MonitorsPublished on Aug 17, 2016
West Asia Monitor | Volume III; Issue XIV

Turkish President Erdogan’s official statement on the terrorist attacks in Nice, France

"I strongly condemn the inhumane attack that took place during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France. I keep those who lost their lives in yesterday's attack in my thoughts and prayers and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. On behalf of the Turkish people, I would like to offer my condolences to the victims' families and the French people. Having suffered a number of terror attacks ourselves, we understand very well what France and the French people are going through today. This barbaric act, which appears to be a terror attack, highlights the necessity of fighting terrorism in a determined and consistent manner. We expect those who act inconsistently in the face of terror to draw necessary lessons from the most recent attack in France. For terrorist groups, there is no difference between Turkey and France, Iraq and Belgium, and Saudi Arabia and the United States. Terrorism has no religion, race or nationality. And the perpetrators of this bloodthirsty attack have nothing to do with humanity. In fact, there is no room for these barbarians in this world — nor should there ever be. Once again, I would like to express our deep sadness and solidarity with the people of France. On this difficult day, Turkey stands together with France and the French people. I would like to offer my condolences to President François Hollande of France and the French people.” Source: Presidency of the Republic of Turkey


M. J. Akbar to be key to Modi’s West Asia outreach

PM Modi has appointed journalist M. J. Akbar as Minister of State in External Affairs and reports say he has been given a key role in West Asia outreach Source: Deccan Herald

Syrian rebels stunned by Turkey PM’s attempts to mend relations with Syria

Syrian rebels were caught by surprise by the Turkey PM’s attempt to mend relations with Damascus. Turkey had consistently backed the rebels in the past five years. Source: The Guardian

Egyptian Minister visits Israel in a push for peace with Palestinians

Egyptian Foreign Minister visited Israel in a first high level visit in ten years to discuss a path to peace with Palestinians. Source: The New York Times

Protestors took to the streets to stop the attempted coup

Protestors took to the streets to demonstrate against the soldiers involved in the coup after President Erdogan urged the people to stand up and protect democracy. Source: BBC

9/11 report classified “28 pages” about potential Saudi ties released

Washington released the reports it had classified for 13 years and claims that it maintains its stand that Saudi government has not been shown to have ties with the hijackers.. Source: The Guardian

Turkish Chief of Staff: 104 coup plotters killed in the rebellion

104 coup plotters were killed and several others were taken to “unknown” locations as the army sought to dismantle the Gulenist network. Source: Al-Arabiya

Turkey fires 24,000 teachers in an attempt to find coup plotters

The Turkish government on Tuesday escalated its wide-ranging crackdown against people it claims have ties to the alleged coup plotters, firing nearly 24,000 teachers and Interior Ministry employees across the country and demanding the resignations of another 1577 university deans. Source: The Indian Express

Iran trebles gas exports to Armenia

Armenian delegation made a trip to Iran to ask for three times the gas currently supplied to Armenia to which Iran agreed. Source: Tehran Times

India to bring back 10,000 workers from Saudi Arabia because of food crisis

Indian government to send a minister to bring back 10,000 Indian workers who have been laid off their jobs in the face of oil price crash and cannot afford to buy their meals. Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Egypt’s former Grand Mufti survives assassination attempt

Former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa was fired upon by two motor cyclists before his Friday sermon. Ali Gomaa was unharmed but one of his body guards was injured. Source: Reuters

Turkey lowers key interest rate by a quarter point

Turkey lowered key interest from 9% to 8.75% in order to quell market fears after the botched coup. Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Turkey demands extradition of US based cleric, Gulen

Politicians denounce suicide bombings that killed 41 people and wounded dozens more at Istanbul's largest airport. Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Iraq oil exports set to rise, despite leak

Iraq’s oil exports are set to rise in July, according to loading data and an industry source, putting supply growth from OPEC’s second-largest producer back on track after after two months of declines. Source: The Indian Express

