‘The North Korean foreign minister says Pyongyang has every right to take countermeasures against US aggression, including shooting down warplanes, even if they are not in North Korean airspace.
Speaking to reporters in New York on Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said that US President Donald Trump has effectively declared war on Pyongyang, meaning all options were on the table for his country’s leadership.
“The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
“Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”’
‘Russia’s foreign minister says the United States will not conduct a strike on North Korea because the Americans know for certain that Pyongyang is equipped with nuclear bombs.
“Americans won’t strike [North] Korea, because not only do they suspect, but know for sure that Pyongyang has nuclear weapons,” Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s NTV television channel aired on Sunday, as cited by TASS news agency.
The top Russian diplomat added that he was not defending the North by making such comments but “almost everyone agrees with such an analysis.”
An international uproar was created over Pyongyang’s sixth and the biggest nuclear test to date, which was conducted on September 3. The bomb, detonated underground, was reportedly about 16 times the size of America’s atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. The North also staged an intermediate-range missile test over Japan some two weeks later, drawing Tokyo’s strong condemnation.’
‘At least the combative and haughty Israeli prime minister is forthright: he supports a free and independent Kurdistan. Tomorrow’s vote by Iraqi Kurdish parties to secede from Iraq may well push the country into another war, a civil war. (Doubtless nothing would please Israel more.) The referendum is opposed by neighboring powers, but most significantly by the central government in Baghdad. It is a far more serious move that the well publicized Catalonian vote in Spain scheduled for October 1st, also more perilous than Middle East-watchers let on. Why the Iraqi referendum is receiving so little scrutiny, I don’t know.
Our revered English language “fake-news” establishment (e.g. The NYTimes and The Guardian, among them) is underplaying the significance of a Kurdistan secession, also denying American and British endorsement for it. In reality the US and UK are totally with Israel in promoting and supporting north Iraq’s independence. Iran’s and Turkey’s opposition is well known; Syria would also be in that camp although no one publicly listens to Syria these days. (Remember that US troops are closely collaborating with Syrian Kurdish forces in opposition to Damascus.)
Reading the buried articles on Iraqi Kurdish national aspirations, one would gather it’s a scheme conceived after the 2003 US invasion, and advanced only by Kurdish leaders. This is nonsense.’
‘The so-called Iran “nuclear deal,” officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was hailed as “historic” when the United States among other nations became a signatory of it. Then US President Barack Obama, attempted to make convincing statements regarding America’s commitment to the deal.
However, America’s rhetoric compared to its actual actions diplomatically, militarily, and geopolitically told two different stories.
The deal was created in 2015, 4 full years since the United States engineered a destructive proxy war in Syria – one of Iran’s closest and most crucial regional allies. By 2015, the United States had already committed to direct military intervention in Syria, occupying Syrian territory, directly arming, funding, and providing air support for militants seizing Syrian territory, and even constructing military bases within Syria’s borders.
By 2015, the United States was revealed to have poured billions of dollars into arming militants ranging from Kurdish groups in Syria’s northeast, to militants aligned to Al Qaeda and even the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) in northern and southern Syria.’
‘A British general in Iraq has said the deaths of innocent people caught up in coalition air strikes against Isis are the “price you pay” for defeating the extremists.
More than 5,000 civilians have been killed in attacks by the US-led mission against militant strongholds in Iraq and Syria, independent figures suggest. Officials put the number at about 700.
Major-General Rupert Jones said it was impossible to target the “evil” extremists, who are holed up in densely packed cities, without collateral impacts that included the loss of women and children.
RAF fighter planes and drones were deployed in the successful mission to wrest back control of Mosul in Iraq, with the last west Mosul neighbourhood liberated in July.
Kurdish intelligence officials previously told The Independent that as many as 40,000 died in the battle for Mosul alone, most from a combination of international air strikes and artillery strikes on the ground.’
‘The US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria killed at least 84 civilians, 30 children among them, when it carried out two lethal airstrikes near Raqqa in March, HRW said, adding that “no precautions” to minimize civilian losses were taken.
“In the two deadliest attacks, the US-led coalition struck a school and a market killing at least 84 civilians,” including 30 children, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a 42-page report released on Monday, adding that the coalition did not take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties.
“Although ISIS [Islamic State] fighters were also at these sites, the high civilian death toll raises concerns that military forces of the US-led coalition failed to take necessary precautions to avoid and minimize civilian casualties, a requirement under international humanitarian law,” it added.’
‘US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has been using a private email account along with some other White House officials to conduct official business, his lawyer says.
White House senior advisor Jared Kushner has used the personal account to talk about different issues with figures such as former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon and his father-in-law’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, Politico reported Sunday.
“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement Sunday. “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.”’
‘Apparently, this is what Steve Bannon meant when he swore he would never turn on his old boss during a series of interviews he gave after leaving the West Wing.
The simmering feud between Breitbart and President Donald Trump intensified on Friday as the Trump communications team barred a Breitbart reporter from the press pool during a Trump rally in Alabama, where the president was campaigning for Luther Strange (aka “Big L”) – his pick to permanently fill the Alabama senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump announced his support for Strange weeks ago, eliciting howls of outrage from Bannon and Breitbart, who have accused Strange of being a “swamp creature” and blasted him for his association with former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned earlier this year following a widely publicized sex scandal. Strange served as attorney general of Alabama (Sessions’ old job) under Bentley, and has been working with Trump for months after being appointed by Bentley to temporarily fill Sessions’ old seat.’