A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck southern Turkey at 4:18 a.m. Monday near the city of Nurgadi, which was followed by a powerful 6.7 magnitude aftershock. Devastation spread into northern Syria, and the quake was felt as far away as Tel Aviv and Beirut.
More than 1,400 people have been killed and thousands more injured in a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria overnight, flattening entire neighbourhoods while many families were still asleep.
Tremors from the deadly quake - which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey's largest ever - were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus, while a tsunami warning was briefly issued by authorities in Italy along the country's coast.
Iraq’s foreign exchange rate has steadily declined over recent years, falling to lows which are severely damaging the Iraqi economy. Ironically, this comes at a time when the foreign reserves meant to back the Iraqi dinar’s global position are at a near-term high.
The United States and Israel have been both blamed for a series of attacks that targeted Iran and Syria late in January, igniting tensions in the Middle East.
Escalation began late on January 28 with a drone attack that targeted a military industrial complex in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. The Iranian Ministry of Defense said that the complex was attacked with “small drones”, but its air defenses successfully repelled the attack. One of the drones was downed by the complex’s air defense fire, while the other two were caught in its defensive traps and exploded.
On January 30, strikes by unknown aircraft targeted a convoy of trucks on the outskirts of the Syrian border city of Al Bukamal. The attack took place a day after the Iranian Defense Ministry reported an attack by three drones on a military production facility in Isfahan.
Unverified reports have said that two more airstrikes were launched in eastern Syria on Monday near the Iraqi border following a strike in the area that was reported on Sunday night. Israel is suspected of being behind the attacks since it has previously launched similar airstrikes in the region.
In an article published here in November 2018, I referred to the statement of the UK representative of a UN organisation named the International, Impartial, Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.
I will repeat that statement because it is relevant to the current situation in Syria. That person stated,
A Turkish military base near the Bab al-Salama crossing north of Azaz, in the northern Aleppo countryside, was bombarded by missiles reportedly launched by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on 20 January, according to an Al-Mayadeen correspondent.
“The Turkish base near the Bab al-Salama crossing, north of the city of Azaz, was bombed with Grad missiles coming from the SDF areas,” the correspondent said.
The United States have secretly armed its main proxy group in northern and eastern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems, Sputnik reported on January 5.
The Russian news agency said that the U.S.-led coalition delivered BGM-71 TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and unidentified man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs), possibly FIM-92 Stingers, to the Kurdish-led group in mid-December.