The U.S. admits that the upcoming Aleppo offensive by the Syrian government and its allies is designed to hit al-Qaeda and associated terrorist forces and not primarily the “moderate” unicorns the U.S. propaganda blushes about. But the openly U.S. supported forces will also be hit as they are very much integrated with al-Qaeda. The U.S. has for long considered al-Qaeda a secret ally in its attempt to destroy the Syrian state. The French magazine L’Orient Le Jour sees the U.S. relation with al-Qaeda in Syria as part of the attrition strategy the U.S. is waging against Syria (and Russia).
Secretary of State Kerry tried to convince the Russian that al-Qaeda should not be attacked during the cessation of hostilities. But the Russian’s did not agree. Al Qaeda is a UN recognized international terrorist organization which, under UNSC resolutions, must be fought. The U.S. only succeeded in downgrading the permanent ceasefire the Russians had preferred to into a temporary cessation hostilities. It thought to use the time to rearm and to regroup its proxy forces.
But then thing went wrong. An offensive along the Turkish border to push away the Islamic State and to seal the border between the Islamic State and Turkey failed. Al-Qaeda convinced other groups, including directly U.S. supported CIA assets, to prematurely attack Syrian government forces south of Aleppo on Tal el-Eis. The attack mad only little progress before it was stopped.
Columnist Ebru Umar, who is of Turkish descent and an outspoken critic of Erdogan, was detained by police overnight in Turkey where she was on holiday. She tweeted on Sunday that she had been released but was not allowed to leave the country.
In the free newspaper Metro last week, Umar called Erdogan a “dictator” and criticized a Turkish consular official in the Netherlands for asking all Turks there to report incidents of insults against Erdogan in the country. The call was widely criticized and later withdrawn.
Turkey’s largest newspaper has published a series of pro-regime articles just a day after it was seized by government administrators.
Armed officials used rubber bullets and tear gas as they took over Zaman’s offices in Instanbul.
The front page of Sunday’s edition, the first following the seizure, displayed a photograph of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan alongside the headline “Historic excitement about the bridge”, with no mention of the tear gas being fired outside Zaman’s headquarters the day before.
Nothing about Sunday morning was business as usual for the editors and reporters atZaman, Turkey’s largest daily newspaper, who navigated to work through crowds of angry protesters and rows of heavily-armed police in riot gear outside their offices in Istanbul.
The newspaper and the media company that owns it were seized on Friday by the Turkish government, and the publication, which has a circulation of nearly 1 million, had a conspicuously pro-government slant in its Sunday edition. A picture of President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan was splashed across the front page with a headline that touted “historic excitement” about the completion of a new bridge project.
The government takeover of Zaman and the ensuing clashes between police and protesters, which made international headlines, received only a brief summary and was dwarfed by the large pictures of Erdogan. The takeover, widely condemned as yet another blow to press freedom in Turkey, was described in the Sunday edition as being part of “an independent judicial process” that had nothing to do with politics.
Police stormed the headquarters of the Zaman opposition newspaper on Friday to enforce a court decision to place it and its sister outlets under the management of trustees.
The step sparked two days of protests which police dispersed using tear gas and water cannons.
The newspaper was linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top foe, the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Its take-over is part of a wider state crackdown on his movement.
Turkey’s largest-circulation newspaper has adopted a more pro-government line in its first edition since a court ordered it to be seized, a move which has heightened fears over deteriorating media freedom in the country.
Police stormed the headquarters of the Zaman opposition newspaper Friday to enforce a court decision to place it and its sister outlets under the management of trustees. The step sparked two days of protests which police dispersed using tear gas and water cannons.
The newspaper was linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top foe, the U.S. based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Its take-over is part of a wider state crackdown on his movement.
A group of hackers from Turkey claim they were responsible for hacking a hospital in Los Angeles and promise to continue such attacks if the U.S. government continues to support Kurdish rebels, but these claims are impossible to verify without proof.
Earlier this month, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center confirmed it had paid hackers $17,000worth of bitcoin to release its computer systems, which hackers had locked down with ransomware — a piece of malware — for over a week. In the wake of that attack, a message claiming to be from the hackers responsible was posted on text-sharing site Pastebin. The message, titled “We owned Hollywood hospital,” reads: