Category: War on terror

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Netanyahu da Putin su Siria con capo intelligence e esercito

Analysis: Russian military role in Syria has implications for Israel, West

  • Putin: We respect Israel’s interests, but are concerned over its attacks on Syria

  • PM underlined to Russia that Israel will continue to protect interests, says Ya’alon

A gun placed on stage in the first act must be fired by the last one. This axiom is attributed to Russian playwright Anton Chekov – the same one whose work Minister of Culture Miri Regev proudly declared she has never read.

Even though it was clear that the extensive military buildup by the Russia Army in Syria was bound to eventually lead to military intervention in the civil war, the first Russian air strikes yesterday were received with a bit of surprise. Yesterday morning the Russia Duma (parliament) approved the use of military force – as if President Vladimir Putin really needed their approval – and yesterday by noon missions were executed near the towns of Homs, Hama, and Latakiya. According to Western sources, the Russians targeted positions of rebel groups opposing the regime of President Bashar Assad, including factions supported by the US. The Russian Ministry of Defense, on the other hand, said that its air force targeted ISIS.

Nevertheless, one can assume that Russia is trying to create a division of labor that is not to the liking of the US and its Arab and Western coalition partners assembled to fight on two fronts: the Assad regime and Islamic State.

The Russian logic is that the US-led coalition will attack ISIS and Russia will attack the rest of the rebel groups. Regardless of whether such a division will be in place de facto, one conclusion is emerging: the big winner of the new situation is Assad and his failed regime.


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Media Are Blamed as US Bombing of Afghan Hospital Is Covered Up

New York Times headline corrected

A US-led NATO military coalition bombed a hospital run by international humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders (known internationally as Medecins Sans Frontières, MSF) in Afghanistan, killing at least 22 people—12 staff members and 10 patients, including three children—and wounding 37 more.

AFP, the first network to report the story, in the early hours of October 3, quoted NATO saying, “US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz city…. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”

MSF promptly issued a statement (10/3/15), revealing that it had been “hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged.” In an update hours later, MSF said it “condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, which was full of staff and patients.”

The humanitarian organization also indicated multiple times—and in bold capital letters—that “all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities in Kunduz, including the hospital, guesthouse, office and an outreach stabilization unit.” MSF says the US “repeatedly and precisely” hit the hospital.

Morever, the aid group explained that the “bombing in Kunduz continued for more than 30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed by MSF that its hospital was struck.” That is to say, the US persisted in bombing a hospital that it explicitly knew before and during the attack was a hospital.

If you read US corporate media coverage of this incident, however, US culpability would likely not be evident. Instead, readers would learn that a hospital was bombed in Afghanistan, and that people died. Who exactly carried out the bombing would not be clear.

cnn us air attack

“Air Attacks Kill at Least 19 at Afghanistan Hospital; US Investigating,” wrote CNN (9/3/15). Who carried out those attacks? Never asked is who else could possibly have bombed the hospital. What other air forces are attacking Kunduz? Did the bombs magically fall from the sky? CNN provides no answer.

“Aerial bombardments blew apart a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the battleground Afghan city of Kunduz about the time of a US airstrike” CNN said. The blowing apart of the hospital just appears to be a temporal coincidence.

fox us investigate airstrike

Fox News‘ headline (10/3/15) reads “US Officials Investigate Airstrike in Afghanistan That Killed at Least 19 at Doctors Without Borders Hospital.”

The New York Times completely rewrote and changed the title of its report on the bombing seven times. Early on October 3, the Times published an article headlined “Airstrike Hits Hospital in Afghanistan, Killing at Least 9.” Minutes later, it changed the headline to “Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan.” Two hours after, it became “Afghan Hospital Hit by Airstrike, Pentagon Says.” Then “US Investigates After Bombs Hit Afghan Hospital,” before finalizing as “US Is Blamed After Bombs Hit Afghan Hospital.”

The over 20 versions of the article published in the Times‘ website can be seen at the website NewsDiffs, which monitors edits to pieces published in large new outlets. Because the Times changed the web URL for the article when changing the headlines, there are three separate entries on NewsDiffs.

newsdiffs nyt us bombs afghan hospital

Not one of the five New York Times headlines indicated that the US was responsible for the bombing. The final title, “US Is Blamed After Bombs Hit Afghan Hospital,” which was published in print, fails to acknowledge that it was the US who dropped those bombs, which explains why it is blamed.

The New York Times‘ other story (10/4/15), “Doctors Without Borders Says It Is Leaving Kunduz After Strike on Hospital,” was also substantially edited and rewritten numerous times. It’s likewise full of weasel words and quotes from the US government.

The Washington Post (10/4/15) also changed headlines and URLs for its reporting, making it difficult to track. It did choose a title acknowledging the US role in the attack, but attributed it to MSF, writing, “Doctors Without Borders Says US Airstrike Hit Hospital in Afghanistan; at Least 19 Dead.”

AP headlined an article (10/4/15) updating the death toll, “Doctors Without Borders Leaves Afghan City After Airstrike.” The piece says, “A deadly airstrike destroyed its hospital and killed 22 people, as the US and Afghan governments vowed to get to the bottom of the carnage.” Not mentioned is that the US government is responsible for the carnage.

Ambiguous, misleading and even downright dishonest language abounds throughout the coverage. US media spin the story to reflect positively on the culprit; they report that the US is investigating the atrocity, while failing to acknowledge that the US itself is responsible for the atrocity.

This technique is very reminiscent of the loaded language police departments use to downplay police brutality—language that is often repeated verbatim by journalists who just uncritically quote government press releases.

Not all media were as biased in the interest of the Pentagon, however. Even some US news outlets were clear and honest in their reporting.

slate us airstrike

Slate (10/3/15) was one of the few publications to report without the equivocation. “US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan Kills at Least 19,” it said. The next day, Slate (10/4/15) followed up with the piece “Doctors Without Borders Says US May Have Committed War Crime.”

US: We Accidentally Bombed Hospital to Kill Taliban

After the attack, MSF released a statement saying “All indications currently point to the bombing being carried out by international Coalition forces”—that is to say, NATO.

As details became clearer, the media narrative began to shift from one of obfuscation or even denial of the US bombing to one of apologism and justification. When it was obvious that the US and NATO were responsible for killing and wounding scores of people at a hospital, the US and Afghan governments began to fall back on the “human shields” excuse.

A Washington Post article (10/4/15) first titled “Afghan Official: Hospital in Airstrike Was ‘a Taliban Base,’” and subsequently changed to “Afghan Response to Hospital Bombing Is Muted, Even Sympathetic,” quotes Afghan government officials who claimed the “hospital has a vast garden, and the Taliban were there.” Yet MSF’s aforementioned statement makes it clear that the US “repeatedly and precisely” bombed the hospital, not the surrounding areas, which were “left mostly untouched.”

The aid organization also explicitly denied fighters ever being anywhere inside the hospital compound.

In a statement titled “MSF Response to Spurious Claims That Kunduz Hospital Was ‘A Taliban Base,’” the aid organization wrote:

MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.

This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimize the attack as “collateral damage.”

There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds. MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation.

MSF also made it clear that its hospital “is the only facility of its kind in the whole northeastern region of Afghanistan,” and that its “doctors treat all people according to their medical needs and do not make distinctions based on a patient’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliation.”

Despite MSF’s explicit denial of the allegations, US media continued to reiterate the claims of US and Afghan government officials.

Anonymous US military officials told Fox News (10/3/15) they “regret the loss” of scores of innocent lives, but “say the incident could have been avoided if the Taliban had not used the hospital as a base, and the civilians there as human shields.”

But wait, which was it? Was the bombing an accidental incident of “collateral damage,” as the government claimed at first, and as the media reverberated? Or was it a deliberate attack on the Taliban, who were supposedly firing from the hospital? It can’t be both; the two explanations contradict each other.

The fact that, when MSF’s points—and not just those of the US and Afghan governments—are considered, the human shields argument does not withstand close scrutiny aside, a blatant contradiction emerges in this narrative. The answer to this critical question remains unknown; the government, and the media that so obediently echoes it, do not clarify.

MSF's Kunduz hospital on fire, after being bombed by the US/NATO Photo: MSF

Striking, too, are the similarities to US reporting on Israeli airstrikes. In order to justify bombing hospitals in Gaza, the US-backed Israeli government often claims Palestinian militants use the medical facilities as bases. Israel’s military—which has itself used human shields many times—then says it is justified to bomb hospitals, UN shelters and other civilians areas.

US ally and NATO member Turkey borrowed Israel’s hasbara (public relations) tactic and claimed the same about leftist Kurdish militants in order to justify its killing of Kurdish civilians.

The Wall Street Journal (10/4/15) boldly steered clear of any posturing and openly justified the US bombing of the hospital. The unsigned editorial justified the mass killing of MSF aid workers by shifting the blame onto the Taliban insurgents. It even brought up the specter of Hamas, writing, “Like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the terrorists hide near civilians. These Taliban tactics put the medical personnel and patients at risk.” The piece waxes poetic, and hagiographic; in a moment of undiluted American exceptionalism on blast, the Journal claimed that “no force in the history of warfare has done more to avoid civilian casualties than the American military.”

Remove references to the US and the Taliban in such media coverage, replace it with blanks, and you have a template media can use any time a US ally bombs civilians—A Guide to Defending War Crimes Committed by US Allies: “[Ally] did not actually want to bomb [civilian area], but [enemy] forced it to.”

Double Standards

When US enemies like Russia carry out airstrikes, all nuance is thrown out the window; US media drop their standards and gleefully accuse the enemies of war crimes. Yet when the US and NATO carry out airstrikes, journalists suddenly have a newfound skepticism. Their language immediately becomes ambiguous, their writing unclear; murky passages written in the passive voice are ubiquitous.

Official international bodies have not minced words about the bombing, nevertheless. The UN says the US attack on the Kunduz hospital was “inexcusable and possibly even criminal” (Australia’s ABC, 10/4/15). UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein remarked, “If established as deliberate in a court of law, an airstrike on a hospital may amount to a war crime.”

Wounded MSF staff after the US/NATO bombing of its Kunduz hospital Photo: MSF

MSF said the attack “constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian law.” The aid group called the bombing a “war crime” and “a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.”

The humanitarian organization is demanding an investigation “by an independent international body,” not by the US, noting that “relying only on an internal investigation by a party to the conflict would be wholly insufficient.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (Intercept, 10/3/15) pointed out the hypocrisy of the US warning about civilian casualties of Russian airstrikes while it bombs scores of doctors and patients in Afghanistan, a country it has militarily occupied for close to 15 years.

When Russia denies killing civilians in its airstrikes on Syria, US media are suddenly skeptical and thorough; yet when the US government makes the same claims, journalists just recycle its press releases.

Is the job of the media to just uncritically report what favored governments say? Or is it supposed to examine the truth of official claims? If it is supposed to be the latter, US media have abysmally failed in their duties in reporting on the US bombing of MSF’s Kunduz hospital.

Ben Norton is a freelance journalist and writer. His website can be found at and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

Consortium News

Seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Marines conduct a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 21, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

The apparent U.S. slaughter of at least 22 people at an Afghan hospital, including Doctors Without Borders medical staff, is part of the grim reality of indiscriminate death when U.S. Special Forces undertake their secret raids and often toss aside the rules of warfare, reports Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

On Dec. 26, 2009, a U.S. Special Operations team flew from Kabul to Ghazi Khan village in the Narang district of Kunar province. They attacked three houses, where they killed two adults and eight children. Seven of the children were handcuffed before they were shot. The youngest was 11 or 12, three more were 12, and one was 15. Both the United Nations and the Afghan government conducted investigations and confirmed all the details of the attack.

U.S. officials conducted their own inquiry, but no report was published and no U.S. military or civilian officials were held accountable. Finally, more than five years later, a New York Times report on Joint Special Operations Command’s (JSOC) Seal Team 6 named it as the U.S. force involved. But JSOC operations are officially secret and, to all practical purposes, immune from accountability. As a senior U.S. officer told the Times, “JSOC investigates JSOC, that’s part of the problem.”

Accountability for the U.S. attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on Saturday, killing at least 22 people, is likely to be just as elusive. The bilateral security agreement that President Karzai refused to sign, but which President Ghani signed in September 2014, provides total immunity from Afghan law for U.S. forces and officials. So whoever should be held legally responsible for the massacre at the hospital will only be subject to accountability under U.S. military and civilian legal systems, which routinely fail to prosecute anyone for similar war crimes.


