Iraq Shutters 44 Media Outlets
The Iraqi government ordered the closure of 44 media outlets in the country, in a move Iraq’s media commission said was aimed only at closing those groups operating without a license. However, there is at least one broadcaster, Radio Sawa which is funded by the U.S., that says it does have a license but has still be targeted. The Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, an Iraqi press freedom group called the closures “a setback to the freedom of journalism in Iraq,” and others have accused Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of trying to consolidate power and stifle criticism.
Meanwhile, Turkey carried out nine air strikes in Northern Iraq against bases for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The assault is the latest in a series of clashes between PKK fighters and the Turkish military that in the last week have killed 26 PKK fighters and 8 Turkish soldiers.
Additionally, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that they now consider Syria’s downing of a Turkish jet to be a hostile act, rejecting Syria’s assertion that it was an accident. Turkey has also summoned envoys from NATO to meet on Tuesday to discuss if the incident qualifies as a threat, under article four of the NATO charter, to the “territorial integrity, political independence or security” of Turkey. This is the first such NATO meeting since 2003 on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.