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American Resistance To Empire

US Demands That Young bin Salman Accept Israeli Sovereignty Before Allowing Saudi Palace Coup

[“We, the Saudi family are cousins of the Jews.”]

US demands bin Salman shows obedience

to Israel before becoming Saudi King

 

The US is demanding that newly anointed Saudi Crown Prince must show absolute obedience to the Israeli regime for Washington to help him ascend to power as the king, a dissident Saudi prince has revealed.

 

Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud, who lives in Germany, has revealed what he says are the US conditions for helping Mohamed Bin Salman to become King of Saudi Arabia before his father’s death.

Writing on Twitter, Khalid said he obtained the information from an informed source within Saudi Arabia’s ruling family.

The alleged conditions include “absolute obedience to the US and Israel and carrying out whatever they ask him to do.” Three other conditions, claimed Khalid, are stated in return for helping Bin Salman take the throne before the death of his father: “Working to settle all Gaza residents in north Sinai as an alternative homeland and Saudi Arabia along with the UAE will afford the needed funds; getting rid of Hamas and whoever supports it; and getting Sanafir Island from Egypt.”

Bin Farhan said that the last condition would make the Gulf of Aqaba international waters instead of Egyptian territorial waters, which would facilitate Israeli regime’s shipping to and from the port of Eilat. It would also help the Israeli regime to carry out a project planned to operate in parallel to the Suez Canal. A retainer of around $500 million is also involved, he claimed.

The prince said that this issue split the ruling family even before the death of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz in 2015, as a wave of royal decrees ousted several officials from within the royal family and others.

Israeli regime upbeat about bin Salman

The assertions by the dissident Saudi prince came after Israeli regime’s espionage minister called on Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Riyadh to establish full diplomatic relations. Speaking at the Herzliya conference on Thursday, Israeli regime’s espionage minister Yisrael Katz asked King Salman to invite Netanyahu to Riyadh and to send newly appointed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Tel Aviv in return.

.Israeli regime’s war minister Avigdor Lieberman, also called for “full diplomatic and economic relations” with Saudis at the conference

Israeli regime’s communications Minister Ayoub Kara also on Wednesday pointed to Saudi Arabia’s naming of Mohammed Bin Salman as its new crown prince, saying he hoped the change would accelerate the kingdom’s rapprochement with the Tel Aviv regime.

“Salman’s appointment means more economic cooperation in the Middle East (West Asia), and not just regarding oil,” Kara said in a statement.

The Israeli regime has also been supportive of the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar Arabia. Tel Aviv has repeatedly called on Doha not to give asylum to key Palestinian resistance figures, including Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Azmi Bishara.

During a tour of the West Asia region last month, US President Donald Trump flew directly from Riyadh to Tel Aviv in a flight dubbed a “historic moment” in what was seen as a step towards bringing Israelis and Saudis closer.

Bin Salman backs ties with Israeli regime

Sources in Riyadh state that, Crown Prince Mohammed strongly believes Saudi Arabia should have a normal relationship with Israeli regime in the future. Analysts believe this unholy alliance is meant to, among other things, counter the Islamic Republic of Iran and the axis of resistance in the West Asia region.

Saudi Arabia, whose rulers brand themselves as custodians of the two holy Islamic sites in Mecca and Medina, is rushing to move from covert to open ties with the Israeli regime unmindful of its unprecedented war crimes, genocide, atrocities against Palestinians and occupation of Palestinian territories especially the third holiest Islamic site, the al-Aqsa Mosque.

US SEC/DEF Boasts That Syria Obeyed Trump’s Warning, Since Gas Attack Never Happened

U.S. says its warning appears to have

averted Syrian chemical attack

 

 

By Phil Stewart and David Dolan | BRUSSELS/ISTANBUL

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad appeared so far to have heeded a warning this week from Washington not to carry out a chemical weapons attack.

Russia, the Syrian government’s main backer in the country’s civil war, warned that it would respond proportionately if the United States took pre-emptive measures against Syrian forces to stop what the White House says could be a planned chemical attack.

The White House said on Monday it appeared the Syrian military was preparing to conduct a chemical weapons attack and said that Assad and his forces would “pay a heavy price” if it did so.

The warning was based on intelligence that indicated preparations for such a strike were under way at Syria’s Shayrat airfield, U.S. officials said.

“It appears that they took the warning seriously,” Mattis said. “They didn’t do it,” he told reporters flying with him to Brussels for a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

He offered no evidence other than the fact that an attack had not taken place.

Asked whether he believed Assad’s forces had called off any such strike completely, Mattis said: “I think you better ask Assad about that.”

Washington accused Syrian forces of using the Shayrat airfield for a chemical weapons attack in April. Syria denies this.

The intelligence that prompted the administration’s warning to Syria this week was “far from conclusive,” said a U.S. official familiar with it. “It did not come close to saying that a chemical weapons attack was coming,” the official said.

The intelligence consisted of a Syrian warplane being observed moving into a hangar at the Shayrat airbase, where U.S. and allied intelligence agencies suspect the Assad government is hiding chemical weapons, said a second U.S. official.

Mattis said Syria’s chemical weapons threat was larger than any single location. “I think that Assad’s chemical program goes far beyond one airfield,” he said.

U.S. and allied intelligence officers had for some time identified several sites where they suspected Assad’s government may have been hiding newly made chemical weapons from inspectors, another U.S. official familiar with the intelligence said.

The United States launched cruise missile strikes on Shayrat in April in response to the deaths of 87 people in what Washington said was a poison gas attack in rebel-held territory.

The Syrian government did not comment on the White House warning, although state-run al-Ikhbariya television station said the allegations were fabricated.

RUSSIA WARNING

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow will respond if the United States takes measures against Syrian government forces.

“We will react with dignity, in proportion to the real situation that may take place,” he said at a news conference in the city of Krasnodar.

Lavrov said he hoped the United States was not preparing to use its intelligence assessments about the Syrian government’s intentions as a pretext to mount a “provocation” in Syria.

Russian officials have described the war in Syria as the biggest source of tension between Moscow and Washington and say the April cruise missile strike ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump raised the risk of confrontation between them.

In Washington, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, credited Trump with saving Syrian lives.

“Due to the president’s actions, we did not see an incident,” Haley told U.S. lawmakers. “I would like to think that the president saved many innocent men, women and children.”

Although the number of people killed in suspected chemical attacks is a small portion of the total dead in Syria’s civil war, estimated at close to half a million, footage of victims writhing in agony has caused particular revulsion.

On the Syrian battlefields, Turkish artillery bombarded and destroyed Kurdish YPG militia targets after the group’s fighters opened fire on Turkish-backed forces in northern Syria.

The United States supports the YPG in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, while NATO ally Turkey regards them as terrorists indistinguishable from Kurdish militants carrying out an insurgency in southeast Turkey.

The Turkish army said YPG machinegun fire on Tuesday evening targeted Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army rebels south of the town of Azaz. Artillery struck back in retaliation, a Turkish military statement said.

The boom of artillery fire could be heard overnight from the Turkish border town of Kilis, broadcaster Haberturk said.

Ankara was angered by a U.S. decision in June to arm the YPG in the battle for Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa.

(Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun, Tulay Karadeniz and Omer Berberoglu in Turkey, Sabine Siebold in Krasnodar, Russia and John Walcott in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Dan Grebler, Grant McCool)

 

Afghan Air Force mysteriously drops weapons supply to ISIS-Khorasan 2 days ahead of blasts in Pakistan: Russia

[Russia Reports More Incidents of Outside Helicopters Rescuing Besieged TalibanNighttime Helicopters spotted landing in Taliban areas, Once Again]

 

 Afghan Air Force mysteriously drops

weapons supply to ISIS-Khorasan 2 days

ahead of blasts in Pakistan: Russia

 

 

 

Afghan Air Force mysteriously drops weapons supply to ISIS-Khorasan 2 days ahead of blasts in Pakistan: Russia

Afghan air force has mysteriously dropped supplies at an area recently taken by ISIS in the north of Afghanistan, Russian media has reported.

The mysterious supply that was surely aimed at bolstering the militant group sporadically targeting Pakistan was confirmed by the locals in Afghanistan to Voice of America Dari Afghan (VOA Dari).

Moreover, the popular perception regarding the role of Afghanistan in carrying out subversive activities across Pakistan becomes closer to reality as the suicide bomber that ripped himself in Quetta was identified as Abu Usman Khurasani – an Afghan national.

It is not just Pakistan raising questions about why the militant outfit ISIS-K was being aided by Afghanistan but Russian foreign ministry was also baffled at the airdrops and it took notice of the activity.

READ MORE:   How China-Afghanistan military ties secure Pakistan from NDS – RAW nexus

A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova confirmed that Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials were inquired to provide a “rational explanation” about reports of unidentified helicopters providing support to ISIS-K militants in Afghanistan.

“We’ve taken note of new reports about unmarked helicopters ferrying the fighters of ISIS Afghan branch, as well as weapons and munitions for them, in eastern Afghanistan,” said Maria Zakharova during a press briefing on Wednesday.

“Some reports say that shortly before this, unmarked helicopters delivered over 50 armed extremists to reinforce the fighters who were preparing an offensive on Tora Bora, as well as a container full of weapons and munitions,” she added blowing the lid off ostensible Afghan efforts to wipe out terrorism.

READ MORE:   Terrorist from Afghanistan arrested from Capital Islamabad
Russian Foreign Ministry's (June 22, 2017) statement, on how US provided critical supplies to ISIS-K in Afghanistan
Russian Foreign Ministry’s (June 22, 2017) statement, on how US provided critical supplies to ISIS-K in Afghanistan

It must be mentioned that most of the leadership of Tehreek-e-Taliban was enrolling itself in ISIS-K to strengthen it against their former outfit and to destabilise Pakistan, currently revamping its economy through the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, that is hurting Pakistan’s arch-rival, India.

A recent spate of suicide bombings in Pakistan and role of Afghan-supported ISIS-K becomes more suspicious as commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan Gen John Nicholson Jr divulged in February that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakis­tan served as the core fighting group for the militant Islamic State (IS) group as TTP militants in Orakzai tribal agency joined the relatively new terrorist group.

READ MORE:   US is not winning war in Afghanistan: Defence Secretary Jim Mattis

The general, who leads over 13,000 international troops, 8,400 of them American, briefed American lawmakers on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and told that the IS, which in Afghanistan was called the Islam State Khorasan Province, comprised fighters mainly from existing militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Primarily, their membership had come from the TTP, which was a Pakistan-based opponent of the Pakistani state, he said.

Pakistani Forces ‘Providing Weapons’ To Taliban In Border Regions

Police officials in Paktia province say Pakistani military forces help the Taliban ‘in fight against Afghan security and defense forces’.

 

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A police commander in Paktia province, in Afghanistan’s east, on Tuesday said Pakistani military forces ‘are supplying heavy weapons to Taliban fighters in areas along the Durand Line – the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan – in order to attack Afghan security forces’. 

The militants are stationed in parts of Dand-e-Patan district, said Gen. Abdulwase, commander of 203 Thunder Army Corps in the district.

“How do they (the Taliban) find weapon in the Zero Point (of the Durand Line), how are they equipped, how do they find personnel and where are they supported from? Pakistan is simply deceiving the world. But the world knows that Pakistani government is providing all these facilities to the Taliban,” he said.

He said the security forces will clear the district of Taliban and will cut off the supply lines of the militants, he said.

Wase said that so far over 110 Taliban fighters have been eliminated during the battles with the security forces.

“At least 115 enemy fighters were killed and 70 others wounded. They attacked us twelve times in past few days but we repelled all their attacks,” he added.

According to him, the Pakistan government does not want the supply line to be cut off.

The security forces launched a military operation in Dand-e-Pathan district one month ago, killing more than 150 Taliban militants.

Afghan forces have claimed that they had inflicted heavy toll to the Taliban in the district.

The security forces said Taliban militants attack the Afghan security forces across the Durand Line, an allegation the Taliban termed as baseless.

Freighter Was On Autopilot When It Hit U.S. Destroyer, Destroyer Slowed Down

 

[U.S. warship stayed on deadly collision course despite warning]

source

 

Freighter Was On Autopilot When It Hit

U.S. Destroyer

USS Fitzgerald did not detect container ship

U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald arrives at its mother port US Naval Yokosuka Base, Kanagawa

U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald arrives at its mother port US Naval Yokosuka Base, Kanagawa / Getty Images

BY:

The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials.

The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation.

Investigators so far found no evidence the collision was deliberate.

Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship’s computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

A more likely explanation is that collision was the result of an autopilot malfunction, or the autopilot’s warning signals, used to notify the ship’s operators, were missed.

The destroyer was severely damaged when the protruding undersea bow of the cargo ship struck Fitzgerald on the right side. Seven sailors died as a result and the captain and two others were injured. It was the Navy’s worst accident at sea.

The two ships hit about 64 miles off the coast of Japan.

The collision occurred at around 1:30 a.m. local time but was not reported by the freighter’s crew until around 2:25 a.m. Investigators believe the time lag was the result of the crew not realizing they had hit another ship.

Commercial ship autopilot systems normally require someone to input manually the course for the ship travel. The computer program then steers the ship by controlling the steering gear to turn the rudder.

The system also can be synchronized with an electronic chart system to allow the program to follow courses of a voyage plan.

Tracking data broadcast from the Crystal as part of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) shows the ship changed course by 90 degrees to the right and slightly reduced its speed between around 1:32 a.m. and 1:34 a.m. After that time, the data shows the ship turned to the left and resumed a northeastern coarse along its original track line.

Private naval analyst Steffan Watkins said the course data indicates the ship was running on autopilot. “The ACX Crystal  powered out of the deviation it performed at 1:30, which was likely the impact with the USS Fitzgerald, pushing it off course while trying to free itself from being hung on the bow below the waterline,” Watkins told the Free Beacon.

The ship then continued to sail on for another 15 minutes, increasing speed before eventually reducing speed and turning around. “This shows the autopilot was engaged because nobody would power out of an accident with another ship and keep sailing back on course. It’s unthinkable,” he added.

Watkins said the fact that the merchant ship hit something and did not radio the coast guard for almost 30 minutes also indicates no one was on the bridge at the time of the collision.

By 2:00 a.m., the freighter had turned around and headed back to the earlier position, according to the tracking data.

The officials said the Crystal eventually came upon the stricken Fitzgerald.

The Fitzgerald’s AIS data was not available so its track was not reported publicly.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson traveled to Japan to oversee the transfer of the fallen sailors.

“There are multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations underway to determine the facts of the collision,” Richardson said in a statement. “Our goal is to learn all we can to prevent future accidents from occurring. This process will unfold as quickly as possible, but it’s important to get this right.”

According to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, initial reports on the incident indicate no crew member was manning the controls in the pilot house of the Crystal when it hit the Fitzgerald.

After impact, the freighter’s was not immediately aware that it had collided with anything and continued sailing. The ship’s crew then realized it had been in a collision and sailed back to try to determine what had happened.

Transport safety authorities and coast guard investigators in Japan on Thursday announced the data recorder from the Crystal had been secured, the Associated Press reported. The freighter is currently docked in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo.

The Navy and Coast Guard are investigating the incident. The Fitzgerald is currently at its home port of Yokosuka naval base. The investigation is expected to be completed in several months.

For the Navy, investigators are trying to determine why the ship’s radar and other sensors did not detect the Crystal in time to take steps to avoid the collision.

The Fitzgerald is equipped with the AN/SPS-64 advanced military navigation radar, and also uses a commercial radar system to enhance the shipping traffic picture of ships in its vicinity.

Navy ships operate radar systems to detect approaching ships or submarines. Lookouts posted on the bridge are responsible for detecting ships that pose a risk of collision.

Additionally, all commercial ships over 300 tons are required under international rules to operate AIS location data. AIS information from Crystal should have been monitored by sailors on the bridge of the Fitzgerald.

The sailors aboard the 505-foot-long Fitzgerald waged what officials said was a heroic battle about the ship to seal off flooding after the collision.

“We were struck by the stories of heroism and sacrifice—by both the sailors on board and their families back home—as they fought the damage to their ship and brought her back to Yokosuka,” Richardson said.

The ship was not in danger of sinking but was listing to one side and was able to remain under its own power.

The bodies of the seven dead sailors were found in sealed off areas of the ship on Sunday after it reached port.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet told reporters the Fitzgerald suffered extensive flooding and damage caused by a large puncture below the waterline on the starboard side underneath the pilot house.

The ship’s commander, Cmdr. Bryce Benson was airlifted by Japanese coast guard helicopter. Two other injured sailors also were evacuated. All appear to have injuries that are not life threatening.

The officials said Benson was in his stateroom at the time of the collision.

The Fitzgerald was commissioned in 1995 and has a crew of some 300 crew members. It has a top speed of 30 knots and is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, SM-1 anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles, as well as machine guns and torpedoes.

The Crystal was built in South Korea, is 730 feet long and capable of carrying up to 2,858 shipping containers.

The Crystal is classified as a mid-size container ship part of the Asia Container Express or ACX, an Asian container shipping trade subsidiary of NYK Line, a global shipping division of Japan’s Mitsubishi.