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Doctors Without Borders pulls out of Kunduz after apparent U.S. airstrike

Humanitarian group calls bombing that killed 22 a war crime

CBC News Posted: Oct 04, 2015 9:29 AM ETLast Updated: Oct 05, 2015 8:50 AM ET

  • A hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in the Afghan city of Kunduz is seen in flames, after explosions in the city on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015.
  • A hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in the Afghan city of Kunduz is seen in flames, after explosions in the city on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (Médecins Sans Frontières/AP)

The international humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières said Sunday it had withdrawn from the northern Afghan city of Kunduz after a deadly airstrike destroyed its hospital and killed 22 people.

The humanitarian crisis in the city, which briefly fell to the Taliban last week before the government launched a counteroffensive, has grown increasingly dire, with shops shuttered because of ongoing fighting and roads made impassable by mines planted by insurgents.

The medical group, also known by its English name Doctors Without Borders, blames the 22 deaths on a U.S. airstrike. Afghan officials said helicopter gunships were returning fire from Taliban fighters who were hiding in the hospital.

But the organization is calling the bombing a war crime, with the executive director of its Canadian division telling CBC News that staff contacted both the U.S. and Afghan forces throughout, but the airstrike continued for another 35 minutes.

“Such attacks against medical facilities are grave breaches of humanitarian law,” Stephen Cornish told CBC News on Sunday. “At the time of this attack our surgery team were operating on a patient on the operating table who [then] died on that operating table.


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Sputnik News


18:31 01.10.2015Get short URL

The EU is engaged in humanitarian efforts and victim assistance concerning the Syrian crisis, Federica Mogherini’s spokesperson said.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The European Union is ready to play a key role in the political settlement of the Syrian crisis under the auspices of the United Nations, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s spokeswoman said Thursday.

“The EU called again for renewed international effort led by the UN to bring an end to the war, and it confirmed that it is ready to put all its political weight to try and facilitate a solution to this conflict,” Catherine Ray told reporters.

Ray observed that the bloc is not involved militarily in airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group, but is engaged in “complimentary” activities, including humanitarian efforts and victim assistance.

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The Irish Times

The Syrian conflict has lasted more than four years, displacing 11m Syrians and killing 250,000. Russia’s intervention this week raises the dim prospect of an end to the conflict

The timeline of Syria’s grinding civil war is dotted with illusory turning points. These were atrocities or grim milestones that the world assumed would usher the conflict towards an endgame but served only to reinforce its horrendous, unswerving trajectory. The use of chemical weapons was one. The advance of Islamic State was another.

The pattern has held with almost every town that has fallen (Raqqa, Palmyra) or been razed (Aleppo, Homs), and with each new intervention by a foreign power. None has been decisive.

Instead the dynamic of the conflict has held firm. Four and a half years after it began amid the optimism of the Arab Spring, the war’s aftershocks are still pulsing outwards, across the Middle East and into Europe, and the outside world is steadily and with varying degrees of reluctance being drawn further in.

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The World Post


Putin Scores Another Much-Needed Win in Syria

Posted: 10/02/2015 9:18 am EDT Updated: 10/02/2015 9:59 am EDT

When Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin prime minister in 1999, Putin had an approval rating in Russia of 31 percent. About 37 percent of Russians didn’t even know who he was. After a series of mysterious bombings in Moscow, Putin blamed Chechen separatists and promised to flush Chechens down their toilets (his words). Bombing began in October of that year. By 2000, Putin’s poll numbers hit 84 percent. Putin needed a win, and he got one. That was a formative political experience.

Times are hard in today’s Russia. Falling oil prices have taken a serious toll, and Western sanctions haven’t helped. Prices have surged 16 percent since August, and the ruble has fallen 5.5 percent against the dollar. Russia’s economy will shrink 3.4 percent this year. No one, not even Russian state officials, expects economic conditions to improve much anytime soon.

With power comes responsibility. That’s the downside of being as powerful as Putin is in Russia. He can blame others for Russia’s problems but he needs to keep putting wins on the board. On Feb. 22, 2014, Ukrainian protesters infuriated the Kremlin by ousting then-President Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow’s man in Kiev, and Putin moved quickly to flex his muscles. By Feb. 27, the streets of Crimea were filled with men in ski masks carrying automatic weapons. Locals then voted in a referendum to trade Ukrainian for Russian citizenship, and Putin held aloft his trophy for all to see. Within a few more days, his domestic approval numbers spiked from 65 percent to 80 percent, and he is still riding that wave of popularity.

