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Syria rules out talks with Kurdish forces

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Turkish Operation Syria

Damascus, Oct 13 Syria has ruled out any communication with the Kurdish forces amid the ongoing Turkish assault against them in northern Syria, pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported on Sunday.

Jayez Mousa, Governor of Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah told al-Watan that the negotiation with the Kurdish forces is unlikely “as they were the reason behind the current Turkish assault in northeastern Syria”, Xinhua reported.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported the U.S. military presence in northeastern Syria, he noted.

The Governor’s remarks come as Turkey has been on a crushing offensive against the Kurdish forces in northern Syria since Wednesday.

The Syrian government accuses the Kurdish forces of refusing to negotiate with Damascus and insisting on their separatist plan in northeastern and northern Syria.

According to Mousa, the Turkish forces and their allies of Syrian rebels have captured the key city of Ras al-Ayn in Hasakah Province with the collapse of the SDF fighters there.

A total of 21,400 families have been displaced from Hasakah as a result of the Turkish assault, he said, adding the SDF fighters are setting up mortar launchers in residential areas to “protect themselves”.

On Wednesday, Turkey started the military campaign in northern Syria to eliminate the SDF and its umbrella the People’s Protection Units, which are both deemed by Ankara as separatists and terrorists.

The Turkish operation also aims to create a safe zone in northern Syria and resettle millions of Syrian refugees.

It came after the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from northern Syria, which was seen as a sign of abandoning the Kurdish forces that are considered as Washington’s allies in fighting the Islamic State militants in Syria.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has issued two statements since the beginning of the Turkish operation, accusing Ankara of targeting residential areas and causing deaths among civilians while holding the Kurdish forces responsible for the Turkish campaign.

Disaster

Iran’s Khamenei says all must help fight ‘tragic’ virus resurgence

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Ali Khamenei

Everyone must help fight the “tragic” resurgence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says.

Speaking in a video conference to parliamentarians, Khamenei stated that Iran’s “enemies” fail to achieve their “anti-Iran goals” despite strong pressure on Tehran.

Earlier, Khamenei criticized the US for using “knee on neck” policies on the whole world and also accused the US of creating COVID-19.

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Disaster

China raises flood response to 2nd-highest level

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

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Flood in China

Beijing, July 12 : China on Sunday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy rains continued to lash vast stretches of the country.

Since July 4, alert-triggering floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) as saying.

By Sunday afternoon, floods in 27 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Anhui, and Hubei had resulted in the deaths or disappearance of 141 people, and 2.25 million emergency relocations this year.

Around 28,000 homes were flattened and 3.53 million hectares of crops affected, with the direct economic loss at 82.23 billion yuan ($11 billion).

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also lifted the emergency response to Level II later Sunday, following its last upgrade from Level IV to Level III on July 7.

The announcement came after Poyang lake, China’s largest freshwater lake located in Jiangxi province, saw its water level at the Hukou station nearing the guaranteed level of 22.5 metres at 4 p.m. on Sunday, indicating an extraordinary emergency of flood control.

Due to severe flooding, the headquarters, the Ministry of Emergency Management, and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration on Sunday allocated disaster-relief supplies to Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guizhou.

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Thousands march in UK in support of Black Lives Matter

The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.

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Black Live Matter Protest Brighton

London, July 12 : Some 5,000 people took to the streets of UK’s Brighton city in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the media reported.

Large crowds of demonstrators set off from the city’s Palace Pier on Saturday afternoon, with many carrying signs that read “Decolonise everything” and “Defund the police”, the Metro newspaper reported.

Protesters shouted “black lives matter every day” and “UK is not innocent” as they walked together along the seafront and were serenaded by a string quartet as they passed the Brighton war memorial.

Congregating at The Level, thousands of demonstrators called out together: “It is our duty to do this every day. It is our duty to fight for racial justice. It is our duty to win. We are stronger together.

“We are here with love, peace and solidarity. We have nothing to lose – too many have already lost too much.”

Saturday’s march came days after footage of a young man being held down by police emerged, according to the Metro newspaper report.

He shouted “I can’t breathe” during the incident, complaining that one of the officers was putting pressure on his neck.

The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Saturday’s demonstration follows mass anti-racism protests across the world in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American who died under police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

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