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Bloodthirsty Clintonites and Neocons ramp up the propaganda for war on Syria

Neocons and Clintonites have launched a major campaign with the goal of direct US military intervention and aggression against Syria, potentially leading to war with Iran and Russia. An early indication emerged as soon as it was clear the Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party nominee. Following the California primary, the NY Times reported on State Department diplomats issuing an internal memo "urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al Assad."

In early August Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler opined in the NY Times about "The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad". Dennis Ross is a favorite Clintonite. In her book "Hard Choices", Clinton described how she asked Dennis Ross to come to the State Department to "work on Iran and regional issues".

NY Times regular Nicholas Kristof made his pitch for war against Syria. According to the self-styled humanitarian, we need "safe zones" as proposed by Clintonite Madeline Albright and retired General James Cartwright. That is risky but "the risks of doing nothing in Syria are even greater".

Light Sabers

Convicted embezzler Aleksey Navalny seeks to remove ban preventing him from participating in 2018 Russian presidential race

© Iliya Pitalev / Sputnik
Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny
Anti-corruption blogger-turned opposition activist Aleksey Navalny has reportedly asked the Supreme Court to cancel his 2013 conviction of embezzlement so as to remove the legislative ban that prevents him from participating in the 2018 presidential race.

Popular Russian business newspaper Kommersant reports that Navalny has based his petition on a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. The ECHR earlier ruled that Russian courts had violated the right to a fair trial in the so-called Kirovles case and established an alleged "connection" between the convict's anti-corruption activities and the charges pressed against him by the Russian Investigation Committee.

The Strasbourg court also ruled that Russian judges had allegedly interpreted the Criminal Law in a free and unpredictable manner, hurting the interests of Navalny and another convict in the case and ordered the Russian authorities to pay the claimants over €87,000 (US$98,000) in damages.

At the same time, the ECHR refused to recognize Navalny's case as political.


Israeli security forces conduct largest raid on Palestinian arms manufacturers

© Flickr/ Israel Defense Forces
Israeli security forces have conducted the largest operation since the beginning of the year against the Palestinian arms manufacturers and traffickers in the West Bank, seizing dozens of firearms and weapon manufacturing machines, the Israeli defense Forces' (IDF) press service said in a statement Tuesday.

"Last night, the military seized 22 weapon manufacturing machines, dozens of firearms, and arrested two traffickers," the statement said.

Israeli security forces have been conducting operations to uncover weapons manufacturers and traffickers on the territory of the West Bank since the beginning of 2016, according to the Israeli army.

As a result of the operations, over 300 firearms were seized and 140 Palestinians suspected of manufacturing and trafficking weapons were arrested.


Over 150 killed in clashes between government troops, opposition in South Sudan

© REUTERS/ Stringer
At least 153 people were killed during Friday clashes between government troops and opposition forces in the South Sudanese province of Jonglei, an army spokesman said Tuesday.

"The SPLA-IO [Sudan People's Liberation Army-In-Opposition] forces and some anti-peace elements attacked our forces on Friday but the SPLA forces managed to repulse them. Some 153 people died and we recovered 161 light and heavy weapons from the attackers," Lul Ruai Koang was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

He added that the situation had already stabilized.


Pepe Escobar: How a Russian partnership with Iran is a strategic game-changer

Russian Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers - as well as Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers - leave from the Iranian Hamadan airfield to bomb jihadis and assorted «moderate rebels» in Syria, and immediately we've got ourselves a major, unforeseen geopolitical game-changer.

The record shows that Russia has not been present militarily in Iran since 1946; and this is the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran allowed another nation to use Iranian territory for a military operation.

Bets could be made the Pentagon would, predictably, freak out like a bunch of pampered, irate teens. They did not disappoint, complaining that Russia's advance warning did not allow enough time to «prepare» - as in blaring all across the planet another episode of «Russian aggression», on top of it in cahoots with «the mullahs». Further desperation ensued, with Washington claiming Iran might have violated UN Security Council resolutions.

Moscow's spin, in contrast, was a beauty; this was all about logistics and cost cutting. Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, chair of the State Duma's Defense Committee and a former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, gave a lovely explanation of the modus operandi:
«It is expensive and takes a long time to fly from bases in the European part of Russia. The issue of the cost of military combat activities is, at present, a priority. We must not go over the current Defense Ministry budget. Flying Tu-22s from Iran means using less fuel and carrying larger payloads... Russia won't be able to find a friendlier and more suitable, from the point of view of security, country in that part of the world, and strikes must be carried out if we want to end this war... Airfields in Syria are not suitable because of the constant [need for] flying over areas of combat activities».


Crimea may sue Ukraine for 'decades of looting'

© Vladimir Sergeev / Sputnik
A view of the Balaklava Bay of Sevastopol from the Castle Hill.
Crimea's deputy PM has told reporters that the republic could sue Ukraine in an international court for damages inflicted by 20 years of disastrous misrule that could be compared to looting, which ended in the collapse of the peninsula's infrastructure.

"Crimea has the right to file a countersuit and demand that Ukraine compensates for the looting it did on the peninsula for two decades. At that time, under the 'patronage' of Kiev authorities, Crimean lands and real estate got sold for nothing. They took all of the taxes that were collected, but invested nothing into our infrastructure or economy," deputy chairman of the Crimean government Ruslan Balbek said in comments with RIA Novosti.

His remarks came soon after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin promised that his country would soon sue Russia for allegedly breaching the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and a convention banning the financing of terrorism. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement in June alleging that Russia had breached the Convention on the Law of the Sea, while promising to appeal to international courts for restitution.

"This decision aims to protect Ukrainian rights and interests guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 violated by Russia in the Crimean territorial sea, waters of the Black and Azov seas and the Kerch Strait, including rights to natural resources of the continental shelf," the statement read.


