Archive | March 1st, 2015

MORE U.S. ZIONIST FLOPS IN SOUTH

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SYRIAN ARMY GRINDS HERETIC TERRORISTS IN SOUTH; GENERAL AYOOB VISITS TROOPS

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رئيس هيئة الأركان العامة للجيش العربي السوري يتفقد العمليات في المنطقة الجنوبيةTHE SOUTHERN FRONT:  I told you it was a flop.  And it’s getting better for the Syrian Army.  Yesterday, the Chief of the Syrian General Staff, Lt. Gen. ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Ayyoob, visited officers and troops to inspect their ranks and evaluate Syrian Army positions after the stunning victories achieved at the villages of Al-Habbaariyya, Khirbat Sultaana, Himreet, where the Al-Qaeda/Nusra terrorists were exterminated by a perfectly choreographed ballet of artillery, air sorties and armor/infantry assault.  These villages are now rat-free.  All are located in Damascus Province at an area we will call from now on the “Triangle” where Qunaytra, Damascus and Der’ah meet.  Once again, let’s list the villages liberated:

Al-Habbaariyya

Khirbat Sultaana

Himreet

Hasnu Village

Rajm Al-Sayd area

Khaan Al-Shaykh:  A group of rodents were going to escape to Al-Dhumayr, but, were ambushed after reliable intelligence arrived at MI HQ.  I have no names.  Monzer wrote that the ambush took place on February 23, 2015.

Yarmouk Camp:  A large demonstration at the entrance to the camp was organized by Palestinians who had been evicted from their homes by Nusra.  They are demanding Nusra’s immediate withdrawal from the camp to allow the return of all inhabitants and the restoration of government rule.

In Der’ah Province, the Syrian Army humiliated Alqaeda/Nusra and Ahraar Al-Shaam by wiping out their presence at the following villages:

Tal Qareen: 23 rodents killed and 16 taken prisoner:

Abbaas Al-Yusuf

Muhammad ‘Umar Al-Dayri

Mahmoud Hussayn Shihaab

‘Adnaan Saamer Al-Dawaaleebi

‘Abdul-Saatir Al-Furaati (IRAQI BAT URINE RESIDUE)

The rest were determined to be foreigners and no positive identification has been made. They will be cremated and their dust fed to the rancid winds that blow toward Arabia.

Kafr Naasij area and Tal-‘Antar: (Liberated a couple of days ago).  We are in clean up mode here as the SAA and National Defense Forces (PDC) comb through every warehouse, culvert and spider hole to find remnant rodents.

Faatima Hills:  Completely liberated and rat free.  Intercepted communications between vermin indicate a state of complete anarchy and indecision inside Nusra/Alqaeda.  The end is near:

Mustafaa ‘Abdul-Rahmaan Ghaalib

Shareef Muhammad Al-Humssi

Wafeeq Jamaal ‘Umraan

Adeeb Ameer Jinnu

Another 6 were not named.

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مثلث الجنوب.. قيادة الجيش: العمليات مستمرة وانهيارات كبيرة في صفوف الإرهابيينTal Ahmar:  SAA foiled another ill-conceived assault on a checkpoint close to ‘Ayn Al-Nooriyya.

Qarfaa:  Recently deloused by the SAA and the hometown of Maj. Gen. Rustum Ghazaali, director of Political Security, about 26kms from the City, a search-and-snuff operation resulted in a mother lode of weapons and ammo for our PDCs when the rodents left all the goodies behind in an effort to reach the comfort of the Zionist plague-Entity.  Reports that General Ghazaali was killed here while directing operations are completely false and the work of British slime propagandists.   General Ghazaali is trained in intelligence work and does not field command any troops.  He was injured by shrapnel and is recovering.

AL-SUWAYDAA:  The Syrian Army has closed down another pathway used by rodents out of Jordan to smuggle weapons and reinforcements into Syria.  The town of Tal Al-Majda’ has been liberated by the SAA.

QUNAYTRA:

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DFHGFZionist involvement has only succeeded in demonstrating Zionist incompetence.  The SAA is on the march here.

Al-Samdaaniyya Water Reservoir:  4 Alqaeda/Nusra rodents killed here. No names.  Their bodies were spirited off to the Zionist Entity where their organs were probably harvested for use in preserving the miserable lives of stinking Khazars.

