Reader’s links for Feb. 14 – 2016

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

This way, under the various posts of the day, conversation can take place without as much ‘noise’ on the various links and articles and ideas in the main posts and all the news links being submitted can be seen under these auto-posts by clicking on the comments-link right below these ones.

Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

(As today is St. Valentines day, one simple thing we can do to fight the tyrants is to celebrate this day, as it is one of the things enemies of Western civilization seek to ban)

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

81 Replies to “Reader’s links for Feb. 14 – 2016”

    • A lonely figure: gee, that’s too bad, isn’t it? It’s difficult to understate the harm that she has done to Germany, Europe, and the Western world in general.

    • United Nations replaces Valentine’s Day with Palestine’s Day

      In a surprise move today the United Nations announced that 14 February is no longer to be known as Valentine’s Day, and instead will be renamed as Palestine’s Day. The move came in response to the ongoing claims – now accepted as the truth – that 14 February was celebrated as Palestine Independence Day by Muslim Arabs every year for 5000 years until 1948 when the Zionists deviously invented ‘Valentine’s Day’ to divert world opinion away from their suppression of Palestinian Muslims.

  1. Pakistan president condemns St Valentine’s Day (BBC, Feb 13, 2016)

    “Pakistan’s president has denounced St Valentine’s Day, saying the festival has no connection with Pakistani culture and should be avoided.

    President Mamnoon Hussain told students that it was a Western tradition and conflicted with Muslim culture.

    His remarks came after a district in north-western Pakistan banned Valentine’s Day celebrations.

    Valentine’s Day is popular in many cities in Pakistan, but religious groups have denounced it as decadent.

    Earlier this week, the local government in Kohat, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told police officers to stop shops from selling Valentine’s Day cards and items.

    Kohat district is run by a religious political party and borders Pakistan’s conservative tribal areas.

    Meanwhile, the Peshawar local council also passed a resolution to ban celebrations of what it called a “useless” day.

    Kohat district administrator Maulana Niaz Muhammad told the BBC Urdu: “Valentine’s Day has no legal grounds, and secondly it is against our religion, therefore it was banned.”…”

  2. Syria conflict: Turkey presses on with assault on Kurds (BBC, Feb 14, 2016)

    “A Turkish assault on positions claimed by Kurdish fighters in northern Syria has continued into a second day.

    On Saturday, Turkey began shelling the militia, which it says is linked to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    The YPG militia, which is based in Syria, has rejected a demand by Turkey to leave areas it has seized, saying Islamists would return if it left.

    Turkey’s assault is a new thread in an already-complex conflict that has drawn in competing regional powers…”

  3. Iraqi Kurds carrying British passports arrested in Greece, along Turkish border (DW, Feb 14, 2016)

    “For the second time in two weeks, Greek police have arrested suspected arms smugglers along the Turkish border. One of the suspects was found to have 200,000 rounds of amunition in his possession.

    Greek police arrested three Iraqi Kurds, in two separate incidents, with huge caches of ammunition, and guns.

    The men were carrying British passports, but police sadi they were working to verify their authenticity.

    The men were found with hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and dozens of weapons.

    One suspect, aged 39, had 200,000 cartridges and four pistols when he was arrested near the Turkish border, though it is uncertain if they were planning to cross the border…”

    • Greece: Huge weapons stash found after British-Iraqis arrested for gun-running

      The Hellenic Coast Guard published footage Sunday, showing the moment investigators found dozens of guns wrapped in plastic bags after searching the trailer of a group of British-Iraqi men, who were arrested under the suspicion of gun smuggling in the city of Alexandroupolis on Saturday.

      The three British men, aged 22, 28 and 39 years old, were caught heading to Turkey with 22 guns, 239,000 bullets, several mobile phones and dollars in their possession, resulting in their prompt detention.

    • Greece: Three British Muslims smuggling guns and ammunition arrested

      Three British-Iraqi men were arrested in the city of Alexandroupolis, Saturday, trying to cross the border to Turkey, smuggling guns and ammunition.

      The three British muslims, aged 22, 28 and 39 years old, were caught heading to Turkey with 22 guns, 239,000 bullets, several mobile phones and dollars in their possession. The three men were promptly detained.

      The Greek authorities confirmed that an investigation into whether the men have any connection with the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) has been launched.

  4. US envoy summoned: India outraged at sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan (tribune, Feb 14, 2016)

    “New Delhi expressed disappointment on Saturday over the Pentagon’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, Indian news outlets reported. The United States government announced it had approved the sale a day earlier.

