Ammon News, World

Turkey begins first wave of artillery fire on Kurds in Afrin

[1/17/2018 8:20:41 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Turkey began its first wave of artillery fire targeting Kurdish fighters in Afrin, Syria on Tuesday night, said an Al Arabiya reporter. This comes as a retaliation to the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) firing a large number of missiles targeting settlements in the Azaz region bordering Turkey and Syria, which is controlled by the Turkish-backed opposition Free Syrian Army, media reports said. Turkish forces began a military fortification plan on their border with Syria on Monday, sending a convoy, including armed vehicles and soldiers. Turkey’s President Erdogan had vowed on Sunday to “purge terrorism” from the country’s southern borders, adding that he plans to launch an assault against the YPG in Syria’s Kurdish Afrin enclave “in the coming days.” The Afrin district has been a topic of debate recently, especially after the US announced its intention to arm Kurdish border guards on the Syrian-Turkish border, which merited a reaction from Ankara. Turkey reacted sharply to the US-led international coalition to fight ISIS announcing that they are working on forming a border security force made up of 30,000 men in eastern Syria. The international coalition said that the goal of this force is to prevent the return of ISIS, but Erdogan threatened to “destroy this terrorist army in its infancy”, fearing that it will become a permanent force stationed at the Turkish border. Ankara has always stressed the need to expel the YPG from Afrin, who fall under the military wing of the Democratic Unionist Party in Syria, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group because of its association with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. *Al Arabiya

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Army foils infiltration attempt from Syria

[1/17/2018 8:19:04 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army source said that the Eastern Military Command Tuesday foiled an infiltration attempt by four persons trying to cross the border from Syria. Border Guards applied the rules of engagement, killing one person and forcing the three other infiltrators to retreat to the Syrian front, the source added.

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Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi ballistic missile targeting Jazan

[1/16/2018 12:33:04 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Saudi Arabia has said that its forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militias targeting the southern province of Jazan on Tuesday. The attack on Tuesday comes just days after UN experts said Iran violated a UN arms embargo by directly or indirectly providing missiles and drones to the Houthis in Yemen. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said that Iran is the biggest source of danger in the region because of its role in Lebanon, Yemen and Syria. “Iran supplied the Houthis with missiles that have targeted Saudi Arabia,” he told reporters. “The nuclear deal with Iran needs improvement to prevent Tehran from enriching uranium.”

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Sisi vows to protect Egypt’s water supply

[1/15/2018 3:19:07 PM]

AMMONNEWS - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi vowed Monday to protect Egypt’s water supply while striving for peace with the Nile upstream countries of Sudan and Ethiopia, which is building a controversial dam. “Egypt will not go to war with its brothers,” Sisi said on state television, although Cairo fears its water supply will be affected by Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited the Ethiopian capital last month for talks on the dam project on the Blue Nile. Egypt relies almost totally on the Nile for irrigation and drinking water, and says it has “historic rights” to the river, guaranteed by treaties from 1929 and 1959. Sisi also stressed that Egypt was investing in its military to protect national security. “This is a national security need... You have military power to protect you, to protect this peace I’m talking about,” said Sisi, himself a former armed forces chief. “We always make sure that we stay within our borders, not conspire against anyone, not interfere in others’ affairs,” he said. Sisi said his message was directed at Egyptians as well as “our brothers in Sudan and in Ethiopia so that the issue becomes clear for them”. Egypt is building a massive wastewater treatment and desalination plant to cope with potential shortages, the president said last week. Cairo argues that the 1929 and 1959 treaties grant it 87 percent of the Nile’s flow, as well as the power to veto upstream projects. The Blue and the White Nile tributaries converge in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and from there run north through Egypt to the Mediterranean. The dam in Ethiopia is designed to feed a hydroelectric project to produce 6,000 megawatts of power -- the equivalent of six nuclear-powered plants. Ethiopia began building the dam in 2012 and was initially expected to commission it in 2017. But Ethiopian media reports say only about 60 percent has so far been built. Egypt’s administration of the Halayeb triangle, which lies near the Red Sea in a mineral-rich border region, is a bone of contention with Sudan. Khartoum says Halayeb has been part of its sovereign territory since shortly after independence in 1956, accusing Egypt of occupying it. Last May, Sudan banned imports of Egyptian agricultural and animal products, and Khartoum recalled its ambassador from Cairo for “consultations” in January. *AFP

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UAE, Bahrain condemn Qatar fighter jets intercepting two passenger planes

[1/15/2018 6:38:40 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The United Arab Emirates on Monday accused fighter jets belonging to Qatar of intercepting two passenger planes en route to Bahrain, in an ongoing row over alleged airspace violations. “Qatari fighter jets intercept an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Manama in a flagrant threat to civil aviation safety and in a clear violation of international law,” the UAE General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement published by the state news agency. The United Arab Emirates is one of four Arab states that cut all relations with Qatar in June, accusing it of ties to both extremists and Shiite Iran. Qatar has denied intercepting the Emirati passenger plane. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain strongly condemned the Qatari fighter jets intercepting the civilian aircrafts which were on their regular daily scheduled routes. *AFP

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UAE: Abdullah Al-Thani was a guest and free in his movements

[1/14/2018 2:54:51 PM]

AMMONNEWS - An official source from the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani “is a guest of the country and is free in his movements throughout”. “An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed that Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani was a guest of the UAE at his request and was received with the duty of hospitality and care after resorting to the state as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Qatari government,” a statement from UAE’s WAM news agency read. “He expressed his desire to leave the country where all procedures have been facilitated without any interferences hindering this matter,” the source added. The source also told WAM that the ministry expressed regret for the “fabrications that accompanied the departure of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani from the UAE, stressing that these practices and allegations have become a continuous approach of Qatar in the management of the crisis”. *Al Arabiya

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Hamas says will not attend Palestinian meeting over Jerusalem

[1/13/2018 3:26:17 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Islamist movement Hamas said on Saturday it would not participate in a meeting of Palestinian leaders to debate responses to the controversial US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The decision not to take part in the meeting to begin late Sunday is a further setback to failing reconciliation efforts between leading Palestinian factions. “We have taken the decision not to participate in the meeting of the (Palestinian) Central Council in Ramallah,” Hamas said in a statement, however stressing its “commitment to the unity of our people”. “The conditions under which the committee will be held will not enable it to carry out a comprehensive and responsible political review, and will prevent decisions that reach the level of our aspirations.” The two-day meeting will bring together the heads of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian Islamist movement, were invited to attend despite not being part of the PLO. Islamic Jihad has also announced it would not take part. Abbas move Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, had been pushing for the meeting to be held outside the Palestinian territories but Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas decided instead to host it in Ramallah, the base of his government in the West Bank. The Hamas statement said this left them subject to the “pressures” of Israel, which occupies the West Bank and regularly arrests Hamas officials. The meeting is due to discuss responses to US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The decision infuriated Palestinian leaders, who see at least the east of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Trump’s administration has also not publicly committed to the idea of an independent Palestinian state, and the PLO office in Washington was briefly threatened with closure. Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party signed a reconciliation agreement in October that was meant to see the Islamists hand over control of Gaza by the end of the year. The talks have however broken down, with disputes over the fate of tens of thousands of Hamas civil servants and the future of Hamas’ vast armed wing. Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, forcing out Abbas’ forces in a near civil war. It has fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and is considered a terrorist organization by the Jewish State, the United States and others. *AFP

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