Al-Samdaaniyya:  A nest belonging to Nusra and Ahraar Al-Shaam Al-Islaamiyya was vaporized.  10 rats killed and 19 wounded.

Tal Mas-hara:  At the foot of the mountain, the SAA focused artillery fire on a group of Nusra hyenas killing many.  No details.

Al-Hameediyya:  A mortar launcher and rockets were destroyed by SAA as Nusra/Alqaeda vermin were preparing to fire.  It was near the Al-Bawaari Factory west of Qunaytra.  No details.

Burayqa:  The SAA killed a large number of cockroaches belonging to Liwaa` Fajr Al-Islam and Alwiyat Al-Furqaan which are largely supported by the monkey-rats of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Many foreigners from the deserts of Arabia here. All ugly brutes.

Nab’ Al-Sakhr at the roundabout:  SAA destroyed 6 vehicles provided by the Zionist Settler State and funded by the Saudi Arabian Wahhabist heretics.  3 of the vehicles were pickups with 23mm cannons.

Qunaytra City:  At the Main Square, a firefight between SAA and Liwaa` Mu’aadh bin Jabal (yawn) resulted in the deaths of these rodents:

Taariq Haamid Al-Saaqi’

Shaakir Fu`aad Manfookh (He just blew up)

Sabri Muhammad ‘Alyawi

Hussayn Faadhil Jum’ah

Radhwaan Muhsin ‘Aashoor

Posted in SyriaComments Off on MORE U.S. ZIONIST FLOPS IN SOUTH

Video of Press TV’s full interview with Walid Muallem

  • Walid-Muallem

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Obama threatened to shoot down Zio-Nazi planes

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If they tried to attack Iranian nuclear facilities in 2014

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Kuwaiti newspaper report, that Obama thwarted to shoot down Zionist jets if attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 

Following Obama’s threat, Naziyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack. According to Al-Jarida, the Naziyahu regime took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Nazi Government of I$raHell had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind I$raHell back.

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The report claimed that an unnamed Nazi minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry Cohen, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Nazi jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Al-Jarida quoted “well-placed” sources as saying that Naziyahu, along with Nazi Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, and then Nazi Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, had decided to carry out airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders.

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According to the report, “Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel’s security.”

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The sources added that Gantz and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Nazi fighter jets trained for several weeks in order to make sure the plans would work successfully. Nazi fighter jets reportedly even carried out experimental flights in Iran’s airspace after they managed to break through radars.

Former US diplomat, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for Obama in 2008, called on him to shoot down I$raHell planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security adviser to former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Obama threatened to shoot down Zio-Nazi planes

Egypt: Zionist Sisi declares Hamas a terrorist organization ”VIDEO”

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Zionist Mossad Agent Sisi

Zionist Sisi court has declared Hamas a “terrorist organization,” further isolating the blockaded Gaza Strip once openly welcomed by the country’s toppled Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government.

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ZIONIST STARBUCKS FAIL: The overpriced coffee chain

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Shamed into apologizing for despicable ad campaign depicting Armenian women smiling and drinking coffee under symbol of the Turkish flag

For anyone who doesn’t know, 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a genocide at the hands of Turkish  forces during the early 20th Century.

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UK Daily Mail  (h/t Min Bee) ‘So why is Starbucks selling coffee using an image of women, dressed in traditional Armenian costumes, celebrating a Turkish state that systematically victimized Armenian women during the Armenian genocide, and that still denies this crime against all humanity?’ ANCA wrote.

STARBUCKS POSTER

More than 1.5million Armenians were killed by Turkish Forces between 1915 and 1918 in what is now considered Eastern Turkey.  The poster was displayed in at least one Zionist Starbucks in Los Angeles – a city that’s home to more than 440,000 people with Armenian ancestry.

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Starbucks has since posted an apology on ANCA’s Facebook page and promised to remove the offensive advertisements. A spokesman for Starbucks wrote. ‘We missed the mark here and we apologize for upsetting our customers and the community.’

Exmagnasilentium   Missed the mark?  The company didn’t miss the mark if the mark was to get muslim customers, who appreciate this “triumph” over Christians.

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How is it that these two images are “innocently” combined for an advertising campaign, that executives of an advertising agency create this, that executives at Starbucks look at this and decide it’s a wonderful representation of their coffee, pay the creators for it, that the executives have the posters made and then displayed, and no one knew that this might cause disgust and consternation, to say the least, by many, many people who have not forgotten the history?  It doesn’t happen by accident.

