Turkey bombs Rojava, pressures Sweden


Turkish warplanes carried out air-strikes on several towns within the Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Syria, known as Rojava, on Nov. 19. The strikes killed several Kurdish fighters as well as soldiers of the Syrian regime, with which they now jointly occupy the area. Among the towns hit was Kobane, from where Ankara says the order was given for the Nov. 13 suicide attack in Istanbul, that left six dead and several injured. ”Kobane, the city that defeated ISIS, is subjected to bombardment by the aircraft of the Turkish occupation,” tweeted Farhad Shami, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Both the SDF and affiliated Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), named by Ankara as behind the Istanbul attack, have denied any involvement. Turkish authorities have arrested 17 in the attack, including a Syrian woman said to be the main perpetrator. (Al Jazeera, ANF, MEE, Rudaw, Rudaw, The Guardian)

Three days after the Istanbul attack, Sweden acceded to Turkish demands that it stiffen “anti-terrorist” measures as a precondition for joining NATO. The Swedish RiksdagĀ adopted a constitutional amendmentĀ facilitating passage of laws to limit the freedom of association for those who engage in or support “terrorism.” Turkey has long accused Sweden of giving harbor to exiled PKK sympathizers. (Jurist, Daily Sabah, AP)

Photo via ANF

  1. Finland becomes 31st NATO member state

    Finland is to become the 31st member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on April 4, after the Turkish Parliament ratified the country’s membership bid last week. Finnish Prime Minister Sauli Niinistƶ expressed his thanks to each of the member states, affirming that “Finland will be a strong and capable Ally, committed to the security of the Alliance.”

    Finland sought NATO membership after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The invasion raised special concerns for Finland, as it shares a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia. (Jurist)