Archive | April 5th, 2017

How the CIA Plants News Stories in the Media ‘VIDEO’

NOVANEWS

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Boiling Frogs Post | September 30, 2011

It is no longer disputed that the CIA has maintained an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation have now been documented. But as long as the public continues to ignore the influence of intelligence agencies in shaping or even fabricating news stories, the agency will continue to be able to set the policy that drives the American war machine at will.

TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=22238

 

Posted in C.I.A, MediaComments Off on How the CIA Plants News Stories in the Media ‘VIDEO’

Facebook joins $14mn fund to fight fake news

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Social media giant Facebook has teamed up with other tech corporations aiming to launch a $14 million fund to end news illiteracy and improve public understanding of journalism.

“As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we want to give people the tools necessary to be discerning about the information they see online,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of news partnership, in a statement.

The nonprofit called the News Integrity Initiative and sponsored by Facebook, Mozilla and other tech industry leaders and foundations, will be based at the City University of New York. The fund will be run as a separate project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

“We’re in good company with over 25 funders and participants, including the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks,” according to Facebook’s statement.

“We want to bring the conversation past just talking about media and to bring the public in. We want to go beyond the fake news discussion and get to what I hope is a flight to quality,” said Jeff Jarvis, who heads CUNY’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, as quoted by Business Insider.

False news and misinformation veiled as true stories became a serious issue during the US election campaign and the presidential elections last year.

The joint move comes a part of an attempt to address scandals evoked by a wave of false news stories posted on Facebook that went viral during the elections.

Following unproven claims Facebook contributed to the US presidential election result, last December, the web giant announced a plan to crack down on ‘fake news.’ As part of the project, the corporation partnered with fact checkers including ABC News, FactCheck.org, AP, Snopes, and Politifact.

Recent polls have revealed that the public’s trust in the news industry has significantly eroded, reports CNBC.

Posted in MediaComments Off on Facebook joins $14mn fund to fight fake news

US to balkanize Syria under Kurdish pretext

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By Marwa Osman 

As early as 2013, Western powers have been rooting for the balkanization of Syria as the best possible outcome of the war tearing apart the country since 2011.

Since the war against Syria is significant in this period of imperialism, watching how it was led by the US, imperialist proxies and their so-called allies, one can fully understand that the war against the Syrian Arab Republic has been decades in the making.

Throughout history, the imperialist powers have been facilitating and empowering the most intolerant, bigoted ideologies and groups in the region starting from the Balfour Declaration, passing through the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement and ending in the invasions of Iraq and Libya before making their way into Syria. The latest group to gain the full support of the US on the ground in Syria is the Syrian Kurdish YPG forces (People’s Protection Units).

The US threw its lot in with the Kurds in Iraq at first as it supposedly tried to find partners who reportedly pose a credible threat to ISIS. Thus, their pick of the Peshmerga Kurdish group came as a result of mutual interest in the region. The Kurds wanted to establish their own autonomous state in the region and the US wanted to reenter Iraq under the pretext of helping the Kurds fight ISIS.

Kurdish Political Ambitions

The first direct coordination between US forces and Kurdish groups was between October 2014 and January 2015 in the battle of Kobani, inside Syria, where Kurdish forces reached out to the Americans after ISIS forces surrounded them. The US then hit the terrorist group’s targets in the area with airstrikes, while the Kurdish forces on the ground assaulted ISIS positions that ended up inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists and drove them out of the area.

This battle represented an historic opportunity for both political wings of the Kurdish movement, the Iraqi Peshmerga and the Syrian PYD (The Democratic Union Party) to realize their dream of independence. The PYD’s armed forces known as the YPG (People’s Protection Units), which has a fighting force of 50,000 fighters, became determined to take control of the vast majority of Syria’s border with Turkey fully backed by US airpower.

The PYD then stated that its priority focused on uniting traditional Kurdish areas of Syria (known as Rojava), extending from Afrin to the Tigris river into one attached land mass.

That statement took me back to the words of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 2013 when he commented on the Syrian situation, expressing his preference for a broken-up and balkanized Syria to emerge out of the current so-called “Assad-controlled unity.” The man said he supports the partitioning of a unified state.

Oldest plan in the book: Balkanize Syria

The US’s vision of the future Syrian map was detailed by Kissinger during a presentation at the Ford School Syria with pretty much a distorted history lesson. He stated that Syria was not a historic state “It was created in its present shape in 1920, and it was given that shape to facilitate the control of the country by France, which happened to be after a UN mandate,” he said.

Kissinger then claimed that the current Syria was conceived as a more or less artificial national unity consisting of different tribes and ethnic groups.

This same theory was also presented by the Israeli Oded Yinon plan which is an article published in February 1982 in the Hebrew journal Kivunim (“Directions”) entitled A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s. This plan is an early example of characterizing political projects in the Middle East in terms of a logic of sectarian divisions and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states.

Hence, supporting the partitioning of Syria began with the US and Israel’s full support of the so- called “Rojava Project”.

US helping Kurds put plan into effect

The US’ support for the YPG has gained public sympathy in the West viewing the Kurds as the most forward-thinking “rebel” group in the battle against extremism. The same cannot be said for the countless factions receiving aid from regional backers, many of which have cooperated with Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Nusra Front (Ahrar Al Sham).

However, you would have thought that the PYD’s connections to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a US, EU, and Turkey-designated terror group – are problematic. Despite this fact, the US appears to be committed to maintaining its air support for the Syrian Kurds, both near the Euphrates in the west and the outskirts of Raqqa in the south.

Thus since the US favors the balkanization of Syria, it is now working openly to empower Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. So by choosing sides, the US may be signaling that it is preparing for all contingencies, including the fracturing of Syria and the complete collapse of the state in Raqqa.

During the past couple of weeks, Raqqa, ISIS’s main urban base of operations in Syria, is the focus of an ongoing campaign by the newly formed US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF is a coalition of Kurdish (YPG), Sunni Arab (FSA-Free Syrian Army) and Syriac Christian fighters, but is completely dominated by its Kurdish element (YPG).

The main Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, already controls swathes of northern Syria as well, where Kurdish groups and their allies are working to establish a decentralized system of government in areas captured from ISIS. This political project is causing deep alarm in Damascus, which sees the YPG and its political affiliate, the PYD, as a potential threat with their current loud and clear alliance with the US.

According to Reuters, Saleh Muslim, the co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish PYD party, stated that the northern Syrian city of Raqqa is expected to join a decentralized system of government being set up by Syrian Kurdish groups and their allies once it is freed from ISIS.

As per these comments, I spoke with Fares Shehabi, a member of the Syrian Parliament for Aleppo and Chairman of the Syrian Federation of Industry who firmly guaranteed that “the statement of Saleh Muslim is irresponsible since the Syrian government will not recognize any presence in Raqqa or any other province other than the legitimate Syrian state represented by the Syrian Arab Army.”

As I spoke with Mr. Shehabi, a heavy US-backed operation near Raqqa was blocking any advance by the Syrian Arab Army from the west in preparation for the balkanization process. Thus I asked Mr. Shehabi where the Syrian government stands from this process as seemingly the Kurdish forces are fully under the control of the US. The Syrian MP responded resolutely that “no balkanization of Syria will be allowed” stating that “the Kurdish Forces do not have the field power to enter or stay in Raqqa because that would cause an unwanted and unrealistic change in the fabric of the city.” Mr. Shehabi then explained that any sort of a Kurdish uncalculated incursion whether from YPG or SDF on the city of Raqqa would backfire since their move will not be accepted or tolerated in the city.

In March, the SDF announced it had captured the Tabqa air base, 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Raqqa, with direct US substantial air and ground support provided.

The Telegraph reported on that mission that five helicopters, supported by five fighter jets, dropped dozens of SDF fighters near the northern town of Shurfa without stating whether or not US soldiers accompanied them.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army’s main ally Russia has always been aware of US plans to pull Raqqa into a “decentralized” government, which would be the first step toward balkanizing Syria. As early as October of 2014, Sputnik reported:

The Pentagon’s reliance on Kurds to liberate Raqqa may indicate that the US is actually ready to support the federalization of Syria, said Alexander Babakov, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the upper house of the Russian parliament.

“It would be hard to imagine that American plans on Raqqa are aimed only to bring peace to Syria. It cannot be ruled out by using Kurds to liberate the city from Daesh the US wants to support the federalization of Syria, including establishing an autonomous Kurdish region,” Babakov told the Russian newspaper Izvestia.

Therefore, since the United States and Israel have never denied their aspiration to see Syria divided up into small, vulnerable and easily manipulated territories, and since the Kurds have provided the US and Israel with the pretext to do so, it remains to be seen how the Syrian government and its allies will respond. Now that a foreign army and its proxies are blocking the Syrian Army from liberating its own country from terrorists, we wait to see if balkanization is next.

Posted in Iraq, SyriaComments Off on US to balkanize Syria under Kurdish pretext

Selective Justice: Spanish Court Seeks to Try Syrian Officials for Terrorism

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A Spanish High Court Judge has made a controversial decision to open a case on charges of ‘state terrorism’ against several Syrian security officials.

Eloy Velasco, a Spanish High Court Judge, decided to review a lawsuit brought forward by Amal Hag-Hamdo Anfalis, a Spanish citizen who accused nine Syrian security officials of kidnapping, torturing and executing her brother, a Syrian national.

Despite the fact that the victim was not a Spanish citizen, Velasco argued that the nature of the case makes it subject to universal jurisdiction.

Professor Julio Jimenes, a Spanish blogger and notable mass media expert, told Sputnik that the judge’s decision to review this case is a mockery.

“First things first, the Spanish courts lack the necessary jurisdiction. And second, here’s what I’d like to ask: why didn’t Madrid take an interest in the killing of a Spanish journalist in Iraq in 2013 who was slain by US soldiers? Not to mention the fact that back then a number of legal measures were enacted to ensure that the Spanish justice system was unable to get involved in that case. All of this looks, shall we say, surprising,” he said.

Professor Jimenez also remarked that this decision looks “especially absurd” considering the fact that the Spanish legal system still remains reluctant to investigate the crimes committed “during the times of dictator Franco”, adding that “there are too many unpunished crimes here in Spain to meddle in the affairs of other countries.”

“Just think about it: a Spanish judge is going to review charges of terrorism against a government which is currently fighting against terrorism. His zeal would’ve been put to better use if he pursued the real extremists who are currently fighting in Syria against the legitimate government; or, even better, those who train and fund said extremists – namely, certain Western countries,” he said.

And finally, Professor Jimenez pointed out, this case may actually be a veiled attempt to derail the ongoing negotiations between Damascus and members of the Syrian opposition who seek to find a political solution to the crisis that is currently tearing apart their country.

“I can’t rule out the possibility that this decision may be an attempt to hamper the talks between the Syrian government and the opposition which began in Geneva,” Jimenez added.

Posted in Europe, SyriaComments Off on Selective Justice: Spanish Court Seeks to Try Syrian Officials for Terrorism

Why Is Kim Jong Un Our Problem?

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By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review 

“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

So President Donald Trump warns, amid reports North Korea, in its zeal to build an intercontinental ballistic missile to hit our West Coast, may test another atom bomb.

China shares a border with North Korea. We do not.

Why then is this our problem to “solve”? And why is North Korea building a rocket that can cross the Pacific and strike Seattle or Los Angeles?

Is Kim Jong Un mad?

No. He is targeting us because we have 28,500 troops on his border. If U.S. air, naval, missile and ground forces were not in and around Korea, and if we were not treaty-bound to fight alongside South Korea, there would be no reason for Kim to build rockets to threaten a distant superpower that could reduce his hermit kingdom to ashes.

While immensely beneficial to Seoul, is this U.S. guarantee to fight Korean War II, 64 years after the first wise? Russia, China and Japan retain the freedom to decide whether and how to react, should war break out. Why do we not?

Would it not be better for us if we, too, retained full freedom of action to decide how to respond, should the North attack?

During the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, despite John McCain’s channeling Patrick Henry — “We are all Georgians now!” — George W. Bush decided to take a pass on war. When a mob in Kiev overthrew the pro-Russian government, Vladimir Putin secured his Sebastopol naval base by annexing Crimea.

Had Georgia and Ukraine been in NATO, we would have been, in both cases, eyeball to eyeball with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Which brings us to the point:

The United States is in rising danger of being dragged into wars in half a dozen places, because we have committed ourselves to fight for scores of nations with little or no link to vital U.S. interests.

While our first president said in his Farewell Address that we might “trust to temporary alliances” in extraordinary emergencies, he added, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

Alliances, Washington believed, were transmission belts of war. Yet no nation in history has handed out so many war guarantees to so many “allies” on so many continents, as has the United States.

To honor commitments to the Baltic States, we have moved U.S. troops to the Russian border. To prevent China from annexing disputed rocks and reefs in the South and East China Seas, our Navy is prepared to go to war — to back the territorial claims of Tokyo and Manila.

Yet, our richest allies all spend less on defense than we, and all run trade surpluses at America’s expense.

Consider Germany. Last year, Berlin ran a $270 billion trade surplus and spent 1.2 percent of GDP on defense. The United States ran a $700 billion merchandise trade deficit and spent 3.6 percent of GDP on defense.

Angela Merkel puts Germany first. Let the Americans finance our defense, face down the Russians, and fight faraway wars, she is saying; Germany will capture the world’s markets, and America’s as well.

Japan and South Korea are of like mind. Neither spends nearly as much of GDP on defense as the USA. Yet, we defend both, and both run endless trade surpluses at our expense.

President Trump may hector and threaten our allies that we will not forever put up with this. But we will, because America’s elites live for the great game of global empire.

What would a true “America First” foreign policy look like?

It would restore to the United States the freedom it enjoyed for the 150 years before NATO, to decide when, where and whether we go to war. U.S. allies would be put on notice that, while we are not walking away from the world, we are dissolving all treaty commitments that require us to go to war as soon as the shooting starts.

This would concentrate the minds of our allies wonderfully. We could cease badgering them about paying more for their defense. They could decide for themselves — and live with their decisions.

In the Carter era, we dissolved our defense pact with Taiwan. Taiwan has survived and done wonderfully well. If Germany, Japan and South Korea are no longer assured we will go to war on their behalf, all three would take a long hard look at their defenses. The result would likely be a strengthening of those defenses.

But if we do not begin to rescind these war guarantees we have handed out since the 1940s, the odds are high that one of them will one day drag us into a great war, after which, if we survive, all these alliances will be dissolved in disillusionment.

What John Foster Dulles called for, over half a century ago, an “agonizing reappraisal” of America’s alliances, is long, long overdue.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Why Is Kim Jong Un Our Problem?

British ‘secret warfare’ unsustainable in information age 

NOVANEWS

Britain’s secret war-fighting operations using special forces, drones and similar clandestine methods are folly in an age of information and public demand for accountability, according to a report by the Remote Control Project.

The think tank, run by the Oxford Research Group, examines the rise of clandestine warfare.

Its study, titled All Quiet On The ISIS Front? British secret warfare in an information age,’ looks at where and how the UK is fighting wars, using means which are largely unaccountable.

The UK shields its secret activities behind a long-standing ‘no comment policy,’ which lags behind those of other modern democracies, it says.

The report points out that countries like Australia and the US often detail special forces deployment in a way which the UK does not.

“This provides reporters, and the general public, with an important opportunity to question government strategy and debate the implications of their involvement in conflicts overseas,” the authors argue.

The report also highlights that special forces operations are often only reported as a result of leaks.

The study cites numerous reports in papers like the Express and the Sun which tell selective tales of military daring in places such as Libya and Syria.

“[UK special forces] are unique in their exemption from parliamentary oversight,” the report says.

“Greater inspiration” should be drawn from increased scrutiny on spy agencies where there is “an attitude of acceptance that greater transparency is necessary in today’s world,” it adds.

The study cites the example of MI5 Director-General Andrew Parker who, in the wake of a number of recent major leaks, said: “We recognize that in a changing world we have to change too. We have a responsibility to talk about our work and explain it.”

Leaks such as those regularly carried in tabloids and via whistleblowers, the authors state, “makes the idea of blanket opacity increasingly outdated, and the benefits of maintaining such a policy should be critically examined in light of the more transparent practices of Britain’s allies.”

The report also argues that secret operations run contrary to democratic aspects of British military doctrine because, unlike normal troop deployments, they sidestep the need for a vote in Parliament.

The normal doctrine “does not capture the many elements of remote warfare, which are often considered ‘non-combat,’ supporting, or assisting roles,” the report says.

Tory MP and former soldier Crispin Blunt told RT last year it is high time for more oversight of such activities.

Blunt said at the time there is no formal parliamentary process for overseeing SAS missions and “there’s obviously an issue as to whether the intelligence and security committee would be the proper vehicle for oversight of these kinds of operations, but we are not there at the moment.”

A new war powers act proposed in the wake of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns could include requirements for increased democratic oversight of UK forces.

Supporters of the idea include Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who told the Middle East Eye in 2016: “I’m very concerned about this because [former Prime Minister] David Cameron – I imagine [Prime Minister] Theresa May would say the same – would say parliamentary convention requires a parliamentary mandate to deploy British troops. Except, and they’ve all used the ‘except,’ when special forces are involved.”

Read more:

‘Special forces shadow wars’ face legal threat from Corbyn

Britain must come clean on special forces’ dirty war in Middle East – Tory MP

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Syrian Army Rejects Claims of Chemical Weapons Use in Idlib, Blames Militants

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DAMASCUS – The command of the Syrian Armed Forces decisively rejected accusations of using chemical weapons in Idlib province and placed responsibility for that on militants and their patrons.

“The army command and the Armed Forces categorically deny the use of any chemical weapons in the town of Khan Shaykhun in the suburb of Idlib today,” according to a Syrian Armed Forces command statement copy obtained by Sputnik.

The document also said the responsibility for the chemical attack in Idlib lies with militants and their patrons.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian National Coalition of Revolution and Opposition Forces claimed that nearly 80 people were killed and some 200 injured in an attack by the use of chemical weapons in Idlib, placing the blame for the reported attack on the Syrian army. However, a source in the Syrian army told Sputnik that the army did not have chemical weapons and the allegations could be part of anti-Damascus propaganda.

“The armed terrorist groups regularly blame the Syrian Army of using chemical weapons against members of this group, as well as against civilians, every time they fail to reach their objectives. And they do everything to justify their defeats on the ground to their financial patrons,” the statement added.

A UN Security Council meeting has been called by the United States to discuss the issue, while the United Nations said it could not verify if the attack took place. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has set up a Fact Finding Mission (FFM) to gather information about the alleged incident.

In 2013, Damascus agreed to place its chemical weapons under international control for its destruction. The move was made in order to prevent the weapons from being captured by militants in the course of the civil war in the Middle Eastern state.

So far, there has been a number of reports on use of chemical weapons in Syria, putting responsibility for attacks both on Syrian authorities and Daesh terrorist group.

In October 2016, the UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) on the chemical weapons use in Syria said that the Syrian authorities used chemical weapons at least three times throughout 2014-2015, while an earlier report said the IS was also responsible for several attacks.

Despite lack of conclusive evidence, a number of countries, in particular the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, blamed the Syrian government for the chemical attacks. Syrian President Bashar Assad though denied all accusations, claiming the reports failed to provide conclusive evidence of its culpability and putting blame on the terrorist groups. The Russian authorities have repeatedly called on necessity to double-check such kind of reports, stressing that conclusions cannot be simply made on interviews of several local residents.

In late October-early November 2016, a number of chemical attacks were conducted in Syria’s city of Aleppo by militants, killing dozens of Syrian servicemen and civilians. The Syrian government urged the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct the investigation, while the Russian Defense Ministry handed the results of the chemical use probe to Syria’s national regulator in charge of implementing the OPCW convention.

Earlier on February, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it expected more effective work from the OPCW, adding that the organization’s act-finding mission in Syria had conducted its activity over the past years remotely by interviewing witnesses, which raised questions over information’s credibility.

Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.

READ MORE:

Assad: West ‘Demonizes’ Damascus Through Chemical Weapons Use Allegations

Oscar for White Helmets: Hollywood Gave Credibility to ‘Terror-Affiliated’ Group

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Rebel warehouse with chemical weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib – Russian MOD

NOVANEWS

ARCHIVE: Russian military inspect suspected chemical weapons workshop in Aleppo © Ruptly
RT 

The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province, where ammunition dump containing chemical weapons was being produced by militants before being delivered to Iraq, the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman has said.

The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.

The same chemical munitions were used by militants in Aleppo, where Russian military experts took samples in late 2016, Konashenkov said.

The Defense Ministry has confirmed this information as “fully objective and verified,” Konashenkov added.

According to the statement, Khan Sheikhoun civilians, who recently suffered a chemical attack, displayed identical symptoms to those of Aleppo chemical attack victims.

Hasan Haj Ali, commander of the Free Idlib Army rebel group, rejected Russia’s version of the incident, saying the rebels had no military positions in the area.

“Everyone saw the plane while it was bombing with gas,” he told Reuters.

“Likewise, all the civilians in the area know that there are no military positions there, or places for the manufacture [of weapons]. The various factions of the opposition are not capable of producing these substances,” he added.

At least 58 people, including 11 children, reportedly died and scores were injured after a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was targeted in a suspected gas attack on Tuesday morning, Reuters reported, citing medics and rebel activists. Soon after a missile allegedly hit the facility, people started showing symptoms of chemical poisoning, such as choking and fainting.

The victims were reportedly also seen with foam coming out of their mouths. While the major Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, and other pro-rebel groups put the blame on the attack onto President Bashar Assad’s government, the Syrian military dismissed all allegations as propaganda by the rebels.

“We deny completely the use of any chemical or toxic material in Khan Sheikhoun town today and the army has not used nor will use in any place or time, neither in past or in future,” the Syrian army said in a statement.

The Russian military stated it did not carry out any airstrike in the area either.

However, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, commenting on the incident, was quick to point to the Syrian government as a culprit, saying that it bears responsibility for the “awful” attack.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson echoed Mogherini, accusing the Syrian government of perpetrating the attack calling it “brutal, unabashed barbarism.” He argued, that besides the Syrian authorities, Iran and Russia should also bear “moral responsibility” for it.


Zionist Guardian view on Syria: Assad knows he acts with impunity

The suspected nerve agent attack on a rebel-held area on Tuesday has underlined the regime’s confidence – bolstered by the Trump administration

The Guardian | April 4, 2017

Heartbreaking images of desperate patients and dead children in Syria are, sadly, too familiar. But Tuesday’s attack in rebel-held Idlib province has forced a reaction: it is one of the worst suspected chemical attacks in the six-year war. It claimed at least 67 lives, and the symptoms suggest the use of a nerve agent, probably sarin. It hit an area where thousands had taken shelter from fighting nearby. It was followed by attacks on medical facilities treating victims. It had “all the hallmarks of a regime attack”, said Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations. The White House accused the Syrian government of a “heinous” attack. […]

Some have already drawn a link between what seems to be the use of a more deadly agent and the US shift on Syria. The secretary of state said last week that Mr Assad’s future was a matter for the Syrian people, while the ambassador to the UN said removing him was no longer the priority (though she later tempered that remark).

Those comments dangerously reinforced, rather than created, the regime’s certainty that it can carry out war crimes with impunity. As a candidate, Donald Trump said Mr Assad’s future was “secondary” to defeating Isis. In February, Russia and China vetoed a security council resolution imposing sanctions over chemical weapons use; Wednesday’s meeting on the issue is unlikely to change much. … Full editorial

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Rebel warehouse with chemical weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib – Russian MOD

Wadi Qana’s Palestinian farmers endure another mass tree uprooting

NOVANEWS
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Hebron, occupied Palestine – Just days after Palestinians commemorated Land Day, a day which marks the struggle against the Nazi regime expropriation of Palestinian land, farmers of Wadi Qana endured another mass uprooting and theft of their trees.

Speaking from his home in the Salfit district village of Deir Istiya, Palestinian activist Rezeq Abu Nasser cited the frustrating chronology, “This is the third time they took my trees. They stole them in 2013 and 2015 as well.” He then handed ISM volunteers the Arabic/Hebrew notice that he found posted on a fence he erected at a cost of over 1,000 NIS to protect his trees. Abu Nasser’s fence was also dismantled and seized along with 25 of his trees.

The notice received by four Palestinian farmers demands that they uproot their own trees or face arrest and/or fines to cover the cost of Nazi occupation forces uprooting the trees for them. Soon after, 135 trees were uprooted and stolen during the small hours of morning. Several bulldozers entered the valley, hauled large stones into the road to block the entryway and rammed through part of a 40 meter stone wall to access the trees.

Citing environmental justifications for these aggressive acts of theft, an Nazi regime spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territory was quoted as saying that the trees were uprooted due to their “damaging the natural view and value of the nature resort.”  Claiming the act to be one of protection of the view of a lush valley from the sight of trees is even more absurd, given that the Nazi forces left a partially demolished stone wall and broken tree limbs scattered atop a small field of holes where the trees once took root.

While speaking to the Mayor of Deir Istiya, his office produced copies of the issued warrants for the threatened trees and the generations old British land deeds affirming the farmers’ rights to their ancestral land. The Mayor of Deir Istiya described arriving at the Wadi Qana immediately after being alerted to the uprootings in progress, only to find the road blockage Nazi forces left to keep farmers and residents from defending their land. As for the stone wall, he claimed,”This is a new experience for us that they demolished the stones.”

The farmers who lost their trees, tantamount to their livelihood, plan to continue their struggle against these incursions by furthering their cases with the local municipality. As for Abu Nasser, “I’m going to replant them again.”

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Nazi regime proposes railroad to Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family via Jordan

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The Nazi Jewish regime has proposed construction of a railroad connecting the occupied territories to Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family via Jordan.

Nazi Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said on Wednesday that Washington had also welcomed the plan, but he declined to say whether Zio-Wahhabi and Zionist king of Jordan had supported the proposal.

The link is designed to connect the Saudi port of Daman in the Persian Gulf via Jordan to the Mediterranean port of Haifa in northern occupied Palestine 1948, according to the Nazi minister.

Katz, who has declared himself as a candidate to succeed Prime Minister Naziyahu when the premier steps down, said the rail line would notably cut the distance needed to move goods.

The minister also elaborated on the plan, saying only a small distance of track was needed to link the current Nazi network in the north with the occupied West Bank near the city of Jenin and Jordan at Sheikh Hussein crossing.

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Zio-Puppet regimes that have official diplomatic ties with the Nazi regime and host Nazi missions. The rest of the Arab governments have no diplomatic relations with the Nazi regime, and seek to portray themselves as Tel Aviv’s traditional adversaries and upholders of the Palestinian cause.

Even so, reports have indicated that some of the governments, including Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family and the Zio-Wahhabi United Arab Emirates, have had secret relations with the Nazi regime covertly appeasing the regime.

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