Category: Blow back

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‘It’s not even a close call’: Ted Cruz insists the Middle East was a safer place when dictators Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi were alive

  • The presidential candidate, 44, said US should focus on its own security
  • Said Middle East was more secure when Iraq and Libya dictators were alive
  • Cruz said Libya was now a ‘chaotic war zone ruled by radical Islamic terrorists’

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow tyrants Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported.

The Texas senator, a Republican presidential candidate, said America should focus on its own security rather than toppling dictators abroad.

He said it was ‘not even a close call’ when asked whether the Middle East was more secure when Gaddafi and Hussein were dictators of their respective countries.


Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported

Ted Cruz believes the Middle East was a safer place before the US helped to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, it has been reported

Cruz said the toppling of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had shown the US has not learned lessons from history

Cruz said the toppling of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had shown the US has not learned lessons from history

In an interview with MSNBC, Cruz told Joe Scarborough: ‘Now, what has been a mistake – and we’ve seen a consistent mistake in foreign policy – is far too often, we’ve seen Democrats and a lot of establishment Republicans in Washington get involved in toppling Middle Eastern governments.

‘And it ends up benefiting the bad guys. It ends up handing them over to radical Islamic terrorists,’

He described Syrian president Bashar Assad as a ‘monster’ but warned that ISIS extremists would sweep further across the country were he to be overthrown.

He said: ‘My view, instead of getting in the middle of a civil war in Syria, where we don’t have a dog in the fight, our focus should be on killing ISIS. Why? Because ISIS has declared war on America. They’re waging jihad.’

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EU warns of visas for US citizens if Washington implements visa waiver reforms

© Fred Greaves
The EU says it may retaliate if the US goes ahead with plans to impose visas for some members of the bloc who are currently part of the Visa Waiver Program. Brussels says it will not increase security and that US nationals may require visas to enter the EU.

A letter signed by 28 European member state ambassadors to the US was published in The Hill after Europe reacted furiously and with disbelief to plans by Washington to tighten-up the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which currently lets millions of citizens from the bloc travel to the US each year without a visa.


OP-ED: EU warns of visas for US citizens if Washington implements visa waiver reforms


Last week, the US House of Representatives adopted a bill to reform the visa program that would ban certain EU nationals from entering the US without a visa if they had visited Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan after March 2011. Some US politicians want the legislation introduced to tighten security following the November 13 Paris terror attacks.

“A blanket restriction on those who have visited Syria or Iraq, for example, would most likely only affect legitimate travel by businesspeople, journalists, humanitarian or medical workers while doing little to detect those who travel by more clandestine means overland,” the letter signed by the 28 ambassadors stated.

At present, 23 of the EU’s 28 member states enjoy visa-free travel to the US, with the remaining five nations keen to join the VWP. The bloc says it is imperative to keep the visa waiver program intact for business and tourism purposes, while the current system does not mean that it is “a license to enter the US with nothing more than the wave of a passport of an allied country.”


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Published on

Why the Gulf States, the Kurds, the Turks, the Sunnis, and the Shia Won’t Fight America’s War

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Sunday night, Dec. 6, 2016. In a rare Oval Office address, Obama vowed the United States would overcome a terror threat that has entered a “new phase” as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California. (Photo: Saul Loeb, AP)

In the many strategies proposed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) by presidential candidates, policymakers, and media pundits alike across the American political spectrum, one common element stands out: someone else should really do it. The United States will send in planes, advisers, and special ops guys, but it would be best — and this varies depending on which pseudo-strategist you cite — if the Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sunnis, and/or Shias would please step in soon and get America off the hook.

The idea of seeing other-than-American boots on the ground, like Washington’s recently deep-sixed scheme to create some “moderate” Syrian rebels out of whole cloth, is attractive on paper. Let someone else fight America’s wars for American goals. Put an Arab face on the conflict, or if not that at least a Kurdish one (since, though they may not be Arabs, they’re close enough in an American calculus). Let the U.S. focus on its “bloodless” use of air power and covert ops. Somebody else, Washington’s top brains repeatedly suggest, should put their feet on the embattled, contested ground of Syria and Iraq. Why, the U.S. might even gift them with nice, new boots as a thank-you.

Is this, however, a realistic strategy for winning America’s war(s) in the Middle East?

The Great Champions of the Grand Strategy

Recently, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton openly called for the U.S. to round up some Arab allies, Kurds, and Iraqi Sunnis to drive the Islamic State’s fighters out of Iraq and Syria. On the same day that Clinton made her proposal, Bernie Sanders called for “destroying” the Islamic State, but suggested that it “must be done primarily by Muslim nations.” It’s doubtful he meant Indonesia or Malaysia.

Among the Republican contenders, Marco Rubio proposed that the U.S. “provide arms directly to Sunni tribal and Kurdish forces.” Ted Cruz threw his support behind arming the Kurds, while Donald Trump appeared to favor more violence in the region by whoever might be willing to jump in.

The Pentagon has long been in favor of arming both the Kurds and whatever Sunni tribal groups it could round up in Iraq or Syria. Variouspundits across the political spectrum say much the same.

They may all mean well, but their plans are guaranteed to fail. Here’s why, group by group.

The Gulf Arabs


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World Tribune


Russia accuses U.S. of cover-up over ISIL-Turkey oil smuggling

Special to

The United States is involved in a “cover-up” over Turkey’s alleged smuggling of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) oil, Russia’s defense ministry said on Dec. 5.

“When U.S. officials say they don’t see how the terrorists’ oil is smuggled to Turkey… it smells badly of a desire to cover up these acts,” the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.

An oil convoy was completely destroyed when it was hit by a Russian air strike in Syria. /Twitter

An oil convoy was destroyed when it was hit by a Russian air strike in Syria. /Twitter

ISIL’s sales of captured oil assets on the black market is credited with making it the best-funded terror organization in history.

“The declarations of the Pentagon and the State Department seem like a theater of the absurd,” the statement said, adding that Washington should “watch the videos taken by its (own) drones which have recently been three times as numerous over the Turkey-Syria border and above the oil zones.”


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Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:26

Popular Forces’ Commanders: Ramadi Liberation Operation Blocked by US

Popular Forces' Commanders: Ramadi Liberation Operation Blocked by US

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commanders of Iraq’s popular forces complain that the US is hindering the start of final phase of the operation to free Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, from ISIL control.

“The US bargains and pressures on the Baghdad government have prevented accomplishment of Ramadi liberation operation,” Abu Yousef al-Khazali, a commander of Seyed al-Shohada battalion, told FNA on Thursday.

“The US has long been seeking to force the government to stop using the popular forces in military operations against ISIL, specially in the liberation operations conducted in different Iraqi regions,” he added.

Also, Karim al-Nouri, the spokesman of Iraq’s popular forces, told FNA that the “the Americans’ interference has distorted plans to free Ramadi”.

He added that “the Americans are not serious about bringing the battles to an end”.

A commander of Iraq’s volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) complained in similar remarks that the US meddling in the fight against the ISIL has impeded their victory over the Takfiri terrorist group and prevented them from winning back the strategic cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.

“The US meddling prevents the Iraqi army and popular forces from concluding their battles against the ISIL in Ramadi and Fallujah cities,” Commander of Imam Khamenei Battalion Haidar al-Hosseini al-Ardavi told FNA on Sunday.

He noted that the US is doing its best to prevent mop-up operations by the popular forces in Anbar province.

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A woman walking past the outer wall of the former US embassy in Tehran, which was seized by Islamists in 1980

Washington’s Double Life? Iraqis Accuse US of Being in Cahoots With Daesh

© Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sysoev


15:06 03.12.2015(updated 15:07 03.12.2015) 

Suspicion that the US is collaborating with Daesh (also known as ISIL/The Islamic State), instead of fighting the military group, is spreading among Iraqis, primarily due to the country’s minimalist approach toward the crisis.

To Americans, accusations that the US government is helping Daesh may seem ludicrous. However, many Iraqi fighters and civilians claim they have seen evidence of collusion between the US and the notorious terrorist group citing, for instance, videos allegedly showing US helicopters airdropping weapons to the militants, The Washington Post reported.

The idea that the US is supporting Daesh is being persistently promoted via social media and voiced in parliament by Shiite politicians in Iraq, US military officials claim. In one popular video, recently released on a Shiite militia group’s Facebook page, a lawmaker with the country’s biggest militia group, the Badr Organization, waves seemingly new US military MREs (meals ready to eat), allegedly found at a recently seized Daesh base in Baiji, saying it is proof that the US supports terrorists.The US military’s Baghdad-based spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the charges are “beyond ridiculous.”

“The Iranians and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias are really pushing this line of propaganda, that the United States is supporting ISIL,” he said. “There’s clearly no one in the West who buys it, but unfortunately, this is something that a segment of the Iraqi population believes.”

