Connect with us

Buzz

Erdogan: US troop Syria pullout must be done with right partners | Turkey News

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has praised Donald Trump’s decision last month to pull US troops out of Syria but said the withdrawal must be done carefully and with the “right partners”.

In an op-ed article for The New York Times on Monday, a day before a scheduled meeting with US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Erdogan expressed Turkey’s commitment to defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group and “other terrorist groups” in Syria.

“President Trump made the right call to withdraw from Syria. The United States withdrawal, however, must be planned carefully and performed in cooperation with the right partners to protect the interests of the United States, the international community and the Syrian people,” Erdogan wrote.

“Turkey, which has NATO’s second largest standing army, is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task.”

In a surprise declaration, Trump on December 19 said that ISIL had been defeated in Syria and announced the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from the country.






WATCH: Syria pullout tied to Kurd protection, ISIL defeat (4:54)

The move left many questions open and heightened expectations that Turkey could launch a military operation targeting the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which has spearheaded the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against ISIL.

In recent days, Trump administration officials have made the clear that the troop withdrawal from northeastern Syria will not happen quickly. But the White House sought to make the case on Monday that Trump had not changed his position.

Bolton has said the pullout would take place in a manner that “absolutely assured” the security of Israel and other regional allies. On Monday, he arrived in Turkey from Israel in a bid to hammer out a deal for Washington’s Kurdish allies.

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States,” Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The US alliance with the YPG, which it has helped arm and train, has been one of the main stumbling blocks in relations with Ankara because of the group’s ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Since 1984, the PKK has waged a war against Turkey that has led to more than 40,000 deaths.

Ankara regards both Kurdish groups as “terrorist” organisations.

‘Direct channel to Trump’

Hillary Mann Leverett, a former US diplomat, said Erdogan in his op-ed is “speaking directly” to his US counterpart.

“He needs to do so because Bolton, who has been in Israel, is now going to Turkey and we know that Bolton has a very different view of Turkey, of Syria, of Israel than President Erdogan – and even President Trump,” she told Al Jazeera.

“So Erdogan is trying to continue building on his direct channel to President Trump through his phone calls, through an op-ed on The New York Times, a newspaper that Donald Trump reads. His audience is the one and only, President Trump.”

In his op-ed, Erdogan also warned that the international community should avoid making the same mistakes in Syria as in Iraq.

“The lesson of Iraq, where this terrorist group (ISIL) was born, is that premature declarations of victory and the reckless actions they tend to spur create more problems than they solve,” he wrote.

“The first step is to create a stabilisation force featuring fighters from all parts of Syrian society. Only a diverse body can serve all Syrian citizens and bring law and order to various parts of the country.”

Mann Leverett said Erdogan is trying to present Turkey “as the credible partner for the US in Syria” and the wider region.

“The US may have wanted to work more closely with Russia when Trump was first elected but the US policy towards Russia has all but collapsed under the weight of the domestic investigation [into alleged election meddling] here, and Trump cannot work with Iran because he’s boxed himself in so much with Iran, the other key player in Syria,” she said, referring to the two major backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“So really Turkey is the only player and Turkey under Erdogan is trying to present itself as a player that the US can work with, as a major NATO ally and an important country.”

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Buzz

Ottawa transit commission hopes to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines for OC Transpo workers

Editor

Published

on

By

Ottawa’s transit commission is pushing local and provincial health officials to recognize the role OC Transpo operators have played in keeping the city running during the COVID-19 pandemic, hoping to bump train and bus drivers in the vaccination queue amid a recent surge in coronavirus infections affecting transit workers.

More than 100 OC Transpo staff across the entire organization have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, according to an update at Wednesday morning’s transit commission meeting.

Of those cases, 26 employees are currently recovering from the disease in self-isolation.

OC Transpo has seen a recent jump in COVID-19 cases, with Ottawa city council receiving reports of eight operators testing positive for the virus over a recent eight-day period.

Transit commissioner Sarah Wright-Gilbert attempted to find out how many of the total cases are traced to workplace transmission, but OC Transpo boss John Manconi said he’s been advised by medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches that he can’t share that information for privacy reasons.

Transit operators are listed in the second priority group of essential workers as part of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine sequencing plans, but several commissioners speaking Wednesday wanted to get the city’s bus and train drivers bumped higher in the order.

Councillors Riley Brockington and Glen Gower both put forward motions looking to get front-line OC Transpo employees prioritization in vaccine sequencing, but others pointed out that the much-debated public health topic of who gets the vaccine and when is well beyond the scope of the transit commission.

“We are not in a position in transit commission to be decreeing, or making an edict, about what group of essential workers is more at risk than others and should be prioritized. That should be left up to public health experts,” Wright-Gilbert said.

