Turkey prepares attack on Kurds in Syria – Palestinians step up fight against occupation

YPG fighters in the north of Syria

NINE trucks loaded with armoured vehicles and one bus carrying military personnel have been sent to the border district of Akcakale, in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency confirmed late on Saturday (October 5th).

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says his country will carry out air and ground military operations in northeast Syria east of the Euphrates.

The convoy was sent to reinforce military units based on the Syrian border, Anadolu said.

The air and ground operation east of the Euphrates river in Syria could start at any time, Erdogan announced early on Saturday after accusing Washington of not doing enough to expel Syrian Kurdish fighters from its border.

His announcement prompted an immediate reaction from the US-backed militants. They warned of an ‘all-out war’ in response to Turkey’s imminent attack.

NATO allies Ankara and Washington agreed in August to set up a zone in northeast Syria along the border but Turkey has accused the United States, which helped the YPG (Kurdish people’s protection units) defeat Daesh militants in Syria, of moving too slowly to create the zone.

They are at odds over how far it should extend into Syria and who should control it.

Syria has, time and again, condemned both Turkey and the United States’ military presence in the country.

  • In a big rally, and under a sea of black flags, Palestinians from all walks of life came out to take part in the Islamic Jihad’s 32nd anniversary celebrations last Saturday 5th October.

The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine refuses to recognise the Israeli regime – and is against the so-called two-state solution – demanding the liberation of the entire historic land of Palestine.

Addressing the masses through satellite link; Islamic Jihad’s Secretary General Zeyad al-Nakhaleh called on all Palestinians to adhere to armed resistance as the only way to liberate Palestine.

The Islamic Jihad was founded by the late Dr Fathi Shaqaqi who was inspired by Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the teachings of the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV a top Hamas official insisted on continuing the fight against the Israeli regime alongside the Islamic Jihad, which is highly respected by all Palestinian factions and has always striven to be a uniting factor among them.

Its powerful military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, believe armed resistance is the only way to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem.

During his 32nd anniversary speech in the occupied Gaza Strip on Saturday, which was attended by thousands, including hundreds of fighters from the al-Quds Brigades, Ziyad al-Nakhaleh declared the resistance forces will continue their fight against Israel’s occupation of their land until all Palestinians’ rights are fully restored.

‘Gaza, which has always been oppressed, is now a cornerstone and front to be reckoned with in the equations of war,’ he said, adding that the blockaded enclave represents ‘the vigour of its men and its resistance, and the steadfastness of its people.’

He further hailed Islamic Jihad’s capability to deter any threat posed by enemies, stressing that today Gaza ‘is besieging the occupation despite its poverty, it is imposing new facts, breaking old theories, and will remain steadfast.’

Nakhaleh also denounced the Oslo Accords, which were signed during the early-mid 1990s between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in an attempt to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to guarantee Palestinians’ right of self-determination, but all to no avail.

‘The worst thing we face today is the belief held by some that we can talk with the enemy in peace and that peace is possible between Palestinians and the Israeli regime,’ he added.

The Islamic Jihad head also called for unity among all factions to defend the Palestinian cause and fight Zionist plots.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a massive decline in living standards. Israel has also launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.

Meanwhile, The al-Quds Brigades unveiled their latest domestic missile by firing it at targets inside the Israeli-occupied territories.

Palestinians have held weekly rallies along the Gaza fence to protest the siege on the enclave and demand the right for the refugees, who were forced to leave during the 1948 creation of Israel, to return to their homes.

Some 310 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since the anti-occupation protest rallies began in Gaza on March 30, 2018. Over 16,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.

  • Israeli Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich says Arabs are ‘guests’ in Israel as he unleashed a barrage of racially-laced attacks on Palestinians.

Smotrich accused Arabs of having ‘a habit’ of shooting into the air to express their feelings, prompting Palestinian lawmakers in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) to denounce the minister as ‘racist’.

His outburst came after Arab lawmakers boycotted the first Knesset session and instead joined demonstrations against police inaction on spiralling violence against the Arab society in Israel.

Smotrich took to Twitter, saying: ‘We are in luck that the Arabs boycotted the opening ceremony of the 22nd Knesset.

‘They would have shot into the air to express happiness/sadness/their protest/ because that’s their habit, and then, of course, blame the police.’

On Thursday, thousands of Arabs rallied in several cities and towns including Nazareth, Umm al-Fahm, Shfaram, Tamra, Majdal Krum, and Kfar Qasim in Israel as the new Knesset was sworn in.

Lawmaker Ahmad Tibi said the 13 elected Arab lawmakers of the Arab-majority party in the Knesset would be absent from the opening ceremony to ‘protest against the wave of murders and violence’ targeting Arabs.

Smotrich’s remarks triggered a chorus of outcry, with another Arab lawmaker, Ayman Odeh, saying last Friday: ‘I’m surprised the racist (Smotrich) didn’t take our seats and claim God told him they are his.’

Smotrich claimed: ‘I was just scared to find an illegal gun under the chair so you could also blame the Knesset guard and not just the Israeli police.

‘And since you brought it up then yes – God did promise us all of the Land of Israel, a promise he kept.’

Aida Touma-Sliman, another Arab lawmaker, waded into the row, tweeting that she remembers how in 2015 Smotrich, then a newly elected Knesset member, asked if he could bring his weapon into parliament.

‘Smotrich is still the same racist he used to be and carries a weapon despite the fact he poses a danger to the public.’

Smotrich replied: ‘When many of your people, who have been doing that (carrying weapons) for a century, will stop wanting to murder us, with the encouragement of you and your terror-backing friends at the Knesset, I will happily give up my pistol.’

Some 700,000 Palestinians were forcefully expelled from their lands following the illegal creation of the Israeli entity in 1948 and were scattered across refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza and neighbouring countries.

Palestinians view the UK’s 1917 Balfour Declaration as a prelude to the Israeli occupation of their homeland in 1948.

The declaration was issued on November 2nd, 1917 and is regarded as one of the most controversial and contested documents in the modern history of the Arab world.

The declaration turned the Zionist aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine into a reality, when Britain publicly pledged to establish a national home for the Jewish people there.