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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Putin: Erdoğan Supporting Extremists, Forcing Islamization of Turkey

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

(JNi.media) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the current Turkish leadership purposefully supports the country’s Islamization, TASS reported Wednesday. “The problem is not in the tragedy we faced yesterday (the Su-24 downing), the problem is much deeper,” Purtin told reporters. “We see — and not only we, I assure you that the entire world sees — that the current leadership of Turkey has been for a number of years pursuing a purposeful policy of … the Islamization of the country.”

Putin noted that Islam was a great world religion, which is one of the major religions in Russia as well. “We ourselves support Islam and will continue doing so, but the point at issue is the support of a more radical branch. And that in itself creates a very unfavorable environment, the atmosphere that one cannot see at first sight,” Putin said.

The Russian president warned that Russian nationals in Turkey may be in serious danger. “After yesterday’s event, we cannot rule out other incidents, and if they happen, we will have to respond somehow. Our citizens in Turkey can, certainly, be in serious danger,” Putin said, adding that he supported his Foreign Ministry’s recommendations urging Russians not to visit Turkey. There are an estimated 10,000 Russian vacationers currently in Turkey, according to TASS.

“After such tragic events as the downing of our plane and the pilot’s death, this is a forced measure and the Foreign Ministry is right to warn our nationals of the dangers,” Putin said.

According to TASS, after being downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet on Tuesday morning, both pilots ejected from their Su-24 bomber, which Russia claims had not violated Turkey’s air space. One was killed by gunfire from the ground, the other was rescued by Russian and Syrian forces and brought to a Russian air base nearby.

Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency has asked the country’s tour operators to suspend selling holiday packages to Turkey.

Obama and Hollande Commit to Destroying ‘Radical Terrorism’ of ISIS

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to reinforce their dedication to eradicating ISIS while maintaining the common values America and France share, values of freedom for all, including religious freedom and equality.

Obama spoke first. He pushed the theme of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorists targeting not military or political leaders, but ordinary people who had gathered to sing, to eat, to compete. The terrorists, Obama said, “focused on the very spirit of France, and by extension, all liberal democracies. It was an attack against the world itself.”

While most of the talk was about true love and loyalty between the two nations and increased and enhanced intelligence sharing and continued commitment to destroying ISIS, a few newsworthy nuggets were uttered.

The very first question asked by a reporter was about the overnight shooting down of a Russian fighter jet by the Turks, and the impact that will have on the coalition fighting ISIS.

Both presidents said they were still in the fact collection stage and both emphasized the necessity that the incident not be permitted to escalate.

However, President Obama in particular took this opportunity, and several others, to softly chastise Russia. He said, “this reflects the ongoing problem with the Russian operations” in Syria. Instead of targeting ISIS with their airstrikes, the Russians have been concentrating on hitting the “moderate opposition.”

“Russia is welcome to be a part of this coalition,” Obama said, but it must make the “strategic shift,” which Obama said he’s been stressing to Putin for five years already, “from propping up the Assad regime” to helping to take out ISIS.

Hollande repeatedly referred to Friday’s United Nations Security Resolution 2249, pointing out that there is a unified position, which is that “strikes must be against Daesh (ISIS), against terrorism,” that all the nations must coordinate and cooperate against ISIS. That resolution calls ISIS an “unprecedented threat to international peace and security” and calls on all member states to take all necessary measures to help defeat it.

Some of the reporters took the heads of states to task, asking why, given the leaders’ statements for more than a year that “Assad must go,” they’ve welcomed Russia into the coalition, which seems inconsistent with that goal.

French President Francois Hollande at the White House, Nov. 24, 2015.

French President Francois Hollande at the White House, Nov. 24, 2015.

Hollande refused to give a specific expiration date for Assad’s leadership, saying only that it “must be as soon as possible.”

Hollande claimed that “there is a new mindset now.”  He said it was because not only has the crisis continued for four years and left more than 300,000 people dead, but it is no longer contained within the region, and has begun spilling over into Europe and the rest of the world.

So what will France and the U.S. and the coalition partners do that is different, now?

They will not be sending in ground troops, Hollande said, but instead will be “intensifying strikes, with more specific targets.” They will “focus on cutting off Daesh resources, taking out their command and training centers, reducing the flow of foreign fighters, targeting the hearts of the cities where Daesh is,” and helping to ensure the local forces on the ground are able to complete the tasks of destroying ISIS.

Hollande again invoked Friday’s Security Council resolution, which he said was “evidence that the entire world is committed to fighting against Daesh, that is the one single goal, to fight against terrorism and to defeat Daesh.”

“Assad cannot be the future of Syria, there must be a transition from Assad” Hollande said, “he’s the problem, he cannot be the solution.”

U.S. President Barack Obama. Nov. 24, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama. Nov. 24, 2015.

Obama also looked to the future, beyond the elimination of ISIS, and talked about what would be needed to put Syria back together. “It will be a long process to put it back together, create stability, rebuild lives,” Obama said, “but it’s possible.”

