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Russian official threatens use of nuclear weapons in Syria

World War 3 fears: Russia threaten NUCLEAR WEAPONS to Syria in response to US sanctions RUSSIA may deploy nuclear weapons to Syria in response to the US policy of imposing sanctions over Moscow crossing “red lines”, a senior Russian lawmaker has warned. Sunday Express, By MATT DRAKE  Aug 26, 2018 Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, said it is time for Russia to draw its own red lines.

Among such measures, the official said the deployment of Russian tactical nukes in countries such as Syria, the use of gold-linked cryptocurrencies for Russian arms exports and the suspension of a number of treaties with the US – such as non-proliferation of missile technologies.

Mr Gutenev said: “I believe that now Russia has to draw its own ‘red lines.’ “The time has come to ponder on variants of asymmetric response to the US, which are now being suggested by experts and are intended not only to offset their sanctions but also to do some retaliatory damage.

Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, said it is time for Russia to draw its own red lines.

Among such measures, the official said the deployment of Russian tactical nukes in countries such as Syria, the use of gold-linked cryptocurrencies for Russian arms exports and the suspension of a number of treaties with the US – such as non-proliferation of missile technologies.

Mr Gutenev said: “I believe that now Russia has to draw its own ‘red lines.’

“The time has come to ponder on variants of asymmetric response to the US, which are now being suggested by experts and are intended not only to offset their sanctions but also to do some retaliatory damage.

“It’s no secret that serious pressure is being put on Russia, and it will only get worse.

“It is intended to deal a blow to defence cooperation, including defence exports.”

The minister added that Russia should follow the advice of “experts” and follow the US’ example of deploying nuclear weapons in other countries.

He added: “We should follow the advice of certain experts, who say that Russia should possibly suspend the implementation of treaties on non-proliferation of missile technologies, and also follow the US example and start deploying our tactical nuclear weapons in foreign countries.

“It is possible that Syria, where we have a well-protected airbase, may become one of those countries.”……….https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1008474/world-war-3-russia-nuclear-weapon-syria-us-sanctions

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August 27, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, Syria, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Syrian opposition praises Donald Trump’s Iran nuclear deal exit

Nasr al-Hariri, chair of the Syrian Negotiations Committee, says move could help remove ‘malignant influence’ of Iran from country, Guardian, Patrick WintourDiplomatic editor Thu 10 May 2018 

May 11, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Syria | Leave a comment

First Western journalist to reach and report on Douma site – Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”

Robert Fisk: There was no chlorine attack in Douma

Famed War Reporter Robert Fisk Reaches Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ Site, Concludes “They Were Not Gassed” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-17/famed-war-reporter-robert-fisk-reaches-syrian-chemical-attack-site-concludes-they by Tyler Durden 04/17/2018 

April 18, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Syria | Leave a comment

US, British and French forces launch air strikes on chemical weapons sites in Syria

Syria: US, British and French forces launch air strikes in response to chemical weapons attack, 

US, British and French forces have pounded chemical weapons sites in Syria with air strikes in response to an alleged poison gas attack that killed dozens in the rebel-held town of Douma last week.

Key points:

  • US, UK and France hit three chemical weapons sites in Syria
  • US Defence Secretary says strikes were a “one-time shot”
  • Strikes biggest intervention yet by Western powers against Assad regime

In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations had “marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality”.

The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s seven-year-old civil war, which has pitted the US and its allies against Russia.

The Pentagon said the strikes targeted a research centre in Damascus, along with a chemical weapons storage facility and command post west of Homs……

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the strikes were not about intervening in a civil war nor were they about a regime change.

“We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised within Syria, on the streets of the UK or anywhere else in our world,” Ms May said…….

Russia’s Defence Ministry said the majority of missiles fired during the attack were intercepted by Syrian air defence systems using Soviet-produced hardware, including the Buk missile system.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-14/us-to-strike-syria-in-response-to-chemical-weapons-attack/9658900

April 14, 2018 Posted by | France, politics international, Russia, Syria, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Political wrangle in Israel, following admission that Israel destroyed a Syrian reactor in 2007

Israel finally admitted it destroyed a Syrian reactor in 2007 — and set off a battle of egos, WP,  March 22  JERUSALEM — Israel’s admission Wednesday that it was behind a mysterious attack on a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria more than a decade ago has caused a storm.

But not in the way one might think.

Within hours of the Israeli military censor permitting local media to publish most of the details of the 2007 air attack on a secret desert facility in northeastern Syria, as well as releasing blurry black-and-white video footage, former political and military leaders went to war over who should be credited for the operation.

In Israel’s eyes, the operation was a resounding success. It prevented its northern neighbor from obtaining nuclear capabilities. Ultimately, it also ensured that the Islamic State militant group would not possess nuclear weapons when it took over the region several years later.

But since Israel’s confirmation of its role in the airstrike, a battle has played out on Israeli television and radio and online, pitting two former Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak; a former Mossad chief; and a former military intelligence chief against one another.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman later said he regretted allowing the material to be published.

The attack occurred in the early hours of Sept. 6, 2007. Eight Israeli fighter jets flew north along the Mediterranean toward their target 280 miles from the Syrian capital, Damascus. Close to 1 a.m., they dropped 24 tons of ammunition on an isolated desert building, suspected to be a secret nuclear reactor being built by President Bashar al-Assad…….. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/22/israel-finally-admitted-it-destroyed-a-syrian-reactor-in-2007-and-set-off-a-battle-of-egos/?utm_term=.c1a176b17b1f

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics, Syria | Leave a comment

The Pentagon’s lies: it DID use depleted uranium weapons in Syria

The Pentagon said it wouldn’t use depleted uranium rounds against ISIS. Months later, it did — thousands of times. WP,  February 16, 2017 

Months after the Pentagon said it wouldn’t use a controversial type of armor-piercing ammunition that has been blamed for long-term health complications, U.S. aircraft fired thousands of the rounds during two high-profile air raids in Syria in November 2015, the Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday.

The use of the ammunition, a 30mm depleted-uranium bullet called PGU-14, was first reported by a joint Air Wars-Foreign Policy investigation on Tuesday. The roughly 5,265 rounds of the munition were fired from multiple A-10 ground attack aircraft on Nov 16, 2015, and Nov. 22, 2015, in airstrikes in Syria’s eastern desert that targeted the Islamic State’s oil supply during Operation Tidal Wave II, said Maj. Josh Jacques, a U.S. Central Command spokesman.

When loaded with depleted-uranium bullets, the A-10s fired what is called a “combat-mix,” meaning the aircraft’s cannon fires five depleted-uranium rounds to one high explosive incendiary bullet.

The strikes, which involved 30mm cannon fire, rockets and guided bombs, destroyed more than 300 vehicles, mostly civilian tanker trucks, the Pentagon said at the time. The two incidents were championed by the Pentagon, and footage of trucks being destroyed was posted online. The Pentagon said that no civilians were present during the bombardment because fliers had been dropped before strafing runs warning those in their trucks to flee.

Before the November strikes, the Pentagon said it would not use depleted-uranium munitions in the campaign against the Islamic State. In response to a query from a reporter in February 2015, Capt. John Moore, a spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and Syria said in an email that “U.S. and Coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.” ….https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/02/16/the-pentagon-said-it-wouldnt-use-depleted-uranium-rounds-against-isis-months-later-it-did-5265-times/?utm_term=.6e94c644b90b

February 14, 2018 Posted by | depleted uranium, Syria, USA | Leave a comment

USA now the only country opposed to Paris climate accord, as Syria now joins

Paris accord: Syria plans to join climate agreement, leaving US only country opposed ABC News 8 Nov 17 Syria has announced it intends to join the 2015 Paris agreement for slowing climate change, leaving the United States as the only country in the world opposed to the pact.

Key points:

  • Nicaragua signed up to Paris deal last month
  • Unclear how US will withdraw from agreement
  • Countries continue to urge US to reconsider opposition

Syria, racked by civil war, and Nicaragua were the only two nations outside the 195-nation pact when it was agreed in 2015.

Nicaragua’s left-wing Government, which originally denounced the plan as too weak, signed up last month.

“I would like to affirm the Syrian Arab Republic’s commitment to the Paris climate change accord,” deputy Environment Minister Wadah Katmawi told a meeting of almost 200 countries at the November 6-17 climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

Membership for Syria under President Bashar al-Assad would isolate the United States, the world’s biggest economy and second largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China, as the only nation opposed to the accord.

US President Donald Trump, who has expressed doubts that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the prime cause of global warming, announced in June the intended to pull out and instead promote US coal and oil industries……. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/syria-plans-to-join-paris-climate-agreement-isolating-us/9128586

November 8, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Syria | Leave a comment

America launches first direct attack on Syrian government, – 50 cruise missiles to a military airfield

U.S. strikes Syrian military airfield in first direct assault on Bashar al-Assad’s government [following US-backed ‘rebel’ chemical false flag] WP,  06 April 2017 | The U.S. military launched approximately 50 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield late on Thursday, in the first direct American assault on the government of President Bashar al-Assad since that country’s civil war began six years ago. The operation, which the Trump administration authorized in retaliation for a chemical attack killing scores of civilians this week, dramatically expands U.S. military involvement in Syria and exposes the United States to heightened risk of direct confrontation with Russia and Iran, both backing Assad in his attempt to crush his opposition.

April 7, 2017 Posted by | Syria, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate change: historic drought led to civil war in Syria, and later to UK’s Brexit – Al Gore

Climate change played key role in Syrian civil war and helped Brexit, Al Gore says, http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/nation-world/national/article140523093.htmlAn 24 Mar 17, historic drought in Syria led to that nation’s civil war, which, in turn, helped Brexit pass in England, according to former United States Vice President Al Gore who explained his theory at a conference in London this week.

Gore, who has long argued that humans are causing climate change, won an Oscar for his climate-change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“From 2006 to 2010, 60 percent of the farms in Syria were destroyed and had to be abandoned. Eighty percent of the livestock were killed. The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is the worst ever recorded,” Gore said according to several press reports.

The drought, Gore says, forced more than a million Syrians into cities where they “collided” with refugees from the Iraq War, setting the stage for the Syrian Civil War. Gore said that WikiLeaks documents revealed internal conversations among the Syrian government.

Gore is not the first to tie the severe drought to climate change or the civil war that followed.

“They were saying to one another, ‘We can’t handle this. There’s going to be a social explosion.’ There are other causes of the Syrian civil war,” Gore said, “but this was the principle one.”

That conflict, which began in July 2011, has killed more than 450,000 Syrians and displaced more than 12 million Syrians, according to Al-Jazeera. CNN reports more than 4.8 million Syrians have left the country due to the conflict, which started as a government crackdown in response to protests.

Many of those fleeing the country have migrated to Europe, creating crises in several European nations. That, Gore says, helped lead to Brexit. In June of 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Many linked the ongoing refugee crisis to the vote to leave.

“It has unleashed with other factors this incredible flow of refugees into Europe, which is creating political instability in Europe,” Gore said, “and which contributed in some ways to the desire of some in the U.K., to say, ‘Wow, we’re not sure we want to be a part of that anymore.’ ”

The Trump administration does not share Gore’s views on human-caused climate change and has already rolled back numerous Obama-era environmental protections.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt told CNBC that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, said climate change research programs are “a waste of your money” while unveiling Trump’s first budget proposal.

“Regarding the questions as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward. We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that,” Mulvaney said.

March 25, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Syria | Leave a comment

Russia developing Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships in Syria

How Russia Is Turning Syria into a Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships (and Israel Is Worried), National Interest, Michael Peck, 18 Mar 17, During the 1970s, the Syrian naval base of Tartus became a major port servicing warships of the Soviet Union’s Fifth Mediterranean squadron.

The Soviet Union is gone, and so is Syria as a unified nation. But Russia is back, and it’s building up Tartus again as a naval base that can handle Russia’s largest nuclear-powered ships.

Already, Israel says the Tartus base is affecting its naval operations. U.S. and NATO operations could be next.

Under the forty-nine-year agreement inked late last year by Russia and Syria, “the maximum number of the Russian warships allowed at the Russian naval facility at one time is 11, including nuclear-powered warships, providing that nuclear and ecological security rules are observed,” according to Russia’s RT news site. Russia will also be allowed to expand port facilities to accommodate the vessels.

The specification allowing nuclear-powered warships means that Russia wants to be able to base in Syria large surface ships, namely Kirov-class nuclear-powered battle cruisers, as well as nuclear submarines.

