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Sun, 07 Feb 2016
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Syria recaptures more towns from militant control in Aleppo

Government forces stand on a tank near the towns of Nabbul and Zahra in Syria's northern province of Aleppo.
Syrian forces push ahead with a major offensive north of the country, recapturing more towns in areas close to the Turkish border. Syria's official SANA agency said on Friday that army units backed by popular volunteer fighters managed to seize control over the towns of Rityan and Mair in the northern countryside of Aleppo Province.

The recapture came days after pro-government forces broke a long-running siege on two Shia-dominated towns of Nubbul and Zahra, in a major blow to al-Qaeda-linked militants operating along the Turkish border. The army, backed by the Russian air force has dealt a series of heavy blows to terrorists across Syria over the past couple of months. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says some 15,000 civilians, who have been fleeing the battle in Aleppo, have arrived at the Turkish border.

Elsewhere to the south of Syria, the military managed to take full control of Atman town in the countryside of the southern city of Dara'a, a military source told SANA.

Advances were also reported in other areas, with SANA saying that Syrian forces killed scores of terrorists from the so-called Jaish al-Fateh group in the province of Hama. The Syrian Air Force also launched airstrikes against militants in the countryside of Hama and neighboring Idlib Province, inflicting huge losses on their properties and forces.

For nearly five years, Syria has been grappling with turmoil. Estimates show that more than 260,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since March 2011.


War is a racket: Companies profiting the most from war

Since the conclusion of World War II, the United States and a number of Western European nations have maintained extremely costly military industrial complexes — both in peacetime and during the numerous other conflicts since. The United States is far and away the largest defense market, and U.S.-based companies disproportionately comprise the top global arms producers.

Global military sales from the 100 largest dealers totaled $401 billion in 2014, down by 1.5% — but still substantially higher than in 2002 — according to the latest estimates released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 companies with the largest military equipment sales worldwide. Lockheed Martin, with annual arms sales of $37.5 billion, maintains its dominant and long-standing lead as the largest corporate arms dealer in the world.

Comment: War is murder for profit. This needs to stop! The last thing we need are for these greedy psychopaths to not be happy with what they have but create more conflicts to generate even more profits.

Bad Guys

Western imperialism: European wealth is built on death, destruction, and theft

(Speech given in Rome at the Italian Parliament on January 29, 2016)

Friends and Comrades, it is a great honor to be standing here - at the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament.

One year ago I was driving through the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, monitoring the situation in the refugee camps there. Winter was approaching and the mountains on the Lebanese - Syrian border were covered by snow. It was cold, very cold.

Some 20 minutes, after leaving Baalbek, I spotted an extremely humble makeshift refugee camp, growing literally from the road, in the middle of nowhere.

I stopped. Together with my interpreter, I walked inside and engaged several people in conversation.

The situation was desperate. Children were hungry and could not register for schools through the UNHCR or through the Lebanese government, which, by that time, had almost collapsed. Many electronic food cards that were issued to the migrants did not function. Work permits were not offered, and without proper paperwork, local social services could not be used. In brief: a total disaster.

Comment: Without recognizing psychopathy, pathological mentalities, and the role it plays in imperialism, this cycle of death and destruction will continue on. See more:

Eye 1

Erdoğan blames Russia for what NATO and Saudis are responsible for - mass bloodshed in Syria

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. - Rod Serling
The Twilight Zone is also where the president of Turkey lives, or at least one would think so.

In an absolutely outrageous scene, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan actually blamed Russia - publicly - for the deaths of up to 400,000 people in Syria over the course of the last five years.

This amazing statement comes from a man who more than any other party on earth is directly responsible for the ISIS horror show that has tormented, defiled, and butchered a once-peaceful nation to further his own insidious 'Neo-Ottoman' objectives.

Comment: Further reading:


Iran claims Saudis 'will not dare' to send ground troops to Syria

© AP Photo/ Hassan Ammar
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said Saudi Arabia doesn't have the guts to send its armed forces to Syria.

"They claim they will send troops (to Syria) but I don't think they will dare do so. They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces," Jafari told reporters in Tehran on Saturday.

"This will be like a coup de grâce for them. Apparently, they see no other way but this, and if this is the case, then their fate is sealed," he added.

Jafari, said this is just cheap talks, but Iran welcomes the Saudi decision if they decide to walk on this path.


EU censures Israeli settlement expansion

Palestinians searching the rubble for belongings after their home was demolished by Israeli regime bulldozers in the south of the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
The European Union on Saturday censured the Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, calling on the Tel Aviv regime to stop demolition of Palestinian homes, some of which were funded by the EU. "In the past weeks there have been a number of developments in Area C of the West Bank, which risk undermining the viability of a future Palestinian state and driving the parties yet further apart," the EU diplomatic service said in a statement.

