Fight Your Inner Critic With These Physical Tips From a Martial Arts Expert

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THRIVE GLOBAL)

 

Fight Your Inner Critic With These Physical Tips From a Martial Arts Expert

An expert explains how you can reframe your internal dialogue by adjusting your body language.
Morsa Images/ Getty Images
Morsa Images/ Getty Images

The voice of self-doubt in your mind can hold you back from leaving your comfort zone, pursuing a new passion, or achieving a goal you’ve been after. This negative internal narrative — which we at Thrive call the obnoxious roommate living in our heads — is something most of us grapple with. But in a recent Ted Talk, Theresa Byrne B.A, CMT, a self-defense expert and fourth degree Master Black Belt, offered some innovative tips for silencing our toxic thoughts that draw from her martial arts practice.

Byrne explains that by adjusting our physical body language, we send signals to our brain that reframe your internal dialogue, and help fight off the inner critic intent on putting us down. “In martial arts, we turn that inner fear into ferocity,” she says. Here are a few of Byrne’s Microsteps to help you get started:

Pause for a 3-second inhale

In a moment where you feel overwhelmed by fear, staying centered can be difficult — and that’s where the importance of your breath comes in. “Breathing is the antidote for adrenaline,” Byrne explains — which is why she suggests taking a 3-second inhale the next time you feel overcome with feelings of doubt. “In martial arts, if someone throws a punch at you, you want to move out of the way,” she explains, “But sometimes, you have to take a break.” Byrne notes that stopping to take a deep breath is something that can automatically calm you down, and it’s even more crucial to do so when the voice in your head is louder than usual. “Breath allows us to move through our bodies,” she adds. “Every one of us can afford to stop and take a 3-second inhale.”

Vocalize an empowering mantra 

Reciting a mantra — yes, out loud — can also help ignite a voice within yourself that fights against your inner critic, and Byrne says the key is having one ready in advance. “Come up with something you might say in the moment,” she explains. “You have to pre-plan it, because when your inner bully is activated or triggered, you can’t do it on the fly.” Two of Byrne’s favorite mantras are “I am powerful” and “I’ve got this,” because they allow you to talk to yourself in a way that’s both direct and confident. And finally, remember that the vocal declaration is meant to be a mindset shift, so it’s okay if it feels uncomfortable to say out loud. “The inner bully gets triggered by us doing something outside of our comfort zone,” she adds — “something that might feel unsafe.”

Try taking an “attention stance” 

In martial arts, stances describe the different body positions and foot orientations, and Byrne says that an “attention stance” is when you stand tall with your feet planted on the ground and your shoulders pulled back. When you feel your inner critic taking over, Byrne recommends physically standing up, and adopting a firm attention stance with your head held high. The idea is to pay attention to how you feel in the moment, and to the space around you. “This stance is for you having the life that you want,” she adds. “This stance is for you.”

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Russia Expresses Serious Concern over Decline in Number of Refugees Leaving Rukban

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Russia Expresses Serious Concern over Decline in Number of Refugees Leaving Rukban

Thursday, 11 July, 2019 – 11:30
Humanitarian aid is prepared to be delivered to Syria, in the town of Ramtha, Jordan, July 2, 2018. (File Photo: Reuters)
Moscow – Raed Jabr
Russia has renewed its accusation of the US hindering the exit of refugees from al-Rukban camp in southern Syria, and expressed serious concern about the humanitarian situation in the region.

The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria issued a statement strongly criticizing Washington’s actions in the region, accusing it of turning a blind eye to militants in Rukban using civilians as “human shields”, a move that aggravates the humanitarian situation.

The Center also expressed “serious concern about a decline in the number of refugees leaving the Rukban camp, due to the desire of militants controlled by the United States to keep them as human shields.”

It explained that militants have constantly increased the financial cost of allowing people to move from al-Tanf zone to the Jleb checkpoint, which falls under the control of the Syrian government.

“We draw to the attention of the international community that further retention by the United States and its allies of Syrian territories, the Rukban and al-Hol refugee camps only delays the end of the conflict in Syria, aggravates the criminal situation, hampers the repatriation of Syrians,” the statement added.

Rukban is located within a 55-km so-called deconfliction zone established by the Pentagon with the aim of shielding the Tanf garrison from attacks.

Moscow has repeatedly called for removing the displaced from the camp and announced with the Syrian authorities the establishment of two crossings for refugee exit, but they failed to convince the displaced to go to areas under regime control.

Washington is ignoring the situation, said Chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria Major General Viktor Kupchishin, adding that refugees abstain from leaving the camp because of the fuel crisis in the region and the increase in crossing fees imposed by US-affiliated militants.

Washington, in turn, accuses the Russians of blocking access of UN humanitarian aid to the region.

As of June 10, 2019, 13,539 refugees have left the Rukban camp, including 2,842 men, 3,817 women and 6,880 children, according to Russian estimates.

On the other hand, a number of Russian military and security experts believe it is time for the Russian tankers to replace Iranian tankers to cover oil shortage to Syria.

Recently, Vladimir Mukhin wrote in Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper saying escalation by Washington and its allies against Damascus and Tehran by trapping oil tankers will have major repercussions if Moscow does not intervene quickly to settle this issue.

Mukhin viewed the seizure of an Iranian tanker by the British Royal Marines as a plan “carefully organized in Washington and London,” recalling a statement by White House national security adviser John Bolton in which he welcomed Britain’s seizure of the tanker loaded with Iranian oil bound for Syria.

The expert said Moscow is currently facing in Syria a new phase of war against the Syrian regime and Iranian leadership.

He added that aside from the blockade on transferring goods to Syria, the United States has unofficially imposed a ban on the purchase of oil produced in Syrian territories occupied by the US forces, which is an attempt to further stifle the Syrian economy.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that last month, five underwater pipelines in Syrian coastal waters from Tartus to Banias were targeted, resulting in a huge oil spill.

The experts agreed that this was a “sabotage act” carried out by militants close to “one of the major military forces hostile to the Assad regime.”

The newspaper believes Moscow should deal with current developments because it reflects an attempt to intensify the pressure on Damascus and block Russian efforts to normalize the situation in Syria.

Protesters clash after American flag burned outside White House before Trump’s July 4th event

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(OPED: ITS JUST A THOUGHT BUT, HOW ABOUT DEPORTING THEIR ASSES OUT OF THIS COUNTRY TO WHEREVER THEY WANT TO LIVE BUT DON’T EVER LET THEM STEP ON AMERICAN SOIL AGAIN. JUST A THOUGHT)(oldpoet56)

Protesters clash after American flag burned outside White House before Trump’s July 4th event

Washington (CNN) Leftist protesters burned an American flag outside the White House on Thursday and then clashed with supporters of President Donald Trump, including the far-right Proud Boys group, not long before Trump took the stage for his “Salute to America.”

The protests, which turned into violent clashes at times, took place just blocks from crowds who had gathered to watch Trump’s July Fourth speech and fireworks displays on the National Mall.
Led by activist Joey Johnson, a group from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, linked arms and set an American flag on fire outside as they chanted, “America was never great.” The Secret Service intervened quickly to extinguish the fire.
“Burn, baby, burn,” the protesters chanted.
In a news release before the event, Johnson said he was leading the protest because “I’m going to be speaking to the people of the world letting them know that there are people inside the borders of this country who stand with the people of the world.”
After the flag was extinguished, Johnson’s group clashed with a group of pro-Trump protesters, who began chanting, “Trump 2020.” The two groups traded chants and scuffles that occasionally turned violent.
Multiple protesters, including Johnson, were escorted from the scene in handcuffs by the Secret Service. A news release after the event from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, said Johnson was among those arrested.
Among the protesters were members of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with ties to white nationalism. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the organization a hate group.
The Secret Service tweeted a statement later Thursday that said there had been two arrests, though it included no names. One of those arrested was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, the statement said, as were two uniformed Secret Service officers.
Trump’s July Fourth event in Washington, branded as a “Salute to America,” drew considerable controversy beforehand for the central role that US military equipment was expected to play, including M1 Abrams tanks and a military plane flyover.
Trump pushed back against criticism of the event, saying the military was “thrilled” to be part of it.