Knoxdale-Merivale Coun. Keith Egli, who also chairs the Ottawa Board of Health, reflected on the board’s four-plus-hour meeting on Monday evening, during which vaccine sequencing and prioritizing essential workers dominated the conversation.

“Vaccine sequencing is obviously a very difficult maze to get through,” he said.

Continue Reading

Buzz

COVID-19: Ottawa police announce end of 24-7 presence at Ontario-Quebec border

Editor

Published

on

By

Less than two days after the Ontario government’s latest COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, calling for non-essential traffic to be stopped at the province’s borders with Quebec and Manitoba, the Ottawa Police Service has announced it is stopping its 24-hour checkpoints.

According to a statement issued by the service Tuesday evening, the around-the-clock border checkpoints were set to end as of 8 p.m. on Tuesday in favour of rotating checkpoints across the city throughout the day until Ontario’s temporary regulations end.

“Since the onset of the border operations, the OPS has been working closely with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) along with local stakeholders and interprovincial stakeholders (the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau, the Ontario Provincial Police etc.) to assess any local public health, traffic and safety impacts. The assessment resulted in today’s operational changes,” the statement said.

“The operational changes announced today are designed to better ensure the health and safety of all, to minimize delays and/or hazards for travellers and to ensure essential workers can get to their places of employment on time.”

The statement also said the police service, while working to comply with the provincial order, was focused on education and enforcement actions that “support improved public health outcomes and respect the concerns of our most marginalized and racialized communities”

Officers said they will be conducting daily assessments on border crossings and that there could be further changes.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said that the border closures are ultimately subject to the discretion of local police enforcing the regulations.

“Local police services are best positioned to determine the operational deployments necessary to ensure the continued safety of their communities,” the spokesperson said, noting that the order’s regulations still apply to individuals entering the province.

The temporary order restricts Quebec residents from entering Ontario. If prompted, individuals must stop when directed by an enforcement officials and provide their reason for entering the province.

The main exemptions to the restrictions include if the person’s main home is in the province, if they work in Ontario, if they’re transporting goods, if they’re exercising Indigenous or treaty rights, if they need health care or if there’s a basis on compassionate grounds.

Continue Reading

Buzz

COVID-19 vaccines in Ottawa: Nearly half of all residents in their 60s have at least one dose

Editor

Published

on

By

OTTAWA — Ottawa Public Health’s latest COVID-19 vaccination update shows that nearly half of all residents 60 to 69 years old have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a figure that has all but doubled in the past week.

OPH’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows 58,000 residents 60 to 69 have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for 49.3 per cent of that age group’s population in Ottawa. Last Wednesday, OPH reported 30,000 residents 60 to 69 had had at least one dose, which was 25.4 per cent.

As age demographics get younger, the population grows larger and the coverage by percentage may appear to grow more slowly, even if clinics are vaccinating greater numbers of people. For example, the latest figures show that 83 per cent of people aged 70 to 79 have had at least one dose. By raw population that’s 60,000 people, only slightly higher than half of all people in their 60s.

Vaccinations are open through the Ontario portal to anyone 60 and older and, this week, the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for administration at pharmacies and primary care clinics to anyone in Ontario 40 and older.

OPH reported a new shipment this week of 25,740 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. To date, Ottawa has received 305,130 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the provincial government.

The number of eligible residents (i.e. 16 and older) with at least one dose of a vaccine is now up to 28 per cent.

Tuesday was Ottawa’s second-busiest day for vaccinations overall, with the OPH reporting 9,729 shots administered. Last Friday saw 9,887 shots administered in a single day.

QUICK STATS

  • Ottawa residents with at least one dose: 248,668
  • Ottawa residents with two doses: 26,722
  • Percent of eligible population (residents 16 and older) with at least one dose: 28 per cent
  • Percent of eligible population (residents 16 and older) with two doses: 3 per cent
  • Percent of total population with at least one dose: 24 per cent
  • Percent of total population with two doses: 3 per cent

VACCINATION COVERAGE BY AGE FOR OTTAWA RESIDENTS WITH AT LEAST ONE DOSE

  • 10-19: 1.6 per cent (1,804 people)
  • 20-29: 8.3 per cent (13,452 people)
  • 30-39: 9.5 per cent (14,999 people)
  • 40-49: 12.9 per cent (17,350 people)
  • 50-59: 28.8 per cent (40,320 people)
  • 60-69: 49.3 per cent (58,627 people)
  • 70-79: 82.9 per cent (62,808 people)
  • 80-89: 87.5 per cent (29,358 people)
  • 90+: 89.2 per cent (7,893 people)
  • Unknown age: 2,057 people 

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending