LONDON (Reuters) - Sweeping cyberattacks targeting governments and other organizations in Europe and the Middle East are believed to be the work of hackers acting in the interests of the Turkish government, three senior Western security officials said.

The hackers have attacked at least 30 organizations, including government ministries, embassies and security services as well as companies and other groups, according to a Reuters review of public internet records. Victims have included Cypriot and Greek government email services and the Iraqi government's national security advisor, the records show.

The attacks involve intercepting internet traffic to victim websites, potentially enabling hackers to obtain illicit access to the networks of government bodies and other organizations.

According to two British officials and one U.S. official, the activity bears the hallmarks of a state-backed cyber espionage operation conducted to advance Turkish interests.

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According to the Facebook group Air Force amn/nco/snco, a drunk driving incident where a Turkey-based airman left a crashed car on the curb helped provoke the commander of 39th LRS to institute a unit-wide alcohol ban. (Facebook / Air Force amn/nco/snco)

Some airmen in Turkey are staring down a very dry Christmas this year.

The commander of the 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Incirlik Air Force Base has barred alcohol consumption following a string of recent drinking-related incidents which "demonstrated how alcohol use can have a direct impact on our unit's ability to support U.S. service members," according to a memo sent to 39th LRS airmen

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen called on the Trump administration on Monday to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian missile defense system, saying the failure to do so sends a "terrible signal" to other countries.

"The time for patience has long expired. It is time you applied the law," Van Hollen and Graham said in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seen by Reuters. "Failure to do so is sending a terrible signal to other countries that they can flout U.S. laws without consequence," they said.

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President Donald Trump's abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and subsequent Turkish military invasion created an opening for ISIS to stage a bloody comeback, according to a new Pentagon inspector general report.

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Turkish and Russian patrol is seen near the town of Darbasiyah, Syria, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (Associated Press/Baderkhan Ahmad)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base in northern Syria vacated by U.S. forces, the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel said on Friday.

On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow's control over events on the ground there.

Qamishli is the same city where Syrian citizens pelted U.S. troops and armored vehicles with potatoes after President Donald Trump vowed to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Last month, President Donald Trump made the abrupt decision to pull the remaining US troops out of Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria.

The move sent the fragmented country into a spiral, disrupting one of its few areas of stability. By withdrawing support from Kurdish forces in the area — which had helped the U.S. combat ISIS — Trump opened them up to an oncoming offensive by Turkey.

Justifying the decision. Trump argued that US forces in the region had already "defeated" ISIS, and that therefore there was no need for them to stay in Syria.

This was, at best, only partly true.

While U.S.-allied forces this year deprived ISIS of the territory it once controlled, the group still has as many as 18,000 fighters quietly stationed across Iraq and Syria, according to The New York Times.

Additionally, Kurdish-led fighters, known as The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had maintained control of tens of thousands of former ISIS members and their families, including about 70,000 women and children in a compound in the Syrian city of al-Hol, according to The Atlantic. Of those detainees, 11,000 of them are foreign nationals, according to the BBC.

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