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Syrian Kurds seen establishing establishing own state linked to northern Iraq

As the Assad regime loses ground in the Syrian civil war, ethnic Kurds are gaining more and more leverage.

Special to AMMAN — Syrian Kurds were expected to form a state amid the Sunni revolt against President Bashar Assad, a report said. Jordan’s Al Quds Center for Political Studies has urged the Arab world to prepare for the establishment of a Syrian Kurdish state that could link to the autonomous Kurdish region in [...]

August 17th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Iraq,Jordan,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Turkey going ballistic, eyes space-launched vehicle

Turkey is looking to improve the range of its SOM missile from 300 to 1,500 kilometers.

Special to ANKARA — Turkey has launched a project to develop a space-launched vehicle (SLV). Turkish sources said the Defense Industry Executive Board approved the development of an SLV as well as a satellite-launch center. The sources said the approval by the board, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, came in wake of a [...]

August 12th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Turkey changes its story: Syria did not shoot down F-4

A handout underwater picture provided by Turkish Chief of Staff shows a piece of the wreckage of Turkish F4 war plane which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on June 22.  /EPA/BGNES

Special to ANKARA — Turkey’s military has reversed its finding that Syria downed a Turkish fighter-jet in June. Turkey’s media reported a military investigation into the crash of a Turkish Air Force F-4E aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea. The probe asserted that the U.S.-origin fighter-jet was not shot down by Syrian air defense batteries. [...]

August 12th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Turkey mounts ground force exercise near Syrian border

A Turkish tank participates in an exercise at the Syrian border near Öncupınar.  /AFP

Special to ANKARA — Turkey has conducted a major military exercise along the border with Syria. The Turkish Army staged an armored and air defense exercise in the southeastern province of Kilis. The exercise included the Army’s new fleet of Israeli-upgraded M-60A3 main battle tanks. “The exercise tested skills under all conditions in both [...]

August 7th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Kurdish insurgents strike Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group, has claimed responsibility for the Aug. 5 attack on the 960-kilometer pipeline, which carries about a quarter of Iraqi oil exports

Special to ANKARA — The Kurdish Workers Party has been accused of targeting Turkey’s energy sector. Officials said PKK fighters blew up an oil pipeline from Iraq to Turkey in the second such attack in as many weeks. The officials said the bombing was part of a PKK offensive in which at least 115 [...]

August 7th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Iraq,Mideast,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Erdogan fires 40 generals charged with planning coup, undermining government

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, left, confers with Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

Special to ANKARA — In the latest move to control the military, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has engineered the dismissal of 40 generals. The Supreme Military Council, chaired by Erdogan, forced 40 generals and admirals to retire. All of the generals had been charged with planning a coup or seeking to undermine the Islamist [...]

August 6th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

One year after Erdogan shakeup, Turkish military braces for another

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (front C). Tensions and mistrust are high between the staunchly secularist army and the government.  /Getty Images

Special to ANKARA — Turkey’s military, under the control of the Islamist government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, was bracing for its second shakeup in as many years. On Aug. 1, the Supreme Military Council convened for its annual session to decide on promotion and retirement in the military. The decisions were expected to [...]

August 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Daily Brief,Exclusives,Mideast,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Turkey launches air, ground assaults on Kurds in northern Iraq

Turkish warplanes and attack helicopters have targeted PKK strongholds in northern Iraq.

Special to ANKARA — Turkey has launched another military offensive against Kurdish insurgents around Iraq. The Turkish military said air and ground units were operating in the southern province of Hakari in late July. A military statement said at least 39 suspected fighters of the Kurdish Workers Party were killed in the latest campaign, [...]

August 1st, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Iraq,Mideast,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Kurds gain control over much of northern Syria

Syrian Kurds hold their rifles, as they flash the sign for victory, in the Kurdish town of Jinderes, near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. /Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Special to NICOSIA — The regime of President Bashar Assad, busy fighting Sunni rebels, has allowed Kurds to control much of northern Syria. Western diplomats said Kurdish militias were patrolling communities as well as areas near the Syrian border with Turkey. They said the militias were bolstered by Kurdish fighters from neighboring Iraq and [...]

July 31st, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Iraq,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

Iran’s Hizbullah sends more troops to help Assad storm Aleppo, fight Sunnis

Syrians hold-up their national flag and that of the Lebanese Hezbollah party (R) during a demonstration in support of President Bashar al-Assad in central Damascus on August 23, 2011, as Syrian dissidents meeting in Istanbul established a "national council" to coordinate a campaign to topple President Bashar al-Assad. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID

Special to NICOSIA — The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has been sending fighters to Syria to bolster the latest offensive by President Bashar Assad against Sunni rebels. Lebanese security sources said hundreds of Iranian-trained Hizbullah fighters crossed into Syria to help the Assad regime quell the Sunni revolt. The sources said the fighters come from elite [...]

July 29th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Hizbullah,Iran,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey | Read More »

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