Syrian rebels boycotting peace talks, Turkish police intensify manhunt
Posted in: CURRENT AFFAIRS
Syrian rebel groups are threatening to boycott peace talks planned by Russia and Turkey in Astana, Kazakhstan later this month.
Syria rebels say they are suspending their participation in Astana talks because the Syrian government, they claim, has made “many and large violations” of the ceasefire.
The peace deal was brokered by Russia and Turkey last Thursday, and although it hasn’t been completely quiet in Syria this whole past week, the number of casualties has significantly decreased.
According to a statement issued by Syrian rebels, “the regime and its allies have continued firing and committed many and large violations.” Syrian rebels added that they are “freezing all discussions” regarding the Astana talks.
The rebels in particular name fighting in the rebel-held region of Wadi Barada, north-west of Damascus, which they claim has suffered from bombing raids by Syrian government and their allies on a daily basis.
Turkey and Russia have stepped up their efforts to broker a solid deal between several Syrian rebel groups, including the FSA, on the one side, and Syrian government, allied militias and the Russian military on the other.
In other news, besides attempting to broker a long-lasting ceasefire deal for Syria, Turkey has had a lot of on its mind lately. After suffering a string of brutal terror acts in the last few months of 2016, the year ended on a rather catastrophic note.
Turkish police has lately intensified its hunt for an attacker who killed 39 people in a nightclub in Istanbul on Saturday, December 31. While the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, Turkish police have launched raids in Istanbul and have so far arrested 12 suspects.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said authorities had fingerprints of the attacker as well as his basic description, adding that Turkey must “speedily” identify the suspect, who killed 39 people in the Reina nightclub, where some 600 people gathered that night.
According to numerous reports, the Turkish authorities know the gunman’s identity but have not revealed it to the public yet. The authorities, however, have released images of the suspect.
Turkish police sources suggested in the media that the gunman could have been from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan. The Turkish authorities are also investigating whether the gunman could be linked to an ISIS cell blamed for a deadly attack on Ataturk airport in Istanbul last June.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the latest attack was a “message” against Turkey’s operations in Syria.
MYC Bulletin Writer: Polina TikhonovaSubscribe to UpdatesRelated Articles