Saturday, 17 January 2015

Al-Jaafari lambasts Israeli unholy alliances in the Syrian Golan

Posted on January 16, 2015

Syrian representative to the UN Bashar Jaafari lambasts Israeli unholy alliances in the Syrian Golan.

New York, SANA – Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said Golan was and would always remain a Syrian territory despite the current circumstances taking place in the country and we will continue our struggle for the full restoration of it until the line of June 4th, 1967.
Addressing participants at the UN Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East held on Thursday, al-Jaafari called upon the UN to assume its responsibilities and break the silence towards the “bitter reality” imposed on Golan people due to the Israeli occupation which controlled the territory since 1967.
He said that the UN should be serious and show interest in dealing with the occupied Syrian Golan according to the UNSC resolutions in this regard, particularly resolution No. 497 for 1981.
“The UN inability to force Israel to comply with its resolutions is unacceptable, especially those related to halting systematic and outrageous violations of human rights and putting an end to its policies of settlement, discrimination, suppression and arbitrary arrests against Syrian citizens, in addition to tightening grip on them, not to mention its plans to theft Golan natural resources, including water, gas and oil, “al-Jaafari added.
He noted that the recent decision issued by the Supreme Court of Israel lifting the ban on drilling for oil, permitting Israeli companies to start drilling works is a clear violation of international law.
“Amid international silence towards Israeli unjust practices, Israel is now taking part in plotting against Syria and providing support to takfiri terrorism in the country in order to destroy it. Israeli involvement became clearly evident when Israeli war airplanes launched several strikes against different targets in the Syrian territories in a clear violation of the international law and the 1974 Disengagement Agreement in a way that ignites tension to unprecedented levels and leads to wide-scale repercussions,” al-Jaafari said.
He added that what is really provoking is that neither UNSC nor the Department of Peacekeeping Operations or the UN Secretary General Spokesman condemned Israel’s aggressive practices.
” The Israeli occupation has also provided support for terrorists in the separation zone of the Syrian Golan, including medical treatment of the injured in their hospitals, and in a way that endangered the lives of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers, facts proved to be true according to reports by the UN Secretary General and Israeli media,” the Permanent Representative said.
” Such support had enabled an increase in movement by terrorist groups, including Al-Nusra Front, as well as the continuous kidnapping of peacekeepers. Such practice stresses the need to be more serious in handling this issue,” he said, noting that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has ignored all information and warns provided by the Syrian government in this regard.
Stating his unwillingness to respond to misleading allegations in statements of delegations of the EU, US, Britain, France and Saudi Arabia, al-Jaafari noted that they are meant to divert attention from the Israeli occupation and reduce the international pressure on it, adding that these countries themselves don’t respect UNSC resolutions on counterterrorism, especially 2170 and 2178.
He said that there is a legal and historic responsibility on the UN towards the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State as provided in resolution No. 181 for 1947 which stipulated for the division of Palestine and resolution No. 273 for 1949 on admitting Israel’s membership into the UN on the condition that it should obligate to resolution No. 181 on establishing the Palestinian state and resolution No. 194 on granting all Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes.
R. Raslan / Ghossoun

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Nick Clegg Vows To The Primacy Of Jewish Suffering

The JC reports:

Nick Clegg promises to protect Holocaust education funding

Nick Clegg meets survivor Zigi Shipper and pupils from the Lessons from Auschwitz project (Photo: Yakir Zur)
Holocaust education funding will be protected for the next five years if the Liberal Democrats return to government after the election, Nick Clegg has promised.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the £9 million budget for the Holocaust Education Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz programme would continue to 2020.

He is the first party leader to make the pledge. Mr Clegg said the project was the “cornerstone” of Shoah education in Britain.

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Israel Stripping Palestinian Prisoners of Hunger Strike Gains

Protesters gather to demonstrate in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, at the al-Aroub Palestinian refugee camp on May 31, 2014. AFP/Hazem Bader
Published Friday, January 16, 2015
Palestinian prisoners wait for an opportune moment away from Israeli surveillance to call their parents and reassure them of their well-being in this harsh winter. Palestinian prisoners in various prisons talked about the rights they were stripped of recently by the Israeli prison authorities, and what they plan to do in the next few months in the absence of local and international attention.
Gaza – Taking advantage of the current situation in the Palestinian political and security establishment, the Israel Prison Service stripped Palestinian prisoners of all the rights they had won via individual and collective hunger strikes, some of which were record-breaking.
Since the kidnapping of three Israeli settlers in Hebron, south of the occupied West Bank in June 2014 — and during the recent war on Gaza in July and August 2014 — the Israeli authorities has reversed the previous gains achieved by Palestinian prisoners. Israel added hundreds of prisoners to the thousands already in prison. Scores were subjected to administrative detention, including prisoner Khader Adnan, who launched the hunger strike battle. On January 6, Adnan launched another hunger strike to protest his ongoing imprisonment without being formally charged with any crime.

The harsh and long sentences against some of the men freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal were also renewed, and their appeal requests against the new sentences were rejected, in a clear violation of the terms of their release, and amid a dubious absence of the mediator, Egypt.
In addition to the complicated visiting procedures, hundreds of prisoners suffering from chronic diseases, such as ulcer, diabetes, and cancer, are being denied proper care.
Meanwhile, jailed members of the Jihad Brigades Movement led a mass strike last month in solidarity with prisoner Nahar al-Sa’di, who was kept in solitary confinement for 18 months, during which he was denied family visitation and the right to receive clothes and blankets, although he has kidney disease. A few days into the strike, the prisoners gradually obtained some of the rights they demanded.
This harsh winter has become the prisoners’ main adversary, given the low temperatures and poor conditions inside the prisons, some of which, such as the Naqab and Nafha prisons, are located in the desert.
Al-Akhbar was able to speak with a number of Palestinian prisoners, who insisted that their names not be published so their statements could not be used by the Israel Prison Service as evidence to convict them. A prisoner from Naqab Prison said that the prison authorities adopt the “divide and rule” policy, discriminating among Palestinian prisoners, giving lighter sentences to Fatah prisoners and harsher ones to prisoners affiliated with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Harsh sentences include shorter recreation breaks (during which prisoners spend time in the open), cut down from four hours to one hour, and lower allowances to buy from the canteen (a small shop inside the prison) ranging between 400 and 1200 shekels ($101 and $304). The Israeli prison authorities also reduced the number of cable television channels available for prisoners from 10 to three channels: Israel Channel 1, Israel Channel 2, and BBC, and banned access to Arabic newspapers and publications. They also cancelled family visitations and installed jamming devices to prevent prisoners from using mobile phones, which they pay thousands of dollars to smuggle into prison.
Abu Khadija, a member of the Islamic Jihad prisoners’ committee and leader of the latest hunger strike in Rimon Prison, admitted that the hunger strike held by Islamic Jihad prisoners last month was a risky move, which did not take into account the general prison strike regulations regarding “timing and internal and external circumstances.” Prisoners have agreed on these regulations to guarantee the success of their strikes, and developed them based on their experience with the Israeli prison administration. According to Abu Khadija, the prisoners fought the battle alone for the first time. They had no choice but to persist with the strikes, he said, especially after prisoner Nahar al-Sa’di’s condition became critical.
Abu Khadija said that the prisoners achieved a new victory over the prison administration, which had taken their clothes away despite the cold weather, on strict recommendations from the Shin Bet. “The regional and local situation did not help… but our demands were met within nine days of the strike,” he added. He believes that the January 2014 strike restored respect for hunger strikes as a weapon.
Prisoners are expected to take further measures at the end of the winter of 2014 to ensure the release of prisoners held in solitary confinement and freer family visitations for prisoners from Gaza. They will begin by submitting petitions to the Israel Prison Service explaining their demands. If these demands are not met, they will take escalatory measures, such as returning meals and taking their belonging with them during breaks, which is seen as the most serious form of disobedience by Israeli prison administrations. Finally, prisoners may resort to banging on prison doors and threatening to set prison cells on fire.

[P]risoners will take a strategic step and begin an open-ended hunger strike, especially since Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is in April.

Abu Mustafa, another member of the Islamic Jihad prisoners’ committee, who is being held at Nafha Prison, said that progressive measures will be implemented over a period of two months. After that, he said, prisoners will take a strategic step and begin an open-ended hunger strike, especially since Palestinian Prisoners’ Day is in April.
In addition to achieving the release of prisoners from solitary confinement and securing visitation rights to Gaza prisoners, demands include medical treatment for sick prisoners, allowing bi-weekly instead of bi-monthly visitations to prisoners from the West Bank and Jerusalem, ending the humiliating search methods, returning the 10 cable television channels that were banned during the recent aggression on Gaza, and raising the allowance to buy from the canteen. Prisoners in the Hadarim and Jelebu prisons made the same demands. They said that they are suffering from the same punishments, in addition to the transfer of Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners to other prisons.
Each winter, the prison administrations prohibit the delivery of clothes and blankets to prisoners, especially to new ones. They also raise the price of goods in the canteen, and ban heaters — as if the rain leaking into the cells of the ratty prison wasn’t bad enough.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


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Saudi, Bahrain & UK Displays Hypocrisy over Arms and Rights


Britain has made it clear that arms sales and military and security considerations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain must take priority over human rights, even torture, Guardian reports.

In Saudi Arabia, Britain's most lucrative arms market, Raif Badawi, has been told he will be flogged again 50 times on Friday. The Saudi liberal has been accused of ridiculing the kingdom's religious police.

On Tuesday next week, Nabeel Rajab, a citizen of another Gulf kingdom with which Britain is building up closer military ties,, is due to appear in court on charges of "insulting a public institution" over Twitter.

Rajab is president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. He accused the Bahraini security forces of encouraging violent beliefs similar to those of ISIS.

On Tuesday next week, Nabeel Rajab is due to appear in court on charges of "insulting a public institution" over Twitter.

His offending tweet read: "Many #Bahrain men who joined #terrorism & #ISIS came from security institutions and those institutions were the first ideological incubator." If he is found guilty he faces up to six years in prison.

In one of the most brazen displays of hypocrisy in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, ministers from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were among those who marched in support of freedom of expression in Paris last week.

Human rights groups have urged Britain to intervene more vigorously in Badawi's case and for Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, to urge the Bahrain government to drop the charges against Rajab.

The British government has repeatedly said it is concerned about the lack of human rights in Saudi Arabia. The Commons foreign affairs committee last year said the Foreign Office should have bitten the bullet and designed Bahrain as a "country of concern".

But Britain has made it clear that arms sales and military and security considerations must take priority over human rights, even torture.

Bahraini men take part in a protest against the arrest of the head of the Shiite opposition movement Al-Wefaq, Sheikh Ali Salman (on posters) on January 1, 2015 in Bilad al-Qadeem, a suburb of Manama. AFP

So it backs away from upsetting the Saudi government. And instead of applying pressure on Bahrain to introduce reforms, Britain has signed what the government has called a "landmark" agreement establishing a permanent UK naval base in the Gulf kingdom. The Bahrain government will pay for it, with Britain contributing to the running costs of some £15m a year.

"The agreement reaffirms the UK's and Bahrain's joint determination to maintain regional security and stability in the face of enduring and emerging regional challenges", Michael Fallon, the British defence secretary, told the House of Commons last month.

Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have signed an early day motion in the Commons attacking the naval base deal, saying it sends a message that the UK government is not interested in justice, rule of law and reconciliation in Bahrain, and that the increased British military presence is likely to exacerbate tensions in the region.

The base agreement was greeted with protests in Bahrain with human rights activists described the decision as a reward for Britian’s silence over the jailing of opponents of the Sunni monarchy. "As Bahrain pursues brutal crackdown, what better time for UK to build military base there?" said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch's executive director.

The Bahraini monarchy in 2011 violently repressed a pro-democracy opposition movement led by the country's Shia majority, Doctors who treated protesters were tortured.

According to the Bahrain Human Rights Group security forces arrested 54 people and suppressed 119 demonstrations in the first week of this month alone.

As the regime continued to jail human rights campaigners, Britain last year designated Bahrain as a "priority market" for its weapons.

British arms exports to the Persian Gulf kingdom have increased significantly since the Arab Spring. Over the past year, they have totalled £17m, and included machine guns, hand grenades, and military training equipment, according to official figures collected by the Campaign against the Arms Trade (Caat).

The government has helped to sell BAE Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia and (with the help of Prince Andrew last year) is trying to sell Typhoons to Bahrain.

Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jet

The Head of Advocacy for the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Sayed Alwadaei says: "As an award for the British role in misleading the international community, Bahrain is building them a base. This also demonstrate why Britain has refused to list Bahrain as a country of concern".

Andrew Smith from Campaign Against Arms Trade says: "The UK government has put a lot of time, effort and political capital into arming and supporting the Bahraini regime. With the new naval base, and with the possibility of Typhoon sales on the horizon, this looks unlikely to change."

The British government argues that if Britain did not sell the arms to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, another countries, including France, would.

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US Slams ICC Probe of Israel as “Tragic Irony”

The United States condemned the International Criminal Court decision to open a preliminary probe Friday into “possible” war crimes committed against Palestinians, blasting it as a "tragic irony".

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office would conduct an "analysis in full independence and impartiality" into war crimes by Israel, including those committed during last year's Gaza offensive.

Gaza children martyrs
Her decision comes after Palestine formally joined the ICC earlier this month, allowing it to lodge war crimes and crimes against humanity complaints against Israel as of April.
Nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, and more than 11,000 others were injured during last summer's war on Gaza.

The US criticized the decision late Friday, saying it opposed actions against Israel at the ICC as "counterproductive to the cause of peace".

"It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC," US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement.

Gambian-born Bensouda had earlier stressed that "a preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available... on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation."

Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch a full investigation.

Source: AFP
17-01-2015 - 11:20 Last updated 17-01-2015 - 11:20

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Shadi Mawlawi Acting as Suicide Bombers’ Godfather in Ain al-Hilweh Camp

Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi is welcomed by comrades and relatives after his release in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. AFP
Published Friday, January 16, 2015
Shadi Mawlawi has not repented for his previous crimes. The “mediation” that led to his release from prison in 2012 has only increased his determination to expand his terrorist activities. “Abu Adam” — as he is known in Islamist circles — who operates from Ain el-Hilweh camp, today acts as coordinator between the emir of al-Nusra Front Abu Malik al-Talli and potential Lebanese suicide bombers.
The volatile security situation in Ersal has returned to the spotlight. Some 120 kilograms of explosives were found planted in a Mercedes car that was leaving the town of Ersal in the direction of the town of Labweh. The car accidentally skidded near an army checkpoint at the western entrance to Ersal, prompting the driver to leave the car and flee from the scene. The army had circulated the details of the car after receiving information that it may be rigged with explosives to be used in a terrorist act.
Army soldiers cordoned off the area, and the car was found to contain explosives. Until last night, the results of the investigations on the car had not been made public. According to security officials, the car may have been transported outside of Ersal but not its outskirts, which are cut off by the snow.
The discovery of the car brought the town of Ersal back to the spotlight. Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insist on involving the town in security operations targeting civilian areas, whether in its vicinity or distant areas. The condition of the two groups is similar to that of Shadi Mawlawi, the terrorist who fled to Ain el-Hilweh camp — according to official security information — after dragging Tripoli into a battle with the army last October.
The young man was arrested by the General Security in May 2012 on suspicion of involvement with al-Qaeda. He was later released by the judiciary following a decision by the Najib Mikati government made under pressure from the Islamists in the northern city of Tripoli and cover from the Future Movement. The same happened with Mawlawi’s friend Osama Mansour, who was arrested with others by the military intelligence in Bekaa, where they were found to be in possession of weapons and explosives. Mansour was released under bail set at 300,000 Lebanese liras ($200), following secret negotiations by high-level political figures.

After his release from prison, Mawlawi returned to play a prominent role in the recruitment of young men in Tripoli, namely for al-Nusra Front, until the army resolved the issue two months ago. Recent security information indicates that Mawlawi is seeking to implicate the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp, from where he runs a quasi operations room to coordinate the recruitment of suicide bombers in order to carry out security operations in certain areas, in implementation of al-Nusra Front’s project. According to security information, Mawlawi and his partner Osama Mansour are hiding in the camp and play a key role in attracting and guiding these young men, where Mawlawi acts as a link between the emir of al-Nusra Front in Qalamoun, Abu Malik al-Talli, and potential suicide bombers. Among them are the suicide bombers Taha al-Khayal and Bilal Marayan, who carried out the suicide attack in Jabal Mohsen last Saturday, in addition to Bassam al-Naboush, Elie Warraq nicknamed “Abu Ali,” and Muhannad Abdel Qadir, who were arrested by the army. The investigations revealed that they had links to al-Mawlawi, and were preparing to carry out suicide attacks against security stations and residential areas.
Al-Akhbar learned that al-Nabush has been under surveillance by General Security. According to available information, the security services compiled a report on al-Nabush two months ago, which includes information about his preparation for suicide attacks and possession of explosive belts. Al-Nabush is known to be in continuous contact with al-Nusra Front.
Warraq, the second detainee, is a Christian man who turned to radical Islam a while ago. Security sources said that he swore allegiance to al-Nusra Front some time ago, adding that he is not the only Christian who converted to Islam and pledged allegiance to al-Nusra Front in Tripoli. Furthermore, Western intelligence personnel are reportedly monitoring a young Lebanese man who arrived to Lebanon about a month ago from a European country, and who was a Christian before turning to Salafi Islam.
Speaking on “Kalam al-Nas” (a popular talk show on LBCI), Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk revealed the presence of a link between the militant group in Ain al-Hilweh camp and the bombings in Jabal Mohsen, as well as a link between the “operations room in Roumieh prison” — which was dismantled last Monday in a raid on Building B of the prison — and Ain al-Hilweh and the Syrian city of Raqqa controlled by ISIS. Machnouk said that the terrorists will not remain holed up in the camp.
The Lebanese Army Guidance Directorate issued a statement saying that “the Intelligence Directorate foiled a plan to implement a series of suicide bombings after the two attacks in Jabal Mohsen, and arrested Bassam Hossam al-Nabush, Elie Tony Warraq (also known as Abu Ali), and Syrian national Muhannad Ali Mohammed Abdel Qader, who were preparing to carry out terrorist attacks against military locations and residential areas, carrying fake Syrian and Palestinian identity cards. The investigation revealed that the detainees are affiliated with the same group as Osama Mansour and Shadi Mawlawi, have pledged allegiance to terrorist organizations, fought in Syria, and took part in the attacks on the army and the clashes between the areas of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbeneh.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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Hackers Reveals Turkey’s Weapons Shipment for Al-Qaeda in Syria + Video

Video here

Secret official documents about the searching of three trucks belonging to Turkey’s national intelligence service (MIT) have been leaked online, once again corroborating suspicions that Ankara has not been playing a clean game in Syria.

According to the authenticated documents, the trucks were found to be transporting missiles, mortars and anti-aircraft ammunition. The Gendarmerie General Command, which authored the reports, alleged, “The trucks were carrying weapons and supplies to the al-Qaeda terror organization.”

But Turkish readers could not see the documents in the news bulletins and newspapers that shared them, because the government immediately obtained a court injunction banning all reporting about the affair.

When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was prime minister, he had said, “You cannot stop the MIT truck. You cannot search it. You don’t have the authority. These trucks were taking humanitarian assistance to Turkmens.”

Since then, Erdogan and his hand-picked new Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have repeated at every opportunity that the trucks were carrying assistance to Turkmens.
Public prosecutor Aziz Takci, who had ordered the trucks to be searched, was removed from his post and 13 soldiers involved in the search were taken to court on charges of espionage. Their indictments call for prison terms of up to 20 years.

In scores of documents leaked by a group of hackers, the Gendarmerie Command notes that rocket warheads were found in the trucks’ cargo.

According to the documents that circulated on the Internet before the ban came into effect, this was the summary of the incident:

-On Jan. 19, 2014, after receiving a tip that three trucks were carrying weapons and explosives to al-Qaeda in Syria, the Adana Provincial Gendarmerie Command obtained search warrants.

-The Adana prosecutor called for the search and seizure of all evidence.

-Security forces stropped the trucks at the Ceyhan toll gates, where MIT personnel tried to prevent the search.

-While the trucks were being escorted to Seyhan Gendarmerie Command for an extensive search, MIT personnel accompanying the trucks in an Audi vehicle blocked the road to stop the trucks. When MIT personnel seized the keys from the trucks’ ignitions, an altercation ensued. MIT personnel instructed the truck drivers to pretend their trucks had malfunctioned and committed physical violence against gendarmerie personnel.

-The search was carried out and videotaped despite the efforts of the governor and MIT personnel to prevent it.

-Six metallic containers were found in the three trucks. In the first container, 25-30 missiles or rockets and 10-15 crates loaded with ammunition were found. In the second container, 20-25 missiles or rockets, 20-25 crates of mortar ammunition and Douchka anti-aircraft ammunition in five or six sacks were discovered. The boxes had markings in the Cyrillic alphabet.

-It was noted that the MIT personnel swore at the prosecutor and denigrated the gendarmerie soldiers doing the search, saying, “Look at those idiots. They are looking for ammunition with picks and shovels. Let someone who knows how to do it. Trucks are full of bombs that might explode.”

-The governor of Adana Huseyin Avni Cos arrived at the scene and declared, “The trucks are moving with the prime minister’s orders” and vowed not to let them be interfered with no matter what.

Click to watch  Hackers Reveals Turkey’s Weapons Shipment for Al-Qaeda in Syria
-With a letter of guarantee sent by the regional director of MIT, co-signed by the governor, the trucks were handed back to MIT.

-Driver Murat Kislakci said in his deposition, “This cargo was loaded into our trucks from a foreign airplane at Ankara Esenboga Airport. We are taking them to Reyhanli [on the Syrian border]. Two men [MIT personnel] in the Audi are accompanying us. At Reyhanli, we hand over the trucks to two people in the Audi. They check us into a hotel. The trucks move to cross the border. We carried similar loads several times before. We were working for the state. In Ankara, we were leaving our trucks at an MIT location. They used to tell us to come back at 7 a.m. I know the cargo belongs to MIT. We were at ease; this was an affair of state. This was the first time we collected cargo from the airport and for the first time we were allowed to stand by our trucks during the loading.”

-After accusations of espionage by the government and pro-government media, the chief of general staff ordered the military prosecutor to investigate,. On July 21, the military prosecutor declared the operation was not espionage. The same prosecutor said this incident was a military affair and should be investigated not by the public prosecutor, but the military. The civilian court did not retract its decision.

The government cover-up

Though the scandal is tearing the country apart, the government opted for its favorite tactic of covering it up. A court in Adana banned written, visual and Internet media outlets from any reporting and commenting on the stopping of the trucks and the search. All online content about the incident has been deleted.

The court case against the 13 gendarmerie elements accused of espionage has also been controversial. The public prosecutor, who in his indictment said the accused were involved in a plot to have Turkey tried at International Criminal Court, veered off course. Without citing any evidence, the indictment charged that there was collusion between the Syrian government, al-Qaeda and the I"slamic State" (IS). The prosecutor deviated from the case at hand and charged that the killing by IS of three people at Nigde last year was actually carried out by the Syrian state.

At the moment, a total blackout prevails over revelations, which are bound to have serious international repercussions.

Fehim Taştekin is a columnist and chief editor of foreign news at the Turkish newspaper Radikal, based in Istanbul.

Source: via al-monitor

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US is Preparing up to 5k Militants That Would Flee to ISIL


Author: Tony Cartalucci

First appeared:

R64564564Reported along the peripheries of the Western media, it was reported recently that some 3,000 so-called “moderate rebels” of the “Free Syrian Army” had defected to the “Islamic State” (ISIS).  While not the first time so-called “moderates” have crossed over openly to Al Qaeda or ISIS, it is one of the largest crossovers that has occurred.

With them, these 3,000 fighters will bring weapons, cash, equipment, and training provided to them by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United States, the UK, and perhaps most ironic of all in the wake of the recent terror attack in Paris, France. Indeed, ISIS and Al Qaeda’s ranks continue to swell amid this insidious network of “terror laundering” that is only set to grow.

It was an open conspiracy exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his 2007 article,  “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?“, that the US and its regional allies sought to use Al Qaeda and other extremist groups to wage a proxy war on Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. This conspiracy has clearly manifested itself today in the form of ISIS. Despite a feigned military campaign waged against ISIS, targeting primarily Syria’s oil infrastructure, the true source of ISIS’ strength, emanating  from NATO territory in Turkey, remains unscathed and uninterrupted. Additionally, torrents of cash, weapons, and supplies are working their way across ISIS’ rank and file through the migration of so-called “moderates” under their banner.

Before this brigade-sized defection, several other “vetted moderate rebel” groups, armed by the US in particular, have openly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. The most notorious incident was when terror group Harakat Hazm, provided antitank TOW missiles by the US, openly pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization Al Nusra. Al Nusra would assume possession of the TOW missiles, using them allegedly in a successful campaign in Syria’s Idlib province.

The Daily Beast would report in its  September 2014 article, “Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say,” that: 
One Syrian rebel group supported in the past by the United States condemned the air strikes on Tuesday. Harakat Hazm, a rebel group that received a shipment of U.S. anti-tank weapons in the spring, called the airstrikes “an attack on national sovereignty” and charged that foreign led attacks only strengthen the Assad regime.The statement comes from a document, purportedly from the group, that has circulated online and was posted in English translation from a Twitter account called Syria Conflict Monitor. Several Syria experts, including the Brookings Doha Center’s Charles Lister, believe the document to be authentic. 
Before the official statement, there were signs that Harakat Hazm was making alliances in Syria that could conflict with its role as a U.S. partner. In early Septemeber a Harakat Hazm official told a reporter for the L.A. Times: “Inside Syria, we became labeled as secularists and feared Nusra Front was going to battle us…But Nusra doesn’t fight us, we actually fight alongside them. We like Nusra.”
This group would later be reported by the Western press as having “surrendered” to Al Qaeda. The International Business Times would claim in its article, “Syria: Al-Nusra Jihadists ‘Capture US TOW Anti-Tank Missiles’ from Moderate Rebels,” that:
Weaponry supplied by the US to moderate Syrian rebels was feared to have fallen into the hands of jihadist militants affiliated to al-Qaida after clashes between rival groups.  
Islamist fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra seized control of large swathes of land in Jabal al-Zawiya, Idlib province, at the weekend, routing the US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm, activists said.  
Washington relied on SFR and Harakat Hazm to counter Isis (Islamic State) militants on the ground in Syria, complementing its air strikes.
Clearly however, Harakat Hazm’s “surrender” was merely the finalizing of its growing alliance with Al Nusra.

US Prepares Another Brigade for ISIS 

When “moderates” appear inevitably destined for the ranks of ISIS, and with US weapons falling into Al Qaeda’s hands along with entire brigade-sized defections taking place, what the world would last expect is for the US to prepare another brigade-sized army to arm, fund, train, and turn loose inside of Syria. But that is precisely what the US is planning to do.

Stars and Stripes would report in its article, “Agreement reached for US to train Syrian rebels in Turkey,” that:
Officials say the initial round of training would produce of 5,000 trained Free Syrian Army members within about a year. 

Saudi Arabia in September agreed to host the training of moderate Syrian rebels to assist the U.S. strategy to combat Islamic State insurgents, who control territory in Syria and Iraq. 

U.S. support of the Free Syrian Army has been criticized as halting by supporters of greater U.S. involvement in Syria, and the group suffered setbacks when units were overrun and driven from their bases in recent weeks by members of another insurgent group, the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

Only this “Free Syrian Army” wasn’t overrun and driven out by Al Nusra – as previously mentioned – instead many of these groups had been part of long-running alliances with the Al Qaeda franchise, and simply made it official, bringing their Western arms, cash, and training with them.

For the US already, plausible deniability is impossible with revelations as early as 2007 exposing America’s desire to use Al Qaeda as a proxy military force. With Harakat Hazm turning over US-supplied antitank TOW missiles to Al Qaeda, and now an entire brigade-sized defection by so-called “Free Syrian Army” fighters to ISIS – what besides “disaster” could befall America’s new brigade it plans to start training this spring?

Inevitably, these fighters, their supplies and weapons will end up consolidated under ISIS and Al Nusra’s banner. Terrorism continues to grow in Syria not because of ISIS’ control over oilfields and revenue from hostage ransoms, but because the US and its partners continue to intentionally feed into its maw thousands of trained fighters, weapons, and billions in cash, equipment, and other supplies.

When these terrorists begin filtering into Europe and America, the same interests involved in intentionally creating this massive terrorist enterprise in Syria will wring their hands demanding what little is left of civilization at home be dismantled, after having insidiously and intentionally destroyed it abroad.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.
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