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Fri, 21 Oct 2016
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US delivers eight Blackhawk helicopters to Jordan to guard border against Daesh

© Flickr/ Morning Calm Weekly Newspaper Installation
The United States has delivered eight UH-60A Blackhawk helicopters to Jordan to help its coalition partner secure its border from Daesh terrorists, the US Embassy in Jordan announced on Thursday.

Photos on the US Embassy's social media account showed Wells with Jordanian military officials jointly inspecting the Blackhawk helicopters during the handover ceremony.

"The United States is committed to standing with Jordan to face the threat posed by Daesh... We are honored to partner with you," US Ambassador Alice Wells was quoted as saying in the announcement during a ceremony to handover the eight helicopters.

The helicopters are "another tool for safeguarding" Jordan's border with Syria and Iraq, where the terrorist group has grown significantly since 2014, according to the announcement.


Greek Coast Guards seize Turkish ship carrying weapons to Lebanon

© AP Photo/ Dimitris Drosos
Turkish media reported that the Greek Coast Guards stopped and confiscated a Turkish ship carrying weapons to Lebanon.

The incident took place on Monday. The ship reportedly departed from the port of Izmir on February 4 and was loaded with six containers, two of which contained weapons and ammunition. Greek authorities arrested all crew members, among them six Syrians, one Indian and four Lebanese.

Turkish authorities were repeatedly accused of providing weapons to radical groups, including those in Syria. The supplies are reported to have occurred in various forms, including deliveries using columns with humanitarian aid.


Terrorists bomb power stations in Syria's Hama Province

© AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin
Terrorists have damaged a power station in Syria's Hama province, a source in the Syrian Ministry of Electricity told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, media reported that electricity had been cut off throughout all of the Syrian provinces.

"Militants have launched rockets at the Al-Zara power plant of in Hama province, which resulted in several generators being knocked out," the source said.

War Whore

Israel and US phony excuse for endless war is the contrived Iran threat

The Israeli Minister of Defense is now telling anyone who is willing to listen that the Iranian government is building an "international terror network that includes sleeper cells that are stockpiling arms, intelligence and operatives to be ready to strike on command in places including Europe and the U.S." Moshe Yaalon elaborated that Iran intends to destabilize the entire Middle East as well as other parts of the world and is "training, funding and arming 'emissaries' to spread a revolution," all emanating from a "dangerous axis" that includes Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.

These preposterous claims come on top of spurious assertions that Iran was building a nuclear weapon, repeated assiduously by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others in his various administrations over the course of twenty years. As it turns out, Iran was not building a nuke and much of the information used to bolster the argument being made turned out to be fabricated by the Israelis themselves, which says something for their credibility.

Israel and its boosters in Washington also continue to argue that Iran has a secret nuclear program squirreled away somewhere, that it will use its windfall of nuclear agreement cash not only to support terrorism but also to speed up weapon development while also destabilizing the entire Middle East. And if those alarming arguments don't convince the public, Israel's government and its friends in the media continue to insist that even if Iran is behaving today its deal with the west will surely guarantee a much feared weapon of mass destruction down the road. Iran is the enemy of choice yesterday, today and tomorrow and it will always be the enemy of choice no matter what it does or does not do.

Eye 1

Hillary Clinton's role in Libya war exposed

© Javier Galeano / Reuters
New light is being shed on the role presidential candidate Hillary Clinton played, as Secretary of State, in the 2011 military intervention in Libya, with over 50 officials from the US, Europe, and Libya speaking out in interviews with The New York Times.

The report features many of those directly involved in the mission that overthrew the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, portraying Clinton as a catalyst in the decision to go to war.

Comment: "So, ‪#‎KillaryClinton‬ appears to be the driving force behind the murder of a head of state and the destruction of an entire country."


Russian Hmeimim airbase in Syria unaffected by blackout

© Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
A power grid blackout in Syria has not affected the work at the Hmeimim airbase in the Latakia province where a Russia air group is deployed, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.

"All services are carrying out tasks in normal operation mode," ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, adding that Hmeimim has enough power generators to ensure the uninterrupted work of the airbase.

Light Sabers

Look to the East: Serbian PM says EU membership no longer the big dream for Balkan states

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said that the refugee crisis affecting the EU and the possibility of Britain leaving the bloc have made accession to the Union less appealing to Balkan candidate countries, Reuters reported

Yet, accession to the bloc remained the top policy objective for Serbia, which began formal accession talks last year, the newswire quoted Vucic as saying at a conference at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London on Monday.

"The EU that all of us (Balkan countries) are aspiring to, it has lost its magic power. Yes, we all want to join, but it is no longer the big dream it was in the past," Vucic said.

Comment: From the EU being the US lapdog in all things political to Russia showing it can withstand the Western sanctions and keep their composure in light of the taunting actions of the West, other countries are seeing that being friends with Russia is probably a better idea than cozying up to the West. It should only be a matter of time until other countries change their alliances as well.


Russian MOD ceasefire bulletin (Mar. 3): Jaish al-Islam signs ceasefire in Damascus

General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides

In the course of the last 24 hours, by the mediation of the Russian Federation, peacemaking agreement with elders of Marzaf (Hama province) has been signed. More than 600 citizens of Marzaf, representatives of the Muslim religious leaders, Syrian and foreign journalists attended the agreement signing.

Yesterday, leaders of a Jaish al-Islam grouping, which controlled Ruheiba (Damascus province) made a decision to join the ceasefire agreement.

Total number of reconciliation agreements has reached 44.

Comment: This is what Sheikh Ahmed Mubarak, the local leader in Maarzaf where reconciliation talks were held, had to say about the agreement:
"The work is very meticulous and delicate, everything here is based on religious and national matters, but overall about 30 communities have signed an application form to join the peace process and negotiations," Lt.-Col. German Rudenko told reporters.

He added that the application forms include a clause on accepting the return of state power in the region.
Not only are rebel groups agreeing to cease fire; entire communities are accepting to return to official Syrian governance. It looks like this cessation of hostilities has been a great way of separating the wheat from the chaff so far.

Comment: Today, all provinces in Syria reported a "complete blackout" of electricity (the Russian airbase in Latakia was not affected; they use their own generators). While the investigation into the cause is still ongoing, the Syrian Ministry of Electricity told Sputnik that the Al-Zara power plant of in Hama province came under rebel fire. In Iraq, Kurds are reporting that they have shot down a Turkish helicopter that was shelling them (Turkish government have refused to comment, and Turkish media are ignoring the incident).

Meanwhile, despite the success so far of the U.S.-Russia ceasefire deal in Syria, the U.S. is continuing its irrational and schizophrenic demonization of Russia. Obama has extended sanctions for another year, and the US House Foreign Affairs Committee has passed a resolution accusing Syria, Russia and Iran of war crimes, including widespread torture, rape, massacres, chemical weapons, cluster bombs, barrel bombs, deliberate targeting of bakeries, hospitals, markets and schools. Looks like the hardcore Republicans aren't very happen that the cessation of hostilities is working so far! When in doubt, just blame Putin and Assad for everything that Daesh and the moderate rebels do!


Accomplice in murder of downed Russian bomber's pilot captured by Syrian Army

© sputniknews.com
Funeral of fallen SU-24 pilot.
The Syrian army captured a terrorist of the notorious Turkish nationalist organization, the Grey Wolves, who had played a role in the killing of one of the pilots of Russia's Su-24 bomber which was downed by Turkey's Air Force on November 24, 2015.

"The captured terrorist was among the first group of militants who arrived at the Su-24 crash scene on November 24, killing one of the pilots and stealing his personal belongings," the Arabic service of Russia Today news channel reported.

Russia's Su-24 bomber with two pilots onboard was shot down by the Turkish Air Force on November 24, 2015. The crew of the Su-24 bomber managed to eject but one of the pilots, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by gunfire from the ground. The second pilot, Konstantin Murakhtin, was rescued and taken to the Russian air base.

In late December, leader of the Turkish nationalist organization, the Grey Wolves Alparslan Celik claimed responsibility for killing the pilot of the downed Russian bomber. In an interview with Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper in late December, Celik openly admitted that he had directly taken part in the murder of the Russian pilot. Moscow had repeatedly called on Ankara to find and detain Celik.

Ankara made no moves to detain Celik, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov said at the time. "Turkish authorities have taken no steps to detain him (Celik). He appears in TV programs and a number of newspapers have published his interview so Mr. Celik walks freely in Turkey," Karlov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Comment: See also:


Swiss Parliament votes 'no' to EU membership, supports Brexit campaign

© Collage
The Swiss Parliament has voted by a majority of 126 to 46 to withdraw its long-standing application for membership of the European Union, ending 24 years of debate about joining the union giving backing to campaigners in Britain seeking to leave the EU.

Switzerland applied to join the European Union in May 1992, but despite several referendums in Switzerland declining to take the application forward, the Swiss government has never formally withdrawn the application — until now.

The National Council — the lower house of the Swiss parliament voted through a proposal that Switzerland should no longer be seen as a country preparing to join the EU. The withdrawal motion will now go to the upper house, Council of States.