In addition, the treaty allows “Russia is allowed to bring in and out any kind of ‘weaponry, ammunition, devices and materials’ to provide security for the facility staff, crew, and their families throughout the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic ‘without any duties or levies,’” according to RT.

Expansion of the port will take about five years, according to an anonymous source cited in Russia’s Sputnik News. “The source added that the works would focus on dredging operations to allow cruisers and even possibly aircraft carriers to use the facility’s infrastructure,” Sputnik News reported. “According to the source, Russia also needs to develop the facility’s ground infrastructure, through construction of canalization, electricity generation facilities and barracks for the servicemen.”

Sputnik News also listed other provisions of the agreement. These include:

• Russia will be responsible for sea and air security of the base, while Syria handles the land defenses.

• Russia can deploy “temporary mobile outposts” beyond the base, as long as they coordinate them with the Syrians.

• Russia can renovate the base at will, including underwater construction, and build offshore platforms.

• Upon Syrian request, Russia will send specialists to service Syrian warships, conduct search and rescue in Syrian waters, and organize the defense of Tartus.

• Syria agrees not to “make any objections related to the military activities of the base, which will also be beyond Damascus’ jurisdiction.”

• “Syria also pledges to solve any conflicts that may arise if a third party objects to the activities of the base.”

The Tartus deal is significant on several levels…… http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-russia-turning-syria-major-naval-base-nuclear-warships-19813

March 20, 2017 Posted by | Russia, Syria, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA confirms use of depleted uranium i n Syria, despite its previous promises

depleted-uraniumSamuel Oakford:  US promised it wouldn’t use Depleted Uranium in Syria. But then it did. February 14, 2017. Officials have confirmed that the US military – despite vowing not to use controversial Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria – fired thousands of rounds of such munitions during two high-profile raids on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled Syria in late 2015. The air assaults mark the first confirmed use of this armament since the 2003 Iraq invasion, when hundreds of thousands of rounds were fired, leading to outrage among local communities which alleged that toxic remnants caused both cancer and birth defects.https://airwars.org/news/depleteduranium1/

ICBUW: United States confirms that it has fired depleted uranium in Syria 21 October 2016. US admits that it fired DU on two occasions in November 2015, contrary to earlier claims; military justification for use unclear after target analysis; ICBUW and PAX call for full disclosure to facilitate harm reduction measures; Russia takes advantage of news to distract from its own conduct in the conflict.   http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/united-states-confirms-fired-du-syria

February 20, 2017 Posted by | depleted uranium, Syria, USA | Leave a comment

America DID use depleted uranium weapons in Syria

depleted-uraniumUnited States confirms that it has fired depleted uranium in Syria International Coalition to Ban Nuclear Weapons  US admits that it fired DU on two occasions in November 2015, contrary to earlier claims; military justification for use unclear after target analysis; ICBUW and PAX call for full disclosure to facilitate harm reduction measures; Russia takes advantage of news to distract from its own conduct in the conflict. 21 October 2016 – ICBUW

The US has finally confirmed that it has fired DU ammunition Syria, after it had earlier stated that the weapons would not be used. US Central Command (CENTCOM) has acknowledged that DU was fired on two dates – the 18 and 23 November 2015. Between the strikes on the two dates, 5,100 rounds of 30mm DU ammunition were used by A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. This equates to 1,524kg of DU. CENTCOM said that the ammunition was selected because of the “nature of the targets”.

The news comes as governments are debating a UN General Assemblyresolution on DU weapons in New York. And, although DU use has only been admitted on two dates, ICBUW and PAX are concerned that this disclosure could be the sign that DU has, or will, be used more widely in the conflict.

In March 2015, and following the deployment of A-10s to the conflict, the US hadconfirmed to journalists that the aircraft would not be armed with DU, stating:“U.S. and Coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.” Justifying the decision, CENTCOM public affairs explained that:  “The ammunition is developed to destroy tanks on a conventional battlefield; Daesh does not possess large numbers of tanks.”

CENTCOM confirms DU use     IRIN news finally extracted the confirmation that DU had been used from CENTCOM on October 20, and after weeks of denials. The revelations first came to light after an aide to Congresswoman Martha McSally (Rep, AZ) – herself a former A-10 combat pilot – responded to a question from DU activist, and constituent, Jack Cohen-Joppa. However a number of CENTCOM sources initially denied that the information was accurate. Confirming that the data were indeed accurate, a spokesperson for CENTCOM said earlier denials were due to “an error in reporting down range.”

