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Fri, 21 Sep 2018
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The West hates peace in Syria: From de-escalation to almost World War III in just two hours

Syria Protest


On the 17th of September, an important meeting was held in Sochi between Erdogan and Putin to discuss Syria, in particular Idlib. A few hours after the agreement between the two leaders was reached, there was a French-Israeli strike on Syria's coastal area of Latakia, causing the loss of a Russian Air Force Il-20 aircraft and bringing the world to the brink of a thermonuclear war.


The agreement between Erdogan and Putin over the province of Idlib was reached after five hours of discussions and proposals. Ultimately, as explained by RT, the agreement concerns a 15-20 kilometer demilitarized zone, the identification of terrorist groups to fight, and combined patrols by Turkish and Russian soldiers on the borders of Idlib to monitor the situation and the opening of main roads between Hama, Damascus and Aleppo over the next few months.

RT specifies: "[Erdogan and Putin] We've agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15 to 20 kms wide, with full withdrawal of hardline militants from there, including the Jabhat Al-Nusra. As part of solving the deadlock, all heavy weaponry, including tanks and artillery, will be withdrawn from the zone before October 10. The area will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian military units. Before the end of the year, roads between Aleppo and Hama, and Aleppo and Latakia must be reopened for transit traffic. The agreement has received general support from the Syrian government."

There were manifold goals for the talks between Erdogan and Putin. For the Kremlin there were innumerable points to be clarified and points of tension to be softened. One of the reasons why Russia and Turkey decided to sit around a table and discuss the imminent Syrian offensive in Idlib was the shared concern surrounding possible Western reactions. Moscow wants to avoid offering France, the UK and the US a pretext to strike Syrian forces in response to the umpteenth false-flag chemical attack. This would once again raise tensions, risking a direct confrontation between Russian and Western armed forces. In the unfortunate event of Russia exchanging fire with such aggressor countries, relations between Moscow and the European capitals would be further damaged, perhaps this time irremediably.

Comment: Great summation. As par the course for US/Israel and its vassals, a peaceful resolution in Syria is off-limits and will do almost anything to prevent that. However thanks to Russia's restraint and diplomacy, a global scale conflict has been averted...for now. See also:


Jet1

Russian military plane downed by Syrian missile after attacking Israel's F-16s used it as cover - UPDATES

Israeli fighter jet
© Baz Ratner / Reuters
An Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jet.
The Russian military say the Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events, which led to the shooting down of a Russian Il-20 plane by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

On Monday evening four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria's Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean, a statement by the Russian defense ministry said on Tuesday. The Israeli warplanes came at a low altitude and "created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region", it said.


Comment: See also: UPDATE: Russia has formally complained to Israel about the incident, laying the blame "squarely on the Israeli side":
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu spoke to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on the phone about the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane on Monday night. He relayed Moscow's position on the incident, which blames the Israeli military for setting up the Russian plane to be shot down by Syrian air defenses responding to an Israeli air raid, an official statement from the Russian military said.

Shoigu reiterated that Israel failed to notify Russia of the impending attack in a way that would give the Russian military to move the Il-20 out of harm's way. Instead the warning came one minute before the Israeli F-16 fighter jets launched their attack.

"The blame for the downing of the Russian plane and the deaths of its crew members lies squarely on the Israeli side," the Russian minister said. "The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond."
"The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces"

This is indeed very typical of Israel, setting someone else up to take the hit for something Israel did.

We can also draw a parallel with IDF forces in Palestine using Palestinians as human shields. Here the people on the Russian plane were used as human shields.

This comes after a night of Israeli bombardment of targets in Syria including Latakia, Tartus, Homs and Hama - with rockets and explosions lighting up the sky especially over the coastal towns. According to the Middle East Institute's Charles Lister, "Reports suggest Russia air defenses in Hmeymim participated in attempting to repel tonight's strikes in Latakia." That would suggest the S-400s stationed there may have been involved.

This morning's shoot down of the Russian spy plane happened as it was, possibly, helping Syrian air defenses to target the missiles fired by the Israeli jets, and possibly the jets themselves (although the Russian Min of Def. says the plane was coming in to land). It's doubtful, however, that the Russians would provoke the Israelis by deliberately targeting their jets, although there is the possibility of plausible deniability that, if that were to happen, it was the Syrians simply defending themselves.

The "fog of war" they call it.

Whatever the case, the Russians will likely use this, not to 'lash out' at Israel but rather to put pressure on the Israelis to stop their attacks on Syria, which ultimately are in support of jihadi terrorists.

Israel, run by cowards and psychopaths, still has not even commented on the strike. That's the way they roll. Americans at least try to come up with excuses and rationalizations before they bomb foreign nations. Israel just bombs them, then refuses to comment. They are a lawless nation - arrogant, belligerent, and without conscience.

UPDATE: The Israelis have now commented, and unsurprisingly have blamed...someone else! Practically everyone else, it seems: Damascus, Iran, Hezbollah, heck they may as well have added Saddam Hussein, Col. Gadaffi and Adolf Hitler. "Look what you made us do!"






Yakov Kedmi, a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, told Sputnik that Israel may not have such free access to Syria's skies after this:
"There was an agreement between Israel and Russia that the actions of Israel in Syria's airspace would not endanger lives of Russian troops. Israel breached this commitment... What happens next will depend on the position of Israel. Most likely, Israel will no longer be able to enjoy the same freedom in the sky of Syria as it did before the incident," Kedmi said.

"Israel's attack in itself, regardless of the consequences, was an irresponsible step, because there is not a single facility on the territory of Syria that might have been used by Iran and whose destruction would have justified an attack on it, which could endanger the Russian troops," Kedmi said.
Putin has shared his initial thoughts:
"When people are dying - especially under such circumstances - it is always a tragedy," President Putin said during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow on Tuesday.

Responding to a reporter's question as to whether the incident in Latakia could be compared to the downing of the Russian Su-24 by Turkey in 2015, Putin said the two situations were "different."

Ankara "deliberately downed" the Russian jet, he explained, while the Il-20 incident "looks like a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn't shoot down our jet."...

Russia will investigate the incident, Putin said, adding that Moscow will boost security of Russian troops in Syria following the incident. He said that these will be "the steps that everyone will notice."
Update 22:30 CET

They're beginning to find bodies from the downed plane, as reported by TASS:
The Russian military has pinpointed the location where the Ilyushin-20 aircraft fell into the Mediterranean, the Russian Defense Ministry told the media on Tuesday.

"Taking part in the search for the crew of the Russian Ilyushin-20 plane, which crashed off Latakia, are eight ships and boats from Russia's Navy. By now, the aircraft's crash site in the Mediterranean has been identified. It's 27 kilometers west of Baniyas, in the Latakia province," the Defense Ministry said.

Russian ships have picked up body fragments, personal belongings and the plane's debris.
Also, Sputnik reports that Putin has softened the Russian govt's stance on culpability:
"Most certainly, we have to sort the case out most seriously. And our attitude to the tragedy is outlined in the Russian Defense Ministry's statement," he noted, adding he personally approved it.
Nobody gets to declare Israel a regime beyond the pale, not even Putin.

UPDATE: Netanyahu has publicly expressed condolences after speaking with Putin on the phone. That's a rather empty statement. We call that crocodile tears.

Russian news coverage of the Israeli provocation:


Witnesses described the Israeli (and presumably French) attack:
Local man Ammar Altounji said the incident unfolded when he was walking with his friends on Monday.

"Suddenly we heard a sound, but we didn't recognize what it was. Then we saw explosions...the explosions were very big. After that, we saw explosions in the middle of the sea...but we also didn't know what it was. [Then] we saw anti-aircraft guns firing, and we saw a missile launched to intercept the rockets that were falling."

He said that Israel has "targeted us more than once in the past few days" and urged the international community to "intervene to put an end to the Israeli incursions in Syrian airspace."

The Israeli raid injured 10 people, two of whom were taken to hospital, according to the state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV.

Resident Tarek Ahmed said he was spending time with his children when the incident occurred.

"We heard a very powerful explosion...we went to the balcony to see what was happening. Then the second explosion happened....then another explosion from the other side of the city...we saw a lot of rockets on the seaside and on the east side of the city."

Ahmed added that he hopes "Israeli aggression on Syria will end, and that we will live in peace."

Witness Alexander Erigen also expressed hope that attacks would soon come to an end, while thanking the Russian military for its work in "defending" Syria.
Russia has launched its investigation.

Here's the response so far in the Israeli media:
In an op-ed piece for The Jerusalem Post, Seth Frantzman blames the incident on the lack of communication between those involved in the Syrian conflict. However, he claimed there was a sense in the statement that Israel could have intentionally created a "complex stratagem" near Latakia to confuse the Syrian military. He cited Moscow's allegations that Israel had given Russian an advance warning just one minute before the attack, which didn't give the IL-20 time to descend and land at the Russian airbase.

He concluded that the Latakia incident had posed a risk to the "delicate balance" between Israel and Moscow in Syria. "The death of Russian servicemen cannot be ignored by Moscow and Russia shows that it doesn't want to accept that this was a terrible mistake, but rather sees the airstrikes as endangering Russian lives."

Israel Today argued that Russia's reaction to the downing of the plane shows that Russian President Putin "will not ignore the death of 15 of his servicemen."

Haaretz's Anshel Pfeffer, meanwhile, suggested that the crash was a "screw-up between the Russian and Syrian allies," but yielded that it could have been Israel's late notification that was partly to blame for it. He insisted that Israel was unlikely to seek to risk its de-confliction agreements with Russia in Syria. Anyway, he claimed, Israel would "have to take the rap in public" and to "limit itself" in the coming weeks and months.



MIB

'Prevent the rise of a messiah': Hoover's chilling directive to FBI agents explains why Americans have no real resistance

The US government's efforts to discredit Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders illustrate the lengths to which it will go to stifle left-wing movements
mlk hoover

Good man, bad man
Forty years ago today, a bullet severed the spine of a man whom many the world over thought of as a prince. We have all seen the picture of the hotel balcony where that prince stood, and fell, surrounded by his entourage, all pointing - presumably, in the direction from which the bullet came.

All but one.

One man was not standing, not pointing, but kneeling by Martin Luther King's body, presumably checking to see if - or that - he was dead. That man, Merrell McCullough, was an undercover police officer who had infiltrated King's circle. According to Time magazine, he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, at least as far back as 1974.

Comment: Oh for the days when the Guardian wasn't (always) a failing piece of garbage spouting govt propaganda.

They didn't just target left-wing movements/leaders: they targeted anything and anyone that could cross divides and "unify and electrify people".

This evil practice of culling, corrupting or otherwise containing leaders embodying noble virtues, by the way, is why Americans have no real 'resistance', and certainly no 'messiah', at a time when they most need one.

They have Trump, who means well, but he's not exactly cut out for the job.


War Whore

Gloves come off: Israel publishes satellite photos of Syrian presidential palace day before downing Russian transport plane

israeli satellite damascus palace
© Israeli Defense Ministry
A photograph of Syria's Presidential Palace in Damascus taken by Israel's Ofek 11 spy satellite, which was released by the Defense Ministry on September 17, 2018.
Israel on Monday released photographs taken by its newest spy satellite of sites located deep inside Syria, including Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's palace, in an apparent threat to the regime.

The images, taken by the Ofek 11 spy satellite, were released by the Defense Ministry to mark 30 years since Israel's first orbital launch on September 19, 1988.

The three photographs released by the ministry showed the Syrian Presidential Palace, also known as the Palace of the People; tanks on a Syrian military base; and the Damascus international airport, which was reportedly targeted by an Israeli missile strike on Saturday night.

Comment: This was a threat. The message was "we can decapitate the Syrian govt if we damn well want to."

One day later, the Israelis launched what appears to be a coordinated operation with the French military to confuse Syrian air defence systems into shooting down a friendly plane. That may not have been specifically intended; we might have learned today that Russian S-400s took out a Turkish jet, or attacked a US ship. But the provocation certainly was done with a view to provoking something in order to 'alter the facts on the ground'.

Step-by-step the Israelis are taking increasingly overt actions that betray the pretexts used to justify their - and wider Western - intervention in Syria. With the false-flag chemical attack ruse rumbled, they just went ahead and attacked Syrian positions close to the frontline with al-Qaeda/ISIS proxy forces.

This time they're not even bothering to claim that they were attacking 'Iranian' positions in Syria. They executed an explicit attack against multiple Syrian positions, coupled with a barely-veiled attack directly against Russian forces. Its purpose may have been to somehow torpedo yesterday's landmark deal between Turkey and Russia, which the West - because it was calling for 'peace' in Idlib - had no choice but to publicly support.

Thankfully, Russia didn't respond rashly, as usual. Israel may try something like this again, and cause even greater 'accidental fire' - like a Russian missile hitting an American target, for example. At which point the US is 'embroiled' deeper in Syria and has 'just cause' for remaining there. That is apparently what is uppermost in Putin's mind; leaving the US with no 'just cause' for its heavy military presence in the Middle East.


Better Earth

Putin and Erdogan agree to establish demilitarized zone in Idlib - Russian defense minister rules out new military operation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Vladimir Putin
© Sergey Guneev / Sputnik
Russia and Turkey have agreed a "demilitarized zone" between militants and government troops in Syria's Idlib, President Vladimir Putin said after hours-long talks with Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on solving the crisis.

"We've focused on the situation in the province of Idlib, considering presence of large militant groups and their infrastructure there," Putin said at a press conference after the talks.

"We've agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide, with full withdrawal of hardline militants from there, including the Jabhat Al-Nusra."

Comment: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told journalists following the Putin-Erdogan announcement that a new military operation in the Syrian province of Idlib was now off the agenda:
The defense ministries of Russia and Turkey signed a memorandum on Monday on the stabilization of the situation in the zone of de-escalation in Syria's Idlib. The document was signed following bilateral talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held on Monday in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi.

Asked by a journalist whether it was true that no more military operations were planned to be held in Idlib, the Russian defense minister said "Yes [it is true]."

"In the hours to come, we plan to make final agreements with them [the Turkish side] on the remaining provisions, which are stipulated in this document," Shoigu said.
The press statements by Putin and Erdogan:

Turkey's turn towards the East is all but complete. However this demilitarized zone plays out, Turkish-Russian cooperation is further cemented by this arrangement. We're now a long way from that 'Turkish' shoot-down of a Russian jet in late 2015.

With this memorandum, Erdogan gets his way in protecting 'FSA' militias loyal to Turkey, and preventing another wave of refugees (and who-knows-what terrorists) from crossing the border, while Putin gets to further isolate US/Western forces from having any reason to be anywhere in Syria.

Putin mentioned, in passing, that Damascus is supportive of this arrangement "in general," so Syria has apparently little choice but to accept that this arrangement is 'above its pay-grade'. As much as Russia is serious about honoring its fundamental agreement with Syria to have military presence there in exchange for liberating all of Syria from terrorists, it's apparently more important to Russia at this point to win other friends in the region on the way towards that goal.

See also: Erdogan: Turkey will cooperate with Russia on eliminating terrorists in Idlib, Syria


Windsock

Watch as Super-typhoon Mangkhut wreaks havoc in Philippines, Hong Kong and southern China

typhoon mangkhut
© Jason Lee / Reuters
Shenzhen, China, September 16, 2018
Terrified residents are holed up inside trembling buildings in southern China, as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches from the Philippines. Winds were seen tearing apart buildings, causing flooding, and flipping over vehicles.

Hong Kong and nearby Macau issued a rare No. 10 warning signal - the highest level possible - for the typhoon on Sunday. The cities are almost entirely shut down and one of Macau's main attractions, local casinos, were ordered to close for the first time in history, CGTN reports. The disaster has already left five people injured in Macao, according to local media.


Comment: The Day After Tomorrow? A record 7 named storms are whirling across the globe

More footage of typhoon Mangkhut:










And check this out - apparently around the same time of the Typhoon, a tornado was reported:





Attention

FBI/DOJ violated FISA rules to begin criminal investigation of Trump team without evidence of a crime

fbi logo
© Jim Bourg/Reuters
Will this be the week? With bated breath, we wait to find out whether we've reached the moment, after the Labor Day end of summer, just as the critical midterm races heat up, when President Trump will follow through on his threat to declassify and publicize key FISA-gate documents - in particular, the redacted portions of the Carter Page surveillance-warrant applications.

I hope the president follows through, at least to the extent he can do so without putting intelligence methods and sources at risk. Accountability is essential here.

The FBI and the Obama Justice Department launched an investigation of the Democrats' political adversaries, and they used Clinton-campaign-generated, foreign-provided innuendo to do it. They strained to make a case on Donald Trump even as they were burying a daunting criminal case on Mrs. Clinton. As I have previously explained, moreover, the president was misled about his status: not only was he a suspect in the investigation, he was the main suspect.

The main suspect in an investigation with no crime.

Biohazard

US global biological warfare program enters the spotlight once again

containers on water
© unknown
This is a scoop to bring the US biological warfare effort back into the spotlight. On Sept. 11, Russian media reported that the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research laboratory, a research facility for high-level biohazard agents located near Tbilisi, Georgia, has used human beings for conducting biological experiments.

Former Minister of State Security of Georgia Igor Giorgadze said about it during a news conference in Moscow, urging US President Donald Trump to launch an investigation. He has lists of Georgians who died of hepatitis after undergoing treatment in the facility in 2015 and 2016. Many passed away on the same day. The declassified documents contain neither the indication of the causes of deaths nor real names of the deceased. According to him, the secret lab run by the US military was established during the tenure of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The viruses could spread to neighboring countries, including Russia, Igor Giorgadze warned.

The laboratory's work is tightly under wraps. Only US personnel with security clearance have access to it. These people are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.

Eurasia Review reported that in 2014 the Lugar Center was equipped with a special plant for breeding insects to enable launching the Sand Fly project in Georgia and the Caucasus. In 2014-2015 years, the bites of sand flies such as Phlebotomins caused a fever. According to the source, "today the Pentagon has a great interest to the study of Tularemia, also known as the fever of rabbits, which is also equated with biological weapons. Distributors of such a disease can be mites and rodents".

Comment: The US has bio-labs in 25 countries without any international protocol or oversight allowed...this amounts to a license to kill within any population.


Vader

Tucker Carlson rightly wonders at Washington's Idlib logic: US to bomb Syria to protect Al-Qaeda?

Al qaeda Syria
© Khalil Ashawi / Reuters
Washington's threats to take military action to deter a Syrian assault on Al-Qaeda-held Idlib province has prompted Fox News host Tucker Carlson to ask the obvious question: Why would the US bomb a country to protect terrorists?

Carlson marveled at how 17 years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the US was now using its military might to shield - rather than eradicate - Al-Qaeda.

"More than 10,000 rebels in that province are believed to be aligned with Al-Qaeda. So that would mean that 17 years after 9/11, America could soon find itself bombing a country to protect Al-Qaeda sympathizers. Why would we do that?" Carlson asked.

Comment: The Empire's hypocrisy is laid bare. Tucker called it when he mentioned that Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran in their war, but the US stood by because they approved of the goal to destroy Iran.


Pistol

Nevada sociology professor shoots himself on campus to protest President Trump


Comment: What can we say about this. Words fail us.


College of Southern Nevada gun
The latest school shooting to occur didn't happen on some high school campus in the suburbs by an angry teen brandishing an AR, but was carried out by a crazed Trump-hating sociology professor who says he wanted to make a shocking political statement.

Contrary to what it may at first appear, this story is not from The Onion, but a bizarre and all too real event which sent students scrambling as they heard a shot ring out in the bathroom of a campus building. And we're quite sure the students who actually rushed to the wounded professor's aid to save his life once they realized what had happened aren't fully appreciative of his "political message".

Mark J. Bird, a 69-year old longtime sociology professor at the College of Southern Nevada shot himself in the bathroom of a campus building where he works, and is now facing felony gun charges after the August 28 incident, revealed for the first time this week based on a police report.

Police confirm in their court report that the professor "had shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump".

Comment: Trump Derangement Syndrome is reaching new levels of mentally-unhinged absurdity.