These are some of the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:
Turkey and Bahrain
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan started a tour to the Persian Gulf this week. His tour, which started in Bahrain, appeared to have been part of a policy to strengthen relations with regional allies. But what caught the attention of many was an arms agreement with Manama. This has already provoked certain sensitivities specifically when considering that Bahrain is suppressing a Shia pro-democracy movement for several years now. This can also be interpreted as a message to Iran. Turkey may yet again be shifting his alliance toward the US and its regional Persian Gulf allies, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
UN considering a war criminal for a UN post
Antonio Gutteres is the new chief of the United Nations. And since coming to power at the beginning of the year, he has hardly made any moves to make up for the poor performance of his predecessor Ban Ki-moon. But now it’s emerged that the UN’s top diplomat is considering the appointment of a controversial figure for the post of under secretary-general. Tzipi Livni has reportedly received a phone call from Gutteres’s office over the appointment. The details are still murky but the idea could prove to be one of the UN’s gravest mistakes.
Turkey's desire for no-fly zones in Syria
Fighting over the Syrian town of al-Bab continues between Turkish troops and allied anti-Syria militant groups on the one side and Daesh on the other. Turkish president Recep Tayyip has said the capture of al-Bab is only a matter of time. Erdogan added that after capturing the town, the Turkish forces and the militants will move on toward the Syrian city of Raqqah, which is under Daesh’s control. In his comments, the Turkish president also said Ankara planned to create a safe zone in Syria.