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Russia (News/Activism)

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  • U.N. Security Council members push Russia to stop Aleppo bombing

    02/10/2016 9:41:55 PM PST · by Mariner · 9 replies
    Reuters ^ | February 10th, 2016 | By Michelle Nichols
    Several United Nations Security Council members pressed Russia on Wednesday to stop bombing around Syria's Aleppo in support of a Syrian military offensive and allow humanitarian access ahead of a crucial meeting of major powers in Germany on the conflict. The 15-member Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the situation after the U.N. warned that hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food if Syrian government forces encircle rebel-held parts of Aleppo. "Russia's air strikes have been a direct cause of this crisis around Aleppo," New Zealand's U.N. Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen told reporters after...
  • Report on Syria conflict finds 11.5% of population killed or injured

    02/10/2016 4:51:52 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 6 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Wednesday 10 February 2016 | Ian Black
    Syria’s national wealth, infrastructure and institutions have been “almost obliterated” by the “catastrophic impact” of nearly five years of conflict, a new report has found. Fatalities caused by war, directly and indirectly, amount to 470,000, according to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research (SCPR) – a far higher total than the figure of 250,000 used by the United Nations until it stopped collecting statistics 18 months ago. In all, 11.5% of the country’s population have been killed or injured since the crisis erupted in March 2011, the report estimates. The number of wounded is put at 1.9 million. Life expectancy...
  • Cruz Scolds Obama: 'Stop Protecting China'

    02/10/2016 4:59:13 PM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 10 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | February 10, 2016 | Morgan Chalfant
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) directed President Obama to "stop protecting China" in order to more effectively respond to hostile actions from North Korea. Cruz, a presidential candidate, penned the letter to Obama Wednesday to express concern with his policy of "strategic patience" toward North Korea. Earlier, the Texas senator announced that he would vote in favor of legislation that would impose nuclear weapons-related sanctions in North Korea, which is expected to gain passage in the Senate. Cruz outlined several means of more effectively responding to aggressive actions from North Korea, which over the weekend launched a long-range rocket and...
  • NATO agrees on stronger eastern flank against Russia

    02/10/2016 4:15:11 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 19 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 02/10/2016 | [mz/jil (AP, dpa)]
    Defense ministers from NATO countries agreed on Wednesday to a plan that would see the military alliance strengthened in Eastern European countries feeling at risk of aggression from Russia. The "enhanced forward presence in the eastern part of our Alliance," as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg put it, is designed to "make clear that an attack against one ally is an attack against all allies, and that the alliance as a whole will respond." ...
  • Mandla Mandela Is a Muslim, With a New Bride, and it’s Kind of a Big Deal (Grandson of Nelson)

    02/10/2016 12:28:11 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 13 replies
    Mandla Mandela, grandson of uTata Nelson Mandela, has made waves after marrying for the fourth time, this time to a Capetonian Muslim woman. And that too, after reportedly converting to Islam two months ago. But there seems to be quite a bit of curiosity about what his new religious affiliation means for his role as tribal leader. Mandela, whose full name is Nkosi Zwelivelile 'Mandla' Mandela, is the chief of the Xhosa tribe which the Mandelas are a part of, the Mveso Traditional Council. He released a statement late on Sunday saying that he was 'honoured and delighted' to announce...
  • Eight ISIS, Taliban recruits joined Galloway convoy to Gaza

    02/10/2016 11:35:46 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    INN ^ | 2/9/2016, 5:05 PM | Ari Soffer
    A brutal ISIS torturer wasn't the only jihadist terrorist who traveled with former British MP George Galloway to Gaza, it has been revealed. According to a recent report, Alexander Kotey left the UK on Galloway's "Viva Palestina" convoy to Gaza in 2009, and from there eventually made his way to Syria to join the Islamic State terror group. [...] As many as eight Muslim extremists who would later be convicted of or involved in terrorist activities joined the convoy, according to The Times. Among them were Amin Addala and Reza Afsharzadegan, both known associates of Emwazi from west London; and...
  • Turkey 'seizes suicide vests and explosives' from Syrian border refugees fleeing Russia strikes

