Sitting between Afghan representatives and their Taliban rivals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov played the roles of mediator and experienced hand in Afghanistan’s conflicts.
Russia hosted the landmark talks almost 30 years after it pulled out of Afghanistan in disgrace, ending a decade-long Soviet occupation that was seen as another chapter in what historians called the “great game” by world powers to hold away over Afghanistan and nearby areas.
The survey’s findings were released at a conference titled “The peace process in Afghanistan” in Kabul.
The survey by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies was completed in 10 months during which 2000 people were interviewed in all the country’s 34 provinces as well as Taliban militants.
(24.10.2018) DynCorp’s old habits of treating human beings as commodities remain as ingrained as ever, largely thanks to the fact that the company has never been held accountable for its crimes against its workers as well as countless children.
(31.10.2018) The U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that since 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded four contracts, worth $1.62 billion U.S., to DynCorp International to provide contract advisors at Afghan MOD and MOI. Two of these contracts, worth $421 million, are ongoing and expected to end in November 2018.
And the results?
The ceremony also added 13 new categories including “The Revival Show of 2018”, “The Reality Show of 2018”, “The Bingeworthy Show of 2018”, and “The Reality TV Star of 2018”. The telecast was followed by a special live episode of Busy Tonight where the Dynasty was revealed as Revival Show of 2018.
The People’s Choice Awards is the only major awards show voted on entirely by the public for fan favorites in movies, music, television, and pop culture.
A coalition of European militaries ready to react to crises near the continent’s borders was launched on Wednesday with Finland becoming the 10th country to join, amid calls by French President Emmanuel Macron for a „real European army.“
The French-led initiative would not conflict with the almost 70-year-old, U.S.-dominated NATO alliance, proponents say, but reflects in part concerns about a more isolationist United States under President Donald Trump, as reported by Reuters.
(6.8.2018) French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that Europeans cannot be protected without a „true, European army“, as he marks the centenary of the World War One Armistice.
On a visit to the former Western Front in Verdun, he said Russia had shown it could be a threat and Europe had to be able „to defend itself better alone“.
(24.März 2015) Targeting the group’s finances has therefore become one of the anti-ISIS coalition’s five primary lines of effort. On March 19-20, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Italy co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Counter-ISIL Finance Group in Rome.
The first goal laid out in the group’s action plan is to prevent the self-styled Islamic State from using „the international financial system, including unregulated money remitters.“
(2003) As a veteran war correspondent, Chris Hedges has survived ambushes in Central America, imprisonment in Sudan, and a beating by Saudi military police. He has seen children murdered for sport in Gaza and petty thugs elevated into war heroes in the Balkans. Hedges, who is also a former divinity student, has seen war at its worst and knows too well that to those who pass through it, war can be exhilarating and even addictive: “It gives us purpose, meaning, a reason for living.”
Drawing on his own experience and on the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr, Hedges shows how war seduces not just those on the front lines but entire societies, corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting the most basic human desires. Mixing hard-nosed realism with profound moral and philosophical insight, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning is a work of terrible power and redemptive clarity whose truths have never been more necessary.
(3.März 2015) REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY: [Netanyahu] made the same argument over the Iraq War, that it was time for the United States to not pay attention to any world opinion, but just to go it alone. What I heard today, felt to me like an effort to stampede the United States into war once again.
(3.März 2015) MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reacts to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Minister’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Matthews said Netanyahu was trying to „take power away from the president.“
„This was a takeover attempt by Netanyahu with his complying American partners to take American foreign policy out of the hands of the president,“ Matthews said.
(3.März 2015) „And I also resent the fact that he was telling us how to negotiate when the administration and their representatives have been at this for two years now with the cooperation, participation of five other major nations in the world. This speech was straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook. It was fearmongerring at its ultimate. Phrases like essentially saying nuclear war is inevitable if this deal were to be accepted, phrases like this would pave the way to Iran having a nuclear bomb, these are things that I think are, again, part of what Dick Cheney would have done and did. This has been the Prime Minister’s pattern. He’s gone to the U.N. and done the same thing. „
(9. März 2007) After a final offensive in which Israel lost 33 soldiers, the government agreed a ceasefire without having achieved its objectives. In the fighting 1,200 Lebanese and 158 Israelis were killed. Of the dead almost 1,000 Lebanese and 41 Israelis were civilians.
Mr Olmert told the committee that he had ordered the final offensive to put pressure on the UN security council to improve the wording of the ceasefire in Israel’s favour.
(8. März 2007) Many Israelis view Olmert’s decision to go to war as a knee-jerk reaction by a leader with little security experience, unlike his predecessor, former general Ariel Sharon.
In testimony apparently aimed at dismissing any notion he acted recklessly, Olmert told the commission he asked army commanders in March 2006 if a contingency plan for military action existed in the event soldiers were abducted along the Lebanon frontier, Haaretz said.
(3.August 2006) The ground battle inLebanon is widening, but on the eve of a new United Nations Security Council decision on the Israeli- Hizbullah conflict, its days may be numbered. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is already dealing with “the day after,” the diplomatic arrangement that will install an international force north of the Blue Line to replace the Israeli army.
A commander in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) confirmed to Yeni Safak that the U.S. had handed over weapons to ISIS in the town of al-Mansurah, west of the city of Raqqa, and in the area of al-Tanaf, near the border with Iraq.
According to the commander, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the US-led coalition formed a group of Kurds and Arabs to facilitate the delivery of weapons to ISIS terrorists. The PPK and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) played a key role in the process.
A SANA reporter said that during the combing operation to cleanse the liberated areas from the terrorist remnants, the authorities uncovered a cache containing 450,000 bullets of US-made medium-caliber machine guns from Daesh’s remnants in the Al-Mayadeen area.
Below are a number of photos that were captured by SANA of the weapons cache that was seized by the Syrian military this week:
In a speech at the U.S. Institute of Peace on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis emphatically stated that within 30 days he wanted “to see everybody (in the Yemen war) around a peace table based on a ceasefire” so they can “end this war.”
Mattis missed the opportunity, however, to call for an immediate end of U.S. support for the war.
The special envoy has been working since January on the make-up of a committee to thrash out a new constitution and which would have 150 members: 50 proposed by the Syrian regime, 50 by the opposition and 50 by the UN, to include representatives of civil society and technical experts.
I think that an increasing number of participants in the settlement process serves this well. In essence, it was initially a proposal by the French president to join efforts of the Small Group and Astana process. That was actively supported by the Turkish president who initiated today’s meeting. I think it has served well,” Putin said.
Asked about chances for a second summit of Russia, Germany, France and Turkey on Syria, Putin answered that the sides “has not negotiated this yet, but everything is possible.”
King Salman confirmed his invitation to Vladimir Putin to visit Saudi Arabia. It was agreed to work out the terms of such a visit through diplomatic channels.
The leaders exchanged views on the Syrian issue and the state of affairs in the Middle East in general. The situation around the ‘Jamal Khashoggi case’ was also addressed.
(16.10.2018) Russian delegation of foreign and defense ministry officials travelled to Saudi Arabia and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the crisis in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry said the two-day visit started on Sunday.
During the summit, the participants will address the Syrian conflict in all its aspects, focusing on the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement, and the political process, and to harmonize joint efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.
The minister noted that the drones switched to manual guidance upon encountering Russia’s electronic countermeasures, indicating that they were not controlled by Syrian forces, but a „technologically advanced country that has access to such tools; they cannot be made in the Syrian desert,“ Fomin was cited as saying.
Cradling an AK-47 and sucking a lollipop, the former American Green Beret bumped along in the back of an armored SUV as it wound through the darkened streets of Aden. Two other commandos on the mission were former Navy SEALs. As elite US special operations fighters, they had years of specialized training by the US military to protect America. But now they were working for a different master: a private US company that had been hired by the United Arab Emirates, a tiny desert monarchy on the Persian Gulf.
At the same time, members of the Al-Nusra Front (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia – TASS) refused to take these steps. „Members of the Al-Nusra managed to rally groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda (outlawed in Russia – TASS). In this way, the terrorists have created a united operative headquarters with the aim to continue provocations,“ the diplomat concluded.
(16.10.2018) U.S. Special Representative in Syria James Jeffrey will make his first stop in Turkey on a regional tour including Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
A statement Monday by the U.S. State Department said Jeffrey’s trip would run from Oct. 15-23, „for discussions with allies and partners about Syria.“
On October 11th, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), local militais, and former fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) prepared to launch a new offensive on the remaining ISIS fighters in the al-Safa area with support from Russia, north of al-Suwayda, local media reported. On October 12th and October 13th, pro-government sources reported that a large number of ISIS fighters had been killed. However, no notable gains were made by the SAA and its allies.
