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Netanyahu levels possible threat at Putin; Moscow summons Israeli ambassador

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | March 18, 2017

Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu has emerged after an illegal Israeli air strike on Syrian troops in Palmyra. In his statement, he predictably disregarded international law, but he also made what can only be described as a thinly veiled threat against Russia.

The Israeli leader claimed he was targeting Syrian allied Hezbollah fighters but in reality, it is almost certain the strike hit Syrian Arab Army regulars.

He went on to say,

That’s how we’ve acted and how we will continue to act… and everyone needs to take this into account. Everyone!

Just who could ‘everyone’ imply. Could the Israeli leader be threatening Russia?

It seems that he is.

Russia has been a consistent ally of the Syrian Arab Republic in her war against terrorism. Israel, which has been an enemy of Syria since the 1940s, is deeply desirous for regime change in one of the few Arab states left, which still pursues an independent foreign policy, one which is openly pro-Palestine.

As a result of Netanyahu’s provocative remarks, Moscow summoned the Israeli Ambassador to Russia to clarify the remarks. Russia is in a unique position as a power that is an ally of Syria, a traditional friend of Palestine, but also a power that Israel listens to and does not want to overtly upset.

Indeed, Netanyahu was in Moscow just over a week ago. If Israel thinks it is in a position to provoke Russia and threaten Russia into changing its established policy in Syria, they really ought to think again.

One must remain hopeful that the Israeli Ambassador got a stern warning from Russia, something along the lines of, ‘stay out of Syria and stay out of our business in Syria as a legal partner of Damascus’.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Korean War 2.0? Why US ‘Prompt Global Strike’ Won’t Work Against Pyongyang

Sputnik – 17.03.2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled on March 17 that military action against North Korea is “on the table.” Speaking to Sputnik, Russian political analyst Dmitry Verkhoturov described a three-phase war scenario which the Pentagon is likely to implement.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated Friday that military action against North Korea is “an option.”

“If they [Pyongyang] elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action then that option is on the table,” Tillerson told journalists during his visit to South Korea.

“Certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict. But obviously if North Korea takes actions that threaten the South Korean forces or our own forces then that would be met with an appropriate response,” he added, as quoted by NBC News.

A day earlier, while in Tokyo, the US Secretary of State announced that “the policy of strategic patience [toward North Korea] has ended.”

Speaking to Sputnik Korean, Russian political analyst and expert on North Korea Dmitry Verkhoturov shed light on the potential consequences of a US military operation against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

While it is highly unlikely that Washington wants history to repeat itself for the US in North Korea, Verkhoturov noted, referring to the Korean War (1950-1953), they definitely have a blitzkrieg plan.

That said, the Russian expert described a three-phase war scenario which the Pentagon may be considering.

“The first element — a strike by hypersonic high-precision weapons on the most important military facilities,” Verkhoturov suggested.

The expert drew attention to the Trump administration’s “kinetic options,” mentioned by the Washington Post Friday.

According to Verkhoturov, the options allegedly envisage the use of penetrating munitions, such as BLU-113 bombs used by US Air Force in Iraq, or an X-51A Waverider hypersonic missile, tested in real flight in 2013.

“Both types use kinetic energy,” he remarked.

Most likely the Pentagon is planning to test its latest military strategy — the so-called Prompt Global Strike (PGS) that can deliver a precision-guided conventional weapon airstrike anywhere in the world within one hour, the expert believes.

“If it works against the DPRK, it will show the world the irresistible power superiority of the United States,” he said.

“The second element is a massive air raid with the newest unobtrusive F-22 aircraft (at least four F-22s have been transferred to South Korea) and F-35 (which are currently based at Iwakuni airbase in Japan),” he noted.

It is assumed that the DPRK air defense system will not be able to repel the raid of the newest aircraft and they will manage to destroy the country’s control systems and the most important facilities already struck by high-precision hypersonic weapons, according to Verkhoturov.

“The third element is the landing of a limited contingent of ground forces to promptly seize or eliminate the North Korean political and military leadership. After this, the war must be completed,” the expert suggested.

However, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip, as the proverb goes.

Verkhoturov underscored that North Korea is not Iraq or Libya: it is a hard nut to crack. Moreover, the US may face blowback from Pyongyang.

“First, there is a developed system of underground shelters in the DPRK to survive air strikes, which had been built in the course of more than 60 years after the Korean War. There are a lot of them and all of them cannot be destroyed,” the Russian expert stressed.

“Second, in the event of strike against military headquarters and communications, [Pyongyang] has spare command posts, special procedures for transferring powers and comprehensive plans for independent action in case of war. Third, the DPRK has the capability of launching its own preventive or rapid retaliation strike with new solid-fuel missiles,” he elaborated.

In this light, it is doubtful that Washington would be able to eliminate the country’s control system, command posts and ballistic missile silos with the Prompt Global Strike, the expert remarked. Given this, the US army would face a number of hurdles, giving the opportunity for the North Korean Army to swing the balance in its favor.

At the same time, the war of the Korean Peninsula may turn into a longstanding conflict and deal a heavy blow to South Korea’s economy; it may also seriously undermine Japan and upset the post-World War II balance of power in the region, according to Verkhoturov.

Therefore, the “military option” against North Korea should be off table, according to the Russian expert.

“One can only hope that the ‘new approach’ of the US toward the Korean peninsula will be truly ‘different’,” he concluded.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Harvard’s Fake Guide to Fake News Sites

By Stephen Lendman | The People’s Voice | March 16, 2017

Is this what parents pay $63,000 annually for tuition, room, board and fees – so their children can be ill-served and ill-taught?

Following the 2014 Obama administration Kiev coup, replacing democracy with fascist dictatorship, Harvard expressed concern about nonexistent “Russian aggression.” Some faculty members called for US military intervention.

Not a word about US-supported putschists seizing power. Nothing about the most brazen European coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome.

No explanation about a scheme orchestrated in Washington. Silence about a major crisis in Europe’s heartland still ongoing. Trump inherited Obama’s mess, so far not indicating clearly where he stands on Ukraine.

Harvard is at it again. It’s University Library published a fake guide to “fake news, misinformation, and propaganda.”

It recommends using, Politifact,, Washington Post Fact Checker, and other self-styled fact-checkers, biased against truth-telling on all major issues, acting as censors, trashing reliable alternative sources of news, information and analysis.

It endorses sanitized content acceptable to America’s deep state, abandoning support for speech, media and academic freedoms.

It recommended “tips for analyzing news sources.” Ignore them. Common sense is the best guide, along with distrusting and avoiding media scoundrels. They’re paid to lie, deceive and feature fake news – what powerful interests want people to know, what’s most important suppressed.

Harvard published a list of hundreds of sites it calls “bias(ed),” “conspira(torial),” “unreliable,” “fake,” and otherwise mislabeled.

Some I’m familiar with are reliable sources, (polar opposite media scoundrels paid to lie), including:

21st Century Wire

Activist Post

Before Its

Black Agenda Report

Boiling Frogs Post

Common Dreams

Consortium News

Corbett Report



David Stockman Contracorner

Fort Russ

Freedoms Phoenix

Global Research

The Greanville Post

Information Clearing House


Intrepid Report

Lew Rockwell

Market Oracle

Mint Press News

Moon of Alabama

Naked Capitalism

Natural News

Nomi Prins


Paul Craig Roberts



Ron Paul Institute

Ruptly TV


Sgt Report


Shift Frequency – my alma mater recommends avoiding my writing; new articles posted daily; featuring truth-telling on major issues


South Front

Sputnik News


The Anti-Media

The Duran

The Intercept

The People’s Voice

The Saker

The Sleuth Journal

Third World Traveler


What Really Happened

Who What Why


Zero Hedge

These and other sites Harvard’s Library urges avoiding are ones readers should rely on – avoiding The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other fake news proliferators.


Stephen Lendman can be reached at His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

Manchin Studying Canadian-style Single Payer Health System, Asks Why Sanders Hasn’t Introduced It

By Russell Mokhiber | CounterPunch | March 17, 2017

Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) is looking at a Canadian style single payer system.

It’s the second time in a month that Manchin has told constituents that he’s looking at a Medicare for all system to replace an unraveling Obomneycare.

Manchin has been clear that he will vote against the emerging Trumpcare/Ryancare that will balloon the ranks of the uninsured from 30 million under Obomneycare to 50 million.

A single payer system would leave zero people uninsured.

