Thursday, 20 October 2016

Syria update - 10/19/2016

Tough talks: Putin vows to extend Aleppo ceasefire as Merkel, Hollande accuse Russia of ‘war crimes’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande address a news conference after talks on a stalled peace plan for eastern Ukraine at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 20, 2016. © Hannibal Hanschke

19 October, 2016

Following tense Normandy Four talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters he had expressed Moscow’s readiness to extend the humanitarian ceasefire in Aleppo for as long as needed. Meanwhile, his EU counterparts accused Russia and Syria of “war crimes.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande chose to focus on Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict, claiming that Moscow bears “responsibility” for the start of the political process in Syria.

Merkel alleged that the separation of terrorists from
 “moderate” rebels in Aleppo – something Russia and Syria have been demanding – is an impossible task without a complete ceasefire.

“It will not be possible to separate terrorists from civilians under bombardments,” Merkel said at the briefing.

18 October, 2016Hollande in turn called what is happening in Aleppo “a real war crime,” calling for “maximum” pressure to be exerted on Russia. The Western powers also expect that Moscow will put more pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop the bombing of rebel forces controlling eastern Aleppo, which comprise Al-Nusra terrorists and the groups the West considers moderate, such as the Free Syrian Army.

Merkel went as far as calling Russian and Syrian air strikes on terrorist hideouts in eastern Aleppo “inhumane.”

READ MORE: Planned humanitarian pause in Aleppo extended by 3 hours, 8 corridors to open – Russian military

This is a severe blow to the people of Aleppo, and we are sure that it is impossible to separate terrorists and civilians when such bombardments are taking place,” she said.

While Hollande admitted that “of course, there are terrorists in Aleppo” he stressed that “bombardments should be out of question.”

Both German and French leaders did not exclude that they may discuss new sanctions against Russia during the upcoming EU summit.

“We should not exclude this possibility,” 
Merkel said, calling the Berlin negotiations on Syria “tough” and “difficult.”

Putin held a separate news conference, reiterating the Russian position on Syria and lamenting that little progress achieved in talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian leader said he had talked “about the Russian side's plans to extend the pause in delivering airstrikes [in Aleppo] for as long as possible, depending on the developments in this territory.”

Hollande cast doubt on the effectiveness of short-term pauses in fighting, arguing that “several hours” is not enough time for humanitarian supplies to reach civilians and for all those who want to leave Aleppo.
There is no sense in a ceasefire lasting several hours because it is necessary to deliver humanitarian aid. Also, some groups need to leave Aleppo,” he said.

Putin stressed that Moscow has been calling for the reinvigoration of work on a new Syrian constitution, which would be the first step toward a political transition in the war-torn country.

I once again reminded our colleagues that Russia proposes to step up work in this sphere on devising and adopting a new constitution, on the basis of which preliminary election may be held and positions of all conflicting parties may be preliminarily coordinated,” Putin said.


Tales of the New Cold War: Biden Threatens to Cyber Attack Putin.


Stephen F. Cohen, @nyu, @princeton University.,

To listen to podcast GO HERE

Russian military launches own ‘closed internet’ for classified data exchange – report

© Evgeny Yepanchintsev


19 October, 2016

A source in the Defense Ministry has told popular Russian daily Izvestia that the official name of the network is the ‘Closed Data Transfer Segment’ and that the facilities it’s based on are partially owned by the military and partially rented from the state communications agency Rostelecom. Servers of the network will be located in every Russian military unit, but access to them will be heavily restricted.

The source also said that the Closed Data Transfer Segment was completed already in late summer and is now in fully functioning state, but works are under way to expand it with additional terminals in every military unit.

READ MORE: ‘Unhackable’: Russian firm develops totally surveillance-proof smartphone

The structure of the Russian ‘military internet’ is similar to the one of the conventional World Wide Web, but it is accessible only on computers that use the dedicated operating system developed by the Russian Military Forces. 

The hardware also has to be certified by the General Staff’s directorate for protection of state secrets to ensure that it is impossible to even plug in an uncertified device, including printers, scanners and flash drives.

The military internet also has its own mail service that allows for strictly internal exchange of messages.

Russian presidential adviser for internet issues, German Klimenko, said in comments that he considered it correct that the Closed Data Transfer Segment has absolutely no connection to the internet.

Anything that is connected can be broken into and therefore is not safe,” he said.

READ MORE: iPhone ban during Russian military service claim false - Defense Ministry

The head of the Russian Foundation for Development of Internet Technology and Infrastructure, Dmitry Burkov, said that it was appropriate that Russian military forces employed a unified approach to the problem, unlike their US colleagues.
Americans have had quite a lot of holes in their network. They were changing network protocols on-the-go and besides, they had a lot of separate networks for every branch of forces and lastly – their system has too many connection points with the internet, which raises the danger of unsecure access,” he said.

As far as I understand, Edward Snowden has been working for one of the NSA’s subcontractors and had access to this network which allowed him to gain access to the data that he made public. I hope our people have not made similar mistakes when they planned the network and that they have taken additional security measures.”

Russia's War Games Moves ICBM Closer To Europe

At the time of our news cast we were not sure if this was a war game or not but has been confirmed to be a war game. Moving Russian Yars RS-24 ICBM's across the Yogar river. getting closer to the European borders. Russia gives NATO a taste of the ir own medicine. 

: European side of the country, RS-24 Yars crosses the river on a pontoon bridge.

Russia to regard Belgian strikes in Aleppo as support for Nusra if no criticism follows

19 October, 2016

Moscow expects the US-led coalition and Belgium, in particular, as well as all the international institutions to give an adequate response to the airstrike that caused civilian casualties Moscow expects the US-led coalition to provide an adequate response to the Belgian Air Force’s bombing of Aleppo, Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

We have information on the US-led coalition’s airstrikes, particularly the Belgian Air Force’s bombing of Aleppo’s civil infrastructure, with civilian casualties having been reported,” she said.

We expect the US-led coalition and Belgium, in particular, as well as all the international institutions, who have been so deeply concerned about the Russian Aerospace Force air raids, especially about alleged strikes on civilian targets, to provide an adequate response,” Zakharova said.

We believe that this fact cannot be ignored.” “If no one comments on it, then we will conclude that the real concern is not about the plight of Aleppo’s civilians,” the diplomat added.

This media buzz is aimed at protecting Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) and preventing the Russian Aerospace Forces from eliminating the terrorist groups in Aleppo.”

There can be no other explanation. If no direct condemnation of the US-led coalition, the Belgian Air Force actions follows, then we will have to consider it as an attempt to shield the terrorist groups active on Syria’s territory,” Zakharova stressed.

On October 18, Russia’s Reconciliation Center in Syria reported the Hassadjek village had been battered by an airstrike which left six people dead and four injured.

At that time, there were no Russian Aerospace Forces or Syrian Air Force aircraft in the area in question while Belgian F-16 fighter jets were detected. Source 

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