Trump making statement on possible Syria strike
US President Donald Trump is making a statement on the possible strikes against Syria in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack by the Assad government in Douma, near Damascus, last week.

Explosions heard in east Damascus after Trump announces Syria strikes – witnesses
A series of explosions have been seen in Damascus, Reuters reported, citing their own witnesses.

US, UK & France starting 'precision strikes' in Syria – Trump
US President Donald Trump has approved military strikes in Syria in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack by the Assad government in Douma, near Damascus, last week.

"A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad," Trump said in a televised address from the White House. He added that a combined military operation by the US, the UK and France is already underway in Syria.

Shortly after Trump's announcement, a statement from UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she had authorized British forces to conduct "coordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability."

US and allies launch strikes on Syria chemical weapons sites
President Donald Trump says he has approved US military strikes against Syrian chemical weapons sites, in collaboration with the UK and France.

The strikes are in response to an alleged chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma last week.

"A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway," President Trump said in an address to the nation.

Explosions were reported near the Syrian capital Damascus.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed British involvement, saying there was "no practicable alternative to the use of force".

But she also said the strikes were not about "regime change".

Syria 'chemical attack': What we know
Syria: What can Western military intervention achieve?
Firepower of key countries in Syrian crisis

The strikes were ordered "on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities" of the Syrian government, Mr Trump said.

The US president said the purpose was "to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons".

"These are not the actions of a man, they are the crimes of a monster instead," he said of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has denied carrying out the attack and its ally, Russia, had warned that Western military strikes would risk starting a war.




Danny Makki @Dannymakkisyria氏の2018/4/14のツイート3
4 known locations hit
Mezzeh military airport


US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday’s strikes on multiple targets were “harder” than those in 2017, but insisted no additional launches were planned. Washington also revealed that Moscow was warned in advance.

"Right now this is a one time shot and I believe it sent a very strong message," Mattis said during a press briefing in the Pentagon, adding that there may be further attacks against the government of Bashar Assad “should he decide to use more chemical weapons in the future.”

Specifying that more than twice as many weapons were fired as in April 2017, Mattis said that the aerial assault sought to “destroy the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons research development and production capabilities.”

※ Alaa Ebrahim @Alaa_Ebrahim_tv氏の2018/4/14のツイート
More explosions heard throughout other parts of #Syria not just #Damascus

※ Danny Makki @Dannymakkisyria氏の2018/4/14のツイート
Literally the windows are still shaking

※ Danny Makki @Dannymakkisyria氏の2018/4/14のツイート
A pause after that last strike, calm has been restored for the time being




Strike on Damascus comes just as Syria got the chance for a peaceful future – Moscow

共同2018/4/14 12:03
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:01| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Syria intercepted many of 100+ missiles launched at its civilian, military objects – Russia
The majority of rockets fired in Syria by the UK, US, and France were intercepted by Syrian air defense systems, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Russian air defense units were not involved in repelling the attack.

The warplanes and vessels of the US and its allies launched over 100 cruise missiles and air-surface missiles on Syrian civil and military facilities, the ministry stated.

The strikes were conducted by two US ships stationed in the Red Sea, with tactical air support from the Mediterranean and Rockwell B-1 Lancer bombers from Al-Tanf coalition airbase in Syria’s Homs province, according to the statement.

Syrian Al-Dumayr Military Airport, located 40 km north-east from Damascus, was attacked by 12 cruise missiles, the Russian MoD confirmed, adding that all missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defense systems.
Russia did not deploy its air defense systems located in Syria to intercept the American, British, and French missiles.

Earlier, the ministry issued a statement saying that none of the missiles launched by the US and its allies reached the Russian air defense zones that shield facilities in the port city of Tartus and Khmeimim Air Base.

Responding to the US-led airstrikes on Damascus, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that all countries are obliged to “act consistently” with the UN Charter. “There’s an obligation, particularly when dealing with the matters of peace and security, to act consistently with the Charter of the United Nationals and with international law in general.”

Syria's surface-to-air missiles counter US-led strikes (VIDEO)
Damascus activated its anti-missile defense to counter missiles that were launched by the US and its allies against Syrian government targets.

Syrian air defenses were scrambled to confront the combined American-French-British aggression that targeted at least three military sites in Syria on Friday. Footage of the Syrian response to the Western missiles has been obtained by RT's Ruptly video agency.

The footage shows Syrian surface-to-air missiles responding to the attack. Smoke can be seen rising from a scientific research facility in Barzeh, which the coalition claims was targeted for its alleged involvement in the production of chemical and biological weapons.

According to reports, citing Syrian government sources, some 30 missiles were launched by the US and its European partners. The Syrian air defenses managed to intercept roughly a third of them.

Friday's strikes saw over 100 missiles launched at Syria, US Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters. It remains unclear which weapons were used, but the US deployed 59 Tomahawk missiles against Shayrat air base in Syria last year.

"We used a little over double the number of weapons this year than we used last year," Mattis said on Friday. "We were very precise and proportionate, but at the same time it was a heavy strike."

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Defense Ministry commented on a joint US, British and French missile strike on Syria, when the OPCW experts are set to start a probe into allegations of a chemical attack in Douma, a claim denounced by Damascus as a provocation.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that most missiles launched by the Western states on Syria had been downed by the Arab Republic's air defenses, when approaching targets, Sputnik reported.

"The Syrian air defense system has been conducting an anti-air fight," the Ministry added.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syria repelled the Western attack by air defense complexes made in the USSR over 30 years ago.

"Syrian means of air defense: S-125, S-200 air defense systems, Buk and Kvadrat were used in the repelling the missile strike," it noted.

Russia's air defenses haven't been used to repell the missile strike on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Military underlined.

"None of cruise missiles launched by the US and its allies did not enter the zone of responsibility of the Russian air defenses, covering objects in Tartus [naval facility] and Hmeymim [airbase located in the Lattakia province]," the Russian Defense Ministry explained.

According to the Russian military, the massive missile strike on objects of military and civilian infrastructure was conducted by US warships jointly with the UK and French air forces.

Earlier in the day, the United States, the United Kingdom and France launched missile strikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus' suburb of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, which has been blamed on Damascus despite the launch of a probe into the incident.

Moscow has stated that it had proof that the "chemical attack" in Douma had been a provocation and had been staged by Western-backed NGOs, including the White Helmets.

Syrian Army General Command Says Most US, British, French Missiles Downed
TEHRAN (FNA)- The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces stressed Saturday that most of the missiles fired by the US, Britain and France tripartite aggression on Syrian targets in Damascus and outside it were shot down.

The General Command announced that a tripartite aggression was carried out by the US, Britain and France through firing 110 missiles towards Syrian targets in Damascus and outside it, SANA reported.

It added that the Syrian Air Defense systems confronted, with high competence, the missiles of the aggression and shot down most of them, meanwhile, some of the missiles hit one of the buildings of the Research Center in Barzzeh in Damascus, which includes an educational center and scientific laboratories, asserting that the damages were limited to material ones.

Other missiles were forced to deviate from their tracks while they were targeting a military position near Homs as their explosions caused the injury of three civilians.

The General command stressed its determination in defending Syria and protecting its citizens, reiterating that such aggression will not affect the Syrian armed forces to continue hunting the remnant of armed terrorist gatherings across Syria.

The General Command concluded its statement by saying that this aggression will lead to nothing, but to increase the Syrian people determination to defend the sovereignty, dignity and the security of homeland and citizens.

Syrian Air Defenses Intercepted 71 Cruise Missile Lunched by Western Coalition
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian General Staff said a total of 71 cruise missiles out of 103 had been intercepted by Syria, adding that no government military airfrield had been damaged as a result of the attack.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that most missiles launched by the Western states on Syria had been downed by the Arab Republic's air defenses while approaching their targets, stressing that Damascus repelled the Western attack with air defense systems made in the USSR over 30 years ago, Middle East News reported.

The US, the UK and France have fired more than 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles at military and civilian targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Saturday, noting that "Over 100 cruise and air-to-surface missiles have been fired at military and civilian targets in Syria by US, British and French planes and ships".

"Syria's means of air defense: S-125, S-200 air defense systems, [as well as] Buk and Kvadrat units were used in the repelling the missile strike," according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

"A few years ago, we refused to supply S-300 air defense systems to Syria due to the request of some of our Western partners. Taking into account what happened, we consider it possible to return to this issue. And not only with regard to Syria, but with regard to other states," the General Staff stated, adding that "Over the past 1.5 years, Russia has fully restored the air defense system of Syria and continues to improve it".

"None of the cruise missiles launched by the US and its allies entered the zone of responsibility of the Russian air defenses, covering objects in Tartus [naval facility] and Hmeymim [airbase located in Lattakia province]," the Russian Defense Ministry explained.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France launched missile strikes on a number of targets in Syria on Saturday in response to an alleged chemical attack in the Damascus' suburb of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, while Russia stated that Moscow had proof that it had been a provocation and had been staged by Western-backed NGOs, including the White Helmets. Syria has dismissed all accusations, calling the reports merely fake news that is aimed solely at helping terrorists and justifying potential strikes against Damascus government forces.

Syrian officials have over and over again denied the allegations, arguing that the chemical attack was staged by terrorist groups, and the government did not need such measures to curb the militants.

Responding to the typically unverified claims, the Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the reports about the alleged use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian forces were being spread by the White Helmets, who have been repeatedly busted for fabricating stories and providing fake footage. According to Moscow, no traces of chemical agents had been found in the area where the alleged attack had taken place, and the information was being used to undermine the ceasefire in Syria and prevent the envisaged evacuation of militants from Douma.

The Russian Reconciliation Center has also spoken with doctors in the town, as well as the Syrian Red Crescent, who reported that they had not received any patients with signs of chemical poisoning.

※ Fares Shehabi MP @ShehabiFares氏の2018/4/14のツイート
Syrians everywhere took to the streets in celebration of defeating the latest attack by the triad of terror! Syrian army operations has just resumed against NATO jihadis.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:46| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



ISIL Attacks Syrian Army Positions in Southern Damascus after US-Led Missile Strikes
TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorists, emboldened by the US-led airstrikes against the Syrian army positions on Saturday morning, attacked the military bases of the army in Southern Damascus.

Field sources reported on Saturday that the ISIL terrorists attacked the army positions West of al-Qadam district in Southern Damascus.

They noted that the offensive was launched immediately after the US-led coalition's missile strikes against the Syrian army positions, adding that the Syrian army units repulsed the terrorists' attack after clashes.

The Syrian army has sent a large number of forces and military equipment to Southern Damascus to launch imminent operations in the region to purge the ISIL terrorists from occupied areas.

US, British and French forces launched over 100 missiles on Syria early Saturday morning, and Russia says Damascus has managed to dodge 71.

In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations partnered in the missile launch.

The strikes were the biggest overt attack by the three Western powers against Syria in the country's seven-year-old civil war, which has pitted the US and its allies against Russia.

Other NATO members refrained from partnership in the attack, although NATO secretary general voiced his support for the move.

Israel was also absent from today's strike, fearing Iran's response. After a recent missile strike on Syria's T4 base that killed 12, including 7 Iranian military advisors, Tel Aviv has been on guard in anticipation of Iran's tough reprisal.

Reports coming out of a national security meeting in the White House two days ago said Defense Secretary James Mattis opposed striking targets that would provoke Tehran and Moscow's response, urging Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton to think wisely and narrow down the scope of the attack.

