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Showing posts from 2016

News From Libya on the War Against #ISIS For December 2016

Flag-map of Libya (Photo credit: Wikipedia) From 'Eye On ISIS in Libya' comes the following article:
December 20, 2016 
On 14 December, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar called on his officers and soldiers to be ready for the offensive to ‘free’ Tripoli. An LNA spokesperson said plans to achieve this were already underway. However, it is likely that any attempt by LNA forces to take Tripoli by force will unite Tripoli’s currently divided militia forces (both pro and anti-GNA) against the LNA. The LNA’s operation room in western Libya is situated in Zintan and led by Zintani Brigadier Idris Madi. However, the powerful LNA-aligned city appears to be divided over launching a new offensive in Tripoli. Both Misrata and Zintan military councils issued statements distancing themselves from Haftar’s announcement to seize Tripoli, stressing the need for peaceful political process. On 16 December, Libyan National Army (LNA) units were sent to reinforce the LNA-controlled Watiya airbase south-…

Links for November 19 to December 21 via The Arabist

Libya Political Agreement Still On?

Good article from Eye On Isis in Libya yesterday:

UN Envoy Martin Kobler has insisted that he will not give up on getting the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and the GNA approved by the HoR, while also denying that he is considering resignation. On November 29, Kobler flew to Tobruk to meet with HoR Vice President Emhemed Shuaib, in an attempt to reactivate an HoR vote on the LPA. However, news of Kobler’s arrival spread quickly. Anti-GNA demonstrations were triggered, forcing Kobler to stay at the airport to met Shuaib.  In an open conversation with the Libya Herald on 3 December, Kobler said that the LPA is not set in stone, indicating that re-negotiation of certain points in the 2015 Skhirat agreement is possible, including notably those preventing Marshal Khalifa Haftar remaining in control of the LNA. In that interview, Kobler also lamented the militia clashes in Tripoli, saying they exposed the failure of the security arrangements section in the LPA. Kobler highlighted that a m…

Do We Hear Both Sides in an Unbiased Way: Mosul vs Aleppo?

'Good Bombs' Western media justify civilian victims from coalition attacks

Media should report in an unbiased manner regarding any conflict, but especially so in a very complicated, muddied Middle-East. 
Listening to the rhetoric, especially from the US side, is embarrassing. 

Urban combat is extremely difficult - even more so when bombing from the air. The US should put away it's 'air of superiority' when talking about how the Russians are engaging the takfiri militant terrorists in Aleppo City, Syria. Full Stop!

Related articlesWestern Media Became 'Victim' of the Terrorists' PropagandaSyrian and Russian Air Forces Carry Out Massive Air Strikes in Aleppo Province (Photos)Western Hypocrisy & PropagandaThe Syrian Revolution That Really Wasn'tAmerican Support of HR Catastrophe in Yemen[Video] Russian bombers pulverize jihadists in Aleppo City

Western Hypocrisy & Propaganda

ConsortiumNews has an excellent piece written by Gareth Porter, an award winning investigative journalist. Remember them, dear reader?!
Amid the sludge of propaganda, it’s hard to know what’s really happening in Syria, but the West’s outrage over Russian-inflicted civilian casualties is clearly hypocritical given the U.S.-Israeli slaughters elsewhere in the region, notes Gareth Porter. By Gareth Porter The Russian-Syrian bombing campaign in eastern Aleppo, which has ended at least for the time being, has been described in press reports and op-eds as though it were unique in modern military history in its indiscriminateness. In an unusual move for a senior U.S. official, Secretary of State John Kerry called for an investigation of war crimes in Aleppo. The discussion has been lacking in historical context, however. Certainly the civilian death toll from the bombing and shelling in Aleppo has been high, but many of the strikes may not be all that dissimilar from the major U.S. bombing c…

The Syrian Revolution That Really Wasn't

Stephen Gowan's Wordpress blog, recently penned this extremely interesting and well thought out position on how the Syrian "Revolution" came to be. Some of you may find this surprising, others of us came to this conclusion some time ago. It's difficult to follow these events in the Middle East and not come to this same conclusion, if one is unbiased at the start.
Apparently, the US Left has yet to figure out that Washington doesn’t try to overthrow neoliberals. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were a devotee of the Washington Consensus–as Counterpunch’s Eric Draitser seems to believe–the United States government wouldn’t have been calling since 2003 for Assad to step down. Nor would it be overseeing the Islamist guerilla war against his government; it would be protecting him. By Stephen Gowans There is a shibboleth in some circles that, as Eric Draitser put it in a recent Counterpunch article, the uprising in Syria “began as a response to the Syrian government’s n…

Middle-East Links for October 2016

Serena Shim: Journalist

The american journalist Serena Shim was killed on the Turkey|Syrian border approximately 2 years ago, shortly after she indicated live on air, that Turkish Intelligence suspected her of being a spy. Reading a story published online by The Free Thought Project this morning reminded me of her reportage. It truly is a story worthy of an espionage thriller IMHO.
Serena Shim is an American citizen of Lebanese descent who was born near Detroit. Shim worked for Iranian broadcaster Press TV as a foreign correspondent covering wars, legitimate protests and fake uprisings in multiple countries. She reported live from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon during the conflict since 2011, including in the critical region of Daraa during the beginning of protests, which are misrepresented by American media as the reasons for the fake civil war. Serena Shim was killed two years ago on October 19, 2014, in Turkey while reporting on the intense battle for the Syrian border city of Kobani which was the focu…

ISHM on Mosul Operation

From Iraqi Security & Humanitarian Monitor:
Yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the start of military operations to clear Mosul of ISIS and those efforts are now well underway. But what happens to the one million or more residents trapped in the city who risk death if they stay - and if they attempt to flee? As UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien said, "Families are at extreme risk of being caught in cross-fire or targeted by snipers. Tens of thousands of Iraqi girls, boys, women and men may be under siege or held as human shields. Thousands may be forcibly expelled or trapped between the fighting lines. Children, women, the elderly and disabled will be particularly vulnerable." Please read and share our analysis, which offers an explanation of how this situation came to be and the warnings that government policymakers and aid agencies cannot ignore. As they face the most difficult challenge of their lives, we will continue to keep the ci…

Iraqi Security & Human Rights Report

October 07 to October 13, 2016: The new issue of ISHM is out and here is their recap.
Turkish Troop Presence in Northern Iraq Continues to Cause Tension – On October 11, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a press conference that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi needs to “know his place” in regional affairs, asserting that Turkey will not be excluded from impending operations to clear Mosul of ISIS militants. The statement follows the Turkish Parliament’s approval of a continued Turkish troop presence in northern Iraq despite calls from the Iraqi Parliament, Arab League, and the United States that foreign military forces in Iraq should only be there with the consent of the Iraqi government. Members of Iraqi Parliament have called for severing diplomatic and economic ties between Turkey and Iraq (despite Turkey’s status as Iraq’s number one importer), and have called for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session on the issue. Meanwhile, in the Kurdistan Region…