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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘PKK’

ISIS Terrorists in Istanbul Followed Israelis Before Attack

Monday, March 21st, 2016

The terrorist who attacked an Israeli group in Istanbul on Saturday followed them from the moment they left the hotel that morning before detonating his suicide vest, according to the area’s security cameras.

At least one and possibly as many as four Turkish terrorists followed the group of 14 Israeli tourists from their Besiktas hotel to Istiklal Street before launching the deadly attack that killed and maimed dozens. Three of the Israelis, two with dual U.S. citizenship, were killed and the rest of the group members were injured in the blast.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu both sent letters of condolence to their Israeli counterparts following the attack.

A total of four people were killed and 39 others were wounded, among them 11 Israeli citizens. Four people remained hospitalized in Istanbul Monday in critical condition, according to the Daily Sabah newspaper. Turkish intelligence officials said after examining security footage in the area, the Israelis — who were on a culinary tour — had been followed that morning from the time they left their hotel.

The terrorists faded back into an alley as the group stopped at a restaurant to have breakfast, according to a report published on the Turkish-language Haberturk news site.

Minutes after the group resumed its tour after breakfast, Mehmet Öztürk detonated his suicide vest. DNA testing confirmed the suicide bomber’s identity; he was a resident of the Turkish town of Gaziantep, and a Da’esh operative of the Islamic State terror group.

Turkish police continued searching on Monday for three other alleged Da’esh terrorists, according to the Daily Sabah. The suspects are believed to be planning further attacks in the wake of Saturday’s suicide bombing.

Photos of the three suspects, Haci Ali Dumaz, Savas Yildiz and Yunus Durmaz, were published in the newspaper in hopes that citizens might see and identify them to police. All are Turkish nationals. Police said the suspects have been given instructions to “carry out further attacks in crowded areas, primarily in Istanbul.”

Yildiz was initially believed to have been the operative who blew himself up in Saturday’s attack. The bombing was the sixth in Turkey since last July, the fourth perpetrated by ISIS. Two others were carried out by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK terrorist organization.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel, Turkey Uniting Against Terror After Istanbul Attack

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sent a condolence letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday night after three Israelis and an Iranian were killed by a terrorist in Istanbul hours earlier.

Eleven Israelis and 28 others, including 13 foreign nationals, were also wounded in the attack.

Two of the deceased are dual U.S.-Israeli citizens.

“The attack in Istanbul tonight proved once again that the international community must work together against terror organizations,” Davutoglu wrote. “I send my condolences to the Israelis who lost family members in the attack in Istanbul and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded Israelis.”

Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Mehmet Simsek, also tweeted condolences to Israel.

A ZAKA delegation left for Turkey along with two planes, one from Magen David Adom, the other from the IDF, to bring the wounded and deceased Israelis home to Israel from Istanbul.

Netanyahu received updates during the day about what was happening in Istanbul, he told media from the situation room at the Foreign Ministry.

“We can say with certainty that, sadly, two Israeli citizens were killed. It could be that there is a third victim. The two families have been updated; I send them condolences on behalf of the entire Jewish people. There are approximately eleven people who were wounded, the degree of their injuries varies, and we are dealing with them. I directed the dispatch of two planes – one from MDA and one from the IDF – in order to bring them, and the deceased, of course, back to Israel.”

Netanyahu added that he has asked the Turkish authorities to allow Israel to increase its presence in the country.

This evening there will be approximately 15 of our representatives in Istanbul; the Foreign Ministry Director General is on his way there. We are in contact with the Turkish government. The Foreign Ministry Director General spoke with his Turkish counterpart and, naturally, we are trying to clarify things in the intelligence sphere. We currently have no confirmation that this terrorist incident was directed at Israelis.

“We know that there are those who have yet to make contact; we are trying to locate them. At the moment it does not seem that they were part of this event but things will certainly become clearer later on.

“Foreign Ministry personnel, including those here in the situation room, are working constantly and will work around the clock in order to bring the people back to Israel and in order to give full support at this difficult time.

“I am certain that all Israelis join me in the hope for recovery for the wounded and in expressing condolences to the families of those who were murdered.”

Turkish officials said earlier there was evidence the suicide bomber, Savaz Yildiz, 33, from the Turkish city of Adana, may have been a Da’esh operative with the ISIS terror organization.

Hana Levi Julian

US Embassy Warned Personnel, Citizens About Impending Attack

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey issued a security warning two days before a bomb-laden car exploded in central Ankara at around 6:35 pm Sunday night, sending flames shooting so high the smoke could be seen from 2.5 kilometers away.

The American Embassy had warned about a potential plot to attack Turkish government buildings and housing in an Ankara neighborhood, according to international media.

The embassy warned U.S. citizens to avoid those areas, according to the report.

At least 27 people were killed and 75 others were wounded after a car packed with explosives detonated between two passenger buses in Ankara’s Kizilay Square, a central transportation, commercial and entertainment center. Numerous vehicles were ignited and burst into flames at the scene. Several buses also were partly burned or completely incinerated.

The area was quickly evacuated as a precaution against a second attack, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News site. Wounded victims were rushed to 10 different hospitals across the city, according to CNN Türk.

No organization has publicly taken responsibility for the attack.

However, Turkish officials said initial findings suggest the Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist organization (PKK) or a PKK-affiliated terrorist organization carried out the attack.

Hana Levi Julian

27 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Ankara Terrorist Bombing

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

At least 27 people are dead and 75 are wounded after an explosion rocked the Turkish capital of Ankara shortly before 7 pm Sunday evening near the Justice Ministry.

The blast was caused by a bomb-laden car that reportedly exploded between two passenger buses in Ankara’s Kizilay Square, the Ankara Governorate announced in a statement Sunday evening.

Numerous vehicles were ignited and burst into flames at the scene. Several buses also were partly burned or completely incinerated.

The area was quickly evacuated as a precaution against a second attack, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News site.

Wounded victims were rushed to 10 different hospitals across the city, according to CNN Türk.

Smoke could be seen rising above the city from a distance as far as 2.5 kilometers away, according to witnesses quoted by the Daily Sabah news site.

Kizilay Square serves as the city’s main square and main transportation terminus, where approximately 10 bus stops converge in one site.

It is known as the heart of the city’s commercial and entertainment center. The site is only one kilometer from the site of last month’s attack by PKK terrorists.

The government-controlled Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) declared a broadcasting ban on images of the scene and victims.

This is the third major explosion to hit Ankara since last October.

Last month on February 17, a suicide car bomber targeted a military shuttle bus carrying recruits to a facility in central Ankara near the parliament building. At least 29 people lost their lives and 81 others were wounded.

On October 10, 2015, at least 103 were killed in an attack by alleged Da’esh operatives from the ISIS terrorist group who bombed a peace rally near the Ankara Railway Station.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey Blames PKK, Syrian YPG for Ankara Terror Attack, Vows Retaliation

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Turkey is vowing to retaliate against the terror group who attacked its capital city Wednesday night.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the massacre. A powerful car bomb exploded in central Ankara, killing 28 people and injuring 61 others as it ripped through military buses carrying young personnel to facilities near the parliament.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu placed the blame for the attack squarely on the YPG Syrian Kurdish organization. Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Davutoglu identified the terrorist as Saleh Najar, a Syrian national born in the Hasakah province.

“It has been determined with certainty that this attack was carried out by members of the separatist terror organization PKK, together with a member of the YPG who infiltrated from Syria,” Davutoglu said.

Turkish security forces detained nine people in connection with the attack. Davutoglu added, “Their connection to the YPG has been confirmed” but said he could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

The Turkish Air Force conducted cross-border air strikes in northern Iraq, he said, killing more than 70 PKK terrorists, including senior members. “We will take all precautions under the scope of legitimate self-defense and will retaliate with no hesitation.”

Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has been instructed to forward documents about the attack to members of the United Nations Security Council, he said.

“It is our right to expect a common stance against a terrorist organization,” Davutoglu declared.

The comment was directed at members of the UN and NATO who do not see eye-to-eye with Turkey — another UN and NATO member — on the status of the YPG and PYD.

Turkey regards the YPG and PYD as terror groups linked to the PKK, but that is not the case in the rest of the world.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is indeed recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. However, the Syrian Kurdish YPG and PYD groups are not seen in the same light by the U.S., nor by the European Union. Turkey regards both as terrorist organizations as well.

Davutoglu warned that those ‘directly and indirectly supporting’ the YPG ‘risk losing Turkey’s backing, according to the Daily Sabah newspaper. He added that it “unacceptable for members of NATO and the United States to have relations with an organization which carried out terrorist attacks ‘in the heart of Turkey.’”

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey Shells Kurds in Syrian Border Village After Recapture

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Over the weekend, Turkish forces shelled the Syrian village of Maranaz and the Menagh airbase, both of which were re-captured recently by the Kurds.

Israel is watching the situation in Syria closely; events across the northern border have serious potential to affect Israeli national security. Although Israel coordinates its activities with Russia, that doesn’t mean every move by Moscow is one that works well for Jerusalem across the northern border. Nor does Russia necessarily take into consideration how its military activities might impact Israeli security. The same holds true for Turkey.

Coverage earlier in the day by international media claimed Turkish artillery was aiming its shelling at villages that were under the control of Jaysh al-Thuwar (Revolutionary Army), not YPG, (Kurdish People’s Protection Units militia). A Turkish government source told Reuters on Saturday that Turkey’s military force shelled YPG targets near the town of Azaz in northern Syria. The source did not explain the extent or reason for the shelling.

The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), like the YPG, is considered by Ankara to be a branch of the Turkish PKK terror organization.

The PKK is recognized by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist entity. However, neither considers the YPG or the PYD to be terrorist organizations.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the shelling struck areas of Aleppo, including Menagh, that were recently taken by YPG. The Syrian Kurdish YPG group confirmed the news in a tweet early Saturday evening. Local sources said the shelling did not have any major impact and was not hampering YPG efforts or operations at either location.

“It’s just a propaganda show to pretend they are not idle while al-Qaeda is smashed,” wrote a local source in a response on the Twitter social networking site.

But the artillery aimed Kurdish positions, rather than Da’esh targets, has raised more questions about the Ankara’s goals at a time when Turkey has turned up the pressure over its candidacy for European Union membership.

Moreover, as a member of NATO, Turkey has flatly stated that it expects the world organization to come to its aid in the event that its borders are breached.

But what if those borders are breached by desperate Kurds fleeing flaming wrecks of cities shelled by Turkish artillery?

Those same Kurds are viewed by Turkey as “terrorists” and yet the United States does not view them in the same light. How would this conflict be resolved among two members of NATO, sworn to protect each other under “siege” ?

Meanwhiel, special forces from the United Arab Emirates are reportedly being sent to Syria to help Sunni fighters recapture Raqqa, the northern Syrian city seized by Da’esh (ISIS) for use as the capital of its world caliphate.

It is not clear how many forces the UAE plans to send to Syria for the mission. But Saudi Arabia has also pledged to send forces to train and help local fighters recapture Raqqa.

Numerous Kurds fell in the initial battle to hold the city.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, however, warned other nations they not interfere in the Syrian conflict. Medvedev said in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt that more foreign intervention will only exacerbate the conflict and could lead to a “permanent war.”

Meanwhile, Israel could easily be caught between all parties and find itself dancing at numerous weddings all at the same time.

Having managed to maintain a cold peace with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for decades on the Golan Heights border, Israel has lately been forced to maintain a much closer watch in the area. The various groups jockeying for position in what is colloqually now being referred to as “the Syrias” are coming closer and closer to the Israel-Syria border — close enough to be seen with binoculars.

Hana Levi Julian

Iraq Says Air Strike May Have Killed ISIS Chief Al-Baghdadi

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Iraq says its troops may have eliminated Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this weekend in an air raid near the Syrian border, as Turkish leaders blame the terror group for a suicide bombing in the capital city of Ankara.

“The Iraqi air force carried out a heroic operation targeting the convoy of the criminal terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” said a joint statement issued by the “war media cell” of the Iraqi security forces.

“His health status is unknown.”

The joint operation was conducted in concert with Iraqi intelligence services and military advisers from the U.S.-led coalition.

The statement added that Iraqi aircraft struck the ISIS leader’s convoy as it was “moving towards Karabla to attend a meeting of the Da’esh terrorist leaders.”

Karabla is located along the Euphrates River, about three miles (five kilometers) from the Syrian border.

The so-called “war media cell” is comprised of Iraq’s interior and defense ministries in addition to its paramilitary Popular Mobilization forces.

If true, this will not be the first time that al-Baghdadi has been wounded in the “line of duty.”

The Da’esh head terrorist was also allegedly wounded in a March air strike by the U.S.-led coalition while in the al-Ba’ajah district of Nineveh, also near the Syrian border.

Nearly a year ago, in November 2014, al-Baghdadi was reportedly wounded by a U.S. air strike near Mosul as well. Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Abadi claimed at the time that al-Baghdadi’s deputy died in the attack.

Da’esh (ISIS) has been named by Turkey as having been responsible for Saturday’s twin suicide bombings in the city of Ankara which left 97 dead and more than 400 wounded.

The bombing has been called the deadliest attack in Turkey in recent memory.

Approximately 14,000 people were in the area at the time of the blasts, which targeted a peace rally involving the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

The midday protest called for an end to renewed clashes between the Kurdish separatist PKK terror organization and the Turkish government.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised address it was believed that two suicide bombers had carried out the attack, which comes three weeks before national elections.

No group has officially claimed responsibility for the carnage.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iraq-says-air-strike-may-have-killed-isis-chief-al-baghdadi/2015/10/11/

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