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Syrian Army Fired Upon by Mortars From Turkish Territory – Spokesman

Sputnik – 28.11.2015

Turkey fired a number of mortar bombs toward Syrian army positions, the Syrian army spokesman said Saturday.

“Last night, there was intense mortar fire on Syrian government forces’ positions fire from the Mount Jebel Aqra area, which is on the Turkish side,” Brigadier General Ali Mayhoub said during a press briefing.

“Commander-in-chief of the Syrian Arab Army [President Bashar Assad] warns of the dangers of such behavior,” the spokesman added.

Damascus urges the international community to force Turkey to stop supporting terrorists, directly and indirectly, as well as to stop buying illegal oil from them, he said. … continue

Turkey’s True Goals in Syria are Much More Than Just Oil and Money

Sputnik – 28.11.2015

Turkey playing dirty in Syria is no secret. The true goal Ankara is pursuing in Syria is becoming a regional power and the country that rules the Sunni Muslim world, journalist Riccardo Peliliccetti wrote for his article in Il Giornale.

Over the course of his 20 years of ruling Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has Islamized the country and launched a policy of expansionism. It is obvious that Erdogan’s goal is to turn northern Syria – between Aleppo and Latakia – into the 82nd Turkish province, the article read, and now he is playing the card of Turkmen living in the region. … continue

Did Erdogan Order Prominent Turkish Lawyer’s Assassination?

By Stephen Lendman | November 28, 2015

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state. Anyone criticizing regime policy risks harassment, arrest, indictment on phony charges, imprisonment or death. Fundamental freedoms don’t exist.

Prominent Turkish attorney/Kurdish rights supporter Tahir Elci headed southeastern Diyarbakir province’s bar association.

On Saturday, local hospital sources confirmed he died from gunshot wounds to his head, a clear indication he was assassinated. In October, he was detained for publicly saying the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) isn’t a terrorist organization – then released awaiting trial. … continue

Terrorism, tyranny and the end of freedom

By Sam Gerrans | RT | November 27, 2015

Are the powers-that-be using crises such as recent events in Paris to drive through a tyrannical agenda?

Rahm Emanuel – Obama’s former Chief of Staff – once famously said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste – it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before”.

He was not saying anything new. He was simply rehashing something self-evident to those who deal in strategy rather than hysteria, and passing off as his own something said years before by Churchill.

Today, the world is hysterical about the recent serious crisis in Paris.

Naturally, these terrorist actions are tragedies for those individually impacted by them. But strategically, they are opportunities for “things you think you could not do before.”

A substantial minority of people have now got the point that since “a serious crisis” is so useful to those who rule us, our rulers will not only sit around waiting for things to happen which they can use, they will also initiate such things. … continue

Ukraine threatens permanent economic blockade against Crimea

By Roger Annis – New Cold War – November 27, 2015

Western news media and governments are keeping hush about an economic blockade by Ukraine against Crimea that is starting to appear permanent.

TASS reports today that at least one of the electricity lines from Ukraine to Crimea that was sabotaged by right-wing extremists during the weekend of Nov 20-21 has been repaired. But no electricity is flowing to Crimea from Ukraine. The information comes from Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrey Cherezov.

“We have information that the repair work on the Kakhovka-Titan power line has been completed,” he said. “Switching this line on would make it possible to supply about 150-200 megawatts from Ukraine to Crimea. But such hope is lost. Accordingly, all measures in Crimea are aimed at ensuring a minimum level of electricity supply to consumers.”

Kakhovka-Titan is a 220-volt line that supplies electricity to the Crimean border cities of Armyansk and Krasnoperekopsk. Much of its power goes to two districts of the Kherson region of Ukraine. … continue

Is David Brooks Pushing For Another Vietnam?

By Chris Rossini | Ron Paul Liberty Report | November 23, 2015

A few years ago, New York Times columnist David Brooks wanted the U.S. government to wave its magic wand and turn the Syrian civil war into a Vietnam for Iran:

We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam. We should make them waste money and effort trying to back their client… I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for a more active U.S. role. I have no clue how to do that.

Brooks was apparently modest enough to admit that he had “no clue” as to how the U.S. should mold Syria to achieve such a nefarious goal.