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A message was being sent, disguised as a coffee advertisement, but which had nothing to do with coffee sales.  This was a celebration of the one hundredth anniversary.

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One hundred years ago, the religion of “peace” brought the joys of their religion to the happy Armenians blessed to live under Ottoman rule in the Ottoman Empire, in lands formerly Christian and which were largely the Byzantine Empire.

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The last sultan of the Ottomans declared a jihad against Armenians resulting in a million and a half Armenians being raped, starved, robbed, enslaved and slaughtered.

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Since then, the Turks have lied about and denied this when addressing the “infidels”, but which they no doubt celebrate amongst themselves.

Armenians have not forgotten, and have refused to have this episode of despicable demonic destruction forgotten, nor denied by those who perpetrated it.  Turkey, the modern Ottoman descendants have spent the last one hundred years trying to fool the reasoning world that this never happened.

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OBAMA scrubs major attack on Zio-Wahhabi (ISIS) in Mosul indefinitely

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Just days ago, the generals were trumpeting plans to knock Islamic State (ISIS) savages out of Mosul, its most important stronghold in Iraq, in the next few weeks. Now, those plans are on indefinite hold. Fall is more realistic. But even that date is tenuous.

The Daily Beast  The U.S. military’s goal to retake Iraq’s second largest city from the self-proclaimed Islamic State has been pushed back several months at least, defense officials told The Daily Beast. That’s a major shift for the Pentagon, which recently announced that the first major ground offensive in the war against ISIS could come in the next few weeks.

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Defense officials once hoped that Iraqi troops could move into Mosul by the Spring and reclaim the city from ISIS. Now, those officials say, Fall is more realistic. And even that date was tenuous.

“It is an Iraqi decision (sure it is) but we don’t want to do anything until they are ready and can win decisively,” a military official explained to the Daily Beast. “They cannot now.”

It’s another sign that the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS isn’t going nearly as smoothly as the American government had hoped. (There is no campaign, that’s the problem) At the Pentagon Friday, Defense Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby shied away from any kind of timeline, saying: “I can’t put a date certain…nor say April is out.”

AL QAEDA - Obama co White House SUPPORTS AL QAEDA MASS-MURDER in ME !!

A group within U.S. government pushed for a Spring offensive out of concern that the next opportunity to launch such a campaign would not be until the Fall. But these policymakers appeared to have been trumped by those fearing that Iraqi forces are nowhere near ready.

The shift away from the Spring began in the last few days, in part because officials could not agree publicly about whether the Iraqi forces would be ready for the fight. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that it would be “six to nine months, best estimate,” before Iraqi forces could be able to launch a major counteroffensive against ISIS.

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“When we talk about the six to nine months additional training, it is to deal with an urban fight, which is very, very different, very complex, requires a great deal of skill, great deal of precision to be successful,” Stewart said. (I guess the fact we have been training the Iraqi Army in urban warfare for at least 8 years already is irrelevant?)

Earlier this month, a U.S. Central Command official gave a briefing to reporters saying that Iraqi forces could be ready by April or May to launch an offensive to take back the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS, where the group is entrenched. ISIS has controlled Mosul since June, when Iraqi troops fled their posts as ISIS forces stormed the city.

ISIS

The proposed offensive would take as many as 25,000 troops assigned to at least eight Iraqi brigades, the CENTCOM official said on the condition of anonymity. The forces would seek to root out 2,000 ISIS fighters, he added. U.S. forces would support that campaign by the air, but the CENTCOM official did not offer any specifics.

There were sectarian considerations, as well. The Iraqi divisions who would likely lead such a campaign are majority Shiite forces; Mosul is a Sunni-dominated town and such sectarian delineations are important to all involved. Many worried that Sunnis in both Iraq and the broader Arab world would not accept a Shiite-dominated military force leading the campaign.

