国際・政治: ずくなしの冷や水


Pilot of downed Russian Su-25 in Syria died fighting on the ground

Pilot of downed Russian Su-25 in Syria died fighting on the ground (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
The pilot of the Russian Su-25 jet shot down over Syria reportedly died fighting as his weapon was found with an empty magazine. He was being considered for a state award, documents found on his person apparently reveal.
The Russian airman killed by militants in the Al-Nusra-controlled area in Idlib province Saturday was identified as Major Roman Filippov, photos posted on the Telegram channel of independent investigative group Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) indicate.
Earlier, the Russian Defense ministry confirmed that the pilot died "during combat with terrorists."
One of the pictures, published on the CIT Facebook page, shows what appears to be a commendation authored by special operations air group commander Lt. Colonel Sergey Aksenov, recommending that a state award be bestowed upon Filippov for completing combat missions in Syria. CIT claims the document was found in the slain pilot's pocket.
Another photo shows the gun Filippov apparently used to fight for his life. A Stechkin machine pistol (APS), standard issue for Russian combat pilots, is seen next to three magazines, one of them empty and two half-empty.
Other photos posted by the group seem to be personal notes from Filippov's time at the Russian airbase in Syria.
Citing a Russian Defense Ministry source, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper confirmed the deceased pilot was Filippov. According to the report, he was a former Ukrainian pilot from the city of Simpferopol in what is now Russian Crimea.
The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to officially release the identity of the deceased. Earlier, it confirmed the pilot had successfully ejected from the aircraft before being killed while engaging terrorists on the ground. Moscow said the jet appears to have been shot down by a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD).
Tahrir al-Sham, an extremist group linked to Al-Nusra terrorists, claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, videos and statements about the Russian pilot appeared on the Twitter account of the Jaysh al-Nasr, a militant group affiliated to the Free Syrian Army.
A video has emerged allegedly showing the rebels posing with the dead body of the pilot.
In retaliation to the downing of the Su-25 jet, the Russian military carried out precision airstrikes targeting the terrorists in Idlib. At least 30 militants are believed to have been killed in the operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
During the active phase of its Syria camping that began in September, 2015 and lasted until December last year, Russia has lost several aircraft, both due to technical flaws and in combat.
One of the most high profile incident remains the grounding of a Russian Su-24 bomber by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet in November, 2015. The Russian warplane was conducting sorties against terrorist targets near the Syrian-Turkish border when it was shot down by an air-to-air missile. One of the pilots, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, was killed by machine gun fire from Turkmen rebels on the ground. Peshkov was posthumously awarded a Hero of Russia medal, the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation.

VIDEO shows precision strikes on militants who downed Russian jet in Syria

Russian missiles strike area of Su-25 downing, killing at least 30 terrorists – MoD
Russian military planes have targeted the Al-Nusra-controlled area of Syria’s Idlib province where a Su-25 jet was earlier downed by militants, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

The military conducted “a massive precision weapon strike… on areas controlled by the Al-Nusra [terrorist] group,” the ministry said in a statement.

Moscow confirmed Saturday that a Russian Su-25 jet crashed in Idlib province, probably shot down by a man-portable air-defense system (MANPAD). The pilot ejected, but was killed by militants on the ground, the ministry said.

Tahrir al-Sham, the extremist group linked to Al-Nusra terrorists, has claimed responsibility for the downing of the Russian aircraft, according to Reuters.

Earlier, another militant group, Jaysh al-Nasr, which claims affiliation to the Free Syrian Army, also posted videos and statements about the Russian plane on its Twitter account. It said the jet was shot down by some air defense systems.

Commando op underway at crash site to trace MANPAD rocket origin – Russian MP
A Syrian special forces operation is reportedly underway in the area where a Russian Su-25 jet was downed by a MANPAD rocket on Saturday. The goal is to find evidence allowing the weapon to be traced to its origin.
The Russian warplane was downed by a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rocket, according to the Russian defense ministry. Moscow is very interested in establishing how exactly the weapon system got into the hands of the militant group responsible for attack, Russian MP Vikotor Volodarsky told RIA Novosti.
“The group that had the MANPAD has been destroyed by the Russian Air Force. Now the Syrian commandos are working on the ground. If they find elements of that launcher, we could trace its serial number and establish its origin to the factory in a few days, find out how it got there,” the Russian MP said. He added Russian planes are providing air support to the Syrian troops.
Earlier the US asserted that it did not provide the MANPAD to the group which shot down the Russian plane. “The United States have not provided any of its allied forces in Syria with anti-aircraft weapons,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway told TASS.
The incident happened in a part of Idlib governorate controlled by the jihadist group previously known as Al-Nusra Front, according to the Russian military.

No anti-aircraft weapons sent to 'our' Syrian rebels – Pentagon after downing of Russian jet
The US military has said no anti-aircraft weapons have been shipped to the militias it backs in Syria amid speculation the Russian Su-25 jet downed in Idlib, north-west Syria may have been shot down by a US-made missile.
“The United States have not provided any of its allied forces in Syria with anti-aircraft weapons,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway told TASS. He said the US-led coalition is currently not engaged in any operations in the area where the jet was downed Saturday. He added that the coalition's combat efforts are “geographically orientated on the current fight with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) in eastern Syria.”
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier the jet was attacked from the ground by rebels possibly using a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) in the designated ceasefire zone in Idlib province. The Pentagon will study “the veracity of the statements” put forward by the Russian military to ensure security of its coalition allies, Rankine-Galloway added.
Some Russian legislators and experts interviewed by local media voiced concerns that the weapons may have its origins in the West and then smuggled through a neighboring country to Syria. The deputies urged a thorough investigation to trace the air defense system's origin.
The pilot, identified in some reports as Major Roman Filippov, ejected from the stricken aircraft and parachuted to the ground. It's believed the officer was engaged in a firefight with militants before being killed. Purported images of his personal belongings, including his gun and a recommendation for a state honor, have surfaced on social media. As did footage of militants shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) at the sight of the jet crashing and militants taking selfies with the body of the slain pilot.
The Russian ministry, in cooperation with Turkey, is now trying to retrieve his body. The Tahrir al-Sham extremist group, which has links to the Al-Nusra terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attack. However, posts and videos of the downed Russian plane appeared on the social media accounts of the Jaysh al-Nasr militant group which is affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.
The US has repeatedly denied it had shipped portable air defense missile systems to the rebels, brushing off Moscow’s concerns in the process. The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act enabled the Pentagon to authorize shipments of anti-aircraft weapons to Syrian rebels for it to be used “against aircraft of one side only.”
The Russian Defense Ministry argued that if such weapons are brought into Syria, they could easily fall into the hands of IS and other terrorists.
The Pentagon then denied it had any plans to send the weapons.
The 2018 defense act outlines significant directives pertaining to MANPADS deployment in Syria. Section 1227 of the bill states that in order to provide air-defense systems to the “vetted Syrian opposition,” the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State must first inform the congressional committee; describe in detail the location of the group; its intelligence assessment; the number of devices to be shipped; as well as an “explanation of the purpose and expected employment” of the defense systems.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:42| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

China Reportedly Negotiating Creation of Military Base with Afghanistan

China Reportedly Negotiating Creation of Military Base with Afghanistan
TEHRAN (FNA)- The military base will be reportedly constructed in Afghanistan’s Northeastern province of Badakhshan that borders China’s Xinjiang – a restive region with a Muslim Uyghur minority that Beijing views as a potential source of instability.

