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Poet and Efran Kaye's tribute
to everyone killed in wars.
Bless the large numbers of Ethiopians, the many good people in Indonesia, and the folks of Russia, Greece and Egypt, who are now playing it.
After the above incident, the USS Donald Cook chose to immediately - and at full speed - move towards a port in Romania... where 27 shocked crew members asked for their own dismissal. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Top Polish Military Advisor "Completely Withdraws" His Support for Kiev
General Skrzypczak, former head of Poland's Armed Forces, no longer supports military assistance and political support for Kiev because of the Kiev-coup Parliament's decision to honour OUN-UPA, who are World War Two Ukrainian ultra nationalists, who slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles.
This article originally appeared at The New Cold War
A top military adviser and former head of Poland’s armed forces tells Gazeta Prawna news in Poland that he has “completely withdrawn” his previous views favoring providing more military assistance and political support to the government of Ukraine.
General Waldemar Skrzypczak spoke to the paper briefly on April 16th. On April 17th, Gazeta Prawna is publishing a feature interview with him.
His change of view is prompted by a law, passed by Ukraine's Parliament on April 9th, glorifying World War Two collaborators with Nazi Germany.
It follows an address to the Verkhovna Rada on April the 9th, by the Polish President, Bronislaw Komorowski, in which he voiced strong support for Ukraine, including its military ambition to put down the pro-autonomy movement in the east of Ukraine.
Skrzypczak tells Gazeta Prawna:
“A few hours later, Ukraine's parliament passed a law glorifying the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). At this point, I realized Ukraine does not consider the Polish people. I’m talking of what happened in Volhynia, the slaughter of 100,000 Poles by the UPA [in 1943 and 1944]…
“The UPA murdered my uncle, nailing him with forks to the barn door. From what I know, he died 3 days later. Their savagery was beyond human imagination. Nazi Germany did not come up with what those Ukrainians were doing(…)
“I wonder what future the president of Ukraine, Mr Poroshenko, is building for Ukraine. On a foundation of bloodthirsty nationalism? This is terrible.
“It has long been said that Ukrainians should get rid of nationalism, because if they don't, collaboration with Poland will be very hard, in fact, impossible.”
General Skrzypczak is no pacifist, or friend of Russia. Born in 1956, he was the commander of Polish Land Forces from 2006 to 2009.
Since September 2011, he's an adviser at the Polish Ministry of National Defence. In June 2012, he became deputy minister of defence, responsible for armament and modernisation. In an August 2012 interview, he outlined his plans for a continuing & vast modernization and expansion of Poland’s military.
American Exceptional Hypocracy by Michelle Semet.
This article appeared in full at Letters from Globistan
According to the official narrative, Americans are the reluctant enforcers of human rights as Putin recklessly pushes for nuclear war. In this latest revision, France & Germany reprise their roles as spineless and unprincipled allies who won't defend Ukrainian democracy, because of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.
To make the case that Russia is lurching towards diplomatic belligerence, much hay has been made regarding the revision of Russia’s military doctrine:
“Although the revised Russian military doctrine in December 2014, is not new in its allowance of tactical nuclear weapons in the case of a conventional attack that “threatens the very existence” of the Russian state, given the strengthening of Russia’s narrative on its own perceived encirclement by NATO, such threats are potentially open to more dangerous interpretation.” Sarah Lain, IB Times.
Feckless allegations and paranoid speculations re Putin’s motives are published as unassailable fact in prestigious media outlets, casting Russia as the mustachio-twirling nuclear villain of our fevered imaginations:
“Others want nuclear weapons not to freeze the status quo, but to change it. Russia has started to wield nuclear threats as an offensive weapon in its strategy of intimidation.
“Its military exercises routinely stage dummy nuclear attacks on such capitals as Warsaw and Stockholm. Mr Putin’s speeches contain veiled nuclear threats. Dmitry Kiselev, one of the Kremlin’s mouthpieces, has declared with relish that Russian nuclear forces could turn America into “radioactive ash”. The Economist.
“No one wants to acknowledge the truth: We won’t sell even defensive weapons to Ukraine because Russia is a nuclear power, & because Russia keeps reminding us of that fact. Last month, Russia's government declared it had put nuclear-capable missiles near Kaliningrad city, in striking range of Warsaw, Stockholm, and possibly Berlin. To underline the point, they also put a few more missiles in Crimea.
“During the last NATO summit, Russia suddenly decided to get out its nuclear weapons and “practice” loading them. During its 2009 military exercises, Russia also “practiced” a nuclear strike on Warsaw. Of course these are bluffs & threats, designed to make everyone nervous. But because there is a sliver of a chance that Putin is crazy enough to kill millions of people, they work.” Anne Applebaum, Slate.
Pot Calling Kettle As America’s Standard Operating Procedure
Buried under all the Russia & Putin hysteria lies the raging institutional hypocrisy that masquerades as American exceptionalism. Though it’s undeniable (and completely understandable) that Russia would be willing to use nuclear weapons in the defense of her borders and sovereignty, it's the US that has “officially” reserved the prerogative of a nuclear first strike. As former Assistant Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explains:
“I pointed out years ago that the Bush regime had changed US war doctrine such that the role of nuclear weapons was no longer retaliatory to be used in the event of nuclear a attack on the US. It was elevated to a first strike position. It is now our war doctrine that we can initiate a nuclear war on somebody we don’t like, or who we think might not agree with us, or who we think might be prepared to go to war against us. This doctrine applies to countries that do not have nuclear weapons.”
Unfortunately for the vast majority who rely on mainstream media for their information, this reality is relentlessly obfuscated with provocative rhetoric and a disingenuous projection:
“It’s a curious reversal of roles: In the 1980s, the Soviet leadership was terrified that a cowboy in the White House - someone who was so nutty he made jokes about signing “legislation that will outlaw Russia forever” - might just flip a switch and send a missile.
“Nowadays, it’s we who fear the madmen in foreign capitals, while our own large nuclear arsenal goes unmentioned - unacknowledged by a Western political class that is frankly embarrassed that it still exists.” Anne Applebaum, Slate
Given the real motives & documented objectives of American foreign policy, it is exceedingly clear that Russia’s true crime, is her all-too-real ability to defend herself on the world stage. How can American leaders accuse Russia of shameless nuclear intimidation when they openly advocate for the exclusive right of preemptive nuclear war –even against nations without nuclear weapons?
STOP KAGAN & NULAND NOW says Robert Parry
Robert Parry, the American investigative journalist who broke many Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek, speaks out now about Robert Kagan & Victoria Nuland & their hold on Obama, whose foreign policy seems to be outsourced to these ideologue-opportunists, whose companies depend on wars..
According to Parry, the couple’s latest project is to sink Minsk-2 and lay the ground for further US military-industrial-complex profiteering at the EU's expense and of the US itself, and peace in Europe.
How to sink Minsk-2
In another overheard conversation — in Munich, Germany — Nuland mocked the peace agreement as “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” German newspaper Bild says, citing unnamed sources, likely from the German government which may have bugged the conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof hotel and then leaked the details.
Picking up on Nuland’s contempt for Merkel, another US official called the Minsk-2 deal the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”
Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande cared only about the practical impact of the Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of damage to their economy, counter-sanctions from Russia.”
According to the Bild story, Nuland also laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s diplomacy by using strident language to frame the Ukraine crisis.
“We can fight against the Europeans, we can fight with rhetoric against them,” Nuland reportedly said.
NATO Commander Air Force General Philip Breedlove was quoted as saying that sending more weapons to the Ukrainian government would “raise the battlefield cost for Putin.”
Nuland interjected to US politicians present that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”
Nuland sounded determined to sink the Merkel- Hollande peace initiative even though it was arranged by two major US allies and blessed by President Obama.
And, this week, the deal seems indeed to have been blown apart by Nuland’s hand-picked PM Yatsenyuk, who inserted a poison pill into the legislation to implement the Minsk-2 political settlement.
The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev added a clause that, in effect, requires the rebels to first surrender and let the Ukrainian government organize elections before a federalized structure is determined.
Minsk-2 had called for dialogue with the representatives of the rebellious eastern territories en route to elections and the establishment of broad autonomy for the region.
Instead, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position, Kiev refused to talks with the rebel leaders, & insisted on establishing control over these territories before the process can move forward.
If the legislation stands, the result will almost surely be a resumption of war between military forces backed by nuclear-armed Russia and the United States, a very dangerous development for the world.
If Downtown New York City Was Hit by ONE Modern Nuclear Weapon
Or downtown Moscow for that matter. Today's nukes are deadlier than ever. Russia & the US have 700 800-kiloton deployed warheads each.
This article originally appeared at OpEdNews
What would happen if just one 800-kiloton nuclear warhead was detonated above midtown Manhattan?
The Russians are reputed to have 10 such weapons trained on the city. And we threaten their cities in a like manner. This chilling account was delivered at a recent Caldicott Foundation 'For A Nuclear Free Future' conference held at the New York Academy of Medicine.
It is the work of 3 distinguished authorities on the subject.
By Steven Starr, Lynn Eden and Theodore A. Postol
(Lynn Eden is a member of the Security Board of "Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists" and a Senior Research Scholar & Associate Director for Research, at Stanford University's Centre for International Security and Cooperation.)
(Physicist Theodore Postol is Professor of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at MIT. His expertise is in ballistics.)
(Steven Starr is Director of the University of Missouri's Clinical Laboratory Science Program.)
Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched.
Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. What follows is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of NYC.
The initial fireball. The warhead would probably be detonated slightly more than a mile above the city, to maximize the damage created by its blast wave. Within a few tenths of millionths of a second after detonation, the centre of the warhead would reach a temperature of roughly 200 million degrees Fahrenheit (about 100 million degrees Celsius), or about 4 to 5 times the temperature at the centre of the sun.
A ball of superheated air would form, initiallly expanding outward, at millions of miles per hour. It would act like a fast-moving piston on the surrounding air, compressing it at the edge of the fireball & creating a shockwave of vast size and power.
After 1 second, the fireball would be roughly a mile in diameter. It would have cooled from its initial temperature of many millions of degrees to about 16,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- roughly 4,000 degrees hotter than the surface of the sun.
On a clear day with average weather conditions, the enormous heat and light from the fireball would almost instantly ignite fires over a total area of about 100 square miles.
Hurricane of fire. Within seconds after detonation, fires set within a few miles of the fireball would burn violently. These fires would force gigantic masses of heated air to rise, drawing cooler air from surrounding areas toward the centre of the fire zone, from all directions.
As massive winds drove flames into areas where fires hadn't yet fully developed, fires set by the detonation would begin to merge. Within tens of minutes of the detonation, fires from near and far would join & have formed a single, gigantic fire. The energy released by this mass fire would be 15 to 50 times greater than the energy produced by the nuclear detonation.
The mass fire, or firestorm, would quickly increase in intensity, heating enormous volumes of air that would rise at speeds approaching 300 miles per hour. This chimney effect would pull cool air from outside the fire zone towards the centre of the fire at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. These superheated ground winds of more than hurricane force, would further intensify the fire. At the edge of the fire zone, the winds would be powerful enough to uproot trees three feet in diameter and suck people from outside the fire into it.
The inrushing winds would drive the flames from burning buildings horizontally along the ground, filling city streets with flames and firebrands, breaking in doors and windows, and causing the fire to jump, sometimes hundreds of feet, swallowing anything not already violently combusting.
These above-hurricane-force ground winds would have average air temperatures well above the boiling point of water. The area targeted would be transformed into a huge hurricane of fire, producing a lethal environment throughout the entire fire zone.
Ground zero: Midtown Manhattan. The fireball would vaporize the structures directly below it and produce an immense blast wave and high- speed winds, crushing even heavily built concrete structures within a couple miles of ground zero. The blast would tear apart high-rise buildings and expose their contents to the solar temperatures; it would spread fires by exposing ignitable surfaces, releasing flammable materials, and dispersing burning materials.
At the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, and St. Patrick's Cathedral, about a half to three quarters of a mile from ground zero, light from the fireball would melt asphalt in the streets, burn paint off walls, and melt metal surfaces within a half second of the detonation. Roughly one second later, the blast wave and 750-mile-per-hour winds would arrive, flattening buildings and tossing burning cars into the air like leaves in a windstorm. Throughout Midtown, the interiors of vehicles and buildings in line of sight of the fireball would explode into flames.
Slightly more than a mile from ground zero are the neighborhoods of Chelsea, Midtown East, and Lenox Hill, as well as the United Nations; at this distance, for a split second the fireball would shine 10,000 times brighter than a desert sun at noon. All combustible materials illuminated by the fireball would spew fire and black smoke.
Grass, vegetation, and leaves on trees would explode into flames; the surface of the ground would explode into superheated dust. Any flammable material inside buildings (paper, curtains, upholstery) directly exposed to the fireball would burst into flame. The surfaces of the bronze statues in front of the UN would melt; marble surfaces exposed to the fireball would crack, pop, and possibly evaporate.
At this distance from the fireball, it would take about four seconds for the blast wave to arrive. As it passed over, the blast wave would engulf all structures & crush them; it would generate ferocious winds of 400 to 500 miles per hour that would persist for a few seconds.
The high winds would tear structural elements from buildings and cause them to disintegrate explosively into smaller pieces. Some of these pieces would become destructive projectiles, causing further damage. The superheated, dust-laden winds would be strong enough to overturn trucks and buses.
Two miles from ground zero, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with all its magnificent historical treasures, would be obliterated. Two and a half miles from ground zero, in Lower Manhattan, the East Village, and Stuyvesant Town, the fireball would appear 2,700 times brighter than a desert sun at noon. There, thermal radiation would melt and warp aluminum surfaces, ignite the tires of autos, and turn exposed skin to charcoal, before blast waves arrived & ripped apart the buildings.
Three to nine miles from ground zero. Midtown is bordered by the relatively wide Hudson and East rivers, and fires would start simultaneously in large areas on both sides of these waterways (that is, in Queens and Brooklyn as well as Jersey City and West New York). Although the direction of the fiery winds in regions near the river would be modified by the water, the overall wind pattern from these huge neighboring fire zones would be similar to that of a single mass fire, with its centre at Midtown, Manhattan.
Three miles from ground zero, in Union City, New Jersey, and Astoria, Queens, the fireball would be as bright as 1,900 suns and deliver more than five times the thermal energy deposited at the peri- meter of the mass fire at Hiroshima. In Greenpoint, Brooklyn & in the Civic Centre of Lower Manhattan, clothes worn by people in the direct line of sight of the fireball would burst into flames or melt, and uncovered skin would be charred, causing third- degree and fourth-degree burns.
It would take 12 to 14 seconds for the blast wave to travel three miles after the fireball's initial flash of light. At this distance, the blast wave would last for about three seconds and be accompanied by winds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Residential structures would be destroyed; high-rises would be at least heavily damaged.
Fires would rage everywhere within five miles of ground zero. At a distance of 5.35 miles from the detonation, the light flash from the fireball would deliver twice the thermal energy experienced at the edge of the mass fire at Hiroshima. In Jersey City and Cliffside Park & in Woodside in Queens, on Governors Island and in Harlem, the light and heat to surfaces would approximate that created by 600 desert suns at noon.
Wind speed at this distance would be 70 to 100 miles per hour. Buildings of heavy construction would suffer little structural damage, but all exterior windows would be shattered, and non- supporting interior walls and doors would be severely damaged or blown down. Black smoke would effuse from wood houses as the paint burned off surfaces and furnishings ignited.
6 to 7 miles from ground zero, from Moonachie, New Jersey, to Crown Heights, Brooklyn, from Yankee Stadium to Corona, Queens and Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the fireball would appear 300 times brighter than the desert sun at noon. Anyone in the direct light of the fireball would suffer 3rd degree burns to their exposed skin. The firestorm could engulf neighborhoods as far as seven miles away from ground zero, since these outlying areas would receive the same amount of heat as did the areas at the edge of the mass fire at Hiroshima.
Nine miles from ground zero, in Hackensack, Bayonne, and Englewood, New Jersey, as well as in Richmond Hill, Queens, and Flatlands, Brooklyn, the fireball would be about 100 times brighter than the sun, bright enough to cause first- and second-degree burns to those in line of sight. About 36 seconds after the fireball, the shockwave would arrive and knock out all the windows, along with many interior building walls and some doors.
No survivors. Within tens of minutes, everything within approximately 5-7 miles of Mid Manhattan would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers). The firestorm would rage for three to six hours. Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200 to 260 Celsius).
After the fire burned out, the street pavement would be so hot, that even tracked vehicles could not pass over it for days. Buried and unburned material from collapsed buildings throughout the fire zone, could burst into flames when exposed to air -- months after the firestorm had ended.
Those who tried to escape through the streets would have been incinerated by the hurricane- force winds filled with firebrands and flames. Even those able to find shelter in the lower- level sub-basements of massive buildings would likely suffocate from fire-generated gases or be cooked alive as their shelters heated to oven-like conditions.
The fire would extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else. Tens of miles down- wind of the area of immediate destruction, radioactive fallout would begin to arrive within a few hours of the detonation.
But that, is another story.
Sixty-Six Years Ago on April 4th, NATO Began its War Program
by Danielle Ryan
On April 4th, 1949, NATO consolidated itself into an alliance, whose only purpose, is to arm the world against Russia.
About three and a half months later, on July 26, Senator Bob Taft, the son of President W H Taft, made a speech explaining why he voted against its establishment.
It’s clear now, that he could foresee what those blinded by triumphalism & ideology couldn’t see. He was no apologist for communism or the USSR, but he knew that a military pact against Russia was a provocative act --- and one more likely to lead to aggression and insecurity, than peace and stability.
This is “not a peace program, it is a war program,” he said.
“…the treaty is a part of a much larger program by which we arm all these nations against Russia. A joint military program has already been made. It thus becomes an offensive and defensive military alliance against Russia. I believe our foreign policy should be aimed primarily at security and peace, and I believe such an alliance is more likely to produce war, than peace.”
“A third world war would be the greatest tragedy the world has ever suffered. Even if we won the war, we -- this time -- would probably suffer tremendous destruction, our economic system would be crippled, and we would lose our liberties and free system just as the 2nd World War destroyed the free systems of Europe. It might easily destroy civilization on this earth…”
Taft could see the Russian perspective clearly -- without necessarily agreeing with it -- and he understood that it ought not be disregarded out of hand -- the de rigueur starting point in Washington today.
“If we undertake to arm all the nations around Russia -- from Norway on the north, to Turkey on the south -- and Russia sees itself ringed about gradually by so- called defensive arms from Norway and Denmark to Turkey and Greece, it may form a different opinion. It may decide that the arming of western Europe, regardless of its present purpose, looks to an attack on Russia. Its view may be unreasonable, and I think it is. But from the Russian standpoint it may not seem unreasonable.”
“How would we feel if Russia undertook to arm a country on our border; Mexico, for instance?”
Taft went on to argue that there would be only “one real hope” for peace in the world. It would be an “association of nations building itself to abide by a law governing nations and administered by a court of legal justice”. Such a judicial finding “must not be subject to veto by any nation”, he said.
3 years earlier, the United Nations had been founded. Taft regarded the young UN as an organisation looking in the right direction, but one that was deeply flawed.
As his predictions on NATO turned out to be true and justified, so too did his criticism of the United Nations. The UN veto power, held by five nations, has added to its ineffectiveness as a supposedly diplomatic and democratic organisation.
There may be some debate to be had about the legitimacy of a veto power --- but add to those criticisms Washington’s complete disregard for the UN Security Council, and you have an organisation which is essentially useless --- because one of its members operates outside its bounds, at all times.
While the UN these days rarely serves anyone well, NATO serves the interests of only 1 of its members.
Finally, on NATO, Taft said:
“… as set up, it is a step backward — a military alliance of the old type where we have to come to each others’ assistance, no matter who's to blame — and with ourselves, the judges of the law.“
66 years later and NATO still exists, as many have argued, for no good reason; to counteract threats which are either imagined or which only exist because NATO itself exists. Or worse, to lend legitimacy to the geopolitical whims of its only beneficiary.
This article originally appeared at Journalitico
Robert Parry: Ukraine's poison pill for Minsk-2 The Ukrainian government is doing everything possible to disrupt the Minsk-2 arrangements.
Ukraine may thus expand the geography of the civil war in the Donbass, while the United States and Russia may approach the line behind which nuclear war may start,Robert Parry, a journalist known for his investigative reports, believes.
According to him, recent legislative decisions by the Verkhovna Rada, have now poisoned the Minsk-2 agreements.
With its "legislative" work, Kiev's parliament has ruined the peace initiatives by European politicians trying to stop the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
There's another round of the bloody conflict in store for Donbass, he says, and Ukraine's MPs will do nothing except accuse Russia and President Putin, for the blood shed.
The civil war was expected to finally end, if Kiev agreed to grant 'special status' to the two breakaway regions of Ukraine.
However, after the "fruitful" work by the US-backed parliament, the value of this "special status" has been reduced to nil, Pravda.Ru says.
Kiev says the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk will have to hold new elections -- under Kiev's control -- if they want "special status" for themselves. The elections would have to be conducted after full capitulation by the militia forces, as elections would not take account of any frontline between the two sides.
Vadim Karasyov, director of the independent Institute of Global Strategies --- in Kiev:
"Ukraine won't go along with any legalization of those so-called people's republics. We need them to be dismantled," the Christian Science Monitor reports.
The leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk republics have protested the decision by Ukraine's Rada. They note that it is contrary to both the letter and spirit of the Minsk agreements:
"We agreed to "special status" for the territories of our republics and a renewed, united Ukraine, although all our people want full independence.
"We took this step to stop the bloodshed and the fratricidal war. Now we can clearly see that the Ukrainian authorities need the peace talks only to further prepare for a new phase of the war."
It remains to add that Kiev's MPs are unlikely to have taken such "poisonous" solutions -- without the support of American "hawks," such as Victoria Nuland.
Those hawks put pressure on Poroshenko, Merkel and Hollande, taking the world to the brink of a possible nuclear war, Robert Parry writes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he ordered the Russian intelligence services to save ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, as his death was an objective of the coup.
Putin says that, from the beginning, the coup plan and the elimination of Yanukovych in an attack, was clear.
"There were reasons to believe they would simply eliminate him", says the President, to explain an order he gave security forces during the coup of February 22nd, in 2014.
The information received, indicated that the coup leaders were prepared to not just capture Yanukovich, but physically eliminate him, as this was simply more 'convenient' for the coup, says Putin.
According to President Putin, subsequent events detected by the Kremlin's security services, only confirmed this.
Andrei Kondrashov's documentary, which contains Putin's words, on Rossiya 1, has created quite a stir in Russia and abroad.
Referring to the documentary 'Crimea. Return to the Motherland', the spokes- person for the Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Maja Kocijancic, criticizes Russia.
'We are aware of the shooting of this film, but what matters is that we have condemned -- and will condemn -- the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol" she says.
US Private Military Companies Used for Arms Supplies to Ukraine
CyberBerkut, Ukrainian hackers set up to fight neo- fascism, nationalism and power abuse in Ukraine, has gained access to files on the mobile device of the Green Group PMC (private military company) official who recently visited Kiev as a member of a US military delegation. It made the materials public on February 27th using its website (http://cyber-berkut.org/).
Green Group is a US private military company founded in 2007 with headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma. It has a European branch in Tbilisi.
The company is licensed with the US Department of State and the State Department. CyberBerkut posted the documents to open access along with the Green Group advertisement. Two letters from Gregg Holmes, CEO of the PMC, to the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Chief of Staff, Muzhenko, became public domain. One of them, written in Ukrainian and dated February 15, 2015 (the Minsk deal was signed on February 12) is worth citing.
"As you know, the United States is in contact with NATO partners on lethal arms supplies to Ukraine. There has been no mutual understanding reached so far. As I am informed by my friends in the State Department and the Pentagon, the United States is going to increase pressure on European allies."
"During recent consultations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France the US State Department team insisted on expediting the procedures for delivering anti-tank systems and heavy weapons to Ukraine's military. The United States believes lethal arms will stop the advance of separatists in Ukraine and prevent them from approaching the administrative border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
"According to US government estimates, the use of up-to-date weapons by Ukraine's military will inevitably inflict heavy losses upon Russian volunteers fighting in the terrorists ranks. It will be impossible to hide the heavy casualties."
"In its turn, this information will cause tension in Russia and spur the emergence of anti-war movements to organize mass protests against the current Russian government."
"No matter the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs always supports the White house initiatives, the Government of France is hardly happy with our proposals. President Francois Hollande is not ready to drastically change his Ukraine policy but the US State Department came up with a bright idea. The weapons will be delivered to “volunteers” fighting for Ukraine or operatives of Western private military companies, with great experience of using the weapons and equipment. Green Group is ready at any time to provide Ukraine's military with volunteers -- in sufficient numbers."
"The US government believes France could at least make a financial contribution, with money transferred from the French Foreign Ministry to State Department accounts, to hide the real purpose it is allocated for."
"It's known that the Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission is responsible for arms supplies. A document of the US European Command (Eucom) contains a proposal to deliver lethal arms to Ukraine allocating $75 mn for the purpose."
"The package includes Javelin anti-armor missiles, different kinds of light weapons, miscellaneous equipment and individual protection kits. $2 million is to be spent on the Maidan network."
Another Eucom document mentions ammunition, including grenades. $45 million is to be allocated for the training of Ukraine’s military, first of all, the special forces.
The arms will be transferred within the frame- work of the Joint Multinational Training Group – a program in accordance with the Ukraine /U.S. Joint Commission.
Perhaps the purpose of the Green Group’s mission was to get acquainted with the Ukraine’s military requirements and observe the situation on spot.
The documents show that the US assessments are a bit different from what Ukraine asked for. The US offers to make it a much bigger deal. For instance, Green Group proposes to increase the number of robotic systems, and includes 9,000 optical devices. Communication systems top the list, while Ukrainians give priority to drones.
According to the documents, Kiev started talks on weapons supplies, no later than mid-2014.
The Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission (its next session is slated for May or June 2015)... serves as a cover.
The US does not trust Ukrainians with making assessments of their needs. This mission will be undertaken by private contractors. They will also take part in combat actions and work as consultants and trainers.
Green Group is not the only private military company hired by the Pentagon and State Department to provide arms to Ukraine.
According to media, at least 3-4000 people employed by defense contractors, operate in Ukraine. The decision is not taken at a political level but this doesn't prevent the organizers of military supplies from doing their job.
US president’s decision to prolong anti-Russian sanctions far-fetched - analysts
US President Barack Obama’s decision to prolong the operation of anti-Russian sanctions on Ukraine for one year, by no means reflects the situation in Ukraine --- and their sole effect will be a further worsening of bilateral relations, experts say.
Obama on Wednesday extended the operation of sanctions against Russia, imposed on March 6th, 16th and 20th, 2014, to affect a number of Russian companies and individuals, former members of the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich’s government, and leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.
The sanctions of December 19, 2014, taken against the Crimean economy, will stay, too.
Obama claims that the situation in Ukraine remains extraordinary and constitutes "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."
President of the International Centre for Geopolitical Analysis, Leonid Ivashov:
"When he says that he has made a decision to prolong the anti-Russian sanctions on the excuse there is a threat to US foreign policy Obama is right, in that the restoration of peace to the east of Ukraine would run counter to Washington’s strategic plans for tearing Ukraine away from Russia.
" When they were steering the events in Kiev towards a change of power, US Department of State emissaries certainly pursued an aim very different from the situation achieved, where Normandy Quartet leaders would push Washington aside to achieve implementation of the peace accords concluded in Minsk on February 12th."
"Obama’s decision to prolong anti-Russian sanctions fully reflects the United States’ wish to keep the war in Ukraine going, because this war is against Russia.
"Washington has no intention of letting the European Union leaders settle the situation in the east of Ukraine. Otherwise Obama’s already unimpressive rating would sink to new lows," Ivashov believes.
"In reality the process of ceasefire & pull- back of heavy armaments in the east of Ukraine is continuing. Unlike the Ukrainian armed forces, the Donetsk and Luhansk militias have followed the Minsk accords to the letter, for which, Moscow can take some credit.
"It should be obvious to US and EU leaders that the self-proclaimed republics are by no means interested in an escalation of violence: the economy is in ruins, there are no jobs, and no funds are available to pay wages and salaries.
But the West avoids putting proper pressure on Kiev, to make it comply with the Minsk accords, while the US puts the blame for this, on Russia, and extends sanctions... which is utterly dissonant with the real state of affairs," Ivashov says.
A deputy director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies, Viktor Kremenyuk, remarks that unlike the German and French leaders, the US president is in no mood to take a milder line towards Moscow.
"Regrettably, the Obama-Putin mechanism does not work.
"It is deplorable that the US president turned a deaf ear to a message about the possibility of easing the food embargo. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said that Russia might resume importing farm produce from Europe and the United States, on the condition that Western companies began investing in the construction of processing facilities.
Regrettably, that constructive message resulted in a prolongation of sanctions against Russia," Kremenyuk says.
"I believe the US president may reconsider his stance re the anti-Russian sanctions, if German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, as well as the heads of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, provide certain guarantees that hostilities in the east of the country will not resume. None of them has been able to assume such a responsibility ...so far," Kremenyuk ends.
Nuclear WarandClashingUkraine Narratives By Robert Parry
America and Russia have two nearly opposite narratives on Ukraine, which is more an indictment of the US news media, which feigns objectivity, but disseminates what amounts to propaganda. These divergent narratives are driving the world towards a possible nuclear crisis, writes Robert Parry.
The US government and mainstream media are swaggering to a possible nuclear confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, without any of the seriousness that has informed this sort of decision-making throughout the nuclear age. Instead, Official Washington seems possessed by a self-righteous goofiness that could be the prelude to the end of life on this planet.
Nearly across the US political spectrum, there is a pugnacious “group think” which has changed what should have been a manageable political dispute in Ukraine into some morality play where US politicians and pundits blather on about how the nearly year-old coup regime in Kiev “shares our values” and how America must be prepared to defend this regime militarily.
Though I’m told that President Barack Obama personally recognizes how foolhardy this attitude is, he has made no significant move to head off the craziness and, indeed, has tolerated provocative actions by his underlings, such as neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s scheming with coup plotters to over- throw Ukraine’s elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, last February.
Obama also has withheld from the American people intelligence information that undercuts some of the more extreme claims that his administration has made. For instance, I’m told that he has detailed intelligence reports on both the mysterious sniper attack that preceded the putsch nearly a year ago and the shoot-down of the Malaysia Airlines Flights 17 that deepened the crisis last summer. But he won’t release the findings.
More broadly over the last year, Obama’s behavior – ranging from his initial neglect of the Ukraine issue, as Nuland’s coup plotting unfolded, to his own participation in the tough talk, such as boasting during his State of the Union address that he had helped put the Russian economy “in tatters” – ranks as one of the most irresponsible performances by a US president.
Given the potential stakes of nuclear war, none of the post-World War II presidents behaved as recklessly as Obama has, which now includes allowing administration officials to talk loosely about sending military support to an unstable regime in Kiev that includes neo-Nazis who have undertaken death-squad operations against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
US Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO'S Commander, declared last November that – on supplying military support to Kiev's government – “nothing at this time is off the table.”
Breedlove is now pushing actively to send lethal US military equipment to fend off an offensive by ethnic Russians in the east.
I’m told the Russians fear that US officials are contemplating placing Cruise missiles in Ukraine, or otherwise introducing advanced weaponry that Moscow regards as a direct threat to its national security. Whether or not the Russians are being alarmist, these fears are affecting their own decision-making.
None of the nuclear-age presidents – not Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush - would have engaged in such provocative actions on Russia’s borders, though some surely behaved aggressively in overthrowing governments and starting wars farther away.
Even Ronald Reagan, an aggressive Cold Warrior, kept his challenges to the Soviet Union in areas that were far less sensitive to its national security than Ukraine. He may have supported slaughtering leftists in Central America and Africa, or armed Islamic fundamentalists fighting a Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan, but he recognized the insanity of a military showdown with Moscow in Eastern Europe.
After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, US presidents became more assertive, pushing NATO into the former Warsaw Pact nations and, under President Clinton, bombing a Russian ally in Serbia, but that came at a time when Russia was essentially flat on its back, geopolitically.
Perhaps the triumphalism of that period is still alive, especially among neocons who reject President Vladimir Putin’s reassertion of Russia’s national pride. These Washington hardliners still feel they can treat Moscow with disdain, ignoring the fact that Russia maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal and isn't willing to return to the supine position of the 1990s.
In 2008, President George W. Bush – arguably one of the most reckless presidents of the era – backed away from a confrontation with Russia when Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a neocon favorite, drew the Russians into a border conflict over South Ossetia. Despite some war talk from the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, President Bush showed relative restraint.
But Obama has failed to rein in his administration’s war hawks and has done nothing to correct the biased narrative his State Department has fed to an equally irresponsible mainstream US news media. Since the Ukraine crisis began in fall of 2013, the New York Times and other major US news outlets have provided only one side of the story, openly supporting the interests of pro- European western Ukrainians, over the ethnic Russian eastern Ukrainians.
The bias is so strong that the mainstream media has largely ignored the remarkable story of the Kiev regime willfully dispatching Nazi storm troopers to kill ethnic Russians in the east, something that hasn’t happened in Europe since World War II.
For Western news organizations that are quick to note the slightest uptick in neo-Nazism in Europe, there has been a willful blindness to Kiev’s premeditated use of what amount to Nazi death squads undertaking house-to -house killings in eastern Ukraine. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]
Russia's government has repeatedly protested these death-squad operations and other crimes committed by the Kiev regime, but the US mainstream media is so in the tank for western Ukrainians that it has suppressed this aspect of the crisis, typically burying references to the neo-Nazi militias at the end of stories... or dismissing accounts as “Russian propaganda.”
With this ugly reality hidden from the US public, Obama’s State Department has been able to present a white-hat-vs.-black-hat narrative to the crisis. So, while the Russians saw a constitutionally elected government on their border overthrown by a US-backed coup last February – and then human rights atrocities inflicted on ethnic Russians in east Ukraine – the American people heard only about wonderful pro-American “reformers” in Kiev and the evil pro-Russian “minions” trying to destroy “democracy” at Putin’s bidding.
This distorted American narrative represents one of the most unprofessional & dangerous performances in the history of modern US journalism, rivaling the false conventional wisdom about Iraq’s WMD --- except in this case the media propaganda is aimed at a country in Russia that really does have weapons of mass destruction.
The Russians also have noted the arrival of financially self-interested Americans, including Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko, reminding the Russians of American financial experts who descended on Moscow with their “shock therapy” in the 1990s, with “reforms” that enriched a few well-connected oligarchs, but impoverished millions of average Russians.
Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.
Jaresko, a former US diplomat who took Ukraine citizenship in December 2014 to become Finance Minister, had been in charge of a US-taxpayer- financed $150 million Ukrainian investment fund involving substantial insider dealings, including paying a management firm that Jaresko created more than $1 million a year in fees, even as the $150 million apparently dwindled to less than $100 million.
Jaresko also has been involved in a two-year-long legal battle with her ex-husband to gag him from releasing information about apparent irregularities in the handling of the US money. Jaresko went into Chancery Court in Delaware to enforce a non-disclosure clause against her ex-husband, Ihor Figlus, and got a court order to silence him.
This week, when I contacted George Pazuniak, Figlus’s lawyer about Jaresko’s aggressive enforcement of the non-disclosure agreement, he told me that “at this point, it’s very difficult for me to say very much without having a detrimental effect on my client.”
With Jaresko now hailed as a Ukrainian “reformer” who – in the words of New York Times’ columnist Thomas L. Friedman – “shares our values,” one has to wonder why she has fought so hard to shut up her ex- husband regarding possible revelations about the improper handling of US taxpayer money. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s Made-in-USA Finance Minister.”]
More Interested Parties
The Russians also looked askance at the appointment of Estonian Jaanika Merilo as the latest foreigner to be brought inside the Ukrainian government as a “reformer.” Merilo, a Jaresko associate, is being put in charge of attracting foreign investments but her photo spreads look more like someone interested in some rather kinky partying. (Photos show her dressed in skimpy tights with a knife held provocatively)
The Russians are aware, too, of prominent Americans encircling the potential plunder of Ukraine. For instance, Hunter Biden was named to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm. Burisma is also a shadowy Cyprus-based company linked to Privat Bank.
Privat Bank is controlled by thuggish billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who was appointed by Kiev's regime to be Dnipropetrovsk governor Oblast, in a south-central province of Ukraine.
Kolomoysky has helped finance the paramilitary forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
And Burisma has been lining up well-connected lobbyists, some with ties to Secretary of State John Kerry, including Kerry’s former Senate chief of staff David Leiter, according to lobby disclosures. As Time magazine reported, “Leiter’s involvement in the firm, rounds out a power-packed team of politically-connected Americans that includes a second new board member, Devon Archer, a Democratic bundler and a former adviser to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Both Archer and Hunter Biden have worked as business partners with Kerry’s son-in-law, Christopher Heinz, founding partner of Rosemont Capital, a private-equity company.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis.”]
So, Russians have a decidedly different view of Ukraine's “reforms” than much of the US media does. But I’m told that Russians would be willing to tolerate these well-connected Americans enriching themselves in Ukraine, and even Ukraine expanding its economic relations with the European Union.
But Russians have drawn a red line at the prospect of an expansion of NATO forces into Ukraine, and the continued killing of ethnic Russians at the hands of neo-Nazi death squads. Putin is demanding that those paramilitary forces be disarmed.
Besides unleashing these right-wing militias on the ethnic Russians, the Kiev government has moved to punish the people living in the eastern sectors by cutting off access to banks & other financial services. It also has become harder & more dangerous for ethnic Russians to cross into territory controlled by the Kiev authorities. Many are turned back and those who do get through, face the risk of being taken and killed by the neo-Nazi militias.
These conditions have left the people in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas - the so-called Donbass region bordering Russia - dependent on relief supplies from Russia. Meanwhile, the Kiev regime - pumped up by the prospects of weapons from Washington, as well as more money - has toughened its tone, with vows to crush the eastern rebellion once & for all.
Russia’s Hardening Line
The worsening situation in the east and the fear of US military weapons arriving in the west have prompted a shift in Moscow’s view of Ukraine's crisis, including a readiness to resupply ethnic Russian forces in eastern Ukraine and even provide military advisers.
These developments alarm European leaders who find themselves caught in the middle of a possible conflict between the United States and Russia. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande rushed to Kiev and then Moscow this week, to discuss possible ways to defuse the crisis.
The hardening Russian position now seeks, in effect, a division of Ukraine into 2 autonomous zones, the east and the west with a central government that maintains the currency and handles other national concerns. But I’m told that Moscow might still accept the earlier idea of a federated Ukraine with greater self-governance by the different regions.
Putin also does not object to Ukraine building closer economic ties to Europe and he offered a new referendum in Crimea, on whether the voters still want to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, said a source familiar with the Kremlin’s thinking. But Putin’s red lines also include no NATO expansion into Ukraine and protection for ethnic Russians by disarming the neo-Nazi militias, the source said.
If such an arrangement or something similar isn’t acceptable, and if the killing of ethnic Russians continues, the Kremlin would support a large- scale military offensive from the east that would involve “taking Kiev,” according to the source.
A Russian escalation of that magnitude, would likely invite a vigorous US response, with leading American politicians and pundits sure to ratchet up demands for a military counterstrike against Russia. If Obama were to acquiesce to such bellicosity – to avoid being called “weak” – the world could be pushed to the brink of nuclear war.
Who’s to Blame?
Though the State Department and the mainstream US media continue to put all the blame on Russia, the fact that the Ukraine crisis has reached such a dangerous crossroads reveals how reckless the behavior of Official Washington has been over the past year.
Nuland and other US officials took an internal Ukrainian disagreement over how quickly it should expand ties to Europe – while seeking to retain its historic relations with Russia – and turned that fairly pedestrian political dispute into a possible flashpoint for a nuclear war.
At no time, as this crisis has evolved over the past year, did anyone of significance in Official Washington, whether in government or media, stop and contemplate whether this issue was worth risking the end of life on the planet. Instead, all the American people have been given is a steady diet of anti-Yanukovych and anti-Putin propaganda.
Though constitutionally elected, Yanukovych was depicted as a corrupt tyrant who had a pricy sauna in his official mansion. Though Putin had just staged the Winter Olympics in Sochi, signaling his desire for Russia to integrate more with the West, he was portrayed as either a new-age imperial czar or the second coming of Hitler - if not worse - because he occasionally would ride on a horse while not wearing a shirt.
Further, US news media refused to conduct a serious investigation into evidence that Nuland and other US officials had helped destabilize Yanukovych’s government, with the goal of achieving another neo- con “regime change.”
Nuland, who personally urged on anti-Yanukovych protests in Kiev, discussed with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, in early February 2014 who should lead the new government – “Yats is the guy,” she said, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk – and how to “glue this thing.”
After weeks of mounting tensions & worsening violence, the coup occurred on Feb. 22, 2014, when well-organized neo-Nazi and other right- wing militias from western Ukraine, overran presidential buildings forcing officials to flee for their lives. With Yanukovych ousted, Yatsenyuk soon became Prime Minister. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “When Is a Putsch a Putsch.”]
Many ethnic Russians in southern and eastern Ukraine, who'd strongly supported Yanukovych, refused to accept the US-backed order in Kiev.
Crimean officials and voters moved to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move that Putin accepted because of Crimea’s historic ties to Russia and his fear that Russia's naval base at Sevastopol might be handed to NATO.
The resistance spread to eastern Ukraine, where other ethnic Russians took up arms against the coup regime in Kiev, which then responded with what it calls an “anti-terrorist operation” against the east. To bolster the weak Ukrainian army, Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov dispatched neo-Nazi and other “volunteer” militias to spearhead the attacks.
After the deaths of more than 5,000 people, a shaky cease-fire was announced in September, but - amid complaints about neo-Nazi death squads operating in government-controlled areas and with life deteriorating in the rebel- controlled towns and cities - ethnic Russians launched an offensive in January, using Russian-supplied weapons to expand their control of territory.
In reaction, US pundits, including columnists and editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, called for dispatching US aid to the Kiev forces, including proposals for lethal weaponry to deter Putin’s “aggression.” Members of Congress and members of the Obama administration have joined the chorus.
On Feb. 2, the New York Times reported “With Russian-backed separatists pressing their attacks in Ukraine, NATO’s military commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev’s beleaguered forces, & an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position, American officials said… President Obama has made no decisions on providing such lethal assistance.”
That same day, the lead Times editorial was entitled “Mr. Putin Resumes His War” and continued with the theme about “Russian aggression” and the need “to increase the cost” if Russia demands “a permanent rebel-held enclave.”
On Feb. 3, the Washington Post ran an editorial entitled “Help for Ukraine. Defensive weapons could deter Russia in a way sanctions won’t.” The editorial concluded that Putin “will stop only if the cost to his regime is sharply raised – and quickly.”
A new war fever gripped Washington and no one wanted to be viewed as “soft” or be denounced as a “Putin apologist.” Amid this combination of propaganda, confusion and tough-guy-ism – and lacking the tempering wisdom about war and nuclear weapons that restrained earlier US presidents – a momentum lurched toward a nuclear showdown over Ukraine that could put all life on earth in jeopardy.
By Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com
KILLING RUSSIANS OK FOR OBAMA
Barack Obama wants to continue the program that George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and G.W. Bush, worked on before him, to surround Russia with NATO missiles. The takeover of Ukraine, and the enlistment of the Arabic oil sheikhs in assisting further to turn the screws against Russia, are key components in doing that: crushing Russia’s resistance to American domination.
Whereas, for FDR, the alliance with Sunni Islam was purely anti-communist, against the Soviet Union, the US Presidents after 1980, were and are, anti-Russian, and it's nothing whatsoever to do with ideology. The US aristocracy intend to dominate the aristocracy in every other nation, and Russia is the only militarily powerful nation that is opposed to being controlled by this global Empire.
Consequently, President Obama, who's an agent for America’s aristocracy, wants to cripple if not destroy, Russia. And this is why, in his National Security Strategy 2015, 17 of the 18 times he used the term ‘aggression’... he applied it against Russia.
Russia’s President Putin would have to be an idiot not to recognize that today’s United States (its aristocracy, not the American public, who are quite different) is extremely hostile.
Russia could be the bulwark that, along with the rest of Europe and America, could restrain Islamic extremism; but, since America’s aristocracy is primarily concerned with crushing Russia, Islamic terrorism will probably only continue to grow.
Furthermore, events such as 9/11 are necessary for the Arabic aristocrats, in order for them to keep their clerics with them and thereby control their own nation’s public.
So: the US ends up being allied with Islamic terrorists, while accusing Russia of backing ‘terrorists’ in the former Ukraine, whose only crime is, they don’t want to be slaughtered.
On 12 February 2015, was issued a “Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Ukraine,” which opened: “Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), statement today in Brussels, Belgium:
‘I am pleased to announce that the IMF team working in Kiev has reached a staff-level agreement with the Ukrainian government on a new economic reform program that would be supported by an Extended Fund Facility of SDR 12.35 billion (about $17.5 billion, €15.5 billion) from the IMF, as well as by additional resources from the international community.”
Violating even the IMF’s own prohibitions -- against pouring loans into a nation that’s at war -- the IMF was here making clear that they were 100% behind Obama’s Ukrainian proxy war against Russia.
This is where the money will come from to finance Ukraine’s acquisition of more weapons to exterminate or else drive out the residents in the area of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President that Obama overthrew.
It’s ongoing mass-murder on the installment plan, with the IMF providing most of the funds.
Because the loaned money is going to pay for the ethnic-cleansing campaign, it’s not going to the needs of the Ukrainian people. This is extreme austerity, and it started immediately, a day after the day, 26 February 2014, when Arseniy Yatsenyuk became appointed to run the country, as he had been selected to do by Victoria Nuland of Obama’s State Dept., 22 days prior.
As Kommersant reported, on 6 March 2014: “the strategy of the government was approved in Parliament on 27 February and on 3 March the Ministry of Finance sent an action plan for approval to the Ministry of Economic Development. The document is striking in its scale. … ‘Under the Knife’ go social costs. Already in March, the payment of pensions will be reduced to only 50% of the designated pension amounts.” But an uproar held that up. However, now, it’s being done.
On December 11th: “Cabinet wants to reduce schooling to 9 years [from 12 years], to reduce the cost of the budget the Finance Ministry proposes to amend the legislation governing the humanitarian sphere, the sphere of public administration, pensions, social security, the work of the prosecution and the army.”
On December 19th: “Education Minister Sergey Kvit noted that the department, which he heads, will never agree to such a proposal.”
On December 24th we read: “Education Minister Sergei quits.”
Pensions are now set to be halved, even in the greatly depreciated Ukrainian currency; & public schooling is to be reduced to only nine years. All of that IMF (and US and EU) money goes instead to pay to mass-murder the residents in Ukraine’s former Donbass region, an area in which the residents voted 90% for Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama overthrew, and where all of the residents are officially ’terrorists.’ The phrase for this used to be a “free-fire zone.” Obama wants the residents exterminated, and the IMF and EU are going along with that.
The circuitous way in which Ukraine will be buying its weapons, is designed to avoid triggering a declaration of war by Vladimir Putin, or else to make it non-obvious to the public why he would be justified in doing so.
(Selected in part from What’s Behind Ukraine’s Secret Weapons Deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?, by Eric Zuesse.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse, is the author, most recently, of: 'They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010.'
Kiev coup gets checkmated in Debaltseve
By JIM W. DEAN
The guns aren't yet silent on the Debaltseve salient, but the angels may be heading that way. The cruel waste of conscripted Ukrainian soldiers and South- eastern Ukrainians may finally come to an end… for a while. We will see if their families will seek revenge for their being used as cannon fodder by Kiev’s nationalist thugs and the West in their pillaging of Ukraine.
The good news is that the key parties to the Minsk agreement are calling it successful, indicating that Kiev and the West now view the fighting as a tar baby they want to get off their hands. Up until now they have shamelessly faked their interest in a political settlement while pouring arms and other support into Kiev to continue the fight for a military victory. As we say here in the South, “They lied like a rug.”
The tactical situation is still cloudy. In the Debaltseve cauldron the Republics state, Kiev could not give any order to retreat as the militias jammed communications.
Jamming is a standard modern tactic to defeat coordinated action by enemy forces.
I spent the last few days watching as much Debaltseve video as I could find with English translations. I saw strong evidence of the complete breakdown of command & control by the Ukrainian Army, in the last week.
Surrendering PoWs describe orders to hold their positions, but most were down to two days of rations and had not seen ammo resupplies in over a week.
The Ukrainian Army is also continuing the dishonor of abandoning their dead on the battlefield. Our Ukrainian sources tell us this is one of the ways they keep their public KIA numbers down and also avoid paying out benefits to the families.
This is disgraceful conduct by their general staff, & one for which they should all be shot.
Western manipulations and deceptions
Western media have sadly played the role of cheerleader during this whole conflict. And I could say even worse… that they have been aiders and abettors to war crimes. When Kiev refused to turn over its air traffic control data on the MH-17 shoot down, I remember the old days when the press would have fried Kiev’s livers in print, but the press says nothing and are dancing cowards one and all.
As NATO made claim after claim of a pending Russian invasion, none of which happened, I remember a time when print media cartoonists would have made NAT0 a laughing stock.
General Breedlove would have been given a Pinocchio nose, and Kiev’s military PR spokes- person would have played “Baghdad Bob” of Persian Gulf War I, who gave Saddam’s daily press briefings on how Coalition Forces were being destroyed by Iraq’s Republican Guard.
If you think about it for a moment, you probably won’t remember seeing any Western news analysis on what the point was, for Kiev to push into the Debaltseve pocket, even while the EU and US were supposedly urging Poroshenko to start negotiations - which we now see were a cruel hoax.
Any in-depth discussion of the strategy would have revealed the obvious attempt for a military victory… with two main purposes. Firstly, Debaltseve is the main industrial transportation hub for both the Donetsk and Lugansk industrial regions, and the railhead for moving coal out to the rest of Ukraine. To its west is Gorlikva (also Horlikva), which is the junction for the region’s water mains.
With Kiev in control of those 2 hubs, it would have had a stranglehold on both Republics’ economies, literally making them unviable. The Debaltseve pocket was also a launching pad for using those transportation lines needed to sustain a push all the way south to prevent the two Republics from supporting each other, and to cut Donetsk off from the Russian border.
NATO advances as EU economy wanes
While this military victory was being pursued by Kiev, EU and NATO countries were shipping arms and non- lethal supplies into the military effort. But they were also steadily advancing NATO bases closer to the Russian border -- a serious security concern for Moscow. And as additional cover for this obvious aggression, the world public was treated like we were all idiots, who would believe the constant mantra of “It’s all the Russians’ fault.”
The Financial Times has validated my long stream of articles on the financial black hole Ukraine has been pushed into by the vultures in the West. Industrial production is down over 20% from last year, which already had been struggling. And their economy shrank 15% in the last quarter, with an outlook of getting worse.
Sure, there has to be a rebuilding boom in the SE, the area that has taken all of the war carnage -- the rest of the country not even having a broken window -- a strange civil war there. But unlike the US that can just print money, or have the Federal Reserve create billion-dollar bank deposits out of thin air, Ukraine’s currency is down the tubes. Their gold has been shipped off to some undisclosed place, and their cost of living increases under the IMF austerity plan, will impoverish them for the next generation.
They will never be able to repay the loans -- so their national assets will be sold off. Ukrainian assets will be bought for fire sale prices, and it will become the “go to” place for White slave labour with good skills and education.
Austerity – the new indentured servitude
Welcome to the New World Order. German Intel tells us the civil war’s body pile is already 50,000 people high, all in one year’s work. By contrast, America took the whole Vietnam War to kill that many of our own troops. And we hear calls for another Coalition war on Libya “to fix things” in that country. The Western war on terror is the Frankenstein I always said it would be… and it’s not finished yet.
The Ukraine internet abounds with talk of a second Maidan revolution in the works. The Right Sector thugs have gained a lot of combat experience, plus some added extras, like nailing kids to fences and dragging mothers down the road behind APCs.
The West will wear eternal shame for what it has done to Ukraine. Sure, it was a corrupt country when this started, but it is worse now. So that shows the West has really attacked & pillaged the country with a time-delay economic bomb --- which will go off when all of these loans eventually boomerang back onto Europeans in the form of more austerity --- some day.
Nikita Khrushchev, who's a hard guy to quote, does have one that perfectly fits the Ukraine situation. “Support by the United States rulers is rather in the nature of the support that the rope gives to a hanged man.”
100% CERTAIN 9/11 WAS MOSSAD OPERATION
Most US people polled believe that 9/11 was an "inside job", but what would they feel if they found out that it was designed by Zionists, who deliberately killed thousands of innocent US citizens to drive the US into wars on Muslims?
They'd be angry, right?
Fernando Imposimato, President of the Italian Supreme Court, calls for a criminal investigation of 9/11, comparing the attack to false flag incidents carried out by the CIA in Italy: Operation Gladio.
"The 9/11 attacks were a global state terror operation that was permitted by the US administration, which had foreknowledge of the operation, yet remained intentionally unresponsive in order to make war against Afghanistan and Iraq," Imposimato declares in a letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
Ferdinando Imposimato is the Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy and a former Senator who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three administrations. He is the author or co-author of 7 books on international terrorism, state corruption, and related matters, and a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
As a former state prosecutor, Imposimato has extensive experience in investigating high- profile crimes, including the kidnapping and assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo Moro & the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. He also worked on the Anti- Mafia commission as a Senator, giving him a wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of organized crime syndicates.
Imposimato points to several facts contradicting the official 9/11 story, including the free-fall collapse of WTC Building 7, the report that the CIA met with Osama Bin Laden in a Dubai hospital in July 2001, and the overwhelming evidence of insider trading before 9/11 that didn't lead to any criminal charges, reports digitaljournal.com
The following is an excerpt from Imposimato’s letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies on Sunday:
The reports of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), November 20, 2005, set forth the following conclusions:
The airplanes that struck each of the Twin Towers caused a breach as well as an explosion evidenced by a giant fireball. The remaining jet fuel flowed onto the lower floors, sustaining the fires. The heat from the fires deformed the building structures and both towers collapsed completely from top to bottom.
Very little that was of any size remained after these events except steel as well as aluminum fragments and the pulverized dust from the concrete floors.
The World Trade Center 7 also collapsed–in a way that was inconsistent with the common experience of engineers. All three buildings collapsed completely, but Building 7 was not hit by a plane. WTC7’s collapse violated common experience and was unprecedented.
The NIST report does not analyze the actual nature of the collapses. According to experts at the Toronto Hearings (Sept. 8-11, 2011), the collapses had features that indicate controlled explosions. I agree with architect Richard Gage & engineer Jon Cole both highly experienced professionals [from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – now numbering 1,700 strong], who have arrived at their conclusions through reliable tests, scientific proof, and the visual testimony of people above suspicion, including firefighters and victims.
The authoritative theologian David Ray Griffin has described very precisely why the hypothesis of controlled demolition should be considered. Various witnesses heard bursts of explosions.
According to NIST the collapse of Building 7 was due to fires provoked by the collapse of the twin towers. Chemist and independent researcher Kevin Ryan, however, has demonstrated that NIST gave contradictory versions of the collapse of Building 7.
In a preliminary report NIST declared that WTC7 was destroyed because of fires provoked by diesel fuel stored in the building, while in a second report this fuel was no longer considered the cause of the building’s collapse. Additional comments on the NIST version of events have been made by David Chandler, another expert witness at the Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 2012 Toronto Hearings.
Despite NIST’s claim of 3 distinct phases of collapse, Chandler pointed out that many available videos show that for about two and a half seconds the acceleration of the building cannot be distinguished from freefall. NIST has been obliged to agree with this empirical fact as pointed out by Chandler; now understood by everyone.
The only possibility for achieving justice is to submit the best evidence concerning the involvement of specific individuals in 9/11 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and ask him to investigate according to the articles 12, 13, 15 and 17, letters a and b, of the Statute of the ICC, recalling the preamble of the Statute:
“Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and the well being of the world,”
“Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international cooperation, ”
“Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to contribute to the prosecution of such crimes, recalling that it is the duty of every state to exercise its jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes." reports infowars.com.
More and more people from all walks of life and all professions seem to be questioning the “official” narrative of what happened on 9/11. Those who are questioning the events of 9/11 may be moving under the radar of the corporate media from being labeled “conspiracy theorists” to legitimate investigators with legitimate questions and concerns, reports examiner.com
Theorists believe that the World Trade Center buildings were demolished by bombs, phone calls from the planes were made up, and the former President George W. Bush secretly profited from the attacks, reports newsone.com
The World Trade Center collapse appeared similar to a controlled demolition. Many speculate that the towers were in fact blown down with explosives placed in selected locations. Some witnesses heard explosions inside the building as they attempted to escape. Many architects & scientists maintain that plane fuel couldn't produce enough heat to melt the steel frame of the buildings that collapsed, reports newsone.com
WESTERN MEDIA LIES LEAD TO WAR
Article by Finian Cunningham.
100 years ago, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo, was the fatal spark that ignited a geopolitical powder keg in Europe.
Within a month, all the major powers of Europe would be embroiled in the First World War, which also dragged in Russia and the US. The war would last for nearly five years and resulted in at least 20 million deaths.
That catastrophe has perplexing resonances with today. One incident set off a conflagration back then, because it came amid simmering rivalries among imperial powers. Another resonance is how historians recount that, in the run-up to the First World War few believed that a war in "modern, civilized" Europe was likely, because of the belief that diplomacy would prevail.
Today, we see a similar reckless goading by imperial powers across Europe. The US and its European NATO allies are embarked on a 25-year expansion towards Russia's heartland.
The dynamic of encroachment has only sped up, not lessened. This expansion is provocative, aggressive and duplicitous, because it not only presents a military threat to Russia, it also flies in the face of past commitments by the US-led NATO alliance not to do so, such as in the 1997 Founding Act, signed with Moscow.
Russia has every right to feel threatened by ever- encroaching ballistic missile systems on its borders that could be used in a pre-emptive nuclear strike by the US and its allies. That concern is heightened ever since Washington invoked a "first strike doctrine" under President George W Bush, which Obama still retains.
Yet, provocatively, Washington dismisses Russian President Vladimir Putin's concerns about NATO expansion, as if they are the deliriums of a Soviet revanchist.
The complacency of the present time towards the dangers of war, has disturbing echoes of the past - on the eve of World War I. A major factor in the present complacency is that the Western mainstream media are failing, woefully, to properly report on the gravity of the situation in Ukraine, and just how provocative that parlous situation is to Russia's vital interests.
This week saw the signing of a trade pact between the European Union and Petro Poroshenko, the declared president of Ukraine. The Western media have hailed it in glowing terms as "a landmark event" and a positive outcome of democracy in the former Soviet Republic. That blithe assessment invites dangerous ignorance and complacency.
The truth is that the signing of the EU trade pact is the outcome of an illegal regime-change operation in Ukraine fomented by Washington and its NATO allies.
That regime change involved CIA-backed mass murder of civilians (the February 20 sniper shootings in Kiev's Maidan Square) and the overthrow of an elected government.
Since the illegal coup against President Viktor Yanukovych, the Western-backed Kiev regime has been waging war on ethnic Russian populations in the east and south of the country, who refuse to recognize the regime as legitimate.
Poroshenko, the billionaire oligarch who is now signing over the sovereign affairs of Ukraine to the US, NATO and the EU, was elected president in a farcical vote last month, where only 45% of the electorate turned out and large sections of the east and south did not even cast a ballot amid a murderous "anti-terror" crackdown by Kiev troops and paramilitaries.
The campaign of terror by the Kiev forces against pro-Russian civilians was launched at the end of April, days after CIA chief John Brennan made a secret visit to the Kiev regime. Brennan briefed the Kiev leadership, including the so-called Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who only last week used Nazi language to vow that his military forces would "cleanse sub-humans" from the country - referring to the ethnic Russian populations and the self-defence militias they have set up in the Donetz and Lugansk regions.
The impostor-President Poroshenko may have declared a ceasefire over the past week, but the hostilities against civilian centres continue unabated. Crimes against humanity include the bombing of homes, churches, schools & hospitals, the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs and exploding bullets, as well as the shelling of electricity and water supplies.
Western media have largely ignored these violations by the "new democratic Ukrainian government", or at best have reported them as "unverified" or merely as "breaches of the ceasefire by both sides".
Western governments and media have gone into denial mode, refusing to acknowledge what even the United Nations this week confirms as a massive displacement of over 150,000 people from eastern Ukraine. Why are such numbers fleeing, if the violence is not also massive?
Another example of the Western cover-up over state terrorism in Ukraine, is the recent killing of three journalists. Earlier this month, Russian journalist Igor Kornelyuk and his colleague Anton Voloshin were killed near Lugansk when they were hit with a mortar shell. Survivors of the attack said it was deliberate targeting by Kiev troops. Previously, Italian journalist Andrea Rochelli was slain near Slavyansk in another incident that bore the hallmarks of shoot-to-kill.
In the past week, by contrast, there was an outpouring of condemnation from Washington and other Western governments, as well as widespread media coverage, of the jailing of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt. Those sentences were no doubt a gross miscarriage of justice. But what about the taking of journalists' lives in Ukraine? Where is the Western condemnations and media coverage?
Western-backed regime change and genocidal repression in Ukraine, is a collision course of extreme provocation towards Russia and its vital interests. Yet it is presented to the Western public as if it is a "good news" story about democratic European enlargement, which, perversely, is being spoiled by Russian "interference".
This is a powder-keg situation in Europe, led by US geopolitics and its European henchmen, and which is wrapped up in an explosive shell of ignorance, by a lying Western media.
The repetition of history is not inevitable. But the chances are increased when people are kept in the dark about the underlying causes of war and conflict.
Petko Ganchev, wrote this article for Pravda.Ru.
Today it is absolutely clear that there is a multipurpose strategic operation being conducted on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine plays a key role in the operation. Why Ukraine?
It's an open secret - the West has always wanted to master the vast territories of Russia and Eurasia, the axial space of the Earth, with its enormous natural resources.
To achieve this goal, there was the outer belt (Turkey, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan) built around Russia-Eurasia after World War Two. The inner belt (Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) was built after the collapse of the USSR.
Successively, after the Cold War, almost all East European countries - Soviet satellites - were admitted to NATO under the condition of their membership in the European Union.
But the West didn't get closer to Russia's western borders. There were 2 Russia- friendly countries left - historically, culturally and economically - Belarus and Ukraine.
Belarus is closely tied to Russia ethnically, culturally and economically. Ukraine, with its failed state organization was a weak link.
The reason for that is that the regions from which Ukraine was created after World War II (1945), were formed by areas with very different religious and value systems.
In his famous book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" by Samuel P. Huntington, the author described Ukraine as one of civilizational "splits," where one can expect clashes, i.e. wars.
That's why Ukraine was chosen by the US as the key to implement a multi-purpose strategic operation.
In the Middle East, the US has always used monarchies from the Middle Ages as allies - Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Ukraine, the most loyal ally of the United States was Poland. The country was used to train "Right Sector" fighters and other figures from anti-Russian ultranationalist structures.
What are the main objectives and directions of this geo-strategic operation, the implementation of which began immediately after the US was forced to freeze its activities on Syria and Iran?
First and foremost, the goal is to strike a blow on Russia as the most active US geopolitical rival in the new millennium. When Ukraine leaves Russia's orbit, the US will implement several geostrategic objectives:
- to move air defense systems and other NATO systems closer to Russian borders: neutralizing its defense, including its nuclear capability;
- to undermine the Russian economy by cutting relations with the economy of Ukraine (Poroshenko has already ordered, following instructions from the US, to cease cooperation with the Russian defense industry);
- to burden the budget of the Russian Federation with bigger spending to maintain refugees from Ukraine and substitute imports from Ukraine;
- to close Russia's gas and oil pipelines to the EU to thus block the inflow of foreign currency into the Russian economy;
- to prevent creation of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union;
- to destabilize the political system in Russia, accusing its leadership of what is happening in Ukraine;
- to stop or minimize economic cooperation between Russia and the EU;
- to sow distrust between Russia and other BRICS countries - Brazil, India, China, South Africa.
Secondly, the U.S. plans to strike a blow on the European Union, which, along with China, acts as a major competitor in the economic sphere. The EU needs to be reminded of its secondary role.
The United States seeks to confirm the assessment of Russophobe Brzezinski in his book "The Grand Chessboard" (1997), according to which the EU was a "U.S. protectorate."
For the U.S. it is vitally important to strengthen the economic dependence of the EU in light of their signing the "Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement" to turn the EU towards the consumption of US shale gas. In this regard, the EU is the most developed market.
To achieve this, Ukrainian company Naftogaz (the largest company in Ukraine) became the property of a new consortium, whose leadership includes the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former Polish President Kwasniewski.
At the same time, Chevron is preparing shale gas production in south-eastern Ukraine - in the areas of the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.
Chervon, directly or indirectly, through the European Commission, put pressure on Bulgaria, forcing the country to abandon the South Stream project.
At the same time, the U.S. continues to put pressure on France, to make the country freeze the sale of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. France's largest bank PNB faces a fine of $10 billion for violating the financial embargo that the U.S. put on Cuba, Sudan and Nicaragua.
At the same time, the United States, with its national debt of 17 trillion dollars and GDP of 14 trillion, prepares to grant NATO's Eastern European members $1 billion for new weapons.
Fortunately, on the "grand chessboard" of world civilization, the U.S. does not play against virtual opponents. The geo-strategy of the United States does not unfold like the Desert Storm Operation in 2 003. Today, the US is playing against experienced players.
Russia is rising after the disgrace of the Yeltsin era, and the EU becomes increasingly aware of the fact that the only chance to survive is hidden in the slogan "More Europe for Europeans!"
The last elections to the European Parliament have confirmed the trend. Hitherto, with so many large- scale geopolitical operations after World War II (Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), the US has not been able to boast considerable achievements.
Through all those wars, as George Friedman says in his book "The Next 100 Years," America has stimulated the growth of the national economy.
America was gradually and steadily evolving from a manufacturing economy to the economy of a military-industrial complex. In history, such a condition has always heralded the end of any empire.
US "A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE"
The US government is a “criminal enterprise” with a foreign policy that places the well- being of Israel ahead of America’s, a political commentator in San Antonio, Texas says.
“This is a criminal enterprise that has the support of both of the major political parties in the United States,” Mark Dankof, a broadcaster and former US Senate candidate, says.
This criminal enterprise “principally involves conducting a foreign policy firstly for Israel, secondly for the international central banks and thirdly for the oil and natural gas consortiums,” Dankof says.
There is no difference between the policies of the Obama and Bush administrations, he notes. Both “are supporting the criminal policies of Benjamin Netanyahu,” he adds.
Dankof dismisses as a deception the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry that the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake:
“This is an attempt to absolve John Kerry and Barack Obama of the responsibility for all the criminal policies that they have carried out.”
In an interview with Chinese news agency Geo News, Kerry acknowledged that many problems in the Middle East, have their roots in that war.
George W. Bush, ordered the invasion of Iraq under a pretext --- that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In October 2004, a CIA report revealed that Saddam Hussein did not possess any weapons of mass destruction at the time of the invasion.
In a survey out on Wednesday 2nd June, by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 33% of registered voters name Obama as the worst president since 1945.
28% choose his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the worst.
By Jim Jones
For many, myself included I suppose, the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine have been riveting over the last couple of months. No need here to go into the sordid history of Coloured Revolutions and the CIA/NATO role in them; most reading this medium as opposed to CNN/SKY/VOA, are informed people and are aware of the manoeuvrings of the West and the associated puppet states in trying to embroil Russia in a war it doesn't want and in extending NATO frontiers to the heart of Russia.
Missile strikes from Ukraine, for example, would be in Moscow in 10 minutes, leaving no reaction time and fits neatly within the new US policy of a "first Strike" nuclear capability. [As opposed to the retaliatory strike doctrine of the last 40 years].
We all know what happened in 1961, when Khrushchev put Soviet Missiles into Cuba after the US put missiles into Turkey. The US wasn't very impressed at all. What is not well known is that Kennedy asked Khrushchev to "cut him some slack" and withdraw the missiles without reference to the US' withdrawal of its missiles from Turkey!
The US had upped the rhetoric so much, that it couldn't be seen to lose face in the public arena - condescendingly, Khrushchev accommodated.
Hold that thought of "face saving" as we explore the current Ukraine Crisis.
The US/NATO pushed the EU to pressure the Ukraine to join the EU and swing to the West. They almost succeeded 4 years ago with their Orange Revolution.
But Russia had learnt a thing or two about the Coloured Revolutions and mounted a successful and embarrassing reversal of the revolution and installed their own man in Ukraine who was leading Ukraine back along the Russian brotherhood line.
Four years later, after over $5 billion in NGO funding and a huge amount of State Department scheming and CIA covert action, the US finally got a chance to redress the "egg on face incident" that the Russians had made for them.
The US played a "background role" in this - preferring to have the EU seen as the driving force behind the Maidan. However, leaked phone calls, like that made to Cabinet Minister Ashton, which clearly identified the role of paid mercenaries in killing both Police & protesters, and later, Viktoria Nuland [US State Dept] hand-picking who will be in the Ukraine government and saying the EU can go get fucked - did nothing to endear the US to the EU -- it came hard on the heels of revelations of extensive phone tapping of EU leaders' phones etc. by the US.
Then we have the unsavoury influence of the Right Sektor in Ukraine being pushed, funded and trained by NATO and the US's Kerry, Nuland, John McCain, Mark Twain and all, were seen in public endorsing the very Right Sektor extremists that the German government was in the process of declaring as criminals!
Europe could see itself being plunged back 70 years with the rise of neo Nazi's, not just in Germany - but across Europe. [Remember Anders Behring Breivik and his mass killings in Norway: an ultra nationalist].
Europe also asked the question, what is the US going to lose over this? If Russia turns off the gas, Europe freezes: the economy of Europe goes down the toilet!
Already Germany is losing billions of Euros in trade with Russia, France has several military deals with Russia, the supply of Mistral Class ships for one, and Putin has promised follow-ons from that. Italy is supplying armour vehicles, many EU nations trade with Russia - so, US, what sanctions are going to hurt you, the EU asks?
Germany has a growing discord there over the 70 year occupation of Germany by US forces - we see demonstrations - Yankees go home! Europe is realising that the US cares, not for them, but only for US and US businesses.
Against this background, we are witnessing the separation of the US/EU and a drawing closer of EU/Russia on common grounds & shared interests.
I was appalled: driven to tears by the criminal acts of the Kyiv Junta's ex facto war crimes/ crimes against humanity. The shelling and bombing of civilians [non-combatants the Junta declares are Terrorists]. The targeting and destructionof schools, kindergartens and hospitals - with the murder of 25 wounded in the hospital - shot by Junta troops!
Destruction of the means of support of life - with water supplies destroyed, electrical installations and sanitary plants destroyed by shelling. The shooting of women and children leaving the region for shelter in Crimea, by bus. The execution style killing of civilians in a town by Junta forces, who lined the people up and shot them in the back of their heads. The use of chemical weapons against civilians - chlorine gas [where is Obama's Red Line on this?]. The targeting of TV reporters in the area trying to objectively record events. I'm sure that I have missed some others.
I cried out from the depths of despair for justice - surely Russia would intervene; surely Russia would protect it's people like it has said it would?
And all along, that is exactly what the US has been saying too - telling the Ukrainian Junta to commit further acts and atrocities against the people who simply want true democracy in the East.
To help them in this, they even get them to demonise and degrade the people there. Junta leaders have called the Russians in the East, "sub-human" - those of you as old as I am, will have heard that phrase before.
They are called parasites and vermin by the new Choco King Junta leader Poroshenko. Such a debasing of the population makes it more acceptable to murder them and commit atrocities against a subhuman species - not much higher than animals really, are they?
The provocation of Russia in this regard has been carefully stage managed by the US, intent as always to let it appear as the EU 's doing, while all the time ensuring that their people are the ones pulling the strings in Kiev - the CIA/FBI and State Department are up to their proverbial balls in Kiev's business.
Don't see the EU featuring though. The US has pushed the warmonger Russian story all through Europe - putting the fear of the bogyman into all ex Soviet states, and determined to show them all how much they need NATO's protection. [In truth, the world needs to be protected from the US].
However, Russia has consistently demonstrated restraint and maturity in handling the world crisis.
Since the failed US--led revolution in Georgia, Russia has been seen to be taking the moral high ground from the US and their consistent lies [WMD et.al].
The lies over Georgia were exposed and eventually the EU came out & confirmed that Georgia started the war. Reluctantly, the Western media has had to admit to "errors" in reporting - all of which have favoured the Russian position. Remember the incredible piece of statesmanship from Russia in pulling the war rug out from under the US's feet over Syrian Chemical weapons?!
Russia has quietly been cementing relationships in Europe - building "partnerships' with European countries, and is doing so in accordance with international law and through responsible, mature actions. All of this has been driving a wedge between the US and the EU. This hasn't gone unnoticed - the US cannot accept that they are not in the driving seat of a single seater any more. Goading and provoking Russia into attacking the Ukraine is how they will demonstrate that the Russia of today is what they told everyone that the USSR of old, was.
Putin has been smarter than they realised.
Reuters reported on July 1st:
Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in the eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday, after President Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire, but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of "parasites".
His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself & German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace.
Poroshenko, who accuses Russia of fanning the conflict and allowing fighters and equipment to cross the border to support the rebels, then turned his back on another renewal of a 10- day unilateral ceasefire after the phone talks involving Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Francois Hollande.
The important thing here is that Putin obtained consensus from France and Germany in a four- way dialogue. This consensus was broken by Poroshenko, under pressure from US handlers.
The facts are obvious. What it also shows, is that once again the US has marginalised the EU and shown scant regard for the EU position.
This now opens the door for Russia to reiterate its threat; "Putin said Moscow will continue to defend the interests of ethnic Russians abroad - up to 3 million of whom live in the east of Ukraine, which has been in separatist ferment since April."
By obtaining consensus to a path of peace, and seeing it broken, Moscow now has the mandate to use force... IF it wants to.
The question is, does Russia want or need to? That famous General of Guerrilla warfare, Vo Nguyen Giap [Incidentally, his book Peoples War, People's Army is worth reading] said, "we do not want to defeat the enemy, we simply want him to leave our country!". In this regard, the Ukrainian Junta cannot win the war in Novorussiya.
Firstly, they have completely lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the people --- through the brutal atrocities they have committed.
Their transparent attempt at a Kosovo type ethnic cleansing, has been seen for what it is and has made people more determined to "hold their ground". Their brutality has now created a generational animosity, which will not be resolved in our life-time.
Secondly, militarily they can't succeed - every day, Novorussiya is gaining in strength and skills. The skill level of Novorussiya's troops is much higher than those of the basic conscripted Junta forces and they're much more motivated than the Junta forces - they are fighting for their existence and homeland. Conventional military doctrine states that we require a 10 to 1 advantage to press a successful attack against a defending enemy.
1,000 to 1 is not enough to succeed in a Guerrilla war scenario. Look at the hiding the Yanks got in Vietnam and they poured hundreds of thousands of troops into there, used the might of total air superiority and naval bombardment etc, and still got their arses kicked. Ask them how many they and NATO had in Afghanistan fighting "towel heads"? [and still lost].
The Ukrainian Army has about 30,000 troops committed against 10,000 in the Novorussiya Army, and many Junta forces are actually surrendering without a fight, handing over their gear, getting on a bus and going home with mum who came to collect their sons.
Also, the Junta is bankrupt. They can't even feed their army; people are deserting and walking home, because of no food or pay.
To save face: that wonderful US terminology again; I see it is proposed that Novorussiya become a Russian protectorate! The US is looking to stem the Junta's haemorrhaging.
All Russia needs to do, is open a humanitarian corridor into Novorussiya and maintain/police it and supply Novorussiya with what war materiel they ask for. And it can do all that with the tacit approval of Europe - the US having gone a bridge too far in Ukraine. Russia can allow the Junta to bleed to death here and like Georgia before; the US will be powerless to stop it.
The US has had it's last Tango in Europe.
Urgent appeal: Message from Slavyansk
Igor Strelkov makes an urgent appeal to the international community as western-backed Ukrainian forces slaughter Russian-speaking citizens, strafing women and children with military hardware.
Washington, Paris and London look on and continue to support the Ukrainian government. A massacre is taking place, the west is dancing with the Devil.
Urgent Appeal by Igor Strelkov, July 4, 2014
I would like to make a short statement with respect to what is happening around Slavyansk. With respect to what is happening here. And, well, to make an appeal, if you will.
Yesterday, the enemy completely surrounded Nikolayevka. The enemy shelled the city in the fiercest possible way, using all types of weapons. Using heavy MLRS systems, howitzers, mortars, tanks, APCs. The destruction is enormous. It is simply impossible to determine the numbers of casualties, because nothing works in the city now.
Our units that are in Nikolayevka at this moment continue the battle in complete encirclement. We have no communications with them.
Nikolayevka has been completely cut off from Slavyansk. At this very moment, a large enemy column of armoured vehicles is moving toward Semyonovka from the south, along the Kharkov- Rostov highway. At the same time, the enemy is continuing uninterrupted artillery shelling of the city and of Semyonovka.
Yesterday, the Nikolayevka Thermal Power Plant was destroyed to the ground and set on fire.
To put it bluntly, we are dealing here with unconcealed genocide. In other words, to break the resistance of the Militia, the enemy is using all the available types of weaponry against the civilian population.
Naturally, seeing the destruction and the death of the civilian population, militiamen are starting to lose the will to continue fighting.
I would like to say to you that, in Slavyansk, there is not one Chechen, not one mercenary. There is not a single person here who did not come of their own good will. If, before, 90% of the fighters were local, now the ratio is 95%.
Out of the entire garrison, there are maybe several dozen people who came from Russia. The majority, the overwhelming majority are citizens of Ukraine. Among them, the overwhelming majority are Donbass residents.
These are people who consciously took up arms to defend their homes, their families, their Motherland. To defend their language and their culture. To defend Russia. Because these people never separated from her. They consider themselves Russian. They want to live in Russia.
This right was taken from them a long time ago. And now, when they tried to restore this right, Russia does not want to help them reunite with their people, with their big Russian family.
It is difficult to understand and accept, that, over three months (it will soon be three months since we arrived in Slavyansk to help the local population defend their rights), that, over these three months, no real help has arrived.
I do not claim that Russia does not help. A huge stream of humanitarian cargo, equipment, uniforms, comes to us through private channels. But, that, which we desperately need, does not, at this time, arrive.
Please understand, that even if we get two tanks, four, even ten tanks, five-six artillery pieces, even if a plane flies here once, this will have no impact whatsoever. Over the course of the ceasefire, the Ukrainian army performed a full mobilization and concentration of forces.
Over sixty heavy artillery pieces are pointed a t Semyonovka and at Slavyansk at this time. At Kramatorsk. Two dozen MLRS systems, including Grad, Uragan and Smerch Heavy mortars. All of them are pointed here.
The enemy has so much ammunition - I did not see so much in Chechnya. In our time, we did not have so many shells. And the entire set of this artillery is shelling us without a stop. The supply columns are coming in continuously. They are transferring in more equipment.
Kharkov diligently repairs a dozen and a half armoured vehicles a day. We hit one or two armoured vehicles a day. No more than that. The enemy is able to grow its forces faster than it expends them. Not just faster - much faster.
If Russia is not able to secure an immediate termination of fire and the execution of a truce, or if it does not step in with its armed forces to protect us, to protect the Russian people that reside here, who are a part of the Russian nation, we will be exterminated.
We will be exterminated in the course of a week, two weeks at most. And Slavyansk will be the first to be exterminated, together with its still- numerous population. Over thirty thousand civilians are still left here.
I am being asked to take on the responsibility for their death. And for the death of the Militia brigade under my command. We are ready to fight. We are ready to die. But we do not want to die senselessly, burying beneath the ruins of the city of those people who believed in us.
Some believe that I am panicking, that I am nervous. Yes, I am nervous. Every day, my soldiers are dying. The hospitals are overflowing with wounded. It is very difficult to see children without legs, torn apart by exploding shells.
We will continue to fight. But we desperately need help.
Washington's War Crimes Spread from Africa and the Middle East to Ukraine
By Paul Craig Roberts
A person might think that revulsion in "the world community" against Washington's wanton slaughter of civilians in eight countries would have led to War Crimes Tribunal warrants issued for the arrest of presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama & many officials in their regimes. But the vocal part of "the world community"-- the West -- has become inured to Washington's crimes against humanity and doesn't bother to protest. Indeed, many of these governments are complicit in the US's crimes, and there could just as well be arrest warrants for members of European governments.
The one exception is Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has published a White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine. Propagandized Americans think that all the violations in Ukraine are made by Russians. The White Book carefully and accurately documents reported violations that occurred in Ukraine for four months from December 2013 through March 2014.
You will not hear much or anything about it from the presstitute US media, & it's unlikely to receive much coverage in Europe. The facts are so greatly at odds with the West's position, that the White Book is a huge embarrassment to the West.
The slaughter of Ukrainians on Washington's orders by Washington's stooge government in Kiev, has worsened considerably in the past three months, producing more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Russia for protection from strikes against civilian housing, from the air, artillery, and tanks.
Every effort by Russia's government to involve Washington, the European Union, and Kiev in negotiations to find a peaceful settlement, has failed.
Washington is not interested in a settlement. Disturbed by its NATO vassals' dependence on Russian energy and the growing economic relationships between Russia and Europe, Washington is at work through its Kiev proxy murdering citizens in eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine that once were part of Russia.
Washington has declared these civilians to be "terrorists" and is trying to force Russia to intervene militarily in order to protect them.
Russia's protective intervention would then be denounced by Washington as "invasion and annexation." Washington would use this propaganda, which would blare from the Western media, to pressure Europe to support Washington's sanctions against Russia. The sanctions would then effectively destroy the existing economic relationships between Russia and Europe.
Washington hasn't had success in imposing sanctions, because, although Washington's European vassals, such as Merkel, are willing, business interests in Germany, France, and Italy stand opposed.
Washington is hoping that by forcing Russia to act, Washington can sufficiently demonize Russia and silence the European business interests with propaganda.
To counter Washington's ploy, Putin had Russia's Duma rescind his authority to send Russian forces into Ukraine. Unlike US' presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, Putin does not claim the authority to use military forces without permission from the legislature.
Washington's response to Putin's stand down is to increase the slaughter of civilians, all the while denying that any such slaughter is occurring.
Washington is determined not to acknowledge the existence of the slaughter for which it is responsible, although everyone knows that Kiev would not dare to take on Russia without Washington's backing.
Putin's bet is that European business interests will prevail over Washington's European lap dogs.
This is a hopeful and optimistic bet, but Washington is already at work to threaten and undermine the resistance of European business interests. Using concocted charges, Washington has stolen $9 billion from France's biggest bank --- for doing business with countries disapproved of by Washington.
This was Washington's warning to European business to comply with Washington's sanctions. Washington even told France that the fine would be rescinded or reduced if France broke its contract with Russia to supply 2 helicopter carriers. Other such moves against European businesses are in the works. The purpose is to intimidate European businesses from opposing sanctions against Russia.
Washington's arrogance that Washington can decide with whom a French bank can do business is astonishing. It is even more astonishing that France and the bank would accept such arrogance and infringements of France's sovereignty.
France's acceptance of Washington's hegemony shows that one risk in Putin's bet is that the bet assumes that European business interests can prevail over Washington's strategic interests.
Another risk in Putin's bet is that by standing down and tolerating Washington's slaughter of civilians, Putin is becoming complicit in Washington's crimes against humanity. The longer the slaughter goes on, the more complicit Russia's government becomes.
Moreover, the passage of time allows Kiev to increase its forces and NATO to supply these forces with more deadly weapons. A Russian intervention, which previously would have met with easy success, becomes more costly and more drawn out as Kiev's forces increase.
Washington's puppet in Kiev makes it clear --- that he is not going to accommodate any Russian interests or any opposition of the Ukraine's provinces, to the radical anti- Russian policies of Washington's stooge government.
As Washington acknowledges no responsibility whatsoever for the situation, how long can Putin wait for Merkel or Hollande to break ranks with Washington?
Putin's alternative is to come to the defense of the Ukrainians who are being attacked. Putin could accept the requests of the rebellious provinces to rejoin Russia, as he did with Crimea, declare Washington's stooge, Petro Poroshenko, to be a war criminal and issue a warrant for his arrest, and send in the Russian military to face down the forces sent by Kiev.
Outside the West, this would establish Putin as a defender of human rights. Inside the West, it would make it completely clear to Washington's European vassals that the consequence of their alignment with Washington is that they will be drawn into a war with Russia and, likely, also with China. Europeans have nothing to gain from these wars.
Sooner than later Putin needs to realize that his reasonableness is not reciprocated by Washington. Washington is taking advantage of Putin's reasonableness, and Washington is pushing Russia harder.
Putin has done what he can to avoid conflict. Now he needs to do the right thing, as he did in Georgia and Crimea.
Paul Craig Roberts
Guilt by insinuation: How American propaganda works
By Paul Craig Roberts
Why hasn't Washington joined Russian President Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized international investigation by experts of the case of the Malaysian jetliner?
The Russian government continues to release facts, including satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system, and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing.
The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian military headquarters said at a Moscow press conference on July 21st, that the presence of the Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov monitoring centre.
The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that, at the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American satellite was flying over the area. The Russian government urges Washington to make available the photos and data captured by the satellite.
President Putin has repeatedly stressed that the investigation of MH-17, requires "a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)."
Putin's call for an independent expert examination by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything to hide.
Turning to Washington Putin stated: "In the meantime, no one (not even the "exceptional nation") has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals."
Putin reminded Washington: "We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and to sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy would not have happened."
What is the American response?
Lies and insinuations.
On July 20, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of the Malaysian airliner and said that it was "pretty clear" that Russia was involved. Here are Kerry's words:
"It's pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists. We know with confidence, with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists."
Kerry's statement is just another of the endless lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st century. Who can forget Colin Powell's package of lies delivered to the UN about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" or Kerry's lie repeated endlessly that Assad "used chemical weapons against his own people" or the endless lies about "Iranian nukes"?
Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed the "red line" by using chemical weapons.
However, Kerry was never able to back up his statements with evidence. The US had no evidence to give the UK prime minister, whose efforts to have Parliament approve Britain's participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria were voted down. Parliament told the prime minister, "no evidence, no war."
Again here is Kerry declaring "confidence" in statements that are directly contradicted by the Russian satellite photos and endless eye witnesses on the ground.
Why doesn't Washington release its photos from its satellite?
The answer is for the same reason that the USA will not release all the videos it confiscated and that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner hit the Pentagon. The videos do not support Washington's claim, and the US satellite photos do not support Kerry's claim.
The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq, reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. However, the fact did not support Washington's propaganda and was ignored. Washington started a highly destructive war, based on nothing but Washington's intentional lie.
The International Atomic Energy Commission's inspectors on the ground in Iran and all 16 US intelligence agencies reported that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. However, the fact was inconsistent with Washington's agenda and was ignored by both the US government and the presstitute media.
We are witnessing the same thing right now with the assertions, in the absence of evidence, that Russia is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.
Not every member of the US government is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain. In place of direct lies, many US officials use insinuations.
US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect example. Interviewed on the presstitute TV station CNN, Feinstein said: "The issue is where is Putin? I would say, 'Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.'"
Putin has been talking to the world non- stop, calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, and Feinstein is asking Putin why he is hiding behind silence. We know you did it, Feinstein insinuates, so just tell us whether you meant to, or whether it was an accident.
The way the entire Western news cycle was orchestrated with blame instantly placed on Russia, long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was a Washington operation. It is, of course, possible that the well-trained presstitute media needed no orchestration from Washington, in order to lay the blame on Russia. On the other hand, some of the news performances seem too scripted not to have been prepared in advance.
We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner.
As I pointed out earlier, the video is twice damned. It was ready in advance, and, by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane. The existence of the video itself, implies that there was a plot to down the airliner and blame Russia.
I've seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, as a safety device, is capable of contacting aircraft transponders in order to verify the type of aircraft. If the reports are correct and if the transponders from MH-17 are found, they might record the contact.
I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to fly over the conflict area. The transponders should also indicate whether this is correct.
If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial evidence, that this was anintentional act on the part of Kiev, an act which would have required Washington's blessing.
There are other reports that there's a divergence between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial militias, formed by the right-wing Ukrainian extremists who apparently were the first to attack the separatists. It is possible that Washington used extremists to plot the airliner's destruction in order to blame Russia and use the accusations to pressure the EU to go along with Washington's unilateral sanctions against Russia. We do know that Washington is desperate to break up the growing economic and political ties between Russia and Europe.
If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device on the missile system could have been turned off, so as to give no warning, or leave any telltale sign. That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was sent to inspect the airliner. Possibly the real target was Putin's airliner -- and incompetence in implementing the plot, resulted in the destruction of a civilian airliner.
As there are a number of possible explanations, let's keep open minds and resist Washington's propaganda --- until facts and evidence are in.
At the very least, Washington is guilty of using the incident to blame Russia in advance of the evidence. All Washington has shown us so far is accusations and insinuations. If that is all Washington continues to show us, we will know where the blame resides.
In the meantime, remember the story of the boy who cried "wolf!" He lied so many times that when the wolf did come, no one believed him. Will this be Washington's ultimate fate?
Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington hide behind lies? If Washington wants war with Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare war?
The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress, is to prevent the executive branch orchestrating any wars, in order to further 'hidden agendas'.
By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the US Congress is complicit in the executive branch's war crimes. By approving Israel's premeditated murder of Palestinians, the US government is complicit in Israel's war crimes.
Ask yourself this question: Would the world be a safer place, with less death, destruction and displaced peoples, and more truth and justice, if the United States and Israel did not exist?
Paul Craig Roberts
Does Russia have a future? By Paul Craig Roberts
The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and press-titute media.
Perhaps the Russian government thought that only Iraq, Libya, Syria, China, and Edward Snowden would be subjected to Washington’s lies and demonization.
It was obvious enough that Russia would be next.
The Russian government and Europe need to look beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the reality is much worse.
NATO commander General Breedlove and Senate bill 2277 clearly indicate that Washington is organizing itself and Europe for war on Russia.
Europe is reluctant to agree with Washington to put Ukraine in NATO. Europeans understand that if Washington or its stooges in Kiev cause a war with Russia, Europe will be the first casualty.
Washington finds its vassals’ noncompliance tiresome. Remember Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s “fuck the EU.” And that is just what Washington is about to do.
The US Senate’s Russian Aggression Prevention Act, about which I reported in my previous column, does even more mischief than I reported. If the bill passes, which it likely will, Washington becomes empowered to bypass NATO and to grant the status of “allied nation” to Ukraine independently of NATO membership. By so doing, Washington can send troops to Ukraine and thereby commit NATO to a war with Russia.
Notice how quickly Washington escalated the orchestrated Ukrainian “crisis” - without any evidence - into “Russian aggression.” Overnight we have the NATO commander and US senators taking actions against “Russian aggression”, of which no one has seen any evidence.
With Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Washington learned that Washington could act on the basis of bald- faced lies. No one, not Great Britain, not France, not Germany, not Italy, not the Netherlands, not Canada, not Australia, not Mexico, not New Zealand, not Israel, nor Japan, nor S. Korea, nor Taiwan, nor (substitute your selection) stepped forward to hold the US accountable for its blatant lies and war crimes.
The UN even accepted the package of blatant and obviously transparent lies that Colin Powell delivered to the UN. Everything Powell said had already been refuted by the UN’s own weapons inspectors. Yet the UN pussies gave a go-ahead for that devastating war.
The only conclusion is that all the whores were paid off. Whores can always count on Washington paying them off. For money, the whores are selling out civilization to Washington’s war, which likely will be nuclear and terminate life on earth. The whores’ money will incinerate with them.
It's hardly surprising that Washington now targets Russia. The world has given Washington carte blanche to do as it pleases. We have now had three administrations of US war criminals welcomed and honored wherever the war criminals go. The other governments in the world continue to desire invitations to the White House as indications of their worth. To be received by war criminals has become the highest honor.
Even the president of China comes to Washington to receive acceptance by the Evil Empire.
The world did not notice Washington’s war crimes against Serbia and didn’t puke when Washington then put the Serbian president, who had tried to prevent his country from being torn apart by Washington, on trial as a war criminal.
The world has made no effort to hold Washington responsible for its destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria and Gaza. The world has not demanded that Washington stop murdering people in Pakistan and Yemen, countries with which Washington is not at war. The world looks the other way as Washington creates the US Africa Command. The world looks the other way as Washington sends deadly weapons to Israel, with which to murder women and children in the Gaza Ghetto. Washington passes Senate and House Resolutions cheering on the Israeli murder of Palestinians.
Washington is accustomed to its free pass, granted by the world, to murder and to lie, and now is using it against Russia.
President Putin’s bet, that by responding to Washington’s aggression in Ukraine, in an unprovocative and reasonable manner, this would demonstrate to Europe, that Russia was not the source of the problem --- has not paid off.
European countries are captive nations. They are incapable of thinking & acting for themselves. They bend to Washington’s will. Essentially, Europe is a nonentity that follows Washington’s orders.
If the Russian government hopes to prevent war with Washington, which is likely to be the final war for life on earth, the Russian government needs to act now and end the problem in Ukraine by accepting the separatist provinces’ request to be reunited with Russia. Once S.2277 passes, Russia cannot retrieve the situation without confronting militarily the US, because Ukraine will have been declared an American ally.
Putin’s bet was reasonable and responsible, but Europe has failed him. If Putin does not use Russian power to bring an end to the problem with which the US has presented him in Ukraine, while he still can, the US’s next step will be to unleash its hundreds of NGOs inside Russia to denounce Putin as a traitor for abandoning Russian populations in the former Russian provinces that Soviet leaders thoughtlessly attached to Ukraine.
The problem with being a leader is that you inherit festering problems left by previous leaders. Putin has the problems bequeathed by Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a disaster for Russia. Yeltsin was Washington’s puppet. It is not certain that Russia will survive Yeltsin’s mistakes.
If Washington has its way, Russia will survive only as an American puppet state.
In a previous column I described the article in Foreign Affairs, journal of the Washington foreign policy community, that makes a case that the US has such strategic advantage over Russia at this time that a “window of opportunity” exists for the US to erase Russia as a restraint on US hegemony --- with a preemptive nuclear attack.
It's almost certain that Obama is being told how President John F. Kennedy had this window of opportunity and did not use it, and that Obama must not let the opportunity pass a second time.
As Steven Starr explained in a guest column, there are no winners of nuclear war. Even if the US escapes retaliatory strikes, everyone will die, regardless.
The view in Washington of the neoconservatives who control the Obama regime, is that a nuclear war is winnable. No expert opinion supports their assumption, but the neocons, not the experts, are in power.
The American people are out to lunch. They have no comprehension of their likely fate. Americans are an uninformed people distracted by their mounting personal and financial problems. If Europeans are aware, they have decided to live for the moment, on Washington’s money.
What life is faced with is a drive for hegemony on the part of Washington --- and ignorant unconcern on the part of the rest of the world.
Americans worked into a lather about Washington’s unfunded liabilities, and the viability of their future Social Security pension, won’t be alive to collect it.
World doomed by Western insouciance By Paul Craig Roberts
European governments and the Western media have put the world at risk by enabling the US’s propaganda and aggression against Russia.
Washington has succeeded in using transparent lies to demonize Russia as a dangerous aggressive country led by a new Hitler or a new Stalin, just as Washington sought to vilify Assad in Syria, Chavez in Venezuela, and, of course, Iran.
The real demons – Clinton, Bush, Obama – are “the exceptional and indispensable people” above the reach of demonization. Their horrific real crimes go unnoticed, while fictitious crimes are attributed to other people and countries.
The reason that Washington demonizes a leader and a country is to permit the creation of circumstances that Washington can use to act with force against a leader and a country.
Washington’s incessant lies alleging “Russian aggression” have created Russian aggression out of thin air. John Kerry and the State Department’s Marie Harf issue new lies daily, but never any supporting evidence. With the stage set, the US Senate, the NATO commander and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff are busy at work energizing the wheels of war.
Senate bill 2277 provides for beefing up forces on Russia’s borders and for elevating Ukraine’s status to “ally of the US” so that US troops can assist the war against “terrorists” in Ukraine.
NATO commander Breedlove is preparing his plans for stockpiling war material on Russia’s borders so that US/NATO troops can more quickly strike Russia.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is at work preparing American opinion for the upcoming war.
On July 24, Dempsey told Aspen Security Forum, a high level group where US opinion is formed, that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is comparable to Stalin’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and that the Russian threat was not limited to Ukraine or Eastern Europe, but was global.
The intellects in the Aspen Forum did not break out laughing, when Dempsey told them that Russia’s (alleged but unproven) involvement in Ukraine was the first time since 1939 that a country made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives.
No one asked Dempsey what Washington has been doing during the last three presidential regimes: Clinton in Serbia, Bush and Obama in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen, Obama in Libya and Syria.
Here are Dempsey’s words: “You’ve got a Russian government that has made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives. It’s the first time since 1939 or so that that’s been the case. They clearly are on a path to assert themselves differently not just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main, and towards the United States.”
Washington’s view that the world is its oyster is so ingrained that neither Dempsey nor his upper echelon audience at the Aspen Forum noticed the absurdity of his statement. Washington and the brainwashed US population take if for granted that the “exceptional, indispensable nation” isn't limited in its actions by the sovereignty of other countries.
Washington takes for granted that US law prevails in other countries over the countries’ own laws – just ask France or Switzerland, that Washington can tell foreign financial institutions and corporations with whom they can do business and with whom they cannot – just ask every country and company prevented from doing business with Iran, that Washington can invade any country whose leader Washington can demonize & overthrow – just ask Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Serbia, and so forth, and that Washington can conduct military operations against peoples in foreign countries, such as Pakistan and Yemen, with which Washington is not at war.
All of this is possible, because Washington has claimed the title from Israel of being “God’s Chosen People.” Of course, Israel’s loss of the title has not stopped Israel from acting in the same way.
Washington has put in motion the wheels of war. Once the wheels of war begin to turn, momentum carries them forward. The foolish, indeed utterly stupid, governments and media in Europe seem unaware of Washington’s orchestration of their future or lack thereof, or they are indifferent to it.
They are dooming themselves and all of humanity by their insouciance.
Readers who cannot tolerate problems without solutions always request solutions. OK, here is the solution:
The only possibility of avoiding war is that Putin take his case to the UN. If Washington can send Colin Powell to the UN unarmed with any truth to make Washington’s case for war against Iraq, Putin should be able to take his case to the UN against Washington’s war against Russia.
The case that the emperor has no clothes is an easy one to make.
Unlike Washington, Putin is willing to share the evidence that Russia has about who is doing what in Ukraine. It is a simple matter to establish that Washington organized a coup that overthrew an elected government, supports violence against those who object to the coup, and has turned a deaf ear to Russia’s repeated pleas for Kiev and the separatists to negotiate their differences.
Putin should make it clear to the world that Washington continues with provocative military steps against Russia, with force buildups on Russia’s borders and calls for more buildups, with S.2277 which reads like a US preparation for war, with provocative actions & accusations by top US generals and government officials against Russia, and with efforts to isolate Russia and to inflict economic and political injury on Russia.
Putin should make it clear to the world that there is a limit to provocations that Russia can accept and that Russia believes that Russia is in danger of a preemptive nuclear attack by Washington.
Putin can describe Washington’s withdrawal from the ABM treaty, the construction of ABM bases on Russia’s borders, and the announced change in Washington’s war doctrine that elevates US nuclear forces from a retaliatory role to a preemptive first strike role. These actions are clearly directed at Russia (and China–wake up China! You are next!).
Putin must state clearly that the likely consequence of the world continuing to enable Washington’s lies & aggression will be not merely another disastrous war, but the termination of life.
The governments of the world, especially Washington’s vassals in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan, need to be told that it is their responsibility to stop their enabling of Washington’s aggression or to accept their responsibility for World War III.
At least we could all have the enjoyment of watching the arrogant Samantha Powers and the craven British lapdog rise and walk out of the UN proceedings. There is no doubt what- soever that Washington is unable to answer the charges.
Here again is the Wolfowitz Doctrine that controls US foreign policy and that condemns Planet Earth to death:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that posses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.
“This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
A hostile power is defined as any country that is not a Washington vassal.
The Wolfowitz Doctrine commits the United States, its peoples, Washington’s gullible EU allies and those peoples, to war with Russia and China.
The destruction of the world is what the idiot EU governments and the presstitute Western media are fostering by their enablement of Washington’s lies and aggression.
WHY RUSSIA REFUSES WAR
Two thirds of Russians say in the latest poll that they are against sending troops to Ukraine, despite the latest US' moves.
WHY EU LEADERS ARE FOLLOWING US SANCTIONS TO HURT RUSSIA
The European Union is expanding anti-Russian sanctions against its own interests under tough pressure from the US in favour of the American military-industrial complex, say experts.
“This week, the EU is to expand and toughen anti-Russian measures. This is obviously an operation staged by Washington that is using the Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine with most of its passengers being Europeans, as an excuse to defeat Russia,” says the director of the strategic analysis & developments dept, at the sanctioned Vnesheconombank, Vladimir Andrianov.
“The unprecedented propaganda campaign on Russia has turned the Old World's public against Russia, to such an extent that its politicians are afraid of looking indecisive and losing voters' support, to blindly take their cue from the US”
“The EU has no chance to withstand US pressure over anti-Russian measures,” the expert explains: “Washington overtly interferes with Russian-EU gas supply talks & blackmails France over its contract on helicopter carrier Mistral supplies to Russia.
“The US is flagrantly pursuing its own policy in Europe and is appointing its own people to key posts in the EU.”
“EU countries have a deficit of strong leaders now, and European governments are weak. Meanwhile, the EU's bureaucratic machine is proving to be incompetent on issues of global politics and economics and totally dependent on the US will,” Andrianov says.
“The fact that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel suddenly switched tactics after several months of a moderate approach shows the EU leaders’ dependence on the US.
“Washington keeps files on all prominent politicians. It certainly has blackmail evidence against Merkel. It’s no coincidence that her cellphone was bugged by US special services. For this reason, the German chancellor yielded to pressure from Washington.”
“All US foreign policy starting from Vietnam, has been tailored to its military's needs. Amid global competition, the US - as the world’s gendarme - cannot bear the thought that Russia remains the only major geopolitical opponent which it can't control,” the expert says.
Washington aims to arm the Ukrainian army with modern weapons and equipment, and pull Russia into a confrontation with Ukraine, Mr Andrianov believes.
“For this purpose, the US Congress plans to recognise Ukraine as a major non-NATO ally and provide it with direct military aid.
“The S.2277 - Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 - has passed two readings in the US. These moves are clearly designed to serve the interests of the US military-industrial complex in order to kindle the fire in Europe and line US pockets on weapon supplies to the crisis zone,” Andrianov says.
“The scenario of pulling Russia into armed conflict with Ukraine is so dangerous that it's unacceptable,” the dean of the Higher School of Economics Faculty for World Economy and International Affairs, Sergey Karaganov says.
“But the EU sanctions already announced, and those on the table, mean that the large-scale US's anti-Russian campaign, caused by the Boeing's downing in Ukraine, is bearing fruit.”
“US pressure for the EU to adopt anti-Russian sanctions aims at splitting Europe, weakening Germany and inflicting as much grave damage as possible on Russia, to deprive the country of its power in the world,” the expert says.
“Europe is blindly obeying the US by imposing anti-Russian sanctions, because EU welfare directly relies on the US in financial terms, the Deputy Director of Russia's Academy of Sciences Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies, Major General Pavel Zolotarev says.
“In terms of its security policy, the EU is peace- ful under the US umbrella. Washington bears the lion’s share of NATO spending, enabling the EU countries to reduce defense spending to 2% of their gross domestic product.”
“EU countries lay out 6-7 times more for education and healthcare than defense,” the analyst adds.
“Russia cannot afford such a budget distribution, while EU countries can, thanks to the US. Hence their obedience to Washington.”
The graphic video above shows fascism in the centre of Europe. Our media says the US-backed coup in Ukraine, is a people's revolution: we say it's fascism.
LATEST NEWS ON SUNDAY
Iraqi forces recapture largest oil refinery in Salahudin province
Iraqi security forces Saturday retake control of the oil refinery in Salahudin province, after heavy clashes with IS militants, a provincial official says.
"The troops backed by allied Shiite and Sunni militias have completely liberated the vast oil refinery of Baiji --- after they drove out the IS militants," Jasim Jbara, head of the security committee of Salahudin provincial council, tells Xinhua by telephone.
Security forces also started clearing and defusing landmines and roadside bombs planted by IS before withdrawing from the refinery, Jbara says.
Security forces also freed the eastern and central parts of the nearby town of Baiji, 200 kms north of Baghdad, after pushing back IS militants who are still fighting in the west of the town, Jbara adds.
The battles are part of a large-scale operation launched Wednesday, to retake areas seized by IS in Salahudin, after it captured the huge oil facility on Tuesday.
Political terror rises in Ukraine: Russian diplomat
A Russian diplomat warns that a dangerous wave of political terror is rising in Ukraine and he urges the West not to continue turning a blind eye to the practice of human rights infringements by Kiev.
"The United States and the European Union, which pursue their narrow political interests, should stop freeing the Kiev authorities from blame, and force them to meet their human rights commitments," Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's ombudsperson for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, says to the media.
Dolgov comments on several political killings in Ukraine, including the contract killing of a Ukrainian journalist, Oles Buzina.
"He (Buzina) was an open and honest person and a true patriot of his country," he says.
"A dangerous wave of political terror is rising in Ukraine - accompanied by a speedy media campaign to defame all who dare to express different opinions to the authorities," he says.
"If continued, the political terror may further split the country...and in turn may result in nothing but a deepening destabilization of the situation... in a fragile Ukraine," he says.
Buzina, 45, was shot dead Thursday, by unknown gunmen near his house in central Kiev. He worked as editor-in-chief at Ukraine's Segodnya paper, up to March this year and was known to be a critic of the current government.
Ten Ukrainian journalists & MPs have so far been murdered in April, and all ten had been placed on a list of 'enemies of the state', by an extremist website linked to top officials.
Ukraine ceasefire violations blamed on ‘unidentified third party’ – OSCE
The fragile truce in eastern Ukraine has, on several occasions, been violated by an “unidentified third party,” the OSCE mission states in its daily report, citing officers of the joint coordination centre who are trying to organize a ceasefire.
US military instructors in Ukraine undermine Minsk peace deal – Moscow
Despite voicing its support for settlement of the Ukraine crisis, the US is actually working to undermine the Minsk peace deal, Russia’s Foreign Ministry says, about the deployment of American military instructors to Ukraine.
Israeli troops clash with Palestinians on Prisoners Day
A series of violent clashes broke out on Friday when Israeli forces attacked separate groups of Palestinians protesting across the occupied territories, opening fire to disperse the crowds.
Fierce clashes erupted between Israeli forces & Palestinian protesters as people in the occupied territories & the besieged Gaza Strip poured onto the streets to mark Palestinian Prisoners Day.
At least 60 people were injured in Bil’in village, in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in central West bank, after inhaling teargas fired by the IDF.
"We will not leave our prisoners in jail alone," rally organizer Abdullah Abu Rahma said in Bil’in, adding, "We will defend their right to be released, because the majority of them have been arrested illegally by Israeli forces."
Witnesses and local residents say at least one protester was shot in the head in Kafr Qaddum village, near the north West Bank city of Qalqilya. Israeli troops also used rubber-coated bullets & water canon to disperse Palestinians there.
A series of scuffles and clashes were reported in Bethlehem.
In al-Quds (Jerusalem), Palestinians marched on al-Aqsa Mosque compound, shouting out slogans against Israel’s detention policy.
Prisoners Day is marked every year in solidarity with thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails.
Israeli forces have arrested 800,000 Palestinians since 1967. Today, there are 6,500+ Palestinians in Israeli jails, many of them women, minors and chronically ill prisoners.
"Defense for Children International" says, at least 182 of the prisoners are children.
Israeli forces routinely abduct Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and put them behind bars on its 'administrative detention' policy.
Administrative detention is imprisonment with- out trial, or charge, letting Israel incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months... Detention orders can be renewed for indefinite periods.
Human rights groups repeatedly denounce imprisonment without any charge or trial.
On March 22nd, the Hossam Association of Palestinian Prisoners & Ex-Prisoners, said Palestinians in Israeli jails, are prone to a growing risk of cancer, due to high levels of radiation inside prisons.
A number of Palestinians are also being held in prisons near the Dimona nuclear reactor, also at its toxic waste dumps, in the Negev Desert, the rights body added.
The advocacy group says Palestinian prisoners continue to face a wide range of human rights violations in Israeli jails and detention centres.
Egyptians hold nationwide protests against military rule
Egyptian people held fresh anti-government protest rallies across the country -- calling for reinstatement of the former president, Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in 2013 -- Press TV reports.
On Friday, outraged demonstrators formed human chains in the capital, Cairo, as well as other cities, such as Alexandria, Giza, the Nile Delta provinces of Sharqiya, Dakahlia, Beheira and Kafr el-Sheikh, as well as the Upper Egypt provinces of Fayoum, Bani-Suef and Minya.
The protests were called by Egypt’s Anti-Coup Alliance, led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The alliance calls for one week of protests against the military-backed government in Cairo under the slogan“Our steadfastness is the path to victory.”
The protesters denounce Cairo’s ongoing crack- down on dissidents, & what they are calling the 'devastating military operations' in the restive Sinai Peninsula, plus the government’s corrupt economic policies and the deteriorating living conditions in the North African state.
Nour al-Din Kamal, an activist, tells Press TV that he believes the regime in Cairo is “the most repressive” the country has witnessed in more than six decades, and even “worse” than that of the ousted longtime dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
Ayman al-Kady, an engineer, said to Press TV: “Sinai is being lost in the midst of the suffering of forcefully deported families who are caught in the middle between the army and terrorist groups, as is unity amongst Egyptians.”
Many protesters also express regret over what they call a shrinking Egyptian role in the region due to its financial dependence on oil-rich Arab states, such as Saudi Arabia.
“It's only a matter of time before the middle class in Egypt disappears, due to government policies which only favor the rich,” says Abdel-Rahman Mahmoud, a protester.
Some gatherings in different cities turned violent as security guards dispersed the demonstrators.
In Alexandria city, security guards stormed the mosque in Raml neighborhood, arresting over a dozen people who were to join a protest rally after Friday Prayers.
Riot police also attacked demonstrators in Alexandria’s el-Safira neighborhood shooting birdshot and tear gas. Several people were wounded and others arrested.
Four people were detained in the volatile neighborhood of Matariya, in Cairo, after police tried to break up a protest rally.
Security forces also dispersed a peaceful protest in the Nasser neighbourhood of Bani Suef south of Cairo & gaoled several.
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was ousted in July 2013, in a military coup, led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the country’s current president and then, its army commander.
Since, Egypt has been the scene of mass anti- government protests, with continuous clashes between security forces and the supporters of the ousted leader.
The new rulers have come under pressure from human rights groups over their harsh crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters.
The movement is also now blacklisted as a terrorist organization, by a military-backed government in Cairo.
Rights groups say the army crackdown on pro-Morsi demonstrations, has killed over 1,400 people & led to the arrest of 22,000, including 200 people sentenced to death, in mass trials.
Morsi and his aides are currently on trial facing several charges & could face the death penalty if convicted.
Egypt’s Sisi: No Ground Troops Deployed in Yemen
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, on Friday, implies that Egypt has not sent ground troops to fight in the Saudi-US-led aggression on Yemen.
Egyptian Commander Says Army Won’t Fight in Yemen, Saudis Fell into US Trap
The commander of Egypt's forces in the Gulf war, Major General Mohammad Ali Bilal, says that his troops will fight outside Egypt only to defend its national security, in an indirect response to the claims that Cairo would join a possible ground invasion in Yemen.
The Egyptian commander notes that geographical features in Yemen, and the nature of the Yemeni people makes any foreign intervention impossible.
Bilal wonders about the role that the US military is playing in Yemen, as it was reported that US troops saved 2 Saudi pilots in Aden on the 2nd day of the Saudi aggression, hinting at the US role in entrapping Saudi Arabia in the war.
He also stresses that, although Egypt's official stance isn't publicly announced, Egypt supports a political solution... in both Yemen and Syria.
IS Terrorists Withdraw from Yarmouk Camp, in Southern Damascus
Well-informed sources tell Al-Manar news that IS terrorists have withdrawn from Yarmouk refugee camp, in southern Damascus, and moved to the area of al-Hajar al-Aswad.
IS's withdrawal followed fierce clashes with its opponents in the camp over the last few weeks.
IS stormed the camp on April 1st, apparently in tandem with rivals from the al-Qaeda-linked al- Nusra Front, even though the two groups have fought bloody battles against each other, in other parts of Syria.
US Military Trainers in Ukraine may Destabilize Situation: Kremlin
The Kremlin says on Friday that the arrival of about 300 US paratroopers in Ukraine to train Kiev's National Guard, could destabilize the situation in the east of the country.
"The participation of instructors or specialists from "third countries" on Ukrainian territory, where the domestic Ukrainian conflict is still unresolved, could destabilize the situation," Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, tells reporters in Moscow during a conference call.
He's referring to the arrival of US paratroopers in western Ukraine this week -- to begin a six- month training rotation with three battalions.
The training mission, first announced in August last year, was due to start in March, but it was put on hold until further progress was made in implementing a Minsk deal, agreed in February.
Ukraine has repeatedly cried for international help to boost its military capabilities. Western countries have so far declined its requests to supply weapons, while offering non-lethal military aid and training.
US assassinated first Pakistani PM: State Department documents
The US assassinated Pakistan’s first PM, Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, over sixty years ago, according to US State Department documents.
Quoting the declassified documents, Pakistan Today reports on Friday, how Khan was murdered because he refused to use his office to secure oil contracts in Iran --- for US corporations.
The report quotes Khan as saying he wouldn't use his friendship with Tehran officials for dishonest purposes, and neither would he interfere in Iran's personal affairs.
Khan also called on Washington to vacate its air bases in Pakistan, which the US was abusing to damage the Soviet Union's interests, which led the then US President Harry S. Truman, to make threats to the PM, about 'dire consequences'.
According to the documents, the CIA then began to search for an assassin to kill Khan, but could not find a suitable assassin in Pakistan itself... so they turned to Afghanistan, to assist them.
The Afghan government of King Mohammed Zahir Shah finally found a man, Syed Akbar, to do it and also arranged for him to be killed afterwards.
Akbar fired two shots at Khan as he started his speech at Company Bagh (Company Garden), in Rawalpindi, on October 16th, in 1951.
Khan was shot in the chest and rushed to a local hospital and given a blood transfusion, but the 56-year-old succumbed to his injuries. The assassin was also immediately shot dead.
The bullets used to assassinate Khan, one of the founding fathers of modern Pakistan, were used by high-ranking US military officers, and were not usually available on the market, the report concludes.
The report comes out directly after Pakistan's Parliament votes, overwhelmingly, to not join the US/Saudi war on Yemen.
Russia to insist on creating nuclear weapon free zone in Middle East at NPT Conference
TASS - Russia will insist on establishing a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, at the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) Review Conference in New York, the head of the Department for non- proliferation and weapons control at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mikhail Ulyanov, says on Friday.
"For us, a task will be to overcome a stalemate in creating the nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East," Ulyanov says. "This follows from our status as one of the NPT depository states," he adds.
Ulyanov calls the atmosphere ahead of the NPT Review Conference 'unhealthy', saying there are 'considerable imbalances'.
"The atmosphere there is unhealthy: there are complaints about the implementation of the Treaty [NPT]," he says.
According to Ulyanov, a final document is expected to be adopted at the conference.
"Everyone expects a final document. It will be a tragedy, for us, if one is not adopted," Ulyanov says.
The NPT Review Conference takes place in New York, on April the 27th to May the 22nd.
Ukraine's State News Agency Hopes for New World War
An article in Ukraine's national news agency claims the US is ready to start a world war.
Ukraine's state news agency, Ukrinform, says the House of Representatives vote on sending lethal aid to Kiev means that the US is ready to begin what it calls, a "4th World War:"
"We'll get Javelins & other killer hardware. We'll be taught by the best American instructors and there will be NATO ships in the Black Sea. But that's not all. Sooner or later, regular American forces will appear on Ukrainian territory & will fight regular Russian forces."
Citing Samuel Huntington's book, "The Clash of Civilizations," Ukraine's news agency article says the tensions between Russia and Ukraine are civilizational because Ukraine's Kiev-based Orthodox Church supported the Kiev protests which led to the 2014 coup, as well as the idea of a war against Russia.
According to the agency, American "hawks" also want this war against Russia, although apparently increasingly fighting from their distant command centres.
"But they will teach us many things. And we will be able to have a large-scale war," the publication adds.
The publication hopes that a full-scale war will begin after Barack Obama leaves office and is replaced by a "decisive Republican."
Kiev MP hopes the US Bombs Donbas Next
Poroshenko Bloc MP Vadim Denisenko tells Ukraine's Channel 5 this week that he hopes that NATO's next step in the Ukraine conflict will be bombing Donbas within "months".
Poroshenko Bloc MP, Vadim Denisenko, on Roman Chaika's Channel 5 program 'Ukraina Ponad Use' ('Ukraine Above All') on Tuesday, when Chaika posed the question, "what may be preventing NATO from carrying out air- strikes?" given NATO's post-war policy of military interventionism, replied by saying:
"[NATO] is very slow in acting. Recall the situation six months ago; nobody even spoke about the provision of weapons. Now in the near future as I understand it, weapons will be sent to Ukraine; every- thing is being set up for their delivery."
"And then, the next step will obviously be airstrikes. But this will take an additional three to four months. Unfortunately, they are very slow in their decision-making."
Denisenko added that, in his view, "there is no possibility for a political compromise on the matter of solving the conflict in eastern Ukraine," and that, in the light of the circumstances, "all that's left to do is to formally declare war."
For this, Ukraine will need to be provided with "as many arms and instructors as possible" by NATO. This "is the main thing we must achieve today," Denisenko said.
The MP said that the IMF had "given Ukraine their word" that -- during military hostilities -- financial assistance would be provided to Ukraine.
"We must also create an economic blockade of the occupied territories. Responsibility for provision of the civilian population lies on the shoulders of the state-occupier. We must say honestly: we will not pay pensioners from the DPR & LPR, we won't pay for their electricity. If the political will exists, this can be solved in a month's time."
Putin noted on Tuesday that the West is already supplying Kiev with weapons. "According to our information, arms are already being delivered," he told the press after talks with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban. Putin added that while weapons provision would result in more military & civilian casualties, they would not change the balance of forces.
"The result will remain the same as it is today," Putin noted. The president explained how "this is inevitable -- as the vast majority of Ukraine's armed forces personnel, in my opinion, has no desire to participate in any fratricidal war, far from their own homes, while Donbas' militia have the great motivation of protecting their families."
Australia plans powers for guards to ‘beat asylum seekers to death’
Fresh powers recommended for Australia’s immigration detention centre guards would allow them to “beat asylum seekers to death,” a former Victorian supreme court judge says.
Testifying before a Thursday Senate hearing on proposed amendments to 2015's migration bill, Stephen Charles SC stresses how amendment I --- which maintains "good order" at immigration detention facilities, would greatly expand the officers’ powers at detention facilities in ways that would “inevitably encourage violence by guards against asylum seekers,” the Guardian newspaper reports.
“These amendments to the Migration Act will in effect authorize guards to beat any asylum seekers to death on the basis that they could reasonably believe it is necessary to do so,” he explains.
According to the report, new powers suggested for the prison guards - which may include private contractors - would allow them to use “reasonable force against any person” if the guards believe it's necessary to protect the life, health or safety of people, or to maintain order, or security.
Such authority potentially allow officers with little training, a greater level of immunity than granted to state or federal police officers, the report adds.
Charles, who sat on Victoria's court of appeal, until 2006, further emphasizes that standards recommended in the bill, will offer a similar test to that considered in the US, & “draws parallels with the recent shooting of Walter Scott, by the police officer, Michael Slager,” the report adds.
“Time and again police in the United States have been acquitted in circumstances such as these,” Charles is quoted as saying.
In February, Australians held candlelit vigils to commemorate the beating to death of a 23-year- old Iranian man, Reza Barati, while he was held at Australia’s Manus Island detention centre, in Papua New Guinea. He was reportedly killed by guards during three days of attacks by locals, and rioting, that he was not even involved in.
After surging violence at Australian detention centres the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, examined Australia's asylum seeker policies.
He found violations of the convention against torture & other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment --- agreed 30 years ago at the UN Human Rights Council.
“The Government always assures Australian people that it complies with its international human rights obligations. But here we have the United Nations once again, in very clear terms, telling the government --- Australia’s asylum seeker policies are in breach of the international law,” says a press release by Australia’s Human Rights Law Centre.
Iraq army recaptures Ramadi from IS terrorists
Iraqi forces have taken full control of the west- ern city of Ramadi from IS, in what is seen as a major blow to the Takfiri terrorists, says the Press TV news service.
A spokesperson for Joint Operation Command on Thursday, announces the full liberation of Ramadi -- provincial capital of Anbar province.
General Sa’ad Ma’an says Iraq's forces have driven the terrorists out of Ramadi, and it is under the full control of government forces.
However, fierce clashes continue on the out- skirts, where IS Takfiris seized some villages earlier in the day, including Abukhalifa, Sofia, and Sor, plus the two nearby districts of Bu Mahalat and Bu Sowda, Press TV states.
Iraq's army vows no pause in the operation - and is poised to force terrorists out of nearby villages, to secure army positions in the city.
Press TV correspondent Rahshan Saglam says Iraqi forces have also secured a road between Sijariah and Sofia which strategically connects Anbar province and the Jordanian and Syrian borders. The road was used by ISIL militants to get reinforcements from Takfiris in Syria.
At least six Iraqi security forces and civilians were killed in Thursday’s battles, and dozens wounded.
The Ramadi victory, Press TV reports, follows one in Tikrit: and Iraq now looks ahead to an offensive to retake Mosul, a stronghold for IS in northern Iraq.
Sputnik, however, reports an Iraqi intelligence official saying the terrorists are preparing to launch another attack from the western side of the city, adding that the situation is critical.
US air strikes and Iraqi ground forces rushed to the city, are currently staving off terrorist counter-moves, says Sputnik.
Latest Saudi air raids claim 20 lives in Yemen’s Amran
At least twenty people have been killed in the latest Saudi air raids on Yemen’s Amran province.
According to al-Massira television, dozens were injured during the Wednesday night raid on the Houthi region in the western central Amran province.
Earlier on Wednesday, fighter jets bombed a school in the Malahidh region, close to the Saudi-Yemeni border, killing 8 civilians, including a mother and her three children.
Saudi Arabia began its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, without a UN mandate, in a bid to restore power to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.
According to sources in the Yemeni Army, around 2,600 people have been killed in the Saudi aggression in the past 3 weeks.
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is rapidly deteriorating. Many international aid organizations have sought clearance for medical and humanitarian supplies by air and sea, to the civilians in need.
Russia’s Northern Fleet says no naval exercises in English Channel
RT- Russia’s Northern Fleet denies it was holding exercises in the English Channel, -- but only passing through the waterway -- on course to the North Atlantic, to hold its drills, Sputnik reports.
'The fleet is now on course through the Channel, but its exercises will be held in the north Atlantic' the Northern Fleet press service's head, Captain 1st-Rank, Vadim Serga, tells RIA Novosti.
The fleet announced completing a range of anti-air & anti-ship defense exercises, while crossing the Bay of Biscay, off the western French & north Spanish coasts.
BBC --- In Your Face!
The Newsweek article “What Sanctions? The Russian Economy Is Growing Again,” outlines how recent events after Western attacks on Russia, including sanctions; runs on the Ruble; engineered oil price drops; have all resulted in an outcome for Russia's economy, that Newsweek admits is "not exactly what the West was hoping for."
Against what seemed to be insurmountable economic odds, the Ruble has rebounded & the stockmarket has outperformed most of its competitors. Russia's foreign exchange reserves are up, and Russia's government revenue has exceeded all expectations.
While crude oil and energy prices were meant to hit Russia companies hard, they've instead empowered Russia industries to some of their highest profits in recent history. This, & other “unexpected” stimuli, as a secondary result of the West's sanctions, spells 'policy disaster max', for Washington, London, and Brussels.
The meat of this story from Newsweek can be found in the MICEX index, as well as on the micro level, with companies like steel- maker Severstal.
On the same day the BBC’s headline read: “Russians reel from economic crisis,” this, from a diplomatic correspondent & award winning 'Russia expert', Bridget Kendall.
She’s clearly not looked at the economic data. Her article speaks of shut factories and shop owners in distress, when this, is simply not the case.
UN sanctions Houthis in Yemen, ignores Russia call for all-inclusive arms embargo
The UN Security Council imposes an arms embargo against Houthis in Yemen and blacklists the son of Yemen's former president, and a Houthi leader.
14 members of the Security Council voted yes, and Russia was the only abstention.
The Russian representative says not all Moscow’s proposals were included in the final text, drafted by Jordan and the Gulf Arab states.
"The co-sponsors refused to include all requirements insisted upon by Russia that addressed all sides to the conflict to swiftly halt fire & begin peace talks," Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council after the vote.
Jordan's draft resolution was debated alongside a separate Russian draft, calling for an “humanitarian pause” in airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition.
An all-inclusive arms embargo on all parties in the Yemeni conflict, put earlier by Russia as an amendment to the Arab draft, was rejected.
"We insisted that the arms embargo needs to be comprehensive; it's well known Yemen's awash in weapons. The adopted resolution should not be used for a further escalation of armed conflict," Churkin says.
Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies have been bombing the Houthi rebels since March 25, with 1,000 people+ killed since the start of the conflict.
The resolution also urges all “Member States, particularly those neighboring
Yemen, to inspect.. all cargo to Yemen” if they've reasonable grounds to believe it contains weapons.
The document demands all Yemen parties stop fighting - especially the Houthis - who are called upon to withdraw from Sanaa and other areas they have seized.
It blames ex-President Saleh for "de- stabilizing acts" in Yemen, including supporting the Houthi uprising.
Following the arms embargo vote, the US Treasury Department announced unilateral sanctions against Yemeni rebel leader al- Houthi and the former head of Yemen's Republican Guard, Ahmed Saleh.
Yemen's Houthi-led Supreme Revolutionary Committee condemns the Security Council resolution, saying that their move supports “aggression.”
The governing body says it “calls on the masses of the Yemeni people to rally & protest on Thursday, to condemn the Security Council resolution in support of the aggression,” local TV reports.
Normandy 4 backs withdrawal of tanks & small artillery from Ukraine ceasefire line
Foreign ministers of the Normandy Four group reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine's peace accords, discussing both existing progress & other steps needed to ensure a long-standing ceasefire.
The ministers urge the contact group to create 4 working blocs to better observe implement- ation of the deal, Russia’s FM Sergey Lavrov tells journalists after the meeting.
Particular attention and time was spent on discussing creation of the working groups, Larov says. According to the minister, they will focus on “specific areas of settlement,” that include “military & security questions, questions re the economic reconstruction of Donbass, humanitarian questions, and questions on political reform.”
An OSCE initiative calling for more types of arms to be withdrawn from the demarcation line -- in particular weapons with a “caliber less than 100 mm” --- as well as tanks, was also supported by the Normandy Four, Lavrov adds.
“We call on all sides to stop fighting and demonstrate their commitment to fully implementing the ceasefire & conclude the withdrawal of heavy weapons. We furthermore, call for the withdrawal of mortars and heavy weapons below 100mm as well as all types of tanks,” the ministers say, in a joint statement.
Lavrov points out that all his colleagues support the Minsk deal and declare the necessity for a “complete” ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, in addition to a with- drawal of more heavy weapons.
“We have also highlighted the need for the Minsk agreement to be observed in its full capacity: not only its military aspect, but also its political, economic and humanitarian [aspects],” he adds.
Lavrov denounces Kiev’s ongoing economic blockade of the Donbass Region, where the central authorities refuse to pay pensions and provide social benefits, as “wrong” & “harmful” to the Minsk accords.
Recent laws adopted by Ukraine, particularly the so-called “Decommunization package” & a bill that glorifies Ukrainian nationalists who have been accused of links to Nazi Germany, have “ruinous” implications for the peace process, Lavrov adds.
Russia’s top diplomat says he remains hopeful that the Normandy Four format discussions will keep making progress, & will soon bear a “concrete result.”
German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, meanwhile, tells reporters there is “no alternative” to the Minsk ceasefire agreement in solving the Ukrainian crisis:
“Nothing is easy in the Ukraine crisis, this is not new. During the talks today, the differences of opinion between Kiev and Moscow also became clear, once again,” Steinmeier adds.
The Special Representative of the OSCE Chair-in-Office, Ambassador Tagliavini, & the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Ambassador Apakan, were part of a larger meeting on Monday night.
Both were commended for their activities & urged to “finalize operational concepts on working groups within the Trilateral Contact Group --- as soon as possible,” says the ministers’ statement.
The OSCE has been monitoring implementation of the ceasefire with a special mission placed in eastern Ukraine. On Sunday, OSCE monitors reported “renewed fighting” by Shirokyno near to the front line. The mission said that it heard a tank round being fired “from government- controlled territory.”
It added that mission monitors in Mariupol heard “intermittent to heavy mortar fire” in the area, and “saw flashes indicative of such fire, from that area.”
Since the start of Kiev’s military operation a year ago, over 6,100 people have died, and nearly 15,500 injured, according to a report released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday.
Wanna Start WWIII? Nuclear Courier Commander Threatens to Kill Colleagues
Federal government auditing of a nuclear courier squad* in Tennessee, found some disturbing information about an official in charge of highly sensitive - and dangerous - work.
*A nuclear courier squad oversees locations where the uranium portions of H bombs are made, stored & occasionally moved to other federal sites --- and the audit found that the unit’s commander has shown incidents of "hostility or aggression toward fellow workers" and has at times exhibited "uncontrolled anger."
The Department of Energy report also found that the commander – unnamed – allegedly threatened to kill one of his co-workers 2 years ago and senior officials didn’t know about it until a few months ago.
The DOE audit goes on to mention that the commander has been involved in "physical or verbal altercations" and the misconduct had been going on for as long as a decade, but wasn’t reported to his superiors.
And it wasn’t just him. Others working at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee facility engaged in "unsuitable, reportable, behaviour."
The audit report was not made public until a recent Freedom of Information Act request was filed by Greenwire -- a trade publication that specializes in covering energy issues.
The commander is under 'administrative leave', while an investigation continues.
Extremists resort to sexual violence as war tactic: UN
A new UN report reveals that rape and sexual attacks, have turned into a war tactic in the hands of Takfiri terrorist groups, such as IS & Boko Haram.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says in the UN’s annual report, that 2014 saw “harrowing accounts of rape, sexual slavery & forced marriage being used by extremist groups, including as a tactic of terror.”
Sexual assaults in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, do not occur incidentally, but they are:- “integrally linked to strategic objectives, ideology and funding of extremist groups.”
The UN report lists the IS and Boko Haram Takfiri terrorists along with 11 other groups as the parties resorting to sexual violence.
Boko Haram, which controls part of north- eastern Nigeria, has recently declared its allegiance to the IS Takfiri group, which is perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity, in areas under its control, in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters seize airdropped Saudi weapons
Members of Yemen’s Popular Committees - together with Houthi Ansarullah fighters have seized a consignment of arms and munitions Saudi military aircraft dropped to allied militants, in the southwestern province of Lahij.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, say Saudi jets airdropped the weapons close to al-Anad military airbase on Monday, in the hope they'd be collected by forces loyal to Yemen’s fugitive president Hadi, Yemen-based Arabic-language Khabar news agency reports.
The ammunition fell into the hands of Popular Committees fighters, as well as Ansarullah revolutionaries, the sources add.
Saudi warplanes repeatedly drop arms and other supplies, to units aiding the military campaign against Yemen.
On April 3, Saudi aircraft airdropped a number of wooden boxes - containing various firearms and ammunition in Aden, 260 miles south of Sana’a.
An unnamed local army official said at the time that militants had gained access to the munitions, noting that sophisticated communications aids & combat medical kits were among the items airdropped.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign on Yemen started March 26, with no UN mandate.
The spokesperson for Yemen's army & Popular Committees says Saudi Arabia is leveling Yemen’s infrastructure, to the ground.
Col. Sharaf Luqman says, in Sana’a, that civilians and Yemeni infrastructure have been the target of the Saudi aggression against Yemen.
“Saudi Arabia is the international supporter of terrorism,” the military official states.
Large numbers of government buildings: schools, shops, petrol stations, markets, stadiums and mosques, were destroyed in the Saudi attacks, the spokesperson adds, describing the Saudi brutalities in Yemen, as “war crimes.”
Donbas Blockade Raises Concerns Among Normandy 4 FMs, Lavrov Says
The Normandy Four ministers are concerned by Kiev's continuing economic blockade of Eastern Ukraine (Donbas), Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says, after talks with his German, French and Ukrainian counter- parts in Berlin.
"It's wrong & harmful that the economic blockade of Donbas continues... Social benefits & pensions are not being paid.
"Special attention will be paid to this in the statement made on behalf of the Normandy Quartet, at the ministerial level today," Lavrov tells journalists after the meeting yesterday (Mon.)
UK Says "Thanks" To Russia
The UK Foreign Office thanks the Russian authorities for evacuating 6 UK nationals from Yemen, the office’s spokesperson, Michael Bownas, tells TASS.
"We can confirm that last weekend, six UK nationals left Yemen on a Russian ship. We thank the Russian authorities for their help," Bownas says.
In the last few days, Russian planes have evacuated about 600 people from Yemen - mostly women and children - despite all Saudi attempts to stop them.
The Russian Federation, China and Iran then sent armed ships off the coast.
US Abandons its citizens In Yemen
The United States admits, on Monday, it has 'no immediate plans' to rescue US nationals stranded in war-torn Yemen and urges them to flee the raging conflict, by sea.
State Department spokesperson, Marie Barf, couldn't tell reporters how many US civilians are thought to be caught up in the conflict - as citizens of other nations take to ships.
She says US authorities will contact those it can, & advise them of ships of allied nations who are rescuing their own nationals.
"At this point, we've encouraged all US citizens to shelter in secure locations (sic) until they`re able to depart safely. Airports are still closed... is my understanding," she says.
A protest website for Yemeni Americans - stuckinyemen.com - accuses Washington of abandoning dual nationals last month, in its haste to close its Yemen embassy.
Asked about a claim that 200 US citizens have signed up to the site, Harf says US officials are unable to confirm the figure and urges them to sign on to a US State Department list.
Yemen Tribal Forces Control Saudi Military Site, Riyadh Fails to Restore It
Yemeni tribal forces took a Saudi military site near the northern Yemeni border city of Saada, killing several Saudi soldiers, on Saturday.
Takhya tribe Forces launched a surprise attack on the al-Manara military base in Saudi territory, near the Yemeni border, say Yemeni sources, who add that the tribesmen now control the site.
On Sunday, Saudi land forces, backed by air forces, tried to retake the base. But they failed, the sources say.
The tribesmen also seized large amounts of arms and ammunition, plus a number of military vehicles, from Saudi forces.
The sources note that the Saudi forces were shocked by the attack, and add that Saudi airstrikes were spotted in the area, following the attack.
Reports say the attack was in retaliation for repeated Saudi aerial assaults on positions of the tribe and the slaughter of its members.
Russia Moves To Defend Iran
Russia's president Putin has repealed the ban on delivering air defense systems to Iran, says the Kremlin's press service. The ban was made by former President Dmitry Medvedev, in 2010.
“[The presidential] decree lifts the ban on transit through Russian territory, including airlifts, & its export from the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Iran, plus the transfer to the Islamic Republic of Iran outside territories of the Russian Federation, both by sea and by air, of air defense missile systems S-300,” says the information note accompanying the document, RIA Novosti reports.
The decree enters into force as of now, since the president’s signature.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov comments on the decision, saying that Moscow’s voluntary ban on S-300 deliveries is no longer needed, due to the progress in Iran’s nuclear talks made in Lausanne on April 2nd.
He says - in view of current events in the Middle East - modern air defense systems are crucial to Iran for defensive purposes.
After years negotiating, in February 2015, Moscow offered Tehran the chance to buy its latest Antey-2500 anti-aircraft ballistic missile system, instead of the older S-300 system. Iran said then it would consider it.
UK scientists, artists demand Trident nukes be scrapped
On the eve' of Monday's mass CND demo's, in Glasgow, London and other cities, UK scientists & artists united in their urgent call to bin Trident's nuclear weapons.
'Decommissioning Trident nuclear weapons would be popular with voters and supported by a majority of candidates standing in May 7's general election', luminaries from music, the arts and the legal world say, in a letter.
Despite the two main parties’ insistence last week that they will both renew the UK nuclear deterrent, the strategy is described as “a relic from the past” in the letter, published in the Observer.
The open letter suggests that the UK could and should, become the first member of the United Nations Security Council to give up its nuclear mass destruction weapons.
It says “Poll after poll reveals that it is indeed a majority popular demand throughout the UK. One poll recently revealed 81% of 500 general election candidates are opposed to renewal.”
“Britain should use its capacity for innovation by responding to real human & social needs.”
“Continuing to invest in nuclear weapons is actively depleting military & other effective defenses we might need in the 21st century. We should invest this military spending on conflict prevention.”
“By moving on from Trident, we can more effectively serve the needs and potential of our country and a changing world.”
Political analyst William Spring in London says:
“It is a pointless, futile exercise for Britain to actually use the nuclear tridents. It would be impossible to use it in any case. It is not an independent deterrent; it could not be used without the Americans supporting the act.”
The UK Trident programme was announced in July 1980. Since 1998, Trident has been the only British nuclear weapon system in service. Its stated purpose is to provide "the minimum effective nuclear deterrent as the ultimate means to deter the most extreme threat."
Kiev’s military attempted tank attack on Donetsk airport — Donetsk Republic
The Ukrainian military made an attempt to break into Donetsk airport, using tanks, spokesperson for the Defense Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Eduard Basurin, says Sunday.
The DPR registered numerous instances of its territory being shelled --- from Ukrainian army tanks --- the spokesperson says.
"Over the past twenty-four hours, Ukrainian tanks have fired over 98 times. The neighborhoods of Spartak and Shirokino, were shelled the most," the spokesperson says.
"I want to note that provocations are now made, by regular forces of Ukraine's army. We come to this conclusion via a statement by the Ukrainian side, which announced it had replaced volunteer battalions, by regular forces of Ukraine's army," the spokesperson says.
A shell fired by Ukraine's military hit the building of Donetsk City Clinical Hospital No. 21, Donetsk People’s Republic's Defense Ministry says.
"The Ukrainian shell hit, directly, the surgery department of Hospital No. 21 located in 12a Kremlyovskaya Avenue. The casualties data is being specified," the DPR Defense Ministry tells Donetsk news agency.
DPR's Defense Ministry, earlier, said that Ukraine's military had started to grossly violate the Minsk ceasefire accords.
The Ukraine army is both shelling Donetsk militia’s positions and making attempts to breach the militia’s defense, the DPR's Defense Ministry said then.
Overnight to April 12th, two infantry companies of the Ukrainian military launched an attack on Zhobunki settlement, on Donetsk airport's out- skirts. A direct combat engagement occurred, and the attack was thwarted, DPR's Defense Ministry says.
Growing tensions at the engagement line, caused by provocations from the Ukraine military, may disrupt the peaceful process in E. Ukraine, DPR's Defense Ministry says.
Poroshenko should neutralize persons who want to plunge Ukraine into civil war - Lavrov
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko should neutralize those who want to plunge Ukraine into civil war again, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says on Sunday.
"I believe that if Pyotr Poroshenko is a ‘president of the peace’ and he held really sincerely talks on the Minsk document, he must safeguard his rightness and thus neutralize those who want to plunge Ukraine into civil war again,"Lavrov says, on Vesti Weekly TV program.
"But so far, he tries to outdo these radicals in their field. In this case, one can climb the fence, from which it will be very difficult to get off,"the Russian foreign minister says.
DONETSK CITY HOSPITAL WORKING NORMALLY
Donetsk City Clinical Hospital No. 21 is working normally after being shelled by Ukraine's army, Donetsk People’s Republic's Health Minister, Viktor Kuchkovoi, says on Sunday.
"The mines flew into the building where there were no patients. As a result of the explosion, only the building’s roof was damaged. The hospital is working normally. All patients are receiving comprehensive, necessary medical assistance. There were no casualties among the medical personnel or patients as a result of the morning shelling,"the DPR's health minister says.
The administration head of Kuibyshevsky and Kievsky districts in Donetsk, Ivan Prikhodko, said earlier Sunday, that 4 mines landed on the hospital area, as a result of the shelling. Three of them exploded near the hospital, and one hit the building’s roof --- but it did not explode.
SAUDI SOLDIERS KILLED AT CHECKPOINT
Sputnik: Houthi rebels kill 3 Saudi Arabian
officers as they take a Saudi army base
on the Saudi/Yemen border, a military source tells Sputnik.
The officers were killed in the attack on al-Manara base, held by Saudi Arabia's
Army, bordering Yemen's Saada city,
the sources state on Sunday.
Before the Russian Orthodox Easter. Is This the Start of World War III? On the Friday before Russia's Orthodox Easter, the Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk U.S-coup-installed Government started to attack --- on all fronts.
This violation of the Minsk truce could not have happened without Obama’s approval. He is now choosing to commit this on Russia's holy days, to intensify the provocation against Russia.
Obama is going all-out now to provoke Russia into using Russian army troops and air power, so the US has its pretext to go to war against Russia, “in order to defend an ally”.
The following reports are from Fort Russ: Translated by Kristina Rus
Ex-Minister of Defence of DPR Igor Strelkov: “In general, we can say that the ceasefire is over – the entire front is under fire, including artillery and the enemy's shock troops have moved to the forefront.”
Donetsk under fire
War correspondent “Step” reports:
Shells whistle again over the cities of Donbass. In Donetsk, ambulance and emergency service sirens are heard. Under fire are Kievsky district, Oktyabrsky village, Panfilov mine village, Gladkova, Severny, and Putilovka.
The entire evening of April 9th there was a battle in Spartak village and near Peski. The punishers used artillery guns, tanks, mortars, and heavy barreled artillery. Under the cover of artillery, the enemy tried to seize the militia positions in Spartak and near the airport. During the battle, this attempt was severely suppressed.
Also -- suddenly -- all the militia positions near Yasynovataya town were attacked. There was a battle using small arms. West of Petrovsky, a district of Donetsk, mortars were heard firing, plus grenade launchers & heavy machine guns.
From occupied Volnovakha, Dokuchayevsk was fired on. The city outskirts are under heavy fire from the enemy. People are hiding in shelters, fearing an assault on the city by the punishers, who have assembled the biggest formation in this area, of about 8,000 people.
According to a resident of Dokuchayevsk:
“Locals demand that the militia do not leave them alone -- and hold positions at any cost. Women are crying hysterically, saying that Ukrainians will go into the city and start a massacre. Older women bless the passing trucks with soldiers, and pray for victory and a rapid liberation of the district from the Ukrainian troops”.
Over Donetsk about a dozen enemy drones were spotted, one of which was shot down near Lidiyevka mine.
The militia is on full alert and is ready for a full-scale attack by the enemy.
On April 9th, 2015, near Mariupol, in Shirokino, there was a fierce battle.There were dead and wounded among the militia and the Ukrainian occupation troops.
Tanks approaching Donetsk
The Operational Coordination Centre reports a Ukrainian armoured column, nearing Donetsk. From several directions, the trucks occupants are pulling the tank columns towards Donetsk.
In particular, a few dozen tanks are nearing the airport - from Marinka and Avdeevka's direction.
Eric Zuesse, globalresearch.ca
April 11th, 20:05
Armed conflicts registered among Ukraine’s army units in Donbass
Kiev’s authorities describe episodes when Ukrainian units open fire on one another, as militia violations of the ceasefire, the spokesperson for the DPR says.
April 11th. /TASS:
Confrontation among Ukrainian Armed Forces’ units in Donbass has resulted in armed conflict, a spokesperson for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said, on Saturday.
"We have registered cases of a sharpening confrontation -- not just between Ukrainian regular units and the ‘volunteer battalions’ -- but also among units of Ukraine’s Armed Forces,"the Donetsk news agency quotes Eduard Basurin, as saying.
On Friday reports came that Ukraine’s 93rd separate mechanised brigade, demanded - from the battalion of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, that they abandon their positions outside the village of Peski.
"Today, Saturday, regular army units got involved in armed conflict,"Basurin said.
"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Kiev’s authorities describe these episodes, when Ukrainian units open fire on one another, as the militia’s violations of the ceasefire and [Kiev] systematically reports to the OSCE mission and Ukraine- controlled media about it," he says.
Russian jet intercepted US spycraft: Report
A Su-27 Russian fighter jet has chased off a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace, heading ever-so-close to the Russian border, as military tension between Washington and Moscow grows.
The intercept of the US military aircraft was so close by the Russian warplane that they nearly collided. The incident happened on Tuesday.
They were only 20 feet apart, says the Pentagon.
Apparently, the incident prompted a diplomatic protest by the US with Pentagon spokesperson Eileen M. Lainaz, describing the interception as "unsafe and unprofessional".
Russia replied swiftly to those comments. “As to the professional qualities of Russia's pilots, this is something for the Russian military command to assess,” Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Maj.-General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
He slammed the intervention by the US military saying that US spy planes “are supposed to fly along US borders only --- and nowhere else”.
The US spy plane was “making steady progress towards the Russian border from the Baltic Sea” and was operating without signal transponders on -- which is an inappropriate condition for any reconnaissance plane in international airspace, to be in.
This specific incident comes ahead of a planned nearly one-month military drill by the US sea, air, and land forces in Europe - which Russia warns is “an unprecedentedly dangerous step", at its front door.
Lately, tensions between Russia & the US - especially military tensions - have been at high levels, not seen, since the end of the Cold War in 1991.
This is mainly because of the crisis in Ukraine where the US along with its allies including EU members in Europe, took sides with a regime in Ukraine, that Russia believes is the result of a Western coupe d’etat in the country in 2014.
Moscow, ever since then, has been supporting Ukrainian fighters in the east, against what it says are the “savage crimes by the Ukrainian government -- supported by the US and West -- against the people of Ukraine”. --- Press TV.
US, Britain, France, Jordan refuse to name ISIL as separate terror group
Russia says the US, UK, France & Jordan have rejected Syria’s proposal to add ISIL to the United Nation Security Council’s official sanctions list, as a separate terrorist group.
"In the UN Security Council Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, the US, UK, France & Jordan have blocked Syria’s request - supported by Russia - to include ISIL terrorist group in the sanctions list as a separate group,"the statement by Russia's Foreign Ministry reads.
According to reports, ISIL Takfiri terrorist group is currently mentioned as 'al-Qaida in Iraq' (AQI), in the UN’s sanctions list.
Moscow says this naming fails to “reflect the true state of affairs” in Syria and Iraq, and adds that the terrorist group did not evolve as a branch of al-Qaeda, but was funded & supported by the US & allies.
"This position has an obvious political motivation -- to disclaim responsibility for the growing scale of Islamic State's (ISIL) activities, & 'prove' that it is not a new entity that has been brought into existence by the implemention of a plan to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- but by the former al-Qaida in Iraq.”
The four countries’ decision shows that “the anti-Assad coalition bears no moral or political responsibility”, for creating ISIL, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
Moscow also lashes out at Washington for the emergence of extremist groups in Iraq.
"It won't hurt to mention that AQI owes its emergence to a US invasion of Iraq in 2003," the statement adds.
The ISIL terrorist group, with members from several Western countries, now controls parts of Iraq & Syria and has been involved in a series of vicious crimes committed on civilians and government forces in 2 Arab states.
GREECE GIVEN 6 DAYS
Reports say Greece has been offered 6 working days to draw up a revised economic reform plan - to secure its next rescue 'bailout' loans.
According to Greek daily Kathimerini, eurozone technical staff are giving Athens a moratorium until April 24th, when the EU finance ministers meet in Riga, Latvia.
“The next step will be the Eurogroup of April 24,” European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas says, adding, “Everything that happens before that, will be greatly welcomed.”
The state-run BBC also quotes an EU official as saying, “If you take into account weekends and Orthodox Easter, there are only six days left.”
Officials warn that state coffers could run dry, as Greece will struggle to pay back EUR 420 million to international investors on April 14th --- and EUR 950 million in loan installments to the IMF, in May.
Greek authorities are working against the clock to reach a deal with international creditors over the terms of the 'bailout'.
Greece’s debts stem from the EUR-240-billion bailout loan it received from a so-called troika of international lenders - the European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commission - 'to prevent bankruptcy' in 2010, say experts.
Failure to reach a final deal by the end of April, critics say, could push Greece into bankruptcy and out of the eurozone.
But the real reason Greeks are suffering now is that the US encouraged Greek leaders to take out loans & spend billions on buying US armaments, for years... making Greece the world's second biggest arms purchaser.
Pentagon: US bunker busting bombs 'ready' for war against Iran US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter threatens Iran with war --- saying US bunker-busting bombs are ready to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities --- if necessary.
“We continue to improve and upgrade them over time so that there's this alternative,” he states, to CNN.
“My job as secretary of Defense is to, among other things, make sure that the so-called military option is on the table,” he says.
The threats come during efforts by Iran & world powers to reach a final agreement after a framework deal was reached in Switzerland, on April 2nd.
The Pentagon chief says the US military has the ability to “shut down, set back, & destroy the Iranian nuclear program.”
Carter also says any nuclear deal must include inspection of Iran’s military sites.
“It depends what you mean by military sites, but yes. Absolutely," he says.
Vice Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, has already hit back at Carter’s comments, saying Iran won't allow inspections of its military facilities, as part of any possible nuclear deal.
“During previous negotiations, Iranian officials have explicitly, unequivocally, voiced a prohibition on any inspection of military defense centres & facilities,” Jazayeri states.
The two sides are aiming at a final accord by the end of June.
US/COLUMBIA SADISTIC MOVE
Che Guevara's daughter, at the OAS pre- summit meeting, expresses her outrage at having her father's murderer there.
Red Cross Distributes Humanitarian Aid in Yemeni Capital on Saturday The International Red Cross (IRC) has begun to distribute humanitarian aid during a break in the Arab Alliance''s bombings.
An IRC airplane landed at the international airport in Sana'a, in the morning, which has been closed for the last few days --- due to attacks by the 9-country coalition fighting against the Houthis Ansar Allah movement and troops loyal to the former president, Ali Absullah Saleh.
It's the second aid delivery of the Red Cross since the arrival of a ship in Aden city, last Wednesday and the first to be sent by plane.
A 32 ton shipment is set to arrive Sunday, to join the 16 tons sent today, which includes medicines, power generators, water filters and equipment, as well as medics from 'Doctors Without Borders'.
Iran, which opened an air route between Tehran and the capital, has contributed humanitarian aid for the population since the start of the Saudi-led attacks.
Despite the bombings, which today enter their 3rd week, Ansar Allah and their allies occupy most of Aden port city, and are preparing their advance to Hadramaut, in South-east Yemen.
Pakistan Parliament Rejects Saudi Call to Join Coalition against Yemen
Pakistan's parliament urges the government to stay out of the Yemen conflict, rejecting Saudi demands for Pakistan to join an Arab coalition against the Arab world’s poorest country.
A unanimous resolution passed by a special session of parliament says Pakistan should play a mediating role and not get involved in fighting -- turning down longstanding ally Riyadh's request for troops, ships and warplanes.
"Parliament of Pakistan underscores the need for continued efforts by the government of Pakistan to find a peaceful resolution of the crisis," the resolution says.
"(Parliament) desires that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict, so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis."
The motion comes after 5 days of debate on the Yemen crisis, in which a majority of lawmakers urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not to send Pakistani forces to join the fight.
Pakistan has pushed diplomatic efforts in the past week... holding talks with Turkish and Iranian officials to try to forge a way ahead.
Friday's resolution urges the government to begin work in the UN Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation bloc, to bring about a ceasefire.
South Ukraine's Odessa greets Poroshenko with protests and anti-fascist slogans
President Petro Poroshenko arrived in Odessa, southern Ukraine, on Friday, for the celebrations of the 71st anniversary of the city’s liberation from German and Romanian occupiers during WWII -- and was given a cool reception by hundreds of people gathered near the Monument to an Unknown Sailor at the city’s Alley of Glory.
They chanted "murderer", "No to fascism!" and other anti-government slogans when they saw the president approaching. The demonstrators had a replica of the Banner of Victory & red flags, held in their hands.
Poroshenko arrived to lay a wreath at the memorial, accompanied by city officials, while Euromaidan supporters dressed in military uniforms stood nearby.
Reinforced police units sealed off the Alley of Glory. The policemen turned away all the people who had come to lay flowers at the monument.
After the motorcade left, Poroshenko’s supporters tried to snatch the red flags out of demonstrators’ hands, provoking several clashes, which were stopped by the police.
Earlier Friday, 'Euromaidan supporters' removed all billboards greeting veterans on the city’s liberation, from the streets.
Mass protests have been shaking Odessa for the past five days.
On April 8th, Kiev’s security services detained dozens of activists of a new organization "The People’s Rada of Bessarabia" ....and its head, Dmitry Zatuliveter, was then taken away, in an unknown direction.
Kiev’s Security Chief Valentin Nalivaychenko says the detainees are suspected of being terrorists aiming to "destabilize the region".
National minorities in the Odessa region have now united in a new organization called 'The People’s Rada of Bessarabia' to defend their rights. The inaugural conference on April 6th was attended by delegates from 7 regional communities - Bulgarian, Gagauz, Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy, Moldovan and Polish.
So a new problem zone has appeared for the US-coup leaders in Kiev.
The People’s Rada of Bessarabia is organized to seek national territorial autonomy within Ukraine, for the Bessarabia region.
Bessarabia is an historical region in Eastern Europe, bounded by the Dniester River in the East and the Prut River in the West. It passed successively, from the 15th to 20th century, to Moldova, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, Romania, the Soviet Union, Ukraine and then, back to Moldova.
Moldova, historically part of Bessarabia, is alarmed by events in Odessa region, which borders Moldova’s unrecognised Dniester Republic.
On April 9th, the People’s Rada of Bessarabia sent a letter to President Poroshenko, urging him to stop reprisals against its activists.
IRAN SAYS US 'MIS-INTERPRETS' DEAL
Iranian President Rouhani says Tehran won’t sign a final nuclear deal unless economic sanctions against the country are lifted at once and at the same time.
The comments contradict Washington’s statement that sanctions would be lifted gradually, subject to Iran's compliance.
"We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day. We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks," Rouhani says, in a televised speech on Thursday evening.
From Thursday evening until Friday morning Ukraine’s armed forces launched a massive tank shelling of militia positions of the DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic).
The mass tank shelling of militia positions in Donetsk and Spartak village ended by Friday morning, the press service of Donetsk city administration says.
"The evening of April 9 and the night in Donetsk were intense: combat actions were held in the area of the airport and Spartak village. At 8:30 am the situation in the city is calm -- no reports from citizens of incidents have been received," the mayor’s office says.
There is as yet no information on the damage or on casualties. "All life support systems are working as normal," the press service states.
Ukraine’s armed forces overnight until Friday launched the massive tank shelling from the direction of the city of Avdeyevka, controlled by Ukrainian troops.
The DPR’s Defense Ministry says Kiev's forces started provocations on Thursday afternoon. "The militias remain unprovoked and do not return fire," the ministry adds.
Thursday, Kiev troops used 122mm calibre heavy weaponry which had to be withdrawn from all contact lines, under the agreements reached in Minsk, on February 12th, it says.
HERE'S LOOKING AT EU, US (sorry, couldn't resist!)
BRICS states may be invited to launch new space station
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov, announces that countries from the BRICS group may join a project using a new international space station.
“The discussion framework shouldn't be limited exclusively, to current ISS participants. We have to consider the possible participation of BRICS countries in the future projects,” Igor Komarov says, on Friday.
The ISS, whose operation ends in 2024, includes Canada, Japan, Russia, the US, Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, Germany and the UK.
Komarov said in March that a joint project by Moscow and Washington to establish a new space station after 2024, is now "in the planning stages".
BRICS countries are increasingly influential. They host 40% of the world’s population & their economies total USD 16 trillion.
In January Russia announced it was working on a 'proposal' to create a new space station for BRICS countries. The plan, which is being prepared under President Putin's supervision, is to be submitted to the next BRICS summit in early July, in Ufa city, in Russia.
Saudi warplanes batter Yemen with most intense raids
Saudi-led warplanes batter southern Yemen overnight in the most intense air raids since their launch of an illegal campaign against the country last month, local residents say.
Local residents & witnesses in Aden say on Friday that the airstrikes lasted well into the night and targeted several areas... including the municipal headquarters of Dar Saad at the city's northern entrance.
"In Aden, the raids began at around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Thursday and were the most violent since the start of 'Operation Decisive Storm,'" residents say.
The Saudis targeted several public places, including a stadium in the centre of the city.
Sources say a series of "extremely violent" air raids also targeted Ataq, the capital of Shabwa Province, east of Aden. The air raids by Saudi Arabia came after Ansarullah fighters capture Ataq, capital of oil-rich Shabwa, on Thursday.
Also on Friday, a fresh wave of Saudi air raids hit several telecommunication targets in the west and northwest of Yemen.
Saudi airborne assaults also struck Yemen’s Defense Ministry in Sana’a. Separate raids by Saudi fighter jets also targeted a food supply building belonging to the Yemeni army in the west of the capital.
Sanctions on Iran will be lifted in stages - Washington Asserts
The US warns that sanctions on Iran will be lifted only in phases as the nuclear deal is implemented.
The announcement came after Iran demanded they be removed as soon as possible. "We are not going to respond to each public statement made by Iranian officials or negotiate in public.
"Sanctions will be suspended in a phased way -- upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments -- and under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action," says the US State Dept spokesperson, J. Rathke.
This, as Iran's Supreme leader says its acceptance depends "on the details".
The West is currently spinning that the deal is a sure sign that Iran has bowed to the US.
PLO says it will, itself not be involved in the fighting, but will aid those who need to be helped out of the camp.
On Thursday the PLO announced that 14 Palestinian factions back joint action in Yarmouk, with Syria's Army.
The factions support “a security solution that will be carried out in full partnership with the Syrian state,” PLO official Ahmed Majdalani reported early on Friday.
In early April IS was reported as in control of a “large part” of the camp, after beating other Palestinian groups fighting President Assad’s forces. Yarmouk was once a home to 160,000 Palestinian refugees & Syrians.
Yemen to turn into graveyard for aggressors: Houthi movement
The Yemeni Houthi movement warns that Yemen will turn into a “graveyard” for the aggressors against the country.
The Houthi movement’s spokesperson, Colonel Sharaf Luqman, describes the attacks by Saudi Arabia against the Yemeni people as “barbaric aggression” at a news conference in Sana’a, Yemen's capital, adding that Yemen will turn into a “graveyard for invaders,” the Anadolu news Agency reports.
The remarks by the Yemeni colonel come as fighter jets continue to pound Yemen.
Luqman adds, “The Yemeni people aren’t an easy nut to crack. We will settle scores with everybody, sooner or later, in whatever way the people see fit.”
Referring to the number of people killed in the ongoing crisis in the country, Luqman, appointed as spokesperson for the Houthi movement on Wednesday, notes that at least 1,000 people including 200 children have been killed and in excess of 15,000 others have been injured, to date.
The Houthi movement called on Yemen's people to take to the streets on Friday, to:
“denounce this barbaric aggression against Yemen.”
Today masses are in the centre of the main cities, with the capital swamped with determined Yemenis marching & shouting slogans of resistance.
Saudi warplanes pound military airport in southern Yemen
According to eyewitness, Saudi warplanes targeted a military command centre there also, Anadolu news Agency reports.
There are no immediate reports on casualties in the latest aggression.
The air raids by Saudi Arabia came, after Ansarullah fighters managed to take Ataq, capital of oil-rich Shabwa, early Thursday.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against the Ansarullah fighters started on March 26, without a UN mandate, to restore power to an ally of Riyadh.
US BLACKS DRIVE TO BE EQUAL
In the violence-rocked US city of Ferguson, people headed to polls in council elections -- bringing two more black members to city government, the official results show.
The unprecedented numbers show a leap of nearly 250% compared to the last vote --- before the months-long violence that broke out, back in August 2014.
The numbers show, say analysts, a sense of growing division among Americans --- specifically between whites and blacks --- an issue that still haunts the US.
Last August protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, the day after the alleged murder of an African-American teenager, Michael Brown, by a white officer, Darren Wilson, who was then not even indicted by a jury in the several-month trial that followed.
The protests, that turned into violent social unrest, were called America’s “Arab Spring” as the demonstrators showed anger at what they know is a racist police department, as they are endemic across the US.
US police officers are majority white by a large ratio to blacks, including in mostly African-American populated cities, all over the states, just like in Ferguson.
The Ferguson violence happened in two phases; one before the trial and one right after, but the space in between those two events lasted several months as sporadic violence continued to shake the small city.
Official numbers show hundreds in Ferguson were arrested, and dozens injured, including children, and it caused international outrage from countries like France, Germany, Iran, China, Russia, and N Korea, who condemn regime “crackdowns” on unarmed civilians.
Washington was then forced to investigate the city and found racial strife as a norm in Ferguson, & “racial abuse in its courts and police systems.”
Although racial tensions persist in that city even since the violence ended, no evidence shows it more clearly than the results of the latest polls, which closed earlier this week.
The results show exactly half of the city’s council men and women are black for the first time since the city was founded over 120 years ago.
The city’s population of African Americans is a whopping 70%, but white authorities are still 50%, and the population of whites in local police departments is massively higher than their black counterparts... show figures on the city’s own web page.
Voters, when asked by local media, believe “a new dawn has emerged after the unrest” not only for their city, but for many across the whole US.
Putin not to penalize Kiev for taking less gas than it contracted for the next three months
TASS - President Putin’s support is 'indirect economic assistance' in the hardest period of Ukraine's development, spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says.
President Putin says economic issues shouldn't be mixed with politics in bilateral relationships, and especially in crises, Peskov adds.
"In times of trouble, it was Russia that always helped Ukraine, directly or indirectly, and did that fairly and unequivocally. That is why this decision should certainly be seen as indirect assistance to Ukraine. It is an economic matter," the Kremlin spokesperson says.
"Russia was always ready to demonstrate pragmatism and flexibility. This is just one more confirmation of this," Peskov states.
"Considering the difficult situation in the Ukrainian economy, we need to meet our partners halfway," the president states.
Putin pledges not to use gas prices to pressure Ukraine.
"It is necessary that our partners feel a degree of confidence in our intention to preserve normal business relations... We are not going to use our economic ties as leverage to resolve other issues not linked to the economy. We've never done that before - & I assure them that we are not going to do it in the future," Putin stresses.
Three oilfields retaken by Iraq's army
"ISIL" Takfiri terrorists have lost control of at least 3 large oilfields" in Iraq, where the army is carrying out operations against a weakening terrorist take-over.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday, cites the German intelligence service's report.
Now ISIL have only 5% of the oil they had, the daily says, adding that satellite images from last month show the terrorists setting fire to two - the Himrin and Ajil fields - after the counteroffensive against the Takfiris.
"In BND's (Bundesnachrichtendienst) eyes, that is proof ISIL itself does not believe in their quick recapture," the 'paper says.
The report says ISIL currently controls only the Qayara oilfield --- which produces about 2,000 barrels a day.
The Iraqi army's new gains mean that terrorists "can hardly sell oil anymore".
The terrorist group depends on oil in Iraq & Syria as a source of income --- as well as on smuggling antiques out of the two countries.
ISIL militants from several Western countries have been executing horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all ethnic and religious communities.
Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia fighters and Sunni tribesmen are now succeeding in driving the terrorists out of several areas in Iraq.
Commander: Yemeni Army, Ansarullah, Plan to Arm Tribes against Saudi Arabia
Senior Yemeni commanders announce that the army & Ansarullah fighters are planning to arm the country's tribesmen against the Saudi-led aggression.
"The Yemeni army and Ansarullah plan to arm tribesmen, in a bid to help the army & popular committees in their ongoing battle against the Saudi aggression," Yemeni Army Commander, Major General Javad Al-Razi, tells FNA.
He also points to the Yemeni army's contract with Russia for purchasing different weapons such as advanced tanks and missiles:"The victories of the Yemeni army & fighters continue and our forces are advancing in Aden (province)," he affirms.
Senior Ansarullah officials say they have large numbers of ready-to-launch missiles and drones to strike at Saudi Arabia, and warn that the Saudi aggressors should wait for their crushing response.
"This movement has hundreds of precision missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles, (UAVs) that can be used against Saudi Arabia at any time," Mohanad al-Salami tells FNA.
He notes that the Al Saud regime has been terrified by the recent military advances of Ansarullah as the revolutionary committees and allied Yemeni fighters, have succeeded in cracking down on the terrorists in Aden's Southern province.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 14 days now... to restore power to the fugitive president Mansour Hadi, Riyadh's close ally.
The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 906 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructure.
Central African Republic warring factions accept ceasefire
Warring factions in the Central African Republic (CAR) have accepted a ceasefire agreement... after months of Kenya-mediated negotiations.
The deal was reached between Joachim Kokate, a delegate of the Christian anti-Balaka group and the former CAR President, Djotodia, of the Muslim Seleka group, the Kenyan presidency announces in a statement.
"There will be many who will try to bring divisions amongst you for their personal benefit," AFP news quotes Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, saying in the statement.
He praises the parties’ "spirit of brotherhood" demonstrated during the peace negotiations.
In January an earlier ceasefire agreement, which called for the substitution of CAR's interim government of President Catherine Samba-Panza, was not accepted by Bangui.
That accord was also disregarded by the 10 -member Economic Community of Central African States.
Since then, the rival factions have agreed to recognize the transitional authorities.
The UN says nearly 300,000 people have fled violence in the CAR, to go to Chad, Cameroon and Ethiopia.
The Central African Republic has been experiencing deadly unrest ever since December 2013, when Christian armed groups launched coordinated attacks against the Seleka group that toppled the government in March 2013.
Houthis and Yemen's army seize sea- port and airport in Yemen's Aden
Houthis & their army allies in Yemen seize Aden's port and international airport now, Al-Mayadeen TV channel reports.
Rebels, aided by several army units, received reinforcements - despite air strikes delivered on their positions by the Saudi-led coalition - which determined the outcome in Yemen’s second-largest city, Al-Mayadeen says.
The coalition’s warplanes struck at central & western regions. Saba news reports that a school was hit in Ibb city, which is about 160 kilometers from Sanaa.
Three children were killed and over 20 injured. Yemen’s Education Ministry has sent a note of protest to the UN, demanding an official investigation of this "military crime."
More than 230 Houthi field commanders have been killed in the last two weeks by airstrikes and about 3,000 supporters of the Ansar Allah movement have been injured, according to the Elaf internet portal.
UNICEF says over 200,000 Yemeni refugees have fled their homes since the start of the military conflict in the country.
At least 74 children are dead and 44 more have been injured as a result of the Saudi terror bombing. Sunday, the UN reported that 549 people had been killed in Yemen since March 19th, including 217 civilians.
Female Palestinian MP snatched by IDF, held without charge for 6 months
Israeli troops have placed a female Palestinian MP under a '6 month' administrative detention.
Khalida Jarrar, 52, involved in the PA joining the International Criminal Court, is a senior political leader of the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palest --- a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
She was seized by a squad of 50 IDF troops in the middle of the night, last week, after they stormed into her house in Ramallah, Ghassan Jarrar, her husband, tells RT.
“They attacked our house at about 1am. They broke the door. They isolated me in another room and stayed in my house for about an hour. Finally they kidnapped my wife, Khalida,” he says.
He says the IDF has violated an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, under which the Israelis are not supposed to detain elected Palestinian officials.
An Israeli military commander later ordered her administrative detention for six months - the maximum term Israeli law allows for a person to be held in custody without any charge or court order.
[After six months, the 'order' can be -- and often is -- re-applied for another 6 months.]
The MP joins over 450 people currently held in 'administrative detention' in Israel, states the Addemeer Prisoner Support Association.
The number is lower than it was 3 years ago - before Israel scaled down the detentions - after a long hunger strike by detainees.
Israel says the practice prevents militant attacks... but human rights activists say the large-scale use of such detentions amounts to an abuse of power.
Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet, views her as a major advocate of armed resistance against Israel, saying that she incited PFLP followers to launch terrorist attacks, says the Jerusalem Post.
The IDF reportedly seized her for violating an order issued in August 2014, barring her from leaving Jericho city. The restriction exiled her from her Ramallah home, and the politician campaigned against it.
Her position as a member of the team that oversaw the Palestinian Authority gaining membership of the International Criminal Court last week, has led to suspicion that the arrest may be a punishment.
“This is how Israel seeks to deter all Palestinian public activists -- not to mention one involved with advancing the entry into the ICC -- from realizing his or her rights,” Israel's newspaper Haaretz says, in an editorial.
“If Jarrar broke the law, Israel must put her on trial - and prove she committed a crime. If -- on the other hand -- the reason for her detention is revenge, she must be freed immediately.”
Israel fiercely opposed Palestine joining the ICC. Jarrar’s arrest brings the number of Palestinian legislators currently held in Israeli prisons, to 16.
Syria offers Palestinians firepower
Syria says it is ready to offer Palestinians its firepower to support their battle with the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group, which has besieged a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.
ISIL, which currently controls parts of Iraq and Syria, launched an attack on Yarmouk refugee camp in southwest Syria on April 1.
The United Nations has said nearly 18,000 civilians, including large numbers of child- ren, are caught in the camp.
Palestinian fighters affiliated with Hamas have reportedly engaged in the battle to force ISIL terrorists from the camp.
Tuesday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met with a delegation from the PLO, headed by Ahmad Majdalani.
"Syrian authorities are ready to support the Palestinian fighters in a number of ways, including militarily, to push ISIL out of the camp," says PLO official Anwar Abdul Hadi, who was at the meeting.
Ukrainian forces moving new heavy weaponry to buffer zone in Donbas - OSCE
TASS - Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have reported that Ukrainian forces are moving new heavy weaponry to the buffer zone in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) says in its daily update.
SMM lists four 100-mm anti-tank guns and four MTLB armored tractors positioned near the Mirnaya Dolina settlement... "On the 6th of April, near Mirnaya Dolina (government-controlled, and 67km north west of Luhansk), the SMM observed four newly deployed 100mm anti-tank guns with crew and four anti- personnel carrier (MTLB), loaded with ammunition boxes," the report says and continues with other observed breaks of the Minsk 2 Agreement.
Celebrations on the Day of proclamation of the DPR
A massive celebration of the Day of proclamation of Donetsk People’s Republic, took place in Donetsk this week.
Chair of the People’s Council of the DPR, Andrey Purgin and the Vice spokesperson of the DPR's Council, Denis Pushilin, took part in many events.
Celebrations in the Donetsk Music Drama Theatre concert were a 'present' for all the attendees there.
Ukraine is preparing for new battles in Donbass State enterprise Harkov Design Bureau of Transport Machinery has worked with Ukroboronprom to make a variant of the military 'protected machine; APC-4 --- with additional protection for use in the 'ATO' zone.
Le Monde: Kiev peace accord violation starts to trouble the West
Influential French newspaper Le Monde tells its readers of concern in Paris about policy U-turns by Kiev’s regime over peace in the country’s war- torn east, noting that the West is “beginning to voice irritation and remind Kiev that its support is not unconditional”.
Kiev’s perceived violation of the peace accords signed in Minsk, Belarus, is generating disquiet in the French capital, the daily says, noting the Elysee presidential administration’s reaction to the Ukrainian authorities’ failure to honour its commitments aimed at bringing peace to the embattled Donbas region.
Le Monde quotes a source close to President Francois Hollande as saying Petr Poroshenko has “failed to push through parliament a law that guarantees holding local elections in the eastern regions and granting special status for them”.
“Kiev puts forward conditions which are not stipulated by the Minsk agreements,” the newspaper says.
The Minsk accords envisaged elections and a withdrawal of forces --- “after the beginning of political changes & granting a certain amount of autonomy to Donbas”, the paper notes.
“However, the law endorsed by the Ukrainian parliament links granting autonomy to Ukraine’s eastern regions with holding local elections and withdrawing illegal armed groups. Such a U-turn only makes the settlement process, complex as it is, even more unstable and very difficult to implement,” the paper says.
By acting this way, Kiev gives rise to criticism, with the West “beginning to voice irritation and reminding that its support is not unconditional,” it adds.
Iran Urges Oman to Persuade Saudi Arabia to Stop Aggression on Yemen Iran today warns that Saudi Arabia''s air strikes on Yemenis will lead to an unpredictible humanitarian disaster & calls on Oman to persuade Saudi Arabia to stop the aggression & find negotiated solutions.
The official media in Tehran says the Government called the Arab sultanate for its immediate help to stop the air attacks on Yemen, which started on March 26 with the aim of eliminating the insurgent Ansar Allah movement after it took power in Sanaa.
Oman is the only Gulf Cooperation Council member that did not join the declaration, in which the other five members backed the bombings against Ansar Allah, with the official aim of restoring the former Yemeni President, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
After 12 days of Saudi strikes, Iran's deputy Foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, says the Islamic Republic is actively working now to end the aggression and bloodshed.
Amir-Abdollahian notes that the Iranian Foreign ministry is focusing its efforts on finding political solutions, and sending humanitarian assistance for the Yemen, the Arab world's poorest nation.
A humanitarian crisis is being favored in Yemen, and the seige to the country, plus the blocking of humanitarian supplies, have no justification, stresses the deputy Foreign minister, while slamming the Saudi's war stance.
Ad Campaign against killer drones launched in USA
The first anti-drones advertising campaign will be broadcast on American television throughout April.
Organizers of the campaign say in the direct appeal to drone operators, that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the US President and Congress violates moral standards, Pravda.Ru says.
The campaign's goal is to appeal to those who receive orders to kill. Those people should listen to the call of their conscience before they launch another drone, campaign organizers believe.
It cost the US government incredible efforts to convince the general public that using drones to kill brings only good results, says Pravda.Ru.
To destroy the head of the Islamist Haqqani Network, drones struck five times. The head of the terrorist group was not destroyed, but the attacks killed 80 civilians.
To kill Baitullah Mehsud, the head of Taliban, seven air raids were conducted. As many as 164 civilians were killed.
Two unmanned aircraft were sent to destroy Ayman al-Zawahiri, current head of Al-Qaeda - the terrorist network. The terrorist is alive, in contrast to 76 children, who came under fire and were killed.
Yemen: Moscow responds to oil blackmail
Moscow had lots of patience, tolerating the US blackmail in Syria and a massacre of Ukraine... then the US & Saudi Arabia crossed a red line by lowering oil prices & Russia had to respond, reports Pravda news.
A gambit in Yemen was played, with Tehran, to cause damage to the Wahhabi state. After all, the Saudis are used to sponsoring wars, but they do not like to die in them.
The US says that in Yemen, their troops are fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIS. The goal of the operation, according to White House spokesperson, Josh Earnest, is to support central government, increase the potential of local fighters and use US' technological and military resources to press extremists.
But, firstly, the "central government" in Yemen in the person of President Hadi fled & has no control over the situation.
Secondly, the "local fighters" of Yemen are rebellious Huthis, Al-Qaeda gunmen and regional separatists.
Thirdly, the "own resources" of the US - 125 CIA and Pentagon advisers - were "evacuated" after the war broke out.
Therefore, in order to maintain control over the important strategic area, the US had no other choice but to push Saudi Arabia to act.
On March 25, the coalition of ten countries, under Saudi Arabia's leadership, began to bomb Yemen, to try to keep control over Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.
The situation in Yemen "is a major defeat" for the US and Saudi Arabia, Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst for the Middle East, tells AFP.
According to him, the USA has no choice but to support those forces left in Yemen after President Hadi, and try to obtain all necessary aid from Saudi Arabia & Oman.
At the same time, Riedel adds, if there are forces that fight against Al-Qaeda in the region, they are the Huthis.
The expert could not expand on this contradiction.
So the US is demonstrating its absolute inability in foreign policy. Many analysts say the Americans deliberately create 'controlled chaos' in the world.
Is this really the case? The chaos is now getting out of control. Below, is a remark voiced by Saud Al-Faisal, Foreign Affairs Minister of Saudi Arabia, at a meeting of the Arab League in Egypt, on Sunday.
"Putin talks about the problems in the Middle East as if Russia has no influence on these issues," the Saudi minister said.
From the Saudis point of view, they have to deal with a Russia/Iran/Syria coalition.
What if Yemen is part of a plan to repel the attack by Saudi Arabia and the US, in their 'game' to lower the price of oil?
It turns out that the Huthis can block Bab-el- Mandeb at any moment. If true, tankers from Saudi Arabia will be unable to pass through the Suez Canal to Europe and America.
When Iran promised to do it two years ago, an uproar ensued, and now it is logical to assume that Iran has decided to do it more carefully - through the hands of the Huthis.
If true, the price of oil will rise dramatically. Of course, this is a sacrifice, as Yemen now faces a full-scale intervention. Yet Yemen is fighting for justice - to bring its Zaidi imams back into power.
"For centuries, all Yemeni imams (kings) were Zaidi imams. They were the people who were entitled to power, which is very important in Islamic countries. They were very proud of practicing their own form of Islam."
"The fact that they're now in power is like a restoration of historical justice," Sergei Plekhanov, the author of many books on the Arab world, says in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.
Yemen is the only country in the world... where the arms trade is legal. Everyone owns a Kalashnikov and their patriotism is very strong.
The Saudis have a weak army, but they can get help from Egypt & Pakistan who depend on funding from Saudi Arabia.
The prime ministers of Egypt and Pakistan declare they're ready to join a ground war.
But Egypt has bad memories of Yemen. 50 years ago, Egypt lost 26,000 soldiers in a failed military intervention in Yemen. In addition, Pakistan may find it receives yet another highly unstable border.
"Arabs don't like Saudis. They're afraid of Saudi Arabia, because they depend on it. There's a lot of money in Saudi Arabia, but no one likes those who own that money. The Sunni coalition may fall apart quickly. A part of the army has already sided with the Huthis," says Sergei Plekhanov.
Saudi Arabia will have to face higher justice.
This is a Wahhabi state which funds all wars in the Middle East, trains jihadists, organizes speculative futures trading in oil & is pegged to the US dollar.
Russia & Yemen have something to talk about.
The two countries can recall their cooperation in the middle of the last century, when Soviet Union loans accounted for over 50% of foreign loans received by South Yemen.
Ukraine’s annual inflation soars to 45.8%
There was a steep acceleration of 10.8% in March, says the country's statistics office.
Kiev's government is hit by a combination of monetary, budgetary, industrial, banking and energy crises that could force Ukraine to be reliant on outside help for years.
Ukraine’s vital heavy industry in the east has been badly hit by fierce fighting, and production there has fallen by a fifth.
Foreign investors are leaving Ukraine in the uncertainty caused by armed conflict, and the value of the hryvnia, has dropped by around 50% since the start of the year.
8 Iranian border guards killed by 'terrorists'
8 border guards have been killed by 'terrorists' in Sistan-Baluchestan province in the southeast -- near the border with Pakistan, an official says.
The eight were killed in a border area in Negur town on Monday when clashes broke out with terrorists who'd entered Iran via the Pakistani border, IRNA quotes the Sistan-Baluchestan Deputy Governor, Ali Mirshekari, as saying.
Negur is the main town of Dashtiari district in Chabahar County, one of Iran's southern- most regions.
During the ensuing gun battle, three of the assailants were also killed by Iranian forces.
He adds that the terrorists fled to Pakistan after the incident, and a request has been made to Pakistan to apprehend the culprits and hand them over to Iranian authorities.
Earlier Monday, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) destroyed a terrorist group in the southeast of the country.
All members of the terror team, which was affiliated with foreign spy services -- were killed by IRGC ground forces in Qasre Qand & Nik Shahr regions in Sistan-Baluchestan, says a statement by the Public relations office of the IRGC's Qods Headquarters.
Sistan-Baluchestan province has seen similar attacks by terrorists who launch hit-and-run attacks - and then run back to neighboring Pakistan.
Iran has repeatedly criticized Pakistan for failing to rein in the terrorists.
‘It’s like a war here’: Saudi police raid defiant eastern province amid wider conflict with Shias
A security raid in the eastern town of Amawiyah in Saudi Arabia, was apparently to subdue Shiite discontent with the Saudi Sunni majority.
Locals say 30 arrests were made, according to reports. They also accuse the Saudi authorities of cracking down on anti-government protests - and using it as an excuse for the raids.
The region is keen to show its dissatisfaction with the Saudi coalition's bombardment of Shiite rebels in neighboring Yemen, whom they see as brothers.
This is aside from the more general grievances over Saudi discrimination of the Shia, in nearly every sector of public life.
That an “exchange of fire” quickly turned into a gun battle, is hardly a unique occurrence in the resource-rich, but impoverished majority- Shiite province. 'Incidents' have occurred since 2011, when the Shia (10 to 15% of the country’s 29 million inhabitants), decided they had had enough and began engaging in events reminiscent of the 'Arab Spring'.
Locals report seeing 40 armored security vehicles enter Awamiya, at 15:30 (12:30 GMT) on Sunday.
One anonymous resident tells 'Middle East Eye' “Gunfire didn’t stop” until 21:00. “The Security forces shot randomly at people’s homes, and closed all but one of the roads leading in and out of the village.”
“It's like a war here - we're under siege,” he adds.
Alleged eyewitness videos sent to the MEE depict gunfire, supposedly coming from the police forces. Buildings and cars appear to be ablaze in the video.
Armed locals reportedly engaged security forces in the gunfight. Armored vehicles were allegedly still seen in the small town after sundown at 9pm (18:00GMT), as the Saudi forces set up security checkpoints and roadblocks.
The fighting followed local rumours - of an anti- government protest that never actually occurred.
“The protest was canceled because we were told to be careful and that if we rallied they [security forces] would kill everyone,” one local says.
According to Saudi Arabian officials, the death and injuries in Awamiya on Sunday, took place during a security operation to target “terrorist elements'” weapons and communications equipment. They say the raid also resulted in four arrests for targeting the security forces, according to the state-run SPA news agency.
The violence is the latest in a string of restive events, that has seen some 20 people lose their lives since 2011.
The official Saudi line is that no discrimination is taking place - and that it’s all about fighting an 'armed uprising'.
The special op' in the country's east, comes as the Saudi-led coalition keeps bombarding Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen with airstrikes, an operation that has been ongoing for over a week now, after Yemeni President, Hadi, was forced to flee the country. The former ruler - sacked by his own party - asked for international intervention to reinstate him.
Associate Professor Firat Demir, at Oklahoma University sees this as a measure to galvanize Sunnis to target Shias - wherever they may be.
“I’m afraid the characterization of this war is quite misrepresented in international media, especially in the US press… the main goal is not to uproot or eliminate terrorism in Yemen, but in fact to encourage terrorism against Shias. We should remember that Saudi Arabia provided 15 of the 19 hijack team in 9/11. They have the same religion – Wahabism – as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, and right now Sunnis are fighting Shias, not only in Yemen, but in Syria and Iraq. Here, the Shias are the underdogs - they are the good guys.
“Yemen is already a failed state,” he adds -- remembering that the same fate befell Libya -- which is now “a breeding ground for extremists.”
Political analyst Kamel Al Wazne believes the same. “The confrontation that's going on with Yemen is not going to leave Saudi Arabia without any consequences,” he tells RT.
“Obviously there’s a large minority that exists in Saudi Arabia -- they’ve been deprived for a very long time of their basic rights and they have been treated like 2nd-class citizens” he says, then adds that the situation could “explode at any time.”
“The Saudis are playing with fire. They invested in military equipment for years, spending probably more money than countries like India. They think they can resolve things with their aircraft, not understanding that their aircraft haven’t actually achieved anything. I think logic and reason and a political solution, would be the answer. Other- wise, they've made a large miscalculation by entering the war.”
Finally, Yemen, with its 10 million living below the poverty line, “doesn’t need[bombardment]. It needs health, it needs food, it needs shelter, it needs water, it needs medical supplies,” Al Wazne explains.
Donbass leaders to Germany, France: 'Make Kiev pay pensions approved by Minsk deal'
Kiev is pocketing money it's supposed to transfer for social payments, in war-torn areas, Donbass leaders say and they call on Germany and France, to put pressure on President Poroshenko.
Ukrainian officials claim they 'cannot' transfer the pensions.
Ukraine’s neo-Nazi leader becomes top military adviser, legalizes fighters
Ukraine’s Interpol-wanted leader of the extremist Right Sector, Dmitry Yarosh, has been appointed as an adviser to Ukraine’s Chief of the General Staff.
He has agreed to legalize thousands of his fighters as an assault team, which is subordinated to the regular army.
“Colonel General Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of General Staff and Dmytro Yarosh, have both agreed on the format of cooperation between ‘Pravy Sector’ [Right Sector] & the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Ukraine’s defense ministry says in a statement.
The appointment came after successful negotiations took place between the so- called Ukrainian Volunteer Corps (DUK Right Sector) and Ukraine’s top military command, on the possible options for incorporating the armed gangs inside a defense ministry structure of command.
Right Sector’s armed paramilitary battalions have agreed to be “subordinated to military leaders,” the ministry says. According to the statement, Muzhenko & Yarosh stress the need for “unity”.
“DUK is ready to perform common tasks with the Army, is ready to obey the army leadership in matters relating to national defense against an external enemy and which enables every patriot to protect Ukraine,” Yarosh says.
Yarosh, who was a main figurehead of the violent coup last year, is wanted by Interpol for the incitement of terrorism and extremist activities.
He was placed on the international wanted list at the request of the Russian authorities.
On the weekend Yarosh announced that he plans to legalize private military companies in Ukraine, and is about to introduce new legislation on this into the coup-Parliament.
The 'legalization' is on, after Yarosh offered to make his Volunteer Corps a professional assault team, responding to Kiev’s demand that all paramilitary units hand in their arms or join the country’s official armed forces.
Right Sector initially refused to obey the ultimatum, calling it “traitorous”, saying “volunteers and patriots” would only lay down their arms when Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty over the S. East was restored.
So-called volunteer & other privately formed and sponsored battalions, have been fighting alongside Ukraine’s regular army, since Kiev began its “anti-terrorist operation” last April.
Many of them, especially Polish mercenaries -- are noted for cruel murderous acts on the local populations. Aidar & Azov are accused, by international human rights associations, of war crimes.
After the ceasefire agreement was reached in February, some of these units refused to leave the Donbass region & now regularly violate the Minsk agreements.
UKRAINE PROVOCATIONS CONTINUE...
Kiev’s troops opened concentrated artillery fire on Donetsk airport and Oktyabrsky settlement, late on Sunday, the Donetsk People’s Republic's ministry of defence tells Donetsk News Agency.
"Ukrainian troops are shelling the Donetsk airport and the settlement of Okrtyabrsky from 152 mm artillery units," the DPR ministry says. "Shelling caused a fire on the roof of a dwelling house in Oktyabrsky."
The DPR’s emergencies ministry told the Donetsk New Agency that rescuers were making efforts to localize the fire.
According to preliminary data, no one was killed. No information about those injured was available.
Abbas threatens Israel with ICC over frozen tax cash
Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, says he has returned funds from frozen tax revenues handed over by Israel because they amounted to only a third of the total owed.
AS POPE FRANCIS CALLS FOR PEACE...
Daesh (IS) Militants from the Islamic State blew up the Church of the Virgin Mary in northeast Syria on Easter Sunday morning, SANA reports.
The church, in Tal Nasri village, Hasakah province, was blown up, as Syrian Christians celebrated the Easter holiday. Locals tell SANA that IS militants destroyed the church by putting explosives inside.
ISIL fighters are infamous for carrying out destructive rampages on Muslim & Christian holy sites, regularly destroying churches & mosques across the country, plus many of Syria's ancient historical heritage sites.
In February, ISIL militants in Tel Hermosa city, Hasakah province, smashed one of Syria's oldest churches. Militants are reported to have attacked over a dozen churches in Syrian territories under their control. Last month, ISIL militants destroyed a 15th century Catholic monastery in Mosul city, in Iraq; earlier, militants in Mosul burned down a church built in the 3rd Century.
The Church of the Virgin Mary was built in 1934, and underwent a restoration in 2005. The church is one of three in an area which has recently been overrun by Takfiri terrorists, whom the US covertly supplies with aid, training and mercenaries by using its neo- proxies, Turkey and Qatar, with Saudi Arabian and other despotic Arab Gulf States' connivance.
At the same time, the US is finally getting its way and regularly bombing well inside Syria, without permission from Syria's government or its people.
Israel intentionally shelled UN troops in Lebanon: Report
A new report says Israel forces intentionally shelled a United Nations watchtower in southern Lebanon, which left a Spanish peacekeeper dead, in January.
El Pais news cites extracts from a confidential Spanish military report on the incident, saying Israeli forces corrected the trajectory of their artillery fire to hit the UN post. A 36-year-old corporal, Javier Soria Toledo, was killed in the attack.
Corporal Ivan Lopez Sanchez, a Spanish soldier stationed near the post, told investigators it was clear the UN position was being targeted, noting:
"Each time, they corrected the trajectory from Majidiye to 4-28" post, where the UN Interim Force Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers were stationed.
A 2nd Spanish soldier confirmed Sanchez’s report, saying the first shell salvo landed some 500 metres north of the UN post and then Israel "corrected the trajectory towards the position."
A 3rd soldier added that the fragmentation bombs used in the attack targeted the post’s main watchtower.
The newspaper also quotes a UN report saying around 20 artillery shells, 90 mortar grenades and five projectiles, were fired at the UN post during the attack.
Spain and Israel have agreed to carry out a joint investigation into the incident.
UNIFIL has 10,000 troops from 36 nations, including about 600 Spanish soldiers.
Yemen war will backfire on Saudi Arabia: Iran MPs
Iranian lawmakers unanimously denounce Saudi Arabia’s military aggression on Yemen, warning that the adverse consequences of the ongoing war on Sana’a will definitely backfire on Riyadh.
"The Al Saud regime should know that the fire rekindled [in Yemen] will engulf it and impose heavy costs on the Muslim world," a group of 262 legislators say in a statement on Sunday.
“Forming a fabricated coalition will further complicate problems in the Muslim world and the region,” the statement reads, adding that the support of the US, the Israeli regime and their allies, for Saudi Arabia’s blatant violation of an independent nation’s sovereignty, runs counter to international conventions.
Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen and the killing of Muslim and innocent people in the country, proves that Al Saudi serves the interests of the enemies of Islam, instead of reinforcing unity and dignity among Muslims, it points out.
The Iranian parliamentarians express their support for the popular uprising of the Yemeni nation -- and strongly condemn the foreign intervention in the impoverished country, saying the Muslim Yemeni people will, without doubt, resist the aggressors with full force.
The statement comes on the same day Iran’s Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, says Iran supports negotiations among representatives of all parties involved in the Yemeni crisis, and repeats that a national dialogue is the only way to end the conflict.
“Such military aggression, irrespective of its objectives, is a blow to the Muslim Ummah and benefits the Zionist regime [of Israel] and the major powers.
“The aggressive countries must explain why they are using their facilities to deal a blow to a Muslim state,” the top Iranian legislator says, in a 'phone conversation with the Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen started on March 26 without a UN mandate -- in a bid to restore power to the country's fugitive president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Ansarullah say Hadi lost his legitimacy as president after he, in February, fled the capital to Aden, where he sought to set up a rival base.
Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision, despite calls to do so, by Houthi revolutionaries.
Houthi fighters continue advancing south, while they have also stepped up fighting against al-Qaeda terrorists and secured many areas from the militants.
African leaders to hold summit to counter Boko Haram terror
Leaders of Central and West African countries are to hold a summit to co-ordinate strategies, to counter the threat posed by Nigeria’s Takfiri Boko Haram terror group.
The summit, on April 8th in Equatorial Guinea’s capital of Malabo, was announced on Sunday in a joint statement by organizers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) & the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
“In the face of mounting and increasingly bloody attacks by fundamentalists against Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon & Chad, and the serious consequences for these countries, plus the real risk of destabilizing Western and Central Africa, the two organizations have decided to take action,” they state.
The summit will be the first of its kind since Nigeria’s election just a week ago, in which former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who has pledged to rid his nation of the terror of the Takfiri Boko Haram group, emerged victorious.
It's not clear, however, whether President- elect Buhari will attend the summit, since he will not be sworn in until May the 29th, when he officially succeeds President Goodluck Jonathan.
A regional coalition of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon has been waging offensives against the Takfiri terror group, in an effort to defeat their militancy, which has spread across the borders of Nigeria, where Boko Haram is based.
Saudi special forces involved in Yemen aggression: Advisor
Saudi army and naval special forces are performing 'specific military operations' in Yemen, an unnamed adviser tells AFP.
Naval forces have provided supporters of Hadi with "coordination and guidance" to enable them to launch attacks on Houthi Ansarullah fighters, the advisor says.
He adds that army special forces have supplied communications equipment & arms to forces loyal to Hadi, in Aden.
On Thursday, Saudi ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir, denied the presence of any Saudi forces in Aden, stating:- "We do not have troops, formal Saudi troops, in Aden."
The issue of ground troops is "on the table but decisions will be made, depending on circumstances and need," Jubeir said.
Saudi special forces "will continue their engagements" with Hadi loyalists, the advisor further stressed.
The advisor also states that Saudi special forces were involved in the Thursday raids against Ansarullah fighters on Myun Island in the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait, via which, much of the world's ocean-going trade passes.
Saudi-led coalition spokesperson, Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri, said on Friday that war-jets destroyed "military equipment and missiles" of Ansarullah forces on the island.
SAUDI's DESTROY CIVILIAN HOMES
Saudi airstrikes continued on Saturday night & dozens of residences in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, were flattened, leaving scores of civilians needing medical aid.
Angola Marks 13 Years of Peace and National Reconciliation Angola celebrated 13 years of national peace and reconciliation on Saturday -- and in those years, it focused on improving life conditions in key sectors like health care, energy, water, and education.
The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, now the country's ruling party, urged people to reflect on all they had conquered over the past years.
It also urged them to analyze thoroughly what still needs to be done, so that the country can grow, better distribute its resources, and make sure families live with dignity and quality of life.
The MPLA stressed that Angolans, from Cabinda to Cunene and abroad, celebrate the date which marks the end of a war era and the beginning of a new one.
"Together we can move our country forward, convinced that the future is brilliant and that -- united as a single nation -- we can build a prosperous and developed Angola", their statement added.
As on every year, recreational and religious celebrations took place, in all 18 provinces of the country.
April 4th was established as the Day of Peace and National Reconciliation, after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the government and a West-armed opposition the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), putting an end to 27 years of war.
The ruling party's armed volunteers fighting then werebacked by Soviet Russia's aid and with thousands of Cuba's volunteer soldiers.
Over 12,000 People Caught Between Gunfire in Yarmouk Refugee Camp The situation of 12,000 people who are still in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, near Damascus, remains uncertain today, after its recent occupation by Daesh terrorists.
Local sources confirm that many people can not be evacuated to safer areas, due to the remaining IS snipers & al-Nusra Front bands still present in different parts of the refugee camp, about five kilometers from Damascus.
The camp was occupied violently Wednesday after armed extremist groups advanced from the Hajar Aswad area.
Inside the camp, the IS &al-Nusra terrorists met strong resistance from the Palestinian armed group, Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis, which is also opposed to the Syrian government.
Syria's Foreign Ministry sent notes Thursday, to both Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, demanding that the international community put pressure on Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel & Jordan, to curb their sponsoring of terrorist groups which are commiting crimes against humanity now against residents at Yarmouk.
Sources close to the Palestinian fighters who defend the refugee camp, confirm that several tunnels were found, through which the takfiri extremists mobilized quickly --- undetected.
They add that, during the repulse operations, Palestinian armed groups were supported by artillery and managed to regain control of several positions and buildings that, until recently, were in the hands of terrorists.
According to figures from the UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees (Umrwa), currently, there are about 18,000 refugees in Yarmouk without any access to clean water, food or electricity, as a result of the conflict and terrorist actions of the al-Nusra bands.
Established in the vicinity of Damascus in 1957 to take in Palestinians who fled their land from Israeli occupation, the Yarmouk camp grew to house 160,000 people, who enjoy the same rights as Syrian citizens... unlike those in refugee camps in Jordan - or even in Lebanon.
Nuclear Agreement Stopped Huge War in the Middle East Iranian expert Hossein Mousavian, a former nuclear negotiator with the West, says that the understanding reached by Iran and the six world powers in Lausanne is an historic achievement that has prevented a new war in the Middle East.
According to the expert, quoted by the IRNA news agency, the pre-arrangement definitely is the path of peace, as it "virtually prevents a new war in the Middle East, that would be far more disastrous for the United States - and the region - than the wars in either Afghanistan or Iraq."
S. Africa, Egypt press for UN reform: Zuma
South Africa and Egypt have agreed to press for reform of the UN, and the UN Security Council in particular, S Africa's President Jacob Zuma says.
"South Africa and Egypt have agreed to engage on the matter of UN Reform, in line with Africa's stance as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus," Zuma says, on his return from a 2-day working visit to Egypt.
The Ezulwini Consensus covers international relations and a reform of the United Nations, as agreed by several African governments.
On his visit, Zuma and Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi agreed to boost bilateral trade & enhance their co-operation on "the many challenges facing the African continent"
President Zuma now adds:
"We agreed that it's now urgent to find -- through peaceful means and dialogue -- a political solution to crises confronting countries in conflict situations. In this regard, regional organizations such as the African Union and the Arab League have an important role to play" he says.
Saudis Continue Yemen Offensive, Red Cross Says Riyadh Blocking Aid
The International Committee of the Red Cross says on Saturday that three shipments of aid and medical staff it is trying to send to Yemen are still being blocked, despite appeals to the Saudi-led military coalition that now controls Yemeni air space and ports, Reuters reports.
The ICRC is seeking security guarantees for 2 planes to Sanaa, 1 with medical supplies for 1,000 wounded people and another with medical and water sanitation supplies, plus a ship with a surgical team for Aden.
The ICRC accuses the Saudi-led coalition, which, for 10 days, has hit Yemen with air strikes, of preventing the aid deliveries.
"Our supplies are still blocked," spokesperson Sitara Jabeen says. "The situation is getting worse - every passing hour people are dying in Yemen & we need to bring this in urgently".
She was speaking ahead of a UN Security Council meeting called by Russia to discuss a humanitarian pause in the air strikes.
Meanwhile, sources tell al-Manar that at least 9 civilians of the same family, including six children, are martyred in a strike on Bani Matar in Sanaa.
Five other are wounded in the raid, including another three children.
Yemen's Houthis continue advance in Aden
Ansarullah fighters of the Houthi movement have continued their advance in the south- western Yemeni city of Aden, despite the ongoing Saudi invasion of the country.
Latest reports coming out of Yemen show that the revolutionaries are now trying to take control of Tawahi & Mualla districts.
Sources say the Ansarullah fighters, along with army units, are continuing to advance, fighting al-Qaeda terrorists and loyalists to fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Some media previously said Ansarullah had retreated from the presidential palace. The resistance movement vehemently denies it.
The Houthi movement took control of the presidential palace in Aden on Thursday.
Friday, Saudi-led warplanes dropped weapons and supplies for militants - including al-Qaeda terrorists - who're battling Ansarullah fighters in Aden.
The jets airdropped a number of wooden boxes with firearms and ammunition in the region, early on Friday.
Some reports indicate that sophisticated communications equipment & advanced combat medical kits, were also included.
The United Nations says at least 519 people, including women & children, have lost their lives --- in two weeks.
90 children are among the victims of the violence.
Clashes leave 2 Saudi soldiers killed on Yemeni border
An exchange of fire between security forces and Ansarullah fighters claims the lives of 2 more Saudi soldiers on the border with Yemen, as resistance against Saudi aggression, continues.
Reports Friday eve' say Abdulrahman al-Qahtani and Mohammed al-Harbi, were killed between the regions of Najran & Asir, near Yemen's border.
Director General of the Border Guards, Admiral Awad bin Eid al-Balawi, states he can confirm the reports are correct.
Russia convenes UN Security Council meeting to discuss pauses in air strikes in Yemen
The meeting will be held behind closed doors.
From Russia it will be attended by the Deputy permanent representative of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Safronkov.
New US Plans against Venezuela Denounced The US Government is hatching new plans against Venezuela, helped by Colombia's rightwing, after the failure of the latest attack by President Barack Obama.
Juan Carlos Tanus, the representative of Colombian Residents in Venezuela, tells the newspaper Correo del Orinoco, that the new plans include a section within Columbia, that is trying to boost armed conflict with the Venezuelan people.
He refers to recent statements by the US Defense Undersecretary Mary Beth Long, who recently congratulated Colombia's military for studying the possible threats posed by Venezuela.
Obama promulgated a March 9th decree, saying Venezuela is an extraordinary & unusual threat to US internal security (sic) and to its foreign policy.
Tanus explains that Bogota's military structure answers to the interests of US Governments, which administer both the political machinery & any conflicts, in its neighboring nation.
The development plan for 2015 in Colombia devotes most funds towards strengthening its military structure, he says.
Members of the Colombian community in Venezuela, see this as in sharp contrast to the negotiation table set out in Cuba, and the good hearts within Juan Manuel Santos' Government, he reveals.
Militia and Kiev forces establish dialogue in eastern Ukraine - coordination centre TASS - Dialogue has been established between the commanders of militias of Donetsk People’s Republic & Ukraine's army units near Shirokino in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine’s representative at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination of the ceasefire regime, General Alexander Rozmaznin, says on Friday.
"Contact between commanders has been established. I think very soon there will be, not only contact, but also mutual understanding, between the parties to the conflict," Donetsk News Agency quotes him as saying.
Ukraine’s representatives underscore that the JCCC’s efforts have brought results. "It inspires certain optimism that heavy weapons are no longer used," he notes.
Russia’s representative at the JCCC, Colonel General Alexander Lentsov, says he hopes for a lasting ceasefire in Shirokino (east of Mariupol).
"I hope the contact established between the parties’ commanders will also yield positive results," he stresses.
Turkey, Pakistan, urge peaceful solution to Yemen crisis Xinhua -- Turkey and Pakistan, on Friday, call on Yemen's warring parties to reach a peaceful solution to end the crisis.
The appeal is made at a joint press conference held by visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish confrere, Ahmet Davutoglu, in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Turkey and Pakistan have decided to stand with Saudi Arabia to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen, Pakistan's PM tells attendees.
Sharif's visit to Turkey comes 1 day after his call for a special session of parliament to debate whether or not to join the Saudi- led military campaign in Yemen.
Pakistan believes in a peaceful resolution to the crisis - and wishes to promote unity among Muslim nations says the statement.
Turkey's PM also says that Turkey hails the deal reached between Iran and the world powers over Tehran's nuclear program, as a "positive step."
Davutoglu also calls for all parties to act responsibly to move the process forward.
US to refuel Saudi-led warplanes in Yemen
In another move to support Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen, the US vows to provide aerial refuelling for its 'planes, as they attack the country.
The US military's Central Command (CENT- COM) will deploy refueling tankers for the Saudis and their allies, in the war against Yemen, a senior military official says.
"We have given CENTCOM the authority to do tanking," (sic) says the US official, anonymously.
President Barack Obama has already authorized the Pentagon to provide logistical and intelligence support to Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.
The intelligence is provided using surveillance satellites and drones to create "a battlefield picture" for the Saudis to track fighters' locations, the official says.
"We're helping the Saudis understand what's happening on their border," the official says. "They're looking for any evidence of Houthi ground incursions."
The Houthis are "poised above Aden & we're trying to help the Saudis build a picture of that," the official adds. "But we're not providing them with target information."
The official claims the intelligence is also helping Saudi-led aircraft avoid causing civilian casualties in Yemen.
Rights groups, however, voice outrage at accounts of civilian casualties from the airstrikes.
In the latest air raid on Wednesday, 29 people were killed and 24 more injured, as the airstrike targeted a food factory in the western Hudaydah province.
BETTER THAN WAR The West and Iran announce a joint statement on the nuclear deal reached. Its details seem different - depending on who's reporting it...
Al-Nusra Terrorists Occupy Positions between Syria and Jordan
The Nasib border crossing between Syria and Jordan is still under the control of the terrorist Al-Nusra Front, after fierce confrontations with Syria's army --- and the withdrawal of guards on the Jordanian side.
The loss of the strategic border pass, located on the road that links both countries, leaves without a military presence, the vital triangle formed by the city of Nasib, the Syrian Golan heights - occupied by Israel - and the border with Jordan, in this zone.
The attack of Al-Nusra on the border enclave occurred after Amman's government decided to withdraw its personnel, alleging supposed "precautionary measures".
News media quote Jordan's Minister of the Interior, Husein Mayali, explaining: [closing the border is] "a precautionary measure to protect the lives of people passing by, due to the acts of violence that take place on the other side of the border, in the town of Nasib.
Syria's Foreign Ministry says Jordan's rulers are responsable for interrupting the traffic of lorries and passengers, as well as for all the economic and social impact of the measure.
Syria's southern border is one of the entry points of mercenaries trained in Jordanian camps, to swell the armed groups fighting Syria's legitimate government.
Jordan is a royalist colony of the US, set up by the UK, to keep Palestinians quiescent.
Almost all Jordan's population is originally Palestinians who fled from lands taken by Israelis, who serve the West's interests.
Ukraine Prepares Large-scale Provocation
Kiev is preparing a large-scale aggression in the Donbass, with the aim of introducing international forces favorable to the current rulers, the Donetsk People''s Republic says.
The deputy commander of the militia of the DPR, Eduard Basurin, says the increasing intensity of the bombings against Donbass aims to show the world that the Minsk agreements on a ceasefire are 'unfeasible'.
By this, he states, they will insist on the need for an intervention into Donbass, of 'peace-keeping' forces which are loyal to Kiev.
The officer says in the past 48 hours they have received new evidence that government forces are increasing the amount of artillery pieces in the line of separation, and covertly deploying heavy weapons in the demilitarized zone.
He says Kiev's troops have violated the truce 190 times since March 26th, with 31 bombings on March the 31st alone, which wounded two militiamen.
We'll send all data to the Special Observation Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), so they can evaluate it and take appropriate measures urgently, he says, as quoted by Donetsk News Agency (DNA).
The officer stresses that the milita have stuck to 'all the agreements' on a truce in Donbass.
Every day each party accuses the other of violating the armistice, as Kiev proclaims its desire to rearm, increases the number of its troops, and shows a full reluctance to implement any of the political part of the Minsk agreements.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister ,Grigory Karasin, says currently, the realization of the Minsk agreements has slowed down, firstly, because of the US-backed coup's present rulers.
Kiev's authorities are violating the Minsk deadlines, says the deputy, who heads a Russian delegation at negotiations on a transition from the ceasefire and with- drawal of all heavy weapons, into a political process.
Russia denies threatening use of nuclear weapons
The Kremlin on Thursday denies allegations that Moscow has threatened to use nuclear weapons to deter NATO from intervening in the difficult relationship between Russia and Ukraine.
Commenting on reports in some Western media that Moscow has threatened to use weapons of mass destruction if attempts are made to return Crimea to Ukraine, or if NATO lifts its presence in the Baltic states, the Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, describes them as an example of how some elements in the West are trying to demonize Russia.
"This is a classic example of the ongoing hysteria to demonize our country. In fact they aren't based on any specific information, and they themselves fear what they have written," the Interfax news agency quotes Peskov as saying.
The reports can't be taken seriously, he adds.
Peskov reminds people that President Vladimir Putin has never made any remark that could be interpreted as a threat to use nuclear weapons.
The Western media on Thursday claims that Moscow threatens to use its nuclear forces if there are any attempts to return Crimea to Ukraine, or if weapons supplies from NATO countries are supplied to the Kiev regime.
Saudi Soldier Killed, and 10 Others Wounded, at Yemen's Border
One Saudi soldier is killed and 10 wounded as clashes erupt in an area at Yemen's border, a security source in the KSA says on Thursday.
The report marks the first killing of a Saudi soldier since the beginning of the US-KSA campaign against Yemen.
The Yemeni army and the Public committees now control the presidential palace in Aden and have secured the villages in its vicinity, al Manar reports.
Yemeni military sources mention that 44 persons, including 18 civilians, are killed so far, in Aden today.
Terrorists on thursday loot a Central Bank headquarters, in al-Makla, in Hadramawt province, say Yemeni sources.
Outside reports that 'foreign troops' have landed at Aden, are categorically denied. The dozens of unidentified foreign troops reported disembarking in the port of Aden, turned out to be Chinese soldiers maintaining security as unknown armed men opened fire on a vessel evacuating foreign citizens, a Yemeni official tells Sputnik.
“A Chinese military ship arrived in the port to evacuate Chinese citizens. A skirmish which occurred during the evacuation, led to the disembarkation of Chinese soldiers on the ship to protect civilians,” says Abd ar-Rabb al-Khalyaky, deputy head of the port union council. After the evacuation, the soldiers returned to the vessel, he says adding that the situation is now calm.
He says the Chinese soldiers have already left the port, though reportedly they didn't manage to take with them, all the people they intended to evacuate - that is, not all of the Chinese nationals.
An unnamed Yemeni official confirms to Reuters that the people who disembarked from the Chinese ship were armed guards aiding civilians, and not ground troops.
Hundreds of Houthis, backed by security forces, are now engaged in fighting with a tribal militia in Cirater, a district of Aden, Xinhua news agency says.
Local residents tell Xinhua "a number of houses were bombarded by tanks and shells, causing casualties to civilians."
About 13 civilians are killed during random shelling and gunfire in Aden on Thursday, a medical official at Gomhouria's hospital tells Xinhua.
Earlier, a member of the Houthi political council, Daifullah Shami, told Sputnik that foreign troops in Aden disembarked from Saudi and Egyptian vessels and other agencies ran with the report.
"The number of troopers who landed in the Yemen port of Aden is unknown, but we are talking about dozens. They were covered by several airplanes. They disembarked from Saudi and Egyptian ships," said a member of Ansar Allah movement, Ahmad Al-Shami.
The Saudi-coalition has declared Yemeni airspace a “restricted zone.” They also claim control of the maritime area adjoining the port of Aden, now allegedly captured by the Houthis.
Ships are also urged not to approach Yemen’s ports, because of the ongoing military action.
Yemen’s ousted officials are now asking for a ground intervention, to augment the air offensive.
On March 31st, Saudi authorities said they had gathered troops along the border with Yemen in preparation for a possible ground offensive, reported Reuters, adding that no exact time to send the troops in, has yet been stipulated.
Meanwhile, a member of the political council of the Ansar Allah group, the armed wing of the Houthi rebels, declares, as cited by RIA Novosti, that if airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemeni territory continue, the Houthis will have to attack Saudi Arabia.
"We have the power for a retaliatory strike, but the decision will be made when other options are exhausted," Daifullah Shami, a member of the Houthis’ Ansar Allah political council tells RIA Novosti on Thursday.
If the killing of innocent Yemenis continues, Houthis prefer a death on the battlefield to dying in bomb strikes, Shami says, on the possibility of an attack on Saudi Arabia.
Skirmishes on the Saudi-Yemeni border, have already begun. One Saudi soldier has been killed and up to 10 have been wounded in shootouts, reports Al-Arabia. The firefights took place near a border check point, reports RIA Novosti.
Despite airstrikes delivered by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, the Houthis have been continuing their offensive against loyalists of ousted President Hadi, who's in Riyadh.
The Houthis captured central districts in Aden on Thursday, Reuters reports, citing residents. This southern port city was the last stronghold of forces loyal to Saudi-backed President Hadi.
Heavy fighting in the city started early in the morning and the rebels have now allegedly deployed tanks and patrols in several parts of the city.
“The victories in Aden today embarrass this campaign and silence the aggressor states," spokesperson Mohammad Abdulsalam tells the Houthi’s al-Maseera TV channel.
The fighting in Aden means that Saudi Arabia's military intervention has now failed, the spokesperson insists.
The rebels claim they now control up to 90% of Aden’s territory, reports RIA Novosti.
But --- Al-Mukalla port is still under the control of jihadists who have blocked all roads leading to the city.
The situation in Yemen remains chaotic, with fighter jets inflicting airstrikes throughout the areas under control of the Houthis, including the capital, Sanaa.
Casualties inflicted on civilians mount daily.
Lavrov on Yemen: UNSC Has to Speak
Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, says on Thursday that the United Nations Security Council should express its fundamental stance on how to end the ongoing violence in Yemen --- without supporting any of the sides in the conflict.
"Unfortunately, the resolution was submitted after the dramatic events had already taken place and a Saudi-led coalition had launched a military operation against Yemen," ITAR TASS news agency quotes Lavrov as saying.
Russia would prefer to see appeals made to the UN Security Council before any force can be used, the top Russian diplomat says, after a draft resolution on the Yemen crisis had been submitted to the UN Security Council.
He says attempts are being made to coordinate the draft’s text --- which should not be aimed at supporting any side in the Yemen conflict -- but should instead force the Ansarullah movement (who are also called the Houthis) in southern Yemen, to stop all military actions, & persuade Saudi Arabia to pause in its military operation, and suspend the air strikes.
"It is necessary that representatives of all the parties in Yemen, including the president, the Houthis and other political forces, sit down at the negotiating table --- as it was agreed long ago. I hope that this approach is going to be supported," Lavrov says.
Al-Qaeda frees 300 inmates in raid on Yemen prison
Al-Qaeda militants have raided a prison in Yemen and freed hundreds of inmates, including a senior terrorist leader, as Takfiri elements use the Saudi- led aggression to fuel unrest in the Arab state.
Security officials say Thursday, that around 300 inmates managed to break out of a prison in the coastal Yemeni city of al-Mukallah, Hadramawt Province, after al-Qaeda forces launched a raid on the facility.
A notorious al-Qaeda leader, identified as Khalid Saeed Batarfi, is among those freed from prison, officials confirm. The regional commander, seen as one of the main terrorist figures operating in Yemen, was put in gaol over four years ago.
Batarfi played a key role in fighting Yemen's government in 2011 to 2012, as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), took over a large part of the country’s south and east.
Seven people, including two prison guards, died in the clashes at the detention centre.
Other clashes are reported between AQAP and troops in Mukalla. Battles were fought around the local administration compound, a police station and a central bank branch.
Security officials say fighting also spread to areas near the presidential palace.
Attacks by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have gained new momentum across the country --- since Saudi Arabia unleashed its aerial attacks against Yemen on March the 26th.
There have been increased warnings that this Saudi-led aggression - which aims at weakening Yemen’s Ansarullah movement - could strengthen the grip of terror groups across Yemen.
Since they took control of the capital Sana’a last September, Ansarullah revolutionaries have declared the fight against extremism and terrorism, as a major objective.
Palestinians and Syrians retake control of Damascus refugee camp from DAESH
Palestinian fighters and Syrians retake control of large parts of a refugee camp in Damascus on Thursday. It had been seized by the Islamic State, (IS, formerly ISIS and called by its enemies, DAESH), AFP reports.
A number of armed factions in Yarmuk camp in southern Damascus “were able to regain control over all the areas IS had taken over,” the self-proclaimed "Syrian" Observatory for Human Rights explains from its HQ, in a semi-detached house near London.
Daesh overran the camp Wednesday.
Army to retake other areas after Tikrit victory: Iraqi defense minister
Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi praises the recapture of the strategic city of Tikrit from Takfiri militants as a “magnificent victory,” and says that units of government forces are now preparing to wrest control over other Daesh- held areas.
Obeidi announces the triumph Wednesday, saying security forces have "accomplished their mission" in the month-long offensive to purge Tikrit, 86 miles northwest of Baghdad, of the Daesh ('ISIL') Takfiris.
"We have the pleasure, with all our pride, to announce the good news of a magnificent victory," Obeidi says in a video statement, adding that Iraq's forces are now going to take on Daesh in the western & northern provinces of al-Anbar and Nineveh. "Here we come to you, Anbar! Here we come to you, Nineveh --- and we say this with full resolution, confidence, and persistence," he says.
Wednesday, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi - surrounded by jubilant forces - walks proudly along a street in Tikrit, carrying the Iraqi flag.
Abadi says Iraqi military engineering units still need time to clear Tikrit of booby traps.
"God willing, there will be a fund to rebuild areas destroyed by Daesh and by the war. Tikrit and Salahuddin areas will be covered by this fund," the Iraqi prime minister says.
Iraqi forces on Wednesday discovered burial sites in Tikrit believed to contain the bodies of hundreds of army cadets executed at the hands of Daesh last June.
Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghaban says the site was found in a palace complex, on the river Tigris' banks.
"This place reminds us all of those who were unjustly killed, it reminds us of the massacre," Ghaban says, while sobbing.
"They were innocent people. Today, the cowards were defeated... We will hunt them down wherever they are. We will bring security and peace to all of Iraq," he says.
"We found dozens of ID cards in a pile of waste near the site," police officer Hussein al-Rikabi says.
He says the documents match the names of the army recruits, who were executed or went missing, after Daesh cut-throats overran the Speicher base in June 2014, and abducted the cadets.
A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says Iraqi forces arrested four more terrorists as they combed the areas across Tikrit.
The source says the Egyptian, Sudanese and Asian nationals, had holed up inside a house in the centre of the city.
On Tuesday, Abadi said units of government forces, backed by Shia and Sunni volunteer forces, retook Tikrit from the Takfiris.
Tikrit's recapture now prepares the way for the Iraqi army to take control of the second largest city, Mosul.
Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have succeeded in driving supposedly invincible Daesh terrorists out of major areas in Iraq.
Saudi-US Aggression on Yemen Continues --- as Ansarullah forces battle ISIL in Aden
At least 37 workers are killed Wednesday, when Saud-US warplanes attack a dairy in west Yemen early in the morning --- after seven nights, now, of airstrikes.
80 were wounded at the plant in Hodeida, the provincial governor Hasan al-Hai says.
The head of the provincial health authorities, Abdulrahman Jarallah, gives media a slightly different toll of 35 killed and dozens wounded.
Part of the factory was destroyed and rescue teams are looking for survivors under rubble, says a medic at a Hodeida hospital, which is receiving the dead and wounded.
At least 19 people are also killed in clashes between the Popular Committees allied with Ansarullah and al-Qaeda terrorists in Aden, officials say.
The clashes broke out as Popular Committee fighters advanced to the key district of Khor Maksar, Aden, on Wednesday, local officials and witnesses say.
Military officials and medical sources say six civilians and 13 Popular Committees fighters were killed in the clashes.
Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri tells reporters in Riyadh, that the latest Saudi airstrike targeted fighters' positions in the southwest of Yemen, in Daleh, Aden, and Shabwah in the south.
"Operations in regions and roads leading to Aden were intensified and were fruitful," he says at the briefing -- without giving details.
The Saudi air raids, entering their 7th day Wednesday, have so far claimed the lives of 200 people, including 62 children.
Ansarullah fighters are still moving south.
EU warns of Saudi attacks’ alarming impact on civilians
EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, warns of the alarming impact of the ongoing Saudi attacks on Yemen's civilian population.
"The impact on the civilian population, particularly children, of the ongoing fighting between different militias, bombardments, and disruption of essential services is reaching alarming proportions," she & the EU humanitarian aid commissioner, Christos Stylianides, say in a joint statement, Wednesday.
“The airstrike on Al-Marzaq camp in Hajjah, mostly hosting displaced persons, killed & wounded a high number of civilians,” their statement reads, adding that “The attacks on hospitals and medical facilities.. as well as the deliberate targeting and destruction of private homes, education facilities and basic infrastructure, cannot be tolerated.”
It also urges all the warring sides to protect civilians and avoid targeting infrastructure:
“We call on all sides to give unrestricted access to humanitarians, so that they can keep delivering vital assistance to the most vulnerable people.”
The statement adds that the EU will support efforts to resolve the crisis in Yemen through negotiations, with the participation of all the parties involved.
“The EU will continue to support all efforts to bring Yemeni parties back to the negotiating table, on the basis of broad and inclusive participation, without preconditions and with the clear objective of reaching a sustainable political compromise.”
Iran calls for UN action against aggression on Yemen
A senior Iranian official calls on the UN to take immediate action against the Saudi-led war on Yemen, saying that the world body should use all it has in its capacity to end the aggression.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, states on Wednesday, that if aggression against Yemen goes on, dangerous repercussions will ensue for all the states in the Middle East.
The Iranian diplomat makes this statement in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon on the sidelines of the 3rd International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, in Kuwait City.
Amir-Abdollahian expressed his surprise at the unilateral decision to launch air attacks against Yemen, emphasizing the UN’s role in preventing the eruption of all-out war between the two Arab states.
“One should not allow the continued attacks to fan the flames of war and endanger the collective security of the region,” he said, adding that the current military aggression on Yemen will bring new waves of terrorism and extremism: both in the Middle East and throughout the entire world.
He also condemned the disruption of food and medical supplies to the impoverished people in Yemen as a result of the current aerial and naval siege on the country.
On March 26th, the Al Saud regime unleashed deadly air raids against Yemen. The attacks have killed over 100 civilians in seven days... including 62 children.
The Iranian official also spoke about Syria, saying that the UN must now take a more proactive role in stopping the continuing supply of arms to terrorist groups there.
The UN chief replied that he appreciated Iran's constructive role in the Middle East and called on Tehran’s further help, in enabling the political process there.
Ban also stressed the UN’s role in helping achieve peace and stability in the region, saying that finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria and fighting terrorism tops the UN’s agenda in the Middle East.
News in Brief
Iraq says Tikrit is now freed from the Saudi-
US-backed ISIL Takfiri terrorists today (Wed)
Report: US warships are taking part in
the Saudi assault on Yemen -- Sputnik.
Yemen Popular Committees Assume Responsibility for Bab Al-Mandeb Military Base
Yemen’s pro-Ansarullah popular committees have
taken over full responsibility of a coastal military
base overlooking the strategic Red Sea Bab al-
Mandeb strait, from the 17th Brigade, which is
tasked with guarding the strait by the Yemeni defense
Yemeni sources say the 17th Brigade whose
forces are loyal to the former President, Ali
Abdullah Saleh, opened gates to the base
in Yemen's southwestern Taiz province for
the popular committees, late Tuesday night.
Popular committees are deployed at several
points across the military base, since they
entered the arms depots there, sources say.
Bab al-Mandeb is seen as a strategic port,
as over 3.4 million barrels of oil reportedly
pass through the strait every day.
Yemen has been subjected to a - so far -
7-day long military offensive by Saudi-led
coalition war-planes, which are bombing
across Yemen, and have killed or injured
dozens of civilians, including 40+ children.
The attack is aimed at protecting the Saud-
backed former President Hadi, fired by his
own party and whose mandate ended after
he offered his resignation --- and then took
Ansarullah popular committees, also known
as Houthis, forced al-Qaeda-linked militants
out of Sanaa in September. They then called
for dialogue between the different factions in Yemen, but Hadi insisted on offering his
Iraq forces retake Tikrit
Iraqi forces have retaken the Salaheddin
provincial government headquarters in
Tikrit from Islamic State (IS) jihadists,
Members of pro-government paramilitary forces dominated by Iran-backed Shiite militias took part in the fighting, after some froze offensive operations last week in response to US-led air strikes, says the spokesperson for Badr militia.
Pro-government forces launched an operation
to retake the city on March 2nd. This is their
largest offensive since the IS led an offensive
that overran much of the country’s Sunni Arab
heartland last June.
Canada Votes to Expand criminal
Air Strikes on ISIL in Syria
Canadian lawmakers voted Monday to extend
a campaign of airstrikes against the so-called
'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL)
takfiri group -- and for the first time strike at
them in Syria, as well as in Iraq.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives,
wielding a majority in the House of Commons,
pushed through a motion to enlarge the mission
in a 142 to 129 vote, despite opposition parties'
Harper defended the need for sorties into
Syria, saying the ISIL group "must cease
to have any safe haven in Syria."
He pointed to its moving heavy equipment
across the Iraqi border into Syria and said
that ISIL fighters have threatened Canada
in propaganda videos.
Canada first joined the US-led airstrikes on
the ISIL group in November, where at least
six Canadians have died over the last two
years --- fighting alongside extremists in Syria and Iraq.
Opposition parties, however, warned that
airstrikes against the IS group in Syria may
aid Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and
embroil Canada in a regional conflict that
could drag on for decades.
New Democratic Party head Thomas Mulcair
decried the move as "expanding a misguided
war in Iraq to a dangerous new phase in Syria."
"This is simply not Canada's war to fight," he said.
Canada thus becomes the first NATO country,
aside from the US, to strike inside Syria. And,
with no official NATO backing & no mandate
from the United Nations, the illegality of the
plan is, apparently, of little or no concern to Canada's political elite... or most Canadians.
Saudi War Jets Strike Ebb after
Yemeni Army Enters Ad Dali
Saudi warplanes Tuesday bombed Al-Jarbaa
area in Dale' province in southern Yemen, Al-
Mayadeen TV network reports.
The hostile planes also hit Yarim department
in Doorin area, Ebb province, earlier at dawn,
targeting civilian homes.
The attack demolished four homes, leaving
their residents killed and injured, including
women and children.
Earlier on Monday, the Yemeni army & the
popular committees, forced their way into the southern city of Ad Dali.
Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, has defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria's presidential election.
Jonathan on Tuesday publicly conceded Buhari’s victory, expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to lead the nation.
“I thank all Nigerians once again for the great opportunity I was given to lead this country and assure you that I will continue to do my best at the helm of national affairs until the end of my tenure,” he said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC), told reporters that there had “always been this fear that he might not want to concede but he will remain a hero” for this move. “Tension will go down dramatically,” the spokesperson added.
OSCE observers find Kiev forces’ unaccounted for artillery in east Ukraine - report
Members of the special monitoring mission (SMM) of the organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), have found Ukraine's armed forces artillery, in the area of Volnovakha in the east, the SMM reports.
According to its report, posted on the OSCE website, 5 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers were not even declared by the Ukrainian side, in violation of the Minsk agreements.
"In an area near to government-controlled Volnovakha, the SMM observed 5 152mm self-propelled howitzers (2S19 ‘Msta-S’) ... stationary at a location from which, they should have been withdrawn.
"These had not been included in the list of heavy weapons in accordance with the Minsk package of measures, previously provided to the SMM," the report says.
The SMM mission members also observed an MT-12 100mm anti-tank gun in the area of government-controlled Zolotoye and 2 main battle tanks in government-held Gorskoye.
In the area of "LPR"-controlled Krasnyi Luch, the SMM observed 12 self-propelled howitzers.
In government-controlled Chabanovka they spotted two Ural lorriess with 122mm BM-21 Grad MLRS and, near Novotoshkovskoye, the SMM also observed one dug-in MBT T64.
The observers also revisited several sites where weapons were withdrawn from the contact line.
"On 29 March SMM revisited one holding area in "DPR"-controlled territory and found all the weapons previously recorded, in situ."
The SMM also visited one "DPR"-controlled holding area for the first time. SMM noted the identification numbers of the weapons.
Both areas were compliant with the with- drawal lines. The SMM visited a holding area in "LPR"-controlled territory. The location was compliant with the with- drawal lines," the report says.
Syrian forces launch counteroffensive on key city of Idlib
Syrian government troops have launched a counteroffensive on the insurgent-held city of Idlib in the northwest of the country.
The latest reports say enemy positions have been subjected to heavy rocket and artillery fire. The artillery preparation is expected to be followed by an assault.
Two days ago Syrian Army soldiers retreated to the south of the city after a few thousand terrorists attacked Idlib.
The Surya al-Ain news portal reports that about 8,000 gunmen of extremist groups Jabhat al-Nusrah, Ahrar Ash-Sham & Jund al-Aqsa, penetrated into Syria through the Turkish border.
Idlib, between Latakia and Aleppo, is of strategic importance to all warring parties.
A spokesperson for Syria's Armed Forces says the retreat was a tactical move only, and accuses neighboring Turkey of giving military and logistics support to terrorists.
Ahmed Toumeh, head of a self declared "interim government" of the US-backed 'National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces', says he is now transfering his "administration" office to Idlib from Gaziantep city, in Turkey.
However, Al Arabiya TV network, which aired Toumeh’s statement, expresses doubts over the possibility of an early implementation of his plans, during the current fierce fighting for Idlib.
Saudi-led airstrikes hit civilian targets in central Yemen, 8 killed
At least 8 civilians were killed as a Saudi- led air raid overnight, Monday, hit a village, a gas plant and petrol stations, in Yemen's central province of Ibb, a local official and residents tell Xinhua news, pushing up the death toll to 83, with about 350 wounded.
"The warplanes fired missiles on Marawiah village, a gas plant and a petrol station in Ibb's central city of Yarim, killing at least seven civilians, including two workers at the gas plant, and wounding 28 others, mostly from residents in nearby houses," the local official says.
Residents say another air raid hit a gas tanker in front of the provincial reserve forces camp, while it was driving on the highway at the north entrance to Yarim city, setting the lorry on fire, killing the driver, and damaging nearby houses.
However, a security official tells Xinhua the airstrike targeted a military convoy of the Shiite Houthi militia in Marawiah village and Houthi military checkpoints on the highway near the gas plant and petrol station.
The airstrikes also hit several military targets in the capital Sanaa, bombed an ammunition depot on the mountain of Faj Attan in southern Sanaa, which is under control of the reserve forces loyal to former President Saleh.
Residents say the depot exploded, firing fragments hundreds of metres onto near & distant neighbourhoods.
The attacks in Sanaa also targeted air defenses and radar systems at al-Dailami Airforce Base, adjacent to the civilian airport - now shut after "Decisive Storm" bombers hit it on March 26th.
On Monday, Saba news agency, now run by the Houthi militia, reported 40 Yemeni refugees killed and over 250 wounded, when a Saudi-led airstrike hit al-Mazrak refugee camp in the Haradh district, on the northwest border with Saudi Arabia.
It says the dead includes women and children.
The airstrikes continue around the clock at dawn on Tuesday, targeting munitions depots and missiles bases on mountains overlooking the capital, as well as al- Dailami Airforce Base in northern Sanaa.
Huge explosions rocked Sanaa all night. Anti-craft artillery kept firing back until early Tuesday morning. There are no reports on the casualties, as yet.
Sussex students vote overwhelmingly to boycott Israel goods over Gaza conflict
Students at the UK’s University of Sussex vote - overwhelmingly - to boycott Israeli goods on campus, because of the war imposed on Gaza, last summer.
The referendum requires the commercial arms of the students’ union, such as its shops and restaurants, to stop buying products made in Israel.
It also means the students’ union will intensify its lobbying of the University of Sussex for it to also join the boycott.
The referendum saw 806 students, 68% of all votes cast, vote in favor of joining the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement -- with 373 against.
This follows a similar vote from students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London earlier this month, which backed an academic boycott of Israel.
RT reports Roua Naboulsi, an English Literature and Media Studies student involved in the BDS campaign, saying the run-up to the referendum was a “very stressful and tiring” time.
“We were constantly campaigning. We were on campus each day for 5 hours,” says Naboulsi, 20, adding that a large part of the campaign was about educating students.
“So many people don’t know what’s happening in Palestine,” she says.
In the Palestine support movement for 3 years, Naboulsi says students' involvement in the cause has shot up since Israel’s military operation in Gaza, last summer.
The UN reports that 2,220 Palestinian civilians and 66 Israeli soldiers were killed in the conflict, which lasted for six weeks.
Sussex University’s Friends of Palestine Society, saw the number of its regular, active members, increase from 5 to 20.
Naboulsi, of Lebanese descent, says the BDS campaign experienced no hostility from people with opposing views on campus.
“We expected some, but got barely any. We didn’t have much of an opposition either,” she adds.
By the end of the week’s campaigning only one pro-Israel student was left to represent the counter view, she says.
Michael Segalov, Communications Officer at Sussex Students’ Union, says that the student body joins a “growing number of Unions -- including the National Union of Students -- to take such action.”
Speaking to RT, he says: “As a democratic organization, all Students' Union policies come from our membership. With nearly 70% of students voting to endorse the BDS movement, this is a clear sign of what Sussex students want.”
“Over the coming weeks, we will be working closely with the students at Sussex to put our policies into action - including lobbying the University of Sussex, to follow our lead. We are already identifying contracts that [the] University has, and relation- ships with organizations, that we hope to be reviewed,” he adds.
YEMEN SCUD MISSILES EXPLOSION
China has sent several ships to Yemen to evacuate its nationals, as bombs explode and ports and airports come under attack.
Saudi Arabia has carried out fresh airstrikes on Yemen's people and government facilities, as the Ansarullah fighters keep advancing in areas around the southern port city of Aden.
A scud missile facility in Sana'a filled the sky on Monday evening as ammunition and arms stores were targeted.
Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen continued for the 5th straight day on Monday and into the early hours Tuesday morning, with war- planes hitting areas around the presidential palace, in the capital, Sana’a.
The airstrikes began to intensify late on Sunday and have continued ever since: with Saudi bombers targeting positions of Houthi fighters and soldiers from the Republican Guard near the presidential palace. A base operated by Republican Guards in Sana’a's south, was also targeted by the strikes.
Yemeni air defense units say they have downed a Saudi jet over Marib city, 140 klmtrs (90 miles) east of Sana’a where Saudi jet pilots say they have already targeted radar facilities and surface- to-air missile batteries.
Yemen's army, earlier, downed two Saudi bombers, & one jet operated by the United Arab Emirates.
Sources in Hodeida say Saudi jets also targeted anti-aircraft defense systems in the western port city.
Houthis make new gains
As Saudi Arabia continues its aggression, the Houthi movement, which took control of the capital, Sana'a in September, keeps making new gains in other parts of Yemen.
Houthi fighters backed by army units have pushed into Aden's Northeastern outskirts, where remnants of the regime of fugitive president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, are still in control of some installations.
Houthis have also made a fresh advance from the east of Aden, along the Arabian Sea coast.
Saudi Warplanes Kill Dozens of Civilians As Yemeni Army, Committees, Advance
The Saudi-led aggression on Yemen continued on Monday, with airstrikes targeting al-Mozraq refugee camp, killing and injuring 45 civilians.
45 martyrs, including women and children, were claimed by the air raid on the camp, in Hija province.
Meanwhile, Yemen's army & Public Committees, are advancing in both Lahj and Abyan provinces.
Also on Monday, Al-Qaeda terrorists collapsed in Aden, as Yemen's army and the Public Committees regained control of the city's airport.
Assad: ISIL Hugely Expanded since Start of US Air Campaign
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that the so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) takfiri group, has been gaining recruits since the start of US-led air strikes against the group.
In an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes", aired Sunday, Assad quotes estimates that ISIL is now attracting 1,000 new recruits each month, in Syria.
On the "benefit" of coalition airstrikes on ISIL positions, the Syrian President says:
"Sometimes you could have local benefits, but, in general, if you want to talk in terms of ISIS, actually ISIS has expanded since the beginning of the strikes."
Asked under what circumstances he would leave power, Assad says: "When I don't have the public's support. When I don't represent Syrian interests and values."
In reply to a question on how he determines the support he has among Syrians, he says: "I don't determine. I sense. I feel. I'm in contact with them."
Syria has been hit by violent unrest since March 2011, when western media reports accused countries, mainly the US, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, of orchestrating civil conflict in the country and providing the terrorist groups with money, weapons and trained mercenaries.
Ukraine’s Right Sector Leader Wants Donbas Residents Deported
Dmitri Yarosh, Rada MP and leader of Ukraine’s Right Sector, declares that the unruly residents of eastern Ukraine, must be deprived of their civil rights and deported, before a program of ‘affectionate Ukrainianization’ can begin.
In an interview for the Ukrainian newspaper Obosrevatel, published Sunday, Right Sector leader and Rada deputy, Yarosh, notes that much of Donbas is populated by ‘Sovoks’, an insulting slang term, meaning ‘Soviet’.
He continues: “And they should be deported. We have to deal with those who dont want to live by the rules and the laws of the state in a very harsh manner. This includes deportation, the deprivation of civil rights, and so on. With- out force, it will not be possible to do anything with the region - to turn the tide, so to speak.”
The Right Sector leader adds that the area’s “unruly” residents, must also be dealt with: “If we get rid of the unruly ones, everything will be fine, quiet and peaceful. And then, of course, a program of affectionate Ukrainian- ization can begin.” The MP says a “spiritual rebirth” can begin only if the authorities act in a consistent, forceful manner.
Yarosh cites the Kiev authorities’ response in Konstantinovka, Donetsk, controlled by the Ukrainian military, where a drunken armored vehicle driver recently crashed into a crowd of people and crushed and killed an eight-year-old girl in a hit & run incident... leading to riots in the streets.
“The events in Konstantinovka are an example of what I mean. If we'd shown even a little bit of weakness. Right from the beginning a whole bunch of ‘heroes’ began crawling out of the woodwork, using tragedy for their own separatist interests. And when our guys came out and began shooting into the air and arresting the instigators of the riots, everything ceased at once. This is the rule,” Yarosh explains.
The MP says today's anti-Kiev attitudes are simply the result of many years of Russian propaganda, and the removal of genuinely Ukrainian spiritual values.
Yarosh then says the “guys from Donetsk and Lugansk regions” fighting for Kiev...
“should become an elite, on whose base, a qualitatively new society can be built… And those Vatnik [slang for Russians blindly loving their country], criminal oligarchic attitudes sitting in the minds of ordinary people, for one reason or another, must be removed.”
The extreme nationalist leader notes that he has accepted the president’s invitation to work in Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, adding that he has chosen to do so, on a voluntary basis.
Speaking about the Ukrainian army’s recent losses on the battlefield, Yarosh recalls that:
“We faced a rout near Ilovaisk. On the one hand, we have learned to fight, with morale at a high level. But things are very bad when a pride of lions is led by sheep. They cannot lead us to victory, and only roll us back.”
On the situation at the front now, he says:
“Our forces are still threatened by several encirclements. And I don’t know, again, whether the sheep will react to this, or whether they are playing some sort of geopolitical game.”
Right Sector is a far-right nationalist party. In Jan and February of 2014, its members participated heavily in fighting Ukrainian police on the streets of Kiev, and in the capture of government buildings during the Euro-Maidan coup.
Since April, they have taken the lead in crushing protest movements in eastern Ukraine and enforcing the new order. They are also playing a role in Kiev’s military operation in Donbas.
Right Sector’s Volunteer Corps includes the two battalions operating in eastern Ukraine, plus eight reserve battalions throughout the rest of the country.
In March, 2014, the Russian authorities issued an arrest warrant against Dmitri Yarosh for the incitement of terrorism, and for his organization’s activities in the First Chechen War, fighting against Russia's military.
In November 2014, the Russian Supreme Court declared the Right Sector to be an extremist organization, and banned its activity on Russian Federation territory.
Crushing response awaits Riyadh
Houthis vow to give a crushing response to the Saudi's invasion. Nasruddin Amer, a member of the Ansarullah movement’s information committee, warns Monday, that developments in the next few days will take Saudi Arabia and the world by surprise.
“The Yemeni nation will change the map of the region,” he tells al-Alam News.
The Al Saud regime unleashed deadly raids - without a UN mandate - against Yemen, on March 26th, in an attempt to restore power to Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.
Hadi, who is now reportedly in Riyadh, stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision... despite calls to do so, by Ansarullah.
Gradually, as the Yemeni government failed to provide security and properly run the affairs of Yemen, Ansarullah's fighters started to take control over state matters, to contain corruption and terror.
Houthis say Hadi lost his legitimacy when he fled the Yemeni capital, Saana, in February.
Yemeni Army Kills, Arrests Terrorists, As Saudi-Led Aggression Continues
The Yemeni army, backed by the Popular committees, expelled al Qaeda militants from a post on the main road in Shabwa, in the south, killing 10 terrorists and arresting a number of others.
At the same time, the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen continues, as Saudi airstrikes hit various cities, destroying Yemen's main facilities, including Sanaa airport.
The Yemeni's air defense system took on the hostile air raids, according to an Al-Manar reporter there.
Algeria's Foreign Minister, Ramatan al-Amamera, has submitted to his Saudi and Egyptian counterparts, a political initiative to end the crisis.
All concerned parties were informed about the initiative, but Saudi Arabia is complicating the political process, by setting the deployment of "Arab" troops in Sanaa, as a precondition.
Settlers steal stones in villages west of Salfit to pave the streets of settlements
Witnesses and citizens of towns and villages west of Salfit, report that bulldozers tracked the area and left with several massive stones.
Settlers use these kinds of stones to pave new streets in their newly built settlements.
Palestinian researchers report that ground and crushed stones and rocks, are used in various ways in the construction of houses in settlements, at the expense of the towns and villages of Kafr al-Dik, Rafat, Bruqin, Deir Balut and Sarta.
After Netanyahu's re-election, fear of a speed up in settlement construction is palpable in many West bank areas, and over the other systemic human rights abuses being committed by Israel.
THE LAW AND ISRAEL
Palestinians stress Sunday, on Land Day, that the settlers and settlements are a violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, as illegal under international law.
But Israel says that they ARE consistent with international law, because it doesn't agree that the fourth geneva convention applies to the territories occupied in the 1967 six-day war.
The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Red Cross Committee, the International Court of Justice and the High Contract Parties to the Convention all say the Fourth Geneva Convention DOES apply.
Numerous UN resolutions state that the building & existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights DO violate international law, including UN Security Council resolutions in 1979 and 1980.
UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the 4th Geneva Convention as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls on Israel to stop transferring its own population into the territories... or changing their demographic makeup.
The reconvened Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions declared that the Israeli settlements ARE illegal.
Successive Israeli governments say all 'authorized' settlements are entirely legal -- and consistent with international law -- despite all Israel's armistice agreements having been with High Contracting Parties.
In practice, Israel does not accept that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies de jure, but has stated that on humanitarian issues it will govern itself de facto by its provisions --- without specifying which these are.
A majority of legal scholars hold that the settlements do violate international law, while others dissent, supporting Israel's position.
Occupation does not vest the occupying power with sovereignty over the occupied territory.
PLO STATEMENT ON LAND DAY 2015
PLO Executive Committee Member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi says, on the 39th Commemoration of Land Day:
“On March 30, 1976, as thousands of Palestinians inside Israel protested Israeli plans to steal 60,000 dunams of land in the Galilee, six Palestinians were killed and hundreds were injured and arrested.
39 years later, in the face of the brutal military occupation imposed by Israel, the Palestinian people still remain steadfast in their struggle to defend their inalienable rights to independence, freedom and justice.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is succeeding in completing the Zionist project and pressing ahead with Israel’s systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, showing a total disregard for Palestinian human rights and dignity.
Furthermore, Palestinian citizens of Israel are constantly deprived of their social, political and economic rights and treated as second- class citizens. Israel’s policies of racism, hatred, extremism, and violence constitute a deliberate effort to legalize discrimination and xenophobia and impose “Greater Israel” on historical Palestine --- at the expense of all Palestinians.
Yet, even in light of such grave injustices and flagrant violations of international law, Palestinians everywhere remain undeterred in engaging in non-violent popular action, including political, legal & diplomatic efforts --- to preserve their identity, continuity and presence, on Palestinian lands.
Regardless of wherever Palestinians live, they will always remain an indivisible part of Palestine.
Israel has been exempt from accountability for its violations and deliberate acts of aggression and violence against the Palestinian people for far too long. All members of the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States, have the legal and moral responsibility to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people and to serve the cause of peace and justice by adopting bold initiatives and concrete steps to counter Israel’s impunity and war crimes.”
Saudi Arabia Sends over 5,000 Takfiri Terrorists to Yemen
Military sources disclose that Saudi Arabia has dispatched thousands of Takfiri terrorists to Yemen, to fight against revolutionary forces.
"Saudi Arabia has sent around 5,000 Takfiri mercenaries to fight against the Yemeni army and revolutionary committees,' Yemeni Army Commander Colonel Abdel Sattar al-Boushali tells FNA on Saturday night.
The Yemeni commander also discloses that the Saudi defense minister has asked Turkish officials to pave the grounds for a transfer of more terrorists from Turkish airports, to Riyadh.
He notes that heavy clashes have broken out between the terrorist groups and forces loyal to Yemen's revolutionary committees.
Colonel al-Boushali repeats: that Saudi Arabia is plotting to hire mercenaries to assassinate supporters of the Ansarullah movement.
Saudi Arabia started airstrikes against Yemen early on Thursday -- 1 day after the US-backed Yemeni president fled the country.
Five Persian Gulf States -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait --- backed by the US --- have all declared war on Yemen in a joint statement.
US President Barack Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to the military operations, National Security Council Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan, said late on Wednesday night.
She added that, while US forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen, Washington is establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia, to coordinate with US military and intelligence support.
The Saudi's aggression is receiving growing international condemnation, as it is pushing the region and world, into an unprecedented fast-growing war, as its ISIL mercenaries are on the brink of complete annihilation in Iraq and Syria.
At Sharm al Sheik, the Arab kingdoms support a joint army to preserve themselves -- but Iraq and Algeria express doubts about pursuing a military solution to what is a political problem.
Turkey has already said that it will not engage in any act which sets Shias and Sunnis at war.
Transportation Ministry of the DPR: Passenger train started Saturday 28th
Railway passenger trains connecting the two de facto capitals of the DPR & LPR, have been running since March the 28th.
‘Departure of the power train 6603 will be carried out from the station Yasinovataya at 8am Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays. The Lugansk-Yasinovataya train will leave every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.
The price is 14,75 UAN.
Ansarullah Has Evidence of US Role in Terrorist Operations in Yemen
A senior member of the popular Ansarullah movement discloses that the revolutionary group has information and evidence to hand that the US has played the main role, in the unrest and terrorist attacks in Yemen.
"The movement has collected documents which show that the US has been playing a role in Yemen's current terror operations," member of Ansarullah Executive Committee Ali Qassem Al-Shahdi tells Fars news agency.
He explains that Ansarullah gained access to these documents after taking control of Yemen's National Security Office which had tight cooperation with the CIA -- and other spy agencies.
Earlier today, Ansarullah spokesperson, Zeifollah al-Shami, said Yemeni tribes, army and popular forces, are united to give a crushing response to the recent Saudi aggression, adding that Tel Aviv and Washington have ordered Riyadh to attack Yemen.
"We know that the Saudi aggression and airstrikes have taken place at the order of Israel and the US," al-Shami tells FNA. He notes that the Yemeni people have put aside their differences, to fight the aggressors.
"God willingly, the crushing response to the aggressions of the Saudi enemy will occur in the coming days," al-Shami adds.
Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against a Yemeni shopping market early Saturday, targeting civilian areas.
Saudi-led invasion of Yemen (4th day)
As night fell on Saturday, aerial attacks resumed for a fourth night, residents of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, say.
Dozens of people, including women and children, have been killed since early Thursday, when Saudi Arabia began the invasion of Yemen.
On Saturday, the UN said that most of its 100 international staff have been evacuated from Sana’a.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday, that negotiations “remain the only chance to prevent long, drawn- out conflict” in Yemen, yetthere was no sign of any condemnation of the Saudi invasion, in the UN chief’s remarks.
Riyadh says it launched the airstrikes to defend the “legitimate government” of Hadi, at his request.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former dictator who stepped down in 2012 after a year-long popular uprising, has likewise said, that the Saudi-led attacks aim at saving the fugitive president.
In a televised speech on Saturday, Saleh urged the Arab League to help end this crisis “peacefully,” saying the “problem will not be solved with strikes.”
A senior Yemeni health official says at least 61 people have been killed in three days of fighting between Ansarullah fighters and loyalist militia, in Yemen’s main southern city of Aden.
“There are at least 61 people dead and 203 wounded,” says Aden health dept. director, Al-Kheder Lassouar.
Islamist extremists now control Syrian city of Idlib
Takfiri fighters, including al Qaeda’s Nusra Front have seized Idlib, capital of a north west Syrian province, for the first time since the crisis began, Reuters reports.
Islamist insurgents now control an additional province in Syria, to Raqqa, a stronghold of Islamic State. Syrian officials don't comment immediately, on the report.
Iran dispatches planeload of humanitarian aid to Yemen
Iran's Red Crescent Society has sent a 'plane full of humanitarian aid to Yemen, where Shia mosques were recently targeted by terrorist attacks.
The IRCS sent its 13-ton consignment of aid and medical supplies on Monday.
52 people injured in the recent deadly bomb attacks in Yemen were flown to Iran on Monday and taken to hospital for treatment.
An Iranian medical official says that their patients have injuries such as fractures, burns and amputations.
Soleiman Heidari adds that six victims are in a critical condition.
He says Iran sent a 6 member medical team to Yemen, after terrorist attacks, to treat the victims.
Three bomb attacks were carried out at two mosques in Sana’a on Friday. At least 142 people were killed and 351 suffered injuries in the blasts, targeting Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques.
A branch of ISIL terrorist group in Yemen claims responsibility for the bombings in an online statement, warning that these attacks are “just the tip of the iceberg.”
The blasts took place as intense gun battles went on between supporters and opponents of the fugitive President Hadi in Aden. Over a dozen people died in the fighting, which also forced Aden's International Airport to close.
Hadi, along with members of Prime Minister Khaled Bahah’s cabinet, stepped down in late January, but Yemen's parliament did not approve the president's resignation.
The president fled his home in Sana’a on February 21, after weeks under effective house arrest and went to Aden, Yemen’s second largest city, where he officially withdrew his resignation and stressed his intention to resume his duties. This came after Houthi fighters took Sana’a, in September 2014.
UN staff are all evacuating Sa'ana, capital of Yemen, as the Saudis say their attacks "could last 6 months".
S. Nasrallah to Saudi Invaders: Yemeni People will Triumph, You’ll be Defeated
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah lashes out at Saudi Arabia over its war on Yemen, stressing that the failure of Riyadh’s foreign policy, is the real reason behind the Kingdom attacking its neighbour.
In a televised speech aired on al-Manar TV, Sayyed Nasrallah calls on Saudi Arabia to halt its military attack on Yemen, saying there’s still a chance for the Kingdom to change its mind over the assault.
In this context, the Lebanese resistance leader stresses that the only solution for Yemen's crisis is political, “or the invaders will be defeated.”
Meanwhile, his eminence says the problem in Yemen, is not because Saudi Arabia wants to defend a government or president; it's rather, because Saudi Arabia has lost its influence in Yemen.
“If the aim of the war on Yemen is to save Yemen's people, then why did Saudi Arabia abandon Palestine's people for decades?”
Sayyed Nasrallah stresses that these latest developments in Yemen prove: “that the Arab states have never considered Israel as an enemy.”
“Saudi Arabia opposed the revolution which had overthrown Hosni Mubarak. Why didn’t they form a coalition then, to strike Egypt?”
Hezbollah leader then elaborates on the pretexts used by Saudi Arabia to justify its war on Yemen, saying that they are "baseless" pretexts.
“The pretext that Yemen represents a threat to Gulf states is baseless,” Sayyed Nasrallah states, adding “one of the biggest lies Saudi Arabia has been propagating, is that Iran is occupying Yemen.”
The major mentality of Saudi Arabia is that it does not recognize the rights of the peoples of the region, his eminence says.
“Where are the achievements of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy since thirty years ago?” Sayyed Nasrallah wonders, stressing that the failure of Riyadh’s policy “is prompting the people of the region to resort to Iran.”
Sayyed Nasrallah furthermore accuses Saudi Arabia of inciting the Iraqi Dictator, Saddam Hussein, to wage his war against Iran in the last century. He adds that Riyadh has been behind the terrorist crimes committed by Takfiri suicide bombers in Iraq and Syria.
“What did you do for Iraq? You funded the war waged by Saddam Hussein, on Iran. You supported Saddam Hussein, as he was committing genocide against Iraq's people.
You also supported George Bush in his war on Iraq. And when the Iraqi people resisted the US occupation you supported al-Qaeda- linked groups and Takfiri militants, and ISIL is your latest crime.”
“Saudi intelligence was sending the booby- trapped cars & funding the suicide attacks on Iraq's cities. You have sent the Takfiri monsters to Syria, not to save the Syrian people, but to subdue Syria. However, Syria will remain free and independent,” Sayyed Nasrallah says, to Saudi Arabia.
Sayyed Nasrallah stresses that it’s the Yemeni people's right, to defend their country against the Saudi airstrikes.
The invaders have been defeated through- out history, Sayyed Nasrallah says, noting that airstrikes alone don’t determine the loser and winner of a battle -- and there is still the ground battle, which has the final word.
On Lebanon, Hezbollah's Sec.Gen. stresses that the dialogue between the resistance party and the Future movement is ongoing, noting that the move is a 'national interest'.
“We will go on with the dialogue with the Future movement, since it is considered a national interest,” he notes.
Responding to claims that Iran is hindering presidential elections in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah says: “Iran has not interfered in the presidential elections, and will not do so. Tehran is not responsible for the current deadlock.”
His eminence however, stresses that Saudi Arabia is hindering the vote...
“Saudi FM, Saud al-Faisal -- it is he who is vetoing the election of the candidate who has a majority with Lebanon's Christians.”
Yemen's Hadi in Egypt for Arab summit as Saudi-led coalition keeps pounding Houthi targets (3rd day)
The fleeing Yemeni President, Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, arrived in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt's Red Sea resort city, late on Friday, as the Saudi coalition's aerial campaign against the Shiite Houthi group entered its third day.
Hadi flew to the Egyptian resort city to attend a two-day Arab League summit, on the weekend.
On Friday evening, warplanes conducted fresh airstrikes targeting the largest military base on Nokum mountain in eastern Sanaa, along with several other targets in the area, witnesses say.
Airstrikes were met with intensive anti-aircraft gunfire by the Shiite Houthi group that controls Sanaa. Huge explosions could be heard across the city while the Houthi artillery lit up the sky. So far, no immediate reports of casualties are available.
A source declined to expose Sanaa's casualties after 3 military camps were hit the night before.
In Lahj province, the strategic Anad military airbase was bombed Friday, with 2 rounds of pre-dawn airstrikes. An airforce official states: "a number of military fighter jets were destroyed and all the buildings inside the base, were set on fire."
The Saudi defense ministry said Friday, that operation "Decisive Storm" had succeeded in cutting supply routes to the Houthis from Sanaa and Saada, Al Arabiya news reports.
As the air campaign continues to pound the Houthi group, Iran's Foreign Minister states that Iran calls for cooperation among the region's nations, to promote dialogue and resurrect peace, in Yemen.
Mohammad-Javad Zarif says Iran is ready to fully cooperate with other countries in the Middle East, to promote talks among the regional stakeholders and conflicting Yemeni factions, thus restoring peace. He then adds:
"Those who have caused damage to the region with their ambitions and mistakes should adopt responsible policies and use their capacities for establishing peace & convergence in the region."
Also on Friday, Yemen's former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in 2011 after a popular uprising, calls for a cease-fire after his forces are targeted by the airstrikes.
The ex-president, now close to the Houthis, also urges, in a statement, resuming the UN- brokered talks between the warring parties.
ADEN STILL IN FLAMES
Despite Yemeni President Hadi's departure from Aden, which he designated as Yemen's provisional capital recently, Houthi fighters are still battling pro-Hadi tribal militias there.
On Friday, forces loyal to Hadi imposed a curfew on Aden, where dozens of people were killed in battles in the past few days.
According to a statement issued by pro- Hadi forces "the curfew will be from 19:00 (1600 GMT) to 7:00 (0400 GMT), starting on Friday night."
"We urge citizens to remain calm and stay home as the street fighting continues," their statement says.
Aden city has been simmering with tension and armed confrontations for over 3 weeks.
Thousands of families in Aden, have fled the battles for rural areas outside the city.
Who Suffers Most in Yemen air-raids?
Figures show some 60 people have been killed so far and dozens more injured across Yemen since Saudi-led airstrikes began on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says a “major humanitarian crisis” in Yemen is possible - in the near future - as the impoverished land is hit by Saudi airstrikes.
UNICEF’s Yemen representative, Julien Harneis, says on Friday that the crisis could come within months -- if the international community fails to immediately raise its efforts to help Sana’a to provide food and vaccines for Yemen's children.
Riyadh says it's launching the strikes to defend the “legitimate government” of fugitive Yemeni president, Abd Hadi, at his request.
Pakistan says will not participate in Saudi-led coalition
Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif:
“Instead of aggravating the situation (in Yemen) by participating in it (coalition), Pakistan should do what it can to prevent it, for the alliance and unity of the Muslim world,” Pakistani Defense Minister, Khawaja Asif, tells Pakistan's parliament on Friday.
“We don't want to be part of any proliferation -- we will try to contain it," Asif says, adding: "There is concern that the move could fuel tensions in Pakistan and the Muslim world.”
“Pakistan is ready to adopt whatever role is needed in order to facilitate the termination of conflicts in the Islamic world,” he states.
Saudi Arabia called on Pakistan to join the coalition, just the day before.
Asif adds that Pakistan has only pledged to defend “the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Reports say nearly 40 people have been killed in a day, since the airstrikes began.
The open violation of Yemen’s sovereignty by Saudi Arabia has so far been ignored by international organizations, notably the UN, which is silent over this latest aggression against one of its member states, despite Ban Ki Moon's 'pro-dialogue' statement.
Negotiations only option to resolve Yemen crisis: UN chief
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says dialogue among all political factions is the only solution to the conflict in Yemen: but stops well short, of condemning the ongoing Saudi aggression, illegally launched on the Yemenis.
Ban in a late Thursday statement stresses that, “despite the escalation, negotiations remain the only option for ultimately resolving the crisis.”
The UN chief also recalls that the Security Council has called on all its member states to refrain from any actions that undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.
The ongoing Saudi airstrikes on Yemen have so far claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, with more deaths feared.
Saudi Arabia puppet of US, Israel: Houthi leader
The leader of Yemen’s Houthi fighters heaps scorn on Saudi Arabia, for conducing 'unjust and heinous attacks on Yemeni people', and says the kingdom is serving as 'a puppet for the United States and the Israeli regime'.
Saudi Arabia is a puppet at the disposal of superpowers, the Houthi leader says, and asserts that Riyadh is putting into action the US-Israeli conspiracy in Yemen.
He says the US-Israeli plot in Yemen aims to break up Yemen and deprive its people of security and freedom.
Al-Houthi says the Saudi invasion of Yemen has occurred because their agents, including al-Qaeda terrorists and ISIL Takfiri terrorists, failed to execute their plots in Yemen.
He says these “criminal” attacks uncover the “tyrannical” nature of the Saudi regime.
Al-Houthi warns that Saudi Arabia will face consequences, if it pushes ahead with its open aggression against Yemen, saying, “We will confront the criminal forces and their tools in the country.”
“You think you can kill Yemeni people, but this is because of your stupidity,” he says. “This unjustified aggression shows the hostility and arrogance of this regime. These attacks are a reflection of the inhumanity of the aggressor.”
Al-Houthi says the “aggressors” should keep in mind that Yemen's people are “committed to defending their country and revolution”, by relying on God.
Thursday, Saudi warplanes hit a north- ern city, Sa’ada and Ta’izz, in the south.
Airstrikes also targeted arms depots in Malaheez region in Sa’ada, near the border with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi 'planes started bombing Ansarullah fighters, Sana’a International Airport and the Dulaimi airbase, earlier on Thursday.
China ‘deeply worried’ over Saudi attacks on Yemen
China’s foreign ministry expresses its profound concerns about the ongoing chaotic conditions in Yemen, after the Saudi airstrikes on the capital Sana’a.
“The Chinese side has noticed, and is deeply worried about the situation in Yemen that is getting worse,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, says at a media briefing.
Expressing hope that the crisis can be settled “through political dialogue”, Hua says, “We hope that all parties will act in accordance with relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council... and restore national stability and order at an early date.”
Hua also advises Chinese citizens to cancel planned visits to Yemen, until further notice.
Fugitive Yemeni president in Riyadh
Yemen's fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, was in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as Saudi airstrikes hit his homeland on Thursday.
Hadi arrived at Riyadh Airbase on Thursday, welcomed by Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and General Intelligence Chief Khalid bin Ali al-Humaidan, Saudi Press Agency reports.
No further details were made available about the nature of the visit.
All Central American nations ready to develop cooperation with Russia — minister
All the Central American countries are prepared to strengthen cooperation with Russia in a broad spectrum of spheres, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, says on Thursday, after long negotiations with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.
"We’re going to strengthen our cooperation and I’m speaking, not only on behalf of Guatemala, but on behalf of all Central American nations," Morales says.
He confirms reports that Russia is to file an application for non-regional observer status in the Central American Integration System (SICA) at the association’s conference now underway in Guatemala.
"That’s a crucial meeting for us, that will help build our cooperative relations in all spheres," Morales says.
SICA embraces Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador.
Houthis Pledge Response to Airstrikes:
The revolutionaries say the 'evil' Saudi Regime is targeting all of Yemen and that the resumed Saudi-US airstrikes, on Thursday, took many more civilian lives. Thousands rally in Sanaa, against the Saudi-led aggression on Thurs.
Iran warns that Saudi Arabia will get its fingers burnt in Yemen, after its interference in Bahrain and support for extremism, across the world.
The US lost Yemen, and had to abandon a drone attack base, as well as its uncounted arms, when Iran backed Ansarullah took over the country...
Air Strikes against Yemeni Capital
A spokesperson of Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansur Hadi, says the president is in Aden and in good spirits for the beginning of 'Decisive Storm Operation', commanded by the Saudis.
The operation restores people's determination to fight against the Houthis, says Mohamed Marem, director of Mansur Hadi's office.
For their part, the Houthis have mobilized and armed thousands of men, to face any ground offensive, diplomatic sources in this capital tell Prensa Latina.
According to them, troops controlling Bab El Manded, have reiterated their obedience to Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis' orders.
Official versions reveal that Saudi Arabia has mobilized 150,000 soldiers & 100 fighter jets for the operation, but the number of Egyptian, Sudanese, Jordanian, and Pakistani troops, (if any) --- as well as other GCC members --- taking part in the operation, is "unconfirmed".
HEZBOLLAH:AGGRESSION ON YEMEN --- 'UNWISE' AND 'ILLEGITIMATE'
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, slams as “unwise” and “illegitimate” the Saudi invasion of Yemen.
“Hezbollah strongly condemns the US-Saudi aggression, targeting the brotherly people of Yemen, the national army, and its vital installations,” a statement by Hezbollah’s media office says, on Thursday.
Hezbollah warns of repercussions to the Saudi invasion, “which lacks wisdom & rationale and legal legitimacy, [and] is moving the region towards more tensions and risks.”
The Saudi invasion of Yemen is condemned by many countries - such as Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Saudi Arabia to immediately stop its military aggression against Yemen.
Speaking about the situation in Yemen on Thursday, he said "We believe the situation in Yemen is a very dangerous situation and we advise against any escalation - because we believe that any interference in Yemen, will simply lead to a further loss of human life -- as it has, since this morning."
Stressing the need to promote dialogue in the Arab country, he says “We believe that there is an urgent need for dialogue, for understanding among the Yemenis with- out external interference -- and that is what we hope we get."
Russia's Foreign Ministry, says Thursday:
“Such a scenario can't lead to the conflict’s settlement -- by definition,” says Alexander Lukashevich, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, as cited by Interfax.
The Russian official warns the US and other countries backing the Saudi operation of its serious consequences for regional security.
“This is a very serious threat to regional security -- while the conflict in Syria hasn’t been settled -- and conflict areas exist actually, throughout the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa,” Lukashevich says, at a news briefing in Moscow.
“These armed methods of resolving internal Yemeni problems are categorically unacceptable,” he adds.
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, also raises concerns about the situation in Yemen, saying that the airstrikes risk causing “serious regional consequences.”
“The latest events in Yemen have dramatically worsened the already fragile situation in the country --- and risk having serious regional consequences,” Mogherini's statement says.
Along the same lines, Syria and Iraq condemn the Saudi raid, with Syria's Foreign Ministry calling for respect for Yemen’s sovereignty.
Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is attacking Ansarullah positions, Saudi warplanes have flattened a number of homes near Sana’a International Airport.
The world body took most of Thursday to show any reaction at all to this violation of the sovereignty of one of its members by Riyadh.
Is Ban Ki Moon just being diplomatic?
UN 'does not yet plan' to take action over the military operation in Yemen
The UN Security Council does not yet plan to take any action in connection with the military operation in Yemen launched by Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf, a diplomat from a UN Security Council member country tells TASS on Thursday.
Earlier, Deputy Spokesperson for the UN's Secretary General, Farhan Haq, told TASS the UN 'is aware of' the military operation in Yemen.
"We are aware of what is happening. We are trying to learn more details," Haq said. He did not clarify whether UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was told about the plan in advance.
Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the US, Adel al- Jubeir announced the military operation. Al- Jubeir said Saudi Arabia acted to "defend the legitimate government" of President Abd Hadi, who was ousted from Sanaa by Houthi rebels.
Hadi asked the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution authorizing "willing countries wishing to help Yemen to provide immediate support for the legitimate authority by all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter the Houthi aggression."
'Pro-Government' Forces Recapture Air- port in Yemen's Aden From Houthi Rebels
'Pro-government forces' have regained control over the airport in Aden, news Agency France-Presse says, Thursday.
Earlier, Yemeni President Hadi’s spokes- person, said 'the leader is in Aden and he supports the international military operation against the Houthi militia'.
On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia, without UN authority, announced the launch of military operations against the Houthis in Yemen.
US "not participating" on Yemen - envoy
According to Ambassador Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, the military action started at 7pm EST (11pm GMT) on Wednesday. "The US isn't participating in the operation at all", the envoy stresses.
Al Arabiya says 'planes of the Royal Saudi Air Force bombed the positions of Yemen’s Houthi militia, targeting their air defenses.
Residents say warplanes targetted the capital’s airport, reports Reuters.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, issued a joint statement on Wednesday - saying that they had “decided to repel Houthi militias, Al-Qaeda & ISIS, in the country.”
Egypt is giving political & military support to the operation, Egypt’s state media says. Cairo is prepared to take part in air, naval and ground operations, if necessary, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry has announced.
While the Saudi envoy insists Washington only “consulted” Riyadh, a US official tells Reuters - on condition of anonymity - that the US has been supporting the military operation... in an 'unspecified way'.
Assad: European States Make Grave Mistake Allying with Terrorism Supporters
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismisses as 'distorted', the image which some politicians and media outlets show, about the situation on the ground in Syria.
This image totally differs with reality, the President stresses, at a meeting with the visiting Belgian parliamentary and party delegation, chaired by Filip Dewinter, a member of the Flemish Parliament.
These politicians and media outlets, are “twisting” public opinion in their countries to favor “short-sighted visions and narrow interests, that do not serve their people.”
He calls upon delegations who visit Syria to meet with its people and contribute to correcting the views of public opinion in their countries, about the war against terrorism in which Syria and its people are engaged.
It's a “grave mistake” that some European states are allying with those countries that support terrorism, President al-Assad says, stressing that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism and is, rather, being defamed by it.
He affirms that the terrorist organizations & their advocates do not represent Islam, which rejects all forms of violence and upholds tolerance and fraternity.
The visiting Belgian figures say they view Syria as the 'front line' against extremism and terrorism, as it's the only one battling with the terrorists on the ground.
If this line collapses, terrorism will extend widely... to European states, they warn.
This is why we must support Syria in its war, a conviction many Western parties and officials have already reached, the Belgian figures say.
They point out that they have witnessed at first-hand, life in Syria and recognise the Syrian people's will to persevere... despite suffering terrorist groups’ acts daily, and years of economic sanctions -- still being imposed on them by the USA ...and its 'allies'.
This will of Syria's people to live, endure and persevere until victory, the Belgian delegation members state, is the most essential factor in routing terrorism and re-establishing stability in Syria.
Cuba Calls on the UN to Support the Reconstruction of Haiti
Cuba believes that the reconstruction and development of Haiti is a debt to the people who, after centuries of colonialism, starred in the very first social revolution in the Americas, it says, in a note.
It is vital to address the needs & priorities of the Haitian people and government, says the delegate, Claudia Pérez, referring to the note released by the Permanent Mission of Havana, in Geneva.
"We reiterate our call to developed countries to honour their commitments and provide the support and assistance which that Caribbean nation urgently needs. We invite creditors, to write off the debt", she says.
According to Perez, "we all have a moral obligation to provide additional financial resources & greater cooperation to Haiti ...especially for its development".
Cuba reaffirms its commitment to the people of that country - and therefore maintains its collaboration to improve the enjoyment of important economic, social and cultural rights, she says.
Among other issues, says the official, there is cooperation with Haiti in the fields of education & health, and Cuba participates in development programs, in conjunction with other nations, with full respect for the sovereignty & self- determination of that sister country.
This way you can really empower people and increasingly improve their enjoyment of human rights, she adds.
The 18th session culminated on March 27th at the Palais des Nations, UN headquarters, in Geneva.
Israel suspends plan to build new settler homes in E. Jerusalem
Israel’s outgoing government has suspended a controversial plan to build hundreds of new settler homes in east Jerusalem, AFP reports.
The plan involved constructing 1,500 homes in the settlement neighborhood of Har Homa. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a controversial speech there on the eve of the March 17 elections, pledging to build 1,000s of new homes if reelected.
The website Ynet says on Wednesday that the plans have been frozen by Netanyahu’s office due to their “political sensitivity.”
Ukraine opposition prepares package of bills to implement Minsk deals
The package includes laws on restoring the banking system, an amnesty for participants in the conflict, social benefit payments in Donbas and other provisions of the Minsk deals
As Kiev is calling for continuing the war in the country’s east, the Opposition Bloc in the Rada says on Wednesday it has registered a package of bills needed for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
"The bills that have been registered give our country a chance for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine," chair of the Opposition Bloc, Yury Boyko, says at a meeting with representatives of public organizations in Kharkov region, in the country’s north-east.
"We believe that the authorities should prepare the needed bills, but, as they have adopted a pro-war stance, we have taken this initiative ourselves.
"The laws we registered in elaboration of the Minsk agreements should be adopted by the parliament," he stresses.
The 'peace package' consists of laws on "restoring the banking system, amnesty for the participants of the conflict, social benefit payments in Donbas and other provisions stipulated in the Minsk agreements," he says.
"First of all, the adoption of such laws is essential for the country. We need to stop people's deaths, reach sustainable peace and start restoring the smashed Donbas infrastructure. This can be done through the Minsk agreement's implementation," the politician says.
Boyko blames the current parliamentary coalition for the fact that "implementation of the agreement reached in Minsk has been blocked." then adds...
"And if the "coalition of war" is not even able to comply with a UN resolution then the parliament needs to be dissolved," he says.
"Most likely, the coalition will break up and this autumn, parliamentary elections will also take place. This is contributed to, by the constant power struggle -- and the rivalry between the prime minister and president," Boyko says.
Persian Gulf Nations More and More Involved in Yemen Crisis
According to regional media, the six-Arab nations bloc is exerting strong pressure, so that the Houthi's Ansarallah movement complies with the so-called Gulf Initiative and its mechanism of implementation, in order to reinstate the authority of Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, after Houthi troops'advances in the South.
Saudi Arabia is now building a military base near the Yemeni border. Media reports say the base is being constructed 'in the south'.
Saudi Defense Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, has been ordered to erect the facility immediately, along with a number of training buildings nearby.
Some Yemeni military officers don’t like the idea of foreign intervention:
“We express our total and utter rejection of any external interference in Yemeni affairs, under any pretext and in any form and from any side,” says the statement, by a group of officers calling themselves the 'Higher Committee to Preserve the Armed Forces and Security', Reuters reports.
“All members of the armed forces and security and all the sons of the proud people of Yemen - with all its components - will confront with all their strength and heroism any attempt to harm the pure soil of the homeland, its independence or its sovereignty, or to threaten its unity and territorial integrity,” the military group states, on a website.
In late February, Yemen's Shiite rebel leader Abdel-Malik al-Houthi accused Saudi Arabia of trying to divide Yemen along sectarian lines.
“Our elder sister, the Saudi kingdom, doesn't respect the Yemenis and wants to impose here in Yemen, the sequence of events and divisions that happened in Libya,” al-Houthi said, as cited by AP.
A brief war between Houthis and Riyadh resulted in the deaths of about 200 Saudis four years ago.
Sunni Saudi Arabia believes that the Shiite Houthi rebels are backed by Iran, and sees that its richest oil deposits are in the East, bordering Yemen, also inhabited by Shiites.
As Iraq is also in the hands of Shiites Sunni Riyadh could find itself caught in a proxy war with Tehran, near its main oil fields, right on its borders, which threatens its current regime.
DPR militia leader: US REALLY IS already supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine
The militia leader states that US ammunition was spotted in Debaltsevo, and NATO planes land at Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia & Kharkiv airports, every day.
"The US is already supplying weapons there. For instance, in Debaltsevo, we saw US ammunition. That’s a lethal weapon," he tells a news briefing, and adds... "NATO planes land at Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Kharkiv airports, every day."
Zakharchenko says Ukraine is also returning heavy weapons to the line of disengagement.
"Ukraine has not pulled back weapons. It is bringing them back. The pullout was a fake," he says.
The militias are expecting more provocations from Ukraine’s volunteer battalions, "which have already said that they are not obeying orders from Kiev," he says.
If cicumstances get worse, Zakharchenko says, the Ukrainian forces may attack from the south, the north-west and in the area of Debaltsevo, to try to cut the Donetsk Republic away from the Luhansk Republic.
"The way I see the situation, I believe there will be 3 attacks," Zakharchenko says. "The main group of Ukrainian forces is concentrated in the Volnovakha, Krasnogolovka, Artyomovsk, Kurakhovo and other communities' areas..."
‘Normandy 4’ meeting on Ukraine due in Paris on Wednesday – Kiev
Authorities in Kiev confirm that a meeting of political directors in the Normandy format, was to be held in Paris on Wednesday.
Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France were to discuss implementation of the Minsk peace agreements. Ukraine was to be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister, Vadim Pristaiko, RIA Novosti reported.
Canada expands anti-ISIS mission into Syria
Canada's Zionist PM, Stephen Harper, is risking military strikes on IS militants in Syria next, Bloomberg says.
Harper is reportedly seeking approval from law-makers for a 1 year extension of the Iraq mission -- plus authorization to expand his attacks into Syria. The mission has focused so far, on strikes in Iraq.
Harper’s Conservatives have a majority.
Media: armed volunteer battalions heading for Kiev
Armed volunteer battalions are pulling into Kiev, Vesti newspaper reports Wed.
"Yesterday, soldiers of a number of battalions were pulled out from the front and are now heading for Kiev with arms. There is no information about the purpose of this move," Vesti says, adding that it might be linked "with the situation around [the Dnipropetrovsk Region governor] Kolomoisky."
Ukraine’s President Poroshenko said earlier that no Ukraine governor will be allowed to have private armies, any longer.
Ukrainian Security Service Chief Valentin Nalivaichenko said earlier that some high- placed officials in Dnipropetrovsk regional administration maintain armed formations that are really groups of bandits.
The topic of armed groups in Ukraine arose after armed men from a security company -- presumably related to Kolomoisky -- put Ukrnafta, the state-owned oil and gas extracting company's building, "under their guard."
On March 19, Ukrtransnafta’s (a company also owned by Igor Kolomoisky) supervisory board dismissed Alexander Lazorko as head of the board and appointed Yuri Miroshnik as acting board chair.
Later reports say the company building was seized by "gunmen led by Kolomoisky." But, Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, stated that Kiev’s law enforcement agencies had taken Uktransnafta’s premises under control.
According to the media, in April-May 2014, Ukrtransnafta took 675,000 tons of process oil from Ukraine’s trunk pipelines -- without permission -- from the Ministry of Energy and Coal Mining.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk demanded then that the law enforcement agencies start proceedings to prosecute those responsible for illegally siphoning the oil.
Dozens of Israeli Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Compound
132 Jewish settlers under the protection of Zionist police, forced their way into Al-Aqsa complex through Al-Magharbeh and Hotta gates on Monday, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, General Director of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, says today.
"A group of 10 settlers mounted the roof of the Dome of the Rock Mosque and tried to perform Talmudic rituals --- but Palestinian guards managed to prevent them," he adds.
Others toured the holy compound, bypassing Al-Qibali and Al-Marwani mosques, then left the complex through Al-Silsileh gate, he adds.
Outside the compound, he says, a group of Jewish settlers attacked 3 Muslim women - and tried to pour hot tea on them.
The occupation authorities also detained 3 Palestinians – 2 men and a woman – when the latter tried to enter the compound.
In recent months, Jewish settler groups – often accompanied by Zionist security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
US & KIEV COUP LEADERS TRY TO RUIN MINSK PEACE
Deputy director of the RAS Institute of US & Canada Studies, Pavel Zolotaryov, sees not the slightest chance of Washington suddenly developing a liking for the Minsk Accords.
"Firstly, this is so, because the United States is not party to the Minsk process. Secondly, Washington dislikes the Minsk Accords, as they're hardly realistic for the people the US has propelled to power in Kiev. Poroshenko and his team are reluctant to comply with the Minsk Accords, and in this, they rely on support from the White House."
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has a very diplomatic way of formulating the issue. Kiev’s and Washington’s interpretation of the Minsk Accords show a striking similarity and it remains to be seen who is in the lead. Now it has become very clear that it's Washington who sets the tune," Zolotaryov says.
President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, has no doubt that the US will not confine itself to sending military instructors to Ukraine:
"Washington will be stepping up its military presence in Ukraine --- and building up its military and technical assistance to Kiev --- precisely in the way it has been doing in its relationship with Georgia.
"Washington’s aim is to preserve Ukraine as an apple of discord between Russia and the West, and as Russia’s greatest vulnerability. Therefore, as soon as the military-technical balance changes in Kiev’s favour, a restart of hostilities between the Ukrainian army and the Donetsk and Lugansk militias may follow. This is most likely in April or May," Remizov tells TASS.
President of Russia's Centre for Geopolitical Problems, Col-Gen Leonid Ivashov, recalls that the 'US National Security Strategy' Congress approved in February contains over a dozen references to Russia, as an aggressor, who poses a threat to the US.
"Also, throughout the post-Soviet period NATO never carried out such outspokenly anti-Russian exercises as intensively as today," Ivashov says.
"All these are sure signs that Washington is determined to use the crisis in Ukraine, to try to drag Russia into a war."
Palestinians Protest Planned Jerusalem Evictions
Dozens of Palestinians and foreign supporters protested in east Jerusalem's walled Old City on Sunday against the threatened eviction of a Palestinian family in favor of Jewish settlers.
"No to the eviction of the Sub Laban family," the banners carried by demonstrators read, referring to the 8 occupants of the house near the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque.
Rafat Sub Laban, who lives there with his parents, his sister and his brother's wife and children, says the family have rented their home since 1953, when the Old City was ruled by Jordan.
Occupation authorities issued an eviction order in September which is currently on appeal, but Zionist settlers --- backed by police --- tried to gain possession last week, he says.
"20 police officers with settlers wanted to evict us," he says, in a statement.
Israel, known as The Zionist entity, by those who oppose it, seized Arab east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War & later annexed it - in a move which has never been recognized as legal, by the international community.
Probe to unveil Israeli bombardment of UN buildings in Gaza
A senior United Nations official announces that the result of the investigation into the Israeli bombing of the UN headquarters in the Gaza Strip, will be declared 'very soon'.
Commissioner General of UNRAW, Pierre Krahenbuhl makes the announcement at an inauguration ceremony of the rebuild- ing of an UNRWA school in Khuza village -- east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.
"The results of the UN enquiry, formed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to probe the bombardment of the UN buildings in the Gaza Strip during the last Israeli war on Gaza will be declared very soon," says Krahenbuhl.
The senior UN official won't give a specific date, but does say that "attacking schools and other civilian places which were not involved in any military action is not accepted at all."
"It is immoral and can never be accepted by the international law," he says, adding that "83 educational structures and 10 medical clinics belonging to UNRWA were either directly or indirectly damaged."
Ban Ki-moon announced the UN inquiry committee formation in early November.
During a 50-day offensive, the Israeli army directly bombed 3 UNRWA schools which were sheltering displaced families who'd left their homes to escape the Israeli army's 'ground operation'.
The senior UN official calls on donors now to fulfill their pledges towards reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, stressing "if this isn't done, it will bring rising rage and despair in Gaza."
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip "are still homeless," says Ban Ki-moon, adding: "it is impossible to halt humanitarian aid or delay it -- especially when we see this tragic reality in Gaza."
Architect of Singapore’s economic miracle Lee Kuan Yew dies aged 91
Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has died at the age of 91, the Singapore prime minister’s office said Sunday.
Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. He led the nation when it gained independence in 1965.
Under his premiership, Singapore strode from a third world country, into a global financial centre - among the world’s top three, in terms of its living standards.
Houthis Take Airport in Yemeni Central Province
The Houthi revolutionary movement Ansar Allah has retaken Taiz central province's airport from supporters of President Hadim, who is now a refugee in the southern city of Aden.
The control of Taiz provides the Houthi tribe access to a road linking the capital city with Aden, therefore it is likely that in the coming hours, there will be attempts to recover it.
The US military airbase, in southern Yemen, from which the US miliary has fled, operated drones there, to spy on and assassinate the Arabian Peninsula's people.
Yemen is divided into two governments, one the Revolutionary Committee established by the Houthis... and the other led by President Mansur Hadi, headquartered in Aden, which is trying to become an "alternative" capital.
Mansur, who resigned in January then re- canted in February, is supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
The Houthis are supported by Iran, which opened a direct flight weeks ago between the capital cities, Tehran and Sanaa.
Argentina: Frente para la Victoria Leads Electoral Opinion Poll
The ruling party Frente para la Victoria (FPV) of President Cristina Fernandez, leads today in electoral opinion polls across the country, 14 points ahead of its closest rival, the right- wing party Propuesta Republicana (PRO).
A poll carried out by pollster Poliarquia, and published by the newspaper Tiempo Argentino, indicates that FPV was given 36% support by those surveyed, while Buenos Aires governor Mauricio Macri's PRO was given 22% and the Frente Renovador (FR) 19%.
Argentinians will elect a new president on October 25th, and, according to the opinion poll, the ruling party would win -- with Daniel Scioli as its presidential candidate -- with 31%, Macri with 25% and parliamentarian Sergio Massa, FR leader, with 21%.
In a possible ballot, Scioli, governor of Buenos Aires province, would be given 51% of the vote and Macri 40%, said the opinion poll carried out during the first two weeks of March, in 24 sites with over 10,000 inhabitants.
Ecuador president blasts Washington's interference
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa slams the US for destabilising the Latin American state, saying spy agencies, including the CIA, have been orchestrating the protests in his country.
"There's a CIA presence in Ecuador's opposition which has the goal of weakening the govern- ment," he tells TeleSUR television network.
The CIA aims to drag Ecuador into chaos by influencing the opposition ahead of the up- coming elections, Correa adds.
The US spying agency and Ecuador's right- wing opposition were likely involved inthe recent nation-wide protests in the country, Correa notes.
Ecuadorians staged protest rallies Thursday in a dozen cities, including the capital, Quito.
The protesters called for political change as well as reforms in labour and land policies.
Correa and his administration enjoy public support for raising living standards for the lower classes.
The country’s GDP per capita rose from $3,572 in 2007 to $6,002 in 2013. He has also reduced poverty and unemployment in Ecuador since he assumed power in 2007.
Released WikiLeaks' cables, however, reveal Washington’s efforts to interfere in Ecuador’s internal affairs & its spying agencies' covert operations to bring Correa down.
In 1963, the US orchestrated a coup d’état by the military junta in Ecuador to topple the left government of Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy after he voiced opposition to US control.
Moscow slams Kiev for reported weaponry deployment in E. Ukraine
"The claims of Ukraine's authorities that all its heavy weapons have been withdrawn are once again proven to be bluff," the Russian Foreign Ministry says in an online statement -- after a Reuters video is released, showing heavy weapons being used by the Ukrainian army at the contact line in Ukraine's S. East.
"The ministry has to emphasize that we are speaking of another serious violation of the Minsk agreements, which stipulates a with- drawal of heavy weapons from the contact line," the statement adds.
Judging by the footage, the ministry says, the Azov battalion is using 122 mill' calibre howitzers D-30 --- with a range of 22 klmtrs.
The ministry also claims that the footage was shot near Shyrokyne Village, Donetsk region.. "a place that must be monitored most closely, by the OSCE special mission."
Russia urges the Ukrainian side "not to mislead international public opinion and faithfully fulfill its obligations under the Minsk accords."
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged France & Germany to persuade Ukraine's current rulers to observe the Minsk agreements.
Late amendments made by Kiev's government on "special status" laws and the peacekeeping mission, have sparked yet another round of the "war of words", and produced a conflict "surge" in eastern Ukraine.
Ansarullah Announces Public Mobilization, Calls on Army to Face Takfiri Crimes
As the US evacuates its main army base in Yemen, the revolutionary movement, Ansarullah, calls a public mobilization - calling on the Army and security forces to confront takfiri terrorism.
Ansarullah stresses, in a statement, the vital importance of political support for these new security measures, to face terrorist crimes.
All Yemenis have to close ranks & cooperate with the military & security forces, to protect themselves from this takfiri threat, says the statement.
UN Security Council to meet on Yemen
The UN Security Council says the 15-nation UN body will meet in an emergency session on Sunday afternoon to discuss the current situation in Yemen, which suffered several terrorist attacks over the past few days.
Erdogan calls for strict compliance with Minsk agreements
Strict compliance with the measures agreed in Minsk will allow for resolution of Ukraine's crisis, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, at a joint news conference with Ukraine's President, Petro Poroshenko.
"The settlement of the Ukrainian crisis can be achieved through diplomatic means only," he says.
"We’re calling for strict compliance with a package of measures adopted in Minsk.
"We want the Minsk agreements to be implemented, as well as the package of measures envisaged by them."
He describes these agreements as "a window of opportunity that should be opened as wide as possible."
The Turkish leader stresses that he supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and appeals to Kiev to "further protect the rights of all religious and ethnic groups, primarily the Crimean Tatars."
Iraq war architects admit US' invasion illegal
US Attorney General, Supreme Court judge, and chief US prosecutor for the Nuremberg warcrime trials, Robert H. Jackson, insists the US committed an "act of aggression" when it invaded Iraq in 2003.
According to Jackson, "it is the supreme international crime, differing only from all other war crimes, in that it contains within itself, the accumulated evil of the whole."
That the US-led invasion was unjust, is not news to the American public.
Washington officials have formally said that the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, was a 'mistake'.
Republican hawk and defense expert, Richard Perle, admitted in 2003, that the invasion of Iraq was illegal.
"International law, would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone and this would have been morally unaccept- able," he said then.
So top US officials knew that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction & top Bush adviser, Philip Zelikow, says that the war was launched to protect Israel.
Several other officials don't deny that the war in Iraq was a war for oil. If so, moral motives had nothing to do with what happened to Iraq.
As US bloggers believe, the White House is left to admit that the US has committed an international war crime in Libya, also, Pravda.Ru reports.
‘UK, US defense interests put above Mauritius' rights in Chagos Islands – UN
The UK acted illegally when it imposed territorial controls on the Chagos Islands without the consent of Mauritius, a UN judgment claims.
The ruling may hinder US operations in Diego Garcia, where it holds an air- base on lease from the UK government.
The UN ruling also accuses the UK of ignoring the rights of Mauritius – which claims the islands as its own.
Declaring the remote Indian Ocean archipelago a marine protected area (MPA) damaged the fishing industry in surrounding waters, Mauritius claims.
The UK's Labour government then, is accused of forcing through the MPA measure, to strengthen its hand in the impending election.
“The UK has not been able to give any convincing explanation for the urgency with which it proclaimed the MPA on the 1st of April, 2010,” the ruling states.
The decision's speed was “dictated by the electoral timetable in the UK or an anticipated change in government,” it was found.
“Not only did the UK proceed on the flawed basis that Mauritius had no fishing rights in the territorial sea of Chagos archipelago, it presumed to conclude – without ever confirming with Mauritius – that the MPA was in Mauritius’ interest.”
The issue was addressed by a panel of 5 judges serving on a permanent court of arbitration, at The Hague.
While three judges ruled the tribunal lacked the authority to adjudicate... two ruled that, before the UK general election in 2010, and at the point of the territory's creation in 1965... “US & UK defense interests were put above Mauritius’s rights.”
Mauritius' government maintains its sovereignty claim, arguing the islands were effectively stolen by the UK -- in contravention of a UN resolution that parts of decolonizing nations couldn't simply be detached by a departing colonial power.
The Mauritian claim is strengthened by the UN's ruling, which finds that:
“The UK’s undertaking to return the Chagos archipelago to Mauritius, gives Mauritius an interest in all significant decisions that bear upon the possible future uses of the archipelago.
“Mauritius’ interest is not simply in the eventual return of Chagos archipelago, but also in the condition in which the archipelago will be returned.”
The move will be welcomed by displaced former residents of the Chagos Islands, who were forced from their homes by the UK in the 1960s, to make way for the current US base.
Diego Garcia has repeatedly made head- lines as US extraordinary rendition flights were/are allegedly routed via the airbase.
Alexandr Zaharchenko: Minsk agreements have been cancelled
Alexandr Zaharchenko, the DPR's head announces that the Minsk agreements are now supposedly cancelled.
Still, he says, there's a small hope that Kiev's officials will return to the Minsk agreement, as full responsibility now rests on Europe.
Presumably, by Europe, he refers to the Minsk agreement guarantors, France and Germany.
Lavrov: Washington pushing Kiev to military solution of Donbass conflict
The US is inciting Kiev to end the crisis in eastern Ukraine by force, says Russia's foreign minister, citing US support for the recently passed Ukrainian law on special self-governing status for Donbass, which Moscow says undermines the Minsk-2 deal.
“If Washington welcomes the action, which undermines the Minsk agreements, then we can only conclude that Washington is inciting Kiev to resolve the issue by military means,” says Lavrov at a media conference Thursday.
His comments refer to a 'phone conversation between US Vice-President, Joe Biden, and Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, on Wednesday, during which Biden welcomed the decision by the Ukrainian parliament to give special status to Donbass.
Self-rule for Donbass is a key condition of the Minsk agreements, but the law passed by the Rada postpones the introduction of any new status until the regions hold new elections... under Ukrainian laws.
Until then, the Ukrainian MPs said that the two republics will be recognized as ‘temporary occupied territories’ & voted that this status should remain, until the Ukrainian military fully restores control.
The leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk Republics say these decisions were not agreed with them.
“The Ukrainian leadership, basically, have terminated their commitments to engage in direct dialogue and negotiate with south-eastern Ukraine, including on the issue of elections and implementing the law on special status.”
Lavrov urges the mediators of the Minsk-2 deal, France and Germany – who invested their authority in the document -- to react to Kiev’s actions.
Russia's foreign minister also calls for another round of negotiations in the Normandy Four format (Kiev, Moscow, Berlin, Paris) on the settlement of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. He says it is necessary to prevent a "further deterioration of the situation.”
"I believe it’s high time for the Normandy Four talks," Lavrov says. "I've turned to my colleagues - the foreign ministers of Germany and France - with a proposal to take urgent steps to prevent the situation from taking a nosedive."
The Minsk document requires Ukraine to adopt legislation that would provide permanent privileges to Lugansk and Donetsk Regions.
These include the right to use Russian as an official language, trans-border ties with Russia, and the authority of local governments to appoint local prosecutors and judges.
Among other points, the deal includes direct talks between Kiev and the rebel republics' representatives, reports RT.
Russia Calls UN Security Council Meeting Over Minsk Violations
Russia has initiated an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council, to discuss shortcomings in implementing the Minsk agreements on reconciliation in Ukraine, Russia's Permanent Mission to the UN says yesterday (Thursday).
"The UN Security Council is holding a closed doors meeting, initiated by Russia, to discuss violations of commitments to implement the Package of Measures agreed in Minsk, on February 12th," the mission's spokesperson, Alexei Zaitsev, says.
The agreements brokered by the leaders of Russia, Germany, France & Ukraine in Minsk, Belarus, in February, stipulate a ceasefire, effective since February 15th, in Ukraine's eastern regions, a heavy weaponry pullout from the line of contact, an all-for-all swap of prisoners & the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries from Ukraine.
However, the US, UK and Poland have already announced that they are to send instructors to Ukraine, to train military personnel, as well as giving "other forms of support" for Kiev's Armed Forces.
UK troops have begun a training mission in Ukraine, helping government forces fighting pro-Russian separatists, the UK's Ministry of Defense in London, says late onThursday.
The BBC reports 35 personnel are in the southern city of Mykolaiv as part of a 2- month mission, although the ministry spokesperson declined to give details.
"The first elements of the training package began in March... We have got troops out there training," she tells AFP, adding that: "the numbers will vary, depending on the schedule."
Ministers announced last month that up to 75 troops at a time would be deployed to Ukraine, providing training on tactical intelligence, logistics and medical care.
However, the UK government has ruled out supplying any lethal equipment to Ukraine's forces.
"The UK is committed to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, in the face of Russia's aggression," the spokes- person says.
"The gifting of non-lethal equipment is designed to prevent further Ukrainian fatalities and casualties, and to help improve situational awareness on the ground.
"Our overall aim is to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces... & build the resilience that they need."
The Kremlin has reacted by saying sending instructors is "unhelpful" in easing the tensions in Ukraine.
Over half of Ukrainians do not approve of Kiev policies — poll
Neither political parties nor Ukrainian media trusted, suggests opinion poll
Most Ukrainians do not approve of the policies of President Petro Poroshenko and PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk and do not believe Ukraine's media, Research & Branding Group says on Thursday.
According to the poll, held on March 6-16th, 58% of all Ukrainians do not approve of the president’s actions. One third of respondents (33%) positively assess Poroshenko’s activity.
68% of Ukrainians don't support Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, while 24% approve of his actions.
Neither political parties nor the Ukrainian media are trusted in the country. Only 8% say they trust political parties, while 81% are skeptical of them. 58% say they do not trust the Ukrainian media.
The poll took place in all regions of Ukraine, except Donetsk and Luhansk. 1,500 people all over 18, participated in the poll.
"Russian serviceman" arrested on Russia-Ukraine border: media
The serviceman joined Russia's army --- after Crimea reunited with Russia.
Kiev's border guards arrest a Russian serviceman who allegedly wanted to cross the Russia-Ukraine border from Crimean territory, the Ukraine media reports on Thursday.
According to the reports, the sergeant was going to visit his family in Ukraine's Nikolayev region, but was arrested on the border, on charges of "breaking his oath of allegiance to Ukraine".
The serviceman joined Russia's army after Crimea had reunited with Russia. Now the sergeant could face 2 to 5 years in prison, for "desertion".
The Ukrainian media claim the man was caught "in Dzhankoi while crossing the border." But Dzhankoi is 35 kilometers away from the Russia-Ukraine border.
There's been no official confirmation of the Russian serviceman’s arrest. The Ukrainian media, however, is churning out reports on "the traitor who has received retribution.".
Ukraine Govt. Enacts Controversial Act on Status of Donbass
An act on special status for Donbass has come into force after been enacted by President Petro Poroshenko, with support from the Supreme Rada (Parliament), but it's rejected by the rebel regions.
Poroshenko signed the amendments to article 10 on special self-management in 'some' areas of Donetsk & Lugansk, local media report.
The amendments to the act establish that they come into force when relevant bodies take office - after local elections are held - on a date that has not yet been set.
After 6 hours of debate, the draft bill submitted by President Poroshenko was approved Tuesday at the Rada, with 296 of the required 226 votes.
The elected leaders of Donetsk & Lugansk, Alexander Zajarchenko & Igor Plotnistsky, issued a joint communiqué on Tuesday, to demand derogation of the controversial act on special status of those territories -- and also demanded a reaction to Kiev's many breaches of the Minsk agreement, from Germany & France, as foreign guarantors.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov describes these recent provisions on Donbass, as a clear violation of the political parts of the Minsk agreement signed on February 12th.
PM Arseni Yatseniuk says Ukraine will control the rebel regions "by all means".
ALBA Caracas Declaration: Peace Against US Aggression
The Final Declaration of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) signed in Caracas at the end of the summit held here, confirms their commitment to peace in the face of new United States aggressions.
The text rejects the executive decree by president Barack Obama on March 9th, declaring an emergency, and Venezuela as a 'threat to US national security'.
They call for peaceful solutions to conflicts, following the principle of "non-intervention".
The document calls on the world's states to act within the United Nations Charter, and abstain from using coercive unilateral acts.
For Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, ALBA thus consolidates world support for his proposal of dialog made to Washington, and respect for dignity and sovereignty.
The Executive recalls that UNASUR, Petrocaribe, CELAC and the Movement of Non Aligned nations are united: and the non-aligned nations' presidency, pro-tempore, is held by Venezuela.
ALBA and all above, also ask Obama to revoke the hostile decree and start dialog with Caracas as an alternative to conflict and confrontation.
ALBA offers the possibility of creating a facilitating group in the hemisphere and its institutions, to enable this peaceful diplomacy, alleviate the tensions, and guarantee a friendly solution between the United States and Venezuela.
ALBA reaffirms that Latin America and the Caribbean is a Peace Zone, where nations boost integration processes and friendship with the aim of guaranteeing the greatest possible happiness for their peoples.
It also emphasizes that, far from being a threat to anyone, Venezuela is a nation showing solidarity, and their will to co- operate with the entire región, to ensure social peace and stability in the Americas.
After calling for hostile policies to cease, it warns that they provide incentives to Venezuela's opposition to destabilize, and to use violence.
It denounces the international media war against Venezuela, that's trying to create conditions for an intervention on a bigger scale and is alien to the peaceful solution of differences.
Calling on ambassadors of the ALBA nations and social movements, to spread the truth about Venezuela, the bloc also hails Maduro for addressing his letter to the people of the United States.
The letter commits the South American nation to liberty, independence and multilateralism.
It classifies as false, unjust, unilateral & disproportionate, the executive decree dictated by Obama, adding it contradicts a long-standing friendship of Venezuela with the people of the United States.
The letter also reaffirms support for peace, national sovereignty and international law, in an open and democratic society, which lives according to its Constitution and the aspirations of its people.
Likud wins Israel elections
The Likud party of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wins Israel’s elections, the Central Elections Committee says.
Likud has enough influence on the extreme right MPs elected, to form a new coalition.
Russian Black Sea Fleet marines put on full combat alert for drills
The servicemen are practising counteracting subversive groups and aviation of a simulated enemy, but are not "sabre-rattling", unlike NATO's provocative recent actions, says the Kremlin.
Marine corps units deployed near Temryuk, a town in south Russia’s Krasnodar Territory, are on full combat alert as part of strategic 'command and post' exercises, Russia's Defense Ministry reports.
Since the beginning of 2015, Russia's armed forces have held over thirty exercises & drills across the country.
The military training involves all services: the strategic, fighter, attack, bomber and transport aviation, warships and all fleets and flotillas of the Navy, both conventional and rocket-launching artillery, plus tank and motorised infantry troops.
Exercises are ongoing.
International Criminal Court Warns About Violence in Nigeria
International Criminal Court (ICC) Attorney, Fatou Bensouda, warns today about what she calls the 'aberrant violence' in Nigeria, and repeats that the court will pursue those guilty of causing it.
She insists that Nigerians hold elections without any violence, to prevent further instability, and sends a message saying elections do not need to lead to crimes.
The west African State is suffering a rise in violence in its northern region, where Boko Haram controls areas.
Netanyahu says no Palestinian state if he wins another term
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told an Israeli news website Monday, that, if he is elected on Tuesday, "there will be no Palestinian state."
"I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory, gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel," Netanyahu told the NRG website.
Asked directly whether no Palestinian state would be created under his leadership, the prime minister answered "Indeed."
The statement contradicts his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech, in which he gave support for a two-state solution to end conflict with the Palestinians.
In the famous speech, Netanyahu said if Israel receives guaranteed security and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish people's state, there is room for a future peace deal to end the conflict via a two-state solution.
Netanyahu adds that if the heads of the Zionist Union list Isaac Herzog (Labor) & Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) win the elections, they will freeze all construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and take orders from the international community.
Netanyahu tells reporters on Monday that - if he is reelected - he will build thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem, adding that he and Likud will ensure Jerusalem "stays united."
Palestinians aim to establish a state in lands Israel occupied in the West Bank and Gaza and annexed in east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast War.
Israel and the Palestinians negotiated between July 2013 and April 2014, in recent rounds of US-mediated talks, but the talks reached a dead end.
US Funds Finance al-Qaeda Terrorism
Central Intelligence Agency money financed the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, The New York Times says.
The newspaper specifies that nearly one million dollars of funds which the Afghan government received from the CIA in 2010 were used in the operation.
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai paid five million dollars ransom during the exchange for the release of Abdul Khaliq Farahi, former general consul in Peshawar, who was kidnapped two years before, in 2008.
The Times says part of the money was used for arms and operational needs... quoting a letter sent by a senior official of al-Qaeda, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, to Bin Laden.
The paper adds that, due to a lack of control and poor financial supervision Washington funded the organization it was fighting against.
While refusing to pay any ransom for US citizens kidnapped by al-Qaeda, Taliban or more recently, the Islamic State, the US has spent hundreds of billions over the last ten years, on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of which, was then "diverted" to enemy fighters, adds the newspaper.
The Times article also mentions the monthly funding of 1 million dollars, from CIA funds, which the Karzai government received.
German FM Blasts US Republican Senators
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticizes a recent letter by 47 US senators, who threatened to abort or change any nuclear deal between the US government & Iran, FNA reports.
“This is not just an issue of American domestic politics, but it affects the negotiations we are holding in Geneva,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier says, in reaction to the US senators’ letter.
The German foreign minister expresses the hope that the US senators’ letter does not harm the ongoing trend of the negotiations between Iran and the world powers.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, also the country's top negotiator in talks with the powers, strongly rejects the US senators' letter, saying the message is no more than propaganda & lacks legality.
Iran's Foreign Minister then adds:
“It's very interesting that, while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid, even of the prospect of agreement, that they resort to methods that are unconventional & unprecedented in diplomatic history.
“This indicates that, like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content”.
Zarif expresses astonishment that some members of the USA's Congress, find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration, saying that - from reading the open letter - it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are also not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution, when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct