ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Abu Dhabi Troops Occupy Yemen’s Socotra Island, UNESCO-Protected Site, Begin Massive Environmental Looting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[UAE hires Socotra Island from Yemen for 99 years]

Yemen’s Socotra Island .. Survived of War but Fell Under UAE Ambitions

File photo shows a general view of a natural habitat on Yemen's Socotra island.
File photo shows a general view of a natural habitat on Yemen’s Socotra island.

Residents and authorities on Yemen’s Socotra island say the UAE is boosting its military presence in the world heritage site as divisions widen among a Saudi-led war “coalition”.

Security officials in southern Yemen said UAE forces had landed in Socotra along with tanks, armored transports and heavy equipment earlier this week, in what is being billed as a new-colonial takeover.

The deployment comes amid widening divisions between forces loyal to the UAE and those supporting the former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Both camps are based in southern Yemen and mostly in Aden as the capital Sana’a still remains under the control of the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Hadi loyalists have accused the UAE of abandoning an initial cause of fighting the Houthis, saying Emirati forces are instead providing support to those seeking a separation of southern Yemen territories from the north of the country.

A picture taken on March 13, 2018 in the southern Yemeni city of Aden shows the aftermath of an explosion from a bombing attack claimed by Daesh Takfiri group which hit UAE-trained Yemeni troops. (AFP photo)

The occupation of Socotra also comes against the backdrop of previous reports showing the UAE was seeking to illegally exploit the natural resources of the island and turn the place into a  permanent military outpost-cum-holiday resort.

Socotra, located near Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, is protected by the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO, meaning that even the Yemeni government is unable to interfere in the natural habitats and places of natural beauty.

Reports have suggested that the UAE has been actively cementing its presence in Socotra since the very beginning of the Saudi-led war on Yemen in March 2015. A Persian Gulf country rich in oil, the UAE has initiated similar extraterritorial projects in other areas including in Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland and the Yemeni islet of Perim.

File photo shows an Emirates Red Crescent officer while on duty in the Yemeni island of Socotra.

To win public support among Socotra’s population of 60,000 people, UAE authorities have arranged free tours for residents to Abu Dhabi, while offering free healthcare and special work permits.

Critics say UAE’s tourism ambitions in Socotra are simply superficial and the country is seeking a permanent military presence there while trying to steal UNESCO-protected species of plants and animals from the island.

Residents of Socotra have angrily reacted to the mid-week deployment of around 100 troops to the island. Videos posted on the social media showed that people had taken to the streets to protest the increasing presence of the UAE forces. Crowds were also angry about reports that Emirati forces had expelled Hadi’s forces assigned to protect the main airport in the island.

The UAE was the first country to accept Saudi Arabia’s offer to join the war against Yemen three years ago. Dozens of Emirati soldiers have been killed in the military operation. The tiny Persian Gulf country has also suffered considerable losses to its military equipment.

More than 14,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands have been injured in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The operation has also left hundreds of thousands in the impoverished Arab  country in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

 

Pentagon/CIA Shell Game, Using Illusion of ISIS Terrorists To Carve-Out Kurdish Terrorist Enclave In Syria]

Syria's Kurds put IS on trial with focus on reconciliation

Syria’s Kurds put IS on trial with focus on reconciliation

QAMISHLI, Syria — The “Defense of the People” Court is an almost intimate place. Three judges — two men and a woman — sat behind a large desk. The defendant, a former Islamic State group fighter in Syria, faced them in a chair only a yard away, close enough for a conversation. A space heater in the center and mustard-colored couch and armchairs made the room even homier.

The judges are Kurds, belonging to the U.S-backed self-rule authority that the community has set up over much of the north and east of Syria. After defeating IS in battle, Syria’s Kurds are now eager to show they can bring justice against the group’s members. The emphasis is on leniency and reconciliation — in marked contrast to Iraq, where harsh and swift verdicts on IS suspects seem geared to vengeance.

Under questioning, the 19-year-old Syrian Arab — his hair bushy and beard scraggly from months in detention — described how he had joined IS for nine months, fighting government forces. He was wounded, eventually deserted and went into hiding. Then in November, when IS was collapsing, he turned himself in to Kurdish authorities.

“By God, I regret it,” he said of his joining IS. He pleaded to the judges, “I want you to help me. I am married and my mother is also at home. I would really like to return to them.”

“You did well,” the judge replied. “It is in your favor that you were a minor when you enrolled and that you handed yourself in. Good behavior in jail will be even more beneficial.”

The sentence: Two years and nine months in prison, reduced to just nine months because he was a minor and surrendered.

Syrian Kurdish authorities have built a justice system from scratch, without any recognition from the Syrian government or the outside world, and are trying hundreds of Syrians accused of joining IS.

The Kurds have multiple aims in their more lenient approach. They want to extend bridges to eastern Syria’s majority population of Arabs, who deeply distrust their new Kurdish rulers.

They also want to highlight their competence in government and win international legitimacy.