The Chinese and Afghan officials are discussing the construction of a base in Wakhan Corridor, a remote mountainous strip that is isolated from the rest of Afghanistan, according to Afghan Defense Ministry Deputy Spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh, Sputnik reported.

"We are going to build it (the base) but the Chinese government has committed to help the division financially, provide equipment and train the Afghan soldiers," he said.

However, a Chinese embassy official in Kabul was scarce on providing details on the project, saying only that Beijing was engaged in "capacity-building" in Afghanistan.

The preliminary agreement to build the base was reached during the visit of an Afghan delegation headed by Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami to China in December 2017, according to Fergana News Agency that talked to Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry Representative Dawlat Vazari. During the visit, the sides have discussed the cooperation in the anti-terror fight in the bordering regions.

Chinese authorities are scrutinizing the activities of exiled Uyghur members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group that has committed dozens of terrorist acts in China.

"The Chinese side fears that the Chinese Uyghurs, who are fighting along with terrorists [in the Middle East], can cross into China through Afghanistan and become a headache for the Chinese authorities,” an unnamed source said to Fergana News Agency.

China's engagement in the base construction comes amid Beijing’s major push for boosting ties with its war-ravaged neighbor. China has mediated rows between Afghanistan and Pakistan and offered to make Kabul a part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor it wants to build with Islamabad.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:11| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Trump's New Nuclear Strategy Draws Blistering Criticism from Arms Control Experts

Trump's New Nuclear Strategy Draws Blistering Criticism from Arms Control Experts
TEHRAN (FNA)- Washington arms control groups condemned the new nuclear weapons strategy announced by administration of US President Donald Trump, saying it could raise the risk of nuclear war.

The latest policy was revealed on Friday in a Pentagon policy statement known as the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), presstv reported.

The new policy, which came largely to counter Russia, effectively ends Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the US arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning.

It also cast China as a potential nuclear adversary, saying the US arsenal is tailored to “prevent Beijing from mistakenly concluding” that it could gain advantage by using its nuclear weapons in Asia, or that “any use of nuclear weapons, however limited, is acceptable.”

the report drew blistering criticism from arms control groups, who said the strategy will reduce US and global security.

“President Trump is embarking on a reckless path − one that will reduce US security both now and in the longer term,” senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists Lisbeth Gronlund stressed.

She said the Trump administration is blurring the line between nuclear and conventional war-fighting.

The science advocacy organization also stated the new report misrepresents the status of China’s nuclear forces.

“The gap between China and the United States is too wide to argue that the United States is lagging behind in any meaningful way. In fact, the exact opposite is true. By any measure, the US arsenal is far superior,” the group said in a statement on its website.

“If the Trump administration were truly concerned about limiting the size and capability of China’s nuclear forces,” She stressed, adding that “it would ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which China signed in 1996, and negotiate a fissile material control treaty, which China supports. Doing so would cap the size of China’s nuclear arsenal.”

Barry Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a nonpartisan anti-nuclear proliferation think tank in Washington, has warned that the US is "on the cusp of a new era of nuclear proliferation."

"This is the great nuclear danger raised by the new" nuclear policy, Blechman added.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:39| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Arab Analyst: US Likely to Use Chemical Weapons in False Flag against Syria

Arab Analyst: US Likely to Use Chemical Weapons in False Flag against Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, warned that Washington's recent allegations that the government in Damascus has used chemical weapons are aimed at justifying its possible future strikes against the Syrian army positions.

"The golden rule which had existed since 7 years ago and the start of the crisis in Syria is that every time the US has felt that its plots in Syria have been foiled, it raised the issue of chemical weapons as a pretext to attack the Syrian army positions," Atwan wrote on Saturday.

He referred to the recent remarks by US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis who claimed that Washington is concerned about the potential use of sarin gas in Syria, a day after the US warned it was prepared to consider military action if necessary to deter, what it called, chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, and said Mattis, meantime, has admitted that there is no evidence to corroborate that the Syrian government has used Sarin.

Atwan also pointed to other US officials' remarks who had claimed that the Syrian government and the ISIL use chemical weapons, and said, "Such comments are dangerous as they put the Syrian government and the ISIL on the same side and raise similar accusations against them and exonerate other (terrorist) groups (than the ISIL) from them."

Sarin is a colorless and tasteless toxin that can cause respiratory failure leading to death.

Accusing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons against civilians, the US launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last April after a sarin gas attack on Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province claimed at least 80 lives.

"We are on the record and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they would be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical (weapons) convention," Mattis said recently.

This is while the Syrian government has fiercely denied using or even possessing chemical weapons since the country’s compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention was certified by international observers in 2013.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:24| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



トルコ軍がシリア北部でMount Darmikの斜面にあるクルド指導者アブドラ・オカランの巨大肖像画を爆撃しました。





Turkey bombs giant portrait of Kurdish leader Ocalan near Afrin (VIDEO)
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:48| Comment(0) | 国際・政治



‘Fire and Fury’ author accused of slandering ambassador Haley, kicked off TV show (VIDEO)

A MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ interview with ‘Fire and Fury’ author Michael Wolff was shockingly cut short after the host accused him of “slurring” US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

A media darling just a few weeks ago, the author of the explosive tell-all about President Donald Trump’s first year in office was effectively kicked off mid-air by presenter Mika Brzezinski on Thursday. Wolff was accused of insinuating that Haley was having an affair with Trump.

Haley has since been forced to deny the rumors, describing them as “disgusting.”


産経ニュース 2017.10.26 07:00更新
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 17:10| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

ティラーソンはこんな論理を展開するようでは外交官の資質に疑問 相手にされないだろう

※ 毎日新聞2018年2月2日 09時32分(最終更新 2月2日 09時55分)
米国 国務省ナンバー3辞任へ 政権の冷遇が背景か
・・・経験のある有能な職業外交官ならとてもやっていられないだろう。米国外交に追随する日本外交の担い手はえらい! よくやっていられるものだ。

Moscow slams US ‘propaganda attack’ over Syria chemical weapons ahead of Sochi peace talks
Washington’s attempt to pin the blame for Syrian chemical attacks on Moscow is a “propaganda attack” aimed at tarnishing the country’s image and derailing the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

Russia is fuming at the audacity of the latest US accusations of Moscow’s “ultimate” complicity in all alleged chemical attacks in Syria, voiced by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

“In essence, a massive propaganda attack was conducted with the purpose of slandering Russia on the world stage and undermining efforts for a peaceful settlement in Syria,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. Washington is continuing in its attempts to get the international community “accustomed to the idea that our country, which – unlike the US – has destroyed its stockpiles of chemical weapons, not only condones their use in Syria but in general is always guilty of everything.”

While the US officials’ disregard for the “elementary norms of ethics” is nothing new, with latest insinuations Tillerson and Haley have “excelled themselves,” the ministry noted.

During a 29-nation meeting in Paris on Tuesday – to which Russia was not invited – Rex Tillerson accused the Syrian government of launching yet another chemical attack on its people. By coincidence, just ahead of the ‘International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons’ forum, reports surfaced of an alleged chlorine gas attack in East Ghouta. Tillerson used this reported tragic event as a springboard to charge Russia.

“Whoever conducted the attacks, Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in eastern Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria,” Tillerson stated.

Moscow, which called an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss new allegations of the use of chemical weapons Syria, on Tuesday yet again proposed a mechanism to replace the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), whose mandate expired in November. Previously JIM handled UN investigations into the use of chemical weapons in Syria but has failed to produce objective reports on chemical attacks, including the April incident in Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province. Instead, Moscow has been proposing to establish an objective investigative mechanism to probe all allegations of chemical attacks in Syria “based on impeccable and irrefutable data.”

Washington immediately dismissed that proposal, while Ambassador Haley speaking at the UNSC on Tuesday accused Russia of “killing” JIM. She further echoed Tillerson’s statement. “We know that for years Russia has looked the other way while their Syrian friends use these despicable weapons of war. Russia is complicit in the Assad regime’s atrocities.”

American accusations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, run “contrary to common sense.” The very “fact” that the latest chemical incident indeed took place has not even been confirmed yet. The reports were produced by controversial pro-militant sources, namely the White Helmets and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Moscow noted that the “discredited” White Helmets have a long history of “collaborating with terrorist groups” and have repeatedly been caught out on the “dissemination of outright lies.”

“We were hypocritically accused of unwillingness to investigate incidents with poisonous substances in Syria. Although it was the Americans, as it became clear long ago, who obstructed the objective investigation,” the ministry noted. “We see that Washington is not interested in establishing the truth, as it does not accept any points of view that do not coincide with its own.” Russia accused Washington of passing judgment on other countries based on “their geopolitical ambitions” and by relying on “behind-the-scenes agreements with anti-government militants.”

Moscow also advised Washington’s allies who gathered in Paris to stay well clear of the US endeavor or at least be aware of its true intent. “We call on our colleagues to think about what the US is trying to do, and to distance themselves from this risky adventure, which has nothing in common with the goals announced by its organizers,” the ministry said.

Delegates of 29 countries gathered in Paris on Tuesday to spell out a joint strategy to battle what they called impunitive chemical weapons use – in an attempt to possibly impose unilateral punitive measures against those they implicate in the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia called the Paris meeting an “attempt to circumvent the OPCW and through slander to hammer together a bloc against Damascus.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov earlier described the US’ groundless accusations as a clear provocation ahead of Syrian National Dialogue Congress scheduled to be held in Russia’s Sochi, January 29-30.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 12:52| Comment(2) | 国際・政治

Pentagon Fears Rapid Advancement of Chinese, Russian Anti-Satellite Weapons

Pentagon Fears Rapid Advancement of Chinese, Russian Anti-Satellite Weapons
TEHRAN (FNA)- Kessler Syndrome, here we come! The Pentagon has fretted that China and Russia are developing anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles that could shoot US low Earth orbit (LEO) objects out of the stars within the next two years.

The intelligence directorate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, designated J-2, told the Washington Free Beacon that these missiles are currently in development and will be combat-capable as early as 2020, Sputnik reported.

In May, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that Moscow and Beijing were "increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine."

"Both will continue to pursue a full range of ASAT weapons as a means to reduce US military effectiveness," Coats told Congress. Russia was seeking a "diverse suite of capabilities to affect satellites in all orbital regimes," such as an honest-to-god laser gun.

The Free Beacon estimated that Moscow spends $5 billion annually on ASAT weapons such as the Nudol ASAT ground-launched missile that was most recently tested in December 2016. Their S-300, S-400, and S-500 surface-to-air missiles also have the capability to strike LEO targets.

China's program is secretive, but thought to be formidable. In 2010, 2013, and 2014, Beijing conducted mid-course missile defense tests that the Pentagon characterized as a system that could also be easily modified to shoot down satellites.

"China's military modernization program clearly includes an attempt to up its game in space. Weapons for space involve more than just ASAT systems, but these are the most overt signs of China's progress," said former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin to Cipher Brief earlier in January.

Speaking to news.com.au, John Blaxland, professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies and director of ANU's Southeast Asia Institute, said that such technology had been under development for quite some time.

"The US Department of Defense is undoubtedly concerned," Blaxland said. "That is because much of the precision and geolocation technology, on which much of US military technology depends, is heavily reliant on maintaining their network of satellites unhindered by the prospect of ASAT strikes from China or Russia."

In anticipation of the challenge, the Pentagon has begun development on counter-technologies such as satellite constellations: overlapping satellite networks that can retain their geolocating capabilities even if some of the satellites inside the network are lost.

Currently, no arms treaties exist regarding ASAT weapons. Such a treaty could undermine missile defense, as many missile defense systems also have latent ASAT capabilities. The RAND think tank also reported that the US has their own arsenal of ASAT weapons that they'd be unwilling to surrender, as they currently hold the edge in space warfare.

US leaders in the Trump administration have taken a hawkish tone in recent rhetoric regarding China and Russia. Earlier in January, US Defence Secretary James Mattis released a new defense strategy that said that countering China's rapidly expanding military strength and Russia's modernizing forces were the Pentagon's top national security priorities.

"We will continue to prosecute the campaign against terrorists, but great-power competition − not terrorism − is now the primary focus of US national security," Mattis said in a January 19 speech at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. "This strategy is fit for our time, providing the American people [with] the military required to protect our way of life, stand with our allies and live up to our responsibility to pass intact to the next generation those freedoms we enjoy today."

During his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump referred to China and Russia as "rivals" who "challenge our interests, our economy and our values."

"In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense," the president said.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:20| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Former Guantanamo Chief Officer Urges Closure of Facility for US Security's Sake
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Guantanamo Bay detention center should be shut down as soon as possible to better protect US national security and boost the United States' influence in the international community, the facility's former Commanding Officer retired Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert said in a statement on Wednesday.

"To safeguard our security and bolster our global influence, Guantanamo should be closed as soon as possible," Lehnert said, Sputnik reported.

US President Donald Trump announced during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night that he signed an executive order to keep the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba open.

Lehnert noted the move would further fuel propaganda by enemies of the United States and serve as a distraction to US allies while undermining US national interests.

The retired general, who was the first commander of the now infamous facility, said US federal courts on the mainland were fully capable of handling complex international terrorism cases.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Lehnert deployed to Guantanamo Bay in January 2002 with the mission to construct and operate detention facilities for detainees belonging to the radical Taliban movement and the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Meanwhile, US Senator Duane Feinstein said in a press release on Wednesday that Donald Trump was wrong to announce he was going to keep operating the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba despite a $5 billion cost so far.

"I strongly disagree with President Trump’s decision to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open," Feinstein said. "With a cost that has now topped $5 billion, keeping Guantanamo open is a drain on taxpayers and a recruiting tool for terrorists."

Nearly 800 individuals had cycled through the prison, but now there were only 41, five of whom had been cleared for transfer, Feinstein pointed out. Holding prisoners without charge or trial for decades is a clear violation of due process and the rule of law, Feinstein maintained.

According to media reports, detainees in Guantanamo Bay have been held for indefinte periods without charge or trial, prompting criticism from human rights groups. The detention facility also gained worldwide notority after the emergence of evidence of widespread torture and abuse of inmates.

Former US President Barack Obama promised to close the detentionfacility but failed to fulfill his pledge. Trump has vowed to keep it open and bring in more captured terrorists.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:09| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


日本にゴーストコーストができる 石川県知事は喜ぶだろう


石川県知事は根は正直? 志賀原発の事故がよほど怖い?

飢餓で 戦乱で 被曝で生じた難民を射殺する日本へ



UN Warns Sanctions Starving North Korea Children to Death
TEHRAN (FNA)- The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said on Tuesday an estimated 60,000 children face potential starvation in North Korea, where international sanctions are exacerbating the situation by slowing aid deliveries.

Under United Nations Security Council resolutions, humanitarian supplies or operations are exempt from sanctions, Omar Abdi, Unicef deputy executive director, said, The News International reported.

"But what happens is that of course the banks, the companies that provide goods or ship goods are very careful. They don’t want to take any risk of later on being associated (with) breaking the sanctions," Abdi told a news briefing.

"That is what makes it more difficult for us to bring things. So it takes a little bit longer, especially in getting money into the country. But also in shipping goods to DPRK. There are not many shipping lines that operate in that area," he added.

Sanctions on fuel have been tightened, making it more scarce and expensive, Abdi stressed.

"We are projecting that at some point during the year 60,000 children will become severely malnourished. This is the malnutrition that potentially can lead to death. It’s protein and calorie malnutrition," Manuel Fontaine, director of Unicef emergency programmes worldwide, said, adding that "So the trend is worrying, it’s not getting any better."

In all, 200,000 North Korean children suffer from acute malnutrition, including 60,000 with the most severe form that can be lethal, according to Unicef.

Unicef had projected 60,000 children would suffer severe acute malnutrition last year, and reached 39,000 of them with therapeutic feeding, Spokesman Christophe Boulierac said, adding that "Diarrhoea related to poor sanitation and hygiene and acute malnutrition remains a leading cause of death among young children".

Unicef is seeking $16.5 million this year to provide nutrition, health and water to North Koreans but faces "operational challenges" due to the tense political context and "unintended consequences" of sanctions, it stressed.

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed a new round of sanctions on North Korea late December, following its latest ballistic missile test launch in late November. Pyongyang is already under an extremely harsh economic sanctions regime, but the latest round further slashed its refined petroleum product imports and banned all remaining major exports. The measure also demanded the repatriation of all North Koreans working abroad within 24 months.

US President Donald Trump has also vowed to impose additional "major sanctions" against North Korea.

North Korea has been under a raft of crippling United Nations sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear tests as well as multiple rocket and missile launches.

However, many stressed that the sanctions would not deter North Korea from pursuing its nuclear and missile program, which Pyongyang insists is part of its defense policy against the United States. Critics have repeatedly warned that sanctions would more affect North Korean people rather than its military and the government.

‘Ghost ships’ filled with dead sailors make landing on Japanese shores (VIDEO)
Small wooden boats filled with unidentified dead sailors, assumed to be North Korean fishermen, keep washing up on the shores of Japan.

The so-called ‘ghost ships’ have been regularly washing up on the shores of Oga, a city in the peninsular Akita Prefecture. This year, however, has already seen a dramatic rise in the number of discoveries.

Since December, the remains of 35 people have been found aboard 103 wooden boats that drifted onto Japanese shores or were discovered in its territorial waters. A total of 13 of the dead have yet to be identified.

One of the somber overturned boats in Oga was captured in eerie drone footage by RT’s Ruptly video agency.

Some North Korean fishermen have been found alive aboard the vessels, while the remains of others have been discovered in a partly skeletal condition.

"Over there, there was the ship that was washed ashore, in the Kusakata area. These both happened at the same time, but in the ship over there, was six or seven North Korean people still alive and they were rescued," said Oga fisherman Hiyama Hiromi.

On November 26, eight corpses were found on a wooden boat in Oga, with two more skeletal remains found washed ashore on December 7. At that time of year temperatures can drop to below freezing and sea conditions are so stormy it is “impossible” to safely sail in the boat these fishermen are using, says Hiromi.

Oga's authorities have requested that the city’s Tosenji temple temporarily accept the remains of the unidentified dead sailors, whose ashes have been kept in urns, as well as some DNA samples, in case North Korea or family members ever need to identify the deceased.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 02:06| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Turkey Refutes Rumors of Using Napalm in Syria's Afrin
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish armed forces are not using napalm, biological or chemical weapons during their operation in Syria's Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

A Syrian-Kurdish politician Ilham Ehmed claimed on Saturday that Turkey was using napalm in its military campaign in Afrin, a district located close to the border with Turkey, Sputnik reported.

"The Turkish Air Force is not using napalm, chemical, biological or any similar weapons, banned by international laws, in the Operation Olive Branch. The Turkish armed forces do not have weapons of this type. The ground forces adhere to the same rules," the statement read.

The Turkish General Staff stressed that the Turkish troops were trying to ensure the safety of civilians in Afrin and to preserve religious sites and cultural heritage objects.

On January 20, the Turkish General Staff announced the beginning of Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish forces in Afrin, citing security concerns. Damascus has condemned the campaign, stating that it breached Syria's territorial integrity.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:28| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


‘If reality in Afghanistan exposed, pressure on US to withdraw will be immense’
The Pentagon has no choice but to hide the reality on the ground in Afghanistan, if Americans are exposed to the real situation, there will pressure for the US to withdraw, Middle East analyst Ali Rizk said.

The Pentagon has apparently instructed the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog which oversees the situation in the country, to keep quiet over the information on the mass of territory controlled or influenced by the Taliban and Afghan government, according to the watchdog's latest report.

The Pentagon blamed “human error in labeling” for the failure to share the data.

“It was NOT the intent of Resolute Support to withhold or classify information which was available in prior reports,” Navy Captain Tom Gresback, a spokesman for the US-led NATO coalition, said in an email, as quoted by AP.

RT discussed the situation in Afghanistan with expert on Middle Eastern affairs, Ali Rizk and Dr. Dina Rezk, lecturer in Middle Eastern history at the University of Reading.

RT: What do you make of this latest decision by the Pentagon not to disclose information on how much Afghan territory is held by the Taliban? Is that an admission of failure?

Ali Rizk: The American war in Afghanistan hasn’t been going well at all. What we’ve seen is that the Taliban have expanded their presence, have strengthened recently, we’ve also seen [Islamic State or IS, formerly] ISIS penetrating into Afghanistan. When the US says it is waging war on terror in Afghanistan, the indicators show that this war isn’t going well in any way whatsoever.

