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Scarier Than John Bolton?

Think of Nikki Haley for President!

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • April 24, 2018

The musical chairs playing out among the senior officials that make up the President Donald Trump White House team would be amusing to watch but for the genuine damage that it is doing to the United States. …

In the Trumpean world of all-the-time-stupid, there is, however, one individual who stands out for her complete inability to perceive anything beyond threats of unrelenting violence combined with adherence to policies that have already proven to be catastrophic. That person is our own Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who surfaced in the news lately after she unilaterally and evidently prematurely announced sanctions on Russia. When the White House suggested that she might have been “confused” she responded that “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.” This ignited a firestorm among the Trump haters, lauding Haley as a strong and self-confident woman for standing up to the White House male bullies while also suggesting that the hapless Administration had not bothered to inform one of its senior diplomats of a policy change. It also produced a flurry of Haley for higher office tweets based on what was described as her “brilliant riposte” to the president.

One over-the-top bit of effusion from a former Haley aide even suggested that her “deft rebuttal” emphasizes her qualities, enthusing that “What distinguishes her from the star-struck sycophants in the White House is that she understands the intersection of strong leadership and public service, where great things happen” and placing her on what is being promoted as the short list of future presidential candidates. … continue

Conspiracy of Silence: BBC Admits MI5 Vetted Staff to Weed Out ‘Subversives’

Sputnik – 24.04.2018

For decades, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) denied its job applicants were subject to political vetting by domestic intelligence service MI5, in an effort to prevent “subversives” gaining employment with the UK state broadcaster.

Now however, the BBC has finally admitted candidates were scrutinized from its very inception until well into the 1990s at least. … continue

A Furtive Glance at the US’s Ongoing War Preparations Against Russia

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 24.04.2018

While the world’s attention is riveted on Syria, the US is significantly boosting its forces in Europe. And these are not just divisions streaming in to take part in some exercises that will leave once those are over. This is a serious buildup to create a potentially offensive posture. The beefing up of the US forces is taking place amid preparations for a Russia-US summit. That’s a rather peculiar background for the event, to put it mildly! … continue

US struggling to handle excess plutonium

Press TV – April 24, 2018

The United States is struggling to handle the excessive amounts of plutonium generated at the cores of its many retired nuclear reactors, according to a new report, raising fears that it might end up in the wrong hands.

Today, there are some 54 metric tons of surplus plutonium stored in nuclear facilities the US Department of Energy operates around the country, according to Reuters.

In Pantex, a plant located near Amarillo, Texas, the surplus plutonium has long exceeded the 20,000 cores, also known as “pits,” that regulations allow such facilities to store in their temporary storage facility.

That means a mishap in the process, which is mostly done manually by contract workers, can trigger massive nuclear explosions. … continue

US, EU States Agree on Conditions to Preserve Iranian Nuclear Deal – Reports

Sputnik – 24.04.2018

The United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom have agreed on the conditions under which Washington will remain committed to the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), media reported Tuesday.

Under the new agreements, the European and US sides decided that they needed to threaten Iran with new sanctions because of its missile tests and regional policy, but the JCPOA itself would not be altered, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The media also noted citing diplomatic sources that the negotiations had not finished yet.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the JCPOA – negotiated by the previous US President Barack Obama’s administration – as being perhaps the worst deal in US history and threatened to withdraw Washington from the deal if it was not amended.

On July 14, 2015, the European Union, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany — signed the JCPOA to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Under this agreement, Iran pledged to not seek to develop or acquire nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of sanctions imposed against Iran.

Is the U.S. Government Evil? You Tell Me

By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | April 23, 2018

Is the U.S. government evil?

You tell me.

This is a government that treats its citizens like faceless statistics and economic units to be bought, sold, bartered, traded, tracked, tortured, and eventually eliminated once they’ve outgrown their usefulness.

This is a government that treats human beings like lab rats to be caged, branded, experimented upon, and then discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

This is a government that repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn.

This is a government that wages wars for profit, jails its own people for profit, and then turns a blind eye and a deaf ear while its henchmen rape and kill and pillage.

No, this is not a government that can be trusted to do what is right or moral or humane or honorable but instead seems to gravitate towards corruption, malevolence, misconduct, greed, cruelty, brutality and injustice. … continue

‘Another Russophobic Campaign’ Adds to UK Government’s New ‘Project Fear’

Sputnik – April 23, 2018

A new cross-party group that reportedly will help defend Britain from Russia set up by UK lawmakers “may lead to a further deterioration” of bilateral relationships between the two countries, the Russian diplomats in London revealed with regret.

In its statement, the Russian embassy in London responded to the creation of the new Russia Coordination Group in the UK Parliament, pointing to its anti-Russian basis.

“Instead of looking for ways to restore the Russo-British relationship or at least keeping channels of communications open, Parliament is letting itself to be drawn into another Russophobic campaign launched by the Conservative government,” the embassy said.

The decision to set up the group was made following the initiative by Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The MPs are meant to coordinate “Committee work relating to the scrutiny of Russian-related activity.”

According to Mr. Tugendhat, it is essential that “we understand the extent of Putin’s activity” and “Parliament is well-placed to do this.” … continue

Palestinian Dies From Serious Wounds Suffered Friday

IMEMC News – April 23, 2018

Palestinian medical sources reported on Sunday night that a young man died from serious wounds he suffered, Friday, in Rafah, in the southern part of the coastal region.

The Ministry said the Palestinian, identified as Abdullah Mohammad Shamali, 20, from al-Barazil neighborhood, in Rafah.

Abdullah shot in the abdomen with a live round fired by an Israeli soldier stationed across the border fence, and died from his wounds at the Gaza European Hospital, in Rafah.

On the same day of his serious injury, the soldiers killed four Palestinians, including one child, and injured 729, including 156 of the wounded were shot with live fire. … Full article

Palestinians file complaint to UN over Israel violation of anti-racism convention

MEMO | April 23, 2018

Palestinians have filed a complaint to the UN against Israel for numerous violations including breaches of its obligations under international anti-racism treaty.

The move, which is likely to trigger a lengthy and high-profile investigation by world bodies monitoring racism and discrimination, was handed to the UN by the Palestinian ambassador to the international organisation, Ibrahim Khraishi, to the body that monitors the implementation of the UN convention against racism.

In the 350 page document seen by the Guardian, which accuses Israel of establishing an apartheid regime, Palestinians say that Israel is implementing policies that have “the common aim of displacing and replacing the Palestinian people for the purpose of maintaining a colonial occupation”.

Palestinians list a number of Israeli violations in the occupied territories and accuse Israel of seeking to maintain “a Jewish demographic majority in the entirety of historic Palestine”.

“Not only is the purpose of the settlement regime discriminatory in itself, it is further maintained by a system of discriminatory measures, severely depriving Palestinians of their fundamental rights,” the report says.

The complaint sent to the UN is over violations of the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Israel has ratified the convention and Palestinians, who were granted UN observer status in 2014, filed the complaint which is believed to be the first interstate complaint filed under the treaty. … continue

Deaf teenager is latest Palestinian to die of wounds sustained during Gaza protests

Ma’an – April 23, 2018

GAZA CITY – Two Palestinians, including a deaf teenager, succumbed to wounds sustained during the ongoing “Great March of Return” protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 18-year-old Tahrir Mahmoud Wahba, who was deaf, died on Monday morning.

The teenager was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during protests on Friday April 13th in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Younis, near the al-Awdeh refugee camp.

Late Sunday night, the ministry reported that a Palestinian “youth,” identified as Abdullah Muhammad al-Shamali, succumbed to wounds he sustained last Friday.

Al-Shamali was a resident of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

According to the Ministry of Health, the deaths of Wahba and al-Shamali brought the total death toll in Gaza since the “Great March of Return” began on March 30, to 41 Palestinians, including at least three minors and a journalist.

The massive nonviolent protests in Gaza have seen thousands of Palestinian refugees take to the heavily militarized borders with Israel to demand their collective right of return to their homelands.

The six-week protest is set to end on May 15th, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when the state of Israel was created, leaving some 750,000 Palestinians and millions of their descendants as refugees.

Despite widespread outcry from international rights groups who have condemned Israel’s excessive use of forces against the civilian protesters, Israeli has maintained its open-fire rules for the Gaza border.

Czech Republic withdraws decision to move embassy to Jerusalem

MEMO | April 23, 2018

The Czech Republic has withdrawn its previous decision to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city of Jerusalem, Israel Hayom newspaper reported.

“The Czech Republic; a close friend of Israel in the European Union, was forced to abandon its decision to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but is considering the transfer of some of its sections,” the paper said.

According to the paper, which is close to the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prague’s decision came as a result of pressure exerted by EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and some key EU countries including Germany and France, as part of attempts to prevent the collapse of EU policy which does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. … Full article

Knesset deputy speaker: Ahed Tamimi should have been shot in the kneecap

MEMO | April 23, 2018

Israeli lawmaker and deputy Knesset speaker Bezalel Smotrich said on Saturday that Palestinian child prisoner Ahed Tamimi should have been shot, reported Haaretz.

Responding to a tweet by Israeli journalist Yinon Magal, who wrote he was “so glad that Tamimi is still in jail”, the Jewish Home parliamentarian replied:

In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap. That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life. … Full article

Malaysia: suspected killers of Palestinian scientist linked to foreign spy agency

Ma’an – April 23, 2018

BETHLEHEM – Malaysia’s deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said suspects involved in the Saturday assassination of prominent Palestinian energy scholar and scientist are believed to be “foreign agents” with links to an international spy agency, according to Bernama, a state-run news agency.

Malaysia’s police chief Mazlam Lazim added: “We are investigating all angles. I have to investigate very carefully and deeply.”

“This is an international issue,” he said.

According to Malaysian authorities, 35-year-old Dr. Fadi al-Batsh was assassinated in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on his way to a mosque for dawn prayers. Police chief Lazim stated that Dr al-Batsh was shot dead by two helmeted assailants, who waited in front of a building in the Setapak district for almost twenty-minutes before firing at least ten bullets; four of which struck him in the body and head.

Police added that they are investigating all possible angles, including “terrorism.” Authorities today released sketches of the two men they believe to be responsible for the assassination. According to officials, the men are “about 1.80 meters tall, with a relatively strong build, and most likely born in the Middle East, or in the West.’

Shortly after the killing, Fadi al-Batsh’s father, Muhammad levelled accusations against Israel’s spy agency: “There are accusations only against the Israeli Mossad and the Malaysian government should accelerate the investigation.” … Full article

Palestinian teen Abdul-Khalik Burnat sentenced to 19 months in Israeli prisons

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – April 23, 2018

Palestinian teen Abdul-Khalik Burnat, 18, the son of well-known activist Iyad Burnat, was sentenced to 19 months in Israeli military court on Sunday, 22 April. He and several friends had been charged with throwing stones and causing damage to the Israeli apartheid wall cutting through Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Abdul-Khalik was arrested at the age of 17; like most child prisoners of the Israeli occupation, he was accused of throwing stones. There are currently 350 Palestinian children held in Israeli occupation prisons. To some extent, this number understates the problem; many arrested Palestinian children go through lengthy court hearings and their sentencing hearings take place after they reach the age of 18. Palestinian children face the same types of military court hearings as adults with the same conviction rate of 99.74 percent; every year, 500 to 700 Palestinian children are brought before military courts.

As a senior in high school, Abdul-Khalik had been focused on completing his secondary education before he was seized by occupation forces; he was planning to apply to universities abroad for next year’s studies. Instead, his educational plans have been delayed by occupation forces and imprisonment.

He has already been held for 133 days, since 10 December, when he as his friends were seized by occupation forces. The boys were beaten and kicked by occupation forces after being seized at gunpoint as they returned home from a pizzeria. In addition, he was also ordered to pay 18,000 NIS ($5,100 USD) as “restitution” for the “damage” the teens allegedly caused by throwing stones at the Wall. In addition, he was ordered to a six-month suspended sentence that will persist for a three year period.

The Burnat family and Abdul-Khalik in particular have been repeatedly attacked by occupation forces. He was shot in the back of the head in January 2017 and then arrested two months later as his recovery continued. Their village of Bil’in has been targeted by colonial forces on an ongoing basis, including for violent attacks, arrests and repression. The village engages in weekly demonstrations that often include international activists in protest of the encroachment of the Apartheid Wall on the village’s land.

Up to 50 killed in Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen wedding – local health officials

RT | April 23, 2018

Suspected Saudi-led strikes on a wedding ceremony in Yemeni Hajjah province have resulted in multiple casualties, including women and children. The death toll ranges from 20 to 50 people, reports citing local health officials say.

On Sunday, a reported Saudi-led missile strike hit a house where a wedding ceremony was being held, in Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah. There are conflicting reports on casualties. Numbers vary from 20, according to AP, to 50 people, according to local Saba News Agency. Meanwhile, Xinhua reports that at least 40 people were killed or wounded, citing a senior health official, Mohammed al-Ashwal.

The same figures were given by the head of Al Jumhouri hospital in Hajjah, who said they received “40 bodies, most of them torn to pieces,” according to Reuters. Thirty children were among the 46 injured in the attack, the official said.

The bride was among those killed in the strike, Khaled al-Nadhri, the senior Hajja province health official, said, as cited by AP. According to other reports, the groom was also hospitalized with injuries.

The death toll could rise, as some people are believed to still be under the rubble, according to Saba. At the same time, “a dozen of the injured are in critical condition,” al-Ashwal told Xinhua.

Two separate airstrikes on the wedding party were carried out, the Houthi-affiliated al-Masirah broadcaster reported. The Yemeni Health Ministry spokesman, Abdel-Hakim al-Kahlan, said that the jets kept flying over the site of the bombing for some time, which prevented ambulance personnel from assisting the wounded. … Full article

US to Build World’s Largest Consulate Facility in Iraqi Kurdistan – Reports

Sputnik – 23.04.2018

US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani led the groundbreaking ceremony for the world’s largest US consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, local media reported Monday.

As of now, the United States rents buildings from local residents and business owners in Erbil’s district of Ainkawa to house its consulate, which opened in February 2007 and was upgraded to a consulate general in 2011, the Rudaw news agency reported.

“The new consulate building demonstrates that the United States will stand with the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, as they build a future that will be brighter than the past,” Silliman said at the ceremony, as quoted by the media outlet. … Full article

With eye on Pompeo, Zarif reaches New York

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | April 23, 2018

As the May 12 deadline draws close for Trump to waive the sanctions against Iran, as required under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or (JCPOA), Tehran has carried the war of words into the enemy camp. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in New York over the weekend on a six-day visit, ostensibly to attend High-Level Meeting on Peace-building and Sustaining Peace at the United Nations on April 24-25.

But in reality he is on a Track 1.5 mission to reach out to the US audience as well as to be simply available on call on American soil through next week when the leaders of two key allies of the US – French President Emmanuel Macron an German Chancellor – are scheduled to meet Trump in Washington to discuss policy options with regard to the JCPOA, amongst other things.

The big question is whether President Donald Trump would instruct his top officials to establish direct contact with Zarif in New York on the sidelines of the UN meet. Tehran is drawing encouragement from the remarks last Thursday by Mike Pompeo, CIA Director and Secretary of State-designate at his confirmation hearing in the US Senate.

Pompeo told the US senators, “I want to fix this (JCPOA) deal. That’s the objective. I think that’s in the best interests.” Alongside, he acknowledged that Iran was not pursuing a nuclear weapon program even before the nuclear deal; nor will it be in future. Pompeo emphasized that as CIA Director, he didn’t find any evidences that Iran violated the nuclear deal and he believes that Tehran cannot expand its program even shortly after a hypothetical US withdrawal from the JCPOA. Even more intriguing was Pompeo’s remark… continue

A Shocking Lack of Intelligence in Our Missile Strike on Syria

By Scott Ritter | TruthDig | April 20, 2018

… There is one major problem with the information provided by these briefings: It is exclusively drawn from assessments, not fact. When one examines the basis for these assessments, it becomes clear that there was a shocking lack of intelligence available to sustain the predicate used to justify the U.S.-led attack on Syria—that the Syrian government possessed, let alone used, chemical weapons in the city of Douma on April 7. […]

One of the major problems confronting those who contend that both sarin and chlorine were used in the alleged Douma incident is the absolute incompatibility of the two substances. A U.S. Army study from the 1950s found that chlorine serves as a catalyst that promotes the decomposition of sarin nerve agent, meaning that if both substances were either combined or released together, the sarin would rapidly decompose. This reality seemed to escape American officials evaluating the Douma incident, who postulated to The Guardian that chlorine and sarin were stored separately in the same cylinder, ignoring how this would be achieved in a gas cylinder of the type alleged to have been used in Douma. […]

The truth is out there, waiting on the ground in Douma. There is no doubt that the OPCW fact-finding mission has the forensic investigatory capability to detect the presence of chemical agents at the scene of the alleged chemical attack of April 7. The amount of chlorine necessary to have produced the number of casualties claimed is significant, and as such the chemical residue unique to such an event would be present in large quantities, and easily detected; no amount of “sanitation” by Russia or any other party could eliminate these traces. … Read full article

Putin to Macron: US-Led Coalition’s Strikes in Syria Seriously Violate International Law

Sputnik – 23.04.2018

The presidents of Russia and France discussed on Monday by phone the situation in Syria after an airstrike carried out by the United States, France and the United Kingdom in response to an alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma near Damascus, the Kremlin spokesman said.

Speaking with his French counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the US-led coalition’s strikes against Syrian targets at the beginning of April were conducted in violation of international law and have complicated the situation in the Middle Eastern country.

He also noted the importance of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) conducting a thorough investigation on the ground in Syria. … continue

What Will Weapons Inspectors Find in Syria… And Does it Matter?

By Ron Paul | April 23, 2018

Inspectors from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have finally arrived in Douma, Syria, to assess whether a gas attack took place earlier this month. It has taken a week for the inspectors to begin their work, as charges were thrown back and forth about who was causing the delay.

Proponents of the US and UK position that Assad used gas in Douma have argued that the Syrian and Russian governments are preventing the OPCW inspectors from doing their work. That, they claim, is all the evidence needed to demonstrate that Assad and Putin have something to hide. But it seems strange that if Syria and Russia wanted to prevent an OPCW inspection of the alleged sites they would have been the ones to request the inspection in the first place.

The dispute was solved just days ago, as the OPCW Director-General released a statement explaining that the delay was due to UN security office concerns for the safety of the inspectors. … continue

MSNBC, where journalism goes to die

By Danielle Ryan | RT | April 23, 2018

It looks like we can add yet another name to the list of journalists that MSNBC has pushed out or fired for refusing to toe the establishment line: Ed Schultz.

Schultz, whose new home is at RT, recently gave an interview to the National Review’s Jamie Weinstein. During the interview, Schultz, who had been mostly quiet about his firing from MSNBC, let loose on the channel.

“There was more oversight and more direction given to me on content at MSNBC than there ever has been here at RT — and I think it’s very sad that that story is not getting out,” Schultz said. “Many times I was told what to lead with on MSNBC — many times I was told what I was not going to do.”

Schultz called MSNBC president Phil Griffin a “watchdog” unlike anything he has experienced since leaving the channel. Asked if Griffin personally told him what to say or what angle to take on a story, Schultz said that had “often” been the case. … continue

The Mainstream Media Fueled Military Action in Syria and Reprisals against Russia over the Skripals

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald tribune | April 23, 2108

The complicity of America’s Fourth Estate in the evolution of the national security warfare state is often mentioned in passing but rarely analyzed in any detail. But a recent article on Lobe Log by Adam Johnson is refreshing in that it does just that, looking at the editorials in 26 leading newspapers relating to the April 13th strike against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons. All of the papers supported the attack in the belief that Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies had done something wrong and had to be punished. Some of the endorsements went well beyond the actual strike itself, urging the White House to do more. … continue

String Theories: Tucker Carlson And The Unspeakable

By Tom Siebert | MediaPost | April 23, 2018

“Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” — George Orwell

We’re nearing apocalypse if I’m out here carrying water for Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who is hopefully not being water-boarded as I type this.

Last week, after a series of controversial prime-time episodes of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which questioned whether it is in America’s best national security interest to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria; what the ultimate end-game looks like, considering the post-coup mess America’s made of Libya and Iraq; and if the recent alleged chemical warfare assault on children was actually the work of Assad or even if it happened —Tucker Carlson was M.I.A. from his own show Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Without anything in the way of notice, either. I wasn’t sure which was weirder: That he just vanished, or that nobody talked about it. … Full article

Another person accused of being ‘Russian troll’ by Times newspaper for non-mainstream views

RT | April 23, 2018

Another day, another troll accusation – Twitter user Citizen Halo has taken to social media to lash out at the MSM after a hit piece suggested that she was not a “Finnish activist,” but actually a Russian troll.

Calling her motives and, apparently, location into question, in an article headlined “Skripal trolls mobilised to spread ‘news’ of bombings,” reporters for the Times queried the legitimacy of a person who could question the accepted narrative on both the Skripal poisoning and the recent strikes on Syria.

“If you read this smear piece of me from the Times, you find the source of false info that us (sic) accused are allegedly ‘Russian trolls’ came from Atlantic Council’s Ben Nimmo. Bellingcat’s Higgins is his collegue (sic),” Citizen Halo said.

Analysis from the Pentagon last week suggested a 2,000 percent increase in Russian-sourced “disinformation” being spread online since the UK, US, and France launched cruise missile attacks on Syria.

It was not immediately clear what the evidence of an increase was based on, and what figures were being used as a guide.

However, as a result, the mainstream media has seized upon some pro-Russia Twitter accounts, questioning their legitimacy and motives by labeling them either as trolls or bots due to their non-mainstream, inconvenient views. … Full article

Index on Disgrace

By Craig Murray | April 22, 2018

The second half of my life has been a continual process of disillusionment with the institutions I used to respect. I suppose it started with the FCO, where I went from being Britain’s youngest ambassador to being sacked for opposing the use of intelligence from torture, at the same time having an insider view of the knowing lies about Iraqi WMD being used as a pretext for invasion and resource grab.

I still had some residual respect for the BBC, which respect disappeared during the Scottish independence referendum where BBC propaganda and disregard for the truth were truly shameless. My love of the universities was severely tested during my period as Rector of Dundee University, when I saw how far the corporate model had turned them from academic communities developing people and pursuing knowledge, to relentless churners out of unconsidered graduates and financially profitable research, with nearly all sense of community gone. My respect for charities vanished when I discovered Save the Children was paying its chief executive £370,000 and had become a haven for New Labour politicos on huge salaries, which was why it was so involved in pushing a pro-war narrative in Syria. When Justin Forsyth and Brendan Cox – both massively salaried employees who came into Save the Children from the revolving door of Gordon Brown’s office – were outed over sexual predation, that seemed a natural result of “charities” being headed by rich party hacks rather than by simple people trying to do good. As for respect for parliament, well the massive troughing expenses scandal and all those protected paedophiles…

It has become difficult to hang on to respect for any institution, and that is unsettling.