So the Kurds abolished the death sentence and offered reduced sentences to IS members who hand themselves in. The harshest sentence is life in prison, which is actually a 20-year sentence. They organized reconciliation and mediation efforts with major Arab tribes and offered more than 80 IS fighters amnesty last year to foster good tribal relations and convince others to turn themselves in.

In contrast, Iraqi courts have sentenced hundreds of IS suspects to death in swift trials, and even tangential links to the militant group are punished by sentenced of 15 years or life.

The Kurds renamed the terrorism courts, saying that term was too negative. Instead, the tribunals trying IS suspects are called the Defense of the People Courts. Kurdish officials call their prisons “academies,” saying the emphasis is on reeducation. The changes are in line with the group’s “leftist-libertarian” ideology that claims to act as a direct democracy.

But there are also major gaps. There are no defense lawyers; officials say that is because they fear security breaches amid a string of bombings and assassinations against officials blamed on IS cells. Judges keep their identities secret for fear of being targeted. So far, it is impossible to appeal verdicts, though the Kurds say they plan to create appeal tribunals.

On a more basic level, the lack of international recognition puts a stranglehold on the Kurdish courts. Legally speaking, they have no more standing than Syrian rebels’ or even the Islamic State group’ courts. Kurdish authorities complain they are getting no help — including from their chief ally the United States — even though they say they discussed with U.S. officials their needs to develop their legal code and improve practices.

A U.S. State department official said American agencies “are not at this time providing any training to the justice department” of the self-administration.

Kurdish authorities don’t say how many IS suspects they are holding in their prisons, saying the numbers change constantly because of trials, amnesties and new arrests.

There are an estimated 400 foreign fighters held by the Kurdish-led authorities, and approximately some 2,000 women and children, families of foreign fighters, kept in camps under tight security, according to Human Rights Watch. The Kurds have not decided how to handle them, since their home countries don’t want them back but also don’t recognize the Kurdish-run courts.

Aynour Pacha, who co-heads the highest council of judges in Qamishli that oversees the courts, said the self-administration is willing and has a right to try them. But she raised the question of whether their countries would take them back after they served their sentences.

“We wish the world would see the burden we are carrying on our shoulders,” she said. “These foreigners who killed our children are a heavy burden.”

Since the Syrian government pulled out of Kurdish areas in 2012, Kurds established local administrations, security forces, parliaments and courts. After rolling back IS with American backing, they control nearly 25 percent of Syria, including oil and water resources.

Still, their self-rule is precarious.

Qamishli, the administrative center, is divided between Kurdish control and a pocket held by the Syrian government, which doesn’t recognize Kurdish aspirations to autonomy. Further west, Turkish forces are waging a military campaign vowing to roll Kurdish autonomy back.

Nadim Houry, director of the counterterrorism program at Human Rights Watch, said self-rule officials appear to be making a real effort to meet international standards in the judicial system, despite the limitations.

“I think this is on the positive side,” said Houry, who recently visited northern Syria. “On the other hand, there are real issues. You can’t have a trial without a defense lawyer … I think structurally this is the biggest problem.”

The courts may be “primitive,” he said, but such trials can “play a role in writing the history of this period” and gathering information about how the extremist group worked. Courts in Iraq and Syria can’t do that, he said, “because they don’t have the capabilities or because they only rely on an anti-terrorism lens.”

After backing the fight against IS, “the international community is absent and very weak” on helping in post-war issues in both Iraq and Syria, including in meting out justice. The message is, “this is your problem, find the solution. But it is an international problem.”

Since 2015, the terrorism court in Qamishli, the largest in the self-administration areas, has convicted around 1,500 defendants. Of those, 146 received sentences of life in prison; 133 were acquitted.

The trials have increased exponentially as IS collapsed. In 2017, 674 were convicted, nearly double those tried the year before. So far this year, 225 have been tried, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press.

At one recent verdict session, the defendant was a 34-year-old who had worked as an IS court clerk. The judge sentenced him to three years, which was reduced to one year because he handed himself in.

The judge asked him if he wanted to comment. “What about my 45 days in detention? Would you count those?” the defendant asked. The judge said they would be counted. The defendant then asked to call his family. The judge agreed, and the defendant gushed with praise for his captors.

A number of Iraqis have also been tried in the Kurdish courts. One Iraqi told AP during a visit to the prison that he handed himself in to Kurdish authorities to avoid falling in the hands of Iraqi militias. Kurdish officials said some prisoners ended up joining the Kurdish-led forces after serving their sentence to fight IS.

But even those professed good intentions have limits. The view is bleaker in prison.

Abdullah Khalaf is serving a 20-year sentence for his role in a 2016 IS attack on a Kurdish government building that killed more than 10 people. Khalaf doesn’t contest that he’s guilty; he confessed to his role in the attack. But, speaking in prison, he angrily scoffed at the Kurds and the justice he was offered.

Khalaf is from Tal Abyad, one of the first towns to come under the control of the Kurdish-led forces in their campaign against IS. He had already moved to Raqqa, where he operated as a smuggler, bringing contraband cigarettes into IS-held territory, despite the heavy penalties the militants inflicted on those who sold or smoked it.

