Browsing: War and Terror

‘Civilians who escaped from Raqqa, an Islamic State stronghold in Syria, have told RT about the horrors they faced during an airstrike by the US-led coalition, which they say “directly targeted” their homes while children were outside.

The witnesses told RT’s Ruptly video news agency that they believed coalition forces were aware that there were no insurgents in the area, as what they think was a coalition aircraft had filmed them hours before the strike. The aircraft targeted the civilian houses while children were playing in the streets, one man said.

“We were directly targeted by the coalition after their reconnaissance craft filmed us, it was at a low altitude,” an eyewitness told Ruptly at Al-Qamishli National hospital in Hasaka on Tuesday.

“It was very clear that there were no insurgents in that area, there were kids playing in the streets and we were bringing water from a water tap, sipping drops. We were filmed, then directly targeted after hours. Our house and the civilian houses around us were directly targeted.”’

Read more: Kids were playing outside as coalition strikes ‘directly targeted’ Raqqa civilians – witnesses to RT

‘The UN has expressed “deep concerns” over the mounting number of civilian casualties in Raqqa inflicted by US-led coalition airstrikes, condemning “any attack directed against civilians or civilian infrastructure.”

“Our humanitarian colleagues tell us they are deeply concerned by unconfirmed reports of a high number of civilians killed by airstrike in Raqqa city over the last 24 hours,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters at a daily briefing Tuesday.

“In recent days and weeks scores of civilians have reportedly been killed and injured in Raqqa due to airstrikes and shelling and up to 25 thousand people remain trapped in the city,” Dujarric said.

At least 78 civilians have died in the al-Sakhani and al-Bado streets and al-Tawasuaeh neighborhood in Raqqa city as a result of the US-led coalition airstrikes over the past 24 hours, Syrian news agency SANA reported earlier Tuesday, citing local and media sources.’

Read more: UN ‘deeply concerned’ about US-led Raqqa airstrikes that reportedly killed dozens of civilians

‘With Afghanistan, Trump has had two opposing voices screaming at him. In one ear, the America First far right, as represented by his own instincts and the lovable likes of Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon, demanded the complete withdrawal of US troops. In the other, the Generals insisted this would leave Afghanistan to the tender mercies of the Taliban and even less gentlemanly Islamist outfits; that more troops, rather than less or none, was the way to go.

In narrowly military terms, the detail he announced on Monday seems irrelevant gesturing. He gave no firm detail at all, in fact, though it is believed that the current US deployment of some 8,000 troops has been boosted to 12,000. Afghanistan was an anarchic hellhole with 100,000 US soldiers on its soil. An extra 4,000 in a country as large and chaotic is purely symbolic. (Even the proposed deployment of an extra 85 British troops might not tip the balance.)

But it is as symbolism that the speech was so reassuring. Here was Trump gesturing grudgingly that he has surrendered to the military. His Generals – chief of staff John Kelly, who hung his head while Trump equivocated between Nazis and anti-Nazis; James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the Secretary of Defence; and HR McMaster, the National Security Advisor – hold him hostage.’

Read more: Trump has been subject to a military coup behind the scenes – this is the beginning of the end for his presidency

‘Fire & Fury’: Trump switches to full war hawk mode amid top team reshuffle

‘British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has praised Donald Trump’s promise to keep US troops in Afghanistan after fears he was planning to pull them out.

The president, going against what he had said during the election campaign, announced on Monday that the US would not withdraw personnel as doing so would leave a power vacuum that could be filled by terrorists.

He called on NATO allies such as Britain to increase troops “in line with our own,” adding “we are confident they will.”

In response, Fallon said the US commitment was “welcome,” according to the Telegraph.

“In my call with [US Defense] Secretary Mattis yesterday we agreed that despite the challenges, we have to stay the course in Afghanistan to help build up its fragile democracy and reduce the terrorist threat to the West.

“It’s in all our interests that Afghanistan becomes more prosperous and safer: that’s why we announced our own troop increase back in June.”’

Read more: Michael Fallon welcomes US promise to keep more troops in Afghanistan

‘National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster helped persuade President Donald Trump to recommit to the Afghanistan war effort by showing him an old photo of Afghan women strolling the streets of Kabul wearing miniskirts.

The visual aid was meant to demonstrate to the president that Western norms could be restored to Afghanistan through U.S. persistence in the war effort that has dragged on for 16 years.

The photo McMaster showed was a 1972 black-and-white image of women in miniskirts walking in the Afghan capital, the Washington Post reported.
The idea was to convince the president that it was not a hopeless cause to continue.

Previous reports have stated that Trump likes to receive information with charts and other visual aids.

McMaster’s ploy was part of a months long effort by generals and other advisors who wanted him to recommit to the 16-year old war that Trump himself had called a ‘waste’ in a series of tweets before he got elected.’

Read more: How Trump was convinced to send more troops to Afghanistan – by top general showing him picture of women in 1970s Kabul in mini-skirts

‘The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were not planned and directed from Afghanistan, as US President Donald Trump has claimed; rather, they were orchestrated by certain elements in Washington, DC and Tel Aviv, says Dr. Kevin Barrett, an American academic who has been studying the events of 9/11 since late 2003.

“[The] Zionist coup d’etat of 9/11 was done by the combination of Israelis and neo-conservative Americans along with hard-line right-wingers in the American military and the intelligence establishment who pulled off this coup d’etat in America,” Dr. Barrett said.

Dr. Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday while commenting on a statement Trump made on Monday during his policy speech about Afghanistan.’

Read more: 9/11 was planned in Tel Aviv and Washington, not in Kabul: Scholar

For In-Depth Analysis of 9/11 See David Ickes Groundbreaking Book ‘Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster’

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‘Forty years ago the United States was hit by another major heroin epidemic. During the 1970’s, during the Vietnam War, heroin making its way to the United States from the Golden Triangle became an epidemic. It was estimated that more than 200,000 people in New York City alone were using heroin. At one point in time, you were able to find used syringes on public playgrounds. As in the case of Afghanistan, the CIA-Pentagon WarLords-DrugLords were at the top of the chain:

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the CIA recruited the Laotian Hmong tribe to fight communist forces in the region. The CIA encouraged the Hmong to grow opium instead of rice to make them dependent on CIA air drops of food. The agency could then force their compliance by threatening to withdraw the food aid. To make the deal even sweeter, they even located a heroin refinery at CIA headquarters in northern Loas and used Air America, a passenger and cargo airline that was covertly owned and operated by the CIA, to export the Laotian opium and heroin. Much of it ended up in Vietnam, causing an epidemic of heroin addiction in US soldiers.’

Read more: NATO-CIA-Pentagon: Junction of the Real Druglords & Warlords

‘Years before the U.S. illegally invaded and then occupied Iraq, plans were circulating within the Pentagon to partition the country along “sectarian” lines, with the express purpose of allowing the U.S. and its regional allies to better control oil resource production and movement within the Middle East.

In Syria, the same narrative of partition has more recently been circulated as the “only” solution to the nation’s sectarian divisions, divisions which did not emerge until they were artificially created in 2011 when the current conflict began and later fomented by hostile foreign actors.

While the Bush and Obama administrations pushed for the partition of Iraq on several occasions, it was largely corporate actors during that time that took the most active steps towards creating an independent state within the Iraqi region controlled by the U.S.-allied Kurds, an area with sizeable energy reserves and other strategic resources.’

Read more: ExxonMobil, Kochs and Israel Pushing Washington To Partition Iraq And Syria

‘The media in Europe rarely mention the increasing outbreaks of dangerous diseases in Ukraine. No one has mentioned it except for UNICEF’s representative in Ukraine, Giovanna Barberis, and a few Ukrainian TV stations. But meanwhile, the problem in that country has reached catastrophic proportions.

In the town of Izmail (the Odessa region) in the summer of 2016 an outbreak of a mysterious intestinal infection hit the children of that city especially hard. Over 400 kids were hospitalized, literally within a single 24-hour period. The cause of the outbreak has not been identified. That same year Ukraine was “struck” by a bizarre epidemic of swine flu, leading to SARS. In late 2016 the European Union instituted a six-month ban on chicken imports from anywhere in Ukraine, after avian-flu infections were documented in the Kherson region. And an inexplicable epidemic of botulism (from eating contaminated fish, leading to muscle spasms, suffocation, and death) has been ongoing this year. Medical institutions had no antitoxin available, and so several dozen Ukrainian citizens died in agonizing pain.

It doesn’t look like anyone in either Ukraine or Europe is investigating the sources of these infections. Today we will try to figure out why this is happening.’

Read more: Pentagon Sending ‘Biological Bombs’ Against Europe?

‘The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for center stage in American politics with fears of “Russian hackers” disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally.

Worst of all, it does so under the guise of “activism.”

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently published a paper titled, “Growing Cyber Activism in Thailand.”

In it, readers may have expected a detailed description of how independent local activists were using information technology to inform the public, communicate with policymakers and organize themselves more efficiently.

Instead, readers would find a list of US-funded fronts posing as “nongovernmental organisations” (NGOs) engaged in subversion, including attacks carried out against Thai government websites aimed at crippling them, the dumping of private information of ordinary citizens online and coercing policymakers into adopting their foreign-funded and -directed agenda.’

Read more: US Wages Cyberwar Abroad Under Cover Of ‘Activism’