Thursday, September 19, 2019

Russia AND China VETO UN Security Council Resolution that PROTECTED TERRORISTS

I've been following this latest episode today...
RT
"Russia and China have blocked a UN Security Council resolution on the truce in Syria’s Idlib province as it didn’t provide an exemption for military action against terrorist groups blacklisted by the UN itself. 

The real aim of the resolution, put together by Kuwait, Germany and Belgium, was “saving the international terrorists entrenched in Idlib from complete annihilation and portraying Russia and Syria as the culprits of what is happening there,” Russian envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said."
Using this situation as a tool in a hostile campaign which aims to destabilize Syria’s safety and stability and support terrorism.

"The Russian delegation warned the co-authors that their draft was bound to fail, but they still put it to vote, “deliberately disrupting the unity of the Council,” he pointed out.
The alternative ceasefire resolution, which was drafted by Moscow, also failed to garner enough support, with 12 countries voting against it."

As has been suggested here the Astana Trio had been having success in Idlib. 
It wasn't happening easily or quickly, but it was occurring. 
Hot on the heels of that obvious show of solidarity the three parties made in Ankara including some not so subtle messages towards NATO and the US- Ignored completely by 5 eyes msm and alt media. 
unity and solidarity

Suddenly allies of the US, Saudi Arabia, the PKK, Israel and the global oligarchy class create yet another UN Security Council resolution demanding a total ceasefire to save their "international terrorists" in Idlib.

Today's first report:  UN Security Council Set To Vote On Rival Truce Plans For Northwest Syria- Today
 "Again we see the US protecting their terrorists"
Today's second report  HTS Crumbling In Idlib/ Astana Success in Idlib the Reason for the UN Ceasefire Request?

Related......


HTS Crumbling In Idlib/ Astana Success in Idlib the Reason for the UN Ceasefire Request?

 Al Jaafari is definitely pointing out the political machinations behind this latest call for a ceasefire in Idlib:

SANA

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that Governments of some permanent members at UNSC continue to abuse the use of UNSC mechanisms to politicize the humanitarian situation in Syria by using this situation as a tool in a hostile campaign which aims to destabilize Syria’s safety and stability and support terrorism.
Al-Jaafari, speaking at a security Council session on Thursday , said that improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and confronting difficulties  faced by Syrians require  full commitment the respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to support the efforts of the government and its allies in combating the remaining terrorist organizations.
As stated earlier "Again we see the US protecting their terrorists" There was a whole lot of discord among the varying groups of mercenaries in Idlib- It looked as if the plans made by the Astana trio ( Iran, Russia, Turkey) were bearing fruit

There had been a call for fighter/mercs to turn on Al Golani 

Sept.11/19
Mustafa Seyjerim, Free Syrian Army spokesman, called HTS fighters to turn on Al Golani.
This came after ABo Abed Ashda , HTS leader, relaesed a video and talked about the mistakes and violations that HTS commits,  which in turn dismissed him saying he exposed "information" that "benefits the enemy"
Due to the video released by HTS regional leader Ashidaa which resulted in his arrest and incarceration

ALEPPO, Syria — A prominent commander of Islamist coalition Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Syria was arrested Sept. 12 after he posted a video on YouTube criticizing other HTS leaders and alleging corruption. 

In his video, titled “To Prevent the Ship From Sinking," Abu al-Abd Ashidaa raised allegations of financial and administrative corruption within the group's leadership. Some observers described Ashidaa’s criticisms as a coup against HTS. The video went viral among jihadi organizations in the northwestern Syria province of Idlib, where HTS is fighting regime forces.

He also went as far as accusing HTS leadership of focusing on collecting tax and zakat (Islamic charitable contributions) and taking over public property, all while smuggling goods and monopolizing the trade of grains and agricultural crops after forcing farmers to sell their crops at low prices.

HTS denied Ashidaa's allegations and announced Sept. 10, the day after he posted the video, that he was being dismissed from his posts and referred to the military judiciary for punishment.

When he was arrested Sept. 12, HTS said in a statement, “A few days ago, a video by Ashidaa was broadcast, filled with lies and slander, and inciting division within the group. Some information that could benefit our enemy in the battles in the liberated north was revealed.”

The statement continued, “We stress that we will not allow, God willing, any attempt to divide our ranks or create strife, especially as the enemy is trying to infiltrate [our] ranks and seeks to pull them away from their families, waging a psychological war of incitement and spreading rumors.”
Ashidaa remained in custody as of the Sept. 17 deadline for this story, with no news of his release. Until he was arrested, Ashidaa commanded the military bloc of Aleppo city and was administrative commander of Umar ibn al-Khattab Army, a group of HTS special forces. He is seen as part of the most radical HTS current. He opposes the pragmatism of HTS leader Abu Mohammad al-Golani and his moderate current. Ashidaa has also repeatedly condemned the conflicts over power within HTS, and the attempts of some of the group’s leaders to collect money.
HTS fears the video could lead to more defections. Since the beginning of this year, two of the group’s most prominent leaders defected or were dismissed — explanations vary — due to internal disputes: Talha al-Mayssir (also known as Abu Shuaib al-Masri) and Abu al-Yaqdhan al-Masri

Related......

UN Security Council Set To Vote On Rival Truce Plans For Northwest Syria- Today

 It should be noted that this vote follows the Ankara meeting of Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani.
The situation in northwest Syria aka Idlib was discussed and addressed by the trio. Still Kuwait, Germany and Belgium felt it necessary to submit a resolution which was countered with a rival draft from China and Russia. Highly suggestive the US and friends don't want a resolution in Idlib. Or at least not the one Iran, Russia and Turkey are working towards.

Russian and Syrian forces stand guard as civilians enter a crossing into Idlib Province.
Link

The council is set to decide between a resolution submitted by Kuwait, Germany, and Belgium and a rival draft put forward by Russia and China.
                           
The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on September 19 on rival draft resolutions calling for a truce in northwest Syria.


The resolution by Kuwait and the European countries calls for the Security Council to demand all sides "immediately cease hostilities" in Syria's Idlib Province.
It calls for a cease-fire to begin at noon local time on September 21 and says it would help "avoid a further deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Idlib."

Diplomats have told Reuters that Moscow wants language included that would exempt from the truce any military actions against armed groups blacklisted by the Security Council.

The United States and others have refused Moscow's demand, diplomats said. The draft instead insists that "member states ensure that all measures taken to counter terrorism, including in Idlib Governorate, comply with their obligations under international law."
Again we see the US protecting their terrorists.
Washington and other Western states have accused Moscow and allied Syrian forces of targeting civilians in Idlib.

Russia and Syria deny the charge, claiming they have targeted militants, including the Nusra Front, an extremist group also known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham that has been linked to Al-Qaeda.

Russia and China put forward a separate text to the UN that "reaffirms that the cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council," according to a text seen by Reuters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ankara Summit 2019:14 Point Joint Statement Including a NATO like Article 5 Collective Defence Affirmation.

 The trio certainly made an interesting joint statement in Ankara.. Afterwards joining hands in a very obvious and intentional show of strength and solidarity.

Link
"The Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey, in a joint statement, reaffirmed their firm commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, rejecting every effort to create new realities in the Syrian field under the pretext of combatting terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives.

The 14-paragraph statement released after intensive talks by Dr Hassan Rouhani, Mr Vladimir Putin and Mr Rajab Tayyip Erdoğan, welcomed the participation of Iraq and Lebanon as new observers of the Astana Format and called on the international community to take more responsibility in rebuilding Syria and increasing humanitarian aid to the people of the country.
The full text of the joint statement is as follows:

The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Putin, and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, met on September 16, 2019 in Ankara to attend a trilateral summit.

The Presidents:

1- Discussed the current field situation in Syria, reviewed developments since their last meeting in Sochi on February 14, 2019, and reiterated their resolve to strengthen trilateral cooperation in the light of their agreements.

2- Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. They reiterated that these principles should be respected by everyone and that no action, whoever its agent(s), should undermine these principles.

3- Reaffirmed in this regard the respect for universally-recognised international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council resolution 497, and condemned the United States Government’s decision regarding the occupied Syrian Golan, which is a clear violation of the international law, endangering regional peace and security. They consider Israeli military strikes in Syria as destabilising and in violation of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, leading to heightened tensions in the region.

4- Discussed the situation in the north-east of Syria and emphasised that security and stability in this region can only be achieved on the basis of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and agreed to coordinate their efforts in this regard.

5- Rejected in this regard all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combatting terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries."
An oped from Yeni Safak makes an interesting point about the fifth article above.
"However, the U.S. must have also turned purple when it read the fifth article. Because it should be suspected that this decision was specifically added to the fifth article; any outside threat to a NATO-member country's national security, sovereignty is prevented by members of the pact.
Now, "which pact" is protecting Turkey?"
 FYI: NATO's article 5 invokes collective defense among NATO nations

 The joint statement made by Iran, Russia and Turkey clearly states that the trio will stand together against separatist agendas and threats intended to undermine the sovereignty of Syria as well as those of neighbouring countries... Which would include Turkey. Also, Iran.
  It is a statement implying collective defense. I'd say that was a clear, intentional swipe at article 5 of the joint NATO's collective "unique and enduring" principal of collective defense. I'm unsure why this summit has garnered so little coverage in the media?
 Other then it's the usual behaviour for 5 eyes alt and msm.
6- Reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and highlighted the necessity to establish calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib, first and foremost the Memorandum of 17 September 2018. They warned about the deteriorated humanitarian situation in the region and its surroundings as the result of continued tensions and agreed to take concrete steps to reduce violations. They also expressed serious concern over increased presence of the terrorist organisation “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham” in the area and reaffirmed the determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council. While deploring civilian casualties, they agreed to undertake concrete measures, based on the previous agreements, to ensure the protection of the civilian population in accordance with the international humanitarian law as well as the safety and security of the military personnel of the guarantors present within and outside the Idlib de-escalation area.

7- Reiterated their belief that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it can only be ended through a UN-facilitated Syrian-Syrian political process in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2254.

8- Expressed their consent over the successful conclusion of formation and launching of the Constitutional Committee and their support for the efforts of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen on the agreement among the Syrian parties with regard to the work of the committee. They reiterated their readiness to facilitate the launching of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, in accordance with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi.

9- Emphasised the need to increase humanitarian assistance to all Syrians throughout the country without preconditions. In order to support the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria and the progress in the process of the political settlement, they called upon the international community, the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, to take more responsibility in this regard and enhance the assistance to Syria, inter alia by developing early recovery projects, including the restoration of basic infrastructure assets - water and power supply facilities, schools and hospitals as well as the humanitarian mine action.

10- Highlighted the need to facilitate safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria, ensuring their right to return and right to be supported. In this regard they called upon the international community to provide appropriate contributions and reaffirmed their readiness to continue interaction with all relevant parties, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other specialised international agencies. They agreed to coordinate their initiatives to hold international conferences on humanitarian aid to Syria and the return of Syrian refugees.

11- Welcomed the participation of Iraq and Lebanon as new observers of the Astana format.

12- In addition to the Syrian issue, reviewed the latest regional and international developments and also cooperation in various fields, and emphasised their decision to develop joint economic and commercial cooperation.

13-
Decided to hold the next tripartite summit in the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the invitation of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr Hassan Rouhani.

14-
Expressed their sincere gratitude
to the President of Turkey Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan for hosting the tripartite summit in Ankara.

Related:

Does the US have something in mind already employing this man?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cruise Missiles Used in Saudi Oil Facility Attack? US Weapons Did NOT Protect the Facilities Effectively

There is stringent security present around these facilities!  How did they not see the drones?
How did the American military miss the drones flying in from more then 1000 kms away? 
The American military is based in Saudi Arabia alongside Saudi forces. Possibly near the oil facilities? How did the drones get past them?

 This story gets more and more interesting. One wonders if the attack could serve to encourage additional arms purchases from Israel or the US? After all Saudi Arabia had considered purchasing the S-400 from Russia. Competition, being competitive and all that.

Previous coverage regarding  Saudi consideration of S-400  purchase from last year
"The S-400
Talks for Saudi Arabia to acquire the Russian S-400 SAM system are continuing..."
 
Smoke at Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing site

WaPo
“Although Saudi Arabia once flirted with the idea of buying the S-400 system, it was probably aware that doing so would have a disastrous effect on its relationship with the Trump administration.”
And if Saudi Arabia wasn't aware or concerned then. They surely are now
"Saturday’s attack would have been exponentially harder to neutralize than the 2017 strike. Both drones and cruise missiles appeared to have been used, with some suggestions that the weapons were launched from multiple locations.

Knight said Saudi Arabia’s missile defense system was developed in the 1990s after watching the Iran-Iraq war and the subsequent Gulf War, where airplanes and ballistic missiles were the main threat and could be spotted with radar easily, to be targeted by defense systems at a distance.

However, cruise missiles and drones fly far closer to the ground, making them harder for radar to detect. Given the low altitude, shooting one down carries greater risk, especially when detected late. “If you are wrong, you just blew up a British Airways flight,” Knight said.

Saudi Arabia has several missile defense systems that can target a low-altitude flight. Thomas Karako, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that in theory the Patriot system could protect against such a threat, although it is primarily designed for ballistic missiles.

However, it would depend where it was placed. “The defended area for a Patriot battery is relatively small,” Karako said. “There are real limits, even if you have a ton of Patriots, on what you can defend.”

It is unclear ( or it won't be stated?) whether the targeted oil facilities, in the districts of Khurais and Abqaiq, were defended by Patriot batteries or other systems.

Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at Rand Corp., said responsibility for protecting Saudi Arabia’s critical infrastructure was split between the Interior Ministry and the domestically focused Saudi Arabian National Guard, rather than the military.

“These overlapping structures, rules and responsibilities are really a vestige of coup-proofing practices,” Wasser said, designed to prevent any one wing of power from posing a threat to the ruling family.

Saudi Arabia is planning military reforms to address such problems, she added, part of society-wide changes being pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom, aware of the technical threat posed by Iran to key facilities, may also seek to purchase new weapons that could combat the threat better.

The Iron Dome missile-defense system, co-designed by the Israeli defense firm Rafael and Raytheon, may be one possibility, Karako said. The system is best known for its use in Israel, where it is used to shoot down rockets from Gaza and southern Lebanon. “The Saudis want to get something like Iron Dome, but they probably won’t call it Iron Dome,” Karako said.

Saudi Arabia may also seek to improve its radar capabilities with the use of elevated sensors that can detect threats from farther away.

For the time being, however, Saudi Arabia may have to learn to make better use of what it has already. New purchases from the United States could take years to go through, especially given a Congress increasingly suspicious of Saudi Arabia and export restrictions in place on some of the more advanced U.S. technology.

There may not be any handouts from the White House. Though Trump pushed the Saudi military to make more purchases, he suggested Monday that the United States did not have an obligation to protect the kingdom — and that if there was a conflict, Riyadh would again foot the bill.

“The fact is that the Saudis are going to have a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something. They’ll be very much involved, and that includes payment,” Trump said."
Good thing for the ARAMACO offering eh?  Lots of money for military purchases.

From earlier:

Bellweather: Ex Premier Ahmet Dovutoglu Resigns From AKP Party


   

Bellweather: Ex Premier Ahmet Dovutoglu Resigns From AKP Party

The word bellweather comes to mind:  an indicator or predictor of something.

 I've long, long had serious doubts about  Mr Dovutoglu. And have expressed those thoughts here. Dovutoglu was the power in Turkey at the time the Syrian destabilization began.  And the man in charge when the Russian plane was shot down.. by a heavily NATO infiltrated military.
Nor do I believe the song he's singing about not wanting to disagree or divide.

Under the old system of government. The Prime Minister, not the President, held the power.

Saying he'll start a new movement
"It is both a historical responsibility and a necessity to build a new political movement and take a new path," Davutoğlu said, speaking at a press conference in the capital Ankara. He resigned alongside several other AKP lawmakers.
This guy is a wolf in sheep's clothing in my opinion. Hope the Turks think two or three times before offering him support
His resignation may have been a preemptive move, as the AKP had been widely expected to dismiss Davutoğlu, having launched disciplinary action against him.
Davutoglu was foreign minister in 2009-2014 before becoming AKP chair and prime minister. In May 2016, Davutoğlu stepped down from both posts and was succeeded by Binali Yıldırım.

Link
Former Prime Minister and then-chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu resigned his party on Sept. 13 after the AKP had launched disciplinary action against him and three other dissidents.
“Referring the chair, deputy chairmen, deputies and provincial leaders who have led the resistance of the 15 July night to the discipline with the demand of expulsion is a very grave decision which does not coincide with the founding principles of the AK Party, and with our democratic experiences and political traditions,” Davutoglu said, speaking at a press conference where he declared his resignation.
This goes back to the coup.
Six other AKP members also declared their resignation along with Davutoglu.
Elaborating on his recent criticisms of the AKP’s policies, Davutoglu said: “We aimed to invite the current AKP administration, which departs from its founding principles and political mission, to make an accounting.”
All “consultation channels” within the in the party are closed, and there was no room left for “well-intentioned criticism and advice” in the party, he stated.    
“Our intention and goal is not to disagree, divide and weaken; our aim was to put forward the possibilities of renewing our party within the framework of founding principles as an interpreter for the discomfort seen in our party cadres and grassroots,” he stated.
The AKP’s central executive committee last week decided to take action to expel Davutoglu, along with former MPs Selçuk Özdağ, Ayhan Sefer Üstün and Abdullah Başcı on the grounds that they acted in contradiction to the AKP’s rules of procedure. The AKP’s Disciplinary Board asked them for a verbal and written defense. The move of their resignation came before the deadline of the disciplinary defense period.
 Globe and Mail

Monday, September 16, 2019

Putin, Erdogan and Rohani: Upbeat Press Conference. Lots of Agreement

Following Up On...  Trilateral Summit on In Ankara- Is Everyone on the Same Page? Damascus labels SDF as "separatist terrorist militia", again. 

                                 -------------------------------------------

I'm getting the impression that this has been a productive meeting, undertaken to finalize that which was likely discussed in advance of this latest get together- Indicates the "why" of the letter sent by Damascus to the UN. Covered in today's earlier post.

Link : About 58 minutes

 

Additional reports below:

And yes the trio stated Israel's attacks on Syria are destabilizing. As they are intended to be...

"The presidents consider Israeli military attacks in Syria as destabilizing, violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, as well as leading to increased tensions in the region," the Russian-language version of document, published on the Kremlin’s website, reads.

"The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey announced Monday that they agreed to form a committee tasked with rewriting Syria’s constitution as part of a political solution to the country’s civil war, now in its ninth year"