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Showing posts from December, 2016

What is Missed in the Sanctions on Russian Spying

By Jon Robberson






Today, the Obama administration, in a last ditch effort to further erode relations with Russia on their way out, announced a new round of sanctions on Russia and companies that are purportedly supplying Russia with support for cyber activities, the closure of two Russian facilities, and the expulsion from the country of 35 Russian diplomats that are claimed to be involved in activities that are not consistent with duties of diplomats. This comes as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation released their Joint Assessment Report linking suspicious activities to what they believe to be Russian hacking cells supported by the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU; note that it is mistranslated by Wikipedia and many in the media as the Main Intelligence Agency). In fact, the sanctions imposed by the administration target these two Russian intelligence agencies specifically for their involvement in support…

Syria Roundup: Aleppo Liberated - Turkey's Problems Increase

As planned by the Russian forces the liberation of east-Aleppo was completed before Christmas. There are no longer beheadings by Takfiris in East-Aleppo. Instead a Christmas mass could be held in the damaged Elias Cathedral in the Old City in east-Aleppo.



A total of about 88,000 people left the area during the evacuation of east-Aleppo. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross some 35,000 (13,000 militants and their immediate families) left to al-Qaeda held areas in Idleb governate. The UN Humanitarian Relief Organization found that 54,000 entered the government held west Aleppo.

Currently the area is searched by sapper teams and several hidden bombs were found. Several exploded and killed dozens of Syrian army soldiers. Mass graves were found of Syrian soldiers and civilians executed by al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and other U.S. supported groups, presumably shortly before their evacuation. The Syrian government had wanted to negotiate their release before the evacuation. B…

US ARMY PLANS TO DEMONSTRATE ROBOTIC WINGMAN VEHICLES IN 2017

The US Army is going to demonstrate a number of various robots and drones, which will take part in the Fort Benning military exercises along with US servicemen, in 2017.


Photo: US Army 55th Combat Camera / Sgt. Steven Hitchcock

In 2017, the US Army plans to show a number of various robots and drones, which will take part in the Fort Benning military exercises along with US servicemen, the DefenseNews news portal reported. It is assumed that all the demonstrated robots will be put into service in the army until 2023.

One of the main tasks will be to attempt to test interaction between robotic systems and manned military hardware in various military branches in the field. For example, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shadow and Gray Eagle are going to be used along with the AH-64 Apache helicopters. It is expected that they will play the role of a reconnaissance and attack helicopter, which was previously performed by the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, before it was decommissioned from the ranks o…

CIA IS ON VERGE OF PERSONNEL SHOCKS?

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will experience one of the biggest shake-ups in its history after the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump on January 20, 2017.


Photo: independent.co.uk

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), whose opinion on almost all international issues is different from the US President-elect Donald Trump’s beliefs, is going to experience one of the biggest shake-ups in its history after the inauguration of the new President on January 20, the French Intelligence Online news portal reported in its article, entitled ‘La CIA attend sa purge’. Some former and current employees of the agency compare these shocks with those ones, which the CIA experienced after US President Ronald Reagan got into power in 1980.

According to the news portal, citing circles close to Trump, replacements of personnel on 50 positions can be held in the CIA. The future director Mike Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, is already conducting extensive consultation…

TURKEY FORCEFULLY RECRUITS REFUGEES FOR MILITARY OPERATION IN NORTHERN SYRIA

According to reports, the Turkish government recruits Syrian male refugees aged 18 to 35 years old in order to send them in northern Syria to fight in the ranks of Turkish mercenaries.


A Turkish tank passed a Kurdish militia member on a mission into Syria (Photo: AP / Depo Photos / Mursel Coban)

Syrian male refugees aged 18 to 35 years old have been recruited by the Turkish government in order to send them to fight in the ranks of its mercenaries within the framework of Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, the al-Hadath news portal reported on Thursday. While social networks’ activists have confirmed this report and published photos, showing white buses in Gaziantep, which were used to transport refugees back to battlefields in northern Syria, sources, close to terrorist groups, have denied this information.


“The Turkish authorities force any Syrian refugee of suitable age to get to the white buses in order to be taken back to northern Syria to fight in Ankara’s Euphrates Shield…

What is Henry Kissinger Up To?

By Paul Craig Roberts

The English language Russian news agency, Sputnik, reports that former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is advising US president-elect Donald Trump how to “bring the United States and Russia closer together to offset China’s military buildup.” https://sputniknews.com/politics/201612271049024500-kissinger-trump-russia/

If we take this report at face value, it tells us that Kissinger, an old cold warrior, is working to use Trump’s commitment to better relations with Russia in order to separate Russia from its strategic alliance with China.

China’s military buildup is a response to US provocations against China and US claims to the South China Sea as an area of US national interests. China does not intend to attack the US and certainly not Russia.

Kissinger, who was my colleague at the Center for Strategic and International studies for a dozen years, is aware of the pro-American elites inside Russia, and he is at work creating for them a “China threat” that they ca…

Aleppo Liberated - Turkey's Problems Increase

By Moon Of Alabama

As planned by the Russian forces the liberation of east-Aleppo was completed before Christmas. There are no longer beheadings by Takfiris in East-Aleppo. Instead a Christmas mass could be held in the damaged Elias Cathedral in the Old City in east-Aleppo.

A total of about 88,000 people left the area during the evacuation of east-Aleppo. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross some 35,000 (13,000 militants and their immediate families) left to al-Qaeda held areas in Idleb governate. The UN Humanitarian Relief Organization found that 54,000 entered the government held west Aleppo.

Currently the area is searched by sapper teams and several hidden bombs were found. Several exploded and killed dozens of Syrian army soldiers. Mass graves were found of Syrian soldiers and civilians executed by al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and other U.S. supported groups, presumably shortly before their evacuation. The Syrian government had wanted to negotiate their release before…

TURKISH MILITARY SAYS OVER 40 ISIS TERRORISTS KILLED 100 WOUNDED IN CLASHES NEAR AL-BAB

Click to see the full-size map

44 ISIS militants were killed and over 117 injured by Turkish forces in the ongoing offensive in the Syrian town of al-Bab, the Turkish military said in a statement on December 28.

According to the statement, Turkish forces hit 154 ISIS targets, destroying their defense positions and headquarters on the 127th day of Operation Euphrates Shield.

Nonetheless, the Turkish Armed Forces and pro-Turkish militants failed to make notable gains against ISIS terrorists in the area of al-Bab. Turkish forces have been still attempting to seize the al-Bab hospital.

Turkish warplanes and artillery strike ISIS targets in al-Bab:



RUSSIAN SAPPERS DISCOVER US-MADE WEAPONS IN TERRORISTS’ HEADQUARTERS IN ALEPPO

A stockpile of arms, produced in Bulgaria, Germany and the US, has been discovered by Russian sappers in one of the terrorists’ headquarters during demining of the Syrian city of Aleppo.


Photo: YouTube / Ruptly TV

During demining of the Syrian city of Aleppo, Russian sappers have discovered a stockpile of arms, produced in Bulgaria, Germany and the US, in one of the terrorists’ headquarters, commander the Russia’s bomb disposal squad, Maj. Ivan Gromov, told the Rossiya-24 TV-channel.


“There were various ammunitions: from cartridges for a heavy machine gun to rocket projectiles for the Grad system. [We discovered] 122-millimeter mines, rounds for grenade launchers, hand grenades, shells for howitzers,” Gromov said. “The munitions we found were German, American, Bulgarian… The amount they had was somewhat disconcerting.”

The Russian Defense Ministry released a video of the ongoing demining operation, which shows crates full of various munitions; some of them marked “Produced in Yugoslavia b…

US GENERAL: TWO MORE YEARS TO CLEAR ISIS FROM MOSUL AND RAQQA

According to head of the joint command of the coalition forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, including the capture of the cities of Mosul and Raqqa, will take two years.


Head of the joint command of the coalition forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend (Photo: Brigitte N. Brantley, TSGT, USAF / Defense. Gov)

The defeat of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, including the capture of the cities of Mosul and Raqqa, as well as clearing the remnants from other, less important areas, will take two years, head of the joint command of the coalition forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, told The Daily Beast on Sunday.

Townsend noted that the enemy is dangerous and cruel – very often terrorists use children as a human shield in order to prevent airstrikes of the coalition.


“A fighter walking out of a building will hold a child over his head so we can see him through ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] until he r…

YPG FORCES AIM TO TAKE EUPHRATES HYDROELECTRIC STATION

The People’s Protection Units (YPG) intend to establish control over the town of Tabqa and a hydroelectric station, located there on the Euphrates River.
Photo: safa.ps

The People’s Protection Units (YPG), also known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in mainstream media, consisting mainly of Kurds, are going to establish control over the town of Tabqa and a hydroelectric station, located there on the Euphrates River, the Izvestiya newspaper reported on Tuesday. The combat actions are conducted within the framework of an operation to encircle Raqqa, which is considered as the capital of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

As Abd Salam Ali, a representative of the Democratic Alliance, a Syrian Kurdish party, told Izvestiya, the YPG intends to knock the IS out from Tabqa town and a dam, located there.

According to Ali, “the battle is currently taking place to the north-west of Raqqa, which is considered as the capital of terrorists. On December 25, there were armed clashes in the a…

SECOND PROTOTYPE OF CHINA’S FC-31 FIGHTER JET MAKES ITS FIRST FLIGHT (PHOTO)

The second flying prototype of the China’s FC-31 fighter jet has made its first flight.


The second flying prototype of the China’s FC-31 fighter jet (Photo: weibo.com)

The second flying prototype of the China’s FC-31 fighter jet has made its first flight, the Sandrermakoff blog reported.

In contrast to the J-20 aircraft, which was developed and is produced for the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Chengdu, the FC-31 light fighter jet of a new generation is developed primarily for export. However, developers of the new fighter jet of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation do not lose a hope to get a contract from the country’s Air Force or Navy in the future.



As far as is known, the development of the FC-31 is conducted entirely at the own expense of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China without direct involvement of the Chinese government that greatly restrains the process of the development of the project. So, more than four years have passed since the first flig…

CIA Chief Admits the Agency’s Role in the Syrian War

By Paul Antonopoulos

The head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Director of John Brennan said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) the the bloodshed in Syria was partially because of their role in the war.

"I think we always like to say that we wish that we would have been able to make a difference, in a way that would have prevented the slide and the situation there," Director of John Brennan said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR).

"There's no way you can divorce yourself, emotionally or mentally, from these situations that you play a role in," Brennan said, adding that he “felt some responsibility for the horrific bloodshed” in the Syria war.

He then went onto predict that the terrorist forces loss in Aleppo will not end the war in Syria.

"This insurgency is not going to go away until there is some type of viable and genuine political process that will bring to power in Damascus a government that is representative of the Syr…

Belatedly, a Defense of a Whistleblower

After vowing to run a transparent government, President Obama oversaw an unprecedented legal assault on whistleblowers, only now offering up a modest concession, as Linda Lewis explains.



By Linda Lewis

A finding by an Obama administration panel – reached last May but only now becoming public – that the National Security Agency’s inspector general improperly retaliated against a whistleblower may be an attempt to gussy up President Obama’s otherwise ugly legacy for punishing government officials who protest wrongdoing.


Seal of the National Security Agency

The private watchdog group, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), reports that a three-person panel — authorized by Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19 and consisting of inspectors general from the CIA, Treasury and Justice — concluded last May that the NSA’s inspector general retaliated against a whistleblower whose identity has not been released.

Based on the panel’s finding, NSA Director Michael Rogers sent NSA Inspector General …

Counter-terrorist 'ring of steel' mapped out for key London routes in case of attack – media

St. Andrew Undershaft church surrounded by business skyscrapers © Toby Melville / Reuters

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Amid the terrorist threat hanging over the world, British counter-terrorism specialists have come up with the idea of sealing off key routes in central London to protect the city's future skyscrapers, according to the Evening Standard.


The new cordon, dubbed by the daily the "ring of steel" would block Undershaft, St Mary Axe, and Leadenhall Street, at the same time restricting access to a wider zone. “Pre-booking and / or security vetting” is required to gain access, says the article.


The proposal comes as a part of plan to secure several skyscrapers under construction in the Square Mile, according to the Standard. A total of £100,000 ($123,000) has already been raised by Mitsubishi Estate London and AXA Investment Managers, who are behind 40-storey and 62-storey skyscrapers at Bishopsgate respectively. Another contribution will reportedly come from the Trellis Tower project in Und…

RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY: MASS BURIALS OF DOZENS OF TORTURED SYRIANS FOUND IN ALEPPO

Mass graves of torture victims have been uncovered in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday.


“Mass burial sites of many dozens [of Syrians], who had been subjected to brutal torture and [then] murdered, have been found,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said. “In many cases, body parts are missing; most victims had been shot in the head. And this, it seems, is only the beginning.”

The Russian general emphasized that the cases are being thoroughly recorded as heavy war crimes to be put to maximum publicity “so that European backers of the so-called opposition in London and Paris are well aware of who their wards actually are.”

Konashenkov added that militants of the “moderate opposition” mined in eastern Aleppo nearly everything: streets, entrances to premises, and cars.

Seven large ammunition depots were also discovered in Aleppo.

Last weekend, reports appeared that militants executed over 100 captured soldiers of the Syrian Army before leaving the last neighborh…

SAUDI ARABIA’S ARMY: A LOT OF GOOD QUALITY HARDWARE IN UNSKILFUL HANDS

Source: dailystar.co.uk

Written by Aleksandr Khramchikhin; Originally appeared at VPK, translated by GM

Saud Arabia is considered to be the most influential state, not only amongst the Arab countries, but in the whole Islamic world, since Islam was born on its territory, and because it hosts Islam’s sacred cities: Mecca and Medina. The capabilities of the Saudi Kingdom are considerably improved by its enormous reserves in oil and gas and, as a matter of fact, by the considerable financial resources the Kingdom has at its disposal.

Saudi Arabia is the only Stare where the Wahhabi (Salafi) branch of Sunni Islam is the official religion. This makes Saudi Arabia one of the most totalitarian countries in the world. Saudi Arabia is one of the main organisers and sponsors of gobal Sunni terrorism, but this doesnt prevent the country from being considered as a major strategical ally by the West in general and by the US in particular. However, the links between Riyadh and Beijing have signifi…

THERE ARE NO TERRORISTS? COUNTERTERRORISM = SUPPORTING TERRORISM? WESTERN GOVERNMENTS ARE SUPPORTING TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS WHICH THEY ARE ALLEGEDLY COMBATING

A U.S. Special Forces soldier observes a location of interest while on a mission during Fused Response 2014. The exercise, sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and executed by Special Operations Command South, aims to improve interoperability, tactics, and training techniques between U.S. SOF and Belize Defence Forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Elisandro T. Diaz/Released)

Written by Prof Michel Chossudovsky; Originally appeared at Globalresearch

The Western media in chorus is accusing the Syrian government and its allies including Russia and Iran of “crimes against humanity” for having liberated Aleppo from the clutch of Al Qaeda terrorists. “Putin and Assad could face justice for war crimes in Syria” according to the Washington Post.

In the media coverage of Aleppo, the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists are casually described as opposition “rebels” waging a “revolution” against the government of Bashar al Assad, who is portrayed as a “dictator”.

The media …

TURKISH OFFICER SAYS FSA ‘REBELS’ JUST RUN AWAY WHEN CLASHES WITH ISIS BEGIN IN WESTERN AL-BAB

A FSA militant poses for a photo-report of the FSA’s battle against ISIS”

Members of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (a coalition of pro-Turkey militant groups) run away from the battlefield when clashes between Turksih forces and ISIS terrorists started in western Al-Bab on December 22, according to reports circulating in the Turkish blogosphere.

Reports, citing an injured Turkish officer, say that about 40 FSA fighters remained with the Turkish army when clashes began in the outskirts of al-Bab. The total number of FSA fighters that were in the area was about 400. This means that only 10% of the FSA force decided to fight against ISIS instead of running away.View image on Twitter ilhan tanir