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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Turkish police detain 63 ISIL suspects in three days before Istanbul attack

The National Intelligence Agency (MİT) received intelligence on possible New Year’s Eve attacks planned by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Dec. 19 and conducted operations against ISIL suspects between Dec. 28 and 31, 2016.

An ISIL militant staged an armed attack on a famous upscale Istanbul nightclub Reina in the early hours of Jan. 1, killing 39 people and injuring 65 others. 

Read more: Turkish police detain 63 ISIL suspects in three days before Istanbul attack

Turkey deploys more weaponry to Syria border

Turkey has deployed more tanks and artillery along the border with Syria as Ankara struggles to win a battle against Daesh militants in the Syrian town of al-Bab.

Read more: Turkey deploys more weaponry to Syria border

European Commission awards 48.2M euro emergency funding to Bulgaria for border and migration management

The European Commission has awarded an additional 48.2 million euro in emergency funding to Bulgaria under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF), the Commission said on December 23, 2016.

Read more: European Commission awards 48.2M euro emergency funding to Bulgaria for border and migration...

Детали крупнейшего российско-сербского оружейного контракта

Как сообщил нашему блогу известный сербский авиационный эксперт Светозар Йоканович, в результате сегодняшних переговоров с участием премьер министра Сербии Вучича с российским руководством, в 2017 года сербская армия получит шесть истребителей МиГ-29, 30 танков Т-72С и 30 БРДМ-2, а также иное военное имущество. Контракт планируется подписать 23 декабря 2016. 

Read more: Детали крупнейшего российско-сербского оружейного контракта

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov assassinated in Ankara

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was assassinated at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Dec. 19, 2016, Russia and Turkey have confirmed.

Read more: Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov assassinated in Ankara

Statement on Enhancing the Fight against Illicit Trafficking of Firearms and Ammunition in the Western Balkans

We, the participants of the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs in Brdo on 15-16 December 2016, acknowledge the pressing need to counter the illicit trafficking and accumulation of firearms, their parts and essential components and ammunition in the Western Balkans and the EU and reaffirm our strong commitment to work together towards joint solutions, in order to address common security challenges affecting both the EU and the whole of the Western Balkans region. 

Read more: Statement on Enhancing the Fight against Illicit Trafficking of Firearms and Ammunition in the...

13 soldiers killed, 56 wounded in attack in Turkey's Kayseri

A total of 56 people were being treated in hospital after a car bomb attack on a bus in the central Turkish city of Kayseri on Dec.17, 2016, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, an attack the military has said killed 13.

Read more: 13 soldiers killed, 56 wounded in attack in Turkey's Kayseri

Preparations for final operation on Syria’s al-Bab underway: Turkish Deputy PM

Preparations for a final operation by Turkey-backed rebels on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-controlled city of al-Bab in northern Syria are underway, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said after a cabinet meeting Ankara on Dec. 12, 2016. 

Read more: Preparations for final operation on Syria’s al-Bab underway: Turkish Deputy PM

Five Die as Freight Train Explodes in Bulgaria

A train carrying liquefied gas derailed and exploded in the village of Hitrino in northeast Bulgaria, killing five people and injuring at least 29 on 10.12.2016 morning. 

Read more: Five Die as Freight Train Explodes in Bulgaria

EU, NATO Herald 'Transatlantic Bond' Ahead Of Trump Presidency

NATO and the European Union heralded a "new important era" of cooperation on December 6, endorsing an agenda for closer collaboration amid uncertainty over U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's foreign policy and approach to the alliance.

Read more: EU, NATO Herald 'Transatlantic Bond' Ahead Of Trump Presidency

Croatia receives final OH-58D Kiowa helicopters

Croatia received 11 more Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopters on 3 December, completing the donation of 16 of the helicopters from the United States.

Read more: Croatia receives final OH-58D Kiowa helicopters

Montenegro isn’t a vital component of either European or US security

If all goes as planned, Montenegro will be the newest member of NATO. According to NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, “The accession process is moving forward smoothly” and “pending all those parliamentary processes being complete” Montenegro could become a NATO member in the spring of 2017. But how does the tiny Balkan nation of Montenegro contribute to NATO’s collective security and – by extension – U.S. security?

Read more: Montenegro isn’t a vital component of either European or US security

Turkey launches space satellite GÖKTÜRK-1

Turkey launched the GÖKTÜRK-1 satellite on Dec. 5, 2016 to provide high-definition satellite images for both civilian and military purposes, the Turkish Chief of Staff announced.

Read more: Turkey launches space satellite GÖKTÜRK-1

Romania has second-highest defense budget in Eastern Europe

Romania’s military expenditures have exceeded USD 3 billion this year, a record in the country’s defense budget. The amount is above the cumulative defense budgets of Hungary and the Czech Republic, according to the report “Air and missile defence in Europe” made by the British group Jane’s Information Group quoted by local Digi 24 news station.

Read more: Romania has second-highest defense budget in Eastern Europe

Bulgarian Interior Minister: Tipoff received via diplomatic channels on plans for terrorist attack

Bulgaria had received an alert via diplomatic channels of plans for a terrorist attack in the country, Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova told reporters on December 5, 2016.

Read more: Bulgarian Interior Minister: Tipoff received via diplomatic channels on plans for terrorist attack

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