German detention of a Turkish ship: a violation of international law and modern piracy
On the morning of November 22, the German frigate Hamburg, in the course of EU-led Operation Irini, began an unannounced inspection of the Turkish Roseline-A ship that was carrying aid to Libya, 100 miles off the coast of Benghazi. They expressed suspicion of the Turkish ship’s involvement in illegal arms transfers to Libya, although there was no sign or evidence of such.
The Turkish authorities vetoed this intervention a few hours later, forcing the German sailors to interrupt the search.
Ankara called the actions of the German military illegal and accused the German and EU governments of unlawful use of force. The Turkish Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara launched an investigation in order to assess the legality of the German sailors’ actions.
Germany, under the cover of the Irini mission, is carrying out illegal operations against Turkey. The anti-Turkish consensus of the EU countries persists because of Ankara’s growing position in the Mediterranean.
Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) meeting, chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, expressed Turkey’s condemnation and disapproval of Irini’s “unilateral” actions, believing them to be contrary to “international law” and “allied relations”.
According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, this was an act of “piracy” and Ankara would “respond on the ground, as well as pursuing legal and political processes”. According to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, the actions of Germans were “completely against international law”. Ankara is working on measures to protect Turkish commercial vessels, Akar added.
“We strongly protest the search carried out on our ship by the German warship as part of Operation Irini operated by the EU,” the spokesman of Turkey’s ruling party Ömer Çelik said.
He stated that Turkey supports the legitimate government of Libya and that it was not Turkey that violated the arms embargo on the war-torn North African country.
Çelik stressed that the Irini operation was launched without consulting NATO and that its neutrality was already in doubt, adding that the search of a Turkish ship without Ankara’s consent further undermines this neutrality. He also called on the EU to stop the operation.
“The treatment suffered is fundamentally contrary to the law and the morality of the alliance,” said Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of MHP.
Speaking to his party’s legislators in Parliament, Bahceli said that the search was an “immoral scheme” and “banditry”.
It is important to note that Germany has de facto violated international law governing the conditions for boarding a foreign merchant ship on the high seas. Foreign merchant ships may not be boarded unless they are involved in human trafficking, piracy, illegal radio broadcasting or special conditions stipulated in UN Security Council treaties or resolutions. The German case is a direct interference with the freedom of navigation on the high seas and also with Turkish sovereignty. In other words, the Germans themselves have committed an act of piracy on the high seas.
Of course, after 16 hours of searching, no weapons were found. The Turkish flag itself was the reason for the intervention and scandal.
According to Resolution 2292, search engines are required to make good faith efforts to obtain the permission of the flag state before (not after!) boarding and searching.
The incident took place at a time of friction between Turkey and the European Union – it is not only a matter of contradictions with Greece and EU pressure at the diplomatic level, but also of the possible imposition of sanctions against Turkey. Given that Joe Biden, an anti-Turkish-minded Democrat, may come to power in the US, Washington will likely put additional pressure on Europe to take action against Ankara.
This interference in freedom of navigation and violation of Turkish sovereignty will contribute to growing mistrust between Turkey and the European Union and will damage NATO solidarity (given that both countries are in the same bloc). This is a very serious hostile act by the EU against Turkey which will not be easily resolved. Germany’s actions will thus set a dangerous precedent for fake interventions and disembarkation for other players in the oceans.
Turkey tried not to inflame the conflict with the EU by cancelling NAVTEX in the summer at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In response, the country received a knife in the back when Greece immediately signed an agreement with Egypt.
All this will have negative and alarming consequences for the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, destroying mutual trust, goodwill and faith between the parties involved.
Massacre in Nigeria
On Saturday, at least 110 people were killed at a rice farm in north-eastern Nigeria.
The massacre is the most deadly attack in the region in recent history and is suspected to have been committed by the Boko Haram terrorists.
“It is no doubt the handiwork of Boko Haram who operate in the area and frequently attack farmers,” militia leader Babakura Kolo said.
This is, however, far from the group’s first attack: in September, Boko Haram militants killed 22 farmers working in their irrigation fields near Maiduguri in two separate incidents.
At least 36,000 people were killed in a jihadist conflict that has displaced around two million people since 2009. Violence has also spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the regional military coalition to fight the militants.
Meanwhile, the country that has taken responsibility for reducing the terrorist threat in the Sahel region – France – has not helped in any way to deal with the problem. On the contrary, the most radical attacks in the Sahel are taking place during the reign of French President Emmanuel Macron, who continues his neocolonialist policy in Africa.
The war in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian army announced that on Saturday it had taken control of Mekele, the capital of the rebellious northern region of Tigray. Officials said that they are now hunting for dissident leaders. The announcement was made after heavy gunfire was reported in Mekele. The Ethiopian army chief Berhanu Jula told the press that over 7,000 soldiers had been released.
“We are looking for anti-peace forces hiding in every nook and cranny. We freed more than 7000 North division soldiers. We control our North division camp and all tanks and heavy weapons”, General Jula said.
More than three weeks of fighting in Tigray resulted in thousands of deaths, and tens of thousands more fled to Sudan in search of shelter.
Last year’s Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed announced on November 4 that he had ordered military operations against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
However, according to recent reports, the fighting is continuing. Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of Ethiopia’s rebel northern forces who heads the TPLF, said he was still fighting near the regional capital Mekele after it was captured by government forces.
The war in Ethiopia is worsening the security situation in Eastern Africa, and with the increasing number of terrorist acts in neighboring Somalia, the situation seems to only be growing worse.
The murder of a nuclear scientist in Iran
Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed on Friday in eastern Tehran. He was shot with a remote-controlled machine gun, the FARS agency reported.
“Based on reports received from members of his security detail, Mr. Fakhrizadeh’s vehicle was initially targeted by gunfire, after which a Nissan vehicle laden with explosives was set off in close proximity to them as gunfire, targeting their vehicle, was continuing,” Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami said, according to ISNA.
The attack has caused anger and outrage throughout Iran. A large group of protesters gathered outside Rouhani’s office late Friday in Tehran and demanded a strong response. Iranian officials see coordination between Israel and the US in this attack.
This is the second high-profile assassination of an Iranian since January. Seyed Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, compared the assassination to the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force in Iraq in January 2019.
“Mr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed by the oppressive enemies. This rare scientific mind lost his life for his everlasting great scientific work. He lost his life for God and the supreme leader,” Supreme Leader Khameini wrote on Twitter Saturday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the international community to end their shameful double standards and condemn this act of state terror. He added that the attack showed serious signs of Israeli involvement.
Some countries, including Turkey, supported Iran. Turkey on Saturday condemned the killing of a leading Iranian nuclear scientist:
“We regret that the Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh lost his life as a result of an armed attack in Tehran. We condemn this heinous murder and extend our condolences to the government of Iran and the family of the deceased,” said the nation’s Foreign Ministry.
Biden introduces his foreign policy team
US President-elect Joe Biden has filled out his national security, economic and communications teams.
With the notable exception of the security team, he employed mostly women, including women of color. This was necessary because of his statements during the electoral campaign about the role of women.
Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, was picked as the future secretary of the Treasury. She will be the first woman to hold the job if confirmed by the Senate
Neera Tanden, the chief executive of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, could be new director of the influential Office of Management and Budget, while Cecilia Rouse will be the new chair of the three-member Council of Economic Advisers.
Jennifer Psaki, a veteran Democratic spokeswoman, will be the spokeswoman for the White House, one of the seven women who will take top positions in his public relations administration.
Biden’s longtime assistant, Kate Bedingfield, will be his campaign manager at the White House.
Senior advisor to the Biden-Harris campaign Symone Sanders will be Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ chief spokeswoman and Biden’s former press secretary as vice president, Elizabeth Alexander, will be First Lady-to-be Jill Biden’s communications director.
Biden’s longtime advisor Antony Blinken will become the next Secretary of State. Alejandro Mayorkas will become the first Hispanic American Secretary of Homeland Security. Barack Obama’s asset Avril Haines will be the next National Intelligence Director and Jake Sullivan (Hillary Clinton protégé) will become the new National Security Adviser. Linda Thomas-Greenfield can become the first Black woman, who will serve as UN Ambassador. John Kerry, the former Secretary of State will be Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
It is important to note that almost the entire Biden team is legacy from the Barack Obama administration, major globalist figures who made attempts to intervene in other countries, conduct colour revolutions and put pressure on unwanted governments around the world.
Acting US Secretary of Defense visits Somalia
The Acting US Secretary of Defensemade a rare visit to Somalia, a country afflicted by conflict in the Horn of Africa, where US troops are supposedly supporting the fight against al-Qaeda’s al-Shabab affiliate. Despite statements by the Americans, the security situation in the country has only deteriorated.
In a brief statement, the Pentagon said that Christopher Miller, who was appointed Acting Secretary of Defense on November 9, met with US troops in the capital, Mogadishu, to thank them for their work and reaffirm the US’ commitment to fighting extremist groups. Miller visited the Middle East and parts of North Africa for his first international trip as Acting Secretary of Defense.
Just hours after Miller’s visit, the Somali government announced that at least seven people had died in a suicide bombing in Mogadishu, and that the Al-Shabaab-linked extremist group, Al-Qaida, had claimed responsibility.
There has been talk about the potential withdrawal of most or all of the 700 American troops based in Somalia – sources report that Donald Trump’s team expected this to happen by January 2021.
Somalia plays a significant geopolitical role in Africa for a number of countries because of its long borders with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and due to the potential role it could play in dealing with foreign countries in East Africa. Somalia has a strategic position and presents an opportunity to influence neighboring countries in the region. It also has a broad consumer market, which many countries are struggling to find.
Somalia is now in a difficult position:
– Instability in Ethiopia and ethnic strife are damaging Somalia’s security.
– Parliamentary and presidential elections in Somalia are scheduled for December 2020 and February 2021, which are raising tensions in the region.
– The situation with terrorism is deteriorating every year, and radicals often disrupt elections or force them to be postponed.
It is likely that globalist Americans are seeking to postpone elections indefinitely under terrorist threat to keep their man in power. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has dual (Somali and American) citizenship, and he served as First Secretary at the Somali Embassy in Washington. As Politico notes, Mohamed, with his ten years of experience in American governance, is good as the partner that the United States (its globalist elites, including Biden and the team) needs.
Thus, under the pretext of cooperation to combat international terrorism, the US is trying to stay in the region. This is why Trump’s decision to withdraw his troops is unpopular among the Democrats. From Trump’s point of view, this is a pragmatic step, as US presence in Somalia is expensive and unnecessary, and from Biden and Co.’s point of view it is beneficial to maintain a dangerous situation in the region and destabilise it under the guise of “fighting terrorism”.
The Pope provokes China with the topic of the Uyghurs
Pope Francis called the Uyghur people ‘Persecuted’ in his new book “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future.” Here Pope Francis mentioned for the first time the so-called repression of a Muslim minority group.
“I think often of persecuted peoples,” Francis said in one passage. “The Rohingya, the poor Uyghurs, the Yazidi — what ISIS did to them was truly cruel — or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan killed by bombs that went off while they prayed in church.”
Beijing rejected its characterization as unfounded and stressed that the Uyghur people are an equal member of a large Chinese nation.
In recent years, China’s relationship with its ethnic minority, the Uyghur population has been a central issue driving a wedge between China and the Muslim world.
Recently the situation has started to change for the better as Pakistan, Turkey and many Middle Eastern countries suddenly stopped calling the Uyghur education centers in Xinjiang “concentration camps”. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, who had previously criticized Beijing on this topic, also expressed support for China. Erdogan now admits that the situation of Uighurs in Xinjiang is good.
Meanwhile, neoliberal Western and American media regularly criticize China along the Uyghur line – the pressure is linked to the US-China confrontation. In recent decades, many Uyghurs have been radicalised as the result of Salafi propaganda (under the influence of Saudi Arabia and in line with US plans to destabilize the region), which aggravates the problem of their integration in Chinese society.
As soon as China’s allies emerge, new pressure emerges. The Pope’s criticism of China follows the mainstream in the spirit of CNN and the BBC.
The Vatican is thus doing so at the expense of possible religious cooperation with China. This could tarnish the recent warming of relations between the Vatican and China. The agreement reached in 2018 put an end to years of competition for the right to appoint bishops in China. Beijing agreed to formally recognize the Pope’s authority within the Church and gave him the final word on bishops choice, while the Vatican agreed to recognize the legitimacy of bishops previously appointed by the Chinese government.
The Pope’s comments are in the interests of globalists seeking to destabilize China from within, but not in the interests of the Catholic Church’s cooperation with China.