(3.10.2018) A few years ago it would have been jarring to see the US military presence in Syria promoted as if it were Afghanistan. But overlapping and intentionally vague statements about what exactly US troops in Syria are doing, how many of them are doing it, and how long they are planning to be there have seemed to lull much of the country into accepting that they are there long term.
(4.10.2018) In Syria, we will remain with our partners to ensure the defeat of ISIS and provide an opportunity for a negotiated political resolution of the Syrian conflict and humanitarian crisis, consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.
Recent pledges of more than $300 million in new funding for stabilization and humanitarian aid from our coalition partners is a welcome start to consolidating our military gains.
The biggest mystery about the Russian military S-300 transfer to Syria is the sighting of only four launchers. Combined with some of the other issues involved, it seems that Moscow has used the S-300 system as a double bluff: its transfer to the SAA will not result in deterring the Israeli Air Force from conducting future strikes in Syria, nor will a full-fledged joint Russia-Syria air-defense system emerge.
In details, ISIS fighters took advantage of the bad weather conditions and attacked several positions of US-backed forces around the towns of al-Kashmah and al-Bahrah. After overrunning theses positions, the terrorists stormed the Hajin refugee camp and several military positions around it.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that ISIS abducted over 130 families from the Hajin camp during the attack. The SDF, which is responsible for the camp, is yet to confirm or deny this.
Defense Secretary James Mattis announced on Oct. 2 that the number of US diplomats in Syria had doubled. No specific number was mentioned, but the move was motivated by the need to intensify the diplomatic effort, with “the military operations becoming less.” Under the label of “Syria,” the secretary was referring to more than a quarter of the country, with an estimated population of 1.5 million to two million people. This territory is controlled by the US-supported and Kurdish-dominated SDF and its political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).
Prince has been holding a flurry of meetings in recent weeks.
(17.9.2018) The focus of the report—titled Beyond the Homeland: Protecting America from Extremism in Fragile States—maintains a very U.S.-centric worldview. And while it does little or nothing to critically challenge the widely criticized policies pursued by the Bush, Obama, or Trump presidencies, its tabulation of the dramatic rise in destablized states and growing terrorist violence throughout the regions where the U.S. military has been most active since 2001—namely, the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa—is nonetheless revealing.
(4.10.2018) „Whenever the Syrian people hold an election, we will leave Syria to its owners,“ Erdogan said at the TRT World forum in Istanbul on Thursday.
(13.11.2017) The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.
A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.
Responders are still working to uncover and identify bodies at the site
After their sources of water supply were seized by advancing government forces, the terrorists started abandoning their positions without a fight.
Fear of defeat drives military men to folly. Early in 1968, General William Westmoreland, America’s commanding general in Vietnam, feared that communist forces might overrun U.S. military positions at Khe Sanh. His response, according to recently declassified cables as reported in the New York Times today, was to seek authorization to move nuclear weapons into Vietnam. He planned to use tactical nuclear weapons against concentrations of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops. President Lyndon Johnson canceled Westmoreland’s plans and ordered that discussions about using nuclear weapons be kept secret (i.e. hidden from the American people), which for the last fifty years they have been.
In the wake of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps‘ (IRGC) missile attack on terrorist positions in Syria on Monday, Iranian Army issued an announcement in which it said the attack was ‚appropriate and necessary.‘
The Al Bukamal district, which lies east of the Euphrates river, is one of ISIS‘ last remaining positions. US-backed Kurdish forces have been battling the group in the region. Col. Sean Ryan, the spokesperson for the US-led coalition against ISIS, confirmed the strike but said no coalition forces „were in danger.“
Hadi’s attempts to cling to power, and to violently crush the Shi’ite Houthis led to his initial expulsion from the country, and the Saudi-led war intends to put him back. Hadi insists that there is no point in talks with the “gangster-like” Houthis, and continues to refer back to UN Security Council resolutions from years ago calling for the Houthis to surrender all territory to Hadi.
(23.9.2018) “It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen,” Giuliani told a crowd at a hotel in Times Square.
Giuliani’s comments were in contrast with the Trump administration’s policy of not seeking a change of government even though it is reimposing sanctions that are crippling Iran’s economy.
(21.09.2018) An Israeli military official says its „deconfliction line“ with Russia for their air forces in Syria will be improved after a Russian plane was hit by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli raid.
He spoke anonymously according to protocol Friday after an Israeli delegation returned from Moscow where they briefed officials on the incident that killed 15 Russians.
