Archive | November 7th, 2016

Justifying the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Slaughter in Yemen

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By Gareth Porter 

The Obama administration has carried out a deliberately deceptive campaign accusing Iran of covertly sending arms to the Houthis by sea, a claim that Washington cites to help justify the Saudi massive air attack against the Houthis that began last year.

By repeating the accusation over and over, the administration has been largely successful in turning a dubious allegation into accepted fact, even though it is contradicted by evidence that is well-documented on the public record.

Secretary of State John Kerry introduced the new variant of the Obama administration’s familiar theme about Iran’s “nefarious activities” in the region two weeks after Saudi Arabia began its bombing in Yemen on March 26, 2015. Kerry told the PBS NewsHour, “There are obviously supplies that have been coming from Iran,” citing “a number of flights every single week that have been flying in.Kerry vowed that the United States was “not going to stand by while the region is destabilized.”

Later, the administration began accusing Iran of using fishing boats to smuggle arms to the Houthis. The campaign unfolded in a series of four interceptions of small fishing boats or dhows in or near the Arabian Sea from September 2015 through March 2016. The four interceptions had two things in common: the boats did have illicit weapons alright, but the crews always said the ship was bound for Somalia – not Yemen and the Houthis.

But instead of acknowledging the obvious fact that the weapons were not related to the Iran-Houthi relationship, a U.S. military spokesman put out a statement in all four cases citing a U.S. “assessment” that the ultimate destination of the arms was Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.

The choice of wording was significant. The intelligence community says that it “assesses” that something is true only when it does not have clear-cut proof on the matter. In the case of the alleged Iranian use of fishing dhows to smuggle arms to the Houthis, the U.S. spokesmen did not cite a single piece of evidence for that “assessment” in any of the four cases. In fact, when asked for some justification for it, the military spokesman refused.

The first fishing dhow was intercepted in the Arabian Sea on Sept. 25, 2015, by a member of a 31-nation coalition called the Combined Maritime Forces patrolling the Arabian Sea and nearby waters for piracy. The coalition ship found the dhow to be carrying 18 Konkurs anti-tank missiles, 71 other anti-tank shells and 54 missile-launchers.

Blaming Iran

The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet later issued a statement that said, “Based on statements from the dhow’s crew the port of origin of the dhow and its illicit weapons cache is believed to be Iran.” It also said the anti-tank missiles were thought to be of Iranian and Russian origin, and that the papers on the ship had indicated that it had been checked by ports and customs officials in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province.

But the crew of the vessel had said that it was bound not for Yemen but for Somalia, as the spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet acknowledged to The Associated Press. A Saudi military spokesman suggested that Iran intended to reroute the arms later from Somalia to Yemen, but offered no evidence.

On Feb. 27, 2016, an Australian ship intercepted a second fishing dhow off the coast of Oman. The Australians found 1,989 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket-propelled grenades and 40 PKM machine guns on board. The Australian Defense Force issued an official statement on the seizure that did not mention Iranian involvement. It said the boat appeared to be “stateless” and that its cache of weapons was “destined for Somalia.” The Australian Defense Force spokesman explained to CNN that the conclusion was based on interviews with crew members.

But a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command, Lt. Ian McConnaughey gave an entirely different political slant to the interception. In an e-mail to NBC News, McConnaughey said. “Based on the dhow’s course, Iran is believed to be its port of origin and the source of the illicit weapon,” he said. McConnaughey said the crew was “assessed” to be Iranian – implying that the crew itself had not indicated that.

McConnaughey acknowledged to NBC and The Telegraph, “According to coalition forces it is believed that the vessel’s destination was in the vicinity of Somalia.” But the CENTCOM spokesman indicated that it didn’t matter; the U.S. was insisting on its narrative about covert Iranian arms to the Houthis.

“[T]he initial U.S. assessment is the weapons’ final destination was likely to be the Houthis in Yemen,”  McConnaaughey told NBC and The Telegraph.

When this writer asked McConnaughey by e-mail why the U.S. “assessed” that the weapons were intended for Yemen, despite the evidence to the contrary, he responded, “We are not going to discuss the intelligence and other information that led us to our assessment.”

A Third Shipment

On March 20, a French navy destroyer intercepted a third fishing dhow off the Island of Socotra in the northern Indian Ocean and found several hundred AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns and antitank weapons. The official statement on the seizure from the Combined Maritime Forces stated categorically, “The dhow was spotted heading toward Somalia.” map-yemen

And because the weapons were “deemed to be destined for Somalia,” it explained, they “were seized under the United Nations Security Council mandated arms embargo in accordance with UNSCR 2244(2015).” That Security Council resolution mandates an embargo on Eritrea.

Australia and other states participating in the Combined Maritime Forces were thus challenging the U.S. propaganda line. But again the U.S. military used the news media to reinforce the line about Iran smuggling arms to the Houthis. Commander Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the Fifth Fleet, told CNN that “according to a U.S. assessment,” Yemen was the “likely destination” of the arms.

A fourth interception – the third in three weeks – occurred on March 28 by a U.S. Navy ship that was not operating as part of Combined Maritime Forces but directly under U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. That allowed the Naval Forces Central Command to issue its own news story on April 4.

In its lead paragraph, the report said the United States “assessed” that the shipment of illicit arms on board the dhow “originated in Iran and was likely bound for Houthi insurgents in Yemen.”

An Earlier Ruse

The Obama administration also had sought to promote the charge that Iran was covertly sending weapons to the Houthis by sea more than two years earlier. In January 2013, the Yemen client government backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia had claimed that its forces had intercepted a ship with a large cargo of weaponry that came from Iran and was on its way to Yemen to deliver them to the Houthis.

The Obama administration supported that charge in briefings to journalists. After the Saudi air war against Yemen began in 2015, the U.S. pushed for a report by an experts group on sanctions against Iran that would give the charge credibility.

But the 2013 claim was soon exposed as a ruse. A Security Council Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea revealed in a June 2013 report that the crewmembers had told diplomats who interviewed them that ship’s cargo of diesel fuel was bound for Somalia, not Yemen. And, since the weapons were hidden under the diesel fuel tanks, the weapons could be accessed only after those tanks had been emptied, in other words after the ship docked in Somalia.

The monitoring group learned from authorities in the Puntland region of Somalia, where most of the smuggled weapons have entered the country, that this was a widely used method of smuggling arms into the country.

Furthermore, the monitoring group determined that the wide range of types of weapons on board the ship, which was intercepted in January 2013, as well as of their original sources indicated that the weapons cache had been assembled by arms merchants. Authorities in Puntland provided data to the monitoring group showing that most of the shipments of weapons into Puntland in the months before January 2013 had come from politically well-connected arms merchants in Yemen.

Some of the fishing boats that were intercepted with illicit arms on board in 2015-16 had Iranian owners. But the monitoring group report reveals that the real reason is the role of such Iranian fishing vessels in illegal fishing in Somali waters. The vast majority of the hundreds of fishing vessels involved in such illegal fishing networks were either Iranian or Yemeni. As many as 300 were believed to be Yemeni-owned, while Iranian-owned 180 of them.

The monitoring group said it was investigating unconfirmed reports that some of those illegal fishing vessels were also being used to carry out arms smuggling and that it had established “other connections between the illegal fishing networks and networks involved in the arms trade and connected to al-Shabaab in northeastern Somalia.”

But the Obama administration has no interest in the considerable evidence gathered by the monitoring group that provides a more credible explanation for the arms found on those four fishing dhows.

Such an explanation isn’t political useful, whereas the accusations of Iranian smuggling of arms to the Houthis fulfilled multiple political and bureaucratic interests, justifying Saudi Arabia’s bloody U.S.-backed air campaign over Yemen and endless Washington alarms about “Iranian aggression.”

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Assad Interview To Swiss SRF 1 TV

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UK bases used for targeting in secret US drone war, documents indicate

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Reprieve

Personnel on military bases in the UK have been involved in choosing targets for a secret US drone campaign which has killed hundreds of civilians in violation of international law, documents obtained by human rights charity Reprieve indicate.

Job adverts and CVs identified from publicly-available sources show that the US Air Force has employed a “MQ-9 REAPER [drone] ISR Mission Intelligence Coordinator” at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire; while a Private Military Contractor (PMC) has advertised for an “All Source Analyst – Targeting” to work at the same base.

RAF Molesworth is leased to the US, but the UK Government has refused to answer questions on whether it plays a role in the covert drone campaign – which carries out missile strikes outside of warzones with minimal accountability.

