Category Archives: Near East

Russian troops withdraw from Afrin ahead of Turkish invasion

By Leith Aboufadel

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:45 P.M.) – The Russian military has withdrawn from the Afrin Canton in northwestern Aleppo, government sources reported this afternoon.

The Russian troops left their posts near the Mennagh Airport prior to the Turkish Air Force’s heavy bombardment of this area near the Afrin Canton.

Do Not Let Afrin Become Another Kobane: Urgent Statement by academics and activists

We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is not breached by Turkey and that the people of Afrin in Syria, be allowed to live in peace.

Turkey begins assault on Kurdish-held enclave in Syria

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia has said Turkish forces have fired about 70 shells at Kurdish villages in the Afrin region of north-western Syria, as Ankara said its threatened military assault was “de facto” under way.

Weapons for Egypt from Germany

Last year, the German government authorized a record number of arms exports to Egypt. As the government confirmed, permits, valued at around €428 million, were issued in 2017. Among the goods Cairo received are TyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ submarines. The deliveries are being carried out in spite of serious accusations of grave human rights violations raised against the Egyptian military government. The case of an Italian post-grad student, who was possibly murdered in early 2016 by Egyptian police or secret service agents, has yet to be solved. In addition the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen is supported by the Egyptian navy. Germany is also providing arms to the coalition. According to reports, arms deliveries have recently been expanded to the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, even NATO countries are beginning to suspend their deliveries to the coalition, because of the humanitarian catastrophe caused in Yemen.

Importance of Afrin and why the Turkish state wants to attack it

Turkey lies to the north and west of Afrin, to the east are Turkish-backed groups and to the south the Nusra Front (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham).

Oil and food prices in Afrin, whose economy relies on olives, olive oil and fruit, have rocketed in recent times because of the embargo from all sides.