Friday, November 20, 2015

Today's Links

1--Clinton backs no-fly zone
http://www.cfr.org/radicalization-and-extremism/conversation-hillary-clinton/p37266


2--Syria’s Assad says Paris now “knows what Syria has lived for five years”






Syrian President Bashar al-Assad  “France has now understands what Syria has been going through for the last five years.”










Hundreds of suicide bombings have been carried out in Syria. In February 2013, a series of bombings in the capital Damascus killed more than 80 and injured at least 250 others on February 21. A massive car bomb exploded close to the offices of the Syrian Ba'ath Party, killing 59 and injuring more than 200 others. Among the other most notorious suicide attacks carried out by Islamist forces are included the December 2011 Damascus bombing, killing 44 people and injuring 166, and the May 2012 Damascus attack that killed 55 and injured 400.




The hypocrisy of European politicians who shed crocodile tears for the victims in Paris of terrorist militias they helped create in Syria—but who view similar terrorist attacks in Syria as a legitimate tool of foreign policy—is sickening




“We had warned about what would happen in Europe, three years ago. We had said, 'Do not take what is happening in Syria lightly, it will be like an earthquake that will spread around the world.' Unfortunately, European officials did not listen to what we were saying! They thought that we were threatening them,” the Syrian president said.


3--The US neocon regime change obsession ended up bolstering Daesh’s reach in Syria.






The message comes with extra enticement; the $50 million bounty offered by the FSB for any information leading to the perpetrators of the Sinai tragedy.




Putin’s message instantly turned heavy metal in the form of a massive, impressive Russian barrage over 140 Caliphate targets, delivered via 34 air-launched cutting-edge cruise missiles and furious action by Tu-160, Tu-22, and the Tu-95MC ‘Bear’ strategic bombers. This was the first time the Russian long-range strategic bomber force has been deployed since the 1980s Afghan jihad.
And there’s more coming - to be stationed in Syria; an extra deployment of 25 strategic bombers, eight Su-34 ‘Fullback’ attack aircraft, and four Su-27 ‘Flanker’ fighter jets




Oil tanker mystery solved




The tanker truck riddle


At the G-20 in Antalya, Putin had already, spectacularly, unveiled who contributes to Daesh’s financing – complete with “examples based on our data on the financing of different [Daesh] units by private individuals.”


The bombshell: Daesh’s cash, “as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them.” It doesn’t take a Caltech genius to figure out which members. They’d better take the “you can run but you can’t hide” message seriously.
Additionally, Putin debunked - graphically – to the whole G20 the myth of a Washington seriously engaged on the fight against Daesh: “I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil.” He was referring to Daesh’s oil smuggling tanker truck fleet, which numbers over 1,000...




Aacting on Russian satellite intelligence, the Pentagon then miraculously managed to find tanker truck convoys stretching “beyond the horizon,” smuggling out stolen Syrian oil. And duly bombed 116 trucks. For the first time....
ISIS/ISIL/Daesh was born in an American prison. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a.k.a. Caliph Ibrahim did time there, as well as Daesh’s previous number two, Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, and most of all Daesh’s conceptualizer: Haji Bakr, a former colonel in Saddam Hussein’s Air Force.


Hardcore Salafi-jihadist meet former Ba’athist notables and find a common purpose; an offer the Pentagon could not refuse and in fact - willfully - let prosper. GWOT (the Global War on Terror), after all, is a Cheney-Rumsfeld-coined “Endless War”.


4--Obama says Assad must leave to end Syrian crisis






“We’ve been suffering from that (terrorism) for the past five years. We feel for the French as we feel for the Lebanese a few days before that, and for the Russians regarding the airplane that’s been shot down over Sinai. Does the world, especially the West, feel for those people, or only for the French?”...


The Syrian president was referring to the terrorist bombings in Beirut on November 12, when at least 43 people were killed and nearly 240 were injured.


Another bombing aboard a Russian plane on October 31 led to the aircraft’s crash and killed 244 people. Daesh claimed responsibility for both incidents.


US President Barack Obama has turned up his anti-Syrian rhetoric by saying President Bashar al-Assad must leave power in order to end the Arab country’s 5-year conflict.
"I do not foresee a situation in which we can end the civil war in Syria while Assad remains in power," Obama said Thursday on the sidelines of a trade summit in Manila, Phillipines.


5--US Prepared to 'Do More on Ground' Against ISIL - Carter




The United States is ready to change tactics in the fight against the Islamic State terrorists that would include more ground engagement, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Thursday.
“We’re prepared to change the rules of engagement,” Carter said in an interview that aired on MSNBC. “The president [Barack Obama] has indicated he's prepared to do more, including on the ground.”...

On Monday, President Obama ruled out putting boots on the ground in Syria as part of an operation against ISIL. He argued that US military intervention would deliver only temporary results.

...


Syrian President Bashar Assad believes that by being passively supporting the al-Nusra Front and Islamic State terrorist groups, Turkey is playing a most destructive role in the Syrian crisis.


6--Turkey is Playing the Worst Part of Syrian Crisis - Assad





Turkey is playing a most negative role in our crisis. That’s related directly to [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan himself and [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu, because they both reflect the real ideology that they carry in their hearts, which is the Muslim Brotherhood ideology,” Assad said in an interview with the French newsmagazine Valeurs Actuelles on Thursday.

The Syrian leader emphasized that, compared to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Ankara was playing the most dangerous role in general, by giving all possible assistance to the terrorists




“Some countries support al-Nusra Front, which is al-Qaeda, some other countries support ISIL, while Turkey supports both and other groups at the same time. They support them with, human resources. They support them with money, logistics, armaments, surveillance, information, and even the maneuvers of their military through their borders during the fights in Syria."


"Even the money that’s being collected from the rest of the world passes through Turkey, and the oil that ISIL sells is through Turkey, so Turkey is playing the worst part of our crisis,” Assad was quoted as saying by the Syrian news agency SANA





7---If The Economy Is Fine, Why Are So Many Hedge Funds, Energy Companies And Large Retailers Imploding?

The manufacturing numbers say that we are in a recession, the trade numbers say that we are in a recession, and the retail numbers say that we are in a recession


8---ISIS also has tons of U.S. weapons, vehicles and other military gear.

Toyota trucks aren’t all ISIS has managed to buy, capture or scavenge from us. In June, CNBC reported that so far we’ve accidentally furnished the Islamic State with at least $219.7 million worth of weapons, vehicles and other military supplies and gear — and that’s just the stuff we know about.
Based on various reports, CNBC came up with the following laundry list of supplies the U.S. has so kindly provided to ISIS so far.
  • 2,300 Humvee armored vehicles at $70,000 each: $16 million
  • 40 M1A1 Abram tanks at $4.3 million each: $172 million
  • 52 M198 Howitzer mobile gun systems at $527,337 each: $2.7 million
  • 74,000 Army machine guns at $4,000 each: $29 million
TOTAL: $219.7 MILLION in military weapons, vehicles, and other supplies and gear for ISIS.
How does the Islamic State get hold of all these U.S. weapons? We deliver them, either directly or through the tattered remnants of Iraq’s military.


9---Turkey sends in jets as Syria’s agony spills over every border





When US special forces raided the compound of an Islamic State leader in eastern Syria in May, they made sure not to tell the neighbours.
The target of that raid, the first of its kind since US jets returned to the skies over Iraq last August, was an Isis official responsible for oil smuggling, named Abu Sayyaf. He was almost unheard of outside the upper echelons of the terror group, but he was well known to Turkey. From mid-2013, the Tunisian fighter had been responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern fields, which the group had by then commandeered. Black market oil quickly became the main driver of Isis revenues – and Turkish buyers were its main clients.


As a result, the oil trade between the jihadis and the Turks was held up as evidence of an alliance between the two. It led to protests from Washington and Europe – both already wary of Turkey’s 900-mile border with Syria being used as a gateway by would-be jihadis from around the world


The estimated $1m-$4m per day in oil revenues that was thought to have flowed into Isis coffers over at least six months from late 2013 helped to transform an ambitious force with limited means into a juggernaut that has been steadily drawing western forces back to the region and increasingly testing state borders...




In the wake of the raid that killed Abu Sayyaf, suspicions of an undeclared alliance have hardened. One senior western official familiar with the intelligence gathered at the slain leader’s compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking Isis members was now “undeniable”.
“There are hundreds of flash drives and documents that were seized there,” the official told the Observer. “They are being analysed at the moment, but the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”....


10--Putin Outed ISIS’s G20 Financiers — But Not a Single Western Media Outlet Has Reported It
A revealing silence from the “free” western press
complete media blackout




11--Turkey deported jihadist tied to Paris attacks in early 2015



12--More Mexicans leave than enter USA in historic shift
13--Gulf States Slip Out of War on ISIS


more important than the direct material impact is the symbolism of whether the United States does or does not have broad support and joint participation for what it is doing in Syria. The withdrawal of Arab air forces makes the U.S. role all the more lonely and conspicuous.
Participation of other Western powers already was lukewarm, and the U.S. role will get lonelier still with the promise by the new Trudeau government in Ottawa to end Canadian participation in military operations in Syria.


All of this makes the United States that much more of a salient target for anger over the no-good-solution Syria situation and for related reprisals, including those of the terrorist variety.
The Syrian case and especially adoption of the “Assad must go” standard is one of the latest examples of how the United States, through several presidential administrations, has repeatedly allowed itself to get sucked into other people’s quarrels in the Middle East...


(Pillar goes delusional) The United States does have an interest, from the standpoint of counterterrorism, mitigation of refugee flows, and regional stability, to be deeply involved in multilateral diplomacy aimed at de-escalating and eventually resolving the extremely complicated conflict in Syria. (Uh, yes, and the US also has pretty clear geopolitical ambitions, too, Paul)


14--Those Who Fuelled Extremism in Syria Now Mourn Paris Attack Victims


15---EU’s Deepening Ties With Russia Result of 'Putin’s Sophisticated Diplomacy'


16--Shoigu stressed that the number of aircraft taking part in the operation has been doubled, and now consists of 69 jets conducting 143 sorties on a daily basis.
The minister pointed out that Russia is focused on destroying the terrorists’ economic base, having targeted 15 oil storage and refinery facilities as well as 525 oil trucks.
“We stopped supplies of 60,000 tons of oil per day to the black market and terrorists are losing $1.5 million daily,” Shoigu said.
Russia has also destroyed 23 jihadists training camps, 19 plants producing explosives, 47 ammunition depots, as well as many other targets, according to the minister.


17---PBS NewsHour Uses Russian Airstrike Footage While Claiming U.S. Airstrike Successes


The U.S. military recently claimed to have hit Islamic State oil tankers in Syria. This only after Putin embarrassed Obama at the G-20 meeting in Turkey. Putin showed satellite pictures of ridiculous long tanker lines waiting for days and weeks to load oil from the Islamic State without any U.S. interference.


The U.S. then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers while the Russian air force claims to have hit 500. But there is an important difference between these claims. The Russians provided videos showing how their airstrikes hit at least two different very large oil tanker assemblies with hundreds of tankers in each. They also provided video of several hits on oil storage sites and refinery infrastructure.
I have found no video of U.S. hits on Islamic State oil tanker assemblies.
The U.S. PBS NewsHour did not find any either.


In their TV report yesterday about Islamic State financing and the claimed U.S. hits on oil trucks they used the videos Russia provided without revealing the source. You can see the Russian videos played within an interview with a U.S. military spokesperson at 2:22 min.


18--Research Paper: Is Turkey supporting ISIS?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950.html


19--US says want joint plan to get more arms to Syrian opposition
http://www.todayszaman.com/latest-news_us-says-want-joint-plan-to-get-more-arms-to-syrian-opposition_404697.html


20--NATO is harbouring the Islamic State, Nafeez ahmed
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/europe-is-harbouring-the-islamic-state-s-backers-d24db3a24a40#.jdwgfqbvf

Why France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke, and an insult to the victims of the Paris attacks

21--Kuwait busts cell working to back, finance ISIS

Kuwaiti security authorities have busted an international cell led by a Lebanese man that was sending air defence systems and funds to ISIS, the interior ministry said Thursday.
The cell’s chief, who was not named, confessed that he raised funds and provided logistical support for the group, which has carried out deadly attacks in Lebanon and France in the past week, the ministry said.


22--Kuwait Disrupts Extremist Cell Supporting ISIS
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/kuwait-arrests-extremists-cell-funded-islamic-state-35307331


23--Hitting the Islamic State’s Oil Isn’t Enough












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