Key Syrian town fully liberated from ISIS, opening way to Deir ez-Zor – Russian MoD

The Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Air Force, has fully liberated the city of As-Sukhnah (al-Sukhneh) from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), opening the road to the besieged enclave of Deir ez-Zor, says the Russian Defense Ministry.

As-Sukhnah, liberated on Sunday, was the last major city held by IS in the Syrian province of Homs.

“The liberation of As-Sukhnah from IS opens possibilities for Syrian government forces to advance and unblock the city of Deir ez-Zor,” the ministry said.

The final push to liberate the city began on Tuesday, when Syrian troops recaptured strategic heights in the vicinity of as-Sukhnah and blocked the city, according to the Russian MoD.

Over the following two days, Syrian troops pushed IS out of western and northern parts of the city, and early in the morning on Sunday other parts of as-Sukhnah were liberated.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 19:11| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

木々と知り合う キングサリ




posted by ZUKUNASHI at 18:53| Comment(0) | 木々と知り合う

「実際の出来事に遅れをとるな」 ラブロフが米国務省広報担当女性の「彼は先走る」との言い草を一蹴

‘Don’t lag behind real events’: Lavrov hits back after State Dept says he ‘gets out ahead’

「実際の出来事に遅れをとるな」 ラブロフが米国務省広報担当女性の「彼は先走る」との言い草を一蹴




米ロの間では、外交団が利用する施設を巡って対立が深まり、米国による対ロ経済制裁の発動に対する対抗措置として、ロシアは在モスクワ米国大使館の外交官755名の退去を命じました。 455名が残るとされていますから1210名のうち6割がモスクワを去ることになります。









Rex Tillerson’s mind-boggling claim the US wants to hurt Russia with sanctions to help foster better relations is arguably just a sign of a greater problem in the Trump administration, which seems struggling to form a consistent foreign policy.
In a short statement by the US secretary of state published after Congress overwhelmingly voted for imposing new sanctions against Russia, Tillerson said the legislation represents “the strong will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States.”
The statement added that the US would work to ensure the message is “clearly understood” in Russia. It provoked a barrage of rejection from Moscow, ranging in tone from a polite rebuff from the embassy in Washington to openly mocking tweets from some legislators.
“The State Department should rest assured that its signal was taken clear on our side. We hope our signal of limiting the number of US diplomatic personnel will be taken as a symbol of friendship,” wrote Senator Aleksey Pushkov from the foreign relations committee, who branded Tillerson’s words as “demagoguery.”
The secretary later shifted the responsibility for the sanctions onto US lawmakers, saying “neither the president nor I are very happy.” The statement apparently contradicts VP Mike Pence, who on a trip to the Baltics and Georgia said Congress and the White House were speaking “with a unified voice” on Russian sanctions.
Tillerson’s apparently disavowed attempt to portray the sanctions, which were met with harsh criticism by some of America’s European allies, as something potentially mending the rift between the two countries is exemplary of a wider schizoid approach in Washington’s foreign policy.
The Trump administration often flip-flops on key issues, occasionally stumbles into hilarious blunders when different branches of the government fail to coordinate their actions, and all too often appear to be at odds with itself. Some commenters say the US is a bad day away from a major foreign policy crisis.
Many US watchers blame the shifting sands of today's US foreign policy on the personality of Donald Trump. The president is notorious for changing his mind about things like the worth of NATO or whether he sees China as the big bad villain robbing the US. Occasionally his mental equilibristic on Twitter makes him seem to tell two opposite things at the same time, as was with his April tirade over America’s free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.
“I received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate,” Trump wrote at the time. “I agreed, subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are good - deal very possible!”
On other occasions, Trump pulled the rug from under his team members, including Tillerson. For instance last month, he managed to undermine the secretary of state as he was trying to play mediator in the Gulf nations’ diplomatic rift by unequivocally siding with Saudi Arabia and other opponents of Qatar and branding the country a historic sponsor of terrorism.
“The White House has done everything to undermine [Tillerson],” a senior State Department official explained to Foreign Policy magazine. “The president undermines him. Qatar was seven days of work only to fall apart with a single tweet by the president.”

ようやくティラーソンが登場、外交官755名の退去についてはあえて触れていない? シリアアサド政権に関する態度もまた変わって二転三転しています。迷走?

US-Russia relations 'under stress' - Tillerson
Relations between the US and Russia are “under considerable stress” but Washington and Moscow are trying to work together to fight ISIS and create conditions for peace in Syria, said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“After last week, the question is if they are getting worse,” Tillerson said, alluding to Moscow’s decision to retaliate for US measures from December 2016 by locking down two properties and cutting US diplomatic mission by 755 members.

“I think the American people want the two most powerful nuclear powers in the world to have a better relationship,” Tillerson said, answering questions from reporters at the State Deparment on Tuesday.

He noted that Moscow reserved the right to react when the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized two Russian properties in the US, and that President Vladimir Putin made the call to retaliate after the US Congress overwhelmingly voted to impose more sanctions on Russia, overriding the White House.

“Does it make our life more difficult? Of course it makes our life more difficult,” Tillerson said. “Neither the president nor I are very happy” about how Congress went about the sanctions bill, he added, but “we can’t let it take us off-track in trying to restore the relationship.”

Tillerson said he will be meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the upcoming ASEAN forum in Manila.

“Our conversation following the actions has been professional, there’s been no belligerence. Foreign Minister Lavrov and I understand our roles,” Tillerson said.

Tillerson singled out Syria as a testbed where the US and Russia can work together on areas of mutual interest, such as combating “radical Islamist terrorism” such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The US continues to insist, however, that the government of President Bashar Assad “has no role in future governing of Syria” and that Iranian troops and militias backed by Tehran currently in Syria “must go home,” Tillerson said.

President Donald Trump’s top diplomat praised the newly appointed US envoy for the crisis in Ukraine, Kurt Volker, whom he called “very clear-eyed about his mission.”

The US position is that the Minsk accords must be implemented before anything can be done about Ukraine-related sanctions, Tillerson said, adding that the peace process in Ukraine “has been stalled for quite some time” and that there is a need for a new ceasefire.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 11:12| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Al Jazeera News2017/8/13
Seven White Helmets medics killed in Syria's Idlib
Gunmen stormed the Sarmin office of the Syrian paramedic group that is active in opposition-controlled areas.
Gunmen early on Saturday stormed an office of a Syrian paramedic group that is active in opposition-controlled areas, killing seven of its members and stealing two vehicles and other equipment in a northwestern region, the group and opposition activists said, while a suicide attack south of the country killed at least 23 rebels.

The Syrian Civil Defence group, more popularly known as the White Helmets, said in a statement that the attack happened in the early hours in the town of Sarmin.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the rare attack but it came amid tension in the area. Sarmin is in Idlib province, which witnessed clashes recently between al-Qaida-linked fighters and members of the ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham group that ended with al-Qaida fighters capturing much of the region.

The al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al Sham - also known as HTS - said over the past weeks that its members have discovered sleepers cells of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group who were planning an attack. Al-Qaida's affiliate, which used by to be known as the Nusra Front, has fought deadly battles with ISIL over the past years.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the seven were killed after being shot in the head, adding that the killings were discovered when volunteers from the White Helmets arrived to start a shift and found the bodies of their colleagues.

"Until now it is mostly likely a crime. It might also be an attack aimed to harm the image of the Nusra Front and to show that Idlib is not safe," said Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Observatory.

An opposition activist based in Idlib who has been providing The Associated Press with information about the province for years said the attackers used pistols equipped with silencers, adding that people living nearby did not notice anything unusual.
Into Aleppo's war zone with the White Helmet rescuers

The activist, who asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals, said ISIL sleeper cells have been discovered in Sarmin. He added that most likely members of ISIL carried out the attack to show that Idlib is not safe.

The activist said the HTS-linked Judicial Committee is investigating the case.

Sarmin used to be a stronghold of the Jund al-Aqsa extremist group that clashed with al-Qaida last year before many of its members were allowed to head to areas controlled by ISIL, whom they are fighting now.

The Syrian first-responders have been known to risk their lives to save people from the civil war, now in its sixth year.

The White Helmets emerged in 2013, working to rescue civilians in rebel-held areas.

They have since gained international renown for their daring rescues, often filmed and circulated on social media, and were nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Although they work exclusively in rebel-held areas, they insist they are non-partisan.

Their detractors, including President Bashar al-Assad's government and his ally Russia, accuse them of being tools of their international donors.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 10:16| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


‘Come home, we’re waiting’: Relatives of Russian children in Iraq come forward after RT coverage

次は、チェチェン共和国の第3代首長 カディロフのインスタグラムのようです。



A four-year-old Chechen boy has been brought back to Russia after living with his jihadist father, who was fighting alongside ISIS in Mosul. Russian authorities are now seeking the return of several dozen such children from Iraqi orphanages.

Bilal Tagirov’s mother hadn’t seen him for two years. In October 2015, the child was kidnapped from his native Chechnya by his father, Khasan Tagirov, who went to fight alongside Islamic State jihadists, first in Syria and then in Iraq.

“For the past two years I had cherished the hope that my son would come back,” Bilal’s mother, Zalikha Ashakhanova, 24, said.“There have been attempts to bring him home. Finally, my dream came true.”

After two years of unsuccessful searches, Zalikha finally saw her son for the first time in a video from the liberated city of Mosul, uploaded on the internet.

“After watching the video with my boy, I was in shock. I hadn’t seen him for two years, but immediately recognized him. He almost did not change… I definitely recognized his voice. The mannerisms remained the same. On this video, there was his father in the background. Everyone recognized him, my mother and his relatives," the boy's mother recalls.

The woman immediately turned for help to the prosecutor's office. The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, helped organize the boy’s search and rescue operation.

Last week, Bilal finally came back home from Baghdad to Grozny.

“He had lived through so many tragic days it would be enough for a hundred lives. Mosul lies in ruins. Bilal and his father were found half alive in the city's ruins. The boy needed immediate help, otherwise he would not have survived,” Kadyrov wrote on Instagram.

Russian authorities are now trying to bring back home other children stuck in Mosul.

According to Samih Beno, a Jordanian politician of Chechen origin, 48 minors, presumably children of Russian citizens, are now being held in different Iraqi shelters. Beno, also the head of the Chechen Republic’s Friends Association in Jordan, helped begin the evacuation and serves as a mediator during talks between representatives of different countries and international public organizations. No concrete date as to when minors could be brought back home can be set at the moment, as the process of their return is full of legal complications. To bring the children back, it must be confirmed they are all Russian citizens, which is not easy as the minors lack documents proving their identity and can hardly tell the authorities anything about themselves or their family aside from a name. According to Beno, the kids will have to undergo a DNA test to prove they are relatives with people who claim so.

The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Shiaa Al-Sudani, told RT that some of the children had arrived in the country along with foreign fighters, and others were born in Iraq.

The Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has developed an extensive program to take care of children from the IS-liberated areas in coordination with several ministries, civil society groups and international organizations like UNICEF.

“We have accepted a large number of children from the province of Nineveh. A lot of children. Some of them are of unknown origin, some got lost. Others were abandoned by their parents for various reasons,” Dr Abeer Mahde Alchalabi, Director General of Social Special Needs, and Office Director of the Child Welfare Commission, told RT.

“Before being placed in the shelter, their health condition was depressing. They suffered from mental and skin diseases as a result of a long stay in those [Islamic State] camps…

Some children have broken legs or hands. This is because they were abandoned by their parents and for a long time had stayed without any further care. Among them there are Iraqi children of Yazidi mothers. There are Chechen children, Chinese, there is one French child. All these children have been placed in the shelters… We consider them to be the victims. They are not guilty of anything. Of course, if the child’s father is from ISIS, the child is not to blame,” Dr Alchalabi said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, the Chechen Republic, the Federation Council, as well as Jordanian and Iraqi politicians are involved in negotiations to return children to their homeland. Before rejoining their families, some of the children will have to first receive medical and psychological help in special rehabilitation facilities, according to Russia’s children’s ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova.

Last month Mosul was declared liberated from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists. Iraqi and US-led forces have faced severe criticism from human rights organizations and the international community for the eight-month-long operation to retake the city, as it caused civilian casualties and massive displacement.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:19| Comment(0) | 国際・政治