It referred to the Israeli regime's decision on January 25 to declare 154 hectares (380 acres) of land near Jericho in the West Bank as its own land, with reported plans to build about 150 new units for settlers. This was followed by the demolition of several Palestinian homes in the south of al-Khalil (Hebron) on Wednesday.

"This is particularly concerning both because of the extent of the demolitions and also the number of vulnerable individuals affected, including children who need support," the EU said, adding that "demolitions included EU-funded structures." "We call on the Israeli authorities to reverse the decisions taken and to halt further demolitions," it said.

Foreign ministers from the 28 EU states have confirmed "the EU's firm opposition to Israel's settlement policy" and criticized the actions including demolitions. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday he was "ashamed" at a lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have been deadlocked since 2014.

Comment: The demolition of EU-funded housing may have finally brought this into focus for the EU states. Whatever the stimulus, the momentum against a 'carte-blanche Israel' is increasing.


Palestine's first embassy in the Western hemisphere opens in Brazil

© Tuba Kawthar/Facebook
The new embassy of the Palestinian Authority resembles the famous mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The inauguration comes weeks after Brazil rejected Israel's ambassador, a former leader of West Bank settlers.

The Palestinian Authority inaugurated its first embassy in the Western Hemisphere in Brasilia Wednesday amid a diplomatic row between Brazil and Israel.

Representatives of Arab countries and Arab Brazilians attended the event, hosted on land donated to the PA by former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"This is the conclusion of a dream of mine that was also a dream of colleagues that came before me in this mission in the last four decades," said Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Alzeben. "I hope that this is the beginning of a new phase in relations between Brazil and Palestine, that they can be closer and more diversified."

Comment: Congratulations to both countries, and Brazil especially for standing up to Israeli bullying.


Blatant bias in CBC News report about trial of Nadiya Savchenko - Charged with murdering two Russian journalists in Ukraine

Nadiya Savchenko on trial in Donetsk, Russia on Feb 1, 2016 (Susan Ormiston, CBC)
The following is an extensive report on the opening day, February 1, 2016, of the trial in Russia of Ukrainian right-wing extremist paramilitary Nadiya Savchenko. The report is by Susan Ormiston, European correspondent of Canada's state broadcaster, CBC.

The CBC was apparently one of the few, if only, Western media outlets to attend the opening day of the trial. The CBC report is one of the few published in English. Susan Ormiston's lengthy report contains a large number of photos.

The CBC reporter fills her report with the usual Western media bias, including:
  • The rebel forces in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Lugansk regions, aka Donbas) fighting for autonomy and democracy, against the violent civil war imposed by the governing regime in Kyiv beginning April 2014, are labelled "pro-Russia separatists".
  • Even though Nadiya Savchenko is accused of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists, the CBC reporter's sympathies lie entirely with the accused killer, not with Ormiston's Russian journalist colleague victims.
  • In her ever-so-brief mention of the July 17, 2014 crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and notwithstanding the absence of any proof two years later of Russian government involvement, the CBC reporter references "finger-pointing at Russia" in explaining the crash.
  • And so on.

Comment: The true story of Ukraine's 'Right Sektor' is rarely, if ever, told in the Western press. Recently, however, the French TV channel Canal+ aired this documentary:

'Kiev livid as documentary revealing ugly truth about Maidan 'revolution' aired on French TV - EN subs (VIDEO)'

Black Magic

Still in the Freezer: Turkey misses chance to normalize ties with Russia

© Sputnik/ Michael Klimentyev
In an interview with Sputnik, Turkish political analyst Haldun Solmazturk said Moscow is almost certain to respond in kind to Turkey recently blocking a Russian flight under the Open Skies Treaty.

He also said that by doing so, Ankara had in fact missed an opportunity to resuscitate relations with Moscow, which have been strained since Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane over Syria in November 2015.

Eye 1

Watch Ash Carter lie about huge convoys of oil moving between Turkey & ISIS

© Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Ashton Carter
One of the most embarrassing things to come out of the Russian military venture in Syria is the huge convoy supply lines of oil moving between Turkey and ISIS positions.

Watch America's finest mumble their way through explanations of why they have let this go on for two years.


Comment: Further reading:
Anyone wondering why the rest of the world sees the US administration as insane -- or worse -- need only spend a few minutes watching a daily briefing from the White House or especially the US State Department. These are not endeavors by intelligent and rational representatives of the US government to help explain US policies to the press corps and thereby to the rest of the world, but rather mind-numbingly sophomoric and barely literate diatribes.

The unbelievable insanity of the State Department's 'spokespeople'