Well, a few years have now gone by, and Brooks has experienced his eureka moment! He apparently tuned into a warmongering speech from Hillary Clinton and now (at long last) has a clue… continue

Arbitrary arrest of local activists as settlers lay siege to soumud house in Hebron

International Solidarity Movement | November 28, 2015

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday night, Israeli forces arrested two activists from the local activist group Youth Against Settlement in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). Illegal settlers, under the protection of the Israeli forces, then layed siege to the YAS center, the Soumud house, trapping everyone inside.

Israeli forces stormed the house in the evening around 7 pm, and arrested 16-year old Ahmad al-Azzeh, accusing him of ‘having a knife’. Soldiers also arrested Issa Amro under the accusation of ‘disturbing the soldiers’ and ‘hiding a terrorist in his house’. Issa Amro was detained in a bathroom for more than four hours, with his hands cuffed behind his back and blindfolded. He was interrogated for long periods of time. Whereas Issa Amro was released after more than 5 and a half hours, Ahmad al-Azzeh’s arrest was extended for another 4 days. He has been arrested merely on a soldier’s accusation of ‘seeing him with a knife’. This ridiculous allegation is clearly a means to intimidate the whole group and on the long run force them to leave the area.

After the arrest, settlers from the nearby illegal settlement approached the Soumud house, protesting and demanding Israeli forces to close it immediately. Groups of settlers have been outside the center the whole evening, and even brought mattresses to sleep in front of the house’s door the whole night. Everyone there, thus, was trapped inside without a possibility to leave. The whole time, Israeli soldiers present in large numbers allowed the settlers to do as they pleased, without ever intervening. A group of about 30 settlers camped outside the Soumud house, thus laying siege to it and forcing everyone inside to spent the night there. As of Saturday, 28th November 10:30am, settlers are still outside the center.

The local activist group, Youth Against Settlements, has constantly been targeted by the Israeli forces for their non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Only a month ago, Israeli forces took over the center for military use, destroying their media equipment. Settlers have repeatedly attacked the group members and wrongfully accused them of crimes.

Palestinian civilians of Queitun are locked up by massive roadblocks and skunked for no reason

International Solidarity Movement | November 27, 2015

Roadblock-Sida-tophill-600x450Hebron, Occupied Palestine – In the early morning of 26 November 2015, just a few hours after they trained for house-invasions with some 50 new soldiers, the Israeli occupation army put three massive roadblocks in Sida, a connection street in the Qeitun neighborhood of Hebron H2. Two of these roadblocks were constructed with huge watchtower elements of steel reinforced concrete, placed horizontally and put in place with heavy concrete blocks, nearly impossible to remove.

There was no incident in Qeitun that could give any credibility for placing these roadblocks. There is absolutely no security reason for doing this.

Its purpose is clearly to block the traffic in this important connecting street. We can just guess about their further plans.

It has already been announced that the remaining meters on the north-west of the street will be annexed for extending checkpoint 56. In all likelihood the Israeli state wants to take over the remaining south-eastern part of this historical busy shopping street as well. First by blocking it for all car traffic, and next turning it into an Apartheid Jews-only street, as is Shuhada street now. … Full article

Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar

By Dave Lindorff | This Can’t Be Happening! | November 27, 2015

After weeks of lies, the Obama administration and the Pentagon, unable to find any way to explain their murderous hour-long AC-130 gunship assault on and destruction of a Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, have turned to a new lie: they bombed the wrong building.

Gen. John Campbell, commander of NATO forces (sic) in Afghanistan, citing the results of a just-released Pentagon study of the Oct. 3 incident which killed 30 medical personnel and patients and left the only hospital in the region a smoking ruin, now says that the American mass-slaughter flying machine bombed “the wrong target,” hitting the hospital instead of a “nearby building,” supposedly a government structure from which Taliban were said to be firing.

Campbell said the hospital attack, which would be a grave war crime if intentional, was simply “the direct result of avoidable human error, compounded by process and equipment failure,” he said, adding, “US forces would never intentionally strike a hospital.”

Grim guffaws could be heard around the world, if not, perhaps, among the assembled hack reporters, who in dutifully transcribing the general’s remarks for their articles failed to first check their history. Had they even made a cursory search, they’d have discovered that hitting hospitals is something the US military does routinely and with alacrity. … continue

Fresh Saudi strikes kill dozen Yemeni civilians, injure 13

Press TV | November 28, 2015

At least a dozen civilians have lost their lives in a new round of Saudi aerial assaults against Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.

