Libya FILE – 1

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, April 11, 2019
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia
Haftar’s Libyan National Army gains control of Yarmuk military camp
Battle for Tripoli is proceeding according to the operational plan, says LNA
LNA declares a no-fly zone over the western Libya
GNA vice president resigns
French President, GNA Prime Minister discuss Tripoli offensive
France of being behind Libya’s Tripoli war, accuses EU Parliament president
Paris reiterates support to GNA
Unmanageable situation waiting
Libya’s only functioning airport closed
S. oil rises to highest point since Halloween

Libya, the imperialism-devastated oil-rich African country, is going through escalated armed conflict for the last few days.

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Soudan : les manifestants appellent l’armée à les soutenir

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Des milliers de manifestants ont appelé dimanche à Khartoum l’armée soudanaise à les soutenir dans leur opposition au président Omar el-Béchir, au lendemain d’un net regain de la contestation qui secoue le Soudan depuis près de quatre mois.

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Libye : l’appel de l’ONU à une trêve ignoré

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

De violents combats opposent dimanche 7 avril près de Tripoli en Libye les forces du maréchal Khalifa Haftar, qui veut conquérir la capitale, à ses rivaux du Gouvernement d’union nationale (GNA), les belligérants ignorant l’appel de l’ONU à une « trêve humanitaire ».

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U.S. poised to designate Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terror group

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The Trump administration is preparing to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, the Wall Street Journal Friday quoted U.S. officials as saying.

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US – Israeli aggression in the Middle East and Beyond

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, April 7, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Since he came to office, Donald Trump has taken a very aggressive stand supporting Israel’s Zionist agenda in the Middle East. Early in his term, Trump made a unilateral decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem despite the fact that it was designated by the United Nations in 1948 to be an international protectorate. Israel invaded Jerusalem during the 1967 “6 Day” war and occupied half the city, claiming the city as their capital. They drove Palestinians from their west Jerusalem homes, stealing their possessions as they did to the refugees in 1948, and took control of the ancient Al Aqsa Mosque which is particularly sacred not only to Palestinian Muslims but to Muslims worldwide. Even so, East Jerusalem remained a home for the Palestinians and they continue to see Jerusalem as their capital though the U.S. now suggests that they need to move out.

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The media smoothed the path to British soldiers using Corbyn as target practice

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, April 7, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

It is time to stop believing these infantile narratives the British political and media establishments have crafted for us. Like the one in which they tell us they care deeply about the state of political life, and that they lie awake at night worrying about the threat posed by populism to our democratic institutions.

How do they persuade us of the depth of their concern? They express their horror at at the murder of an MP, Jo Cox, and their outrage at the abuse of another, Anna Soubry – both victims of the frenzied passions unleashed by Brexit.

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Up for Debate: ISIS detainees

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, April 7, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Introduction
While ISIS’s territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria has come to an end, the threat presented by the group and others like it is alive and well. Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters, both foreign and local, as well as their families and children, are now in the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi military and security services, presenting an immediate and pressing challenge. We asked five counter-terrorism experts to assess the situation and answer one key question: What should be done with ISIS detainees?

Viewpoints

Charles Lister

The ISIS that surged so spectacularly through Syria and Iraq in mid-2014 was the largest terrorist organization in modern history and benefited from the most significant foreign fighter mobilization ever measured. Although tens of thousands are thought to have been killed, tens of thousands more remain alive — many in prison and some still active, operating in secret. Then there are the family members: thousands upon thousands of women and children, most of whom reside in squalid camps under tight security conditions.

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Invincible no more? Turkey’s Erdogan suffers election defeat

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, April 7, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Turkey

Twenty-five years ago, Turkish Islamists’ march to power began in the country’s capital, Ankara, and its largest city, Istanbul, when the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) predecessor, the Welfare Party (RP), captured the two municipalities. The loss of these cities in Sunday’s local elections could well mark the beginning of their descent.

Millions of voters cast their ballots on Sunday to elect mayors and local officials amid an economic downturn. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not on the ballot himself but he campaigned as if he were. He framed the elections as a matter of “national survival” to deflect attention away from the economy and held up to eight rallies a day, focusing on Istanbul in the final stretch.

