What grand, generous lads they are, to be sure! Let's give them all our money.
Let's get the hell out of Afghanistan and root up everything we've done there and in Pakistan on our way home...
While the US has been distracted by the presidential election, the Syrian conflict, and jihadist outbursts in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, the Gaza strip and elsewhere, Pakistan has been moving at a glacial pace to restore NATO's critical oil supply line to Afghanistan.
The logistical supply lines, but not the oil supply lines, were opened in July after an apology two months earlier by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a US attack on a Pakistani military outpost in Mohmand on the night of Nov. 25-26, 2011 that left 25 Pakistani soldiers dead. US forces in Afghanistan attacked the Salala outpost just across the border after receiving fire from the outpost and sending up signal flares that were ignored.
After a 12-month blockade, the flow of oil through NATO's Pakistani supply lines is due to resume by the end of this month, according to the Express Tribune. The first two test-run tankers made it through the Torkham crossing in Khyber last week. "Officials cited multiple reasons [for the stoppage] including security issues faced by drivers and oil tankers on the route through Pakistan," the Express Tribune report stated.
[Magharebia] Fighting erupted Monday (November 12th) in Monastir between salafists and members of the General Union of Tunisian Students (UGET).
The clashes broke out when Islamist hardliners surrounded the Monastir University canteen to demand separate dining rooms for female and male students.
"There were skirmishes between two groups of students who differ in terms of ideological orientations," explained Hammadi Essafi, the university restaurant manager in Skanes. "We are still negotiating with both groups to resolve the problem."
According to a security report, the violence was triggered when the salafists observed a female student having lunch with a male peer.
"The violence that ensued between the two groups necessitated the intervention of the security forces to break it up," the campus police report said.
The incident sparked chaos and panic, but students eventually forced the salafists to back off.
The salafists vowed to continue their mission toward gender segregation and the implementation of Islamic law in all Tunisian universities.
"Gender segregation at the University of Monastir restaurant became a revolutionary and urgent demand and a priority for the salafists!" journalist Makki Helal said. "I cannot believe those who say that the salafists are just scarecrows and that their danger is not real."
[Magharebia] Instability in the Sahel region ... North Africa's answer to the Pak tribal areas... is a growing concern for Western governments, who warn their citizens against any unnecessary travel to the region.
"The terrorist groups al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the splinter group, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, pose the greatest kidnap threat," British Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said on Thursday (November 8th).
"Since the recent coup in Mali, both groups have increased their operational reach and have proven capability to travel long distances to kidnap victims. They have also been known to use criminal gangs to conduct attacks and pass hostages to them," the minister added.
Simmonds said that attacks had "taken place in Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Algeria", and terror groups have "operational reach into the north of Burkina Faso ...The country in west Africa that they put where Upper Volta used to be. Its capital is Oogadooga, or something like that. Its president is currently Blaise Compaoré, who took office in 1987 and may be in the process of being chased out now... and southern Libya". He predicted that the situation was "likely to get worse".
The Foreign Office warned citizens and tour operators against travelling to the region.
Last year, two Frenchies were kidnapped from a restaurant in Niamey, Niger, and executed near the border with Mali. Seven French citizens were kidnapped in Niger in September 2010.
Since November 3rd Mexican Army units have seized 9,655.258 kilograms of marijuana, 6.1 kilograms of opium gum, 2.52 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 1.434 kilograms of heroin, MX $1,512,700.00 (USD $114,296.78) and USD $945.00 (MX $12,486.85) in cash, according to official Mexican government sources.
Mexican Army units with the VI Military Region detained several individuals and seized quantities of drugs and money in Veracruz state November 3rd.┬ The action took place in Cordova municipality, where soldiers seized quantities of marijuana and powder and crack cocaine, as┬ well as one vehicle.┬ A total of five suspects were detained at the scene.
An army unit with the Mexican VI Military Region seized quantities of drugs and cash in Veracruz state November 3rd.┬ The unit was on patrol in Adolfo Ruiz Cortines colony in Coatzintla municipality when the incident took place.┬ A total of MX $1,008,330 (USD $76,171.67) in cash as well as quantities of marijuana and cocaine were seized.┬ Two unidentified suspects were also detained at the scene.
An army unit with the Mexican 2nd Military Zone seized guns and detained one unidentified individual in Baja California state November 3rd.┬ The unit occupied a military checkpoint in Tijuana municipality, where soldiers seized two rifles, 22 weapons magazines and 4,200 rounds of ammunition.
A Mexican Army unit with the 2nd Military Zone seized drugs and detained suspects in Baja California state November 3rd.┬ The unit was on patrol in Cedro colony, where the unit performed a traffic stop.┬ Soldiers seized 2.52 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.┬ Two unidentified suspects were detained at the scene.
An army unit with the 2nd Military Zone seized a quantity of marijuana and detained suspects in Rancho Maga├▒a, presumably in Mexicali municipality in Baja California state November 3rd.┬ The unit performed a traffic stop where soldiers seized 49.35 kilograms of marijuana in 12 packages.┬ Two unidentified individuals were detained at the scene.
A Mexican Army unit with the 6th Military Zone exchanged gunfire with armed suspects in Coahuila state November 6th.┬ The unit was on patrol in Periodistas colony in Piedras Negras municipality when soldiers came under small arms fire.┬ Army counterfire killed two armed suspects.┬ Following the firefight soldiers seized one AK-47 and two AR-15 rifles, quantities of weapons magazines, ammunition and one vehicle.
An army unit with the 9th Military Zone located drugs in Sinaloa state November 1st.┬ The unit was on patrol in La Costerita bypass in Culican municipality when it rolled up on an abandoned vehicle.┬ Soldiers found 6.1 kilograms of opium gum and three rifles inside the vehicle.
A Mexican Army unit with the 9th Military Zone seized motor fuel in Sinaloa state November 1st.┬ The unit came up on the find near the village of La Higuerita in Culican municipality, where soldiers took possession of 12,000 liters of diesel fuel and two fuel tankers.
An army unit with Mexican 9th Military Zone seized chemicals in Sinaloa state November 4th.┬ The unit found the chemicals in a building in Miguel Hidalgo colony in Culican municiaplity.┬ Soldiers seized nineteen 200 liter drums and eleven 50 liter containers with an unknown chemical inside, ten 25 kilogram bundles of caustic soda and three vehicles.
A Mexican Army unit seized quantities of drums and chemicals in Sinaloa state November 4th.┬ The unit performed a traffic stop near the village of Soyatita in Badiraguato municipality.┬ Soldiers seized twenty-two 50 liter containers of chlorine, sixteen 50 liter containers of monomethylamine, eight 50 liter containers of perfume, 200 liters of alcohol, 200 liters of toluene and one ton of lead dust.┬ One unidentified suspect was detained at the scene.
An army unit with the 29th Military Zone detained suspects and quantities of drugs in Veracruz state November 4th.┬ The unit had been dispatched to the village of Canticas in Cosoleacaque municipality based on a complaint from an anonymous kidnapping victim.┬ Soldiers detained four suspects and seized personal quantities of powder cocaine, four rounds of ammunition and one vehicle.
A Mexican Army unit with the 2nd Military Zone seized quantities of drugs in several incidents in Baja California state November 5th.┬ The seizures took place in Tijuana, Tecate and Ensenada municipalities where soldiers took possession of 7,394.008 kilograms of marijuana, 1.434 kilograms of heroin, two rifles, quantities of ammunition, six tractor-trailer rigs, two boats and one outboard motor.
An army unit with the Mexican 29th Military Zone seized quantities of weapons and munitions in Veracruz state November 6th.┬ The raid took place in┬ Benito Juarez colony in Coatzacoalco municipality where soldiers seized 20 rifles, one machine gun, one rocket launcher, one rocket, 12,000 rounds of ammunition, 52 weapons magazines, personal quantities of powder cocaine, MX $250,000.00 (USD $18,919.90) and six vehicles.┬ Four unidentified suspects were detained at the scene.
A Mexican Army unit with the 8th Military Zone rescued 28 kidnapping victims in Tamaulipas state November 7th.┬ The raid took place near the village of Los Arados┬ Altamira municipality where soldiers located the victims, including 23 migrants from Central and South America. Of those, six were women and six were children.┬ Contraband seized included MX $3,370.00 (USD $255.04) and USD $945.00 (MX $12,486.85) in cash.┬ Seven unidentified suspects were detained at the scene.
An army unit with the Mexican 9th Military Zone seized more than one metric ton of marijuana in Sinaloa state November 7th.┬ The seizure took place near the village of El Frayle in Badiraguato municipality, where soldiers took possession of 1,022 kilograms of marijuana in 101 packages.
A Mexican Army unit with the 8th Military Zone seized more than one metric ton of marijuana in Tamaulipas state November 7th.┬ The military unit was on patrol near a gap that leads to the village of Refugio Hinojosa in Miguel Aleman municipality.┬ There soldiers seized 1,189.9 kilograms of marijuana.
A Mexican Army unit with the 8th Military Zone seized cash in southern Tamaulipas state November 7th.┬ The unit raided a location in Tampico municipality where soldiers seized MX $250,400.00 (USD $18,950.17), one weapons magazine, 29 rounds of ammunition, one vehicle, a cashier's check for MX $10,000.00 (USD $756.80) and communications gear.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
Republican Congressman Peter King just exited the closed-door hearing with David Petraeus to update the media, and his description of the ex-CIA Chief's testimony contained more than one bombshell.
For starters, King said Petraeus told them that the CIA talking points meant for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's Sept. 16 round robin of five Sunday network news shows, originally contained the information that there was evidence al-Qaeda elements were involved in the attack. These talking points were then altered by the White House or someone close to the White House.
Independently of the 'talking points', Amb. Rice is a full member of the Cabinet and had available to her what was given to the Cabinet.
The issue is not JUST what she was given, but more importantly what she was TOLD TO SAY. And what to keep quiet.
Obviously, what we now know is that in their final format, the talking points in question focused exclusively on the false idea that the September 11 anniversary attack was motivated by a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video.
King also said that the testimony from Petraeus today was much different than his original testimony on Sept. 14. Today, Petraeus told the committee that he knew "almost immediately" that the attack was the work of an al-Qaeda affiliated militia called Ansar al Sharia and that the "overwhelming amount of evidence said this was a terror attack." According to numerous reports, in his original testimony, Petraeus focused almost exclusively on the YouTube video as the prime motivator for the attack.
So, at least according to Rep. King, we have Petraeus amending and/or contradicting his original testimony, and the news that somewhere in-between the CIA and Susan Rice, removed from the CIA talking points that insisted there was "no evidence" of a pre-meditated terrorist attack was the information about Ansar al Sharia.
This leaves us with two new and very important questions that must be answered:
If he did, why did Petraeus change his testimony?
Who changed the CIA talking points, removing the evidence an al-Qaeda element was likely involved in the murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans?
it must be enormously confusing to be a diplomat these days. there you are standing in front of the media - trying to stick to the talking points. and then the boss keeps changing the talking points on you.
it's almost getting to the point where people might have to go back ... to the facts. Heaven forbid :-)
All this was kicked down the road until after the election. Moreover, much of what is classified is too secret to be made available to the public.
So tell me, how the hell can anyone be an informed voter? We end up voting on the basis of superficiality, class war, and promised stuff. I suppose if we ever really knew the truth regarding policy decisions and policies, we would revolt.
NS, Petraeus was working against terrorists abroad but forgot the dangers on the home front. If trustworthiness is a commonly shared value, why does anyone believe what the Champ says? And why isn't he damaged goods too.
I don't know what the entire truth is about Petraeus. Everyone falls down occasionally. Most likely Petraeus will be dealing with this the rest of his life.
JQC, what leads you to think I believe anything 0 says or think of him as anything other than damaged goods? Because the majority of Americans prefer damaged goods doesn't make them any less damaged.
Frankly, I can understand DP avoiding publicizing the truth about his extracurricular activities; I'm not his wife. But to then mislead the American people about a material fact for political gain during wartime is a horse of a different color and one horse too many.
NS, I wasn't suggesting that you believe DP or not. I was just asking about the values in our country. I was suggesting that lying seems to be acceptable since we elected a guy who is a serial liar and no one seems to notice enough to dump him out of office. Lying is not OK. Presently, I think we are being fed a load of horseshit by both parties. No one is coming clean and it pisses me off. No one has answered the questions of why Benghazi happened or what was going on there. IMO Petraeus' affair is just a sideshow and distraction. So far, the investigation is a clusterf*ck. Benghazi was a remote place run by the CIA. Most everyone else who had any sense had left because of security problems that had been ongoing for sometime prior to 911. What was so important about this place? Why wasn't more security provided but instead was denied? Four good people are dead. I don't think the truth of what happened at Benghazi is ever going to be known. This is going to be another Fast and Furious. This should have been opened up before the election but wasn't and so we ended up with what we got.
NS: it seems likely that what Petraeus told Congress on Sep. 14 was under duress. To my mind, that doesn't make him damaged goods. He's human, he used bad judgment, and he accepted the consequences. I am much more concerned about how he was coerced and who did the coercing, and whether there are any limits. It seems we live under a corrupt thugocracy, now with one less comparatively good guy.
#17 It gets weirder. Both Jill Kelly and Paula Broadwekk visited the White House several times this past year. This whole business stinks. At this point I don't trust ANY of them.
Posted by Deacon Blues
If it were not for the dead, I can almost see a Steven Spielberg motive.
The individual that relieved General Ham for not following the stand down order, while General Ham was in the situation room in DC is the individual that caused the 7 hour results in Bengazi. Who is that person?
General Ham was not relieved for anything involving Benghazi.
Posted by: Rob Crawford ||
JQC, I agree completely, but RJD, how much duress was he under? If he was being blackmailed, even implicitly, he owes it to us to come clean about it. If appropriate, a full confession would be due and cleansing. Such has not been forthcoming, and leads me only to conclude there was no externally applied duress.
Random JD nails it for me. Under duress (blackmailed), probably honey-potted (by whom?) RJD's comment "I am much more concerned about how he was coerced and who did the coercing, and whether there are any limits." This is the key.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike ||
Honeypotted? Nah, that lets him off. I know officers who served with him ... they've been quietly unimpressed by him for some time, other than at the degree of ambition and (for a long time) hard work of a sort.
He made this mess himself. Chicago exploited it, no doubt, but he gave them the opening.
[Geo.TV] WAZIRABAD: Police foiled a major terrorism plot and set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! four bully boyz in Wazirabad located near Gujrat.
According to sources, the bully boyz are members of Al-Qaeda. 15 suicide jackets, mines, hand grenades and a large cache of ammunition were recovered from their possession.
Intelligence sources added that the bully boyz planed on targeting government offices, police and minorities.
[Times Of India] Militants today struck in the tourist hub of Dal Lake area by shooting at employees of a liquor shop inside a government-run hotel on the Boulevard Road here, injuring four persons.
A police front man said unidentified Death Eaters fired from pistols near a liquor shop at Heemal Hotel on the banks of Dal Lake this evening.
He said three persons were maimed in the incident. They are Fayaz Ahmad Khanday of Aloochi Bagh, Mohammad Sharief Sheikh of Batamaloo (both in Srinagar) and Ravi Kumar of Kathua area of Jammu region.
Official sources said another injured identified as Sunny Mehra, belonging to Jammu, was admitted in Soura Medical Institute.
All the four injured were employees at the liquor shop, which is one of the three licensed outlets operating in the Valley, they said.
This was the second major strike within a month by Death Eaters in the city following an attack at a hotel on Parimpora-Pantha Chowk bye-pass road near Lasjan on October 19. Two employees of the hotel were killed and another was injured in the attack.
[Dawn] Police claim to have captured five alleged Death Eaters belonging to a faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain.
The accused are involved in different terror attacks, including that of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... under-training jail waders, Babu Sabu police check-post and suicide kaboom on the Dera Ismaeel Khan district police chief and seized from them arms and ammunition.
Inspector General of Punjab Police Habibur Rehman, flanked by Multan Regional Police Officer Aamir Zulfiqar Khan and others, told a news conference at the Lahore Police Club on Wednesday that the Multan police had cooled for a few years Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! five Death Eaters of TTP's Qari Yasin group during a successful operation.
He said the group based in Miranshah ... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas... (North Wazoo) was involved in several terror attacks in Punjab and other parts of the country. He identified the arrested as Habibur Rehman, Imtiaz Nazir, Hafiz Muhammad Ramzan, Muhammad Imran and Ameer Moavia. They hail from Dera Ismael Khan. He said police recovered two Kalashnikovs, four magazines, three 30-bore pistols and 105 bullets from their possession.
Abdul Ghaffar alias Qari Saifullah, the commander of this group, was killed during a shootout with Multan police near Pul Ghazi Ghat in DG Khan on Aug 1, 2012. He was wanted by the Punjab police in several cases of bank robberies and terror attacks.
The third important member of this group was Imran Gandapur of DI Khan who was the in-charge of terror activities in KPK. He had killed constable Jahangir in KPK and later along with his accomplices was also rubbed out during an encounter with the police.
Following the killing of Gandapur, Iqbal Rashid alias Rashu had become operational in-charge of Qari Yasin group. To take Dire Revenge™ of the killing of Gandapur, Rashu had planned killing of security personnel of KPK. Rashu was the main accused who had criminal masterminded suicidal attack on the DI Khan DPO, killing of constables, terror attack on Shiite and the recent terror attacks which took place in Punjab.
The IG said Iqbal alias Rashu, Hameedullah, Niamatullah, Hammadullah, Jandullah, Habibur Rehman and Imtiaz were involved in gun attack on under-training KPK prison officials in Rasool Park, Ichhra, while Ramazan, Ameer Moavia and Imran had assisted the terror attack.
About security in Muharram, the IGP said more than 118,308 coppers would be deployed across the province to maintain peace and security around majalis, processions and imambargahs. He warned the elements found involved in fanning hatred and provocative speeches would be dealt with an iron hand.
He said religious activists and leaders found involved in spreading extremism would be arrested and would be imprisoned in far-flung areas.
[Dawn] At least three more people were bumped off in sectarian attacks in different parts of the city on Wednesday that witnessed a total of seven killings, police said.
In the sectarian attacks, a muezzin, said to be a supporter of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, was rubbed out at a public call office on Nishtar Road; a young man belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat was killed in Korangi and a teenage boy was bumped off in Orangi Town.
The police said that Qari Mohammad Imran, the muezzin of Noorani mosque, was targeted at his public call office, situated near Filmistan Cinema on Nishtar Road within the remit of the Jamshed Quarters cop shoppe.
"An armed man walked up to Qari Imran, who was sitting in his small cabin of the public call office, and fired a single shot at his eye," said DSP Qaiser Ali Shah.
He said the killer escaped with his waiting accomplice on a cycle of violence.
The police later found a spent bullet casing of a 9mm pistol at the scene of the crime, said the DSP.
"The motive for the killing is not yet clear. It can be personal enmity or the result of the ongoing sectarian violence in the city," he said.
The police shifted the body to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... for medico-legal formalities.
A front man for the ASWJ condemned the killing and said that the slain Qari was their sympathiser and muezzin of a local mosque.
In Korangi, a young man belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat was rubbed out in a drive-by shooting, police said.
They added that Mohammad Aslam, 24, was riding through Korangi 2-┬Ż on his cycle of violence when he was targeted. The victim suffered gunshot wounds in the head and chest.
DSP Qasim Ghauri said that the victim was a resident of Sector 33-D and was associated with the Tableeghi Jamaat. He was scheduled to go abroad within the next few days, the officer said.
The police shifted the body to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities.
Earlier, a teenage boy was bumped off near his house in Orangi Town in what police suspected to be a sectarian attack.
Shaujat Ali Naqvi, 18, was targeted near the Toori Bangash police kiosk in Raja Taveer Colony, said an official at the Iqbal Market cop shoppe.
He was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where he died during treatment, the official added.
Following medic-legal formalities, his body was shifted to the Rizvia Imambargah, where his funeral prayers were offered on Wednesday afternoon. The victim was later buried in the Wadi-e-Hussain graveyard.
Seminary teacher killed
In Bahadurabad, a seminary teacher was bumped off on Wednesday night, police said, adding that the motive did not appear to be sectarian. Samiul Haq ...the Godfather of the Taliban, leader of his own faction of the JUI. Known as Mullah Sandwich for his habit of having two young boys at a time... , 32, a teacher at Tauheed Masjid, was killed outside the mosque in Dhoraji Colony, said an official at the Bahadurabad cop shoppe.
The attackers waited for him and did not fire at anyone else coming out of the mosque, the official said.
"He was returning from Shabbirabad after meeting his teacher at a mosque there when he was targeted in Dhoraji," the official added.
The police later shifted the body to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities.
DIG (east) Shahid Hayat said that apparently it was not a sectarian killing. He said the two attackers stood outside the mosque and waited for Samiul Haq. They fled after killing him, he added.Only three days ago, the victim had returned from Mardan, his hometown, the officer said.
Labourer bumped off
A young man was killed in Manghopir, police said.
They added that Ghulam Mohammad, 36, was killed in Sultanabad within the remit of the Manghopir cop shoppe.
The victim was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! on arrival.
The police said the victim hailed from Kotri and was a labourer. He resided in a rented house in Sultanabad. The motive for the killing was not immediately clear, they added.
Man rubbed out
A young man was rubbed out in New Bloody Karachi in the early hours of Wednesday, police said.
They added Kashif Waheed, 25, was passing through Bashir Chowk, Khamiso Goth, Sector 5-F of New Bloody Karachi Industrial Area, on his motorbike when gunnies riding a motorbike targeted him.
The victim sustained gunshot wounds in the head and chest and was struck down in his prime. The police shifted the body to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
The police said the victim was an area resident and used to work at a chicken shop. They added that he was not associated with any political or religious group.
Estate agent killed
An estate agent was killed in Ibrahim Hydri, police said.
They added that Saifullah, 50, associated with the property business, was rubbed out. The body was taken to the JPMC for medico-legal formalities, the police said.
Ibrahim Hydri SHO Neak Mohammad Jakhari said the victim was a resident of Illyas Goth.
[Dawn] Five persons including a woman were maimed in two landmine kabooms in Kurram tribal region on Wednesday.
Sources said that the first landmine went kaboom! in Spina Shaga locality near the Afghan border.
Two men and a woman were maimed in the blast, they said. The injured were identified as Mohammad Wali, Wahdat and wife of Ahmedzai.
The second blast also occurred near the Afghan border in Pewar Tangi area. Two persons identified as Mohammad and Wali Khan sustained injuries in the blast. The injured were shifted to a hospital in Parachinar.
The political administration registered cases against unidentified persons and started investigation.
The Egyptian PM's comments, "...will spare no efforts to achieve a cease fire..." were not received well by some of Hamas. They hoped for a "... we will strike with our own missiles" or something like that.
Posted by: lord garth ||
You are incorrect about Israel, Chuff: Christians and Muslims are free to live pretty much as they wish there. Indeed, in the entire Middle East Israel is the ONLY country in which a Muslim can say what he wants free of the risk of death for opening his mouth.
Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood do indeed want an Islamic state in Egypt. The Copts are toast, they just haven't faced the full implications of that yet.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Update Israeli ministers were on Friday asked to endorse the call-up of up to 75,000 reservists after Palestinian militants nearly hit Jerusalem with a rocket for the first time in decades and fired at Tel Aviv for a second day.
The rocket attacks were a challenge to Israel's Gaza offensive and came just hours after Egypt's prime minister, denouncing what he described as Israeli aggression, visited the enclave and said Cairo was prepared to mediate.
I note that Iran is doubling it's enrichment.
They are really good at creating side issues to delay an Israeli attack.
You know after GAZA will be Hez in Leb and then Iran will launch 5 or 10 nukes toward Israel just as they are bogged down in Leb.
Posted by: Water Modem ||
Oh and it uses up Israeli anti-missile rockets before the real attack...
It's a good strategy.
Posted by: Water Modem ||
"I note that Iran is doubling it's enrichment.
They are really good at creating side issues to delay an Israeli attack. "
that's an interesting point of view. worth thinking about. this entire conflict is obviously pre-planned. it's either about money (increased financial backing & weapons for Hamas), or some broader strategy objective.
again, you gotta' look for the unseen fingers of Al Quds in these events.
They are really good at creating side issues to delay an Israeli attack.
WM, Chief Rabbi of Britain, Lord Sachs, blames Iran for the escalation . Could be why Egypt doesn't seem to want to get involved,
I expect these won't be 'lobbed', Water Modem.
History will tell us that the payloads have already been deployed and secured, pending activation from some threshold escalation event.
75,000 civilian Israeli reservists moving into Gaza on known routes would be such an event. The accelerated rocketing would be a strategy to set this 'flash mob' in motion over the tunnels under the perimeter road.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak signaled that Israel is ready to escalate its military operations against Gaza after at least one long-range missile was fired at Tel Aviv by Palestinian militants.
The missile attack and the volume of fire in general toward Israel ┬"is an escalation and there will be a price to pay,┬" Barak said on Channel 2 television yesterday. It was the first such attack on Israel┬'s commercial hub since Iraqi missiles in 1991 during the Gulf War.
Neither side showed signs of yielding as international diplomacy ramped up. Hamas kept up rocket fire in the most serious conflict since Israel sent troops into Gaza in December 2008 in a three-week offensive it said was aimed at stopping such attacks. Israeli Army Spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told Channel 2 that the military was calling up 30,000 reservists hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military was ready for a ┬"substantial expansion┬" to stop rocket attacks.
In a phone call with Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, U.S. President Barack Obama supported Israel┬'s right to self defense as the two leaders agreed on ┬"the importance of working to de- escalate the situation as quickly as possible,┬" according to a Nov. 14 White House statement. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to go to Egypt and Israel next week, according to a Security Council diplomat.
Israel launched a wave of air strikes at 70 underground launch sites for medium-range rockets late yesterday, and direct hits were confirmed, the army said in an e-mailed statement. Israeli naval vessels fired on Hamas bases on the Gaza shore, the army said.
The rocket fired at the Tel Aviv area of Gush Dan, home to about 1.3 million people, probably fell in the sea, said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld, noting there was no damage and no injuries reported. Air-raid warnings sounded in the city, which is at the limit of the approximately 70-kilometer (44 mile) range of the Iranian-developed Fajr-5 rocket.
Launching the long-range Fajr-5 rockets at Tel Aviv shows ┬"maturity and wisdom,┬" Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia said on Manar television yesterday. Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said, in reference to the death of the group┬'s military commander, that ┬"pure blood will not go in vain.┬"
Barak said earlier this week that Israel may carry out a ground operation in Gaza. In the December 2008 assault, more than 1,100 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed.
Tanks were shown on Israeli television yesterday heading south on Israeli highways toward the Palestinian coastal territory.
Army spokesman Mordechai, when asked about a possible ground assault, said ┬"all options are on the table.┬"
Looming over the bloodshed was the possibility of a wider conflict and an immediate test for Israel┬'s peace treaty with Egypt. Hamas, an Islamist movement considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union, has appealed for help from Egypt┬'s Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Mursi has recalled Egypt┬'s ambassador to Israel for consultations. The Arab League is scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss the violence. Egypt┬'s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil plans to lead a high-level delegation to Gaza today to show solidarity with Palestinians, Egypt┬'s state-run Middle East News Agency reported yesterday.
