Russia establishes anti-terror contacts with Syrian opposition forces

Russia establishes anti-terror contacts with Syrian opposition forces

 Xinhua net

MOSCOW, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — Russia on Tuesday confirmed that it had established contacts with moderate Syrian opposition to better coordinate anti-terrorism operations and facilitate Syrian reconciliation process.

Contacts and coordination groups were established with “patriotic forces” in Syrian aimed at synergizing efforts to fight terrorists, Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorate, said on Tuesday.

“In the framework of a broader international coalition on the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, we have established contacts with opposition leaders and field commanders of several opposition units,” Kartapolov said.

“Despite their four-year standoff with government forces, these patriotic forces put ideas of Syria’s integrity and sovereignty as a terrorism-free state ahead of their political ambitions,” an online official statement quoted Kartapolov as saying.

Using cooridates provided by the Syrian opposition, Russia jets bombed 24 targets in Syria Tuesday, he said.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov later confirmed the “fruitful nature” of such contacts, saying such links are “timely and beneficial for both the anti-terrorism fight and the progress of Syria’s political process.”

According to Kartapolov, joint drills on flight safety were also carried out Tuesday between Russian and U.S. air forces in Syria.

“During the drills in a specially designated zone, the crews of Russian and (the U.S.-led) international coalition planes maneuvered to a safe distance of 3 nautical miles from each other, established radio contacts on a designated frequency, and exchanged messages about parameters of their flights in Russian and English,” the general explained.

Kartapolov added that pilots of the two countries also exercised the notification, organization, interaction of flight missions as well as information exchange between operation centers.

The Syrian crisis and the international anti-terror fight seem to be at a crossroads as more major countries and regional players were involved in last week’s bilateral and multilateral meetings held in Austria’s Vienna.

Failing to find a common ground on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad though, all parties at the meeting agreed all the terrorist groups in Syria should be defeated and a diplomatic process be initiated to find a solution for Syrian crisis.

Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged all interested sides to discuss and confirm the list of terrorist organizations.

The ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that it is agreed during the Vienna meeting that relevant consultations and contacts would be held between experts to reach consensus on who we should consider terrorists in Syria.

“Russia has been sticking to the position that it is up to the Syrian people to decide on the fate of Syria’s president,” the spokeswoman said, warning regime change in Syria could become a global-scale disaster.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov noted that Russia is planning to host a third meeting next week between representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to discuss ways of reaching a settlement in the war-torn country.

“There are no problems with the government, which has been talking about it for a long time. Currently, we are in contact with representatives of different opposition organizations persuading them to come to Moscow,” Bogdanov told journalists.

He added that the plan was part of Moscow’s efforts to pave the way for initiating a political settlement following the Vienna meeting.

Moscow hosted two rounds of intra-Syrian talks in January and April. Since Sept. 30, Russia has been conducting precision airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria at the request of Syrian President Assad.

Russian General Kartapolov concluded on Tuesday that since the beginning of the Russian airstrike mission, 2,084 terrorist military infrastructures were targeted during 1,631 sorties made by the Russian air forces in Syria.

Wahhabi Preacher Sings the Praises of Breaking Hymens and Beautiful Breasts

Saudi Cleric describes Islamist paradise as the Mustang Ranch

american thinker

 

The most basic rule of psychological warfare is that anything you say can be used against you, and with devastating effect.  When a prominent imam in Saudi Arabia, the self-proclaimed Defender of the Faith for Sunni Islam as well as the owner of Mecca, describes Paradise as a celestial version of the Mustang Ranch, he makes his entire religion about as credible as Scientology.

If Muslims find the depiction of their Paradise as a whorehouse and Allah as a Mack Daddy offensive, their problem is with Saudi Sheikh Yahya Al-Jana’, because these are his words and not ours.  Here is the YouTube video with translation by MEMRI, and also a transcript.

Here is the first screenshot, which reminds me of an ad I saw in Las Vegas a few years ago.

The next screenshot brings to mind “The World Famous Mustang Ranch Pleasure Menu,” which I am not going to link because it is decidedly NSFW.  If you want to compare it to the good sheikh’s sermon, just Google the indicated phrase to find it.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is what Sheikh Yahya Al-Jana’s all-knowing and all-powerful deity offers his followers:

The good sheikh seems to have one, or more precisely two, things on his mind.  When Beavis or Butthead can summarize your learned theological sermon in three words (five, if you count the stupid laugh), your religion has a real credibility problem.

