Vladimir Putin’s Message To Obama


President Vladimir Putin says he’s shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.

Islamic State, Russian anti-terror op in Syria

During the summit, “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them,” Putin told the journalists.

Putin also spoke of the urgent need to curb the illegal oil trade by IS.

“I’ve shown our colleagues photos taken from space and from aircraft which clearly demonstrate the scale of the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products,” he said.

“The motorcade of refueling vehicles stretched for dozens of kilometers, so that from a height of 4,000 to 5,000 meters they stretch beyond the horizon,” Putin added, comparing the convoy to gas and oil pipeline systems.

It’s not the right time to try and figure out which country is more and which is less effective in the battle with Islamic State, as now a united international effort is needed against the terrorist group, Putin said.

Is Turkey Creeping Toward Civil War? – Spiegel Online International



TOPSHOTS A protester walks by the Cemevi square (an holly place for Turkish Alevites) during clashes with Turkish riot police in Istanbul's Gazi district, on July 26, 2015. A Turkish policeman was killed on July 26, 2015 during clashes with protesters in the flashpoint Istanbul district of Gazi which have raged for the last three days following the death of a leftist activist during raids by the security forces. Turkey has launched a two-pronged "anti-terror" cross-border offensive against Islamic State (IS) jihadists and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after a wave of violence in the country, pounding their positions with air strikes and artillery. But the expansion of the campaign to include not just IS targets in Syria but PKK rebels in neighbouring northern Iraq -- themselves bitterly opposed to the jihadists -- has put in jeopardy a truce with the Kurdish militants that has largely held since 2013. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE


A protester walks by the Cemevi square (an holly place for Turkish Alevites) during clashes with Turkish riot police in Istanbul’s Gazi district, on July 26, 2015. A Turkish policeman was killed on July 26, 2015 during clashes with protesters in the flashpoint Istanbul district of Gazi which have raged for the last three days following the death of a leftist activist during raids by the security forces. Turkey has launched a two-pronged “anti-terror” cross-border offensive against Islamic State (IS) jihadists and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after a wave of violence in the country, pounding their positions with air strikes and artillery. But the expansion of the campaign to include not just IS targets in Syria but PKK rebels in neighbouring northern Iraq — themselves bitterly opposed to the jihadists — has put in jeopardy a truce with the Kurdish militants that has largely held since 2013. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

RT NEWS – 24 MARCH, 2015

24 March, 2015


Russian FM visits Cuba, calls to end blockade

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Cuba has called to end the illegal trade and financial embargo imposed on Cuba. Lavrov also said the two countries are planning to cooperate closely in energetics, transport and civil infrastructure, biotechnologies, healthcare, and civil aviation. According to Lavrov, Russian companies are interested in investing in the Caribbean country’s development. Cuba is the first stop of the Russian foreign minister’s tour of Latin America. The official is to visit Colombia, Nicaragua and Guatemala later this week.


Tunisia museum reopening delayed, security boosted

Tunisia’s national museum has delayed its reopening on Tuesday, officials said, as security was boosted around the site of last week’s jihadist massacre that killed 21 people, AFP said. “The Interior Ministry says that for security reasons we cannot receive a large number of visitors,” the museum’s representative, Hanene Srarfi, said. Several events had been planned for Tuesday to protest against the attack.


US & allies launch 14 airstrikes against ISIS

The US and its allies staged 14 airstrikes on Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) targets in Syria and Iraq, Reuters reported. The strikes were conducted between Monday morning and Tuesday morning, the Combined Joint Task Force said. Five Islamic State fighting positions, four tactical units, a checkpoint and a vehicle were hit near the Syrian city of Kobani, the statement claimed. In Iraq, eight strikes near Bayji, Fallujah, Mosul, Sinjar and Tal Afar hit tactical units, vehicles, storage facilities and other targets.


‘Normandy 4’ meeting on Ukraine due in Paris on Wednesday – Kiev

Authorities in Kiev have confirmed that a meeting of political directors in the Normandy format will be held in Paris on Wednesday. Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will discuss the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements. Ukraine will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko, RIA Novosti reported.


Canada expands anti-ISIS mission into Syria

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expanding the country’s military mission against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants into Syria, Bloomberg said. Harper is reportedly seeking approval from lawmakers for a one-year extension of the current mission and authorization to expand attacks into Syria. The mission has been focused so far on airstrikes in Iraq. Harper’s Conservative Party has a legislative majority.


UEFA elects Platini for 3rd term as president

UEFA on Tuesday elected Michel Platini unopposed for a third straight term as president of European football’s governing body. The French football legend promised to run the world’s most powerful continental federation with more “democracy,” AFP reported. He also offered more cooperation with the heads of other confederations.


Tunisia again closes airspace to western Libya

Tunisia has again closed its airspace for flights from western Libya, Reuters reported. The move comes days after it allowed Libyan planes from Tripoli back for the first time in around six months. “We’ve suspended temporarily again Libya flights for security reasons,” a Transport Ministry official said on Tuesday, without elaborating. Militants killed 20 foreign tourists in an attack on the national museum in Tunis last week.


Houthis take Yemen town 100km north of Aden – reports

Houthi fighters and allied army units captured the town of Kirsh, about 100km north of Yemen’s second city of Aden, on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The capture followed heavy fighting with forces loyal to President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, local officials and residents said. The area lies about a 40-minute drive to the north of a major airbase, al-Anad, which remains in the hands of Hadi, who is based in Aden.


US-led coalition begins surveillance flights over ISIS-held Tikrit

The US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has begun surveillance flights over the extremist-held city of Tikrit, AP reported. Intelligence is being sent to Iraqi forces fighting to retake Saddam Hussein’s hometown, a senior official said Tuesday. The flights, which began Saturday, mark the first time the coalition has been involved in the offensive. Up to now it largely has been supported by Iranian advisers including Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Quds Force.


Yemen Shiite militia kills 5 protesters in Taez

Shiite Houthi militiamen opened fire on Tuesday at demonstrators in the strategic Yemeni city of Taez, killing five protesters and wounding 80 others, AFP reported, citing a local official and medics. The gunmen attacked the demonstrators as they gathered for a third consecutive day to protest the militia’s arrival in Taez. Houthis have sent thousands of troops south from the capital Sanaa, which they control.


Iraq’s request to US-led coalition for Tikrit airstrikes ‘imminent’ – report

Iraq’s request to the US-led coalition for airstrikes in the campaign to retake Tikrit from ISIS insurgents is “imminent,” Reuters quoted a senior Western diplomat as saying Tuesday. The coalition has so far not taken part in the campaign. If it accepts the request, the move would see by far the biggest collaboration between Iraqi forces, Iranian-backed paramilitaries and the US and its allies.


30 people killed in central Yemen as Shiite rebels advance south

At least 30 people have been killed in clashes between pro- and anti-government forces in central Yemen, AFP reported, citing tribal sources. Meanwhile, Shiite rebels backed by forces loyal to the ousted president are advancing into southern Yemen, AP reported. The rebels and soldiers from an army battalion loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh have taken over the governor’s office in the southern regional capital of al-Dhalea, according to eyewitnesses. Rebel forces reportedly clashed with militias loyal to current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has taken refuge in the southern city of Aden.


US drone kills 9 Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan

A US drone strike killed at least nine Pakistani militants in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province early Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing intelligence officials. The strike, part of a drone campaign against Pakistani militants in Afghanistan, was near the site of fierce fighting on the Pakistani side of the border in recent days. Fighter jets have been pounding positions in the Tirah Valley in the Khyber region. The military says it has killed scores of militants, and at least seven soldiers have also been killed.


Gunmen attack vehicles on highway in E. Afghanistan, kill at least 13

Gunmen in eastern Afghanistan attacked passing vehicles on a highway during a midnight assault Tuesday, killing at least 13 people, AP reported. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Wardak province’s Sayad Abad district, where Taliban fighters hold a great deal of territory. The gunmen opened fire on three separate vehicles in the attack, including a bus traveling from Kabul. Several recent attacks have also targeted buses in the country.


​5 injured in shooting near university in Tennessee

Five people have been injured in a shooting near the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Two of the injured were taken to hospital via medical helicopter. Local Clarksville police are still searching for the gunman, while the incident took place at around 9pm local time. It is not known if the shooting was connected at all to the university, though Austin Peay State did issue a statement, saying, “Although there does not appear to be a danger to the university community, please take precautions to ensure your safety,” according to Reuters.


13 dead in Afghanistan after militants attack passenger bus – report

At least 13 people were killed and two others injured after gunmen shot at a passenger bus in Afghanistan’s eastern Wardak province, Xinhua News Agency cited an official source as saying. Police are investigating the incident.


Over half of Vanuatu’s population affected by Cyclone Pam – UN

More than 165,000 people living on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu have been touched by Cyclone Pam, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. The body also confirmed that the death toll has risen to 16. “Around 166,000 people, more than half of Vanuatu’s population, have been affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam on 22 islands,” the UN office said. OCHA warned that “food stocks and water reserves are being exhausted and will not last more than a couple of weeks across the affected islands.” It added that somewhere between 50 and 90 percent of homes have been damaged by the storm and “around 65,000 people are in need of temporary emergency shelter.” Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu on March 13, with the damage categorized as catastrophic. Houses, roads and bridges were destroyed as the wind speeds reached 300 kph (186 mph).

3,000 ISIS infiltrators may enter Turkey, plan to attack diplomatic targets – report


RT news – Published time: February 19, 2015 18:04

 Up to 3,000 trained jihadists are seeking to cross into Turkey from Syria and Iraq, with intentions of striking diplomatic targets belonging to anti-ISIS coalition partners, the Turkish intelligence service told the police in an internal memo.

“The jihadist militants could be working on armed or bombing attacks in Ankara and Istanbul against the diplomatic missions of the countries involved in the US-led anti-ISIL [ISIS] coalition,” said the Hurriyet newspaper, citing the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

The agency, which refused to provide additional information when contacted by Reuters, warned the police that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists repelled from the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani in Syria, are now looking for ways to cross the border. Hurriyet said that MIT sent a warning as far back as February 3 to local police departments, in an attempt to intercept the flow of terrorists.

It was unclear how many of the jihadists have already penetrated the Turkish border, but MIT said that some have already been sheltered in safe houses in the south of the country. MIT reports that some of the terrorists – a group of men from 17 to 25 from Palestine and Syria – intend to cross into Bulgaria, and from there into the rest of the EU.


Kurds retake as admits retreat http://on.rt.com/59ldpi 

CNN Poll: 78 Percent Favor Military Authorization Against ISIS


“The stunning decline of Barack Obama” – CNN


A majority of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the terror group Islamic State (ISIS), while 78 percent back a new authorization for use of military force against ISIS, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.

The poll found 57 percent don’t like how Obama is handling the threat posed by ISIS and 58 percent think American military action against the group is going badly. In the fall, both those numbers were at 49 percent.

Fifty-seven percent also disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign affairs overall, and 54 percent disapprove of how Obama is handling terrorism.

CNN notes that Obama’s declining poll numbers come as violent events unfold. This weekend, two shootings in Denmark targeted a cartoonist who had illustrated the prophet Mohammed and a synagogue.  Also, Egypt launches airstrikes against ISIS in Libya over the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians.

Almost half – 46 percent – of people who identify as members of Obama’s own party told pollsters the fight against ISIS isn’t going well.

Just more than half – 51 percent – of all respondents think Obama is doing a good job as commander-in-chief.More people now support sending American ground troops to fight ISIS, according to the poll. In November, only 43 percent were in favor and 55 percent opposed. The number of those supporting is now at a record-high 47 percent with only half opposing.There is a party split on the issue, with 61 percent of Democrats opposing ground troops and a similar number of Republicans supporting the idea. Independents are about evenly split, with 48 percent favoring ground troops and 50 percent opposing.Seventy-eight percent of Americans favor Congress giving Obama a new authorization of use of military force against ISIS, down slightly from 82 percent in December.

The poll was conducted with 1,027 adult Americans Feb. 12-15, and and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

Former UN Chief Kofi Annan Blames US for Rise of ISIS


Former UN Chief Kofi Annan @ Munich Security Conference



10 Feb 2015

Munich Security Conference

Kofi Annan, who served as secretary-general of the United Nations when the group overwhelmingly supported the 2003 U.S. war in Iraq, claimed at the Munich Security Conference that the United States is to blame for the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS).

Annan also asserted that he was always in opposition to the Iraq war.

“The folly of that fateful decision was compounded by post-invasion decisions. The wholesale disbandment of the security forces, among other measures poured hundreds of thousands of trained and disgruntled soldiers and policemen onto the streets,” said Annan of the post-invasion strategy.

“The ensuing chaos has proved an ideal breeding ground for the Sunni radical groups that have now coalesced around the Islamic State label,” he further stated.

Mr. Annan said that combating the ISIS problem requires a long-term strategy, claiming that “there are no quick fixes or easy solutions,” reports Rudaw.

Another factor for regional instability was the Arab-Israeli conflict, added the former UN chief.

He warned, “The radicals are leading the Middle East astray if they think that their ideology will restore the Muslim world’s erstwhile greatness. On the contrary, world history teaches us that closed societies decay. Open societies are the ones that prosper.”

In concluding his speech, Annan suggested that “the Middle East must adapt, change, and build a future” based on “peace and security, inclusive development, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.” He added, “If it does so, then I believe the majority of the people of the Middle East will not be sorry to see the end of the Middle East as we know it.”


The World in Chaos: 11 airstrikes hit Islamic State targets in Syria, Iraq + More


RT news – January 13, 2015



France votes to extend airstrikes in Iraq after Paris attacks

France’s lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly by 488 votes to 1 to extend airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq. The Tuesday vote came after France’s worst terror attacks in decades. The attacks killed 17 people, with one of the terrorists claiming allegiance to the Islamic State. France joined the US-led airstrikes against the jihadists after they took over parts of Iraq and Syria last year, but French law requires a vote on extending such operations after four months.


Turkey arrests 6 over Istanbul suicide bombing

Turkish police have detained six people, including three foreigners, over a suicide bombing that took place in the middle of Istanbul’s tourist district last week, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. A female suicide bomber blew herself up last Tuesday in the Sultanahmet district, killing a policeman and injuring another in the attack. The nationalities of those detained have not been made clear, but the bomber was named by Turkish media as Diana Ramazova from the Russian region of Dagestan. Security is on high alert in Turkey due to fears of attacks by jihadists – who control parts of Iraq and Syria near the Turkish border – and Kurdish militants.


Hamas employees begin sit-in near Palestinian unity govt HQ

Hundreds of Hamas employees began a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Palestinian unity government in Gaza Tuesday, AFP said. “We will stay here until our members are recognized and their salaries are paid,” union spokesman Khalil al-Zayan said. Staff recruited by the former Hamas administration have not reportedly received any wages for seven months. Hamas had demanded that the new government pay the salaries of the 50,000 civil servants it recruited after its takeover of Gaza in 2007, who took the jobs of 70,000 Fatah employees.


11,000 flee NE Nigeria into Chad after Boko Haram attacks – UN

The latest wave of Boko Haram’s “ruthless attacks” in northeastern Nigeria has sent 11,320 people fleeing into Chad in a matter of days, the UN said Tuesday. Militants from the Islamist group stormed the town of Baga on January 3, and subsequently razed it and at least 16 surrounding settlements, AFP reported. Aid workers fear the attack could have been the worst massacre since Boko Haram’s insurgency began in 2009. Some 20,000 people are said to have fled their homes in the area, and some 11,320 people have arrived in neighboring Chad alone, according to the UN refugee agency.


11 airstrikes hit Islamic State targets in Syria, Iraq

Four more airstrikes have been conducted against Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Syria and seven airstrikes in Iraq, Reuters reported. The strikes, which began Monday, destroyed various fighting positions as well as four units of IS fighters, according to the Combined Joint Task Force. Three strikes in Syria hit near the border town of Kobani and one strike hit near Dawr az Zawr. The strikes in Iraq were targeted near Tal Afar, Sinjar, Mosul and Baghdad.


Egypt’s Mubarak to remain in detention pending judicial order – reports

Ousted President Hosni Mubarak will remain in detention until the Egyptian judiciary orders his release, AFP said, citing state media reports. On Tuesday, a court overturned a three-year prison sentence and ordered a retrial. Mubarak is currently detained in a military hospital. He will not be released without a decision by the prosecution or the court that will retry him, MENA news agency quoted a security official as saying.


Greek anti-bailout Syriza party holds 3 percent lead over conservatives – poll

Greece’s radical leftist Syriza party holds a steady lead over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ conservatives ahead of a January 25 snap election, Reuters reported, citing a poll published Tuesday. Alexis Tsipras’ anti-austerity Syriza led by 3 percentage points over Samaras’ New Democracy party, and would garner 30.2 percent of the vote against 27.2 percent for the conservatives, according to the survey conducted by pollsters Rass January 11-12. The leftists have vowed to cancel austerity measures and renegotiate an international bailout.


143 Boko Haram militants killed after attack near Nigeria border – Cameroon

Cameroon’s government has said the military has killed 143 militants from neighboring Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, AP said. Hundreds of militants attacked a military camp the day before near the border with Nigeria, Cameroon officials said Tuesday. Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the fight lasted five hours, adding that a Cameroon army corporal was killed and four other soldiers were wounded.


Russian serviceman ‘admits killing’ family of six in Gyumri, Armenia

A soldier at a Russian military base in Armenia has admitted the murder of six members of one family in the city of Gyumri, RIA Novosti reported. Chief investigator Unan Pogosyan said that Valery Permyakov had admitted his guilt in the crime. The soldier said he came to the house of the Avetisyan family “by accident,” and the motive for the killing is still unknown, Pogosyan said. Permyakov was detained while trying to approach the Armenian-Turkish border near the village of Bayandur, on the bank of the River Ahuryan, which separates Armenian and Turkish territory.


Ex-President Mubarak’s jail term for graft overturned as Egypt court orders retrial

An Egyptian court on Tuesday overturned a three-year prison sentence against former President Hosni Mubarak, 86, on corruption charges, AFP reported. A retrial was ordered in the case. In May 2014, a lower court handed down the jail term after convicting Mubarak of embezzling about $14 million earmarked for the maintenance of presidential palaces. Four-year jail sentences were also handed down to the ousted leader’s sons, Alaa and Gamal. An Egyptian judicial official said that there were no legal grounds to detain Mubarak after the court ordered a retrial, AP reported.


Kerry urges Pakistan to target all militant groups

Pakistan must fight all militant groups that threaten Afghan, Indian and US interests, Reuters quoted US Secretary of State John Kerry as saying Tuesday. Speaking in Islamabad, Kerry mentioned among the terror groups the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan’s foreign adviser Sartaj Aziz said that “action will be taken without discrimination against all groups.” The West has suspected Pakistan of fighting some militants while supporting those regarded as strategic assets to be used against rivals and neighbors, India and Afghanistan.


Russia demands official explanation from France over non-delivery of Mistral ships

Russia has sent an official request to the French Defense Ministry, asking it to explain why a Mistral helicopter carrier was not delivered according to the contract, RIA Novosti reported. The Russian Defense Ministry’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) said it wanted an official explanation because Moscow “cannot accept oral explanations from individual French politicians.” Paris was due to deliver the first of the two Mistral-class warships to the Russian Navy by November 14, but President Francois Hollande put the deal on hold, citing the situation over Ukraine.


UN chief says India fomenting intolerance with gay sex ban

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accused India of fomenting intolerance with its ban on gay sex. On a visit to New Delhi, Ban said he “staunchly opposed the criminalization of homosexuality,” referring to India’s colonial-era law that prohibits gay sex, AFP reported. India’s Supreme Court re-imposed a ban on gay sex in late 2013. It also ruled that the responsibility for changing the 1861 law rested with lawmakers, not judges. Ban’s comments came on the same day that a state minister from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party announced his intention to make gays become “normal” in the coastal resort state of Goa.


Policeman kills district governor, commander in Afghanistan’s Helmand

An Afghan policeman shot and killed his commanding officer and a district governor in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, Reuters said, citing officials. Sayed Murad Sadat, chief of Helmand’s Nawzad district, and police commander Shamsullah were killed during a meeting on Monday, according to police. The attack was claimed by Taliban insurgents, who said the policeman had defected to their movement.


7 convicted militants hanged as Kerry visits Pakistan

Pakistan on Tuesday hanged seven convicted militants, AFP reported. This brings to 16 the number of executions carried out since the country lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty in December in response to a brutal Taliban assault on a school in Peshawar that left 150 dead. The executions, carried out across the country, came as US Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Pakistan.


Pope Francis urges respect for human rights in Sri Lanka

Pope Francis urged respect for human rights in Sri Lanka as he began a two-nation Asia tour on the island Tuesday, AFP said. The visit comes days after the election of a new Sri Lankan president, and is expected to focus on the country’s unity after a 37-year conflict that pitted troops against Tamil separatist rebels. The pope’s second visit to Asia will also take in the Philippines, home to one of the most populous Catholic communities in the region.


Bodies of 4 French Jewish citizens killed in Paris attack arrive in Israel

The bodies of four French Jewish citizens killed in the assault on the kosher supermarket in Paris have arrived in Israel to be buried in Jerusalem, according to an airport official. Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saada were at the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on Friday, when the place came under attack from radical Islamist gunman Amedy Coulibaly. Later, police stormed the building and killed Coulibaly, who was connected to the two armed men that carried out the attack on the headquarters of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo almost a week ago.
Seventeen people were shot and killed during the three-day siege. The owner of the kosher store has expressed his intention to move to Israel, just days after the deadly attack that left 17 dead took place, his brother told Israel’s Army Radio.