International News Feed

NATO rejects Russia explanation on Turkish air space | Reuters

NATO on Tuesday rejected Moscow's explanation that its warplanes violated the air space of alliance member Turkey at the weekend by mistake and said Russia was sending more ground troops to Syria.

With Russia extending its air strikes to include the ancient city of Palmyra, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he was losing patience with Russian violations of his country's air space.

"An attack on Turkey means an attack on NATO," Erdogan warned at a Brussels news conference.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had reports of a substantial Russian military build-up in Syria, including ground troops and ships in the eastern Mediterranean.

"I will not speculate on the motives ... but this does not look like an accident and we have seen two of them," Stoltenberg said of the air incursions over Turkey's border with Syria. He noted that they "lasted for a long time".

The incidents, which NATO has described as "extremely dangerous" and "unacceptable", underscore the risks of a further escalation of the Syrian civil war, as Russian and U.S. warplanes fly combat missions over the same country for the first time since World War Two.


ISIS Destroys Another Ancient Landmark: 'We’re Going to Lose Palmyra,' Syrian Director Says - ABC News

A 2,000-year-old arch in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra is the latest casualty by ISIS militants.

Professor Maamoun Abduilkarim, the country’s director of antiquities, confirmed that ISIS Sunday blew up the Arch of Triumph, one of the city’s most recognizable sites. “Shocked” and “shameful,” he told ABC News, noting that unlike the two temples that were destroyed earlier this year, the arch has no religious significance.

The arch was known to locals as the “Bridge of the Desert” because it linked the Roman Empire to Persia and the East.

Professor Abduilkarim said he had not seen photos or videos of the devastation, but learned reports from eyewitnesses.

“They’re destroying building by building,” he said, “within three to six months, at this pace, we’re going to lose Palmyra.”


Turkey warns Russia over airspace violation, says Moscow escalating conflict

Russia admitted the plane had entered Turkey "by mistake" and assured Ankara it would not happen again, Davutoğlu said. But a senior US official said the Obama administration does not believe the incursion was an accident, and officials are in urgent talks with allies about what to do.

The official was not authorized to publicly discuss sensitive military matters and spoke on condition of anonymity.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Washington was conferring with Turkey about the incursion. Speaking during a trip to Spain, he also compared Moscow's effort to bolster Assad to tethering itself to a sinking ship.

"By taking military action in Syria against moderate group targets, Russia has escalated the civil war," Carter said in a speech in Madrid.

Turkey, which has the second-largest army in NATO, scrambled two F-16 jets on Saturday after a Russian warplane crossed into its airspace near the province of Hatay, which borders Syria, the foreign ministry said.

Also on Monday, Turkey's military said a MIG-29 jet had harassed two Turkish F-16s for five minutes and 40 seconds on Sunday by locking its radar on them. In a brief statement, the military said the incident occurred while 10 F-16s were patrolling the Turkish-Syrian border. The military said it did not know to which country the MIG-29 belonged.


NATO Warns Russia After Warplane Enters Turkish Airspace - The New York Times

CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: How 'bout that, NATO takes a stronger stance against Russia than Barack Obama.... Can you say, "Obama's foreign policy continues to suck?" Yes, yes you can....

MADRID — NATO officials issued a warning to Russia on Monday, and the United States began what officials called urgent consultations with Turkey, after Turkish fighter jets intercepted a Russian warplane that entered its airspace over the weekend.

Russia’s actions were “an unacceptable violation” of Turkish airspace, NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said after meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, Feridun Sinirlioglu. Mr. Stoltenberg added, “Russia’s actions are not contributing to the security and stability of the region.”

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, speaking in Madrid during a news conference with his Spanish counterpart, said that American officials were conferring with Turkish counterparts over next steps.

“I don’t believe this was an accident,” said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to comment publicly.


Russia Carries Out Airstrikes in Syria for 2nd Day - The New York Times

BEIRUT, Lebanon — In a second day of raids in Syria, Russian warplanes carried out a new round of airstrikes on Thursday in the northwestern province of Idlib that targeted not the Islamic State but a rival insurgent coalition, according to accounts from some journalists and activists.

Al Mayadeen, a Lebanon-based news channel that leans toward the Syrian government, reported that Russia was targeting “a known list of terrorist organizations” that it had agreed on with the Syrian Army.

Mostapha al-Nayrab, an antigovernment activist in Idlib Province, said that Russian warplanes had bombed many areas in the south and west of the province, hitting both insurgent bases and a mosque where five civilians were killed.


Afghan forces move to drive Taliban out of northern city with backing of US airstrike | Fox News

Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said Tuesday that government forces had launched a counterattack to retake the strategic northern city of Kunduz from Taliban militants who had captured it on Monday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said it had carried out an airstrike on the city "in order to eliminate a threat to the force," in the words of U.S. and NATO missions spokesman Col. Brian Tribus. The Associated Press reported that did not elaborate if more airstrikes would follow. The AP also noted that there were no U.S. or NATO troops in Kunduz at the time of the airstrike.

Sarwar Hussaini, a provincial police spokesman, told the Associated Press Afghan forces had launched an operation on several fronts around Kunduz to try and retake the city of approximately 300,000 people. The Defense Ministry vowed in a statement to Reuters that the city would soon be retaken. Reuters reported that government forces had spent the night holed up at Kunduz's airport after being driven out of the city itself the day before.

The Defense Ministry claimed that the city's prison and the provincial police headquarters had been retaken. That claim could not independently be verified as the city was off limits to media.


Russia's Lavrov says Moscow to continue military support of Syria: reports - Yahoo News

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will continue with military supplies to Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.

Moscow has come under increased international pressure in recent days over what Washington and Gulf states say is a Russian military build-up in Syria, where the Kremlin has been supporting President Bashar al-Assad in a four-and-a-half-year war.

"There were military supplies, they are ongoing and they will continue. They are inevitably accompanied by Russian specialists, who help to adjust the equipment, to train Syrian personnel how to use these weaponry," Lavrov said.


See Reaction After Man Adds Butane Gas to Coke Bottle, Then Flips It Over | Video |

You probably should avoid trying this experiment at home.

A Russian YouTuber published a video late-last that shows him pump a Coca-Cola bottle with butane gas and then flip it over.

The result?

It turns into what he called a “mega rocket,” shooting straight up into the air and leaving a gas stream behind.


Brutal Images of Syrian Boy Drowned Off Turkey Must Be Seen, Activists Say - The New York Times

At least 12 refugees fleeing the war in Syria, including two young boys, drowned on Wednesday while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos from the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, according to Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency.

A sense of weary resignation at the plight of the Syrians — and hundreds of thousands of other refugees and migrants taking desperate risks to reach the safety of Europe — was briefly punctured by horrifying images of one of the young victims, a small boy whose dead body was discovered, face down in the sand, by a Turkish police officer.


Father of French train gunman says cannot believe son is a terrorist | Reuters

Aug 24 The father of a suspected Islamist militant gunman overpowered by passengers on a high-speed train in France was quoted on Monday as saying he could not believe his son was a terrorist.

The Spanish newspaper El Mundo spoke to Mohammed el Khazzani, father of Ayoub el Khazzani who was arrested after attacking passengers on the train on Friday, at his home in Algeciras, southern Spain.

"I wasn't on the train, but I don't think he was capable of doing something like that," Khazzani told El Mundo, speaking to the Spanish newspaper in Arabic.