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Islamic State Operatives Captured as Afghan Forces Battle Taliban

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, April 7, 2019
Posted in category Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN —
Counterterrorism forces have captured 16 operatives of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, including online recruiters, authorities in Afghanistan said Thursday.

The operation comes as Taliban insurgents have staged a major assault on a troubled northwestern district, killing at least a dozen Afghan security forces.

The Afghan spy agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said a group of six men picked up in capital city Kabul confessed to using hundreds of fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram to recruit fighters and promote IS ideology in the country.

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Activists: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Fire on Protesters in Deadly Flood Confrontation

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, April 7, 2019
Posted in category Iran

Exiled Iranian opposition activists say Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has fired on protesters who tried to stop it from diverting floodwaters in a southwestern town, resulting in a protester’s death.

The activists said the protester died after being shot by IRGC forces in Wednesday’s predawn confrontation in the Dasht-e-Azadegan district of Khuzestan province. They said minority Iranian Arab residents of the area, also known as Ahwazis, were trying to stop the IRGC from destroying a dyke and diverting floodwaters into their farmland.

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US-backed Kurdish fighters clash with ISIS days after declaring victory

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian fighters are battling the Islamic State group in eastern Syria 10 days after declaring victory over the extremists, an official with the Kurdish-led force said Tuesday.

Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, said they are rooting out groups of militants who were hiding in caves in and near the village of Baghouz. He added that SDF experts are still removing mines and booby-traps in areas liberated in recent weeks.

The SDF declared military victory over ISIS on March 23 after liberating what it said was the last pocket of territory held by the militants. The victory marked the end of the brutal self-styled caliphate the group carved out in large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.

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Bashar Assad moves to regain full control of war-torn Syria with ISIS all but defeated

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

With the ISIS caliphate all but defeated and routed out of Syria, strongman Bashar Assad is using all means necessary to re-consolidate control over his war-ravaged country, targeting civilian infrastructure within rebel-held territory.

Throughout March, the Assad regime has targeted a school, a bakery, a hospital, and other medical facilities in its brutal attempt to regain control of Idlib Province, the last rebel stronghold of the Syrian opposition.

“Eight years into the crisis, the Syrian government continues to show utter disregard for the laws of war and the lives of civilians,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.

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Western Reports Warn of Possible Terrorists’ Infiltration From Syria to Lebanon

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Lebanon has received alarming reports from Western intelligence agencies and some European embassies in Beirut, warning of the danger of infiltration of terrorists from Syria into Lebanese territory in the coming weeks and months.

“Western apparatuses and embassies have built their conclusions on unstable military and security conditions in Syria and renewed sporadic rounds of violence, making the security very bad and the economic situation worse than at the climax of the war,” well-informed Lebanese security sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

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Somalia: Somali, AU Troops Clash With Al-Shabaab in Southern Somalia

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

More details are coming out of a heavy gunfight between Somali government forces backed by AU peacekeepers and Al-Shabaab militants erupted in the outskirts of Qoryoley town.

The battle broke out following an ambush attack on a military checkpoint near the district by heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters, according to local residents.

The fighting has raged on for several hours and both sides exchanged heavy and small weapons that caused casualties, but, the exact number of the losses remained unclear.

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Somalia: Somali, AU Troops Clash With Al-Shabaab in Southern Somalia

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

More details are coming out of a heavy gunfight between Somali government forces backed by AU peacekeepers and Al-Shabaab militants erupted in the outskirts of Qoryoley town.

The battle broke out following an ambush attack on a military checkpoint near the district by heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters, according to local residents.

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Why ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is likely hiding in Anbar, Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Where is Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

It’s a question I asked a year ago, and unfortunately we still don’t know the answer for sure. But based on ISIS tradecraft and significant U.S., Syrian rebel, and Iraqi efforts to capture Baghdadi, he is almost certainly playing a very limited role in directing ISIS operations. Were the ISIS leader issuing regular orders, he would leave a trail by which the U.S. and its partners could identify him.

Where would Baghdadi choose to hide?

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HEZBOLLAH ESTABLISHED NEW MISSILE FACTORY IN BEIRUT- REPORT

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Israeli intelligence allegedly shared the new information with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who warned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri of the secret facility on his state visit in March.

Hezbollah has built a new missile factory in Beirut with the help of Iran, a Channel 13 report revealed on Monday night.

