Monday, 6th April 2015

TURKEY – A Turkish court temporarily blocked access to Twitter and YouTube – and threatened to ban Google as well – for failing to remove content related to a deadly hostage crisis last week, marking the second time in a year that Turkey has blocked the social-media platforms. (TheWallStreetJournal)

SYRIA – A Jordanian military training jet crashed on Monday during a training mission in the eastern desert, near city of Mafraq, killing the pilot and his trainee, an army military source was quoted by Petra. The army said the trainee is an Iraqi national, while the pilot is Jordanian. Both died instantly as their plane hit the ground, according to sources. (ANSAmed)

Thursday, 7th April 2015

SYRIA – Fresh fighting was taking place on Tuesday in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, on the southern outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, with residents reporting a dire humanitarian situation. A Palestinian man living in the refugee camp said on Monday that residents there were living in fear and not leaving their homes, after Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) took control of most of the site. (Haaretz)

TURKEY – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran on Tuesday amid deep differences between the two nations over the conflicts in Yemen and Syria. Erdogan has publicly backed the Saudi-led airstrike campaign targeting Shiite rebels who have overrun the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and forced the Western-backed president to flee the country. Iran, which backs the rebels but denies any military support, has repeatedly called for an end to the coalition campaign. (Haaretz)

Wednesday, 8th April 2015

TURKEY – The three social networks bowed to the request and were accessible again after a few hours. According to Cumhuriyet, who spoke of a “Halved democracy”, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey has imposed “the most serious black-out witnessed so far against social networks”. Birgun cautioned that with the approaching political elections scheduled on June 7, the country is heading towards “chaos and censure”, Yurt’s title was “massive censure”, and Taraf stressed that, as Erdogan promised last year, Ankara “is eradicating Twitter”. (ANSAmed)

SYRIA – A delegation of the PLO travelled to Damascus to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to discuss how to prevent ISIS from maintaining control over the refugee camp of Yarmou, where thousands of Palestinians live, after the most recent developments. The head of the PLO delegation, Ahmad Majdalani, was quoted by Ramallah’s media as saying that the meeting was ”good and the Syrians understood the most important issues to confront the tragedy of Yarmouk”. (ANSAmed)

PALESTINE – The Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday it had received a $100 million loan from Qatar to help pay civil servants salaries and alleviate an economic crisis triggered by a row with Israel over taxes. (Reuters)

EGYPT – Egypt’s public prosecutor referred a further 379 alleged members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood to court on Wednesday over sit-ins in August 2013 that were broken up by security forces who killed hundreds of protesters. The 379 are accused of causing the deaths of two policemen at al-Nahda Square in Giza, one of two sites where supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi gathered in the weeks following his overthrow by the military. They face charges including murder and vandalism. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 9th April

ALGERIA – Information provided by a terrorist who started testifying for Algeria’s intelligence services a few days ago enabled security forces to uncover a jihadist group and kill its members, local media reported Thursday. The four militants in the group, according to Aps new agency, were killed Thursday morning in Oued Ouakser, in Boumerdès province. (ANSAmed)

PALESTINE – Palestinian police said on Wednesday they had extended their security control in parts of the occupied West Bank following a deal with Israel, launching armed patrols for the first time in towns near Jerusalem. (Reuters)

SYRIA – The International Committee of the Red Cross called on Thursday for immediate access to a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria which has largely been seized by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants (ISIS) and where 18,000 people are caught up in fighting. The independent aid agency said that emergency medical care was urgently needed at Yarmouk camp, which lies on the outskirts of Damascus. (Alarabiya)

Friday, 10th April

TUNISIA – “In the heart of Tunis, in the mostly heavily guarded places in town, we are among you”. This is the message coming from the media wing of the Tunisian branch of the Islamic State, which calls its adherents “soldiers of the caliphate” on its Twitter account @ifrik13, a threat addressed against the army and the Tunisian police considered the arms of the ‘taghout’, (the tyrant) and its allies. (ANSAmed)

SYRIA – Islamic State has bolstered its forces north of Syria’s second city Aleppo, where it is attacking rivals as part of a broader push beyond its eastern strongholds, a rebel leader and a monitoring group said. (Reuters)

PALESTINE – The PLO refuses to get involved in the armed conflict in the refugee camp of Yarmouk, in Syria, said the organisation in a statement from Ramallah. “We reject the proposition of being part of the armed conflict in Yarmouk as an excuse for its liberation” said the PLO, calling for “other means”. (ANSAmed)

TURKEY – The President of the European Parliament, the Social-Democrat Martin Schulz held talks with Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu and said he perceived the risk of an authoritarian drift in the country, the Turkish press reported. “Turkey is sliding towards authoritarianism” stated Schulz reported Zaman. (ANSAmed)