Resisting for weeks, the Pentagon has finally admitted that "advisers" in Syria will be involved in military ops, but the US still remains cagey on strategic specifics. That vagueness may be intentional, a move that’s been used by Washington in the past, just before becoming embroiled in the nation’s largest military mistake of the 20th century.
For Ali Kayali, the PFLI which he commands is also a family matter. His wife and daughter and two sons are deeply connected with the Resistance goals of the PFLI. The sons as fighters and his wife and daughter as fighters when called upon and meanwhile they do other Resistance projects. His 22 year old daughter, nicked-named “Joan of Arc” is in medical school but is also reputedly a ferocious fighter and battlefield tactician, with dramatic results in a number of battles against rebels over the past nearly two years. She is a strong no-nonsense feminist and told me she loves to shock takiris who sometimes appear amazed to see her and her female unit chasing them up the side of some mountain.
As North African and Middle Eastern foreign ministers meet to discuss the ongoing crisis in Libya, a key diplomat central to the negotiations has criticized the western military intervention of the country in 2011, saying it scuppered the chance of securing a peaceful transition in Libya.
Science-denying Republicans—intent on derailing local, national, and global attempts to avert a looming climate crisis—have their priorities all wrong, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday.
It has been widely reported and verified that ISIS is selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen oil in Turkey, yet the mainstream media and Obama have remained silent on the issue. Barack Obama is aware that Turkey is buying oil from ISIS, but an acknowledgement from the... #crudeoil
Two French nationals suspected of wanting to join Islamic State training camps in Libya before heading to Syria were arrested in Tunisia in mid-November, according to an official at the Paris prosecutor's office.
It is the first case made public of potential French Islamic State recruits travelling to Libya instead of Syria, where hundreds of French citizens have already joined the ranks of the hardline group.
According to the official, the two men, aged 19 and 20, were arrested near Tunisia's southern border with Libya. They were handed over to French authorities on Nov. 13, the day of the Paris attacks that killed 130 people and claimed by Islamic State (IS).
North African oil producer Libya has slipped deeper into chaos with two rival governments, each backed by a multitude of armed factions, procrastinating over signing a previously negotiated agreement for a unity government.
This has allowed IS jihadists to take control of the city of Sirte and tighten their grip on central Libya, carrying out summary executions, beheadings and amputations, the United Nations said this month.
The official said the two men had said they wanted to train in Libya with the aim of fighting with Islamic State in Syria.
French officials have repeated for more than a year that they are concerned by events in Libya, warning that the political void in the north is creating favourable conditions for Islamist groups to regroup in the barren south of the country.
There are 7.2 billion people on this planet but the United States fears only one man — Vladimir Putin. That’s because on virtually every front of the new Cold War, the Russian president is walloping the collective challenge of the West. Fear can make you do strange things — for the second year running, Forbes magazine has named Putin as the world’s most powerful person.
It is said about the Russians that they take a long time to saddle their horses, but they ride awfully fast. After patiently nursing the collapsed Russian economy back to health from 1999 to 2007, Putin started pushing back against the western encirclement of his country. In Syria, Crimea and Ukraine, the West has faced humiliating setbacks and melted away at his approach. In the high-stakes game of energy, it will be Russian — not western — pipelines that will dominate the Eurasian landmass.
The militants of the “Councils of Awakening” received not only weapons, but also financing expenses in the amount of 300 dollars from occupation forces, which by Iraqi standards is a quite decent amount. At the best of times, the membership of Al-Sahwa” reached 150,000 fighters.
Over time, this structure acquired the status of a guarantor of the conditional autonomy of Sunni provinces, since Al-Sahwa divisions acted as the private militaries of local tribes and clans.
Puerto Rico faces amoment of truth on Tuesday, as the island owes a $355 millionpayment - a possible default which could trigger lawsuits,further spook investors and undermine the island's efforts toclimb out of $72 billion in debt.
More than 2,600 civilians have been killed in the civil war in Yemen, most from air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition backed by the US. Global Post reporter Sharif Abdel Kouddous is just back from Yemen, and tells the story of one air strike that targeted a home where a wedding was taking place.
Nach einer kurzen Pause dringt die türkische Luftwaffe laut Angaben aus Athen wieder in den Luftraum über Griechenland ein. Nachdem Russland in der vergangenen Woche in Syrien ein Flugabwehr-Raketensystem vom Typ S-400 aufgestellt hatte, registrierte das griechische Militär vorübergehend keine Grenzverletzungen durch türkische Jets.
“The downing of the SU-24 was definitely a major and carefully planned ambush operation which involved a large number of Turkish F-16 [being] constantly held on airborne alert positions. The notion that the Americans did not know about this all along is ridiculous,” The Saker elaborated.
On Monday, the remains of Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov were flown to Moscow where he was met by the Russian Minister of Defense, the Head of the Russian Airforce, family members and a full milit…
Enrique Ferro's insight:
Putin’s damning remarks have not appeared in any of the western media. The censorship of this information is similar to the blackout of comments Putin made just two weeks earlier at the G-20 summit where he announced that “40 countries” are financing ISIS including members of the G-20. Here’s an except of Putin’s bombshell announcement:
As western countries ramp up strikes against ISIS's de-facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, the terrorist group is looking to Libya as a potential back-up option at which to base its operations, according to The New York Times.
While ISIS (also known as the Islamic State) has other affiliates throughout Africa and the Middle East that have pledged their allegiance to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group's branch in Sirte is the only one that ISIS central leadership directly controls.
The Wall Street Journal reports that ISIS leaders in Libya have reportedly adopted a slogan that reflects Sirte's heightened profile within the jihadist organization: "Sirte will be no less than Raqqa."
The Sirte affiliate is also much closer to western Europe than ISIS's territory in Syria and Iraq:
Proof that the British political class hasn't learned anything after Iraq came with David Cameron's ludicrous assertion that there are 70,000 moderate rebels fighting in Syria. It was an outright fabrication to rank with Blair's sexed up dossier on Saddam's WMD, which the then prime minister asserted could be launched against Britain within 45 minutes.
We know Cameron's claim is fiction because as far back as 2012 the US Defense Intelligence Agency produced a classified intelligence report which identified that, "The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." This was a full two years before ISIS exploded across the region at the beginning of 2014.
The Prime Minister's assertion was made as part of an increasingly desperate attempt by him and his supporters to win support for British airstrikes which every military expert agrees will have no appreciable impact when it comes to defeating ISIS in Syria.
Make no mistake, crushing this menace must be the priority of all right-thinking people, with the only question one of how not if. It is a priority which makes the cognitive dissonance and contradictions that have underpinned the West's actions and policy towards the conflict in Syria all the more grievous, ensuring we have only helped to prolong the conflict and, with it, the ability of ISIS to operate, rather than the opposite. In this regard the equivalence that continues to be drawn between the secular government of Bashar al-Assad and this medieval death cult is not just fallacious it is utterly and wholly obscene.
No sentient being would compare the Syrian president to Nelson Mandela. But comparing him to Hitler is even less credible. He leads a secular government under which the rights of Syrian minorities are upheld and protected, a government that still enjoys the support of the majority of Syrians and a government whose survival in 2015 is indistinguishable from the country's survival. The alternative to Assad at this point - the only alternative - is Syria being turned into a mass grave of said minorities as it descends into an abyss of sectarian mass murder and slaughter that will make the status quo seem like child's play by comparison. The Assad government can be negotiated with, ISIS cannot, and as bad as anybody believes Assad is he is not in the business of planting bombs on passenger aircraft or sending death squads to massacre British tourists in Tunisia or civilians in Beirut, Paris and anywhere else.
Attributing the refugee crisis to Assad, or claiming the majority of civilians who've been killed have been killed by his military, comes to us straight from the regime change playbook. We heard the same propaganda in the run up to the war in Iraq in 2003 and also in the run-up to NATO's intervention in Libya in 2011. Both countries are now failed states as a direct consequence of our military intervention.
Making the same catastrophic mistake again would be a crime that history will not forgive.
Fresh analysis of a reptile fossil is helping scientists solve an evolutionary puzzle -- how snakes lost their limbs. The findings show snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as was previously suggested.
The 90 million-year-old skull is giving researchers vital clues about how snakes evolved. Comparisons between CT scans of the fossil and modern reptiles indicate that snakes lost their legs when their ancestors evolved to live and hunt in burrows, which many snakes still do today.
The findings show snakes did not lose their limbs in order to live in the sea, as was previously suggested.
Scientists used CT scans to examine the bony inner ear of Dinilysia patagonica, a 2-meter long reptile closely linked to modern snakes. These bony canals and cavities, like those in the ears of modern burrowing snakes, controlled its hearing and balance. They built 3D virtual models to compare the inner ears of the fossils with those of modern lizards and snakes. Researchers found a distinctive structure within the inner ear of animals that actively burrow, which may help them detect prey and predators. This shape was not present in modern snakes that live in water or above ground.
The findings help scientists fill gaps in the story of snake evolution, and confirm Dinilysia patagonica as the largest burrowing snake ever known. They also offer clues about a hypothetical ancestral species from which all modern snakes descended, which was likely a burrower.
H. Yi, M. A. Norell. The burrowing origin of modern snakes. Science Advances, 2015; 1 (10): e1500743 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500743
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