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Current News and Analysis

Damascus Calls for Cessation of US-Led Coalition Strikes Due to Civilian Deaths

Sputnik – 28.05.2017

Damascus sent letters to the UN Secretary General (UNSG) and the UN Security Council (UNSC), calling for the cessation of the US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria as it causes numerous deaths among civilians and violates international law, local media reported.

The 69-member US-led coalition is conducting airstrikes, ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) on the territory of Syria and Iraq. The strikes in Iraq are conducted in support of the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the UN Security Council or the government of President Bashar Assad

In the letters, the Syrian foreign ministry strongly condemned the coalition’s airstrike on Friday in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, when the residential quarter of the Mayadin city came under attack and 35 civilians were killed by the strike, the Sana news agency reported Saturday.

Damascus urged the United Nations to halt the airstrikes as it violates the UNSC resolutions and the international law, while causing an enormous damage to the infrastructure and integrity of the country, according to the agency.

The foreign ministry stressed that the US-led coalition’s actions do not facilitate the fight against terrorism as the strikes cause chaos in the country, benefiting the activities of the terrorist groups.

Earlier in May, a report issued by the Syrian Network for Human Rights showed that the US-led coalition strikes had killed over 1,200 civilians since the beginning of the operation in 2014. Later that month, an airstrike carried out by the coalition in Syria’s eastern town of Al Bukamal reportedly killed at least 31 civilians and injured many others.

Nuclear nightmare worse than Fukushima could hit US because of ignored risks – study

RT | May26, 2017

The US has underestimated the risks to its nuclear safety as a single nuclear fuel fire could lead to fallout “much greater than Fukushima,” according to a new study. Researches slammed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for ignoring the potential danger.

If spent fuel at one of the dozens of US nuclear sites sets alight, it “could dwarf the horrific consequences of the Fukushima accident [in Japan],” researchers from Princeton University and the Union of Concerned Scientists warned in their study published in the May 26 issue of Science magazine.

The disaster would lead to “trillion-dollar consequences,” as the hypothetical fire would result in contamination of an area larger than New Jersey and force mass relocations.

The scientists simulated a nightmare scenario in their ‘Nuclear safety regulation in the post-Fukushima era’ article. Supposing that an imagined fuel fire broke out at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania at the beginning of 2015, and taking into account the weather conditions at that time, they showed the devastating extent of potential contamination in the area. The accident would have led to the relocation of around 8 million people and would have cost $2 trillion in damages, according to Science Daily, citing the article. … continue

The West Spreading New Wave of Feel-Good Movies and False Hopes

By Andre Vltchek | New Eastern Outlook | 27.05.2017

Watch blockbuster movies from the “south” and chances are you will start to believe that the world is not really such a desperate place. Perhaps you might even get convinced that under the present imperialist and turbo-capitalist global arrangement things can always get better. If you live in a gutter somewhere in Sub-Continent or Africa, you could simply try hard, you could “believe in yourself and love yourself”, you could “listen to your instincts”, and everything may eventually fall into the right places. You could get acknowledged, rewarded and even catapulted from your misery into some plush pastures that are covering the tall green hills of success. … continue

IMF Tranche to Kiev Not Happening Unless Kiev Sells Off Land, Raises Pension Age

Sputnik – 27.05.2017

IMF officials’ latest fact-finding mission to Ukraine has concluded with some unpleasant news for Kiev. On Friday, a press statement put out on behalf of IMF Ukraine mission chief Ron van Rooden indicated that Ukraine would not be getting its next, fifth loan tranche until lawmakers approved the pension and land reform measures which the global monetary organization has been actively pushing.

“Securing parliamentary approval of these draft laws will be needed to pave the way for the completion of the fourth review,” the statement said.

Van Rooden wrapped up his visit to Ukraine Friday after spending 10 days in the country holding what the press statement called “constructive discussions with the authorities on reforms needed to improve productivity, attract investment, and continue to strengthen public finances.”

Before the IMF mission started, Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko repeatedly insisted that Kiev would stick to its position and that the retirement age must remain unchanged. The politician has complained that if the pension age were raised, as the IMF proposes, many Ukrainians simply wouldn’t live long enough to receive their pensions.

Ukraine’s pension system is a holdover from the Soviet period, with men entitled to claim state pensions at age 60, and women at age 55. In the three plus years after the Maidan coup, pensions have declined significantly relative to the cost of living, averaging as little as $75 US, which in many parts of the country is not enough even to pay for skyrocketing utilities costs (another measure insisted on under the IMF’s austerity program). … Full article

Kiev MP suggests beating children in schools for Russian language

DONi News Agency – May 26, 2017

Deputy of the Kiev City Council Igor Miroshnichenko (the party “Freedom (Svoboda)”) stated that for the use of the Russian language in Ukrainian schools teachers and pupils should be beaten with sticks.

“If you enter a regular Ukrainian school, then you will hear that everyone is speaking in Russian, including teachers and educators in the kindergartens. Shall we return to sticks? Sometimes it is needed to use them, because if in the Ukrainian-language school teachers allow themselves to speak Russian, they show a bad example for children. Certainly,” said Miroshnichenko.

Owners of Russian Bank Sue Buzzfeed Over Trump Dossier

By JOSH RUSSELL | Courthouse News | May 26, 2017

Unhappy with BuzzFeed over its reporting of the infamous “Pissgate” dossier, the owners of a Russian bank that is being investigated by the FBI for ties to President Donald Trump brought a defamation complaint Friday.

Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan, who together own Russia’s largest private bank Alfa, filed the 12-page complaint this afternoon in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The lawsuit comes over four months after BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier linking the president and Russia. Former British spy Christopher Steele had originally prepared the dossier for a “Never Trump” firm that wanted opposition research to prevent Trump’s seizing of the Republican nomination in last year’s presidential election.