Mursi is in touch with ┬"all the effective players in the world┬" in an effort ┬"to calm the situation, stop the bloodshed in Gaza and end this unacceptable aggression against our families and people in Palestine,┬" Yasser Ali, spokesman for the Egyptian president, told Al Jazeera television in an interview.
The Egyptian visit to Gaza and attempts to build a cease- fire ┬"would probably take place prior to any very large scale entry of the Israeli military into the Gaza Strip,┬" said Jonathan Spyer, political scientist at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
┬"Only if that fails, if it┬'s clear that┬'s not going to achieve a cease-fire in the next days, then there could be a real possibility of a ground entry,┬" Spyer said.
An IDF soldier on Thursday was struck by a stray bullet originating from the Syrian side of the border. The soldier's bulletproof vest prevented serious injury, however he did suffer light wounds in the incident.
It was the third time in recent days that fire from battles raging between the Syrian military and rebels near the border of Israel crossed the border.
[Israel National News] Terrorists from the Islamic Jihad ...created after many members of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the liquidation of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah... 's Al-Quds Brigades in Gazoo are firing rockets at Israel from within urban residential areas, and publicizing the fact.
A video uploaded Wednesday to the official Al-Quds channel asserts the repeated and unapologetic use of the "human shield" tactics used by terror organizations in the area. Such methods intentionally endanger the civilian population and deliberately create a terrorist haven amid apartment buildings, schools and playgrounds.
The Al-Quds Brigades grabbed credit for attacks on southern Israel, saying "those attacks come within the framework of an initial response to the Israeli attacks against unarmed civilians, east of Gazoo, which led to the death of four Paleostinians and maimed 30 others."
More than 200 rockets have been fired from Gazoo in the last 24 hours, killing three people and injuring two others in the southern Jewish community of Kiryat Malachi.
Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday in an effort to root out terrorist infrastructures and put an end to the barrage of missile attacks crashing down on Israeli citizens.
The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group that is fighting Bashir al Assad's regime in Syria, has claimed credit for two more suicide attacks and said it conducted joint operations with two other jihadist groups. In one of the joint operations, Al Nusrah claimed it shot down a Syrian Air Force MiG. The al Qaeda-linked terror group has now claimed credit for 34 of the 42 suicide attacks that have been reported in Syria since December 2011.
The terror group claimed the attacks and operations in a series of statements that were released yesterday on jihadist internet forums. The statements have been translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.
The two suicide attacks claimed by Al Nusrah have not been previously reported. The first attack was part of a complex operation and took place on Oct. 9 at "the Aswaq al Kheir barrier [outpost] ... monitored in the area of Ain Tarma in the countryside of Damascus," according to the statement translated by SITE. A suicide bomber identified as Abu Muhammad al Furati detonated a car bomb at the checkpoint to the outpost, "destroying two tanks and burning the third." The suicide attack allowed Al Nusrah fighters to enter the outpost. Al Nusrah claimed that 75 Syrian soldiers and one of its own fighters were killed during the attack.
The second suicide attack took place on Nov. 9 "in the countryside of Hama, east of the city of Soran and close to the Nusayri [Alawhite] villages." A suicide bomber named Abu Humam al Shamali attacked "the Samrah checkpoint" and killed several military personnel, including "Abu Dinyal, a specialist in killing the Sunni people with a knife, and Captain Yunus, who committed the massacre of northern al-Fan in the countryside of Hama."
Joint operations with other Syrian jihadist groups
In addition to the two suicide attacks, Al Nusrah also claimed credit in the Nov. 14 statements for numerous ambushes and IED attacks, as well as two joint operations with two other al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups in Syria. Both of the joint operations took place on Nov. 1.
In the first operation, Al Nusrah said it "participated with Sukur al Sham," or the Hawks of Syria, to attack "the Hamisho barrier that is centered on the Saraqeb - al-Nayrab road."
"The Front participated with a brigade composed of five elements, and the barrier was destroyed after completing the attack operation," al Nusrah said.
In the second operation, Al Nusrah teamed up with the Ahrar al Sham Brigades, or Free Men of Syria, to attack "the ICARDA barrier, where a MiG plane was shot down." Several Syrian soldiers were killed and the groups seized weapons, ammunition, night vision goggles, and vehicles.
