Turkey detains more than one thousand people for ‘links to Gulen’
Turkish authorities have detained more than a thousand people suspected of having links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. The overnight crackdown was one of the largest operations in months against the network, which Turkey blames for orchestrating a failed coup in July.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said one thousand and nine people have been detained so far. The operation was launched in all of Turkey’s eighty-one provinces and targeted the network’s structure in the police force. Soylu describes the arrests as an “important step” towards the government’s aim at “bringing down” the Gulen movement.
US missile defence equipment reaches South Korea site
US troops on Wednesday began delivering a missile defence system to a deployment site in South Korea, amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. The missile defence system has however infuriated China.
Washington is urging Beijing, which is Pyongyang’s sole major ally, to do more to rein it in, but the Asian giant has reacted with fury to the planned installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, THAAD, system. The US and ally South Korea say its deployment is intended to guard against missile threats from the nuclear-armed North. But China fears it will weaken its own ballistic capabilities and says it upsets the regional security balance.
France says Syrian government behind chemical attack
France claims it has scientific proof that the Syrian government is responsible for a suspected chemical attack that killed eighty-seven people earlier this month. Foreign Minister Jean-March Ayrault said on Wednesday that chemical analysis of samples taken from the rebel-held village of Khan Sheikhoun “bears the signature” of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Al-Assad has however dismissed the claim as a “fabrication”. He insists the government has never used chemical weapons and that it turned over all of its stocks in 2013, after it was blamed by Western powers for a Sarin attack on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus that left hundreds dead.