Archive | November 1st, 2016

‘Saudi Sanctions against Hezbollah Have Failed to Weaken the Party’

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Deputy chief of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qawook
Naharnet 

Deputy chief of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qawuq stressed on Saturday that the Saudi sanctions against the party have failed to weaken it, the state-run National News Agency reported on Saturday.

“The political developments and field achievements confirm the failure of the Saudi sanctions against Hezbollah, especially since Saudi Arabia wanted to weaken Hezbollah in Lebanon which has only grown stronger at the political, popular and military levels inside Lebanon and regionally,” said Qawuq.

“By renewing sanctions and terrorism ranking against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is but reflecting an outrage, despair and disappointment in the face of the Resistance, because the Saudi penalties have changed nothing of Hezbollah’s stances in Syria,” his eminence went on to say.

“Regardless of the pressures, we will not leave our national duty to protect our people and our nation, and we will complete the battle against takfiri terrorism, which has no choice but to be defeated in Syria, and we have no choice but to win.” added Qawuq.

He concluded: “The next phase that Lebanon is approaching will emphasize the strength of the strategic alliance between Hezbollah and Amal movement. Those who were betting on discord and division between the two were disappointed.

“If it was not for the Army, People and Resistance equation which Lebanon renews adherence to at this stage, and without the sacrifices of the Lebanese army and the resistance that has protected Lebanon from being sacked by the ISIL and al-Nusra Front, the Lebanese would not have had the chance to elect a president.”

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Nazi settlements legal, Zionist Trump aide says, playing anti-Iran video message on Mount Zion

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GOP nominee Zionist puppet Donald Trump does not believe that the Jewish Nazi illegal settlements built by the Nazi regime of ‘Israel’ in Palestine are illegal, his advisor says.

Jewish Zionist David Friedman, who was campaigning for the New York billionaire at a restaurant on Mount Zion (Jabel Sahyoun) in East Jerusalem al-Quds, made the comments to AFP after the Wednesday rally.

“I don’t think he believes that the settlements are illegal,” Friedman said.

He also said the former reality TV star is “tremendously skeptical” about the so-called two-state solution, promoted by the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama during his eight years in office, but to no avail.

The Obama administration has already voiced criticism over Tel Aviv’s expansionist policies, considered illegal by the international community.

The presence and continued expansion of Nazi Jewish illegal settlements in the illegally occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish ‘peace’ in the Middle East.

Over half a million Nazi Jewish live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Nazi occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank.

All Nazi Jewish settlements are illegal under the international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Guaranteeing enmity with Tehran

Some 150 people, including extremist racist and evangelical Christians, took part in the Trump rally in on Wednesday.

Zionist Friedman echoed previous remarks by Trump, saying the real estate mogul would recognize East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of ‘Israel’ if he wins the White House in the US 2016 presidential election.

A short video message by Trump was also played at the event, in which he said, “Together we will stand up to the enemies like Iran, bent on destroying Israel and her people. Together we will make America and Israel safe again.”

According to leaked emails from March 2015 by former US secretary of state Colin Powell, the regime has pointed 200 nuclear weapons at the Iranian capital.

 

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Assad Interview To Swiss SRF 1 TV ‘VIDEO’

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Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Image result for ASSAD TALKING TO THE MEDIA CARTOON

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UN Votes To Outlaw Nuclear Weapons In 2017

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The United Nations adopted a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017  on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. This historic decision heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.

At a meeting of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with disarmament and international security matters, 123 nations voted in favour of the resolution, with 38 against and 16 abstaining.

The resolution will set up a UN conference beginning in March next year, open to all member states, to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The negotiations will continue in June and July.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a civil society coalition active in 100 countries, hailed the adoption of the resolution as a major step forward, marking a fundamental shift in the way that the world tackles this paramount threat.

“For seven decades, the UN has warned of the dangers of nuclear weapons, and people globally have campaigned for their abolition. Today the majority of states finally resolved to outlaw these weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN.

Despite arm-twisting by a number of nuclear-armed states, the resolution was adopted in a landslide. A total of 57 nations were co-sponsors, with Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa taking the lead in drafting the resolution.

The UN vote came just hours after the European Parliament adopted its own resolution on this subject – 415 in favour and 124 against, with 74 abstentions – inviting European Union member states to “participate constructively” in next year’s negotiations.

Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet outlawed in a comprehensive and universal manner, despite their well-documented catastrophic humanitarian and environmental impacts.