Syrian Refugee dies in German bomb attack

A Syrian refugee who had been denied asylum died when a bomb he was carrying exploded before he could reach his intended target. Source: Tehran Times

Three French Special Forces killed in Libya

President Hollande announced that three unnamed French special forces were killed in Libya confirming for the first time that there are French forces in Libya. Source: The Guardian

Tunisian PM sacked by the Parliament

Syrian rebels have reopened a vital supply line by capturing two villages from the Islamic State jihadist group as it came under pressure on a range of fronts in Syria and Iraq. Source: The Guardian

Trump attacks Clinton for ‘scandal’ $400m payment to Iran

Trump jumped on reports that the US had made payments worth $400m after the nuclear deal to Iran to ensure the release of US hostages. He attacked Hillary for having been part of the talks. Source: The Guardian

Russian ambassador: Iran’s missile tests did not violate UN resolution

Russian ambassador to Tehran came in defence of Iran’s missile tests claiming that the UN resolution never banned missile tests in the first place. Source: Tehran Times

Pressure mounts on Israel to release Bilal Kayed

At least 100 Palestinian political prisoners have now joined a mass hunger strike in support of Bilal Kayed, as he nears 50 days without food in protest against his detention by Israel. Source: Al Jazeera

Saudi king meets Jordan’s King Abdullah

Both Monarchs met to discuss bilateral relations as well as the developments in the region. Source: Al-Arabiya

Egypt blocks resolution in UN to support “democratically elected” government in Turkey

Egypt blocked the US drafted resolution calling on everyone to condemn the attempted coup and support the democratically elected Turkish regime Source: Al-Arabiya

Possible that Erdogan engineered the coup: former Pentagon official

Former Pentagon official and Turkey specialist Harold Rhode said that it is possible that Erdogan engineered the coup and squashed it to bolster his own sinking image. Source: The Jerusalem Post

Turkey government shutters dozens of media organizations

Turkish government continued its repression of the media and has closed down dozens of newspapers and television news channels along with issuing arrest warrants to some journalists. Source: CBS News

Iraqi governments execution of IS militants could result in the lives of innocents-UN

The UN warned that speedy execution of 1,200 IS militants on death row by the Iraqi government in response to the Baghdad bombing might result in death of innocents as well. Source: Reuters

Syrian rebels use toxic gas claims Russia

Russia accused US backed militant groups of using toxic gas on civilians in Aleppo. Source: Hareetz

Car bombing in Benghazi kills 23

Suicide car bombing attack targeting Libyan security forces killed 23 people near a hospital. Source: Arab News

Iran executes 20 Kurds for armed attacks

Iran executed 20 Kurds convicted of killing Sunni Muslim clerics and police officers. Rights groups claimed that their confessions were forced. Source: Arab News

Average Iranian not benefitting from the Nuclear Deal

Ayotallah Ali Khamenei questioned how the nuclear deal is helping the people questioned the wisdom of gradual lifting of sanctions instead of it happening all at once. Source: Arab News


  • How real is the ISIS threat?  Vikram Sood
  • US muscles can’t deter Iran’s revolutionary guard, Vatsal Chandra, DNA, July 7, 2016
  • Jihad 2.0: How Islamic State has changed global terrorism, Rezaul Laskar, Hindustan Times, July 10, 2016
  • The invasion of Iraq was never really about oil, Robin Mills, The National, July 10, 2016
  • JCPOA anniversary, American pragmatism philosophy, and Tehran’s post-deal grievances, Ali Khushki, Tehran Times, July 13, 2016
  • One year of Iran deal: Far from runaway success, Vatsal Chandra, The Quint, July 14, 2016
  • Facing terror at home, Middle East leaders increasingly condemning terror in West, Hugh Naylor, Washington Post, July 15, 2016.
  • Erdogan has nine lives, survives coup, M. K. Bhadrakumar, Rediff, July 16, 2016
  • Turkey can emerge stronger from the coup, Mesut Hakki Casin, Nikkei Asian Review, July 17, 2016
  • Turkey and NATO: What comes next is messy, James Stavridis, Foreign Policy, July 18, 2016
  • European Response to the Syrian War: Pathologies Uncovered, Christiane Frolich, E-International Relations, July 18, 2016.
  • Will Turkey’s failed coup break up Erdogan’s echo chamber? Grenville Byford, Reuters, July 18, 2016
  • Turkey’s prospects after the coup attempt, Kemal Kirisic and Zachary Laub, Brookings, July 18, 2016
  • US-Russian cooperation in Syria can’t stop at counterterrorism, Steven Hydemann, Brookings, July 19, 2016
  • Turkey: United against coup, divided on the future, Jesse Rosenfeld, Al-Jazeera, July 21, 2016
  • In Turkey, putsched out, Shadi Hamid, Brookings, July 22, 2016
  • Wikileaked: 5 things to know about the Islamist Empire trying to take down Erdogan, J. Dana Stutser, Foreign Policy, July 23, 2016
  • The role of the West in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen , The Economist, July 26, 2016
  • Turkey Coup that wasn’t, Roger Cohen, The New York Times, July 18, 2016
  • Where Turkish military fails, Egypt’s succeeds, Steven Cook, Council on Foreign Relations, July 19, 2016
  • The Erdogan Loyalists and the Syrian Refugees, Suzy Hazen, The New York Times, July 20, 2016
  • Will Turkish President be able to normalize relations with Russia? Himani Pant
  • Hanging with People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, Michael J. Totten, The World Affairs Journal, July 21, 2016
  • The only way to end Syria’s suffering is to end our war in the Middle East, Lindsey German, The Guardian, July 22, 2016
  • Why was Iran so quick to rally behind Erdogan? Saeed Jafari, Al-Monitor, July 27, 2016
  • Is the Iran-Saudi Cold War heating up? Ellie Geranmayeh, The New York Times, July 27, 2016
  • Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East, Ivan Angelovski, Miranda Patrucic and Lawrence Marzouk, The Guardian, July 27, 2016
  • Iran’s Iraqi market by Tamer Badawi, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 27, 2016
  • How will Turkey’s failed coup impact Iraq? Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute, July 27, 2016
  • Al Qaeda affiliate’s desperate switch shows US Syria strategy is working by Week in review, Al Monitor, July 31, 2016
  • How the Middle Eastern Monarchies survived the Arab Spring by Sean Yom, The Washington Post, July 30, 2016
  • The Liberation of Mosul is Déjà vu all over again, Geoffrey Aronson, Al Jazeera, July 30, 2016
  • The conundrum of the coming Islamic State collapse, Perry Cammack, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, August 1, 2016
  • Making sense of 2016 Summer of terror, Ibrahim al-Marashi, Al Jazeera, August 1, 2016
  • Egypt’s oil dependency is growing, Amr Adly, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, August 2, 2016
  • The Strategist: How Abu Mus’ab al-Suri Inspired ISIS, Abhijnan Rej
  • How a Secretive Branch of ISIS Built a Global Network of Killers, Rukmini Calimachi, The New York Times, August 3, 2016
  • Why wealthy Qatar keeps the funds flowing into Gaza, Brian Murphy, The Washington Post, August 3, 2016
  • Yemen and the distant solution, Abdulrahman al-Rashed, Al-Arabiya, August 5, 2016
  • Why Turkey and Egypt won’t reconcile anytime soon, Safa Joudeh, Al Monitor, August 2, 2016
  • Syrian Civil War is a Post Factual Conflict, James Denselow, Al Jazeera, August 4, 2016
  • Turkey’s new anti-Americanism, The New York Times, August 4, 2016


Kanchi Gupta, Associate Fellow, ORF Abhilash Prasann, Research Intern, ORF
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