Around 5,000 flag-waving nationalist Turks held a rally Saturday to denounce escalating attacks by separatist Kurdish guerrillas, and the United States for not cracking down on rebel bases in northern Iraq.
Turkey has been pressuring the United States and Iraq to eradicate bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in Iraq, saying it was ready to stage a cross-border offensive if necessary.
“Down with the U.S.A. and their collaborators,” the crowd chanted in Ankara’s Tandogan square.
Fear that political deadlock may spill into violence is gripping Lebanon, a year after Israel and Shi’ite Hezbollah guerrillas jumped into a war that shattered trust between rival Lebanese camps.
Assassins have slain two anti-Syrian politicians in the past eight months. More than 200 people have died in battles between Lebanese troops and al Qaeda-inspired militants in a Palestinian refugee camp. And a car bomber killed six U.N. peacekeepers in the south last month. Many Lebanese expect worse to come.
About 30 armed men from a Hamas-led security force entered Gaza City’s Al-Azhar University on Saturday and seized 80 bags with chemicals from the agriculture college, the dean said.
It was not immediately clear why the chemicals were taken. The spokesman for Hamas’ Executive Force militia was not immediately available for comment.
In a bid to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, approved the release of 250 Fatah security prisoners, even as rival Hamas accused Abbas of “collaborating” with Israel against them.
Routed in the Gaza Strip, the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is fractured and adrift at a moment when it is viewed by the outside world as the best hope for blunting the militant Hamas movement in the West Bank.
Once dominant in Palestinian affairs, the organization long led by the late Yasser Arafat is beset by a weak and aging leadership, internal schisms and a widespread reputation among Palestinians as corrupt, ineffectual and out of touch. Those troubles have some Palestinians wondering whether Fatah is more likely to lose the West Bank than to recapture the Gaza Strip from Hamas.
The UN refugee agency has urged the global community to step up assistance for Syria and Jordan, the two countries caring for the biggest proportion of Iraqi refugees, while regretting that they have recieved next to nothing despite the pledges of support.
It is unconscionable that generous host countries be left on their own to deal with such a huge crisis, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Ron Redmond said.
Suicide attacks across Iraq killed at least 144 people and injured scores in an 18-hour period, including a massive truck bombing in a northern Shiite village that ripped through a crowded market, burying dozens in the rubble of shops and mud houses, Iraqi officials said Saturday.
Shattering a relative lull in Iraq’s violence, the attacks raised questions about whether insurgents who have fled an ongoing military offensive in Baghdad and Diyala province are regrouping and assaulting soft targets elsewhere, in less-secure areas with fewer troops.
The violence came as the U.S. military on Saturday reported that eight American troops were killed over the past two days, all in combat or by roadside bombs in Baghdad and the western province of Anbar.
For four years, Iraqis have been waiting in lines at gas stations in Baghdad, waiting for their lives to get better. But, as CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan reports, the situation has gotten worse and their government is now in crisis.
That has led senior Iraqi leaders to demand drastic change. CBS News has learned that on July 15, they plan to ask for a no-confidence vote in the Iraqi parliament as the first step to bringing down the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
A religious edict by a prominent Saudi cleric suggesting liberals are not real Muslims has enflamed debate over reforms in the conservative Islamic state, with self-professed liberals fearing they will be attacked.
Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries that rules by strict application of Islamic law, giving clerics a powerful position in society, but Islamists fear that liberal reformers are gaining ground under the rule of King Abdullah.
Responding to an online request for a religious edict, or fatwa, Sheikh Saleh al-Fozan said last month: “Calling oneself a liberal Muslim is a contradiction in terms … one should repent before God for such ideas in order to be a real Muslim.”
Tehran on Sunday rejected the latest threats of further sanctions by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and said it would not be intimidated in the ongoing dispute over its nuclear programmes.
‘The latest stance by Rice was another sign of US hostility against Iran, but US officials should know that such threats would not intimidate Iran,’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini told reporters in Tehran.
Rice said on Friday that Iran was becoming ‘increasingly dangerous’ and that the US and its allies were considering new sanctions to limit further Tehran’s access to the international financial system.
There are increasing signs, however, that the Bush administration’s decision to build so much of Washington’s Pakistan policy around one man, Musharraf, could backfire. Today, the Army general and self-installed president is facing sustained protests that are being led by the country’s educated middle class-America’s most natural allies in Pakistan. “If the Bush administration continues to support the dictatorial regime, which has completely lost the public confidence, it will further fan extremism and fundamentalism,” says Shameem Akhtar, the dean of management sciences at Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences in Quetta, Pakistan. “America should learn a lesson from Iran, where it has been paying the price for supporting an unpopular monarchy even after 28 years.”
Afghan elders yesterday said that 108 civilians were killed in a bombing campaign in western Afghanistan, while villagers in the northeast said 25 Afghans died in airstrikes, including some who were killed while burying dead relatives.
US and NATO leaders, however, said they have no information to substantiate the reports of civilian deaths, and a US official said Taliban fighters are forcing villagers to say civilians died in fighting — whether or not it is true.