Middle East

Turkey’s fighter jet program races ahead as Russian firm reveals interest

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s program for the design, development and production of the country’s first indigenous fighter jet gained pace late in April when two local prime contractors joined forces to outline a production scheme for critical parts. By: Burak Ege Bekdil DefenseNews Meanwhile, in a surprise move, a top Russian aerospace concern expressed interest in developing an engine to power the TF-X, the Turkish fighter aircraft in the making. On April 26, two strategic local contractors of the TF-X ... Read More »

Israelis targeted Iranian anti-aircraft missiles in Sunday strike: US officials

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Iran vows retaliation as sources say Israel preparing for open warfare Asia Times A late-night air strike targeting a base in the Syrian city of Hama was carried out by Israeli F-15s, US officials revealed on Tuesday amid calls for retaliation from Iran. Media outlets associated with the Syrian government and Hezbollah initially suggested Israel was behind the attack, but parties on both sides were slow to shed light on the strike. The three US officials, cited by NBC News, ... Read More »

Eastern Mediterranean: International Arbitration for ‘Venus’

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Cyprus and Israel are expected to resume international arbitration in order to put an end to their seven-year dispute over the exploitation rights of the “Aphrodite” (“Venus”) field. By Nefeli Tzanetakou / ibna On May 8, a two-sided meeting in Nicosia is scheduled to take place, with the participation of Greece, where, among other things, the implementation plan for the East Med pipeline, which is expected to transport the… In 2010, Cyprus and Israel co-signed the demarcation agreement relevant to the ... Read More »

What is the hidden story of White Helmets?

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Technologies combining the best traditions of conservatism with the new digital thinking and a very peculiar interpretation of logic, normative-legal and ethical norms are now at the forefront of hybrid wars. Editor ISF The best confirmation of this is the activity of the White Helmets, specializing in fake chemical attacks in Syria. In 2013, two years into the Syrian civil war, the “Syrian Civil Defence” is created in the UK as a non-governmental organization. This UK registered NGO is also ... Read More »

Pompeo puts onus on Palestinians to rejoin peace talks

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U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo‘>Mike Pompeo wound up a three-day Middle East trip April 30 without having met any Palestinian, but nevertheless urged their leadership to rejoin the peace process. Hurriyet Washington’s newly appointed top diplomat received a warm reception in Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Amman, focusing his talks on Iranian interference in the region – despite the tensions once against rising between Israel and the Palestinians. Forty-five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border since the… Pompeo puts onus… Read More »

Israel drops gauntlet on Malaysia’s help to Hamas

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Targeted assassination of researcher in Kuala Lumpur likely part of Israeli campaign to kill overseas Palestinian scientists and engineers Nile Bowie Asia Times Thousands of mourners gathered in Gaza on Friday for the funeral of Fadi al-Batsh, a respected Palestinian researcher and engineering lecturer who was assassinated by gun-wielding assailants in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on April 21 while heading to a mosque for dawn prayers. Al-Batsh studied electrical engineering in Gaza and earned a PhD on the subject ... Read More »

Speculation Swirls Turkey Might Seek Nonalignment

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ISTANBUL — The Syrian civil war has been a catalyst for Russian-Turkish rapprochement, much to the concern of Turkey’s NATO partners. Dorian Jones VoA This, coupled with Ankara’s current strained relations with its traditional Western allies, is raising the prospect of a nonaligned Turkey. Foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Russia are meeting Saturday in Moscow under the auspices of the so-called Astana process that’s aimed at resolving the Syrian civil war. Ahead of the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu ... Read More »

Gaza now has a toxic ‘biosphere of war’ that no one can escape

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Gaza has often been invaded for its water. Every army leaving or entering the Sinai desert, whether Babylonians, Alexander the Great, the Ottomans, or the British, has sought relief there. Authors: The Conversation But today the water of Gaza highlights a toxic situation that is spiralling out of control. A combination of repeated Israeli attacks and the sealing of its borders by Israel and Egypt, have left the territory unable to process its water or waste. Every drop of water ... Read More »

