Following the September 14 attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s major oil facilities, country’s leadership blamed Iran. US Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted, “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” He later said this was an act of war. President Trump, after his “locked and loaded” tweet, said it looked like Iran was behind attack but he did not want to go to war. On September 20, Washington announced new sanctions on Iran’s national bank and the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Three days later the leaders of France, Germany and the UK issued a joint statement saying, “It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details.” (*) Okumaya devam et →
This is an attempt to describe, as briefly as possible, state of Turkey’s foreign relations.
Russia-Turkey: For the optimist the word of choice could be “tension”, for the pessimist “enmity”.
EU-Turkey: One can pick any one of the following for a single word description: annoyance, frustration, grief, irritation, vexation. There is, however, a two-word alternative: “unworthy deals”. Okumaya devam et →
February 10, 2016
On February 4, 2016 Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, an adviser to the Saudi Defense Minister and also spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen reportedly stated, during an interview, that the Kingdom was ready to participate in any ground operations that the anti-ISIL coalition may agree to carry out in Syria. He also said that to win against Islamic State, the coalition needed to combine aerial operations with ground operations.
In response to questions about this statement, US Defense Secretary Carter said that increased activity by other countries would make it easier for the United States to accelerate its fight against Islamic State militants. “That kind of news is very welcome,” he told reporters and added that he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Saudi Defense Minister. Okumaya devam et →
During his first visit to Moscow on 6-8 July 2009 President Obama tried to “reset” relations. Unfortunately for the international community this failed to materialize. Russians probably preferred to wait and see. The Arab Spring led to a new set of confrontations. Snowden affair became an irritant and lead to the cancellation by Washington of an Obama-Putin summit that was to take place during the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg on 5-6 September 2013. Yet their brief encounter there led to the 14 September 2013 agreement on the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons only to be followed by the crisis in Ukraine.
Since the Syria chemical weapons deal which was indeed an achievement, both Secretary Kerry and Minister Lavrov have repeatedly said that the resolution of many international problems depend on their countries’ joint efforts, that together the US and Russia can make a difference, make things happen. I share their judgment. Yet, the US and Russia have hardly made concrete progress on anything since the Syria chemical weapons deal. Conflict over Ukraine has become a major stumbling block. They need to break the impasse. Okumaya devam et →
With Daesh controlling half of Syrian territory and the “Army of Conquest” consolidating its gains in the Idlib province and getting closer to regime’s bastion of Latakia, the Assad regime appears to be on the retreat. While some observers see these as serious setbacks for Damascus others draw attention to the ebb and flow pattern of the war. Equally important are the divisions emerging between the US and its regional allies. The “Army of Conquest” is a coalition of groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and a few others. Okumaya devam et →
21 May 2015
22 September 2015 will mark the 35th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war which lasted eight years. This was followed by Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the First Gulf War. In 2003 it was the turn of the US to invade Iraq. In other words, an Iraqi born in the year 1980 or after does not know what peace is.
On 31 March 2015, PM Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Saddam’s hometown Tikrit from Daesh by Iraqi security forces and popular mobilization units. Vice President Biden cautioned that the war in Iraq was far from over but sounded upbeat. There was talk about Iraqi forces getting ready for an offensive to liberate the entire Anbar province and later Mosul. Okumaya devam et →
US-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit meeting at Camp David ended with a Joint Statement and an Annex which contains additional detail on future avenues of cooperation.
The Gulf States had four major expectations from the summit:
• Assurances that the Iran nuclear deal will not harm their interests,
• As strong a commitment as possible from Washington to their security,
• A further commitment to cooperate in countering Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, and
• Enhanced cooperation on regional issues. Okumaya devam et →