A Democratic research company picked up the tab for Steele to keep working during the general election, but its stream of cash was set to run dry before Election Day. … continue

Anatoly Antonov Goes to Washington As Russia’s New Ambassador

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.05.2017

Russian lawmakers have backed a deputy foreign minister as the new ambassador to the United States. He’ll move to Washington in July right after the G20 summit where Russian and US presidents are expected to meet for the first time on the sidelines.

A Moscow State Institute of International Relations graduate, Anatoly Antonov, 62, is a career diplomat. The new envoy is a doctor of science. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for 30 years. In 2004 he became the Director of the MFA Department for Security and Disarmament to be promoted to deputy minister of defense of the Russian Federation in 2011. He was appointed deputy foreign minister last December. The appointment of deputy foreign minister as ambassador elevates the level of the Russia-US relations. Since 2015, he has been under the EU and Canada sanctions over his alleged involvement in forming Russia’s policy on Ukraine. […]

Anatoly Antonov enjoys great experience of holding talks with US officials, especially in the field of arms control and military activities. The deputy foreign chief was the lead negotiator in talks to forge the New START Treaty in 2010, working with US diplomat Rose Gottemoeller, the current Deputy Secretary General at NATO. […]

Arms control tops the bilateral agenda. … Full article

CNN introduces new definition of suspicious activity: Dating Russians

By Bryan MacDonald | RT | May 26, 2017

Every traveler knows CNN and dodgy shower curtains in small hotels are certainties that can’t be avoided, like death and taxes. If you can endure a few minutes of US cable news since Donald Trump became President, you may notice the network now boasts an in-house Russia-basher.

His name is Michael Weiss. And, on a channel notable for its well-groomed hosts, his apparent aversion to barber shops makes him immediately stand out, as does a tendency to frequently drop two particular words of supposed Russian origin into his analysis. Those are ‘kompromat’ and ‘dezinformatsiya.’ Terms which – like ‘czar’ and ‘intelligentsia’ – you will encounter far more often in English-language media than on the streets of Moscow or Vladivostok.

Of course, Weiss is most likely ignorant of this. For two reasons. Firstly, because he can’t speak Russian and thus would be oblivious to which adjectives and nouns pepper speech in the language. And secondly, because, by all accounts, he has never actually been to Russia… continue

Syrian Army Shoots Down Armed Israeli Drone After Attack on Soldiers – Reports

Sputnik – 27.05.2017

An Israeli combat drone was downed on Friday in southwestern Syria after killing three soldiers , local media reported Saturday.
Troops loyal to the Syrian government shot down a drone overnight suspected of killing three soldiers on Friday in southwestern Syria, according to the reports.

The armed drone was struck down by anti-aircraft units of the Syrian ground forces operating in the Quneitra province, the Al-Masdar newspaper said.

According to the outlet, Syrian troops were attacked in the area between the towns of Al Hamidiyah and Abu Shabta as they made in-roads into territories held by militant forces.

Syrian armed forces reportedly shot down two suspected Israeli drones in the past couple of months.

Syria and Israel have been technically at war since Israeli forces took control over a large part of Golan Heights five decades ago.

After 40 days, Palestinians suspend mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons

Ma’an – May 27, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have suspended a 40-day mass hunger strike during dawn hours on Saturday, after reaching an agreement with the Israel Prison Service (IPS) that reinstated the prisoners’ family visitation sessions to two times per month.

Palestinian leaders have applauded the prisoners’ “victory,” saying that the agreement represents an “important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners.”

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe and head of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Qaddura Fares said in a joint statement that the prisoners suspended the “Freedom and Dignity,” following more than 20 hours of negotiations between IPS and Marwan Barghouthi — the imprisoned Fatah leader who has been the primary leader of the mass strike, and other prison leaders in Ashkelon prison.

The statement added that IPS officials announced the end of the strike after negotiating with Barghouthi, who IPS had consistently refused to speak with throughout the strike’s duration, as hunger strikers had meanwhile refused to enter negotiations without the presence of Barghouthi.

The joint statement did not mention which of the hunger strikers’ demands were actually met by Israeli prison authorities. … continue

Britain’s Labour Party will ‘immediately’ recognize Palestine if elected in June

Ma’an – May 27, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Britain’s Labour party announced in its 2017 elections manifesto that if elected in June, the party would immediately recognize the state of Palestine.

The manifesto stated that the party was committed to a two-state solution to solve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding that “there can be no military solution to this conflict” and that both Israel and Palestine must “avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve,” referencing the need to end the decade-long Israeli siege, the half-century Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and Israel’s continued settlement expansions. … continue

Why would NDP foreign affairs critic legitimize Israeli racism?

By Yves Engler · May 26, 2017

Should a social democratic party’s spokesperson on foreign affairs address the Israel lobby’s top annual event and legitimize an explicitly racist institution? These are questions those currently vying for leadership of Canada’s New Democratic Party must be pressed to answer.

According to the Canadian Parliament’s recently released disclosure of members’ sponsored travel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) paid for the New Democratic Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson Hélène Laverdière to speak on a panel at its conference last year.

The notorious anti-Palestinian lobby group spent more than $740 on her flight and accommodation in Washington, DC.

Months after her AIPAC speech, Laverdière participated in a Jewish National Fund tree-planting ceremony in Jerusalem. During a visit to Israel with Canada’s governor general, Laverdière attended a ceremony with the fund’s world chairman Danny Atar and a number of other top officials. … continue

Jeremy Corbyn outshines Theresa May in the British general election

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | May 26, 2017

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s impressive speech on foreign policy and the West’s failed “War on Terror” illustrates an unreported truth about the ongoing British general election: Jeremy Corby is cutting a far more impressive figure during the election than Prime Minister Theresa May is.

Before discussing this I wish to make one important qualification about Corbyn’s speech.

Corbyn has bravely made the connection between the Manchester terror attack and the West’s foreign policy – enthusiastically supported by the British political class – of waging regime change wars across the Middle East. However it is essential to understand that these wars have exacerbated the problem of Jihadi terrorism because they do not target it but rather the Arab governments such as those in Iraq, Syria and Libya which fight it.

