Dr. Kevin Barrett Outwits the Nitwits At Fox

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Spoken Like A True Zionist Stooge: Hamas Official Advocates Syrian “Jihad” Before Jihad In Palestine

Hamas: Stopping Assad priority over ‘jihad in Palestine’

JPost

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

Abdel Aziz Dweik says Syrian regime is a “stab in the heart,” removal of Assad would boost Palestinian cause.

Hamas official Aziz Dweik [file photo]

Hamas official Aziz Dweik [file photo] Photo: REUTERS/Fadi Arouri

 

A senior Hamas official in the West Bank is facing sharp criticism for stating that toppling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is more urgent than “jihad in Palestine.”

Abdel Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council, told the Arabic newspaper Echorouk that the PLC fully supported the Syrian opposition in its efforts to “stop the bloodshed, which is a priority over anything else, including Jihad in Palestine.” Keeping Assad’s regime in power, he continued, was tantamount to “a stab in the heart and chest,” arguing that removing the Syrian dictatorship would pave the way for boosting the Palestinian cause.

Dweik, who is Hamas’s top political representative in the West Bank, said that although the Palestinian issue remains at the top of the agenda of Muslim scholars, halting the bloodshed in Syria has become a top and urgent priority for Muslims.

Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf condemned Dweik’s statements as “extremely dangerous and harmful to the national interests of the Palestinian people.”

Assaf said that involving the Palestinians in the Syrian conflict and other internal Arab disputes would cause severe damage to the Palestinians’ “national project.”

Dweik’s statements do not represent the Palestinians, he added.

All personnel withdrawn from Russian navy base in Syria

All personnel withdrawn from Russian navy base in Syria – diplomat

Russia-Today
Russia's nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky navy sailors attend a greeting ceremony for the Russian official delegation at Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus. (RIA Novosti)

Russia’s nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky navy sailors attend a greeting ceremony for the Russian official delegation at Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartus. (RIA Novosti)

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister says all personnel had been evacuated from the navy resupply base in Tartus, Syria, adding that not a single Russian military serviceman remained in the country.

Mikhail Bogdanov made the announcement in an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper. “Presently, the Russian Defense Ministry has not a single person stationed in Syria. The base does not have any strategic military importance,” the newspaper quoted the Russian official as saying.

Russian media have verified the statement and the business daily Vedomosti quoted an unnamed source in the Defense Ministry as saying that this was true as all military and civilian personnel had been evacuated from the Tartus base and there were no Russian military instructors working with the Syrian military forces. The source added that the withdrawal was prompted not only by the increased risks caused by the ongoing military conflict, but also by the fact that in the current conditions any incident involving Russian servicemen would likely have some unfavorable reaction from the international community.

Russia currently has a 16-ship flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea but none of them has called at the port of Tartus in recent months and there were no reports of such plans.

Mikhail Bogdanov is also Russian President’s plenipotentiary for Middle East issues and he headed the Russian delegation at this week’s talks between Russia, US and UN on preparations of the major international conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2.

Following the Tuesday round of talks another Russian diplomat – Deputy Foreign Minister Gennadiy Gatilov – told reporters that the sides failed to agree on a number of questions and the terms of the future conference were not yet agreed. In particular, the participants of the talks varied on Iran’s possible role in the future conference.

Moscow supports Tehran’s participation in talks as it would make a positive contribution to the possible political settlement in Syria, the Russian official noted.

Besides, the participation of some of the Syrian opposition groups remains under question though the US side said they were working on this, Gatilov added.

The Russian diplomat said that the supplies of weapons to the Syrian opposition were not discussed at Tuesday’s talks, though he noted that this issue “was not creating positive political environment for the start of the political process.”

Gatilov said that Russia still hoped the plan to call the international conference would end in success. In particular, the issue will be discussed at the forthcoming meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry, due soon within the framework of the ASEAN conference in Brunei.

Who Attacked CIA HQ At the Arianna Hotel In Kabul?

[This latest Kabul attack follows on the heels of last week’s bombing murder attempt (June 18) of prominent ethnic Hazara lawmaker Mohammed Mohaqiq, a member of the Northern Alliance.  It seems as though the Taliban, or whoever has been attacking Kabul are building-up to something real big, perhaps a massive attack upon the Afghan Parliament much like the 2001 ISI-sponsored terror assault upon the Indian Parliament.  Afghan security did recently warn of such an attack upon Parliament to take place the first week of July (SEE:  Afghan Intelligence Warns of Impending Attack By Pakistani Militants/Military On Parliament).  There have been too many evidence trails leading back to Rawalpindi to continue to ignore.  Rule #1 in this war, is that all forensic trails which seem to lead back to Pakistan’s ISI usually lead to Washington, or to Langley, Virginia, except when the target is a CIA installation, as this case seems to be.  The Arianna Hotel has been Afghan CIA HQ since Enduring Freedom ended.  So, this is either another spat between Washington and Islamabad, or an unknown, outside force has just telegraphed a deadly warning to that CIA outpost.  Time will probably NOT clarify this situation, since more evidence on this one attack will not be likely to be forthcoming.]

“The firefight took place in Ariana square, about 500 meters (yards) and several more checkpoints away from the presidential palace.”

Clashes ended near Afghan presidential palace in Kabul

Khaama

By Ghanizada

Attack on Afghan presidential palaceHeavy explosions rocked capital Kabul early Tuesday morning after a number of militants carried out coordinated attacks near the Afghanistan presidential palace. Militants had reportedly entered the highly secured compound with Land Cruiser vehicles and fake VIP cards.

The explosions triggered heavy gun battle between the presidential palace security forces and the assailant militants which continued for more than one hour.

The attack was carried out near the entrance gate of presidential palace in Shash Darak area which is also close to ISAF headquarters and ministry of defense of Afghanistan. Over 15 explosions were heard in the area.

There are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the incident and clashes have reportedly ended between the security forces and militants.

This comes as Afghan president Hamid Karzai was due to appear in a press conference to brief Afghan media regarding the Taliban political office in Qatar and Afghan peace process.

Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the incident.

A spokesman for the Taliban group Zabiullah Mujahid said the main target of the suicide bombers were Ariana Hotel which is used by United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In the meantime Gen. Daud Amin deputy security chief for Kabul city said clashes have ended near the Afghan president Palace however he said that still there are no reports regarding the casualties.

Gen. Ayoub Salangi security chief for Kabul city said, at least three militants in coalition forces uniform were looking to enter the presidential palace using fake identity cards.

Mr. Salangi further added that clashes started after presidential palace security guards prevented the militants to enter the compound.

Another security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said four militants were looking to enter the presidential palace compound with two Land Cruiser vehicles.

The source further added that all militants were shot dead and Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties.

Pak Army Sends Terrorist Proxy Force Into Nangarhar, After Faqir Muhammad’s TTP

[This is the Pak Army sending its surrogate terrorist army into Afghanistan to eliminate the TTP hiding there and staging cross-border attacks into Mohmand.  Episodes such as this should be enough to refute Pakistani denials about the Pak terrorists being the Army’s progeny.  This attack has been on hold since June 8, when Dawn news leaked word of the impending battle and spilled the beans about the attack force including many Afghan Taliban (SEE:  Major militant clash feared near Pak-Afghan border  2013-06-08).  This latest report doesn’t mention the Mullah Omar forces in its report on Pak Army militants hitting the TTP in Kunar and Nangarhar, but rest assured that the attacking force remains the same.  Notice that Lashkar e-Taiba is included as well.]

