Zio-Watch News Round-up

Saudi military intervention in Syria amounts to war — Russian deputy: Zio-Watch, February 5, 2016


Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 5, 2016 3:51PM

A Russian deputy has warned Saudi Arabia that any military ground operation in Syria without the Damascus government’s consent amounts to a declaration of war.

“Syria has to give official consent, to invite, otherwise it will be a war. The same applies to international law,” Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the State Duma committee, told Interfax on Friday.

Krasheninnikov said that by promising a ground operation in Syria Riyadh now “intends to send troops to the territory of a sovereign state essentially without declaring a war.”

Saudi Arabia on Thursday voiced readiness to participate in any ground operations in Syria if the US-led coalition allegedly targeting terrorists decides to start such operations.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby also welcomed the Saudi decision.

Saudi Arabia is a member of the so-called US-led coalition that has been conducting air raids against what are claimed to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from the Syrian government or a UN mandate since September 2014.
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 5, 2016 6:33AM

A Russian envoy to the United Nations says the Western-backed opposition in Syria is affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra, which itself is linked to the terrorist al-Qaeda group.

“These oppositionists are affiliated with al-Nusra, which is, in turn, affiliated with al-Qaeda,” Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Office in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin said on Thursday.

“Therefore, we ask ourselves again – what do our Western partners think of when they support such oppositionists?… It looks like the repeat of the mistakes that have already been made,” he added.

Borodavkin said, “Syria should not become a ‘slightly retouched version’ of Daesh as a result of the political transition, but we have an impression that this is exactly what some of the opposition members seek.”

The Russian envoy called on the West to stop support for shadowy militant groups. “Our Western partners should think better who they help and who they support.”

He also called for the inclusion of Syrian Kurds in the next round of the Syrian peace talks, which he urged to be resumed no later than February 25.
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 5, 2016 2:22AM

Syrian army soldiers backed by fighters from allied popular defense groups have managed to retake control of a strategic town in the country’s southern province of Dara’a.

Syrian forces liberated the town of Atman, located four kilometers (2.4 miles) north of the provincial capital city of Dara’a, following heavy clashes with foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists, killing and injuring scores of terrorists, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.

Moreover, Syrian troopers struck terrorists’ positions in the al-Mahatta neighborhood of Dara’a, leaving an unspecified number of militants dead. Several vehicles belonging to the terrorists were also destroyed in the process.

A large number of terrorists were killed or injured during an army operation in the al-Manshiyeh neighborhood of Dara’a.

Also on Thursday, Syrian government forces received hero’s welcomes as they marched into the towns of Nubl and Zahra near the northwestern city of Aleppo, situated some 355 kilometers (220 miles) north of Damascus.

The celebrations came a day after Syrian army soldiers, supported by fighters from pro-government popular defense groups as well as the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, broke the three-and-a-half-year siege of the towns.

Syrian forces also closed in on members of Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) militant group in the city of Hama, 213 kilometers (132 miles) north of the capital, killing at least 40 Takfiri terrorists.
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From Russia Today

Merkel’s coalition rival urges dismantling of anti-Russia sanctions after visiting Putin

Published time: 4 Feb, 2016 23:26

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, during his meeting with Minister-President of Bavaria Horst Seehofer at Novo-Ogaryovo, February 3, 2016. © Aleksey Nikolskyi Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, during his meeting with Minister-President of Bavaria Horst Seehofer at Novo-Ogaryovo, February 3, 2016. © Aleksey Nikolskyi / Sputnik

Horst Seehofer, the premier of the state of Bavaria, a nominal partner in Angela Merkel’s coalition, and a persistent thorn in her side, has called for a sea change in diplomatic dealings with Russia, following his trip to Moscow.

“Extending anti-Russia sanctions was a mistake,” said Seehofer, referring to the EU’s decision to prolong travel restrictions and economic embargoes against Russian individuals and companies over Ukraine late last year. “We need to consider the reality – they cannot be removed straight away. But we can deploy political means to repeal them… I think that they can be revoked in the foreseeable future.”

Journalists returned to the subject of sanctions repeatedly as Seehofer spent an hour answering questions at the final press conference, following the two-day visit during which he met Russian President Vladimir Putin, and signed bilateral trade deals on behalf of his home state.

© kremlin.ru

Germany & West need Russia to settle Syria and refugee crises – Bavarian leader

Seehofer tried to steer clear of incendiary soundbites that could annoy his partners in Berlin, insisting that he “wouldn’t remove sanctions this month,” and insisting any rapprochement was “conditional on Ukraine and Russia following the terms of the Minsk agreements.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Sanders, Clinton in sharp exchange over his Iran policy

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders snapped at one another over the Jewish senator’s Iran policy in their final debate before the New Hampshire primary contest, with the former secretary of state twice suggesting it would endanger Israel.

The NBC moderators of the debate in Durham, New Hampshire, on Thursday night pressed Sanders, an Independent representative from neighboring Vermont, on what they said were gaps in his foreign policy. Sanders has not named a foreign policy team of advisers and generally focuses on the economy in his campaigning.

