Fearing for Saudi teen's safety, Canada refugee agency hires guard
An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family saying she feared for her life, is due to arrive in Canada on Saturday, after being granted asylum in the North American country. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada had accepted a request from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to take in Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who grabbed international attention earlier this week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family, which denies any abuse.
Disturbing footage purportedly showing murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's body parts being carried in bags has emerged.
In the CCTV men can be seen carrying black bags and suitcases into the home of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul, Turkey.
Dressed in normal clothes, the males bring in the luggage - allegedly containing the butchered journalist's remains - one after another.
The residence is a short distance from the consulate where Mr Khashoggi, a leading critic of Saudi policies, was killed in early October.
The brutal murder of my friend, journalist Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this past October, has triggered a geopolitical tsunami. Unlike during the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when the American political establishment was mostly unified in its quest to preserve the U.S.-Saudi partnership, the consensus in Congress now is that business as usual—as defined by the presidency of Donald Trump—cannot continue.
Jamal, as all of us who had the privilege of knowing him are aware, was a proud Saudi patriot—one who, overall, was supportive of Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic and social reform agenda in the country. But he was highly critical of the crown prince’s repressive tactics and had no illusions about the brutality of the Saudi government—for instance, when several high-profile Saudis, including members of the royal family, were detained at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh in late 2017. Jamal was also highly critical of the Saudi leadership’s embrace of President Trump.
|AIWA! NO!|ISTANBUL: Turkey vowed on Monday that the fight against Islamic State would not be slowed by the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, where Ankara-backed rebels reinforced their positions around the potential flashpoint town of Manbij.
Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed concerns that the withdrawal ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump would allow Islamic State to regain territory.Advertisement
"As part of the global coalition to defeat ISIS, we would like to express again that we will not allow such a thing to happen on Syrian soil, Iraqi soil or Turkish soil," Kalin told a news conference.
He added that there would be no disruption or slowdown of the fight against the militant group.
Erdogan and Trump agreed in a phone call on Sunday to establish military and diplomatic coordination to prevent a power vacuum from developing as the United States withdraws.
A committee of U.S. military officials will visit Turkey this week to discuss the details of the pullout with their counterparts, Kalin said, adding that Turkey would also increase coordination with Russia in Syria.
Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has backed rebels fighting against him. The two countries reached an agreement in September to create a demilitarised zone in the Idlib region, the last major rebel stronghold.
Trump's abrupt decision to pull troops out of Syria has upended American policy in the region. It will also effectively hand the fight against Islamic State in Syria to Turkey and set Ankara up to broaden its push against the Syrian Kurdish YPG.
Differences over Syria have long been a source of tension between the United States and Turkey. Washington has backed the YPG in the fight against Islamic State, but Ankara sees the militia as a terrorist organisation.
A rebel spokesman said on Monday Turkish-backed Syrian forces had reinforced the area around the town of Manbij, occupied by the Kurdish fighters, in preparation for the U.S. withdrawal.
"Yesterday units from the (rebel) Syrian National Army headed towards the Manbij front and took preliminary positions (in preparation) for the battle," said Major Youssef Hamoud, the spokesman for the National Army.
U.S. forces are still in Manbij and the Turkish-backed fighters will not advance until they withdraw, Hamoud told Reuters.
In June Turkey and Washington reached an agreement that would see the YPG ousted from the town, but Turkey has repeatedly blamed the United States for what it says has been a delay in that deal.
President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this month that Turkish forces would enter the town unless the United States removed the Kurdish fighters.
Outgoing U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis has signed the order for the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Syria, the defence department said on Monday.
The withdrawal is seen as possibly beginning within weeks.
"Americans have uttered numbers such as 30-60 days, 60-100 days. We will see about that," Kalin said on Monday. "This will have more to do with the coordination of the withdrawal process in the field."
Turkey Working With Other Nations To Take Khashoggi Probe To UN: Minister
Thousands of civilians have been caught in the middle, trapped by minefields and barrages of mortars and airstrikes. The resulting humanitarian catastrophe has seen at least 10,000 people killed and millions displaced.
Speaking on Sunday evening, Grande said: “There’s no question we should be ashamed, and we should, every day that we wake up, renew our commitment to do everything possible to help the people that are suffering and end the conflict.”