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Updated: 4 hours 43 min ago

Military Situation In Yemen On April 22, 2019 (Map Update)

5 hours 7 min ago
  •  Ceasefire violations continue being reported in Hudaydah:
    – AnsarAllah shot down a Saudi spy drone over the Kilo 16 area;
    – Saudi-led forces targeted the areas of Fazah and Tuhayta with 50 mortar shells;
    – Saudi-led forcecs shelled the July 7 neighburhoud with heavy and medium weapons;
    – Ansar Allah repelled Saudi-led attacks on Al Koei in Durayhimi area;
    – Saudi-led forces shelled Sheikh village with 10 Katyusha rockets.
  • Saudi warplanes struck Jarba Base in Sanhan, Sanaa province;
  • Saudi warplanes struck the Haydin area in the Karash district;
  • Ansar Allah fired a Badr-F missile at Saudi-led forces positions at Esteqbal Gharbi Army Base in Jizan province;
  • Clashes between Ansar Allah and Saudi-led forces continue in the Alab border crossing and the Rabua area;
  • Ansar Allah is developing a security operation to eliminate Al Qaeda members in the Dhi Naem district, Baydha province.

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Categories: Foreign Policy

Terror Attacks In Sri Lanka On Easter Sunday Leave At Least 290 Dead, 500 Injured

5 hours 18 min ago

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A series of 8 bomb attacks in hotels and churches Sri Lanka, targeting the country’s Christian minority left at least 290 people dead and more than 500 injured.

The timeline of the attacks is the following:

On April 21st, at 9 AM local time an explosion went off during Easter services at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, the capital city. Three high-end hotels were also targeted: Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La Hotel and The Kingsbury.

Around the same time, St. Sebastian’s Church, more than 22 miles north of the capital in the city of Negombo, was targeted.

And on the other side of the island, also around 8 AM local time, a bomb went off the evangelical Zion Church, 196 miles away from Colombo on Sri Lanka’s east coast city of Batticaloa.

In the early afternoon, a hotel in front of the Dehiwala Zoo, the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia was attacked in Colombo.

Finally, the final blast happened outside of a private house in Mahawila Gardens in the Dematagoda area while police officers conducted a raid in connection with the attacks. Three police officers were killed.

A Sri Lanka military spokesman says that an explosive device was found and defused later in the day, on an access road to the international airport near Colombo. Air Force Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne said Monday that authorities found a “homemade” pipe bomb filled with 50 kilograms of explosives in Andiambalama, near the airport.

No group has assumed responsibility for the attacks as of mid-day on April 22nd.

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#Colombo at 8.00 am.
Usually Fort and Pettah roads will be flooded by vehicles at this time.
Literally no vehicles at all in the road. It's like unofficial curfew.#SriLanka #SriLankaAttacks #SriLankaBlasts

— Loshan – ARVLOSHAN (@ARVLoshan) April 22, 2019

In a press conference on April 22nd, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne confirmed that police were “aware of information” regarding possible attacks around Easter.

Speaking at Temple Trees, the official residence of the prime minister, Senaratne said the country’s police chief wrote a letter on April 9 warning of possibile “acts of terror.”

LIVE: Officials in Sri Lanka are holding a news conference following a series of blasts on #EasterSunday that killed 290 people.

Latest updates:

— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) April 22, 2019

“Intelligence reports said that during this Easter period these types of attacks can take place, and they also mentioned that Christian places of worship and places of tourist interest may be targeted,” Senaratne said.

“So, we have to investigate as to why the people concerned did not take prompt action despite the intelligence reports indicating possible attacks during this period.”

Speaking on April 21st, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also acknowledge that there was information about possible attacks.

“We must also look into why adequate precautions were not taken,” he said.

A Sri Lankan government forensic analyst told AP news agency that the six near-simultaneous attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels were carried out by 7 suicide bombers.

The government analyst Ariyananda Welianga says an analysis of the attackers’ body parts collected from the scenes shows that the attacks were suicide bombings.

Welianga said two people were involved in the attack at the Shangri-La hotel. One bomber each attacked the Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels and St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s church in the city of Negombo and Zion Church in the city of Batticaloa.

Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara said that 24 individuals were arrested, all locals, and all of them were being questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department.

Speaking outside St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Housing Sajith Premadasa said the Easter attacks were shocking for the country. He also vowed a “shocking” response.

“Since the end of the war in 2009, we have not experienced this type of attack so we are extremely disturbed and concerned about this,” he said. “It’s a shock and we will apply shock therapy,” he added later.

He also said that there were security oversights leading up to the attacks and that that would also be investigated.

Harsha de Silva, the country’s economic reforms minister, promised in a tweet that funeral costs for those who died at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo will be covered by the government.

Words can’t describe the pain here at St. Sebastian’s, Katuwapitiya. 102 innocent Catholics lost their lives; a mass funeral. @sajithpremadasa and I visited to ensure all funeral costs are taken care of, compensation paid, n church renovated; the least we can do at the moment.

— Harsha de Silva (@HarshadeSilvaMP) 22 April 2019

The US Department of State issued a travel advisory to Sri Lanka: “Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka.”

US President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences on the “horrible terrorist attacks.”

138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences and said that Russia would remain a “reliable partner of Sri Lanka in the fight against international terrorism.”

“Dear Mr. President, please accept my most sincere condolences over the tragic consequences of a series of terrorist acts in the cities of your country. I would like to confirm that Russia was and remains a reliable partner of Sri Lanka in the fight against the threat of international terrorism … Our country is shared by grief relatives and friends of the victims and hope for a speedy recovery of all the wounded,” Putin said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the bombings “an assault on all of humanity.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time.”

“I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka,” he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square to hear his Easter Sunday message.

“I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, hit while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence.”

India, New Zealand, Germany, the United Kingdom, Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates also denounced the attacks.

The population of Sri Lanka is approximately 23 million people, out of which 10% are Muslims and about 6% are Christian.

Earlier in 2018, anti-Muslim violence was on the rise across central Sri Lanka, fed by rumours spread over social media about attacks on Buddhists. A state of emergency was briefly declared in the wake of those attacks.

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Categories: Foreign Policy

In Video: Parked Tesla Spontaneously Exploded In China

6 hours 44 sec ago

A video showing a supposed white Tesla Model S exploding in Shanghai has been widely shared on Chinese social media platform Weibo, prompting the company to investigate.

The video began circulating on April 21 with the hashtag #Tesla self-ignites” (特斯拉自燃) trending in Twitter. According to a Tesla China spokesperson, the company has sent a team to invistigate the incident.

Good or bad, negative or positive I will post anything about Tesla or EVs in China. This happened today in Shanghai, China

Categories: Foreign Policy

Iran Showcases Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicles, Anti-Drone Weapons (Photos)

6 hours 15 min ago

Iranian media released photos of unmanned ground combat vehicles and anti-drone weapons, which were showed during the recent Army Day in Iran (April 18).

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Categories: Foreign Policy

“A Case of Severe Russophobia”: Moscow Issues Own Report On “RussiaGate” Investigation

6 hours 20 min ago


On April 18th, the Russian Embassy in the US released a report in answer to the “RussiaGate” investigation, recently concluded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The report, called “The Russiagate Hysteria: A Case of Severe Russophobia,” presents examples of a large number of accusations, as well as debunking of false claims part of “Russiagate.”

In its foreword, the document begins with an answer from Russian President Vladimir Putin to a journalist question from June 2nd, 2017.

“It is an attempt to lay the blame at someone else’s door. This is not our problem. The problem is in US politics… The other team lost. They are reluctant to acknowledge the mistake. It is easier to say, “We are not to blame, the Russians are to blame, they interfered in our election.” It reminds me of anti-Semitism: the Jews are to blame for everything. We know what such sentiments can lead to. They lead to nothing good. The thing to do is simply to work and think of how to get things right.”

Then it continues with a comment by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov from February 21st, 2019. He said that the problem was rooted in the US’ domestic developments and that Russia didn’t start the issue. He also said he believed it was not some sort of punishment over Ukraine and Crimea.

According to him it began with Edward Snowden, then the Magnitsky case, Bill Browder.

He also said that the Democratic party’s loss in the US election was a large reason to seek the prevention of normalization of relations with Russia. He further noted that “contrary to what the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is trying to prove, there are solid facts showing that the Democratic Party violated the law when illegal methods were used to force Bernie Sanders to quit the race. Everyone has forgotten about this, talking about Russia all the time rather than about what is happening in the United States.”

Finally, Lavrov said that Russia was ready for dialogue over any issues, including on strategic stability, including the INF Treaty and a future possible agreement on strategic offensive arm, in addition to avoiding the militarization of space and cooperating in it.

Then the report presents the timeline of the main events surrounding the US elections and the claims of “Russian interference.” It is as follows:

  1. May 18, 2016 – Director of the U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper reported that the American Intel community had found evidence of foreign spy services attempting to hack networks of the Democratic National Committee (the DNC).
  2. June 14,2016 – “The Washington Post” for first time claimed that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC databases and gained access to internal information, but, as it would become a “tradition”, offering no proof and relying solely on “anonymous sources”.
  3. June 15, 2016 – “Crowdstrike”, a computer security firm hired by the DNC to investigate the hacking, declared that “Russia was behind the cyberattack into the DNC servers”. The company representative said that it had identified two sophisticated adversaries -hacking groups “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear”, “linked to the Russian intelligence services”. There have been no facts proving anti-Russian allegations yet.
  4. July 22, 2016 – “Wikileaks” released nearly 20 000 DNC internal emails. Eventually, it would publish more than 44 000 e-letters and 17000 attachments, showing the DNC bias in favor of Hillary Clinton and against her contender Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential campaign. Despite the absence of evidence and numerous public rebuttals from Wikileaks the U.S. mass media and politicians can’t stop speculating that Russia was the source of the stolen DNC emails.
  5. July 25, 2016 – the FBI confirmed it had opened an investigation into the hacking of the DNC servers (it later became known that the target of the probe had been Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the election and Trump campaign associates who had been allegedly involved in the conspiracy with the Kremlin).
  6. July 25, 2016 – Republican candidate Donald Trump said: “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find 30000 emails (-from the DNC) that are missing”. Despite sarcastic manner of this joke the phrase along with his other public promises “to get along with Russia” have been later used by the U.S. mainstream media as “a proof of his conspiracy with the Kremlin”.
  7. July 29, 2016 – the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee joined colleagues from the DNC and announced that its computer network had also been hacked.
  8. October 7, 2016 – the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement saying the U.S. Intelligence community “is confident” that hacks into the email systems of the Democratic Party “were directed by the Russian government”. As usual: there was no evidence.
  9. October 31, 2016 – the magazine “Mother Jones” published article summarizing the so-called “Trump dossier” (a set of unverified allegations of conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and the Russian Government), authored by Christopher Steele, a British former MI-6 officer (his name wasn’t disclosed at the time). The dossier was released in full by the news agency “Buzzfeed” on January 10, 2017. It was later revealed that Senator John McCain, who had been given Steele’s memos by former U.S. State Department official David Kramer, delivered them to FBI Director James Comey.
  10. November 8, 2016 – Donald Trump is elected President of the United States. Shortly after Democrats and liberal media initiated an anti-Trump campaign with focus on peddling the “Russian interference” narrative spiked with the “Trump-Kremlin collusion” theme.
  11. December 9, 2016 – President Obama announced his executive order to review “Russian hacks” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
  12. December 29, 2016 – President Obama authorized “a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the American elections in 2016” (anti-Russian measures included sanctions against Russian intelligence services, expulsion of 35 diplomats of the Russian Embassy in Washington and closure of two diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York).
  13. January 6, 2017 – Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified intelligence report with “assessments” that stated U.S. Intel services “are high confident” that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. election”. The report said that Russian intelligence services had gained access to the DNC computer network for nearly a year from July 2015 to June 2016 and had released hacked material to Wikileaks “to help President-elect Trump”. Although this report contained no evidence of “Russian meddling” and “Collusion between Russia and Trump campaign” American media has continued to speculate about the alleged “Trump-Kremlin conspiracy” as well as the false narrative of “Russian interference in the U.S. political processes”.
  14. January 20, 2017 – Donald Trump sworn in as the 45thPresident of the Unites States of America.
  15. January 2017 – several Senate and House Committees announced congressional investigations of the “Russian activity during the 2016 campaign” with focus on “Russian meddling” and “Trump-Moscow collusion”.
  16. February 13, 2017 – Presidential National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned, following reports that he had misled the Vice-President about contacts with the Russian ambassador in December of 2017.
  17. March 20, 2017 – FBI Director James Comey confirmed the Bureau’s investigation into links between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.
  18. April 3, 2017 – The Russian side delivered an official proposal to the U.S. to hold a bilateral high-level group meeting on international information security. The American side ignored this document.
  19. May 9, 2017 – Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The White house statement said that the President acted “based on the clear recommendations of the Department of Justice” for Comey’s poor conducting of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s violations of classified information use. White House critics used this President’s decision to blame him for obstruction of the so-called “Russian probe”.
  20. May 17, 2017 – Department of Justice appointed Robert Mueller as Special counsel to look into “Russian election interference and related matters”. The investigation’s scope included allegations about links or coordination between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government.
  21. July 7, 2017 – first meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Mainstream media and American political establishment attacked the U.S. leader for “shameful and disgraced” contact with the Russian President and “his unusual friendliness towards Moscow”.
  22. July 8-11, 2017 – On the next day after Russia-US presidential talks the “New York Times” published a series of “sensations” detailing the meeting between Donald Trump’s associates with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the “Trump Tower” hotel in New York in June 2016. The U.S. mainstream media used this story to promote conspiracy theory about “Trump-Russia collusion”.
  23. July 17, 2017 – The Russian side delivered a draft memorandum on creation of the bilateral high-level working group on cybersecurity issues, following the discussion of this subject between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Hamburg on July 7. There was no reply.
  24. July 27, 2017 – the U.S Congress approved the bill “Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act” that imposed broad restrictions mainly against Russia.
  25. August 2, 2017 – President Trump signed the bill into law.
  26. August 31, 2017 – the U.S. Administration announces unprecedented restrictive measures against Russian diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. requiring to close the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, Consul General’s residence there as well as properties of the Trade Representation in Washington, DC and New York. This move was yet another violation of international law.
  27. September 22, 2017 – the Department of Homeland Security notified U.S. election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems in 2016. Mass media accused Russia in those “cyberattacks”. There have been no facts presented yet.
  28. October 2019 – U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said that “Russian interference is warfare”.
  29. October 26, 2017 – Twitter said it would no longer accept ads from accounts owned by Russian news outlets “RT” and “Sputnik”.
  30. October 30, 2017 – social media companies delivered to the U.S. Congress “alarming” reports claiming that Russian agents placed 1000 videos on YouTube, 131000 messages on Twitter, 120000 posts on Instagram and 80000 posts on Facebook which were viewed by up to 126 million people.
  31. November 13, 2017 – under pressure from the U.S. Russian media outlet “RT” was forced to register as a foreign agent. The other Russian news agency “Sputnik” was filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Law a few days later -on November 17.
  32. January 23, 2018 – Congressional Democrats called on “Facebook” and “Twitter” to urgently investigate and “combat Russian trolls and bots”.
  33. February 7, 2018 – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested in an interview with “Fox News” that “Russia is already attempting to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections”.
  34. February 13, 2018 – The heads of National Intelligence, CIA, FBI and NSA said during testimony to the Senate that “Russia is intent on disrupting foreign elections, including the 2018 midterms”. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that “the U.S. is under attack from Russian efforts”.
  35. February 16, 2018 – Special counsel R.Mueller indicted 13 Russian citizens, Internet-Research Agency and two other Russian entities for alleged “interference in the 2016 elections”. According to investigators, the defendants conducted “information warfare” to “sow discord” in the U.S. political system to help Donald Trump win.
  36. March 12, 2018 – Republicans from the House Intelligence Committee announced the end of their investigation over the objections of the Democrats. Their findings are that Russia interfered to create discord, but “there was no evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and that Russia did not have a preference for Donald Trump as a candidate.
  37. March 12, 2018 – State Secretary Rex Tillerson publicly blamed Russia of the supposed use of a nerve agent in the poisoning of Skripals in the U.K.
  38. March 15, 2018 – President Trump imposed financial sanctions under CAATSA on 13 Russian government hackers and organizations indicted by Special counsel R. Mueller.
  39. March 15, 2018 – the U.S. Administration accused the Russian government of a series of cyberattacks targeting Unites States and European nuclear power plants and electric grids.
  40. March 20, 2018 – “the Washington Post” reported that President Trump failed to follow warnings from his advisers “not to congratulate the President-elect of Russia”.
  41. March 26, 2018 – the U.S. Administration joined other Western countries and declared expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of Skripals.
  42. April 6, 2018 – the U.S. Treasury implemented economic sanctions on 7 Russian businessmen and 12 companies along with 17 top Russian officials.
  43. April 20, 2018 – the Democratic National Committee sued the Trump Campaign, the Russian government and Wikileaks for “election interference” in 2016.
  44. July 13, 2018 – Special Counsel R. Mueller indicted 12 “Russian military intelligence officers for the hacking the DNC, the DCCC and the Clinton campaign for the purpose of stealing internal documents and distributing them in public as well as influencing the 2016 presidential election”.
  45. July 15, 2018 – Russian citizen Maria Butina was arrested in Washington, DC on charges of being an unregistered foreign agent of the Russian Federation working to infiltrate politically influential organizations in the U.S. and influence U.S. officials.
  46. July 15, 2018 – magazine “the Business Insider” reported that “a new Russian intelligence-linked news-site USA Really attempted to test the waters ahead of the November midterms”.
  47. July 16, 2018 – President Putin and President Trump met in Helsinki. Republicans and Democrats criticized the results of the meeting, calling the talks “disgraceful and detrimental to American democratic principles”. U.S. media reaction was almost universally negative. Under pressure upon arrival to Washington President Trump declared that he held Russia responsible for attempts at “meddling” in the U.S. elections in 2016.
  48. July 20, 2018 – “Microsoft” claimed that Russian hackers had targeted three Congressional candidates running the 2018 elections.
  49. July 26, 2018 – Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill declared that Russian hackers attempted to break into her Senate email account.
  50. August 2, 2018 – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that Russia “is actively interfering in the 2018 elections”.
  51. August 2-8, 2018 – Democratic candidates Jeanne Shaheen, Bill Nelson and Tabitha Isner reported the attempts of Russian hackers to penetrate state election systems and compromise their campaigns.
  52. August 6, 2018 – U.S. State Department summoned the charge d’affaires of the Russian Embassy to answer for Russia’s alleged interference in the American internal affairs. However, the claims were, as usual, unverified.
  53. August 31, 2018 – the first major documentary to address the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian state “Active measures” was distributed in theaters and digitally. The film was endorsed by Democrats and promoted by liberal activists before the 2018 midterms.
  54. September 12, 2018 – President Trump issued executive order authorizing sanctions against individuals and governments for interference in the U.S. elections.
  55. September 27, 2018 – Russian MFA delivers a diplomatic note to the U.S. side, regarding the case opened in the U.S. “Democratic National Committee v. the Russian Federation”, explaining that the exercise of jurisdiction over the case by U.S. courts with respect to the Russian Federation is a violation of the international law, notably violation of jurisdictional immunities of the Russian Federation.
  56. October 4, 2018 – the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of 7 Russian military intelligence officers for cybercrimes including hacking into the World Anti-Doping Agency and leaking the test results of athletes. Four defendants had been previously accused by Special counsel R. Mueller for “interference in the U.S. election”.
  57. October 19, 2018 – the U.S. Department of Justice charged Russian citizen Elena Khusyaynova with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by managing the finances of the Russian social media troll operation that attempted to interfere with the 2016 and 2018 U.S. elections.
  58. November 6, 2018 – the United States midterm elections were held.
  59. November 11, 2018 – U.S. authorities in a show of harassment of media detained and interrogated Russian journalist A. Malkevich in a Washington DC airport.
  60. December 21, 2018 – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a statement on the Intelligence Community’s Response to Executive Order 13848 on Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election, declaring that the Intelligence Community does not have intelligence reporting that indicates any compromise of election infrastructure.
  61. December 28, 2018 – Republicans from the House Judiciary Committee released final report on Russian probe, condemning the FBI for “unfair and politicized” investigation of “Trump collusion”.
  62. January 3, 2019 – the new Congress convened with the House under Democratic control. Liberal Congressman Brad Sherman filed articles of impeachment against President Trump for the reason of his obstruction of justice by firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
  63. January 10, 2019 – the “New York Times” reported that the FBI had opened counterintelligence probe against President Trump a few days after he fired Bureau’s Director James Comey. The FBI leadership allegedly had been alarmed by the President’s actions and concerned that he may had been working for Russia against American interests. The investigations had been taken over by Special counsel R. Mueller.
  64. January 29, 2019 – U.S. Intelligence services assessed that Russia along with other “adversaries” would seek to interfere in the 2020 presidential election “to advance its interests” during the testimony on the congressional hearings “Worldwide threats”.
  65. February 5, 2019 – Acting Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland security submit joint report on impact of foreign interference on elections and political/campaign infrastructure in 2018, stating that there was no material impact of the abovementioned.
  66. February 26, 2019 – American media claims that the U.S. military disrupted Internet access of the Russian Internet Research Agency on the day of U.S. elections of November 6, 2018. If true, then this is essentially an attack on a non-governmental entity based in another country.
  67. March 22, 2019 – Special counsel R. Mueller concluded his investigation and submitted final report to the Department of Justice.
  68. March 24, 2019 – Attorney General William Barr released a four-page letter to Congress highlighting the key findings of the Special counsel’s report. Barr stated that Mueller’s report outlined the Russian effort to influence the U.S. election but there was not sufficient evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia or obstructed justice. In total the Special Counsel’s office indicted 34 people -26 Russian citizens, 7 U.S. and 1 Dutch nationals. None of the Americans were accused of conspiracy with Russia.

Following the timeline, is a section presenting the “Main diplomatic actions taken by the Russian embassy in the US to protest provocative and illegal actions related to “Russiagate.”

The list outlines the many rejected requests for authorizations to visit Russian diplomatic properties that were seized by the US. Statements regarding requests for RT and other outlets to be registered as foreign agents, etc.

It outlines a large number of diplomatic notes to the US side, most of which were either just straight rejected or simply ignored.

The next section focused on “Groundless accusations made by the American media.”

The list includes some of the publications from the timeline, as well as others. Most of them are from the major publications such as the Washington Post, the New York Times and MSNBC.

The US media also undertook a campaign of demonizing the Russian Embassy, since there appeared to be no leaks from the Mueller investigation, which according to Lavrov was surprising, since leaks in the US usually happen just moments after anything is discovered.

These included accusations of longtime Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak, who is allegedly “at the center of the FBI’s Russia investigation.”

Following this is a section describing the “Reality” of events, in various articles and statements by Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The alleged “Persecution of Russian citizens and Business” is also presented, in various news articles outlining actions that the US government, or private businesses have undertaken against Russians. Some examples:

“Best Buy pulls Kaspersky Lab products after concerns over ties to the Russian government.”

Person-to-person diplomacy’: Exchange program builds relationship with Russian Sister City

There were also repeated accusations against Russian hackers’ activities, despite many governments admitting that there was no proof.

Then follows an extensive list of US officials and political leaders also accusing Russia without providing any evidence.

The final section of the report is a review of the Key claims of “Russiagate” and their debunking.

This section provides approximately 20 claims that were at the center of the investigation and the MSM hysteria around “Russiagate.”

The fact of the matter is the report “debunks” them, but mostly due to repeatedly saying that was no proof of it actually being fact, rather than an accusatory claim. Some, of course, have evidence, as they were presented documents that point to the contrast of the claims.

Finally, the conclusion of the report said that if the US is willing to listen and accept the reality of events, that would “not only contribute to the normalization of the Russian-American relations, but to the healing of the political discourse in the U.S. as well.”

“In the end, to quote Russian President Vladimir Putin “we have been saying from the start that this commission led by Mr. Mueller won’t find anything, because no one knows better than us: Russia has not interfered in any U.S. election.”

As the President noted, allegations of collusion between Trump’s camp and Russia “is sheer nonsense designed exclusively for domestic consumption and used in the internal politics of the US.”


The post “A Case of Severe Russophobia”: Moscow Issues Own Report On “RussiaGate” Investigation appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Houthis Capture 20 Military Positions From Saudi-led Coalition In Central Yemen (18+ Video)

21 hours 31 min ago

The Houthis carried out a new military operation against the Saudi-led coalition and its local proxies in the central Yemeni province of al-Bayda’ this week. In the course of the operation, the Yemeni rebel group captured 20 military positions in the district of Dhi Na’im.

A video showing Houthi fighters storming Saudi-led coalition positions in Dhi Na’im was released on April 20. In the video, several weapons which were captured by the Houthis during the attack, including an M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun, can be seen.

Despite being very limited, the new operation represents a major development. In the last few months, al-Bayda’ didn’t witness any major clashes between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition.

By advancing in al-Bayda’, the Houthis are working their way towards the southern province of Aden, where the headquarters of Saudi-led coalition forces are located. The Yemeni resistance group is already approaching the province from the direction of Dhale.

More on this topic:

The post Houthis Capture 20 Military Positions From Saudi-led Coalition In Central Yemen (18+ Video) appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Al-Julani-style Leadership: Threats Appear To Be Main Motivation Of ‘Rebels’ To Combat Syrian Army

Sun, 2019-04-21 23:45

Abu Mohammad al-Julani, leader of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda)

After disappearing for more than two months, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, leader of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), held a meeting with eight senior commanders of other terrorist groups, including the Islamic Turkistan Party (TIP), Horas al-Din and Jaysh al-Izza, in the town of Atmaeh near the border with Turkey, Sputnik reported on April 20 citing local sources

According to the Russian news agency, the meeting was held under strickt security measures that “were never seen before” in Idlib. A 5km security zone was established around Atmeah. Furthermore, a large HTS force was deployed in the town, along with many snipers and even jamming equipment.

The local sources said that al-Julani, who was reportedly accompanied by three Turkish-speaking militants, informed other terrorist commanders that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) could launch a military operation in Idlib soon. He also ordered them to put their militants on a state of full alert and keep their vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) prepared for operation.

“Al-Julani issued a strong threat to the leaders of armed groups and factions, warning against handing over any area within any agreement, stressing that the faction, which will hold any agreement without consulting him, will become a legitimate target for HTS’ fighters and will be treated as an enemy and a traitor,” the sources said.

The notorious terrorist leader also said that the Turkish measures will not likely hold off any attack by the SAA. He also suggested that highly-experienced militants, who were evacuated from Homs and Damascus last year, should join the ranks of Jaysh al-Izza.

Two months ago, al-Julani’s convoy was reportedly targeted by a double-tapped explosion that rocked the city center of Idlib. Back then, Russian, Syrian and Turkish sources said that the terrorist leader was injured in the attack.

The recent meeting in Atmaeh is an example of how al-Julani is leading the opposition-held part of Idlib with threats and intimidation. Several terrorist groups in southern Syria and around Damascus followed the same principles before they were defeated by the SAA.


The post Al-Julani-style Leadership: Threats Appear To Be Main Motivation Of ‘Rebels’ To Combat Syrian Army appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

FBI Arrests Leader Of Armed Militia Rounding Up Migrants At Southern Border

Sun, 2019-04-21 23:30

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

The FBI on Saturday announced the arrest of Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed militia comprised mostly of military veterans which has been stopping groups of migrants who have illegally entered the country, holding them at gunpoint, and then handing them over to Border Patrol agents, according to Reuters.


Larry Hopkins, 69, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, according to the FBI. The arrest of Hopkins, also known as Johnny Horton, comes two days after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the militia of illegally detaining migrants. In response, New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) ordered an investigation.

“We’re not worried about it, he’s going to be cleared,” said Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), which blamed the arrest on political pressure by the governor. Hopkins is known as the “national commander” of the group.


Around half a dozen UCP members were camping out on a rotating basis since Sunland Park on a rotating basis since late February.

Dressed in camouflage and carrying rifles, UCP says it’s a “patriot group” that’s helping the US Border Patrol handle a record influx of Central Americans crossing the US border illegally in the hopes of being granted asylum.

Dressed in camouflage and carrying rifles, UCP members have helped U.S. Border Patrol detain over 5,600 migrants in the last two months, Benvie said. Videos posted online by the group show members telling migrants to stop, sit down, and wait for agents to arrive. Critics accuse the UCP of impersonating law enforcement. –Reuters

Last week, the group rounded up more than 350 people this week who had crossed the border in West El Paso, Texas – one town over from Sunland Park. In YouTube videos uploaded on Tuesday and Wednesday, groups of migrants – many of them coughing – can be seen sitting on the ground until Border Patrol officers arrive on scene.

Benvie said militia gave the migrants a “verbal order of arrest” to the border crossers – telling them to wait until Border Patrol agents could arrive. UCP offered migrants $20 to identify the smuggler who helped them cross the border, however nobody took them up on their offer.

A message posted on the United Constitutional Patriots’ page after the migrants were detained Monday night stated:  “This group was so huge we won’t have an accurate count until the BP is finished processing them. This needs to stop!!!!! Build the wall.”

The video shows Border Patrol agents as they apprehend members of the group of migrants that crossed into the U.S.  Some of the migrants seen in the video are overheard coughing and asking for water. When asked why they entered the US, some of the migrants said they are seeking asylum. –KVIA

On Friday, PayPal and GoFundMe barred UCP, citing policies against promoting hate or violence, after the ACLU called them a “fascist militia.”

“Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes,” said New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas after Hopkins’s arrest. Earlier in the week, Balderas warned “These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement.”

According to Reuters, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hopkins was arrested in Oregon in 2006 on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

US Customs and Border Patrol, meanwhile, said in a statement that it does not support citizens who take the law into their own hands – instead encouraging citizens to be on watch.

UCP’s Facebook following has more than doubled since Thursday’s initial report on the detentions.

That said, when asked what UCP would do if told to leave the border by state police, Benvie said they would likely comply – and if they felt their rights were violated, sue the state of New Mexico.

“There’s not going to be any standoffs, this isn’t the Bundy Ranch,” said Benvie.

The post FBI Arrests Leader Of Armed Militia Rounding Up Migrants At Southern Border appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

ISIS Reemerges Near Hajin, Kills And Injures 15 US-Backed Fighters

Sun, 2019-04-21 22:36

Illustrative image

ISIS cells have killed and injured 13 fighters of the US-Backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Hajin in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in an attack marking its return to the strategic city that was cleared last year.

The terrorist group’s news agency, Amaq, said that a truck transporting several SDF fighters was successfully targeted with an improvised-explosive device (IED) while it was moving in the vicinity of Hajin.

“As a result, 7 apostates who were aboard it [the truck] were killed and 6 others were injured, Praise be to god,” a statement by Amaq, released on April 20, reads.

Hajin, which controls several key roads in the Euphrates Valley, was liberated from ISIS in December of 2018. Back then, the US-led coalition and the SDF allowed hundreds of ISIS fighters to withdraw from the city.

The new attack indicates that the ISIS cells are still active in Hajin, despite multiple security operations by the US-led coalition. The upcoming few months may witness more, and even bigger, attacks by the terrorist group in this area.

More on this topic:

The post ISIS Reemerges Near Hajin, Kills And Injures 15 US-Backed Fighters appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

France Warned Lebanon That Israel Could Attack Hezbollah – Report

Sun, 2019-04-21 21:43

Illustrative image

France warned Lebanon that Israel could attack precision-guided rockets of Hezbollah, the London-based al-Hayat newspaper reported on April 20 citing Arab diplomatic sources.

“The French- who have so far been content as observers – inserted themselves into the Iranian line tightening around Syria and Lebanon, including Hezbollah, and joined in the escalating tone of American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” the sources said.

According to the sources, France believes that the Lebanese government should take steps to ensure that precision-guided rocket systems will not have a presence in the country.

Last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to deliver a “crushing blow” to Hezbollah if it uses its precision rockets. Later during a speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the Israeli PM claimed that Hezbollah had placed three rocket sites near the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

In response to these threats, senior Hezbollah officials stressed that the Lebanese movement will respond to any attack by Israel on Lebanon.

France’s warning appears to be a part of the ongoing US-led pressure on Iran, Hezbollah and Syria. Washington hopes that its pressure will force Teheran and its allies to shift their policies. However, this is not likely to happen.

More on this topic:

The post France Warned Lebanon That Israel Could Attack Hezbollah – Report appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

China’s Belt and Road Continues to Win Over Europe While Technocrats Scream and Howl

Sun, 2019-04-21 21:01

Written by Matthew J.L. Ehret; Originally appeared on

On April 10th, China’s Premier Li Keqiang celebrated the completion of the 1st phase of the 2.5 kilometer Chinese-built Pelgesac Bridge in Croatia across the Bay of Mali Ston alongside Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. This ceremony marked a striking victory as the following day ushered in an important 16+1 Heads of State summit that saw Greece inducted as the newest member of a new alliance of Central and Eastern European nations who wish to cooperate with China. At this summit held on April 12, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that this was “a very crucial moment for global and regional developments” and “we have to leave behind the crisis and find new models of regional and global cooperation.”

Of course, Greece’s involvement in this alliance (now renamed the 17+1 CEEC) has broadened its geographical boundaries to the west and is especially important as Greece’s Port of Piraeus is a strategic east-west trade gate way for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into Europe centered on the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Route. Greece is painfully aware that its survival depends upon China’s BRI, as the EU programs for austerity, privatization and bailouts have brought only death and despair with a collapse of youth employment, crime rate spikes and suicide. It is also not lost on anyone that this breakthrough follows hot on the heels of Italy’s joining of the Belt and Road Initiative on March 26 and also serves as a precursor to the second Belt and Road Summit which will take place in Beijing at the end of April, involving over 126 nations who have already signed MOUs with the BRI and thousands of international businesses.

Ten additional BRI-connected agreements were signed between Croatia and China before the 17+1 Summit including the modernizing of rail lines (especially from Zagreb to the Adriatic port of Rijeka), telecommunications cooperation between Huawei and Croatian Telecom and major port, roads, harbors, education and cultural cooperation.

The Belt and Road Initiative, as Tsipras aptly pointed out, is not just another set of infrastructure programs designed to counterbalance western hegemony, but is rather a “new model of regional and global cooperation” founded upon a principle of mutual development and long term thinking not seen in the west since the death of Franklin Roosevelt and the takeover of the Anglo-American Deep State that ensued.

The fact that China formalized an economic and trade cooperation agreement with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union in May 2018 is extremely relevant as it incorporated its five nation membership of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan directly into the BRI. Already China has invested $98 billion into the real economies of the EEU involving 168 BRI-connected projects.

The new model of development which has increasingly won over central, and eastern Eurasian countries as well as Greece and Italy have provided a breath of fresh air for citizens everywhere who are looking with despair upon a Trans-Atlantic system which can do nothing but demand obedience to a defunct set of rules that commands only austerity, hyperinflationary banking practices and no long term investment into the real economy. Thus the technocratic mobilization against the BRI over the past days in response to this new paradigm can only be seen as an absurd attempt to save a system which has already failed.

The Technocrats Defend their New World Disorder

Two recent counter-operations against the BRI and the new win-win operating system it represents are worth mentioning. The first is found in the formation of a trilateral alliance between the American-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Canada’s Finance and Development Agency (FinDev Canada) and fifteen members of the European Union announced on April 11. A second counter-operation was created several days earlier with the Canada-Germany-France-Japan “Alliance for Multilateralism” during the G7 meeting in France.

OPIC Acting President and CEO David Bohigian (Center) signed a memorandum of understanding with FinDev Canada Managing Director Paul Lamontagne (right) and EDFI Chairman Nanno Kleiterp (left).

While OPIC was founded in 1971, its use as a subversive force against the BRI was formalized on July 30, 2018 when it created a trilateral alliance with Japan and Australia in order to finance infrastructure in the Pacific basin. Added to this, a second trilateral alliance was created on April 11, 2019 when Canada’s Paul Lamontagne (head of FinDev Canada), the European Development Finance Institution’s Nanno Kleiterp and OPIC President David Bohigian signed a new agreement to create a parallel infrastructure financing mechanism. Taking aim at China, the press release stated that the alliance “will enhance transactional, operational, and policy-related cooperation among participants and underscores their commitment to providing a robust alternative to unsustainable state-led models.”

At this signing Bohigian stated “we’re trying to hold up an example for the world of the way development finance should work” clearly attacking China’s “incompetent” concept of development finance and thus ignoring the fact that over 800 million people have directly been lifted out of poverty by China’s approach to investment. Bohigian was clearly hoping that the world would ignore the vast debt slavery and chaos spread by 50 years of IMF-World Bank dominance that has produced no real growth of nations. Although the American BUILD Act has increased US government funding to OPIC from $29 billion to $60 billion over one year, no serious integrated design for development has been presented and instead provides fodder for laughter at best.

The other anti-BRI operation mentioned is the German-French-Japanese-Canadian “Alliance for Multilateralism” which saw Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland stating at a press conference in France that “Canada has formally joined a German French coalition armed at saving the international world order from destruction by various world dictators and autocrats”. While Freeland didn’t mention Trump by name here, France’s ambassador to Canada Kareen Rispal was more candid stating “Mr. Trump doesn’t like to value multilateralism”. Citing his withdrawal from COP21, and criticism of the WTO, UN and NATO the envoy continued “it sends the wrong message to the world if we think that because Mr. Trump is not in favor of multilateralism, it doesn’t mean we- I mean countries like Canada, France and Germany and many others- are not still firm believers.”

What exactly this “Alliance for Multilateralism” IS remains another question entirely, as no actual policy was put forth. After the smoke had cleared, it appears to be nothing more than a lemming-like club of hecklers yelling at Putin, Xi Jinping, Trump and other “bad people” who don’t wish to commit mass suicide under a Green New Deal and technocratic dictatorship.

Commenting on these developments in an April 10 webcast from Germany, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-Larouche made the following apt observation: “Geopolitics has to be thrown out of the window, and the New Silk Road is the way to industrialize Africa, to deal with the Middle East situation to get peace there, to establish a decent working situation between the United States, Russia and China: And that is for Europe what we should demand. And the best way to do that is that all of Europe would sign MOUs with the Belt and Road Initiative, then that would be the single most important thing to stabilize world peace and get the world into a different domain.”

With Russia and China leading a new coalition of nations fighting to uphold the principles of sovereignty, self-development and long term credit generation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, a great hope has presented itself as the Titanic that is the City of London and Wall Street continues to sink ever faster into the icy waters of history.

The post China’s Belt and Road Continues to Win Over Europe While Technocrats Scream and Howl appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Zelensky Is Leading In Second Round Of Ukraine Presidential Election With Over 70%

Sun, 2019-04-21 20:42

Volodymyr Zelensky

On April 21, Ukraine is holding a second round of the presidential election. Surveys show that comedian and political novice Volodymyr Zelensky leading with over 70%.

Since the very start of the Ukrainian presidential campaign, SouthFront has been covering critically actions of both leading presidential candidates Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky. However, now, when it is clear that Zelensky is becoming the next President of Ukraine, SouthFront can say publicly that we support his candidature.

We hope sincerely that he would be able to recreate a strong developed Ukraine that would become an equal, independent partner of its neighborhoods: EU states and Russia, get an appropriate place on the international scene, throw off the neo- colonial oppression of the global elites and avoid a vicious dependency from Russia. We hope that some Zelensky’s election promises, like the legalization of prostitution, gambling and soft drugs, will remain empty words.

We want to believe that Zelensky has the desire and will to use an opportunity to crack down the oligarch system established in Ukraine. We hope that he would be able to build up a sound society that would not be oriented on the needs of the ruling aristocracy only. We hope that this new form of society would be developed to solve at least some issues faced by ordinary people.

The victory of Zelensky and the following reforms, if they really take place, could shape cardinally the situation in Ukraine and, in some cases, even in Russia.

Many Ukrainians (some SouthFront Team members are also from Ukraine) have concerns that Zelensky will have no independency, which is needed to carry out real political and economic reforms.

Nonetheless, we wish a good luck to the de-facto elected President of Ukraine.

Best wishes,

SF Team

The post Zelensky Is Leading In Second Round Of Ukraine Presidential Election With Over 70% appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Seven Suspects In Sri Lanka Terrorist Attacks Arrested

Sun, 2019-04-21 20:26

Sri Lanak’s security forces storming suspect apartment following the deadly bombings, AFP

Seven people who are suspected of being connected to a series of bombings that hit Sir Lanka on Easter Sunday were arrested by the country’s authorities, Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, has announced.

More than 200 people were killed and more than 400 others were injured as a result of 8 bombings, which targeted the St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, the Zion Church in Batticaloa as well as the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels.

Following the attacks, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe convened Sri Lanka’s top military officials at an emergency meeting of the country’s National Security Council. The nation’s parliament is also set to hold an emergency meeting on Monday.

As a part of several security measures taken after the attack, the government stepped up security measures at international airports and impose a “temporary” social media ban.

“The government has decided to block all social media platforms in order to prevent incorrect and wrong information being spread. This is only a temporary measure” Udaya R. Seneviratne, secretary to the president said in a statement, according to al-Jazeera.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far. However, the available information indicate that the bombings were carried out by terrorist affiliated with ISIS or even al-Qaeda.

Both terrorist groups vowed to attack Christians worldwide following the Christchurch mosque shootings, on March 15. 50 Muslims were reportedly killed in the shootings.

More on this topic:

The post Seven Suspects In Sri Lanka Terrorist Attacks Arrested appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Saudi Security Forces Foil Terrorist Attack In Riyadh, Kill Four Gunmen

Sun, 2019-04-21 19:42

Saudi security forces show their skills in handling a ‘terrorist’ attack as part of military exercises [Mosaab Elshamy/AP]

In the morning of April 21, Saudi security forces foiled a terrorist attack that targeted a center of the Presidency of State Security (SSP) in the area of al-Zulfi, north of the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

“Four attackers were killed, according to the initial reports,” the al-Arabiya’s reporter in Riyadh said.

The attackers were reportedly armed with assault rifles, pistols, hand grenades and several bottles filled with gasoline. At least one of the attackers was also wearing a suicide belt.

A video of the attackers’ bodies shows that they were killed outside of the center. One of them was even killed inside his car. SouthFront has opted not to share the gruesome footage.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack attempt so far. However, Saudi sources said that attack was likely planned and carried out by ISIS cells.

The infamous terrorist group has vowed to launch attacks in Saudi Arabia and expand its self-proclaimed caliphate to cover the oil-rich kingdom. However, it has failed to achieve any real success in this, so far.

More on this topic:

The post Saudi Security Forces Foil Terrorist Attack In Riyadh, Kill Four Gunmen appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Kurdish Forces Release Details, Video Of Recent Attack On Turkish Positions In Northern Aleppo

Sun, 2019-04-21 18:35

The Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) have claimed responsibility for the April 19 attack on Turkish bases in the northern Aleppo countryside.

In an official statement released on April 20, the Kurdish group said that its fighters attacked two Turkish military bases near the towns of Maryamayn and Villat al-Qadi “in the framework of their special operations against the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries in the area of Afrin and its surroundings.”

The ALF also released a video showing its fighters targeting two fortified positions in one of Turkish military bases with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

According to the Kurdish group’s claims, six Turkish service members were killed and seven others were injured in the attack. A tank of the Turkish military was also destroyed with an ATGM.

Turkey has not announced the loss of any of its soldiers as it usually does. This could mean that the personnel killed in the ALF attack were of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

In the last few months, the Turkish military and its Syrian proxies intensified their security operations inside and around Afrin. However, the ALF and other similar Kurdish insurgency groups are still operating in the area.

More on this topic:

The post Kurdish Forces Release Details, Video Of Recent Attack On Turkish Positions In Northern Aleppo appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

New Wave Of Airstrikes Hits GNA-Held Tripoli (Videos)

Sun, 2019-04-21 17:43

Warplanes of the Libyan Air Force (LAF) carried out a series of airstrikes on military positions of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the Libyan capital of Tripoli in the early hours of April 21.

Libyan sources said that the airstrikes targeted a large military camp of forces loyal to the GNA in the area of al-Sab’a south of the capital. The airstrikes led to the closer of the Mitiga International Airport.

Several videos of the airstrikes show what appears to be precision-guided missiles hitting GNA forces’ positions. The LAF is not known for operating any air-to-surface guided munitions.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Libyan National Army (LNA) said that that “friendly warplanes” are supporting the army’s advance towards Tripoli. However, he later claimed that he was referring to the LAF.

This new wave of airstrikes will likely allow the LNA to resume its advance towards Tripoli. In the last few days, the army failed to make any new gains due to the fierce resistance of pro-GNA militias.

More on this topic:

The post New Wave Of Airstrikes Hits GNA-Held Tripoli (Videos) appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Military Situation In Afghanistan On April 21, 2019 (Map Update)

Sun, 2019-04-21 17:17

A brief overview of the recent developments in Afghanistan:

  • 7 people killed in an suicide bombing and a gunmen attack outside the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology in Kabul;
  • The Taliban claimed that at least 24 civilians were killed as a result of recent actions by US and pro-Kabul forces in Nangarhar and Ghazni provinces;
  • The Taliban has slowed down its offensive actions over the past few days. Most likely due the expected Qatar meeting on the Afghan conflict.

Click to see the full-size image


The post Military Situation In Afghanistan On April 21, 2019 (Map Update) appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Caitlin Johnstone: “Debunking All The Assange Smears”

Sun, 2019-04-21 17:09

Written by Caitlin Johnstone; Originally appeared at her blog

Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It’s true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it’s true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it’s true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they’ll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they’ll be far more likely to consent to Assange’s imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you’re suspicious of him you won’t believe anything he’s saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it’s as good as putting a bullet in his head.

Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I’m going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.

This article is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly where it appears on Medium and as new information comes in and new smears spring up in need of refutation.

Here’s a numbered list of each subject I’ll be covering in this article for ease of reference:

0. How to argue against Assange smears.

  1. “He’s not a journalist.”
  2. “He’s a rapist.”
  3. “He was hiding from rape charges in the embassy.”
  4. “He’s a Russian agent.”
  5. “He’s being prosecuted for hacking crimes, not journalism.”
  6. “He should just go to America and face the music. If he’s innocent he’s got nothing to fear.”
  7. “Well he jumped bail! Of course the UK had to arrest him.”
  8. “He’s a narcissist/megalomaniac/jerk.”
  9. “He’s a horrible awful monster for reasons X, Y and Z… but I don’t think he should be extradited.”
  10. “Trump is going to rescue him and they’ll work together to end the Deep State. Relax and wait and see.”
  11. “He put poop on the walls. Poop poop poopie.”
  12. “He’s stinky.”
  13. “He was a bad houseguest.”
  14. “He conspired with Don Jr.”
  15. “He only publishes leaks about America.”
  16. “He’s an antisemite.”
  17. “He’s a fascist.”
  18. “He was a Trump supporter.”
  19. “I used to like him until he ruined the 2016 election” / “I used to hate him until he saved the 2016 election.”
  20. “He’s got blood on his hands.”
  21. “He published the details of millions of Turkish women voters.”
  22. “He supported right-wing political parties in Australia.”
  23. “He endangered the lives of gay Saudis.”
  24. “He’s a CIA agent/limited hangout.”
  25. “He mistreated his cat.”
  26. “He’s a pedophile.”
  27. “He lied about Seth Rich.”

Wow! That’s a lot! Looking at that list you can only see two possibilities:

  1. Julian Assange, who published many inconvenient facts about the powerful and provoked the wrath of opaque and unaccountable government agencies, is literally the worst person in the whole entire world, OR
  2. Julian Assange, who published many inconvenient facts about the powerful and provoked the wrath of opaque and unaccountable government agencies, is the target of a massive, deliberate disinformation campaign designed to kill the public’s trust in him.

As it happens, historian Vijay Prashad noted in a recent interview with Chris Hedges that in 2008 a branch of the US Defense Department did indeed set out to “build a campaign to eradicate ‘the feeling of trust of WikiLeaks and their center of gravity’ and to destroy Assange’s reputation.”

Let’s begin.

Let's go on a graphic tour of some of WikiLeaks biggest exposures of wrongdoing and criminality from our corrupt elites. This is why they want Julian Assange silenced (and anyone else daring to do expose them).

#1 GITMO files: torture and lies #FreeAssange #WikiLeaks

— Bean

Categories: Foreign Policy

In Maps: Military Situation In Libya On April 21, 2019

Sun, 2019-04-21 16:51

Click to see the full-size image

  • Government of National Accord (GNA) forces seized a notable amount of Egyptian ammunition in southern Tripoli. It was supplied by Egypt to the Libyan National Army (LNA);
  • The LNA attacked GNA positions in Aziziyah, but the attack was repelled;
  • Clashes between GNA forces and the LNA continue in Swani, Simafro and Ain Zara;
  • Both sides accuse each other for airstrikes on civilian targets.

Click to see the full-size image


The post In Maps: Military Situation In Libya On April 21, 2019 appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy

Military Situation In Yemen On April 21, 2019 (Map Update)

Sun, 2019-04-21 16:20
  • Ansar Allah destroyed a military vehicle of the Saudi-led coalition in the Midi desert;
  • According to Yemen’s Armed Forces spokseperson, the Dhi Naem district in Baydah province was cleared from Al Qaeda, ISIS and coalition forces;
  • Clashes between Ansar Allah and Saudi-led forces were reported in the Sudays area, Jizan province;
  • Clashes between Ansar Allah and Saudi-led forces were reported in Qatabah, Dhale province;
  • Ansar Allah shot down a coalition spy drone over Wadi Al Abu Jabbara, Najran province.

Click to see the full-size image


The post Military Situation In Yemen On April 21, 2019 (Map Update) appeared first on .

Categories: Foreign Policy


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