The Ahrar al Sham Brigades is a Salafist-jihadist group that operates in Idlib and the surrounding areas, and has numerous foreign fighters in its ranks. Sheik Adnan al Arour, a prominent Syrian cleric who has often appeared in the media, backs the Ahrar al Sham Brigades. According to The New York Times, Arour said the group buys "weapons from the donations and savings of the Wahhabi children and not from the Americans like the Shiites of Iraq did." Wahhabism is the radical branch of Islam promoted by the Saudi government.
Sukur al Sham is another radical jihadist group that operates in Idlib and elsewhere. Abu Zein, a spokesman for the group, told The New York Times that Arabs, Frenchmen, and Belgians are present in the ranks, and that the group espouses al Qaeda's ideology.
"The Qaeda ideology existed previously, but it was suppressed by the regime," Abu Zein told The New York Times in July. "But after the uprising they found very fertile ground, plus the funders to support their existence. The ideology was present, but the personnel were absent. Now we have both."
Al Nusrah Front and suicide attacks
The al Qaeda-linked Al Nusrah Front has been the most active jihadist group in Syria. It has claimed credit for 34 of the 42 known suicide bombings in Syria
BEIRUT: The Damascus region came under artillery fire and airstrikes yesterday as the army launched a major operation, a watchdog said, as activists decried the critical humanitarian situation.
The artillery was focused on the town of Daraya, just southwest of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, also reporting shelling on the northeast town of Mudamiyeh Al-Sham and air raids on the nearby town of Saqba.
The southern districts of the capital, where battles have raged in recent days between rebels and troops fighting for control, were also rocked by shelling yesterday, the watchdog said.
Posted by: Barbara ||
If the UK are serious around backing the rebels with arms, and this results in the rebels pushing on through, how does this result fair for Israel?
Please comment because I've not followed discussions on this.
[An Nahar] La Belle France raised the prospect on Thursday of providing Syria's rebels with defensive weapons as Turkey joined it and the Gulf Arab states in recognizing the newly unified opposition.
La Belle France said it would discuss its proposal to ease the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... arms embargo on both sides in the 20-month-conflict with its partners in the 27-nation bloc, but Russia said any such move would be a violation of international law.
The diplomatic maneuvering came as the Syrian army pressed an operation in areas around Damascus ...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world... to oust rebels clinging to gains they made in July, and as fighting raged around a key military airport near the Iraqi border.
In Gay Paree, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he would raise the idea of excluding defensive weapons for the rebels from the current blanket EU embargo to help them protect the areas they hold from bombardment by forces loyal to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama...
"For the moment, there is an embargo, so there are no arms being delivered from the European side. The issue... will no doubt be raised for defensive arms," he said, adding: "This is something that we can only do in coordination with the Europeans."
Fellow EU states Germany, Spain, Italia and Poland welcomed the formation of the new National Coalition on Thursday, but stopped short of recognizing it as the sole representative of the Syrian people, echoing the position of Britannia.
La Belle France on Tuesday become the first Western country to formally recognize the National Coalition as such, the same day its leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib called on world powers to arm the rebels with "specialized weapons."
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that Ankara too now "recognizes the Syrian National Coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Syria."
In Moscow, Russian foreign ministry front man Alexander Lukashevich said "promises are being made from a number of capitals of massive supplies of modern weapons.
"Outside help to the opposition waging an armed battle against a legitimate government is a gross violation of fundamental norms of international law."
Washington has expressed caution about delivering weapons to the rebels for fear they could fall into the hands of jihadists.
"One of the things we have to be on guard about... is that we're not indirectly putting arms in the hands of folks who would do Americans harm," U.S. President Barack Obama Why can't I just eat my waffle?... said on Wednesday.
Obama said Washington was encouraged by the formation of the coalition but was not yet ready to recognize it.
On the ground, the army launched air and ground assaults on rebel positions on the outskirts of Damascus, as troops battled to control a military airport in the town of Albu Kamal bordering Iraq, a watchdog said.
Eight soldiers were killed resisting a rebel attack on Hamdan airbase while three rebels died after capturing a security headquarters in Albu Kamal, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"Hamdan military airport is the last regime outpost in Albu Kamal," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by phone.
"If it falls to the rebels, this is huge. It means they control all of the territory from the Iraqi border to Deir Ezzor city."
The Observatory said that video had emerged of the wreckage of a warplane, which local activists claimed was a MiG shot down by rebels in Albu Kamal, but could not confirm the reports.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics in civilian and military hospitals, also reported that around 80 bodies of military personnel were being kept at Aleppo ...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins... military airport.
"The authorities are delaying the handover of fallen soldiers to their families, sometimes over a month after they are killed," it said.
At least 60 people were killed in Thursday's violence, the Britannia-based watchdog said, adding that the corpse count since the uprising broke out in March last year now tops 39,000.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.