MI5 'blocked' the arrest of ISIS-supporting preacher Choudary many years, but no more

© Tal Cohen/Reuters
Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary
Counterterrorism officers were repeatedly blocked by British security service MI5 from pursuing criminal investigations against Britain's highest-profile radical preacher, Anjem Choudary, it has been claimed.

Last week, Choudary was found guilty of supporting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL), which seized territory in Iraq and Syria and inspired terrorist attacks across Europe. Following his conviction, it was revealed that the 49-year-old former lawyer had been linked to at least 15 terrorist plots since 2001. Police also believe he has connections to as many as 500 of the 850 young British Muslims who have traveled abroad to join IS.

According to the Telegraph, counter-terrorism officers often felt they had enough evidence to build a case against the cleric, only to be told to hang fire by MI5 because he was crucial to one of their ongoing investigations. The situation led to a build-up of tension between the two sides, with police feeling "frustrated" that Choudary was not being brought to justice, a source told the newspaper.

Comment: It would be hard to imagine anyone being a 'focal point' in 15 terrorist plots since 2001 and just now coming under arrest. Would 16 plots be one too many?

Another source states Choudary's group and offshoots were responsible for half of all terrorist attacks in the UK and he was directly linked to: the RAF Lakenheath plot, to radicalizing Jihadi John's British successor Siddhartha Darr, the Anzac Day plot in Australia, the plot to behead a British soldier, the murder of drummer Lee Rigby at Woolwich in London, the Royal Wooten Basset plot, the London Stock Exchange Plot, and suicide bomber Omar Khan Sharif's 2003 attack in Tel Aviv. Choudary has also been indirectly linked to London's 7/7 bombings, the shoe bomber, the ricin plot, the fertilizer bomb plot, the dirty bomb plot, and the Transatlantic bomb plot.

The long, long delay in arresting Choudary gives rise to speculation of him being a UK tool within the framework of state-approved/sponsored/ignored terror attacks to further a covert agenda promoting and capitalizing on extremism.

Arrow Up

India pledges support for al-Assad after Damascus meeting

© www.india.com
The Indian Foreign Minister's visit to Damascus and meeting with Syrian President Assad underscores India's support for Assad government in Syrian conflict. That the story of the Syrian conflict is clouded by a fog of misperception is today almost a commonplace. The recent visit of a strong Indian delegation to Syria headed by the Indian Foreign Minister shows one other way in which this is true.

The way the Syrian conflict is regularly represented in the West is of a Syrian government that has lost the support of the 'international community' save for its allies Russia, Iran and China. This has never been true. The structure of the UN Security Council means that the US can normally rely on a majority there, and within the Arab world the Gulf Arab states led by the two Wahhabi monarchies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been been able to rally the Arab League against Syria. However in the world as a whole the conflict is perceived very differently, not as some sort of Manichean struggle between good and evil, but rather as a geopolitical conflict and as part of a broader struggle against Jihadi terrorism.

The Indian government has been as outspoken a supporter of the Syrian government as the Chinese and Russian governments have been. More so in some ways since like China but unlike Russia India is not involved in the diplomacy of the Syrian conflict and does not therefore have to take even a theoretical position that President Assad's future should be eventually decided by the Syrian people.

Comment: India seems to be cozying up to everyone. The US is hoping to bring it into the Western Not-'OK Corral' as part of its geographical fence around Russia and China and as a willing member of its deadly march towards unipolarity. Russia and China are hoping for the reverse scenario in order to fortify the BRICS group and keep the West at bay. Syria, caught in the middle of the Geo-giants' struggle, needs all the help and support it can muster if it ever gains the chance to rebuild itself. India, the pivot, may find it can't be on all sides all the time.

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Merkel: Turks living in Germany should show loyalty towards adopted country

© Remo Casilli / Reuters
People with Turkish roots living in Germany should show a "high level of loyalty" toward their adopted country, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel. It comes amid tense relations between Berlin and Ankara.

"We expect that people of Turkish origin who have been living in Germany for a long time should develop a high level of loyalty to our nation," Merkel told Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.

"Therefore we are trying to have open ears to hear their concerns and to understand them. And for this we are also keeping in close contact with immigrant associations," she continued.

The German chancellor also spoke of the current situation in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is cracking down on those believed to have played a role in last month's failed coup attempt.


Syria: Turkey shells ISIS and Kurd positions

© www.rt.com
The Turkish army has delivered artillery strikes on Kurdish positions near Manbij and on Islamic State targets in Jarablus in northern Syria, media report. The assault came after several stray shells struck inside Turkish border territory on Tuesday. Turkish howitzers fired about 20 rounds across the Syrian border on Monday, targeting Kurdish-held Manbij, Reuters reports, citing an unnamed Turkish official who also confirmed that the shelling of Jarablus, which is held by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL, also Daesh), is continuing.

"The Turkish state officially supports Daesh and bombs the positions of the Manbij military council and its countryside in the northern axis of the defense positions at Sajur river," Sharvan Darwish, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said on Monday, ARA News reported. The SDF forces are backed by the US-led coalition.

Kurdish NRT TV also reported that both the positions of SDF forces north of Manbij and Manbij Military Council (MMC) fighters in the area had been shelled by the Turkish army.

Ankara also shelled IS targets in northern Syria after the Turkish border town of Karkamis in the southeastern province of Gaziantep was hit by two stray shells on Tuesday, broadcaster NTV said, citing the military. No casualties were reported.

Comment: The Turkish Empire strikes back. Is it retaliation for random far-flung shells that landed over the border into Turkey or an excuse to eliminate a few more Kurds with a few Daesh legitimizers? A secret agreement or permission granted is least likely. Turkey has not been pristine about keeping its actions limited to within its own borders over the course of this war.
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