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Just in case anyone had any doubts as to the US and NATO’s true purpose in Syria.  Here is your response loud and clear!


Russia establishes ‘no fly’ zone for NATO planes over Syria, moves to destroy “ISIS” – Pentagon freaks out


Check-mate. Putin outfoxes U.S. warmongers

You may, or may not, have noticed the growing body of evidence over the past year or two that strongly suggests that the U.S. government and its European “allies” are not really serious about destroying “ISIS”.

The first hint came early last year when the jihadi mercenaries took large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the West did nothing but wring its collective hands and fret, and resolve to bolster the fighting capability of the wonderful “rebels”.

The second hint came this year when the U.S. and their partners began piecemeal airstrikes against “ISIS” that appeared to merely spur the head-choppers on to more success.

The third hint came with reports that weapons supplies being sent to “Syrian rebels” were ‘accidentally’ ending up in the hands of the head-choppers.

The most recent confirmation that Western politicians and military types effectively view “ISIS” as ‘their guys’ came in the last few weeks when the Pentagon reacted to news that Russia was in the process of establishing an air base in western Syria, from which to attack all foreign forces in Syria involved in the four-year-long attempted coup against the Syrian government.

Putin’s speech at the UN two days ago appears to have been the signal (one that was apparently missed by the Pentagon, perhaps because it was couched in clear, honest language) that Russia was about to ‘get real’ and make good on its intention to prevent the overthrow of Assad, defend the civilian population of Syria against ISIS, and solve the European ‘refugee crisis’ in the process.

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Russian anti-terror op in Syria Live updates

A Sukhoi-34 jet © Vladimir Astapkovich
The Russian military has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets in Syria. The move was approved after a request from President Bashar Assad to Vladimir Putin, who has also expressed concern about the number of Russian extremists in the country.
  • 01 October 2015

    21:52 GMT

    The Russian Ministry of Defense has released two combat footage tapes showing the precise striking of Islamic State targets in Syria, as the Russian Air Force continues to engage hostile targets for the second day running.

    The first piece of footage shows a surgical strike carried out by Su-24 M fighter jets on an Islamic State command post near the village of Al-Latamna. According to the Ministry, the target was destroyed.


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 On Monday the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that the isolated Kurdish enclave of Kobani was “about to fall” to a massive, sustained assault from ISIS.
Also on Monday, Rooz Bahjat, a Kurdish intelligence officer stationed in Kobani said the city would fall within “the next 24 hours.”
By now ISIS was expecting to be slaughtering civilians by the score.

Instead, something totally unexpected happened – ISIS has been forced to pull back.

 A local Kobani official, Idris Nahsen, told AFP that fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had managed to push ISIS fighters outside several key areas after “helpful” airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.
“The situation has changed since yesterday. YPG forces have pushed back ISIS forces,” he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, confirmed that ISIS fighters had withdrawn overnight from several areas and were no longer inside the western part of Kobani.
They remained in eastern parts of the town and its southern edges, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on a network of sources inside Syria.
The number of dead in the overnight fighting was not clear, but Mustafa Ebdi, a Kurdish journalist and activist from Kobani, wrote on his Facebook page that the streets of one southeastern neighborhood were “full of the bodies” of ISIS fighters.

Kobani has been under attack by 9,000 ISIS jihadists, armed with tanks and heavy artillery for nearly a month. This is the largest manned assualt by ISIS in its short existance.
They are being opposed by just 2,000 Kurdish fighters with the YPG, the armed wing of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), without access to any heavy weaponry and short on ammunition.
To put this into perspective, 800 ISIS fighters routed 2 divisions of the Iraqi Army, totaling 30,000 heavily armed soldiers, in June.
In other words, the Syrian Kurds of Kobani weren’t supposed to stand a snowball’s chance in Hell.

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© Stringer
Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria have agreed to establish a joint information center in Baghdad to coordinate their operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) militants, according to sources.

“The main goal of the center will be gathering, processing and analyzing current information about the situation in the Middle East – primarily for fighting IS,” a military-diplomatic source told Russian news agencies on Saturday.

The information center in the Iraqi capital will be headed by an officer of one of the founding countries on a rotating basis. Rotation will take place every three months. According to the source, Iraq will run the center for the next three months.

Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria may also use the information center to coordinate anti-IS combat plans, the source said, adding that the agreement is a milestone for uniting the region’s countries in the war on terrorism – primarily on Islamic State militants.

The Iraqi army’s joint operations command confirmed the agreement on Saturday, saying that it came with “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh [Islamic State],” Reuters reported.

READ MORE: Upper House: No request from Putin to dispatch troops in Syria

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari announced in New York on Friday that Iraq has not received any Russian military advisers to assist Baghdad’s operations.

On Friday, the US TV-Channel Fox News reported the four countries were establishing a “coordination cell” in Baghdad, but Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Vladimir Putin, denied this. “We have already said there are many reports which are not true,” he told news agencies.

Recent media reports indicate Russia is boosting its cooperation with Syria and other Middle East countries in the fight against terrorism.


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© Mohammed Badra
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Syrian president Bashar Assad should play a role in any talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war. Her statement marks a softening in the stance of Western leaders towards the Syria’s current president.

“We have to speak with many actors, this includes Assad, but others as well,” Angela Merkel said at a press-conference following the EU emergency summit on the migration crisis.

This constitutes a marked departure from previous positions of most Western powers, which had consistently insisted that the Syrian leader’s resignation was an essential prerequisite for the conflict in the Arab country to be resolved.

“Not only with the United States of America, Russia, but with important regional partners, Iran, and Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia,” she added.

Defeating terrorism must be top priority, Syrian FM tells RT (Op-Edge) 

Earlier this month, the German Chancellor also stressed the need for Russia’s involvement in reconciling the Syrian crisis, German Deutsche Welle reports.

On August 31, she welcomed Iran’s potential participation in negotiations aimed at putting an end to the Syrian conflict.

“I think Iran has a lot of influence over what happens in Syria. And everyone is welcome to participate constructively in the negotiations,” she said at a news conference in Berlin at that time.

From demanding Assad go…

The US has repeatedly blamed Bashar Assad for the outbreak of violence in Syria as well as for its civil war, claiming that it was he who facilitated the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

“He [Assad] is the reason ISIL, and other terrorist groups, have been allowed to fester and grow and sustain themselves inside Syria. Assad regime has allowed groups like ISIL to fester and grow inside the country,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing on September 16.


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UN condemns ‘virtual silence’ on civilian casualties in Yemeni conflict

© Khaled Abdullah
UN officials have openly criticized the “the virtual silence” with regards to civilian suffering in the Yemeni conflict from the world community, warning that unless violence on the ground is stopped via political compromise more people will suffer.

Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Jennifer Welsh, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, “expressed concern at the ever increasing impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, and the virtual silence of the international community about the threat to populations.”

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Macedonian policemen try to keep migrants and refugees under control before they cross the border line from Greece into Macedonia, near the Greek village of Idomeni, Sept. 10, 2015.

Macedonian policemen try to keep migrants and refugees under control before they cross the border line from Greece into Macedonia, near the Greek village of Idomeni, Sept. 10, 2015.

US Urged to Do More on Mideast Refugee Crisis


US Criticized On Refugee Crisis

Since the start of Syria’s civil war more than four years ago, the U.S. has taken in just over 1,400 Syrian refugees — a barely detectable fraction of the four million who have fled the country.

On Thursday, White House officials signaled they were ready to do more: they announced the U.S. would make preparations to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the upcoming fiscal year.

“The president has directed our team to consider how we can further scale up our response,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “And one thing the United States can do is to begin to admit more Syrian refugees.”


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O’Malley: U.S. should accept 65,000 Syrian refugees

Washington (CNN)

“I support the call from humanitarian and refugee organizations for the United States to accept at least 65,000 Syrian refugees next year,” he said in a statement Friday. “If Germany — a country with one-fourth our population — can accept 800,000 refugees this year, certainly we — the nation of immigrants and refugees — can do more.”

Syrian refugees are flooding Europe following the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians due to ethnic violence in the Middle East. The migrant crisis has engulfed Europe, leading many to ask whether the U.S. would take refugees from the continued fighting in Syria.

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