Reader’s Links for January 11, 2021

(Sorry I’m late. I sometimes forget when I run out of these preset posts)

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

81 Replies to “Reader’s Links for January 11, 2021”

  1. Pompeo Says Iran Supplied Gaddafi Regime with Chemical Weapons that Were Used in Iraq
    https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2734696/pompeo-says-iran-supplied-gaddafi-regime-chemical-weapons-were-used-iraq

    “US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed on Sunday that Iran had supplied the regime of late Libya ruler Moammar al-Gaddafi with chemical weapons.

    He made the revelation in a State Department report that declassifies Iran’s use of chemical weapons.

    The report said: “The United States certifies Iran is in non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) due to (1) its failure to declare its transfer of chemical weapons (CW) to Libya during the 1978-1987 Libya-Chad war, (2) its failure to declare its complete holdings of Riot Control Agents (RCAs), and (3) its failure to submit a complete Chemical Weapons Production Facility (CWPF) declaration.”

    “The United States assesses that in 1987 Iran transferred CW munitions to Libya during the 1978-1987 Libya-Chad war. Following the collapse of the Gaddafi regime, the Libyan Transitional National Council located sulfur mustard-filled 130mm artillery shells and aerial bombs, which are assessed to have originated from Iran in the late 1980s.,” it went to say.

    “In 2011, Libya declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that it discovered 517 artillery shells and 8 aerial bombs comprising 1.3 Metric Tons of sulfur mustard but did not address the provenance of the items,” it said.

    Libya requested OPCW Technical Secretariat assistance in collecting information relating to these chemical weapons. They were assessed to have originated from Iran in the late 1980s.

    Iran has never declared that it transferred chemical weapons to Libya, including in response to the Technical Secretariat’s request.

    Iran never declared this transfer in accordance with the CWC, and Iran never responded to an OPCW request for additional information, stressed the report.

    “In light of the discovery of chemical-filled artillery projectiles and aerial bombs the United States assesses that Iran filled and possessed chemical weapons,” it charged.

    “We also assess that Iran successfully developed mortars, artillery cannon rounds, and aerial bombs for CW agent delivery during the 1980-1987 Iran-Iraq War, but failed to declare a CWPF with respect to weapons filling,” it noted.

    “In April 1987, mustard-filled 130-mm mortars believed to be of Iranian origin were used near Basra, Iraq. Iraq’s military and a UN delegation in Iraq reported the artillery contained residual sulfur mustard agent and Iraqi casualties displayed burns consistent with mustard exposure,” it explained.

    “During an UN inspection in 1991 at Iraq’s Muthana State Establishment, UN inspectors found 165 81-mm mortars filled with sulfur mustard that the Iraqis claimed were Iranian origin,” it continued.

    “Iraq did not possess or fill 81-mm mortars with mustard and the subsequent laboratory tests concluded that the agent in the munitions had higher levels of sulfur mustard impurities than those typically found in agent made by the Iraqis at Muthana, suggesting the munitions were not made by the Iraqis or made at that location,” it added.

    “The United States is also concerned that Iran is pursuing chemicals for purposes inconsistent with the CWC, based on Iranian scientific publications,” it stated.”

  2. Iraq facing water crisis if deal with Turkey not reached, official warns
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210111-iraq-facing-water-crisis-if-deal-with-turkey-not-reached-official-warns/

    “Iraq’s Water Resources Minister Mehdi Rashid Al-Hamdani yesterday warned that his country would face a water crisis if it does not reach a deal with Turkey, the New Khaleej reported.

    Al-Hamdani stressed on the importance of finalising the issue of water with Turkey, the news site reported Al-Arabiya TV saying, “but Turkey wants two months to study this issue.”

    In July 2020, Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry warned that the farming sector in the country would be negatively affected if a solution is not found for the water crisis with Turkey.

    The Tigris and Euphrates are considered the main water resources in Iraq, but water levels have decreased over the past years due to dams being built by upstream countries Turkey and Iran.

    In September 2020, the Foreign Relations Committee in the Iraqi parliament formed a delegation headed by Al-Hamdani to negotiate the issue of water with neighbouring countries.”

  3. Houthis threaten to attack ‘sensitive’ sites in Israel
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210111-houthis-threaten-to-attack-sensitive-sites-in-israel/

    “Yemen’s Houthis have threatened to attack “very sensitive” sites in Israel, Rai Al-Youm reported yesterday, after reports emerged that the occupation state was reenforcing its military in the south of the country ahead of a possible confrontation.

    Member of the Political Bureau of the Houthis, Fadl Abu-Talib, said: “If the Israeli enemy was involved in any action against our people, our people will not hesitate to declare jihad against this enemy. We will not hesitate to launch the strongest possible attacks towards very sensitive sites for the Israeli enemy.”

    Abu Talib added: “The remarks of the Zionist war criminals, which stated that Yemen is a threat to the Zionist entity, have been repeated; therefore, we are recalling… that our hostility to Israel as a rapist entity and hostile to our ummah is a human and moral principle, as well as a religious obligation.”

    According to a report by Israeli broadcaster Kan, the Israeli military has been preparing for the possibility of a strike by Iran-backed Iraqi militias and the Houthis. These fears were heightened on the first anniversary of America’s assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and the more recent targeted killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in late November. Tehran blames Israel for the latter and has vowed revenge.”

  4. US imposes $8.6m penalty on French-Arab bank for violating sanctions
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210111-us-imposes-8-6m-penalty-on-french-arab-bank-for-violating-sanctions/

    “The Paris-based Union of Arab and French Banks (UBAF) has agreed to pay an $8.6 million penalty imposed by the US Treasury Department for violating a series of sanctions on Syria.

    The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said last Monday that it was imposing the penalty on the bank – which facilitates international trade between Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa – for dealing with the Syrian regime through processing US dollar payments.

    According to OFAC, the bank effectively processed internal transfers on behalf of Syrian state entities by transferring money from the accounts of sanctioned clients to the accounts of unsanctioned clients, before conducting transactions of equivalent amounts through US banks.

    The UBAF processed a total of 127 transactions, most of which took place in late 2011 after a US executive order expanded sanctions on Syria, totalling $2.08 billion. Despite being aware of the measures imposed on Syria and its state entities, the bank reportedly was not aware that it was violating the sanctions by providing indirect means of money transfer.

    UBAF then voluntarily revealed its violations to the US Treasury, cooperating to come to a deal and negotiate a penalty. In return for lowering the resulting penalty from a projected $4 billion down to $8.6 million, UBAF assured Washington that it will be strengthening its sanctions compliance programme and training all employees to abide by the measures, as well as eliminating contact with high-risk partners and clients.

    Commenting on the penalty, Dr Martin Navias from the Centre of Defence Studies at King’s College London, told opposition news site Syria Direct that, “Firms should be careful and take all steps they can to comply with US sanctions policy. If they identify a problem, they should immediately stop the action, take legal advice and seek some type of arrangement with OFAC that can act to reduce the penalty.””

  5. Another Muslim prayer app found to be tracking users’ locations: Report
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/another-muslim-prayer-app-found-be-tracking-its-users-locations-report

    “Another popular Muslim prayer app has been accused of selling users’ location data to tech firms that have ties with the US military, Vice’s Motherboard reported.

    The technology website reported on Monday that Salaat First was selling users’ location data to Predicio, a French firm that was previously part of a complex data supply chain involving a US government contractor that worked with the FBI, ICE, and Customs and Border Protection.

    Motherboard reported that it obtained a large dataset of raw, precise movements of users of the app from a source.

    It said the source was “concerned” that such sensitive information could potentially track Muslims going about their daily lives and could be abused by those who buy and make use of the data.

    “Being tracked all day provides a lot of information, and it shouldn’t be usable against you, especially if you are unaware of it,” the source said.

    According to the technology website, Salaat First was found to have sold the data of users on Android – where the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

    Hicham Boushaba, the application’s developer, did not respond to Middle East Eye’s request for comment but told Motherboard that the data collection only initialised if the app was downloaded in the UK, Germany, France, or Italy…”

  6. ‘Please help us’: Migrants, exposed to freezing Bosnia winter, await chance to reach EU
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-bosnia/please-help-us-migrants-exposed-to-freezing-bosnia-winter-await-chance-to-reach-eu-idUSKBN29G22L

    “Hundreds of migrants are taking shelter in abandoned buildings in and around the northwestern Bosnian town of Bihac, wrapping up as best they can against the snow and freezing weather and hoping eventually to reach EU member Croatia across the border.

    Bosnia has since early 2018 become part of a transit route for thousands of migrants from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa aiming to reach Europe’s wealthier countries.

    But it has become increasingly difficult to cross EU borders and impoverished Bosnia has become a cul de sac with its ethnically divided government unable to cope, leaving hundreds of people without proper shelter…”

  7. Pakistan to develop its own messaging app: IT minister
    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2279550/pakistan-to-develop-its-own-messaging-app-it-minister

    “Pakistan has decided to develop a world-class social networking app with state-of-the-art security features, which will include all modern communication features including messages, voice calls and videos.

    It will be developed by the Ministry of Information Technology and IT experts.

    The government has started consultations for the purpose and after approval from the federal cabinet, work on the project will start.

    Federal Minister for Information Technology Aminul Haq told The Express Tribune that the ministry had decided to create a social networking app for the convenience of the people at the national level.

    The users will be able to register with the app using their mobile and CNIC numbers.

    Among other features, the app would ensure complete protection of the people’s data and messages while the user’s personal information will not be shared as well.

    In the first phase, it will be launched in major cities after being developed on an experimental basis, after which its scope will be widened.

    According to IT minister, work on the development of this social networking app will start soon.

    We will try to launch this social networking app this year, Aminul Haq said, adding that rules for the use of app will be made in due course.

    The ministry and local IT experts will soon start work on the development of this communication app, he added.

    According to the minister, the app will be a major revolution in the IT sector and will increase employment opportunities.

    This social communication app will be governed under the Ministry of IT, he said.”

  8. Turkey launches probe into Facebook, WhatsApp data collection
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-launches-probe-into-facebook-whatsapp-data-collection-161551

    “The Turkish Competition Board said on Jan. 11 it launched an investigation into WhatsApp and its owner Facebook after the messaging app asked users to agree to let Facebook collect user data including phone numbers and locations.

    In a written statement, the Competition Board said it ruled that the requirement to allow the collection of that data should be suspended until the probe is complete.

    With WhatsApp obliging many users to agree to its new privacy rules, Turkish users avoiding it have switched to other instant messaging applications.

    Following WhatsApp’s forced update in its privacy policy this week, users in Turkey have started to object to it on Twitter with the hashtag #DeletingWhatsapp.

    Over 100,000 posts were shared in a day in Turkey and the users were seen to have turned towards mostly local instant messaging applications.

    Although there are numerous apps for messaging, BiP, Dedi, Signal, and Telegram were among those that were mostly uploaded.

    The Turkish Presidency called for WhatsApp users to switch to BiP and Dedi, drawing attention to the fact that foreign applications involve significant risks to data security.

    WhatsApp groups created by public institutions for information purposes have also started to move to BiP.

    BiP, an app by Turkish mobile network giant Turkcell, gained over 1.12 million users in just 24 hours, boasting over 53 million users worldwide, according to data shared by Turkcell.

    Among its distinctive features is the disappear message option which allows users to send messages safely and make them disappear on the receiver’s side in the time set by the sender.

    The messaging service Signal, which was launched in 2014 with the slogan: “Say hello to privacy,” also stands out as one of the platforms users prefer over WhatsApp.

    The application, which started to be preferred by more users after 2019, was developed by a non-profit organization in the U.S., The Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger.

    With WhatsApp losing power in app stores, another application that attracted attention was Telegram.

    The application, headquartered in London, was founded in 2013 by two Russian brothers, computer programmers Pavel Durov and Nikolai Durov.

    A top Turkish defense company Havelsan developed an indigenous and safe messaging software, called ileti.

    ileti, designed for corporate communication, is the first application which was developed with Whitebox Cryptography (WBC), Havelsan tweeted on Jan. 10.

    “With the WBC Library, ileti protects personal keys in software and prevents them from being captured,” according to Havelsan’s website.

    The changes in WhatsApp include sharing personal data, such as account information, messages, and location information with Facebook companies. It said the app could not be used unless the terms are not accepted.

    Following a backlash, WhatsApp announced that users in the “Europe Region” would not be affected by the update, as their data would not be shared with Facebook companies.

    But according to the app’s website, the region in question only includes EU countries, effectively forcing users in Turkey to approve the conditions to continue using the app.

    Some have decried the app’s double standard, saying WhatsApp fears penalties from EU countries under data security rules.”

  9. President Erdo?an files lawsuit against main opposition leader
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/president-erdogan-files-lawsuit-against-main-opposition-leader-161561

    “President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an filed a lawsuit against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu for the latter’s “so-called president” comment and demanded one million Turkish Liras in compensation.

    Erdo?an also filed a criminal complaint with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against K?l?çdaro?lu for “insulting the president.”

    The president’s lawyer, Hüseyin Ayd?n, recalled the statement by K?l?çdaro?lu on the occasion of Jan. 10 Working Journalists’ Day.

    “A moral compensation case has been filed against Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu in the Ankara Civil Court of First Instance on the grounds that the honor, dignity and dignity of our president have been violated and his personal rights have been seriously damaged due to the unjust and baseless allegations and accusations targeting our president in this statement,” the attorney said…”

  10. Biden team wants better ties: Turkish presidential spokesperson
    https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/biden-team-wants-better-ties-presidential-spokesperson-kalin-161543

    “U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team wants to develop a good relationship with Ankara, Turkey’s presidential spokesman has said.

    “Biden, while he served as [Barack] Obama’s vice president, came to Turkey four times and knows the region. Our contacts with the transition team so far are very positive,” ?brahim Kal?n told Turkish broadcaster, CNN Turk, on Jan. 10.

    “They say they want to develop good relations with Turkey and turn a new page,” Kal?n added.

    He underlined that there were three main outstanding issues between Ankara and Washington, namely the US’ support for the YPG/PKK terror group in Syria since the previous Obama administration, as well as its complacency against
    FETÖ and F-35 embargo against Turkey.

    Kal?n said that if steps are taken on these three areas, the two countries could turn a new page in their relations…”

  11. Turkey nabs fugitive FETO terror suspects
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-nabs-fugitive-feto-terror-suspects/2106196

    “Turkish security forces have arrested two fugitives with alleged links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup in 2016, in separate operations, according to security sources on Monday.

    Acting on a tip that a FETO suspect sought with an arrest warrant was at regular times visiting an olive garden in southern Adana province’s Kozan district, gendarmerie and police forces arrested A.U. in a joint operation as he was leaving the garden, according to a security source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

    The suspect was being sought over charges of being a member of the FETO terror group and breach of confidence due to service.

    In the southeastern Sanliurfa province, a female FETO suspect was arrested while hiding in a secret section of her house, said the provincial security directorate.

    In a written statement, the directorate said the woman was a user of the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app ByLock and has been on the run for the last three years.

    Raiding her house, the police teams arrested Z.T. inside a secret section reached through her wardrobe.

    FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

    Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.”

  12. Turkey: Daesh/ISIS terrorists dealt heavy blow in 2020
    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-daesh-isis-terrorists-dealt-heavy-blow-in-2020/2106120

    “Turkey has continued its struggle against the Daesh terror group, also known as ISIS, in 2020, landing a heavy blow and preventing attacks throughout the country.

    Turkish security forces maintained pressure on the group with operations in the country and on its borders, and particularly in the metropolis Istanbul and capital Ankara, as well as the western Izmir province, central Konya and southeastern Gaziantep.

    According to figures compiled by Anadolu Agency, authorities detained 2,343 suspects, including so-called senior members of the group, seizing large amounts of documents, weapons and ammunition.

    Of those detained, 333 were arrested and many others deported, while proceedings continue for many suspects caught in the last week of December. Still others were handed prison sentences after being convicted in a court of law.

    January

    On New Year’s Eve, five Syrian nationals and one Iraqi were detained in Ankara for allegedly preparing to attack police. Four of the suspects were arrested.

    A Danish citizen wanted by Interpol with a red notice for alleged membership in Daesh/ISIS was caught by Turkish intelligence officers in the southeastern Kilis province near the Syrian border.

    February

    One of the seven suspects thought to be a relative of killed Daesh ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was arrested in Kirsehir province of central Turkey. Those in the group who were released were handed over to migration officials to be deported.

    A Syrian national suspected of being the so-called emir of the terror group in Syria was detained with two others for allegedly participating in armed activities.

    Two suspected relatives of al-Baghdadi, Mohammed Dhajer Talab and Mohammed Mahmood Mohammed, were convicted of being members of an armed terrorist organization and sentenced to over six years each in prison in the central Kayseri province.

    March

    Four more suspected relatives of al-Baghdadi were also sentenced to six years and three months each in prison for being members of a terrorist organization.

    April

    Four Syrian women, including one suspected of being the wife of a so-called Daesh/ISIS emir, thought to have links to the terror group were detained in the southern Hatay province after entering Turkey from Syria.

    May

    Halis Bayancuk, code-named Ebu Hanzala and known senior member of the terror group, was arrested once again upon an appeal after a court ruled for his release. Authorities detained him before he could leave the penitentiary.

    June

    A suspect allegedly among the so-called senior members of Daesh/ISIS in Gaziantep was detained. The suspect, who was reported to have ordered the murder of two Turkish soldiers in Syria, was remanded in custody.

    Two Russian national Chechen women wanted by Interpol for alleged membership in the terror group were caught in Kilis in a joint operation of intelligence officers and police.

    July

    Four Russian women and a French national wanted with a red notice by Interpol were caught on the Syrian border for alleged Daesh/ISIS membership.

    August

    Mahmut Ozden, the so-called Daesh/ISIS emir in Turkey, who is accused of coordinating sensational attacks on strategic locations and state officials was caught in southern Adana province and later arrested.

    September

    A suspect was arrested in an operation in Istanbul while allegedly preparing to launch an attack. He was found to be in contact with Ozden and the son of another suspect arrested in the same operation that nabbed the so-called emir.

    In the northwestern Sakarya province, Bayancuk was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison for establishing or leading an armed terrorist organization.

    October

    Seven suspects were caught as part of an investigation conducted by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office. It was reported that one of the suspects was an alleged “executioner” while two had participated in armed clashes.

    Intelligence personnel assessed had that they could be preparing to launch attacks on the country’s founding on Oct. 29, as well as the death anniversary of its founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    Daesh member Soumaya Raissi, who was wanted by France with a red notice, was caught in Adana province.

    November

    In an operation against the terror group in Kayseri, four suspects of Syrian nationality, including the group’s so-called Raqqa emir and its executioner were caught.

    December

    Eleven suspects were detained in an operation in Izmir, including one Ramazan O. found to have had contacts with another person linked to the recent terror attack in the Austrian capital Vienna. Ramazan O. was arrested along with two other suspects, while the rest were released on judicial control.

    Four of the seven suspects caught in an operation in Adana were arrested, the suspects were allegedly planning to attack state and political party buildings, as well as police and soldiers, over the arrest of Ozden and the operations against Daesh/ISIS.”

  13. Man arrested for abusing teen daughter for years
    https://www.ansa.it/english/news/2021/01/08/man-arrested-for-abusing-teen-daughter-for-years_0dac97e6-89b5-4b66-aa0c-a29d35debbee.html

    “A 43-year-old man police described as “east Asian” was arrested in Terni Friday on suspicion of sexually abusing his 17-year-old daughter for years.

    The probe started from an anonymous tip-off on January 1, police said.

    The man has been charged with sexual violence against a minor.
    He has been taken to the local prison.”

  14. Migrants: Ocean Viking ship sets off towards Mediterranean
    http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/generalnews/2021/01/11/migrants-ocean-viking-ship-sets-off-towards-mediterranean_c90ed8a8-8573-4e3b-8dfc-86267f156748.html

    “After six months, the vessel Ocean Viking of the European search and rescue organization Sos Mediterranée is leaving the French port city of Marseille to travel towards the central Mediterranean. ”This first mission of the year – the NGO said in a statement – comes after months of costly efforts to free the ship from an administrative seizure imposed on July 22 by Italian authorities, based on new interpretations of the requirements of navigation for rescue vessels”.

    The year 2020, continued the organization, was ”devastating in the central Mediterranean: the void in rescue operations became increasingly clear with 779 reported deaths and a high likelihood that many other deaths have not been documented. Sos Mediterranée is relieved that it can resume rescue operations while highlighting the absolute need for European States to reintroduce a system of coordination of rescue operations that is effective and leads States”.”

  15. Former Italian admiral blasts mass migration pull factor created by NGO ‘slave ships’ breaking international law
    https://rmx.news/article/article/former-italian-admiral-blasts-mass-migration-pull-factor-created-by-ngo-slave-ships-breaking-international-law

    “Retired Italian Rear Admiral Nicola De Felice was the head of Italy’s naval command in Sicily in the years 2015-2018 at the height of the migrant crisis. Among other tasks, he had to coordinate the rescue of 700 migrants from a boat which drowned off Libya’s shore in April 2015. Before that, he was the Italian Defense Attaché in Tunisia from 2007 to 2010. Since having retired from active service in 2018,

    Now, De Felice is a senior fellow at the Centro Studi Machiavelli where he has been denouncing European NGOs for cooperating with human traffickers and breaking international law at sea.

    In his latest piece published on Jan. 5, De Felice reacted to the arrival of 265 “fare-paying shipwreck victims” on board the Spanish NGO vessel Open Arms in the Sicilian port of Porto Empedocle. “Once again”, the navy officer wrote, “the blackmailing consisting of showing some minors present on board the ship has raised the false — hypocritical and do-gooding — solidarity of the weak Italian government, which, in spite of the problems with the pandemic and the difficulties the Italian people have to go through, is keeping its ports open, thus encouraging the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants.”

    Other “European governments of the ‘radical-chic’ European left”, as he calls them, are not spared either for they are reproached their lack of will to enforce international norms that should apply in such cases as that of the Open Arms’ latest “rescue” mission.

    “By approaching Libyan coasts, NGO vessels activate the pull factor prompting human traffickers to reactivate their criminal business and send boats full of illegal immigrants in their direction. The Bengali, who were the second most numerous ethnicity to disembark in Italy in 2020, pay up to €30,000 per person to get on board the ships. NGOs thus indirectly become accomplices of the people trafficking business with its rising death toll at sea”.

    Not only do NGOs such as Activa Open Arms from Spain encourage the human trafficking business and contribute to more deaths by drowning, says the former head of the navy command in Sicily, but they also break all international laws concerning rescue at sea, including the Hamburg Convention on Maritime search and Rescue. In fact, they never ask the competent country, which is not Italy, to indicate them the closest “Place of Safety”, like the Tunisian ports which were, the rear admiral notes, full of European cruise boats before the Covid-19 pandemic.

    NGOs also break other international and European norms, De Felice says, like article 13 of the Dublin Regulation, as per which the ship’s flag state (i.e. Spain in the present case) should take charge of the international protection and asylum requests of the “rescued” migrants.

    According to the Italian Navy admiral, stopping illegal immigration in the Central Mediterranean route would be feasible if Germany, France and Italy had the will to act together to that effect. Without such resolve, the European Operation IRINI with navy vessels patrolling off the coasts of Libya to enforce the UN arms embargo is just another pull factor acting just the same way as NGO vessels.

    “The operation could do a lot more, but it is not allowed to fight traffickers in Libyan territorial waters,” De Felice lamented in an interview for the French alt-right website Breizh Info last July.

    Last September, formerrear admiral De Felice wrote a letter to the ambassadors of Spain and Germany in Italy to denounce a de facto cooperation of Spanish ship Open Arms and German ship Sea-Watch – which he calls “slave ships’”– with criminal gangs of human traffickers in North Africa. His letter, however, was never answered.

    In a November interview for El Correo de España, De Felipe denounced the destructive role played by the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia, governed by the same type of coalition of socialists with the far left as at national level — and by the port city of Burriana which have provided a base for the operation of five NGO ships in the Central Mediterranean: the Alan Kurdi, the Open Arms, the Sea-Watch 3, the Sea-Watch 4, and the Louise Michel.

    In the same interview the former head of the Italian Navy’s Command in Sicily insisted on the need to “convince African governments to cooperate (…), including by resorting to massive repatriation by sea, moral persuasion, economic pressure, trade restrictions and military cooperation.”

    “The EU, instead of inventing inconclusive naval operations, should have a mixed European-Libyan/European-Tunisian surveillance and patrolling activity in Libyan and Tunisian territorial waters in order to block boats before they leave African soil,” De Felice concluded in his piece published on Jan. 5, “and they should do that before it is too late for our beautiful Europe.””

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