Hat Tip: gCaptain. Murder in beautiful, polluted Karachi.
A senior Chinese shipping company executive was shot dead in the violence-plagued Pakistani financial hub of Karachi on Monday in what police described as a targeted attack.
While there was no claim of responsibility and the motive was not immediately clear, China in December warned its nationals in Pakistan of plans for imminent attacks on Chinese targets.
China's presence is growing in Pakistan as Beijing has pledged $57 billion for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship "Belt and Road" project that first focused on Chinese firms building roads and power stations but is now expanding to include setting up industries. Go ahead, Chicoms, dump good money after bad.
The man, identified as Chen Zhu, 45, was in his car when he was attacked in an upmarket area of the port city of Karachi.
At least 10 shots were fired at the car and Chen suffered a single bullet wound in the head, police said.
"The incident appears to be targeted attack, (it) doesn't look like a mugging," Azad Khan, deputy inspector general of Karachi's south zone, told Reuters. Brilliant deduction, Azad.
Chen was the Pakistan general manager of Cosco Shipping Lines Co, a company spokeswoman said, adding that the cause of the attack was unclear.
"The company has taken steps, first to ensure the safety of our staff overseas; secondly to inform the family so that they can go and make funeral arrangements; and thirdly, we immediately contacted the local consulate and embassy to get their assistance," the spokeswoman said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing the Chinese consulate had asked the Pakistani police to bring the killer to justice.
Tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have come to Pakistan, but the new arrivals face dangers, creating a headache for Pakistani security officials. Same thing has been going on for a while.
Islamic State's abduction and killing last June of two Chinese nationals in the southwestern province of Baluchistan highlighted the security risks that have put off many Western companies.
Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, still has a reputation for gang shootings and other violence, despite a paramilitary crackdown that began in 2013 and sharply reduced killings.
Alternate title - Five middle-aged women decide it's time to start saving for retirement.
The Spice Girls are getting back together for a reunion tour that will take them to the U.S. ... TMZ has learned.
As we reported, Mel B, Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie C met last week with their former manager, Simon Fuller. Sources connected to the women tell us the meeting was for "rough planning" and the goal is a world tour that will kick off in late summer.
Our sources say the plan now is for the group to hit the stage in England first and then migrate over to the U.S. There is NO plan for a Vegas residency and no plan to record new music.
[National Review] The FBI and Justice Department hyped Trump‐Russia collusion. Rod Rosenstein can right that wrong.
The most bitter dispute over the Nunes memo involves Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. This might seem odd since the memo, published last week by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Devin Nunes (R. Calif.), does not address the Mueller investigation.
Rather, it homes in on potential abuses of foreign-intelligence-collection authorities by Obama-era Justice Department and FBI officials, said to have occurred many months before Mueller was appointed.
Nevertheless, it is simply a fact that many ardent supporters of President Trump claim the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation is destroyed by revelations in the Nunes memo ‐ particularly, the improper use of the unverified Steele dossier to obtain a FISA-court warrant to spy on Carter Page, who had been a Trump campaign adviser. The idea is that without the Steele dossier, there would be no Trump-Russia narrative, and thus no collusion investigation ‐ which is how Trump supporters perceive the Mueller probe. Naturally, this has prompted a vitriolic response.
Trump critics see the Mueller investigation as the path to impeachment, and thus anathematize Chairman Nunes as a Trumpist hack bent on razing the FBI ‐ longtime bête noire of the Left, which, through the alchemy of Trump derangement, has suddenly become great a pillar of Our Values.
A key advantage of the shadow state is that, well, they are in the shadows. Trump's genius is to so irritate these shady folk that they leap out of the shadows of their own volition to do battle.
Posted by: E. Clainter9830 ||
That's a lot of words to say "This whole thing gives Notional Review a queasy tummy!"
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
The problem with these Democrap denizens in the FBI and DoJ is that they like all liberals, think they are smarter than anyone else and their schemes so well planned that nothing could possibly go wrong.
Except maybe you didn't get your guy into the White House to paper over all of this and now the bill is coming due.
That's their blind spot, they are so arrogant they don't see the flaws in their plans. I guess we should all be glad they didn't have a worst case scenario developed on their scheme.
Mueller's job was to distract from any Hillary investigation which Trump's AG might launch right after the investigation.
The fact that Trump simply allowed Mueller to float out there like a fart in the wind while he doesn't find anything and _then_ later (now) start looking into Hillary and friends seems like it was planned...
[LI] Abbas’ Fatah Movement was quick to honor as a "Martyr" Ahmed Nasr Jarrar who led the group of terrorists who shot and murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach, father of 6, in a drive-by shooting last month. The terrorist was killed by Israeli soldiers yesterday while resisting arrest. Fatah posted the picture of Jarrar with his father, calling him the "young lion":
[Breitbart] Monday on Fox News Channel’s "Hannity," conservative talker Mark Levin laid out his case arguing the release of a FISA memo by the House Intelligence Committee last week raised questions about the previous administration. That included some of those holdovers involved in the day-to-day operations of the Department of Justice, including Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.
Levin argued those were the questions that should be asked and summed up the circumstances as 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton having "paid for a warrant."
Partial transcript as follows:
This is bad. Let me tell you a couple of things here. Now we know why [Adam] Schiff and the rest of them are fighting so hard. Now we know why the left-wing praetorian guard Democrat media are fighting so hard, trashing [Devin] Nunes, me, you, and others. Let’s walk through this quickly. Who are they trying to protect? Hillary Clinton. Sean, who else are they trying to protect? Barack Obama. His name never comes up.
So, let me help everybody with this. Loretta Lynch knew about these FISA warrants. [Sally] Yates, the deputy attorney general, the extensions Rod Rosenstein, now the deputy attorney general. He knew. FBI Director [James] Comey, Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe, [Peter] Strzok, the head of counterintelligence, [Lisa] Page ‐ his girlfriend.
Who else would know these FISA applications and warrants? Let me tell you a little secret. These are counterintelligence efforts. You have to assume the National Security Council and the White House knew. Why would the FBI, Justice Department, keep that from the National Security Director in the White House? Why would they keep it from the deputy director in the White House?
So why would be left out of the president’s daily intelligence briefing? Which I meantioned in March Congress also needs to get a hold of. I am telling you, we’re looking at the FBI, we’re looking at the Department of Justice, we are not looking at all at the White House. Hillary Clinton paid for a warrant. That’s the easiest way we can put it. Hillary Clinton colluded with the Russians. But it appears the FBI at the seniormost levels colluded with the Russians, too. Whether it was witting or unwitting, it doesn’t matter. That’s a fact.
So, the senior level of the FBI tried to interfere with this election as well. This is why it’s such a big deal. Now, I know Republicans are bending over backwards saying this has nothing to do with Mueller. This has everything to do with Mueller.
It has everything to do with Mueller because it transitions from the counterintelligence investigation into a criminal investigation after Comey, of all things, confesses of all things to being a leaker. And Mueller ‐ Mueller is the former FBI director. Those are his people. That is his environment. He’s not out there as some independent force.
But I want to get back to Barack Obama. It’s his FBI, his Department of Justice, his State Department, his candidate. I cannot believe for a minute that the National Security Council didn’t know about this.
And to show you how elaborate this is, now that more information is coming out, we haven’t even gotten to the incidental collection of intelligence on people, including, by the way, [Jeff] Sessions when he met with and spoke with the Russian ambassador, Michael Flynn when he spoke to the Russian ambassador, the unmasking and leaking of his name, the record number of unmasking of American citizens in the Trump world and so forth and so on.
And the American people have been subjected to a massive propaganda and misinformation campaign by the Clinton campaign, by the Obama administration. Let me ask you a logical question, Sean.
Why would the Russians want Donald Trump to be president of the United States when they could get everything they want from Hillary Clinton ‐ whether it’s uranium, whether it’s undermining defense by cutting military spending, by refusing to secure our border? Why in the world with the Russians want Trump as to Hillary Clinton? Emphasis added.
[Daily Caller] Newly discovered texts exchanged by FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page reveal possible involvement by former President Barack Obama in the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, Fox News reports.
"Potus wants to know everything we’re doing," Page told Strzok in a text message dated Sept 2, 2016. Page then described preparing former FBI director James Comey to brief Obama on the details of a particular investigation.
Congressional investigators told Fox News the texts could spark an inquiry into the depth of Obama’s knowledge and involvement in the Clinton investigation.
Page also revealed in her text messages with the Strzok that former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe knew of emails discovered on Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s computer on Sept 28, 2016. Comey did not notify Congress of this batch of emails until days before the election on October 28, 2016. The delay in notification and the role McCabe played in the investigation is reportedly an item of interest for FBI inspector general Michael Horowitz in a new report.
His girlfriend was in on it up to her tippy-top.
Posted by: E. Clainter9830 ||
Fun part would be Moochelle screeching about the amenities - or more properly the lack of - in exile.
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
What else do you expect from a POTUS that lied about his healthcare plan, lied about Benghazi, lied about Fast and Furious, lied about his father, lied about his mother and had his birth certificate and college transcripts sealed by court order.
[PJ Media] Last Thursday, Sam Brownback was sworn in as the State Department's new ambassador for religious liberty.
Today -- in his first official speech as ambassador -- Brownback openly embraced a hardline Islamic cleric who authorized a fatwa in 2004 justifying the killing of Americans in Iraq, and another fatwa in 2012 calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah's past is no mystery to the State Department. For example, the Obama administration's State Department had to repeatedly apologize in May 2014 for promoting Bin Bayyah as a moderate. However, the Obama administration then implemented a full-court press with the U.S. media and the D.C. foreign policy "Smart Set" to rehabilitate the image of the Mauritanian cleric.
Sam Brownback should skip the middleman, convert to islam and move to that giant jihad kitty litter sandbox of his choice. Without a doubt Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah should be in a Federal prison hole as a terrorist. But here us Sammy drooling over USA troop murdering fataws.
Firing Brownback is a must to stop this State Dept crap. Trump should make an example of his sideline support of Muhammidan terrorism cheerleaders. This might get them to stop eating lead paint chips for lunch.
[Hot Air] Democrats warned that releasing the Nunes memo would damage national security. Some who looked at the memo after its release didn’t really see how that would be the case. But it turns out Democrats could have been describing their own memo. According to a report at Fox News, the Democratic rebuttal memo is loaded with information on sources and methods in an effort to put the White House in a bind.
No way to pick it up from the clean end? Kick responsibility for redaction back to the Dems. Give the Dems (House and Senate Intelligence Committees and minority leaders) a public deadline to coordinate a clean, redacted document with the Intelligence Community and FBI, then release it, redacted or not.
Redact nothing. Hang the FBI informants out to dry. Split the FBI functions up between the Marshals Service, Secret Service and create a national crime lab. Eliminate the Bureau - and there are no methods left to compromise.
[Khaama Press] A suicide bomber tasked by the militant groups to carry out an attack in southern Helmand province has surrendered to the security forces.
The provincial government media office in a statement said a suicide bomber who was sent by the Taliban group to carry out a suicide attack in Mukhtar area in Lashkargah city, has surrendered to the security forces.
The statement further added that the suicide bomber refrained to carry out the attack and today handed himself over to the police forces in the city.
The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.
Helmand is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating and often carry out insurgency activities in its various districts.
This comes as the Afghan security forces on Monday killed a suicide bomber before he manage to carry out a deadly attack using a car bomb in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
According to the local officials, a suicide bomber riding a Toyota Town Ace vehicle packed with explosives was identified before he carry out an attack in Marjah district.
The incident took place at around 11:30 am local time on Monday in the vicinity of Terikh Nawar area of Marjah district, the officials added.
[Khaama Press] At least ten insurgents belonging to the Taliban group leader Mawlavi Nik Mohammad joined peace process in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
The provincial government media office in a statement said the militants led by Ismail alias Fawad joined the peace process due to the ongoing peace efforts of the provincial National Directorate of Security.
The statement further added that the militants joined peace process in Khogyani district and also handed over some weapons and ammunition to the local authorities.
The weapons handed over to the authorities include five Ak-47 assault rifles, two pistols, a rocket launcher, six hand grenades, and one communication device set.
The militants were previously active in Khogyani district where they were conducting destructive activities under the leadership of the Taliban leader Mawlavi Nik Mohammad, the statement added.
The leader of the group Islami said they have been conducting insurgency based on irrelevant and wrong instructions of the Taliban group leaders since last eight years.
He said the Taliban insurgents who have joined peace process are regretting for their activities and he called on other insurgents to renounce violence and join peace process.
They also promised to live a peaceful life after the reconciliation process and contribute in the reconstruction of the country.
The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.
[Khaama Press] A key ISIS leader in charge of the military commission of the terror group for Haska Mina district has been killed in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
The provincial police commandment said a clash broke out between the ISIS militants and the Afghan security forces in Chaparhar district late on Monday, leaving at least four ISIS militants dead or wounded.
The Nangarhar police officials are saying that the Afghan police and army forces were busy conducting routine patrol when they were ambushed by the ISIS militants.
The officials further added that the Afghan forces responded to the ISIS fire and forced the militants to retreat, leaving two of them dead.
According to the police officials citing intelligence reports two ISIS militants including Qari Habib the military commission in charge of the group were killed during the clashes.
The other ISIS member killed during the clashes has been identified as Qari Hanifa and two others were wounded, the officials said.
According to the security officials, the Afghan armed forces and the local residents did not suffer any casualties during the clashes.
The ISIS terrorist group has not commented regarding the clash and the killing of its senior leader so far.
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday signed into law a bill making it a crime to blame the "Polish Nation or Polish State" for culpability in the Holocaust, despite a furious reaction from Israel and warnings from Washington that this could damage US-Poland ties.
Hours before he signed the bill, however, Duda said he would send it to the country’s Constitutional Tribunal for judicial review, leaving open the possibility of a last-ditch amendment to the legislation.
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem issued a statement saying: "We hope that within allotted time until the court’s deliberations are concluded, we will manage to agree on changes and corrections." Here in the ME we have a saying: "Every dog will have its day".
A Palestinian assailant was shot dead on Wednesday after stabbing a security guard at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, the Israeli military said.
The civilian guard, stationed at the Karmei Tzur settlement north of Hebron, was slightly wounded. Another security guard shot and killed the attacker, the military said in a statement.
"When we arrived to the scene, we saw a 34-year-old man standing near the entrance to the settlement," Magen David Adom Paramedic Dvora Aviad said. "He was walking, with an injured hand from stabbing. With the assistance of an IDF medical force, we gave him initial medical treatment and he was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in mild condition."
Damascus (Syria News) The self-proclaimed Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... has crucified a number of youths in al-Yarmouk Camp, south of the capital, Damascus, Enab Baladi News reported on Tuesday.
The Islamic State group, however, did not issue any clarification about the execution of the youths, as it used to do in its held areas.
The Islamic State is currently controlling 70% of the camp’s areas, which previously witnessed several execution on different charges.
Meanwhile, ...back at the the conspirators' cleverly concealed hideout the long-awaited message arrived. They quickly got to work with their decoder rings... Rabee Sawra News agency reported that the radical group crucified two youths, yesterday, near al-Orouba border, while crucified two others, two days ago, near Paleostine Mosque, in Damascus.
The youths were crucified on charges of smuggling house equipment from the camp to the town of Yalda, south of Damascus, the agency added, while explained that the crucifixion lasted for three days.
It is noteworthy that the Islamic State group controls the majority of the camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad camp, in addition to al-Assali area and al-Tadamon neighborhood. ISIS also announced capturing al-Zayn neighborhood, south of Damascus, after military confrontations against the Syrian rebels.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... supreme leader His Supreme Immensity, Caliph of the Faithful and Galactic Overlord, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ...the head of ISIS, or what remains of it, and a veteran of the Abu Graib jailhouse. Looks like a new messiah to bajillions of Moslems, like just another dead-eyed mass murder to the rest of us. So far he has been killed at least four times, though not yet by a stake through the heart... is on a new list of persons sought by Iraqi security authorities for terrorism-related charges, according to a list obtained by Iraqi network Alsumaria News.
The new list contains 13 other people besides Baghdadi, of Iraqi, Saudi, Yemeni Jordanian and Qatar ...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates. Home of nutbag holy manYusuf al-Qaradawi... i nationalities, according to the network.
On Tuesday, Iraq issued a list of 60 people wanted for terrorism charges, including the daughter of late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
Baghdadi’s whereabouts have been unknown since Iraqi forces launched a U.S.-backed campaign to retake areas occupied by his fighters. Conflicting reports have been made regarding his survival but his death has not been confirmed. His only public appearance was at the Grand Nuri Mosque of djinn-infested Mosul ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn... where he delivered his famous sermon declaring the establishment of the group’s rule, and was never heard of except through voice recordings attributed to him in which he commented on the progress of battles against Iraqi forces and urged his comrades to remain resilient.
Iraqi forces are still chasing remnant IS forces of Evil at desert areas.
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The daughter of Iraq’s late president Saddam Hussein is currently living in the United Arab Emirates, and only the United States can greenlight her return to Iraq, where she faces terrorism charges, according to a parliamentarian close to the Iraqi prime minister.
Jassem Mohamed Jaafar told Baghdad Today that Raghad Saddam currently lives in Emirates, and not in Jordan as is widely believed. “Her handover to Iraq is in the U.S. hands, if they want to hand her over, UAE will do, and if not, the UAE will not”, Jaafar said. “The U.S. is currently working on handing over terrorists to Iraq, rather than Baathist vestiges,” he said, referring to Saddam’s formerly ruling party.
Earlier this week, Iraq issued a list of 60 Baathists, al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants wanted for terrorism charges, including Raghad.
Jaafar said the Iraqi government possesses “numerous evidence for Raghad’s involvement in terrorism, and had handed that evidence to the Interpol for her extradition.
Speaking to Dubai-based al-Arabiya channel on Monday, Raghad dismissed the charges against her, confirming that she currently does not live in Jordan.
In a relevant context, Saudi al-Watan newspaper quoted a “senior Iraqi security official” saying that the list comprised by the Iraqi government reflects “a concern of a possible alliance among the three categories of those wanted: Baathists, Islamic State and al-Qaeda”.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
Nineveh (Iraqinews.com) ‐ Security forces tossed in the slammer ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... on Tuesday a former Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... media official after raiding a house of one of his relatives in djinn-infested Mosul ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn... , a security source was quoted as saying.
Speaking to Baghdad Today news website, the source said that security forces "arrested Mazhar Hamad al-Ghesh at al-Houd village in southern Mosul district of Qayyarah."
"Al-Ghesh was arrested while hiding inside a house of one of his relatives," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, stressing that the arrest was made upon accurate intelligence reports.
The source added that al-Ghesh, as a media official, was entitled to deliver blurbs of the terrorist Islamic State group.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
Cleaning each other from the shallow end of the gene pool.
[Ynet] Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper reports dozens of Gazooks who left to fight in Iraq, Syria and Libya have returned to the region, with some of them joining the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula to battle both Egypt and Hamas.
Dozens of Gazoo residents are battling Hamas, the well-beloved offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood, under the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... 's black flag, reported Tuesday morning Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar in an overview of the struggle between the Islamic State's Sinai branch and Hamas in Gazoo.
Dozens of Gazooks left the strip to fight in Iraq, Syria and Libya, the paper reported, but have since returned to the region. While some of them turned themselves into Hamas's hands, as the terrorist group is cracking down on the presence of the Islamic State (IS) in the strip, others still have decided to remain in Sinai and battle Hamas there under IS's auspices.
The fight between the two terror groups was dubbed a "direct and vicarious war" by Al Akhbar, the culmination of which was brought to bear in a video put out by IS recently showing the execution of a man named Musa Abu Zamat, who was once an IS activist himself but was killed for transferring arms to Hamas through smuggling tunnels going into Gazoo from Sinai.
In the purported execution video, both the speaker and the executioner are former Gazoo residents, one of which is even allegedly the son of a senior Hamas official from the al-Shati refugee camp.
Hamas has obtained information, Al Akhbar further reported, that some 50 Gazooks are fighting for the IS in Sinai‐having joined the bully boy Sunni terror group in the past few months‐alongside the group's imported muscle.
The share of Gazooks in the Islamic State's ranks in the Sinai Peninsula was estimated to be only 10 percent, with the remaining being 50 percent Egyptians and 40 percent citizens of other Arab states.
Good to know.
While the Islamic State was still trying to entrench itself in Sinai, it attempted to establish links with some of Gazoo's terrorist groups under the watchful eye of Hamas, but the latter group's crackdown on Salafi activists and other entities affiliated with IS led to the war.
The Hamas-IS struggle was later compounded by the Egyptian army's efforts to curtail the Salafist group's power in northern Sinai, and its subsequent forced cooperation with Hamas.
Al Akhbar also claimed the aforementioned execution video was only one documented instance, whereas seven more people were executed for the same charges previously.
On the topic of Egypt's unwilling cooperation with Hamas, the Gazoo-ruling group received intelligence obtained by the Egyptian army that pointed to the IS's Sinai branch's intentions to carry out suicide kabooms in the strip and near the Sinai-Gazoo border.
Following up on an investigative report by the New York Times
...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... published recently that exposed the extent of the alleged Israeli involvement in military operations against IS in Sinai, sources who spoke to Al Akhbar claimed that more than 17 of the group's bigwigs were taken out by Israel, most of whom were previously active in Paleostinian terror groups.
[Georgetown Security Studies Review] Regional ImplicationsThe regional impact of Turkey’s actions are far-ranging, but largely play into the hands of the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus axis. Russia green-lighted the operation when it withdrew its troops from Afrin, likely in an attempt to extract concessions at the Sochi peace talks, of which Turkey is a co-sponsor. The diverting of Kurdish attention from eastern Syria to Afrin will allow Iran to expand its reach on the Syria-Iraq border, while Syrian forces roll back rebel forces in Idlib province without fear of Turkish interference. While Operation Olive Branch may further cement Russian-Iranian influence in the region – and even risk broader conflict between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds – US policymakers should devote considerable attention to how local dynamics within Syria may ebb and flow.
Given its partnerships with both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds, the U.S. is in a precarious position. America must not only focus on key strategic objectives – such as preventing the reemergence of ISIS and deterring Iranian expansion – but also prevent further Turkish-Kurdish conflict in other parts of northern Syria. To do so, US policymakers should ensure they understand a key underlying driver of the Afrin operation: the potential for increased instability in other Kurdish-controlled, Arab-majority areas. Further instability may disrupt US stability operations and efforts to prevent ISIS or ISIS-sympathetic elements from re-establishing a foothold.
Restoring al-Raqqa Amidst Ethnic Tensions Though Turkish-leaning news outlets may have purposely misreported the latter two protests, likely in an attempt to drum up anti-Kurdish sentiment, many Arabs living in these areas already mistrust and resent Kurdish rule.
Al-Raqqa, in particular, poses a unique challenge given the city’s recent liberation by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in October and slow struggle back to normality.
Local and Turkish Hostility Brewing in Manbij
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated a week prior to launching the operation that the offensive will not be “limited to Afrin alone…there is also Manbij and east of the Euphrates River.”[v] In response, American General Joseph Votel, head of CENTCOM, warned the Turks that “our object is to prevent something like that from happening.”[vi]
Though Turkish threats run the risk of unintentional Turkish-on-US violence, the deeper threat to stability west of the Euphrates mirrors that of al-Raqqa: the Kurdish-backed Manbij Civil Council (MCC) has increasingly lost the Arab majority’s public trust.
ISIS – the common thread that knitted the US-Kurdish alliance together – is no longer a tangible threat in al-Raqqa, Manbij, and most of the Euphrates River Valley. Nonetheless, the US retains a vested interest in supporting the Kurds in clearing remaining ISIS pockets near the Syria-Iraq border. More importantly, it is also in US interests to prevent ethnic conflict between Kurds and Arabs. Turkey, which enjoys indirect ties to various Syrian opposition-leaning tribesmen, may exploit simmering anti-Kurdish resentment in Manbij and al-Raqqa to foment chaos. Disillusioned Arabs may also radicalize if ISIS is able to craft an ethnic narrative and regain support. To prevent this, the U.S. must focus on both de-conflicting tensions with Turkey and strengthening local Kurdish capacity and legitimacy to govern its hard-won territory.
Why do Arabs dislike the Kurds? Aren't they all followers of Allah?
A man was walking through Dublin, Ireland during the troubles. He was confronted by three thugs. "Are you Protestant or Catholic?", one of the thugs asked the man. The man smiled and said, "I am Jewish." The three thugs conferred and then asked, "Are you a Protestant Jew or a Catholic Jew?"
Must be what it is like for the Kurds.
Posted by: E. Clainter9830 ||
[Al Ahram] Maldives President Abdulla Yameen's administration said on Tuesday it had put down a coup after declaring a state of emergency the day before and arresting two Supreme Court justices and opposition figures.
"We have managed to ensure the failure of the coup attempt by some people," Defence Minister Adam Shareef Umar said on state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
While the government seemed in control on Tuesday, it was unclear whether the political crisis in the Indian Ocean island nation, best known as a luxury holiday destination, was over.
On the same day, an exiled former president urged regional power India to send an envoy backed by its military to release Maldivian political prisoners.
The Maldives plunged into crisis last week after the Supreme Court quashed terrorism convictions against nine leading opposition figures including the exiled, first democratically elected president, Mohammed Nasheed.
Tensions came to a head when Yameen's government rejected the ruling and on Monday imposed an emergency and then in the early hours of Tuesday morning tossed in the calaboose Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! the chief justice and another judge of the court. In doing so, the government ignored calls from the United States and the international community to respect the court's verdict.
It was only a few decades ago when they had the same problem with invading mercs looking for a home. What is the deal with coups in this island? Something in the water? Also WTF do they need heavy weapons for?
Constitution 2.0 - If Congress fails to implement both budget resolution and appropriations with a 365 day period, all members are bared from reelection, appointment to federal offices, or receive any contracts for a period no less than 12 years.
When all parties skins on the line, it will be amazing the agreement two wolves can come to in choosing which sheep to eat tonight.
[ALMASDARNEWS] Elite forces of the Syrian Arab Army have scored another mammoth advance against ISIS, the second in a single day, across territories held by the terrorist group in the country’s northwest.
Moments ago, military-affiliated sources reported that assault units of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division seized another 29 towns from Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... Death Eaters during recent hours amid an ongoing all-out offensive against the jihadist faction across northeast Syria.
Reports identify the new group of towns and villages to be captured by Syrian troops as Jubb Utman, Rasem Bajris, Khayrieh Segira, Khayrieh Kebira, Maseidah, Hawa, Azeziyah, Barudih, Jadwayah Kibiliyah, Hamdaniyah, Kahyrieh Maeatih, Hawa Sharqiyat, Dalalatan, Tal Halawat, Luwaybidat, Sukayri, Mulawlah, Um Aj, al-Dak, al-Salhiyah, Rasm al-Kharayj, Najm al-Zohor, al-Halbiyah, al-Masloukhyah, Houmi, Dalla, Mlolah, Loubidah and Tall al-Raman
By this advance, the Syrian Army has now seized 45 settlements from ISIS across northwest Syria in a single day (more specifically, just 12 hours).
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[SABANEWS.NET] Rocketry force of the army and popular committees on Tuesday fired a missile toward Saudi army's camp in border province of Asir, a military official told Saba.
Zilzal-2 missile targeted the enemy in Qamat-Sheikh area, inflicted them heavy causalities, the official added. The army and committees also destroyed two military vehicles of Saudi army during repelling their infiltration in front of Alab crossing.
Meanwhile, ...back at the the conspirators' cleverly concealed hideout the long-awaited message arrived. They quickly got to work with their decoder rings... the US-baked Saudi-led aggression coalition warplanes targeted its mercenaries' gatherings and gear in western Majaza of Asir.
[ALMASDARNEWS] The Salafist tough guys launched a number of mortar shells and rockets into Damascus, today, causing several casualties in the process.
In one particular attack, three non-combatants were killed and eight others were maimed when Salafist tough guys in the East Ghouta fired a missile at a bus located inside the Old District of Damascus.
The Salafist tough guys would then target several other areas in Damascus, including the al-Malki and Mezzeh districts.
Both the Syrian government and Salafist tough guys have been exchanging hostilities in east Damascus, today, resulting in civilian casualties on both sides.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Al Ahram] Egypt’s high military appeals court upheld on Tuesday death sentences handed to two defendants over the August 2013 murder of two police personnel in North Sinai.
A first-degree military court originally sentenced the pair to death in 2015 for their involvement in the Lion of Islam attack on al-Gora checkpoint in the North Sinai city of al-Arish, and for possessing illegal firearms.
The attack resulted in the deaths of two police conscripts and injured another officer.
"Egyptians are suffering from their own bigoted attitudes far more than the Israelis are nowadays anyway. Peoples and governments gripped by paranoid conspiracy theories (bigoted or otherwise) are incapable of solving their problems, partly because they aren’t diagnosing what ails them correctly but also because they waste time, energy and resources jousting with ghosts, at times with debilitating and bloody results. History is replete with examples, from the Salem Witch Trials to Nazi Germany. To frame it another way, imagine visiting a doctor with respiratory symptoms and he puts you on chemotherapy for a cancer you don’t have instead of a course of antibiotics that would easily cure the pneumonia you do have. You’ll just lay there in bed, half dead from terrible side effects, and get sicker."
[LWJ] The US military launched a series of airstrikes on Taliban training camps located in Afghanistan’s remote northeastern province of Badakhshan, which borders Tajikistan. The camps were used by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and other terrorist groups.
“Over the past 96 hours, US forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban training facilities in Badakhshan province, preventing the planning and rehearsal of terrorist acts near the border with China and Tajikistan by such organizations as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and others,” Resolute Support announced in a press release.
According to Resolute Support, the airstrikes also “destroyed stolen Afghan National Army vehicles that were in the process of being converted to vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.”
The secondaries must have been glorious.
The strike took place in the district of Warduj, a US military officer told The Washington Post. FDD’s Long War Journal has assessed Warduj to be under Taliban control. The district has changed hands several times over the past 4 years. The presence of camps in the district is further evidence that the Taliban controls the district.
Badakhshan, once a peaceful province, has become a Taliban hotbed since the US withdrew the bulk of its forces after the troop surge ended in 2012. Of Badakhshan’s 28 districts, LWJ assesses three to be Taliban controlled and another nine to be contested.
Another of President Obama’s achievements about to be erased by his successor, one hopes.
The East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is also known as the East Turkistan Islamic Party, is an al Qaeda-affiliated jihadist group based in Afghanistan and Pakistan and operates throughout Central Asia.
ETIM’s emir has served on al Qaeda’s shura, and it has operated a training camp that was sponsored by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. After the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan in 2001, the ETIM established training camps in Pakistan.
ETIM fighters have fought alongside the Taliban and other jihadist groups against Coalition and Afghan forces since the US first invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
The US has previously targeted ETIM leaders inside Pakistan in its drone campaign. In Aug. 2010, the US thought it killed Abdul Haq al Turkistani, the emir of the ETIM, in a drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan. Turkistani later re-emerged in a video in 2015, and said he was severely wounded in the 2010 drone strike. Abdul Haq issued another in 2016 that took al Qaeda’s side in its dispute with the Islamic State.
The US was also thought to have killed Emeti Yakuf (a.k.a. Abdul Shakoor Turkistani), in a drone strike in Pakistan in Aug. 2012. Yakuf took control of the ETIM as Turkistani was recovering from his injuries, and also took control of al Qaeda’s network in Pakistan’s tribal areas in 2010.
[SmallWarsJournal] The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which comprised of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC is an important organization within the Persian Gulf area which has undergone a very serious organizational crisis. A very stern rift has occurred within the GCC that has witnessed Saudi Arabia and her regional allies, flexing their muscles against Qatar (which is also a member of GCC) due to serious differences in their worldview and day-to-day regional politics. The Saudi ultimatum may be summarized from the original 13 points into the one paragraph below: Cease supporting Iran and Turkey as regional competitors, cease Qatar’s support for terrorist groups and anti GCC countries political activists; cease exercising soft power (media) that provoked unrest in Saudi Arabia and other GCC member states and finally accept Saudi Arabia’s hegemonic influence.
There are many competing factors involved in this crisis which could create challenges to regional security should diplomatic tools fail to solve their differences. Importantly, the GCC is an indispensable asset for Persian Gulf security until a better way is found to incorporate other littoral states into the Persian Gulf security structure.
Most importantly, the Saudi-Qatar rift is multilayered and has developed over the last few years wherein international prestige and power has increased among Saudis, Qatar and other GCC countries’ due to the drastic geopolitical and economic changes since 1979. Geopolitically, since 1979, Iran and Iraq have continuously lost their influence due to revolution and wars which weakened their standing drastically and created a huge power vacuum.
In the economic sphere, the abundance of natural resources has changed the overall economic status of the Southern part of the Persian Gulf Arab states (Arabian Peninsula) such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others. The increase of prestige and power of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries have encouraged them to assume a bigger role in the regional politics; however, their power projection and capabilities were not checked and balanced within the GCC framework.
The Qatar crisis has shown a bitter reality: the GCC countries are following separate socio-political and economic paths and that their work isn’t coordinated in any shape or form. They are contradicting each other’s national interests, and there exists no neutral body capable of solving their conflicting interstate interests. The lack of mediation and the atmosphere of mutual suspicion and distrust of other member states have created this great dilemma in the Southern Persian Gulf area. In other words, the GCC’s lack of a unified approach toward internal and regional issues have created chaos and distrust in all levels of GCC governing body. The current crisis exemplifies how the absence of cohesive policy-making could bring a regional or international organization to its knees.
[IsraelTimes] Salah Abdeslam, tossed in the calaboose Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! after shootout with police in 2016, accuses Brussels court of 'bias against Moslems,' refuses to answer questions
The only surviving suspect in the 2015 Gay Paree attacks accused a Belgian court on Monday of bias against Moslems, saying he put his "trust in Allah" as he went on trial for a deadly shootout with police.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: trailing wife ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
Rep. Eric Swalwell said Tuesday the Democratic memo "bolsters credibility" for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and justice system.
"Ours bolsters the credibility of the FBI, to point out that they actually did go through the correct process," Mr. Swalwell, California Democrat, said on Fox News.
Republicans released their memo Friday on alleged use of an unverified dossier in obtaining surveillance warrants on members of President Trump’s campaign team. The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the Democratic memo on Monday, but Mr. Trump has to approve it, as he did with Republicans.
Mr. Swalwell explained that Democrats did not support the release the Republican memo because they did not want evidence released in an ongoing investigation, but Republicans did support the release of the Democratic memo.
"The public sentiment was that they wanted the full picture, and Democrats didn’t believe that in an ongoing investigation that the public, or subjects or witnesses in the investigation, like the White House and White House staff members, should see evidence that is being used in the case, which now is open and out there," he said.
Mr. Swalwell said Democrats now want their memo released because of misinformation in the Republican memo.
Posted by: Vast Right Wing Conspiracy ||
Top|| File under:
Democrats didn’t believe that in an ongoing investigation that the public, or subjects or witnesses in the investigation, like the White House and White House staff members, should see evidence that is being used in the case
Why? Didn't want to sway a potential jury? Didn't want to sway members of Congress.
People used to say that Hoover was a danger to the US. They succeeded in demonizing him personally without looking all that closely at the bureau.
Tsarnaevs...how many intel agencies told the bureau about them?
Nidal Hassan...wherein they had volumes of e mail detailing his thoughts/plans to kill US troops.
Whitey Bulger/Steve Flemmi...not enough room to even casually broach the subject.
Yeah, we really NEED the FBI. Look at their man of the hour, their wonder boy on the case...Strzok! for Pete's sake, the man IS James Bond. Of course JB was the only operative I ever heard of who compulsively introduced himself to anybody who would listen. I wouldn't mind the clown show as much if it weren't as expensive and increasingly intrusive.
[Al Ahram] Macedonia is ready to add a geographical qualifier to its name to help resolve a dispute with Greece that has held up its prospects of joining the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... and NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... , Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Tuesday.
Macedonia joined the United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... in 1993 with the provisional name "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" because its neighbour Greece objected to the one-word name saying it implied a territorial claim to a Greek province of the same name.
"I would like the negotiations (with Greece) to succeed ... We are ready for a geographical qualifier in the name," he told news hounds in the capital Skopje on Tuesday.
He had pledged a speedy solution to the dispute last month during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Most countries refer to the country that declared independence in 1991 from the former Yugoslavia as Macedonia. Diplomats say Northern Macedonia, New Macedonia or Upper Macedonia could be now acceptable to both sides.
Zaev also said his government has renamed the main airport and a key highway, which had both been named after Alexander the Great. That riled Athens as Macedonia was also the name of an ancient Greek kingdom ruled by Alexander.
Zaev said the airport will be renamed "International Airport Skopje" and the highway will be called Friendship.
"With today's decision ... we are confirming our step towards building friendship and confidence with Greece," he told news hounds in the capital Skopje.
On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in northern Greece against any solution that would include the term "Macedonia."
[IsraelTimes] Four new German-built Sa'ar 6 corvettes due to arrive starting late 2019. Until then, IDF planning to protect strategic maritime assets with existing ships, specialized Iron Dome
The Israeli Navy is charged with defending the country’s territorial waters, an area that is twice as large as the state itself and is becoming increasingly crowded with highly lucrative natural gas fields and shipping lanes, and it needs help.
For Israel’s enemies these naval sites are "preferred targets," and both the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in Leb and ‐ to a lesser extent ‐ Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, in Gazoo have the capabilities to threaten them, a senior Israeli Navy official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity
Continued on Page 49
Looking at the robot sub patrol boat, in these pages a few days ago the following comes to mind. "Make some cheap fiberglass un-manned drone patrol boats with some heavy weapons and auto-loader on them. No big loss if they are hit or sunk and you don't sink $$$ into platforms safe enough for troops.
[Al Ahram] The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the decaying remnant of the Ottoman Empire.... and Russia have no disagreements over Ankara's air and ground offensive into northern Syria's Afrin region and the two countries are in close contact over the operation, the Ottoman Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" two weeks ago targeting the YPG Kurdish militia in Afrin, opening a new front in Syria's seven-year-old, multi-sided civil war. Russia is the main backer of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Scourge of Qusayr... "We do not have any disagreements with Russia. We continue our contacts with Russia," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with TGRT Haber, when asked about possible tensions with Moscow over Afrin.
"We need to inform each other in a timely manner, especially (regarding) air strikes and the developments in the field. We contact them in real time or in advance."
He also said Ottoman Turkish forces had finished building a sixth observation point in Syria's Idlib region.
Under a deal reached with Tehran and Moscow to try to reduce fighting between pro-government forces and mainly Islamist gunnies in northwestern Syria, Turkey has agreed to set up 12 observation posts in Idlib and neighbouring provinces.
But the "de-escalation" in violence they were supposed to monitor has halted. In December the Syrian army, helped by Iran-backed militias and heavy Russian air power, launched a major offensive to take territory in Idlib province.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[Al Ahram] The United States could consider ending a suspension of security assistance to Pakistain, if take "decisive and sustained" actions against hard boy groups in the country, the State Department's No. 2 official said on Tuesday. Expect decisive and sustained talk.
"We may consider lifting the suspension when we see decisive and sustained actions to address our concerns, including targeting all terrorist groups operating within its territory, without distinction," Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The U.S. government last month said it was suspending at least $900 million in security assistance to Pakistain until it takes action against the Afghan Taliban ...the Pashtun equivalent of men... and the Haqqani network hard boy groups.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Al Ahram] The United States is working against the interests of The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the decaying remnant of the Ottoman Empire.... , Iran and maybe Russia in northern Syria, where it is sending in military supplies to an area controlled by Kurdish-dominated forces, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
"If the United States says they are sending 5,000 trucks and 2,000 cargo planes of weapons for the fight against ISIS (Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... ), we don't believe this," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party in parliament.
"It means you have calculations against Turkey and Iran, and maybe Russia," he said, repeating a call for U.S. troops to withdraw from the Syrian town of Manbij.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
Turkey, on the other hand, has no calculations against anybody - because Recep can't count to 18 without taking his shoes off.
[SABANEWS.NET] At least ten non-combatants were killed and other 18 maimed, including children, in more than 60 Arclight airstrikes launched by US-backed Saudi-led aggression coalition warplanes on several Yemeni provinces over the past 24 hours, officials and medics told Saba on Tuesday.
In Saada province, six non-combatants were killed and other seven maimed in airstrikes hit Qutainat area of Baqem district, destroying two civilians' cars.
In Majaz district of Saada, four non-combatants were killed and seven maimed in Saudi airstrikes hit civilians' cars in Raghafa area.
Also in Saada, the warplanes of aggression launched two strikes on Malahidh area of Dhaher district, and seven strikes on Mandabah and Aal-hamaqi areas of Baqem district.
In Kutaf district of Saada, four aggression airstrikes were waged on Aal-Jubara valley.
Meanwhile, ...back at the barn, a little lightbulb figuratively appeared over Bossy's head... Saudi missiles fired toward Boqah and Aal-Sheikh areas of Munabeh district.
In Hajjah province, four children were seriously injured when cluster bombs dropped by a coalition aggression warplane went off in Sheab area of Abs district.
Also in Hajjah, the aggression warplanes launched eight strikes on Maqshap area of Ka'aidana district, another one on Hairan and 26 airstrikes were waged on Haradh and Medi district.
In Sanaa province, two Saudi-led aggression airstrikes hit Nehm district.
In border province of Asir, the US-backed Saudi-led aggression coalition warplanes launched six raids on Majaza.
[SABANEWS.NET] Missile and artillery forces of the army and popular committees have shelled Saudi army and its mercenaries' gatherings and sites, Killing and wounding dozens over Monday, according to army media reports combined by Saba News Agency on Tuesday.
In Asir border province, a short-range missile was fired toward King Faisal military base in Khamis Mushait city.
Artillery and missile force bombed Saudi-paid mercenaries' gatherings in front of Alab crossing and Asar and Hanjer censorships of Asir.
In Rabuaa city, Saudi soldiers' gatherings were shelled by artillery.
In Jizan Saudi border province, Zilzal-2 missile and Katyusha rockets were fired toward gatherings of Saudi soldiers in Tiwal crossing, while three soldiers were sniped in Khuba.
In Kamer village of Jizan, a military vehicle was smashed by the army and committees.
Also in Jizan, Katyusha rockets were fired toward Maazab Leadership center.
In Hemiah center, artillery shells targeted Saudi soldiers' gatherings, while three of soldiers were sniped south of Hamidha village and Khazan hill of Qewa village.
In the border province of Najran, artillery bombardment targeted mercenaries' 'gatherings in the east of Abassa site.
In Shorfa site, gatherings of Saudi soldiers were targeted by missile.
In Taiz province, Qaher-M2 ballistic missile was fired toward enemy gatherings in the west coast.
In district of Habashi mountain, an infiltration attempt of mercenaries was repelled in Adana area, resulting in loss of life and military equipment.
In west coast and Makha coast fronts, six of Saudi-paid mercenaries were killed and another was injured by fires of the army and committees.
In restive Lahj ... a Yemeni governate located in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It is the stomping grounds on the southern secessionist al-Harak movement province, 15 of Saudi-paid mercenaries were killed in an unique ambush carried out by engineering unit of the army and committees in Karsh district.
Also in Karsh, the army and committees repelled mercenaries' infiltration toward Hamra hill, killing and wounding dozens, damaging a military vehicle and killing two of its crew.
In Jawf province, artillery shelling targeted gatherings of mercenaries in Bayda area of Maslub district.
In Khub-washaaf district of Jawf, artillery and missile force of the army and committees shelled gatherings of mercenaries in Mahamesha area, Khalfain and Khanjer camp.
[ALMASDARNEWS] Iraqi forces have foiled a huge Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... offensive launched against their border positions from inside Syria almost being overrun at first but holding out long enough for air support to arrive an annihilate the terrorist onslaught.
On early Tuesday morning, Islamic State gunnies based in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border mustered elite storming forces and boom-mobiles for a powerful offensive against Iraqi troops.
When ISIS delivered its blow, it fell on positions of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) 29th Brigade in the strategic Tal Saffook region on the border with Syria.
Two car kabooms were hurled at Iraqi forces ‐ it is unclear whether they hit their mark or not ‐ after which Islamic State shock troops attempted to rush PMU defenses.
Although almost being overrun, 29th Brigade held on long enough for the Iraqi Air Force to arrive and assist it in the battle with precision strikes that apparently devastated ISIS ranks.
In the end, terrorist fighters called-off their assault after heavy losses (number unspecified) and retreated back across the border into Syria.
Although today’s attack was big, it is by no means the first time ISIS has launched assaults against Iraqi forces from its holdouts in the east Syrian desert.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[ALMASDARNEWS] Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has excluded any talks on the country’s missiles programme.
"We will negotiate with no one on our weapons," Rouhani stated during a presser in Tehran, adding that the existing Iran’s missiles are purely defensive and not designed to carry weapons of mass destruction "since we don’t have any."
The president further reiterated the country’s position on the so-called Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed in 2015 with P+1 states, saying that it could not be renegotiated, despite threats from US President Donald Trump ...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States... to reimpose sanctions unless Iran’s missiles and regional behaviour are limited.
"The key to the problems between Tehran and Washington is in Washington’s hands. They need to stop their threats and sanctions and pressure, and automatically the situation will improve and we can think about our future," Rouhani said.
Describing the Iran’s policy in the Middle East, the recently released US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), claims that Tehran views Washington’s influence in the region as a threat to its goal to become the dominant regional power. Thus, as the NPR explains, that Iran continues to fund the largest missile program in the Middle East and could, in the future, threaten or deliver weapons, developing increasingly long-range ballistic missile capabilities, and pursuing its alleged "aggressive efforts" to undermine neighboring governments, casting doubt on its "long-term commitment to foregoing nuclear weapons capability."
Commenting on the document, Rouhani called it a threat to a human race.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
[ALMASDARNEWS] The Spokesperson for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Sipan Hamo, stated on Tuesday that the Syrian government has allowed the Kurdish-led reinforcements through their lines recently.
Hamo continued that the Syrian government is providing both food and medical supplies to the Afrin region of Aleppo, adding that he hopes the latter will join the battle militarily.
The Syrian government recently allowed a large convoy of YPG reinforcements from the town of Manbij to the Afrin region, which requires access from the roads controlled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Damascus has repeatedly called on the Ottoman Turkish regime to immediately remove their forces from Syria and respect the country’s illusory sovereignty.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
YPG is fighting ISIS and not Assad so from Syria's point of view, the enemy of my enemy.
Posted by: E. Clainter9830 ||
Not to mention that those allowed out will probably not be allowed to return afterward. Win-win from the Syrian perspective.
[All Africa] According to multiple sources Chadian soldiers, dispatched by Chadian President Idriss Deby at the request of Cameroon ...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there... ian President Paul Biya, have been fighting for several weeks alongside Cameroonian's armed forces against the English-speaking separatists.
"It is since the last summit of the Economic Community of Central African States on October 30, 2017, that the two heads of state - in power for three decades - have had to help each other," a high-ranking official of the Chadian army told Africa Info on condition of anonymity."
The information we are getting is that the Cameroonian military is finding it difficult to fight the separatists. The military were not prepared for this kind of combat," he said, adding that even the Chadian military is "feeling discouraged". Despite several attempts, the communication officer of the Cameroonian ministry of defense did not respond to our inquiries. Meanwhile, ...back at the shootout, Butch clutched at his leg. Son of a Breech! he exclaimed with feeling...... on the field, the situation is far from calming down despite the fact that the independence leaders were kidnapped from Nigeria and sent to Cameroon under conditions the UN says violates the rules of of International law.
According to witnesses, fighting has raged on for several days on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Several attempts by the Chadian mercenaries and the Cameroon armed forces have been unsuccessful, a regular source told Africa Info.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Boko Haram (ISIS)
I've never really understood these wars by the ex-colonized over English or French. What about their native language?
I don’t know about the Cameroonians, 3dc, but in many of the African countries different tribes speak different languages. The only common tongue, as well as the only non-political one, is that of the former colonizing power.
[IsraelTimes] 21 nations reportedly in pact to collect and share intelligence targeting European jihadis seeking a way home from fighting in Middle East
Israel is a member of a secret intelligence collection and sharing operation made up of 21 nations targeting European jihadis returning home from fighting in Syria with the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group, German daily Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
Naming Germany as another of the members, the newspaper said that the anti-terror operation was known as "Gallant Phoenix" and was being led from a US Joint Special Operations Command center in Jordan.
The operation is focused on collecting documents, data, DNA traces and fingerprints that have been retrieved from former IS strongholds and comparing them with intelligence already acquired by other countries in the pact, the report said, while only naming Germany and Israel as members.
An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014.
In late 2017, the group suffered an overwhelming defeat in Syria and Iraq, being driven out from over 96 percent of the territory it once held and failing to reach its goal of establishing a caliphate in the region. Since then, many of the remaining imported muscle who had traveled to the region have sought a way back to Europe.
Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that Israeli intelligence had helped stem the return of Islamic State fighters and even prevented hijacked airplanes from crashing into European cities.
"We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries," he told Israel-based ambassadors to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... "Some of these could have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the soil of Europe ...also known as Moslem Lebensraum... and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives," Netanyahu said, apparently referring to plane hijackings.
Netanyahu added that besides fighting Islamic State terrorism aimed at European cities, Israel was also preventing the group from creating a second stronghold in Egypt.
"ISIS is being destroyed in Iraq and Syria, but it is trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai. Israel is contributing to preventing that in myriad ways," he said. "In general, I would say that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that fights radical Islam."
While thousands of European citizens are reported to have traveled to Syria and Iraq, Israel has seen comparatively few citizens join the Islamic State group, though it remains a significant concern to security forces.
Last month the Shin Bet Security service said that a 26-year old Arab Israeli man had been tossed in the clink Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages! on the suspicion that he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and planned to carry out an attack in Israel on its behalf. In December, a Belarusian-Israeli convert to Islam was convicted of attempting to join the group in Syria, nearly a year after he tried to travel to the country via The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... The Shin Bet estimates that approximately 50 Arab citizens of Israel have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join the group in recent years.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[ALMASDARNEWS] Jenin in West Bank was scene of festivities between protesters and Israeli forces as the bloody remains of Ahmad Jarrar,
...named in yesterday's article about his death as Ahmad Nasser Jarar, a member of the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, and son of senior Izzadin Kassam Brigades commander Nasser Jarrar...
a 22-year old Paleostinian allegedly responsible for January murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, were retrieved by the demonstrators on Tuesday.
Protesters threw stones at Israeli forces as they responded by teargassing the crowds and firing rubber bullets which reportedly injured nine people.
Israeli forces were apparently on a one-month manhunt for Jarrar as they claimed he had criminal masterminded the drive-by shooting attack near the West Bank city of Nablus which resulted in the death of the Israeli.
Having surrounded the building where Jarrar had taken refuge, Israeli forces opened fire on him as he emerged from the hideout with an M-16 rifle.
[Ynet] Some 500 Paleostinians confronted IDF forces that raided Nablus during manhunt for Ariel terrorist; security forces retaliate by firing in the air, deploying crowd control measures; 1 Paleostinian killed, more than 20 maimed in festivities, Paleostinians report.
Some 500 Paleostinians confronted IDF forces that raided Nablus Tuesday during a manhunt for Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, the terrorist who stabbed Rabbi Itamar Ben-Gal to death Monday at Ariel Junction. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that during the riots Paleostinians fired at the forces and lobbed Molotov cocktails at them.
Security forces responded by firing in the air and deploying crowd control measures to disperse the assembled mob. Forces from the Samaria Regional Division jugged
[DAWN] Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile fired at the kingdom by Yemen’s Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ... rebels on Monday, state media reported.
The attack was launched from Yemen’s northern governorate of Saada, a Houthi stronghold, and "intercepted" at 7:23 local time, Colonel Turki al-Maliki told state news agency SPA.
Maliki, front man for the Saudi-led military coalition supporting the government in Yemen, said the missile was headed toward the city of Khamis Mushait ‐ about 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of the border.
Riyadh had warned that "Iranian-manufactured ballistic weapons" threatened the kingdom’s security following an attack it said was intercepted near Riyadh airport in November. Maliki on Monday accused the Houthis of "repeatedly targeting densely populated cities" and accused the kingdom’s regional rival Iran of delivering the weapons to the Death Eaters.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Houthis
Undoing another of President Obama’s little projects. Now how will he afford his fave recreation?
[Ynet] US Secretary of State Tillerson and Argentine Foreign Minister Faurie agree to combat organized crime in Argentina, which raises funds for Hezbollah; 'We need to attack and eliminate' Hezbollah's terror activity in Argentina, Tillerson says.
The United States and Argentina ...a country located on the other side of the Deep South. It is covered with Pampers and inhabited by Grouchos, who dance the Tangle. They used to have some islands called the Malvinas located where the Falklands are now. They're not supposed to cry for Evita... are to work together more closely to cut off Lebanese Hezbollah's funding networks in Latin America, both nations' top diplomats said Sunday.
Argentina has a large Lebanese expatriate population and US authorities suspect groups within it of raising funds through organized crime to support the Iranian-backed armed movement.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Buenos Aires for talks with his Argentinian counterpart Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, and afterwards they confirmed that the issue had come up.
"With respect to Hezbollah, we also did speak today in our discussion about all of the region about how we must all jointly go after these transnational criminal organizations‐narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling, money laundering‐because we see the connections to terrorist financing organizations as well," Tillerson said.
"And we did specifically discuss the presence of Lebanese Hezbollah in this hemisphere, which is raising funds, obviously, to support its terrorist activities.
"So it is something that we jointly agree we need to attack and eliminate," Tillerson said.
Faurie, standing by Tillerson's side at a joint news conference, agreed, saying that South America had become a "zone of peace" and that outside groups must not be allowed to jeopardize this.
And, as Secretary Tillerson said, we need to intensify every possible exchange not only in terms of dialogue but also in terms of information on the actions of these groups, which take advantage of transnational crime to foster their interests, which Argentina certainly does not agree with," he said.
In 1992, the violence of the Middle East erupted in Argentina, when bombers attacked the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people. Two years later, an attack on a Jewish community center (AMIA) in the city left 85 dead.
None of the bombers were ever convicted, but international Sherlocks followed a trail that appears to link them to Hezbollah‐a group which Washington has designated a terrorist organization‐and to senior Iranian officials.
The bombings did not continue, but US experts believe that Hezbollah, working under close Iranian supervision, has built a fund-raising network in Latin America that profits from drug smuggling to fund its political and military activities.
The first State Department report on Hizbollah activity in the tri-border region (Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay) was sent in 1988. Thousands of Paraguay travel docs were being sold to Shiites in Lebanon. Thirty years later, not much has been done to attack the problem, and Paraguay's Ciudad del Este remains the center of Hizbollah activity.
[Ynet] L'espresso publishes 19 volumes of Paleostinian leader's journals, divulging PLO chief's methods of maintaining plausible deniability on carrying out terrorist attacks, while showing satisfaction after they were carried out; Arafat called Shimon Peres an 'excellent person and beautiful ornament'; journals also highlight Arafat's perjury in former Italian PM Berlusconi's corruption trial, forcible support of Saddam Hussein in first Gulf War.
Nineteen volumes of journals written by former Paleostinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat over the course of nearly 20 years were divulged Sunday in the Italian L'espresso news magazine, shedding light on both the personality and life of the former Paleostine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief.
The journals, it was revealed, were kept by two trustees in Luxemburg since Arafat's death in 2004.
The article, penned by Lirio Abbate, revealed details relating to the process of reaching the Oslo agreements, as well as to Arafat's meetings with late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-foreign minister Shimon Peres.
For instance, after one of Arafat's meeting with Peres, according to L'espresso, the Paleostinian leader described his Israel counterpart as an "excellent person, and a beautiful ornament." It was unclear whether Arafat's statement was made with affection or disparagement.
It was further disclosed that shortly before marrying Suha Tawil, Arafat wrote in his journal, "How can I marry Suha? I'm already wedded to Paleostine and its people."
Arafat's journals also show the former leader of the PLO never personally gave orders to carry out his group's terrorist attacks. When he was asked to green-light such terrorist acts by subordinates, the journals show, he'd tell them to decide for themselves.
Furthermore, when an attack he had prior knowledge of was carried out, he'd smile and say, "Good, good!"
In addition, Arafat claimed his support of Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War, for which he was soundly criticized by other Arab states, was involuntary, and given despite the fact he thought he was making a terrible mistake. "I tried to make several phone calls to talk (Hussein) away from this madness," Arafat wrote.
Most of the text carried by L'espresso deals with Arafat's ties to the uppermost echelons of Italian government. The journals reveal, for instance, that Arafat fessed up to providing a false alibi for then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on one of the Forza Italia leader's numerous corruption probes.
Arafat had a clandestine meeting with Berlusconi in 1998, it was divulged, and then provided a false statement to Italian prosecution, in which he alleged that Berlusconi transferred 10 billion Italian liras to the PLO to support the Paleostinians, rather than to an Italian party.
Arafat, it appeared, perjured himself for a "considerable sum," which Berlusconi later provided him. The journals also contain a log of all of the sums of money Arafat received from the Italian leader.
Another affair that rocked Italia and is outlined in the journals is the PLO's involvement in the hijacking of the Achille Lauro ocean liner in 1985, which concluded with the murder of its Jewish-American disabled passenger Leon Klinghoffer.
The journals reveal that then foreign minister and future prime minister Giulio Andreotti allowed terrorist criminal mastermind Muhammad Zaidan, at Arafat's request, to escape to Tunisia.
Arafat also approved an agreement reached with Italia in the 1980s, according to which the PLO will abstain from carrying out attacks on Italian soil in return for authorities there turning a blind eye to its operations.
There wouldn’t be a fuel shortage had Hamas not spent US$260 million on tunnels and rockets instead of repairing all those buildings destroyed in the last round with Israel and setting aside funds to pay for the Strip’s expenses.
[Al Ahram] Fuel for emergency generators that keep Gazoo's hospitals and sanitation services operating will run out within 10 days, the United Nations ...a formerly good idea gone bad... said on Tuesday in an appeal for immediate donor support.
The shortage stems from a dispute between Gazoo's dominant Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth", Islamist group and the West Bank-based Paleostinian Authority (PA). Both signed a unity deal in October but have failed to finalise the details of political power-sharing.
So far generators have stopped at three of Gazoo's 13 hospitals and 14 of its 54 medical centres, said Ashraf al-Qidra, the Hamas-appointed front man for the impoverished territory's Health Ministry. Officials at the affected facilities said they were directing seriously ill patients to other health facilities and operating at limited capacity.
With Gazoo's electrical grid supplying only about four to six hours of power a day to Gazoo's two million people - a complicated crisis also largely rooted in the Hamas-PA rivalry - back-up generators are a lifeline for health care and sanitation facilities.
At Durra Hospital for Children in Gazoo City, which normally treats up to 180 patients a day, many of its 90 beds were empty on Tuesday. Doctors said fuel ran out a week ago and services were operating at minimum levels.
"We are working in life-saving mode," the hospital's director, Majed Hamada, told Rooters. He said doctors were providing primary health care and, in emergency cases, transferring patients to other hospitals after stabilising them.
[Al Ahram] Leb's three top leaders accused Israel on Tuesday of threatening the stability of the border region between the two countries, where calm has largely prevailed since a 2006 war, amid rising tension over territorial and maritime boundaries.
President Michel Aoun ...president of Leb, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... ... , Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, and Parliament Speaker Nabih Knobby Berri Speaker of the Lebanese parliament, a member of AMAL, a not very subtle Hizbullah sock puppet... agreed to act to prevent Israel from building a wall on Lebanese land at the frontier, and threatening an offshore energy block in disputed waters.
Israel says the wall is being built on its territory.
Arguments over the wall and Leb's plans to explore for offshore oil and gas in the disputed maritime waters have elevated tensions between Israel and Leb, which is home to the powerful Iran-backed Shia group Hezbollah.
The Lebanese-Israeli border has been calm since the month-long war of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah which killed around 1,200 people in Leb and 160 Israelis troops.
Israel says the wall it is building is on Israeli sovereign land. The Lebanese government says it passes through territory that belongs to Leb but which lies on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, where the U.N. demarcated Israel's withdrawal from southern Leb in 2000.
The three leaders met to study the recent "Israeli threats, and saw in them ... a direct threat to the stability" of the border region, the president's office said in a statement.
They agreed to take measures "at various regional and international levels to prevent Israel from building the cement wall...and from the possibility of infringing on Leb's oil and gas wealth and its (territorial) waters," it said.
Last week, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman called Leb's first offshore oil and gas exploration tender "very provocative" and urged international firms not to participate.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Hezbollah
Actually, we threaten to wipe out your entire "country".
[Al Ahram] Yemeni Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman was suspended from an Islamist party allied with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after she accused the Saudi-led coalition that backs him in the country's civil war of acting as occupiers.
Karman won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in Arab Spring protests that ousted authoritarian President Ali Abdullah. More recently she has ramped up public criticism of Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of backing a campaign to divide Yemen ...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic... by supporting southern separatists against the internationally recognised government.
Speaking at the Warwick Economics Summit at Britannia's Warwick University over the weekend, Karman said Saudi Arabia and the UAE were driven by a "reckless adventurism" when they intervened in Yemen in 2015 after Iran-aligned Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ... forces drove Hadi into exile.
In an earlier Twitter message, she wrote: "Saudi Arabia and UAE took advantage of the (Houthi) militia coup in Sanaa to launch a very ugly occupation and an uglier influence in Yemen."
The Islah party, regarded as a branch of the Moslem Brüderbund, which is viewed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as a terrorist organization, tried to distance itself from Karman and order her suspended from its ranks.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Muslim Brotherhood
[Al Ahram] North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of seeking to aggravate the situation on the divided Korean peninsula by "deploying large nuclear assets" nearby and lay the ground for a possible pre-emptive strike against it.
"In view of the nature and scale of U.S. military reinforcements, they are designed to make a pre-emptive strike against the DPRK," North Korean diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, referring to his country's official name the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"U.S. officials including the defense secretary and the CIA director repeatedly talked about DPRK nuclear and missile threat to justify their argument for a military option and a new concept of a so-called 'bloody nose', a limited pre-emptive strike on the DPRK is under consideration within the U.S. administration," Ju said.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Commies
North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of seeking to aggravate the situation on the divided Korean peninsula by "deploying large nuclear assets" nearby and lay the ground for a possible pre-emptive strike against it.
So a single MX missile with 10 100kT warheads, a few ships full of food and 100k troops to feed the masses after their army disappears?
Gorb, I would much prefer if SKor or China do the occupation and feeding. Nothing to nation-build there and people will need "ReEducation". The ChiComs are quite good at the last one and we are not.
[ALMASDARNEWS] The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... -led forces are claiming that Kurdish paramilitary groups in Syria’s Afrin region fired on them with chemical munitions delivered from artillery systems causing considerable casualties among their ranks.
According to the official media center for the Olive Branch operations room, Kurdish forces have attacked pro-Ankara rebel groups with at least one artillery shell loaded with chlorine gas.
Rebels say that the chemical attack took place at the town of Bulbul, located just kilometers from the Ottoman Turkish border.
Emerging reports by opposition sources claim that 20 rebel fighters were maimed, seven of them critically.
In recent days, pro-Ankara forces have suffered a series of tactical defeats around Bulbul, failing to break into mountain countryside further south and suffering notable losses in manpower and equipment for every assault.
It is worth noting that the Free Syrian Army ... the more palatable version of the Syrian insurgency, heavily influenced by the Moslem Brüderbund... and opposition groups often make baseless chemical gas attack claims every time they are losing a major battle somewhere in the country.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
Trying to figure out how to cover up the loss of all those tank crews to the Kornet missiles?
Rojava Defense Units | YPG @DefenseUnits · 16h16 hours ago The Turkish army, which suffered heavy blows during our operations in the Şêkurzê area, bombed the area with artillery shells from chemical weapons. +
The occupying Turkish state and the terrorist groups under their control claim that chemical weapons were used by the YPG in order to fabricate a cover for their fiasco in the north of Afrin. +
Our forces moved to high points after being subjected to the effects of the weapon during conflict, and the Turkish-backed terrorists left on the ground were affected by the weapon themselves. +
As the People's Defense Units, we feel the need to reiterate that we have no basis other than the legitimate line of defense against the fascist attacks on our lands and on our people. We condemn the use of these and similar weapons no matter where and whoever it is used by.
Arab Pride/Honor Culture Lying, again? In Kenneth M. Pollack's Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991 he discusses 'imaginary battles' where the local officers would report 'victorious' morning attacks followed by mid-day enemy counterattacks ending with them being in the original positions at dusk -- none of which happened.
So, how much of this actually happened?
[ALMASDARNEWS] A powerful al-Qaeda-linked militia which operates throughout Syria claims to posses the bodies of five Russian military personnel that were killed in the country’s northwest some eighteen months ago.
In a recent statement released via its official media channels, the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate group Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra ...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ... ) claimed that it was in possession of the bodies of five Russian service personnel (2 of which are officers) that were killed when rebel fire downed their Mi-8 military transport helicopter whist it was over Idlib province on August 1, 2016.
Furthermore, Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham also clarified in the statement that the recent transferal of Russian Su-25 pilot Roman Filipov’s deceased remains ‐ killed on Saturday after his warplane was shot down ‐ to the Ottoman Turkish military (who then handed it over to Russian authorities) was not the group’s doing.
In other official communiques, Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham claims that ’revolutionaries’ (a reference to Free Syrian Army ... the more palatable version of the Syrian insurgency, heavily influenced by the Moslem Brüderbund... fighters) ’stole’ Filipov’s body from its possession.
Whilst sources claim that the Russian pilot’s body was handed to The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... by Free Syrian Army-linked group Faylaq al-Sham, no details exist on how rebel group came into possession of it.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: al-Nusra
Being old enough to remember what the Soviet GRU/KGB did to Lebanese who killed and maimed some Soviets in the early 80s - I need to ask: "Are these idiots born brain dead?".
[ALMASDARNEWS] The United States (U.S.) will cutoff all aid to the rebel groups that are not fighting the so-called Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... (ISIS) in Syria, the U.S. Defense Department Spokesperson, Eric Pahon, told The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... -based Hurriyet Daily News on Tuesday.
"Those fighting with us are members of the Syrian opposition who have passed a security check," Pahon stated, as translated by Ahval News.
"If these units decide to focus on something other than ISIS ‐ and this could be Turkey, or it could be the regime ‐ their support will be cut," he continued.
The Defense Department Spokesperson added that he hopes the Ottoman Turkish forces will not attack Manbij in northeastern Aleppo, despite warnings from President Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan the First ... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him. It's a sin, a shame, and a felony to insult the president of Turkey... .
"We hope that the Turks will not pass from Afrin to Manbij. We are very concerned about this," he said.
"This has the potential to send the fight against ISIS off the rails," he concluded.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
As in "It would be a shame to ArcLight this building?
[All Africa] State owned enterprise, the Zim-bob-we Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has struck a lithium mining deal with a "quoted company" and an announcement will be made soon.
Speaking on Tuesday morning at an Investors' Breakfast meeting here, Mines and Mining Development Minister Mr Winston Chitando said since the new government took over in November last year, most expressions of interest have been in the lithium sub-sector.
Apart from the deal that has been concluded, Minister Chitando said there were two other projects that were currently finalizing feasibility studies.
Further, an additional two projects are at exploration or "source-quantification stage," said Mr Chitando.
What g(r)omgoru said, the Chinese are... persistent (I am being nice hear in my choice of terminology).
IIRC, an American military talking to a NVA general years later on why the Vietnamese were leery of Chinese 'help': "We knew the Americans would leave in ten years or so. It took a thousand years to drive out the Chinese the last time."
"In the green corner: the Patient Serpent vs 'Africa Wins Again'! Gentlemen, place your bets!"
Posted by: ed in texas ||
The Chinese treasury is about to get dinged, as it was in Venezuela. But the point of many of these deals isn't actually to make money or even buy influence, even though these are the official (and ostensible) reasons. The real purpose is to generate large commissions for the relevant Chinese officials - via reach around arrangements with the relevant (suborned) foreign officials - who can then salt it away in their personal bank accounts, to be invested in countries without extradition treaties with China. From an American perspective, it's an excellent use of Chinese government funds that might otherwise have been spent on China's burgeoning military establishment.
We need all the help we can get. The Chinese don't have our installed base of equipment. But their military expenditures, at $200b, are already higher than ours (~$700b), when adjusted for salary differentials. A PLA lieutenant makes about http://english.chinamil.com.cn/news-channels/china-military-news/2015-01/19/content_6314553.htm $500 a month compared to his US Army counterpart's https://www.goarmy.com/benefits/money/basic-pay-active-duty-soldiers.html $3K. And they don't have to deal with the transportation expenses of personnel, supplies and equipment related to large global expeditionary forces.
The shitheads who make up our military dependents allies in the Far East (including Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) don't seem to realize that if we fight China 20 years from now, Uncle Sam won't be able to wade in alone even if he wants to. We are gonna be like the Greek states fighting the Persian empire or Carthage fighting the Roman Republic - the underdogs. These morons are spending 1%, 2% or 3% of GDP on defense. China is spending 3%. They need to be spending like Israel - 5.8%. In fact, they should be spending at Eisenhower levels - https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/defense_spending" 10%.
In fact, most of these countries should be introducing a mandatory draft. They are in the position of an Israel facing the combined Arab armies. That is, if Arabia were unified under a single ruler.
[DAWN] Punjab 1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots.... government spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan on Tuesday confirmed that a DNA sample has matched with the evidence collected from the body of a four-year-old girl who was killed after being raped in Mardan.
The 4-year-old was playing outside her house in the Gojar Ghari area when she went missing last month. Her body was found a day later in a nearby sugarcane field. The medico-legal report of the incident says the girl died by strangulation and also points to sexual violence against the victim. Later, a forensic report of the crime confirmed that she was raped before being killed.
According to the spokesperson, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government had sent DNA samples of some 145 suspects, out of which one of the sample has matched.
He said that the report of the DNA has been sent to the KP government for further action.
The girl's murder had sparked outrage in the province as well as the country. The Supreme Court has also taken notice of the murder. Police had announced a Rs500,000 reward for anyone providing information in the rape and murder case or for aiding in the arrest of the suspect.
[Dhaka Tribune] Bogra Sadar police on Monday submitted a charge sheet against 10 members of the "Tufan Bahini" regarding the rape and torture of a young woman in the Chaksutrapur area of Bogra town.
The charge sheet mentioned that Tufan allegedly raped the victim, a recent SSC graduate, on July 17 last year after luring her into his house in Chaksutrapur with the promise of financial help for her college admission.
Later, when the victim fell ill, she was given birth-control pills and sent home. Subsequently, her family was threatened and told to leave Bogra.
Officer-in-Charge (OC) Shamim Hasan Talukdar submitted the charge sheet to a juvenile court after a long investigation.
According to the supplementary charge sheet, the accused are expelled Bogra Sramik League leader Tufan Sarker, his wife Tasmin Rahman Asha, Bogra Municipality Ward 2 Councillor Marzia Hasan Rumki, Tufan’s mother-in-law Lovely Rahman Rumi, associates Mehdi Hasan Rupom, Atiqur Rahman Atiq, Md Munna, Ali Azad Dipu, Emarat Alam Khan Jitu and runaway Samiul Huq Shimul.
Tufan’s father-in-law Jamilur Rahman Runu and barber Robidas, also among the accused, have pleaded for exemption from the case as none of the allegations against them were proven.
On July 28 last year, Rumki and Rumi had the victim and her mother dragged to the same house again, where Tufan’s aides brutally tortured the victims and had their heads shaved.
Tufan’s wife Asha tried to cover up her husband’s crime by consulting Bogra-2 Municipality councilor Rumki and her mother.
Most of the accused were jugged ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... within a few hours of the case being filed, and Tufan was expelled from his party over the incident.
All of the accused, with the exception of runaway Shimul, were brought before a juvenile court on the day and the main document of the case was sent to the High Court.
[Squawker] The kicker? All of this information was released straight from Weiner’s laptop, which is currently being held under evidence by the FBI.
It’s important to note that we are not trying to “witch hunt” anyone, and this information is not meant for you to do the same. We are not interested in doxxing these individuals, rather we are interested in reporting on the doxxing list that was released, potentially by a rogue FBI agent.
Number 3 is a damage assessment assumption that must be made. A follow-on assumption might indicate that everyone contacted (each number contained on the laptop) has also become a potential target for exploitation.
In today's electronic environment, there really is no good method to protect electronic generated communications. Once you hit the 'push-to-talk' or 'SEND' button, you're a potential collection target.
I looked up some of the names associated with the 617 area code (Boston & surrounding suburbs) - Skip Gates of Harvard, Robert Reicccccccccch of Brandeis, Peter Cannelos and some other wanker from the Boston Globe. My guess is that Weiner may have needed some good press at some point, which is just a phone call or e-mail away.
[SmallWarsJournal] On December 11, 2017, Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of the majority of Russia’s military presence from Syria. Though he has made similar announcements in the past, there is mounting evidence that major military operations are nearing their end. Two years have passed since operations began – and it is time to take stock of Russia’s achievements.
The primary goal of the Russian intervention was to protect Bashar al-Assad from regime change – this necessitated degrading U.S.-backed irregular forces, and later transforming the character of the conflict. In short order, Russia secured a long-term presence and improved a once decrepit naval facility in Tartus, as well as assisted Regime forces in the recapture of vast swaths of Eastern and South-Eastern Syria. Finally, while far from being the primary objective of Russia’s intervention, it contributed to the degradation of ISIL forces in Homs and Deir Ezzor governorates.
Once the Russian military achieved these goals, the Kremlin began to value Syria as diplomatic leverage, positioning Russia as the linchpin in negotiations about Syria’s political future. Moscow also demonstrated a commitment to defend its allies and the capacity to conduct large-scale anti-terror operations. Russia’s surprisingly adroit use of expeditionary military power has challenged many existing geopolitical power structures in the Middle East. Going forward, as Nicholas Heras, a noted expert on the region, put it: “from their base in Syria, the Russians can continue to seek to project influence into the wider Middle East.” Further, Moscow’s military deployments and procurement strategy indicate that it is committed to the region for the long-term.
It should be noted that Russia’s battlefield successes did not take place in a vacuum – they benefited substantially from U.S. Combined Joint Task Force: Inherent Resolve operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. The transformation of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) into a capable fighting force in northern Syria also contributed to the reduction in ISIL held territory. Significant regime victories, including the capture of the Rebel-held neighborhoods of Aleppo in December 2016, can also be attributed in part to internal divisions within the Syrian opposition – and in particular due to these groups’ uneven levels of military effectiveness.
Second, Idlib province remains a rebel-held stronghold and is the bulwark of the remaining opposition. Rebel forces in Idlib have become a hodgepodge of Free Syrian Army remnants and Jihadists groups, including Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra. While the radicalization of opposition forces there might encourage military solutions, both Russia and the United States have indicated they favor resolving the Idlib problem via various peace-talk formats.
The Syrian government will soon face the difficult challenge of reconstruction, which will be fraught with domestic political challenges. It also remains unclear how Syria will finance such a program. If mishandled, the reconstruction efforts could risk reigniting violent unrest and could fail to address the root causes of the civil war, leaving the door open for future violence. Moscow will be inclined to accept western contributions to this reconstruction effort, as Russia lacks the necessary resources to rebuild Syria but continues to fear the rise of extremist groups
[Victor Davis Hanson Papers] Democrats allege that, given Carter Page’s familiarity with Russians, it was logical for the Obama administration to use the dossier’s references to him to substantiate FISA warrants.
But is not the opposite more likely true?
He was apparently known to intelligence agencies for years (supposedly under investigation variously by the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), and he may have been the object of a 2014 FISA warrant. But such intelligence agents were never able to bring charges against him, and it appears he even cooperated with American intelligence in gathering info against the Russians. So why would the FBI and DOJ, suddenly in 2016, believe that mention of Page’s name in an unverified opposition-research dossier warranted four FISA warrants to find wrongdoing?
After all, if he was so well known to the FBI for so many years, during which they never charged him with being a Russian agent, and if the FBI nonetheless still regarded him as suspicious in 2016, why not simply go to a regular court to obtain a warrant to wiretap him? Such a court, of course, would be less secretive, not known for a 99 percent approval rate, subject to far more deliberation, and less useful for surveilling Trump associates. Of course he was 'not charged.' Witting or unwitting, what good is a jailed source ?
A more likely supposition is that it was not Page’s past flirtations with the Russians (who supposedly dubbed him an "idiot") that abruptly brought him back into the sights of the DOJ and FBI in 2016. Instead, it was his brief and minor relationship with Trump, and his appearance in a bogus dossier, that offered useful pretexts for court-ordered surveillance sweeps and indirect targeting of possible Trump associates. Bingo! VDH nails it squarely. Page had placement and access and was a convenient tool and cover for action for "incidental collection." The bureau had mountains of data on Page, and mountains of data is what the FISA court demands. Page was their ticket to ride.
Page was simply a tool, to be surveilled in hopes of also sweeping up other names and information that might corroborate some shred of the dubious Steele dossier. In that narrow sense, his name might as well have been Jones or Smith. My emphasis added.
Also in the 'never charged' category; has Katherine Russell ever turned up? You know the young lady, now widowed, who had to step over pressure cooker bomb components and fireworks in that crowded Boston apartment.
A 702 is a foreign surveillance authorization.
A 702 audit is a review of those authorizations. Rogers staff noticed something hinky about what was surveilled versus what was authorized and did an audit. He went to FISA with the preliminary findings and FISA wrote a determination that found irregularities in the FISA process.
Rogers went to Trump and warned him of those irregularities.
[WSJ] Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Monday released an unclassified version of his recent letter to the Justice Department urging a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele, and it raises more questions about the credibility of the dossier that Mr. Steele generated in 2016.
The unclassified version is heavily redacted, consisting of 14 readable paragraphs. It nonetheless provides new details about the FBI’s application to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order against former Trump official Carter Page in October 2016, a request that relied on the Steele dossier. The referral letter says Mr. Steele may have lied to the FBI and that the FBI provided false information to a FISA judge.
The FBI fired Mr. Steele after the ex-British spy talked about his interaction with the bureau and his dossier for an Oct. 30, 2016 Mother Jones article. Yet the referral notes that in subsequent sworn court filings in Britain, Mr. Steele said he also briefed reporters in "late summer/autumn 2016," including the New York Times, Washington Post and Yahoo News. Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson, who hired Mr. Steele and was retained by the Hillary Clinton campaign, has confirmed these briefings.
Yet according to the Grassley referral, this conflicts with "classified documents reviewed by" his committee. In other words, the FBI’s application for surveillance, filed October 21, 2016, led the court to believe that Mr. Steele wasn’t talking to the press and working a political angle. Such an admission might have derailed the surveillance order.
Democrats insist that the FISA court knew the dossier was the work of a partisan campaign. But the House intelligence memo makes clear the application didn’t refer to the Clinton campaign or the Democratic Party, and our sources tell us it also didn’t use the words "political party." The court was told that the document was politically motivated‐which is not the same as a competing presidential campaign.
The Grassley referral adds that associates of the Clinton campaign fed Mr. Steele information apart from the dossier. One section of the Steele dossier was not made public by the Buzzfeed website in 2017, and the Grassley memo says that in that section Mr. Steele acknowledges that "his company ’received this report from [redacted] US State Department,’ that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who ’is in touch with [redacted], a contact of [redacted], a friend of the Clintons. "
Between Mr. Steele’s media outreach and his connection with Clinton associates, the dossier was hardly a secret. As the referral notes, "the more people who contemporaneously knew that Mr. Steele was compiling his dossier, the more likely it was vulnerable to manipulation." And the more likely the Russians knew about it too.
Mr. Grassley wants the FBI to declassify his entire referral letter, and either the bureau or the White House should do so. The House GOP memo betrayed no sources and methods, and now the GOP is moving to release a Democratic memo. All Americans should get the complete FISA-Steele story.
[DAWN] IN our deeply conservative society, patriarchy is a system of social governance that allows men to silence women when the latter dare call out misogyny or sexism, or fight back for their basic rights.
When male-centric power structures are challenged, or even cracked periodically, they are reclaimed through force, violence and even the murder of women.
A few days ago, 25-year-old Sumbul Khan, a singer from Mardan, was shot in cold blood in her home by three men for apparently refusing to perform at a private party.
The suspects included a former police officer who has since been tossed in the clink Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! While the state must ensure severe punishment for her killers, it must also ensure that the heinous crime of murder is not ’forgiven’ by victims’ families who are often financially destitute and so under duress to make unnatural compromises.
In such instances, the state must become a complainant in murder cases so that the perpetrator is punished instead of forgiven.
When such problematic settlements are reached in murder cases, attackers can kill again with impunity.
Sumbul’s murder is a case in point ‐ one of the suspects was previously convicted for murdering his wife in 2012.
Identified as Jehangir Khan, the suspect was the husband of Pashto singer Ghazala Javed whom he shot six times because she had filed for a divorce when she discovered he had a second wife.
Even though it was her right to refuse her husband’s polygamous behaviour, her decision was taken as an act of defiance in a conservative society where a woman’s divorcing her husband is seen as dishonouring the latter.
Though convicted by the court for Ghazala’s murder and that of her father, her killer was pardoned by her family under the law.
When, fuelled by conservative mindsets, the murders of innocent women by intimate partners show no signs of abating, it is the responsibility of the state to strengthen legal protections so that women are not dehumanised to the point of death.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
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.