Afghanistan is no different. The war in Afghanistan is not being waged against Al-Qaeda – the Jihadi terrorist group which the US says carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks – but against the Taliban, an entirely different group which, though Salafi in ideology, never before 2001 sought to wage a terrorist Jihad against the West, or has done so since. … continue

Russia fumes as OPCW investigators fail to inspect Khan Sheikhoun or Al-Shayrat air base

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | May 26, 2017

Two months after the alleged chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Syria and the US cruise missile strike on Al-Shayrat air base from where the alleged chemical attack was allegedly launched, the OPCW investigators charged with investigating the alleged chemical attack have failed to inspect either location.

This has provoked an angry and exasperated statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday, highlighting especially the failure of the OPCW inspectors to inspect Al-Shayrat air base, the location from which the chemical attempt was allegedly launched

All the conditions have been created there in terms of security and compliance with obligations under the Convention. The Syrian government demanded an urgent visit, thus reaffirming the preparedness to fulfil its obligations … continue

“Is free-speech really worth all this hassle?” – Gaby Hinsliff

By Kit | OffGuardian | May 26, 2017

I’ve never written a response to a Gaby Hinsliff column before. I’ve never felt the need. In much the same way that I’ve never written an online review of sliced bread or an essay about cardboard. It’s… there, I suppose, and it does a job, but it’s hardly worth getting excited about.

The Manchester bombing was “let happen” by MI5 because of the Conservative party’s disastrous dip in the polls. That was the theory tweeted by Rufus Hound, a comedian. As theories go, and it is still just a theory at this early stage, it’s not at all outlandish. History is full of precedents of power structures making people believe they are under threat in order to secure their position. As Hound succinctly put it, #Reichstagfire.

The bombing, whether real or staged or allowed to happen or planned by MI5, will allow May to talk about strength and stability some more, allow the Tory’s to attack Corbyn on the grounds of being “soft on terrorism”, and distract everyone from the conservative plans to sell everything in the country that isn’t nailed down, arrest anyone that isn’t a member of a golf club, and levy hefty taxes on bedsits, old-age and despair.

If you find yourself reading this and thinking, “Well, I guess that’s possible,” I have some bad news for you: You are a dangerous, delusional moron.

At least, according to Gaby Hinsliff.

Mr Hound posited a theory, one with which Ms Hinsliff disagrees. In a rational world what would follow is a balanced exchange of ideas. Rhetoric, debate, discourse. These are the tools that make a society great, right? … continue

Israeli Soldiers Conduct Training In Village Near Tubas

IMEMC News – May 27, 2017

Israeli soldiers conducted, Friday, military training in ‘Atouf village, south of Tubas governorate in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Local Council in ‘Atouf said the soldiers installed a roadblock in front of the Council’s building, and occupied the rooftop of one home, after invading it.

It added that the soldiers then started training on invasions, searches, and surrounding buildings while simulating arrests; many Palestinians, especially the children, suffered anxiety attacks. … Full article

American Jewish Committee ad implies BDS endangers children

If Americans Knew | May 26, 2017

The New England chapter of the American Jewish Committee ran a full page ad in the Boston Globe last Friday demonizing the Boycott, Divesment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights.

The ad turned reality on its head by suggesting that BDS could be endangering children–when in fact BDS is opposing an occupation and apartheid structure under which indigenous children are being shot, imprisoned, tortured, traumatized, deprived of basic necessities of life and denied desperately needed medical care. … continue

Trump’s Saudi/Israeli First Foreign Policy

Consortium News | May 25, 2017

President Trump boasts about his America First foreign policy committed to “jobs, jobs, jobs,” except when he parrots the Saudi-Israeli hatred of Iran, a hostility that hurts U.S. interests and costs jobs, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. – Read article

New Cold War clouds are dispersing

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | May 26, 2017

… Trump has not expressed any commitment to Article V of the NATO Charter, which affirms the core principle of collective security. He is insisting that NATO should re-orient its activities and the priority ought to be the fight against terrorism. The NATO has said that it will join the US-led coalition to fight terrorism but will not undertake combat missions.

There is still more to come as Trump proceeded from Brussels to the medieval Sicilian coastal town of Taormina in Italy for the G7 summit stretching a day and a half. Consensus-making at the G7 will be a tough job on issues such as migration, security and climate change where Trump has voiced strong opinions diverging from the mainstream western position. A Guardian commentary notes: “no one knows if Donald Trump, reaching the end of an exhausting week-long tour, will take to world summitry. Multilateral fora would not seem his natural habitat: he is hardly likely to be interested in the dense final communiques these meetings tend to produce… The risk is that – on a range of agenda items – Trump finds himself in the G1. His six colleagues, with varying degrees of emphasis, are likely to want to change his instincts… According to diplomats, the leaders have been exchanging views on how best to engage Trump…”

Moscow and Beijing will be quietly pleased at these happenings. Without doubt, the New Cold War clouds are dispersing. Of course, NATO is not about to disintegrate. … Read full article

Is the US Revisiting its Syria Policy by Participating in Astana talks?

By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – 26.05.2017

The Syria crisis has seen too many actors playing different yet identical games just as it has seen too many twists, taking place on pretty regular intervals. Whereas the last month (April) saw the proverbial demonization of Assad, as also Russia, for launching a so-called chemical attack that invited a subsequent US missile strike on the Syrian army, this month (May) has seen the US participating in the Russia-Iran led Syria talks in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. What makes it a truly dramatic development is that these talks are based upon the fundamental principle of restoring peace in Syria under Syria’s incumbent leadership, further leading to transition. Now, this is a point that has been the bane of contention between the US-led and Russia-led alliances, a point that saw intense reinforcement by the US and its allies in the wake of the verbal and diplomatic spree that had followed the chemical attack and US strike. While the US and its allies then stated in unequivocal terms that Assad “must go”, Russia and its allies maintained that the Syrian regime had nothing to do with the attack nor did it have in its possession any chemical weapons.

