Truckloads of US weapons continue to arm PKK terrorists in Syria–September 21, 2018
US continues to arm PKK/PYD terrorists in Syria
US Sends 500 Trucks Of Arms To PKK/YPG Militants In Northern Syria In One Week
Terrorists have managed to establish complete control over a 20-kilometer territory on the Euphrates’ east bank in Syria due to the inaction of pro-American groups, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties Vladimir Savchenko said on Monday.
“As a result of inaction of pro-American groups, terrorists have managed to establish complete control over a 20-kilometer strip on the Euphrates’ east bank between the settlements of Hajin and al-Susa,” he said.
Thus, in his words, as many as 130 families (700 people) were taken to Hajin during the attack at a refugee camp near al-Bahrah on October 13.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to report ceasefire violations by militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone. “Thus, during the day, shelling attacks were reported in the settlements of Rashah, Akch Baer (thrice), Ain al-Naur, Jubb al-Zarur and Ikko in the Latakia governorate,” Savchenko said.
Officers of the Russian reconciliation center continue humanitarian assistance to the Syrian population.
Throughout the day, officers of the center conducted a humanitarian operation in the settlement of Bir Ajam in the al-Quneitra governorate.
A total of 1.3 tonnes of food products were distributed among civilians. Twenty-five wheelchairs, 50 blankets and 50 towels were handed over to the administration of a hospital in the city of Hamish in the Rif Dimashq governorate.
Saudi Arabia is prepared to admit that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during an interrogation that went wrong, according to reports on Monday.
The kingdom is readying a report that will say Khashoggi’s death happened during an interrogation before being removed from Turkey, CNN reported.
The report will conclude that the operation was carried out “without clearance” and that those involved will be held responsible, the network said, but cautioned that it could still change.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that Khashoggi was killed during a botched interrogation.
Separately, the New York Times reported that Saudi Arabian officials were developing a scenario that would shield Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from any involvement.
It said that version would accuse a friend of the prince for carrying out the killing.
Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post, was living in self-imposed exile in the United States over the past year because he feared being arrested for writing critical articles about the Saudi ruling family.
The news comes after President Trump said he talked to Saudi King Salman and he “flatly denied” knowing anything about the disappearance of Khashoggi, who went missing from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After speaking to the king, Trump suggested that “rogue killers” may have been involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
“He didn’t really know. Maybe – I don’t want to get into his mind – but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers – who knows?” the president said.
City of London – The epicentre of the global crime scene
Originally published in May 2016: When it comes to The City of London, the term ‘tax haven’ is not describing all that it should. It is a It doesn’t just shield the mega-wealthy from paying their fair dues it goes further and offers a departure from the rule of law as you would know it. Secrecy is its raison d’être. These secrecy laws do not benefit the local people living in its jurisdiction but only those individuals and corporations with enough money and with something to hide.
The reality is that the City of London caters for those above the law, it operates on the basis of bypassing democratic society as a whole. This has come about over time where an extraordinary ‘ gentlemen’s agreement’ has stood the test of time. Over the centuries, the head of state and his/her governments have had the need for large loans for wars and the like. The City, in exchange for such commodity, has extracted certain privileges the rest of the population do not enjoy. The end result over the time is that it now has its own jurisdiction to do pretty much as it pleases.
A ‘watchman’ sits at the high table of parliament and is its official lobbyist sitting in the seat of power right next to the Speaker of the House who is “charged with maintaining and enhancing the City’s status and ensuring that its established rights are safeguarded.” The job is to maintain order and seek out political dissent that might arise against the CityThe City of London has its own private funding and will ‘buy-off’ any attempt to erode its powers; any scrutiny of its financial affairs are put beyond external inspection or audit.
For over a hundred years the Labour party tried in vain to abolish the City of London and its accompanying financial corruption. In 1917, Labour’s new rising star Herbert Morrison, the grandfather of Peter Mandelson made a stand and failed, calling it the “devilry of modern finance.” And although attempt after attempt was made throughout the following decades, it was Margaret Thatcher who succeeded by abolishing its opponent, the Greater London Council in 1986.