On Saturday, Saudi warplanes struck a residential neighborhood in the al- Wazi’iyah district of the province, situated 346 kilometers (214 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a, leaving 12 civilians dead and 13 others injured, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported. Saudi military aircraft also pounded other districts in the same province as well as the capital, though there were no immediate reports of casualties. … Full article

UK may be prosecuted over missiles used by Saudis in Yemen war

Press TV | November 28, 2015

5630b229c46188687d8b45a1The British government is at the risk of being prosecuted for war crimes after mounting evidence has come to light that UK-made missiles, sold to the Saudi Arabia, have been used against civilian targets in Yemen, UK Foreign Office lawyers and diplomats have warned.

According to a detailed report published by The Independent on Friday, advisers to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond expressed their concern that the sale of “specialist missiles,” used during the nine months of Saudi war on Yemen, may breach international humanitarian law.

“The foreign secretary has acknowledged that some weapons supplied by the UK have been used by the Saudis in Yemen. Are our reassurances correct – that such sales are within international arms treaty rules? The answer is, sadly, not at all clear,” an unnamed senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) legal adviser was quoted as saying. … Full article

Why Would Turkey Risk War Over a Russian Plane

By James ONeill – New Eastern Outlook – 28.11.2015

… Turkey would not, as a member of the US controlled NATO, have risked a war with Russia unless it had the backing of the US government. American foreknowledge of the shoot down, which as a matter of timing alone must have been planned, is to be inferred from the ludicrous statements emanating from the White House.

One such ludicrous defence of the Turkmen militia came from a US government spokesman who when asked about the shooting of the pilot from the downed Russian jet said that the Turkmen militia “were entitled to defend themselves.”

This would be almost funny were it not for the alarming ignorance of international law that such a remark displays. Article 42 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which both Turkey and the US have signed and ratified, and Protocol 1 of the 1977 amendments to the Convention, specifically provides as follows:

  1. No person parachuting from an aircraft in distress shall be made the object of attack during his descent.
  2. Upon reaching the ground in territory controlled by an adverse Party, a person who has parachuted from an aircraft in distress shall be given the opportunity to surrender before being made the object of attack….

The Russian pilot in question, on the unqualified boasting of the militiamen who killed him, had no such opportunity. The killing of the pilot was therefore a war crime.

It is the latest illustration of where criminal acts carried out in pursuit of geo-political objectives are given the courtesy of not even being discussed in the mainstream media. Instead, prominence is given in the media to ludicrous and self-serving statements by politicians and their official spokespersons. … Read full article

Some 1,000 Gather in Istanbul to Support Detained Turkish Journalists

Sputnik – 28.11.2015

About 1,000 people gathered in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, on Friday in support of two journalists arrested on charges of espionage and treason after their employer published weapon convoy photos, local media reported. […]

The controversial article and photos, released by Cumhuriyet in May 2015, claim that Turkish trucks carried artillery shells, machine gun rounds and mortar shells to Syrian opposition forces.

Ankara denied the reports, insisting instead that the vehicles were delivering aid to Syrian Turkmens. – Full article

US anti-tank TOW missile used in attack on RT journalists in Syria

RT | November 28, 2015

A US-made anti-tank missile system was used in an attack on an RT crew in Syria, a mounting body of evidence suggests. Journalists recognized the area, while experts confirmed that a booster found by the Syrian army matches the TOW seen in a rebel video.

A baldly titled video – ‘Jihadists Launch TOW at Journalists’ – was recently posted online and clearly shows a group of Syrian rebels firing a US-made anti-tank missile launcher. … Full article

War With Russia to Defend ISIS? Gee, Okay…

By Jack Perry | LewRockwell | November 26, 2015

Hey, remember back in those “good ol’ days” we called the Cold War when we thought World War Three would begin over some penny-ante border skirmish in Europe? You know, a Soviet plane gets close to the border, we panic, it gets shot down. Then the Soviets decide to shoot down the next plane that tries that again. Then it escalates from there. Well, folks, have a look at this.