    02/10/2016 1:49:45 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 17 replies
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | 9:21AM GMT 10 Feb 2016 | Louisa Loveluck
    Turkey 'seizes suicide vests and explosives' from Syrian border Army says they found the haul while searching a group trying to cross into Turkey Louisa Loveluck in Gaziantep 9:21AM GMT 10 Feb 2016 Turkey has claimed that its soldiers had seized explosives and suicide vests from the closed border with Syria. The army said in a statement that the hardware had been found in the baggage of a group of 34 people stopped near the Syrian border. "Between 12 and 15 kilos of explosives and four belts that could be used for suicide attacks were found in two bags," it...
  • Syrian Kurds open Moscow representation

    02/10/2016 12:48:56 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 5 replies
    hurriyetdailynews.com ^ | February/10/2016 | Agence France-Presse
    Syrian Kurds open Moscow representation MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse Participants pose for a picture during a ceremony opening a representative office of Kurdish groups in Syria, in Moscow, Russia, February 10, 2016. REUTERS Photo Kurdish groups in Syria on Feb. 10 opened a representation in Moscow amid a push by the Kremlin to have them included in Syria peace talks despite Turkey’s objections. “This is a historical moment for the Kurdish people,” Merab Shamoyev, chairman of the International Union of Kurdish Public Associations, said at the opening ceremony for the office in an industrial neighborhood in southeast Moscow. “Russia is...
  • Obama/Trump Back Russian Invasion of Syria

    02/10/2016 12:33:11 PM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 47 replies
    Accuracy in Media ^ | February 9, 2016 | Cliff Kincaid
    ... There is no other way to describe it: the Obama policy is to let the Russian/Iranian/Hezbollah axis take over Syria. That is what the current battle for Aleppo is all about. Times columnist Roger Cohen argues that "It is too late, as well as pure illusion, to expect significant change in Obama's Syria policy." But he proposes that Obama should at least increase the number of Syrian refugees taken in this year to 65,000, as opposed to his currently proposed 10,000. But letting in more refugees scares Americans who suspect that there will be terrorists among them. Such a...
  • Bahrain's king hands 'sword of victory' to Putin after Syria talks

    02/10/2016 12:17:50 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 15 replies
    middleeasteye.net ^ | Tuesday 9 February 2016 17:20 UTC | MEE staff
    Bahrain's king hands 'sword of victory' to Putin after Syria talks MEE staff Tuesday 9 February 2016 15:40 UTC Last update: Tuesday 9 February 2016 17:20 UTC King Hamad expresses hope for 'imminent victory' after presenting Russian president with sword made of Damascus steel Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with a "sword of victory” made from Damascus steel during a visit to Russia that included talks with his host about the crisis in Syria. King Hamad and Putin exchanged gifts during a meeting at the Russian leader's residence in Sochi on the Black Sea...
  • How Vladimir Putin lost Ukraine

    02/10/2016 11:49:46 AM PST · by elhombrelibre · 15 replies
    NEW STATESMAN ^ | 10 Feb 16 | Elizabeth Pond
    Putin’s war cost Russia its centuries-long shared identity with its neighbour. Now, Kyiv risks betraying the spirit of the Maidan revolution. When the Russian inquest finally comes, the answer will be clear. It was President Vladimir Putin who lost Ukraine – after a millennium of shared east Slav identity. When the Ukrainian inquest into who lost the ­Euromaidan’s “Revolution of Dignity” finally comes, the answer, on the present evidence, will also be clear. It was an elite core of politicians and oligarchs who first worked a miracle in fighting Russia’s military Goliath to a stalemate – only to revert to...
  • Chechen Leader Threatens Foes in Bid to Gain Putin's Support

    02/10/2016 10:58:06 AM PST · by elhombrelibre
    Associate Press ^ | 10 Feb 16 | Unknown
    MOSCOW — The Kremlin-backed strongman of Chechnya has issued a stream of threats against Russia's liberal opposition, but his primary audience appears to be the Russian president himself. With Ramzan Kadyrov's five-year stint as regional leader about to expire, he is trying to parlay his strong personal ties with President Vladimir Putin to extend his hold on power. The Russian president must now decide whether to keep him in place or yield to rising pressure from law-enforcement agencies to get rid of the wayward strongman, who has ruled Chechnya like his personal fiefdom. Putin has seen the burly, red-haired 39-year-old...
  • US says Russian campaign in Syria helping ISIS