The Pentagon claimed the strikes targeted a research center in greater Damascus and a chemical weapons storage facility and a command post west of Homs, while the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has officially stated complete disarmament of Syria since two years ago.

The missile strikes took place as a team of OPCW is in Damascus to probe the alleged chemical incident in Douma last week, but the trio western allies didn't wait for the result of their work for somehow unknown reasons.

The Iranian foreign ministry in a statement on Saturday morning strongly condemned the attack, warning that the aggression would entail dire repercussions in the region and beyond.

Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Yadollah Javani also warned the US to "wait for the repercussions of its attack on Syria", saying that the Saturday offensive "gave the Resistance Front a more open hand for showing reaction to such moves by the US and its allies".

Russia's Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in a statement that Russia had warned that "such actions will not be left without consequences".

Syrian state TV said Syrian air defenses shot down 15 missiles on Saturday morning. Syria's state run news agency said the missiles fired at Homs were intercepted or deviated from the targets and wounded three.

But the Russian Defense Ministry declared in a statement later on Saturday that the Syrian air defense units have intercepted 71 of the 103 missiles fired at the country.

US acting as ‘ISIS air force’ in Syria, spreads ‘conscious, transparent lie’ – analysts to RT
The massive missile strikes the US and allies conducted against Syria actually benefit terrorist groups, and prevented inspectors from proving if chemical weapons were used in Douma, international analysts told RT.

Washington, London, and Paris used last week’s alleged chemical attack in Douma, near Damascus, as the pretext for an early morning missile attack on civilian and military targets in Syria.

The air invasion came just hours before a group of inspectors dispatched by the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was scheduled to visit Douma in order to find out if any chemical weapons were used there. This made the timing even more suspicious, experts say.

To Jim Jatras, a former US foreign service officer, “preventing a real investigation in Douma was one of the reasons for [the strike].”

“So, the big hurry here is, in my opinion, is that you’ve got [OPCW] inspectors on the ground in Damascus now, ready to go now and confirm… there wasn’t any attack.”

He called the alleged chemical incident in Douma “a false flag” operation, saying he expected US President Donald Trump to respond almost immediately in the way he acted last year after the alleged gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun. He said that “if you’re Al-Qaeda or its offshoot [in Syria], you’re going to be very happy tonight.” The problem with false flag operations “is that they work, especially when you have compliant media,” he stated.

“I don’t think that Syria has chemical weapons. I think that the Russian effort to get them out of there after what happened in Ghouta in 2013 was genuine and was certified as genuine by the OPCW.” Commenting on the justification for the strikes, he said “it’s a conscious transparent lie.”

The US is “acting as air force of all these jihadist terrorist [groups] – Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, and it’s really morally reprehensible,” Jatras said.

Richard Becker of the US-based anti-war ANSWER Coalition told RT he believes Britain and France are becoming “old colonizers of the Middle East back again, and the United States is more of a new colonizer.” He accused Washington of issuing “falsification after falsification” and fanning “war propaganda” to influence the American people when “it doesn’t want to go to war.”

Meanwhile, he said, radical terrorist groups fighting the Syrian government have “the material interest in having this happen.” What is happening at this stage in the Middle East “is the continuation of what we saw in Yugoslavia where we had a re-Balkanization of the Balkans,” adding that “now we’re seeing the Balkanization of Iraq.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:43| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Goal of Syria strikes was to prevent chemical watchdog's fact-finding mission in Douma – Moscow
The US and its allies attacked Syria in order to hamper the work of the OPCW inspectors, investigating the alleged chemical attack in Douma, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The “intimidation act” by the US, UK, and France was carried out “under an absolutely far-fetched pretext of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7,” the ministry said in a statement.

The airstrikes were carried out hours before inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were to start their fact-finding mission at the site. “There’s every reason to believe that the purpose of the attack on Syria was to obstruct the work of the OPCW inspectors,” the statement read.

Syria airstrikes will not deter chemical weapons inspectors – OPCW
A fact-finding mission by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog will continue in Syria despite airstrikes carried out on the country hours earlier by the US, UK, and France.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are in the country to investigate the circumstances surrounding reports of a gas attack in the Syrian city of Douma, where at least 70 people are reported to have died from chemical exposure. Syria and Russia called for an OPCW inquiry into the claims.

The agency, set up to ensure the destruction of chemical armaments, is due to assess the scene and take samples from alleged attack victims to determine the cause and potentially uncover the perpetrators.

The OPCW, whose members include Syria, Russia, the UK, France, and Russia, issued a statement on Saturday saying the investigation into the alleged use of illegal chemical weapons will continue.

The statement comes after a night of bombing, which saw US, French, and British forces launch missiles at sites including a military facility outside Homs and a suspected research center in the capital, Damascus. Both Russia and Syria have condemned the airstrikes as a breach of international law, and insist that Assad forces did not deploy chemical weapons.

OPCW officials have carried out similar chemical checks in Syria. In 2017, the organization found that sarin or a sarin-like substance was used in the town of Khan Shaykhun, but did not undertake an on-the-ground inspection of the site.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:36| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


‘She’s waiting for instructions from Trump’: Jeremy Corbyn slams Theresa May over Syria dithering
Theresa May can’t do anything unless Donald Trump does it first – or that’s what Jeremy Corbyn believes. The Labour leader has accused the UK PM of “waiting for instructions” from the US president on whether or not to bomb Syria.

Corbyn has called for caution, urging US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May to avoid a “hot war.”

“I think the whole world should be alarmed at that sort of instant reaction… more bombing, more killing, more war will not save life,” Corbyn said.

The Labour leader, a lifelong anti-war activist, has also urged the UK to exercise prudence while the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigates the alleged chemical attack in Douma, which reportedly left up to 75 civilians – including women and children – dead.

“The Government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed,” Corbyn said. “But the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.”

“Even US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said we ‘don’t have evidence’ and warned further military action could ‘escalate out of control.’”

On Thursday, Theresa May and her cabinet decided on the “need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.”

MPs from either side of the house, including the opposition leader, have called on May to take a Commons vote on military action in Syria – a call that the UK PM appears to have ignored.

“Ministers should take their proposals, such as they are, to parliament,” Corbyn said.

“And Britain should press for an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.

“Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.

“The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent. We must do everything we can, no matter how challenging, to bring that about.”

Meanwhile, Syria and its ally Russia, which say they were not to blame and that much of the evidence was fabricated, have insisted that international parties wait at least for conclusions from chemical weapons experts. An OPCW team is set to start its investigation in Douma on Saturday.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the standoff with the US can be resolved just by picking up the phone and talking it through. “It’s 2018, it’s not the middle of the 20th century,” she said, adding that in a time of instant communications there’s no reason “why people who are in charge of our security and international peace can’t talk.”

Moscow has also appealed for a diplomatic way out of the impasse, but three different resolutions that were put forward in the United Nations Security Council this week were vetoed.

UK Opposition Labour Party Leader: 'Bombs Won't Save Lives or Bring About Peace' in Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- UK opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May for following the orders of US President Donald Trump in launching missile strikes against Syria, saying “bombs won't save lives or bring about peace”.

Corbyn added that May should have sought approval from parliament before ordering cruise missile strikes against Syria, World News reported.

"Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace. This legally questionable action risks escalating further," Corbyn stated, adding that "Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way".

Washington and its allies unleashed the bombardment in the early hours of Saturday in retaliation for the alleged chemical attack by the Bashar Assad government in the town of Douma. The strikes were conducted before a team of investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was due to reach Douma to determine whether the attack had indeed taken place.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 19:30| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


※ Eva Bartlett認証済みアカウント @EvaKBartlett氏の2018/4/13のツイート
Yesterday, I posted the following:
No baby. Baby.
Ask yourselves why a baby has been added to the scene.
What else has been manipulated?
Seems like many others also find this questionable.



#SyriaHoax #Falseflaghttps://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/983791200447684608

Don’t sign Avaaz.org petitions


Militants in Eastern Ghouta Teach Children How to Fake Toxic-Gas-Caused Syncope State

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 17:52| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


'Trump denied the American people oversight in endless war': Lawmakers react to Syria strikes
Not all US lawmakers have welcomed the "illegal" strike on Syria ordered by President Donald Trump that was allegedly in retaliation for a staged chemical attack in the suburb of Damascus last week.

Without having the mandate from the United Nations, Washington and two of its European allies have launched strikes against Syrian targets, seeking to retaliate against President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus on April 7, which, according to unconfirmed reports, killed dozens of people.

"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents," Trump said in a televised speech on Friday evening, accusing Assad of carrying out "crimes of a monster."

The US actions on foreign soil were taken by the president without the direct approval of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Following Trump's announcement, a number of them have condemned the move.

"This military action against Syria is a strike against a foreign government. Such an act requires a Congressional authorization to use force, and we have not provided one," Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) said on Twitter.

"By illegally bombing Syria, President Trump has once again denied the American people any oversight or accountability in this endless war. Congress, not the president, has the power to authorize military action," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) tweeted after Trump ordered the strike.

The strike was also called "illegal" by Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who noted that Trump does not have any legal authority to wage war against nation states. He wondered if Iran and North Korea will also witness the wrath of the US soon.

The same sentiment was voiced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), who urged Trump to have a clear exit strategy prior to involving US troops abroad.

"I haven't read France's or Britain's 'Constitution,' but I've read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria," Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) added.

The American military response abroad "must come through congressional approval," Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) said on Twitter. ‏"Instead, President Trump has once again struck Syria on his own."
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 17:24| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



posted by ZUKUNASHI at 12:39| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Reported death of Libya strongman sends shockwaves through Arab world
Unconfirmed reports that General Khalifa Haftar, a key figure in Libya’s political landscape, has died in Paris hospital are fueling speculation about the country's future. Haftar had suffered a stroke earlier this week.

Haftar, 74, was reportedly admitted to hospital in France in serious condition. His office denied the reports by outlets such as Le Monde and France 24, however, branding them "fake news."

The Tripoli-based Libyan Observer, considered close to the UN-recognized Government of National Accord, reported Haftar's passing on Friday, and posted photos of people in Tripoli celebrating his death.

However, the UN support mission in Libya denied the reports of Haftar's death, saying that he spoke on the phone with the UN envoy Ghassan Salame on Friday.

Haftar was one of the key figures in Libya after the NATO-backed overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's government in 2011, becoming the chief of the new Libyan army.

In 2014, after a dispute with the GNA, his forces took control of areas in around the eastern city of Tobruk and Benghazi. Haftar then waged a war on various Islamist groups, including the notorious Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Despite rejecting the authority of the UN-backed government in Tripoli, the general remained an accepted power in foreign nations. His forces control roughly two thirds of the country. He has been welcomed in Moscow, Paris and Abu Dhabi and considered a strong contender in the upcoming presidential election in Libya.

The North African country was plunged into chaos after NATO supported an uprising against Gaddafi. As a result of the intervention, Gaddafi was defeated and executed by rebels in October 2011. Libya has since suffered from conflict and chaos as rival armed groups, criminal gangs and militias struggled for power and resources.

The collapse of Libya has also resulted in a surge of migrants from Africa into Europe, along with reported abuses by human traffickers such as open-air slave markets.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 09:31| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Defense Secretary James Mattis' cautionary tone on Syria could land him in hot water with Trump, but the president probably can't afford to shake up his Cabinet right now, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi told RT.

Reports that there is tension between Mattis and his boss over a potential US military strike in response to the April 7 gas attack in eastern Ghouta have led to speculation that the Pentagon chief may face a similar fate as Rex Tillerson, who was pushed out of the State Department last month. Tillerson's dismissal was motivated, at least in part, by disagreements with President Donald Trump on key policy issues.

Mattis' more level-headed approach to Syria could threaten his job security down the road, but it's unlikely that Trump will replace him anytime soon, Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA, told RT.

"I think there clearly is friction between Mattis and the president," Giraldi said. While Trump may like to replace Mattis, "at this point, with the tension going on Syria and elsewhere, he's not in a position to do that yet."

Jim Jatras, a former US diplomat and GOP Senate policy adviser, said that Trump still respects Mattis and the dispute likely won't affect their relationship in the long term.

"The professional military are going to be much more cautious here than some of the political leadership, especially if there have been military-to-military consultations with the Russians. I think the American military take it very, very seriously what the consequences could be, if there's a strike in Syria," Jatras said. "And that's being communicated to Mattis. So I think that Mattis is speaking with the voice of the professional military. And that is something that Trump is going to respect."

Jatras added that it was "pretty sad" that the most reasonable person advising the president was nicknamed "Mad Dog."

Mattis on Thursday appeared to put the brakes on Trump's incendiary Twitter taunts aimed at Syria and Russia. Speaking to members of the House Armed Services Committee about a potential US response to the incident, Mattis said he wanted to find a way to "stop the murder of innocent people," while also avoiding a dangerous military escalation.

"On a strategic level, it's how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if you get my drift on that," Mattis told the lawmakers, likely referring to Moscow's repeated warnings that striking Syria could have "grave consequences."

Only a day earlier, US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that US missiles are coming to Syria – and Russia should "get ready."

WATCH MORE: Proof or no proof? US officials conflicted on Syria ‘chemical attack’

The glaring contrast between the two statements did not go unnoticed by members of the Armed Services Committee.

"When the president of the United States says these missiles will be coming, that sounds to me and to the rest of the world, like a decision," Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) told Mattis. The defense secretary attempted to save face by noting that "today our president did say that he's not made a decision."

The uncomfortable exchange comes amid reports that there is "tension" between what Trump and National Security Adviser John Bolton want to see done in Syria and what the Pentagon is advocating.

"Defense Secretary Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford are concerned with managing escalation and preventing blowback on US troops," journalist Kate Brannen reported, citing sources familiar with internal discussions.

Trump shook up his Cabinet last month, dismissing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose more level-headed approach to foreign policy often clashed with Trump's inflammatory rhetoric and hard-line positions.

"Tillerson was someone who had to go because he wasn't agreeing with the boss," Giraldi told RT. However, Giraldi said it was inaccurate to claim that Tillerson got the boot solely because of his policy positions. "I think it's an exaggeration to say that Trump has a foreign policy. I think the fact is that Trump is more interested in personal loyalty."

Jatras also expressed doubts over whether Trump has an established foreign policy, arguing that Trump simply likes to surround himself with people he gets along with. "He appoints people who he feels comfortable with personally," Jatras said.

Loyalty aside, Tillerson's more reconciliatory tone towards Pyongyang definitely didn't mix well with Trump's Twitter taunting. As Tillerson ensured North Korea that Washington was keeping negotiation channels open, Trump was bragging about the size of his "nuclear button."

But a disagreement over the Iran nuclear deal was ultimately Tillerson's undoing – or at least that's how Trump tells it.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I thought it was terrible. He thought it was okay. I wanted to either break it or do something, he felt a little differently," Trump said after announcing Tillerson's departure in March. "So we were not really thinking the same. With Mike, Mike Pompeo, we have a very similar thought process."

Trump has tapped former CIA director Mike Pompeo to be his next Secretary of State. Pompeo has been an outspoken opponent of the 2015 Iran deal, going so far as to urge the United States to bomb Iran in an attempt to wipe out its "nuclear program."

Both Giraldi and Jatras agreed that if there is another shake-up in Trump's inner circle, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly – not Mattis – will likely be next. According to Giraldi, Kelly's efforts to make the White House more disciplined has led to friction with the president.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 09:25| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

ロシア外務省と国防省がトランプの威嚇に総力で対処 2


Lavrov: Russia Obtains Proof of Foreign Actors Staging Alleged Chemical Attack in Syria’s Douma
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country has obtained proof of certain foreign actors staging the recent alleged chemical weapon attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

“We have irrefutable evidence that this was yet another performance and that security services of a country which is trying to be in the frontlines of the Russophobic campaign were involved in this performance,” he said during a press conference, al-Manar reported.

Earlier the US and several of its allies accused Damascus of using chlorine during an offensive in Douma and killing up to 70 people.

Russia May Deploy More Troops to Reduce Targets in Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian military may have to deploy more troops to Syria in order to reduce the total number of targets for the US, former Pentagon official Karen Kwiatkowski said on Friday.

“If a direct military conflict with Russia is to be avoided, de-confliction with Russian forces would need to happen,” Kwiatkowski told Sputnik, adding, “The more time that passes allows the Russian military in Syria to take positions that will complicate any de-confliction and reduce the US targeting options.”

The Syrian Air Force has already moved much of their air assets to the Russian bases around Syria; however, their military personnel still are a target for the US Coalition.

While many Russian military personnel are already embedded with the Syrian Army, there are still several installations that the US Coalition could target.

Among these include the plethora of Syrian Army and Air Defense bases located around the Syrian capital, including the 4th Division HQ.

In a recent statement not on Twitter, US President Donald Trump stated that his military has plenty of targets to strike in Syria, should they choose to attack.

Russian Jets Cover Syria’s Airspace after Reports on Presence of US Spy Planes near Coast
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian fighter jets are highly active above Syria on Friday, following reports on the US spy planes' flights near the coastal provinces of Tartus and Lattakia.

Seven US spy planes were spotted flying along the Syrian coast, with some of the aircraft approaching the Russia-run Humeimim Military Airport in the Southwestern part of Lattakia province, the AMN reported.

The Russian jets have been routinely flying along the coast since the US President Donald Trump’s threats, but they have recently increased the number of flights over the last 12 hours.

Russian jets have also been cited in several places across Syria, including the Homs, Deir Ezzur, Hama and Idlib provinces.

The Russian Air Force deployed some jets to aid the Syrian Army soldiers who have been facing ISIL terrorists' heavy offensive in Southeastern Homs.

Douma ‘chemical attack’ was staged to provoke US strike against Syria – Russian MoD
The Russian Defense Ministry has presented evidence that they say proves the reported chemical attack in Syria was staged. It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the “provocation.”

During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus. In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.
“Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage,” said ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov.
“The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta,” the general added, referring to the neighborhood of which Douma is part. “We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing.”
According to Konashenkov, the group, which was a primary source of photos and footage of the purported chemical attack, was informed of a large-scale artillery attack on Damascus planned by the Islamist group Army of Islam, which controlled Douma at the time. The White Helmets were ordered to arrange the provocation after retaliatory strikes by the Syrian government forces, which the shelling was certain to lead to, he said.
Konashenkov said Russia hoped that international monitors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is due to investigate the circumstances of the incident, will help establish the truth. He added Eastern Ghouta is currently trying to return to peaceful life after being liberated from militant groups by Syrian government forces. He called on other nations and international organizations to provide humanitarian aid, which is badly needed in the area. Russia is already supplying food, medicine, building materials and other essential supplies to the neighborhood, he said.
The reported chemical weapons attack escalated tensions over Syria, just as Damascus was about to seize full control of Eastern Ghouta. The US and allies such as the UK and France threatened military action in response to what they claim is an atrocity committed by the Syrian government. Russia insists the incident was staged and said it reserves the right to counter any attack on Syria.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 09:01| Comment(0) | 国際・政治