British Ministers have said that “the US does not operate RPAS [drones] from the UK,” but have refused to answer questions on whether bases in the UK play a role in choosing targets and drawing up the US ‘kill list.’

A third job advert from contractor Leidos for someone to provide “FMV [full motion video] intelligence analysis in support of USAFRICOM… and Special Operations Command Africa,” also at Molesworth, indicates that the base may be involved in supporting illegal covert drone strikes in countries such as Somalia, where neither the US nor the UK is publicly at war. Along with the CIA, US Special Operations Command is the main player in the drone programme.

Concerns have been raised over the legality of the US covert drone programme, its lack of transparency, and reports that it has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. The UN has warned that it may violate international law, and British ministers have refused to be drawn on their view of its legality. President Obama has to date refused even to formally acknowledge that the CIA is carrying out drone strikes, because of the programme’s covert status. A 2014 study by Reprieve found that covert drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan had killed as many as 1,147 unknown people in failed attempts to kill 41 named individuals.

The revelations come on top of documents published recently by The Intercept on the role played by Menwith Hill – another UK/US intelligence base – in identifying targets in Yemen, one of the main theatres in which the covert drone programme operates. One document states that targets at Yemeni internet cafes are “tasked by several target offices at NSA and GCHQ.” The document’s header shows it was copied to the UK, meaning that the British Government must have already been aware of the role its intelligence and bases were playing.

Commenting, Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve said:

“These documents are the strongest evidence yet that the US may be conducting its illegal, secret drone war from bases on British soil. Simply to say that drones are not flown from the UK is missing the point, if it is personnel on British soil that are at the top of the so-called ‘kill chain’ and British agencies who are feeding targets into those lists.

“The US drone programme, conducted in the shadows, has killed hundreds of civilians without any accountability. The British Government has questions to answer over its own involvement in this secret war and how much responsibility it bears for those deaths.”

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Notorious Bahraini judge appointed to investigate alleged war crimes in Yemen

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Zionist king  ‘shoah.org.uk’
By Alistair Sloan 

The army officer assigned to investigate alleged Saudi war crimes in Yemen played a key role in the 2011 crackdown on Arab Spring protesters in Bahrain, MEMO can reveal. In the wake of the start of the ongoing 2011 uprising, Bahrain’s military lawyer Colonel Mansour Al-Mansour presided over the First Instance Court of National Safety, a tribunal set up to process the trial and prosecution of hundreds of peaceful protesters and human rights and pro-democracy activists after they took to the streets calling for urgent reform of the tiny Gulf monarchy.

Al-Mansour now acts as legal adviser to the Joint Incident Assessments Team (JIAT), the body set up by the Saudi-led coalition to investigate bombings against civilian targets. He is playing a key role in assessing whether human rights violations have taken place.

Amongst Al-Mansour’s notorious convictions are the so-called “Bahraini Thirteen”, a group of activists, journalists and politicians who alleged torture, including sexual assault and beatings, during their detention. Several media and foreign human rights monitors were barred from observing their trial, the conduct of which drew strong criticism from the United Nations, European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Religious leader Mirza Al-Mahroos, who was convicted by Al-Mansour to fifteen years in prison, said that he was “unable to stand due to the severity of what had happened to me.” This was a reference to the alleged daily torture and beatings during his pre-trial detention; on one occasion, he claimed that an interrogator stuffed shoes into his mouth. “I could not look at [the judges] because of the beatings on my eyes,” he recalled. Al-Mansour, he complained, had failed to respond to complaints of torture when raised.

According to Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the Director of Advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Al-Mansour sentenced protesters vindictively on behalf of the Bahraini regime. “Rather than being held accountable,” he told MEMO, “Al-Mansour has been promoted to whitewash the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. His story is a clear marker of the descent of Bahrain and the Gulf further into dictatorship and authoritarianism.”

Others convicted by Al-Mansour include Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, a human rights activist and co-founder of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, as well as the academic and writer Abduljalil Al-Singace, who was arrested initially on his return from Britain where he attended an event in the House of Lords in parliament in August 2010. Al-Singace was detained for six months before being released at the height of the protests, re-arrested, then sentenced by Al-Mansour to life imprisonment. Both men continue to serve their sentences and have been on several hunger-strikes in protest at their incarceration.

Human Rights Watch called the conduct of the trials “unfair”, characterised by “serious due process violations.” The organisation’s official report concluded that “serious abuses included denying defendants the right to counsel and to present a defence, and failure to investigate credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation.” Those on trial included health workers, with one nurse convicted of “destroying moveable property in furtherance of a terrorist purpose” because she allegedly stepped on a photo of the prime minister.

Al-Mansour has since specialised in humanitarian law and attended training sessions from the Bahraini Red Crescent Society and the International Committee for the Red Cross, as well as advising his country’s Shura (Consultative) Council in March, on whether to adopt the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. This includes bans on dangerous unexploded ordinance, incendiary devices and other bombs “deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects.” Before the council approved the accession, Al-Mansour reassured legislators that the convention would not apply to the use of weapons within the kingdom.

The convention is actually a watered-down version of the international treaty on “cluster bombs”; Bahrain currently refuses to sign this. Instead, the government in Manama calls for “explosive ordnance that has been primed, fused, armed or otherwise prepared for use and used in an armed conflict” to be cleared from civilian areas after being dropped, rather than banned outright. The legislation clarifies that such ordinance may have been “fired, dropped, launched or projected, and should have exploded but failed to do so.”

Opting for this diluted version of a cluster bomb ban over an outright prohibition preferred by other countries, the Saudi-led coalition has since been accused of using such munitions in Yemen. This is highly controversial because the “bomblets” often fail to explode.

As concerns have mounted internationally about alleged war crimes committed by the coalition air forces in Yemen, Al-Mansour has played a prominent role in playing down the allegations to local, regional and international media. He appeared in media briefings conducted in Riyadh while wearing civilian clothing.

In August, Al-Mansour claimed that a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital hit by coalition air strikes had been used as a base by Houthi militias. MSF refuted the story, saying that the tented clinic had been set up in an empty field in a residential neighbourhood where many internally displaced people had gathered, noting there had been no air strike, nor any fighting in the area, for several months. The GPS coordinates of the MSF medical facilities had also been shared with the Saudis on the morning of the attack. All six of the incidents investigated by JIAT found no wrong-doing on the part of the coalition. MSF has since been forced to withdraw from Yemen after several incidents of a similar nature in which, again, there was found to be no coalition wrong-doing.

JIAT has since admitted that a recent coalition attack on a funeral, which Houthi rebels claim killed eighty-two Yemenis and the UN says could have killed up to a hundred and forty, was the result of a commander who failed to obtain permission from his seniors for the strike. “Naturally, these people must be confronted about what led to this mistake,” Al-Mansour said. “They have the right to defend themselves, but if it becomes clear that legal measures should be taken, the coalition forces are concerned with that.” This, remember, is the man assigned to investigate allegations of war crimes in the same country by the same Saudi-led coalition.

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Russia reacts to UN aid chief’s Aleppo ‘kill zone’ remarks

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Stephen O’Brien
Press TV 

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has accused the United Nations aid chief of arrogance and bias after he told the UN Security Council that Russian and Syrian airstrikes have turned Aleppo into a “kill zone.”

During a Wednesday Security Council meeting, Churkin accused Stephen O’Brien of making “arrogant” and “outrageous” remarks and failing to recognize that Russia and Syria have been observing a humanitarian pause, which has been in place for the last eight days.

“The moratorium on flights has been in place for eight days. Give us at least one proof or leave those narratives for a romance you would probably write later,” he said.

“If we needed to be preached to, we would go to a church,” the Russian envoy added.

On Tuesday, Russia announced plans to extend the week-long suspension of airstrikes targeting foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in Aleppo.

Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said that Russian and Syrian jets had stayed 10 kilometers away from Aleppo since October 18, and that humanitarian corridors out of Aleppo remained open.

Rudskoi further expressed Moscow’s readiness to organize more ceasefires on the ground in Aleppo to allow wounded civilians to be evacuated.

Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, has been divided between government forces in the west and the militants in the east since 2012. In an attempt to free the trapped civilian population and to end the militants’ reign of terror in the east, the Syrian army, backed by Russian fighter jets, began a major offensive on September 22.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by deadly militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies.

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Washington Making ‘Extremely Weird Mistakes’ in Syria

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Sputnik

Washington is making “extremely weird” mistakes in Syria and Iraq, Russian defense analyst Konstantin Sivkov, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told Radio Sputnik, adding that what some describe as errors are in fact “planned” steps aimed at helping US-backed radical forces.