“Without the chance disclosure from McSally’s office, and the dogged pursuit of CENTCOM by IRIN, the US would not have volunteered this data,” said ICBUW Coordinator Doug Weir. “Sadly this is typical of the poor transparency we have seen from the US and we urge CENTCOM and the Coalition to clarify their policy on DU use in Syria and explain how its use fits with its public claims that the ammunition is solely for use against armoured targets.

Unclear why DU was used  The US regularly states that DU ammunition is specifically used only for engaging armoured targets, in accordance with its own legal guidelines, although evidence from a number of conflicts has shown that these guidelines are commonly ignored……..http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/united-states-confirms-fired-du-syria

October 24, 2016 Posted by | depleted uranium, Syria, USA | Leave a comment

Establishment of a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Syria? A step towards allout war?

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict, Deception or Real Threat? Pentagon: A “Preemptive” Nuclear Strike against Russia is still Valid  By Federico Pieraccini  Global Research, October 16, 2016 The events in the Middle East, Syria and Aleppo are the focus of global attention. Rarely has a battle been so decisive to the outcome of a war and the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Russia, Syria, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s B-52 nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Iraq and Syria

US sending nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to ISIS fight  http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/04/us-sending-nuclear-capable-b-52-bombers-to-isis-fight.html  The United States is sending nuclear-capable B-52 aircraft to drop bombs on the Islamic State terror group, defense officials confirmed to Fox News Friday. 4 Mar 16 

The B-52 Stratofortress will start its first bombing campaign against ISIS in April, the Air Force Times reports. It’s not clear how many B-52s or airmen will be involved.

Officials say the aircraft will replace nuclear-capable B-1 Lancers hitting ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.

The Lancers returned to home bases in the U.S. in January. They flew only 3% of all strike missions against ISIS, but had dropped 40% of the bombs and other munitions. B-1s could loiter over the battlefield for 10 hours, much longer than jet fighters, and also could fly supersonic, reaching targets across Iraq and Syria within minutes.

“The B-1s are rotated out, so they’re not here right now, they’ve gone back to do some upgrades,” Lieutenant General Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander at U.S. Air Forces Central Command, told reporters. Each B-52 can carry up to 70,000 pounds of payload, officials say. The aircraft, sometimes nicknamed the “Big Ugly Fat Fella,” first took to the skies in 1954 and regularly takes part in military exercises around the world.

The B-52s are based in Louisiana and North Dakota.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

March 5, 2016 Posted by | Iraq, Syria, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Suspected Syrian Nuclear Reactor

Red Teaming Nuclear Intelligence: The Suspected Syrian Reactor, Council on Foreign Relations by Micah Zenko  March 1, 2016 In former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden’s new memoir,Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, he describes the case of Al Kibar, in which Israeli officials informed the United States in 2007 about a building under construction in Syria that they thought was a nuclear reactor. Hayden writes, “Then we gave the data to a red team, dedicated contrarians, and directed they come up with an alternative explanation. Build an alternative case as to why it’s not a nuclear reactor; why it’s not intended to produce plutonium for a weapon; why North Korea is not involved.” (p. 258)

For the full story of the red teaming of Al Kibar, read this excerpt from my book—based upon interviews with senior Bush administration officials—Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy.

Red teaming is not only about using a devil’s advocate to scrutinize and challenge day-to-day operations. For institutions facing a significant decision, red teaming may also be a one-time effort. We can see how a properly administrated red team can help ensure that a crucial decision is the right one by studying the following example found in recent national security decision making.

In April 2007, Israeli national security officials surprised their American counterparts by informing them about a large building under construction at Al Kibar in a valley in the eastern desert of Syria. In oneon- one briefings, the Israeli officials provided dozens of internal and external color photographs dating back to before 2003. The evidence strongly suggested that the building was a nuclear reactor, remarkably similar to the gas-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor in Yongbyon, North Korea. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert then delivered his request to President George W. Bush: “George, I’m asking you to bomb the compound.”………http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2016/03/01/red-teaming-nuclear-intelligence-suspected-syrian-reactor/

March 2, 2016 Posted by | politics, Syria | Leave a comment