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Showing posts from March 18, 2016

Saudi-led strikes on Yemen market killed 119: UN

SANAA: Saudi-led air strikes on a market killed 119 people this week in northern Yemen’s rebel-held Hajja province, the United Nations said Thursday, nearly three times the previously reported death toll.

Among those killed in Mastaba district on Tuesday were 22 children, while another 47 people were wounded, the UNICEF children’s agency said.

It is one of the highest death tolls since the Saudi-led coalition launched a bombing campaign in support of the internationally recognised government against Huthi rebels and their allies in March last year.

Medics and tribal sources had previously reported 41 people killed in the strikes, and a health official in Hajja said the dead were civilians.

But a tribal chief close to the rebels on Wednesday told AFP that 33 of those killed were fighters of the Iran-backed Huthis.

A coalition spokesperson said the strikes targeted “a militia gathering” in a place for buying and selling qat, a mild narcotic that is chewed throughout Yemen.

“We strongly deplo…

Russia’s Ultimate Lethal Weapon

By Pepe Escobar

Let’s start with some classic Russian politics. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is drawing up Russia's economic strategy for 2016, including the government budget. Siluanov – essentially a liberal, in favor of foreign investment - will present his proposals to the Kremlin by the end of this month.
So far, nothing spectacular. But then, a few days ago, Kommersant leaked that Russia's Security Council asked presidential aide Sergei Glazyev to come up with a separate economic strategy, to be presented to the council this week. This is not exactly a novelty, as the Russian Security Council in the past has asked small strategy groups for their economic assessment.

The Security Council is led by Nikolai Patrushev, the former head of the Federal Security Service. He and Siluanov are not exactly on the same wavelength.
And here’s where the plot thickens. Glazyev, a brilliant economist, is a Russian nationalist – sanctioned personally by the US.

Glazyev is arguably going no…

Putin Warns: Russia May Deploy Forces Back to Syria ‘in Mere Hours’ if Necessary

While Russia is withdrawing most of its forces from Syria, they could be deployed there again in a matter of hours if such a need arises, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated. He added that the Russian bases in Syria are well-protected. “Of course, if such a need arises, Russia can, in several hours, build up its forces in Syria to a size capable of dealing with an escalating situation and use the entire range of means at its disposal,” Putin said.

“We wouldn’t like that. A military escalation is not our choice. We hope the parties involved would show common sense and that both the government and the opposition will stick to the peace process,” he added.

Putin was summarizing the results of the Russian five-month-long anti-terror campaign in Syria at a solemn ceremony in Moscow.

The Russian president said Moscow was open in saying from the start of the operation that it was a limited campaign with a set deadline.

“We have created the conditions for a peace process. We have established …