Wednesday, February 10, 2016
As the ongoing clashes between the Turkish government and Kurds intensify and more innocent civilians are dying, there is something distinct and perhaps intangible about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: his deep-rooted personal hatred of Kurds.In one of his recent interviews, Erdogan said that he has been "fighting Kurdish terrorism for 35 years," adding that although different Kurdish groups and parties may have different names, they're all "terrorist organizations."
Turkish parliament member and Kurdish activist Osman Baydemir said that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is encouraging Islamist terrorists to encircle and isolate the 20 million Kurds who live in the eastern half of the country.
"The Saudis are 'inviting' the US to put American soldiers at risk to advance their goals in Syria because they can't do it for themselves and probably wouldn't even if they could," he noted. They are essentially "trying to sucker the US into agreeing to fight their war for them."
Riyadh's military campaign in Yemen, which has been largely condemned as a humanitarian disaster, could serve as an indication of what the Saudis are willing to do. The operation has primarily been conducted through airstrikes. In fact, the Saudi-led coalition conducted some 1,200 airstrikes in the first three weeks of the intervention (which is incomparable to Riyadh's feeble efforts in Syria).
"Considering how unwilling the Saudis have been to commit large numbers of ground forces to their appalling war in Yemen, it was never credible that they would be willing to do more than that in Syria," Larison observed.
Even if the Saudis send their forces to Syria as part of a larger US-led ground efforts, US troops would likely do all the heavy lifting. Journalist Andrey Polunin recently pointed out that Saudi special forces are quite limited in their capabilities.
Saudi officials first mentioned that the oil kingdom was ready to participate in a US-led intervention in Syria last week, raising questions as to what Riyadh's intentions truly are. Numerous rebels groups, who are trying to overthrow President Bashar alAssad, have received financial support and weapons from Saudi Arabia. In addition, Riyadh has apparently tried to undermine the Syrian peace process in Geneva; FNA reported.
By Ruth Young
Women were banned from entering a Starbucks branch in Saudi Arabia last week due to the collapse of the gender wall. The coffee shop in the capital Riyadh had put up a sign that reads, "Please no entrance for ladies, only send your driver to order. Thank you."
The issue was first brought up by "Manar M" who tweeted last Monday, "#Starbucks store in Riyadh refused 2 serve me just because I'm a WOMAN & asked me 2 send a man instead."
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday expressed concerns over possible deployment of U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.
The Pentagon said Monday that the United States and South Korea have begun negotiations on the issue in response to the missile launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Feb. 7.
The Russian ministry noted that the action of DPRK was used by Washington to expand the deployment range of the U.S. global missile defense system, according to an online statement.
"The emergence of elements of the U.S. global missile defense system in the region, characterized by a rather difficult security situation, could provoke an arms race in northeast Asia and will further complicate the solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula," the statement said.
"This step could only enhance the destructive impact of the U.S. global missile defense system on international security and strategic stability."
Accusing DPRK of disregard for international law, the ministry urged for creating comprehensive peace system in northeast Asia that would take into account the security interests of all regional countries.
"We hope that Washington and Seoul will contemplate the possible consequences that can result from such developments and draw appropriate conclusions," the ministry said.
The DPRK said Sunday that it had successfully launched a Kwangmyongsong-4 Earth observation satellite into orbit, which was widely seen as a disguised test of long-range ballistic missile technology.
Earlier in the day, head of Russian Foreign Ministry's security and disarmament department Mikhail Ulyanov also said the deployment of U.S. missile defense system, as well as the current developing trend of events, would benefit neither Pyongyang nor Seoul.
Meanwhile, Ulyanov warned that the U.S. is developing air defense systems that could in the future influence Russia's capability in providing nuclear restraint.
"Russia does not pose a real threat for NATO countries," Ulyanov said, vowing "adequate reaction to any changes of the military-political landscape in Europe."
Recent media reports said that NATO plans to step up military deployment along the European border with Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday warned that increased NATO military presence near Russia's borders threatens European stability and security.
"Unfortunately, this is not an issue of threatening Russia. This is preventing the European continent from achieving common security," she said, suggesting that the NATO's move was aimed at containing Russia.
Relations between Russia and western countries have deteriorated over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, while disagreements also exist on Syria crisis and other international issues.http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-02/11/c_135089094.htm