Still others were angry that the U.S. military decided to telegraph the mission and the details of it. Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham blasted the announcement in a letter to President Obama, calling the disclosure a risk to “the success of our mission, but could also cost the lives of U.S., Iraqi, and coalition forces.” (McCain can’t seem to decide which side he’s on)

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But have no fear, the State Department has a TWITTER hashtag offensive in motion:

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How the US Can Really Combat Radicalism

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The recent ‘Summit on Countering Violent Extremism’ in Washington, D.C. did not spend much, if any, time diagnosing the role that U.S. foreign policy over the last several decades has played in fostering the radical and violent ideology of ‘American exceptionalism’ that has fueled U.S. foreign wars, torture, and other human rights abuses across the globe. (Photo: AP)

The US government held yet another conference on how best to combat “Islamic radicalism.” It is interesting that radicalism — even without adding the Islamic adjective, as the Obama administration avoids the label — is applied to only one cultural and religious milieu. Radicalism is thus assumed to be a phenomenon of one culture and one religion. When the US government speaks about radicalism, it ignores the radicalism that prevails in the US Congress or in the US churches. It has only one radicalism and one form of violence in mind. Thus the violence of the US government, visited upon people in many Muslim countries, is not seen as the product of radicalism, but of moderation and of lofty ideals. Furthermore, for the US to really demonstrate its willingness to effectively combat radicalism it has to undertake those steps and policies — which it will never do:

1) End its bombing and covert operations in predominantly Muslim countries.

2) Break with the radical, reactionary regimes of the Gulf and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa, especially those regimes that are most responsible for arming and funding those radical ideologies.

3) Declare war on the ideology of Wahhabiyyah, which is the ideology of all terrorist Jihadist groups.

4) End its arming and/or funding of radical repressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa.

5) Declare war on the radical ideology and practices of Zionism, and the various forms of terrorism that it has spawned over the decades.

6) End the use and misuse of Islam as a tool of US foreign policy to be used in the Cold War and in other wars (as in Syria) in order to help topple governments that the US does not like.

7) Admit that there are radical trends in all religions and in all governments, and that the West is not immune.

8) End the clear or camouflaged insistence on the conflation between Islam and radicalism.

9) Abandon the view that the usual suspects (discredited US tools and voices in the Arab world) would be the best preachers of “moderation” in the Arab world, especially since those voices are tied to the region’s most repressive regimes.

10) Admit that the US government has been the biggest source of radicalism — the right-wing kind — all over the world for the last 70 years.

11) Admit that the US is the most unqualified party to combat radicalism.

12) Admit that progressive and leftist radicalism is the best antidote against Jihadi radicalism.

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U.S. Added Speed, Scale to West Africa Ebola Fight

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By Cheryl Pellerin

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Since Sept. 2014, when U.S. Army Africa leadership arrived in Liberia to help contain the historic outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, the United States is transitioning its contributions to civilian and nongovernmental organizations there as the World Health Organization reports a drop in confirmed cases.

Last month, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby described how the whole-of-government approach led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, and the Defense Department had mobilized and adapted its resources in an austere environment while supporting a critical mission.

“Our rapid deployment of personnel, from engineers to logisticians, provided for the international civilian response by NGOs, USAID and the United Nations to grow their capability and capacity on the ground,” Kirby said.

The United States has backed more than 10,000 civilian responders on the ground in Ebola-affected areas, Kirby added, providing direct and indirect health care support and other functions handled by the military Operation United Assistance in Liberia.

DoD Critical Support

The Defense Department has critically supported the U.S. government Ebola response, he added, “bringing our unique capabilities, specifically speed and scale, to support the civilian-led response in West Africa.”

For the first time since the week ending June 29, 2014, fewer than 100 new confirmed cases have been reported in a week in the three most-affected countries, WHO officials wrote in an Ebola Situation Report.

“Together with our international partners, and the people of the three nations themselves, we have bent the curve of the epidemic and placed it on a much improved trajectory,” White House officials said in a Feb. 11 fact sheet.

DoD Accomplishments in West Africa

Accomplishments in West Africa are many –- the work performed by U.S. service members, DoD civilians, scientists from the U.S. Army Military Research Institute on Infectious Diseases, the Navy and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, with partners from USAID, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Public Health Service and many others.

For DoD, according to the White House fact sheet, $112 million will be allocated for Ebola vaccines and diagnostics.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will receive $33 million for phase I clinical trials of experimental vaccines and therapeutics. Diagnostic efforts will receive $12 million.

The Chemical and Biological Defense Program will receive $50 million to continue work on vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic systems for mitigating the spread of Ebola. And $17 million will go to procure detection and diagnostic systems, mortuary supplies, and isolation transport units.

Adding Capability and Infrastructure in Liberia

In Liberia, U.S. civilian and military personnel trained more than 1,500 health care workers, helping them provide safe and direct medical care to Ebola patients.

In the region, the United States helped facilitate the building of 15 Ebola treatment units in the region, 10 of them built by DoD personnel. The facilities have made possible the testing and isolation of hundreds of patients.

DoD also provided to the region 1.4 million sets of personal protective equipment.

DoD personnel built the Monrovia Medical Unit to treat Ebola-infected health care workers, with staffing by members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. DoD is now transitioning nonclinical management to USAID.

DoD Medical Contributions

DoD also provided seven mobile laboratories to the region, reducing the time to diagnosis from days to hours. The labs have tested more than 4,000 samples since September.

The Defense Department also has made significant contributions to vaccine and drug development for Ebola virus disease.

USAMRIID and DTRA made medical countermeasure, funding and other major contributions to two vaccine candidates — ChAd3 and VSV-ZEBOV –- that have completed phase 1 human clinical trials.

The First Ebola Therapeutics

USAMRIID and DTRA also have contributed to developing and funding several candidate drugs -– including ZMapp and TKM Ebola — to treat patients infected with the disease. Some already have been used in patients under compassionate use in the United States, Western Europe and Africa.

TKM-Ebola was tested in nonhuman primates and has shown evidence of activity against Ebola. This candidate drug is produced by the Canadian company Tekmira Inc. under a contract from the DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense.

Transitioning Operation United Assistance

On Jan. 25, President Barack Obama approved a plan formulated by USAID, the U.S. government lead in West Africa, and the Defense Department to transition the Liberia-based Operation United Assistance to civilians and international organizations working there.

The plan includes follow-on activities and supporting staffs for a modified headquarters in Liberia and augmentation for Operation Onward Liberty, a State Department-funded U.S. Africa Command program aimed at building partnership capacity with the Armed Forces of Liberia.

The plan also outlines a defense preparedness program and other security-cooperation activities.

“DoD personnel are coming home but the United States is not leaving West Africa,” defense officials said. “The U.S. government civilian-led response will grow in size and number in the weeks ahead, and continue the fight against Ebola.”

Of the 2,800 troops deployed, about 1,500 are already back in the United States, and nearly all of those remaining will return home by April 30.

U.S.-Liberia Partnership

After April 30, a transition element of approximately 100 DoD personnel will remain in Liberia to respond to Ebola-related contingences and expand security cooperation efforts.

On March 2, military personnel will make the Operation United Assistance intermediate staging base in Dakar, Senegal, a cooperative security location, where it will be available to support a range of missions.

The Cooperative Threat Reduction, or CTR, Program plans to increase its biosurveillance capacity, including related biosecurity and biosafety capabilities in West Africa. Over time the program will expand its capacity, augmenting partner-country capability to detect and report outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases.

As DoD draws down its presence in Liberia, the United States will continue to support the regional governments alongside the international humanitarian and public health community, defense officials said.

 

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US Cuba Talks Open

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by Mary Alice Salinas

The United States and Cuba opened a second round of talks Friday on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties.’

Diplomats from both sides met at the U.S. State Department in Washington for day-long meetings focused on working out details to open embassies in Washington and Havana.’

Sticking points include how much access U.S. diplomats will have to the people of Cuba and how much access Cuba will have to financial services in the U.S.

Havana is also pressuring the U.S. government to remove Cuba from its list of states that sponsor terrorism, something that has become a key factor in the talks.

‘On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the issue regarding the states-sponsoring terrorism list is separate from the ongoing talks, but one that Washington is reviewing.’

If President Barack Obama decides to take Cuba off the list, he must forward that to Congress, where, by law, the removal cannot take effect for 45 days. That casts doubt on whether the U.S. and Cuba will be able to restore diplomatic ties before the Summit of the Americas in April, as U.S. officials had hoped.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, who heads the U.S. delegation, has said Washington wants to move quickly to restore diplomatic ties. The Cuban delegation is being led by Josefina Vidal, the head of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry for North American Affairs.

Both sides are experiencing domestic pressure about the policy change, which moves the nations closer toward normalizing relations. In the U.S., critics have raised questions about human rights issues in the Communist nation. Hardliners in Cuba have expressed skepticism about restoring ties with the United States, which some believe is bent on regime change.

‘They want to make sure that if the U.S. diplomats in Cuba have access – free access – they’re not going to be plotting with opposition figures and dissidents who are intent on changing the regime,” said analyst Michael Shifter with the Inter-American dialogue in Washington D.C.

Shifter said the current negotiations to establish embassies will be a test of how likely the long-estranged countries are to continue on a path toward normalization.