And you have to emphasize that even more when you look at Trump administration – the Trump administration came into office saying that it wants to wage a war on what it called ‘radical Islamic terrorism’. That was the slogan which Trump has always used ever since he began with his election campaign. What we’ve seen is that this war on ‘Islamic terror’ in Afghanistan hasn’t been making any success. We’ve seen some horrific attacks launched by the Taliban and by ISIS which have now begun to target Kabul, the Afghan capital. Previously, we saw that there were attacks by these extremist groups but they were not focused so much on Kabul. Kabul was considered to be relatively secure. What we’ve seen now is that even the capital is no longer secure.

So, in light of these failures in this US war, I think that the Pentagon or the American administration as a whole had no choice but to take this step to try and hide the reality which is going on the ground. Because I think that if the American people are exposed to the real situation, there will be huge, immense popular pressure for the US to just cut and withdraw from that country.

‘US brute force alone attitude won’t work in Afghanistan’

RT: What's the Pentagon's motive here?

Dina Rezk: … We have to contextualize this within NATO’s presence in Afghanistan as well as of course the Afghan government themselves. None of these groups are going to want to advertise the fact that the Taliban has made considerable strides in regaining territory, particularly over the last year. And there is evidence that this is an important element of the psychological warfare that comes with counter-insurgency campaigns like this.

RT: How has the situation on the ground in Afghanistan changed since President Trump announced his new strategy back in August 2017? Have there been any improvements?

DR: I think certainly the Taliban has responded to the announcement of more troops negatively. They’ve kind of made clear that they are not going to take this incursion into Afghan sovereignty lying down. But in general, the Trump approach of “We are going to kill terrorists” rather than fight a long counter-insurgency campaign has historically not proven to be a very effective way of dealing with insurgency groups like the Taliban. This is a group that now occupies or at least it contesting almost 50 percent of Afghanistan. So, they have a considerable presence, they have considerable reach within society and a brute force alone attitude is probably not going to cut it.

Study: Taliban Active in 70% of Afghanistan
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Taliban are openly active in 70 percent of Afghanistan's districts, fully controlling 4 percent of the country and demonstrating an open physical presence in another 66 percent, according to a BBC study.

The BBC estimate, which it said was based on conversations with more than 1,200 individual local sources in all districts of the South Asian country, was significantly higher than the most recent assessment by the NATO-led coalition of the Taliban's presence.

The study shows that the Taliban militants are in full control of 14 Afghan districts and are openly active in 263 others. The research also shows that nearly 15 million people - half the population - are living in areas affected by the Taliban presence.

According to the BBC study, the Afghan government controlled 122 districts, or about 30 percent of the country, but noted that even those areas are not safe from Taliban attacks.

The BBC study also announced that ISIL Takfiri terrorists are also active in 30 Afghan districts in the East and the North, but they are not in control of any specific area.

An Afghan government Spokesman has downplayed the BBC findings.

The Pentagon did not directly comment on the BBC study, but pointed to the latest figures by NATO, which shows that nearly 56 percent of Afghanistan’s territory was under Afghan government control or influence.

The coalition said on Tuesday that the Taliban contested or controlled only 44 percent of Afghan districts as of October 2017.

Taliban militants launch attacks across the country on an almost daily basis, despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops on Afghan soil.

Exploiting the chaos, the ISIL has been seeking to expand its presence in Afghanistan after losing the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria, where it first emerged in 2014.

The United States --- under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency --- and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the Asian country.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:23| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


Sochi: Congress of Syrian National Dialog Releases Final Statement
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Congress of Syrian National Dialog, which was hosted by Russia in the resort city of Sochi on January 29 and 30, 2018, with delegates from the Syrian government and opposition in attendance issued its final statement.

The following Final Statement was released by the Syrian Congress of National Dialog after two day of negotiations in the Russia's Sochi, press tv reported.

We, the delegates of the Congress of the Syrian national dialog, representing all segments of Syrian society, its political and civil powers, ethnic, confessional, and social groups, have assembled at the invitation of the friendly Russian Federation, in the city of Sochi, with the intention to put an end to seven years suffering of our people, through the achievement of a common understanding of the necessity for the salvation of our homeland from armed confrontation, social, and economic ruin, the restoration of its dignity on the regional and world stage, the provision of fundamental rights and liberties for all its citizens, and most importantly, the right to a peaceful and free life without violence and terror. The only way to achieve this particular goal is the political settlement of the problems of our homeland on the basis of the following principles:

1. Respect of and full commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and unity of the (Syrian Arab Republic/state of Syria) as a land and a people. In this regard no part of the national territory shall be ceded. The people of Syria remain committed to the recovery of the occupied Syrian Golan by all lawful means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law;

2. Respect of and full commitment to Syria’s national sovereign equality and rights regarding non-intervention. Syria shall take its full role in the international community and the region, including as part of the Arab world, in conformity with the UN Charter, and its purposes and principles;

3. The Syrian people alone shall determine the future of their country by democratic means, through the ballot box, and shall have the exclusive right to choose their own political, economic, and social system without external pressure or interference, in line with Syria’s international rights and obligations;

4. The (Syrian Arab Republic/state of Syria) shall be a democratic and non-sectarian state based on political pluralism and equal citizenship irrespective of religion, ethnicity and gender, with full respect for and protection of the rule of law, the separation of powers, judicial independence, the full equality of all citizens, the cultural diversity of the Syrian society, and public freedoms, including freedom of belief, featuring transparent, inclusive, accountable, and answerable governance, including before the national law, with necessary effective measures to combat crime, corruption, and mismanagement;

5. A state committed to national unity, social peace, and comprehensive and balanced development with fair representation in local administration;

6. Continuity and improved performance of state and public institutions, with reforms where necessary, including the protection of public infrastructure and property rights and provision of public services to all citizens without discrimination, in accordance with the highest standards of good governance and gender equality. Citizens shall benefit from effective mechanisms in their relations with all public authorities in such a way as to ensure full compliance with the rule of law and human rights and private and public property rights;

7. A strong, unified, meritocratic and national army that carries out its duties in accordance with the constitution and the highest standards. Its functions are to protect the national boundaries and the people from external threats and terrorism, with intelligence and security institutions to maintain national security subject to the rule of law, acting according to the constitution and the law and respecting human rights. The use of force shall be the exclusive prerogative of competent state institutions;

8. Unqualified rejection of - and active commitment to combat - terrorism, fanaticism, extremism and sectarianism in all its forms and to tackle conditions conducive to their spread;

9. Respect and protection of human rights and public freedoms, especially in times of crisis, including non-discrimination and equal rights and opportunities for all without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or linguistic identity, gender or any other distinction, with effective mechanism for their protection, which give due regard to the political and equal rights and opportunities of women, including by the taking of active measures to ensure representation and participation in institutions and decision- making structures, with mechanisms aimed to achieve a level of representation of at least 30% for women, and the goal of parity;

10. A high value placed on Syria’s society and national identity, its history of diversity and the contributions and values that all religions, civilizations and traditions have brought to Syria, including the coexistence among its various components, along with the protection of the national cultural heritage of the nation and its diverse cultures;

11. Combatting and eliminating poverty and providing support for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, including persons with special needs, orphans and victims of war, which shall include ensuring the safety and refuge of all displaced persons and refugees, as well as protecting their right to voluntary and safe return to their homes and lands;

12. Preservation and protection of national heritage and the natural environment for future generations in accordance with environmental treaties and the UNESCO declaration concerning the intentional destruction of cultural heritage.

We, the representatives of the proud people of Syria, having lived through terrible misery and having found enough strength to fight against international terrorism, herewith declare our determination to restore the well-being and prosperity of our homeland and to make life decent and comfortable for each and every one of us.

To that end we agreed to form a constitutional committee comprising the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation along with wide-represented opposition delegation for drafting of a constitutional reform as a contribution to the political settlement under the UN auspices in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.

The Constitutional Committee would at the very least comprise Government, Opposition representatives in the intra-Syrian talks, Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women. Care would be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria`s ethnic and religious components. Final agreement is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process on the mandate and terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee.

We appeal to the United Nations Secretary-General to assign the Special Envoy for Syria for the assistance of the Constitutional Committee work in Geneva.

Lavrov: Russia Ready for Dialogue on Syria in Any Format, at Any Level
TEHRAN (FNA)- Moscow is ready for dialogue on Syria with Western partners in any formats and at any levels, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Lavrov recalled that the Russian side had invited representatives from all United Nations Security Council permanent member nations and from many other countries to attend the Congress of Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi, TASS reported.

"We are thankful to China and Kazakhstan for delegating special envoys to the event," he said.

"However our western partners have confined themselves to sending here (to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress) only junior diplomats from their embassies in Russia. At least we offered, we are ready for dialogue in any formats and at any levels," he stressed.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:38| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


シリア憲法委員会の設置が決まる 国民対話会議

150-strong Syrian constitutional committee agreed to at Sochi congress
The Syrian National Dialogue Congress meeting in Sochi, Russia has agreed to create a committee that will work on a new constitution for Syria. The body is expected to operate under the auspices of the UN in Geneva.

"A Constitutional Committee is to be formed, comprising the government of the Syrian Arab republic delegation along with a wide-represented opposition delegation for drafting a constitutional reform,” UN special envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura said, addressing the Congress.

“In your final declaration today you’ve embraced 12 principles, developed in the Geneva political process, which describes a vision of Syria, that all Syrians should be able to share.”

The UN official said there were heated discussion during the Congress, but added it’s a completely normal occurrence during democratic negotiations. The new panel is perceived to be a valuable contribution to the Geneva process – “the political settlement under the auspices of the UN [and] in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254,” de Mistura underlined.

Moscow expects de Mistura and the UN to take practical steps to implement the decisions taken at the Sochi Congress, and to actively participate in the drafting of a new constitution for Syria, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters. “We are not trying to look into the future now. We’ve agreed today that the results of the Congress are presented to the UN in hope that they will stimulate the Geneva process,” Lavrov said.

“Staffan de Mistura has all the powers needed, given by the Resolution 2254. The support to these... De Mistura’s powers was shown during the Congress and he was asked to actively engage in work on the Constitution.”

The three countries, who brokered the Sochi Congress, Russia Iran and Turkey will fully support the UN and de Mistura in the implementation of its outcomes, Lavrov added.

The Constitution Commission will comprise 150 members and the full list will be forwarded to the UN following the settling of some minor issues, Russia's Special Presidential envoy to Syria Aleksandr Lavrentyev said. Some1,393 delegates took part in the Congress, according to the envoy, while over 1,500 invitations had been sent out beforehand.

The Constitutional Committee will also include delegates from those groups who did not attend the Sochi gathering for whatever reason, Lavrov said. “Obviously, no one expected that it’ll be possible to gather representatives of absolutely all groups of the Syrian nation – both loyal to the government, neutral and opposition. The fact that two-three groups could not participate should not be seen as a tragedy,” Russia's top diplomat stated.

Lavrov brushed off criticism “from Paris, Washington and several other capitals” that the Congress is not representative enough. He pointed out that unlike the recent Group of Five (France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UK and US) meeting in Paris, the Sochi platform was open to all to participate in and included “observers from all permanent UN Security Council members, all Syria’s neighbor states, from other Arab countries and Kazakhstan as a host country.”

Comparing the two processes, Lavrov argued that the plan proposed in Paris for a settlement in Syria was the result of “non-transparent activity that runs counter to the Geneva process” as it was drawn up by “five randomly chosen countries” which cast aside not only Damascus, but also key players like Russia, Turkey and Iran, who serve as guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire.

“The resolution of the crisis will happen urgently under United Nations auspices in Geneva, France has that as a immediate objective. It’s not happening in Sochi and it must happen in Geneva,” French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said ahead of the Congress.

Russia's most senior diplomat directly addressed Le Drian's attempt to juxtapose the goals of the meeting in Sochi against those of the Geneva process. Lavrov explained that the Congress, has in fact, “provided a very strong support to Geneva, to the UN role [in the Geneva process] on the bases of UN Security Council resolution 2254, which means that any steps should be mutually agreed [upon] by the government and the opposition.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:55| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


※ David Nakamura認証済みアカウント @DavidNakamura氏の2018/1/31のツイート
Scoop: The White House’s choice for U.S. ambassador to South Korea is no longer expected to be nominated after he privately expressed disagreement with the Trump administration’s North Korea policy, w/@agearan

Disagreement on North Korea policy derails White House choice for ambassador to South Korea
The White House’s original choice for U.S. ambassador to South Korea is no longer expected to be nominated after he privately expressed disagreement in late December with the Trump administration’s North Korea policy, according to people familiar with the matter.

Victor D. Cha, an academic who served in the George W. Bush administration, raised his concerns with National Security Council officials over their consideration of a limited strike on the North aimed at sending a message without sparking a wider war − a risky concept known as a “bloody nose” strategy.

Cha also objected to the administration’s threats to tear up a bilateral trade deal with Seoul that President Trump has called unfair to American companies. Last week, the administration imposed new tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar energy panels, a move criticized by the South Korean government.

The White House had spent months conducting a security and financial background check on Cha, and U.S. officials formally notified Seoul in December of Trump’s intent to send his nomination to the Senate. South Korean officials quickly signed off on Cha, a formal process in international affairs known as “Agrément.”

Newspapers in Seoul hailed his pending appointment in December, and South Korean diplomats in Washington were pressing the White House to formally nominate him to the Senate, hoping to have him in place in time for the Winter Olympics, which start Feb. 9 in PyeongChang.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 14:26| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


トルコ軍がアレッポの南まで軍隊を進め、シリア軍陣地を攻撃しました。何でアレッポの南まで進攻したのか? アフリンの次はマンビジのはずではなかつたのか? ロシア軍、シリア軍の戦闘機も飛んでいます。予想外の展開です。

Syrian Army Targets Turkish Military Column in Southern Aleppo
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at a convoy of Turkish military vehicles in Southern Aleppo, a Russian media outlet reported on Tuesday.

The Arabic-language website of RT reported that the artillery and missile units of the Syrian army targeted a Turkish army convoy by over 30 artillery shells and missiles near the town of al-Eis in Southern Aleppo.

In the meantime, media activists said that several Russian warplanes pounded the Turkish convoy that tried to go through the regions that are under the Syrian Army control near al-Eis and near the highway that connects Aleppo to Damascus.

They further said that two Turkish F-16 fighter jets flew over Kamari region where the Turkish military column was targeted by the Syrian artillery and missile units, adding that five Russian fighter jets were also flying over Abu al-Dhohour in Southeastern Idlib.

Also, dissident-affiliated sources reported that the Turkish warplanes flew over Aleppo airspace to provide back-up for the Turkish military column in Tal (hill) al-Eis and bombed a region in al-Hadher.

Local sources said that almost 100 military vehicles, including 15 tanks of the Turkish army together with military equipment of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) entered Syrian territories and tried to deploy behind Tal al-Eis that overlooks the Syrian Army's positions in al-Hadher region in Southern Aleppo.

Militant-affiliated websites said that the Turkish convoy launched attacks on Syrian Army positons after their deployment near Tal al-Eis.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last week stressed that Turkish offensive in Afrin was part of Ankara's strategy based on supporting terrorists.

"Turkey's brutal attack against the Syrian city of Afrin is inseparable from Turkey policy, that was pursued by the Turkish regime since the first day of the Syrian crisis and which is based for the most part on supporting terrorism and terrorist groups under different names," Assad was quoted as saying by the SANA.

Ankara has launched a new air and ground operation around the area of Afrin in Syria to oust the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

Ankara opened a new front in Syria’s nearly seven-year-old war, launching airstrikes against Kurdish fighters in Afrin in Aleppo province. According to reports, Turkish tanks are supporting the Free Syrian Army’s ground offensive on Kurdish positions in Syria’s Afrin region, as Operation "Olive Branch" has started.

The Syrian government has condemned the “brutal Turkish aggression” against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, rejecting Ankara’s claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.

The Damascus government had also made clear to Ankara that it considers Turkey’s military presence on its territory as a violation of its sovereignty, and warned that it will shoot down Turkish bombers in Syrian airspace.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 02:52| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


650 Kurdish Fighters Killed in Turkish Army Operation in Syria's Afrin
TEHRAN (FNA)- A sum of 650 Kurdish fighters have thus far been killed in Operation Olive Branch in Afrin region in Northwestern Syria, the General Staff of the Turkish Army announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said that the Turkish Air Force conducted heavy raids on three military centers of the Kurds, including arms depots and positions.

The statement further said that total casualties of the Kurdish fighters now stand at 650 after they lost 33 gunmen in last night attacks.

'Double standards': Kurds slam US for not fighting 'Turkish occupation' of Afrin (VIDEO)
As Kurdish fighters look to the US to help in the fight against Turkish troops in Manbij, some are accusing Washington of double standards after it did nothing to protect Afrin from “Turkish occupation.”

“With the coalition, especially the US forces, we saw some double standards,” a Kurdish military officer by the name of Khalil told RT’s Ruptly agency. “What we demand from the US, in particular, is to fulfil the promises to the [US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces] – that is to protect the liberated areas, including Afrin, which, as we can see, has been fighting heroically and fiercely for seven days against Turkish occupation...”

The US did not step in when Turkey launched its ‘Operation Olive Branch’ in Afrin, which Ankara says is aimed at battling terrorists in the region. Instead, President Donald Trump “relayed concerns that escalating violence [in Afrin] risks undercutting [sic] our shared goals in Syria,” a White House spokesperson said. “He urged Turkey to exercise caution and to avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Manbij will be the next target of the operation, with the leader vowing to “cleanse” the city of “terrorists.” All eyes are currently on the US to see whether troops will become involved there, despite having done nothing in Afrin.

Up to 2,000 American soldiers are stationed in Manbij, after being deployed there in March to prevent Turkish and US-backed rebels from fighting each other. They have also carried out training and advising missions in the city.

The US-led coalition worked together with Kurdish fighters to liberate Manbij from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Because of this, Manbij Military Council Spokesperson Sharvan Darwish expressed hope and optimism that the US won’t back away from the city now.

“[The US-led coalition] have been supervising the training and development of the Manbij Military Council until now. The level of coordination is going on normally, and it is even better now, to be honest. There are continuous patrols either on the frontline or in the air. There is nothing until now that suggests they will draw back this coordination or work...” Darwish said.

Turkey launched ‘Operation Olive Branch’ on January 20. Ankara intends to make Manbij its next stop before continuing further east towards the Iraqi border.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:45| Comment(0) | 国際・政治




Congress of National Dialogue on Syria Crisis Kicks off in Russia's Sochi
TEHRAN (FNA)- A new round of peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition to solve the country's crisis officially kicked off in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday.

The Congress of National Dialogue on Syria crisis kicked off in Sochi on Tuesday, SANA reported, adding that almost 1500 persons representing spectrums of the Syrian society and people from foreign oppositions have participated in the event.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the sideline of the congress opening that the Syrian people are the only ones who have the right to self-determination.

He added that Syria, backed by Russian Air Force, managed to destroy the terrorists, emphasizing that now there are all appropriate conditions for ending the crisis

The Russian Diplomat stressed that the Sochi Congress is a unique event since it represents different segments of Syrian society.

Reports said on Monday that United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will be attending the Congress of National Dialog along with some 1,600 people representing a wide range of Syria's political forces.

However, Saudi-backed opposition group, the Syrian Negotiation Commission, has boycotted the talks.

Moscow said on Monday the absence of some representatives of the Syrian opposition will not be a serious setback for the conference.

"The fact that some representatives of the processes currently ongoing in Syria are not participating is unlikely to stop this congress from going ahead and can not seriously sabotage it," Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

Ankara has opposed the contribution of the Syrian Kurds to the initiative since it was launched last year.

Turkey says the Kurdish militants, who enjoy support from US and other Western governments, are an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has led a decades-long insurgency against the Turks.

The talks in Sochi on Monday and Tuesday are sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Russia, Iran and Turkey hope the talks could compensate for the lack of progress in UN-brokered talks to end Syria's seven-year war.

The three countries have coordinated the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria - a separate initiative which many say has helped drastically reduce fighting in the Arab country.

On January 26, the ninth round of UN-brokered indirect peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups was held in the Austrian capital city of Vienna.

The UN talks have so far failed to achieve any concrete results, mainly due to the opposition’s insistence that the Syrian government cede power.

Syria’s main Kurdish militant group has announced that it will boycott upcoming peace talks in Russia over a military incursion by Turkey into territories held by Kurds in northern Syria.

Fawza al-Yussef, an official in Syria's Kurdish region, said delegates from the enclave will not attend talks in Sochi next week only due to Turkey’s offensive against Afrin, a Kurdish city in the Syrian province of Aleppo.

“We said before that if the situation remained the same in Afrin we could not attend Sochi,” said Yussef, adding that the operation in Afrin “contradicts the principle of political dialogue.”

Paving way for Syrian peace: Sochi hosts National Dialogue Congress, hoped to boost Geneva talks
Sochi is hosting a forum on Syria’s future, bringing together representatives of the country’s various social strata. The Congress is expected to boost the peace process and kick-start efforts to draft a new constitution.

The Syrian National Dialogue Congress is to start in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Monday. The event is expected to last for two days, the main negotiations taking place on Tuesday.

The Congress is sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran, the leaders of the three countries having agreed to the all-Syrian Congress in November. The main goal of the meeting is to gather “delegates from various political parties, internal and external opposition, ethnic and confessional groups at the negotiating table,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the time.

Over 1,500 delegates, representing various groups of Syrian society, have been invited to participate in the talks. The aim is to lay the foundation for a peaceful future for the war-torn country; the delegates are expected to begin work on a new constitution and discuss reconciliation in Syria.

It will be a landmark event, the first to give voice to so many different groups from Syrian society, including the government and the opposition. While instant reconciliation is unlikely the Congress will get the ball rolling, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

“The work that is going on is extremely complex and thorny. But holding the congress itself is a significant step towards a political solution,” Peskov stated. “One should not expect that the political reconciliation will be achieved in Sochi.”
Sochi Congress to revitalize Geneva talks

The Congress in Sochi is not designed to replace, but rather to boost the Syrian peace process, namely the UN-sponsored Geneva talks, which have stalled for years, largely due to the insistence of some Syrian opposition representatives upon unrealistic preconditions before engaging in talks with the country’s government.

“We believe... that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi will be able to create conditions for staging fruitful Geneva talks, taking into consideration that the part of the Syrian opposition that constantly makes preconditions, including for regime change, will be talked into sense by those who control it,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier in January.

Partial opposition boycott & UN approval

The Saudi Arabia-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), an umbrella body created back in 2016 to represent some of the Syrian rebel groups at the Geneva talks, has decided to boycott the Congress, just days before its launch. The group claimed it was supporting “credible political transition” in the Geneva format instead.

The HNC, however, has not demonstrated unity in boycotting the Sochi congress as part of the group, namely the so-called Moscow and Cairo opposition platforms, voted to attend the event and are expected to take part.

The decision to boycott was allegedly supported by 24 members of HNC, while 26 votes were needed for a decisive result, the leader of the Moscow platform, Qadri Jamil, told TASS on Saturday. The participation of some HNC members is therefore possible and would not violate the decision, according to Jamil, although they will not represent the group as a whole.

While the decision of the HNC is unlikely to harm the Congress, it definitely harmed the opposition body itself, which will now miss the chance to be heard at a large international meeting, a source in Russia’s Foreign Ministry told TASS on Saturday.

“No, it won’t affect [the Congress]. We’ve invited everyone eager to participate, who doesn’t want to does not participate. The Congress will be held without them, unfortunately, and that’s all,” the diplomatic source said.

Despite the claims of parts of the Syrian opposition that the Sochi Congress would somehow jeopardize the international peace process, it was embraced by the main sponsor of the Geneva talks – the UN. The Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will take part in the Congress after accepting Moscow’s invitation days before the event.

“The Secretary-General is confident that the Congress in Sochi will be an important contribution to a revived intra-Syrian talks process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva, based on the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué (2012) and Security Council resolution 2254 (2015),” spokesman for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement on Friday.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:28| Comment(0) | 国際・政治


ラブロフが米国の敵? 米国の外交が敵わないことを認めるのは良いことだと思うが恥ずかしくないのだろうか

Putin on US Treasury ‘Kremlin List’: ‘Dogs bark but the caravan moves on’
Russian President Vladimir Putin has weighed in on the US Treasury’s recently released ‘Kremlin List,’ saying the action borders on “stupidity” because it shows inconsistency in Washington’s policies.
“The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on,” Putin said on Tuesday, several hours after the report featuring the entire Russian government and scores of prominent Russian business people was issued.
The list of 210 people fails to mention the Russian leader – much to his 'distress'.
“It’s a pity,” Putin said sarcastically in answer to a journalist's question on how he feels about his absence.
However, the move is “certainly unfriendly” as it damages already deteriorating Russian-US relations, Putin added.
“What do they want? They must decide for themselves,” Putin said, referring to Washington’s policy.
Russia is eager to build long-term relations which are “stable and based on international law,” the Russian leader added.
In a tougher comment, Putin slammed Washington for inconsistency and “stupidity.” The Russian president noted that the US equates Moscow with Tehran and Pyongyang, while at the same time calling on Russia to help solve the North Korean crisis and mediate on issues involving Iran.
On Tuesday, the US Treasury published a list featuring the entire Russian government among some 114 other top officials, as well as 96 prominent businessmen. The document claims it is in no way “a sanctions list,” despite being part of a sanctions law that targeted Moscow as well as Tehran and Pyongyang.

Russian PM Medvedev, FM Lavrov & other top figures included in US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List’
The entire Russian government is included in the US Treasury’s ‘Kremlin List,’ which also features scores of influential businessmen. Moscow slammed the report, saying it virtually amounts to a breakdown of ties.

The document is part of a sanctions law signed by Trump in August, which targeted Russia in retaliation for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election – a claim which still lacks any evidence.

The first part lists a total of 114 Russian political figures, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, head of the Presidential Administration Anton Vaino, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, as well as all Russian ministers, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior officials.

Apart from Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his deputies, the ‘Kremlin List’ features other top security officials, including head of Russian Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Bortnikov.

It also names Dmitriy Kochnev, the head of the FSO – an agency tasked with protecting high-ranking state officials.

Viktor Zolotov, the head of the National Guard Service (Rosgvardiya), is also among the “big guns” mentioned by the US Treasury.

The Russian business world also has its fair share, with 96 businessmen, including the heads of the biggest banks – such as Sberbank and VTB – making the list. The heads of state gas company Gazprom and state oil company Rosneft, as well as the heads of major transport companies such as Russian Railways and Aeroflot are on the list.

The list also includes Russian tycoons Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich. Uzbek-born billionaire Usmanov is among the world’s 100 richest people, with a net worth of more than $15 billion. He made his fortune through metal and mining operations, and also has shares in media companies and Arsenal Football Club.

Abramovich is arguably the most famous football-club owner from Russia, having purchased Chelsea FC in 2003 and invested millions signing superstar players for the team. Apart from his investment in sports, he also owns stakes in steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel.

According to the report, people featured in the list were selected on the basis of “individuals’ official position in the case of senior political figures, or a net worth of $1 billion or more for oligarchs.”

Despite being a part of the sanctions law, the document notes that “it is not a sanctions list, and the inclusion of individuals or entities in this report… does not and in no way should be interpreted to impose sanctions on those individuals or entities.”

The report adds that it “does not create any other restrictions, prohibitions or limitations on dealing with such persons by either U.S. or foreign persons.”
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:47| Comment(0) | 国際・政治