US tells rebels not to count on its help as Syrian army advances into country’s southwest – report

US tells rebels not to count on its help as Syrian army advances into country’s southwest – report

The US military has reportedly warned the rebels it backs in Syria that it will not help them thwart a large-scale offensive of the Syrian Army, which is rapidly gaining ground in the southwest of the country.

In a letter to the commanders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose umbrella group of armed rebels, Washington wrote that they should not base their decisions "on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us.”

The message, which was reported by Reuters on Sunday, calls on the group to decide for themselves on their response to the rapidly-advancing Syrian forces that continue their assault eyeing to reclaim the swathes of land along the border with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

"We in the United States government understand the difficult conditions you are facing and still advise the Russians and the Syrian regime not to undertake a military measure that violates the zone," the message states.

There have been mounting concerns that the new push by the Syrian army might drag the US troops, especially those deployed in Al-Tanf military base along the Jordanian border, into the showdown with the Syrian forces.

Tensions have flared up amid reports by Syrian state media about the spike in the US-led coalition attacks on its military. At least eight people were killed in the alleged strike by the coalition in Deir ez-Zor on Thursday, the same day the US military claimed that its Al-Tanf base was targeted by unknown hostile forces.

The message comes after Washington accused Damascus of “unambiguously violating” the ceasefire agreed between Russia, the US and Jordan last July.

The deal paved the way for the establishment of a de-escalation zone in Syria’s southwest, where rebels and the Syrian government forces are barred from fighting each other. The truce was ultimately aimed at separating ‘moderate’ opposition from terrorists, as terrorist groups were excluded from the agreement.

“The Syrian regime’s violations of the ceasefire in southwest Syria need to stop,” Ambassador Nikki Haley said at a UN meeting on Friday. On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert warned the Syrian government of “serious repercussions,” without elaborating.

Some 2,000 US troops have been stationed in Syria, some of them are embedded with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the others are in Al-Tanf. While US President Donald Trump floated the idea of a withdrawal earlier this year, now the Pentagon says that its troops are to stay in Syria for as long as needed, meaning it can be indefinitely.

While Washington does not seem eager to engage in a direct confrontation with the Syrian troops now, the US has a long history of using Syrian rebels as proxies, supplying them with weapons that occasionally fall in the wrong hands.

A study conducted by Conflict Armament Research group in December found that the arms sent by the US to what it claimed are “vetted” rebel groups “have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to (Islamic State) forces.” While it’s hard to determine whether terrorist groups, such as ISIS or the former Al-Nusra front, seized the weapons from US-backed forces, or that the so-called “moderate” rebels blended in with them and handed over the deadly supplies, the tendency has been a source of major concern for Moscow.

The cooperation between the US forces and militants stretches beyond that, and it includes false flag attacks and provocations with chemical weapons, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry, citing intelligence.

In one of its latest warnings, the military said that the US Special Forces were helping the FSA militants to set up a chemical incident, that can serve as a pretext for a new bombing campaign.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:24| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


※ microcarpa @microcarpa1氏の2018年2月23日のツイート
「表4〜6で示されるように、事故以降3年で多くの病気が増加した。これらの表は、日本中の病院からのデータを集積して作成された」https://apjjf.org/-Eiichiro-Ochiai/4382今後数十年毎日続く内部被ばくを減らすよう自衛をお願い!#子供 #予防原則 #脱原発 #心筋梗塞 #脱棄民

The Human Consequences of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accidents

以下の表はmicrocarpa @microcarpa1氏のツイートに付されていたもの。出所は上の論文。



posted by ZUKUNASHI at 12:02| Comment(0) | 福島原発事故


United States demands that Japan stops buying oil from Iran – reports
Washington has asked Tokyo to halt all crude purchases from Iran, insisting that its allies cease all trade with the country, according to Bloomberg.

The request was made during a meeting between US and Japanese officials in Tokyo this week, according to the media. No decision has been made yet, though, and talks will continue.

This means that Washington is taking a harder stance on Iran than it did in 2012. Six years ago, before the nuclear deal, the US demanded that its allies should reduce oil purchases from sanctioned Iran, rather than stop them completely.

Japan is Asia’s fourth-largest buyer of Iranian crude, which accounts for 5.3 percent of its oil consumption, or 172,000 barrels per day.

Refiners in Japan earlier said they could substitute Iranian oil with crude from other Middle Eastern countries, even though their plants are particularly compatible with crude from Iran.

Some analysts see the demand as a negotiating tactic before trade talks begin between the US and Japan.

“It could be that the US is initially demanding a big thing before offering Japan a way to go around it in negotiations,” Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst at Rakuten Securities told Bloomberg. “Even if the US is asking Japan to completely stop Iranian crude imports, which is a very high hurdle, it may lower its demand later.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 09:00| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



Iran may exit nuclear deal in coming weeks – Deputy FM

米軍がシリアに居座り軍増強があれば第二のベトナム戦争になる 遺体袋がぞくぞくと本国に送られる 







Iran will face 'wrath of entire world' if it tries to develop nuclear weapons – Pompeo
Iran will face the "wrath of the entire world" if it pursues nuclear weapons, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned, despite Washington standing rather alone in its decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

“I hope they understand that if they begin to ramp up their nuclear program, the wrath of the entire world will fall upon them,” Pompeo said in an MSNBC interview that aired on Saturday.

He went on to say that if they begin to work towards a weapons program, "this is something the entire world would find unacceptable and we'd end up down a path that I don't think is in the best interests of Iran."

However, Pompeo was quick to scale down his saber-rattling tone, saying that "wrath" was not hinting at a military option.

"When I say wrath, don’t confuse that with military action. When I say wrath, I mean the moral opprobrium and economic power that fell upon them. That’s what I’m speaking to. I’m not talking to military action here. I truly hope that that’s never the case. It’s not in anyone’s best interests for that.”

Pompeo speaking for the rest of the world may be a little bit over the top though, given the fact that Washington's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal sparked global condemnation – including from America's biggest allies, the UK and Germany, which urged Donald Trump to remain in the deal. As a result, the US is largely standing alone in its decision.

Among Trump's most vocal critics was EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, who, following the US president's pullout, stressed that it was "not a bilateral agreement and it is not in the hands of any single country to terminate it unilaterally." The US was just one signatory of the deal, which was signed by Tehran and six world powers in 2015.

Even French President Emmanuel Macron, who made headlines after a very touchy-feely encounter with Trump in April, also attempted to get Trump to stay in the deal. After the US president withdrew, Macron took a more hostile tone, noting that no president "is forever" and stating that Trump shouldn't prevent other nations from sticking with the nuclear deal.

Pompeo’s comments, which were recorded on Friday but aired on Saturday, came the same day that Iran's supreme leader condemned Washington's uninvited military presence in Syria and warned that the country could become a second Vietnam War for Washington.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 08:58| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

‘Arrogant' Macron risks becoming 'enemy No. 1' on migration for Italy – Rome

‘Arrogant' Macron risks becoming 'enemy No. 1' on migration for Italy – Rome
Top Italian officials lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron, who said migration pressure on Italy seriously dropped over the past year. Macron was branded “arrogant,” and risks becoming a top “enemy” to Rome on migration.

"Italy indeed faces a migration emergency and it's partly because France keeps pushing back people at the border. Macron risks making his country Italy's No.1 enemy on this emergency," Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday. The comments made earlier by Macron clearly showed that the French president was out of touch, Di Maio added.

Macron drew the wrath of Italy by stating that "Europe is not experiencing a migration crisis of the same magnitude as the one it experienced in 2015." Those EU countries, which "massively voice their national selfishness when it comes to migrant issues," should not expect to receive benefits from the EU, Macron said, effectively threatening them with financial sanctions.

"A country like Italy has not at all the same migratory pressure as last year. ... The crisis we are experiencing today in Europe is a political crisis," Macron added, targeting Rome directly.

The comment did not go down well with Italy's Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. In a counter statement, he claimed that Italy faced 650,000 arrivals by sea over the past four years, with 430,000 asylum requests. He also added that the country currently hosts 170,000 "alleged refugees" for a staggering overall cost of 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion).

"If for the arrogant President Macron this is not a problem, we invite him to stop insulting and to show instead some concrete generosity by opening up France's many ports and letting children, men and women through at Ventimiglia," Salvini stated, referencing the Italian town on the French border.

The relations between France and Italy have been strained over the past few weeks, following Rome’s decision to close its ports to the migrant rescue ship ‘Aquarius,’ which had 629 people on board. The new Italian government explained it made the move due to a lack of “European solidarity,” as the country had to deal with migrant and human trafficking problems “all by itself.”

The decision to block the ‘Aquarius’ from entering Italy was met with a barrage of bitter criticism. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, however, firmly rejected the “hypocritical lessons” from those who, “in terms of immigration had always preferred to turn their head to the other side.”

“In the Mediterranean...there’s Malta that does now welcome anyone, there is France that rejects [refugees] at its borders, there’s Spain that defends its borders with the arms. Basically, everyone in Europe does their own business,” Salvini said back then.