Eastern Mediterranean States Seek Framework to Sell Gas to Europe by Year-End

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Undersea pipeline would be the longest and deepest in world Sides negotiating ‘very seriously’ on project: Israel official Israel is trying to finalize working agreements with European governments interested in buying natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean region by the end of the year, according to the country’s energy minister. By Yaacov Benmeleh and David Wainer Bloomberg Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel are pushing a 6 billion euro ($7.3 billion) project to build a pipeline that would expand the export markets for gas ... Read More »

Turkey awards multibillion-dollar contract for indigenous Altay tank

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ANKARA, Turkey — BMC, a privately owned Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, has won a multibillion-dollar contract for the serial production of the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous, new-generation main battle tank in the making. By: Burak Ege Bekdil DefenseNews A top procurement official confirmed the decision. “We will start contract negotiations with this group, as it emerged as the best bidder,” the official said. Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industies, or SSM, has been reviewing bids from three ... Read More »

Erdogan’s Revenge and the Kurdish Dilemma

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After 4,000 years of continuous habitation, there is no Kurdish presence left in Afrin. Maurice Glasman * The Nation Arriving in Baghdad, it is clear who has won the Iraq War. The Shia are in charge. Tower-sized, luminous green posters of Husseyn and Ali define the landscape, draped from Brezhnevite tower blocks, augmented by portraits of martyred fighters in identical uniforms, with a prominent place for Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, the Shia cleric executed by the Saudis. These are reproduced in ... Read More »

The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago

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Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish luminaries, including Hannah Arendt, published a letter in the New York Times on December 4, 1948. Ramzy Baroud CounterPunch That was only a few months after Israel had declared its independence and as hundreds of Palestinian villages were being actively demolished after their inhabitants were expelled. The letter denounced Israel’s newly-founded Herut party and its young leader, Menachem Begin. Herut was carved out of the Irgun terrorist gang, famous for its many massacres against ... Read More »

Arab Analyst: Turkey to Face Threat of Disintegration in Case of Lack of Cooperaton with Syria, Iraq

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TEHRAN (FNA)- Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, warned that if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues playing in the US court and resists cooperation with Syria and Iraq, his country will be faced with the danger of… Fars “The US and its western allies intend to pave the ground for Turkey’s disintegration through disintegrating Syria,” Atwan wrote on Tuesday, adding that Washington aims to disintegrate the West Asian countries to establish new states based on their ... Read More »

Gallipoli commemorations of Turkish youth tell us much about politics in Turkey

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With ongoing political instability and security concerns in Turkey, we are again likely to see a smaller turnout of Australians and New Zealanders for Anzac Day ceremonies at Gallipoli this year. Authors: (2) The Conversation But thousands of Turkish youth will be on the battlefields at dawn. They will be re-enacting the march by the 57th Regiment to the highlands, where Ottoman troops halted the Anzac advance in 1915. We undertook fieldwork last Anzac Day on this ritual as part ... Read More »

An Open Letter to H.E. Mr. António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations

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Published in Agora Dialogue on 24 April 2018 OPEN LETTER Date: 24 April 2018 Dear Secretary-General Re: The ill-fated ‘Annan Plan’ submitted to ‘separate, simultaneous referenda’ held on 24 April 2004 Today marks the passage of 14 years since the United Nations oversaw what it described at the time as two ‘separate simultaneous referenda’.  These ‘referenda’ were held on 24 April 2004 in what the United Nations also described at the time as ‘the two sides’, i.e. the area of the ... Read More »

Israel abandons plan to forcibly deport African migrants

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JERUSALEM: The Israeli government said on Tuesday it was abandoning a plan to forcibly deport African migrants who entered the country illegally. Arab News The government had been working for months on an arrangement to expel thousands of mostly Eritrean and Sudanese men who crossed into Israel through Egypt’s Sinai desert. “At this stage, the possibility of carrying out an unwilling deportation to a third country is not on the agenda,” the government wrote in a response to the The ... Read More »