Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:46 UTC
Militants from the Jebat Al-Nusra terrorist group opened fire on a crowd of civilians gathering at the entrance of the humanitarian corridor in the Bustan al-Qasr district of Aleppo. This has been reported to RIA Novosti by Syrian militias.
On October 20th at 8:00, a humanitarian pause entered into force. Since Tuesday, Russian and Syrian air forces have ceased strikes, and before the beginning of the humanitarian pause Syrian troops moved back a distance to allow militants and residents to leave the eastern districts of Aleppo through two specific corridors.
Comment: See also:
- Russia ready to extend Aleppo ceasefire for as long as necessary
- Mortar shell hits near journalists filming in Aleppo humanitarian corridor
Despite their distinctly un-humanitarian behavior, the Nusrats continue to have the Americans' support. The State Department says they are not "a priority", and have attacked them only once or twice.
Russia has extended the pause for another 24 hours, making for 4 11-hour pauses. UN advisor Jan Egeland says "Armed opposition groups say they will enable this to happen." He also says the UN expects to carry out medical evacuations soon: "We believe we now have all of the green lights that we need both from the Russians and the government and from the armed opposition inside and we hope that the first medical evacuations can take place tomorrow."
Already, in the first day militants killed 14 local Syrian officials (they were publicly executed by Ahrar al-Sham for calling on locals to leave the city via the corridors) and wounded three Russian officers managing the pause. Eight wounded militants used the corridor and received food, first aid, and transport to a rebel-held area. One report says 150 Ahrar al-Shame militants have made an agreement with the army to leave.
However, it doesn't look like Nusra is allowing civilians to leave. A RIA Novosti correspondent says that despite the lack of fighting, "Buses and ambulances are still waiting for evacuees, ready to bring them to safety." One of Aleppo's residents told RIA Novosti by phone: "People want to leave, we are tired of war. Hundreds of people have gathered in Hananu to demand that militants let us go," the resident said, adding a clashes between al-Nusra [Front] fighters and several militias broke out earlier today in the neighboring Bustan al-Qasr district.
Syrian lawmaker Jamal Rabia:
Russia has put forth many efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict. But now it's obvious that the US and its allies are not interested in such a scenario. The current ceasefire will be the last possibility for militants to leave the city. The following cleansing of the city is a military solution, but it will pave the way for talks to resolve the conflict.Update: Here's how the Russian Reconciliation Center summed up the first day:
All humanitarian corridors were targeted permanently. Three officers of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides have been slightly injured by insurgents' firing against the southern corridor near Suk al-Hai market. The officers have been delivered to the Hmeymim airbase. Their lives are no longer threatened.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00 UTC
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00 UTC
Comment: All inflammatory rhetoric and Western-skewed sound bites aside, President Duterte is, as you'll see in the videos below, a highly intelligent, articulate, courageous and principled man who is seeking nothing less than to remove his country from under the disastrous yoke of US imperialism and crime.
As the Obama era slugs to an end, most eyes are on the Middle East, a flashpoint of Barack Obama's many geopolitical failures.
Beyond the Middle East, Barack Obama whom upon taking office spoke of a 'pivot' to Asia, finds that his Asia policy is in tatters.
China openly mocks him, Japan looks to diversify her regional and global allies and most importantly, The Philippines, a former US colony and since the end of the Second World War, a colony in all but name, is going it alone and doing so with the aid of China. To put it in terms that will someday fill American history books, Obama is the man who lost the Philippines.
Since 1591, what is now the Republic of The Philippines was a Spanish colony. Spain's long decline as a maritime empire was deeply shaken during the Spanish-American War of 1898. The war was short and decisive in America's favor and was America's first taste at global rather than continental colonialism. In addition to receiving Cuba from Spain, America also took possession of the Philippines.
During the war with Spain, independence-minded Filipino republicans were made promises of freedom by Washington. This of course did not pan out and a bloody war ensued between the American military and Filipino republicans.
Syrian Army threatens to shoot down any Turkish aircraft after airstrike kills 150 civilians in northern Syria
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 21:49 UTC
"The Syrian army warns that it is ready to shoot down Turkish warplanes by any means available if they attempt to once again violate the Syrian airspace," the army general command said in a statement.
According to the statement, the Turkish authorities are responsible for the deaths of some 150 civilians in Turkish airstrikes on the villages of Hassajek, Vardia and Hasia on Wednesday night.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 21:33 UTC
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 21:33 UTC
I couldn't agree more.
Comment: Newsflash, Killary. Lincoln and Kennedy were talking about a different country. Certainly not the America that exists today. Kennedy was the Obi Wan Kenobi of Lincoln's "best hope". America today is the Empire. The same Empire that killed him and his brother. The same Empire you represent.
If there's one core belief that has guided and inspired me every step of my career in public service, it's this: the U.S. is an exceptional nation. And when you add up all our advantages, it's clear we're indispensable too—a nation all others look to for leadership.
Comment: Exceptional in its capacity for plunder and murder. Indispensable for an oligarchic class that will hold on to power at all costs. No, countries do not look on the U.S. for leadership. Leadership is either imposed in the form of coercive control, or utter destruction. And that isn't leadership at all.
America is indispensable in part because we have the greatest military in history, with the best troops, training and technology. And it's essential we do everything we can to support our men and women in uniform, and our veterans.
Comment: You have that right. Might makes right for the American Empire. The best way to enforce it is to be exceptionally militaristic and exceptionally brutal.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 01:39 UTC
The Netherlands said that it is ready to send HNLMS Evertsen, a guided-missile frigate of the Dutch Royal Navy, to intercept the Russian air carrier group. The frigate will escort the group as it passes through the Northern Sea, Rob Verkerk, the Dutch Royal Navy Commander, said in his Twitter post. Verkerk later added that the Admiral Benelux, the Commanding Officer of the combined military staff of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Naval Component of the Belgian Armed Forces, will also send Belgian frigate, Leopold I, to join the escort mission.
The Russian naval group headed by Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, left the port of Severomorsk at 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (12 noon GMT) on October 15 for the eastern Mediterranean. It also includes the battle cruiser Peter the Great, the anti-submarine vessel Severomorsk, and five other vessels of Russia's Northern Fleet.
Comment: One aircraft carrier and half of Europe is paranoid.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 21:17 UTC
In Berlin on Wednesday, the first summit of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, Ukraine, France) in a year was held. Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Petro Poroshenko, and Francois Hollande, over the course of five hours, discussed the situation in Eastern Ukraine.
As Peskov emphasized, the question of deploying such a mission requires consideration and planning in the OSCE. According to him, Germany's chairmanship of the OSCE should be used to activate such work.
Comment: The four leaders agreed to draw up a new road map within in the next month in order to implement the Minsk agreements.
After six hours of talks on the wars in Ukraine and Syria in Berlin on October 19-20, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged to say the leaders "didn't achieve miracles," but the road map would enable all sides to keep pushing ahead with the 2015 Minsk peace agreement.RFE/RL also quotes the Poroshenko claim of an armed OSCE mission. But look at what Putin said in his statement after the talks:
The leaders also discussed creating zones of disengagement between the warring parties in eastern Ukraine, as well as measures to improve the humanitarian situation there, she said. "It's urgently necessary to keep having such talks in order not to lose momentum," she said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the road map "should have the sequence of the implementation of the Minsk agreements and guarantee their implementation." He also said they agreed to withdrawals of Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists in four new areas on the front line of the fighting in the Donbas region.
[Poroshenko] said elections in Donbass would not occur until all foreign forces are withdrawn.
We confirmed our readiness to expand the OSCE mission in the disengagement zone and in locations where heavy equipment is stored.Which is precisely what the DPR and LPR sources say.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:51 UTC
"Some of our friends have again showed their true face. Three [Western] permanent members, which have of course been joined by Ukraine. They don't know what they really want, it's impossible to please them," Churkin said.
He said he does not know what exactly the delegations of the four countries found to be wrong in the Russian draft statement.
"I have no idea. They disliked it," Churkin said.
Free Thought Project
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:57 UTC
Free Thought Project
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:57 UTC
Greg Speed, president of the Soros-funded organization America Votes, wrote an email to aide Huma Abedin to extend an invitation "for Secretary Clinton to join us at an evening reception at the home of George Soros in December. We would be thrilled to have her serve as honored guest and speaker at this gathering of our top supporters honoring America Votes' work over the past 10 years and looking forward to the next decade."
Abedin, seemingly unsure about the invitation, forwards the email message to Clinton campaign strategist and manager Robby Mook, asking,
Comment: Soros's Open Society Foundation board member Lord Mark Malloch-Brown is chairman of Smartmatic; he has also worked with Clinton-connected consulting firms, like FTI Consulting, whose senior managing director is Jackson Dunn (former aide for both Clintons), and Sawyer-Miller, whose Mandy Grunwald was head of communications for Killary's 2008 presidential campaign. Smartmatic controls voting machines in 16 states, including swing states Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:48 UTC
Duterte spoke to the press in Beijing on Wednesday, on the eve of talks with Xi. There was scant information about what was to come on Thursday, but Duterte's conference coincided with talk of unprecedented agreements being written up - particularly the granting to the Philippines the use of Scarborough Shoal territories - a disputed resource-rich area in the South China Sea.
The firebrand Duterte has been slowly edging away from Washington after coming to power in late June. A series of spats and heated remarks finally resulted in his making good on the promise to mend ties with historic rival, China.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:46 UTC
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:46 UTC
The FBI Monday released 100 pages of documents relating to its investigation of Clinton's private email server. The documents incorporate summaries of several interviews the FBI conducted, including one with a woman who served as an agent with the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) during Clinton's time as secretary of state.
During her interview, the agent said Clinton treated agents rudely and with contempt, and was so unpleasant that senior agents typically avoided being on her security detail.
"[Redacted] explained that CLINTON's treatment of DS agents on her protective detail was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment or employment elsewhere," the interview summary says. "Prior to CLINTON's tenure, being an agent on the Secretary of State's protective detail was seen as an honor and privilege reserved for senior agents. However, by the end of CLINTON's tenure, it was staffed largely with new agents because it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work for her."