NATO monitoring Turkey’s response to coup: Concerned over Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s order of mass arrests and the detainment of thousands more in the wake of the July attempted coup, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Ankara its membership in NATO is imperiled if democratic standards are violated in the prosecution of conspirators.
Seconding Kerry’s remarks, Italy’s Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the European Union does not accept nations which make use of the death penalty.
Turkey has publicly announced it is considering legalizing the death penalty over the recent coup attempt.
An associate member of the economic alliance, the EU is currently weighing granting Turkey full membership.
Syria demands UN action over civilian deaths from U.S.-led coalition airstrikes: Following two days of intensive airstrikes near Manbij and the village of Toukhan Al-Kubra, located near the Turkish-Syrian border, the Syrian government is imploring the United Nations to take action against both the U.S. and France for alleged war crimes.
Syria has characterized the strikes as “bloody massacres.”
Damascus has condemned the presence of the U.S.-led coalition and Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, has described Western military action in his country as illegal.
Responding to reports of civilian casualties in Mabij, the Pentagon said it is reviewing the incident.
France forced to admit troop presence in Libya: Following the downing of a Libyan helicopter by Islamist militants near Benghazi, the French government has acknowledged the presence of French troops on the ground in Libya.
Three French personnel assisting Libyan troops under the command of General Khalifa Haftar were killed in the crash.
Members of the Commandement des Opérations Spéciales have been advising Libyan troops for months, but French President Francois Hollande’s statement admitting French involvement on the ground is the first such public disclosure.
Panama to investigate 1989 U.S. invasion: Determined to “heal wounds,” the Panamanian government announced it will initiate an inquiry into the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama to establish the number of domestic casualties during the U.S. military operation.
Estimates place the number of deaths at slightly over 500; others say the number reached 1,000.
The U.S. invaded Panama on December 20, 1989, to oust strongman General Manuel Noriega for his alleged complicity in drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering.
After serving sentences of 17 years in the U.S. and a brief sentence in France, Noriega returned to Panama where he is currently incarcerated.
Olympics threatened by Islamist group: In a string of social media posts, Islamist militants are exhorting loyalists to execute lone-wolf terror attacks against athletes at the upcoming Rio de Janeiro summer Olympics.
Under the hashtag #RioLW (Rio lone wolf), the media posts encourage attacks on American, British, French and Israeli athletes; however, they do not exclude assaulting politicians, Olympic officials or foreign leaders. Civilians are also included as possible targets.
Outlining possible tactics, the posts suggest poisoning, explosive-filled drones and the kidnapping of American and Israeli athletes to be used as leverage in the negotiation for imprisoned Islamist terrorists.
[The Independent] [RT News] [BBC] [The Foreign Desk]