Sivkov mentioned “accidental” airstrikes, as well as Washington’s inability to separate so-called moderate groups from al-Nusra Front as prime cases in point.

“All of these mistakes are extremely weird since they work for the benefit of those forces whom [Washington] backs. Any claims that they are fighting against al-Nusra Front are a myth. They are not really tackling [Daesh] as well. This is an instrument of [America’s] geopolitics. This is why [the US] is not particularly addressing the issue of destroying [these groups] but rather taking them under control to use for other tasks,” he explained.

The defense analyst pointed out that the Pentagon has helped the militants to move from Mosul to Syria at a time when Iraqi security forces, US-led coalition and Kurdish fighters are trying to push terrorists out of the second largest city in the country that has served as Daesh’s stronghold since June 2014. “This is why all of these ‘mistakes’ are, let’s say, planned,” he noted.

In Sivkov’s opinion, the US military and intelligence communities are behind this strategy.

“The US military does not have comprehensive intelligence on Syria. They mainly receive information [on the embattled country] from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This is how separation of duties works there. It is the CIA that is occasionally making these so-called mistakes. I think one should not blame solely the Pentagon. It is much rather a matter of a concerted stance of America’s political, military and intelligence leadership.”

Sivkov further commented on the Pentagon’s apparent decision to launch an operation to free Raqqa in the coming weeks. Earlier, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter suggested that the US had enough resources for two major overlapping anti-Daesh operations, but the Russian defense analyst pointed to another possible explanation.

“At the moment all field personnel is located near Mosul as part of an operation to free the city. This is why Americans do not have enough resources to secure a lasting blockade of Raqqa. What they need is a pretext to justify additional deployment of foreign occupational forces, including those from Turkey, the United States and other countries that have sent their ground troops to Syria without authorization from the Syrian government.”

Initially, Washington intended to focus its efforts on helping Baghdad retake Mosul, with Raqqa taking a back seat. However, since the US’ “minions,” as Sivkov put it, referring to Al-Nusra Front and similar organizations, have increasingly struggled on the Syrian battlefield, the US “needs to take perhaps a large part of Syria under control and deploy its forces to the area.”

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Ankara halts airstrikes after Syria vows to ‘down Turkish planes,’ activates air defenses 

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RT 

Turkish jets have reportedly not taken part in the Euphrates Shield operation in neighboring Syria for a week now over the fears of being shot down by local air defenses after Damascus promised to prevent any aerial incursions.

Ankara halted air support for its ground incursion into Syria on October 22, after Damascus vowed to shoot down Turkish Air Force planes over Syrian skies, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity. The official added that the coalition forces have also decreased the number of flights in northern Syria.

Syria’s air defense capabilities have been widely boosted after Russia deployed its mobile S-400 and S-300 missile batteries earlier this year to protect its personnel on the ground. Russian hardware has the ability to shoot down planes and cruise missiles over at least 250 miles (402km) in all directions from western Syria.

Two days before Turkey halted its military flights over Syria, Damascus, which called the Turkish invasion a violation of national sovereignty, warned that it would shoot down any Turkish warplanes.

“Any attempt to once again breach Syrian airspace by Turkish warplanes will be dealt with and they will be brought down by all means available,” warned Damascus on October 20. The presence of Turkish troops in Syria is a “dangerous escalation and flagrant breach of Syria’s sovereignty”

The response from Damascus came after Turkish planes targeted Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the fighting wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), near al-Bab in northern Aleppo the day before.

Turkish forces crossed into Syria on August 24, under the pretext of targeting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions along the border. Turkey has been supporting the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the ground.

In addition to jihadist fighters, the Turkish troops involved in Operation Euphrates Shield also engaged the YPG militia, part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). One of Turkey’s primary objectives in the operation is to block the path of Kurdish forces trying to form a link between their Afrin and Kobani cantons. Syrian rebels, with the help of the Turkish military, are slowly making their way across northern Aleppo province.

The source told the Turkish daily that the pace of the offensive has been largely impacted by the lack of air support. The FSA’s advance toward Al-Bab has faltered due to the lack of Turkish airstrikes, he said, pointing out that Turkish offensive only secured 5km in the last three days.