Remember, by the way, that the purpose of this article is not primarily to entertain the reader.  Ridicule can be an overwhelming psychological warfare weapon that can reduce the enemy’s credibility to nothing with a single decisive blow, and, as shown by the next image, Sheikh Yahya Al-Jana’ has left himself and Wahhabi Islam wide open.  Tell me again: is this a religious sermon or a pitch for the Mustang Ranch?

This is even more hilarious, by the way, if you watch the video and listen to him say all this with a straight face.  Who needs to pay to see a Las Vegas stand-up comedy act when you can get this kind of stuff for free?  Listen to comedian Steven Wright, listen to Sheikh Yahya Al-Jana’, and see who makes you laugh harder.

The transcript continues, “Allah said that the dwellers of Paradise are busy.  What keeps them busy?  They will be busy tearing hymens.”  The Mustang Ranch admittedly can’t do that because the women are definitely not virgins, but, with that sole exception, it differs little from Sheikh Yahya Al-Jana’s depiction of the Islamic Paradise.

Now that we are done laughing, let’s get to the bottom line.  Sheikh Yahya Al-Jana’s own words should break the back of militant “Islam” by reducing its afterlife to the status of a common house of prostitution in which its deity is the chief pimp.  Even if the ideology’s own followers are so deluded that they cannot recognize this as the farce it is, the ideology cannot survive in an infidel-majority society.  Remember, though, Colonel Paul Linebarger’s admonition in his book on psychological warfare.  “To be effective, leaflets must scatter.  Bundles of paper which fall intact make little impact on the enemy [or prospective audience] unless they hit him on the head.”  This material does little good if it stays at American Thinker, so take it to your blog, your local paper, and your social networks.

William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.

Arrest of Chhota Rajan May Expose Ties Between Indian Underworld and Police

[SEE:  Chhota Rajan Interview–Admits RAW Collaboration If the agencies were not fueling this conflict there would be no conflict ]

Arrest May Expose Ties Between Indian Police, Crime Bosses

benar news

Rohit Wadhwaney
151106-IN-fugitive-620

Indonesian police escort Indian national Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, 55, known in India as Chhota Rajan, to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Nov. 5, 2015.  AFP

The formal interrogation of one of India’s most wanted criminals, which is expected to take place Saturday after his deportation from Indonesia on Friday, could expose a connection between the underworld and police, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) source told BenarNews.

After 27 years on the run, Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, who is known in India as Chhota Rajan or Little Rajan, was arrested by Indonesian police in Bali on Oct. 25.

Nikalje, 55, is accused of some 80 crimes ranging from murder to extortion to smuggling and drug trafficking in India. Nikalje fled to Dubai in 1988.

He is also an alleged former lieutenant of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, but he fell out with Ibrahim after the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people in Nikalje’s hometown.

In October 2003, the United States Justice Department designated Ibrahim a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” because of his alleged financial support for al-Qaeda and aid to terrorist groups in India.

He is also accused of providing logistical support during the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai that left at least 150 dead, and is India’s most wanted fugitive.

Indian intelligence officials believe Ibrahim is in hiding in Karachi, Pakistan, shielded by that country’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

While on the run Nikalje traveled through Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Australia, “using three fake passports,” until his arrest in Bali, according to Indian intelligence sources.

His subsequent deportation to New Delhi was a “result of coordination between the security forces of Australia, India and Indonesia,” the CBI said in a statement Friday, describing it as a major success for the country.

“The Indonesian police were tipped off by their Australian counterparts about a wanted criminal who had boarded a flight from Sydney to Bali under the name of Mohan Kumar. We were in touch with security agencies from both countries to help confirm the man’s identity,” an official with India’s Home Ministry told BenarNews.

Marked man

Nikalje arrived in India early Friday after departing Bali on Thursday aboard an Indian Air Force plane. He was driven to the barricaded CBI headquarters amid unprecedented security, owing to an alleged threat to his life by Ibrahim’s criminal syndicate, the D-Company.

In Bali, Nikalje told reporters he did not want to be taken to Mumbai because “many police officials are working for Dawood (Ibrahim)” and that his life would be in danger.

Ibrahim’s hitmen allegedly have tried to kill Nikalje at least twice. The most dramatic attempt on his life occurred in 2000. After being shot at, Nikalje jumped from the second floor of his Bangkok hotel, breaking his back in the fall. He later allegedly bribed hospital staff in order to evade arrest by Thai police.

A CBI source told BenarNews that Nikalje was being kept in a cell within the agency’s heavily guarded headquarters in the capital’s Lodhi Road area, adding that although officials had started quizzing him, his formal interrogation would begin Saturday.

“He has revealed the names of about 20 Mumbai police officials, who, he says, are hand-in-glove with Dawood (Ibrahim), and some of them even on his payrolls. He has also spoken of many properties in the Middle East that Dawood has invested in,” the source, who requested anonymity, told BenarNews.

“The CBI will be investigating all his claims thoroughly,” the source added.

Nikalje’s claims questioned

Bibhu Prasad Routray, former deputy director of the National Security Council Secretariat, said all claims made by the accused gangster should be treated with skepticism.

“He should not be taken very seriously. It is a well known fact that all the underworld has some kind of nexus with the police,” Routray told BenarNews, referring to Nikalje’s claims.

“It is highly likely he is making such sensational claims to extract some sort of leverage, hoping he can be let off easy if he provides India with leads on Dawood,” he said. “There’s a good chance he has no information about Dawood.”

Y.P. Singh, a former Indian Police Services officer from Mumbai, questioned Nikalje’s statements to reporters.

“[Nikalje] is not speaking the full truth,” Singh said. “Dawood Ibrahim indeed might have connections with the Mumbai police, because no gangster can flourish until they get permission from the local police. But by the same reckoning, Chhota Rajan and his gang members can have intimate connections with the police.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia Clash Inside Syria Talks

Iran and Saudi Arabia clashed repeatedly last week inside the diplomatic talks on Syria, with Iran accusing Saudis of terrorism. Their tension threatened to end the new negotiations just as they began in Vienna on Friday.

Inside the nine-hour meeting, according to two Western officials briefed on it, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir got into a heated argument, during which Zarif blamed Saudi Arabian nationals for the 9/11 attacks. The comments startled the participants, who included Secretary of State John Kerry, and the room went quiet after Zarif’s remark.

Zarif confirmed to me that he made the remark and pointed out that he was not blaming the Saudi government for the 9/11 attacks, just Saudi nationals. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudi citizens.

Western officials who were briefed on the meeting said the anecdote showed the difficulty of getting Iran and Saudi Arabia to discuss anything civilly, much less come to an agreement on Syria, where both sides have proxy forces in the fight. But the meeting Friday did yield a nine-point joint statement outlining shared goals for a resolution of the Syria crisis.

Al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, traveled to Bahrain the next day and spoke forcefully against the Iranian involvement in Syria, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue. He set two red lines for any Saudi agreement for a way forward in Syria: that there must be a date and means for the departure of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and that all foreign forces, especially Iranian troops, must leave Syria at the beginning of a political process. Iran has hundreds of fighters in Syria and supports thousands of Hezbollah soldiers.

“It is up to the Iranians whether they want to have relations with us based on good neighborliness, or if they want to have relations that are filled with tension,” he said. “That is on Iran.”

On Monday, Iran threatened to withdraw from the talks because of Al-Jubeir’s comments. Iran’s state-run news agency quoted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as saying: “An inexperienced young man in a regional country will not reach anywhere by rudeness in front of elders.” The comments were widely interpreted to be referring to Al-Jubeir.

In Bahrain on Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told me that he was cautiously optimistic that the Vienna talks that Kerry spearheaded could bear some fruit. But he said the Saudi position as described by al-Jubeir, requiring Iranian forces to leave Syria at the beginning of the process, would not work.

“Of course, that is not realistically achievable, so therefore everything that comes after as being conditioned on that is slightly hypothetical,” he said. “Nobody walked out, and that in itself is a remarkable achievement. Both for the Iranians and the Saudis it is not easy to have that kind of direct discussion.”

Hammond said the two sides are still “far, far apart on the key question,” which is when Assad will go. Iran and Russia want Assad to be able to stand in new elections while the U.S., European and Arab states don’t believe Assad can be any part of a new political process because, as Hammond said, “he has too much blood on his hands.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said in Bahrain that eventually Russia will realize its intervention in Syria was a mistake, and the Kremlin will abandon its support for Assad. Most officials and experts at the conference were skeptical of that assessment. Regardless, Russia has signed on to what’s known as the Geneva Communique, which calls for a transition governing body to take over in Syria until credible elections can be held.

Iran has never agreed to the Geneva terms. Notably, the joint statement coming out of Vienna makes no mention of the transitional governing body. It simply states that the U.N. will convene a political process leading to a new constitution and new elections. If that language stands, Iran will have scored a major concession that opens the door for Assad’s continued rule. The U.S., in its effort to bring Iran to the table, may be putting the solution to the Syria war further from reach.

To contact the author of this story:
Josh Rogin at joshrogin@bloomberg.net