Brazil: Freedom Of The Press Is Being Challenged By The Current Government

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS AGENCY)

 

Fenaj takes over Greenwald defense and sees threatened freedom of expression in Brazil

“It is important to point out that The Intercept Brazil website is doing journalism,” says Maria José Braga, president of the National Federation of Journalists. “In the specific case of Lava Jato and more specifically in relation to the conviction of President Lula, there has always been a doubt about the suspicion of Judge Sergio Moro,” he says.

Sputinik – The journalist team leader of The Intercept Brasil, the American journalist Glenn Greenwald has been threatened by the series of reports about the alleged messages exchanged in Operation Lava Jet, and this can be considered an attack on the freedom of the press in Brazil.

This is the opinion of the president of the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), Maria José Braga, who sees in the material of the site, which explained what would be the talks between then federal judge Sergio Moro and prosecutors of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) , a clear journalism exercise in the country.

“It is important to point out that The Intercept Brazil is doing journalism, and what is journalism doing?” It is to seek information of public interest and to report this information of public interest to society […]. have knowledge of important information for the national life, for the public debate, its obligation to report this information to the whole society, “she told Sputnik Brazil.

In recent weeks, the series that became known as Vaza Jato brought to public notice a series of messages that, according to Greenwald’s website, would demonstrate what Maria José Braga called “a collusion” between Moro and the prosecutors of the operation to convict the ex – President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

“In the specific case of Lava Jato and more specifically in relation to the conviction of President Lula, there was always a doubt about the suspicion of Judge Sergio Moro and also of the prosecutors charged with denunciation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office because of the lack of concrete evidence, and even without concrete evidence there was condemnation, “commented the president of FENAJ, for whom the PT was wrongly convicted.

The reaction of Moro, the MPF and sectors of society favorable to Lava Jato and the government of President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) was critical of Greenwald, accusing him of doing party politics with the series of reports. According to the journalist, he and his husband, Federal Deputy David Miranda (PSOL-RJ), were targets of threats.

“FENAJ, together with the Union of Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, [state] where The Intercept Brasil website is based, has already issued a public notice regarding the threats against journalist Glenn Greenwald and his family, and these threats constitute an attack on the freedom of the press in Brazil.Any care of the authorities must be taken, they need to be vigilant to ensure the physical integrity of the journalist and his relatives, and that he can continue, along with his colleagues at the site, continuing with this work in favor of Brazilian society, “said Maria José Braga.

The president of FENAJ would participate in an audience with Greenwald this Monday at the National Council of Social Communication, organism maintained by the National Congress. However, the meeting was canceled due to the absence of several of the guests, among them the journalist from The Intercept Brasil and the journalist’s own representative.

Although the hearing was not held, Maria José Braga pointed out that it is up to the authorities not only to ensure the integrity of journalists from all over Brazil, but also to respect what the Constitution says – she recalled that the Federal Constitution guarantees the secrecy of the source, and it is not for the journalist to reveal the source of his information.

“The journalist, if he obtains relevant information and the source that passed the information does not want to be identified and asks not to be identified, the journalist has the constitutional prerogative to maintain the confidentiality of the source. the journalist has to analyze the relevance of the information, the reliability of this source, and he considering this reliable source, considering the material received of public interest, their obligation is to divulge, “he added.

For the president of FENAJ, it is “very difficult” that the Brazilian population is not interested in the content of the site’s reports on the messages exchanged by Lava Jato, which Greenwald himself said, are just beginning.

Citizens of Hong Kong: Leave no stone upon another, and Move Now

Citizens of Hong Kong: Leave no stone upon another, and Move Now

 

This letter tonight is just an opinion piece by a person who has never been to Hong Kong. This in no way should be a call for any riots or violence toward another person, for it is not. I get a lot of material each day that I read and I do obtain my thoughts from varieng news agencies around the world. Ever since England turned Kong Kong over to the Communists government of China I have known that these times happening now would absolutely come about. I know that I am no genius in this matter because I believe that hundreds of millions or more people around the world could see these days coming for the residents of Hong Kong. The Communist Chinese play the long game and their game is total victory for the Party. The end of any hint of Democracy in Hong Kong started the day England inked the deal to turn over the city. The only reason that the people who live there have any freedom is because the Party Leadership has been banking on the revenues you create for them. The day is getting ever closer to the day the citizens of Hong Kong will be under total suppression with no way out accept to either go to a prison camp or die. What I am about to say I am fully aware that it will not ever happen. I believe that every citizen of Hong Kong who doesn’t want to live under suppressive Communists Rulers need to destroy every business they own in the city, raze it to the ground and then get on a boat or plane and get the hell out of there. The Communists Party of China will win this battle, you have no chance at all. So, yes I believe the people should all get out of there as soon as possible but don’t leave these murderous asses a single pot to piss in. They are going to totally control that land, so why leave them anything but the scraped bare soil?