Which brings me to last week’s annual awards from Index on Censorship. … continue

Dear Salafist Wahhabist Apologists

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | April 22, 2018

Your head chopper heros are apparently not what Syrians have in mind when they think of democratic revolution.

Mehdi Hasan (MH) can hardly be blamed for the ignorance that he displays in his Intercept article, “Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians.” He has apparently never been to Syria, doesn’t often do research on Syria, and gets his information from proponents of a single point of view, representing a bunch of idealists that want to usher in their idea of a liberal democracy in Syria, without benefit of electoral niceties until their power is already ironclad. What’s wrong with this picture?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start by deconstructing the absurdities and the language in the MH article.

Thankfully, MH has spared us the need to deconstruct the absurd accusation that the Syrian armed forces have used chemical weapons. … continue

Russia-Iran ties soar high under US pressure

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | April 22, 2018

A commentary entitled Tehran, Moscow boosting strategic relations, appearing last week in the Iran Daily newspaper, which is close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – and subsequently circulated by IRNA – noted as follows:

“Policies adopted by Tehran and Moscow are becoming more harmonious on a daily basis as their bilateral as well as multilateral moves and measures are becoming more consistent with each other.”

The general expectation was that in the downstream of the 2015 Iran nuclear pact opening the door to Iran’s integration with the international community, Russia-Iran ties might get atrophied. But the exact opposite is happening. A senior Iranian official told Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to Syria, at a meeting in Tehran last week that the two countries are having their relations at the highest level in recent times.

If any single factor is to be held accountable for this, it must be American policies. The US’ containment policies toward Russia pursued under President Barack Obama have continued during the Trump presidency – and, arguably, even intensified. For Iran, on the other hand, the expected scale of integration with the international community has not materialized following the implementation of the 2015 nuclear pact due to the US’ negative attitude. … continue

Iran Warns Other Countries About Nuclear Deals With US

Sputnik – 22.04.2018

As a meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States draws near, a third party steps forward to reveal why making deals with Washington might not be a good idea.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cautioned other nations about negotiating with the United States, pointing out that not only has Washington “failed to implement its side” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but it “is even asking for more,” according to Reuters.

“That’s a very dangerous message to send to the people of Iran but also to the people of the world – that you should never come to an agreement with the United States because at the end of the day the operating principle of the United States is ‘what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable,’” he said.

The minister made this statement mere weeks ahead of the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is expected to be held in May or June this year, where the two leaders may discuss the prospect of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. … Full article

Lieberman on Palestinian Scientist Killed in Malaysia: ‘He Was Not a Saint’

Palestine Chronicle | April 22, 2018

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested on Sunday that the assassination at close range of Hamas engineer Fadi al-Batash in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, over the weekend may have been “the result of a settling of accounts within the Islamist group.”

He did not respond directly, however, when asked if Israel was behind the killing.

In an interview to Kan Reshet Bet radio, Lieberman was asked if he had heard about the engineer’s death before or after it happened. He replied:

“We heard about this on the news. There’s a tradition at this point among terrorist organizations of blaming Israel for every settling of accounts.”

“The man was not a saint,” Lieberman said referring to Al-Batash.

“He wasn’t involved with improving the electricity grid or infrastructure and water. We have heard the announcements by the heads of the Hamas taking responsibility for the man, explaining the he was involved with the production of rockets, with improving the rockets’ accuracy.” … Full article

Army Injures Three Palestinians In Southern Gaza

IMEMC News – April 22, 2018

Israeli soldiers shot, Sunday, three young Palestinian men with live fire, east of Khan Younis, and Gaza city, after the army attacked nonviolent protesters in the two areas.

Medical sources at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, said the soldiers shot two Palestinians with live fire east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis.

The sources added that the two Palestinians suffered moderate wounds and are recovering from their surgeries.

In addition, the soldiers opened fire at protesters in Malka Junction area, east of Gaza City, before shooting and moderately wounding a young man in his leg.

Many Palestinians suffered the effects of teargas inhalation, in addition to various cuts and bruises.

Also on Sunday, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has reported that one of its fighters, identified as Tha’er Nayef az-Zare’ey, 30, was killed when a siege-busting tunnel collapsed on him near the border in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza.

Israeli Soldiers Damage, Close Print Shop in Jerusalem

IMEMC News & Agencies – April 22, 2018

Israeli forces attacked and closed down a print shop in Beit Anan village, northwest of Jerusalem, on Sunday morning under the pretext of printing “inciting materials”, PNN reports.

According to the owner of the print shop, Israeli soldiers invaded the area at 6:00 AM, where they partially demolished the building, seized printers and computers worth tens of thousands of shekels.

In addition, the soldiers served the owner with an order to close the print shop and stop their work, as of today.

Palestinian café in Jerusalem reduced to rubble by Israeli bulldozers

Palestine Information Center | April 22, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israeli bulldozers razed on Sunday a café near the Qalandiya military checkpoint, set up to the north of Occupied Jerusalem.

According to local sources, a café located near the main entrance to Jerusalem’s Qalandiya refugee camp was reduced to rubble by Israeli bulldozers.

The demolition is another chain in a series of similar moves carried out by the Israeli military in an attempt to expand the Israeli-controlled Qalandiya checkpoint and tighten closures in the area.

The Qalandiya checkpoint separates Palestinian communities in Occupied Jerusalem and the central occupied West Bank province of Ramallah.

