Lead story

Turkey enters Syria

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

TURKISH troops have entered Syria to set up a buffer zone to block the Kurdish drive to control the entire northern frontier and control an arms corridor to break the Syrian siege of the terrorist controlled enclave in western Aleppo. But the United Nations has not authorised the operation and the Syrian government has called it an act of aggression.

Meanwhile the Islamic State’s (ISIS) second-in-command has been killed in action and rebels holding Daraya, a key town in Damascus province, have surrendered following negotiations with the Syrian army. The situation in Aleppo remains tense. The Syrian army, National Defence Forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, supported by Russian and Syrian warplanes, have been pounding the reactionary Nato-backed militias along the only road still open to the rebel-held enclave in the city. Another drive to cut the route off completely is expected within the next few days.

Last week Syria told the UN that “The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the repeated violations, attacks and massacres that have been committed by the Turkish regime against the Syrian people and against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Syrian state for more than five years.” Syria called on the UN Security Council to condemn these cowardly crimes and take effective measures to force Turkey to stop supporting terrorism end its interference in Syria’s internal affairs.

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Turkey enters Syria

Junior doctors plan new strikes

JUNIOR doctors are planning a new series of strikes in their long-running fight against the new contract that the Government is trying to impose on them.

The Government wants to effectively abolish weekends and have hospitals running on Saturdays and Sundays exactly as they would any other day of the week. The junior doctors object to this on two main grounds. The new arrangements would affect the extra pay that they now get for doing weekend shifts and, secondly, there are simply not enough resources — doctors, nurses, admin and other staff — and not enough money in the already financially struggling NHS to make this plan work. They see it as part of the global neo-liberal agenda to dismantle the NHS bit by bit because it is a service provided free at the point of use — and that is anathema to the neo-liberal dogma of the Tories, Liberal Democrats and right-wing Labour — that nothing should ever be provided free because that is wasting a chance to make a profit.

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Junior doctors plan new strikes

Editorial

Callousness in Calais

THE PORT of Calais has been a bone of contention one way or another between the French and English/British governments for many hundreds of years and the old animosity is rising again over the refugee encampment in Calais as next year’s French general election approaches.

Refugees suffer from insanitary living conditions and law and order problems as they desperately try to get themselves across the Channel into Britain, by whatever means possible.

The extreme right wing Front National (FN) is gaining support on the strength of general French discontent over the situation is Calais. Around half the population of Calais itself are voting for the FN. The mayor of Calais, Xavier Bertrand, is calling for “migrants” passing through France on their way to try to get to Britain to be able to apply for entry permits in advance at a “hotspot”.

There are already British immigration officials in Calais vetting those applying to come to Britain legally (mainly these would be people who already have relative living here legally).

The British Home Office says these people should seek asylum as soon as they arrive in Europe — which would put an inordinate burden on Greece and Italy.

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Callousness in Calais