Italy bans refugees rescued by charity vessel as world marks Refugee Day

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Italy bans refugees rescued by charity vessel as world marks Refugee Day

The rescue boat Sea-Watch 3 has been stuck in the Mediterranean since rescuing 53 migrants drifting in an inflatable raft off the coast of Libya on June 12.

WORLD Updated: Jun 20, 2019 14:58 IST

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Rome, Italy
Italy bans refugees,charity vessel,Refugee Day
Italy’s far-right interior minister marked World Refugee Day by insisting migrants rescued by a charity vessel are banned from entering Italian territorial waters.(AP File Photo/Representative Image )

Italy’s far-right interior minister marked World Refugee Day on Thursday by insisting migrants rescued by a charity vessel are banned from entering Italian territorial waters.

The rescue boat Sea-Watch 3 has been stuck in the Mediterranean since rescuing 53 migrants drifting in an inflatable raft off the coast of Libya on June 12.

However ten of the migrants, including two pregnant women, were allowed to disembark Saturday on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, which lies between the Italian mainland and the north African coast.

The remaining 43 include six women and four unaccompanied minors.

Sea-Watch 3 has refused to return those rescued — including children and sick people — back to crisis-hit Libya, saying Tripoli was not a safe port.

Also read: Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home: UN

Saturday, interior minister Matteo Salvini announced he had signed a ban on the entry, transit and berthing of Sea-Watch 3 in Italian territorial waters, as provided for by his new Security Decree.

The decree still has to go before Italy’s parliament, where the coalition government holds a comfortable majority.

“The Sea-Watch ship doesn’t give a fig for rules, and trafficks human beings. And I’m not going to give permission to dock to those who ignore the rules,” Salvini told RadioUno Thursday.

Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, tweeted that “on World Refugee Day we celebrate the courage of those forced to flee.

“A world which chooses not to give them shelter, not to save them, to close the ports to foreigners, is a dark and murky one,” she said.

Also read: More than 200 Rakhine refugees in Mizoram to be pushed back

While the Dutch-flagged Sea-Watch 3 is stuck in limbo, on Wednesday the Italian coastguard accompanied 45 migrants to shore after they made it across the Mediterranean to Lampedusa on their own, in a wooden boat.

The migrants, including two children and a pregnant woman, hailed from the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Senegal and Somalia, and were visibly dehydrated on arrival, according to a local charity.

More than 12,000 people have died since 2014 trying to flee Libya to Europe by what the UN refugee agency calls the “world’s deadliest sea crossing”.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Jun 20, 2019 14:51 IST

Brazil: CELSO AMORIM: TEST IS NOW LULA’S FREEDOM

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS)

 

Hundreds of thousands protest in Hong Kong against the extradition bill

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

Hundreds of thousands protest in Hong Kong against the extradition bill

Huge protesting crowd against the extradition bill paralyzed a large part of Hong Kong Island on June 9 2019. Photo from inmediahk.net

Hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the streets on Sunday, 9 June 2019, to stop the government from passing amendments to the existing extradition laws – the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance.

The rally started at 2:30 p.m. and it quickly paralyzed a large part of Hong Kong island. Anna Pearce recorded the crowd near Victoria Park, the starting place of the rally:

Anna Pearce@stilltalkin

No to China extradition.. incredible mass protest turnout in Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/DmE643iKVx

Embedded video

3,165 people are talking about this

Streets flooded with protesters

The organizer of the rally, Civil Human Rights Front, estimated that there were more than a million protesters in the rally as the scale of the protest was larger than the anti-national security law mobilization on 1 July 2003. But the police said there were about 240,000 in the streets during the peak of the rally. As South China Morning Post reporter Jeffie Lam put it, Hongkongers made history today:

Jeffie Lam

@jeffielam

are making history today. All lanes of the Hennessy Road – including those which police refused to open before – are flooded by protesters against the @SCMPNews pic.twitter.com/UTr2ui7Fix

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463 people are talking about this

Protesters said the proposed amendments would make it easier for mainland China to cause the arrest of critics, dissidents, and even journalists in Hong Kong. They were chanting “no evil law” and calling for the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam to step down.