It seems that the dust has settled now and the Trump administration is now apparently revisiting the prism guiding its Syria policy. Welcome the US undersecretary, Stuart E. Jones, who is a professional career diplomat, in Astana.

Stuart Jones’ arrival came after the phone conversation between US President Donald Trump, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. According to reports, the White House said the conversation was a “very good one” and the Kremlin was satisfied that it was “businesslike and constructive”. It was left to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to add texture to it. He said: “Well, it was a very constructive call that the two presidents had. It was a very, very fulsome call, a lot of detailed exchanges. So we’ll see where we go from here.”

For example, while Jones’ presence in Astana stresses that the US remains committed, even if theoretically, to political settlement in Syria, what lends further credence to the up-coming meeting between American and Russian presidents who would try to find “common grounds on Syria” on the sidelines of G20 summit during a possible one-on-one meeting at the beginning of July. … continue

Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation

By M. Reza Behnam | CounterPunch | May 26, 2017

Some ideas take on a character akin to sacred texts whose validity is rarely questioned. One such belief is that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the biggest threat to the Middle East and the United States. The threat narrative has become required foreign policy catechism in Washington, D.C.

Menacing stereotypes and bellicose rhetoric are the standards by which Iran has come to be judged. It has continually been in the crosshairs of American administrations since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The process by which a country is determined to be a terrorist state is highly subjective and politicized. The United States has assumed the singular role of terrorism arbiter. … continue

State Department: Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space

By Ricardo Vaz | Investig’Action | May 22, 2017

After the previous hit singles, “Russia hack 2016: take our word for it” and “Assad used sarin: bomb first, never ask questions”, US government agencies are at it again with their new chart-topping release “Bad guy did bad things, we saw it from space”. With journalism standards in the mainstream media at an all-time low, this is a sure bet to become a fake news hit!

On May 15th all the mainstream media screamed more or less the same bombshell headline, “State Dept. says Assad is burning people in a crematorium”. The source was a State Department press briefing which was then uncritically plastered everywhere. Assistant Secretary Stuart Jones claimed that the Syrian government had built a crematorium next to Saydnaya prison (more on this later), which was being used to burn 50 bodies of hung prisoners a day.

Then came the “evidence”, in the form of satellite pictures. The earliest indictment that this evidence was on the embarrassing side of the scale came from the fact that many outlets did not even publish the pictures, inviting the readers to follow their lead and take the State Department at their word. … continue

Saudi-led airstrikes kill more Yemeni civilians

Press TV – May 26, 2017

Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia and a number of its vassal states on residential buildings in Yemen’s south have killed six civilians, including women and children.

The indiscriminate airstrikes hit houses in the southern Yemeni city of Ta’izz on Friday, killing six people and injuring a number of others, Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported. […]

The aggressor regimes have also imposed a total embargo on Yemen, causing severe shortages of food and medicine. A recent cholera epidemic has been blamed on those shortages.

On Friday, warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition also pounded the east-central city of Ma’rib, although no casualty figures were available from those strikes. … Full article

At least 35 civilians killed in US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria – state media

RT | May 26, 2017

At least 35 civilians were killed by US-led airstrikes in Syria on Thursday evening, according to state media. The UN’s human rights chief has called on all sides to take greater care to protect civilian lives in the war-torn country.

The airstrikes in Deir-ez-Zor province hit the market in the city of Mayadeen, as well as a four-story building that was completely destroyed, Sana news agency reported

According to the news agency, at least 35 civilians were killed, most of whom were women and children. Injuries have also been reported.

However, a spokesman for the US-led coalition denied that its forces had conducted airstrikes near Mayadeen on Thursday and Friday, while telling Reuters that they are in the process of assessing the results.

Meanwhile, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights has called on all forces operating in Syria to be more careful to correctly distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians when conducting airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

“The rising toll of civilian deaths and injuries already caused by airstrikes in Deir-ez-Zor and Al-Raqqa suggests that insufficient precautions may have been taken in the attacks,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a Friday statement, as quoted by Reuters.

Hussein was referring to airstrikes carried out in mid-May that he said killed nearly two dozen farmworkers – most women – in a village in eastern Raqqa, as well as at least 59 civilians in residential areas of Deir al-Zor. … Full article

Congressman Calls on Trump to Consider Resuming Airstrikes in Pakistan

Sputnik – 25.05.2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump should consider resuming US airstrikes on terrorist groups that shelter in Pakistan to attack targets in neighboring Afghanistan, US Congressman Adam Kinzinger told guests at the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank on Thursday.

“We need to frankly look at the consequences and consider doing it — of opening up strikes again,” Kinzinger stated.

Kinzinger noted that it was natural for a new president to pause and take stock of relations with US partners, but he urged the Trump administration to “get back to some real tough love” when dealing with Pakistan. … Full article

Memo to US-led Iraqi coalition: ‘Best way to protect civilians is to stop bombing them’

RT | May 26, 2017

In the 16-year war on terrorism, we have seen the predictable and consistent increase in terrorism, the creation of ISIS, and the expansion of ISIS, says David Swanson, anti-war activist and author of War Is A Lie.

A US investigation found over a hundred Iraqi civilians died in a Coalition airstrike in Mosul in March, but put all the blame on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The civilians died when an American airstrike set off a large amount of explosives planted in a building by IS fighters in Mosul’s al-Jadida neighborhood, according to a Pentagon investigation which was made public on Thursday. … continue

They lie, they distort, they misinform … you and I are expendable

By Dave Alpert | Intrepid Report | May 26, 2017

Let me state this once again: beware, we are being used, abused, and lied to.

Monday, there was an explosion at a concert in Manchester, England, where reports indicate that it was a suicide bombing and 22 people have died.

As we have come to expect, within hours, before any investigation or evidence, officials labeled this a terrorist attack. And, as often happens, ISIS took responsibility.

Does this mean that Britain will escalate its military involvement in Syria as a response to this bombing? I’m willing to bet on it.

The timing of this attack is interesting. British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives are running for re-election on June 8 and their lead is shrinking. Will this event re-energize the Tories’ campaign? I would be surprised if it didn’t.

As things stand now, Parliament is not in session and, therefore, there is no one to hold the government in check. This will allow May the opportunity, although there is not great popular support, to increase Britain’s military involvement in Syria.

I don’t know how you feel about coincidences, but I see them as rare phenomena. Usually, events occur with some intent. … continue

People flee Takfiri ‘invasion’ in southern Philippines

Press TV – May 26, 2017

Hundreds of people have fled the Philippines’ southern city of Marawi as military forces fight to drive Takfiri militants out of the city.

Foreign militants from Indonesia and Malaysia are recruited by a militant group engaged in battles with the Philippine army in Maraqi, on Mindanao Island, Manila’s Solicitor-General Jose Calida said on Friday, in a rare admission of links between domestic and foreign militants belonging to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared martial law on Mindanao, the country’s second-largest island, to stop the spread of Takfiri militancy. He recently revealed that Daesh had planned to establish a permanent base in the southern Philippines and the country was at risk of “contamination.” Daesh is mainly operating in Syria and Iraq.

Daesh has apparently been attempting to exploit the poverty and lawlessness in the southern Philippines to establish a base in Southeast Asia for its Wahhabi extremist ideology.

Malaysian and Indonesian nationals were among six people who were killed on Thursday in battles between the army and the militants in Marawi. … continue

‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gaddafi

Middle East Eye | May 25, 2017

The British government operated an “open door” policy that allowed Libyan exiles and British-Libyan citizens to join the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi even though some had been subject to counter-terrorism control orders, Middle East Eye can reveal.

Several former rebel fighters now back in the UK told MEE that they had been able to travel to Libya with “no questions asked” as authorities continued to investigate the background of a British-Libyan suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Monday’s attack in Manchester. … continue

Manchester Bomber Was Product of West’s Libya/Syria Intervention

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | May 24, 2017

Here’s what the media and politicians don’t want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and “regime change” policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi’s secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed “rebel” in Syria, fighting for the US and UK “regime change” policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied “liberation” of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil. … continue

ISIS Terrorist Attack in Manchester? 17 Days Before Crucial UK Elections

By Peter Koenig | Global Research | May 24, 2017

British elections are planned for 8 June 2017.

At the end of a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, an enormous ‘controlled’ explosion killed at least 22 people and injured 59, as reported by British media. Many of them are children and adolescents, as most of the concert-goers were young people.

The singer is unharmed. The concert hall accommodates 21,000 people. After the blast, panic broke loose, resulting in a mass stampede. It is not clear whether people were also killed in the stampede.

Hours after the explosion, although BBC reported it was not evident what exactly happened, UK police and authorities talked immediately of an act of terror. … continue

Israeli forces assault Palestinians, international activists in Sarura protest camp

Ma’an – May 25, 2017

HEBRON – Israeli forces assaulted several international activists and a 55-year-old Palestinian man on Thursday in the Sarura protest camp near the village of Yatta in the Southern Hebron Hills of the occupied West Bank, days after Israeli forces raided and attempted to destroy the camp.

Coordinator of National and Popular Committees in the southern West bank Ratib Jabour told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the camp, demolished a tent, and assaulted a number of international activists, who sustained minor injuries.

Coordinator for Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements (YAS) Issa Amro told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided Sarura around 11 a.m. and ripped down a tent that had been re-erected after forces conducted a similar raid on Saturday night. … Full article

4 year-old Palestinian child injured after being hit by Israeli settler vehicle

Ma’an – May 25, 2017

HEBRON – A four-year-old Palestinian child was injured Thursday evening after being hit by an Israeli settler’s vehicle in Hebron city, near the illegal Israeli Kiryat Arba settlement in the southern occupied West Bank.

Locals told Ma’an that 4 year-old Ahmad Mithqal al-Jabari was hit by an Israeli settler’s vehicle while playing in the al-Ras area of the city.

Sources said that al-Jabari sustained injuries and bruises on his head and was transferred to the Hebron governmental hospital for treatment. … Full article

Only Iran, Syria helped Lebanon when it was occupied by Israel

Press TV – May 25, 2017

Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, says when southern Lebanon was occupied by Israel, no country in the world except Iran and Syria helped the country to end occupation.

Nasrallah made the remarks while delivering a speech in commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the liberation of the southern Lebanon from the Israeli occupation.

Addressing the nation from the southern city of Hermel, Nasrallah said resistance has gotten strong enough not to wait for support from the rest of the world or from inside the country or outside.

Lambasting the world’s indifference toward the occupation of Lebanon by Israel, he said when Lebanon was occupied no country in the world, neither the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, nor the Arab League, nor the United Nations or America helped Lebanon. … continue

Moscow Considers US Justification of Airstrike Against Syrian Army Unacceptable

Sputnik – 25.05.2017

Moscow considers Washington’s attempts to justify the latter’s coalition airstrike against Syrian troops near the town of al-Tanf over an alleged threat to US and Syrian opposition forces as unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

The US-led coalition conducted the airstrike last week under the claim that pro-government forces were moving inside a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, and posing a threat to forces of the United States and its allies. A spokesperson for the coalition told Sputnik that its forces fired warning shots prior to carrying out the airstrike.

“Once again I would like to focus on the airstrike carried out by the US-led coalition on May 18 against the Syrian pro-government troops near the settlement of al-Tanf in southeastern Syria. We regard the US command’s attempts to justify this airstrike with the alleged threat posed by the Syrian units to the opposition forces collaborating with the coalition, as well as to the US servicemen deployed in this area, as unacceptable,” Zakharova said at a press briefing.

She pointed out that the airstrike was carried out in violation of international law.

“There is an impression that the western partners still do not want to realize the necessity to consolidate the efforts of all actors that fight against terrorists in Syria on the ground and in the sky,” the spokeswoman added.

Last week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennadiy Gatilov said the US coalition’s strike was carried out in violation of Syria’s sovereignty, noting that is was not an operation against either Daesh or Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly al-Nusra Front) terror groups.

Five Civilians Killed in Yemen Raid

Reprieve | May 23, 2017

Reprieve has learned that five civilians were killed in the raid by US Navy SEALs overnight. It is thought that at least two al-Qaeda fighters were also killed.

This contradicts the version of events put forward by the US military, which claimed seven militants were killed.

Reprieve has spoken to sources from the village of Al-Jubah in Marib province, Yemen who witnessed the raid. … continue

How Can Vladimir Putin Destroy Non-Existent Democracy?

By Phil Butler – New Eastern Outlook – 25.05.2017

TIME Magazine’s Bill Powell is a gifted journalist. Anyone who reads the LinkedIn recommendations for the former Newsweek bureau chief will assuredly be impressed. Dozens and dozens of senior editors and journalistic colleagues are there, as are people like Dorinda Elliott, who is the Editorial and Communications Director at Harvard’s prestigious Paulson Institute. Yes, Bill Powell is an American stereotype and storyteller. And his latest piece for Newsweek hits like a expertly wielded meat clever.

Inside Putin’s Campaign to Destroy U.S. Democracy”, that’s the expertly stylized headline Newsweek’s bosses must have desperately needed this week. … continue

Thousands of Japanese rally in capital against ‘anti-terror’ bill

Press TV – May 25, 2017

Thousands of people have held a protest rally in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, to express their dissent against the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for putting forward a controversial “anti-terror” bill.

Demonstrators, carrying placards, flooded the capital’s streets on Wednesday evening. They said the government would be prosecuting practically everybody in the name of fighting terrorism if the bill was passed.

The protest came a day after the country’s lower house approved the “conspiracy bill,” which enlisted 277 new types of offences deemed by the lawmakers as threats against Japanese national security.

The government argues that with the help of the bill, if it is passed, it will be able to mount a crackdown on what it calls organized crime and punish those who plan to carry out “serious crimes” against the country.

The bill now needs to be ratified by the upper house, the House of Councilors — where Abe’s coalition has the upper hand — to become law.

While Tokyo argues that the legislation should be adopted before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 in an attempt to battle terrorism and organized crime, the opponents of the bill say they fear it would treat such offenses as sit-in demonstrations and violations of copyrights as “serious crimes.”

The government further argues that the law would be necessary to ratify the United Nations (UN)’s Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The demonstrators in the Wednesday rally also protested against a number of other issues, including Japan’s nuclear power policies and the United States’ presence on the Japanese Okinawa Island.

Did British Officials Train Manchester Attacker as “Moderate Rebel” in Syria?

21st Century Wire | May 24, 2017

This is a question firmly rooted in fact.

Just a few hours ago it was revealed that Salman Abedi, the attacker in Manchester, had recently returned from trips to both Libya and Syria and it is unclear exactly where he was from around 2012.

In 2013, right within this missing period of time for Abedi’s whereabouts, British officials were helping to train an army of “moderate” rebels in Jordan to be shipped back into Syria.

Is it, therefore, possible that Abedi was directly trained by British officials only to return and attack British soil? Or, was he was trained by another “moderate” terrorist that received the British assistance?

These questions would not need to be asked at all if Western foreign policy could finally learn from its mistakes (think: Mujahideen) and stop interfering in the affairs of sovereign nations.

The following video report breaks down all of these questions and more…

A NATO summit for the Donald Trump era

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | May 24, 2017

… It appears that Trump is yet to take a final decision on the US troop level in Afghanistan and/or his strategy toward the war.

Interestingly, during the Q&A, Stoltenberg distanced himself from the allegations in the US media (attributed to senior Pentagon commanders) that Russia has been giving covert support to Taliban to undermine the NATO operations. He said, “We have seen reports, but we haven’t seen fine proof of direct support of Russia to the Taliban.”

Importantly, Stoltenberg added, “We urge Russia to be part of an Afghan-led peace process” to reconcile the Taliban. This is a significant remark, because the NATO secretary-general usually takes his cue from Washington. Can this remark be taken as Stoltenberg’s premonition of some sort of US-Russia cooperation sailing into view over Afghanistan in a near term? It is a plausible assumption, if only because, below the radar, US-Russian cooperation over Syria at the military-to-military level is gaining momentum in the fight against ISIS. The US, it seems, is taking a leap of faith, finally. … Read full article

US boosting Israeli military aid by millions: Netanyahu

Press TV – May 24, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the US has increased its military aid to Tel Aviv by tens of millions of dollars.

“Three days ago, the US added another $75 million to the aid package,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday, without giving a time frame for the money’s arrival.

The announcement comes just days after Netanyahu personally greeted US President Donald Trump on his first visit to Israel.

Trump had arrived from Saudi Arabia where he signed a massive $110 billion arms deal with Riyadh.

Based on a September 2016 agreement, the US will be bankrolling Israel’s military spending to the tune of around $38 billion dollars effective from 2019 for the next 10 years.

Under the deal, Israel will be allowed to upgrade most of its fighter aircraft, improve its ground forces’ mobility and strengthen its missile systems.

Washington has also been providing Israel with $3.1 billion annually since a 2007 agreement with the administration of former President George W. Bush.

In April, Washington approved a proposal to sell Israel more weapons, including naval guns and technical support worth an estimated $440 million.

‘Truckloads’ of US arms and ammo reach Kurdish militia in Syria – reports

RT | May 25, 2017

Over 100 trucks loaded with US armaments and ammunition, including heavy mortars and anti-tank missiles, have reached the Kurdish controlled northern Syrian city of Hasakah over the past weeks, Turkish and Kurdish media report.

