Tony Iltis

On the surface, it seems the war against ISIS in Syria is going well. On August 12, the town of Manbij was taken by forces of the Manbij Military Council (MMC) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Then on August 24, the nearby border town of Jarablus was occupied by Turkish tanks and troops. Turkish forces were joined by Syrian fighters claiming allegiance to Islamist and other groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

In both instances, the US provided air cover. However, there the similarities end.


Fascist mobs, with support from the police, attacked neighbourhoods populated by Kurds, the Alevi religious minority, other minorities and leftists. Istanbul, July 16. Photo: Sendika10.org.

Faced with an attempt to overthrow his government, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the coup as “a gift from God” — and wasted no time in exploiting it to further entrench his authoritarian regime.

Kurdish-Australian journalist Renas Lelikan was charged under anti-terrorist laws at Parramatta Local Court on July 21 and refused bail. The charges accuse him of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

He was arrested the previous day in raids by the Australian Federal Police, which also seized more than 2000 emails. The prosecution asked for an adjournment until September, saying police needed time to translate the emails from Turkish. He has another bail hearing on July 28.


An Iraqi woman passes by the scene of a car bomb attack in Kamaliyah, a predominantly Shia area of eastern Baghdad in 2013.

The morning after the July 2 federal elections, Australians awoke to a still undecided election.

Whether the incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holds on by a slim majority, or is able to form a minority government, or whether Labor under Bill Shorten can form a minority government, or whether there is a hung parliament requiring new elections, remained unclear.

Some things, however, were immediately apparent.

Since Britain voted by a narrow margin on June 23 to leave the European Union, England has been hit by a significant rise in incidents of racist and xenophobic harassment and violence in the country.

John O'Connell, from anti-racism group Far Right Watch, told Al Jazeera on June 29 that his group had documented more than 90 incidents in the past three days, ranging from “verbal abuse up to physical violence”.


Graffiti on wall of Australian embassy in Dili.

The Australian government's refusal to negotiate a fair deal according to international law with East Timor over the oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea is not appreciated by the people of one of the world's poorest nations.

East Timor is calling for the maritime border to be recognised halfway between the two nations, as dictated by international law.

More than 20 students were injured at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in Port Moresby when police opened fire on students protesting against corruption on June 8. Several of those injured remain in a critical condition.

Students have been protesting and boycotting classes since May 2. The students were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill over corruption allegations and authoritarian moves to block investigation of the allegations.


Mohamed Abdelaziz. Photo: An Phoblacht.

Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), died on May 31, following a long illness.

Candidate for the socialist Awami Workers Party (AWP) Baba Jan will contest a May 28 by-election for the assembly of the Pakistani-administered Himalayan territory of Gilgit-Baltistan from his jail cell.

Baba Jan has been described as a climate justice prisoner. In 2010, his home area in Hunza was devastated by climate change-fuelled floods and landslides. A protest movement developed against the misappropriation of relief funds. Police responded with brutality and protesters were killed and arrested.

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