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Khashoggi’s murder was planned affair: Erdogan

The President said that information and evidence show that Khashoggi fell victim to a brutal murder.

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Ankara, Oct 23 : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said that the country’s security services have evidence that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder was a planned affair.

He made the remarks while speaking at a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) here, reports Hurriyet Daily News.

“Turkish security services have evidence that the murder was a planned affair. Turkey and the world will only be satisfied when all the planners and perpetrators are held to account,” the President said.

“Other countries must participate in the investigation.”

Erdogan claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, first came to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on September 28 to get his marriage documents. The “roadmap” to kill Khashoggi started with this visit.

He said that a day before Khashoggi disappeared on October 2, a group of three Saudis landed in Istanbul and went to the consulate while another team visited the Belgrad Forest near the city and the neighbouring Yalova province.

“On October 2, another group came and this 15-member team went to the consulate and removed the hard disks of security cameras there. Khashoggi’s went inside that afternoon and never appeared again while his fiancee waited outside,” Erdogan said.

It was later found that 15 Saudis including intelligence officers and forensics experts came to Turkey ahead of Khashoggi’s visit.

“I spoke to (Saudi) King Salman on October 14 and formed a joint investigation team. This is how our officials could enter the consulate and the consul’s residence… Seventeen days after the killing, Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.

“We held another phone call and they told us that 18 Saudis, including people from the 15-member team we exposed, were arrested in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

The President said that information and evidence show that Khashoggi fell victim to a brutal murder.

“We have strong evidence that the killing was intentional, not accidental. Now we expect them to punish all those who played a part in the murder.”

Middle East

Netanyahu: Iran to face consequences for threatening Israel

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Benjamin Netanyahu

Jerusalem, Jan 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Iran would face consequences for threatening Israel, hours after Israeli fighter jets struck targets in Syria’s capital Damascus.

“We are acting against Iran and the Syrian forces that abet the Iranian aggression. Whoever threatens to destroy us will bear the full responsibility,” Netanyahu said in a speech.

He said that the overnight assault targeted mainly Iranian sites in Syria, which was a response to a rocket fired by Iranians in Syria towards the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We will not ignore such acts of aggression as Iran attempts to entrench itself militarily in Syria,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier in the day, Damascus said that it intercepted multiple Israeli guided missiles targeting the country’s south. Some 11 pro-government fighters were killed, according to reports.

In a rare public acknowledgment, the Israeli military confirmed it carried out the attacks.

Israel says it is not part of the eight-year war in Syria but its military has carried out hundreds of air attacks over the past years against Iranian targets, which Israel accuses of attempting to entrench itself in Syria, in addition to Syrian Army positions.

It also bombed weapons convoyed to Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia militia.

Israel has mostly kept silent on its actions against Iranian targets in Syria, fearing such comments might trigger an escalation. That policy started to change under Netanyahu, who confirmed earlier in January that the Air Force had struck Iranian sites in Syria hours after the attack.

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Disaster

Earthquake jolts Iran’s Gilangharb city

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Tehran, Jan 6 (IANS) At least 31 people were injured in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that shook Gilangharb city in Kermanshah province in the west of Iran on Sunday, Iran Emergency Organization was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.

Assessment teams of Iran’s Red Crescent Society have been dispatched to the site of earthquake to study the damage, Kourosh Mahmoudian, the governor of Gilangharb, told Tasnim.

Some residential buildings and cattle farms have been damaged and rockfall has blocked the roads in the area, Mahmoudian said, Xinhua reported.

The quake has also affected the quality of drinking water in Gilangharb, he said.

However, he assured the local people of the sufficient quality drinking water reserves.

According to Iran’s Seismological Center, the epicenter of earthquake was monitored at 34.16 degrees north latitude and 45.66 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 10 km.

At least 15 aftershocks, ranging from 3.0 to 4.8 magnitude, have shaken the region so far, according to the center.

The earthquake was also felt in neighboring Lorestan province as well as in Iraq.

In November 2017, 211 Iranians died in a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit the Iranian-Iraqi border in Sar pol Zahab area.

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Middle East

CCTV Footage may show men carrying Khashoggi body parts in suitcases, bags

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Jamal Khashoggi

A Turkish TV station has broadcast CCTV footage showing men carrying Suitcases, bags it says contained Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s body parts. The images shown on A-Haber television late feature three men carrying five suitcases and two large black bags into the home of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul.

A-Haber said the bags and suitcases were put into a minibus which travelled the short distance from the consulate to a garage at the residence. The men are then seen taking them inside.

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