Circling back to Russia, Obama pointed out that the coalition fighting ISIS is made up of 65 countries, whereas “Russian and Iran are in a coalition of two.” Right now, Obama said, “Russia is the outlier” in supporting Assad.

But with all the discussion of eradicating ISIS and ensuring that the flow of terrorist fighters be cut off, both leaders re-committed themselves to inviting in refugees from the Middle East, and not betraying our central values.

Obama said that “America is strengthened by people of every faith and background.” He said “we must not succumb to fear or allow it to divide us,” while repeating the claim that “nobody goes through more intense checks than refugees,” as if that is a reassuringly high standard.

Finally, Obama will be going to Paris on Monday, along with 150 other heads of state, for the Climate Change Conference. Hollande said “Paris has never before hosted so many leaders.” He sees this meeting as a symbol to the terrorists that they will not disrupt the plans and lives of civilized people. He also said it shows that the strength of the shared value of “life.”

Hollande said the world leaders would be gathering in Paris to take a symbolic stand against radical terrorism and also to show they are working to prepare for the future.

In the more than one hour press conference devoted to a global response to the barbarous terrorist global-caliphate-seeking ISIS, the words Islam and Muslim were not uttered.

“Viva la France and God bless America,” were Obama’s final words.

Britain Warns Turkish Airspace Incident ‘Very Serious’ as Russian Pilot Killed

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

The British Foreign Office warned Monday that the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Force was a “very serious incident,” one that bears further investigation.

“We are seeking further details urgently,” the Foreign Office said Tuesday in a statement.

“Clearly this is a very serious incident but it would be unwise to comment further until we have more certainty on the facts,” the statement continued.

There is clearly a rising concern over increased tensions between Russia and the West as both confront the need to battle the spreading threat of global jihad.

European Union president Donald Tusk called for calm, noting that Turkey, a candidate for membership in the EU, is due to host a summit with the international body in Brussels on Sunday. “In this dangerous moment after downing of Russian let, all should remain cool headed and calm,” Tusk tweeted on the Twitter social networking site.

But Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov abruptly canceled his planned visit to Ankara for meetings with Turkish officials on Wednesday, and Moscow has posted a travel alert against the country.

According to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace. “Everyone must know that it is our international right and national duty to take any measure against whoever violates our air or land borders,” Davutoglu said in Ankara, according to AFP.

Russia insists –and said it could prove — the Sukhoi-24 jet had not left Syria air space, although an image of radar tracking of the flight path of the SU-24 seems to indicate otherwise.

“This goes beyond the normal struggle against terrorism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement before a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. “This was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists.

“Our pilots and our plane did not in any way threaten Turkey. It is quite clear. They were carrying out an operation against Da’esh (ISIS) in the mountains of northern Latakia, where [terrorists] who originate from Russian territory are concentrated. So they were carrying out the key task of preventive attacks against those who could return to Russia at any time.”

Putin is also infuriated by the fact that the two pilots ejected before the jet crashed in Latakia province, but one died because Turkmen rebels in Syria killed him. The rebels admitted as much to reporters, according to Reuters.

NATO is set to convene an emergency meeting of ambassadors in Brussels at 4 pm GMT; the military alliance to which Turkey belongs said it was “closely” following developments in the situation, and remains in contact with the parties.

This is the first time Russia has lost a warplane since launching air strikes in Syria in defense of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin Accuses Turkey of ‘Stab in the Back’

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” after an F-16 Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 with an air-to-air missile over Turkish air space.

Putin insisted the jet had been in Syrian airspace at the time and never threatened Turkish territory at all. He accused Turkey of aiding Da’esh (ISIS) and said Ankara was helping the terror group sell its oil in remarks prior to a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. He warned the incident would have “serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations” but offered no details.

Turkey said in a terse statement the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and had been fired upon only after repeated warnings by Turkish pilots. The Turkish military also released a map that it said showed the plane was shot down as it flew east along a narrow strip of Turkish territory slightly more than a mile wide, along the Syrian border.

“The aircraft entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yaylidag in the southeastern Hatay province. The plane was warned 10 times in the space of five minutes before it was taken down,” the Turkish military said in a statement.

“In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15 kilometers or less away from the border.” When the Russian aircraft ignored the warnings, “the Turkish Air Forces responded by downing the aircraft,” said a Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered Turkey’s foreign ministry to consult with the United Nations and NATO, according to the statement from his office. NATO subsequently announced it would hold an emergency session Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the incident.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to arrive in Turkey for talks on Wednesday, but in a ninth-hour move cancelled his trip, reportedly due to the downing of the Russian warplane.

In Sochi, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters, “It would be wrong now to give any assessments, assumptions or make any conclusions before we get a full picture. We have to be patient; it is a very serious incident, but again, without all of the information it is impossible to say anything, and it would be wrong.”

Footage of the Russian warplane dropping from the skies in flames into a forested area in northern Syria known to Turkish citizens as the Turkmen Mountains was broadcast over the Haberturk television channel on Tuesday.

Turkmen forces in Syria allegedly shot dead both of the pilots from the downed Sukhoi as they came down in their parachutes.

“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead,” Turkmen brigade deputy commander Alpaslan Celik told reporters, according to Reuters. “Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air.” The Turkmen deputy commander held up what he said was a piece of one of the pilots’ parachutes.

Subsequently it was discovered that only one pilot was killed.

Turkish Soccer Fans Chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ During Solidarity for Paris

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Soccer fans are not the most civilized people in the world.

Nor are Turkish Muslims.

It gets even worse when you put the two together.

Players from Greece and Turkey stopped their friendly game to stand for a one-minute tribute to the memories of those slain by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Paris last and to show solidarity with France.

Thousands of fans did not like the idea.

First they booed.

Then they broke out into a chant of “Allahu Akbar,” Muslim terrorists’ favorite words when killing non-Muslims.

It is no wonder that millions of Muslims in Europe are embarrassed to show their faces in public these days.

Shin Bet Busts ISIS-Israeli Arab Cell

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and police revealed Wednesday they have arrested six Arabs with Israeli citizenship who plotted to join the Islamic State (ISIS).

The cell includes the paraglider who flew from the Golan Heights and into Syria last month. All of the members of the cell are from Jaljulia, a city immediately east of Kfar Saba in northern metropolitan Tel Aviv.

The paraglider, 23-year-old Nedal Ahmed Salah, was helped by five others, including two brothers. One of them previously fought for ISIS and returned to Israel, where he was jailed, for several months.

The paragliding incident led to the exposure of the cell.

Salah and his brothers chose to reach Syria through the air because of tight security at Ben Gurion Airport and at the Golan Heights border. The other members of the cell planned to enter Syria via Turkey.

Obama Adamant His is the Right Strategy; Hollande Recognizes ‘We are at War’

Monday, November 16th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama had everyone’s attention with the major world leaders and international journalists attending the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey on Monday, Nov. 16.

In the wake of Friday’s Paris massacres carried out by ISIS and its supporters which led to hundreds dead and wounded civilians, it is not an exaggeration to say that people were anticipating a statement of strength and resolve from a man in the position which has long been considered the leader of the free world.

That is not the message they heard from Obama.

Instead, Obama appeared to be digging in his heels, refusing to consider that he may have misjudged ISIS and may have pursued the wrong strategy thus far with the growing barbaric and now global threat to civilization, ISIS.

Obama bridled at the reporters who asked variations of the same questions: did you underestimate ISIS? are you going to change your strategy, given ISIS has grown in size and capability in the year since he committed to fighting them? do you now agree that ISIS is not ‘contained?’

“That’s the same question I’ve already answered three times,” Obama said. He insisted that the strategy the U.S. is pursuing is “the right one,” and that he would not just announce a new strategy that makes for a good headline. He referred to the Paris massacre as a “setback.”

Obama responded to the query whether he knew that ISIS had the capability to carry out an attack like the one in Paris: “We have been fully aware of their potential to carry out a full military attack,” he said, but he continued to dig in, not only insisting his strategy is the right one, but also continuing to downplay the enormity of the threat.

The U.S. Commander in Chief described ISIS as “a handful of people” with “not wildly sophisticated weapons,” ones “who don’t care if they die.” That, he claimed, is what makes it very difficult to defeat them.

One reporter dared to ask the President whether the president thought he “understand[s] this enemy well enough to defeat them?”

The U.S. President was terse, he was indignant and he was dismissive of the journalists for not being satisfied with his answers. What people did not see or hear was an anger directed at the global enemy. When Obama said the nations are united to “defeat this enemy, ISIL,” his tone sounded more like he was reading a shopping list or a weather report than a conviction to overcome the barbarians.

The President finally did find his footing when he launched into his familiar trope of Muslims being the largest number of victims. “The overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.”

Obama made the point, once again, that it is “wrong to equate ISIL with Islam,” it is “wrong to consider ISIL a Muslim problem instead of a terrorist problem.”

He admitted that “the most vicious terrorist groups at the moment claim to be speaking for true Muslims,” but countered that by pointing to leaders of the Muslim majority countries like Erdogan in Turkey, and the leadership of Malaysia and Indonesia, who are “tolerant and work to be inclusive of all their people.” Really? Ask the non-Muslim majorities in those countries how well they are treated.

But this time Obama was willing to concede that it is important for “Muslims around the world to ask very serious questions about how these ideologies have taken root and built up over time” just as it is important for non-Muslims not to stereotype Muslims.” He claimed that “there have been times when there has not been enough pushback against extremist thoughts or rationales for why Muslims feel marginalized.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-adamant-his-is-the-right-strategy-hollande-recognizes-we-are-at-war/2015/11/16/

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