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Erdogan & his family involved in ISIS oil trade – Russian MoD



Published on Dec 2, 2015

Turkish leadership, including Erdogan & his family are involved in ISIS oil trade, Russian MoD announced on Wednesday, showcasing satellites images and footage from oil facilities and Syrian-Turkish border.



Russia presents proof of Turkey’s role in ISIS oil trade


The Russian Defense Ministry has released evidence which it says unmasks vast illegal oil trade by Islamic State and points to Turkey as the main destination for the smuggled petrol, implicating its leadership in aiding the terrorists.

READ MORE: Map, images from Russian military show main routes of ISIS oil smuggling to Turkey

The Russian Defense Ministry held a major briefing on new findings concerning IS funding in Moscow on Wednesday.

According to Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Russia is aware of three main oil smuggling routes to Turkey.

“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,” Antonov said, adding that this oil “in large quantities” enters the territory of Turkey via “live oil pipelines,” consisting of thousands of oil trucks.

The routes of alleged oil smuggling from Syria and Iraq to Turkey ©

Antonov added that Turkey is the main buyer of smuggled oil coming from Iraq and Syria.

According to our data, the top political leadership of the country – President Erdogan and his family – is involved in this criminal business.”

READ MORE: Russia says Turkey’s Erdogan & family involved in illegal ISIS oil trade

However, since the start of Russia’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria on September 30, the income of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants from illegal oil smuggling has been significantly reduced, the ministry said.

The income of this terrorist organization was about $3 million per day. After two months of Russian airstrikes their income was about $1.5 million a day,” Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy said.

At the briefing the ministry presented photos of oil trucks, videos of airstrikes on IS oil storage facilities and maps detailing the movement of smuggled oil. More evidence is to be published on the ministry’s website in the coming says, Rudskoy said.


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‘Great partners’: Pentagon rejects Russian evidence of Turkey aiding ISIS

Col. Steve Warren © Khalid Mohammed
A Pentagon spokesman rejected Russia’s evidence of Turkey’s involvement in oil deals with Islamic State militants, calling Turkey a “great partner” just a day after his boss complained to Congress that Ankara was not fighting ISIS enough.

“Let me be very clear that we flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL,” said Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). “That is preposterous and kind of ridiculous. We absolutely, flatly reject that notion.”

Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Steve Warren: We flatly reject the notion that is working with .

Warren was responding to questions about the evidence presented by the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday, including satellite photos and maps pointing the finger at Turkey – and President Recep Erdogan personally – for aiding the militants in smuggling oil.

“The Turks have been great partner to us in the fight against ISIL. They are hosting our aircraft, they are conducting strikes, they are supporting the moderate Syrian opposition,” Warren told reporters during a weekly Pentagon briefing from Operation Inherent Resolve headquarters in Baghdad. “They’ve been good partners here. Any thought that the Turks, that the Turkish government is somehow working with ISIL is just preposterous and completely untrue.”

Just yesterday, however, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter was telling the House Armed Services Committee that most of Turkey’s military operations were directed against the Kurds, rather than the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

“Most of their air operations are not directed at ISIL,” Carter told lawmakers. “They are directed at the PKK, which we understand their concern about — it’s a terrorist organization within their borders — but we would like to see them do more against ISIL.”


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US-led coalition not striking ISIS oil trucks despite evidence – Russia’s General Staff

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. Air Force © Senior Airman Matthew Bruch
Despite mounting evidence of ISIS oil smuggling, the US-led coalition in Syria and Iraq is not striking convoys of oil trucks heading to Turkey, Russia’s General Staff has said.

“It’s hard not to notice” the thousands of trucks used by terrorists for oil smuggling, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, deputy commander of the General Staff, said at a briefing in Moscow on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Russia presents proof of Turkey’s role in ISIS oil trade

“However, we see no strikes on those convoys by the coalition – only a tripling in the number of strategic UAVs has been observed,” he said.

With the US and its allies unwilling to act, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported the locations where Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) oil tankers are concentrated, Rudskoy said.

Vehicles parked 8km west of Zakho, Iraq ©

The deputy commander stressed that defeating IS would be impossible without curbing its main source of income – the illegal oil trade – and urged the coalition to strike IS oil infrastructure.


