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Tue, 30 Aug 2016
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Shoo: Iranian vessel wards off US warship in Persian Gulf

A US warship was shooed away from Iran's territorial waters after it received a tough warning from an Iranian navy vessel.

The US warship approached the Iranian warship in a provocative move, ignoring the internationally set standard distance from Iran's Shahid Mousayee patrol vessel and the Iranian territorial waters in Persian Gulf.

The warship then received a warning from the Iranian vessel and rapidly changed direction, returning to the international waters.

The IRGC seized two US Navy boats on January 12 and detained them on Iran's Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Nine men and one woman arrived in Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf illegally when they were captured by the IRGC Navy.


US officer down in battle over Manbij, Syria

A US military man and six fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been hunted in the city of Manbij in Northern Aleppo province, ISIL's news agency Amaq reported on Saturday.

"All the seven were killed as they came under attack by four suicide bombers in Zahr al-Ma'areh region in the Northern part of Manbij city," Amaq reported.

Amaq, the only official mouthpiece of the ISIL terrorist group, did not reveal any further detail on the incident.

On Tuesday, the Military Council of Manbij in Aleppo province announced that over 4,000 terrorists have been killed in tough battle with the SDF fighters since the beginning of Manbij liberation operations.

"A sum of 4,180 terrorists have been killed in the battle over Manbij and the dead bodies of 1,724 of them are with the Kurdish forces," the military council said.


Goodbye NATO, hello Russia: Turkish PM admits possibility of Russia use of Incirlik air base

© AP Photo/ Emrah Gure
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday that Russia could possibly use country's southern Incirlik Air Base if it becomes necessary.

At the same time Yildirim added that there were no need in Moscow's use of the base, because Russia possessed facilities located in Syria that was not far from Incirlik.

"This information is not correct, but if necessary the Incirlik base could be used," Yildirim told reporters, answering a question about Moscow's alleged request for use of the base, as quoted by the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Comment: Turkey continues to appear to be distancing itself from NATO and moving closer to Russia after the failed NATO-backed Turkish coup attempt. This news comes after reports that Russian officials reached out to Ankara, requesting access to the base:
Russia has called on Turkey to provide access to NATO's Incirlik Air Base, the critical launch pad for US and coalition airstrikes in Syria, in a bid to expand the country's influence in the Middle East and to further the goal of combatting radical jihadist groups, primarily Daesh and al-Nusra, that threaten peace and stability in Syria.
"It just remains to come to an agreement with Erdogan that we get the NATO base Incirlik as [our] primary airbase," Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the upper house's committee on international affairs said reports the British newspaper The Times. He explained that the development would enable the Russian air force to engage in "constant bombing" of Daesh and other jihadist groups to bring the conflict to a resolution faster.

"You'll see, the next base will be Incirlik," he told Izvestia after the Kremlin revealed this week that its bombers had started flying out of Iran to launch attack on Syria. "This will be one more victory for Putin."

Another Senator, Viktor Ozerov, told RIA Novosti, "It's not certain that Russia needs Incirlik, but such a decision would be seen as a real willingness on Turkey's part to cooperate with Russia in the war against terrorism in Syria."

Bad Guys

The other side of the story: Aleppo children injured by 'rebels' speak

© lizzie_phelan / Instagram
Alaa, 11yrs old, injured by rebel attack on her home in South #Aleppo. She says she is afraid to go home. #Syria
Children in government-controlled Aleppo are experiencing heavy fighting on a daily basis, as the opposition try to retake lost ground. While the Western media's focus is largely on the suffering in rebel-held areas, RT looks at the other side of the story.

RT's Lizzie Phelan is reporting from one of only two Aleppo hospitals that are now trying to cope with the inflow of those injured in the fighting. Those seeking help include both soldiers and civilians. So many people require treatment that they are filling up the medical facilities' corridors.

The rebels now have control of three military academies in the south and have intensified their efforts to bring more territories their under control, Phelan explains. They are trying to get access to the southern road into Aleppo, and they fire at civilian targets from there.

Many children are among those injured. Phelan has spoken with two girls badly hurt by shrapnel from missiles fired from rebel held areas in the city's south.

Comment: Heartbreaking. And what makes it a thousand times worse is the mainstream media's utter refusal to report on the atrocities committed by these terrorists imported into the country for the dirty war on Syria, and their claims that it is in fact the Syrian government butchering their own people. Will the madness ever end?


Kiev beats war drums about nonexistent 'Russian threat' and martial law to distract from abysmal political failures

© REUTERS/ Gleb Garanich
President Petro Poroshenko has warned that Kiev may be forced to introduce martial law if the deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine and the standoff with Russia over Crimea continues. Offering their thoughts, Ukrainian political scientists suggested that if Kiev does introduce martial law, it won't be because of any threat from Russia.

Speaking to media during a visit to the Western Ukrainian region of Lvov on Thursday, Poroshenko warned that the threat of an armed escalation in the diplomatic conflict with Moscow was considerable, adding that "we cannot rule out a full-scale Russian invasion."

Accordingly, Poroshenko noted that "the deterioration of the situation in the east and in Crimea does not exclude the possibility that in the event of further escalation, we will be forced to impose martial law and declare mobilization."


Azerbaijan authorities arrest four men with ties to Turkish cleric Gulen

Azerbaijan authorities said they arrested four men with ties to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey has blamed for masterminding last month's attempted coup.

