Saturday, 17 December 2011

News from the Middle East and Pakistan

US and NATO troops train on the Syrian border

There have been reports of hundreds of American and NATO troops training militants on the Syrian border to overthrow Al-assad's regime. According to a former FBI official this has been going on since May 2011. Why are we not hearing about this on American mainstream media? Sibel Edmonds, president of the National Security Whistle blowers Coalition, exposes what is going on around Syria.

Squeezed NATO supply line runs dry

16 November, 2011

Stepping up pressure on an already-squeezed supply line, Pakistan on Thursday imposed a ban on export of petroleum products to Afghanistan and Central Asia, meant for Nato troops posted in the region.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) – the country’s highest economic decision-making body, headed by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

The import is being practiced only on paper, and all these petroleum products are being sold in Pakistan after going through the export process, said the ministry of petroleum and natural resources in a justification given to the ECC.

The government was also facing criticism for providing subsidised products to Afghanistan at a time when domestic consumers are subject to heavy taxation. The petroleum ministry officials said around 850,000 tons of jet fuel, consumed by Nato forces, is exported to Afghanistan per year.

Pakistan had also been exporting 150,000 tons of high-speed diesel and 100,000 tons of petrol at subsidised rates since 2002-03.

For article GO HERE

Iraq oil security tested as U.S. forces withdraw

16 December, 2011

BAGHDAD, Dec. 16, 2011 (Reuters) — A bombing of southern Iraqi crude pipelines despite a nationwide alert against a possible surge in insurgent attacks has heightened fears for the future security of Iraq's vital oil sector as American troops withdraw.

The oil hub city of Basra, which handles the bulk of the OPEC member's oil exports, has generally seen fewer attacks this year than other cities in the country.

But militants have stepped up assaults over the past months and bombed oil installations despite tight security, testing the ability of Iraqi security forces to halt attacks nearly nine years after the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein

For article GO HERE

France rejects Russia's Syria resolution

17 December, 2011

Text of Russian surprise draft resolution on Syrian violence is still too weak; deserters kill 27 Syrian soldiers.

PARIS - Russia's draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria is unacceptable to France, but Moscow's recognition that the body must react to the bloodshed is a positive step, France's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Russia unexpectedly presented a new, beefed-up draft resolution on the violence in Syria to the security council on Thursday. Western envoys said the text was too weak even though it expanded and toughened previous Russian drafts.

Both Russia and China vetoed a West European draft resolution in October that contained a threat of sanctions.

For article GO HERE

Russia Signs Deal to Sell 42 Jets to India

16 December, 2011

Visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev oversaw the signing of an agreement Dec. 16 to sell to India 42 Su-30 jets in kit form as the Kremlin scrambles to retain ties with its Soviet-era arms purchaser.

The agreement comes after India, the biggest importer of military hardware among emerging nations, had earlier this year rejected Moscow's bid to supply its traditional ally with 126 multi-role combat aircraft in a deal worth about $12 billion (9.2 billion euros).

For article GO HERE

Bahraini police fire tear gas at protesters: witnesses

16 November, 2011

Bahraini police fired tear gas and clashed with Shi'ite Muslim protesters on Friday, a day after a man was run over and killed as he fled security forces chasing protesters near Manama, the opposition and a rights group said on Friday.

Tensions have been high in Bahrain since security forces crushed weeks of pro-democracy street protests by the Gulf kingdom's majority Shi'ite Muslims in March.

For article GO HERE

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