 

PESHAWAR: Clashes between the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups erupted in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region as hundreds of fighters attacked TTP bases situated in Kunar and Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Taliban sources said hundreds of armed fighters comprising Lashkar-i-Taiba, Ansarul Islam (AI), ‘Mohmand force’ and other local militias (lashkars) were part of a joint attack on Pakistani Taliban positions in Afghanistan.

Earlier, reports had said that the Afghan Taliban were also backing the attacking groups but later the TTP requested Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar to intervene and as a result the clash was averted. Rival groups have now initiated another attack of which the Afghan Taliban are not a part, said TTP commander.

Mukarram Khurasani, spokesman for the TTP’s Mohmand chapter chief Omar Khaliq, told Dawn.com that hundreds of militants had attacked the Pakistani Taliban positions in Shongrai and the bordering village of Jarobi Darra.

Khurasani also accused Lashkar-i-Taiba commander Haji Abdul Rahim of leading the attackers.

The Taliban’s Mohmand chapter chief also claimed that the attack had been repulsed and said that one attacker was killed while three were injured.

Meanwhile, Lashkar-i-Taiba spokesperson Mahmud Ghaznavi rejected the allegations that the group was involved in the clashes. Ghaznavi said that the Lashkar-i-Taiba is operational only in Kashmir and has nothing to do with the TTP or the Afghan Taliban.

The exact number of causalities could not independently verified as the area is a ‘no-man’s land’ where the Afghan government has no writ and militants exercise control.

Most of the militants under attack are believed to be associated with the TTP who had escaped military operations in Mohmand, Bajaur, Malakand division and Khyber tribal region in neighboring Pakistan.

The clash might be a continuation of the killing of militant commander Shah Sahib, who led another Islamist group engaged in fighting US-led Nato troops in Afghanistan and was based in Mohmand Agency since 2006.

TTP militants led by Umar Khalid Khurasani attacked the training centre of the Shah group on July 19, 2008, killing many, including Shah Sahib. Most of the Shah Sahib loyalists were either kidnapped or killed and the group was eliminated from Mohmand tribal region.

Most members of the group are presently part of tribal lashkars (local militias) rivaling the TTP.

When Washington Or Their Saudi Puppets Say “Peace” They Speak of War

Saudi slip signals Iran obsession in Syria

PressTV

By Finian Cunningham

The real, unswerving agenda for Washington, London and Paris is regime change through the use of unremitting state-sponsored terrorism. That agenda is not only confined to Syria; as the Saudi disclosure indicates, the bigger picture has to do with the obsession among the Western imperialist powers and their Persian Gulf Arab dictator stooges towards Iran.

The international criminal conspiracy known euphemistically as the “Friends of Syria” gathers once again in Qatar this weekend to discuss how to expedite their covert war for regime change in Syria.

Some analysts have reckoned that the Obama administration is losing interest in the covert Syria operation, while mainstream media still peddle the ridiculous line that the US and its allies are trying to forge a peace settlement in the Levantine country devastated by 27 months of relentless conflict and more than 90,000 deaths.

On both counts, nothing could be further from the truth. The Western powers, including the US, are stepping up their criminal attack on Syria. This is because, following a spate of recent military victories by Syrian government forces, the Western powers are in danger of outright defeat in their long-term agenda of regime change in Syria and, more importantly, the wider region.

A central part of that Western agenda is to isolate and undermine Iran, an important ally of Syria and a key opponent to Western hegemonic ambitions in the vital oil- and gas-rich Middle East region.

From the Western imperialist viewpoint, if they lose in their covert war in Syria, then Iran’s alliance with Syria and its influence across the Middle East will be even greater. That outcome is anathema to the US and its European allies, Britain and France. A recent Saudi slip in the Western media let the cat out of the bag.

On the eve of the Qatar meeting this weekend, the London-based Financial Times reported:

“Saudi Arabia, which competes with Iran for regional influence, considers the Syrian conflict a direct threat to its national security, with its potential to strengthen an alliance between powerful Shia elements in a string of countries stretching from Iran to Lebanon, via Iraq and Syria.”

The first thing to note from this disclosure is that the conflict in Syria is not about “supporting pro-democracy Syrian rebels” as the Western governments and media and their regional allies have been making out for the past two years. It is clearly about regime change in Syria and a competition for regional influence, in particular between Western-backed Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Because of the deep strategic ties between the House of Saud and Washington and London, it can be safely deduced that Saudi concerns over Syria and Iran are intimately shared by the US and Britain, as well as France.

The Financial Times quotes Jamal Khashoggi, “a Saudi analyst close to decision-making circles” in Riyadh. ”Saudi Arabia will not allow an Iranian victory in Syria,” according to Khashoggi. “Saudi Arabia has to do something now, even if it will do it alone. The goal now must be toppling [Syrian President] Bashar [al-Assad], even if the US is not involved. If Saudi Arabia leads the way, Sunni tribes and other countries, including France, will eventually join.”

The tone is unmistakably one of grave anxiety among the Saudi rulers that they are facing a crucial defeat in Syria – a defeat that is amplified by the perceived strategic gain to Iran from such an outcome.

Underscoring this Saudi and Western anxiety over Syria are reports that their proxy FSA – read Foreign Supplied Army – has in recent days received batches of “game-changing weapons”. These weapons are reported to include anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles supplied by Saudi Arabia via NATO member Turkey. This delivery of new firepower to the NATO-backed mercenaries in Syria coincides with a report in the Los Angeles Times that American Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency have been training FSA militia in the use of the very same weapons from bases in Jordan and Turkey over the past several months.

That clearly means coordinated effort between the US and its allies to ramp up the violence in Syria. In addition, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported last week that France and Saudi Arabia are supplying French-made Mistral anti-aircraft missiles into Syria.

The reason for why the Obama administration is so far maintaining a covert role in this arms supply and training is not to do with ambivalence in the US government towards deepening involvement in the Syria regime-change operation, but more probably because the White House is acutely aware of a political backlash from the American people. Recent polls show that 70 per cent of Americans are opposed to their government arming the Syrian militants and Al-Qaeda affiliates.

That is why the official American position is proffering ostensible support for a political solution in the form of the forthcoming Geneva conference, a conference that is looking increasingly doomed to fail because of Washington’s covert military moves in concert with its NATO allies, as well as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Voice of America quoted US Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of the meeting this weekend in the Qatari capital, Doha. Kerry said: “There is a unanimity about the importance of trying to find a way to peace, and not a way to war.”

VoA also reported: “EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said there is no military solution to the conflict.” Ashton was quoted as saying:

“We are supporting what has become known as Geneva 2, the process of helping to find a political solution, which is in the end the solution.”

The notion that the US and its allies are backing off from Syria or looking for a political way out is flatly negated by the facts on the ground. At the beginning of this month, the EU bloc lifted its embargo on weapons supply to Syrian insurgents; and on 14 June, the Obama White House gave its approval for openly supplying lethal aid.

The real agenda for the “Enemies of Syria” meeting in Doha this weekend – including the foreign ministers of the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – is not to discuss the politics of peace, but the practicalities of how to better arm the mercenaries fighting in Syria to topple the government of President Assad.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted with eminent reason that US and European pledges to increase weapons supplies to the mercenaries in Syria – who have minimal support among the Syrian people – is jeopardizing any efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Officially at least, Washington, London and Paris are saying that they back the proposed peace conference in Geneva, but on the ground in Syria their all-important actions speak far more loudly of the opposite intention.

The real, unswerving agenda for Washington, London and Paris is regime change through the use of unremitting state-sponsored terrorism. That agenda is not only confined to Syria; as the Saudi disclosure indicates, the bigger picture has to do with the obsession among the Western imperialist powers and their Persian Gulf Arab dictator stooges towards Iran.

FC/SL

Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio. More articles by Finian Cunningham