totally free Syrian Army was engaged in “offensive actions against terrorists, alongside regular forces, in the provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Raqqa”.

“We assistance it from the air, as properly as the Syrian army, we help them with weapons, ammunition and supply material assistance.” he said.

But FSA groups dismissed any suggestion of Russian help.

Russian air strikes have targeted a number of FSA groups in western Syria, notably factions that have received military support from Assad’s foreign enemies, which includes anti-tank missiles. A senior Western diplomat said only about 20 % of Russian strikes had been aimed at Islamic State.

A couple of hours later, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to repeat Putin’s assertion, saying: “Russia supplies weapons to the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Asked whether Putin had been speaking about supplying FSA groups, he added: “Please do not cling to meanings in this case. Such an interpretation is feasible.”

The U.S. State Division mentioned on Friday it was unable to confirm Putin’s claims. Spokesman John Kirby stated, “It is unclear to us … whether or not these claims of assistance to the FSA are correct.”


Meanwhile, Islamic State claimed a triple truck bomb attack that killed dozens of folks in a portion of northeastern Syria where Kurdish YPG forces have been pushing back the Islamist militants in recent weeks.

The three blasts, carried out by at least two suicide bombers, went off outside a hospital, at a market and in a residential region in the town of Tel Tamer on Thursday evening, the YPG’s Redur Xelil stated through an internet messaging service.

He put the toll at at least 50 dead and 80 wounded. The Asayish, a Kurdish internal security force, put the death toll at 26.

The YPG has been the most successful companion on the ground in Syria for the U.S.-led coalition that is pounding Islamic State from the air.

But it operates only in northern Syria, and is distrusted by other rebel groups, which shut it out of the Riyadh conference along with the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, fighting alongside other rebels against Assad in western Syria.

Variations also stay between the groups that did attend, with numerous fighters contemplating Damascus-based political opposition figures to be also close to Assad – the same purpose the YPG was excluded.

But the virtually five-year-old conflict, in which a lot more than 250,000 men and women have died, has also spawned unlikely alliances of convenience.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said he would go to Saudi Arabia, a sturdy supporter of the anti-Assad rebels, quickly.

“I will check out Saudi Arabia at the end of the month for an official pay a visit to and we will talk about a number of matters and join hands with Saudi Arabia with regard to the region’s troubles,” he mentioned in an interview with Al Jazeera.

Senior U.S. Treasury Department official Adam Szubin stated in London on Thursday that Islamic State had created more than $ 500 million selling oil from territory it controls, with substantial volumes sold to Assad’s government and some finding its way to Turkey.

The United Nations says the war has left 13.five million Syrians in want of support and protection, like 400,000 living below siege and four.5 million in regions that are difficult for humanitarian help to attain.

U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien was to meet senior government officials in Damascus on Saturday to seek techniques to get much more help to those in most want.

(Extra reporting by Tom Perry in Beirut Writing by Kevin Liffey Editing by Janet Lawrence and Louise Ireland)

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Putin says Russia backs Free of charge Syrian Army alongside Assad troops

MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia supports the opposition Cost-free Syrian Army, providing it with air assistance, arms and ammunition in joint operations with Syrian troops against Islamist militants.

His statement appeared to be the first time Moscow mentioned it was really supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents in the fight against Islamic State forces. Putin said last month the Russian air force had hit a number of “terrorist” targets offered by the Free Syrian Army.

Western and Arab states carrying out air strikes against Islamic State for a lot more than a year say that Russian jets have primarily hit other rebel forces in the west of Syria.

“The function of our aviation group assists in uniting the efforts of government troops and the Totally free Syrian Army,” Putin told an annual meeting at the defense ministry.

“Now several of its units numbering more than 5,000 troops are engaged in offensive actions against terrorists, alongside normal forces, in the provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Raqqa,” he mentioned, referring to the Totally free Syrian Army.

“We support it from the air, as effectively as the Syrian army, we help them with weapons, ammunition and offer material support.”

