Monday, December 8, 2014

781 Turkey trying to rebuild Ottomoan Empire. Russian Co-Pilot rescued by General Soleimani

Turkey trying to rebuild Ottomoan Empire. Russian Co-Pilot rescued by
General Soleimani

Newsletter published on 28 November 2015

(1) Russian Co-Pilot, shot down in Syria by Turkey, rescued by Iran's
General Soleimani
(2) Soleimani operation reported by Times of Israel
(3) Turkey trying to rebuild the Ottoman Empire
(4) Turkey's support for Islamic State recalls Armenian Genocide
(5) Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? -
(6) Turkey buffer zone five miles inside Syria (Oct 4)
(7) Russia “violated” Turkish Airspace because Turkey “moved” its Border
(8) Airstrikes hit Turkish convoy carrying weapons to militants in Syria
(9) Kurds move into border area in Syria which Erdogan wanted as a "safe
(10) Turkish newspaper editor in court for 'espionage' after revealing
weapon convoy to Syrian militants
(11) Qatar seeks to buy Ukrainian missile system to protect ISIS from
attack by air
(12) Qatar and Ukraine come to deliver Pechora-2D to ISIS

(1) Russian Co-Pilot, shot down in Syria by Turkey, rescued by Iran's
General Soleimani

Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:40

Russian Pilot Rescued by Iran's General Soleimani

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian sources revealed on Thursday that the pilot of the
Russian Su-24 jet that was shot down by Turkey over the Syrian airspace
on Tuesday was rescued in an operation by Iran's globally renowned IRGC
Qods Force Commander Major General Soleimani.

On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 bomber jet crashed in Syria. Russian
President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air
missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory, falling 4
kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border.

The crew of the plane ejected and one pilot was killed by fire from the
ground, according to the Russian General Staff. The co-pilot Captain
Konstantin Murahtin survived. But the story of how he survived in a land
surrounded by various types of terrorist groups for tens of kilometers
was unknown until today.

Emad Abshenas, a reporter for Russia's state-run Sputnik news agency,
wrote a piece in the Persian-language website of the Russian agency
quoting the entire story from a senior Syrian officer.

"I contacted one of the Syrian officers who is my old friend and is
stationed in Lattakia and asked him to tell me the story, and here is
what he said," Abshenas mentioned.

After the downing of the Russian fighter jet, the Russian helicopters
took off immediately to save the pilot but they faced the heavy fire
power of FSA (or the so-called moderate opposition, the Free Syrian
Army, supported by the West) and the Turkey-back Turkmens who targeted
the helicopter with missiles and advanced weapons that they have gained
recently. During the operations one Russian aid worker was killed.

Credible information was obtained that a number of special Turkish units
had been sent to the scene to take the Russian pilot captive to
blackmail Russia later. While the Russians were planning for another
operations to free the pilot immediately, General Soleimani contacted
them and proposed them that a special task force unit be formed of
Hezbollah's special forces and Syrian commandos who have been trained by
Iran and are fully familiar with the geographical situation of the
region to be tasked with the ground operations and Russia provide them
with air cover and satellite intelligence.

Soleimani promised them to return the Russian pilot safe and sound; a
promise that was kept in the end, according to the Syrian officer.

After tracing the place of the Russian pilot using his GPS, it was
revealed that the pilot was being kept in a place 6km behind the
frontline of the clashes between the Syrian army and the opposition.

Six fighters of Hezbollah's special operation unit and 18 Syrian
commandos approached the frontline to carry out the operations and the
Russian air force and helicopters concurrently created hellfire in the
region and destroyed the terrorists' headquarters in a way that most of
the enemy forces deployed in the region fled the scene and the ground
was paved for the special unit's advance.

The Syrian officer added that every move of the special units was
monitored and covered precisely by the Russian satellites in a way that
the slightest moves made 100 meters away from the area of operation was
reported to them and every moment of the operation was reported to a
very high-raking official in the Kremlin (that he thinks was president
Putin) and it was clear that he was monitoring the entire operations
through satellites from Moscow.

According to the officer who called for anonymity, the operation later
turned into a hunt of the terrorists in the operation zone by the
Russian air force from the sky and by Brigadier General Soleimani's
operations units on the ground.

The Syrian officer believed that the Russians also launched strong
electronic warfare immediately to blind all enemies' satellites and
communication equipment in areas several kilometers away from the
operational zone and when the enemies came to realize something was
underway, the operations had ended. The electronic warfare was launched
since the Russians were concerned that the western satellites would leak
the operation to the terrorists.

Finally, the special unit saved the pilot after infiltrating 6km behind
the enemy lines, killing the terrorists operating in there and
destroying their hi-tech equipment.

The interesting point is that all the 24 members of the special units
along with the pilot returned to their base without even one injury
after fulfilling the dangerous mission.

According to the senior Syrian officer, one of the reasons for the
success of these operations was the difference between Turkey and the
terrorists over the fate of the Russian pilot as the Turks wanted him
alive to use him for political blackmailing against the Russia. While
the terrorists stationed in the region intended to burn him alive like
what did to the Jordanian pilot to fill the hearts of other Russian
pilots with fright. And this rift paved the ground for rescue operations
some golden hours. Since the opposition never imagined that such a rapid
planning and action by the rescue squads would be possible, given the
complicated nature of such operations.

The Syrian officer said that General Soleimani insisted to supervise the
details of the operations at the head of his forces and stayed in the
operations room until he came to rest assured of their success.

(2) Soleimani operation reported by Times of Israel

The team 'saved the pilot after infiltrating 6 kilometers behind the
enemy lines, killing the terrorists operating there'

Iran: Injured general oversaw daring rescue of downed Russian pilot;
Tehran news agency says Revolutionary Guards’ Qassem Soleimani, wounded
this week in Syria, was behind extraction of airman downed by Turkey

By Times of Israel staff and AFP

November 26, 2015, 5:00 pm

An Iranian news agency claimed on Thursday that General Qassem
Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations
wing, was behind the rescue of the Russian pilot downed in Syria.

Soleimani was reported lightly injured earlier this week near Aleppo.

After the pilot was downed by Turkey on Tuesday, “credible information
was obtained that a number of special Turkish units had been sent to the
scene to take the Russian pilot captive to blackmail Russia later,” the
semi-official Fars News Agency reported, basing the claim on a report in
the Persian-language version of the Russian Sputnik news agency. The
Russian agency, in turn, quotes an unnamed Syrian officer.

“While the Russians were planning for another operations to free the
pilot immediately,” said Fars, “General Soleimani contacted them and
proposed them that a special task force unit be formed of Hezbollah’s
special forces and Syrian commandos who have been trained by Iran and
are fully familiar with the geographical situation of the region to be
tasked with the ground operations and Russia provide them with air cover
and satellite intelligence.”

The alleged operation to rescue the Russian pilot in Syria was carried
out by eight Hezbollah fighters, 18 Syrian commandos and covered by
Russian satellites and air force, the report continued. The team “saved
the pilot after infiltrating 6km behind the enemy lines, killing the
terrorists operating in there and destroying their hi-tech equipment,”
it said.

“Soleimani promised them to return the Russian pilot safe and sound; a
promise that was kept in the end, according to the Syrian officer,” the
report said.

Moscow’s defense minister said Wednesday that Russian and Syrian special
forces had freed the second pilot of a Russian warplane shot down by
Turkey and he was now at a Russian air base in Syria. The first pilot
was killed when fired at from the ground after the plane was hit. [...]

The Fars News Agency further reported that “General Soleimani is fully
healthy and is actively commanding operations in the frontline of the
war against terrorists.” [...]

(3) Turkey trying to rebuild the Ottoman Empire

Turkey Openly Supports ISIL, Desires to Rebuild Empire

November 27, 2015

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has stated that in the event of another
airspace violation, Ankara will respond in the same way as it did with
the Russian warplane.

He added that the downing of the Russian bomber was an “automatic
reaction” in line with a standing order given to country’s military,
while the Kremlin’s reaction was “emotional and unfitting of politicians”.

Earlier, on Thursday Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that there
were “certain countries that covered and continue to cover terrorists”.

Putin also stressed that Ankara’s recent actions were completely
unexplainable, adding that the Turkish government seems to be
deliberately pushing relations between the countries into a deadlock.

Following President Putin’s statement, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry
Medvedev announced that Moscow will respond with diplomatic and military
measures over the Su-24 incident. In particular, he noted that Moscow is
considering the introduction of bans on the activities of Turkish
companies’ in Russia.

Political analyst and Israeli publicist Avigdor Eskin spoke to Sputnik
about the incident.

“Turkey today is the only country which supports ISIL openly and if
someone questions what I just said let them see what is happening with
ISIS. It all goes through Turkey. They sell their oil through Turkey and
if Turkey wanted it to stop they would have stopped it. There are
volunteers that came to fight for ISIL from different parts of the
world. How did they end up in Syria? They all landed in Turkey and went
to Syria. Again Turkey could have stopped it.”

Regarding the Russian Su-24 bomber, “The issue is not that maybe the
Russian plane went through the Turkish territory for three seconds or
so, that is not the issue as first of all we don’t know that they
violated by mistake. There was a plan to shoot down Russian plane to
show who is in charge and it really reveals some very ill Turkish
desires to rebuild their empire. They perceive these territories as
their own territories.”

“This is what they want from this war and from Assad’s regime. They want
to take over some of these territories. Turkey needs to be stopped and I
am sure it will be stopped because other NATO countries are not
interested in any confrontation with Russia.”

Talking about the current Turkish government, Eskin said that the
problem with Erdogan and his government is that they derive from the
Muslim Brotherhood and their ideological core is terrorism and
extremism. This organization is outlawed in Russia and in many other
countries, even in Egypt.

“When we deal with this ideology we cannot expect anything but more
trouble. However, there are some very wise people in Turkey who see the
situation differently than their president,” Eskin said.

I hope that Russia gets the support as the international community needs
to understand the position of Russia in this case.

(4) Turkey's support for Islamic State recalls Armenian Genocide

November 26, 2015

My travels in Armenia taught me the truth about our NATO "ally," Turkey

William Hadrian, Rebel Blogger

Yesterday Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet after it allegedly
entered Turkish airspace.

One of the pilots was killed by the supposed "good Syrian rebels," who
are seen on video shouting "Allah Akhbar" over the pilot’s dead corpse.

Turkey immediately held an emergency NATO session in response, one that
include Canadian dignitaries. Since the Paris attack occurred just two
weeks ago, such a meeting must be a pretty awkward for Turkey and other
Western leaders to have.

Imagine Turkey telling the leaders of France or Belgium -- countries
whose capitals are practically under martial law due to recent Muslim
terrorist attacks -- that Turkey was justified in shooting down a
Russian plane that was trying to kill Muslim terrorists.

Turkey is constantly labeled a moderate, tolerant Muslim nation that
serves as an example that democracy and Islam can co-exist.

My experience in Armenia taught me otherwise.

Armenia is well acquainted with fundamental Islam. Its people were its
first victims in the 20th century, during the infamous Armenian genocide.

Armenians once comprised the majority population in what is now Eastern
Turkey. By the end of the genocide, Armenia was less than one quarter of
its original size, and three quarters of its people had been slaughtered
in the name of Islam.

Previously, Armenians had lived peacefully beside their fellow Muslim
subjects. Despite living under Islamic law -- being forced to pay the
jizya tax on infidels, and being forbidden to own a home that was taller
than a Muslim’s -- Armenians prospered and became an integral part of
the Ottoman Empire.

Even some of the Ottoman Empire’s prime ministers and high government
dignitaries were Armenian.

However, as the Ottoman Empire began to decline by the end of the 19th
century, Islamic violence increased. Caliph Abdul Hamid II ordered the
slaughter of Armenian men, women and children in what became known as
the Hamidian massacre.

He also gave Turks, Kurds and all Muslims subjects the right to
confiscate Armenian property and kill all Armenians after an attempted
revolt. By 1896, this persecution had claimed 300,000 casualties, and
the Caliph had earned the nickname the Red Sultan. The Caliph's
successors, the Young Turks, a group of political reformers, continued
this onslaught and killed 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915.

These events were so notorious that even Adolf Hitler referenced this
incident the night before Germany invaded Poland:

     I have placed my death-head formation in readiness – for the
present only in the East – with orders to them to send to death
mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish
derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space which
we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

Today, Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire -- a country
deemed religiously moderate and a crucial NATO ally -- still denies that
any such a genocide ever took place.

Armenian churches dating back to the 3rd century have been converted
into mosques and museums. In 2007, when journalist Hrant Dink tried to
raise this issue, he was killed by an assassin who ran off screaming, “I
have killed the infidel.”

Present day Armenia is blockaded by Turkey, and its airspace is
continually violated by Turkish fighter jets and helicopters.

Turkey tried and failed to prevent Canada from officially recognizing
the Armenian genocide in 2004. However, these efforts have been more
successful in the United States, where it threatens to sever security
ties if the United States recognizes the atrocity.

When I lived in Armenia, I had the privilege of going past one of the
security checkpoints, and seeing, on the Turkish side of the border,
crumbling Armenian churches and buildings from the ancient city of Ani.
This is what remains of a people that Turkey denies ever once resided there.

During yesterday's NATO summit took place, Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg said, "We have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity
with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO ally, Turkey."

Turkey has been caught repeatedly aiding and funding ISIS. Former ISIS
fighters, diplomats and even former US counterterrorism analysts have
confirmed this. For all these reasons, Canada and the West should
re-think Turkey's membership in NATO.

(5) Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? -

Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Nazi Germany (1933-45)

Statements on Record Relating to the Armenian Genocide

     "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

[August 22, 1939]

My decision to attack Poland was arrived at last spring. Originally, I
feared that the political constellation would compel me to strike
simultaneously at England, Russia, France, and Poland. Even this risk
would have had to be taken.

Ever since the autumn of 1938, and because I realized that Japan would
not join us unconditionally and that Mussolini is threatened by that
nit-wit of a king and the treasonable scoundrel of a crown prince, I
decided to go with Stalin.

In the last analysis, there are only three great statesmen in the world,
Stalin, I, and Mussolini. Mussolini is the weakest, for he has been
unable to break the power of either the crown or the church. Stalin and
I are the only ones who envisage the future and nothing but the future.
Accordingly, I shall in a few weeks stretch out my hand to Stalin at the
common German-Russian frontier and undertake the redistribution of the
world with him.

Our strength consists in our speed and in our brutality. Genghis Khan
led millions of women and children to slaughter – with premeditation and
a happy heart. History sees in him solely the founder of a state. It's a
matter of indifference to me what a weak western European civilization
will say about me.

I have issued the command – and I'll have anybody who utters but one
word of criticism executed by a firing squad – that our war aim does not
consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of
the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formations in
readiness – for the present only in the East – with orders to them to
send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and
children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the
living space (Lebensraum) which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of
the annihilation of the Armenians?

Kevork B. Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide (Cambridge,
Massachusetts: The Zoryan Institute, 1985).

The text above is the English version of the German document handed to
Louis P. Lochner in Berlin. It first appeared in Lochner's What About
Germany? (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1942), pp. 1-4. The Nuremberg
Tribunal later identified the document as L-3 or Exhibit USA-28. Two
other versions of the same document appear in Appendices II and III. For
the German original cf. Akten zur Deutschen Auswartigen Politik
1918-1945, Serie D, Band VII, (Baden-Baden, 1956), pp. 171-172.

(6) Turkey buffer zone five miles inside Syria (Oct 4)

October 4, 2015

Turkish defense radar locked on Russian fighter as it bombed Syrian town

Turkey treats as threatening any aircraft within 5 miles of border
Officials: Turkey would have attacked had jet crossed border Incident a
reminder that risk is high of a potential unintended confrontation

By Roy Gutman

A Russian warplane on a bombing run in Syria flew within five miles of
the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space, Turkish
and U.S. officials said Sunday.

The incident raises new concerns that Russia’s armed intervention in
Syria could spill over to neighboring countries, lead to an unintended
military confrontation and trigger an even bigger regional conflict.

A Turkish security official said Turkish radar locked onto the Russian
aircraft as it was bombing early Friday in al Yamdiyyah, a Syrian
village directly on the Turkish border. He said Turkish fighter jets
would have attacked had it crossed into Turkish airspace. [...]

Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June
2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter
plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of
engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any
target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and
act accordingly. [...]

(7) Russia “violated” Turkish Airspace because Turkey “moved” its Border

Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border

By SyrianFreePress

Global Research, November 24, 2015

Choosing Hegemony: Turkey, NATO and the Path to War

This article originally published on October 7, 2015 is of utmost
relevance in understanding the action taken by Turkey to down a Russian
jet fighter over Syria airspace. (GR. Editor. M. Ch.)

One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border [in
October] while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military
official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey
unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south:

     Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since
June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter
plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of
engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any
target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and
act accordingly.


(8) Airstrikes hit Turkish convoy carrying weapons to militants in Syria

Mystery over who bombed Turkish convoy allegedly carrying weapons to
militants in Syria

Published time: 26 Nov, 2015 12:44Edited time: 26 Nov, 2015 12:46

A Turkish convoy, which according to some reports was transporting
weapons to terrorist organizations, has been hit by apparent airstrikes
in northwestern Syria.

Footage released online by the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief
Foundation (IHH) shows plumes of smoke from the burning trucks and
people running about in panic. At least 20 trucks were engulfed in flames.

The mission, however, wasn’t sponsored or organized by the IHH, the
group said. No organization has as yet confirmed that the convoy
belonged to them.

Rus hava sald?r?s?n?n alevler içerisinde b?rakt??? yard?m TIR'lar?na
Sivil Savunma ekiplerimiz müdahale ediyor.—
?HH (@ihhinsaniyardim) November 25, 2015

"Our teams helped to extinguish the fire... The trucks do not belong to
us and there is no information on who bombed them," Mustafa Özbek, an
official from ?HH, told Reuters.

At least seven people were killed and 10 injured in the incident,
according to the Turkish Anadolu agency. The trucks were reportedly
heading to the town of Azaz in northwestern Syria.

Since the news emerged, media has been furiously speculating about who
was behind the attack, what the trucks were transporting, what the
convoy’s humanitarian mission was, or maybe it was carrying a more
sinister load.

One of the aid workers who survived the incident said the trucks had
been deliberately targeted, Reuters reported.

The nature of the ‘humanitarian aid’ is also in question. Turkish media
and the IHH say the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to
refugees in Azaz.
However, the Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper cited sources close to the
Syrian government saying the convoy was delivering weapons to terrorist

Posted by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Hawar news agency reported that Turkey repeatedly sent convoys with
arms to the Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist organizations under the
guise of humanitarian aid.

Reports on Twitter went further – they identified the arms as allegedly
“Docka machine guns” and “small arms with ammunitions.”

In the wake of the recent downing of a Russian Air Force bomber over
Syria by Turkish fighter jets, some reports suggested the Russians were
“avenging” the pilot’s death. Many media outlets thought it was the work
of Vladimir Putin.

Anadolu cited ‘Syrian opposition sources,’ who claimed that Russian jets
attacked the convoy.

Other sources suggested the airstrikes were carried out by Syrians,
without specifying whether it was members of the Syrian Army loyal to
President Bashar Assad, or one of the various Syrian rebel groups.

Neither Turkish, nor Russian authorities have yet commented on the
incident. However, before the Azaz incident Tayyip Erdogan commented on
an event that took place in 2013, when a Turkish security service convoy
was stopped on the way to the Bay?rbucak region in northwestern Syria.
The Turkish president said: “If there were any weapons, then what? And
if there weren't, what would change?”

(9) Kurds move into border area in Syria which Erdogan wanted as a "safe

Syria: The Turkish Russian Apology Contest

Moon of Alabama

November 26, 2015

     "The incident which happened two days ago in the skies over Syria
defies common sense and international law. The plane was shot down over
Syrian territory. And we have yet to receive an intelligible apology
from Turkey on a top political level, " [the Russian President Putin]
said.  ---

     "I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not
us," [the Turkish President Erdogan] said. "Those who violated our
airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed
forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of
responding to ... violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is
the essence."

Erdogan did not take the exit ramp Putin offered. So who will win this

U.S. Air Force General (ret) Charles J. Dunlap assesses that Russia wins
the legal case. The Turkish shot down of the Russian bomber was plainly
illegal under international law as there was no threat to Turkey from
the Russian plane. Even Turkey itself does not allege that the Russian
bomber intended to attack that country. There was no self-defense
situation that would allow such behavior.

Russia is taking all kinds of small and bigger economic measures to let
Erdogan feel the consequences of attacking the Russian military in Syria:

     Russia to strengthen control over food supplies from Turkey;
Turkish trucks face hurdles at Russia’s customs;     Turkish businessmen
detained in Russia amid strained ties

The businessmen were selling their stuff at the Krasnodar agro trade
exhibition illegally as the only had tourist visa. There are more such
measures like official warnings to Russians not to go on vacation in
Turkey and thorough safety controls of Turkish ships in Russian ports.
More can follow.

Over all 55% of Turkey's gas consumption depends on Russian gas. A
quarter of Turkey's electricity production runs on Russian gas. It is
unlikely for now that Russia will use the leverage that comes with this
Turkish energy dependency. But should another big incident happen
"technical problems" with gas deliveries will come into play.

An overview of other economic and trade ties shows that Russia would
probably lose some business in Turkey should the economic fight
escalate. But the damage for the Turkish economy from losing business in
Russia would be much bigger. The Turkish construction industry,
agriculture and tourism would all lose their best or second best customer.

The Syrian army is intensifying the fight on its side of Syrian-Turkish
border in the Latakia area where the Russian bomber was shot down. The
"Turkmen" in that area have been joined by Erdogan's party youth

     Emrah Çelik, a 27-year-old district organization member of the
Justice and Development Party (AKP) in northwestern Tekirdag? province
who joined the Turkmen forces voluntarily, said the 2nd Coastal Division
has been fighting against regime forces for the last seven months.

That people from his own political party fight in Syria gives Erdogan
some interior political problems. He will be urged to fight on their
side but a direct fight against Russian forces, without NATO backing, is
too big a risk for him.

The Russian airforce also again attacked (vid) fortified "Turkmen"
positions in Latakia and it again attacked truck convoys near Azaz next
to the Turkish-Syrian border crossing. Some of those convoys carry "aid"
for the IHH, a Humanitarian Relief Foundation with ties to Erdogan's
party. Over the years various IHH "aid" trucks on their way to Syria had
been stopped by Turkish police and were found to carry weapons and

Syria will soon officially demand that all the "aid" trucks crossing the
border be checked by United Nations personal to make sure that no
weapons or ammunition are carried with them. Any truck not having been
checked risks to be bombed.

The Kurdish YPG fighters are using the Russian air cover and advance
from the east along the border attacking the "moderate" rebels of
al-Nusra and Ahrar al Sham within the corridor from Turkey down to
Aleppo. This is precisely the area where Erdogan wanted to have his
"safe zone". He had earlier threatened to bomb the Kurds should they
move into that corridor. But how can he do that now when Russia gives
them air cover and has excellent air defense (see below) readily
available? Should he invade? If he does there is no chance that NATO
would stand with him.

Additional Russian targets today were again oil storage (vid) and truck
distribution points (vid) around Raqqa run by the Islamic State. Why has
the U.S., flying there daily in the last 13 month, never attacked these

Russia activated one S-400 air defense system at its Hmeimim air base in
Latakia. One  S-400 system consist of two radar vehicles, a command and
control vehicle and up to twelve launcher vehicles with four missiles
each. Parts of this system were already in Syria for at least two weeks.
After additional transport arrivals (vid) it is now set to permanent
combat readiness. With a range of 400 kilometers the system can cover
west Syria and south Turkey as well as Lebanon and most of Israel.
Another S-400 system is on its way to Syria. Also on their way are up to
twelve additional fighter planes which will help the four fighters
already deployed to fly air-to-air cover for the Russian ground bombers
and helicopters. These fighters are modern and can match all modern
"western" systems.

Seemingly completely detached from the real situation in Syria U.S.
neocons have opened a concerted campaign for the eradication of the
Sykes-Picot borders and the destruction of Syria and Iraq.

     John Bolton in the New York Times: To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni
State;     Max Boot in the LA Times: Islamic State's Achilles' heel: Its
Sunni identity;     James Dobbins in USA Today: Partition Syria to crush
the Islamic State

All three op-eds are merely fantasies and neither consider all actors on
the ground nor the various motivations and aim of those actors. All
three require large U.S. troop deployments into a fighting zone.

Why do they believe that the U.S. should decide border issues of Syria
or Iraq? And, after the mess the U.S. created in Afghanistan, Iraq,
Libya and Yemen, do they believe it could?

(10) Turkish newspaper editor in court for 'espionage' after revealing
weapon convoy to Syrian militants

Published time: 26 Nov, 2015 14:18Edited time: 26 Nov, 2015 19:31

© Murad Sezer / Reuters

A Turkish prosecutor asked a court to imprison the editor-in-chief of
Cumhuriyet newspaper pending trial for espionage and treason. In May,
the outlet published photos of weapons it said were then transferred to
Syria by Turkey’s intelligence agency.

Besides the editor, Can Dündar, the prosecution said it is seeking the
same pre-trial restrictions for Cumhuriyet’s representative in Ankara,
Erdem Gül.

Dündar arrived at an Istanbul court on Thursday, saying that he and his
colleague “came here to defend journalism.”

“We came here to defend the right of the public to obtain the news and
their right to know if their government is feeding them lies. We came
here to show and to prove that governments cannot engage in illegal
activity and defend this,” Dündar was cited by Today’s Zaman.

The articles, published on Cumhuriyet's front page in May, claimed that
Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (M?T) is smuggling weapons
in trucks into Syria and was caught doing so twice in 2014. The trucks
were allegedly stopped and searched by police, with photos and videos of
their contents obtained by Cumhuriyet.

According to the paper, the trucks were carrying six steel containers,
with 1,000 artillery shells, 50,000 machine gun rounds, 30,000 heavy
machine gun rounds and 1,000 mortar shells. The arms were reportedly
delivered to extremist groups fighting against the Syrian government of
President Bashar Assad, whom Ankara wants ousted from power.

The Turkish authorities denied the allegations, saying that the trucks
were carrying aid to Syrian ethnic Turkmen tribespeople and labeled
their interception an act of “treason” and “espionage.”

A 2014 report by Human Rights Watch warned that under Erdogan’s rule
Turkey has seen the erosion of human rights via a crackdown on media
freedom, dissent and a weakening of the rule of law.

Many journalists in the country are facing harsh prison terms for
exposing corruption in the government and surveillance by the Turkish
state. [...]

(11) Qatar seeks to buy Ukrainian missile system to protect ISIS from
attack by air

From: "INFO" <>
Subject: RE: NATO is harbouring Islamic State, by turning a blind eye to
Turkey's assistance to it - Nafeez Ahmed
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2015 22:34:15 +0100

Building Air Defense for ISIS: A Qatar – Ukraine Link

Andrey Fomin

November 22, 2015

The fact that the ISIS infrastructure in Syria and Iraq is absolutely
vulnerable to the airstrikes of the international coalition is
undoubtful. During the last week only the Russian Air Force and Navy hit
around 826 ISIS targets (training camps, munition and explosives plants,
depots, oil refinery and transport objects) causing critical damage to
the terrorist groups and its revenue sources. The sponsors of the ISIS
are certainly committed to acquire and supply to the jihadist brigades
the air defense systems efficient enough to at least hamper the
activities of the coalition in the Syrian sky.

Back in September 2015, being aware of the Russian plans to launch
anti-terrorist air campaign, a Qatari delegation from the Ministry of
Defense came to Kiev to take part in the Arms and Security Expo,
September 22-27, 2015:

A letter by the Director of Ukrainian SpetsTechnoExport enterprise Pavlo
Barbul to Ukrainian MFA with the list of Qatari delegation to attend
Arms and Security Expo (Kiev, September 22-27, 2015)

They reached a deal with UkrOboronProm (a state-run Ukrainian arms
trader) to purchase the modernized Air Defense Missile Complex “Pechora-2D”:

On Sept. 30 Volodimir Kuruts, the Trade Councellor of the Ukrainian
Embassy in Qatar, writes to his business contact in Cyprus Vasyl
Babytskiy, director of the Blessway Ltd:

    “Thank you for Morocco and Saudi contacts. It was right in time.

    The locals have been to Kiev at the Expo, are about to buy “Pechora”
and something more serious. The issue of delivery is pending. Our side
will not able to do that. You have a chance to make good money.

    Try to talk to the military guys. The probability is high as the
yankees agreed. Bulgarians and Turks are aware, the route is the same…”

Take note that it is the same Vasyl Babitskiy who resold 265 outdated
Poland-made anti-aircraft autocannons to Saudi Arabia (eventually to the
same ISIS), originally dedicated for the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior.

The revealed information clearly indicates that the Qatar Ministry of
Defense is arranging supplies of the Ukrainian air defense systems to
Syria-based terrorist organizations via Bulgaria and Turkey.

The US officers in Qatar have approved the deals. Taking into account
that “Pechora 2D” system is able to strike the aircrafts at the heights
up to 21 km, the investigation of the A321 Metrojet downfall over Sinai
may receive an unexpected turn…

The hacked mails were published by Cyber Berkut on Nov 21, 2015.

(12) Qatar and Ukraine come to deliver Pechora-2D to ISIS

by Andrey Fomin

Qatar has bought sophisticated military equipment to Ukraine on behalf
of ISIS. The operation took place in late September 2015, just before
the Russian military action against the terrorist organization. It was
approved by the US embassy in Doha. Officially, the new emir is not
involved in the war in Iraq and Syria..”

780 NATO is harbouring Islamic State, by turning a blind eye to Turkey's assistance to it - Nafeez Ahmed

NATO is harbouring Islamic State, by turning a blind eye to Turkey's
assistance to it - Nafeez Ahmed

Newsletter published on 23 November 2015

(1) Fake photo; but also misleading news reports
(2) Fake photo of "Israeli Colonel captured in Iraq with Islamic State
(3) Fars News report on "Israeli Colonel captured" had no photo; could
be a trap story
(4) Times of Israel rebuts Fars News claim
(5) Why the Islamic State Isn’t in Any Rush to Attack Israel - Haaretz
(6) Israeli defense minister: Israel is not threatened by Islamic State;
Iran is a larger threat
(7) Islamic State Salafists see their priority as fighting Shiites - who
are Israel's enemies too
(8) Israel isn’t worried about ISIS; its focus is Iran - Philip Weiss
(9) Netanyahu says Israel will not allow Iran “to break ... into the
nuclear weapons club”
(10) NATO is harbouring Islamic State, by turning a blind eye to
Turkey's assistance - Nafeez Ahmed
(11) PBS NewsHour uses Russian Airstrike footage while claiming U.S.
Airstrike successes
(12) Stolen Valor: Pentagon Scams Russian Bombing Footage as Its Own
(13) Trump: a terrorist watch list, not a registry of Muslims
(14) CNN caught selectively-editing Trump’s ‘Muslim’ Comments
(15) Trade Pollard For Vanunu

(1) Fake photo; but also misleading news reports - by Peter Myers,
November 23 2015

Fars News published a report of an Israeli Colonel, named Yusi Oulen
Shahak, captured in Iraq with Islamic State terrorists. I sent out the
story 2 days ago - about a month after Veterans Today and Global
Research put it out.

But there can be merit in delay. After the Paris attacks, there was a
plethora of reports claiming that it was a False Flag attack. Many seem
over the top now.

The Fars News report did not include a photo of the alleged Colonel. But
the story was picked up by other agencies, who DID include a photo - a
FAKE one it now turns out. Two correspondents pointed this out (items 2
& 3).

The photo is the same as that of Oron Shaul, an Israeli soldier who went
missing in Gaza in 1914:

Some sites may have confused the alleged Colonel with Benny Gantz,
former IDF Chief of General Staff.

We do our cause immense damage by carelessness in such matters.

Because of the fake photo, the original Fars News report is now
questionable. However, that ISIS is not regarded as a threat by Israel
is clear from items 5 to 8. NATO's turning a blind eye to Turkey's
assistance to ISIS is featured in item 10.

PBS has been caught passing video footage off as American (items 11 &
12). And CNN was caught editing Donald Trump's remarks to make it seem
he was endorsing a Registry of Moslems in the US (item 14).

(2) Fake photo of "Israeli Colonel captured in Iraq with Islamic State

Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2015 23:10:04 -0800 From:

Looks like someone is trolling FARSnews.

First of all there was a too-similar story spread earlier in the year.
Aside from that, same photo showed up on the cover of Yediot Aharonot
23rd July 2014 in an article about soldiers who died during the attack
on Gaza, name given as Oron Shaul. I do remember that story vaguely; he
was either captured or killed during the siege. I don't think his body
has ever been accounted for.

But if the Iraqis actually did capture an Israeli they would have a
current photo and he'd probably look a little less perky.

Also not clear why they would even bother with personal contact with
personnel on the ground. If they were giving advice they could do it
from a safe distance thanks to the miracle of modern encrypted
telecommunications. There have been reports of giving air cover over
Syria which would be more typical of their M.O. Boots on the ground in
another country for a mundane operation would not be typical of their M.O.

Kind regards,


(3) Fars News report on "Israeli Colonel captured" had no photo; could
be a trap story

Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2015 04:59:57 +0000 (UTC)
From: Ann Diener <>
Subject: Re: Israeli Colonel captured in Iraq with Islamic State terrorists;
   confesses to Israel-ISIS Coalition

This story on the "Israeli Colonel captured" has been changed so many
times.The source keeps changing his title. Here is my original post
about it, debunking it.

"Why is it so important to validate the story about Colonel Yossi Elon
Shahak? Because this story, if false, could discredit everything else
written from the alternative vantage point. I did some checking into the
site linked to at the top of the Veterans Today article.
The link leads to The site is owned by the individual

This seems strange. The war in Syria is questionable, ISIS and its
foundation aspects are questionable, there is something here too that is
also questionable. I hate to say it, but it is truth that everything
here should be questioned to insure that people are not misled into
believing something that could be used only to discredit them and other
valid arguments and points. Those valid points can easily be hidden
through perception management."

There are no photos accompanying this with identification. It is what
everyone "wants" to see so watch for it. It is a trap story. Now the
Brigadier General is a Flag Officer.
And with more media reports to come. LOL


(4) Times of Israel rebuts Fars News claim

Saturday, November 21, 2015 Kislev 9, 5776 11:24 pm IST

Spoiler: Benny Gantz wasn't captured by Iraqi forces

Official Iranian mouthpiece and others claim former IDF chief caught
while aiding Islamic State. Er, no

By Judah Ari Gross

The Times of Israel, October 28, 2015, 8:24 pm

Rumors that a high-ranking IDF officer had been captured while working
alongside Islamic State forces began circulating on the Internet last
week, beginning on assorted websites dedicated almost solely to starting
and perpetuating conspiracy theories and later being picked up by the
Iranian government's official mouthpiece Fars news.

An Israeli brigadier general or colonel — the reports vary — from
the Golani Brigade named Yussi Elon Shahak was allegedly caught by Iraqi
forces, the websites claim.

"The Zionist officer is ranked colonel and had participated in the
Takfiri ISIL group's terrorist operations," the Fars News Agency claimed
an Iraqi commander said.

The assertion was backed up with a photograph of the offending officer
and turned into a readily sharable graphic, which was promptly shared on
Facebook and Twitter.

In fact, the photograph does not show a brigadier general or a colonel,
the man in it is not named Yussi Shahak and all of the so-called proof
offered falls apart almost immediately when held up to any level of

While no discerning person could believe the bogus claim, for the sake
of thoroughness The Times of Israel has broken down the allegations, as
presented by the conspiracy theorizers, fact by fact for your
enlightenment and entertainment:

Look closely at this man, his name is Yussi Elon Shahak.

No, it's not. His name is Benny Gantz. He served as IDF Chief of the
General Staff for four years from 2011-2015.

He is Jewish Israeli officer.

True! Benny Gantz is absolutely Israeli and Jewish. Though he left the
IDF in February 2015, he is still considered a reserve officer.

His rank is brigadier.

Gantz has not been a brigadier general since 1998, when he rose to the
rank to become the commander of the Etgar Division, a now defunct
reservist unit that was a part of the IDF's Northern Command until 2004.

His military number is Re34356578765Az231434.

No, it's not. This is the wrong format for Israeli army ID numbers.
Every soldier does indeed get a "personal number," as it's called, but
these are quite a bit shorter than the 21-digit alphanumeric sequence
listed. IDF personal numbers are a mere seven digits long.

He was captured by the Iraqi popular Army.

The Iraqi Popular Army (note the capitalization) dissolved in 1991 with
the First Gulf War; however, perhaps the creator of this graphic was
referring to some other military force that is currently all the rage
among the residents of Iraq.

He is commanding ISIS terrorists.

Benny Gantz is currently the chairman of a high-tech company called
"Fifth Dimension," which is developing advanced artificial intelligence.
Just last month he gave a speech in Washington, DC about Israeli
national security.

Some other websites carrying this story, including the official Iranian
government mouthpiece Fars News, allege that the Israeli officer in
question was a former Golani Brigade colonel, and not a brigadier general.

Gantz, however, did not serve in Golani. A quick search through former
commanders of the Golani Brigade shows that none of them is named Yussi
Elon Shahak; almost all of the recent colonels from the infantry brigade
are either still in the army in high-ranking and highly public
capacities or are in equally public positions in civilian society. Or
else they are well into their seventies and not likely to be dropping
into war zones.

This information is confirmed by the Foreign Affairs High Representative
at the USA Parliament.

The United States has a congress, not a parliament. A parliament is by
definition the leading governing body of a country, above the executive
branch. In Israel, for example, the Knesset is a parliament, above the
powers of the president. A congress, meanwhile, is on the same level as
the executive. The two have distinct and separate legal powers.

The United States government also does not have a position of Foreign
Affairs High Representative, though the European Union does. Its high
representative is currently Frederica Mogherini.

And confirmed by the Secretary General of the "DESI" European Department
for Security and Information

The European Department for Security and Information is not an official
body in any European country. Its raison d'etre appears to be the
propagation of fantastic conspiracy theories.

And confirmed by Ambassador Dr. Haissam Bou-Said.

This man's name can only be found on websites of the lowest repute. He
has claimed to be an ambassador to multiple countries, including
Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Lebanon. His alleged medical degree comes
from the Open International University of Alternative Medicine, a
diploma mill, which for a small fee awards degrees for passing a single

Now think‚ Why is Israel behind IS?

Considering the recent release of two videos by the Islamic State —
one which applauded the stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians,
police and soldiers and another, directly threatening Israelis that once
IS terrorists begin operating in Israel "not one Jew will be left alive"
— it is more than likely that Israel is not in fact behind the terror

(5) Why the Islamic State Isn’t in Any Rush to Attack Israel - Haaretz

Why the Islamic State Isn’t in Any Rush to Attack Israel

  Jul 15, 2014 9:42 AM

The organization formerly known as ISIS has made clear that fighting
Shi'ite Muslims is its top priority. While Israel is pounding Gaza, it's
good to know that at least one Muslim organization isn't rushing to
threaten Israel. This refreshing news comes from the organization known
until a week or two ago as ISIS, but which now -- since it has started
to consolidate its hold on a stretch of territory linking Iraq and Syria
– calls itself the Islamic State. [...]

(6) Israeli defense minister: Israel is not threatened by Islamic State;
Iran is a larger threat

Israel’s defense chief: Iran a bigger threat to Israel than Islamic State

November 16, 2015 3:33pm

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is not threatened by Islamic State and Iran is
a larger threat to his country, Israel’s defense minister said.

Islamic State does not have any significant activity in Israel or the
West Bank, Moshe Yaalon said Monday in an interview with Israel Radio
that was widely reported in other Israeli news outlets. He acknowledged,
however, there are a few ISIS cells in the West Bank. Yaalon said Israel
has deterred Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, from attacking
from Syria.

“Daesh hasn’t opened a front against us because they would simply get
hurt,” Yaalon said, using the Arabic acronym of Islamic State.

He told Israel Radio that “a few dozen” Arab-Israelis have gone to fight
with ISIS In Syria, but that it is “under control.”

On the Iran threat, Yaalon said, according to the Times of Israel,
“Iran’s presence around us worries me, the fact that what is happening
in Syria is empowering Iran. And over the past year we’ve worked to
prevent Iran opening a front on the Golan.”

(7) Islamic State Salafists see their priority as fighting Shiites - who
are Israel's enemies too

Why Islamic State has no sympathy for Hamas

The Islamic State does not regard fighting Israel as legitimate and
calls instead for first "purifying" the Islamic world, including
challenging Hamas.

Author Ali Mamouri Posted July 29, 2014

Most of today's Salafist jihadist movements have no interest in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for the time being regarding it as
irrelevant. Instead, their call is to engage in intense, bloody
confrontations involving bombings, executions, and suicide attacks
against governments headed by Muslims and against Muslim civilians.

Al-Qaeda has followed this course for decades, and now the Islamic State
(IS) is following in al-Qaeda's footsteps, fighting a brutal war across
swaths of Iraq and Syria and in an effort to “purify” these areas
through killings and population displacement. Once taking territory, it
is not mobilizing the populations under its control in opposition to the
Israeli military operations in Gaza. Why is this?

Some jihadists or pro-jihadist Salafists have issued video clips and
tweets explaining their lack of assistance to the Palestinians. One
tweet stated, “The Hamas government is apostate, and what it is doing
does not constitute jihad, but rather a defense of democracy [which
Salafists oppose].” Another tweet said, “Khaled Meshaal: Hamas fights
for the sake of freedom and independence. The Islamic State: it fights
so that all religion can be for God.” Meshaal is head of Hamas'
political bureau.

On July 22, the Egyptian Salafist sheikh Talaat Zahran declared that it
is inappropriate to aid the people of Gaza because they do not follow a
legitimate leadership, and because they are equivalent to Shiites since
they follow them, referring to Hezbollah and Iran, with which the Sunni
Hamas movement has been allied. Thus the jihadists' position is not
simply a political stance, but stems from Salafist theological principles.

Salafists believe that jihad must be performed under legitimate
leadership. This argument is advanced through the “banner and commander”
concept, which holds that whoever undertakes jihad must follow a
commander who fulfills the criteria of religious and political
leadership and has raised the banner of jihad. Given that there is
neither a legitimate leader nor a Salafist-approved declaration of jihad
in Palestine, fighting there is forbidden.

In addition, for Salafists, if non-Muslims control Islamic countries and
apostates exist in the Islamic world, the Islamic world must be cleansed
of them before all else. In short, the purification of Islamic society
takes priority over combat against non-Islamic societies. On this basis,
Salafists see conflict with an allegedly illegitimate Hamas government
as a first step toward confrontation with Israel. Should the opportunity
for military action present itself in the Palestinian territories,
Salafists would fight Hamas and other factions deemed in need of
“cleansing” from the land and engage Israel afterward.

This approach has its roots in Islamic history, which Salafists believe
confirms the validity of their position. Relevant points of historical
reference include the first caliphate of Abu Bakr, which gave priority
to fighting apostates over expanding Islamic conquests, which occurred
later, during the second caliphate, under Umar bin al-Khattab. Likewise,
Saladin fought the Shiites and suppressed them before he engaged the
crusaders in the Holy Land.

Salafists today see that their priority as fighting Shiites, “munafiqin”
(dissemblers, or false Muslims) and apostates, whom they call the “close
enemy.” During the current war in Gaza, a number of IS fighters have
burned the Palestinian flag because they consider it a symbol of the
decline of the Islamic world, which succumbed to national divisions
through the creation of independent political states. In Salafist
doctrine, the entire Islamic world must be united under a single state,
an Islamic caliphate, which IS declared in late June.

Salafist groups active in Gaza have engaged in various rivalries with
Hamas there, but they have not succeeded in establishing a foothold of
any significance. Some groups have posted video clips acknowledging
their support for IS following the group’s recent victories in Iraq and
Syria. The main dispute between Hamas and Salafist groups rests on their
disparate principles. Hamas is more realistic and pragmatic than the
jihadist Salafists. The former has political priorities in liberating
Palestinian land, whereas the latter has religious priorities in the
establishment of a totalitarian Islamic caliphate and considers the
Israeli issue secondary to this central goal.

(8) Israel isn’t worried about ISIS; its focus is Iran - Philip Weiss

Israel isn’t worried about ISIS

November 22, 2015

Philip Weiss

As we have frequently pointed out, Israel is trying to conflate ISIS
with Iran. As Netanyahu said last month, Iran and ISIS are two branches
of “militant Islamic terrorism.” After Paris, he said, “The time has
come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree
that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world.” The leading
Israel lobby group AIPAC has had more to say about Iran than ISIS since
Paris; and Hillary Clinton has echoed the theme by saying that “we
cannot view ISIS and Iran as separate challenges.”

In September I laid out a comprehensive plan to counter Iranian
influence across the region and its support for terrorist proxies such
as Hezbollah and Hamas.

Meantime, the neoconservative presidential candidate Marco Rubio pushed
legislation targeting Hezbollah.

Israel isn’t that worried about ISIS. It’s far from the Israeli border
and it has limited military capability. Israel’s real concern is a
regional power struggle, in which Iran has more influence than Israel
due to Russia’s support for the Assad government in Syria and for
Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border.

That analysis was published a month ago by the semi-official Israeli
Institute for National Security Studies, and co-authored by Amos Yadlin,
a longtime military leader in the Israeli government

Yadlin and coauthor Carmit Valensi said ISIS is far away and not a
direct military strategic threat:

Analysis of the threats against Israel reveals that the Islamic State –
currently far from Israel’s borders and with limited military
capabilities – does not represent a direct military strategic threat at
this time. By contrast, Hizbollah – armed with advanced operational
capabilities and long range missiles and rockets that reach the entirety
of Israel – can be strengthened by the Russian move, should Russian arms
trickle into its arsenals or be intentionally supplied to the organization.

Russia’s support for Syria’s embattled president Basher al-Assad has
upped the ante. The real issue is the power of Tehran, its “radical axis”.

As for Iran and Assad, Russian involvement underscores (again) the need
to examine the issue at the systemic level rather than at the level of
individual actors. The system – the radical axis – includes Iran, Syria,
and Hizbollah, with Russia, at least for now, seen as sponsor. Hizbollah
leader Hassan Nasrallah has stressed the stability of the Assad regime
as a condition for the survival of the radical axis. Indeed, Iran is
making supreme efforts to preserve Assad’s regime on the understanding
that Syria is critical in promoting its agenda vis-à-vis the Sunni Arab
world and Israel, and out of concern that Assad’s ouster will
dramatically damage the Shiite axis, particularly Hizbollah…

The members of the radical axis and Russia share intelligence and a
systemic rationale, providing a foundation for coordination between the
Russian aerial force and Iran-Syria-Hizbollah ground forces. If one of
the three scenarios described above with Assad still in control plays
out, Israel will find itself in an inferior strategic position because
Russia’s involvement is liable to provide a seal of approval for Iranian
activity in Syria in years to come, as well as for Hizbollah forces
armed with the best of Russia’s weapons on Syrian soil. Tehran’s drive
for regional hegemony is a threat to Israel….

Here’s how Israel can play the ISIS crisis to build its coalition of allies.

The new energy Russia is injecting into the crisis creates two
opportunities for Israel. One lies in strengthening an alliance with the
Sunni nations in the region, first and foremost Saudi Arabia and Turkey,
under the leadership of the United States. The anger and frustration
experienced by these states given Russia’s unilateral move could
therefore tag Israel as a strategic asset that can serve as a partner in
a system to dramatically weaken the threat of the radical axis from the
north. Two, in case of failure in moving the “Western” coalition into
concurrent action against Assad and ISIS, Israel should strive to
realize the fourth option – an Assad-free Syria – as an arrangement
reached in partnership with Russia.

And in any case the target is now Assad.

In any case, Israel must gear up for active efforts to topple Assad,
based on the understanding that beyond the moral imperative, Assad’s
ouster will lead to a strategic loss for Iran and Hizbollah in the
bleeding Syrian state.

Scott McConnell at the American Conservative reminds us that Israel
supporters pushed for the Iraq war after the last big terrorist attack
in the west, and are still pushing for an Iran war this go around:

During the lengthy negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal, the
neoconservatives and Israel spared no effort to depict Iran, run by
Shi’ite Muslims, as the primary enemy of the West. Even after the
ratification of the deal, Israeli analysts have stressed this point:
this recent analysis [which I’ve quoted from above], promoted in the
important neoconservative webzine Mosaic, makes clear that Israel sees
the Iran allied Lebanese group Hezbollah and the Assad government as a
far greater worry than ISIS….

Israel’s lurid exaggeration of the Iranian threat is well understood in
the United States, and Hezbollah would actually not exist absent
Israel’s repeated invasions of Lebanon. Basically, Netanyahu would
prefer that the United States and its allies fight Russia, Iran,
Hezbollah, and Assad rather than the terrorists trying to lay waste to
the capitals of the West.

(9) Netanyahu says Israel will not allow Iran “to break ... into the
nuclear weapons club”

Netanyahu predicts Arab countries will align with Israel against Iran
and Isis

The Israeli prime minister shared hopes of ‘lasting partnerships’ in
Middle East against ‘common dangers’ and aired frustrations over Iran
deal in UN speech

Chris McGreal at the United Nations

Friday 2 October 2015 05.39 AEST Last modified on Friday 2 October 2015
07.19 AEST

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has claimed that
shifting alliances in the Middle East are drawing Arab countries closer
to the Jewish state in confronting the common enemies of Iran and
Islamic State. [...]

“Unleashed and unmuzzled, Iran will go on the prowl, devouring more and
more prey ... You think hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions
relief and fat contracts will turn this rapacious tiger into a kitten?”

Netanyahu said Israel will not allow Iran “to break in, to sneak in, or
to walk into the nuclear weapons club”.

“Make sure Iran’s violations are not swept under the Persian rug. One
thing I can assure you: Israel will be watching closely,” he said. [...]

On Wednesday, the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, said Palestinians
are no longer bound by the two decades old Oslo peace accords because
Israel is not serious about the creation of an independent state out of
the occupied territories.

Abbas accused Netanyahu of imposing a form of apartheid on the West Bank
and appealed for the UN to provide protection for the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said, as he has in the past, that he is “prepared to
immediately resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians without any
preconditions whatsoever”, and he made a direct appeal to Abbas.

“President Abbas, I know it’s not easy, I know it’s hard, but we owe it
to our people to try, to continue to try,” he said.

The Palestinians say that Netanyahu’s assertion that peace talks should
be “unconditional” is so that Israel can continue to expand settlements
in the West Bank and effectively annex land under the cover of talks.
The Palestinians want an immediate halt to settlement growth and early
agreement about the borders of a state.

(10) NATO is harbouring Islamic State, by turning a blind eye to
Turkey's assistance - Nafeez Ahmed

NATO is harbouring the Islamic State

Why France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke, and an insult to the
victims of the Paris attacks

By Nafeez Ahmed

“We stand alongside Turkey in its efforts in protecting its national
security and fighting against terrorism. France and Turkey are on the
same side within the framework of the international coalition against
the terrorist group ISIS.”
Statement by French Foreign Ministry, July 2015

The 13th November Paris massacre will be remembered, like 9/11, as a
defining moment in world history.

The murder of 129 people, the injury of 352 more, by ‘Islamic State’
(ISIS) acolytes striking multiple targets simultaneously in the heart of
Europe, mark a major sea-change in the terror threat.

For the first time, a Mumbai-style attack has occurred on Western
soil—the worst attack on Europe in decades. As such, it has triggered a
seemingly commensurate response from France: the declaration of a
nationwide state of emergency, the likes of which have not been seen
since the 1961 Algerian war.

ISIS has followed up with threats to attack Washington and New York City.

Meanwhile, President Hollande wants European Union leaders to suspend
the Schengen Agreement on open borders to allow dramatic restrictions on
freedom of movement across Europe. He also demands the EU-wide adoption
of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) system allowing intelligence
services to meticulously track the travel patterns of Europeans, along
with an extension of the state of emergency to at least three months.

Under the extension, French police can now block any website, put people
under house arrest without trial, search homes without a warrant, and
prevent suspects from meeting others deemed a threat.

“We know that more attacks are being prepared, not just against France
but also against other European countries,” said the French Prime
Minister Manuel Valls. “We are going to live with this terrorist threat
for a long time.”

Hollande plans to strengthen the powers of police and security services
under new anti-terror legislation, and to pursue amendments to the
constitution that would permanently enshrine the state of emergency into
French politics. “We need an appropriate tool we can use without having
to resort to the state of emergency,” he explained.

Parallel with martial law at home, Hollande was quick to accelerate
military action abroad, launching 30 airstrikes on over a dozen Islamic
State targets in its de facto capital, Raqqa.

France’s defiant promise, according to Hollande, is to “destroy” ISIS.

The ripple effect from the attacks in terms of the impact on Western
societies is likely to be permanent. In much the same way that 9/11 saw
the birth of a new era of perpetual war in the Muslim world, the 13/11
Paris attacks are already giving rise to a brave new phase in that
perpetual war: a new age of Constant Vigilance, in which citizens are
vital accessories to the police state, enacted in the name of defending
a democracy eroded by the very act of defending it through Constant

Mass surveillance at home and endless military projection abroad are the
twin sides of the same coin of national security, which must simply be
maximized as much as possible.

“France is at war,” Hollande told French parliament at the Palace of

“We’re not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do
not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is
threatening the whole world.”

The friend of our enemy is our friend

Conspicuously missing from President Hollande’s decisive declaration of
war, however, was any mention of the biggest elephant in the room:

Syrian passports discovered near the bodies of two of the suspected
Paris attackers, according to police sources, were fake, and likely
forged in Turkey.

Earlier this year, the Turkish daily Meydan reported citing an Uighur
source that more than 100,000 fake Turkish passports had been given to
ISIS. The figure, according to the US Army’s Foreign Studies Military
Office (FSMO), is likely exaggerated, but corroborated “by Uighurs
captured with Turkish passports in Thailand and Malaysia.”

Further corroboration came from a Sky News Arabia report by
correspondent Stuart Ramsey, which revealed that the Turkish government
was certifying passports of foreign militants crossing the Turkey-Syria
border to join ISIS. The passports, obtained from Kurdish fighters, had
the official exit stamp of Turkish border control, indicating the ISIS
militants had entered Syria with full knowledge of Turkish authorities.

The dilemma facing the Erdogan administration is summed up by the FSMO:
“If the country cracks down on illegal passports and militants
transiting the country, the militants may target Turkey for attack.
However, if Turkey allows the current course to continue, its diplomatic
relations with other countries and internal political situation will sour.”

This barely scratches the surface. A senior Western official familiar
with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major
raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings
between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’”

The same official confirmed that Turkey, a longstanding member of NATO,
is not just supporting ISIS, but also other jihadist groups, including
Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria. “The
distinctions they draw [with other opposition groups] are thin indeed,”
said the official. “There is no doubt at all that they militarily
cooperate with both.”

In a rare insight into this brazen state-sponsorship of ISIS, a year ago
Newsweek reported the testimony of a former ISIS communications
technician, who had travelled to Syria to fight the regime of Bashir

The former ISIS fighter told Newsweek that Turkey was allowing ISIS
trucks from Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back
across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in
northern Syria in February.” ISIS militants would freely travel “through
Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” and stop “at safehouses along the way.”

The former ISIS communication technician also admitted that he would
routinely “connect ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with
people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” adding that “the people they
talked to were Turkish officials… ISIS commanders told us to fear
nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks.”

In January, authenticated official documents of the Turkish military
were leaked online, showing that Turkey’s intelligence services had been
caught in Adana by military officers transporting missiles, mortars and
anti-aircraft ammunition via truck “to the al-Qaeda terror organisation”
in Syria.

According to other ISIS suspects facing trial in Turkey, the Turkish
national military intelligence organization (MIT) had begun smuggling
arms, including NATO weapons to jihadist groups in Syria as early as 2011.

The allegations have been corroborated by a prosecutor and court
testimony of Turkish military police officers, who confirmed that
Turkish intelligence was delivering arms to Syrian jihadists from 2013
to 2014.

Documents leaked in September 2014 showed that Saudi Prince Bandar bin
Sultan had financed weapons shipments to ISIS through Turkey. A
clandestine plane from Germany delivered arms in the Etimesgut airport
in Turkey and split into three containers, two of which were dispatched
to ISIS.

A report by the Turkish Statistics Institute confirmed that the
government had provided at least $1 million in arms to Syrian rebels
within that period, contradicting official denials. Weapons included
grenades, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft guns, firearms, ammunition,
hunting rifles and other weapons—but the Institute declined to identify
the specific groups receiving the shipments.

Information of that nature emerged separately. Just two months ago,
Turkish police raided a news outlet that published revelations on how
the local customs director had approved weapons shipments from Turkey to

Turkey has also played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of
ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and
intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities
have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country.

Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the
Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in
Turkey at about $800 million—that was over a year ago.

By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth
of black market ISIS oil sales to date.

There is no “self-sustaining economy” for ISIS, contrary to the
fantasies of the Washington Post and Financial Times in their recent
faux investigations, according to Martin Chulov of the Guardian:

“… tankers carrying crude drawn from makeshift refineries still make it
to the [Turkey-Syria] border. One Isis member says the organisation
remains a long way from establishing a self-sustaining economy across
the area of Syria and Iraq it controls. ‘They need the Turks. I know of
a lot of cooperation and it scares me,’ he said. ‘I don’t see how Turkey
can attack the organisation too hard. There are shared interests.’”

Senior officials of the ruling AKP have conceded the extent of the
government’s support for ISIS.

The liberal Turkish daily Taraf quoted an AKP founder, Dengir Mir Mehmet
F?rat, admitting: “In order to weaken the developments in Rojova
[Kurdish province in Syria] the government gave concessions and arms to
extreme religious groups…the government was helping the wounded. The
Minister of Health said something such as, it’s a human obligation to
care for the ISIS wounded.”

The paper also reported that ISIS militants routinely receive medical
treatment in hospitals in southeast Turkey—including al-Baghdadi’s
right-hand man.

Writing in Hurriyet Daily News, journalist Ahu Ozyurt described his
“shock” at learning of the pro-ISIS “feelings of the AKP’s heavyweights”
in Ankara and beyond, including “words of admiration for ISIL from some
high-level civil servants even in ?anliurfa. ‘They are like us, fighting
against seven great powers in the War of Independence,’ one said.
‘Rather than the PKK on the other side, I would rather have ISIL as a
neighbor,’ said another.”

Meanwhile, NATO leaders feign outrage and learned liberal pundits
continue to scratch their heads in bewilderment as to ISIS’
extraordinary resilience and inexorable expansion.

Unsurprisingly, then, Turkey’s anti-ISIS bombing raids have largely been
token gestures. Under cover of fighting ISIS, Turkey has largely used
the opportunity to bomb the Kurdish forces of the Democratic Union Party
(YPG) in Syria and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey and Iraq. Yet
those forces are widely recognized to be the most effective fighting
ISIS on the ground.

Meanwhile, Turkey has gone to pains to thwart almost every US effort to
counter ISIS. When this summer, 54 graduates of the Pentagon’s $500
million ‘moderate’ Syrian rebel train-and-equip program were kidnapped
by Jabhat al-Nusra—al-Qaeda’s arm in Syria—it was due to a tip-off from
Turkish intelligence.

The Turkish double-game was confirmed by multiple rebel sources to
McClatchy, but denied by a Pentagon spokesman who said, reassuringly:

“Turkey is a NATO ally, close friend of the United States and an
important partner in the international coalition.”

Nevermind that Turkey has facilitated about $1 billion in ISIS oil sales.

According to a US-trained Division 30 officer with access to information
on the incident, Turkey was trying “to leverage the incident into an
expanded role in the north for the Islamists in Nusra and Ahrar” and to
persuade the United States to “speed up the training of rebels.”

As Professor David Graeber of London School of Economics pointed out:

“Had Turkey placed the same kind of absolute blockade on Isis
territories as they did on Kurdish-held parts of Syria… that
blood-stained ‘caliphate’ would long since have collapsed—and arguably,
the Paris attacks may never have happened. And if Turkey were to do the
same today, Isis would probably collapse in a matter of months. Yet, has
a single western leader called on Erdo?an to do this?”

Some officials have spoken up about the paradox, but to no avail. Last
year, Claudia Roth, deputy speaker of the German parliament, expressed
shock that NATO is allowing Turkey to harbour an ISIS camp in Istanbul,
facilitate weapons transfers to Islamist militants through its borders,
and tacitly support IS oil sales.

Nothing happened.

Instead, Turkey has been amply rewarded for its alliance with the very
same terror-state that wrought the Paris massacre on 13th November 2015.
Just a month earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered to
fast-track Turkey’s bid to join the EU, permitting visa-free travel to
Europe for Turks.

No doubt this would be great news for the security of Europe’s borders.


It is not just Turkey. Senior political and intelligence sources in the
Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have confirmed the complicity of
high-level KRG officials in facilitating ISIS oil sales, for personal
profit, and to sustain the government’s flagging revenues.

Despite a formal parliamentary inquiry corroborating the allegations,
there have been no arrests, no charges, no prosecutions.

The KRG “middle-men” and other government officials facilitating these
sales continue their activities unimpeded.

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September
2014, General Martin Dempsey, then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of
Staff, was asked by Senator Lindsay Graham whether he knew of “any major
Arab ally that embraces ISIL”?

General Dempsey replied:

“I know major Arab allies who fund them.”

In other words, the most senior US military official at the time had
confirmed that ISIS was being funded by the very same “major Arab
allies” that had just joined the US-led anti-ISIS coalition.

These allies include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Kuwait in
particular—which for the last four years at least have funneled billions
of dollars largely to extremist rebels in Syria. No wonder that their
anti-ISIS airstrikes, already miniscule, have now reduced almost to zero
as they focus instead on bombing Shi’a Houthis in Yemen, which,
incidentally, is paving the way for the rise of ISIS there.

Porous links between some Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, Islamist
militant groups like al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIS, have enabled
prolific weapons transfers from ‘moderate’ to Islamist militants.

The consistent transfers of CIA-Gulf-Turkish arms supplies to ISIS have
been documented through analysis of weapons serial numbers by the
UK-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR), whose database on the illicit
weapons trade is funded by the EU and Swiss Federal Department of
Foreign Affairs.

“Islamic State forces have captured significant quantities of
US-manufactured small arms and have employed them on the battlefield,” a
CAR report found in September 2014. “M79 90 mm anti-tank rockets
captured from IS forces in Syria are identical to M79 rockets
transferred by Saudi Arabia to forces operating under the ‘Free Syrian
Army’ umbrella in 2013.”

German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer, who spent 10 days inside the
Islamic State, reported last year that ISIS is being “indirectly” armed
by the West:

“They buy the weapons that we give to the Free Syrian Army, so they get
Western weapons—they get French weapons… I saw German weapons, I saw
American weapons.”

ISIS, in other words, is state-sponsored—indeed, sponsored by
purportedly Western-friendly regimes in the Muslim world, who are
integral to the anti-ISIS coalition.

Which then begs the question as to why Hollande and other Western
leaders expressing their determination to “destroy” ISIS using all means
necessary, would prefer to avoid the most significant factor of all: the
material infrastructure of ISIS’ emergence in the context of ongoing
Gulf and Turkish state support for Islamist militancy in the region.

There are many explanations, but one perhaps stands out: the West’s
abject dependence on terror-toting Muslim regimes, largely to maintain
access to Middle East, Mediterranean and Central Asian oil and gas


Much of the strategy currently at play was candidly described in a 2008
US Army-funded RAND report, Unfolding the Future of the Long War (pdf).
The report noted that “the economies of the industrialized states will
continue to rely heavily on oil, thus making it a strategically
important resource.” As most oil will be produced in the Middle East,
the US has “motive for maintaining stability in and good relations with
Middle Eastern states.” It just so happens that those states support
Islamist terrorism:

“The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power
base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage
between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or
simply characterized… For the foreseeable future, world oil production
growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources… The
region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority
will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”

Declassified government documents clarify beyond all doubt that a
primary motivation for the 2003 Iraq War, preparations for which had
begun straight after 9/11, was installing a permanent US military
presence in the Persian Gulf to secure access to the region’s oil and gas.

The obsession over black gold did not end with Iraq, though—and is not
exclusive to the West.

“Most of the foreign belligerents in the war in Syria are gas-exporting
countries with interests in one of the two competing pipeline projects
that seek to cross Syrian territory to deliver either Qatari or Iranian
gas to Europe,” wrote Professor Mitchell Orenstein of the Davis Center
for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, in Foreign
Affairs, the journal of Washington DC’s Council on Foreign Relations.

In 2009, Qatar had proposed to build a pipeline to send its gas
northwest via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria to Turkey. But Assad
“refused to sign the plan,” reports Orenstein. “Russia, which did not
want to see its position in European gas markets undermined, put him
under intense pressure not to.”

Russia’s Gazprom sells 80% of its gas to Europe. So in 2010, Russia put
its weight behind “an alternative Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline that would
pump Iranian gas from the same field out via Syrian ports such as
Latakia and under the Mediterranean.” The project would allow Moscow “to
control gas imports to Europe from Iran, the Caspian Sea region, and
Central Asia.”

Then in July 2011, a $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline deal was
announced, and a preliminary agreement duly signed by Assad.

Later that year, the US, UK, France and Israel were ramping up covert
assistance to rebel factions in Syria to elicit the “collapse” of
Assad’s regime “from within.”

“The United States… supports the Qatari pipeline as a way to balance
Iran and diversify Europe’s gas supplies away from Russia,” explained
Orenstein in Foreign Affairs.

An article in the Armed Forces Journal published last year by Major Rob
Taylor, an instructor at the US Army’s Command and General Staff
College, Fort Leavenworth, thus offered scathing criticism of
conventional media accounts of the Syrian conflict that ignore the
pipeline question:

“Any review of the current conflict in Syria that neglects the
geopolitical economics of the region is incomplete… Viewed through a
geopolitical and economic lens, the conflict in Syria is not a civil
war, but the result of larger international players positioning
themselves on the geopolitical chessboard in preparation for the opening
of the pipeline… Assad’s pipeline decision, which could seal the natural
gas advantage for the three Shi’a states, also demonstrates Russia’s
links to Syrian petroleum and the region through Assad. Saudi Arabia and
Qatar, as well as al-Qaeda and other groups, are maneuvering to depose
Assad and capitalize on their hoped-for Sunni conquest in Damascus. By
doing this, they hope to gain a share of control over the ‘new’ Syrian
government, and a share in the pipeline wealth.”

The pipelines would access not just gas in the Iran-Qatari field, but
also potentially newly discovered offshore gas resources in the Eastern
Mediterranean—encompassing the offshore territories of Israel,
Palestine, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. The area has been
estimated to hold as much as 1.7 billion barrels of oil and up to 122
trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which geologists believe could be
just a third of the total quantities of undiscovered fossil fuels in the

A December 2014 report by the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies
Institute, authored by a former UK Ministry of Defense research
director, noted that Syria specifically holds significant offshore oil
and gas potential. It noted:

“Once the Syria conflict is resolved, prospects for Syrian offshore
production—provided commercial resources are found—are high.”

Assad’s brutality and illegitimacy is beyond question—but until he had
demonstrated his unwillingness to break with Russia and Iran, especially
over their proposed pipeline project, US policy toward Assad had been

State Department cables obtained by Wikileaks reveal that US policy had
wavered between financing Syrian opposition groups to facilitate “regime
change,” and using the threat of regime change to induce “behavior reform.”

President Obama’s preference for the latter resulted in US officials,
including John Kerry, shamelessly courting Assad in the hopes of prying
him away from Iran, opening up the Syrian economy to US investors, and
aligning the regime with US-Israeli regional designs.

Even when the 2011 Arab Spring protests resulted in Assad’s security
forces brutalizing peaceful civilian demonstrators, both Kerry and then
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that he was a
“reformer”—which he took as a green light to respond to further protests
with massacres.

Assad’s decision to side with Russia and Iran, and his endorsement of
their favoured pipeline project, were key factors in the US decision to
move against him.

Europe’s dance with the devil

Turkey plays a key role in the US-Qatar-Saudi backed route designed to
circumvent Russia and Iran, as an intended gas hub for exports to
European markets.

It is only one of many potential pipeline routes involving Turkey.

“Turkey is key to gas supply diversification of the entire European
Union. It would be a huge mistake to stall energy cooperation any
further,” urged David Koranyi, director of the Atlantic Council’s
Eurasian Energy Futures initiative and a former national security
advisor to the Prime Minister of Hungary.

Koranyi noted that both recent “major gas discoveries in the Eastern
Mediterranean” and “gas supplies from Northern Iraq” could be “sourced
to supply the Turkish market and transported beyond to Europe.”

Given Europe’s dependence on Russia for about a quarter of its gas, the
imperative to minimize this dependence and reduce the EU’s vulnerability
to supply outages has become an urgent strategic priority. The priority
fits into longstanding efforts by the US to wean Central and Eastern
Europe out of the orbit of Russian power.

Turkey is pivotal to the US-EU vision for a new energy map:

“The EU would gain a reliable alternative supply route to further
diversify its imports from Russia. Turkey, as a hub, would benefit from
transit fees and other energy-generated revenues. As additional supplies
of gas may become available for export over the next five to 10 years in
the wider region, Turkey is the natural route via which these could be
shipped to Europe.”

A report last year by Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability
Institute (GSI) warned that Europe faced a looming energy crisis,
particularly the UK, France and Italy, due to “critical shortages of
natural resources.”

“Coal, oil and gas resources in Europe are running down and we need
alternatives,” said GSI’s Professor Victoria Andersen.

She also recommended a rapid shift to renewables, but most European
leaders apparently have other ideas—namely, shifting to a network of
pipelines that would transport oil and gas from the Middle East, Eastern
Mediterranean and Central Asia to Europe: via our loving friend,
Erdogan’s Turkey.

Nevermind that under Erdogan, Turkey is the leading sponsor of the
barbaric ‘Islamic State.’

We must not ask unpatriotic questions about Western foreign policy, or
NATO for that matter.

We must not wonder about the pointless spectacle of airstrikes and
Stazi-like police powers, given our shameless affair with Erdogan’s
terror-regime, which funds and arms our very own enemy.

We must not question the motives of our elected leaders, who despite
sitting on this information for years, still lie to us, flagrantly, even
now, before the blood of 129 French citizens has even dried, pretending
that they intend to “destroy” a band of psychopathic murdering scum,
armed and funded from within the heart of NATO.

No, no, no. Life goes on. Business-as-usual must continue. Citizens must
keep faith in the wisdom of The Security State.

The US must insist on relying on Turkish intelligence to vet and train
‘moderate’ rebels in Syria, and the EU must insist on extensive
counter-terrorism cooperation with Erdogan’s regime, while fast-tracking
the ISIS godfather’s accession into the union.

But fear not: Hollande is still intent on “destroying” ISIS. Just like
Obama and Cameron—and Erdogan.

It’s just that some red lines simply cannot be crossed.

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and
international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the
‘System Shift’ column for VICE’s Motherboard, and is a weekly columnist
for Middle East Eye.

(11) PBS NewsHour uses Russian Airstrike footage while claiming U.S.
Airstrike successes

By Moon Of Alabama

November 20, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "Moon Of Alabama"

U.S. media can no agree with itself if Russia is giving ISIS an airforce
or if Russia pounds ISIS with the biggest bomber raid in decades. Such
confusion occurs when propaganda fantasies collide with the observable

To bridge such divide requires some fudging.

So when the U.S. claims to act against the finances of the Islamic State
while not doing much, the U.S Public Broadcasting Service has to use
footage of Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State while reporting
claimed U.S. airstrike successes.

The U.S. military recently claimed to have hit Islamic State oil tankers
in Syria. This only after Putin embarrassed Obama at the G-20 meeting in
Turkey. Putin showed satellite pictures of ridiculous long tanker lines
waiting for days and weeks to load oil from the Islamic State without
any U.S. interference.

The U.S. then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers while the Russian air
force claims to have hit 500. But there is an important difference
between these claims. The Russians provided videos showing how their
airstrikes hit at least two different very large oil tanker assemblies
with hundreds of tankers in each. They also provided video of several
hits on oil storage sites and refinery infrastructure.

I have found no video of U.S. hits on Islamic State oil tanker assemblies.

The U.S. PBS NewsHour did not find any either.

In their TV report <>
yesterday about Islamic State financing and the claimed U.S. hits on oil
trucks they used the videos Russia provided without revealing the
source. You can see the Russian videos played within an interview with a
U.S. military spokesperson at 2:22 min.

The U.S. military spokesperson speaks on camera about U.S. airforce hits
against the Islamic State. The video cuts to footage taken by Russian
airplanes hitting oil tanks and then trucks. The voice-over while
showing the Russian video with the Russians blowing up trucks says: "For
the first time the U.S. is attacking oil delivery trucks." The video
then cuts back to the U.S. military spokesperson.

At no point is the Russian campaign mentioned or the source of the
footage revealed.

Any average viewer of the PBS report will assume that the black and
white explosions of oil trucks and tanks are from of U.S. airstrikes
filmed by U.S. air force planes.

The U.S. military itself admitted that its strikes on IS oil
infrastructure over the last year were "minimally effective". One
wonders then how effective the claimed strike against 116 trucks really
was. But unless we have U.S. video of such strikes and not copies of
Russian strike video fraudulently passed off as U.S. strikes we will not
know if those strikes happened at all.

Propaganda and reality also collide in the larger U.S. policy on Syria.
President Obama claims that the "overwhelming majority of people in
Syria" want the Syrian President Assad to leave. But independent British
polling in Syria found (pdf) that a strong plurality of Syrians prefers
him as president over any of the available alternatives.

And while new research reveals extensive cooperation between NATO member
and U.S. ally Turkey and the Islamic State the U.S. is asking for more
cooperation with Turkey to shuffle more weapons into the Syria conflict
and thereby, inevitably, also to the Islamic State. Some other U.S.
allies are likewise deeply involved in financing and equipping the
Islamic State.

But Kuwait just arrested a gang that was smuggling weapons from the new
U.S. client state Ukraine to the Islamic State. Iraqi military and Shia
militia find huge bundles of cash (vid) which were to be smuggled to the
Islamic State. How does it come that the otherwise all-seeing (including
your emails) U.S. secret services are unable to uncover Islamic State
financing and smuggling when smaller states with much less resources can
do so?

Does all this sound like the U.S. is really campaigning against the
Islamic State? Or is this whole campaign just as fraudulent as the PBS
video and Obama's proclamations? Why is the U.S. so deeply lost on the
‘Dark Side' in Syria?

(12) Stolen Valor: Pentagon Scams Russian Bombing Footage as Its Own

By GPD on November 21, 2015

So Busted! Didn't Ash Carter recently claim Russia never hits their
targets? Now he scams their video...

Russian airstrikes in Syria

PBS NewsHour, a daily US television news program shown on the US Public
Broadcasting Service (PBS), used footage of Russian airstrikes against
ISIL targets, claiming that they were US airstrikes, an Information
Clearing House article revealed.

Earlier this week, the US government said it would intensify anti-ISIL
airstrikes and bomb the terrorist organization's oil infrastructure,
which is ISIL's primary source of income.

After that, on November 16, the US military said it destroyed 116 trucks
carrying illegal oil in ISIL-controlled territories.

"On Monday, 295 trucks were in the area, and more than a third of them
were destroyed, United States officials said. The A-10s dropped two
dozen 500-pound bombs and conducted strafing runs with 30-millimeter
Gatling guns. The AC-130s attacked with 30-millimeter Gatling guns and
105-millimeter cannons," the New York Times colorfully described the US
military operation that allegedly took place on November 16.Well, it
sure sounded like a major anti-ISIL operation in the wake of the Paris
attacks. But so far, these are just claims, not backed by any evidence.

Two days later, on November 18, the Russian Air Force destroyed 500 oil
trucks that had been illegally transporting oil from ISIS-controlled

Unlike the US Air Force, which didn't provide any video evidence from
their alleged operation, the Russian Defense Ministry promptly released
videos of what exactly happened to terrorists and how the operation

On November 19, PBS NewsHour ran a program on ISIL and "showed" how
their oil trucks were destroyed by US airstrikes

It's all fine and dandy, but the US public broadcaster used the footage
of Russian airstrikes, passing them off as US airstrikes, without
revealing the true source. [...]

(13) Trump: a terrorist watch list, not a registry of Muslims

Donald Trump Sets Off a Furor With Call to Register Muslims in the U.S.


Under assault from Democrats and Republicans alike, Donald J. Trump on
Friday drew back from his call for a mandatory registry of Muslims in
the United States, trying to quell one of the ugliest controversies yet
in a presidential campaign like few others.

The daylong furor capped a week of one-upmanship among Republican
presidential candidates as to who could sound toughest about preventing
terrorism after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris. Polls show the national
mood has soured on accepting refugees from Syria amid concerns about
potential terrorist attacks within the United States.

Mr. Trump’s talk of a national database of Muslims, first in an
interview published on Thursday by Yahoo News and later in an exchange
with an NBC News reporter, seemed the culmination of months of heated
debate about illegal immigration as an urgent danger to Americans’
personal safety. [...]

By Friday, though, he appeared to pull back slightly from the idea. In a
post on Twitter, Mr. Trump complained that it was a reporter, not he,
who had first raised the idea of a database. And his campaign manager,
Corey Lewandowski, insisted that Mr. Trump had been asked leading
questions by the NBC reporter under “blaring music” and that he had in
mind a terrorist watch list, not a registry of Muslims. [...]

(14) CNN caught selectively-editing Trump’s ‘Muslim’ Comments

Cancel the Debate! CNN Caught Selectively-Editing Trump’s ‘Muslim’ Comments

by John Nolte21 Nov 20153,467

Left-wing cable news network CNN has been caught red-handed selectively
editing Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s comments
about a “Muslim registry,” and doing so in order to make it sound as
though he is agreeing to this registry. He is not.

The edited video is yet another lying log on the left-wing garbage fire
that is CNN, and yet in just three weeks, this very same garbage fire is
hosting the next Republican presidential debate!

What exactly does CNN have to do in order to lose its right to depose
these candidates for two hours in front of the whole world? If CNN is
already maliciously editing video to “take out” out the frontrunner, I
don’t even want to speculate.

Courtesy of Gateway Pundit, watch the CNN video. Pay special attention
to the sneaky edit just before Trump says “absolutely”:

The left-wing liars at CNN have intentionally edited the video to make
it look as though Trump said “absolutely” to a Muslim registry. What CNN
edited out is in bold:

     Reporter: Should there be a database system that tracks Muslims who
are in this country?

     Trump: There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We
should have a lot of systems, and today you can do it. But right now we
need to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall,
and we cannot let what’s happening to this country happen any longer.

     Reporter: Is that something your White House would like to implement?

     Donald Trump: I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.

Trump’s “absolutely” is clearly in reference to strengthening the
border. Look at the whole transcript. When the NBC News reporter asks,
“Is that something your White House would like to implement?,” Trump has
just talked about fortifying the border and obviously believes that is
what the NBC reporter is referring to.

CNN edited that out!

It is time for Reince Priebus and the Republican Party to stand up these
left-wing hit squads disguising themselves as journalists. [...]

(15) Trade Pollard For Vanunu

Trade Pollard For Vanunu

By Bob Johnson on November 20, 2015

Jonathan Pollard, the Jewish American who worked as a US Navy
intelligence analyst until he was arrested for spying on the United
State of America for the Jewish state of Israel, and who in 1987
received a life sentence for his crimes against the US, was released
today from prison. So much for a life sentence!

Israel has been trying for decades to win Pollard’s release from prison.
Many people believe Barack Obama agreed to release him in an attempt to
smooth things over with Israel after the nuclear agreement with Iran
went through against Israel’s demands that it be stopped.

A condition of Pollard’s release from prison is that he remain in the US
on parole for five years. Pollard wants to move to Israel and Israeli PM
Netanyahu wants him to be able to do so. Netanyahu is putting pressure
on US politicians to allow Pollard to immediately move to the Jewish state.

Since Pollard and Netanyahu both want Pollard to live in Israel, the US
should demand a prisoner swap. Israel can handover the hero who warned
the world about Israel’s very real nuclear weapons of mass destruction,
Mordechai Vanunu, in exchange for Pollard.

Mordechai Vanunu worked at Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant in the 1980s,
around the same time Pollard was stealing military secrets from the US
and giving them to Israel. In 1986 Vanunu told the British media all
about Israel’s secret nuclear plant that was churning out atomic bombs.
Vanunu was eventually kidnapped by Jewish terrorists in the Mosad, taken
to Israel, put on trial and sentenced to 18 years in an Israeli prison,
with more than 11 of those years being in solitary confinement.
(Israel’s actions against Vanunu show the truth to this statement from
the French Deist, Voltaire: “It is dangerous to be right in matters on
which the established authorities are wrong.”) He was released in 2004
with very strict restrictions which prohibit him from talking to
foreigners and prohibit him from leaving the Jewish state. He has been
rearrested several times and charged with violating those restrictions.

Vanunu is very outspoken in spite of threats from the Israeli
government. For example, he said in an interview with the  London-based
al-Hayat newspaper that the Israeli secret intelligence organization,
the Mossad, assassinated US  President John F. Kennedy because President
Kennedy “exerted pressure on then head of government, David Ben-Gurion,
to shed light on Dimona’s nuclear reactor.” President Kennedy was the
last US President to demand Israel open is nuclear program to inspection.

In inadvertently Vanunu is shedding light on the excessive Jewish
influence on the media in America. This is very important and can help
people to see why the world is presented to them as it is.

Winning Mordechai Vanunu’s freedom from Israel by trading Pollard for
Vanunu would be the right thing to do. Unfortunately, that makes it less
likely the US politicians from both parties will do it.

Journalist who returned from Islamic State HQ tells RT how jihadists can
be defeated

Published time: 21 Nov, 2015 14:55

RT spoke to Jurgen Todenhofer, the first Western journalist who was
allowed to enter territory controlled by the so-called Islamic State. A
year ago, he spent 10 days among the terrorists, also visiting Raqqa,
the capital of the self-proclaimed caliphate.

To arrange the journey, Todenhofer held Skype discussions with Islamic
State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) for six months before they agreed to his visit.

Finally, the jihadists gave him official guarantee safety. “It was in
their interest to fulfill their promises that I would come back alive –
and I came back alive,” he said.

After spending several days with ISIS militants, having long discussions
with them and observing their daily life, the German journalist said:
“They don’t care if we call them terrorists.”

The streets of Raqqa are full of people, cars and functioning
businesses, life seemed to be completely normal, Todenhofer said, but
one should keep in mind that the Islamists had killed or driven off all
the Shias and Christians, so the only people there were Sunnis.

The jihadists are not interested in picking on ordinary people as long
as they abide by the Sharia law, they are after important people, the
journalist said.

Yet the fear is out there. “If you make a mistake, you can be killed,”
Todenhofer said, recalling people being punished with jail terms for
offenses such as paying a visit to a girlfriend or using sleeping pills,
which are prohibited.

“People know it is dangerous,” Todenhofer said, but an ordinary person
there does not care, because “his life was not [much fun] before, under
the control of the Shia government, which they did not like either.”

There are not too many women on the streets of Raqqa, and those few are
completely covered with a veil. Only very old women do not have to wear
a veil, Todenhofer recalled.

“Because if they are not nice and pretty anymore – they are allowed to
show their face.”

Todenhofer told RT's Neil Harvey that on ISIS’s territory, he met people
from Russia’s Caucasus, but also from Germany, France, Britain and of
course he asked all of them why they had come.

He said he had the impression that all the Muslims who joined ISIS used
to be completely unimportant in their countries, were not accepted there
and were considered second-class citizens.

“They are told that in Islamic State they will fight a historic fight, a
final fight between good and evil,” he said.

“Those young people who were completely unimportant in their countries
will be very important [here]. And for the first time in their life,
somebody is telling them that they are important,” the journalist said.

Those young men are told they are going to be real stars and heroes,
they will have a Kalashnikov and fight against the Americans and so on.

“They played all those video games where killers are the stars. And they
believe they are going to be stars now.”

“They are brainwashed, of course, it’s a very successful combination of
fanaticism and a very clever military drill they get from Saddam
Hussein’s former officers,” Todenhofer said, adding: “They think that
they are in a big story now and they are playing a very important role.”

For those European youth who come to Islamic State, the way back is
effectively closed, because those who want to return home are considered
traitors who have to be killed.

Also, those who believed they were going to fight American and British
troops have realized that in reality they are killing innocent Muslims.

“They are realizing that the story they were told is completely wrong.
They don’t live in luxury like they were told in Germany, [instead] they
live a very simple life, they don’t have food every day, not even water,
it is cold in cheap apartments where they live, so life is completely
different – and they have to kill Muslims. This is not what they were
promised,” Todenhofer said.

The journalist believes the Islamists are killing hostages such as
innocent American journalists to sow fear and to provoke Washington to
send ground troops to the Syrian battlefield - because they want to
fight against the Americans.

“I think now they would like to fight also against the Russian ground
troops, because they have this story that they have to be a hero and
fight against the champions, while the Muslims they have killed up until
now were not champions and [the ISIS fighters] want to fight powerful
people,” he said.

Naturally, the militants did not tell him everything, yet Todenhofer had
the impression that Islamic State is still getting money and weapons
from Gulf monarchies such as Saudi Arabia.

The weapons are also bought on the black market, where European-made
guns are available as well, sometimes those supplied to the Kurdish
Peshmerga or the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

“They told me,’Even if we don’t conquer these weapons, we can buy them,
because everything has a price. Most of our ammunition we get from the
Free Syrian Army.’”

This is the ammunition that Americans supplied to the FSA, which is now
not important, or those groups which said they belong to the FSA,
Todenhofer said.

ISIS is using guerilla warfare tactics, so bombing them is a hard task,
because they disperse when the danger is close.

“I cannot judge the Russian army but I can judge the Western armies. The
American Marines and special forces have no chance in a fight against
guerilla fighters, because these fighters are ready to die, and
Americans Marines do not want to die,” Todenhofer said.

To create real problems for ISIS, the West should do several things:
stop the delivery of weapons, ammunition and money from the Gulf
monarchies and close the Turkish border used to transit new fighters to
ISIS, Todenhofer said, recalling how easy it was to cross the
Syrian-Turkish border.

The third important thing is promoting reconciliation between Shia and
Sunnis in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, because ISIS finds support among those
dissatisfied with the governments and existing state of things.

Fighting ISIS needs an intelligent strategy, Todenhofer said.