Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 28 Feb 2020


  • Syria War: 33 Turkish Soldiers Killed in Attack in Idlib
  • In Saudi Arabia, Women Have Scored Another Winning Goal
  • Pakistan Concerned over US-India Defence Deals and Modi’s Treatment of Muslims

Syria War: 33 Turkish Soldiers Killed in Attack in Idlib

At least 33 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an air strike by Syrian government forces in north-west Syria, in a major escalation of the conflict. Turkey says it hit back by striking some 200 Syrian government targets, “neutralising” 309 Syrian soldiers. Russia, Syria’s key military ally, says Turkish troops were attacked in Idlib province by Syrian forces while operating alongside jihadist fighters. It denies its own air force was involved in fighting in the Behun area. Government forces, supported by Russia, have been trying to retake Idlib from rebels who are backed by Turkey. The air strike came after the rebels retook the key town of Saraqeb. Idlib is the last Syrian province to remain in opposition hands. Reports suggest Turkey, a key member of the NATO alliance, may be relaxing its border controls to allow Syrian refugees to seek refuge in the EU. “Thirty-three of our soldiers were martyred as a result of the air strike… by the forces of the [Bashar al-] Assad regime,” said Rahmi Dogan, the governor of Turkey’s neighbouring Hatay province.

Those wounded were being treated in hospital in Turkey but none were in a critical condition, he added. After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an urgent top-level security meeting in Ankara, Turkish forces began conducting ground and air strikes. Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that in addition to the casualties inflicted, five Syrian government helicopters, 23 tanks, 23 howitzers, and two air defence systems had been destroyed. According to the Russian defence ministry, the Turkish soldiers had been killed in a “bombardment” while operating alongside “terrorists” in the Behun area where, it said, fighters from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance (formerly the Nusra Front) were attacking Syrian government forces. Russia said it was in constant contact with Turkey to ensure Turkish troops were not targeted in Idlib and had not been informed that Turkish forces were active at Behun. President Erdogan wants Syrian government forces to pull back from positions where Turkey has set up military observation posts and earlier threatened to attack them if they did not halt their advance. But Syria’s government and Russia have rejected his demand to pull back to ceasefire lines agreed in 2018. Russia has also accused Turkey of violating the 2018 ceasefire by backing rebels with artillery fire. [Source: BBC]

Rather than beseech NATO for support, Turkey is more than capable of expelling all foreign forces from Syria and annexing the country. However, Erdogan is not sincere in assisting Syrians. His main concern is to reduce Russian influence and ensure American interests are protected.


In Saudi Arabia, Women Have Scored Another Winning Goal

Saudi Arabia is planning on expanding the number of professional football players competing in the country, not by recruiting more athletes to its existing national team, but by creating its first all-female football league. This is a significant milestone for Saudi women, who now can partake in football events as professional players or spectators, a prospect that would have been difficult to foresee a few years ago. It is also an opportunity for all Saudis to come closer to achieving their dreams, where gender is not a barrier. The creation of the Women’s Football League was announced on Monday, and games will kick off as soon as next month. The first WFL tournament will take place in cities across the kingdom, and the winning team will receive a prize totalling nearly Dh500,000. The move is part of a wider drive to promote sport in the kingdom and to diversify the culture sector. Earlier this week, in the wake of a Cabinet reshuffle, Riyadh upgraded its General Sports Authority to a fully fledged ministry headed by 36-year-old former auto racing star Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki. The young minister has competed in international tournaments and is well positioned to lead by example, inspiring other young people to participate in sporting events and become part of their nation’s history. Above all, the creation of the league further solidifies women’s integral status in this new chapter of Saudi history. Women necessarily represent half of the equation when it comes to affording opportunities to excel in sport, and many initiatives bearing this in mind have flourished in the past few years. In 2019, an all-female Saudi team competed in the World Women’s Bowling Championship and last December, riders of all genders participated at the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, competing side by side for the first time. Such initiatives allow Saudi women to shine and to receive the support and recognition they deserve. The historic breakthroughs in sport come on the heels of a series of broader, progressive reforms dedicated to women in Saudi Arabia. In 2018, women were granted the right to drive. Last year, legal restrictions on the right to travel without the permission of male guardians were lifted. These changes are part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030, a long-term strategy to open up the country to the world and diversify its oil-reliant economy by boosting other sectors such as tourism, technology entertainment and sport. While more remains to be achieved, the pace and scope of change must be lauded. [Source: The National]

The Saudi regime continues to impose Western values on women by measuring the emancipation of females exclusively on Western standards. What both Saudi men and women need is emancipation from the Saudi regime and the return of the country to dar al Islam.


Pakistan Concerned over US-India Defence Deals and Modi’s Treatment of Muslims

Pakistan on Thursday expressed grave concern over violence against Muslims, including desecration of mosques, in New Delhi and said Pakistani leadership as well as the international community has raised their concerns with India on the situation. At a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said the state oppression that the Kashmiri people have been suffering for decades at the hands of Indian authorities has now found its way in the Indian capital. She said there is an increasing awareness in the world that resolution of Kashmir dispute is the key for peace and stability in the region. She said Pakistan has welcomed the mediation offer made by US President Donald Trump during his visit to India. She pointed out that the US president also lauded Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism during the visit, adding that the very remarks are a manifestation of upward trajectory in Pakistan-US relations. The spokesperson, however, said Pakistan has concerns over the defense deals between the US and India, especially the sale of sophisticated weapon system to New Delhi. This, she said, will further destabilize the already volatile region. “We have alerted the international community many times about India’s aggressive designs not only towards Pakistan but also other countries in the region,” she added. [Daily Times]

While India slaughters Muslims in Kashmir and New Delhi, and Trump strengthens India’s military capabilities, the Pakistani leadership can barely muster enough strength to express concerns. The time for words has ended. It is time for ending BJP’s subjugation of India’s Muslim populace, and annexing India to Muslim rule. But this is only possible if Muslims of Pakistan re-establish the Khilafah state (Caliphate).