    02/10/2016 10:03:12 AM PST · by BeadCounter · 26 replies
    AP via KOAA ^ | Feb 10, 2016 | None Attributed
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. says Russia's counterterrorism campaign in Syria is actually helping the Islamic State. Brett McGurk, the Obama administration's point-man for defeating the group, says a Russian-backed offensive in northern Syria is drawing local fighters away from the battle against the Islamic State, and to the front lines in the war against the Syrian government. McGurk tells the House Foreign Affairs Committee, "What Russia's doing is directly enabling ISIL."
  • Kurds Backed by Russian airstrikes Attack Syrian Air Base Held by Insurgents

    02/10/2016 6:58:19 AM PST · by Trumpinator · 9 replies
    abcnews.go.com ^ | Feb 10, 2016, 8:33 AM ET | bassem mroue, associated press
    Kurds Attack Syrian Air Base Held by Insurgents By bassem mroue, associated press BEIRUT — Feb 10, 2016, 8:33 AM ET Kurdish fighters backed by Russian airstrikes launched an attack in northern Syria on Wednesday in an attempt to capture a military air base held by Syrian insurgents, activists and a rebel commander said. Syria's Kurds have been among the most effective forces battling the Islamic State group, but have remained largely neutral in the conflict between President Bashar Assad and the rebels fighting to overthrow him. But with Syrian troops backed by Russian warplanes waging a major offensive between...
  • ‘Vladimir’ tanks in battle for Aleppo (Russian T-90)

    02/10/2016 5:00:39 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 35 replies
    GAZETA.RU ^ | 10 February 2016 | YEKATERINA ZGIROVSKAYA, PAVEL KOTLYAR, GAZETA.RU
    The T-90 tank, among the newest pieces of military hardware to enter into service with the Russian armed forces, is having a baptism by fire on battlefields in Syria. Turkish and Iranian media first reported the presence of Russian T-90 ‘Vladimir’ tanks in Syria, after which sources in the Russian Defence Ministry confirmed their presence. Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak cited a local commander called Mahmut Hasan as saying that they “had been attacked by more than 80 T-72 and T-90 tanks.” Syrian government troops are reported to have recaptured the towns of Nubul and al-Zahraa to the north of...
  • Rebound To Russia: Amid Rafale Impasse, IAF To Buy 40 More Sukhois

    02/10/2016 2:31:31 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 3 replies
    Arming India ^ | FEB. 10, 2016
    NEW DELHI, FEB. 10, 2016: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated the procurement of a fresh lot of 40 additional Su-30MKI air dominance fighters at an estimated $75 million apiece, reliable diplomatic sources disclosed to Arming India. The procurement is being taken up as a follow-on order to the 222 Su-30MKI fighters already contracted to be made under transfer of technology at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)'s Nasik division. Along with the initial 50 aircraft acquired in a flyaway condition from Russia in the late 1990s, the latest increment of 40 aircraft will take the total number of Su-30MKIs ordered...
  • WH Rescinds Objections, Israel to Receive Latest Long Distance Boeing Refueler

    02/10/2016 1:27:05 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 18 replies
    TheJewishPress.com ^ | February 9th, 2016 | David Israel
    After refusing to sell Israel new planes for several years, mostly for fear that Israel would turn around and go bomb Iran with them, the White House now agreed in principle to let Israel buy the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus, using the US security assistance package. According to Walla, the Dept. of Defense initially offered Israel to purchase older models, to make room on its shelves for the new merchandize, but Israel refused, and started spreading hints that if Obama won’t give her what she needs, she can always get it from the next tenant in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. So last...
  • Turkey's rising tension with Russia over Kurds puts Erdoğan in a corner (Kurds now in Moscow)

    02/09/2016 1:46:10 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 11 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | Tuesday 9 February 2016 10.16 EST | Simon Tisdall
    Turkey's rising tension with Russia over Kurds puts Erdoğan in a corner Syrian Kurdish party opening a Moscow office marks new nadir in relations, and could lead to Turkish forces crossing border Escalating tension between Russia and Turkey will reach a new high when the Democratic Union party (PYD), the leading Kurdish political organisation in north-eastern Syria, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group, opens a representative office in Moscow on Wednesday at Vladimir Putin’s personal invitation. The development comes amid a dangerous tug-of-war between Russia and the US for power and influence in strategic areas along the Turkey-Syria border....
  • Hold on Ex-Im nomination keeps cronyism crimped

    02/09/2016 4:29:56 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 1 replies
    The Hill ^ | February 9, 2015 | Diane Katz
    The president has nominated attorney J. Mark McWatters for the bank board. However, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, has said he's "in no hurry" to hold a hearing or a vote on the nomination. Other pending confirmations take precedence, he said.The last of the 2015 lobbying reports are in, and the top corporate spender turns out to have been the Boeing Company, at $21.9 million. Not coincidentally, the aerospace giant also outranks thousands of other firms in profiting from the subsidies doled out by the Export-Import Bank. Last year, Boeing benefitted...
  • Russia is 'trying to draw Turkey into a fight' in Syria, and it may be working

    02/09/2016 1:15:39 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 37 replies
    businessinsider.com ^ | 02/09/2016 | Natasha Bertrand
    Russia is 'trying to draw Turkey into a fight' in Syria, and it may be working Natasha Bertrand 2h 3,495 7 The Russian Ministry of Defense warned Turkey against launching a military incursion into Syria last week, announcing on Thursday that it had seen "growing signs" that Turkish forces were preparing to intervene to bolster rebel forces battling pro-regime troops in the north. Some experts say, however, that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be trying to bait Turkey into entering the Syrian battlefield in order to retaliate for Ankara's decision to down a Russian warplane in November. "Russia is...
  • Russian air strikes in Syria 'good thing': UN War Crimes Investigator Del Ponte

    02/09/2016 9:09:53 AM PST · by Trumpinator · 11 replies
    news.yahoo.com ^ | 02/08/2016 | AFP
    Russian air strikes in Syria 'good thing': Del Ponte AFP 21 hours ago Geneva (AFP) - Former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who is currently probing rights abuses in Syria, on Monday backed Russia's air strikes on "terrorist groups" in the war-torn country. "Overall, I think the Russian intervention is a good thing, because finally someone is attacking these terrorist groups," Del Ponte told Swiss public broadcaster RTS, listing the Islamic State group and Al-Nusra among the groups targeted. But Del Ponte, a member of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, quickly added that the Russians apparently "are...
  • Pope believes Putin is the man to help Christians around the world

    02/09/2016 7:45:47 AM PST · by Trumpinator · 25 replies
    trunews.com ^ | 02/09/2016 | TRUNEWS
    (TRUNEWS) Pope Francis believes Russian President Vladimir Putin can help Christians around the world. A few days ago, TRUNEWS reported the pope’s and Russian Patriarch Kirill planned a last minute meeting, which is set for Friday. Now it is believed Putin played a role in bringing the two sides together, according to Kommersant, after centuries of silence between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches, due to the Great Schism of 1054. They are expected to sign a joint declaration, and discuss the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa. The Guardian has indicated the discussions could lead to...
  • Erdogan: US should choose between Turkey, Kurdish forces

    02/09/2016 6:38:59 AM PST · by Trumpinator · 23 replies
    washingtonpost.com ^ | February 7, 2016 | Associated Press
    Erdogan: US should choose between Turkey, Kurdish forces By Associated Press February 7 ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s president lashed out at the United States a week after President Barack Obama’s envoy visited a northern Syrian town that is under the control of Syrian Kurdish forces, which Ankara considers terrorists. In comments published Sunday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Washington should choose between Turkey and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, as its partner. That came after envoy Brett McGurk’s visit to Kobani, where the PYD’s military wing, aided by U.S.-led airstrikes, drove back Islamic State militants a year...
  • What are the differences between Russian and US Military In Syria

    02/08/2016 7:27:16 PM PST · by DeathBeforeDishonor1 · 23 replies
    SOTT ^ | 2/8/16
    A recent US intelligence report said that Daesh (also known as ISIL/Islamic State) is degrading. Two coalitions - one led by the US and the other by Russia - have been involved in fighting the terrorists. It is high time to figure out some differences between the two approaches. The Common Goal Russia, the United States, and Syria have one common enemy - the terrorist group Daesh. In September 2014, US President Barack Obama pledged to destroy Daesh with massive airstrikes. "Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy. We...
  • Syrians Desperate to Escape What U.N. Calls ‘Extermination’ by Government

    02/08/2016 1:57:41 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 18 replies
    nytimes.com ^ | FEB. 8, 2016 | ANNE BARNARD
    Syrians Desperate to Escape What U.N. Calls ‘Extermination’ by Government By ANNE BARNARDFEB. 8, 2016 KILIS, Turkey — Tens of thousands of Syrians who were running for their lives piled up near the border crossing with Turkey here on Monday. They were fleeing a crushing wave of Russian airstrikes and government ground forces advancing toward the frontier in a developing rout of insurgent forces north of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. The intense and, critics say, indiscriminate Russian air attacks have shattered the latest round of peace talks, forced the regional and global players to reassess their strategies and calculations and...
  • Syria Rebels Face Collapse as Thousands Flee North Aleppo. Russia slaughters al-Qaeda stronghold

    02/08/2016 1:43:33 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 29 replies
    truthdig.com ^ | Feb 8, 2016 | Juan Cole
    Syria Rebels Face Collapse as Thousands Flee North Aleppo (Video) Posted on Feb 8, 2016 By Juan Cole On Friday, the Syrian Arab Army and its Hizbullah and Iranian/ Afghan allies made further progress in taking the area just north of Aleppo. They were apparently mainly fighting al-Qaeda, which had a stronghold in the city of Ratyan. The Russians subjected it to intensive bombing and the SAA and allies ultimately took it. Al-Qaeda (the Nusrah Front) said it had killed 25 of its attackers. In New York, as the Syrian peace talks collapsed, the Russian envoy asked out loud why...
  • "We Can Put Refugees On Buses": Leaked Memo Shows Erdogan Blackmailed Europe For Billions

    02/08/2016 12:54:45 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 02/08/2016 | Tyler Durden
    If there's anything we've learned over the past twelve months it's that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is prepared to employ all manner of nefarious tactics in order to preserve his grip on power in Ankara.Following unfavorable election results last June, Erdogan plunged the country into civil war be restarting a long simmering battle with the PKK and proceeded to crack down on journalists and anyone else critical of the ruling AKP. Ultimately, new elections were called and AKP put up a stronger showing, effectively paving the way for Erdogan to rewrite Turkey's constitution and install an executive presidency.But...
  • Turkey's Erdogan threatened to flood Europe with migrants - Greek website

    02/08/2016 12:34:25 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 10 replies
    reuters.com ^ | Tue Feb 9, 2016 12:27am IST | Michele Kambas in Athens, Orhan Coskun in Ankara and Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels
    Tue Feb 9, 2016 12:27am IST Turkey's Erdogan threatened to flood Europe with migrants - Greek website BRUSSELS Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened in November to flood Europe with migrants if European Union leaders did not offer him a better deal to help manage the Middle East refugee crisis, a Greek news website said on Monday. Publishing what it said were minutes of a tense meeting last November, the euro2day.gr financial news website revealed deep mutual irritation and distrust in talks between Erdogan and the EU's two top officials, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk. The EU officials were trying to...
  • Russian troops put on high alert as part of massive drills

    02/08/2016 11:30:34 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    cns ^ | 02/08/2016 | ap
    Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that military units were put on combat alert early Monday, marking the launch of the exercise that involves troops of the Southern Military District. The district includes troops stationed in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, as well as forces in the North Caucasus and southwestern regions near the border with Ukraine. ... According to Shoigu, who spoke at a meeting with the top military brass, the war games would include redeployment of air force units to advance air bases and bombing runs at shooting ranges. The maneuvers will...
  • Russian Police Whistle-Blower Released From Prison

    02/08/2016 11:21:08 AM PST · by BeadCounter · 2 replies
    Radio Free Europe ^ | February 08, 2016 | RFE/RL's Russian Service
    VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- A former Russian Interior Ministry officer who was sent to prison after claiming that soldiers were fed dog food has been released. He had served more than four years. Major Igor Matveyev made headlines in May 2011 after he claimed that soldiers in Russia's Far East were given to eat dog food to save money.
  • Ron Paul: When Peace Breaks Out With Iran ...

    01/18/2016 3:31:52 AM PST · by VitacoreVision · 22 replies
    Ron Paul Institute ^ | January 17, 2016 | Ron Paul
    This has been the most dramatic week in US/Iranian relations since 1979. Last weekend ten US Navy personnel were caught in Iranian waters, as the Pentagon kept changing its story on how they got there. It could have been a disaster for President Obama's big gamble on diplomacy over conflict with Iran. But after several rounds of telephone diplomacy between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, the Iranian leadership - which we are told by the neocons is too irrational to even talk to - did a most rational thing: weighing the costs and...
  • The Syria War Will Not Be a Quagmire -- Because Putin and Assad Are Winning

    02/08/2016 10:25:53 AM PST · by Trumpinator · 12 replies
    huffingtonpost.com ^ | 02/08/2016 12:13 pm ET | Alastair Crooke
    The Syria War Will Not Be a Quagmire -- Because Putin and Assad Are Winning 02/08/2016 12:13 pm ET | Updated 15 minutes ago Alastair Crooke: Fmr. MI-6 agent; Author, 'Resistance: The Essence of Islamic Revolution' BEIRUT -- Late in the night on Feb. 2, the news hit: "all communication and supply line[s]" between Turkey and Aleppo had been severed, according to a Elijah Magnier, a renowned Arab war correspondent with Alrai Media Group. It seems to be so: the Syrian army and allied militias, backed by Hezbollah and Russian air power, took control of a tendril of territory that...
  • Iran: We still fund Hamas as fighting Israel is our policy

    02/08/2016 8:42:48 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | February 8, 2016, 6:33 pm | (Staff)
    An Iranian official on Monday rejected reports that Tehran has ceased funding the Palestinian terror group Hamas, claiming that supporting the fight against Israel remains a "principled policy," the semi-official Tasnim news agency said. Speaking at his weekly press conference in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari rejected media reports that funding for the Gaza-based group ceased in 2009. Ansari said that supporting "Palestinian resistance movements" is part of Iran's foreign policy, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. He called the Palestinian issue "pivotal and basic" for Muslims, according to the agency. ...
  • Russia Arrests Seven ISIS Militants Over Attack Plot

    02/08/2016 7:24:17 AM PST · by rktman · 20 replies
    newsmax.com ^ | 2/8/2016 | unknown
    Russia's FSB security service said on Monday it had arrested seven Islamic State militants in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg who it said had been planning bomb attacks in Moscow, St Petersburg and the Sverdlovsk region. The group included Russian nationals and citizens of Central Asian states, the FSB said in a statement, saying it had charged the group with terrorism, and the illegal possession of weapons and explosives. It said it had uncovered a bomb-making laboratory during searches of the suspects homes and had found detonators, guns, grenades and extremist literature.
  • Aleppo siege marks dramatic upheaval on Syrian battlefield

    02/08/2016 6:26:19 AM PST · by Trumpinator · 7 replies
    cnn.com ^ | 11:33 PM ET, Sun February 7, 2016 | Tim Lister, CNN
    Since Russia began its air campaign, most of its strikes have been on cities and towns held by the rebels in western Syria. These are not areas where ISIS has much of a presence; al Nusra, Ahrar al Sham and elements of the Free Syrian Army are the main groups. In the process, senior rebel commanders have been killed in Homs, Idlib and Aleppo provinces. "Their ultimate objective is to force the world to make an unconscionable choice between Assad and ISIS," says Hokayem. For now, ISIS is waiting out the battle for Aleppo and watching its rivals get pummeled....
  • Russian firepower helps Syrian forces edge toward Turkey border

    02/08/2016 5:30:22 AM PST · by Freelance Warrior · 12 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Feb 8, 2016 8:11am EST | Suleiman Al-Khalidi
    The Syrian army advanced toward the Turkish border on Monday in a major offensive backed by Russia and Iran that rebels say now threatens the future of their nearly five-year-old insurrection against President Bashar al-Assad. "Our whole existence is now threatened, not just losing more ground," said Abdul Rahim al-Najdawi from Liwa al-Tawheed, an insurgent group. "They are advancing and we are pulling back because in the face of such heavy aerial bombing we must minimize our losses." The Syrian military and its allies were almost five km (3 miles) from the rebel-held town of Tal Rafaat, which has brought...
  • Palestinian Scholar: The Jews Have a Criminal, Satanic Nature and Are the Enemies of Mankind

    02/07/2016 9:59:27 AM PST · by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis · 76 replies
    MEMRI TV ^ | 1/22/16 | Al-Majd TV (Saudi Arabia)
    In a January 22 Al-Majd TV interview, Palestinian scholar Samir Said talked about what he called the "criminal and Satanic nature" of the Jews and said that they were "the enemies of Mankind," who had "killed 70 prophets in a single day." Said is a member of the Jerusalem Committee of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Following are excerpts: Interviewer: Let's talk about the well-known history of Jewish crimes, since the days of the Israelites, and their crimes against the most noble people of those times – the prophets and messengers, against whom they committed grave crimes, including...
  • Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales - source

    02/07/2016 9:36:26 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    rueters ^ | 02/05/2016 | Nidhi Verma
    Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month's sanctions relief. A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil. "In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil...
  • EU foreign affairs chief announces visit to Iran

    02/06/2016 9:18:19 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 6, 2016 9:58 AM EST
    European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini says she is preparing to visit Iran following the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran with world powers. Mogherini said Saturday there was no set date had been set, but that preparations with Tehran were well underway. She insisted all 28 EU nations were backing the opening with Iran. ...
  • EU demands Israel stop demolishing illegal Arab settlements

    02/06/2016 3:08:22 PM PST · by Eleutheria5 · 35 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 6/2/16
    The European Union on Saturday called on Israel to halt the demolition of illegal Palestinian buildings, some of which are EU-funded, and reiterated its opposition to building Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. "In the past weeks there have been a number of developments in Area C of the West Bank, which risk undermining the viability of a future Palestinian state and driving the parties yet further apart," the EU diplomatic service said in a statement. It referred to Israel's decision on January 25 to declare 154 hectares (380 acres) of land near Jericho in Judea as state land, with...
  • Palestinians stepping up statehood bid, Israel’s UN envoy warns

    02/05/2016 8:52:35 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | February 4, 2016, 5:47 pm | Raphael Ahren
    Jerusalem is bracing for a series of Palestinian statehood initiatives in various international forums, including resolutions at the United Nations Security Council, Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said Thursday. "The Palestinians are increasing their involvement and activity in the international arena in a bid to internationalize the conflict," he told The Times of Israel. There are several initiatives calling for the creation of a Palestinian state circulating among UN diplomats, and while they recently received less exposure due to the world's focus on fighting the Islamic State terror group, these resolutions are anything but forgotten, he indicated. ...
  • Iranian commander mocks Saudi offer to intervene in Syria

    02/06/2016 11:59:57 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    cnn ^ | 02/06/2016 | jason hanna
    Saudi Arabia's fresh public willingness to send ground troops into Syria is drawing ridicule from the kingdom's chief regional rival. The commander of Iran's revolutionary guard on Saturday mocked Saudi Arabia's declaration that it is prepared to commit ground troops to fight ISIS in war-torn Syria. "They claim they will send troops (to Syria), but I don't think they will dare do so," Maj. Gen. Ali Jafari told reporters in Tehran, according to Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency. "They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces." "This will be...
  • Is This Game Over For Assad’s Enemies?

    02/06/2016 9:35:51 AM PST · by C19fan · 16 replies
    Daily Beast ^ | February 6, 2016 | Nancy A. Youssef
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could make his biggest gains in the country’s long civil war—and potentially tip its outcome in his favor in a matter of weeks—by wresting control of the city of Aleppo from opposition forces, two U.S. military officials told The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity. If government forces are able to successfully encircle the city and hold it, and control the province around it, “the war is essentially over,” said one of the senior defense officials.
  • Putin’s Chechen enforcer - The alarming world of Ramzan Kadyrov

    02/06/2016 12:11:03 AM PST · by elhombrelibre · 21 replies
    THE ECONOMIST ^ | 6 Feb 16 | Unknown
    RAMZAN KADYROV has few inhibitions. Last week, just before the first anniversary of the murder of Boris Nemtsov, a liberal Russian opposition leader, by a member of Mr Kadyrov’s security services, the Chechen strongman posted a video on his Instagram page. It depicted Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister, in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. “Kasyanov is in Strasbourg to get money for the opposition,” Mr Kadyrov commented under the video, in a clear warning to opposition politicians. “Whoever still doesn’t get it, will.” Mr Kadyrov has been ratcheting up the invective for a while. Last month he called...
  • US admiral: Russia's Submarine Activity In The North Atlantic Is At Cold War Levels, Why?

    02/05/2016 2:31:52 PM PST · by blam · 33 replies
    BI ^ | 2-5-2016 | Armin Rosen
    Armin Rosen Febuary 5, 2016Russia's submarine fleet is more active than it's been in decades in a strategically vital body of water — and US military planners can't seem to figure out why. US Navy Vice Admiral Clive Johnstone, also head of NATO's maritime command, told IHS Jane's that the US has seen "more activity from Russian submarines than we've seen since the days of the Cold War" in the North Atlantic. While Johnstone didn't specify which parts of the North Atlantic have seen this uptick, nearly the entirety of the area between North America, the Western European coastline, and...
  • THE WEST LOOKS ON AS PUTIN STEALS A MILITARY VICTORY IN SYRIA

    02/05/2016 2:28:39 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 24 replies
    Newsweek ^ | Feb 5, 2016 | FREDERIC C. HOF
    For over four years, an article of faith for senior Western politicians has been that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria. Properly translated this mantric assertion, still being chanted in 2016, would read as follows: “We in the West will not lift a finger militarily to stop, complicate, or mitigate mass murder in Syria so long as the perpetrators are Bashar al-Assad and his external enablers: Iran and Russia. Therefore someone ought to resolve this odious crisis diplomatically.”
  • Russian 'SPETSNAZ' commandos on the ground in Syria to crush ISIS as 70,000 refugees flee

    02/05/2016 12:45:43 PM PST · by Trumpinator · 43 replies
    express.co.uk ^ | 18:01, Fri, Feb 5, 2016 | Tom Batchelor
    Russian 'SPETSNAZ' commandos on the ground in Syria to crush ISIS as 70,000 refugees flee RUSSIAN 'Spetsnaz' special forces troops have surrounded the Syrian city of Aleppo amid fierce fighting in the besieged city, according to reports. By Tom Batchelor PUBLISHED: 00:00, Fri, Feb 5, 2016 | UPDATED: 18:01, Fri, Feb 5, 2016 Commandos sent by the Kremlin are apparently working covertly to support Syrian government forces who say they are close to retaking parts of the city from Islamic State control. Russian airstrikes have intensified in recent days in a bid to crush ISIS and rival rebel groups that...
  • Video Shows Tens Of Thousands Massing At Turkey Border As Russia, Iran Bear Down On Key Syrian City

    02/05/2016 12:39:49 PM PST · by amorphous · 13 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 5 Feb 2016 | Tyler Durden
    On Thursday we brought you the latest from Syria, where Hezbollah and the IRGC have encircled Aleppo and cut off rebel supply lines to Turkey. It was months in the making, but it now appears that the city - Syria's second largest - will soon be retaken by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. As we've explained in the past, that would effectively restore the President's grip on power as he would effectively control most of the country’s urban centers - even if that "control" is tenuous. Eastern Syria is of course a different story entirely, as ISIS is dug in...
  • Assad Forces Poised to Take Back Aleppo

    02/05/2016 11:32:45 AM PST · by ScottWalkerForPresident2016 · 9 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 02/04/2016 | Faysal Itani
    In a serious blow to the rebellion, the Syrian regime has severed the main insurgent supply line from Turkey to long-contested Aleppo, Syria’s second city. This is the culmination of several tactical regime victories against the opposition in recent weeks, largely due to Russian air support. Although some Western policy-makers (and many opposition supporters) continue to insist that Russia and its allies are sinking into a quagmire in Syria, the facts on the ground indicate that it is the insurgency and its backers who are stuck in a morass. Since the beginning of February, the regime took several towns north...
  • Pope Francis, Russian Patriarch Kirill to meet in Cuba to heal 1,000yr rift [Rev 17]

    02/05/2016 9:50:47 AM PST · by Jan_Sobieski · 23 replies
    Russia Times ^ | 2/5/2016 | Staff
    The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is to meet his Roman Catholic counterpart, Pope Francis, during a historic visit to Latin America. The groundbreaking meeting is to happen in mid-February in Cuba. The meeting between heads the two major Christian churches would be an unprecedented move to mend a millennium-long rift between the Western and Eastern branches of the religion, which started with the Great Schism of 1054. The upcoming meeting confirms Russia's status in the Christian world, according to Alexandr Avdeev Russia's ambassador to the Holy See. "In light of the Western sanctions, the meeting between...