Under single payer, every citizen gets a birth certificate and a Medicare card at birth.

The United States pays per capita more than two and a half times more than industrialized countries with single payer systems.

At a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, West Virginia today, more than 200 people jammed the Robert Byrd Science Center.

Almost a quarter of the twenty or so questioners called on Manchin to get behind single payer.

HR 676 – the single payer bill in the House – has 65 co-sponsors. No Senator has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

And by their reactions to single payer questions, the majority in the room wanted Manchin to sponsor a single payer bill in the Senate.

“I’m studying the whole Canadian system,” Manchin told Dr. Catherine Feaga of Shepherdstown, West Virginia after Dr. Feaga asked Manchin a question about the single payer system. “The Canadian system has better results longevity-wise, more wellness. But boy I tell you one thing. They make you toe the line. They don’t give you everything you want. They don’t give it to you when you want it.”

“Neither does our system,” one person yelled.

“It’s much different what we have today,” Manchin said. “In Canada, if you abuse it, you lose it. They are not going to let you come every day to a doctor.”

“They don’t let you come every day to a doctor here,” yelled another attendee.

“We are open to all of these things,” Manchin responded.

When a citizen challenged Manchin about his corporate contributions affecting how he votes, Manchin said – “money doesn’t affect how I vote.”

“But you have taken close to $300,000 from the pharmaceutical industry and $200,000 from the insurance industry over your career in the Senate,” the questioner said. “Maybe that is the reason why you haven’t introduced a single payer bill in the Senate.”

“Bernie Sanders hasn’t introduced it in the Senate either – why hasn’t Bernie introduced it?” Manchin shot back.

“I don’t know enough about single payer,” Manchin said. “But I’ll say this – I want the same quality of life that Canada has. I want the same longevity.”

When Manchin questioned whether a single payer system would cost more than what we are paying now, Lynn Yellott responded that according to a Commonwealth Fund study, 95 percent of Americans would pay less money than they do now – in terms of co-pays, deductibles and insurance premiums.

“I provided your staff last week with a financial analysis of HR 676,” Yellott told Manchin after Manchin said – “I don’t know enough about single payer.”

“I hope that you will take a close look at it,” Yellott told Manchin.

The session ended with questions from two citizens who spoke in favor of a single payer system.

“The German health care system took me in everybody had coverage, no matter what their background, how much money they made,” said one man who identified himself as a veteran. “And it was effective. Everyone was in the system.”

“I’m open to everything and anything,” Manchin said.

The last questioner told Manchin that he should take some of the money he has taken from the pharmaceutical industry and “build us a long-term opiate treatment facility in Martinsburg.”

“We need some of that money you got from the pharmaceutical industry and build us a long term treatment facility,” the man said, who identified himself as a heroin survivor. “Write the check right now and build us a rehab facility. We know you’ve got the money. You took it from the pharmaceutical industry.”

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , | Leave a comment

President John F. Kennedy’s “Peace Speech”…

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 2 Comments

Russia calls UNSC meeting, warns against Saudi raid on Yemeni city

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov
Press TV – March 18, 2017

During a meeting of the UN Security Council convened by Russia, the Kremlin has warned about “grave humanitarian consequences” that would come if Saudi Arabia goes ahead with a plan to attack Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah.

The attendants in the UNSC meeting discussed the grave humanitarian situation in Yemen and efforts toward a peaceful conclusion of the two-year-long war imposed by the Saudi regime on the Yemeni people, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Safronkov told reporters after the closed-door meeting in New York, which had been requested by Moscow on Wednesday.

Russia’s state news agency TASS quoted the Russian official as saying the meeting had been held in an attempt “to urge the UN to step up its efforts to establish a real diplomatic process.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Safronkov said all the 15 member states of the council supported a non-military approach to the resolution of the crisis. It is, the Kremlin believes, “necessary to search for a political settlement,” Safronkov added.

Hudaydah is currently under the control of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters, who have been defending the impoverished country against the Saudi aggression since March 2015. The city, Yemen’s fourth largest and its biggest port, served as a thoroughfare for the transit of about 70 percent of Yemen’s food imports in the pre-war years.

