Browsing: Middle East News

White Helmets Endorsed by Channel 4

Before the Grenfell Tower blaze had died down to a smouldering monument to the tragic death of possibly hundreds of, so far, unidentified victims, trapped in the molten edifice, Channel 4 produced a programme showcasing the Al Qaeda affiliated White Helmets, holding up banners in “solidarity” with the London firefighters tackling the inferno of Grenfell Tower.

With no regard for the ever-mounting evidence, exposing the White Helmets as Al Qaeda co-workers and enablers in Syria, Channel 4 once again promoted this group of NATO and Gulf state funded criminals, as heroes. The genuine firefighters in London should be insulted that their own valiant efforts are compared or conflated with a fraudulent group of terrorists and petty criminals who campaign for war to ensure further bloodshed in Syria.

The White Helmet “team in Daraa”, being universally marketed by corporate media was filmed cheering and mopping up after an Islamic extremist execution in Daraa, on the 16th May 2017, so almost one month before the Grenfell Tower tragedy.’

Read more: Syria’s White Helmets, Al Qaeda’s Co-Workers : Severed Heads of Syrian Arab Army Soldiers Paraded as Trophies

‘US Senator Tim Kaine has sharply condemned US military strikes on Syrian government forces as “completely illegal.”

“I think the military action that is being taken against Syrian government assets is completely illegal,” Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, said on Wednesday in an interview with Yahoo News.

The US military has attacked Syrian government forces at least four times in recent months, including a missile strike in April against a Syrian airfield from which Washington said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched. And last week, a US Navy fighter shot down a Syrian warplane.

The US Defense Department says it has legal authority to attack Syria under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, which effectively permitted the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.’

Read more: US senator: US strikes on Syrian forces ‘completely illegal’

Civilian casualties from the US-supported operation to retake Raqqa are mounting daily, while those fortunate enough to survive and flee the ISIS-held city have accused the American-led coalition of “haphazard” bombardment allied to the indiscriminate use of white phosphorus.

Strikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in and around Syria’s Raqqa province have been ongoing since November. On Wednesday alone, US-coalition forces conducted 14 strikes against IS “tactical units” in the area. But while the American-led coalition insists that it is targeting terrorist positions, civilians routinely end up dead or wounded.

The US-led alliance is “haphazardly bombing everyone” in Raqqa, a woman who was brought into a hospital in Qamishli, a city in northeastern Syria, told RT’s Ruptly video agency.

“If you are sitting at home [a bomb] may fall on you. There are houses that collapsed over their residents and they could not get out, all this happened because of the airstrikes,” she said describing the situation in Raqqa.’

Read more: ‘US coalition bombs randomly, hitting civilians rather than ISIS’ – Raqqa refugees

 

‘There is trouble in oil paradise. It seems that all the elements of an already explosive geopolitical concoction are getting vigorously stirred. The palace coup in Saudi Arabia, conducted by King Salman’s own son, Prince Mohammad bin Salman, on June 21, 2017, should be understood as the second salvo of a potentially hot war between two Sunni blocks: on one hand, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain; on the other hand, Qatar and its allies of circumstance, Turkey, Palestinian Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood network, and a likely Shiite coalition with Iraq and Iran.

The two blocks, quickly assembled, could enter a terrifying hot war over this new crisis, which would tear apart the entire Sunni Muslim community as well as draw in the Shiites of Iran and Iraq. The entire region could easily become like the current-day Syria of killing fields and ruins.’

Read more: Saudi Arabia vs Qatar: Middle East Controlled-Demolition Plan?

‘Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations have demanded that Qatar shutter the broadcasting network Al-Jazeera, cut diplomatic ties with Iran, and close Turkey’s air base in the country, the Associated Press reported Thursday night.

The list of demands was released by Kuwait, which is helping mediate the dispute. The list demanded that Qatar end all military cooperation with Turkey as well as an unspecified sum of money.