Earlier in the week Turkey’s military accused the Syrian government forces of attacking FSA fighters in the city of Marea in northern Aleppo province. Despite the attack which allegedly killed two rebels, Ankara promised to proceed with the operation.

“We will not stop fighting against the Daesh [Arabic pejorative term for IS] terrorist group due to the regime forces’ attacks. The Euphrates Shield operation will be continued until retaking of the city of al-Bab in order to create a security zone for the return of refugees,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

On Friday, Turkish General Staff said in a statement that the FSA had managed to capture around 164 residential districts since the beginning of the operation, which on Saturday entered its 67th day.

At the beginning of October, the Turkish parliament extended cross-border military operations into Syria and Iraq against Kurdish and IS forces for another year.

Read more:

Syria warns it will ‘down Turkish planes next time,’ calls bombing of Kurds ‘flagrant aggression’
‘S-300, S-400 air defenses in place’: Russian MoD warns US-led coalition not to strike Syrian army
Turkey seeks to expand border ‘safe zone’ 45km into Syria

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US Uranium Weapons Have Been Used in Syria

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By John Laforge 

This month, the Pentagon admitted it has used uranium weapons in attacks inside Syria — violating its public promise last year that it would not use DU there, and contradicting the claim that US bombing is done in defense of the Syrian people, according to the Int’l Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons.

Like the Pentagon’s past denials of the dangers of the chemical weapon Agent Orange, US military officials still claim publicly that its uranium weapons are not known to cause health problems. Made from waste uranium-238 — left from H-bomb and reactor fuel production — it is called “depleted” uranium (DU) but is only “depleted” of U-235. Ironically, the best evidence that it is dangerously toxic and radioactive — contrary to press pronouncements — comes from the Pentagon itself. A June 1995 report to Congress by the Army’s Environmental Policy Institute (AEPI) concluded: “Depleted uranium is a radioactive waste and, as such, should be deposited in a licensed repository.”

Military studies done in 1979, ‘90, ‘93, ‘95 and ‘97, make clear that uranium weapons are chemically toxic, alpha-radiation-emitting poisons that are a danger to target populations and to invading/occupying US forces alike. In spite of this cautionary written record, the military has been shooting its radioactive waste all over the world: into population centers in Iraq in 1991 (380 tons), in Afghanistan in 2001 (amounts unknown); in Bosnia in 1994-‘95 (five tons); in Kosovo in 1999 (10 tons), in Iraq again in 2003 (170 tons); and now in Syria.

The AEPI report above also says that DU has the potential to generate “significant medical consequences” if it enters the body. The Army’s Office of the Surgeon General, in its Aug. 16, 1993 “Depleted Uranium Safety Training Manual,” says that the expected effects of DU exposure include a possible increase of cancer, and kidney damage. The manual also warns, “When soldiers inhale or ingest DU dust, they incur a potential increase in cancer risk … (lung or bone) and kidney damage.”

The Army’s Mobility Equipment, Research & Development Command reported way back in 1979 that, “Not only the people in the immediate vicinity but also people at distances downwind from the fire are faced with potential over exposure to air-borne uranium dust.” This uranium “dust” is generated when DU shells hit and burn through hard targets like tanks or armored vehicles. The uranium is spread for miles by the wind, contaminating everything is its path including food, water, soil, schools, hospitals, etc., and DU is radioactive forever, or ten times 4.5 billion years, whichever comes first.

In 1990, the Army’s Armaments, Munitions and Chemical Command radiological task group said that DU is a “low level alpha radiation emitter … linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage.” It added that “there is no dose so low that the probability of effect is zero.”

With evidence of its radio-toxicity so clear and redundant, any use of uranium weapons today appears to flaunt the military’s own Field Manual prohibition — absolute and universal — against the use of poison or poisoned weapons.