After taking over Tal Abyad, the Kurds expelled his family when the body of a Kurd was found on their land. IS militants knew how to exploit tensions between Arabs and Kurds. They demanded Khalaf work for them, sneaking explosives into Tal Abyad. They seized Khalaf’s contraband and arrested his brother, threatening to kill him if he didn’t cooperate. He succumbed.

Khalaf showed no remorse. “I entered a tunnel and could not get out,” he said.

After cooperating on a couple of missions, he was arrested after the attack in 2016.

He grumbled that he got a heavy sentence while more senior IS members walked away because of connections to the new Kurdish rulers. Meanwhile, he said, his family, including his wife and four children, were forced to flee to Turkey, fearing reprisals because of his IS connections. He was worried his kids will forget him.

“I wish they had given me the death sentence. It would have been better to die than to linger in prison,” Khalaf said furiously. “What if I make it out, can I survive after those years? I will wait a year or two and then kill myself.”

Author photo

SARAH EL DEEB

US Using ISIS Ploy To Expand PKK/YPG Further Into Syria

US to use ISIS Ploy to Expand PKK/YPG further into Syria

That’s exactly what has been done all along. For years and years now. That obvious fact has been explained very plainly, very clearly here on many occasions. That the whole Kurd/ISIS fighting concept is pure theatre- Taking place in the war theatre. 
  I coined the phrase KurdIShIS to explain the phenomena so very long ago. Which is why I was so flummoxed at the so called alt media pushing the same meme as the msm about Kurdish fighters being the real threat to ISIS. Until, finally, it dawned on me that most of the alt media is controlled opposition.
 All one had to do was look at a maps of ISIS “progressing’ through Iraq into Syria with the Kurds bringing up the rear,  alongside maps of the desired Israel 2.0 aka Kurdistan,  to see exactly what was going on. Paying attention to the multiple weapons drops to ISIS, inadvertent of course ;) ;)
 in tandem with the intentional arms shipments/ drops and provisions to Kurds.
 And all those US airstrikes, imperative to the mass migration/people displacement that both Syria and Europe are being weakened by…

Link

“Washington has initiated a new ploy to establish new terror fronts and shift the PKK further inland in Syria, says former Deir ez-Zor Military Council president

The global invaders who covertly support Daesh have initiated the second phase of the project to clear ground for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s Syrian branch, the PYD.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced on Tuesday that operations in “final” Daesh strongholds would be launched, however the aim of this is to move the PKK in central Syria.

The plan dubbed “Jizre Storm” by the terror group was evaluated by former Deir ez-Zor Military Council President Colonel Ismail Molla Omar in an exclusive interview with Yeni Safak daily. He said that the U.S.-constructed joint military force from neighboring Arab countries may be initiated soon.”

Digression:  US Constructed joint military force from neighbouring Arab Countries.. Macron calls Sisi to ‘discuss’ Syrian crisis?
“discuss” Does that mean make plans? Plot? Conspire?

“French President Emmanuel Macron called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday to discuss the Syrian crisis, Sisi’s office said”

Egypt says sending troops to Syria a possibility

“In regards to the situation in Syria, Shoukry said that the idea of replacing forces with another that may be Arab is a possibility,” Al-Ahram quoted the Egyptian foreign minister as telling journalists.

“This proposition is not only being discussed by the media, but also during discussions and deliberations amongst officials of states to look into how these ideas could contribute to stabilising Syria,” he added,

U.S.’s Daesh ploy continues

“The project now aims to move the terror group into central regions. The play is unfolding from where it left off,” said Omar, adding that Daesh has been active along the Iraq-Syria border and to the west of Deir ez-Zor.

The new operations launched in Deir ez-Zor, which is Syria’s most petrol-rich region, has been seen as the first move of moving the PKK to the south following Manbij and to the west of the Euphrates. The U.S.-PKK alliance recently captured four villages that were previously under the control of the Syrian regime.

Combined with the pressure the U.S. has increasingly placed on tribal leaders in the region, the operations may enable the occupation of new residential areas along the southern front. Tribal leaders convinced by the U.S. to support the PKK are being promised regions along the Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa and Homs line.

New aim is the southern corridor

The southern line which starts with Iraq in the east and stretches to Turkey is the new corridor that wants to be activated by the U.S. for the PKK.

“The real aim of the U.S. and its allies is to ensure that the PKK occupies the region that extends to Jordan and reduce Iran’s influence. The U.S. captured 55 percent of Syria’s underground resources, and is trying to boost this figure. The force which delivered 30 percent of Syria’s lands to Daesh has sprung into action again and initiated plans for a new divisive map,” Omar said.

“Water is just as important as petrol in Syria. The Euphrates River is critically important. Furthermore, an expansive area to the south of Deir ez-Zor and the north of al-Hasakah functions as the grain depot of Syria. Israel and the U.S. are planning a new corridor that starts in Deir ez-Zor and extends to Lebanon. The PKK will be used as a force on the ground,” he added.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States”