Clinton stepped in with her own broadside, naming Israel as facing increased dangers under Sander’s policies.
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From The Independent

Julian Assange: UN ‘rules in favour’ of WikiLeaks founder over alleged unlawful detention in UK

Assange has called for attempts to arrest him to be blocked if the UN rules in his favour
  • Serina Sandhu
  • Julian Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than three years PA

A UN panel considering the case of Julian Assange has reportedly concluded that the WikiLeaks founder has been “arbitrarily detained”.

Assange was granted political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. He is wanted there for questioning over allegations of sexual assault but he denies the claims.

In 2014 he filed a complaint against the UK and Sweden and said he was being “arbitrarily detained” in the Embassy as he could not leave without being arrested.

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Palestinian killed as Israel hands out West Bank demolition notices

The fatality, a male teenager, was shot Friday during riots near Hebron, according to the Ma’an news agency.

The orders of demolition — a controversial measure whose application against terrorists’ families is under frequent judicial review in Israel — were handed out Thursday to the family of Ihab Maswada from Hebron, who murdered Genadi Kaufman in a stabbing attack near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in December.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Mystery solved: Sanders volunteered at Kibbutz Shaar HaEmekim

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The kibbutz where Bernie Sanders spent several months in the early 1960s has been identified, thanks to a rediscovered news story from 1990.

Sanders, an Independent Jewish senator from Vermont now running for the Democratic presidential nod, spoke to Haaretz in 1990, on the eve of his election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a socialist. He named the kibbutz where he volunteered in 1963 as Shaar HaEmekim.

As Sanders’ campaign gained traction this year, Haaretz, like others in Israeli and Jewish media, had tried to identify the kibbutz, but until the author of the article, veteran journalist Yossi Melman, said Thursday on Twitter that Sanders had named the kibbutz in 1990, no one had tracked this particular article in the Haaretz archive.
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 5, 2016 2:51PM

Russia has condemned Syrian opposition delegation for leaving the UN-brokered peace talks aimed at finding a political solution to ongoing conflict in Syria following government’s successful offensive in the Aleppo province.

Russia’s ambassador in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin made the remarks during an interview with Reuters on Friday, adding that the delegation should have welcomed the government’s assault on terrorists.

“Why did the opposition that left Geneva complain about the offensive in Aleppo, which is actually targeted against Jabhat al-Nusra and other radical extremist groups?” Borodavkin asked.

“Jabhat al-Nusra is a terrorist organization recognized by the UN Security Council. It’s a branch of al-Qaeda. The opposition should be happy that terrorists are defeated. But, on the contrary, they were disappointed and left negotiations,” he added.

The ambassador also condemned the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura’s decision to suspend the peace talks in Geneva on Wednesday as deeply regrettable, and urged him to be “more meticulous” about deciding whom to include.

The talks between delegates from the Syrian government and divided opposition were suspended only three days after their shaky start.

The Geneva negotiations were halted after the so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC), a Saudi-backed anti-Damascus opposition group, failed to show up.

Borodavkin also said he hoped the next round could start before de Mistura’s proposed date of February 25.
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 5, 2016 11:39AM

A Turkish official denies secret preparations for a military intervention in Syria, saying Ankara has no plan for such an “incursion” in the Arab state.

“Turkey does not have any plans or thoughts of staging a military campaign or ground incursion in Syria,” a senior Turkish government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Friday.

The official, instead, accused Moscow of increasing its military campaign in Syria.

“Turkey is part of a coalition, is working with its allies, and will continue to do so. As we have repeatedly said, Turkey will not act unilaterally,” the official added.

The remarks came after Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Moscow registered “a growing number of signs of hidden preparation of the Turkish Armed Forces for active actions on the territory of Syria.”

“We are recording more and more signs of concealed preparations by the Turkish military,” he added.
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From PressTV

Fri Feb 5, 2016 6:2AM

Baghdad has condemned the Turkish military’s recent bombardment of a village in northern Iraq and renewed calls on Ankara to withdraw all its forces from the Arab country.

Nasir Nouri, a Defense Ministry spokesman, slammed Ankara on Thursday for violating Iraq’s sovereignty, saying the Turkish forces should leave the Iraqi soil without any preconditions.

Earlier in the day, Turkish warplanes targeted a village in the northern province of Dohuk in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region as part of Ankara’s military operations against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey has deployed some 150 ground forces to the outskirts of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh province. Ankara claims its troops had been deployed in northern Iraq to train Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters against Daesh.

Baghdad has, however, voiced anger over the deployment of Turkish forces to its territory and urged Ankara to pull the soldiers out.

Nouri said Baghdad has resorted to diplomacy to end the Turkish troop deployment and protect its national interests. He added that Iraq will try other options if political approaches fail.

Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Turkish troops deployed to northern Iraq were causing a “lot of tension,” and that there was no reason for their deployment deep inside the Iraqi border.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Lithuanian Jewish leader seeks delay on naming alleged Nazi collaborators

(JTA) — The leader of Lithuania’s  Jewish community supported a proposal to delay publishing the names of suspected Holocaust perpetrators out of concern for their families’ reputation and privacy.

Faina Kukliansky, a former prosecutor and president of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, made this assertion following discussions in Lithuania on publishing a list of 1,000 names that historians from the state-owned Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania have spent years compiling.

The center’s director, Terese Birute Burauskaite, said on Tuesday that her institution would publish the list this year in a book, but later said it would transfer the list to state prosecutors instead.  “I have it complete,” she said of the list, “but how will the families [of those named] react if this violates their rights, if their guilt is not proven? I will convey it to the prosecutors.”

Burauskaite said she transferred a list with 2,055 names to the government in 2012, but it was neither published nor used in criminal investigations. The center then eliminated more than 1,000 names from that list.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Australian Labor Party branch seeks to ban members from Israel visits

SYDNEY (JTA) — A branch of Australia’s Labor Party is seeking to ban its members from participating in Jewish-sponsored trips to Israel, stirring criticism from a former national president and Jewish groups.

The motion will be raised at the New South Wales Labor conference in Sydney on Feb. 13-14. The conference will hear 39 resolutions focusing on the Israel-Palestine situation, compared with 17 dealing with other international matters.

Warren Mundine, Labor’s former national president, told The Australian newspaper this week that banning Labor politicians from visiting Israel “is illogical, verging on an anti-Semitic approach.” He said Israel is the only country that is the subject of proposed banned visits.

“What is the difference with this country?” Mundine, now the chairman of the prime minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, asked in The Australian. “The only difference is that they are Jewish, and I just find that sickening.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

How a New Hampshire rabbi opened Hillary Clinton’s heart – in his own words

A long-dead Hasidic rabbi reached across the centuries and let Hillary Rodham Clinton speak candidly about belief and self-doubt.

That, more or less, is the takeaway of the Conservative rabbi who elicited Clinton’s celebrated response at a town hall Wednesday in New Hampshire.

In a telephone interview with JTA Thursday, Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett, 49, described what led him to his now famous question about balancing humility and ego, and why Clinton was grateful to him for it.

Spira-Savett of Temple Beth Abraham was one of seven Nashua, New Hampshire, clergy who last year launched a plan to draw candidates to forums on faith and ethics, modeled on the one hosted in 2008 by evangelical Pastor Rick Warren featuring then-candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.
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From Russia Today

Japan’s Sakurajima volcano erupts some 50km from nuclear plant – Met Agency (VIDEO)

Published time: 5 Feb, 2016 10:22

Volcanic lightning is seen at an eruption of Mount Sakurajima, in this photo taken from Tarumizu city, Kagoshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, February 5, 2016. © Kyodo Volcanic lightning is seen at an eruption of Mount Sakurajima, in this photo taken from Tarumizu city, Kagoshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, February 5, 2016. © Kyodo / Reuters Japan’s Sakurajima volcano, situated about 50km from the Sendai nuclear station, has erupted with the country’s meteorological agency issuing an orange warning not to approach it.

Residents in the area were evacuated in August last year after an alert for the volcano was raised to its second highest level. When Sakurajima erupted in 1914, it was Japan’s most powerful of the 20th century. The lava flows filled the strait separating the island from the mainland, turning the area into a peninsula.

The Sendai nuclear plant which is located some 50 kms from the volcano, was the first to be restarted after 2011’s Fukushima disaster following the implementation of new safety rules. It’s built to withstand a tsunami of 15 meters, well below 2011’s peak tsunami height of 40 meters.

Tremors have been felt in the area since December 2015 with warnings in place. The government’s nuclear agency had previously dismissed volcanic risks over Sendai’s lifetime as “negligible.”

Memories of the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused by a powerful quake in March 2011 are still fresh in Japan.

It was the second after Chernobyl to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

The tragedy caused the complete shutdown of the Japanese nuclear facilities in 2011, despite 30 percent of electricity previously coming from nuclear power.

The authorities are still trying to clean up and contain contamination after the Fukushima crisis.
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From Russia Today

ISIS child soldier beheads captive, threatens ‘US soldiers’ in new gruesome video

Published time: 5 Feb, 2016 04:54

© hy A new video rereleased by Islamic State shows the ruthless beheading of an alleged Syrian “moderate” opposition fighter by a young boy of African descent, who threatens the same fate for any American or US-backed soldier who sets boot on the ground.

In the latest gruesome propaganda video, allegedly filmed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, an English-speaking child, identified by the Terror Monitor group as a son of Jihadist IS fighter Abu Darda, executes someone the video claims to be Muhammad Tabsho, a religious official from the Syrian rebel group the Levant Front.

The 18-minute clip shows a confession of Tabsho before he is dragged by the boy and forced to kneel on the road in an undisclosed location, believed to be somewhere outside Aleppo.

Before the execution takes place, the boy threatens, with a noticeable accent, to destroy those rebels in Syria who are funded and supported by the US. The Levant Front, formed in December 2014, is an Aleppo-based rebel faction fighting against Assad’s forces.

The boy also says that he wishes and more than ready to meet US troops on the ground, before decapitating his victim with a knife and placing the severed head on his back.

READ MORE: New ISIS video features ‘last words’ of Paris attackers, threats to UK
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