Reader’s Links for May 25. 2020

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

123 Replies to “Reader’s Links for May 25. 2020”

  1. U.S. Marine Corps Transforming to Defeat China

    The U.S. Marine Corps has long been a leader in transformational warfighting. It perfected modern amphibious operations in the 1930s and pioneered helicopter vertical envelopment operations in the 1950s. It also wrote the book on counterinsurgency — the Small Wars Manual in 1940.

    Today, the innovative new Commandant, General David Berger, has embarked the Corps on its most sweeping transformation in decades. His new focus will align the Marines with President Trump’s 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) that prioritizes near-peer threats, especially China.

    As reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) – Berger served as the top Marine commander in the Pacific, then led the Marines’ Combat Development Command (MCDC), which develops new war-fighting concepts. MCDC has run classified wargames like “Pacific Surprise” and “Ghost Fleet,” to evaluate how the Marines could counter the growing Chinese threat.

    What they showed was the Marines were not up to facing a near-peer threat like China. Hence, Berger’s new counter-China strategy. (RELATED: Time U.S. Commits Fully to Defend Taiwan Against China)

    So, now the Marines are shedding their recent counterinsurgency and land warfare focus to become a ‘littoral warfare’ force-in-readiness — oriented specifically to fighting China in its own backyard. As stated by The Diplomat, “Traditionally, the Navy has provided control over the seas for the purpose of safely delivering marines ashore. The new concept reverses the Marines’ role to one of helping the Navy control sea lanes…”

    • The basic idea is that the Chinese will have to spend time, money and assets to sweep all of the small Islands to ensure that they can move out into the open ocean. This is good as far as it goes but I don’t like the idea that the entire Marine Corp is being turned into this type of war fighting machine. Near Peer fighting is going to involve more then fighting on the Islands and the Marines are our shock troops for the early fighting while the heavier Army Units are moved into position. To perform the second mission they are going to need some of the assets they are giving up.

      • Germ warfare can incapacitate the crew of an aircraft carrier!
        Chinese media was reporting that tidbit, got their population gloating over it. Disgusting.
        This was just a test. We better prepare for the next one.

        • This is there last chance, if the US and the West doesn’t totally collapse China has lost. They are willing to start a shooting war but how far are they going to push this war?

          Yes we need to watch out for the next germ to be turned loose, this one was accidentally released but the next will be a deliberate release. As you point out a virus can shut down an aircraft carrier so the smaller ships make sense in that matter. I am looking at what will be needed if the Chinese push it further then just Naval warfare in the South China Sea and the approaches to that region. Once two near peers start open shooting war it is hard to prevent the wars growing to major world war size.

          • They’ll do everything EXCEPT get into a shooting war with us.

            We’ve got to prepare for the kind of dirty war they will unleash. All with (barely] plausible deniability, supported by their supranational lackeys and their running dogs in the EU.

            Kill off or sabotage or buy off our allies. Poison the water, devastate us with germs old and new.

            While we don’t have the medical resources to cope. And are unlikely to scale up in time.

            THAT’S the unrestricted warfare we face. Not ships, missiles, or guns. Not the Marines or the Space Force.

            Goons – epidemiologists and virologists within the USA, Canada, Germany, Australia. These are assets of the PRC, whether they know it or not. They just don’t care.

  2. ITALY – 60,000 ‘Civic Assistants’ in Italy Will be Paid to Enforce Social Distancing After Weekend of Chaos

    Chairs were thrown. Fights erupted. Pedestrians crowded promenades and vehicles chocked streets from Turin to Naples.

    After more than two months of lockdown, Italy entered the second phase of its national reopening campaign, to include museums, libraries, restaurants and cafes last week, and the opening of gyms and sports centers on Monday. But a similar surge to the one which shuttered the nation was seen again over the weekend, only this time it wasn’t a virus consuming the country: it was revelers.

    Videos posted to social media showed throngs of people at bars and cafe. The nation, once the European epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, hasn’t heeded the calls of wary leaders warning against flouting social distancing mandates.

    “If the infections start again, we are ready to close,” Luca Zaia, the president of the Veneto region in the country’s north, said during a press conference, echoing concerns underlined by the Technical-Scientific Committee which has helped the government asses its response to the virus. The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, also responded to the crowds by saying he was “frustrated by the difficulty of managing the gatherings.”

    The Civil Protection Agency on Sunday called for a force of some 60,000 volunteers, who will be paid as “civic assistants,” to patrol public areas including beaches and to enforce social distancing guidelines. The move comes as the nation struggles financially to support those whose incomes were stymied or lost during the shutdown.


    the local – Italy seeks 60,000 volunteers to enforce coronavirus rules

    Italian officials have proposed creating a 60,000-strong corps of volunteer “civic assistants” who would remind people of the need to observe measures against coronavirus infection as the country emerges from lockdown.

    The force, to be drawn from among pensioners and the unemployed, is the brainchild of Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia and Antonio Decaro, mayor of the southern city of Bari.

    The civil protection unit, which manages the various volunteers helping to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic that has caused nearly 33,000 deaths in Italy, would be charged with the recruitment.

    They would answer questions and remind the public of social distancing rules, or the need to wear masks, in crowded areas such as beaches, parks and city streets.

    The volunteers would not be able to fine people.

    Decaro said Monday that some of these potential volunteers had already “helped deliver groceries or medicines to those who could not leave their homes during the crisis”.

    “In this new phase, they will help control access to parks or markets, counting the number of people entering or leaving, or explaining the rules of access to beaches when they reopen,” Decaro, who is also president of the Association of Italian Municipalities, said in a statement.

    • How come only it appears that only the Epoch Times talks about this?

      Cannot find anything on “Black Sky and Thunderbolts Arrive During CCP Meetings Postponed by Pandemic” anywhere else?

  3. Afghan Govt Frees Taliban Prisoners as Truce Holds for Second Day

    “Afghan authorities released 100 Taliban prisoners Monday as part of the government’s response to a surprise, three-day ceasefire the insurgents called to mark the Eid al-Fitr festival.

    The pause in fighting, only the second of its kind in Afghanistan’s nearly 19-year-old war, was for the most part holding across the country on day two after the government welcomed the truce by announcing plans to release up to 2,000 Taliban inmates.

    President Ashraf Ghani said his administration was also ready to hold peace talks with the Taliban, seen as key to ending the war in the impoverished country…”

  4. Eight Jihadists Killed in Ivorian-Burkina Operation: Ivory Coast Army

    “Eight suspected jihadists were killed and another 38 captured in a joint operation by Burkinabe and Ivorian forces near the two countries’ shared border, the Ivory Coast army said Sunday.

    The captured men — 24 in Burkina Faso and 14 in Ivory Coast — were handed over to intelligence services, a source at Ivorian army headquarters told AFP. A “terrorist base” was destroyed at Alidougou in Burkina Faso, the source added. Arms, ammunition, USB keys, and cell phones were also seized during the operation, the source said.

    Operation “Comoe,” named after a river that flows through the two west African countries, was launched in early May, the source said, praising the “perfect coordination between the two armies.”

    This joint operation, presented on Saturday by the two armies’ top commanders as the first of its kind, took place northeast of the Ivorian town of Ferkessedougou and south of Banfora in Burkina Faso.

    On Saturday, a Burkinabe security source said the entire operation had been carried out in Ivory Coast.

    But local people told an AFP journalist that the fighting took place around the villages of Tinadalla and Diambeh north of Kong in the northeast of Ivory Coast. They spoke of a considerable military presence there.

    Deadly Burkina Faso Clash
    One villager from Tindalla said suspicious men had been in the zone for more than a month, coming and going across the border with Burkina Faso.

    The Ivorian army source said Sunday that “no terrorist base exists on Ivorian territory which may have served as a zone of refuge during previous offensives” by the Burkinabe army. A Burkina Faso military source told AFP that a Burkinabe soldier had been wounded and hospitalized in Korhogo, in northern Ivory Coast.

    Meanwhile in a separate battle in Burkina Faso, troops killed 13 “jihadists” in the northern province of Soum, Burkinabe security sources told AFP Sunday.

    The clash happened on Saturday as the soldiers were on reconnaissance in the province, said one source. “Thirteen jihadists have been killed by the units, who reacted promptly to enemy contact,” the source added. They put their opponents to flight and seized several vehicles and weapons, said the source.

    Over the past week, there has been a series of deadly clashes between Burkinabe soldiers and gendarmes fighting jihadists on their territory. The presence of Islamist fighters to the north of Ivory Coast’s Comoe national park was detected more than a year ago.

    Security sources say they are jihadists operating in Burkina Faso who shelter in Ivory Coast.

    Jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has claimed nearly 900 lives since 2015.”

  5. Turkish-Backed Militants Abduct over 30 Syrians in North: Report

    “Turkish-backed Takfiri militants raided houses in the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain along the border with Turkey in Hasakah province, abducting more than 30 residents, a report said.

    According to the report carried by SANA, “Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries raided houses in the village of Tal Helf in Ras al-Ain countryside in Hasaka province, and set up roadblocks at its entrances”.

    The “abducted more than 30 of the village’s residents and took them to an unknown destination,” the report added.

    Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria last October after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push militants of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

    Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

    On October 22 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.”

  6. WATCH: Gunmen set fire to Iraqi paramilitary group’s headquarters amid rising anti-Iran sentiment

    “Unidentified gunmen launched an attack on the headquarters of an Iraqi political group linked to the Iranian government in Maysan, southern Iraq, on Saturday.

    The assailants set the offices of Asaib Ahl al-Haq – a Shia political party and paramilitary group – ablaze in the attack, which was captured on social media.

    Asaib Ahl al-Haq is one of the most prominent factions of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), also known by its Arabic name Hashd al-Shaabi, an umbrella organisation of largely Shia and Iran-sponsored militia groups now incorporated into the Iraqi state.

    A Maysan police spokesman said that the attackers were thought to belong to the anti-government protest movement.

    The movement has been staging demonstrations since October, largely against government corruption, unemployment and poor public services, but more recently against increasing Iranian influence in Iraq, including the use of armed pro-Iran groups to violently crack down on the movement…”

  7. China vows to shield firms from US sanctions over mass detention, repression of Muslim minorities

    “Beijing on Monday vowed to shield a Chinese government institute and eight companies sanctioned by the US over alleged human rights violations in the northwestern Xinjiang region, where China is accused of the mass repression and detention of mostly Muslim minorities.

    The US Department of Commerce announced the sanctions on Friday, saying they were triggered by human rights abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim-majority minority groups in Xinjiang.

    Human rights organisations and Western governments have accused China of the detention of at least one million Uighur and other Muslim majorities, as well as cultivating a repressive surveillance system targeting residents of the northwestern region.

    China claims that the detainees are voluntarily living in “re-education camps” designed to steer Xinjiang residents away from the influence of Islamic extremism and separatist ideology.

    Beijing urged Washington to reverse the decision, saying the Commerce Department had “stretched the concept of national security” to “meddle in China’s affairs and harm China’s interests”.

    “China will take all necessary measures to protect the legal rights and interests of Chinese companies,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press briefing.

    The Commerce Department said the nine parties were “complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labour and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs” and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang.

    All nine are now subject to restrictions on exports from the US, the department added.

    Washington has been increasingly active in its criticism of China’s treatment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and in October blacklisted 28 entities involved in alleged rights violation there.

    The US House of Representatives and Senate are yet to reconcile similar acts approved last year that would seek sanctions on officials over abuses, and restrict exports of surveillance gear and other equipment seen as assisting in repression in Xinjiang.

    Uighur activists say China is conducting a massive brainwashing campaign aimed at eradicating their distinct culture and Muslim identity.

    Tensions are also growing between the world’s two largest economies after President Donald Trump accused China of misleading the world on the origins of the coronavirus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

    Beijing has furiously denied the allegation, and its foreign minister Wang Yi said on Sunday that Washington was pushing both sides to “the brink of a new Cold War”.”

  8. Egypt, Greece reject ‘foreign interference’ in Libya,-Greece-reject-foreign-interference-in-Libya.aspx

    “Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received a phone call from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday where they discussed the latest developments in Libya as well as efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus and ease its medical, economic and social impacts.

    El-Sisi and Mitsotakis agreed on boosting cooperation in terms of fighting the coronavirus through exchanging know-how and upholding coordination between concerned bodies in the two friendly nations, according to presidency spokesman Bassam Radi.

    They took up means of boosting cooperation at all levels, whether bilaterally or within the framework of the trilateral cooperation mechanism grouping Egypt, Cyprus and Greece. In this respect, both sides agreed on resuming exchanged visits at the level of senior officials once the international aviation movement, which is disrupted by the pandemic, is back to normal.

    During the call, El-Sisi and Mitsotakis shared similar views with regards to their countries’ stances and interests in the Middle East region along with asserting the significance of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which is considered as one of the key tools towards cementing cooperation among countries taking part in it in the domain of energy and gas, Radi said.

    The spokesman added that the phone call tackled the latest updates of the Libyan crisis, with both sides affirming their rejection of foreign interference that makes the issue more complicated and serves the interests of the foreign parties at the expense of Libyan people’s rights, will and interests.

    Such interference jeopardises not only the stability and security of Libya’s neighbouring countries, but also the European ones, El-Sisi and Mitsotakis said.

    Meanwhile, they called for unified international efforts to support a settlement to the Libyan crisis through supporting the UN bids in this regard along with putting into effect the outcomes of the Berlin summit on Libya, which took place in January 2020 in Germany. “

  9. Moroccans Maintain Position as Largest Foreign Community in Spain

    “Moroccans remain the top foreign community in Spain, according to the recent statistics from the Spanish Ministry of Labor.

    The National Institute of Statistics (INE) estimated the number of Moroccans legally established in Spain at 864,546 on January 1, representing an increase of 6.3% from a year earlier.

    The Ministry of Labor said that a total of 253,624 Moroccans were registered with the social security administration in Spain by the end of April.

    The statistics show Moroccans at the top of the list of non-EU foreign workers contributing to social security in Spain, followed by Chinese (78,442), Colombians (70,089) and Ecuadorians (66,551).

    The total number of foreigners affiliated with Spanish social security reached 1,972,552 in the first four months of 2020, down 5.4% compared to the same period of the previous year. The difference is largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Out of all foreign workers contributing to Spanish social security, some 1,220,052 are from non-EU countries and 752,500 are from Europe.

    The number of foreign residents fell by 101,377 in April, 4.9% less compared to the previous month, the ministry said.

    The number of foreigners affiliated with the general social security system reached 1,627,524 at the end of April.

    Registrants in the self-employed system stood at 340,745 people.

    In April, INE estimated the number of Moroccans residing in Spain with legal status amounted to 864,500 in 2019.”

  10. Turkey ‘neutralized’ 1,458 terrorists so far this year: Defense minister

    “Turkish security forces have so far “neutralized” a total of 1,458 terrorists in cross-border operations since the beginning of this year, the defense minister said on May 25.

    “As of Jan. 1, a total of 1,458 terrorists have been neutralized as a result of the operations carried out within the framework of the fight against terrorism in northern Iraq and Syria,” Hulusi Akar said in the central Kayseri province.

    “Turkish Armed Forces will resolutely continue its fight until the last terrorist is neutralized,” Akar added.

    Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

    Stressing that Turkey makes every effort to continue to find a political solution in Syria, Akar said: “Although there are some minor violations [in the northwestern city of Idlib], the cease-fire is generally observed.”

    “As a result of the cease-fire, approximately 300,000 Syrian brothers and sisters returned to their homes safely and voluntarily,” he added.

    Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

    Turkey targets members of the PKK terror group in both northern Iraq and Syria, the group responsible for the death of tens of thousands of people in Turkey over past decades.

    The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group and its members frequently attempt to infiltrate into Turkish posts to commit acts of terrorism.”

  11. Turkish coast guard rescues 72 asylum seekers

    “Turkish Coast Guard teams rescued at least 72 asylum seekers Monday from four boats in the Aegean Sea.

    Acting on a tip-off, the rescue team reached out to the asylum seekers, who were on board inflatable boats that were forced into Turkish territorial waters by the Greek Coast Guard.

    The asylum seekers – including Afghans, Congolese, Guineans and Pakistanis – were rescued off the coast of Foca in Izmir province. They were taken to the provincial migration office.

    Turkey has been one of the main routes for asylum seekers wanting to reach Europe, especially since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.

    Turkey hosts nearly four million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.”

  12. 3 arsonists set a scooter on fire in Groningen, the Netherlands. They nearly burn when gate closes automatically. One manages to push it ajar and sneak out, the others climb over the fence. Faces from 1:45, the usual suspects:

  13. Turkish charity brings joy of Ramadan to 66 countries

    “Turkey’s state-run charity brought the joy of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by delivering aid to around 700,000 people in 66 countries around the globe.

    The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) distributed 106,285 aid packages during the month, according to information obtained by Anadolu Agency correspondents.

    The charity also delivered food aid to around 525,000 people globally, while nearly 134,000 people received hygiene aid packages.

    Meanwhile, in its efforts to deliver aid to all groups affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus during Ramadan, TIKA delivered approximately 25 tons of foodstuffs to 1,000 needy families in the country’s capital Lefkosa as well as Girne, Magusa, Lefke and Guzelyurt provinces.

    The packages included products such as milk, dates, tea and coffee.

    Help in African countries

    The aid agency provided relief to 700 families in the poorest regions of the Southern African country of Lesotho during Ramadan.

    Amid the ongoing threat of the coronavirus, TIKA distributed disinfectants, gloves and masks in Lesotho as part of Turkey’s support to countries around the world to help them fight the pandemic.

    In Somali, some 500 families who had to leave their homes behind in the capital Mogadishu to live in camps in the Garasbaaley region to the west received food packages including rice, flour, pasta, sugar and cooking oil in Ramadan.

    Also, in Ethiopia, 17 tons of food packages were delivered to more than 2,000 people living in camps which host displaced persons in the capital city of Addis Ababa and Sululta city in the Oromia region. During Ramadan, 50 tons of food aid was distributed to Ethiopians in need.

    Abdella Siraj, a father of five and beneficiary of the project, said the food parcels distributed by T?KA helped them breathe a sigh of relief during the holy month.

    Moreover, in the West African country of Guinea, the agency provided food aid to 1,000 needy families who were adversely affected by COVID-19.

    The agency also distributed 34 tons of foodstuffs to 2,000 needy families of Eritrean refugees at the Shagarab camp located in Kassala state in eastern Sudan.

    Relief in Arab countries

    As part of its support to the Palestinian people in the areas of health and food during the month of Ramadan, TIKA in cooperation with local institutions distributed aid packages to 7,500 families in need in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as occupied territory under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

    In the first stage of Ramadan aid distribution, which was carried out in cooperation with the Zakat Organization, which is in charge of collecting zakat donations, or mandatory alms, and the country’s Social Development Ministry, food packages were delivered to 3,000 needy families in the West Bank.

    TIKA Palestine coordinator Ahmet Refik Cetinkaya said the agency’s food assistance target is to reach 40,000 Palestinians.

    In Gaza, the charity distributed food packages to 5,060 needy families.

    Meanwhile, 1,500 food parcels and 500 shares of meat were distributed to needy families living in different provinces of Yemen before the month of Ramadan.

    The agency also distributed 1,500 food parcels and 500 shares of meat to disadvantaged families, especially at women’s shelters, in Yemen’s temporary capital city of Aden as well as in Lahij and Dhale provinces.

    In Iraq, TIKA distributed food packages to 5,000 needy families in Mosul, Tal Afar, Diyala and Saladin provinces during the Muslim holy month.

    TIKA in Asia

    The ongoing lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus has deprived a large number of daily wage workers of their source of income across the globe.

    In Pakistan, the aid body provided 70 tons of foodstuffs to 22,500 needy families in Ramadan.

    As part of traditional Ramadan events organized by TIKA every year in the Philippines, 600 food packages were distributed to families in need in Dungguan village in Datu Montawal municipality on Mindanao island in Maguindanao province, where Muslims live extensively.

    During the Muslim holy month, TIKA also provided food aid parcels which also included 10 masks and antiseptics to 7,000 families in Kyrgyzstan to support the Central Asian country’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

    TIKA did not leave Rohingya Muslims aside during Ramadan. A total of 5,000 aid packages of basic foodstuffs were distributed to Rohingya refugees who live in camps in Bangladesh.

    The agency continues to carry out many humanitarian activities in these camps without interruption.

    After distributing 5,000 cleaning materials at the beginning of Ramadan, TIKA last week also distributed another 5,000 food boxes equaling 70 tons, including 10 types of food ingredients, to those in need. The charity’s employees handed over the parcels personally to the homes of the elderly and sick.

    In Georgia, the charity distributed 40 tons of food aid to 2,500 families living in the Ahiska, Adjara, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Imereti and Samegrelo regions of the country.

    Europe, South America

    Many families are going through a tough time in Spain due to an economic crisis caused by the virus pandemic.

    TIKA distributed food packages to some 100 families in Granada in cooperation with the Granada Mosque Foundation every Friday throughout the fasting month.

    The packages contained rice, flour, pasta, sugar and cooking oil.

    There are nearly two million Muslims in Spain, and at least 36,000 of them reside in Granada.

    In Spain, one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe by the virus, 28,752 people have lost their lives so far, while the number of cases had reached 235,772 as of Sunday, according to its health authorities.

    Additionally, TIKA handed over aid packages consisting of food and hygiene materials to 300 families in Colombia’s northern city of Maicao and 150 families in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia.

    The number of COVID-19 infections in Colombia has reached 21,175, while the country has registered 727 fatalities so far.

    In Bolivia, the number of confirmed cases is 5,915 with 240 deaths.

    Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.

    The US, Russia, Brazil and several European countries are currently the hardest hit.

    The pandemic has killed more than 345,000 people worldwide, with over 5.41 million confirmed cases, while recoveries number around 2.17 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.”

  14. Erdogan adviser: ‘France and those supporting Haftar are on wrong side of Libyan conflict’

    “In an interview with FRANCE 24, Ibrahim Kalin, a special adviser and spokesperson for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, discussed the situation in Libya, where Turkey has sent troops in support of the UN-backed Tripoli-based government. He also talked about Syria and the dispute with the Trump administration over Turkey’s acquisition of Russia S-400 air defence systems.

    Concerning Libya, Turkish presidential adviser Kalin said the military support that Ankara has given to the Tripoli-based government of Fayez al-Sarraj against the forces of his arch-rival Khalifa Haftar has provided some “balance” to the conflict. He confirmed that Haftar’s troops have retreated from the capital, Tripoli, singling out the role of foreign mercenaries from Africa but also from Russia’s Wagner Group.

    Kalin also said the United Arab Emirates had been supporting Haftar, which he said was illustrated by a recent UN report alleging that Western mercenaries working for companies based in the UAE were sent to Libya a few months ago to support Haftar. He accused the eastern Libyan strongman of breaking “every single agreement, every single ceasefire” and stressed that Turkey was looking for a “political solution” and not egging on Sarraj to militarily go after Haftar.

    The top Turkish official said countries such as France – which he accuses of still supporting Haftar – had “of course” been wrong to do so. “We believe that anyone who is still supporting Haftar is on the wrong side in the Libyan conflict,” Kalin told FRANCE 24.

    He said the disagreements with France, as well as the US, also extended to Syria, stressing that their support for the Kurdish PYD/YPG was wrongheaded because he claimed this was merely the Syrian branch of the PKK “terrorist organisation”. In addition, he said this support undermined the territorial continuity of Syria.

    Finally, with regards to the dispute with the Trump administration over Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems, Kalin said Turkey had postponed the activation of the systems due to Covid-19. He said the plan was still to activate the Russian-made system but hinted that if the US showed it was open to sending Patriot missiles to Turkey, Erdogan would be ready to listen.”

  15. This is what ISIS is doing in Europe during the coronavirus crisis

    “The problem of Islamic terrorism is still present in Europe even if it has been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. Here seven examples of Islamic terrorist attacks as well as planned attacks that have haunted the continent in the midst of what is arguably the worst crisis Europe has faced this century.

    Terrorist attack in Bavaria
    German police detained a German of Turkish origin who proclaimed his support for ISIS and carried out several attacks on buildings owned by Turks in the Bavarian city of Waldkraiburg. Police detained him only after stopping him for having an invalid ticket while riding the train. Authorities later found dozens of bombs and weapons at the detained man’s house.

    According to the media, establishments, and buildings belonging to the Turks faced a series of attacks since April, with the suspect saying his “hatred of Turks” motivated his attacks.

    According to the police, his arrest prevented much worse attacks.

    Lebanese terrorist arrested in Poland
    Poland, which has suffered virtually no high-profile terrorist attacks over the years, has recently faced an increase in the activities of radical Muslims.

    At the end of April, Polish police arrested a Lebanese ISIS terrorist agent who police said was attempting to organize a network of supporters for terrorist attacks across Europe.

    Four suspected terrorists arrested in Poland
    On May, anti-terrorist forces detained four Muslims from Tajikistan. Polish authorities accuse them of trying to recruit terrorists among Muslims in Poland to carry out attacks. All four are now facing deportation.

    Planned attack on US bases in Germany foiled
    In April, German police also foiled what they said was a plan by four ISIS members to launch attacks on U.S. military bases. The group’s leader had also previously already been in jail in Germany for weapons charges.

    Two police officers in France injured
    In Paris, a suspected ISIS terrorist plowed his BMW into two French police officers, leaving both of them critically injured and one in a coma.

    After his arrest, he told investigators, “I did it for ISIS.”

    According to Le Parisien, the attacker is a pro-Palestinian activist, who had already been sentenced for community service for violent crimes in 2010.

    Spain ISIS member arrested
    At the start of May, police arrested an ISIS member they suspected was planning on carrying out attacks, according to a report from Voice of Europe.

    The terrorist suspect wrote on social media about his hatred for the West and his “devotion to ISIS ideology.” Police were actively observing the migrant for a long period of time and observed him breaking coronavirus lockdown measures on a number of occasions with no justification. Police say that he looked to be looking for targets.

    Islamic knife attack in France
    A 33-year-old Sudanese refugee was arrested for terrorism-related offenses after killing two people in a knife attack in the southeastern French town of Romans-sur-Isere.

    Although the man acted alone, authorities found handwritten documents that showed the man was motivated by Islamic extremist beliefs and anger over living in a “country of non-believers.”

    Will the ISIS threat grow?
    While Islamic terrorist attacks have plagued Europe for years, the threat of ISIS attacks could grow, according to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

    The EU organization writes that “the suspension of global coalition operations across the Middle East has left a power gap that ISIS is looking to exploit. Being self-contained and living in remote hideouts, ISIS is already socially isolated and well-prepared for lockdowns. Since local troops are poorly equipped, and distracted by disaster relief and enforcing nationwide curfews, the international community may return to a regrouped and more active ISIS across much of the region.”

    The EASO also warns that food shortages along with a deteriorating security situation that occur if COVID-19 spreads in poor countries could lead to an “increase in asylum-related migration in the medium term”.”

    • The Turk with a “hatred of Turks” is puzzling.. I suspect he’s a Kurdish PKK-supporter.

      I guess we’ll never know, the way the media works nowadays.

      • OR it’s an ISIS-supporting Turk who feels that those other Turks are too secular. The case is mentioned in the context of ISIS attacks, after all.

  16. Hungary lists illegal migration and demographic change as top security threats in new National Security Strategy

    “Right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Hungary has published its new National Security Strategy (NSS), which lists illegal migration, demographic change, armed attacks, and hybrid warfare as some of the biggest threats the country faces.

    The country states that NATO is the cornerstone of the country’s security architecture in the 179-point document, which has been expanded from 51 points in the previous one published in 2012. The country regularly updates its NSS every eight years, with additional interim updates if and when warranted.

    The NSS lists migration as one of the major security threats that Hungary faces.

    “The crisis caused by mass immigration has a decisive effect on Hungary’s security. The crisis has made it clear that unexpected, uncontrolled, mass and illegal migration is a new type of challenge that could even jeopardize the security and stability of the European continent, while maintaining national security, public safety and security,” according to the document.

    The security threat of migration is also not going away anytime soon due to the root causes of migration only worsening. Hungary’s NSS document states:

    The primary cause of mass, uncontrolled and illegal migration is the significant increase in the number of politically, economically and socially unstable states in many regions of several continents, which are poorly governed and perform their basic functions only to a limited extent and to a low standard. They are usually characterized by overpopulation, widespread poverty, and negative environmental changes at the same time. The wave of illegal migration can also become a tool for hybrid warfare.

    Pandemics are a major threat for Hungary
    One of the new elements in the list of major threats points to “the rapid and mass spread of infectious diseases in the population”, an occurrence previously seen under the more general natural catastrophes heading.

    Hungary warns that the spread of pandemics like the coronavirus has been exacerbated by migration and globalization, writing:

    The emergence of new pandemics cannot be ruled out, the spread of which could be accelerated more than ever by increasing world trade, personal mobility and mass, uncontrolled and illegal migration.

    Such epidemics can have far-reaching effects on security as well as the economy, military and social life. The document also states that the advanced medicine can only partially offset the epidemiological and negative effects of globalization.

    The globalization of the coronavirus epidemic clarifies the link between massive, uncontrolled and illegal migration and increased security risks, possibly health risks, according to the document.

    Hungary’s demographics are a source of strength
    The NSS document points to demographic changes, including those happening outside of Hungary, as a potential threat. It also outlines how Hungary has remained a source of strength for Europe.

    “The key to the survival of Hungarians and the framework of our national existence is a strong, nation-based Hungary. Our millennial statehood, our Hungarian language and culture, our history and traditions, and our Christian values are a valuable contribution to the diversity of Europe,” the report states.

    Hungary also emphasizes the benefits of being a homogenous nation with a shared language in terms of its security:

    Our primary endowment is the unity, language and culture of a nation-based Hungarian consciousness and a community of shared destiny from here and beyond our borders. Our status as an ally and a member state of the European Union significantly strengthens the security and international advocacy capacity of Hungary.

    The document also outlines how a “common language” and the “unity of the nation” help improve Hungary’s resilience to hybrid attacks, which the document defines as “coordinated and widespread diplomatic, information and secret service operations, coupled with financial-economic pressure, speculative financial attacks or military threats”.

    Hungary considers no country to be its enemy
    Under the “fundamental values” heading in the NSS document remains the sentence saying “the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the cornerstone of Hungary’s security”.

    The country’s security depends on close cooperation with all countries and peaceful resolutions, with the document noting:

    Hungary attaches great importance to closely interrelated values ??such as peace, security, state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Hungary does not consider any country to be its enemy, it intends to settle its disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter and the norms of international law.

    Under the heading of allies and partners, seven entities have been highlighted: the Visegrád Four, Germany, Poland, the United States, Italy, France and Turkey as a “dynamically developing regional power and NATO ally”.

    The updated document from Hungary also discusses opportunities and threats from certain technologies, such as rapidly expanding 5G networks that Hungary believes will reshape society. The report also discusses how cryptocurrencies are a challenge for authorities, especially as they remain unregulated and represent a threat to traditional payment options.

    Hungary must strengthen its armed forces
    In terms of military development, the strategy says that the development of the armed forces must be achieved through reinforcing the country’s national defense industry. It also says that by 2024 Hungarian defense expenditure must reach two percent of the country’s GDP. Last year the country’s defense expenditure was 1.21 percent of GDP, well below the 2-percent NATO requirement. Currently, only seven NATO countries meet or exceed the 2-percent target — the United States, Britain, Greece, Poland and the three Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

    Although Hungary seeks to pursue peaceful solutions, threats across the world necessitate reforming the country’s armed forces.

    “The large-scale economic, social, demographic and environmental changes taking place in the world and the competition for increasingly scarce global resources are a source of significant tensions. The primary feature of change is that it often merges, accelerates, and generates complex challenges,” the report states.

    The Hungarian Armed Forces have now set the goal of making Hungary one of the five safest countries in Europe and in the top ten of the world by 2030. This will be achieved by maintaining a high level of public security in the country and on the other by “building one of the dominant, modern forces based on an exportable domestic defense industry.”

    The NSS document also stated that Hungary is committed to fighting terrorism and believes that in the long-term, a common European defense force may be established with the agreement of all EU member states. The report highlights the special alliance between Visegard countries, in particular between Hungary and Poland, with the report stating that, “the Hungarian and Polish nations are united by a millennial community of destiny and friendship of arms.”

    The two countries also recently signed a strategic military partnership and agreed to combat illegal migration.

    The more specific development plans of the armed forces are contained in a separate document, the National Military Strategy, which usually follows the more general guidelines of the NSS and is published after the NSS. The current one was published in 2012.”

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