In his first foreign trip after the failed coup attempt in his country, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in St. Petersburg with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the hopes of mending ties as Ankara is increasingly isolated from the West.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, with a public goal of reestablishing between the countries diplomatic and economic relations frayed in the wake of a Russian bomber aircraft shot down along the Turkish-Syrian border. At the time, Russia contended that its bomber was over Syrian airspace, while Turkey claimed the aircraft drifted some meters into Turkish airspace for all of 16 seconds.
Turkey has similarly received a cold shoulder from European Union member states, who refuse to consider fast-tracking Ankara’s accession into the EU or providing visa-free travel to its citizens, citing what they view as the Erdogan regime’s human rights violations in the post-coup attempt purge that has led to the arrest of some 18,000 soldiers and judges and the firing of nearly 100,000 people for purportedly sympathizing with the coup from all sectors of civil service.
Scorned by those he once considered his closest foreign allies, facing growing hostility from neighboring states for supporting the US-led effort against Assad in Syria, and dealing with the difficult aftermath of conducting society after an attempted government overthrow, Erdogan now looks to Russian President Vladimir Putin as perhaps his last resort.
"Erdogan was already seeking to improve relations with Russia before the coup took place...
there can be no doubt that after the coup these plans were vastly accelerated."
As tensions mount in the South China Sea, the country’s state television has heralded the Liaoning aircraft carrier’s expanded lethality.
Last week, Chinese TV boasted about the "growing combat capabilities" of its Liaoning (CV-16) aircraft carrier, noting that the battle platform can carry up to 20 fighter jets, bolstering Beijing’s balance of naval and aviation power in the Pacific rim amid growing tensions.
Last Monday’s footage revealed the Liaoning carrying eight Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-15 fighters, along with a Z-18 and a Z-9 helicopter, the largest number of aircraft yet seen on the carrier, suggestive of plans by China to build up its aerial presence in the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking about the J-15 fighter jets during an August 4 program, Chinese Rear Admiral Yin Zhou said, "Once all eight aircraft fly out in formation, they have a strong combat capability." He noted that the Liaoning can carry up to 20 aircraft, prompting Chinese media to further comment that the carrier exhibits "growing combat capability."
Dozens of stoning and firebomb attacks were aimed at Israelis over the course of the day, with another day of terror having passed in Israel.
Since the morning hours, at least 33 incidents involving stoning and Molotov cocktails in firebombing attacks took place in various regions throughout the country.
Among the events: stones hurled at passing motor vehicles near the town of Migdalim, stones thrown at Bus No. 143 as it was traveling on Highway 437 – on the Adam-Hizme road.
An incendiary bottle was thrown at a car as it passed near the town of Yitzhar. Stones and incendiary bottles were also thrown at vehicles passing the Amos junction (the T-junction).
Stonings took place near Tekoa, Atarot, eastern Jerusalem, the City of David, A-Rahm, in the area of Jelazoun and in other places as well.