Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Nine arrested over deadly Turkey bombings
by Staff Writers
Reyhanli, Turkey (AFP) May 12, 2013

Iraq PM condemns Turkey bombings
Baghdad (AFP) May 12, 2013 - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sunday condemned bombings in Turkey that killed dozens of people, saying they provide an additional incentive for international cooperation in fighting terrorism.

"The Iraqi government expresses its... strong condemnation of the criminal bombings in the Turkish town of Reyhanli and expresses its solidarity with the... Turkish people and the families of the innocent victims," Maliki said in a statement on his website.

"These crimes and the expanding circle of terrorism constitute an additional incentive... to increase cooperation between all countries, especially countries in the region, and coordination between them, to cut the circle of terrorism," he said.

Car bombs killed 46 people in Reyhanli, a town near the Syrian border, on Saturday. Ankara blamed the bombings on the Syrian regime, an accusation that Damascus has denied.

Turkey has become a rear base for rebels fighting to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and Damascus has already been blamed for a string of attacks on Turkish soil.

Iraq has refrained from publicly supporting either side in the conflict, though the United States has repeatedly said Iran is flying weapons to the Syrian regime via Iraqi airspace.

Relations between Baghdad and Ankara are chilly due to a variety of disagreements, including Turkey's decision to host former Iraqi vice president Tareq al-Hashemi, who has received multiple death sentences in Iraq on charges including murder.

Turkey said Sunday it had arrested nine people over bombings that killed 46 in a town near the Syrian border and warned Damascus a red line had been crossed.

The Syrian government denied involvement in the twin car bombs that sowed death in Reyhanli on Saturday but Ankara said it was holding suspects who had confessed and accused Damascus of dragging Turkey into its civil war.

The attacks were the deadliest case of what observers see as an increasing regionalisation of the conflict that started in March 2011 and came as key brokers Washington and Moscow made an unprecedented joint push for peace talks.

"They want to drag us down a vile path," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a rally in Istanbul, urging Turks to be "level-headed in the face of each provocation aimed at drawing Turkey into the Syrian quagmire."

Speaking during a visit to Berlin, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the attacks a breach of Turkey's "red line" and warned that Ankara reserved the right to "take any kind of measure" in response.

Cranes were seen lifting debris from buildings destroyed by Saturday's blasts in Reyhanli, a major Turkish hub for Syrian refugees and rebels.

The attacks provoked a backlash against Syrian refugees as rampaging crowds wrecked dozens of cars, according to witnesses.

The attack sowed panic in Reyhanli, a town of about 60,000 people.

"I heard the first blast, walked out, thinking it was a missile being fired from Syria. Then I found myself on the ground, my arms and right leg hurting, my ears ringing. It must have been the second bomb," said Hikmet Haydut, a 46-year-old coffee shop owner who had minor injuries to his head and body.

"I am alive, but all I have is gone."

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told a news conference that nine people -- all Turks -- were detained for questioning and that some had confessed involvement in the attacks, which also left dozens wounded.

Interior Minister Muammer Guler said the explosives were smuggled into the area, then placed into Turkish vehicles with special compartments to conceal their deadly cargo.

-- "A spark transforms into a fire" --

The suspects were said to belong to a Turkish Marxist organisation with direct links to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Damascus rejected the allegations that it masterminded the attacks.

"Syria did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that," Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said.

"It is Erdogan who should be asked about this act... He and his party bear direct responsibility," he added.

NATO member Turkey distanced itself from its erstwhile ally soon after Assad started cracking down on pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Ankara has since become a rear base for the Syrian rebellion, and Damascus has already been blamed for a string of attacks on Turkish soil.

Can Dundar, a columnist at Turkey's Milliyet newspaper, argued that it was late to warn against attempts to drag Ankara into the Syrian conflict.

"Turkey seems to be sinking into the Syrian swamp... It has become a stakeholder in this civil war by directly supporting the opposition," he wrote.

The Syrian opposition National Coalition said the attacks were designed to drive a wedge between Turks and Syrians and called for more robust international action against Assad's regime.

Neighbours have been increasingly involved in or affected by the ever escalating conflict, which has already left more than 80,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and large parts of Syria's main cities in ruins.

In recent days, Israel is reported to have bombed Syria twice, Lebanon's Hezbollah militia has admitted it was fighting alongside regime troops and Jordan has warned that Syrians could soon account for 40 percent of its population.

Davutoglu said it was "not a coincidence" the Reyhanli bombings occurred as international diplomatic efforts to solve the Syrian crisis were intensifying.

The United States and Russia, one of the few remaining supporters of Assad's regime, pledged this month to relaunch efforts to solve the conflict.

Davutoglu also said Ankara was looking at "connections" between the Reyhanli attack and an assault on a Sunni district of Banias, a Mediterranean city in Syria, this month where rights groups say at least 62 civilians were killed.

Erdogan is due to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday.

The West swiftly denounced Sunday's attacks.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon said the perpetrators must be "brought to justice" and US Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the "awful news".

But Ankara blamed the international community's silence for the failure to oust Assad.

"The latest attack shows how a spark transforms into a fire when the international community remains silent and the UN Security Council fails to act," Davutoglu said in Germany.

Erdogan has in recent weeks ramped up his rhetoric against Assad, calling him a butcher and accusing him of using chemical weapons in the conflict.

But German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere argued there were only "limited" options available to the international community.

"A military intervention would be very, very costly and would result in significant losses," he cautioned in an interview on German public television.


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jorda
Ramadi, Iraq (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nuri al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa al- ... read more

U.S. seeks $220 million for Israel missile defense

Pentagon requests more funding for Israel's 'Iron Dome'

Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Intercepts and Destroys Tactical Ballistic Missile in New Test

Japan's missile defence plan: some facts

Israel 'determined' to halt Syria missile deal: minister

Raytheon, US Army complete AI3 control vehicle tests

Taiwan renews call on China to remove missiles

Syria: Israel blasts Hezbollah's missile chain

Iran unveils new attack drone

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Navy Conduct First Arrested Landing of X-47B Unmanned Demonstrator

Outside View: Drones: Say it with figures

ESA-EDA Flight Demonstration On Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Insertion Into Civil Airspace

Department of Defense looking to allow Apple, Samsung devices

DARPA Seeks Clean-Slate Ideas For Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

Astrium's secure milsatcoms now cover the world

Gilat to Equip IDF with SatTrooper-1000 Military Manpack

Blueprints for 3D handgun take refuge in Pirate Bay

Raytheon completes first international delivery of Enhanced Paveway II GBU-50

Canada said to be aiming for precision weaponry

Germany says will sell 164 tanks to Indonesia

US to boycott UN disarmament body over Iran role

Israeli defence, finance chiefs battle over budget

Bulgaria's ex-arms industry hub looks back on glory days

AgustaWestland remains a bidder for Indian deal

India says working on new border agreement with China

Chinese ships in disputed-islands waters: Japan

India FM seeks to build China ties after border row

China should 'reconsider' who owns Okinawa: academics

Going negative pays for nanotubes

Researchers develop unique method for creating uniform nanoparticles

Dark field imaging of rattle-type silica nanorattles coated gold nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo

'Super-resolution' microscope possible for nanostructures

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement