Report

Turkey Identifies Bomber, Blocks Twitter

Turkey is still reeling from a suicide bombing earlier this week in Suruc. The death toll from the attack has now risen to 32 dead, many of whom were activists campaigning to help the Syrian border city of Kobane. Authorities have identified the bomber as a 20-year-old Turkish man who became involved with the Islamic ...

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Turkey is still reeling from a suicide bombing earlier this week in Suruc. The death toll from the attack has now risen to 32 dead, many of whom were activists campaigning to help the Syrian border city of Kobane. Authorities have identified the bomber as a 20-year-old Turkish man who became involved with the Islamic State about two months ago. The bomb used in the Suruc attack was similar in design to one that was used in an attack that killed four people at a campaign rally in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir last month. Authorities are investigating if the two attacks are related.

As the Turkish government has investigated the bombing, it has also cracked down on social media. This morning, the Turkish government blocked access to Twitter to prevent images of the attack and calls for protests from circulating on social media.

U.S. Says It Killed Head of Khorasan Group

The Pentagon announced that it killed Muhsin al-Fadhli, the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra’s external operations wing, sometimes called the Khorasan Group, in a strike on July 8. Fadhli was active in al-Qaeda plots for more than a decade, including an attack against U.S. troops in Kuwait and an attack against the French ship MV Limburg.

Headlines

  • Three Spanish journalists have gone missing and are believed to have been abducted in Aleppo, though it is unclear who is holding them.

 

  • A ship of humanitarian aid that has been waiting offshore since June 26 for a lull in fighting docked in Aden and has begun unloading food supplies.

 

  • The U.S. Treasury Department issued sanctions against three Hezbollah commanders operating in Syria and a Lebanese businessman supplying arms to Hezbollah forces.

 

  • Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called on Islamic State fighters to no longer show gory executions in propaganda films, limiting clips to the moments before and after, to prevent offending viewers’ sensibilities.

 

  • Israel’s attorney general has initiated an investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s use of public funds in response to a comptroller report that cited excessive expenditures.

Arguments and Analysis

Opposition Intrigue Revives an Old FSA Leadership” (Aron Lund, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

“The fact that the RCC [Revolutionary Command Council] — which portrays itself as the authentic voice of rebels on the ground — decided to reinstate a group of exiles elected by now-decrepit factions indicates that its public clamoring for a more representative FSA [Free Syrian Army] leadership may not have been entirely sincere. What has in fact happened is that the RCC has swooped in, salvaged, and seized control over part of the internationally recognized — though largely defunct — FSA apparatus-in-exile, before the National Coalition leadership had a chance to re-staff it with its own appointees. According to one Syrian, who is deeply involved in opposition politics and critical of many of the actors discussed here, Sunday’s election represented the convergence of a number of actors who are in conflict with the current leadership of the National Coalition.”

 

Lebanon’s Self-Defeating Survival Strategies” (International Crisis Group)

“The brinksmanship Lebanese politicians have honed into an art gives few assurances for the future. It would be dangerous enough for an acrobat to repeat a deadly act too often; it would be sheer folly to do so while allowing his equipment to deteriorate. Lebanon has left its problems to multiply, deepen and fester to the point at which radical, structural reforms are now badly needed. However unrealistic a radical course may be for now, a small beginning has to be made on adopting a new set of principles and inculcating them in society and the political class if disaster is to be averted. These include the astonishingly self-obvious: abiding by the constitution and electoral processes and deadlines, rather than using regional or internal instability as a pretext to violate or ignore them; respecting the human rights of vulnerable groups; addressing the devastating effects of neglecting the country’s social and geographic fringes; promoting a culture of accountability to gradually abolish widespread impunity and refraining from political interference in the judicial system; and fighting endemic corruption within both society and the political system that has become a major obstacle to economic, social and political well-being.”

-J. Dana Stuster

Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images

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