Tony Blair went about it another way and offered to reform the City of London in what turned out to be a gift from god. He effectively gave the vote to corporations which swayed the balance of democratic power away from residents and workers. It was received by its opponents as the greatest retrograde step since the peace treaty of 1215, Magna Carta. The City won its rights through debt financing in 1067, when William the Conqueror acceded to it and ever since governments have allowed the continuation of its ancient rights above all others.
The City effectively now stands as money launderer of the world, described now as the capital of the global crime scene. It is the heart and engine of the offshore haven, with Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man its european collection centres, the caribbean and others hoovering up billions of American dollars from all over the globe. Whilst there are good and legal reasons for offshore accounts, it has a dark and shadowy client list; terrorists, drug barons, arms dealers, despots, dictators, shady politicians, corporations and companies, millionaires and billionaires – most with something to hide.
The Independent newspaper reported in July 2015 that The City of London is the money-laundering centre of the world’s drug trade, according to an internationally acclaimed crime expert. Another expert in Mafia criminology has come forward and stated the UK is now the most corrupt country in the world and firmly pins the blame on The City of London. In addition, every notable financial expert now agrees that due to incredibly lax financial laws facilitated by the British government, the London property market is heavily influenced by laundered money from all over the world involving hidden tax havens, most of which are British.
In 2016, the Home Affairs Select Committee concluded that the London property market was the primary avenue for the laundering of £100bn of illicit money a year. Yes, £100 billion laundered each year – in property alone.
The London money launderers don’t just wash money from crime into property. Worse, they are financing terrorist activities and operations all over the world.
Her Majesty’s British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies make up around 25 per cent of the world’s tax havens, which are now blacklisted by the European Commission and now ranked as the most important player in the financial secrecy world.
Tax havens featured on the EC’s blacklist of June last year include Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands to name just a few and each is inextricably linked to the City of London’s crime offices.
David Cameron won praise in 2013 after announcing at the Open Government Partnership summit in London that the UK intended to require companies registered in the UK to reveal the identity of their real owners in public filings at Companies House. This was then heavily watered down after the Queen was warned that her British territories were now ranked as some of the world biggest tax havens, harbouring tens of trillions of illegally stashed cash and assets that was described as a “web of secrecy jurisdictions”. The Tax Justice Network (TJN) said Britain now rules the world of tax havens.
The consequence of its operations is that money laundering is now at such levels and so widespread that the authorities have recently admitted defeat in its battle of attrition by stating openly it has been completely overwhelmed and lost control.
Keith Bristow Director-General of the UK’s National Crime Agency said just six months ago that the sheer scale of crime and its subsequent money laundering operations was “a strategic threat” to the country’s economy and reputation and that “high-end money laundering is a major risk”.
Banks located in The City of London are connected to terrorists committing some of the worst atrocities of our time, the same with the international drug trafficking trade. Many people around the world are suffering and dying as a direct result of the activities going on in this one tiny regime. One bank alone laundered $7billion in cash. When caught its cocky arrogance was no better defined than its response “in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect” when they were fined $2billion in the USA for breaking international sanctions. Toothless financial regulators in Britain look aside and do nothing other than pay lip service to this crime wave set in the heart of one of the most important capital cities in the world.
This from Michael Meacher MP “After a blizzard of revelations of financial wrongdoing over this last year, without parallel in recent history, what do the following have in common: Barclays forced to pay $360m over its manipulation of Libor, HSBC fined $1.7bn for money-laundering and flouting sanctions, Standard Chartered made to pay $667m over breached in sanction laws, RBS over Libor fixing to name but some? They are all British companies that have committed very serious offences, but they were not prosecuted by British regulators at all, only by US ones.” The scandals escalated and the authorities had to act but did little in real terms.
As a consequence, the City of London remains politically immune and acts with criminal impunity as it sucks up what is now understood to be trillions in ill-gotten gains. Bankers and hedge-fund operators dodge the authorities with skill sets honed over hundreds of years who stride with disdain over anything remotely resembling decency. HMRC investigates nothing, it takes what it is given, the austerity ridden taxpayer continually short-changed.
It is of no coincidence that this small area of Britain, just 1.2 square miles has the highest pay in the land and the third lowest council tax for property anywhere in the United Kingdom. A £10 million mansion costs less than £1,000 a year in council tax, the same residence for New York bankers attracts $225,000 a year in property taxes.
At the last census, its population stood at just 7,325, its employees stand at 414,600, nearly 40 per cent of them in financial services. Nearly 17,000 businesses are registered there, 2,700 are finance and insurance based and just over 45 per cent are foreign owned entities. HSBC’s organisation is the ninth largest bank in the world following four Chinese and four American banks located down the road in Canary Wharf.
This tiny island haven, with its own borders and police force, sits inside London as an international hub, the tax haven of all tax havens. Glass towers full of international crime lords. The banks use offshore business organisations to escape regulation and the grip these organisations have over an ever corrupt political class is incomprehensibly astounding. The Conservative party is literally bankrolled by bankers and hedge funds. Half of the wealthiest hedge fund managers in the land pay millions each year to the Tories – what do they expect back from their investment? Not just hundreds of millions of stamp duty exemptions and taxes the hedge funds no longer have to pay.
The City of London would have you believe they contribute massively to the state for their efforts. One year after David Cameron’s arrival at No 10, corporation tax represented 40.8pc of tax collected from the London financial industry, while last year it was just 19.8pc. This is an environment where banks are earning even more by taking even bigger risks with our economy having fleeced the taxpayer for half a trillion pounds a few years earlier – enough additional money to fill the funding gaps for the NHS, education, police and social services for decades.
Unrecoverable VAT and employers’ National Insurance together make up over half of taxes borne, with corporation tax less than a fifth of this so called massive contribution. The City of London does very well like no other.
Thatcher’s neoliberal dream is now totally out of control. The legislators have capitulated to its power. Democracy is systematically deconstructed in favour of the corporations. In the legislators’ place, people-powered organisations emerge such as Tax Justice Network, Democratic Audit, New Economics Foundation to name a few who operate in the arena of social justice in an attempt not to stifle capitalism, but to level the playing field a bit.
CALABASAS, Calif. — A man dressed in black and carrying a rifle was arrested Wednesday near Malibu Creek State Park, where aas he slept in a tent in June, authorities said. A vast search involving Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, a helicopter, search-and-rescue teams and detectives led to the arrest of Anthony Rauda, 42, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said at an evening news conference.
The search was prompted by a series of at least eight burglaries over the past two years in the Calabasas-Malibu area in which food was stolen from local buildings. But for now, Rauda, who has a long criminal history, was only being held for a parole violation, the sheriff said.
Investigators had not ruled out a link to the shooting at the wilderness park, and the rifle will undergo ballistic testing to determine if it was used in any crimes, the sheriff said.
Only hours after his arrest, Rauda was being held without bail. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.
Authorities had been looking for someone who broke into several offices and other buildings in the Malibu Canyon area and stolen food as far back as October 2016, including a string of burglaries in the past three months, McDonnell said. The investigation intensified after an Oct. 4 theft in which surveillance video recorded the suspected burglar wearing a mask and armed with a rifle.
On Tuesday, someone used a rock to smash the glass front door of the Agoura Hills-Calabasas Community Center and stole food from a vending machine.
On Wednesday, dozens of deputies began searching the canyon area and after several hours saw fresh boot prints leading to a steep ravine about a mile north of a road, McDonnell said.
A short time later, searchers heard movement in the brush and saw a man walking quickly. They stopped the man, who was dressed in black and had a rifle, and he surrendered, McDonnell said.
“I don’t know if he was living the brush or if there was housing out there,” the sheriff said.
CBS Los Angeles’ Stu Mundel reported from the station’s news helicopter overhead that there were many deputies — some undercover — and investigators on scene. He said they were seen “with boxes and bags of evidence” hiking down from an area way above the Malibu Creek State Park.
Rauda has a criminal history for burglary and weapons violations, he said.
Rauda potentially could face murder charges if the investigation links him to the death of, 35, of Irvine. Beaudette was shot in the head as he camped with his two daughters, ages 2 and 4, in Malibu Creek State Park on June 22.
The park was closed after the killing.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department later said there had been seven other shootings in and around the park dating back to 2016.
James Rogers, a wildlife biologist, has told the Los Angeles Times that he was shot in November 2016 while sleeping in a hammock south of the park and needed surgery to remove shotgun pellets from his arm.
Malibu Creek State Park sprawls over more than 12 square miles in the rugged Santa Monica Mountains west of Los Angeles. It offers camping, hiking, biking, rock climbing as well as a look at locations used in filming Hollywood movies and TV shows, such as “MASH.”
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.
The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.
Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Mohammed in particular. Several of Khashoggi’s friends said that over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection, and even a high-level job working for the government, if he returned to his home country.
“He said: ‘Are you kidding? I don’t trust them one bit,’ ” said Khaled Saffuri, an Arab American political activist, recounting a conversation he had with Khashoggi in May, moments after Khashoggi had received a call from Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to the royal court.
The intelligence pointing to a plan to detain Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia has fueled speculation by officials and analysts in multiple countries that what transpired at the consulate was a backup plan to capture Khashoggi that may have gone wrong.
A former U.S. intelligence official — who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter — noted that the details of the operation, which involved sending two teams totaling 15 men, in two private aircraft arriving and departing Turkey at different times, bore the hallmarks of a “rendition,” in which someone is extralegally removed from one country and deposited for interrogation in another.
But Turkish officials have concluded that whatever the intent of the operation, Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. Investigators have not found his body, but Turkish officials have released video surveillance footage of Khashoggi entering the consulate on the afternoon of Oct. 2. There is no footage that shows him leaving, they said.
The intelligence about Saudi Arabia’s earlier plans to detain Khashoggi have raised questions about whether the Trump administration should have warned the journalist that he might be in danger.
Intelligence agencies have a “duty to warn” people who might be kidnapped, seriously injured or killed, according to a directive signed in 2015. The obligation applies regardless of whether the person is a U.S. citizen. Khashoggi was a U.S. resident.
“Duty to warn applies if harm is intended toward an individual,” said a former senior intelligence official. But that duty also depends on whether the intelligence clearly indicated Khashoggi was in danger, the former official said.
“Capturing him, which could have been interpreted as arresting him, would not have triggered a duty-to-warn obligation,” the former official said. “If something in the reported intercept indicated that violence was planned, then, yes, he should have been warned.”
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the warning process, declined to comment on whether Khashoggi had been contacted.
Administration officials have not commented on the intelligence reports that showed a Saudi plan to lure Khashoggi.
“Though I cannot comment on intelligence matters, I can say definitively the United States had no advance knowledge of [Khashoggi’s] disappearance,” deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters Wednesday. Asked whether the U.S. government would have had a duty to warn Khashoggi if it possessed information that he was in jeopardy, Palladino declined to answer what he called a “hypothetical question.”
It was not clear to officials with knowledge of the intelligence whether the Saudis discussed harming Khashoggi as part of the plan to detain him in Saudi Arabia.
But the intelligence had been disseminated throughout the U.S. government and was contained in reports that are routinely available to people working on U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia or related issues, one U.S. official said.
The intelligence poses a political problem for the Trump administration because it implicates Mohammed, who is particularly close to Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
On Wednesday, Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton spoke by phone with the crown prince, but White House officials said the Saudis provided little information.
Trump has grown frustrated, two officials said, after initially reacting slowly to Khashoggi’s disappearance. Earlier this week, he said he had no information about what had happened to the journalist.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have reacted harshly to the disappearance. On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators asked Trump to impose sanctions on anyone found responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance, including Saudi leaders.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), perhaps the president’s closest ally in the Senate, predicted a “bipartisan tsunami” of action if the Saudis were involved and said that Khashoggi’s death could alter the nature of relations between the two countries.
Kushner’s relationship with Mohammed, known within national security agencies by the initials MBS, has long been the subject of suspicion by some American intelligence officials.
Kushner and Mohammed have had private, one-on-one phone calls that were not always set up through normal channels so the conversations could be memorialized and Kushner could be properly briefed.
For all his criticism of the Saudi regime, Khashoggi was not always opposed to Mohammed’s policies. Khashoggi credited the young leader for what he saw as positive changes, including loosening Saudi cultural restrictions.
Khashoggi often expressed affection for his homeland, even while saying he did not believe it was safe for him. One person in contact with the crown prince, speaking on the condition of anonymity to preserve the relationship, said Khashoggi last year asked him to give a message to Mohammed saying he needed someone like Khashoggi as an adviser.
When he transmitted the message, this person said, the crown prince said that Khashoggi was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Qatar, both Saudi adversaries, and that the arrangement would never happen.
Two other friends of Khashoggi said that at least twice he received cordial phone calls from Qahtani, the adviser to the prince, conveying friendly messages on his behalf.
In one of the calls, in September 2017, Qahtani said that Mohammed had been “very happy” to see Khashoggi post a message praising the kingdom after the government announced it was lifting a driving ban on women, according to one of the friends, who was with Khashoggi at the time. The tone of the call was pleasant, but Khashoggi also told Qahtani he would praise the government when there were “positive developments. When there are bad things, I will speak up.”
He spent the rest of the call advocating on behalf of several recently imprisoned critics of the regime.
A friend also said that Khashoggi told him he had been approached several times by a businessman close to the Saudi ruling family. The businessman, whom Khashoggi did not name, seemed “keen” to see him every time he visited Washington and told Khashoggi that he would work with the Saudi authorities to arrange his return, the friend said.
Kareem Fahim and Loveday Morris in Istanbul and Josh Dawsey, Karoun Demirjian, Karen DeYoung and Carol Morello in Washington contributed to this report.
Russia provided Syria’s military with two dozen advanced S-300 aerial missile defense launchers at no charge, a military source told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency on Monday.
The source said that the 24 S-300 launchers were transferred to Syria in three battalion sets with eight launchers each, and described the systems as “in good condition and are capable of performing combat tasks.”
“These systems were previously deployed at one of the Russian aerospace forces’ regiments which now uses the [S-400] systems. The S-300 systems underwent capital repairs at Russian defense enterprises, are in good condition, and are capable of performing combat tasks,” he said.
The source added that the systems were given to Damascus for free, along with 100 surface-to-air guided missiles for each battalion — an arsenal of 300 in all.
Ties between Russia and Israel hit a snag last month over the accidental downing of a Russian jet by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli air raid in Latakia province on September 17, killing 15 Russian serviceman.
Blaming Israel over the incident, Russia transferred its advanced S-300 missile defense system to Syria — a move Israel branded “irresponsible”.
Israel and the United States have vociferously opposed the decision by Russia to supply such weaponry to Syria, which they claim could exacerbate an already volatile situation and could impede Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from gaining a foothold in the region.
Until the incident, Russia — which is backing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s government forces in the country’s civil war — had largely given Israeli warplanes a free hand over Syrian skies turning a blind eye to frequent strikes on Iranian positions and convoys transferring weapons to Hezbollah, the Iranian backed proxy operating in Syria.
But the delivery of the S-300 to Syria makes Israeli jets far more vulnerable in any future operations in the country.
Netanyahu has nonetheless reiterated that Israel will continue to act “at all times to prevent Iran from establishing a military presence in Syria and to thwart the transfer of lethal weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
Netanyahu said Sunday that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to meet “soon” to discuss continued military coordination in Syria.
The meeting would be the first between the two leaders since the friendly fire incident over Syria.
Deemed to be more efficient and advanced than any other interceptor missile system currently in Syrian possession, the S-300 can intercept not only planes but also ballistic missiles with ranges of up to 250 kilometers and at a very high altitude.
The S-300 system and the more advanced S-400 have been operational in Syria since 2016 but have only been used to protect Russian apparatus.