According to the document, the country has 10 days to meet the list of demands. The U.S. has been pushing Saudi Arabia and the other nations to release their demands.

The U.S. has been pushing Saudi Arabia and the other nations to release their demands.

On Tuesday, the State Department said it was “mystified” that the countries had not been more forthcoming with demands after implementing the blockade.’

Read more: Saudi Arabia demands Qatar shut down Al-Jazeera, cut ties with Iran

‘The UAE operates a network of ‘black sites’ in war-torn Yemen, where terrorist suspects are abused and tortured, an AP investigation has found. US personnel have been involved in at least some interrogations, agency sources said.

There are at least 18 clandestine prisons across southern Yemen operated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Arab nations, AP reported on Thursday. A number of the estimated 2,000 detainees there are subjected to abuse and torture and have no legal protection, sources from the agency said.

The US military provides lists of questions for the detainees and receives transcripts of the interrogations done at the black sites, potentially making America complicit in torture. American citizens have been directly involved in some of the interrogations, although none of the sources confirmed participation in the alleged abuses, the report said, citing several unnamed US defense officials.’

Read more: UAE has secret torture prisons in Yemen, US involved in interrogations – Associated Press

‘Islamabad has condemned the drone strikes by the United States against alleged militants on Pakistani soil, describing them as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

“Our position is that drone strikes are counter-productive and violate the sovereignty of Pakistan,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said on Thursday.

The remark came after media published reports of a planned increase in US drone strikes in the region.

Washington claims Islamabad is providing safe haven to the Taliban and other militants fighting the US-backed government in Afghanistan. To counter the threat caused by the militants, US officials recently revealed that Washington aimed to harden its stance toward Pakistan and devise a new policy for Afghanistan.

The US has been using hundreds of drones to conduct surveillance flights and airstrikes since Washington and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001.’

Read more: Islamabad slams US drone attacks in Pakistan

‘The Egyptian government has approved a presidential proposal extending a national state of emergency for an additional three months across the North African country.

The cabinet said in a statement on Thursday that Egypt would extend the measure for three months after the government approved President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s proposal to do so.

The state of emergency would have expired at the end of June.

Egyptian lawmakers unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency in April, after attacks claimed by Daesh Takfiri terrorists killed at least 45 people.

The emergency law allows police to make arrests and conduct surveillance more easily.

The law also grants the executive branch’s sweeping powers, allowing it to close companies, shutter media outlets, halt demonstrations and monitor personal communications without judicial approval.’

Read more: Egyptian government approves extending state of emergency for another three months

‘Iran says it is exporting over 1,100 tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables from its southern ports to Qatar every day.

The announcement was made by Mohammad Mehdi Bonchari, the director of ports of Iran’s Bushehr province.

Bonchari added that the shipments were made from Dayyer, Bolkheir and Genaveh ports.

He added that Bushehr had historic trade ties with Qatar, adding that the same ties were being used to export food to the Persian Gulf state which is caught in a diplomatic dispute with its neighbors which started in early June.

Iran opened a food corridor with Qatar immediately after the start of the county’s diplomatic crisis.’

Read more: Iran sending 1,100 tonnes of food to Qatar daily

‘There is currently no viable alternative to Bashar Assad to prevent Syria from turning into a failed state, the new French president has said, departing from his predecessor’s position that the Syrian leader must be toppled to stabilize the war-torn country.

“The new perspective that I have had on this subject is that I have not stated that Bashar al-Assad’s departure is a pre-condition for everything because nobody has shown me a legitimate successor,” Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with eight European newspapers.

The new approach is seen as a stark departure from the political discourse of former French President Francois Hollande, who openly advocated for regime change in Syria. Under Hollande’s leadership, France was ready to support the US to strike Damascus in the autumn of 2013, until Moscow stepped in to de-escalate tensions while also ensuring the liquidation of the Syrian chemical stockpile.’

Read more: France’s Macron sees no ‘legitimate successor’ to Assad, declares terrorism a common enemy in Syria

1