    India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar summoned US Ambassador Richard Verma to convey the country’s ‘displeasure’ over the possible sale. Their meeting at the external affairs ministry lasted 45 minutes, according to various Indian news sites, including The Hindu, Times of India and Indian Express.

    Earlier in the day, the spokesman for India’s external affairs ministry took to Twitter to express disappointment over the move. “We are disappointed at the decision of the Obama Administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan,” Vikas Swarup posted on the microblogging website.

    “We disagree with their [Washington’s] rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism. The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself,” he said…”

  5. Austria wants to press ahead to protect its borders: paper (reuters, Feb 14, 2016)

    “Austria will start building new facilities to better protect its borders, notably the one with Italy, Chancellor Werner Faymann said in an interview published on Sunday, underlining efforts to limit admissions of migrants.

    Austria recently built a 3.7 km (2.3 mile) fence at its busiest border crossing with Slovenia, Spielfeld, saying this would help manage the flow of new arrivals onto its territory.

    Asked whether Austria would take new measures on the Italian border, including the “Brenner” border crossing, he told the daily Oesterreich: “It’s already February. I’m not willing to let more time pass. It’s too late for that.

    “In March, one can expect a new wave of migrants. So we have to build the technical facilities now so they are ready for use when we need them.”

    Faymann said the defense and the interior ministries would specify what the border control system will look like…”

  6. Saudi says it intercepted Scud missile from Yemen (saudigazette, Feb 14, 2016)

    “Saudi Arabia intercepted a Scud missile fired towards the kingdom by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the insurgents has said.

    The Saudi SPA news agency said the missile was destroyed by the kingdom’s air defences at around 2145 (1845 GMT) on Saturday, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from its border with Yemen.

    The Saturday’s incident is the third time Saudi Arabia says it has shot down a Scud fired from Yemen.

    On Tuesday, the coalition said that a Saudi Patriot missile had downed a Scud fired from the rebel-held Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

    Riyadh has deployed Patriots designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, which have been fired occasionally since March when the coalition began air strikes in support of the Yemeni government after Houthi rebels seized Sanaa and advanced towards second city Aden.”

    • The war escalates, pay close attention to how the anti-missile systems work, all western nations need working missile defense systems as of last week. The left will continue to report that they don’t work no matter how many are intercepted.

      Prior to WWII the version of mutually assured destruction of that time was the idea that the bombers would always get through so it was foolish to build fighters and anti-aircraft defenses. A lot of people died before the systems that should have been build in the 30s was build during the war.

  7. UAE soldier killed in Yemen fighting (saudigazette, Feb 14, 2016)

    “A United Arab Emirates soldier was killed and another was wounded while fighting in Yemen as part of a Saudi-led military coalition, state news agency WAM reported on Sunday, citing the army general command.

    The coalition is fighting to stop the Houthis from taking complete control of Yemen after they seized the capital Sanaa and advanced south towards the port city of Aden.

    WAM did not give any more details.”

  8. Saudi Arabia confirms warplane deployment to Turkey (DW, Feb 14, 2016)

    “Saudi Arabia has sent planes to Turkey to help fight against “Islamic State” militants in Syria, a defense official says. Turkey has meanwhile reportedly bombed Kurdish and regime positions in Syria for a second day.

    Saudi Arabia has confirmed that it has sent aircraft to Turkey’s Incirlik air base in a bid to step up operations against the jihadist “Islamic State” (IS) group in Syria, a senior Saudi defense official said late on Saturday.

    “The Saudi kingdom now has a presence at Incirlik air base in Turkey. Saudi warplanes are present with their crews to intensify aerial operations along with missions launched from bases in Saudi Arabia,” Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told pan-Arab Al Arabiya television.

    Assiri, who is an adviser in the office of Saudi Arabia’s minister of defense, said the decision to deploy the warplanes came after a meeting in Brussels of a US-led coalition that is fighting the jihadists in Syria and Iraq, stressing that the move had been made in coordination with the coalition.

    He said no ground troops had yet been sent, but spoke of plans for a ground operation…”

  9. FM: Saudi troop deployment in Syria up to US-led coalition (saudigazette, Feb 14, 2016)

    “Any decision by Saudi Arabia to deploy Special Forces into Syria is linked to the US-led coalition fighting Daesh (the so-called IS), Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday.

    “The Kingdom’s deployment of aircraft to the Incirlik air base in Turkey is part of this campaign. The kingdom’s readiness to provide special forces to any ground operations in Syria is linked to a decision to have a ground component to this coalition against Daesh [ISIS] in Syria – this US-led coalition – so the timing is not up to us,” Jubeir told a news conference with his Swiss counterpart in Riyadh.

    Jubeir, meanwhile, said Switzerland will manage consular affairs of Riyadh in Iran and will facilitate Iranian pilgrims coming to the kingdom…”

  10. ‘Turkey wants to stop Kurds liberating northern Syria from ISIS’ (RT, Feb 14, 2016)

    “Turkey’s shelling of Syria is a warning to the Kurds to stop trying to free the northern part of the country from Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL), Kobane-based political analyst Barzan Iso told RT, citing reports of civilians injured in the attacks.

    “Turkey is trying to prevent Kurds from liberating the area around the Turkish border from IS,” Iso said. “The YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection] units are stronger than before and have the ability to free the area around Turkey from ISIS.”

    The reasons for Turkey’s aggressive move is not just profitable relations with Islamic State, the Kurdish analyst said, referring to the cheap IS oil exports that Turkey has reportedly been receiving. Moreover, he argued, IS fighters in northern Syria also create a useful buffer zone for Ankara that could eventually help Turkey “occupy” the territory between Aleppo and Turkey’s border.

    This is just the first signal that Turkey will be further intervening into Syria, he said.

    Turkey shelled positions of Syrian government forces in Aleppo and Latakia provinces as well as Kurdish targets near the city of Azaz, in northwestern Syria. This included an air base recently retaken from jihadists reportedly with Russian air support…”

  11. US urges Turkey to stop shelling Kurdish and Syrian forces (RT, Feb 14, 2016)

    “Washington has called on Turkey to cease massive artillery fire on Kurdish targets near the city of Azaz in northwest Syria, including an air base recently retaken from Islamist rebels, and to “deescalate tensions on all sides.”

    “We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to deescalate tensions on all sides,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Saturday.

    “We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fire,” he said.

    Turkish armed forces began heavy artillery fire earlier Saturday, targeting Kurdish positions in what Turkish military officials called a “retaliation.” The shelling also targeted Syrian forces, according to a military source quoted by RIA Novosti.

    The Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions continued for over three hours almost without a break, a Kurdish source told RT. The source added that the Turkish forces were using mortars and missiles and firing from the Turkish border not far from the city of Azaz in the Aleppo Governorate…”

  12. Damascus confirms its army targeted by Turkish shelling, complains to UN (RT, Feb 14, 2016)

    “The Syrian government has confirmed that its army positions were targeted by Turkish shelling on Saturday, which also hit the positions of the Syrian Kurdish militias in the northern Aleppo province. Turkish shelling reportedly continued Sunday.

    The Syrian government has condemned the Turkish shelling of Syrian territory and described it as direct support for “terrorist” groups, Syrian state media reported Sunday, citing a letter to the United Nations.

    “Turkish artillery shelled Syrian territory, targeting Syrian Kurdish positions and the positions of the Syrian Arab Army,” SANA news agency reported citing the letter.

    Damascus sent the letter in response to Saturday’s Turkish shelling of areas north of Aleppo recently captured by a Kurdish-backed alliance.

    “The shelling of Syrian territory by the Turkish artillery amounts to direct support of terrorist groups by Turkey and is an act of aggression against the Syrian people,” SANA reported.

    The Turkish military launched artillery strikes in response to the military offensive conducted by the Syrian Arab Army in the northern part of Aleppo province, according to the government’s letter to the UN. The shelling is “an attempt to increase the morale of armed terrorist groupings, who are being defeated,” the letter added…”

  13. Afghan civilian death and injuries ‘reach record high’ (BBC, Feb 14, 2016)

    “The number of people killed and wounded in conflict in Afghanistan rose in 2015 to the highest level yet recorded, the UN mission in the country says.

    There were 11,002 casualties in total, a 4% increase on last year’s figures. One in four casualties was a child.

    The report blamed ground fighting in and around populated areas, along with suicide bombings and other attacks.

    The UN’s human rights chief said such “brutal and unprincipled attacks” were forbidden under international law.

    “This is happening with almost complete impunity,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in the report produced by the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (Unama). “The perpetrators of the violations… must be held to account.”

    Since the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan began after 2011 and the official end of Nato’s combat mission in December 2014 , the number of civilian casualties has risen year on year.

    Last year, 3,545 deaths and 7,457 injuries were reported.

    Although there were 156 fewer civilian deaths compared to last year, the number of injuries soared, pushing the overall casualty figure to the highest level since the UN started keeping records in 2009.

    There was a 37% increase in women casualties and a 14% increase in child casualties.

    “Unprecedented numbers of children were needlessly killed and injured last year,” Unama’s Danielle Bell said in a statement…”

  14. OIC: Don’t link terror to Islam (saudigazette, Feb 14, 2016)

    “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stressed that violent extremism and terrorism undermine its common goal to live in a peaceful and prosperous world, Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador Abdullah Al-Moallemi said here on Friday.

    Addressing the General Assembly on behalf of OIC countries, Al-Moallemi said that no country in the world is insulated against violent extremism and terrorism.

    The UN General Assembly was meeting to discuss a draft resolution for supporting the secretary general’s plan to combat violent extremism.
    The Saudi envoy expressed the OIC support for all efforts to prevent violence, extremism and terrorism.

    The OIC stressed that any comprehensive and preventive approach to violent extremism should deal with domestic and foreign motives in a balanced manner, rejecting all attempts to link any country, race, religion, culture or nationality with it.

    There is no agreed-upon definition of violent extremism.

    “The international efforts must respect principles of the UN Charter. Terrorism can not only be combatted by the security or military might, but by all possible means at the political, economic, social and intellectual levels,” Al-Moallemi added.

    “The OIC stresses the importance of integrating young men and women into efforts and processes of decision-making regarding violent extremism. The youth are the future of society. Failure to protect their rights can contribute to creating a fertile ground for crime and violent extremism to prosper,” he added.

    Al-Moallemi said that the OIC expresses its grave concern over growing intolerance and discrimination against Muslims which lead to escalation of Islamophobia.

    “In this regard, the OIC calls upon all member states to curb religious discrimination, hostility or violence. It stresses the importance of dialogue among religions and cultures,” he added.”

  15. Europe’s Convinced U.S. Won’t Solve Its Problems
    361 Feb 13, 2016 3:32 PM EST
    By Josh Rogin

    Europe is facing a convergence of the worst crises since World War II, and the overwhelming consensus among officials and experts here is that the U.S. no longer has the will or the ability to play an influential role in solving them.

    At the Munich Security Conference, the prime topics are the refugee crisis, the Syrian conflict, Russian aggression and the potential dissolution of the European Union’s very structure. Top European leaders repeatedly lamented that 2015 saw all of Europe’s problems deepen, and unanimously predicted that in 2016 they would get even worse.

    “The question of war and peace has returned to the continent,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the audience, indirectly referring to Russian military interventions. “We had thought that peace had returned to Europe for good.”

  16. Turkey shells Syrian Kurds, Russia says will keep bombing anti-Assad rebels

    BEIRUT/MUNICH (Reuters) – The Turkish army shelled Kurdish militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, while Russia made clear it would continue bombing Syrian rebel targets, raising doubts that a planned ceasefire would bring much relief.

    Major powers agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties – the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.

    Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are meanwhile helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in the battle for Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial hub before the conflict.

    The situation has been complicated by the involvement of Kurdish-backed combatants in the area north of Aleppo near the Turkish border, which has drawn a swift military response from artillery in Turkey.

  17. Police in Sweden arrested a man on Sunday on suspicion of murdering a man during a brawl at an asylum centre, in the latest in a string of serious crimes linked to refugees.

    He has also been charged with the attempted murder of three other men, all of whom were seriously injured in the fight.

    According to the newspaper, most, if not all of those involved in the fight were of Afghan origin.

  18. Britain says EU reform talks will ‘go to the wire’

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s push to win backing from its European partners for its wish list of EU reforms will go “right to the wire” at a summit this week, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday.

    “There isn’t a deal yet, there is a working draft, there are lots of moving parts and we have got a negotiation that will run through this week, and I have no doubt will run right to the wire,” he told BBC television on Sunday.

    He said progress was needed to nail down key demands in the areas of competitiveness, the relationship between countries in the bloc that use the euro and those that do not, national sovereignty and access to welfare benefits.

    British and EU negotiators have already broadly agreed much of a reform package, but tricky political issues, notably on migration, are still outstanding.

    Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping to return from a summit of European leaders on Thursday and Friday in Brussels with a package of reforms that he can take to the British people in a referendum on whether to remain in the EU.

  19. Austria wants to press ahead to protect its borders: paper

    ZURICH (Reuters) – Austria will start building new facilities to better protect its borders, notably the one with Italy, Chancellor Werner Faymann said in an interview published on Sunday, underlining efforts to limit admissions of migrants.

    Austria recently built a 3.7 km (2.3 mile) fence at its busiest border crossing with Slovenia, Spielfeld, saying this would help manage the flow of new arrivals onto its territory.

    Asked whether Austria would take new measures on the Italian border, including the “Brenner” border crossing, he told the daily Oesterreich: “It’s already February. I’m not willing to let more time pass. It’s too late for that.

    “In March, one can expect a new wave of migrants. So we have to build the technical facilities now so they are ready for use when we need them.”

    Faymann said the defense and the interior ministries would specify what the border control system will look like.

    The newspaper had reported earlier that a fence was planned for the Brenner crossing, but that the government first wanted to see how efficient the fence at the Spielfeld crossing would turn out to be.

  20. Greece: Tensions flare during protest against refugee screening centre in Kos

    Tensions flared between police and protesters during a demonstration against the creation of a screening centre for the refugees on the Greek island of Kos, Sunday.

    Hundreds of activists, supported by members of the far-right party Golden Dawn, marched near the site where the centre is due to be built in Pyli, holding Greek flags while chanting the national anthem. Scuffles broke out when the protesters tried to break the police blockade and access the centre’s construction site. Riot police responded by firing rounds of tear gas against the demonstrators, including children.

    Kos city council is due to hold a referendum on Tuesday deciding whether plans to build the screening centre will continue.

    • Greece: Kos Mayor talks planned refugee centre & resultant protests

      The Mayor of Kos Yorgos Kyritsis gave an exclusive interview to RT, Sunday, to comment on the building of the new screening centre for refugees near Pyli on the Greek island of Kos and the protests connected to it.

  21. ‘This is the death of civilization’: Witnesses, and gun videos, from Weimar Europe 2016

    The old left of Europe is hanging on with all its might to the themes and categories of political correctness. But with each day that goes by, the old left’s framework is increasingly outdated. Fewer people are willing to be governed by it – because that governance is leading only to the destruction of a way of life.

    One witness to this destruction is a lady named Simone, a lifelong resident of the French city of Calais, now home to one of the oldest and most atrocious migrant camps in Europe. Calais lies on the French coast across the English Channel from England. Simone spoke a few days ago, recounting the hell that life has become for Calaisiens, at an event held by right-wing French groups (Riposte Laique and Résistance Républicaine) displaying signs that read “Sauvons notre pays!” (Save our country!).

    Simone and her husband had participated in a small (about 150 people) anti-immigration demonstration in Calais, on 6 February. The German group PEGIDA helped set it up, but the French police shut it down quickly, arresting some 20 people for “failing to disperse.” Simone’s testimony to life in Calais was given a short time afterward, in the video (below, with subtitles) posted to YouTube by Vlad Tepes on 9 February.

  22. Colleges are cultivating America’s first truly authoritarian generation
    By Benny Huang February 13, 2016

    “It’s illegal to offend people,” said the UT-Austin police officer to a Christian evangelist. The officer then proceeded to write the evangelist a citation. Yes, that actually happened in America. Thankfully, the citation was later voided and the officer received re-training.

    The event, a portion of which was captured on video (see below), occurred just off campus where two evangelists were preaching against homosexuality. According to the police officer, a student complained that he was being “verbally harassed,” which in fact he was not. The whiny student, if he exists at all, was simply being exposed to words and ideas that offended him. The accusation of “verbal harassment” is the authoritarian censor’s primary weapon against our constitutional rights.

  23. Reuters – Turkey shells northern Syria for second day: monitor

    The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

    Turkey on Saturday demanded the powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base. The shelling has targeted those areas.

    Turkey has been alarmed by the expansion of Kurdish sway in northern Syria since the start of the conflict in 2011. The YPG controls nearly all of Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey, and has been a close ally of the United States in the campaign against Islamic State in Syria.

    But Ankara views the group as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurgency for autonomy in southeast Turkey.

    Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday the shelling had taken place under “the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area”.

    He demanded that the Menagh base be evacuated and said he had spoken to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to make that point and stress that the PYD was an extension of the PKK and a direct threat to Turkey.

    The shelling intensified at 2 a.m. (0000 GMT) before dying down but not stopping, said the Observatory, which reports on the war using a network of sources on the ground.

    The Kurdish-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance was also fighting Syrian insurgents near the town of Tel Rifaat in the province of Aleppo, the Observatory said.

    One of the armed groups in the SDF, Jaysh al-Thuwwar, warned Turkey against any escalation, saying if it “has goals in our dear nation, we will defend our land and our people, and view it as a hostile party”.

    Syria’s military, backed by Russian air strikes, is fighting Syrian insurgents in the same area, trying to seal the frontier with Turkey and reclaim areas of Aleppo city held by rebels.

    Syrian rebels say the YPG is fighting with the Syrian military and its allies against them in the five-year-old civil war.

    The YPG denies this.

    • SYRIA – 350 armed rebels enter northern Syria through Turkish border

      DAMASCUS, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — Turkey has allowed 350 armed rebels to enter, through its borders, into the northern province of Aleppo to take part in defending a key Syrian border town from the Syrian military offensive, a monitor group reported on Sunday.

      The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Turkish authorities allowed 350 Syria rebels with light and heavy arms to move from Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib through the Turkish borders, namely the Atamah military crossing, into Syria’s northern province of Aleppo to take part in defending the strategic border town of Tal Rifat from the approaching Syrian military forces.

      The UK-based watchdog group said Turkey allowed the rebels to move through its territories and further supervised their movement from the countryside of Idlib to the northern countryside of Aleppo.

      It said that 15 militant groups were killed Sunday in the battles around Tal Rifat, adding that the Russian warplanes carried out 18 airstrikes against rebel-held in Tal Rifat.

      The Syrian army and the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were approaching the strategic town after dislodging the rebels from key areas in northern Aleppo, as part of the crushing offensive it carried out in Aleppo and the northwestern province of Latakia to close the borders with Turkey, from which much of the militants and their arms come into the war-torn country.

      The Syrian government has always accused Turkey of facilitating the flow of jihadists into Syria. It’s latest accusation was made on Sunday, when it condemned the Turkish shelling of Kurdish areas in northern Syria.

      Turkish latest move aims apparently to bring to a halt the Kurdish progress toward Tal Rifat and to prop up the militants it backs in northern Syria.

      Tal Rifaat – Feb 14 2016 –

    • Russia will ‘fail to save’ Syria’s Assad: Saudi Foreign Minister

      RIYADH (AFP) –

      Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Sunday that Russia’s efforts to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not succeed in keeping him in power.

      Jubeir told a press conference in Riyadh that previous efforts to prop up Assad, including by Iran, had “failed”.

      “Now, (Assad) has sought the help of Russia, which will fail to save him,” he said.
      Turkey will continue to respond to YPG attacks in Syria, PM Davutoglu tells Merkel

      Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Turkey will not let the YPG to continue its aggressive activities in northern Syria.

      During a phone conversation on Sunday, the Turkish premier told Merkel that Turkish security forces will continue to give necessary response to the PYD or the YPG attacks in Syria.

      On Saturday, Turkish military shelled YPG targets near the town of Azaz in northern Syria under the rules of engagement, in response to two separate attacks carried out by YPG and Assad forces on a Turkish military base and a police station.

      Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday that YPG is engaged in an ethnic cleansing against Arabs and Turkmens in the region in cooperation with the Assad regime and added that the group must immediately leave Azaz and its surroundings.

      Davutoglu reiterated that Turkey will respond to any development that threatens the country’s national security and will not allow any powers to harass Turkish borders.

      Meanwhile, the Syrian regime has condemned Turkey’s shelling of PYD held areas inside Syrian territory, describing it as an attempt to raise the morale of “terrorist” groups.

      The regime, which Turkey accuses of cooperating with both the PYD and Daesh in its crimes against the people of Syria, urged the Security Council to stop Turkey’s violations.

    • Damascus says believes some Turkish forces entered Syria

      BEIRUT – The Syrian government says Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen it said entered Syria on Saturday accompanied by 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an ongoing supply operation to insurgents fighting Damascus.

      “The operation of supplying ammunition and weapons is continuing via the Bab al-Salama crossing to the Syrian area of Azaz,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council published by state news agency SANA.

      It said the pick-up trucks were “accompanied by around 100 gunmen some of whom are believed to be Turkish forces and Turkish mercenaries”.

      The same letter also criticized Turkey for shelling areas of northern Syria. Azaz is north of Aleppo near the Turkish border.

      Islamic state video – Feb 14 2016 – Aleppo

    • Feb 14 2016 – Obama urges Russia to stop bombing ‘moderate’ Syria rebels

      U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia on Sunday to stop bombing “moderate” rebels in Syria in support of its ally Bashar al-Assad, a campaign seen in the West as a major obstacle to latest efforts to end the war.

      Major powers agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties – the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.

      Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are meanwhile helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in the battle for Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial center before the conflict.

      There is little optimism that the deal reached in Munich will do much to end a war that has lasted five years and cost 250,000 lives.

      The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin and Obama had spoken by telephone and agreed to intensify cooperation to implement the Munich agreement.

      But a Kremlin statement made clear Russia was committed to its campaign against Islamic State and “other terrorist organizations”, an indication that it would also target groups in western Syria where jihadists such as al Qaeda are fighting Assad in close proximity to rebels deemed moderate by the West.

      Russia says the “cessation” does not apply to its air strikes, which have shifted the balance of power toward Assad.

      It says Islamic State and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front are the main targets of its air campaign. But Western countries say Russia has in fact been mostly targeting other insurgent groups, including some they support.

      The White House said Obama’s discussion with Putin stressed the need to rush humanitarian aid to Syria and contain air strikes.

      “In particular, President Obama emphasized the importance now of Russia playing a constructive role by ceasing its air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria,” the White House said in a statement.

      AP- Diplomats Work to Deliver Truce Deal on Syria

  24. DAILY MAIL – French mother claims police are barred from ‘Muslim only’ area of Jungle migrant camp as she says Calais residents are terrified of going out after dark

    Calais local Simone Hericourt claimed she and others live in constant fear
    She said the migrant population in the town caused an increase in crime
    Mrs Hericourt is too scared to visit where her son’s ashes were scattered

  25. UK: Protesters decry Calais evictions outside French embassy in London

    Protesters gathered outside the French Embassy in London on Sunday to stand in solidarity for refugees stuck in Calais’s infamous ‘Jungle’ camp and called on the British government to do more. The demo comes following a recent announcement by French authorities saying that around 1,000 migrants must leave the camp as they are giving the area a ‘bad image.’

    Demonstrators used Valentine’s Day as a way of promoting their slogan, ‘make love, not razor wire’, also calling on British Prime Minister David Cameron to do more to support refugees who are currently facing eviction.

    “David Cameron and his government’s policy has been an absolute disgrace, they would rather see children drown in the sea or freeze in Calais than open up our society, to take its’ fair share of refugees” said one protester.

  26. Germany: Antifa rail at Russians during anti-refugee protest

    Dozens of anti-refugee protesters, mostly attended by demonstrators of Russian origin, were met by a large counter-demo at St. Lorenz church in Nuremberg on Sunday.

    The police kept both groups separated and behind barricades. Anti-refugee protesters held signs denouncing the alleged rape of the Russian-German 13 year-old and called for a deportation of criminal refugees and asylum seekers. Pro-refugee protesters used whistles to disrupt speeches, while bearing banners reading “shame on you,” among others.

    “We as women are of course worried because we can’t take the subway properly in the daytime, and in the evening that’s even beyond question. We are concerned. We want a safe home country and we want to move peacefully in Germany,” said Elena Roon, one of the organiser of the anti-refugee demo.

  27. Jihad Comes to Small Town America – Another American ISIS Supporter Arrested

    By Onan Coca / 13 February 2016 / 74 Comments


    These stories seem to be coming fast and furious now. Whether it’s in San Bernardino, California, Garland, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Detroit, Michigan or now in Montesano, Washington… terrorist supporting American-Muslims are being uncovered at an alarming pace.

    The most recent example of this disturbing trend comes to us from a sleepy little hamlet in Washington state where a former soldier, now fisherman, was recently arrested on weapons charges, but whom the government will likely soon be charging for terror-related crimes as well.

    Daniel Seth Franey was arrested at his home in Montesano, Washington this past week, and if the authorities are to be believed, he is an ISIS and Al Qaeda supporting time bomb. Franey is a deserter who ran afoul of the law during a domestic-violence incident. In the aftermath of the domestic violence, he had a protective order placed on him which barred him from possessing a firearm, during the course of an investigation into his activities he was routinely observed in possession or use of firearms.

    Law enforcement first became aware of Franey after a witness reported that he’d discussed his support for and desire to fight for ISIS.

    • Major LOL-

      I heard “atheist” and “movement” and “feminist”, groaned about to click off. Then – whoa! – he had me laughing so hard I need stitches.
      Would that mean I’m “de-constructing” in today’s college patois? Would “intersection-analysis” fix me when the stuffing comes out?

      Thanks for the fun, Buck.

  28. “Treason” In Turkey: Asking for Peace

    On January 11, 2016, a group of academics and researchers from Turkey and abroad called “Academics for Peace” signed and issued a declaration entitled, “We will not be a party to this crime.” In it, they criticized the Turkish government for its recent curfews and massacres in Kurdish districts, and demanded an end to violence against Kurds and a return to peace talks.

    “We declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state,” the declaration said.

    In total, 2212 academics and researchers from Turkey, and 2279 from abroad, signed their names onto the declaration.

  29. UN Says US Must Pay Slavery Reparations And Build Monuments For Black People

    Recently the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was on a fact-finding mission in America. Their final report won’t be out until the fall, but their initial findings were just reported and it doesn’t look good. Their conclusion: the US is a horribly racist country that must pay all black people slavery reparations and erect monuments to the black cause.

    The AP reports the UN group’s findings:

    The United States should consider reparations to African-American descendants of slavery, establish a national human rights commission and publicly acknowledge that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity, a United Nations working group said Friday.

    Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent chair Mireille Fanon Mendes-France of France is, “extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African-Americans.”

    Wait, her name is Mendes-France and she’s from France? What are the chances of that?

  30. How the Obama — ‘We are all Jews’ — administration is hollowing out Israel’s ability to independently protect itself

    This week Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told government ministers that he may wait for the next US president before signing a new military assistance deal with America. Israel’s current military assistance package is set to expire in 2018 and the new package is supposed to include supplemental aid to compensate Israel for President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. But to date, the administration has rejected Israel’s requests for additional systems it could use to defend against Iran attacks.

    Last October, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon asked US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to provide Israel with a new squadron of F-15s that Israel would outfit with its own electronics systems. Carter reportedly rejected that request as well as one for bunker buster bombs.

    Carter instead insisted that Israel use the supplemental aid to purchase more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, US-made missile defense systems, and the Osprey V-22 helicopter, which Ya’alon didn’t want.

    The fact that the administration wants Israel to buy more F-35s instead of F-15s is alarming both for what it tells us about America’s commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge against Iran and for what it tells us about the F-35, which is set to become the IAF’s next generation combat fighter.

    • This is one of Caroline’s ‘carpet-bomber’ articles – to torture that poor clichéd malaprop just one more time. I saw the version in the Jerusalem Post, entitled: “IAF’s Achilles’ heel”. It’s a ‘consensus’ piece everyone must read.

      That includes potential partners for next generation systems such as the friendly and enthusiastic Indian government. And all those Japanese MIT classmates who find their country somewhat exposed these days.

      The F-35’s should stay in the USA.

      I’m paraphrasing something I read or heard somewhere, but about those F-16’s just sent to Pakistan?!

      The VP of the company that makes those F16’s told Yoram Ettinger, Israel’s former liaison to Congress, that the Israeli technicians made hundreds of modifications worth maybe billions of dollars and years of R&D.

      The eight F-16 fighter jets just sent to Pakistan would’ve been better off in landfill somewhere. Or at the bottom of the ocean.

      There was a good article in The Tower in October:
      Can Israel’s Military Edge Be Sustained?

      David Ben-Gurion famously said that in order to be a realist in Israel, you have to believe in miracles. Thus was born the “Qualitative Military Edge” strategy. Seven decades on, can it survive?

      • I have heard good and bad about the F35, so I am torn in whether or not they should be in operation and sold to Israel. I do know that Russian and Chinese knock offs of them are already in operation and are suppose to work quite well.

    • I found this recent piece by Yoram Ettinger:

      High return on US investment in Israel

      US national and homeland security and commercial interests have derived significant benefits from the special US-Israel cooperative alliance, which has evolved into a unique, mutually-beneficial, two-way-street, win-win relationship, transcending the tension between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, rising above 68-year-old US-Israel disagreements over the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue.
      For example, in 2016, US combat pilots benefit uniquely during joint drills with their Israeli colleagues. The latter always fly in a “do-or-die” state of mind – a result of Israel’s narrow geographic waistline in a violently unpredictable neighborhood – which generates more daring and innovative maneuvers, shared with their US colleagues. Recently, Israel’s air force developed a ground-breaking method of identifying, repairing and preempting cracks in old combat planes, such as the F-16, promptly shared with the US Air Force and manufacturer. Instead of grounding the planes for six months and preoccupying hundreds of mechanics, the Israeli-developed system – based on a baby-viewing ultrasound device – requires two weeks and only a few mechanics, yielding significant economic and national security benefits.
      According to General George Keegan, a former US Air Force Intelligence Chief, the value of intelligence shared by Israel with the US – exposing adversaries’ Air Force capabilities, new military systems, electronics and jamming devices – “could not be procured with five CIAs…. The ability of the US Air Force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO, owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any other single source of intelligence, be it satellite reconnaissance, be it technology intercept, or what have you.” A similar assessment was made by the late Senator Daniel Inouye, who was the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, the Appropriations Committee and its Defense Subcommittee: “Israel provides the US with more intelligence than all NATO countries combined, especially on adversarial Muslim countries and terrorists targeting Americans abroad and on the mainland.”

      • Israel is the one nation we may be able to salvage a special relationship with under the next conservative President. Britain and Western Europe are too deep in socialism for the relationship to be salvaged without a major realignment in Europe.

  31. Turkey: Tear gas used as clashes erupt at pro-Kurdish demo in Istanbul

    Police and security forces deployed water cannon and used tear gas at a pro-Kurdish protest in the Gazi district of Istanbul, Sunday. The demonstration comes on a day where nationwide action was called to protest the capture of the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan. According to reports, two protesters and two security officers were injured in the clashes that continued into the night. At least 21 people were arrested.

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