Putin said strikes by Russia’s air force and navy had inflicted heavy damage on the infrastructure of Islamic State, which controls large areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu mentioned, however, that the influence of Islamic State was escalating in Syria, where militants handle about 70 % of the country.

The number of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria totals about 60,000, Shoigu mentioned, and there is a threat of violence spilling more than into post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Speaking to his generals, Putin issued a veiled warning to Turkey, whose downing of a Russian bomber jet near the Syrian-Turkish border final month sent bilateral relations to a freezing point and led Moscow to impose economic sanctions to Istanbul.

“I want to warn those who may possibly again attempt to stage provocations against our troops,” he stated.

“I order you to act in an very tough way. Any targets threatening Russia’s (military) group or our land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed,” Putin told the generals.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier on Friday called on Russia for calm, but said Turkey’s patience is not unlimited.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov Further reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Christian Lowe and Tom Heneghan)

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French PM says far-correct win would open road to civil war

PARIS France’s Socialist prime minister warned on Friday of a slide towards “civil war” if the far-appropriate National Front wins power in regional polls this weekend as a stepping stone toward its 2017 presidential election campaign.

Manuel Valls, head of the Socialist national government, is waging a fierce battle to hold Front leader Marine Le Pen from energy, going as far as urging left-wingers to back mainstream appropriate-wingers in regions exactly where Le Pen and her camp could win.

“We have reached a historic moment where the bottom line for our country is a option amongst two options,” mentioned Valls. “One particular is the extreme correct, which generally stands for division, a division that can lead to civil war.”

The other selection, he said in a radio interview, was to vote for what the French contact republican values, which means a country open to individuals of diverse cultures as lengthy as they accept the underlying guidelines and authority of the secular state.

The National Front, an anti-immigrant, anti-EU celebration which wants to ditch the euro currency, secured the most significant quantity of votes – 27.7 percent – in the first round ballot final Sunday.

With two days to the final ballot, and most current opinion polls suggesting a really tight contest with the FN slightly behind in its key regions, Marine Le Pen dismissed Valls’ civil war salvo as a “delirious outburst”.

“Let me remind the prime minister that the war becoming waged against France right now is becoming waged by Islamist fundamentalists bottle-fed by a laxist, sectarian Socialist Party,” she said.

Le Pen came very first in the opening round with a lot more than 40 percent of the vote in the northern area of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie.

Her niece Marion Marechal-Le-Pen likewise topped the vote in a essential southeastern region that consists of the Riviera coast referred to as Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (PACA).

Since then, the third-placed Socialist Celebration has pulled out of the race in each those essential regions, urging its supporters to back Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans in the Dec. 13 run-offs.

Polls published on Wednesday and Thursday even so recommend that Valls’ drastic electoral techniques may well operate, with their conservative adversaries pulling ahead in the runoff round.

(Reporting By Brian Love Editing by Andrew Callus and Tom Heneghan)

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Syrian Kurdish YPG spokesman says 50-60 killed in truck bomb attack

BEIRUT A spokesman for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia stated the death toll from a triple truck bomb attack in a town in northeastern Syria on Friday had risen to 50 to 60 people, with much more than 80 others wounded.

One of the blasts occurred outside a hospital, an additional at a marketplace and the third in a residential area in the YPG-controlled town of Tel Tamer, Redur Xelil mentioned by means of Web messaging service.

A statement on the website of Kurdish security force Asayish blamed the attack on Islamic State. The town is in the mostly Kurdish-controlled province of Hasaka.

(Reporting by Tom Perry and John Davison Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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Military sites in Burundi capital attacked, says official, soldiers

Globe | Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:47am EST


NAIROBI Military sites had been attacked in Burundi’s capital in the course of a night of heavy gunfire and explosions, an official and soldiers said on Friday, the most recent flare up in violence in a nation Western powers fear will slide back into ethnic conflict.

Presidential media adviser Willy Niyamitwe mentioned on Twitter that opponents attacked military camps as element of “a diversion” to cost-free prisoners but said the raids “failed”. Two soldiers, who asked not be named, told Reuters attacks targeted 3 military websites, citing colleagues they spoke to on the scene.

(Writing by Edmund Blair)


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