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Tag Archive: Syria


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World Tribune

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Russia accuses U.S. of cover-up over ISIL-Turkey oil smuggling

Special to WorldTribune.com

The United States is involved in a “cover-up” over Turkey’s alleged smuggling of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) oil, Russia’s defense ministry said on Dec. 5.

“When U.S. officials say they don’t see how the terrorists’ oil is smuggled to Turkey… it smells badly of a desire to cover up these acts,” the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page.

An oil convoy was completely destroyed when it was hit by a Russian air strike in Syria. /Twitter

An oil convoy was destroyed when it was hit by a Russian air strike in Syria. /Twitter

ISIL’s sales of captured oil assets on the black market is credited with making it the best-funded terror organization in history.

“The declarations of the Pentagon and the State Department seem like a theater of the absurd,” the statement said, adding that Washington should “watch the videos taken by its (own) drones which have recently been three times as numerous over the Turkey-Syria border and above the oil zones.”

 

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BREITBART

EuroParliament Prez: Christians ‘Not Safe In Our Continent’

In a high-level meeting on religious persecution in Brussels, the President of the European Parliament (EP) said that Europe cannot afford to continue ignoring the fate of Christians, who are “clearly the most persecuted group” in the world.

In Wednesday’s meeting, EP President Martin Schulz said that the persecution of Christians is “undervalued” and does not receive enough attention, which has also meant that it “hasn’t been properly addressed.”

Schulz’s concerns were echoed by EP Vice President Antonio Tajani, who warned that Europe sometimes “falls into the temptation of thinking we can ignore this task,” referring to the protection Christians throughout the world who suffer persecution.

Speakers cited the work of Open Doors, a human rights organization that monitors the persecution of Christians, noting that 150 million Christians worldwide suffer torture, rape and arbitrary imprisonment. Christians in Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea and Nigeria are among those hardest hit.

The Open Doors report for 2015 found that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”

 

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Israel buys most oil smuggled from ISIS territory – report

Islamic State

Israel has become the main buyer for oil from ISIS controlled territory, reports “al-Araby al-Jadeed.”

Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media. An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization.The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.

In August, the “Financial Times” reported that Israel obtained 75% of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan, which the FT describe as a “potential gateway for ISIS-smuggled crude.”

 

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‘No way West was unaware of ISIS-Turkey oil trade’

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan © Umit Bektas
 
What will be the reaction of Ankara’s Western allies following Moscow’s revelations that Turkey is involved in ISIS oil smuggling, RT asked experts.

READ MORE: Russia presents proof of Turkey’s role in ISIS oil trade

The evidence presented by the Russian Defense Ministry will be “partly ignored and distorted” by Western MSM, says Foreign Affairs Editor Srdja Trifkovic.

I think that Erdogan will scream ‘blue murder’ and claim that this is all a set-up and a reaction to what he calls ‘justified downing of the Russian plane’. The real issue is what the US will do about this. Because it is quite obvious the Turkish tail has been wagging the American dog for far too long,” he said.

My hunch is that the US will continue to be reluctant to really do something about it. They have had a chance to do so for 15 months prior to the beginning of the Russian air strikes on September, 25. The question of all questions is whether Erdogan will finally be pressed by his Western partners to shape up and to act like a civilized person, which unfortunately he is not,” Trifkovic told RT.

 

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Erdogan & his family involved in ISIS oil trade – Russian MoD

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Published on Dec 2, 2015

Turkish leadership, including Erdogan & his family are involved in ISIS oil trade, Russian MoD announced on Wednesday, showcasing satellites images and footage from oil facilities and Syrian-Turkish border.

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

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Russia presents proof of Turkey’s role in ISIS oil trade

© syria.mil.ru

The Russian Defense Ministry has released evidence which it says unmasks vast illegal oil trade by Islamic State and points to Turkey as the main destination for the smuggled petrol, implicating its leadership in aiding the terrorists.

READ MORE: Map, images from Russian military show main routes of ISIS oil smuggling to Turkey

The Russian Defense Ministry held a major briefing on new findings concerning IS funding in Moscow on Wednesday.