Israeli occupation forces arrest Palestinian journalist in al-Khalil

Palestine Information Center | April 22, 2018

AL-KHALIL – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday afternoon arrested a Palestinian journalist in the Old City of al-Khalil.

The PIC reporter said that the IOF soldiers stationed at a military checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque tried to prevent journalist Manal al-Ja’bari from taking pictures in the area.

Al-Ja’bari refused to obey the soldiers’ orders and kept taking pictures as part of her work as a professional journalist for several media institutions.

The soldiers attacked al-Ja’bari, who is also a member of the Palestinian Journalists Union, and confiscated her camera. Later she was handcuffed and transferred to an unknown destination.

Israel trains children to use weapons

Palestine Information Center | April 22, 2018

NAZARETH – The Israeli occupation police have held a special event to give Israeli children information on military equipment and weapons and how to use them.

The event was held a few days ago as part of Israeli activities to mark the day when the Zionists occupied Palestine (the Palestinian Nakba anniversary).

According to Haaretz newspaper, the Israeli police in Jerusalem staged an open day in the [illegal] settlement of Beit Shemesh in response to Jewish settlers’ request to hold educational activities intended for training their children to use guns and military equipment.

Scores of settlers, looking for excitement and shooting, came from other settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem to participate in the police open day.

Every once in a while, the Israeli police and armed forces organize training or educational days in order to familiarize settlers’ kids with the use of weapons and other combat means, and sometimes allow them to attend real artillery attacks on Gaza and write death messages on projectiles to Palestinian children.

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian families, attempt to take over homes in Hebron

Ma’an – April 21, 2018

HEBRON – A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family and attempted to take over two homes on Saturday in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Local activist Aref Jaber told Ma’an that a group of Israeli settlers “attacked” two homes in the Old City and attempted to take them over, demanding that the families leave their homes.

The homes belonged to the Jaber and Kfeisheh families.

Jaber added that the same group of settlers had previously taken over a home belonging to the al-Zaatari family, near the Ibrahimi mosque in the Old City.

“These continuous threats by Israeli settlers are meant to terrify Palestinian families in order to force them to leave their homes.” … Full article

US lawmakers urge Pentagon to buy Israel’s Iron Dome missile system

Press TV – April 22, 2018

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the US Congress have called on the US military to immediately purchase the Iron Dome, a short-range rocket interception system developed by Israel.

Congressional representatives Grace Meng and Peter Roskam authored this week a letter that was signed by 40 other lawmakers asking the Pentagon to invest $500 in Israeli missile and rocket systems in the upcoming 2019 fiscal year.

“US-Israel missile defense cooperation is a critical investment in the safety and security of Israel and stability in the Middle East,” Roskam said in a press release on Saturday, claiming that Israel’s test launches of the missile system indicated its reliability.

The letter was addressed to the House of Representative Appropriations Subcommittee and stated that the purchase and the investment would help US forces abroad protect themselves from “aggressive” countries like Russia and North Korea. … continue

US Mainstream Media attacks N. Korea for supporting Palestine in disgusting display of nuclear hypocrisy

By Adam Garrie | Eurasia Future | April 22, 2018

While Donald Trump is busy giving himself credit for the efforts of Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in to reconcile the two Korean states in the hope of ending the Korean War/Fatherland Liberation War, Trump’s domestic opponents are busy saying that the man who threatened to “destroy” North Korea in front of the UN General Assembly just seven months ago is somehow going “soft” on North Korea. Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to respond with his customary bombast.

But while the typical back-and-forth between Trump and his media critics continues, one mainstream media publication in the US has taken things a step further by trying to damage the spirit of good will surrounding the DPRK’s rapprochement with Seoul. Newsweek has quoted form an official Korean source Minju Joson, regarding Pyongyang’s condemnation of the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators who have been attacked by the military of the Tel Aviv regime during the Great March of Return.

Newsweek published the following statement from the government of the DPRK… continue

Russia Urges US Military to Scale Back in Korean Peninsula

teleSUR | April 21, 2018

Russia is welcoming North Korea’s decision to suspend nuclear and missile tests, while simultaneously urging the United States and South Korea to scale back on their own military activities in the peninsula.

In a statement released Saturday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said: “We consider this decision to be an important step toward further easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula and the strengthening of positive trends on settlement of the Northeast Asian situation.

“We are urging the United States and the Republic of Korea to take adequate accommodating steps aimed at slowing down military activities in the region and reaching mutually acceptable agreements with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the upcoming intra-Korean and U.S.-North Korean summits.”

According to Russian state press agency TASS, Moscow is hoping the situation proceeds along the path originally suggested by Russia and China. … continue

Statement of Alexander Shulgin to the OPCW

The following is the unofficial translation of the statement made by Alexander Shulgin, the head of Russian delegation at the OPCW, at that body’s April 18 Executive Council meeting at the Hague. The text is provided by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands. … continue

Germany’s Largest Public TV News Broadcaster: Syria Chemical Attack “Most Likely Staged”

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 04/21/2018

A senior correspondent for German state media broadcast ZDF heute stunned his European audience during a report from on the ground in Syria when he gave a straightforward and honest account of his findings while investigating what happened in Douma. The veteran reporter, Uli Gack, interviewed multiple eyewitnesses of the April 7 alleged chemical attack and concluded of the testimonials, “the Douma chemical attack is most likely staged, a great many people here seem very convinced.”

It appears that all local Syrians encountered by the German public broadcast reporter were immediately dismissive of the widespread allegation that the Syrian government gassed civilians, which the US, UK, France, and Israel used a pretext for launching missile strikes on Damascus. […]

Meanwhile, almost simultaneous to German TV’s ZDF heute report from Syria, lawyers of the Bundestag (German federal parliament) issued a legal brief on the US-led strike on Syria. The government lawyers’ report was requested by the left-wing party Die Linke in response to the US coalition missile strikes which primarily targeted facilities in and around Damascus.

