Home / The Levant

The Levant

Turkey continues commitments to Sarraj Libyan government

Turkey’s agreements and cooperation with Libya’s internationally recognised government will continue despite Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s desire to quit, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin was quoted as saying on Monday. In June, Turkish military support helped Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) repel an assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar’s eastern-based …

Read More »

Lebanese president warns country is heading to hell

Michel Aoun

President Michel Aoun warned on Monday Lebanon was going “to hell” if a new government could not be formed but agreeing one might take a miracle after positions had hardened between rival factions. His comments in a televised address underlined the severe difficulties facing French efforts to lift Lebanon out …

Read More »

More sparring between Egypt and Turkey

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has condemned derogatory remarks made by the Turkish foreign minister, days after a Turkish attempt to open a dialogue with Egypt was rejected by Cairo. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Hafez, denounced the foreign minister’s comments made in a conversation with a …

Read More »

Russian air force takes on rebels in Syria

Syrian opposition sources said Russian jets bombed rebel-held northwestern Syria on Sunday in the most extensive strikes since a Turkish-Russian deal halted major fighting with a ceasefire nearly six months ago. Witnesses said the warplanes struck the western outskirts of Idlib city and that there was heavy artillery shelling in …

Read More »

UN blocks US Iran sanctions bid

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Saturday he cannot take any action on a U.S. declaration that all U.N. sanctions on Iran had been reimposed because “there would appear to be uncertainty” on the issue. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that he …

Read More »

Sarraj’s safe exit plan not to Turkey’s liking

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey was upset that Libya’s internationally recognised Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, an ally, wants to quit next month and Ankara may hold talks with his government on the issue in the coming week. Sarraj announced on Wednesday his intention to step down by the …

Read More »

Turkish musicians commit suicide in mass over COVID

Around 100 musicians in Turkey have committed suicide since the country introduced preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to statistics released by the Turkish Musicians and Performers Union (Muzik-Sen) early this month. There are roughly 1 million registered musicians in Turkey, many of whom work without insurance …

Read More »

Kurdish rockets kill Turkish soldiers in Iraq

Two Turkish soldiers were killed and another was wounded after Kurdish militants fired rockets at a military base in northern Iraq, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Turkey has regularly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, both in its mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where …

Read More »

Hezbullah, Amal fall afoul of French plans

Hezbollah and the Amal Movement attempted on Thursday to see off a French initiative to form a Lebanese government of non-political technocrats not associated with the parties in power and which rotates the ministries among the country’s sects. The Hezbollah parliamentary bloc held “the extremely negative American role” responsible for …

Read More »

US charges Iranian tech firms with hacking

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced charges against three Iranians over allegations they stole information from aerospace and satellite technology firms on behalf of the Islamic republic’s Revolutionary Guards. The indictments follow a flurry of recent actions against alleged Iranian cyber spies including the announcement, earlier on Thursday, …

Read More »

New York court lambasts Trump Iran sanctions

A U.S. judge on Wednesday forcefully rebuked federal prosecutors for a series of failures, including withholding exculpatory evidence, that led to the dismissal of an indictment against a banker who had been convicted of Iran sanctions violations. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s …

Read More »

EU trying to force Poland to adopt gay, transexual rights

The European Union’s chief executive said on Wednesday there was no place in the bloc for so-called “LGBT-free zones”, a pointed criticism of Poland’s nationalist government pushing to curb the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “LGBTQI-free zones are humanity free zones. And they have no place in …

Read More »

UN Security Council wants peace envoy in Libya

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy to broker peace in Libya, although Russia and China abstained from voting on the resolution that also extended the U.N. mission in the country. Ghassan Salame, who headed the U.N. political mission and was also …

Read More »

Jumblatt places all bets on French rescue plan

Leading Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt said on Wednesday it seemed some people did not understand that French-led efforts to lift Lebanon out of crisis were the last chance to save the country. Lebanon is in the throes of a crippling economic and financial meltdown that marks the biggest threat to …

Read More »