He proceeded to say that Moscow had halted the delivery of S-300s to Damascus back in 2013 at Israel’s request, but the situation around the delivery has changed „through no fault of Russia.“
The announcement follows a joint visit with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to Cairo where they held discussions with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Editor’s note: Fake translations of this story are on the internet. This is a real one and Israel’s story about it’s pilots not seeing the Russian plane are cast aside as the total bullshit they are.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday described the downing of a Russian plane in Syria as the result of “tragic chance events,” appearing to dial back a rare flare-up in tensions with Israel.
According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, the Russian transport plane was shot down Monday night, local time, as Israel F-16’s attempted to use it as cover while carrying out a bombing mission against targets in the Latakia region of western Syria near the Meditarranean coast.
„By using the Russian plane as cover the Israeli air pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defense fire. As a result, the Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of the F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system,“ Konashenkov told reporters.
“The memorandum on the Idlib demilitarized zone will be agreed upon with the Syrian government in the next few hours,” Shoigu added.
The bilateral meeting, which was closed to the media, started at 2:50 pm local time (1150GMT) and lasted around an hour and 50 minutes.
This exclusive Grayzone investigative mini-doc by Dan Cohen exposes the cynical deceptions and faux humanitarianism behind the campaign to sell the dirty war on Syria. It will demonstrate the lengths that the US and its allies have gone to develop new ploys to tug at Western heartstrings and convince even liberal minded skeptics of war that a US intervention was necessary — even if it meant empowering Al Qaeda’s largest franchise since 9/11 and its theocratic allies among the insurgency. Big lies and little children have formed the heart of what is perhaps the most expensive, sophisticated, and shameless propaganda blitz ever conducted. Welcome to the Syria Deception.
Von der Leyen spoke during a visit to the Azraq air base in Jordan where some 300 German troops support a refuelling plane and four Tornado warplanes that fly reconnaissance missions as part of U.S. led-coalition operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Asked if Germany needed a strategic base in the Middle East, von der Leyen said, “First we must bring this deployment to a successful end. I don’t want to rule the idea out, let me put it this way.”
(14.4.2018) German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday (April 14) backed air strikes by the United States, France and Britain as a „necessary and appropriate“ action to warn Syria against further use of chemical weapons.
(5.3.2018) Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she would work with France to tackle pressing issues such as trade policy and the war in Syria after the Social Democrats (SPD) voted to join a coalition government with her conservatives. Merkel welcomed the vote by a majority of SPD members that ended more than five months of political deadlock in Europe’s largest economy after an inconclusive election and said the right-left government must quickly get to work.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Monday, amid reports of a heavy Turkish arms drop into Syria in recent days.
(15.9.2018) „It is everyone’s common belief that the solution in Idlib must be political rather than military,“ Ibrahim Kalin told reporters after hosting a meeting in Istanbul with officials from the three states.
He said there was a general consensus that the consequences of an attack on Idlib would be severe, including triggering a new wave of migration.
(15.9.2018) Kalin said that there is a general consensus that the consequences of a full-scale military attack on Idlib will cause humanitarian crises and a new wave of refugees.
He said on Friday that his government seeks to maintain Idlib’s current status, protect civilians, and prevent a humanitarian crisis in Idlib.
(14.9.2018) Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, German chancellor’s foreign policy adviser Jan Hecker and French president’s diplomatic adviser Philippe Etienne joined the meeting hosted by Turkish presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT Haber said.
According to the broadcaster, the main agenda of the meeting, also attended by technical experts from the four states, is setting the program and other details of a summit meeting of leaders of the four countries in the upcoming days.
(17.3.2011) 7.16pm ET: Italy announces it is opening its air force and naval bases in Sicily for operations against Libya – the obvious spot to base US and British jets.
The Berlusconi government may have had relatively warm relations with Libya, but Italy’s Nato obligations gave it little choice but to allow other members to use its bases.
(13.1.2014) By 1981, the country that was picked for this purpose by the National Security Council (NSC) was Libya. Libya was an OPEC country with few powerful connections, lots of nearby enemies, and a small population. In short, the perfect target. Once Libya was chosen by a few higher ups in the NSC, what was needed was to get the president, Ronald Reagan, on board. Seymour Hersh details in his New York Times report, Target Gaddafi, how the NSC and the CIA quickly accomplished this goal. “’It was clear early in the Administration,‘ one former White House aide recalls, ‚that the best way to get the President’s attention was through visual means.’” This led to the creation of a 15 minute long video, “to show the nature of the beast. If you saw it, there’s little doubt that [Gaddafi] had to go.” Once the president was on their side, the NSC, in cooperation with the CIA, began to leak reports endorsed by Reagan that Libyan hit squads were roaming the United States, planning assassinations on diplomats and even the president.