Israeli intelligence reportedly shared the new information with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who warned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri of the secret facility on his state visit to Lebanon in March and expressed his concern about the threat the terrorist organization poses to the country.

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Eastern Libyan forces ordered to move west to fight militants

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

A video released by the LNA showed a convoy of armored vehicles and pickup trucks mounted with heavy guns on the road
BENGHAZI: Forces loyal to eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar have been ordered to move to western Libya to fight militants, their media office said on Wednesday.
The deployment is likely to alarm the internationally recognized government in Tripoli, whose Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj has been negotiating over a power-sharing deal with a parallel administration in the east that is allied to Haftar.

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World faces ‘urgent’ war on terror, Saudi envoy tells UN

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

l-Mouallimi highlighted the Kingdom’s “resolution to combat all terrorist crimes and violence based on religion or belief.”
NEW YORK: Combating the extremist ideologies that fuel terror and militant violence is one of the world’s most urgent challenges, Saudi Arabia told the UN.

In a speech to the General Assembly, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, highlighted the Kingdom’s resolve “to combat all terrorist crimes and violence based on religion or belief.”

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Iran responsible for deaths of 608 American troops in Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

The U.S. military has revealed it believes Iran has helped kill 608 U.S. troops in Iraq since 2003, according to newly revealed and formerly-classified numbers.

“In Iraq, I can announce today, based on declassified U.S. military reports, that Iran is responsible for the deaths of at least 608 American service members,” Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, said during a State Department briefing Tuesday.

“This accounts for 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. This death toll is in addition to the many thousands of Iraqis killed by the IRGC’s proxies.” Since 2003, more than 4,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Iraq.

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NATO Members Risk Losing US Intel Over China Tech

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

Some European countries could soon find themselves cut off from U.S. intelligence and other critical information if they continue to cultivate relationships with Chinese technology firms.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued the warning Thursday, following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Washington.

“We’ve done our risk analysis,” Pompeo said. “We have now shared that with our NATO partners, with countries all around the world. We’ve made clear that if the risk exceeds the threshold for the United States, we simply won’t be able to share that information any longer.”

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IS, Taliban Fight Displaces 1000s in Eastern Afghanistan

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

In Afghanistan, fighting between Islamic State militants and Taliban insurgents has displaced over 20,000 people in eastern Kunar province recently, according to U.N. officials.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Thursday that 3,000 families fled their homes, and warned the situation could escalate as the warring sides mobilize more fighters.

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US-Turkish Tensions Rise Amid Warnings of a Rupture

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay is warning the United States of the danger of a rupture in relations, as myriad differences between the two NATO allies escalate tensions.

“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?” Oktay tweeted Thursday.

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U.S. Vice President Warns Turkey, Germany Over Dealings With Russia

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Turkey and Germany about their dealings with Russia, telling Ankara it is “reckless” and warning Berlin it risks becoming a “captive” of Moscow.

Pence’s comments came on April 3 in Washington as part of events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO, of which Turkey and Germany are long-standing members.

Pence voiced U.S. opposition to Turkey’s purchase of a Russian air-defense system, saying Ankara must decide between remaining a key NATO partner or risk endangering the military alliance with the deal, which he said “poses great danger to NATO.”

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Russia’s Military Must Leave Venezuela Immediately

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Russia was considering deploying strategic bombers full-time in Venezuela, according to the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, as reported by Moscow Times. The Russian media outlet also reported that an agreement had been reached between Moscow and Caracas to allow the deployment of Russian aircraft at a military base Venezuela’s Caribbean island of La Orchila, where Russian advisers were dispatched in December.

It is urgent for Washington to act before Russia and Venezuela reach their imminent formal military agreement. At the same time, NATO membership should be offered to Brazil, a major ally, and economic aid should be provided to Columbia.

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USING RUSSIA’S ENERGY SUPPLIES AS GEOPOLITICAL LEVERAGE

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 5, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

Bottom Line Up Front:
The U.S. is reportedly close to imposing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project, a massive Russian-German joint endeavor.
Germany, the world’s largest natural gas importer, already gets at least 40% of its gas from Russia.
The Nord Stream 2 is a source of contention not just between Germany and the U.S. but also other E.U. members who are concerned about an overreliance of a member state on Russia.
U.S. sanctions against the Russian-German pipeline would not derail the project but would lead to increased tensions between Washington and Berlin.

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Turkey’s Ruling Party Suffers Heavy Losses in Key Local Polls

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News, Turkey

VOA’s Turkish and Kurdish services contributed to this report.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party suffered heavy losses in Sunday’s local elections, losing critical cities across the country, while the main opposition party is on course to win the capital Ankara.

In Istanbul, election results remain too close to call, with opposition claims of voter manipulation.

Erdogan, speaking in Istanbul to reporters, acknowledged his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had suffered setbacks and vowed to learn “lessons” from the poll.

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US, Russian bomber jets conduct simultaneous missions off Norway amid INF tensions

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

The United States and Russia have flown nuclear bombers over the Norwegian Sea, amid rising tensions following the recent withdrawal of the two Cold War-era arch foes from a landmark nuclear arms treaty and the build-up of NATO military forces on the US-led alliance’s eastern flank near Russia.

The US Air Force Europe said in a statement that five giant B-52 bombers had flown over the Norwegian Sea on Thursday and that the planes had continued towards Iceland, the BarentsObserver reported Saturday.

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U.S. Troops Leaving Syria, but Some May Stay Longer Than Expected

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

WASHINGTON — Now that the Islamic State has been driven from its last sliver of territory in Syria, hundreds of American troops — not just their equipment — are leaving the war zone, just as President Trump ordered in December.

But in the latest twist to the on-again, off-again American withdrawal, the Pentagon plans to cut its combat force in northeastern Syria roughly in half by early May, or to about 1,000 troops, and then pause, American officials said on Friday.

ISIS sleeper cell attack kills one SDF fighter in Syria’s Deir al-Zor

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A car bomb in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zor on Friday killed a fighter from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an SDF spokesperson confirmed.

According to Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF press office, a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) belonging to the Islamic State “martyred” an SDF fighter.

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Boko Haram top commander killed

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Africa

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has neutralised a Boko Haram commander, Malloum Moussa and 15 of his foot soldiers during a clearance operation on Lake Chad Island.

According to a statement by Col. Timothy Antigha, the spokesman of the task force on Sunday, troops destroyed five gun trucks belonging to the terrorists during the operation.

He said the troops also arrested a woman whose relationship with the terrorists is yet to be determined.

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Tunisia says U.N. official arrested in anti-terrorism probe: agency

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisian authorities have detained a U.N. official involved in monitoring an international arms embargo on Libya as part of an investigation by an anti-terrorism unit, state news agency TAP said on Saturday.

It was the first time Tunisia had confirmed the arrest of the official, Tunisian national Moncef Kartas, who a U.N. spokesman said on Friday had been detained earlier in the week at Tunis airport despite having diplomatic immunity.

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No US F-35 equipment shipment to Turkey over Russia’s S-400: Report

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia, Turkey

The United States has stopped shipment of equipment for F-35 equipment to Turkey over the country’s defensive cooperation with Russia, a report says.

Reuters cited two unnamed sources in a report Monday, suggesting that the Turkish officials had been notified about the matter by their American counterparts “in recent days.”

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The End of the Politician (in a Fashion): The Slovak and Ukrainian Elections

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia

The structures of politics have become so rigid, so distant, and ultimately so irrelevant to those who vote for them that a trend through countries can now be confirmed.  Brittleness has set it.  The part and election strategists have few answers, they, who saw the voter as yet another subject, another follower, another convert of a faith. The churches and their following have been turned into secular sceptics and the disenchanted.  The non-politician who, nonetheless practices a craft of politics (we are all Aristotle’s creatures), has become a burning disruption.

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Algerian army, police bust militant cell planning attacks: Ennahar TV

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Posted in category Eurasia News

CAIRO (Reuters) – Algerian troops and police have dismantled a militant cell that planned to carry out attacks during election gatherings, private Ennahar TV reported on Wednesday.

It said the cell was discovered in the western city of Oran and consisted of three people, and that security operations were continuing in the area. It was not immediately clear whether the cell was affiliated with al Qaeda or Islamic State, which both have branches in Algeria.

The country has been convulsed by weeks of mass protests demanding the removal of the aged political elite. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has reversed plans to seek a fifth term, postponed elections set for next month and promised to introduce greater freedoms.