Category: Power Struggle


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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman speaks during a news conference in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia Creates Anti-Terrorist Coalition to Save Face in Mideast

© REUTERS/ Saudi Press Agency

Politics

14:09 21.12.2015

Recently, Saudi Arabia announced it was creating a coalition of Muslim countries to fight terrorism. Such a plan was initiated by Riyadh’s intention to restore its position in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia’s call to arms has gained supporters. As of now, 34 nations have expressed their interest in joining the anti-terrorist Muslim coalition Riyadh is forming.Among them are countries with a majority of Shiite or Sunni population, including Jordan, the UAE, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Qatar, Yemen, Turkey, a number of African Muslim nations as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Another 10 nations said they would be ready to join the coalition in the future.

Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry Mohammad bin Salman did not elaborate on what measures would be taken against terrorists. He only said that a headquarters will be established in Riyadh to “coordinate military operations.”

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ISIL Ringleader’s Mobile Phone Speaks Loud of Turkey’s Support for Terrorism

ISIL Ringleader's Mobile Phone Speaks Loud of Turkey's Support for Terrorism

TEHRAN (FNA)- A commander of the Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) revealed that a mobile phone found with one of the killed ISIL ringleaders proved the Turkish spy agency’s support for the terrorist group.

“The mobile phone was found with one of the killed ISIL leaders in the Northern parts of Salahuddin province two days ago,” Jabbar al-Ma’mouri told Soumeriya news on Monday.

He said that the mobile set and history files contain messages from the Turkish intelligence agency which show that Ankara supports the ISIL terrorist group through providing security at the points of entry used by ISIL militants from Turkey to Iraq.

“The mobile phone also contains other important information which cannot be disclosed now, and it has been delivered to the specialized security groups for further scrutiny,” Ma’mouri said.

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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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Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:33

Russian Warplanes Destroy ISIL’s Tanker Column, 100 Fuel-Transfer Stations in Syria

Russian Warplanes Destroy ISIL's Tanker Column, 100 Fuel-Transfer Stations in Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Air Force has conducted 59 combat missions hitting 200 ISIL targets in 7 Syrian provinces over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense ministry said.

“Over the past 24 hours Russian warplanes have conducted 59 sorties, hitting 212 ISIL targets in the Syrian province of Aleppo, Idlib, Lattakia, Hama, Homs, al-Hasakah an Raqqa,” the Defense Ministry spokesman told journalists.

Aircraft from Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria have also destroyed more than 300 militants and scores of armored vehicles over the last 24 hours, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday, Sputnik reported.

“More than 320 militants and 34 armored vehicles of terrorists, including two tanks, one infantry fighting vehicle, 15 jeeps equipped with large-caliber guns were destroyed,” Konashenkov told journalists in Syria’s Lattakia.

In the past 24 hours, Russian jets have also destroyed a column of tanker trucks and more than 100 fuel-transfer stations used by terrorists, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov added.

“In order to disrupt terrorists’ sources of income, Russian Su-34 bomber jets destroyed 94 fuel-transfer stations near Deir Ezzur,” he said.

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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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Middle East

09:08 14.12.2015(updated 09:13 14.12.2015) Get short URL
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The US-led anti-terrorist coalition’s airstrikes on the Syrian Army may not have been an accident and could be repeated, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The Syrian Army confirmed earlier in December an airstrike on Syrian Army positions by US-led coalition aircraft in the Deir ez-Zor area that killed three and wounded 13 servicemen.

“Naturally, there is the suspicion that it was not accidental, that despite all assurances given to the Syrian government that these strikes would not target the Syrian government’s forces, the strikes could target government troops from time to time,” Churkin told RIA Novosti.

“This will intensify tensions and only complicate the situation in Syria. But let’s hope it won’t happen,” he added.

Churkin said that Moscow was not currently planning to raise the issue of coalition strikes on the Syrian army at the UN Security Council.

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‘Murderers’: Thousands gather in Montenegro capital to protest NATO membership (VIDEO)

© Ruptly
 
Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants ringing out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

 

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PressTV News Videos PRESS TV

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:52PM
United Nations arms experts collecting samples as they inspect the site of a suspected chemical weapons strike near the Syrian capital Damascus (AFP)
United Nations arms experts collecting samples as they inspect the site of a suspected chemical weapons strike near the Syrian capital Damascus (AFP)

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group acquired the necessary materials to produce deadly sarin gas via Turkey, a Turkish MP says.

Citing evidence from a suddenly-closed criminal case, Eren Erdem, a member of Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told RT on Monday that Ankara had failed to investigate the supply routes used to provide Daesh with the ingredients of the toxic gas.

“There is data in this indictment. Chemical weapon materials are being brought to Turkey and being put together in Syria in camps of Daesh,” he said.

On August 21, 2013, a chemical weapon was used in the Ghouta area of Damascus suburbs. Hundreds of people died in the attack. According to reports, the rockets used in the attack were handmade and contained sarin.

Erdem, who claims the Turkish government is covering up the subject, brought the matter up in parliament on Thursday. He referred to a criminal case with the number 2013/12 opened by Adana’s General Prosecutor’s Office.

 

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DailyStar

Daily Star

TOXIC TERROR: ISIS ‘obtained nerve gas via Turkey’ to use on the WEST

ISIS militants obtained the deadly nerve gas Sarin via Turkey sparking fears the murderous regime is producing chemical weapons to use against the West.

By Rory McKeown/Published 14th December 2015

THREAT: Claims have emerged ISIS obtained sarin gas material via Turkey
Eren Erdem

TWITTER  CLAIMS: Turkish MP Eren Erdem

“There are phone recordings of this shipment like ‘don’t worry about the border, we’ll take care of it’ and we also see the bureaucracy is being used”

Eren Erdem

Turkish MP Eren Erdem claims Daesh warmongers obtained the materials to produce the deadly chemical in Turkey – and said a cover-up may have taken place.
It was feared by militants posing as migrants.And officials believe and even set up a new cell dedicated to creating weapons of mass destruction. 

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 Sputnik

Oil barrel

European MP Claims ‘US Doing Business on Daesh Oil’

© Flickr/ olle svensson

Europe

10:46 12.12.2015(updated 10:53 12.12.2015)

Turkey is buying oil from Daesh terrorists at half the price and resells it to third countries, a Polish member of the European parliament said Friday, adding that the US shows a great deal of interest in the oil supplied by the terrorists.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke said that the United States was “doing business” on buying stolen oil from Daesh terrorists using Turkey as a middleman.

“I have information from America. America is doing business. Turkey is buying oil from the Caliphate [Daesh] at half the price and America is showing a great deal of interest in this oil,” the European MEP emphasized, adding that this information had been confirmed by top government officials in Lebanon.

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EXCLUSIVE: Sarin materials brought via Turkey & mixed in Syrian ISIS camps – Turkish MP to RT

Published time: 14 Dec, 2015 05:03Edited time: 14 Dec, 2015
Islamic State terrorists in Syria received all necessary materials to produce deadly sarin gas via Turkey, Turkish MP Eren Erdem has told RT, insisting there are grounds to believe a cover up has taken place.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) member, Erdem, brought up the issue for public discussion in parliament last week, citing evidence from an abruptly-closed criminal case. He accused Ankara of failing to investigate Turkish supply routes used to provide terrorists with toxic sarin gas ingredients.

“There is data in this indictment. Chemical weapon materials are being brought to Turkey and being put together in Syria in camps of ISIS which was known as Iraqi Al Qaeda during that time,” Erdem told RT.

Sarin gas is a military-grade chemical that was used in a notorious attack on Ghouta and several other neighborhoods near the Syrian capital of Damascus in 2013. The attacks were pinned on the Syrian leadership, who in turn agreed to get rid of all chemical weapons stockpiles under a UN-brokered deal amid an imminent threat of US intervention.

Addressing parliamentarians on Thursday, Erdem showed a copy of the criminal case number 2013/120 that was opened by the General Prosecutor’s Office in the city of Adana in southern Turkey.

The investigation revealed that a number of Turkish citizens took part in negotiations with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) representatives on the supply of sarin gas. Pointing to evidence cited in the criminal case, he said that wiretapped phone conversations proved that an Al-Qaeda militant, Hayyam Kasap, acquired sarin.

“These are all detected. There are phone recordings of this shipment like ‘don’t worry about the border, we’ll take care of it’ and we also see the bureaucracy is being used,” continued Erdem.

Based on the gathered evidence Adana authorities conducted raids and arrested 13 suspects in the case. But a week later, inexplicably, the case was closed and all the suspects immediately crossed the Turkish-Syrian border, Erdem said.

 

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PressTV News Videos PRESS TV

Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:15AM
A tank operated by Saudi-led forces fires at a position of Yemeni fighters in the Labanat area, between Yemen's northern provinces of al-Jawf and Marib on December 5, 2015. (Reuters photo)
A tank operated by Saudi-led forces fires at a position of Yemeni fighters in the Labanat area, between Yemen’s northern provinces of al-Jawf and Marib on December 5, 2015. (Reuters photo)

A new report says mercenaries and military advisers from the infamous US security firm, formerly known as Blackwater, are replacing UAE troops in the Saudi war in Yemen.   

The Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said on Thursday UAE forces are being gradually replaced by recruits from the US-based private military contractor, which now goes by the name, Acamedi.

The move came after the UAE evacuated some of its military sites in Yemen following its failures in several operations, the Lebanese daily added.

According to al-Akhbar, UAE’s move to involve the private military contractor in the Yemen conflict has raised objections among some members of the Saudi-led coalition.

On Wednesday, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news website said the commander-in-chief of Blackwater mercenaries in the country was killed in the al-Omari district of Ta’izz Province.

 

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Blackwater: Shadow Army

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Crippled in Syria, Turkey goes for a ‘Sunnistan’ in Iraq

© Fatih Saribas
Turkey’s “incursion” into Iraq is a cold, calculated move. And once again, the name of the game is – what else? – Divide and Rule.

Turkey sent to Iraqi Kurdistan – which is part of the state of Iraq – no less than a 400-strong battalion supported by 25 M-60A3 tanks. Now the Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa camp, northeast of Mosul, have reportedly reached a total of around 600.

The short breakdown: this is not a “training camp”– as Ankara is spinning. It’s a full-blown, perhaps permanent, military base.

The dodgy deal was struck between the ultra-corrupt Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in Erbil last month.

Torrents of Turkish spin swear this is only about “training” Peshmergas to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Absolute nonsense. The crucial fact is that Ankara is terrified of the “4+1” alliance fighting Islamic State, which unites Iran, Iraqi Shiites and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as Hezbollah, with Russia.

In Syria, Ankara is virtually paralyzed, after the “stab in the back”downing of the Su-24; the Russian revelations of complicity between Turkey’s first family and stolen Syrian oil (Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. Erdogan ‘Mini Me’denies everything); and the Russian Air Force relentless pounding of Turkey’s fifth column Turkmen. Not to mention the deployment of S-400s and even a third-generation submarine complete with Kalibr cruise missiles.

So Ankara now switches the attention to Iraq with a “counter-alliance”, made up of Turkey; the KRG (which – illegally – sells oil to Turkey); and Sunnis in northern Iraq under the supposed leadership of the sprawling Nuceyfi tribe in Mosul.

© Stringer

This is textbook neo-Ottomanism in action. We should never forget that for the AKP in power in Ankara, northern Syria and northern Iraq are nothing but former Ottoman Empire provinces, an eastward extension of Turkey’s Hatay province. ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s (unstated) wet dream is to annex the whole lot.

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Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
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