Some European politicians approved of Rome’s actions, namely Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said the country decided to protect its maritime borders “at last.” Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have been among the counties opposing the EU migrant relocation schemes and urging the union to actually protect its external borders.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 08:56| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Highly suspicious: Marijuana crop uncovered at offices of Japanese lawmakers
Japan may have some of the toughest drug laws in the world, but that hasn’t stopped marijuana plants from finding their way into an office building used by the country’s lawmakers.

They said the plants looked to be about two months old,” a maintenance official told AFP, but conceded that plants can appear less mature depending on the amount of sunlight they are exposed to.

Under Japanese law, anyone found illegally cultivating or in possession of marijuana is subject to imprisonment for as many as seven years. As drug laws have loosened throughout the developed world over the last decade, Japan still does not allow marijuana for medicinal use.

Whether the plants were deliberately planted on the site is unclear. Masahiro Hirai, an official with the health and welfare bureau of the metropolitan government, told Japan Times that while marijuana seeds can be carried in the wind or bird droppings, it’s unlikely that the plants grew naturally. “Because of our strict license system regarding marijuana cultivation, it’s not like the seeds fly around and sprout constantly,” Hirai said.Four plants of the illegal weed were spotted by a visitor to the premises used by officials from the country’s upper house of parliament on Thursday. A pair of officials from Tokyo’s Metropolitan Government were then dispatched to the building to remove the crop.

「永田町で大麻草のような植物が生えている」との情報を得たAERA dot.の記者が21日昼ごろ、現場で大麻草が生えていることを確認。東京都の福祉保健局に通報し、同日夕に都の担当者によって抜去された。抜去時には、参院事務局の担当者や警備員など10人ほどが集まり、関係者との電話連絡に追われたり、実物の大麻草を撮影をしたりするなど、現場は一時騒然とした。


別に大麻草が何株か見つかったのがそんなに大きなニュース? と感じます。

種をまいた人がいたのでしょう。違法がまかり通る国会の周辺なら何でも許されるから? 盲点でありうることに着目した人はなかなか賢い?
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:41| Comment(0) | 社会・経済

Militants manufactured poisonous agents in Syria using Western-made hardware – Russian military

Militants manufactured poisonous agents in Syria using Western-made hardware – Russian military
Russia’s Defense Ministry has revealed that equipment manufactured by the EU and US was found in a terrorist chemical lab in Syria, which was used to produce explosives and poisonous agents.

The statement was made at a joint briefing by the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries on Friday, when they displayed the equipment that spokesperson Maria Zakharova said was found in the Syrian town of Douma, near the capital Damascus.

Major General Igor Kirillov, chief of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, said a lab rigged with explosives was discovered in Douma on April 17, along with a store of chemicals.

The equipment was used to produce PETN explosives, and substances that can be used to produce mustard gas were also found. Some parts of the equipment were produced in the EU and the US, Kirillov said. He added that both the lab and the storage site were shown to OPCW mission that arrived in Douma to investigate an alleged chemical attack, “but did not draw their interest.”

Zakharova added that Russia is ready to present this evidence to other countries. The Russian military say they found more than 40 tons of chemical agents in total in areas freed from terrorists in Syria.
Kirillov also claimed that the “imitation” of a chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun in 2017 was staged by the controversial group the White Helmets. A shell hole on the site had characteristics of a small ground-based explosion, and not a bomb dropped by aircraft, he said, adding that the crater was filled with concrete even before the OPCW investigation.
He also referred to the images that were made in the initial hours following the incident, which showed people at the site of the ‘attack’ not wearing protective gear. This would have been impossible if sarin had been used, Kirillov said.

He proceeded to criticize reports produced by the OPCW on Syria, which he accused of an “unprofessional approach” for investigating and making conclusions in relation to incidents in Khan Shaykhun, Saraqib and Al-Lataminah without dispatching experts on the ground.

It is not surprising that the OPCW reports are often riddled with words like ‘allegedly’ or ‘reportedly,’ he added, saying: “Such lexicon is unacceptable for a serious document, which is supposed to be based on irrefutable evidence.”

Both Damascus and Moscow repeatedly asked the OPCW to send its fact-finding mission to Khan Shaykhun, but the organization refused to do so “for security reasons.”

“The long-distance nature of investigations, as well as the collection, analysis and the usage of documents acquired without the experts actually arriving at the sites of alleged chemical attacks, constitutes a direct violation of the [Chemical Weapons] Convention,” Kirillov stated.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:23| Comment(0) | 国際・政治