There. Putin just placed some long-range surface-to-air missiles in Syria. The next Turkish F-16 pilot to play Top Gun is going to get a hotfoot he’ll never forget. Ok, but let’s get back to the Cold War for a second. Can anyone imagine it being 1983 and Reagan giving the okey-dokey to shoot down a Soviet aircraft? Of course not. Not even Reagan was that bonkers. If Turkey had said they were going to do that, they’d have been told in no uncertain terms: Absolutely not. We’d have never allowed a NATO nation to threaten such a thing, much less carry out that threat. They’d have been told to follow the protocols which are to send up planes and escort the aircraft away. That’s what NATO has been doing since they provoked the Russians into resuming Bear bomber excursions close to NATO airspace. They escort the planes away. They don’t shoot them down, no matter how many bloodthirsty whack-jobs were calling for it. … continue

Turkey refuses to hand materials on attack on Su-24M over to Russia —- defense ministry

TASS – November 26, 2015

MOSCOW – The Turkish side has refused to hand the Russian military attache any materials on Turkey’s attack on Russia’s Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

“Our military representative was notified that it was impossible to hand him any materials relating to the attack on a Russian plane on November 24 by a Turkish F-16 fighter,” Konashenkov said when speaking of the results of the diplomat’s visit to the Turkish General Staff.

The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on Tuesday shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber that Ankara claims violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria. … Full article

Iran never responded to cyber attacks with counter raids: Foreign Ministry

Press TV – November 27, 2015

Iran says it has never reciprocated cyber attacks with counter raids, although it has been a victim of such illegal attacks in the past years.

“Iran has never responded to these illegal attacks with reciprocal cyber attacks,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said on Friday.

He also noted that the Islamic Republic has been the victim of serious cyber attacks, such as the Stuxnet case, in recent years.

The spokesman was referring to the 2010 cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities by the Stuxnet computer worm, built jointly by the US and the Israeli regime.

He made the remarks in response to a recent New York Times report, which cited unnamed US officials as claiming that there has been a surge in cyber attacks by Iran against US State Department officials over the past month. … Full article

Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia?

By Eric Draitser – New Eastern Outlook – 27.11.2015

Coming on the heels of the terrorist attack in Paris, the mass shooting and siege at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the capital of the African nation of Mali, is still further evidence of the escalation of terrorism throughout the world. While there has already been much written about the incident in both western and non-western media, one critical angle on this story has been entirely ignored: the motive.

For although it is true that most people think of terrorism as entirely ideologically driven, with motives being religious or cultural, it is equally true that much of what gets defined as “terrorism” is in fact politically motivated violence that is intended to send a message to the targeted group or nation. So it seems that the attack in Mali could very well have been just such an action as news of the victims has raised very serious questions about just what the motive for this heinous crime might have been.

International media have now confirmed that at least nine of the 27 killed in the attack were Chinese and Russian. While this alone would indeed be curious, it is the identities and positions of those killed that is particularly striking. The three Chinese victims were important figures in China’s China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), while the Russians were employees of Russian airline Volga-Dnepr. That it was these individuals who were killed at the very outset of the attack suggests that they were the likely targets of what could perhaps rightly be called a terrorist assassination operation. … continue

OSCE Refutes US, Ukraine Allegations of Minsk Deal Implementation by Kiev

Sputnik – 27.11.2015

1095198Reports by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Monitoring Mission to Ukraine contradicts the United States and Ukraine’s vocal confirmations that Kiev is faultlessly fulfilling the complex of measures in complying with the Minsk agreements, Russian OSCE Envoy Alexander Lukashevich said Friday.

“Everyone here reads the Monitoring Mission to Ukraine on the situation in Donbass, on ceasefire violations and machinations with withdrawing arms. They contradict vocal allegations from representatives from the United States and Ukraine on Kiev’s faultless fulfillment of the Minsk Complex of Measures,” Lukashevich said during an OSCE council session.

Voluntary military formations resort to looting, robbery and violence despite Kiev’s claims, an OSCE envoy said.

The Minsk agreements are a set of measures developed by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany to facilitate the process of Ukraine’s reconciliation after Kiev launched a military operation against local independence supporters in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.

Under the deal, constitutional reforms aimed at decentralizing power in Ukraine and the initiation of local elections in Donbass must be concluded before the end of 2015.

The country’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk agreed to postpone their local elections until 2016. Before elections in those regions can take place, Ukraine authorities must fulfill all the Minsk agreement obligations.

Poland Suspends $5 Billion Raytheon Patriot Missile Deal

Sputnik – 27.11.2015

Poland’s new defense minister Antoni Macierewicz announced that the government is suspending its agreement with the US defense contractor Raytheon for Patriot missiles, complaining that the contract’s cost is too high while the term of delivery is too long.

Macierewicz claimed that the multi-billion-euro contract signed by the previous cabinet of ministers to buy American Patriot Missile Systems will be halted, Defense News reported.

The same fate has befallen the billion-euro contract with Airbus for helicopters.

At the same time Poland doesn’t aim to refuse the purchase, but wants to reconsider the conditions of the contracts, according to the US media.

Last April, Warsaw announced a plan to acquire missiles at an estimated €5 billion ($5.3 billion). The news outlet stressed that the negotiations were held with the background of the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

The Polish defense minister has now put into question the very existence of the deal. … Full article

Israeli forces shoot, injure 67 Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank

Ma’an – November 27, 2015

-313704729RAMALLAH – At least 67 Palestinians were shot by Israeli military forces during ongoing clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory, the Palestinian Red Crescent said Friday.

A Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma’an that 16 Palestinians were injured by live bullets, as well as two by rubber-coated steel bullets in the Gaza Strip.

Five of those injured by live fire were shot when clashes erupted near the Nahal Oz crossing east of Gaza City, one of whom was shot in the chest and left in critical condition, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra.

Several others were injured in the besieged enclave when Palestinians demonstrated in areas north of Khan Younis, demanding the return of Palestinian bodies currently held by Israel, witnesses told Ma’an. […]

Palestinians in the Ramallah district meanwhile staged a demonstration near Israel’s Ofer detention center, where medics told Ma’an that Israeli forces opened fire on protesters.

One of those shot by live fire was left in critical condition, medics said, adding that dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

A total of 22 injuries by live fire were reported from the occupied West Bank, the Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma’an, as well as 27 injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and over a hundred who were treated for tear-gas inhalation.

In Hebron, 14 Palestinians were hit with live bullets, and 10 with rubber-coated steel bullets, the Red Crescent said, adding that Israeli forces targeted an ambulance with tear gas, shattering its windshield. … Full article

Zionist Entity to Open First ‘Diplomatic Mission’ in Abu Dhabi: Report

Al-Manar | November 27, 2015

The Zionist entity will inaugurate for the first time an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported on Friday.

The daily quoted a senior Israeli official as saying on condition of anonymity that the new legation will be officially accredited to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is based in Abu Dhabi.

Haaretz added that the director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, visited Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to participate in the biannual meeting of IRENA’s Council.

“The meeting was to discuss the future activities and budgetary issues pertaining to the organization’s members, but the main purpose of the trip was to finalize the opening of the mission. During the three days of his visit, Gold met with IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin and discussed with him the opening of the mission,” the daily said.

A senior official in al-Quds (Jerusalem) said that diplomat Rami Hatan has been appointed to head the Israeli legation, and will depart for Abu Dhabi in the near future, the report said.

5 Acts of Latin American Solidarity with Palestine

teleSUR – November 27, 2015

5_recent_events_of_latin_american_solidarity_with_palestine_crop1448616371258.jpg_916636689As the world commemorates the United Nations’ International Day for Solidarity with Palestinians, it is important to remember that many countries in Latin America have been some of the most vocal supporters of Palestine and its people.

On several occasions Palestinian officials have expressed their gratitude to Latin American countries for their support, which at times is larger than support from neighboring Arab nations.

This support is translated through opening borders for Palestinian refugees and students, hosting high-level officials from Palestine as well as continually condemning the harsh treatment of Israel towards the Palestinian people through occupation, human rights violations, settlement construction and open discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Last year, Palestinian Ambassador to Caracas Linda Sobeh Ali speaking to Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said: “You and the people of Latin America have shown us more support than some of our Arab brothers. Thank you.” … continue

Greece’s center-left government seeks stronger ties with Israel, calls Jerusalem “historic capital” of Israel

teleSUR – November 26, 2015

Greece is looking to work with Israel on developing the latter’s energy industry and transporting natural gas across Europe, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters after a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“One of the main issues in our talks were the opportunities arising in the fields of energy, the fields of energy in the East Mediterranean,” said Tsipras. “We are considering ways on cooperation in research, drilling and transportation of gas from Israel to Europe,.”

