Damascus, December 26, 2016: At least 30 civilians who made an attempt to escape from Syria’s al-Bab were killed by the Islamic State militant group, Turkish military said on Monday.
The IS has been threatening civilians in al-Bab and trying to push them to stay in the city where the roads and streets have been blocked by the terror group, Xinhua news agency reported.
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Meanwhile, a Turkish soldier who was injured in al-Bab during a clash with the IS, died on Monday.
At least 16 Turkish soldiers were killed in an IS attack on December 21 in al-Bab as Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels battle to take the town from jihadists, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said.
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According to Isik, three Turkish soldiers were also abducted by the IS in northern Syria.
The Turkish Army on August 24 launched the Euphrates Shield Operation against the IS and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party.
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Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was meant to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey lists the YPG and the PYD as terrorist organisations due to their links to the PKK. (IANS)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the United States Tuesday as the actual “head of global terrorism,” one day after the U.S. designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.
The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization.
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” President Donald Trump declared in a statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
The U.S. action, which takes effect next week and includes the IRGC’s elite secretive Quds Force, means it will be a federal crime to provide any type of support to the IRGC.
Rouhani said the U.S. designation would only bolster the reputation of the Revolutionary Guards and promote harmony among Iranians.
“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region,” Rouhani said. “America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of guards Tuesday, describing the U.S. action as a “vicious move” that “will bear no fruit.”
After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.”
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the U.S. decision as the “climax of stupidity and ignorance.” Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keivan Khosravi warned without elaborating that “any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behavior by a terrorist group.”
China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression.
“We oppose power politics and bullying by any countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”
U.S. officials, in comments to reporters, are also referring to the IRGC as a “death cult” that, they say, is the true face of Iranian foreign policy.