“One involved official recalls, ‘we came out with this big terrorist threat to the U.S. Government. The whole thing was a complete fabrication.’”
(14.5.2011) Italy has actively participated in the bombing of Libya since April 28. Day and night, Italian fighter jets take off from Birgi Trapani air force base in Sicily and from the aircraft carrier Garibaldi to drop their deadly cargo over the former Italian colony.
That’s not the first time the government of Israel has surprisingly popped up during the Russia probe, investigations into President Donald Trump and his associates and White House policy on a number of issues. It should be noted that whatever Israel’s role has been in propping up Donald Trump, it’s fairly shocking, given that the Trump campaign was arguably propelled by white nationalists and avowed anti-Semites.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today (Sept. 13) spoke on the House floor, calling on Congress to condemn the Trump Administration’s protection of al-Qaeda in Idlib, Syria.
The certification, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was legally required to allow American military aircraft to continue refueling warplanes belonging to the two Gulf nations, the dominant members of an Arab coalition fighting a brutal war in Yemen that has helped create the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
German and Russian foreign ministers were announced to be set for a meeting on September 14 over the situation in Syria.
Those are the „children“ @realDonaldTrump and @nikkihaley are trying to save
When it comes to the state of the nation at home, anyone who believes America is a classless society need only spend half an hour walking around Hollywood, acknowledged epicentre of the American Dream, to realise how wrong they are. For not only will they be assured that there is no society more defined by class than US society, they will be left in little doubt that every minute of a every day a fierce class war is raging with up to now only one side taking all the punches and doing all the bleeding.
Not only in Hollywood but all across America the abandonment of the poor, downtrodden and sick to their fate has and continues to be so brutal that its human consequences given new meaning to the words ‘wretched of the earth’. And this wretched constituency of millions — lacking healthcare, decent housing, jobs, and hope — hardly saw their fortunes improve under Obama, despite the soaring rhetoric about hope and change, etc.
The chance that rebel forces will be able to win the civil war is, the ministers say, now ‘extremely limited’. Dutch support for the rebels has ‘not had the desired effects’, the ministers said. The Netherlands had set aside €70m to fund the opposition. In addition to funding ‘moderate’ rebels, the Netherland had also put money into their police forces and to the White Helmets programme, the civilian rescue service.
The Dutch government faced a storm of protest from lawmakers Monday after a news report said it supported a Syrian opposition group which Dutch prosecutors had labelled a „terrorist“ organisation.
Parliamentarians demanded answers after the report aired by the national public broadcaster said the Netherlands gave „non-lethal assistance“ (NLA) to 22 armed opposition groups battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
John Bolton warned Monday that a new attack by the Western allies would be much stronger than the two airstrikes launched in April 2017 and April 2018 after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemical weapons that killed scores of civilians in…
Mr Black said Britain’s MI6 intelligence service was planning a chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people, which it would then blame on Mr Assad.
“Around four weeks ago, we knew that British intelligence was working towards a chemical attack in order to blame the Syrian government, to hold Syria responsible,” Mr Black said on Al Mayadeen, an Arab news channel based in Beirut.
(6.9.2018) The Syrian civil war is slowly turning into a regional conflict which has the potential to become a world war and Israel is heavily involved in it.
As we reported on August 23th Israel and the United States are now working together to contain the growing Iranian threat and to prevent further Iranian entrenchment in Syria.
Israel also provided salaries to rebel fighters, paying each one about $75 a month, and supplied additional money the groups used to buy arms on the Syrian black market, according to the rebels and local journalists.
The payments, along with the service Israel was getting in return, created an expectation among the rebels that Israel would intercede if troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tried to advance on southern Syria.
When regime forces backed by Russian air power did precisely that this past summer, Israel did not intervene, leaving the rebel groups feeling betrayed.
(11.5.2018) Israeli PM has lobbied hard to keep Russia from providing advanced anti-air system to Syria. Top aide to Putin now says Assad has all it needs.
With the large Russian bombardment, the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) long-awaited offensive is bound to start in the next few days.