“The deployment of military force against a state to punish it for breaking an international convention is a violation of the international law prohibiting violence,” reads the report, as cited by the German Press agency DPA and translated by Sputnik.

The legal report further concluded that the US-led attack on Syria – which skirted the UN – but which was supported by the German government (though without German military participation) was based in chemical attack claims that the legal team deemed “not convincing”. – Full article

France’s Macron Urges US, Allies to Stay in Syria Even After Daesh Defeat

Sputnik – 22.04.2018

On April 14, the United Kingdom, the United States and France launched strikes at Syria over alleged reports of a chemical attack in the city of Douma, with the three countries firing over 100 missiles at the country.

French President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with Fox News said that the US, France and allies must remain in Syria after defeating the Daesh terror group to build ‘new Syria’.

Earlier, French right-wing National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said that French involvement in the Western military strikes on Syria deprived Paris of an opportunity to play the role of an independent actor at the international arena. … Full article

Saudi Arabia raises number of beheadings by 70%

Press TV – April 22, 2018

The number of beheadings in Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of 2018 rose by over 70 percent in comparison with the corresponding period last year, a new report by a nonprofit organization says.

In its latest report published Saturday, the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) said executions by the Saudi government in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 72 percent.

The report also showed that a number of foreign nationals also face capital punishment in Saudi Arabia.

ESOHR released its report amid widespread criticism of Saudi Arabia over its terrible human rights record, including the censorship of free speech, indiscriminate incarceration of citizens with no due process, and lack of basic freedoms for women and girls.

The Saudi government refrains from providing any official statistics for people on death row but the organization confirmed that 42 people are expected to be imminently executed, including 8 individuals who were minors at the time of the offense.

The anti-death penalty rights group Reprieve said in March that Saudi Arabia’s execution rate has increased since Mohammed bin Salman was appointed crown prince in 2017. The group said 133 executions have taken place in the eight months since his appointment last June, compared with 67 in the eight months before.

Maya Foa, the group’s director, said, “The doubling of executions under the new crown prince reveals that, beneath his glossy public image, Mohammed bin Salman is one of the most brutal leaders in the kingdom’s recent history.”

In its report, ESOHR denounced the Saudi regime’s execution of people for alleged offenses that are not even against the international law and said the convicts have simply attended peaceful demonstrations, exercised freedom of speech or practiced their religious rites.

The Riyadh regime has been rejecting all requests for visits by special independent rapporteurs of the United Nations since 2008, the report added. … Full article

“Spring Arriving 26 Days Early”– BBC

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | April 21, 2018

The BBC has been up to its tricks again!

The latest edition of Radio 4’s environmental programme, “Costing the Earth”, looks at how our springs are supposedly getting earlier. (Yes, I know spring starts in March!)

The programme’s opening introduction by presenter Lindsey Chapman gives us a clue that it won’t be an objective assessment:

We’re looking for signs of how a volatile climate is shifting our seasons, and affecting both our native wildlife and migrant visitors to these shores.

Chapman, also presenter of the Springwatch TV series, then adds:

I’ve been noticing changes on my own patch, from the arrival of the first swallows to the flowering times of spring flowers over the last ten years.

At about seven minutes in though, she makes this extraordinary statement:

Spring now arrives an average of 26 days earlier each year than it did 10 years ago. We know this because of the extraordinary records kept by the public, stretching back centuries.

As Paul Matthews points out:

The statement that Spring is almost a month earlier than it was just 10 years ago is complete nonsense and fails the most elementary sanity check. It appears, yet again, that where global warming is concerned, elementary common sense and fact-checking are thrown out by the BBC, and replaced with absurd exaggeration and alarmism.

So where did Chapman get this crazy claim from? … continue

Another Dodgy British Dossier: the Skripal Case

Consortium News | April 21, 2018

In this second part of a series, Gareth Porter compares the same faulty logic employed in two purposely misleading, so-called British intelligence dossiers. … Read article

British government must explain its behavior in Skripal case, Syria strikes – UKIP MEP

RT | April 21, 2018

Although the UK has deemed Russia responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the public needs proof, a UKIP MEP told RT, adding that London should also justify its role in the Syria airstrikes.

Speaking to RT at the Yalta International Economic Forum in Crimea, West Midlands Member of European Parliament (MEP) Bill Etheridge said there is a lot of “murky water” in the Skripal case. “A lot of things that are unexplained, a lot of behavior that does not ring true.”

He went on to explain that “the British course of public opinion doesn’t believe it, so the behavior of our government and security services, they need to explain to us why they are so convinced that the great nation of Russia would wish to attack anyone in our country.”

Etheridge added that no one has provided any “solid proof” that Russia was behind the poisoning. “The current British government position is one where they are taking too strong a position with Russia. They should be having dialogue, they should be having conversation.” … continue

Media Support US Violence Against Syria, but Long for More

By Gregory Shupak | FAIR | April 20, 2018

Corporate media outlets were glad that the US, France and Britain bombed Syria in violation of international law (FAIR.org, 4/18/18), but lamented what they see as a dearth of US violence in the country. … continue

Graphic Footage of Victims of Saudi Coalition Strike in Southwest Yemen

Sputnik – 21.04.2018

Graphic video footage has emerged confirming the earlier testimony of local residents that Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen had killed twenty people on Friday.

The attack struck vehicles carrying civilians in Yemen’s southwestern province of Taiz. Six bodies were identified, with many of the rest charred beyond recognition, according to residents. … continue

Israeli Minister Threatens to Assassinate Palestinian Leaders

Palestine Chronicle | April 21, 2018

Israeli Minister of Transport, Road Safety and Intelligence Yisrael Katz warned of resuming targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders from the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.

On Twitter, he wrote:

“Hamas must know that any attack on IDF commanders at the border to Gaza will immediately lead to a renewal of targeted killings of the Hamas leadership.”

This happened only a few hours before the killing of Fadi Albatsh, 35, in Malaysia.

The Forced Displacement of Palestinians Never Truly Ended: A Revealing Family Story

If Americans Knew | April 21, 2018

As Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, a child and grandchild of exiled Palestinian refugees describes his remarkable family history: family members harbored Jewish neighbors in 1929 and worked with UN Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948 till his assassination.

The family was financially ruined in the Nakba; Israel confiscated the family home and Golda Meir lived in it for a time. Today he is informed that his family “never lived there” – just one example of the continuing injustices endured as Palestinians resist Israel’s violent colonization. … Read article

Ontario anti-racism committee members tied to racist JNF

By Yves Engler · April 20, 2018

Independent Jewish Voices and the United Jewish People’s Order’s exclusion from an Anti-Racism Directorate committee has rightly been criticized. But, the Ontario government’s more appalling decision to appoint individuals tied to an explicitly racist organization has been ignored. … continue

Moscow Regrets US Decision to Deny Visas to Russia’s Bolshoi Theater Artists

Sputnik – 21.04.2018

The fact that artists from Russia’s Bolshoi Theater were left without visas and were not able to travel to the United States for a gala in New York City is regrettable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The Bolshoi’s prima ballerina Olga Smirnova and first soloist Jacopo Tissi were due to dance at a Lincoln Center gala in New York City on Monday. The two, however, were denied US non-migrant working visas, according to media reports. The press service of the theater, meanwhile, said that the incident took place because of a technical error.

“For several years exhibition exchanges have been canceled. Now, by refusing to issue visas for a concert tour they want to cut another tie that connected the two nations. Moreover, they are trying to separate Americans from Russians with the help of a visa wall, to make the travels of our nationals to the United States almost impossible. We can only express our regret over such policies of Washington. It is unlikely that ordinary US citizens, who are deprived of communication with Russian culture and friends from Russia, would thank [the authorities],” the ministry’s statement read.

The ministry noted that such incidents never took place even during the period of the Cold War. … Full article

Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …

By Thomas L. Knapp | Garrison Center | April 21, 2018

April 20 is cannabis culture’s high holiday, and the Democratic National Committee celebrated it with fervor this year: Blaze up, get silly, file a bizarre lawsuit accusing the Russian government, Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and transparency activist group WikiLeaks of conspiring to steal an election.

The suit confirms that after more than a year, special counsel Robert Mueller still hasn’t amassed the evidence required for a successful criminal prosecution, requiring proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” A civil suit lowers that bar to “a preponderance of the evidence.”

But even that’s a long shot. … continue

Beijing Hopes All Parties Take Steps to Achieve Peace on Korean Peninsula

Sputnik – 21.04.2018

BEIJING – China hopes that, following North Korea’s decision to cease nuclear and missile tests, all parties concerned will take steps toward achieving lasting peace and progress on the Korean Peninsula, China’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday. […]

“China hopes that all the parties concerned will take a step toward each other and take concrete action in order to achieve lasting peace and common progress in the region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement.

Lu stressed that China intended to continue playing an active role in this process. … Full article

Japan not satisfied with N. Korea’s nuke test halt, wants ‘complete & irreversible’ denuclearization

RT | April 21, 2018

While South Korea has welcomed Kim Jong-un’s announcement of the suspension of nuclear and ballistic tests, Tokyo, which strongly supports Washington’s “maximum pressure” approach, voiced an extremely cautious optimism.

Japan, the United States and South Korea have been relentlessly striving for a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, meaning of course only Pyongyang’s nukes and not the US strategic bombers and aircraft carriers. Following months of productive talks with Seoul, Kim Jong-un announced a halt to any further nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, saying that North Korea’s strategic deterrence program has reached its goal.

“North Korea’s decision is meaningful progress for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which the world wishes for,” the South Korean President’s office said in a statement. “It will contribute to creating a very positive environment for the success of the upcoming inter-Korean and North-US summits.”

Japan, however, was a bit more cautious with its assessment of the development. “This announcement is a forward motion that I’d like to welcome,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

“I want to welcome these positive moves, but I wonder if this will lead to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal, weapons of mass destruction and missiles,” Abe said. “I’d like to keep a close eye on the developments.”

Japan’s Defense Minister was even more skeptical in his remarks. “We can’t be satisfied,” Itsunori Onodera, was quoted as saying by the Japan Times, noting that Kim did not mention the “abandonment of short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles.”

Donald Trump has, meanwhile, welcomed the news, calling it a big progress and telling his Twitter followers that he is “looking forward” to the upcoming US-North Korea summit, which is being planned sometime after the intra-Korean meeting on April 27.

Useful Idiots? New Yorker Magazine Fails Litmus Test for Media Impartiality on Syrian War

By Robert BRIDGE | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.04.2018

When America’s top thinking man’s journal fails to consider at least one possible alternative as to who may have been responsible for the latest alleged chemical attack in Syria, aside from the ‘Assad regime,’ then we may conclude that the entire mainstream media complex is receiving its marching orders from above. … continue

Syrian Army Finds US-Produced Missiles in Militants’ Armory in Dumayr – Reports

Sputnik – April 21, 2018

The Syrian government forces on Friday have found large amounts of militants’ weapons, including those produced in the United States, in the city of Dumayr, located north-east of the Syrian capital of Damascus, local media reported.

On Thursday, the Syrian state TV reported that militants from the Jaysh al-Islam armed group were surrendering their weapons and had started to leave the city with their family members.

In the southern part of Dumayr, the Syrian army has found several US-produced TOW anti-tank missiles, a large amount of rockets and mortars, as well as RPGs, Grad rockets, dozens of improvised explosive devices, mines, and remote detonators, SANA news agency reported on Friday citing its war correspondent. … Full article