‘An attack on free thought’–Middle East Eye responds to Saudi demands

‘An attack on free thought’: Middle East

Eye responds to Saudi demands

 

 

David Hearst/Editor-in-Chief, Middle East Eye

*Middle East Eye is independent of any government or movement and is not funded by Qatar
*MEE covers the area without fear or favour

*Saudi-led demands for media to close are designed to strangle independent views

*Gargash is frightened of a free press

A Saudi coalition of states has placed 13 demands on Qatar to lift their blockade, including the closure of Al Jazeera and what it states are publications and websites “directly or indirectly supported by Qatar”.

The list from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt also calls for Qatar to cut all ties with Iran, pay compensation to the petitioning states for “victims and losses” due to Qatari foreign policy and a 10-year “mechanism” to ensure Qatar sticks to the deal.
The media organisations the petition claims are “supported” by Qatar include Arabi21, al-Araby al-Jadeed, Sharq and the London-based Middle East Eye.
Qatar has 10 days to accept the demands, it said.
David Hearst, Middle East Eye’s editor-in-chief, said his organisation is not funded by Qatar – or any other state or group – and is here to stay.
“Middle East Eye is independent of any government or movement and is not funded by Qatar,” he said.
“Maybe the fate of Al Jazeera will depend on talks between the government of Qatar and its neighbours. But Middle East Eye is here to stay.
“MEE covers the area without fear or favour, and we have carried reports critical of the Qatari authorities, for instance how workers from the subcontinent are treated on building projects for the 2022 World Cup.”
On Thursday, the UAE’s foreign minister Anwar Gargash accused Al Jazeera of being a “news broadcast for the Muslim Brotherhood”.
“It is a mouthpiece for extremism. It has whitewashed personalities that have become symbols for terrorism.”
Hearst said these claims, and the petition’s demands for other media to close, were designed to strangle independent views.
“Obviously this is an attack on anyone in the Middle East who dares to offer an independent opinion,” he said.
“Mr Gargash is frightened of something we in Britain call a free press. The only media he knows is one whose editorial line he can dictate and whose journalists he can buy. I have news for him. That world is disappearing.”

Russia blasts U.S. “threat” over possible Syria chemical attack

Russia blasts U.S. “threat” over possible

Syria chemical attack

 

 

 

In an image provided by the U.S. Air Force, an F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Aug. 12, 2015, as the U.S. launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against ISIS targets in Syria.

AP/Handout

MOSCOW — A senior Russian lawmaker on Tuesday dismissed the United States’ warning about a potential chemical weapons attack in Syria as an “unprecedented provocation,” and the Kremlin called the accusations against Syria’s government “unacceptable.”

In a stern warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad Monday night, the White House claimed “potential” evidence that Syria was preparing for another chemical weapons attack.

Assad has denied responsibility for the April 4 attack in the rebel-held Idlib province that killed dozens of people, and Russia, Assad’s key backer, sided with him.

Days later, President Trump launched a cruise missile strike on a Syrian government-controlled air base from which U.S. officials said the Syrian military had launched the chemical attack.

Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, on Tuesday accused the United States of “preparing a new attack on the positions of Syrian forces.” In comments to state-owned RIA Novosti, he added: “Preparations for a new cynical and unprecedented provocation are underway.”

Speaking later in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Mocow considers “such threats against the Syrian leadership to be unacceptable.”

British Foreign Minister Michael Fallon, however, told the BBC on Tuesday that the U.K. government would support any U.S. military action in case of a Syria chemical attack.

“As always in war, the military action you use must be justified, it must be legal, it must proportionate, it must be necessary. In the last case it was,” Fallon said.

“If the Americans take similar action again, I want to be very clear — we will support it.”

In an ominous statement issued with no supporting evidence or further explanation, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the U.S. had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”

He said the activities observed were similar to preparations taken before April 2017 chemical attack  that killed dozens of men, women and children, and warned that if “Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

The strike ordered by Mr. Trump on the Syrian airbase in retaliation for that attack was the first direct American assault on Syrian forces, and Mr. Trump’s most dramatic military order since becoming president just several months earlier.

Mr. Trump said at the time that the chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun had crossed “many, many lines,” and put the blame squarely on Assad’s forces.

Syria reiterated its insistence that it had never used chemical weapons, and blamed opposition fighters for stockpiling the chemicals. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the toxic agents were released when a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal and munitions factory.

Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of the conflict, with the U.N. blaming three attacks on the Syrian government and a fourth on the Islamic State group.

Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, added Monday on Twitter: “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.”

The U.N. Security Council is meeting on Tuesday morning on Syria, expected to be briefed by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura on political developments, CBS News’ Pamela Falk reports, and Council members will consider new information on chemical weapons attacks, during consultations following the meeting, diplomats said.

 

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