The recent discovery of a large offshore gas reserves close to the city of Haifa could turn Israel from a consumer into a supplier of natural energy. … continue

Europe-based Forum calls for international pro-Palestine efforts

Palestine Information Center – November 27, 2015

BRUSSELS – The Palestinian Forum in Europe—Tawasol—on Thursday called on the world’s states and the European Union to take serious steps to put an end to Israel’s terrorism against the Palestinian people.

Children-play-outside-a-p-007A statement issued by the Palestinian Forum in Europe on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People condemned the dramatic surge in the Israeli crimes and violations of Palestinians’ human rights.

The group said a serious pro-Palestine standpoint should be opted for by the world’s governments to urge the Israeli occupation to abide by international legitimacy and withdraw from the occupied territories.

Head of the Tawasol Forum, Zaher Birawi, said a campaign is expected to kick off sometime soon to reach out to the world’s governments, parliaments and European MPs in order to mobilize support for the Palestinian cause.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, in accordance with General Assembly mandates contained in resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, and subsequent resolutions adopted under agenda item “Question of Palestine.”

UK’s Corbyn ‘Systematically’ Undermined by British Press, Report Finds

Sputnik – 27.11.2015

Whether it’s the color of his tie, his suit – or shell suit – his beard, his position on Trident or airstrikes in Syria, the Labour party’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn has been “systematically” undermined by the British press.

New research by the Media Reform Coalition found there was a “barrage of overwhelmingly negative coverage” written about him.

Sixty percent of the total number of articles written about him, including comment pieces and editorials, were negative, A mere 13 percent of articles on Corbyn were written in a positive manner. Just 27 percent offered a neutral position on the man voted to lead the Labour party. … continue

Cameron in Crisis Over Syria After Labour Leader Splits Party

Sputnik – 27.11.2015

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is facing a political crisis after calling for support for airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, but failing to gain the support of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who has now caused a major rift in the opposition.

Cameron told lawmakers in London Thursday that Britain should join a coalition of forces in airstrikes against ISIL in Syria. The country is already bombing ISIL in neighboring Iraq, but Cameron needs a mandate from parliament to extend the operations into Syria.

The issue is politically sensitive as Cameron lost a vote to launch airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2013, with cost him political value. This time around — in a vote on bombing Assad’s enemies — he cannot afford to lose political face again.

However, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has indicated that it will vote against action in Syria and Cameron needs the support of the Labour opposition to confirm his policy. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — who has long been an anti-war campaigner — has written to his party lawmakers telling them he cannot support airstrikes in Syria. … continue

Turkey’s Actions Show the Despair of the Regime Change Camp

By Dan Glazebrook | RT | November 25, 2015

Soccer-Game-FTurkey’s shooting down of a Russian jet today shows the utter desperation currently sweeping through the regime change camp as Russia closes in on the death squads in Syria – and does so with massive international support.

At 9.30am on Tuesday morning, a Russian SU-24 jet was shot down by Turkish fighter planes. Its pilots were then allegedly killed by Syrian Turkmen anti-government militias, with the body of one paraded on camera in a video that was immediately posted on youtube. Turkey claimed the jet had encroached on Turkish airspace, but Russia maintains the plane was shot down well inside Syrian territory, 4km from the Turkish border. Rather than calling Russia to defuse any tension arising from the attack, Turkey then immediately called an emergency NATO meeting to ramp it up – “as if we shot down their plane”, Putin commented, “and not they ours”.

To make sense of this apparently senseless provocation, it is necessary to cut through the multiple layers of obfuscation which surround Western narratives around Syria and ISIS. … continue

Turkey Will Continue to Treat Airspace Violators Like Russia’s Su-24

Sputnik – 26.11.2015

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated that in case of another violation of the country’s airspace, Ankara is ready to respond in the same manner as with Russia’s Su-24.

“If today there will be another violation of our airspace, we are capable of the same kind of response,” Tayyip Erdogan said.

The downing of Russia’s Su-24 bomber was an “automatic reaction” in line with a standing order given to the Turkish military, according to Erdogan.

The Russian Su-24 Fencer bomber was shot down by two Turkish F-16s Tuesday morning while conducting operations over Syria, where Moscow has been targeting the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group.

Ankara claimed it downed the Russian plane because it had violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Su-24 was downed in Syrian airspace and never crossed into Turkey, in accordance with precise objective control data. […]

Erdogan called Kremlin’s reaction to the incident “emotional” and “unfitting of politicians” following Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal to cancel joint projects.

Earlier Thursday, Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Russian government to work out measures against Turkey after Tuesday’s downing of a Russian military jet. Moscow may freeze economic cooperation, limit trade spheres as possible measures against Ankara.

The Turkish leader stated that he will continue to support moderate rebels and Turkmen who are engaged in a fight against Syria’s government. … Full article

Turkish newspaper editor in court for ‘espionage’ after revealing weapon convoy to Syrian militants

RT | November 26, 2015

A Turkish prosecutor asked a court to imprison the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper pending trial for espionage and treason. In May, the outlet published photos of weapons it said were then transferred to Syria by Turkey’s intelligence agency.

Besides the editor, Can Dündar, the prosecution said it is seeking the same pre-trial restrictions for Cumhuriyet’s representative in Ankara, Erdem Gül.

Dündar arrived at an Istanbul court on Thursday, saying that he and his colleague “came here to defend journalism.”

“We came here to defend the right of the public to obtain the news and their right to know if their government is feeding them lies. We came here to show and to prove that governments cannot engage in illegal activity and defend this,” Dündar was cited by Today’s Zaman.

The articles, published on Cumhuriyet’s front page in May, claimed that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is smuggling weapons in trucks into Syria and was caught doing so twice in 2014. The trucks were allegedly stopped and searched by police, with photos and videos of their contents obtained by Cumhuriyet.

The arms were reportedly delivered to extremist groups fighting against the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad, whom Ankara wants ousted from power.

The Turkish authorities denied the allegations, saying that the trucks were carrying aid to Syrian ethnic Turkmen tribespeople and labeled their interception an act of “treason” and “espionage.”

Turkish Warplanes Enter Iraqi Airspace, Resume Strikes on Kurdish Bases

Sputnik – 26.11.2015

Turkish jets reportedly intruded into Iraqi airspace without warning in a fresh tide of airstrikes against Kurdish PKK fighters’ bases, local news reported Wednesday.

Several bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant organization were hit during air raids by Turkish air forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, local news outlet Rudaw reported on Wednesday.

“Turkish F-16 warplanes are continually bombing PKK bases in the area of Barwari Balla and Kesta village in the town of Zakho,” a Rudaw reporter broadcast from the scene.

No casualties were acknowledged at the time of the report late Wednesday. … Full article

NATO Attack On Russian Air Forces: Reasons and Consequences

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 26.11.2015

The NATO attack on a Russian military jet on Tuesday November 24, using the Turkish air force to do its dirty work, is a dangerous act of war against Russia with very dangerous consequences for the world. The murder of one of the pilots, shot by ISIS terrorists while parachuting to the ground, is a war crime for which Turkey and the NATO countries are collectively responsible. President Putin has rightly called it a stab in the back by Turkey, a betrayal that cannot be forgiven and will forever be remembered.

If anyone ever doubted that the joint criminal enterprise called NATO was supporting and directing the terrorist groups in Syria, the same groups, they claim, that conducted the attacks in Paris and on the Russian airliner over Sinai, they now have the proof.  Can there be any doubt that this attack on Russian forces in Syria is intended to disrupt the Russian-Syrian campaign against those NATO supported terrorist groups? Can there be any doubt that if they are willing to shoot down one Russian aircraft they are willing to shoot down more? Can there be any doubt that this attack is intended to push Russia to react with counter force against Turkey resulting in a claim by NATO that it is under attack, resulting in a general war?

This attack is intended to both test Russian resolve in Syria and to provoke it into a reaction that will be used to justify further military actions by the Turkish and US military forces against the Russian forces. It was preceded by hysterical claims by NATO leaders that Russia and the Syrian government are the reasons ISIS exists and calling for action against both. It was preceded by the sudden appearance of the refugee crisis in Europe and then the attacks in Sinai and Paris and the constant fear raising alerts in Belgium, Germany, Britain and the United States. … continue

Israel meets with Google and YouTube to discuss censoring Palestinian videos

MEMO | November 25, 2015

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has met with representatives of YouTube and Google to discuss ways to cooperate in what she calls the fight against “inciting violence and terrorism.”

