Turkish Human Right Society Warns against Terrorist Practices in Iskenderun

Ankara, (ST) _A Turkish Human Rights Association warned against  the drastic situation people of Iskenderun suffer as a result of proliferation of armed terrorist groups that wreak killing and destruction in Syria, in their cities.

In a report on the crisis in Syria and its impact on cities and villages of Iskenderun posted on the Turkish "Sol Portal" online, the association noted increasing influx of Syrians and foreign elements to Iskenderun and the indefinite numbers of those who crossed the border from Syria to Turkey in the context of the crisis in Syria.

In a statement to the association, Rafik Yilmaz , member of the   Turkish parliament for the opposition Republican People's Party said that  warplanes transport  terrorist groups to the city on a daily basis .

A Turkish customs staff  was also quoted an saying that at instructions from Ankara permit cars to enter through the yellow line after they used to enter through the red line where no cars are monitored, but only documents.

Yilmaz  indicated  the concern that captured the people of  Antioch with threats posted by  elements of these terrorist groups on Web pages noting that  "one  citizen from Antioch told me that he heard two extremists talking about access to Smandag  town and Ersuz city . "

The report also refers to the increasing information about the spread of the phenomenon of arranged  marriages  of "Syrian refugee women " to Turkish businessmen through intermediaries and that 70 persons  work  in this field  for certain sum of money.

Chairman of  Iskenderun doctors association Salim  Matkab indicated that members  of  armed terrorist groups that  carry out acts of killing and destruction in Syria  are stationed in several places in  Iskenderun  as hospitals to treat the injured in the clashes with the Syrian Arab army assisted the so-called "humanitarian agencies" pointing to the existence of Physicians of Arab nationalities working in these hospitals without any control monitoring  them or those hospitals.

Member of the Teachers Union TU  branch board in Iskenderun said that  Iskenderun turned into a buffer zone where foreign intelligence elements  are spread pointing to "forcing the people  of Antioch to take advantage of the economy of war  and practice arms trade openly."

In this regard Yilmaz warned of the danger of the control of "Israel" and the Israeli Mossad on  these extremist groups that are active in the form of secret cells, warning that these groups can carry out terrorist acts in Turkey when a dialogue to resolve the crisis in Syria starts .

In parallel, the  report quoted a representative of the Armenian Church in Antioch Hagop Kartoon as expressing concern due to the prevailing situation in the city because of  the spread of extremist elements ,pointing out that the crisis led to a  growing sympathy of the city 's citizens  with the Syrian people and leadership, while the representative of the Orthodox churches in Antioch Joseph Naseh noted that  the Orthodox community in  Syria  support the Syrian leadership as they are not subjected to any  sectarian discrimination in Syria.

T. Fateh 

Saudi forces arrest over 300 protesters in Buraidah

Saudi security forces have arrested over 300 people in the central province of Qassim after hundreds of Saudis staged a protest sit-in to demand the release of political prisoners.

The protest gathering was held outside the investigation and prosecution bureau in the town of Buraidah on Friday.

Fifteen women are reported to be among those detained. They demanded the release of female political activists recently arrested in the province.

According to state news agency, SPA, the protest sit-in lasted for more than 12 hours.

Saudi activists say there are more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly prisoners of conscience, in jails across the Kingdom.

According to the activists, most of the detained political thinkers are being held by the government without trial or legitimate charges and have been arrested for merely looking suspicious.

Some of the detainees are reported to be held without trial for more than 16 years. Attempting to incite the public against the government and the allegiance to foreign entities are usually the ready-made charges against political dissidents.

In Saudi Arabia, protests and political gatherings of any kind are prohibited.

Amnesty International has criticized Riyadh over the warning and urged the authorities to "withdraw their threat."


Salehi urges West to be realistic on Syria

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called on the West to take a more realistic approach to the crisis in Syria, Press TV reports.

“We all have to recognize the fact that there is a government in Syria that is not ready to step down and nobody - no external power or any other country in the region - has the right to ask the government of Syria to step down,” Salehi said on Thursday.

The Iranian foreign minister also called on the Syrian government and the opposition groups to resolve the crisis through dialogue.

Salehi said that only democratic elections under the UN supervision could guarantee that the Syrian people decide for the future of their country. He added that violence must end before such elections could take place.


India, Iran for Dialogue to Solve Crisis in Syria

NEWDELHI, (ST)_ Head  of the Iranian Islamic Shura Council Ali Larijani  stressed during a meeting with  Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi  the  two countries  identical views  on inclining to  dialogue to resolve the crisis in Syria rather  through a military solution and the use of force.

"Iran believes in the promotion of democracy in Syria and that unlike Westerners who claim they are worried about democracy in Syria, Iran also believes in the democracy, people themselves want." Larijani added.

On the other hand,    Larijani described negotiations between Iran and the group / 5 plus 1 / as  positive adding, "Although we see sometimes pretexts in this regard, but this track has seen some progress, and stressed  that Iran does not move towards  nuclear weapon."

For his part, Indian President underlined the importance of strong bilateral economic relations and the need to further deepening  them between the two countries, in the interests of the two peoples.

He added that both  India and Iran are responsible to face regional and global challenges, including terrorism, energy security, food security, climate change and natural disasters, peace and stability in Afghanistan, as a key to maintain progress in the region.

Indian President stressed that Iran is still considered an important source for supplying India with crude and that trade balance is now in the interest of Iran and the Indian markets are open to increase exports to Iran.

T. Fateh

Iraq PM warns Syria war could spread

BAGHDAD,(ST)- Iraq's prime minister warned Wednesday that a victory for Armed Terrorist groups in the crisis in Syria would create a new extremist haven and destabilize the wider Middle East, sparking sectarian wars in his own country and in Lebanon.

Nouri al-Maliki's comments in a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press marked one of his strongest warnings yet about the turmoil that the collapse of the Syrian government could create.

"If the world does not agree to support a peaceful solution through dialogue ... then I see no light at the end of the tunnel," al-Maliki said.

"Neither the opposition nor the regime can finish each other off," he continued. "The most dangerous thing in this process is that if the opposition is victorious, there will be a civil war in Lebanon, divisions in Jordan and a sectarian war in Iraq."

Al-Maliki emphatically denied aiding arms transfers: "Not to the regime and not to the opposition. No weapon is being transferred through Iraqi skies, territories or waters," he said.

He characterized Baghdad's relationship with the U.S. as maturing nearly a decade after the March 20, 2003, invasion, and said there is a strong will on both sides to strengthen relations further.

"What is going on in Iraq is connected to what is happening in the region. It is also connected to the results of the so-called Arab Spring and some sectarian policies in the region," he said.

"Our patience will continue because we believe that there are people in these provinces who are patriotic and they reject sectarianism, believe in the unity of the country and denounce the voices uttering sectarian words."