The four unindentified suspects were charged with "abuse of power" while working for a mobile phone company for having passed on private information about subscribers and their call history, Azeri prosecutors said on August 19.

During a search of the home of one of the accused, investigators discovered "banned religious literature, disks, and brochures containing speeches by Fethullah Gulen," they said.

Comment: See also: Turkish coup attempt, what was behind it?
  • By the numbers: Erdogan's anti-Gulen crackdown so far


Leaked memo proves George Soros ruled Ukraine in 2014: Minutes from 'breakfast with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt'

We noted in a previous post how important Ukraine was to George Soros, with documents from DC Leaks that show Soros, and his Open Society NGO, scouring the Greek media and political landscape to push the benefits of his Ukraine coup upon a Russian leaning Greek society.

Now more documents, in the massive 2,500 leaked tranche, show the immense power and control Soros had over Ukraine immediately following the illegal Maidan government overthrow.

Soros and his NGO executives held detailed and extensive meetings with just about every actor involved in the Maidan coup...from US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, to Ukraine's Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health, and Education.

The only person missing was Victoria Nuland, though we are sure those meeting minutes are waiting to see the light of day.

Arrow Up

Hundreds of thousands rally in support of newly formed government of Yemen - Saudis lick their wounds of failure and defeat

© REUTERS/ Khaled Abdullah
Dozens of thousands of Yemeni nationals took to the streets of the country's capital on Saturday to support the so-called Supreme Political Council formed by the Houthi rebels and protest against a Saudi-led coalition's interference, media reported.

In early August, the UN-brokered talks in Kuwait on Yemen's reconciliation ended with the government and Houthi rebels failing to come to an agreement and the rebels forming the Supreme Political Council with a prospect of ruling the country.

According to the Press TV broadcaster, Yemenis carried national flags and posters reading "Reforms are the most efficient popular force in the face of enemies" during the rally near the Presidential Palace in Sanaa.

Earlier in the day, Saleh Ali Sammad, the head of the Houthis' new political body, announced plans to create a government in the near future as well as promote Yemen's reconciliation.

Comment: RFE/RL characterizes the rallies as "hundreds of thousand". However many it is, it's the Houthis/Saleh who have popular support, not the Saudi-stooge government-in-exile. Since the suspension of pace talks, the Saudis have intensified their illegal airstrikes. With a constitutionally legal new Houthi/Saleh government and an avalanche of bad PR exposing Saudi war crimes and brutality, it may be time for the U.S. to cut its strings of support to the totalitarian Saudi regime's war of aggression on Yemen before they become even more of a liability: Pentagon withdraws assets from Riyadh to Bahrain amid mounting death toll in Saudi-led Yemen war


Daesh fighters allowed to flee Manbij likely to return and fight another day

© Reuters
The United States and its allies in Syria are likely going to face the hundreds of Daesh fighters freed during the recapture of Manbij on a different battlefield in the future, US State Senator from Virginia and former Marine pilot Richard Black told Sputnik.

On Tuesday, US Defense Department spokesman Col. Chris Garver confirmed that a Daesh convoy of several hundred fighters was allowed to flee the city of Manbij after US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recaptured the city.

The Defense Department reported that the decision to give the disarmed Daesh convoy safe passage was made by the SDF because of the large number of civilians intermixed in the convoy. The convoy was reported to be heading further west into Daesh-controlled territory.

"From a military standpoint, as someone who has dropped well over a thousand bombs myself, I would have taken it out. I would have destroyed the [Daesh] convoy and avoided having to fight them in another place at another time," Black said in an interview on Wednesday. Black, who earned a Purple Heart serving as a pilot in the Vietnam War, stated he was "uneasy" about "letting your enemy out the back door so they can go fight another day."

Comment: According to Saleh Muslim, Democratic Union Party (PYD): "Daesh escaping from Menbij came as a result of mediation of some civilians from Manbij. Because it was the only way to rescue civilians from Daesh. The decision was by DSF only, the coalition [was] never involved. When Daesh fled they took about 5,000 civilians with them as human shield[s]."

See also: Syrian commander: Syria's Manbij fully liberated from Daesh jihadists

Arrow Up

PM Yildirim announces Turkey will increase its role in Syrian conflict

© en.trend.az
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says Ankara will take a more active role in addressing the conflict in Syria in the next six months to prevent the country from splintering along ethnic lines. "Turkey we will be more active in the Syria issue in the coming six months as a regional player. This means to not allow Syria to be divided on any ethnic base, for Turkey this is crucial," Yildirim said at a news conference in Istanbul.

Yildirim also said that President Bashar al-Assad may have a role in the transitional period but not in Syria's future.

Kurdish groups have begun carving out their own regions in Syria as they are fighting groups from Syria's Arab majority seeking to overthrow Assad. Turkey is afraid that strong Kurdish militant groups in Syria will encourage its own Kurdish insurgency.

Yildirim also ruled out any new peace initiative with Turkey's outlawed Kurdish rebels saying Ankara would not "enter into a dialogue with a terror organization."

The Kurdistan Workers' Party has intensified its bomb attacks against the police and military, killing more than a dozen people in attacks this week.

Comment: Amazing how many foreign dignitaries weigh in on how post-war Syria will unfold, instead of the Syrians - the only legitimate deciders which, for Turkey, includes an inconvenient and resilient Kurdish population.