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Historian: 'Ukrainian authorities deliberately sent MH17 airliner into warzone'

donetsk soldier
© REUTERS / Maxim Zmeyev
Russia's Ministry of Defense has presented audio proof of Ukraine's links to the downing of Flight MH17 in 2014. During the press briefing in Moscow, the ministry said that Kiev could destroy documentation for the missile that shot down the MH17 flight in order to conceal the truth. It also said that the missile came from Ukraine's arsenal.

Sputnik talked about the new evidence emerging in the MH17 case with Bjorn Ditlef Nistad, who holds a doctorate in Russian history and founded the independent Russian Information Center in Norway.


Analyst to RT - Idlib buffer zone will help Russia & Turkey clear area of radicals

idlib militant
© Omar Haj Kadour / AFP
The demilitarized zone in Syria's embattled Idlib Province will help Russia and Turkey to clear out radical militants, as both sides will be patrolling the area, a professor of international relations told RT.

The deal to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib is "best military and diplomatic solution today" for Russia and Turkey, since they can remove the radicals from the province and avert mass civilian casualties, Huseyin Bagci says.

The agreement was reached on Monday between presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the leaders held hour-long talks in Sochi, south Russia. According to the plan, the radical militants, including an Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), and their heavy weaponry must be withdrawn from the DMZ before October 10.

Bagci, who teaches in the Ankara-based Middle East Technical University, emphasizes that the agreed DMZ is not an "everlasting" solution, but a temporary measure.

Red Flag

Stalling tactic: Kavanaugh accuser won't appear at Senate hearing, wants FBI to probe sex assault claims first

ford kavanaugh
Christine Blasey Ford, who accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, will not appear at the hearing scheduled by the Senate Judiciary Committee, her lawyer said.

An FBI investigation into the allegations "should be the first step" before her client makes any public statement, Ford's attorney Debra Katz told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday evening. "Nothing of substance and nothing legitimate can happen by Monday," the lawyer stressed.

Ford and Kavanaugh were both invited to publicly present their sides of the story over the allegation that surfaced after the nomination hearings. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who said she had Ford's letter since Kavanaugh was nominated in July, has not explained why she held it back until now.

The university professor is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct back in 1982, which put Kavanaugh's nomination in jeopardy. The committee officially canceled the confirmation vote scheduled for Thursday, until it hears the testimonies from both the judge and his accuser - and the delay of the public hearing could further prolong the process.

Comment: Previously:

Arrow Down

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:


Devin Nunes: Trump's declassification order will expose FBI's 'insurance policy'

FBI Swamp Strzok Page Rosenstein Comey
President Trump's order to declassify a broad swath of DOJ/FBI documents related to the Russia investigation will expose the infamous "insurance policy" referred to in an August 15, 2016 text between former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA).

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take the risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40," reads the text message in question - used by many in Trump's camp to bolster claims that the Russia investigation is "rigged witch hunt."

Speaking with Fox News's Laura Ingraham, Nunes said that declassification will provide exculpatory evidence, including a dozen or so 302 witness interview forms from DOJ official Bruce Ohr which may shed light on his significant relationship with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele and "many other rotten apples."


NBC host: Allegations against Kavanaugh are 'dynamite wrapped in radioactive material'

Brett Kavanaugh
Allegations of sexual misconduct against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are like "four sticks of dynamite wrapped in radioactive material" due to their timing, NBC host Chuck Todd has said.

College professor Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 35 years ago at a high school party. Kavanaugh, who was nominated for the Supreme Court position by President Donald Trump in July, has adamantly denied the accusation, saying it is "completely false" and that he has "never done anything" like what the accuser has described.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Monday, during which the public will get to hear both sides.

Comment: Also see: Here's Christine Blasey's letter that alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her

Snakes in Suits

Judge rules links between British spy agencies & dead Russian businessman 'must remain secret'

Aleksandr Perepilichny

The Surrey estate where Russian tycoon Aleksandr Perepilichny collapsed in November 2012.
Material about possible links between British spy agencies and a Russian businessman who died in mysterious circumstances in Britain nearly six years ago will remain secret, a judge has ruled.

Nicholas Hilliard, who is leading the inquest into Aleksandr Perepilichny's death, said in a ruling on September 18 that the material is "marginal" to resolving the question of how the businessman died.

The judge said he was "mindful" of heightened concern about the case following the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury in March.


Here's Christine Blasey's letter that alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her

SC nominee Brett Kavanaugh/Trump
© MPR News
Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are working overtime to delay Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) referred a mysterious letter about Kavanaugh to the FBI.

Feinstein had been holding on to the letter since earlier this year.

Comment: Also see:


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.

Gold Coins

Saudi Arabia secretly funded anti-Iranian terror cult MEK with hundreds of millions of dollars

MEK leader Maryam Rajavi
MEK leader Maryam Rajavi speaking to a crowd of supporters
It is widely rumored that Saudi Arabia has been a loyal supporter of the Mujahideen al-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group which began as a collective of radical students and is now more accurately described as a cult.

There has been no concrete account of Saudi's support for the MEK, until now. In an interview with Al Bawaba, a former top-ranking member of the MEK has provided details of specific transfers of valuables good from Saudi Arabia to the MEK, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The details are difficult to verify, but nonetheless represent the first comprehensive account of the MEK's partnership with Saudi Arabia.

According to the former MEK member who personally oversaw the transfers, Saudi officials operating within the security apparatus of Turki bin Faisal al Saud, the head of Saudi intelligence at the time, and the late king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, gave the MEK three tons of solid gold, at least four suitcases of custom Rolex watches and fabric covering the Kaaba, the most holy site in Islam. The transfers were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Comment: See also: