A far-left group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the US embassy in Ankara that left two dead (including the bomber) and one injured. The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) posted a statement on its website claiming responsibility for the attack. In its statement the group called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a puppet of the US and also called America a murderer. Turkish authorities had information that the DHKP-C was planning an attack, but they did not have enough information to prevent it. The bomber, Ecevit Sanli, had been residing in Germany before entering Turkey illegally. Citing this fact and other incidents of Turkish terrorist suspects residing in Europe, Erdogan accused Europe and the EU of not doing enough to combat terrorism.
The leader of the National Coalition (the Syrian opposition group) has urged President Bashar al-Assad “to take a clear stance on his initiative for dialogue.” The leader, Mouaz al-Khatib, has emphasized that a solution in Syria can only be made by Syrians and that outside powers lack the vision needed for a solution. Lebanon is beginning to crack down on the spillover from Syria. A judge in the country issued arrest warrants for a top Syrian intelligence official and his aid, both of whom are alleged to have been involved in the suicide bombing that killed Lebanese intelligence official Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasssan in Beirut in October. After the attack on a Lebanese army patrol left two soldiers dead on Friday, the Lebanese army has vowed to pursue those who attack it. Army commander Jean Kahwaji said that “[a]ny hand that aggresses the army will be cut off,” and referred to the way the soldiers were killed–reportedly with axes after having been tortured–as going “against our Christian and Muslim beliefs.”
- Afghanistan and Pakistan have declared their intent to reach a peace deal within six months. The declaration also includes a invitation for the Taliban to join reconciliation talks with the two countries.
- Education activist Malala Yousefzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban , is continuing to improve following successful surgeries to restore her hearing and reconstruct her skull.
- France has continued its military campaign in Mali by bombing rebel depots and bases in remote areas of the country’s north. The bombings are an attempt to cut off the rebels from supply routes.
- In what is being viewed as a show of force in response to recent statements and actions made by North Korea, the US and South Korea have begun a three-day round of naval exercises. The exercises involve a US nuclear submarine.
- An ambush by Colombian Farc rebels on the Venezuelan border has left three policemen dead and has raised already high tensions between the government and the rebels, who are currently engaged in the second day of peace talks in Cuba.
- Iran has unveiled a new stealth fighter, the first since 2007, named the Qaher F313. President Ahmedinejad said that “development of the Iranian nation’s military power is… for deterrence and defensive purposes.”