updated 2:50 PM MDT, Apr 30, 2017
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Turkey threatens further strikes on US-allied Syrian Kurds


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday his country may take further action against Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria and insisted U.S. support for such groups "must come to an end."

The U.S. moved troops and armored vehicles through several Syrian cities and towns on Friday and Saturday in a show of force apparently intended to dissuade Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces from attacking each other.

Kurdish officials described the U.S. troop movement as a "buffer" between them and Turkey.

 
US forces patrol Syrian border amid clashes between Turkey and Kurdish militants

The U.S. has provided air cover and other support to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, it is working with the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, but also includes Arab fighters.

Video from northern Syria shows the U.S. patrols parked alongside Kurdish units flying the YPG flag.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

VIDEO.Israel Attacks Syrian military base near Damascus airport


BEIRUT  Syrian state media blamed Israel on Thursday for an early morning missile attack on a military installation near Damascus International Airport that shook the capital with the force of the blasts.

Israeli Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz would not comment directly on the incident but said any similar strike would be in line with established policy to interrupt the transfer of weapons to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah from Iran and Syria.

“It absolutely matches our declared policy, a policy that we also implement,” Katz told Israel’s Army Radio.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

UAE TV channels and radio stations launch campaign to aid Somalia

ABU DHABI // A charity telethon on aiming to raise urgent aid for tens of thousands of Somali children facing starvation was launched on Friday.

Television channels and radio stations across the country are supporting Emirates Red Crescent’s ‘For You, Somalia’ campaign broadcasting numbers that residents can text to make a donation.

The unified media campaign was telecast on Abu Dhabi TV from 2pm to 4pm, on Dubai TV from 4pm to 6pm, on Sharjah TV from 6pm to 7.30pm, and again on Abu Dhabi TV from 7.30pm to 8pm.

Earlier this month, Emirates Red Crescent launched the campaign to provide suffering Somalis with food, water, medicine and other necessities to help them survive their third famine in 25 years.

The gesture was under the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East

Emirates cuts #US flights, including Seattle, blaming Trump


Emirates cuts US flights, including Seattle, blaming Trump

    Wed Apr 19th, 2017 12:27pmBusiness

By Adam Schreck / Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, slashed its flights to the United States by 20 percent Wednesday, blaming a drop in demand on tougher U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from some Muslim-majority nations.

The Dubai government-owned carrier’s decision is the strongest sign yet that new measures imposed on U.S.-bound travelers from the Mideast could be taking a financial toll on fast-growing Gulf carriers that have expanded rapidly in the U.S.

Dubai was one of 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries affected by a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage aboard U.S.-bound flights.

Emirates’ hub at Dubai International Airport, the world’s third-busiest, is also a major transit point for travelers who were affected by President Donald Trump’s executive orders temporarily halting entry to citizens of six countries.

The latest travel ban suspended new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and froze the nation’s refugee program. Like an earlier ban that also included Iraqi citizens, it has been blocked from taking effect by the courts.

Emirates said the flight reductions will affect five of its 12 U.S. destinations, with the first cutbacks starting next month.

“The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins, have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S.,” the carrier said in a statement.

Emirates does not provide financial data for its U.S. operations or individual routes, but said it had seen “healthy growth and performance” there until the start of the year.

Since Trump has been in office, however, there has been what it called “a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our U.S. routes, across all travel segments.”

It said it is responding as “any profit-oriented enterprise would” and will use the capacity freed up by the culled routes elsewhere on its network.

The Americas region, which also includes routes to Canada and Latin America, accounted for 14 percent of the $22.75 billion in revenue Emirates pulled in during the fiscal year through the end of March 2016.

Emirates’ half-year profit fell 75 percent to $214 million in the last period the company has disclosed, through last September — before the U.S. election. Executives cited increased investments including aircraft purchases and the repayment of bonds, and said a “bleak” economic outlook in many parts of the world was reducing travel demand.

Robert Mann, an aviation consultant in Port Washington, New York, said business travel between the U.S. and the Middle East has clearly been hurt by the ban on gadgets, while the attempted visa bans have put a damper on leisure travel from the countries targeted.

“Neither factor is a good thing for the Middle Eastern carriers who are primarily affected,” he said.

The cuts will reduce the number of U.S.-bound flights from Dubai to 101, down from 126 currently.

Twice daily Emirates flights to Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle will fall to once a day. Daily flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will be pared to five per week.

Andrew Lannon, a Canadian attorney based in Dubai, arrived in Fort Lauderdale for vacation on an Emirates flight Wednesday and said passengers had to check their electronics, which made the 18-hour flight difficult because he couldn’t work.

Passengers were then told upon landing they would have to wait on the plane for an hour while their bags were checked, but were then let off after 20 minutes, Lannon said, adding that it took another hour for most passengers to clear customs.

Kevin Mitchell, head of the Business Travel Coalition in the U.S., said all the Gulf carriers are probably losing business because of the security measures and attempted travel bans, and that will hurt consumers.

“For consumers it means higher prices, fewer choices, less connectivity,” Mitchell said.

Like its smaller Gulf rivals Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, Emirates has ramped up its U.S. presence and recently launched a new service to Newark via Athens.

Several big U.S. carriers and their pilot unions have bristled at the Gulf airlines’ U.S. push, accusing them of flooding the market with capacity while receiving billions of dollars of unfair government subsidies.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Middle East
 
 

 

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