According to Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Russia is aware of three main oil smuggling routes to Turkey.

“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,” Antonov said, adding that this oil “in large quantities” enters the territory of Turkey via “live oil pipelines,” consisting of thousands of oil trucks.

The routes of alleged oil smuggling from Syria and Iraq to Turkey © syria.mil.ru

Antonov added that Turkey is the main buyer of smuggled oil coming from Iraq and Syria.

According to our data, the top political leadership of the country – President Erdogan and his family – is involved in this criminal business.”

READ MORE: Russia says Turkey’s Erdogan & family involved in illegal ISIS oil trade

However, since the start of Russia’s anti-terrorist operation in Syria on September 30, the income of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants from illegal oil smuggling has been significantly reduced, the ministry said.

The income of this terrorist organization was about $3 million per day. After two months of Russian airstrikes their income was about $1.5 million a day,” Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy said.

At the briefing the ministry presented photos of oil trucks, videos of airstrikes on IS oil storage facilities and maps detailing the movement of smuggled oil. More evidence is to be published on the ministry’s website in the coming says, Rudskoy said.

 

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‘Great partners’: Pentagon rejects Russian evidence of Turkey aiding ISIS

Col. Steve Warren © Khalid Mohammed
A Pentagon spokesman rejected Russia’s evidence of Turkey’s involvement in oil deals with Islamic State militants, calling Turkey a “great partner” just a day after his boss complained to Congress that Ankara was not fighting ISIS enough.

“Let me be very clear that we flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL,” said Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). “That is preposterous and kind of ridiculous. We absolutely, flatly reject that notion.”

Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Steve Warren: We flatly reject the notion that is working with .

Warren was responding to questions about the evidence presented by the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday, including satellite photos and maps pointing the finger at Turkey – and President Recep Erdogan personally – for aiding the militants in smuggling oil.

“The Turks have been great partner to us in the fight against ISIL. They are hosting our aircraft, they are conducting strikes, they are supporting the moderate Syrian opposition,” Warren told reporters during a weekly Pentagon briefing from Operation Inherent Resolve headquarters in Baghdad. “They’ve been good partners here. Any thought that the Turks, that the Turkish government is somehow working with ISIL is just preposterous and completely untrue.”

Just yesterday, however, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter was telling the House Armed Services Committee that most of Turkey’s military operations were directed against the Kurds, rather than the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

“Most of their air operations are not directed at ISIL,” Carter told lawmakers. “They are directed at the PKK, which we understand their concern about — it’s a terrorist organization within their borders — but we would like to see them do more against ISIL.”

 

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US-led coalition not striking ISIS oil trucks despite evidence – Russia’s General Staff

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. Air Force © Senior Airman Matthew Bruch
Despite mounting evidence of ISIS oil smuggling, the US-led coalition in Syria and Iraq is not striking convoys of oil trucks heading to Turkey, Russia’s General Staff has said.

“It’s hard not to notice” the thousands of trucks used by terrorists for oil smuggling, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, deputy commander of the General Staff, said at a briefing in Moscow on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Russia presents proof of Turkey’s role in ISIS oil trade

“However, we see no strikes on those convoys by the coalition – only a tripling in the number of strategic UAVs has been observed,” he said.

With the US and its allies unwilling to act, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported the locations where Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) oil tankers are concentrated, Rudskoy said.

Vehicles parked 8km west of Zakho, Iraq © syria.mil.ru

The deputy commander stressed that defeating IS would be impossible without curbing its main source of income – the illegal oil trade – and urged the coalition to strike IS oil infrastructure.

 

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Fort Russ

Cassad News
November 26, 2015Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
With additional photos supplied by Fort Russ

Last night (November 25) the first photos and video came up of the destroyed Turkish convoy that arrived in the militant-controlled city of Azaz. First, some photos:

Well, all in the same spirit, some information about what kind of city is this, and why is this news you need to focus on. The town Azaz is located in the north of Syria, almost on the border with Turkey. The city is a hub, where Turkish aid (weapons, ammunition, drugs, rations etc.) are dumped off. Then with all his “help” they begin to disperse it to other cities under militant control, as well as camps and fortified places.
Map. Azaz is circled in red:
As you can see, it’s about five km from the Turkish border. Speaking of buffer zones, Turkey was expecting to make this city an absolute springboard, out of reach of Syrian army strikes. It did not happen. But until today, due to the remoteness of the Syrian army from it, as well as a number of geopolitical reasons, attacks were not mounted on this city.

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Bosphorus Bridge and Turkish Flag

Russia Suspends Visa-Free Regime With Turkey – Lavrov

© Flickr/ KLMircea

Politics

16:44 27.11.2015(updated 19:23 27.11.2015)

Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem that Russia would suspend the visa-free regime with Turkey.

“The Russian government reached a decision to suspend the free-visa regime between Russia and the Turkish Republic. The decision will come into effect on January 1 2016,” Lavrov said at a press-conference after talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.

The Russian minister added that threats coming from Turkey were “not artificial.”

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NATO member Turkey has "temporarily" suspended air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, local media report© Provided by AFP NATO member Turkey has “temporarily” suspended air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, local media report

 

Turkey ‘temporarily’ suspends Syria air strikes after Russia spat

 

AFP
NATO member Turkey has “temporarily” suspended air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria after the downing of a Russian warplane on the Syrian border sparked a major row with Moscow, local media reported on Friday.Turkish F-16 jets on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane which Ankara said had breached its air space. Russia on Thursday vowed to carry out broad retaliatory measures against Turkey’s economy.Turkey, a member of a US-led coalition fighting IS, has halted air raids against the group in Syria in order to avoid any further crises, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

 

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Global Post

Agence France -Presse

Turkey denies suspending Syria air strikes after Russia crisis

Turkey denied Friday it had suspended air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria after the downing of a Russian warplane on the Syrian border.

Turkish F-16 jets on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane which Ankara said had breached its air space.

The Hurriyet newspaper said Turkey, a member of a US-led coalition fighting IS, had “temporarily” halted air raids against the group in Syria in order to avoid any further crises.

“Both sides agreed to act cautiously until they re-establish dialogue channels to reduce tensions,” the paper said, citing security sources.

But a government official denied that strikes had been halted.

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25.11.2015 Author: F. William Engdahl

Israeli Colonel Caught with IS Pants Down

 

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This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was “caught with IS pants down.” By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS–or Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference–terrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence he apparently said a lot regarding the role of Netanyahu’s IDF in supporting IS.

In late October an Iranian news agency, quoting a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, reported the capture of an Israeli army colonel, named Yusi Oulen Shahak, reportedly related to the ISIS Golani Battalion operating in Iraq in the Salahuddin front. In a statement to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency a Commander of the Iraqi Army stated, “The security and popular forces have held captive an Israeli colonel.” He added that the IDF colonel “had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group’s terrorist operations.” He said the colonel was arrested together with a number of ISIL or IS terrorists, giving the details: “The Israeli colonel’s name is Yusi Oulen Shahak and is ranked colonel in Golani Brigade… with the security and military code of Re34356578765az231434.”

Why Israel?

Ever since the beginning of Russia’s very effective IS bombing of select targets in Syria on September 30, details of the very dirty role of not only Washington, but also NATO member Turkey under President Erdogan, Qatar and other states has come into the sunlight for the first time.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that at least a faction in the Obama Administration has played a very dirty behind-the-scenes role in supporting IS in order to advance the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and pave the way for what inevitably would be a Libya-style chaos and destruction which would make the present Syrian refugee crisis in Europe a mere warmup by comparison.

The “pro-IS faction” in Washington includes the so-called neo-conservatives centered around disgraced former CIA head and executioner of the Iraqi “surge” General David Petraeus. It also includes US General John R. Allen, who since September 2014 had served as President Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and, until she resigned in February 2013, it included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Significantly, General John Allen, an unceasing advocate of a US-led “No Fly Zone” inside Syria along the border to Turkey, something President Obama refused, was relieved of his post on 23 October, 2015. That was shortly after launch of the highly-effective Russian strikes on Syrian IS and Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front terrorist sites changed the entire situation in the geopolitical picture of Syria and the entire Middle East.

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Russia Insider logo

Russia Insider

Is This Real Life? Saudi Arabia Executes ‘Wizards’, But Condemns ‘Syrian Human Rights Violations’

A Saudi-proposed UN resolution expresses “outrage” at the worsening violence in Syria (fuelled by Saudi-backed extremists) that has left at least 250,000 dead

18 hours ago  

Obama greets a brave anti-wizard crusader
Obama greets a brave anti-wizard crusader

Close your eyes and think about “defenders of human rights”. What image bubbles up from your subconscious? If you answered “Saudi Arabia”, you probably represent one of the 115 countries that just passed a Saudi-proposed UN resolution condemning “Syrian human rights violations.”

Yes, Saudi Arabia —the oasis of human dignity where Harry Potter fans (widely considered the greatest dangers to world peace) are dealt with accordingly — is leading the fight against Syrian violence caused by Saudi-funded terrorists. Here are the terrible details:

A resolution presented by Saudi Arabia was adopted by a vote of 115 to 15, with 51 abstentions.

China, Iran and Russia were among the countries that voted against the measure that now goes to the full General Assembly.

The resolution expresses “outrage” at the worsening violence that has left at least 250,000 dead and displaced more than 12 million people. It stressed the need for accountability and encouraged the UN Security Council to take action, noting that the International Criminal Court (ICC) could play a role. An attempt last year to refer Syria to the ICC for war crimes was blocked by Russia, Syria’s ally, and China at the Security Council.

 

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the guardian

Cultural figures and human rights groups call for release of poet facing execution

Individuals and creative organisations join Amnesty International to demand Saudi Arabia overturn Ashraf Fayadh’s conviction for renouncing Islam

Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh
Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh is facing execution in Saudi Arabia for renouncing Islam, a charge he denies. Photograph: YouTube

Leading international cultural figures have joined human rights campaigners in calling for the release of Ashraf Fayadh, the Palestinian poet and artist facing execution in Saudi Arabia.

Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, historian Simon Schama, playwright David Hare, and Egyptian novelist and commentator Ahdaf Soueif are among the those calling for the death sentence imposed on Fayadh by a Saudi court last week to be overturned.

More than a dozen organisations for artists, writers, musicians and freedom of expression from the UK, North America and Africa – including Index on Censorship, literary association PEN International and the International Association of Art Critics – have also signed a joint statement condemning Fayadh’s conviction for renouncing Islam, a charge which he denies.

The statement, which will be delivered to the Saudi embassy in London on Friday, says: “We believe that all charges against him should have been dropped entirely, and are appalled that Fayadh has instead been sentenced to death for apostasy, simply for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and freedom of belief.”

Amnesty International launched an urgent action on Tuesday to lobby for Fayadh’s release, which denounced his lack of legal representation as a violation of international and Saudi law.

Schama said: “Anyone with a conscience should abhor the sentence and shun those responsible as inhuman.”

 

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Saudi Arabia executes 100th prisoner in 6 months

AFP Photo / STR
Saudi Arabia has beheaded a Syrian drug trafficker, rocketing the number of this year’s executions in the Kingdom to 100. This figure is already more than the 87 sentenced and put to death in the country during the whole of last year.

The execution took place on Monday in the northern region of Jawf. Syrian Ismael al-Tawm smuggled “a large amount of banned amphetamine pills into the kingdom,” the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement, as cited by AFP.

READ MORE: 89 in 5 months: Saudi Arabia continues executions

The man was sentenced to death according to the nation’s strict version of Sharia law, under which such crimes as murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death. Public executions are mostly conducted by decapitating the accused with a sword.

The 100th execution has surpassed the 87 recorded by AFP in 2014, but is still some way below the highest figure of 192, recorded by the human rights group Amnesty International in 1995. The watchdog has been scathing of the Kingdom’s human rights record, saying they “fall far short” of global norms.

“Almost half of the executions carried out so far this year have been for drug-related offences, which don’t fall into a recognized international category of ‘most serious crimes,’ and the use of the death penalty for such offences violates international law,” a statement on Amnesty International’s website read.

 

 

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