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Saudi Warplanes Drop Cluster Bombs on Own Soil to Prevent Yemeni Forces’ Advances

Saudi Warplanes Drop Cluster Bombs on Own Soil to Prevent Yemeni Forces' Advances

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia’s warplanes are targeting the Southern parts of the kingdom with cluster bombs in a bid to stop the Yemeni army and popular forces’ continued and rapid advance deep into their territories.

Saudi Arabia has used cluster bombs many times before, but this is the first time that it is using it against its own population in a desperate move to stop the huge advances made by the Yemeni forces inside the kingdom in recent days.

The Yemeni army and popular forces have frequently crossed the border captured the Saudi military bases and outpost, ruined the military sites and returned home in the last few months and after the Riyadh-led coalition refrained from stopping its air raids on residential areas in Yemen’s cities.

But, after months of coalition intensified air raids on civilian areas, the Yemeni forces changed strategy and warned that they would start ground assaults on Saudi territories to force Riyadh stop the massacre.

The new strategy was put into effect on Sunday, when Yemen’s army and popular forces crossed the border and captured several key military bases in three provinces in Southern Saudi Arabia near the border.

The Yemeni forces seized Malhama, al-Radif and al-Mamoud military bases in Jizan, al-Rabou’a military base in Asir and Nahouqa military base in Najran provinces.

Then on Monday, the Yemeni forces took control of three more Saudi military bases in al-Shurfa region in Najran.

They also captured a military camp in Najran, and destroyed the military vehicles in there.

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Fort Russ

Cassad News
November 26, 2015Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
With additional photos supplied by Fort Russ

Last night (November 25) the first photos and video came up of the destroyed Turkish convoy that arrived in the militant-controlled city of Azaz. First, some photos:

Well, all in the same spirit, some information about what kind of city is this, and why is this news you need to focus on. The town Azaz is located in the north of Syria, almost on the border with Turkey. The city is a hub, where Turkish aid (weapons, ammunition, drugs, rations etc.) are dumped off. Then with all his “help” they begin to disperse it to other cities under militant control, as well as camps and fortified places.
Map. Azaz is circled in red:
As you can see, it’s about five km from the Turkish border. Speaking of buffer zones, Turkey was expecting to make this city an absolute springboard, out of reach of Syrian army strikes. It did not happen. But until today, due to the remoteness of the Syrian army from it, as well as a number of geopolitical reasons, attacks were not mounted on this city.

Anti-Erdogan protesters in Germany. File photo.

Ordinary Turks React to Su-24 Shoot Down: ‘A Lot of Us Are on Your Side’



19:36 25.11.2015(updated 20:06 25.11.20


As expected, the F-16 attack on a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria has become a hot topic for discussion on Turkish social media. Taking a peak at both the Turkish and English-language corners of the Twitterverse, Sputnik discovered that not only are many Turks upset over the incident, some are downright outraged over their government’s actions.

With the Turkish Air Force attack on the Russian plane in Syria instantly provoking a swelling response of debate and condolences from both Russian and foreign social media users, Turkish social media users naturally joined in. But in a surprising twist, many offered apologies to their northern neighbor, emphasizing that it is the Recep Erdogan government, not the Turkish people, who should be blamed for the attack.

Some users appealed directly to their Russian friends, using the Russian-language hashtag #StabInTheBack.


As a Turk I apologize for Turkish gov. action today for shooting down the ‘s fighter jet, a lot of Turks on your side

ISIL supporters are our common enemies. Especially Turkish gov’t. Sorry for your lost. Loves from Turkey.

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Russian News Agency

Moscow warns against US plans to continue training Ukrainian troopers

November 26, 21:43 UTC+3

The United States is starting a second phase of training of the Ukrainian army and is planning to train and equip six army battalions, including one special operations unit
© Nikolay Lazarenko/Ukrainian president’s press service/TASS

MOSCOW, November 26 /TASS/. The United States has launched a new phase of training of Ukrainian servicemen, a fact, which may have negative consequences for the future of the Donbas truce, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

She recalled that 300 US instructors from the 173rd US airborne brigade had trained three battalions – 780 people – for Ukraine’s National Guard in a period from April to November. “It is noteworthy that the training completed at a time when the situation on the line of contact in Donbas started getting worse and the newly trained people were apparently sent there,” Zakharova said.

“Now the Americans and their NATO colleagues, including the Lithuanians and Canadians, will train a new group of Ukrainian troopers. It is clear that such preparations are unlikely to deescalate tensions and may have a negative impact on the fragile truce in the country’s southeast,” the Russian diplomat stressed.


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