The US arms shipment was reserved for the multi-ethnic Syrian militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by Kurdish YPG units, according to the media reports. […]

The first shipment also allegedly included 120mm mortars, machines guns, ammunition and light armored vehicles, according to US officials.

The US decision to arm the Kurdish militia in Syria has provoked serious concern in Turkey which perceives YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), classed a terrorist group in both Turkey and the US.

Turkish President, Recep Erdogan, called the US decision “a mistake” and urged US authorities to “reverse it immediately.” … Full article

Interview with Parents of Venezuelan Man Set on Fire by Anti-Government Mob

By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards | May 24, 2017

The US regime change effort in Venezuela seems to be going full steam. On Saturday, May 20, a government supporter, 21-year-old Orlando Jose Figuera, was set on fire by a mob, most likely of the protestor-for-hire variety. The video above features an interview with his parents.

An RT report posted today contains the following:

Horrifying images from the scene show Figuera running while nearly naked with flames on his back. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed… They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that he was a ‘Chavista,’” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, referring to supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela established by late leader Hugo Chavez.

Speaking on state TV, Maduro described the torching as “a hate crime and a crime against humanity.” The 21-year-old victim, who sustained heavy injuries, severe burns, and stab wounds, was taken to intense care.

Amazingly Figuera survived, or at least he’s still alive for the moment.

The Washington Post seems to be doing its faithful best to promote the regime-change effort. An article published today, headlined “Venezuela is Sliding into Anarchy,” says Figuera was attacked by a “lynch mob,” but not until much further down in the story (a total of 13 paragraphs no less) do the writers finally get around to mentioning that the victim was a supporter of the government–and then the information is given in such a back-handed manner it is almost as if they are seeking to provide moral justification for what happened to him:

He was suspected of being a pro-government spy, according to some versions. Others alleged he was a thief.

The story also portrays anti-government protest leaders as nonviolent, while including the customary comments on the situation from a Western think tank–in this case the International Crisis Group

Gunson, of the International Crisis Group, said he did not think Venezuela’s opposition leaders could control the spreading turmoil or turn down the temperature. “Only a decision by the government to de-escalate would do it, and there is no sign of that,” he said. “Quite the contrary.”

“I think we will start to see curfews, mass arrests, a higher daily death rate and even worse violations of human rights,” said Gunson.

In other words, if the protests grow even more violent, it’s the government’s fault. The International Crisis Group, by the way, was co-founded by George Soros, who is today listed as a member of the Board of Trustees, according to Wikipedia. … Full article

Brazil Mainstream Media Admits Spreading Fake News About Lula

teleSUR | May 23, 2017

The mainstream media channel has long claimed that both former leftist presidents were involved in the massive corruption scandal.

Brazil’s largest television channel, Globo, has admitted that is has divulged false information about former Brazilian presidents Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Globo journalist William Waak acknowledged on television Tuesday that previous reports about Lula and Rousseff, allegedly owning offshore accounts, were inaccurate.

The mainstream media channel has long claimed that both former leftist presidents were involved in the massive corruption scandal involving Joesley Batista, owner of JBS, Brazil’s largest meat packing company. … continue

Three killed in US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan

Press TV – May 24, 2017

At least three people have lost their lives when a US drone carried out a strike in the eastern part of Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan.

Kamran Afridi, a local official in the Pakistani border town of Miran Shah, said the deadly drone strike was carried out on the Afghan village of Gurowek in Khost province on Wednesday.

According to the Associated Press, militant sources confirmed the attack, saying a compound targeted in the strike belonged to a local Taliban commander. … Full article

1 killed, dozens injured in caste violence in northern India

By Biswajeet Banerjee – Associated Press – May 24, 2017

LUCKNOW, India -Police rushed forces to a north Indian town on Wednesday and arrested dozens of people to stop clashes that erupted when upper caste Hindus fired on Dalits belonging to the lowest rung of India’s caste hierarchy.

Police officer Aditya Mishra said one person was killed and dozens injured in the violence Tuesday. Angry Dalits set the homes of some upper caste Hindus and police vehicles on fire in retaliation.

Mishra said the Dalits were attacked while they were returning from a rally led by their leader Mayawati in Saharanpur, a town in Uttar Pradesh state. Mayawati, who uses one name, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party of supporting the upper caste Hindus. … continue

Jewish fanatics burn two cars in Ara village

Palestine Information Center – May 24, 2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Extremist Jewish settlers at dawn Wednesday set two Palestinian cars alight and vandalized property in Ara village, south of Haifa city.

According to local sources, settlers set fire to two cars and spray-painted racist slurs and slogans against the Palestinians on a nearby house’s wall.

The Israeli police claimed it launched in cooperation with the Shin Bet an investigation into the attack.

The incident in Ara is the latest in a string of settlers’ “price tag” attacks. About two weeks ago, nine Palestinian vehicles parked in Na’ura village were vandalized, their tires punctured and graffiti sprayed on them.

Israeli police assault, detain Al-Aqsa guards as hundreds of Israelis take to holy site

Ma’an – May 24, 2017

JERUSALEM – Three Palestinian security guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem were assaulted and detained by Israeli police on Wednesday, as hundreds of right-wing Israelis and settlers took to the holy site in celebration of “Jerusalem Day.”

Jerusalem Day is celebrated by the ultra-right religious Zionist community to commemorate the 1967 Israeli annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, the same day Palestinians remember the “Naksa,” meaning “setback,” referring to the mass displacement that accompanied the Israeli takeover of the Palestinian territory. … Full article

European, Japanese & Canadian firms fund production of cluster bombs in breach of intl law – report

RT | May 24, 2017

More than a dozen financial companies based in European states, Japan, and Canada invest in major cluster bomb producers, in violation of an international treaty prohibiting their production that has been ratified by their home countries, a report says.