“A treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons would strengthen the global norm against the use and possession of these weapons, closing major loopholes in the existing international legal regime and spurring long-overdue action on disarmament,” said Fihn.

“Today’s vote demonstrates very clearly that a majority of the world’s nations consider the prohibition of nuclear weapons to be necessary, feasible and urgent. They view it as the most viable option for achieving real progress on disarmament,” she said.

Biological weapons, chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions are all explicitly prohibited under international law. But only partial prohibitions currently exist for nuclear weapons.

Nuclear disarmament has been high on the UN agenda since the organization’s formation in 1945. Efforts to advance this goal have stalled in recent years, with nuclear-armed nations investing heavily in the modernization of their nuclear forces.

Twenty years have passed since a multilateral nuclear disarmament instrument was last negotiated: the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which has yet to enter into legal force due to the opposition of a handful of nations.

Today’s resolution, known as L.41, acts upon the key recommendation of a UN working group on nuclear disarmament that met in Geneva this year to assess the merits of various proposals for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world.

It also follows three major intergovernmental conferences examining the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, held in Norway, Mexico and Austria in 2013 and 2014. These gatherings helped reframe the nuclear weapons debate to focus on the harm that such weapons inflict on people.

The conferences also enabled non-nuclear-armed nations to play a more assertive role in the disarmament arena. By the third and final conference, which took place in Vienna in December 2014, most governments had signalled their desire to outlaw nuclear weapons.

Following the Vienna conference, ICAN was instrumental in garnering support for a 127-nation diplomatic pledge, known as the humanitarian pledge, committing governments to cooperate in efforts “to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons”.

Throughout this process, victims and survivors of nuclear weapon detonations, including nuclear testing, have contributed actively. Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing and an ICAN supporter, has been a leading proponent of a ban.

“This is a truly historic moment for the entire world,” she said following today’s vote. “For those of us who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is a very joyous occasion. We have been waiting so long for this day to come.”

“Nuclear weapons are absolutely abhorrent. All nations should participate in the negotiations next year to outlaw them. I hope to be there myself to remind delegates of the unspeakable suffering that nuclear weapons cause. It is all of our responsibility to make sure that such suffering never happens again.”

There are still more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, mostly in the arsenals of just two nations: the United States and Russia. Seven other nations possess nuclear weapons: Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Most of the nine nuclear-armed nations voted against the UN resolution. Many of their allies, including those in Europe that host nuclear weapons on their territory as part of a NATO arrangement, also failed to support the resolution.

But the nations of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, and are likely to be key players at the negotiating conference in New York next year.

On Monday, 15 Nobel Peace Prize winners urged nations to support the negotiations and to bring them “to a timely and successful conclusion so that we can proceed rapidly toward the final elimination of this existential threat to humanity”.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has also appealed to governments to support this process, stating on 12 October that the international community has a “unique opportunity” to achieve a ban on the “most destructive weapon ever invented”.

“This treaty won’t eliminate nuclear weapons overnight,” concluded Fihn. “But it will establish a powerful new international legal standard, stigmatizing nuclear weapons and compelling nations to take urgent action on disarmament.”

In particular, the treaty will place great pressure on nations that claim protection from an ally’s nuclear weapons to end this practice, which in turn will create pressure for disarmament action by the nuclear-armed nations.

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The De Facto US-Al Qaeda Alliance

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The De Facto US-Al Qaeda Alliance. The Unspoken Reality of the Syrian War
Al-Qaeda militants kill 24 civilians near Ras al-Ain

A curious aspect of the Syrian conflict – a rebellion sponsored largely by the United States and its Gulf state allies – is the disappearance in much of the American mainstream news media of references to the prominent role played by Al Qaeda in seeking to overthrow the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

There’s much said in the U.S. press about ISIS, the former “Al Qaeda in Iraq” which splintered off several years ago, but Al Qaeda’s central role in commanding Syria’s “moderate” rebels in Aleppo and elsewhere is the almost unspoken reality of the Syrian war. Even in the U.S. presidential debates, the arguing between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has been almost exclusively about ISIS, not Al Qaeda.

The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burning on 9/11. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

Though Al Qaeda got the ball rolling on America’s revenge wars in the Middle East 15 years ago by killing several thousand Americans and others in the 9/11 attacks, the terrorist group has faded into the background of U.S. attention, most likely because it messes up the preferred “good guy/bad guy” narrative regarding the Syrian war.

For instance, the conflict in Aleppo between Syrian government forces and rebels operating primarily under Al Qaeda’s command is treated in the Western media as simply a case of the barbaric Assad and his evil Russian ally Vladimir Putin mercilessly bombing what is portrayed as the east Aleppo equivalent of Disney World, a place where innocent children and their families peacefully congregate until they are targeted for death by the Assad-Putin war-crime family.

The photos sent out to the world by skillful rebel propagandists are almost always of wounded children being cared for by the “White Helmet” rebel civil defense corps, which has come under growing criticism for serving as a public-relations arm of Al Qaeda and other insurgents. (There also are allegations that some of the most notable images have been staged, like a fake war scene from the 1997 dark comedy, “Wag the Dog.”)

Rare Glimpse of Truth

Yet, occasionally, the reality of Al Qaeda’s importance in the rebellion breaks through, even in the mainstream U.S. media, although usually downplayed and deep inside the news pages, such as the A9 article in Saturday’s New York Times by Hwaida Saad and Anne Barnard describing a rebel offensive in Aleppo. It acknowledges:

A fake war scene in the dark 1997 comedy “Wag the Dog,” which showed a girl and her cat fleeing a bombardment in Albania.

“The new offensive was a strong sign that rebel groups vetted by the United States were continuing their tactical alliances with groups linked to Al Qaeda, rather than distancing themselves as Russia has demanded and the Americans have urged. … The rebels argue that they cannot afford to shun any potential allies while they are under fire, including well-armed and motivated jihadists, without more robust aid from their international backers.” (You might note how the article subtly blames the rebel dependence on Al Qaeda on the lack of “robust aid” from the Obama administration and other outside countries – even though such arms shipments violate international law.)

What the article also makes clear in a hazy kind of way is that Al Qaeda’s affiliate, the recently renamed Nusra Front, and its jihadist allies, such as Ahrar al-Sham, are waging the brunt of the fighting while the CIA-vetted “moderates” are serving in mostly support roles. The Times reported:

“The insurgents have a diverse range of objectives and backers, but they issued statements of unity on Friday. Those taking part in the offensive include the Levant Conquest Front, a militant group formerly known as the Nusra Front that grew out of Al Qaeda; another hard-line Islamist faction, Ahrar al-Sham; and other rebel factions fighting Mr. Assad that have been vetted by the United States and its allies.”

The article cites Charles Lister, a senior fellow and Syria specialist at the Middle East Institute in Washington, and other analysts noting that “the vast majority of the American-vetted rebel factions in Aleppo were fighting inside the city itself and conducting significant bombardments against Syrian government troops in support of the Qaeda-affiliated fighters carrying out the brunt of front-line fighting.”

Lister noted that 11 of the 20 or so rebel groups conducting the Aleppo “offensive have been vetted by the C.I.A. and have received arms from the agency, including anti-tank missiles. …

“In addition to arms provided by the United States, much of the rebels’ weaponry comes from regional states, like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Mr. Lister said, including truck-borne multiple-rocket launcher systems and Czech-made Grad rockets with extended ranges.”

The U.S./Al Qaeda Alliance

In other words, the U.S. government and its allies have smuggled sophisticated weapons into Syria to arm rebels who are operating in support of Al Qaeda’s new military offensive against Syrian government forces in Aleppo. By any logical analysis, that makes the United States an ally of Al Qaeda.

A heart-rending propaganda image designed to justify a major U.S. military operation inside Syria against the Syrian military.

The Times article also includes a quote from Genevieve Casagrande, a Syria research analyst from the Institute for the Study of War, a neoconservative “think tank” that has supported more aggressive U.S. military involvement in Syria and the Middle East.

“The unfortunate truth, however, is that these U.S.-backed groups remain somewhat dependent upon the Al Qaeda linked groups for organization and firepower in these operations,” Casagrande said.

The other unfortunate truth is that the U.S.-supplied rebels have served, either directly or indirectly, as conduits to funnel U.S. military equipment and ordnance to Al Qaeda.

One might think that the editors of The New York Times – if they were operating with old-fashioned news judgment rather than with propagandistic blinders on – would have recast the article to highlight the tacit U.S. alliance with Al Qaeda and put that at the top of the front page.

