Connect with us

International

No large-scale military action needed in Syria’s Idlib: Putin

Agencies

Published

🕒

on

IST

Moscow :Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country’s joint plan with Turkey for creating a demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib, the last major terrorist bastion in the country, has been effective, thus no major military action is needed in the region.
“I have every reason to believe that we will achieve our goals,” Putin said .
“And that means, no large-scale military actions are expected there,” he added. “Military action for the sake of military action is unnecessary.”
In September, Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached a deal in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the establishment of a U-shaped buffer zone around Idlib that would be free of both terrorists and heavy weapons.
Under the agreement, the militants must withdraw by the middle of October. It also stipulates that Turkey and Russia would carry out coordinated military patrols on the borders of the zone in a bid to detect and prevent “provocation by third parties.”
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on September 30 that the Turkey-backed Failaq al-Sham militant outfit was the first to abide by the terms of the accord.
However, the US-backed Jaysh al-Izza faction rejected the deal, saying that the zone would only encompass territory currently controlled by anti-Damascus militants. The buffer zone, it noted, should be carved out equally from both terrorist-held areas and nearby regions under the control of Syrian government forces.
With an estimated 2,500 members, the Jaysh al-Izza militant outfit is mainly operating in Syria’s west-central Hama province, bordering Idlib.
The group, which has been supplied with anti-tank missiles by the US, refused to join the so-called National Liberation Front (NLF), a recently formed alliance of militant factions supported by Ankara.
Meanwhile, members of Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, have reportedly agreed to withdraw from the zone under pressure from the Turkish intelligence service.
Syria’s pro-government al-Watan daily newspaper reported that Turkish intelligence agents have held several meetings with the leaders of the terror outfit, and vowed that the Syrian army would not carry out a military operation in Idlib.
Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements, especially in the country’s southern areas and Damascus suburbs.
Now, the Syrian army is preparing for peacefully ridding Idlib from several foreign-sponsored terrorist groups.


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

International

North Korea asks UN chief to address ship seizure by ‘gangster’ US

Agencies

Published

on

SEOUL: North Korea has asked United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to deal with the “illegal” seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States, state media said on Saturday. “This act of dispossession has clearly indicated that the United States is indeed a gangster country that does not care at all about international laws,” the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations said in a letter sent to Guterres dated Friday, according to North Koreas KCNA news agency. Pyongyangs protest to the United Nations over the seizure comes amid mounting tensions since a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, aimed at bringing about the denuclearisation of the North, broke down in Hanoi in February.
The letter also called for “urgent measures” by Guterres and claimed that Washington infringed the North`s sovereignty and violated U.N. charters. With the denuclearisation talks stalled, North Korea went ahead with more weapons tests this month. The tests were seen as a protest by Kim after Trump rejected his calls for sanctions relief at the Hanoi summit.
North Korea has said the ship seizure violated the spirit of the summit and demanded the return of the vessel without delay. The U.S. Justice Department said the North Korean cargo ship, known as the “Wise Honest”, was seized and impounded to American Samoa. The vessel was accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of sanctions and was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018.

Continue Reading

International

Trump tells Pentagon chief he doesn’t want war with Iran

Agencies

Published

on

KARACHI: Senior officials in Washington have begun looking for ways to defuse tensions with Tehran after President Donald Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t want a war with Iran, sources say.
The New York Times has reported that during a meeting Mr Trump told his acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran.
The president’s statement was meant to apprise his hawkish aides that he did not want the intensifying US pressure campaign against the Iranians to turn into an open conflict, said the newspaper.
According to another statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the leader of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to discuss the threat posed by Iran. Oman has long been seen as an intermediary between the West and Iran.
Pompeo also asked European officials for help in persuading Iran to “de-escalate” tensions, which rose after American intelligence indicated that Iran had equipped small boats in the Persian Gulf with missiles. The information prompted fears that Tehran might strike at the United States troops and assets or those of its allies.
When asked on Thursday whether the United States was going to war with Iran, Mr Trump replied: “I hope not.”
The developments have served to highlight internal tensions in the Trump administration and prompted fears that even though the president may not be spoiling for a fight with Iran some of his aides could be.
This is happening at a time when US officials are holding an internal debate about the “gravity of the Iranian threat”. While officials and British allies say the intelligence about the threat is valid, lawmakers and some inside the administration accuse Mr Trump’s aides of exaggerating the danger and exploiting the intelligence to justify a military clash with Tehran.
Iran has dismissed any suggestion of a dialogue with the Trump administration. “The escalation by the United States is unacceptable,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.
Indeed, there was a new potential flash point in Iran’s standoff with the United States, stemming from its vow last week to step away from some of the limitations imposed by the nuclear deal, a year after the US pulled out of the agreement that was negotiated between Tehran and world powers in 2015.
State Department officials, meanwhile, have set a “red line” that they warn Iran would cross at its peril: It could not ramp up its nuclear fuel production to the point where it would produce a nuclear weapon in less than one year.
The administration officials, however, did not specify what kind of reaction — military or otherwise — would come if Iran built up enough of a stockpile of uranium and took other steps to cross that threshold.

Continue Reading

International

More than 250,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh get first ID cards: UN

Agencies

Published

on

Geneva: The UN said it has registered more than 250,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, providing many with their first ever identification cards and proof of their right to return to Myanmar in the future.
The UN refugee agency also said the registration could serve as a tool for law enforcement to help counter human trafficking.
Over a quarter of a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have now been jointly registered and provided with identity cards by Bangladesh authorities and UNHCR,” spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva.
Some 740,000 Rohingya refugees fled a military crackdown in August 2017 to cross into Bangladesh where 300,000 members of the persecuted Muslim minority were already in camps.
Many Rohingya refugees who fled said there had been mass rapes and slaughters in the villages, and in a report published last September, the fact-finding mission said there were reasonable grounds to believe the atrocities amounted to “genocide”.
UNHCR puts the number of Rohingya refugees currently crowded into settlements in Cox’s Bazar at around 900,000, although the UN often gives a lower number than Bangladesh authorities and other aid organisations.
They are stateless, despite the fact that many of their families have lived in Myanmar for generations, since members of the Muslim minority have had their citizenship eroded over decades.
“The registration exercise, which began in June 2018, is about safeguarding the right of Rohingya refugees to be able to return home voluntarily to Myanmar in future,” Mahecic said.
Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed a memorandum of understanding about repatriating the Rohingya, but so far safety fears and concerns over citizenship mean the refugees have refused to return.
The new ID cards, provided to all refugees over the age of 12, lists important information, including names, family links and fingerprints and Iris scans.
Mahecic also said that the cards list Myanmar as the refugees’ country of origin.
In total, 270,348 refugees, or nearly 60,000 families, have been registered, and around 4,000 people are added to the roster each day, he said.
UNHCR’s goal is to complete the process of registering all the Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar by November.
Mahecic pointed out that comprehensive registration is important for improving the accuracy of data on refugees in Bangladesh, and provides authorities and humanitarians with a better understanding of the population and its needs.
He also said that the registration “can also serve as a better tool vis-a-vis the authorities to prevent and combat smuggling and trafficking”.
His comment came after a rise in attempted human smuggling of Rohingya in the last few months, amid growing desperation in the camps.
Earlier this week, Bangladeshi police shot dead two suspected Rohingya human traffickers, after rescuing 103 refugees in two days about to make the perilous sea voyage to Malaysia.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 1,010,290 other subscribers

Archives

May 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
Advertisement