Thursday, 1 June 2017

HEADLINES - 05/30/2017

There has been such a preponderance of news from all the hot spots on the globe.


With foreigners fightng for ISIS in Mindanao the conflict in the Philippines is looking more like Syria of the Pacific with the fingerprints of the United States sowing mayhem in yet another country,


Meanwhile, in New Zealand there is little coverage (and no context) despite this from being in our 'backyard' and having so many Philippinos living here.

Philippines

Islamic State fears grow as foreign fighters among bodies in Philippines


SMH, via Facebook

Foreign IS fighters were among the militants who besieged a southern Philippines city, intensifying fears that Islamic State is gaining a foothold in South-east Asia.

Bodies found in Islamic City of Marawi, 830 kilometers south of Manila, after almost a week of fighting include Malaysians, Indonesians, Saudis, an Indian, Yemeni and Chechen an eastern European citizen, according to Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

The Mindanao Island of the Philippines is now Islamic State's epicentre in the region, he said.

Zachary Abuza, another expert on terrorism in South-east Asia, said that while there is no evidence that Islamic State has sent significant support to a dozen militant Islamist groups operating in the southern Philippines, "increasingly South-east Asians are being drawn to Mindanao".

Australia and other nations in the region are so worried about the threat of homegrown IS militants returning from battlefields in Iraq and Syria that they have convened a summit in August to co-ordinate the threat.

Hundreds of battle-hardened fighters are expected to return to the region as IS loses ground in the Middle East.

Attorney-General George Brandis told a Senate committee earlier in May that the return of the fighters is "the issue which is of greatest concern to heads of government and homeland security ministers in the region when it comes to counter-terrorism".

The Philippines, which has in the past downplayed the threat from IS, has confirmed that foreign fighters have played a key role in the siege of the Islamci City of Marawi that has so far left more than 100 people dead and dozens wounded.

"What's happening in Mindanao is no longer rebellion of Filipino citizens. It has transmogrified into invasion by foreign terrorists who heeded the clarion call of the Islamic State to go to the Philippines if they find difficulty in going to Iraq and Syria," said Philippine Solicitor-General Jose Calida.

The militants flew black Islamic State flags during their rampage of the city.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week imposed martial law, giving security forces sweeping powers, while warning of the threat of "contamination" by IS in his island nation of 100 million people.

Dr. Gunaratna said IS has provided groups in the southern Philippines with propaganda, some foreign fighters and some financial transfers but not huge amounts of money.

"They are moving very slowly but very steadily," he said. "They are not in a hurry."

Professor Abuza, who has written a book about militant Islam in the region, said that while media attention has been on kidnappings and beheadings by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group, the bigger threat is to regional trade and commerce.

He pointed out that between March 2016 and April this year there were 19 separate sea attacks and hostage takings, resulting in the capture of 70 sailors and fishermen from six countries. 

Professor Abuza said Abu Sayyaf is likely to continue to prioritize sea kidnappings, which involve low risk and high reward.

"Tug boats and fishing trawlers are very slow moving and undermanned. They are easy prey," he said.

The August summit is likely to decide on greater law enforcement cooperation and intelligence-sharing across the region.

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines signed an agreement nine months ago for joint patrols in the Sulu Sea, but they have not begun.



ISIS makes military gains in Philippines



The Philippine government declared martial law on Mindanao Island as it continues to battle Islamic State combatants who have made gains in the southern region of the country. RT's Anya Parampil takes a closer look at the situation




Heavy clashes erupted once again in Marawi on Wednesday afternoon local time after ISIS insurgents ambushed a Philippine Army convoy which was heading towards the city centre through its western suburbs.



Using anti-tank weaponry and various types of armaments, the ISIS-linked Maute and Abu Sayyaf militants forced the Philippine troops to abandon their armored vehicles after killing at least a handful of government soldiers.





President Duterte has vowed to “eradicate all traces of Rothschild financial criminality” from the Philippines, announcing that he will no longer respond to pressure or financial blackmail from the US government or Rothschild-controlled global banking institutions.

Meanwhile the United States and NATO are further from controlling the situation than ever, Meanwhile NZ is being pressured to end yet more troops despite the scandal about SAS atrocities.

Afghanistan

Massive Truck Bomb Kills at Least 90 in Kabul’s Embassy District
Hundreds Wounded, Death Toll Expected to Rise

During rush hour Wednesday in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, a massive truck bomb was detonated in the middle of the highly secured diplomatic area, causing massive damage to several embassies in the area, killing at least 90 people and wounding over 400 others.



Britain and the United States are pumping weapons into this conflict and supporting their headchopping Saudi friends

Yemen

Hadi: UAE Backing Southern Yemen Secessionists

Further complicating the Saudi War in Yemen, allies backed by two of the GCC nations involved in the invasion, Saudi Araba and the United Arab Emirates,, are now engaging in open fighting in the “interim” capital city of Aden, with UAE-backed forces seizing the Aden airport, killing one soldier.



More than 17 million people are facing dire food shortages in Yemen, as Oman seeks to mediate a peace deal

Yemen is descending into total collapse, its people facing war, famine and a deadly outbreak of cholera, as the world watches, the UN aid chief said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the UN Security Council, Stephen O'Brien said "the time is now" to end the world's largest food emergency and put Yemen back on the path to survival.

"Crisis is not coming, it is not looming, it is here today - on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price," said O'Brien, the UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs.

"The people of Yemen are being subjected to deprivation, disease and death as the world watches."

The crisis is spiralling towards "total social, economic and institutional collapse" in the poor Arab country, O'Brien added.

Could it be that Labour's Jeremy Corbyn is headed for a well-derived victory in the upcoming election and by so doing saving Britain from a move to tyrrany?


United Kingdom election

BBC debate: Rivals attack Theresa May over absence





Corbyn will join BBC leaders’ debate… but ‘chicken' May refuses to accept challenge


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made a last-minute decision to attend Thursday night’s BBC leaders’ debate, despite Prime Minister Theresa May boycotting the live TV grilling.


Corbyn will join BBC leaders’ debate… but ‘chicken' May refuses to accept challenge



Who’s funding Britain's terrorists? ‘Sensitive’ Home Office report may never be published

An investigation commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron into the revenue streams behind jihadist groups operating in Britain may never be published, the Home Office has admitted.

The inquiry is thought to focus on British ally Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist extremists, and may prove politically and legally sensitive, the Guardian reports.


How low can Theresa May stoop , courting Britain's Jewish population

With just days before the election, British Prime Minister makes pledges on issues which matter most to the community including shechita, security and faith schools

Ha,ha, ha!


theresa-may.jpg

Theresa May's campaign has come unstuck in recent weeks

Labour is closing the gap with Tories and now stands just three points from Theresa May’s party, a new YouGov poll shows.

The poll, commissioned by The Times, found the Conservative lead has slipped dramatically in recent weeks and is now within the margin of error.

The figures show the Conservatives on 42 points but Labour are close behind on 39.


Syria and Turkey


Russian Special Forces Move Closer To US Forces in Syria



Situation grows ever more tense between US and Russian Forces in the region of Syria. Today Russia launched 4 cruise Missiles on ISIS positions near Palmyra, and at the same time Sputnik news release interview with Syrian Brigadier General claiming US forces have corroborated with Dash in the past. Regardless of the accusations the situation grows more tense by the day.

Links:


Following the liberation of six villages on two flanks yesterday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) proceeded to capture a number of rural sites on Wednesday morning.

During clashes southwest of Raqqa, Kurdish forward units were able to wrestle control over the village of Hunaydi and established fire control over a section of the M6-highway, a jihadist supply road which runs vertically through ISIS’ territory in Syria.

Furthermore, fierce skirmishes erupted at the village of At-Tadiyah moments ago amid a pincer offensive cutting through ISIS turf on the southern bank of the Euphrates River.


On the eastern axis, the SDF recaptured the village of Raqqat as Samra overnight, thus advancing within two kilometers of Raqqa city’s eastern neighborhoods




Turkey blasts US for ‘extremely dangerous’ arming of Kurds in Syria

The US’ decision to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria is an “extremely dangerous” mistake that should be reversed, Turkey’s foreign minister has said. Earlier on Tuesday, the US announced that it was starting to deliver weapons to the Syrian Kurdish militia.

Such steps are extremely dangerous for Syria’s unity and territorial integrity,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the media on Wednesday.

If we are looking for stability in Syria, we should row back from those mistakes,” he told a press conference, while speaking alongside his Slovenian counterpart, Karl Erjavec

ISIS jihadists almost encircled in their last bastion in East Aleppo

Maskanah town, the last stronghold of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) in eastern Aleppo countryside is now encircled by Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from three flanks: north, west and east.

On Wednesday, SAA’s elite Tiger Forces division conducted fresh assault southwest of Maskanah striking IS positions in Khirbet Al-Far and ultimately capturing this village after several hours of firefights.

As a result of this advance, SAA’s frontline positions overlook Maskanah-Tabqa-Raqqa road which is now the only remaining way for IS jihadists to withdraw from Maskanah.

Preliminary reports have already emerged suggesting that IS militants retreated from the town, only leaving suicide squads behind to slow down and delay government forces advance in the are



The relations of Turkey to some members of NATO are also in turmoil. Last year’s failed military coup prompted Erdogan to accuse the West, including the US, to have designed the incident, that had military jets circling major cities, tanks in the streets and military helicopters shooting at people that tried to thwart their efforts.

Back then Incirlik airbase, which is used by many NATO members and also hosts US strategic nuclear weapons, was put in lock-down by Turkish authorities. Shortly after the airbase was back in normal operation, but ever since foreign politicians are not permitted to visit the base.

Still Germany and others insist, that their members of parliament must be allowed to inspect their respective country’s troops at Inrcirlik and threaten to otherwise pull out their military. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen already announced,that an airbase in Jordan was determined to be a suitable replacement for Incirlik.


Last week NATO also altered it’s statutes in reaction to Turkey’s veto against a NATO partnership with Austria. Now Austria is still being blocked, but NATO can at least carry on the cooperations with other partner states, without having to discard Austria from a prior neccessary comprehensive adoption of all partnerships.

According to Die Welt, highranking diplomats within NATO explained the newest move as an attempt to distance NATO from Turkey’s domestic policies: “We do not want to upvalue Turkey internationally and want to avoid the impression, that NATO was supporting the Turkish government’s internal policies.”

Russia



A veteran Russian politician has suggested that Moscow could resort to nuclear arms to defend the nation if forces led by the U.S. or NATO moved against the Crimean Peninsula or eastern Ukraine.


Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov, a member of Russia's lower house of parliament and a political scientist involved with Russian politics since the 1970s, told attendees of the 2017 GLOBSEC Bratislava Global Security Forum in Slovakia on Sunday that Russian forces would need to utilize some form of nuclear warfare to deter U.S. or NATO forces from invading Russia should they decide to enter Crimea or eastern Ukraine

The United States

HILARIOUS & PAINFUL: Query on Saudi Democracy Causes Longest Awkward Pause in State Dept History



This could be the most uncomfortable State Department press briefing moment yet.

During a press conference about US President Donald Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East, AFP journalist Dave Clark asked a department official why the US criticizes the Iranian elections and its record on democracy, but not Saudi Arabia.

"How do you characterize Saudi Arabia’s commitment to democracy, and does the administration believe that democracy is a buffer or a barrier against extremism?" Clark asked.



Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, took a full 19-second pause before responding with a brief comment, saying that during this trip, the US made “significant progress with Saudi and GCC partners in both making a strong statement against extremism”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s brother Steven Wasserman accused of burying Seth Rich case

From the sublime to the rediculous




The liberal left in America are quickly moving towards a fascist ideology that punishes any dissenting voices, especially voices that agree with US President Trump or doubt the Hillary induced Russiagate story


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