Israel’s Maariv newspaper reported yesterday that Hotovely agreed to work with Google and YouTube in order to establish a joint working mechanism to monitor and prevent the publication of “inflammatory material” originating in the Palestinian territories.

Since the latest escalation of violence between Palestinians and Israeli security services that erupted at the beginning of October, many people have been sharing videos depicting Israeli aggression towards Palestinians to highlight the Palestinian perspective of the conflict. London-based Arab newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has expressed concerns that the meetings suggest moves towards censoring Palestinian material on the part of the Israeli state.

Human resources: Walmart hired Lockheed Martin to keep tabs on employees

RT | November 25, 2015

Walmart hired global security giant Lockheed Martin a few years ago to monitor activism in its massive workforce, according to new documents. The defense contractor tracked employees’ social media and reported protest participation to the retail giant.

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, provided Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, with intelligence-gathering and surveillance services in 2012, according to a lengthy report by Bloomberg Businessweek. The news has emerged just before Black Friday protests by a union-funded group called OUR Walmart, the report claims. Participants demand higher wages and reliable scheduling for Walmart employees. … continue

‘Human error’ behind Kunduz hospital attack, US General claims

Press TV – November 25, 2015

c19d9f6e-0334-4412-bda9-be60616d8329The United States says the deadly airstrike that recently destroyed an Afghan hospital in the northern city of Kunduz was the result of a “human error, compounded by process and equipment failures.” […]

MSF General Director Christopher Stokes responded to Campbell’s remarks that were accompanied by a 3,000-page US military report.

“The US version of events presented today leaves MSF with more questions than answers. It is shocking that an attack can be carried out when US forces have neither eyes on a target nor access to a no-strike list, and have malfunctioning communications systems,” Stokes said, adding, “It appears that 30 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people are denied life-saving care in Kunduz simply because the MSF hospital was the closest large building to an open field and ‘roughly matched’ a description of an intended target.”

The MSF official accused the US forces of violation of the rules of war, further reiterating calls for an independent probe into the incident. … Full article

The Phony Torture Debate: Why Trump is Wrong about Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think

By Sam Husseini | November 25, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump — to the outrage of liberals everywhere — says he wants more waterboarding. Reports the Washington Post: “‘Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat,’ Trump said to loud cheers during a rally at a convention center [in Columbus, Ohio] Monday night that attracted thousands. ‘And I would approve more than that. Don’t kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work.’

“Trump said such techniques are needed to confront terrorists who ‘chop off our young people’s heads’ and ‘build these iron cages, and they’ll put 20 people in them and they drop them in the ocean for 15 minutes and pull them up 15 minutes later.’

“‘It works,’ Trump said over and over again. ‘Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing. It works.’”

There’s no shortage of people denouncing or pretending to correct Trump’s remarks. Virtually all miss the point. The fact is torture produces bad but useful intelligence. That is, it gives you “intel” that some bigwig with a conniving agenda wants to push. Like that Iraq had WMDs and we needed to invade. … continue

Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | November 25, 2015

In debunking Donald Trump’s big lie about Jersey City Muslims celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center, the corporate media have told an even bigger lie of omission. There was, indeed, shameless cheering on the banks of the Hudson River on 9/11. But it was by young Israelis, as was widely reported at the time. Fourteen years later, corporate media are covering up for Israel – which makes them even bigger liars than Trump. – Read article

Breaking international law in Syria

By Sharmine Narwani | RT | November 25, 2015

The war drums are getting louder in the aftermath of ISIS attacks in Paris, as Western countries gear up to launch further airstrikes in Syria. But obscured in the fine print of countless resolutions and media headlines is this: the West has no legal basis for military intervention. Their strikes are illegal.

“It is always preferable in these circumstances to have the full backing of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) but I have to say what matters most of all is that any actions we would take would… be legal,” explained UK Prime Minister David Cameron to the House of Commons last Wednesday.

Legal? No, there’s not a scrap of evidence that UK airstrikes would be lawful in their current incarnation. … continue

November – 2015

October – 2015


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