Akcakale, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — Turkey's president says he won't halt its military offensive in northeast Syria, despite growing pressure and sanctions from NATO allies.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments came as Washington, which has announced limited sanctions on Turkey, said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Ankara Wednesday to try and reach a cease-fire deal.
Speaking to a group of journalists, Erdogan said he told President Donald Trump: "We could never declare a ceasefire," adding that Turkey wouldn't negotiate with "terrorists."
Erdogan said he was "not concerned" by sanctions imposed on Turkey.
Turkey launched its offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters it considers terrorists after Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. troops.
Russia has signaled its role as de facto power broker in the conflict, deploying forces near the border following America's pullout.
Beirut, Oct 15 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Lebanon's state security arrested on Tuesday a Syrian national for joining the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
The Syrian, who was arrested in the southern city of Tyre, admitted to joining the IS in 2013 and having received multiple military and religious training sessions before illegally entering Lebanon, according to Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.
The suspect was referred to the Lebanese Army Intelligence Directorate for legal procedures.
Lebanon has been a target for terrorists in the past few years.
The last attack in Lebanon was carried out by the IS in the northern city of Tripoli on June 3, killing four Lebanese soldiers.
Ceylanpinar, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — Turkish artillery is pounding suspected Syrian Kurdish positions near a town in northeast Syria as Turkey's military incursion enters its seventh day.
An Associated Press journalist on Tuesday reported heavy bombardment of targets in the countryside of Ras al Ayn, days after Turkey announced that it had captured the border town. Turkish jets also carried out at least one airstrike.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported Kurdish fighters had retaken the town.
A Turkish military official denied reports that Turkey had begun an assault on the Kurdish-held town of Manbij, without giving further detail.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended Turkey's offensive in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, calling on the international community to support the initiative or "begin admitting refugees" from Syria.
Baghdad, Oct. 13 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Four Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Saturday in airstrikes on their hideouts in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a provincial official said.
Iraqi warplanes conducted airstrikes on three IS hideouts near Himreen Lake in north of the provincial capital Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, Sadiq al-Husseini, head of the security committee of the provincial council, told Xinhua.
The airstrikes destroyed the three hideouts and killed four IS militants inside, al-Husseini said citing intelligence reports.
Despite repeated military operations in Diyala province, remnants of IS militants are still hiding in some rugged areas near the border with Iran, and in the sprawling areas extending from the western part of the province to the Himreen mountain range in north of Baquba.
The security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in 2017.
IS remnants, however, have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.