Historical Disregard Revisited

The military has a long history of deliberately exposing US citizens and others to deadly risks without their knowledge or consent, beginning with the open-air nuclear bomb tests it knew would contaminate vast areas. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chose not to evacuate or even warn downwind populations it knew would be hard-hit by radioactive fallout. (“Fallout risk near atom tests was known, documents show,” New York Times, March 15, 1995) These bomb tests exposed Nevada Test Site workers to levels of radiation that the AEC knew could cause harm, but the agency chose not to reduce workers’ exposures or to even inform them of the risks because doing so would have scandalized and halted the bombing tests. (“Records say workers faced high radiation: Suit contends US used no safeguards,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, Dec. 14, 1989)

Likewise, the government refused to inform some 600,000 H-bomb factory workers that workplace radiation exposures posed serious health risks, although enough was known about radiation to warn them in 1948. (“N-plant workers not told of risks: Report says US arms program exposed many to radiation,” Associated Press, Dec. 19, 1989) Between 1944 and 1974, “medicalized” human radiation experiments were even conducted on unwitting US citizens, 16,000 of them (The Plutonium Files, by Eileen Welsome).

Today, the Pentagon extends this ghastly history into Syria where it is deliberately exposing human beings to weaponized radiation that it knows can cause cancer and other diseases. As if the undeclared, unconstitutional war in Syria weren’t unlawful enough, now add the crime of using poison in violation of military law and the Hague Regulations of War on Land.

It is so easy to prove that DU is poison, that a group of four non-lawyers, myself included, convinced a Minneapolis jury in 2004 that AlliantTechsystems’ manufacture of the shells is unlawful enough to excuse an otherwise illegal trespass; our minor offense was justified in order to prevent the greater harm of DU weapons production. Like torture, the use of such poison in war is always criminal, akin to gas war. This latest US government war crime must be condemned in the harshest terms.

For more information on DU weapons and the global effort to have them banned, see ICBUW.org.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Declares Over $1Mln in Cash – Anti-Corruption Agency

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Sputnik

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has declared over $1 million in cash, with an annual salary of $3,000, according to the electronic declaration, which was announced on the site of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption on Friday.

The prime minister declared cash assets of 2.4 million hryvnia ($94,000), 460,000 euros ($504,000) and $870,000 in cash. Groysman’s wife declared 1.6 million hryvnia and $372,000 in cash.

Groysman’s salary for last year amounted to just over 77 thousand hryvnia ($3,000).

The electronic declaration also listed four plots of land, the total area of which amounts to over 9,000 square meters, two houses and two apartments.

The launch of the online system declaring the assets of Ukrainian officials is one of International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) conditions for its continued cooperation with Kiev. The system was supposed to have been launched on August 15, but the State Special Communication Service of Ukraine refused its certification, and it was launched in full from September 1. Government officials are required to file a declaration before the end of October.

Ukraine heavily relies on foreign aid to support its economy and to pay debts amid the ongoing armed conflict with independence supporters in the country’s southeast.

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Larijani: ”Conflict, terrorism in Mideast serving ‘Israel”’

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Press TV 

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says terrorists have created chaos in the Middle East, adding that the continuation of conflicts and acts of terror will serve the Israeli regime’s interests.

“The [critical] situation and chaos in the region has been created by a number of terrorists and the enemy does not want this chaos to end,” Larijani said on Saturday.

He added that all Muslim countries, including Syria, Yemen and Iraq, are entangled in conflicts and only the Israeli regime benefits from such a chaotic situation.

“Superpowers formed an anti-terror coalition in coordination with 60 countries but since they do not want to see the end of wars in the region and regard such an end as detrimental to the Zionist regime [of Israel], they are fanning the flames of tensions in the region,” Larijani said.

He noted that even American and Israeli experts and strategists have confirmed that the current conflicts in the Muslim world best serve the interests of the Zionists and that any success by Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, would be detrimental to them.

The top Iranian parliamentarian added that whenever promising prospects emerge for putting an end to the regional conflicts, the world powers rush to hold meetings and try to prolong the crises.

He said these powers have reinforced their links with terrorist groups operating in regional countries and are covertly providing them with weapons and military equipment.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. The Syrian military is engaged in an operation to rid the country of Daesh and other terrorist groups.

Over the past months, Syria has managed to recapture swathes of land from Daesh and other groups in the east and north of the country. The Syrian military has used the assistance of fighters from Hezbollah as well as advisory military support from Iran. Russia also helps Syria in the fight against terrorists through a series of coordinated airstrikes on their positions.

This is while Iraqi army troops, backed by fighters from allied Popular Mobilization Units, have been engaged in military operations to win back regions held by Daesh and have managed to liberate most of these areas.

The militants have been committing heinous crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in the northern and western parts of Iraq.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Larijani: ”Conflict, terrorism in Mideast serving ‘Israel”’

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