Investment in companies that produce cluster bombs continues to grow despite an international agreement banning the use and production of such munitions that has been signed by more than 100 nations to date, a Netherlands-based NGO called PAX noted in its latest report on the issue.

Over the past four years, the total volume of investment in cluster bomb producers amounted to $31 billion, while the total number of investors reached 166 financial institutions, the report published on Tuesday says.

Investment sharply increased between 2016 and 2017, jumping by $3 billion. … continue

Hillary Clinton’s Syria Revenge

By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report | May 24, 2017

Had Hillary Clinton been elected, she would likely have turned the Syrian war into a global conflict within weeks of taking the oath. However, Clinton may yet prevail. “With Donald Trump now dutifully in synch with the War Party, the U.S. has countered the Syrian-Russian-Iranian-Turkish ‘de-escalation’ in Syria with a major escalation: ‘no-go zones.’ – Read article

Britain’s Collusion with Terror

Crimes of Britain | May 24, 2017

When Britain’s collusion with death squads across the Middle East and Africa is mentioned it falls on deaf ears. The only time you’ll hear of Britain’s open collaboration with these forces are when they are branded “moderates” or “rebels” by the British media.

Firstly, what do I mean by death squad. I use this term to refer to a wide range of forces, namely Al-Qaeda and al-Qaida affiliated groups, Islamic State group, the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force), UDA/UFF (Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters), RHD (Red Hand Commandos), LVF (Loyalist Volunteer Force) and the British Army’s very own units such as the Military Reaction Force, Special Reconnaissance Unit and the Force Research Unit. … continue

Certain states boosting Takfiri firepower: Iran’s Shamkhani

Press TV – May 24, 2017

A senior Iranian official says a number of countries, either directly or indirectly, side with the Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria, helping arm the outfits with devastating effects.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani made the remarks at a high-level international security summit underway in Russia’s northwestern city of Tver.

He further said that those countries would either directly transfer weapons to the Takfiri terrorists or hand them over to the so-called “moderate” militants, whom they have propped up themselves before the arms are taken away by the terrorists.

This, he said, is the reason why the weapons, which are in the hands of the Takfiri terror groups of Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front), are more advanced than the ones possessed by the Syrian and Iraqi armies.

Shamkhani reiterated that Iran’s ongoing provision of military advisory support to the Iraqi and Syrian armies was taking place at their respective governments’ request. … continue

Turkey Recruits Thousands of Free Syrian Army Rebels to Fight Kurds

Sputnik – 24.05.2017

Turkey has ostensibly spent three months training a large rebel force planning to deploy them against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) told Sputnik Turkey on condition of anonymity.

“Turkey is in the process of creating an army manned by the FSA fighters to carry out an operation against the YPG. This force will also be tasked with patrolling the security zone between Jarabulus and Idlib. This training has been ongoing for three months. Turkish special forces have led a training program lasting 45 days in Gaziantep and Kilis. Syrians from Idlib, Aleppo, Damascus and Hama have enrolled in this program. They have freely joined the FSA. These are mostly ethnic Turkmen or Arabs. There are some Kurds as well,” the source said.

The Ankara-trained FSA force is said to consist of 10,000 fighters.

The FSA commander added that those undergoing training receive $300 per month. Turkey also provides them with shelter and food. He did not specify when the program would be over, but said that it is going to happen soon.

The FSA commander named the cities of Manbij, Afrin and Tell Abyad as the primary targets of Turkey’s upcoming operation. … Full article

Egypt’s Sisi Drops a Depth Charge in Midst of American Islamic Summit – Shames Terrorism Supporters

21st Century Wire | May 24, 2017

Whatever criticisms may be justifiably levied at Egypt’s President Al Sisi, the speech he gave at the American Islamic Summit should go down in history as one of the bravest attacks on supporters of terrorism, whilst in their midst. The consternation of the primary terrorism creators and drivers, the Gulf State members, is palpable, as is the frantic tea-making and serving, as a distraction from the weight and power of Sisi’s words. Each barb hit home, Israel, Gulf States, the US, the EU, Turkey, nobody was omitted from the roll call of criminal terrorism support, sponsoring, promotion and funding.

Of course this speech was given zero air-time by western corporate media outlets, as it also exposed their promotion of the terror groups wreaking violent, murderous havoc across the region.

Independent Journalists Reveal America’s Sinister War in Syria

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 24.05.2017

Syria is not experiencing a “civil war.” It is being targeted by both proxy and direct military force organized by the United States and its allies for the explicit purpose of dividing and destroying yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Worse than that, the United States is employing tactics to transform Syria’s heterogeneous multi-ethnic and religious communities into segregated ghettos, and using this as a means of dividing and conquering the nation and even the region.

The US is also widely employing the abhorrent tactics of socioeconomic, psychological, and armed terrorism to break the Syrian people completely and absolutely.

Unlike in Libya and Iraq, however, US plans in Syria have been confounded. And because of this, ample time has elapsed for independent journalists to travel to, record, and report what is actually transpiring versus the intentional, malicious, and continuous lies told by the West’s mainstream media.

One of these journalists is Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire, whose recent trip to Syria had him cross paths and interview others frequently visiting and sharing their experiences and findings from the besieged nation. … continue

‘US military lost track of $1bn worth of weapons’

Press TV – May 24, 2017

The US military has admitted to losing track of around $1 billion worth of weapons in Iraq and Kuwait, according to a US Defense Department audit reviewed by Amnesty International.

In the September 2016 document, which was obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Pentagon stated that it “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a large amount of weapons it had moved into Iraq and Kuwait to arm the Iraqi government forces, Amnesty reported Wednesday.

The transfers were part of the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF) program and following appropriation by Congress of $1.6 billion to allegedly stop Daesh (ISIL)’s advances in 2015.

The items included tens of thousands of assault rifles worth $28 million, hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armored vehicles. … continue