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Showing posts from July 9, 2017

Putin And Trump Stage-manage A Win-win Meeting

With a ceasefire in southwestern Syria in the works, meeting proves diplomacy beats demonization

By Pepe Escobar

From the start, the “positive chemistry” in the Mother of All Sit-Downs was a given. The format – with only the four principals, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and two translators – prevented any leaks. What was originally scheduled for 35 minutes went on for 2 hours and 16 minutes, and not even an impromptu appearance by First Lady Melania Trump – they were late for the Elbphilharmonie pomp and circumstance – managed to stop the flow. They needed to deliver. They needed headlines. They got plenty. Including a possible first step at real cooperation; a ceasefire deal in southwestern Syria. Yet the real headline is that diplomacy beats demonization. Still, from the toxic, overwhelmingly Russophobic Beltway point of view, that dystopia masquerading as a summit – the actual G-20 – was a mere backdrop; the only thing …

IRAQI FORCES LIBERATED OLD MOSUL FROM ISIS – JOINT OPERATIONS COMMAND SPOKESMAN

A tank of Iraqi security forces is seen during fighting with Daesh at the frontline in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq July 7, 2017. Photo: Reuters On Saturday, Iraqi security forces (ISF) liberated the strategic Old Mosul city, the last ISIS stronghold in the city of Mosul, the Iraqi military has declared. ISF lliberated Nujaifi street, Bab al-Toub and Souk al-Sagha and broke the remaining ISIS defense lines inside the area. At least 35 ISIS members were reportedly killed during their failed attempt to flee Old City. Brig. Gen. Yahia Rasoul, Iraqi Joint Operations Command Spokesman, said that ISF have captured the entire Old Mosul area adding that this is the end of ISIS in the city. With the liberation of Old Mosul, the Iraqi government will likely declare that it has a full control over the city. However, the security situation in Mosul remains complicated, many ISIS sleeper cells still operate in the area.

RUSSIA AND UNITED STATES MAKE NEW CEASEFIRE DEAL OVER SYRIA

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir) / Reuters Following the yesterday semi-official announcement of a ceasefire agreement in the Syrian south at the end of talks between Russian President Putin and US President Trump, some additional details of the agreement appeared on Saturday. A US official said the agreement was the result of months of negotiations. According to US officials, Russia, the United States and Jordan have set the ceasefire terms. Al-Qaeda, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), may not abide by the agreement or might even even act against it. From its side, Moscow confirmed that the government of President Bashar al-Assad will fully respect the agreement. “Russian, American and Jordanian experts … agreed on a memorandum of understanding to create a de-escalation zone” in the regions of Deraa, Quneitra and Suweida, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. From his side, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the agreement inc…

GOVERNMENT FORCES CAPTURE MARBLE FACTORY IN AYN TARMA AMID MILITANT INFIGHTING IN EASTERN DAMASCUS

FILE IMAGE The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has captured the marble factory and several adjacent buildings in the Ayn Tarma area east of Damascus. Syrian Air Force warplanes targeted Faylaq al-Rahman fighters in Ayn Tarma with four air strikes on Saturday, and the Syrian Republican Guard forces bombed Faylaq al-Rahman fortifications in Ayn Tarma and Jobar district with heavy rockets. From its side, Faylaq al-Rahman targeted SAA posiotions in the vicinity of Ayn Tarma with tanks, and claimed destroying an SAA 23mm gun during the attack. A T-72av tank of the Republican Guard was also targeted with SPG-9 and was damaged. However, it seems that Faylaq al-Rahman is still unable to counter the SAA push.