Protester placard: No China extradition; Liar Carrie Lam, step down. Image via inmediahk.net CC: AT-NC

A social worker told reporter from inmediahk.net that she rallied to defend the people working in the social work sector because under China’s judicial system, those who tried to bring positive change in society would be arrested. Another student protester believes that once the amendment is passed, the city will cease to exist as the constitutional principle of “One Country Two Systems” would come to an end.

Denise Ho (HOCC)

@hoccgoomusic

Today, Hongkonger are telling the world we oppose the Extradition Bill! pic.twitter.com/fNvaBjRhRm

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
165 people are talking about this

There have been several mass protests against the extradition bill. On 30 March, about 12,000 rallied from Wanchai to Admiralty right before the government presented the amendment bill to the legislature. One month later on 28 April, about 130,000 took to the streets demanding the scrapping of the bill.

The series protests has caught the world’s attention. Many are now monitoring if the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam would withdraw the controversial bill which is scheduled for second reading in the legislative chamber this week.

The amendments were first proposed by the Hong Kong government in February to provide further legal grounds for the Chief Executive and local courts to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements, specifically Taiwan and China. By citing the murder case of a pregnant woman in Taiwan, the government claimed that amending the extradition laws was meant to address ‘legal loophole’ that allow fugitives to escape punishment.

However, legal experts pointed out that the so-called ‘loophole’ was in reality a firewall to prevent crime suspects from being handed over to mainland China where there is no fair trial.

Human rights defenders, journalists, NGO workers and social workers at risk

Various sectors have warned that if extradition requests are processed without legislative oversight, the amendments would provide a legal basis for mainland Chinese authorities to arrest political dissents. This concern was stated in an open letter jointly signed by over 70 non-government organizations:

Given the Chinese judiciary’s lack of independence, and other procedural shortcomings that often result in unfair trials, we are worried that the proposed changes will put at risk anyone in the territory of Hong Kong who has carried out work related to the Mainland, including human rights defenders, journalists, NGO workers and social workers, even if the person was outside the Mainland when the ostensible crime was committed. We are calling on the Hong Kong government to immediately withdraw the bill…

Instead of addressing the concerns raised by the petitioners, the Beijing Liaison Office met representatives of the local business sector and demanded them to back the bill. At the same time, the Hong Kong government gave some concessions to the business sector by exempting nine white-collar crimes in the bill and raising the threshold for extradition from crimes punishable by three years in jail to crimes with a seven-year prison penalty.

But on the other hand, it decided to by-pass the legislative committee-level deliberations and tabled the bill for full legislative council discussion.

The direct intervention of the Beijing Liaison Office and the Hong Kong government’s violation of legislative procedure have given a strong and clear signal to the public that the amendment bill is a controversial political decision which is far from protecting Hong Kong people’s interest.

Under the current bill, foreigners who traveled to Hong Kong could also be handed over to mainland Chinese authorities upon extradition requests. Diplomats from the U.S, Canada and European Union have expressed a concern about this. Against the background of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, some are worriedthat the amendments would turn Hong Kong into a battlefield of international politics:

The intended effects of the amendments can be regarded as a mirrored counterpart of the legal rights utilised by the US government in Meng’s case [Note: the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada upon the extradition request filed by the United State on 1 of December 2018]. If the amendments are passed, then any person who happens to come to Hong Kong can be arrested and surrendered to mainland China with the consent of a court or the Chief Executive, and without deliberation in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.

More than 2500 lawyers demonstrated against the amendment of extradition law on June 6. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

The Hong Kong government responded by accusing the opposition of misleading the public.

Lawyers stage “Black March”

But among those who have spoken out against the bill were not just opposition politicians but also members of the professional legal sector. On 6 June, the legal sector staged a “black march” against the controversial bill. Dressed in black, about 2,500 lawyers gathered outside the Court of Final Appeal and marched to government headquarters in silence. Prior to the “black march”, both the BAR society and the Law society have submitted opinions to the government demanding an extensive consultation with the legal sector and other stakeholders.

While debate in the legislature has been muted by the Hong Kong government, grassroots opposition voices have taken over. In the past few weeks, social media platforms have been flooded with joint signature campaigns against the amendments initiated by hundreds of university and secondary schools alumni groups, Christian groups, and neighborhood associations.

Hongkongers abroad have also spoken out. Diaspora Hong Kong communities from at least 25 cities, including London, New York, Berlin, Toronto, Melbourne, and Tokyo among others also held a coordinated protest against the amendment bill.

Roydon Ng@RoydonNg

Chants of We Love Hong Kong and We Love Freedom are shouted from central CBD (). Protesters oppose the law that would allow for extradition to mainland China. Police estimate 2000 attending. pic.twitter.com/AycfpKVNjO

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The whole world is now watching if Carrie Lam would redraw or continue to push through the extradition bill in Legislature this week.

If You’re Children Don’t Stand And Pledge Allegiance To Our Flag: Arrest Them?

 

A couple of day ago I reblogged an article from NBC News out of central Florida about a 6th grade student who was arrested because she refused to stand or to pledge allegiance on the morning of February 4th of this year. Their headline was a bit of a tease to draw readers into the story. As it turns out there is more to the storyline. If you wish to read the whole story it was published on 2-19. The original story gives us quite a few facts about events that went on that morning.

Today I have a question for you, I would like to know what you think about this subject matter. This student in Florida was arrested on charges other than not giving any respect to Our Flag. As most folks here in the U.S. know that some NFL football players started a trend by not standing for Our Nation’s Anthem. The players are adults, fining or arresting them is a separate question than the one I am asking today, today I am talking about, asking about our Children and Grandchildren. If children whom are in Public Schools choose not to stand or salute Our Nation’s Flag should they be arrested, sent to ‘Reform School’, shot? Or, do we as a Nation, we as a People show mercy through our strength? Are we still the World’s Melting Pot? Melting Pots are not only about skin color they are also about things such as different religions, cultures, different foods, way of dressing and countless other things. Yet what we cannot become and still remain a Melting Pot, a true Democracy is if we insist that everyone else be exactly like us or should we, arrest all their kids at school? I am just saying, what is ‘the’/’our’ End Game gonna be? Where is ‘The Mark’, that crosses over our personal Line-in-The-Sand when it comes to the Government and our own children?

Turkey: Pointless for France to Remain in Syria to Protect YPG

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

 

Turkey: Pointless for France to Remain in Syria to Protect YPG

Wednesday, 26 December, 2018 – 10:45
French President Emmanuel Macron. (AFP)
London – Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey warned France that it is pointless to maintain its military presence in Syria to protect the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“If France is staying to contribute to Syria’s future, great, but if they are doing this to protect the (militia), this will bring no benefit to anyone,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters according to state news agency Anadolu.

Cavusoglu hit out at France’s “support” of the YPG, which he said was “no secret”, pointing to a meeting French President Emmanuel Macron had held on Friday with the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF).

The YPG serves as the military backbone of the SDF.

Turkey views the YPG as terrorist organization affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara, the US and the European Union.

France is part of the international anti-terrorism coalition led by the US in Syria and Iraq. It dispatched military pilots and artillery soldiers to carry out bombings. Several sources also reported the deployment of French special forces in Syrian territory, but Paris has not confirmed this information.

Last week, US President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 US ground forces that had been in Syria to provide training to the YPG under the SDF.

The shock move put allies on the backfoot, with Macron on Sunday saying: “An ally must be reliable”.

On Sunday, Macron avoided commenting on the demands made by two representatives of the “Syrian Democratic Council” after Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

He summed up by the situation by announcing Paris “regrets” the US decision, given that the mission to terminate ISIS was not over yet, adding that the SDF should not be abandoned and allies should not be “left in the middle of the road.”

France confirmed it will remain in the alliance despite the US withdrawal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara will intervene in the coming months against ISIS and the YPG.