“There’s a lot of mistrust on both sides. And there is angst, anxiety. And it’s gotta be one step at a time,” Shifter said.

The first meeting between the U.S. and Cuban delegations took place in Havana in January.

In December, President Barack Obama announced an end to the U.S. isolation of Cuba in favor of a policy to engage and empower the Cuban people. Since then, the U.S. has significantly eased sanctions on Cuba, opening the island to expanded U.S. travel and trade, and some financial restrictions were loosened.

The U.S. imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960 and closed its embassy one year later after communist leader Fidel Castro overthrew the U.S.-backed government.

 

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Degraded IS Still ‘Formidable and Brutal’

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by Jeff Seldin

U.S. intelligence and military officials say the Islamic State is losing ground in Iraq, and perhaps more.

“Its momentum has been checked and the group has suffered some notable setbacks during the last couple of months,” a U.S. official told VOA on condition of anonymity. “Mounting a major comeback to retake lost territory would be challenging under current conditions.”

Those conditions include a steady bombardment of Islamic State targets from almost daily airstrikes from the United States and other anti-IS coalition members, as well as reinvigorated Iraqi security forces and a continued push by Kurdish fighters.

And despite what the official described as “pockets of strength” in Fallujah, Ramadi and parts of other provinces, more trouble could be looming for IS, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“There appears to be some dissatisfaction in the ranks now, and that could grow if battlefield strains increase,” the official said.

​​The assessment matches with testimony given Thursday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing by National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who said one effect from the airstrikes was “substantial attrition,” in that there’s evidence the Islamic State has been forced to turn to conscripts to fill its ranks.

“We are seeing anecdotal evidence of resentment and even resistance in those areas that are controlled by ISIL because of their brutal approach to enforcing Sharia,” said Clapper.

Clapper said the Islamic State was also running into trouble with finances, seeing profits decline from its illicit oil trade while donations “are tapering off’ because of the group’s brutality.

Still, Clapper warned the Islamic State remains a “formidable and brutal threat” looking to spread its ideology and “create both the substance and maybe more importantly the image of this global-scale caliphate.”

At the same hearing, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart remained cautious.

“I think there will be a tipping point,” Stewart said. “We just don’t know where that tipping point will be.”

U.S. military officials have said coalition airstrikes have hurt the Islamic State’s capabilities, helping the Iraqis gain back 700 to 800 square kilometers of terrain; but, those same officials have consistently described the effort to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State as one that will take years. And even while suffering setbacks, the size of the Islamic State force is daunting.

U.S. intelligence officials believe the group has 20,000 to 32,000 fighters at its disposal, with some analysts saying the true number could be 50,000 or more.
Christopher Harmer at the Institute of the Study of War is among those urging caution.

“We shouldn’t confuse tactical success with the strategic changing of the tide. ISIS still has the strategic initiative,” the former Navy commander, helicopter pilot and Marine Corps infantryman said. “We’ve done nothing to reduce their heartland territory in Syria.”

He also warned that the Islamic State’s tactical setbacks have come as it attempts to operate like a conventional military force trying to secure a nation-state, which has not been the group’s strength.

“If that model fails, and I’m sure eventually it will, they’ll simply revert to a terrorist organization, at which point they’ll be the biggest, best financed, best organized, most capable terrorist organization in the world,” Harmer said.

For now, the U.S. focus is on Iraq and prepping Iraqi forces for a campaign to retake Mosul, perhaps as soon as April.

Still, there are problems.

It could be six to nine months before Iraqi forces are ready to launch an offensive on their own.

And while DIA Director Stewart acknowledged putting U.S. troops on the ground could be helpful, he said there could be a huge risk as well.

“The best propaganda victory that we could give ISIL is to make this a fight between the West and Islam,” he said.

There are other factors to consider, too, including the role of Iran, which has been actively working to spread its influence in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. intelligence officials say Iran has played a crucial role in assisting Shia militias, although they note that support comes “at a steep price,” with the militias sometimes resorting to scorched-earth tactics while working to transform themselves into capable paramilitary squads.

And then there is still the problem of the Islamic State in Syria.

“We have a lot of gaps, intelligence gaps in Syria,” National Intelligence Director Clapper told lawmakers Thursday, “principally because we’re not there.’

 

Posted in Middle East, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on Degraded IS Still ‘Formidable and Brutal’

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