When the Saudi regime started pounding the crisis-hit country, Hudaydah turned into a primary entry point for humanitarian aid and fuel meant for areas inside Yemen, including the capital, Sana’a. If the city falls under the control of Saudi forces and mercenary soldiers, the flow of humanitarian assistance toward those areas would be blocked.

On March 13, Moscow also warned about the critical situation of the port city in providing its people with much-needed humanitarian aid.

The “plans to storm Yemen’s biggest port of Hudaydah give rise to serious concerns,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, adding that the fall of the city would cut Sana’a from “food and humanitarian aid supplies.” She also said the humanitarian situation in Yemen was “catastrophic.”

On Wednesday, the World Food Programme (WFP) said 60 percent of Yemenis, some 17 million people, faced a “crisis” and were in urgent need of food as a direct result of the Saudi war.

The Saudi campaign has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis. The aggression was meant to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s president who has resigned and is a staunch ally of Riyadh. The campaign also sought to undermine Houthis. However, due to resistance from the Yemeni nation, the regime in Riyadh has so far failed to achieve success and suffered considerable human loss in its military.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

CLOAKED ORDER: Who’s Really Behind ‘New Authority’ for CIA Drone Strikes?

21st Century Wire | March 17, 2017

Earlier this week, the mainstream media reported that the Trump administration granted the CIA a new ‘secret’ authority broadening their ability to conduct drone strike operations against suspected terrorists. The new drone provision said to be without oversight from the Pentagon, was brought to our attention by ‘unnamed’ sources published in the Wall Street Journal – But is this the full story?

As big media rushed to condemn the Trump administration over the supposedly brand ‘new’ drone policy given to the CIA, the public has been left without a complete picture.

While the new powers allowing the CIA to conduct larger-scale drone operations overseas should be of concern to the public – you have to wonder if it was truly issued by the Trump administration or already under place during the Obama administration.

While it’s no secret that Trump has openly discussed being tough on terror and might be involved with the CIA drone order in some capacity, we should also consider the fact that many Obama and Democratic Party loyalists would like nothing more than to paint the new president in a less than agreeable light, potentially looking to create a political tripwire to derail his first term.

Over the past few years the Obama administration was said to be shifting more drone operations away from the CIA – but was that really what happened?

In 2015, the NY Post published the following:

“President Obama secretly granted the Central Intelligence Agency more flexibility to conduct drone strikes targeting terror suspects in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world after approving more restrictive rules in 2013, according to a published report.”

The Wall Street Journal, citing current and former U.S. officials, reported that Obama approved a waiver exempting the CIA from proving that militants targeted in Pakistan posed an imminent threat to the U.S.”

In particular, the drone report outlined that while on the surface it appeared that Obama issued a directive to get rid of ‘signature strikes’ conducted by the CIA “many of the changes specified in the directive either haven’t been implemented or have been works in progress.”

A signature strike can be conducted without presidential approval against any suspected militants.

The NY Post then admitted that CIA had in fact a much broader latitude to target individuals under the Obama administration:

“The paper also reports that the CIA’s Pakistan drone strike program was initially exempted from the “imminent threat” requirement until the end of U.S. and NATO combat operations in Afghanistan.”

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported the following drone statistics under Obama:

“Pakistan was the hub of drone operations during Obama’s first term. The pace of attacks had accelerated in the second half of 2008 at the end of Bush’s term, after four years pocked by occasional strikes. However in the year after taking office, Obama ordered more drone strikes than Bush did during his entire presidency. The 54 strikes in 2009 all took place in Pakistan.

Strikes in the country peaked in 2010, with 128 CIA drone attacks and at least 89 civilians killed, at the same time US troop numbers surged in Afghanistan. Pakistan strikes have since fallen with just three conducted in the country last year.“

QUESTION: Is it possible that the CIA drone policy was just transferred from one administration to another?

More from the Wall Street Journal

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

After ‘fierce information war,’ Israeli court indicts Arab MK

Basel Ghattas, a member of the Israeli Knesset [arab48]
MEMO | March 18, 2017

An Israeli district court in Beer Sheva indicted on Friday the Arab MK Basel Ghattas after a “fierce information war” that aimed to defame him and other Arab MKs, Quds Press reported.

Quds Press cited Israeli radio sources and said that a bargain plea was reached in the case of Ghattas that included his recognition of smuggling mobile phones to “security” prisoners, as well as his resignation from the Knesset.

Israeli radio also said that the Israeli Public Prosecutor would demand a two-year prison sentence for Ghattas.

Meanwhile, Ghattas, a member of the Arab Joint List of the Knesset, said:

Since the first minute I was released from Nafha Prison on 18 December until this minute, I have been exposed to unprecedented measures taken against an MK [by the Israeli authorities].

While speaking in a press conference, he continued: “It was an incitement, racist and aggressive campaign that included spreading lies by different Israeli security branches.”

He added: “The Israeli mass media cooperated with the Israeli security institution and the end was an unprecedented field trial and fierce information war.”

Ghattas said that the procedures he experienced during the recent months, including the stripping of his parliamentary immunity, imprisonment and investigations.

The Arab parliamentarian said that he is responsible for all what he did because that was based on his “humanitarian, conscious and moral duty towards the prisoners,” noting he is ready to bear the full responsibility of his actions.

By Ghattas’ resignation, the head of the public council of the National Democratic Association, Jumaa Zabarqeh, will replace him in the Knesset.

The Arab Joint List has 13 MKs out of 120.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan Asks Facebook, Twitter, to Help Crack Down on Online Blasphemy

Sputnik – 18.03.2017

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for a crackdown on those who would blaspheme against Islam on social media, and claims to have contacted Facebook and Twitter to ask for their help in suppressing online sacrilege.

“All relevant institutions must unite to hunt those who spread such material and to award them strict punishment under the law,” Sharif said.

Minister of the Interior Ministry (MoI) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that an official from Pakistan’s embassy in Washington, DC, was dispatched to Facebook and Twitter, asking them to help identify Pakistanis both at home or abroad who have insulted Islam.

He went on to say Pakistan would seek to extradite any Pakistanis living abroad if they were accused of blasphemy so they could be tried in an Islamic court.

Facebook, at least, has answered the call and will send a delegation to Pakistan to help them fight blasphemy, according to a statement from Pakistan’s Interior Ministry. Facebook told the MoI that they were “aware” of Pakistan’s concerns, and wanted to reach a mutual understanding with the Islamic Republic.

Facebook told the Associated Press that it seriously considers requests from governments, but its ultimate goal is to “protect the privacy and rights of our users.”

“We disclose information about accounts solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law,” continued Facebook.

Pakistan already extensively censors online content that depicts blasphemy, pornography, suicide and other things deemed objectionable. YouTube was blocked in the South Asian nation from 2012 to 2016, until it agreed to assist the government in censoring their content.

Facebook itself was blocked for a short period of time in 2010 due to it being the platform of choice for many artists participating in “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. Some sites, such as Reddit and Imgur, remain banned.

Pakistan has some of the world’s strictest blasphemy laws. “Outraging the religious feelings of Muslims” carries a three year prison sentence as well as fines. Defiling a Quran is life in prison. Speaking ill of Mohammed is punishable by death.

Human Rights Watch claims that from 1987 to 2014, more than 1,300 Pakistanis have been accused of blasphemy and more than 60 of the accused have died in extrajudicial killings.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Stephen Pollard, David Duke and Victor Ostrovsky

By Gilad Atzmon | March 17, 2017

From the Jewish press we learn that Britain’s House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has summoned executives from Google, Twitter and Facebook for a hearing in order to slam the social media giants for failing to block ‘hate speech’ and ‘anti-Semitic’ content from their platforms. It seems that Labour MP Yvette Cooper took issue with the refusal of YouTube to remove a video in which David Duke accused Jewish people of “organizing white genocide” and Zionists of conducting ethnic cleansing.

I’m left wondering, what it is that motivates British MPs to launch a war against freedom of speech?

Can MP Yvette Cooper or any other British MP for that matter, tell us, once and for all, what exactly are the boundaries of our freedom of expression? Is calling Israel an ethnic cleanser a crime in the UK? But what if Israel is an ethnic cleanser? Is truth not a valid legal defence in modern Britain?

Astonishingly, it was, of all people, Stephen Pollard, Britain’s arch-Zionist and editor of the Jewish Chronicle who stood up for Duke’s elementary freedoms. In The Telegraph Pollard wrote. It’s clear that the video is indeed antisemitic. In it, Mr Duke says: ‘The Zionists have already ethnically cleansed the Palestinians, why not do the same thing to Europeans and Americans as well? No group on earth fights harder for its interests than do the Jews. By dividing a society they can weaken it and control it.’ So there’s no debate that this is Jew hate in all its traditional poison.”

Is it really hateful to admit that Zionists ethnically cleansed Palestine? By now, this is an established historical fact that is sustained by current Israeli Law of Return, designed to prevent ethnically cleansed Palestinians from coming back to their land. Is it really hateful to suggest, as does David Duke that “no group on earth fights harder for its interests than do the Jews.” In fact, Yvette Cooper’s grilling of the Google CEO on behalf of the Labour Friends of Israel only confirms Duke’s observation.

I’m left wondering whether George Orwell was, in fact,  the last of the prophets. After all, he did foresee British Labour transitioning into a tyrannical institution.

Yet, later on in his piece, Pollard, takes an unexpected turn. He clearly accepts that interfering with elementary freedom is a dangerous development:  “Had the video told viewers that their duty was to seek out Jews and attack them – as many posts on social media do – then clearly it should be banned. Incitement to violence is an obvious breach of any coherent set of standards.” Pollard then concludes that banning views simply because many, or even most, people find them abhorrent is a form of mob rule dressed up in civilised clothes.”

I find myself in complete agreement with this ultra-Zionist: “mob rule dressed up in civilised clothes” is a poetic, yet still truthful, description of current progressive populism. Incitement to violence should obviously be strictly banned, but if we wish to maintain Western ‘values’ then surely open debate in our system must be sustained. If Yvette Cooper doesn’t agree with Duke, she should invite him to the House of Commons and challenge him to debate rather than using her political power to silence him, or anyone else.

But one question remains. What led Yvette Cooper to operate so openly in the service of one particular Lobby group.  I guess that veteran Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky may have an answer to offer…

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 4 Comments

Netanyahu Furious Over Non-existent Threat of ‘Iranian Naval Base’ in Syria

Sputnik – 17.03.2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to play up the ‘Iranian threat’ are gaining steam. Last week, officials claimed that Iran was looking to build a naval base in Syria. A week earlier, Netanyahu went to Moscow to say that Iran was a threat to the region. Mideast politics expert Hassan Hanizadeh says Netanyahu’s theories are absurd.

Following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow earlier this month, Netanyahu told reporters that conveying to Putin the threat posed by Iran was one of main goals of his visit.

“I clarified to President Putin our vehement opposition to the establishment of Iran and its tentacles in Syria,” Netanyahu said. “We see Iran is trying to build up a military force, with military infrastructure, in order to establish a base in Syria, including attempts by Iran to set up a sea port,” he added.

Netanyahu noted that Iran’s presence in Syria was contrary to Israel’s interests, and suggested that it actually “doesn’t match the long-term interests of anyone except Iran.”Iranian officials soon refuted the prime minister’s claims, and similar claims made by US media over the weekend about Iran’s supposed plans to establish a naval base in Syria’s Latakia. Officials stressed that the Iranian presence in Syria was limited to military advisers, and added that these are in the country at the request of Syria’s legitimate government. Iran has no plans to create any military bases in Syria, they said.

Asked to comment on Netanyahu’s diplomatic offensive, and why he picked Russia to complain to about Tehran’s alleged ambitions, Middle East expert Hassan Hanizadeh, the former editor-in-chief of the Mehr News Agency, explained that the move was little more than an attempt to drive a wedge into the Russian-Iranian strategic partnership.

Speaking to Sputnik Persian, Hanizadeh said that there was good reason for Netanyahu to be concerned about Russian-Iranian ties.

“The relationship between Moscow and Tehran can be assessed as strategic. The two countries have a unified position on a number of issues, particularly as far as the Middle East and Syria are concerned. Israel, in turn, is trying to drive a wedge into these relations, to destroy them,” the observer said.

Hanizadeh suggested that this was played out during Netanyahu’s trip to Russia, where the prime minister tried to set the Russian president against Iran. “Netanyahu attempted to show, using these deceitful tricks, that Iran was looking to expand its territories, or its sphere of influence, by establishing a naval base in Syria, which in turn would be a direct threat to Israel.”

Furthermore, the analyst pointed out that even though the naval base rumors were false, Iran, like any other country, has the right to establish whatever kinds of relations it wants to with friendly nations.

“Any country, on the basis of international law, has the right to establish and independently develop diplomatic relations with other states,” Hanizadeh stressed. “Israel has dozens of [secret] air and sea bases in different parts of the world, yet no one is indignant over this fact. Even if Iran did want to build a base in Syria, at the request of or in agreement with the government of this country, this would be legal. Nevertheless, for some reason [even rumors of such bases] immediately cause alarm and anger from the Israeli leadership.”

In reality, Hanizadeh reiterated, Tehran does not have any plans to create permanent bases in Syria. “There is no such goal. But Iran reserves its right to cooperate with friendly countries.” And that includes military cooperation, pending that it is approved by the partner country’s internationally recognized government.

Ultimately, Hanizadeh stressed that Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu “have no right to talk about or judge relations between other countries – or to make any claims toward a power like Russia. Russia is a sovereign state, and has the right to make decisions independently, to build relationships on the basis of its national interests with whomever and however it wants. Israel has no right to interfere in this process.”

Therefore, the analyst suggested that as far as Moscow was concerned, “the statements by Benjamin Netanyahu [about the ‘Iranian threat’] will be ignored, and a wise leader like Vladimir Putin simply won’t pay them any heed.”

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel says will continue hitting Hezbollah in Syria

Press TV – March 18, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said in brazen remarks that his regime will continue to conduct military attacks against Hezbollah targets inside Syria, a day after Tel Aviv had to admit airstrikes inside Syrian territory.

Israeli warplanes intruded Syrian airspace on Friday, striking several targets near the ancient city of Palmyra in the central part of the Arab country. The Syrian government said it had fired anti-aircraft missiles at the intruding Israeli jets. It said one warplane had been shot down and another damaged.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the incursion on Saturday, claiming that the strikes targeted weapons shipments to Hezbollah.

“When we identify attempts to transfer advanced weapons to Hezbollah and we have intelligence and it is operationally feasible, we act to prevent it,” he alleged. “That’s how it was yesterday and that’s how we shall continue to act.”

Hezbollah defended Lebanon against Israeli wars in 2000 and 2006. It has helped both prevent and contain the spillover into Lebanon of a terrorist campaign going on in Syria. The resistance movement has also been aiding the Syrian government in its own battle against extremist militants inside Syria.

The Syrian army has called the latest Israeli airstrikes “a desperate attempt” to help the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh.

Israel, on the other hand, has been contributing to the terrorist campaign in Syria with the strikes against Hezbollah and the Syrian military and by offering medial treatment for the anti-Damascus militants in the Israeli-occupied Syrian territory of Golan Heights.

Last September, an Israeli lawmaker said Tel Aviv was directly aiding the terrorist group formerly known as al-Nusra Front in the Golan Heights.

In a message posted on his Facebook page and quoted by the daily Haaretz, Knesset member Akram Hasoon said Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, as the group is currently known, was bombing the Druze village of Khadr in non-occupied Golan with Israeli Minister for Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman’s support and protection.

The Israeli regime every now and then hits targets inside Syrian territory in strikes that typically go unclaimed. While Netanyahu admitted for the first time in April 2016 that Israel had attacked dozens of convoys transporting weapons for Hezbollah in Syria, the Tel Aviv regime refuses to claim individual attacks.

It was forced to admit the Friday airstrikes, though, because its jets had been attacked by the Syrian military in that incursion.

Aiming for a state on the resistance front

Speaking to Press TV, Richard Becker, an expert with the ANSWER Coalition anti-war group, and London-based journalist and political commentator Richard Millet offered their takes on the Israeli attacks in Syria.

Millet claimed that the air raids had been “an act of self-defense” stopping Hezbollah from using those weapons against Israel. He also alleged that the strikes were “against… the takeover of Syria by Iran.”

Becker, however, said that Tel Aviv sought “to destroy Syria,” which has served as “a frontline state against the practices and policies of Israel, [i.e.] suppressing the Palestinian people and waging war on the Arab people and other people throughout the region.”

“Israel has long wanted to bring about regime change in Syria; and, if they can break up the Syrian state, that’s… seen by them [as being] in their interest,” he said.

March 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment