Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Syria freezes assets of Hariri, Saqr. Following up on those arrest warrants?

Just a quick but interesting news tidbit today

BEIRUT: Syria’s Finance Ministry has frozen the assets of Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Future Movement MP Oqab Saqr, Syrian media reported this week.
Quoting a statement issued by the ministry, the media said the state "has frozen liquid and non-liquid assets for Saadeddine Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister ... and Oqab Saqr."
The statement added that the ministry also undertook such measures against the spokesperson of the Free Syrian Army Louay al-Meqdad.
The three are accused “of funding terrorist acts in various areas and [the measure comes] in accordance with paragraph one of Article 4 from the anti-terrorism law."

You may recall  Syria had issued arrest warrants for these people also?
Syria issued arrest warrants Tuesday for Hariri, Saqr and Meqdad over charges of providing weapons and funds for “terrorist groups” in Syria.

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the Interpol’s office at the Internal Security Forces received the warrants at midday Tuesday, adding that copies had been sent to all Arab states.

  The move comes almost two weeks after a Lebanese television station aired audio recordings of Saqr allegedly discussing supplying Syrian rebels with arms and conveying Hariri’s hope that the opposition defeats the Syrian Army.


  1. In wake of Algeria, question is what did Algerian forces uncover and why is the President Mum? They have been steadfast non interventionists (Mali) and maintain close ties with Russia (weapons). Plus Algeria is the major interconnect to European natgas, not to mention the home of the proposed Trans Sahara pipeline.
    So then, odd but not altogether surprising (timing falls in line) story out of East Africa. The story follows the alleged coup attempt in Sudan.
    "Eritrean army tanks besieged the information ministry in central Asmara on Monday after some 200 mutineers seized the building to call for political reform, diplomatic and diaspora sources said Monday."
    Form this past summer:
    "Eritrea has captured the disputed border town of Badme over the last three days in retaliation for Ethiopian provocation, sources told OPride. Ethiopian sources, who refused to talk on the record, reject the loss while tacitly acknowledging that battle is underway, which, they claim, Eritrea initiated. The town of Badme was the flash point for the 1998-2000 Ethio-Eritrean war. A UN-sponsored arbitration panel awarded the tiny town to Eritrea, which Ethiopia refused to relinquish. If confirmed, this week’s skirmish would represent a major escalation since the end of the war in 2000 that consumed 70,000 lives."

    1. I had something up some time ago,,, and interview suggesting for some reason Eritrea was going to be next or targeted.
      I can't quite recall why?

      Recall Ethiopia involved as a proxy for the US attacking Somali some time ago??

    2. The Bada area sounds like it's in contention for being hell on Earth, from this 2003 report:

      At times, it's the hottest place on Earth. They say the temperature can reach a life-threatening 68C.

      It's here on the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, that the United Nations now has 4,000 peacekeepers, in what they call a Temporary Security Zone - 25 kilometres wide - designed to ensure that the armies of Eritrea and Ethiopia are kept apart . . . .

      Border delays

      The aim of the patrols is simply to demonstrate the UN's presence on this border - the scene of such intense fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia until three years ago.

      What both countries are waiting for, is the official demarcation of the border. It was hoped a start would have been made by now in erecting the pillars along this barren frontier stretching 1,000 km from Sudan in the west to Djibouti in the east.

      But there's a hitch. For the moment, Ethiopia won't accept the ruling of the independent Boundary Commission that Badme - a one-horse town without the horse - actually lies within Eritrea.

      The UN has now left.

      And Badme appears to be occupied by Ethiopia according to this recent (biased?) report by France24: http://www.ethiosoul.com/areaction-from-badme-people-to-ethio-eritrea-war-video_4c56771ab.html#

      They claim the Ethiopian army "is everywhere" in Badme and the Ethiopian flag flies from buildings and the soldiers conduct daily inspection of the main highway out of town . . . even though the independent border commission ruled it Eritrean ground and the two armies stand off kilometers away.

  2. Ethiopia pushing ahead with upstream Nile dam construction.
    "With the visiting committee tasked with examining Ethiopia’s planned Renaissance Dam project and its effect on the Nile River, Ethiopian citizens are becoming increasingly agitated with Egypt and Sudan’s continued refusal to allow the country to build what will be Africa’s largest dam."
    U.S. drone base in Ethiopia is operational
    Ethiopia covets port (Somalia too)
    Ethiopia had two ports (Massawa and Assab) in its former province, Eritrea. After the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries of the world with a population of 70 million, became a landlocked nation. The Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), a rebel group that fought for independence for 30 years, controlled Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea in May 1991.
    UN says too early to lift sanctions (from this past summer)
    The head of the United Nations monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea says it is too early to lift U.N. sanctions against Eritrea, despite a report suggesting the Asmara government no longer actively supports Somali al-Shabab insurgents.
    And the Abramoff connection to Eritrea

    1. We've seen this scenario before w/ re to Abramoff.

      I remember a show chronicling Libya's previous relationship with a PR firm but can't find it now.

      Here's an article mocking Libya's attempt to hire a PR firm in 2011: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2020805/Libyan-dictator-Muammar-Gaddafi-tries-hire-NYC-public-relations-firm-improve-image.html (which in itself is propaganda that a PR pro probably devised). Update: here's a 2007 article in Mother Jones:

      Sometimes, such PR campaigns do more than put lipstick on a dictator. In the case of Libya, the PR firms and advisers pushed for real reform—partly because some top Libyan officials, including the son of Moammar Qadaffi, apparently also supported change. In February 2006, one of those advisers, Michael Porter, presented his report on Libya's economic and political decay to an audience of 1,500 Libyan officials and businessmen, who greeted his findings of corruption and a privileged plutocracy with applause. Porter's researchers later met with Qadaffi himself and urged him to undertake political reforms and open the economy. Though Libya remains a dictatorship that jails some dissidents, it has renounced terror, begun to open its markets, and allowed in Human Rights Watch, which—while remaining overwhelmingly critical of the regime—has praised Tripoli for gradually moving toward greater freedom.

      We also saw similar initiatives in Syria during the aughts. Syria and the West repaired relations somewhat. As did Libya and the West.

      But maybe these rapprochement initiatives were done in preparation for these attacks on them. First of all hyping their PR efforts is propaganda it self--how can they even come close to matching Western propaganda so who cares if they hire a firm here and there and is this unusual anyway? Second, maybe they were lulling these countries into a false sense of security. Dangling a carrot to them that if they changed their image the West would back off them. Of course the West was simply waiting for the time to strike.

    2. Does it sometimes appear that the UN stacks the deck in a way that almost guarantees turmoil?

      I don't know.

      FYI: there is a major oil choke point in that vicinity??
      The names escapes me at this moment
      But, this would explain Russia's involvement in this area?
      And oil chokepoint blocked by hostile persons would not be beneficial to Russia or China for that matter.

  3. From early 2012 on the Iran and Eritrea connection
    In late 2008 published reports claimed that Iranian ships, troops, weapons, and even submarines were seen in Assab. The Eritrean government rejected the reports as “persistent disinformation campaigns by Israeli intelligence officials.”
    Nevertheless, Iranian “engineers” were seen in Assab more recently – “maintenance workers” for an oil refinery, Eritrean officials explained.
    Authorities in an African port management association were queried this week about Iranian naval traffic in Assab. This was their response: “As you may be aware the Eritrean Government is strict on limiting communication with the outside world and this affects our ability to get information regarding the ports of Massawa and Assab.”
    The alleged Sudan coup a few weekss ago?
    All of this puts in context this story by the Washington Post about the recent Algeria flare up..
    Algerian stance spoils U.S. strategy for region. But Algeria’s unilateral decision to attack kidnappers at a natural gas plant — while shunning outside help, imposing a virtual information blackout and disregarding international pleas for caution — has dampened hopes that it might cooperate militarily in Mali, U.S. officials said. The crisis has strained ties between Algiers and Washington and increased doubts about whether Algeria can be relied upon to work regionally to dismantle al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa.

  4. Why is the Algerian president mum on the subject (and why are the NATO allies upset of no notices on the raid?)
    Algerian president remains mum over hostage crisis
    And this...
    "Libya ordered the closure of its borders with four of its neighbours on Sunday, as it declared the desert south of its territory a closed military zone in the face of mounting unrest, state media reported. The National Assembly ordered the "temporary closure of the land borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria pending new regulations" on the circulation of people and goods, said a decree carried by the official LANA news agency."
    What is Russia role as they withhold criticism from France on Mali.
    Russia has no objection to French intervention in Mali
    From back in October
    France has been asked to allow two Russian spy planes to be deployed at a French base in Djibouti to help track down pirates, the Russian defense minister says

    1. Great links indeed anony.

      The timing alone makes me think a false flag incident is the most likely theory of what happened at the oil facility. Attention has been diverted from French (and American probably) attacks on Mali.

      Thanks for the Russian links. Yet more proof that Russia actually approves of the illegal actions of their putative adversaries even as they claim to be the main opposition to Western hegemony. Based on the fact Russia is okay with France attacking people in Mali because the government requested military help, I take it Russia is recognizing the military coup conducted last year as the legitimate government? They objected to the coup as long ago as last year: http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_03_23/69399036/

      Does Russia really not know that Western military is already active in Mali and probably influenced the coup? Why is Russia condoning yet another Western backed coup? Gross negligence? Complicity?

      Also, the conflict in Libya has contributed to the Mali conflict so why isn't Russia making noise about this fact? I submit it's because Russia never really objected to taking Libya out. They supposedly got punked when NATO expanded the NATO mission in Libya but they don't seem to have learned any lessons from this. Like Charlie Brown kicking the football the Russians are lining up over and over to kick the same ball that gets yanked away from them.

      Instead Russia is playing up the threat of international terrorism via Al Qaeda and the threat of piracy. Hyping these threats justifies Western and NATO wars in North Africa.

      Russia's actions are not consistent with a country truly fighting U.S. and Western hegemony in the Middle East and Africa and beyond. Russia is acting like controlled opposition--like the U.S. Democrat party pretending to oppose war.

  5. Hello Anon Linkie Person :)
    I was just thinking about you today...
    And you appear
    Yeah, yeah

    You have given me much to read for tomorrow
    Today was a bit busy

    1. :) busy start to year.