Still, the admissions are significant, confirming what we have reported at Consortiumnews.com for many months, including Gareth Porter’s article last February saying: “Information from a wide range of sources, including some of those the United States has been explicitly supporting, makes it clear that every armed anti-Assad organization unit in those provinces [of Idlib and Aleppo] is engaged in a military structure controlled by [Al Qaeda’s] Nusra militants. All of these rebel groups fight alongside the Nusra Front and coordinate their military activities with it. …

“At least since 2014 the Obama administration has armed a number of Syrian rebel groups even though it knew the groups were coordinating closely with the Nusra Front, which was simultaneously getting arms from Turkey and Qatar.”

Double Standards

The Times article on page A9 also deviated from the normal propaganda themes by allowing a statement by Syrian officials and the Russians regarding their suspension of airstrikes over the past week to permit the evacuation of civilians from east Aleppo and the rebels’ refusal to let people leave, even to the point of firing on the humanitarian corridors:

An Israeli strike caused a huge explosion in a residential area in Gaza during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008-2009. (Photo credit: Al Jazeera)

“The [Syrian] government and its [Russian] allies accused the rebels of forcing Aleppo residents to stay, and of using them as human shields.”

The “human shields” argument is one that is common when the United States or its allies are pummeling some city controlled by “enemy” forces whether Israel’s bombardment of Gaza or the U.S. Marines’ leveling of Fallujah in Iraq or the current campaign against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul. In those cases, the horrific civilian bloodshed, including the killing of children by U.S. or allied forces, is blamed on Hamas or Sunni insurgents or ISIS but never on the people dropping the bombs.

An entirely opposite narrative is applied when U.S. adversaries, such as Syria or Russia, are trying to drive terrorists and insurgents out of an urban area. Then, there is usually no reference to “human shields” and all the carnage is blamed on “war crimes” by the U.S. adversaries. That propaganda imperative helps explain why Al Qaeda and its jihadist comrades have been largely whited out of the conflict in Aleppo.

Over the past few years, U.S. regional allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, also have shifted their public attitudes toward Al Qaeda, seeing it as a blunt instrument to smash the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Iran through Syria to Lebanon. For instance, in September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored Syria’s Sunni extremists over President Assad.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were with Al Qaeda.

And, in June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Warming to Al Qaeda

As Israeli officials shifted toward viewing Al Qaeda and even ISIS as the lesser evils and built a behind-the-scenes alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Sunni states, American neoconservatives also began softening their tone regarding the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Across the U.S. foreign policy establishment, pressure built for “regime change” in Damascus even if that risked handing Syria to Sunni jihadists. That strategy hit a road bump in 2014 when ISIS began chopping off the heads of Western hostages in Syria and capturing swathes of territory in Iraq, including Mosul.

That bloody development forced President Barack Obama to begin targeting ISIS militants in both Iraq and Syria, but the neocon-dominated Washington establishment still favored the Israeli-Saudi objective of “regime change” in Syria regardless of how that might help Al Qaeda.

Thus, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its jihadist ally, Ahrar al-Sham, faded into the background under the fiction that the anti-Assad forces were primarily noble “moderates” trying to save the children from the bloodthirsty fiends, Assad and Putin.

Grudgingly, The New York Times, deep inside Saturday’s newspaper, acknowledged at least part of the troubling reality, that the U.S. government has, in effect, allied itself with Al Qaeda terrorists.

[For more background on this issue, see Consortiumnews.com’s New Group Think for War with Syria/Russia.”]

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Is a War in the Making — A Third World War?

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 Instigated by a Declining Imperial Power
 
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Is a war in the making — a third world war?

If there is much talk about such a possibility, it is mainly because of the tensions between the United States and Russia. Tensions between the two most powerful nuclear states in the world have never been this high since the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

There are at least two flash points, one more dangerous than the other. In Eastern Ukraine, Russian backed rebels will not surrender to the US supported regime in Kiev because they see US control over Ukraine as part of a much larger agenda to expand NATO power to the very borders of Russia. This has been happening for some years now.

But it is the Washington-Moscow confrontation in Allepo, Syria which portends to a huge conflagration. The US is protective of major militant groups such as Al-Nusra which has besieged Eastern Allepo  and is seeking to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government. Washington has also set its sight on ‘regime change’ in Damascus ever since the latter’s determined resistance to Israeli occupation of the strategic Golan Heights in Syria from 1967 onwards. The drive for regime change intensified with the US-Israeli quest for a “new Middle East” following the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. It became more pronounced in 2009 when Bashar al-Assad rejected a proposal to allow a gas pipe-line from Qatar to Europe to pass through his country, a pipe-line which would have reduced Europe’s dependence upon Russia for gas. Russia of course has been a long-standing ally of Syria. Together with Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, it is helping the Syrian government to break the siege of Eastern Allepo and to defeat militants in other parts of Syria.

It is obvious that in both instances, in Ukraine and Syria, the US has not been able to achieve what it wants. The US has also been stymied in Southeast Asia where its attempt to re-assert its power through its 2010 ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy has suffered a serious setback as a result of the decision of the new president  of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to pursue an independent foreign policy that no longer adheres blindly to US interests. At the same time, China continues to expand and enhance its economic strength in Asia and the world through its One Belt One Road (OBOR) projects and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and via its leadership of BRICS. China’s regional and global economic role is leading to its pronounced presence in security and military matters. As a result of all this, the US’s imperial power has clearly diminished. It is a hegemon in decline.

Source of image: lhvnews.com

It is because it is not prepared to accept its decline that some US generals are threatening to demonstrate US’s military might. If a hegemon is a danger to humankind when it is at its pinnacle, it becomes an even greater threat to peace when its power is diminishing. Like a wounded tiger, it becomes even more furious and ferocious. A new US president may be inclined to give vent to this frustration through an arrogant display of military power.

How can we check such wanton arrogance?  There will be elements in the elite stratum of US society itself who would be opposed to the US going to war. We saw a bit of this in 2013 when those who were itching to launch military strikes against Syria based upon dubious “evidence” of the government’s use of chemical weapons were thwarted by others with a saner view of the consequences of war. It is also important to observe that none of the US’s major allies in Europe wants a war. Burdened by severe challenges related to the economy and migration, the governments know that their citizens will reject any move towards war either on the borders of Russia or in Syria and West Asia.

This also suggests that a self-absorbed European citizenry may not have the enthusiasm to mobilise against an imminent war. Let us not forget that it was in European cities from London to Berlin that the biggest demonstrations against the war in Iraq took place in 2003. Anti-war protests will have to be initiated elsewhere this time.

Governments in Moscow and Beijing, in Tehran and Jakarta, in Pretoria and La Paz, should come out openly against war. They should encourage other governments in the Global South and the Global North to denounce any move towards a war that will engulf the whole of humanity. Citizens all over the world should condemn war through a variety of strategies ranging from signature campaigns and letters to the media to public rallies and street demonstrations.

In this campaign against an imminent war, the media, both conventional and alternative, will have a huge role to play. It is unfortunate that well-known media outlets in the West have supported war in the past. It is time that they atone for their sins!

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime and ERDOGAN Support the Terrorists

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Saudi Arabia and Turkey Support the Terrorists: Jaish Al-Fatah Leader Admits Receiving Financial, Military Aid from Saudi Arabia
isis

According to the Syrian dissidents’ news website, Enab, Muhaysini has released a video recently in which he appreciated Riyadh and other Arab states for equipping his comrades with missiles.

The Saudi preacher said that the missiles that they have sent would be used to break the Syrian army and its allies’ siege of Aleppo.

He also thanked Turkey for supporting the terrorists and treating the wounded militants in its hospitals.

Jaish al-Fatah is a conglomerate of terrorist groups with Al-Nusra (Fatah Al-Sham) Front comprising its main body.

In relevant remarks in June, a source said that Saudi Arabia has sent new cargoes of weapons and financial aid to the terrorists in Aleppo in Northern Syria to strengthen them against the Syrian army and its allies’ fresh attacks.

“The Saudi regime has recently sent small arms and new equipment, including 5 drones, to the terrorists in Syria,”  the source said.

To this end, Riyadh has sent one of its ranking officers to the regions controlled by terrorists in Northern Aleppo to supply them with money and arms to intensify attacks and open new fronts against the Syrian army and popular forces, the source added.

Also, a prominent Syrian military analyst said earlier this month that the terrorists in Aleppo take orders from outside and don’t dare to leave the city in anticipation of punishment by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“Violation of the ceasefire by the terrorists and their opposition to the evacuation of Aleppo is of no surprise as they are not the ones in charge of the decision-making for remaining or leaving the city, rather they take orders from the regional and international sides for whom they are working,” Turki Hassan told FNA last Saturday.

Noting that the main cause of the terrorists’ stubborn stay in Aleppo is that leaders of Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham) are afraid of punishment by their Qatari, Saudi and Turkish masters, he said, “If they move in defiance of their Qatari, Saudi and Turkish lords, they might be killed and their properties be seized.”

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Freedom of the Press in Turkey

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Police Arrest Editor-in-Chief of Opposition Newspaper
Murat Sabuncu cumhuriyet

According to the publication, along with Sabuncu, the police have detained Guray Oz, a Cumhuriyet columnist, following raids in their houses.

There were no immediate reports about the reasons of their detentions.

On July 15, a military coup attempt took place in Turkey. It was suppressed the following day. Over 240 people were killed during the coup attempt and an estimated 2,000 were wounded. Ankara has accused dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers of playing a key role in the coup.

According to the Turkish Justice Ministry, a total of 32,000 military officers, high-ranking civil servants, judges and teachers suspected of being Gulen supporters have been arrested in Turkey after the failed coup attempt.

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The Russians are Coming

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War Propaganda Goes into High Gear. Renewed NATO Military Deployments on Russia’s Doorstep…
war-nato

The Headlines on Britain’s tabloids point to US-NATO war preparations in response to alleged Russian aggression. It is largely a display of war propaganda including an array of images and maps to intimidate Western public opinion.   

The Russians are Coming…:

“Nato squares up to Putin: As Russia beefs up its military might on Europe’s border, West responds with biggest show of force since the Cold War” according to the Daily Mail.

The reports are replete with insinuations of Russia’s resolve to initiate World War III and destroy the West. In response to Russia’s alleged bellicosity, Britain is slated to deploy more troops and tanks to Estonia, RAF planes are dispatched to Romania.

It’s a “show of force” allegedly to prevent Moscow from attacking Eastern Europe and the Baltic States:  ”The moves are designed to stop Moscow taking over or undermining its former Eastern European satellites as it has with Crimea and Ukraine.” (Daily Mail, October 26, 2016)

The US-NATO deployments are nothing new. They are routine and have been ongoing in the course of the last few years, to which Russia has responded. The largest deployments were under Operation Anaconda launched in June 2016, which historians have compared with Operation Barbarossa launched by the Third Reich against the Soviet Union in 1941.

France, Denmark, Italy and other allies are expected to join the four battle groups led by the United States, Germany, Britain and Canada to go to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, with forces ranging from armoured infantry to drones

Source: Daily Mail, October 26,2016

Russian War Ships to the Eastern Mediterranean

NATO’s “show of force” is largely in response to Moscow’s decision to dispatch warships to Russia’s Tartus naval base on Syria’s Eastern Mediterranean coastline. The propaganda ploy led by Britain’s tabloids points to “Russian aggression in Syria” following the dispatch of the Kuznetsov Aircraft carrier from the Baltic sea to Syria. “President Putin sent a fleet of eight Russian warships through the English Channel to assist the assault on the besieged Syrian city.” says the Daily Mail.

What the report fails to mention is that parts of Aleppo are in the hands of Al Qaeda terrorists who are supported and financed by US-NATO and its Middle East allies.

Russia’s naval deployment is largely motivated by Washington’s stated intent to establish a “No Fly Zone” over Syria which could lead to direct military confrontation between US-NATO and Syria-Russia.

Realities are turned upside down. While Europe is portrayed as defending itself against an imminent Russia attack, what is really at stake is the movement of Russian war ships from the Baltic sea to the Mediterranean in support of Syria’s counter-terrorism campaign to liberate Aleppo.

According to the report, Spain had initially agreed to refuel two Russian warships at its port of Ceuta en route to the Eastern Mediterranean. That permission was repealed following pressures “from its NATO allies”.  ”Spain withdrew permission for the ships to refuel because Moscow was unable to pledge the vessels would not be used to bomb Syria.” According to Britain’s Secretary of State for Defense Sir Michael Fallon:

“‘Our concern is that any NATO member [Spain] should consider assisting a Russian carrier group that is heading for Syria and might end up bombing Syrian civilians. … That clearly wouldn’t be right and runs counter to the solidarity of Nato. (Daily Mail, October 26, 2016).

Lest we forget, the Al Qaeda terrorists responsible for countless atrocities in Syria (and who presently occupy parts of the city of Aleppo) were from the very outset (March 2011) supported, trained and equipped by NATO, according to Israeli intelligence sources (Debka, August 14, 2011):

NATO headquarters in Brussels and the Turkish high command are meanwhile drawing up plans for their first military step in Syria, which is to arm the rebels with weapons for combating the tanks and helicopters spearheading the Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent. … NATO strategists are thinking more in terms of pouring large quantities of anti-tank and anti-air rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns into the protest centers for beating back the government armored forces. (DEBKAfileNATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011)

This initiative, which was also supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, involved a process of organized recruitment of thousands of jihadist “freedom fighters”, reminiscent of  the enlistment of  Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war:

Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report [August 2011], is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (Ibid, emphasis added)

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Dačić: If We Introduce Sanctions against Russia, We Lose Kosovo

NOVANEWS
Adelina Marini

The week on the Balkans begins with several very interesting interviews – with the Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić, with Bosnia and Herzegovina President Bakir Izetbegović, and the Serbian university professor Žarko Korać – in addition to the development of the espionage drama in Serbia, now progressing into a terrorist attack threat phase. Will Erdoğan come for the second time this year to Croatia and what is pernarism are the rest of the subjects in today’s review of regional press.

Chapters 35 and 31 are interconnected for Serbia

The most important interview from an EU perspective today is with Ivica Dačić for the Serbian daily newspaper Vecernje novosti. In it, he clarifies several very important elements, which were central subjects of last week’s press in the region – the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština – and even calls for a referendum, which is against the position of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. According to Mr Dačić, if Serbia should turn its back to Russia and introduces sanctions against it, an opportunity will be opened for Kosovo to become a full member of the United Nations. “If we introduce sanctions against Russia, soon we will have an independent and fully internationally recognised Kosovo. We would not harm Russia in any way, but only Serbia. This we do not agree with. At the end of the day, let the people decide in a referendum what do they want”, said the former spokesperson to Slobodan Milošević in his interview for Vecernje.

”Things are quite simple”, he explains. “At the moment, Kosovo has a majority in the UN General Assembly and could quite easily push through their goal. The UN Security Council is the last line of defence before Kosovo receives a seat on the East River (where the UN building is located in New York), but here come Russia and China. They have the right to veto against this and are constantly keeping the Kosovo question open. Leaving emotions aside, we cannot betray these states, because this way we would be harming ourselves. Should we lose these friends, we will find no others to protect our interests”, believes the Serbian foreign minister. He continues to be convinced it is better not to open soon Chapter 31 of the negotiation process, which covers foreign affairs, for this way the making of a decision on levying sanctions on Russia can be postponed.

A threat to Aleksandar Vučić

Subject number one in Serbian media is the gun arsenal discovered over the weekend in close proximity to the family home of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. This is one more episode of the geopolitical thriller, which has been shaking Serbia and the region over the last few weeks. Serbian state TV channel RTS quotes Minister of Internal Affairs Nebojša Stefanović, according to whom part of the discovered arsenal came from Croatia and the rest from Bosnia and Herzegovina. A DNA analysis is yet to be performed. Prime Minister Vučić stated unequivocally that if no DNA traces were found, “then we will know who we are dealing with”. The cover page of Blic says that the DNA analysis will solve the mystery. Vecernje novosti also shouts from its headline that if no DNA is found, it means that the target of these weapons is the prime minister.

Croatian Jutarnji list reports on the occasion of the discovered arsenal that Serbia is currently situated in a very politically sensitive situation, for the election campaign for the presidential elections has already began, in which President Tomislav Nikolić is playing the Russian card and wants Vučić’s support. Last week, Serbia was in the middle of the scandal, due to its nationals being apprehended in Montenegro on charges that they have planned attacks in the occasion of a victory for the party of Milo Đukanović, reminds Jutarnji.

The line of spy affairs in Serbia and especially in the context of allegations of a thwarted attempt at a terrorist attack in Montenegro are the causes for the other very interesting interview of today. The former politician and boss in the security agencies, currently professor in the Belgrade University, Dr Žarko Korać tells the Montenegro Pobjeda that the “Montenegro” affair shows how Russian agencies have ruthlessly abused Serbia. “The number of people in Serbia, who have an interest in Montenegro changing its domestic and foreign policy, has grown. And they received serious support from the Russian Federation which, because of relations with the West, because of the annexation of Crimea, sees the case ‘Montenegro’ as a litmus test for its influence in the region and especially in Serbia and Republika Srpska”, says Korać.

“The thing that brings serious concern is that Serbia served as a manoeuvring ground for aggressive, illegal, and too dangerous actions against the legitimate leadership of Montenegro and are a textbook example of interference in the domestic affairs of a neighbouring state. It is not just pro-Russian groups and individuals, but ever more evidently it was Russian agencies, which have ruthlessly abused Serbia, in order to, according to currently available data, help the organisation of an armed attack after the end of elections in Montenegro”, continues the specialist, whose interview is on the cover page of Pobjeda. The professor also says that Russia’s influence in the region is growing and makes the connection with the Ukraine conflict:

“First of all, they have invested a lot of money in media propaganda and it is already bearing fruit. It is now clear that the Serbian volunteers in Donbas were an easy prey for the Russian agencies and several of them turned into their fifth column in Serbia. There are political and other forces, which are capable of anything, including murder, in order to hinder our country on its way towards EU integration. Our European integration has practically brought to light its deadly enemies, who have so far been hiding”, is the opinion of Doctor Žarko Korać.

There will be no Bosnia and Herzegovina federation

In an interview for the Bosnian Klix, the President of the BiH Presidency Bakir Izetbegović replies to Croatia’s requests for constitutional changes, which are to secure equal rights for the Croats in the country. A subject, which got raised once again on the occasion of the first visit of the new Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to BiH at the end of last week. He states in the interview that the only constitutional change that there is agreement on is the implementation of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the Sejdic–Finci case, which had been blocking BiH’s European road for years. “The introduction of the question of wider constitutional reforms will redirect the focus from essential priority issues”, believes Izetbegović.

He quotes the BiH Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak from his participation in the Globsec summit in Bratislava over the weekend, where he said that BiH does not need a third entity (of Croats), nor a Dayton 2, but strong economic growth and efficient processing of the cases of corruption at the high levels of power. “I agree with Minister Crnadak that this is the only way to bring back optimism and give perspective to the citizens of BiH”, says Mr Izetbegović for Klix. He claims that Croatian representatives do not have the true analysis and information and are “blindly” following the situation in BiH and supporting what the leadership of HNS requires of them. “Those are unclear, watered down positions about some sort of federalisations, about the right of Croats to widen their vital national interest and block any issue that Parliament is dealing with on no motives whatsoever. I do not believe that serious politicians of European dimension like Andrej Plenković would truly stand behind those requests, which are against the BiH Constitution, the Dayton peace agreement, European, and democratic standards in general”, is the opinion of the Bosnian president.

Erdoğan in Croatia for the second time this year?

Vecernji list reveals it is possible that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit Croatia for the second time this year on the occasion of the opening ceremony for the building of a mosque and an Islamic cultural centre in the Croatian town of Sisak. The information about the upcoming visit of Mr Erdoğan has been confirmed exclusively for Vecernji list by the president’s adviser for Balkan countries Sabri Demir. Demir claims that an invitation has been received, coming from the office of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on the occasion of the official ceremony of the centre on November 12. The invitation was gladly accepted by Erdoğan, who believes that Croatia is a great friend of Turkey. The office of President Grabar-Kitarović, however, disproved the information, stating that no such invitation was ever sent. Vecernji reminds, however, that Erdoğan’s visit to Croatia in May was kept secret to the very last moment, despite Vecernji announcing some exclusive and correct information 20 days prior.

The “Pernarism” phenomenon

By the same token this could be “LePen-ism”, “Farage-ism”, or “Trump-anism” – the multiple faces of post-factual populism. The left-wing Rijeka daily newspaper Novi list looks for an answer to the question of the source of the lightning-fast growth of popularity of the anti-EU and anti-NATO party Live Wall and its leader Ivan Pernar. Answer to this question is provided to the newspaper by the political analyst Žarko Puhovski, according to whom the main culprit for the appearance of Live Wall is the former leader of the green ORaH party Mirela Holy, who briefly led her party to the position of third political power in Croatia, but later disappeared from the political scene.

“The rise of Live Wall happened first of all because of the oversight of the greens and most of all of Mirela Holy. This happened when she decided not to run for the presidential elections. Had she gone out to these elections, Live wall would never have been born”, thinks the analyst. In his opinion, Ivan Pernar lives on media headlines, because people most of the time read just the headlines and not the entire texts. “He is a man of headlines”. It is quite possible that Ivan Pernar will disappear when Croats get tired of his scandals, thinks the analyst.

Translated by Stanimir Stoev

Posted in Russia, SerbiaComments Off on Dačić: If We Introduce Sanctions against Russia, We Lose Kosovo

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