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Cyber sleuths responsible for Russiagate now warn of ‘Iranian hackers’

RT | June 21, 2019

Iranian hackers are threatening US computer systems, cybersecurity firms FireEye and CrowdStrike claimed just as tensions between Washington and Tehran pulled back from the brink of war.

“Really, we’re seeing increased cyber activity that seems to be focused on the West,” Adam Meyers, vice president of Intelligence at CrowdStrike, told Politico. “In early June, mid-June is when it really started to kick off.”

Ben Read, senior cyber-espionage analyst at FireEye, confirmed the timeline and told the paper that the latest campaign is led by a government-connected Iranian hacker group known as APT33 or “Refined Kitten.”

Wired magazine carried a story on Thursday also alleging Iranian attacks, based on information from CrowdStrike and another firm, Dragos – this time targeting the US Department of Energy with phishing emails pretending to come from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

“The Department of Energy is aware of the reports of APT33 activity and for security reasons we do not comment on current cyber activity directed at the Department’s networks,” the agency said in a statement.

CrowdStrike is the contractor that accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Federal investigators just took their word for it, never actually examining the DNC computers.

FireEye also accused Russia of trying to hack Democrats, this time during the 2018 midterms. The firm also picked Hillary Clinton – of the private email server in attic fame – as the keynote speaker at their upcoming cybersecurity conference in October.

Allegations of Iranian cyber-warfare came as almost everyone in Washington expected some form of US military action against Tehran following the shooting down of a US spy drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday.

A shooting war seemed to have been avoided in the nick of time, however, with President Trump saying on Friday that he changed his mind about a “disproportionate” response just minutes before the operation was underway.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

VIPS Memo to the President: Is Pompeo’s Agenda the Same As Yours?

VIPS says its direct experience with Mike Pompeo leaves them with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to the President and the nation.

DATE: June 21, 2019

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President.

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Is Pompeo’s Agenda the Same As Yours?

We are concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would), and the observations below are based on that premise. In a word, we have serious doubts about Secretary Pompeo; it is clear to us that he has his own agenda, and we know from our own experience with him that his agenda is not always the same as yours.

Pompeo’s behavior betrays a strong desire to respond with military force — perhaps even without your express approval — to Iranian provocations (real or imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to curry favor with Israel and Saudi Arabia. He is a neophyte compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose decades-long dilettante approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in its “success”), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of record. Not so with Pompeo, who has now taken the lead on Iran.

Our direct experience with Pompeo leaves us with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness on issues of consequence to you and the country, including the issue of alleged Russian hacking into the DNC. The sketchy evidence adduced for that story has now completely crumbled, thanks to some unusual candor from the Department of Justice. We refer to the extraordinary revelation in a recent DOJ Court filing that James Comey never required a final report from the DNC-hired cybersecurity company, CrowdStrike, upon which Comey chose to rely for forensics on alleged Russian “hacking.”

Pompeo could have exposed this key lacuna in mid-2017, if he had done what you asked him to do.

In our Memorandum to you of July 24, 2017 entitled “Was the ‘Russian Hack’ an Inside Job?,” we suggested:

“You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this.[“This” being the evidence-deprived allegation that “a shadowy entity with the moniker ‘Guccifer 2.0’ hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.”] Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.”

Three months later, Director Pompeo invited William Binney, one of VIPS’ two former NSA technical directors, and a co-author of our July 24, 2017 Memorandum, to CIA headquarters to discuss our findings. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney explaining the genesis of the unusual invitation: “You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you.”

But Did Pompeo “Really Want to Know”?

Apparently not. Binney, a widely respected, plain-spoken scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. As we explained in our most recent Memorandum for you Pompeo reacted with disbelief and — now get this — tried to put the burden on Binney to pursue the matter with the FBI and NSA.

As for Pompeo, there is no sign he followed up with anyone, including his own CIA cyber sleuths. Pompeo had been around intelligence long enough to realize the risks entailed in asking intrusive questions of his subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which was created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate. (It is a safe guess that offensive cybertool specialists from that Directorate were among those involved in the reported placing of “implants” or software code into the Russian grid, about which The New York Times claims you were not informed.)

If Pompeo failed to report back to you on the conversation you instructed him to have with Binney, you might ask him about it now (even though the flimsy evidence of Russia hacking the DNC has now evaporated, with Binney vindicated). There were two note-takers present, and there is also a good chance the session was also recorded, should Pompeo have difficulty remembering.

Whose Agenda?

The question is whose agenda Pompeo was pursuing — yours or his own. Binney had the impression Pompeo was simply going through the motions — and disingenuously, at that. If he “really wanted to know about Russian hacking,” he would have acquainted himself with the conclusions that VIPS, with Binney in the lead, had reached in mid-2017.

Had he pursued the matter seriously with Binney, we might not have had to wait until the Justice Department itself put nails in the coffin of Russiagate, CrowdStrike, and Comey. In sum, Pompeo could have prevented two additional years of “everyone knows that the Russians hacked into the DNC.” Why did he not?

Pompeo is said to be a bright fellow — Bolton, too. Recent history, though, shows that an Ivy League pedigree can spell disaster in affairs of state. Think of President Lyndon Johnson’s national security adviser, former Harvard Dean McGeorge Bundy, for example, who sold the Tonkin Gulf Resolution to Congress authorizing war in Vietnam based on what he knew was a lie. Millions dead.

Bundy was to LBJ as John Bolton is to you, and it is a bit tiresome watching Bolton brandish his Yale senior ring at every podium. Think, too, of Princeton’s own Donald Rumsfeld concocting and pushing the fraud about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to “justify” war on Iraq, assuring us all the while that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

That dictum is anathema to William Binney, who has shown uncommon patience answering a thousand evidence-free “What if’s” over the past three years. Binney’s shtick? The principles of physics, applied mathematics, and the scientific method. He is widely recognized for his uncanny ability to use these to excellent advantage in separating the chaff from the wheat. No Ivy pedigree wanted or needed.

Binney describes himself as a “country boy” from western Pennsylvania. He studied at Penn State and became a world renowned mathematician/cryptologist as Technical Directorate NSA. Binney’s accomplishments are featured in documentary on YouTube, “A Good American.”

For the Steering Groups of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence:

Marshall Carter-Tripp, Foreign Service Officer & former Division Director in the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (ret.)

Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003

Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Sarah Wilton, Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve (ret.) and Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

Originally posted at Consortium News.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

US Cyberwar on Russia? New York Times Does Psyops

Strategic Culture Foundation | June 21, 2019

A front-page article in the New York Times this week certainly generated a lot of reaction. In rather sensational terms, the paper claimed that the Pentagon’s cyber command was stepping up hacking intrusions into Russia’s power infrastructure.

So penetrated were the purported “digital” weapons, it was conjectured that Russia could suffer “black outs” at any moment and see its military instantly paralyzed.

Presidents Trump and Putin were obliged to react to the NYT’s article. Trump rubbished it as fake news, while Putin responded with a certain tone of alarm about possible consequences of a cyberwar breaking out.

Many commentators, including critical ones who normally show skepticism towards the NYT, were inclined to accept the article as an accurate account of US cyber aggression against Russia.

However, it is worth asking the basic question: are the claims reliable?

There are several reasons to be suspicious about the veracity of the NYT’s report, and what the real purpose of publishing it is.

For a start, America’s so-called “newspaper of record” has demonstrated itself to be more often than not an obedient purveyor of misinformation for the US military-intelligence apparatus.

Just two examples are cited here of dutiful functioning from many instances over the decades.

In July 1945, when the Pentagon detonated the first-ever atomic bomb in the desert of New Mexico, it was the NYT that put out dutiful reports claiming that the massive test explosion was not a new, far more destructive weapon. It also claimed that the local population had nothing to fear from health effects, despite thousands of Americans later dying from radiation fallout.

A second notorious example is how the “paper of record” was a chief conduit for propaganda about “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) which was used to launch the genocidal war on Iraq in 2003. Those claims were later shown to be entirely false. The NYT  thus engaged in telling barefaced lies to the public in order to launch a criminal war of aggression.

One of the main NYT’s writers who peddled the WMD propaganda for the destruction of Iraq was David Sanger whose byline appeared on the latest article claiming that the Pentagon was escalating cyberwar on Russia. Arguably, this so-called journalist should be in a prison for complicity in war crimes, not sitting behind a desk receiving a big fat salary.

A closer reading of the article indicates that many of the sensational claims are vague and unsubstantiated. The article is long-winded and jargonistic, raising more questions than answers, which usually means the content is more fabulation than factual. As usual, the sources are anonymous and often referred to as “former officials”.

There were also contradictions in the reporting, the most glaring of which is that the NYT claims the Trump White House signed off on the alleged new aggressive activities, yet President Trump panned the story as fake. Trump’s evident disgust seemed genuine. He called the article “treasonous” and suggested it was a desperate attempt by the “failing” NYT to scoop up readers.

So, let’s think about this. A loyal conduit of Deep State misinformation is purporting to be revealing secret cyberwar activities against Russia. If it were doing that, the Pentagon would not be happy. If the NYT is quoting anonymous secret agencies, the suspicioun is that those sources wanted the NYT to publish this article. Why would that be? To alert Russia of implanted malware in its infrastructure only for Russian computer experts to track down the offending bugs and eliminate them? That doesn’t make sense. Why would the Pentagon out itself for the benefit of Russia?

What’s likely going on here is that the NYT is serving – as it usually does – as a conduit for “psychological operations”. The real intention seems to be to unnerve Moscow about an impending cyber strike on the Russian nation.

Another intended effect from the article is to further poison bilateral relations between the US and Russia. Presidents Trump and Putin are expected to hold a meeting next week during the G20 summit in Japan. It seems that the higher authors of the NYT’ report and their stenographers like David Sanger have the intention to pre-empt the forthcoming conversation between the American and Russian leaders.

A further sinister twist is that the NYT claims President Trump has not been informed about the alleged cyberwar against Russia. It suggests that is because Trump is not trusted by intelligence agencies for fear he might leak details to Putin. This is another tawdry attempt by the paper to revive its failed previous claims of undermining the American president as a “Kremlin stooge”.

Moreover, the NYT quotes National Security Adviser John Bolton as appearing to confirm the Pentagon’s alleged cyber aggression against Russia. That is a further slight on the American president. Who is actually running the US government? Trump, Bolton or Deep State operatives?

Finally, it should be noted that the NYT claims are premised on past dubious allegations that Russia interfered in US elections and that it has also been hacking into America’s power grid. By taking its latest story at face value, one is obliged to accept its previous stories of Russian malfeasance as accurate, which they are not.

Russia, of course like all nations, must ensure its infrastructure and defenses are inviolable from foreign hacking of computer systems. There is no doubt US agencies have and are probing Russian systems for potential vulnerabilities. But such a scenario is significantly different from one where a digital sword is supposedly hanging over Russia’s head threatening to deliver a lethal blow at any time.

Frankly, the NYT has become a consummate parody of a newspaper. Its Pulitzer Prizes for “journalistic excellence” are more baubles for good conduct in the service of state propaganda; propaganda that has often led to criminal wars and the deaths of millions of people. It purports to “reveal” secret Pentagon activities, yet elsewhere honorable journalists like Julian Assange are being persecuted for doing just that.

The “paper of record” styles itself as a truth-teller. Its advertising slogan is “the truth is worth it”.

Indeed, the truth is worth it, especially when lies and fabrications could have such horrific consequences for international relations and human lives.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

US NED-Funded Meddling Exposed in The Philippines

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By Joseph Thomas – New Eastern Outlook – 21.06.2019

With little else to offer the nations of Southeast Asia, the US has opted instead to wield the familiar and well-honed weapon of political subversion to peel potential partners away from Beijing in Washington’s continued bid to rescue its waning primacy in Asia-Pacific.

The most recent manifestation of this can be seen in the Philippines where Manila has accused media front Rappler, founded by long-time CNN bureau chief Maria Ressa, and others of representing foreign interests and conspiring with foreign intelligence agencies in direct violation of the nation’s constitution.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its defense of Rappler would claim:

First were the politically motivated state charges that funding provided to the news website Rappler by a U.S. philanthropic foundation represented a violation of constitutional provisions barring foreign control or ownership of Philippine media.

Then came government allegations in April that journalists from independent media groups, including Rappler, the independent media organization VERA Files, and the non-profit Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, were involved in a conspiracy to discredit and oust President Rodrigo Duterte’s elected government. All four outlets issued statements denying the allegation.

Now, a pro-government media campaign claims that the same independent news outlets and the Philippine press freedom group Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility are in the pay of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a potential criminal offense under local law.

The CPJ notes that all of the accused groups are openly and admittedly funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The CPJ admits (my emphasis):

All four outlets receive substantial grants from the NED. 

Funded largely by Congress, NED was founded in the early 1980s as a way for the U.S. to openly promote democracy worldwide by providing annual grants to non-governmental groups, according to its website.

The CPJ categorically fails to challenge what are the NED’s own assertions that it is merely “promoting democracy worldwide.”

NED: The Public Face of (Often Violent) US Regime Change

The NED’s board of directors includes individuals openly involved in US-backed regime change including in Iraq, Ukraine and ongoing US regime change efforts in Venezuela.

Board members including Francis Fukuyama and Elliott Abrams openly advocated the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 in which the government in Baghdad was toppled and its senior leadership murdered based entirely on now verified lies regarding supposed “weapons of mass destruction.”

Elliott Abrams is listed on the NED’s website as “On Leave,” having been appointed as a US special envoy for Venezuela amid ongoing efforts to overthrow the government there.

The Guardian in an article titled, “US diplomat convicted over Iran-Contra appointed special envoy for Venezuela: Elliott Abrams, who was linked to failed coup against Chávez, to join Pompeo to urge security council to recognize Guaidó as head,” would report:

Elliott Abrams was appointed US special envoy for Venezuela on Friday, as Donald Trump’s administration and European leaders on Saturday further increase the pressure on the socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, to step aside from leading the country he has taken into a deepening crisis.

Abrams will accompany the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to a meeting of the UN security council in New York on Saturday, during which Pompeo will urge members to join the US in declaring Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate head of state.

The Guardian also notes:

Abrams is widely remembered in Central America, but particularly from his time in the Reagan administration, when he tried to whitewash a massacre of a thousand men, women and children by US-funded death squads in El Salvador, when he was assistant secretary of state for human rights.

Other NED directors include Victoria Nuland who played a key role in leading US regime change efforts in Ukraine in 2014.

Reuters in its article, “Leaked audio reveals embarrassing U.S. exchange on Ukraine, EU,” would admit:

A conversation between a State Department official and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine that was posted on YouTube revealed an embarrassing exchange on U.S. strategy for a political transition in that country, including a crude American swipe at the European Union.

The article also admitted:

The audio clip, which was posted on Tuesday but gained wide circulation on Thursday, appears to show the official, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, weighing in on the make-up of the next Ukrainian government.

The convergence of senior US representatives openly and repeatedly involved in (often violent) regime change most certainly involving the CIA among myriad other US organisations within the halls of the NED is no coincidence.

The NED exists to promote regime change worldwide, merely under the guise of “promoting democracy worldwide.”

The CPJ Defends US-funded Subversion Under Guise of “Press Freedom”

The CPJ failed categorically to inform readers of facts surrounding the true nature of NED and its activities in its defence of Rappler.

This however should come as no surprise. The CPJ itself is yet another shell organisation likewise funded by US corporate foundations for the purpose of promoting US interests. The CPJ does this by protecting fronts like Rappler under the guise of “press freedom” from the repercussions of engaging in US government-funded subversion.

Fronts like Rappler serve as a propaganda “sword” while the CPJ exists as a “shield” to block efforts by targeted nations to defend themselves.

The CPJ in its 2018 annual report (.pdf) is admittedly funded by corporate foundations like convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, US corporations like pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and tech giants Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo, financial institutions like Mastercard and Morgan Stanley and mainstays of Western media including Reuters, Vice, NPR, PBS, Time, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and NBC.

Many of these interests funding the CPJ are involved in activities at the NED. Anne Applebaum, for example, is a senior columnist at the above mentioned Washington Post and serves as an NED director.

The CPJ’s defence of Rappler continues, claiming:

Manila Times columnist Yen Makabenta, in an April 30 op-ed, called for the enactment of a foreign agents registration law to “tame in a hurry the intrusive criticism and interference in national affairs by these foreign-funded [media] organizations, whose activities are subversive by design.” Makabenta continued, “Indeed, if they are working for a group like the CIA, they could be working to change the government.”

CPJ has chronicled how governments, including in Russia and China, have passed laws that require bloggers, journalists and civil society members to register as foreign agents in moves that threaten to obstruct the free flow of information, including over social media. Makabenta’s op-ed suggested the Philippines should implement similar legislation.

The U.S. government has denied the CIA is involved in any destabilization plot against Duterte. The U.S. ambassador responded to the claims by saying, “There is absolutely no effort by the CIA to undermine the Philippines leadership,” according to reports.

Makabenta’s fears are well-founded.

Even at a glance the NED’s board of directors reflects the organisation’s role in fueling regime change worldwide. NED-funded media fronts are demonstrably biased and transparent in their efforts to undermine targeted governments and to promote US-favoured politicians, political parties and opposition groups.

The Philippines’ Punishment for Building Bridges with Beijing 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has demonstrated a pattern of disobedience toward Washington, having previously threatened to expel US forces from Philippine territory, building closer ties with Beijing and even excluding Washington from bilateral talks held with Beijing seeking solutions to disputes over the South China Sea.

For all of these reasons and more, President Duterte and others throughout the Philippines’ establishment have become targets of US-backed subversion, the public face of which being NED-funded media fronts like Rappler.

A similar pattern can be seen throughout Southeast Asia with NED-funded fronts like Prachatai, iLaw, Isaan Record and Benar News targeting the current Thai government headed by a Beijing-friendly military-led faction that twice ousted US proxy Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies from power.

It is difficult to say how long organisations like the CPJ can continue successfully defending fronts like Rappler under the guise of defending “press freedom.” Only the CPJ’s intentional omission of facts like the nature of the NED’s board of directors and its extensive history of regime change allows the CPJ to portray its defense of Rappler and others taking NED funds as credible.

Were the CPJ truly dedicated to defending press freedom it would note the danger of foreign-funded sedition dressed up as journalism and alert the public to how this above all else threatens to undermine a free press. Instead, the CPJ defends this abuse, thus ironically undermining genuine press freedom in the process.

Should the Philippines enact an effective foreign agents registration law, other nations in the region might follow, delivering a severe blow to US meddling and pose as a further setback to US ambitions to reassert itself vis-à-vis China.

With the US unable to compete with China’s infrastructure-centred regional partnerships, and even lagging behind in the sale of military hardware, security partnerships and investments, political subversion is the last tool on offer. But maybe taking this last tool away from Washington could be a blessing in disguise. Without it, perhaps Washington will reevaluate other, more constructive methods of engaging with Asia-Pacific (and the rest of the world) based on mutual respect and benefits and above all, upon the primacy of national sovereignty.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli municipality in Jerusalem names Silwan streets after rabbis

Palestine Information Center | June 21, 2019

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The Israeli municipality in Occupied Jerusalem has decided to name some streets in the predominantly Arab Silwan neighborhood after Jewish rabbis.

According to Haaretz, the move was against the recommendation of a professional panel who said “It is inappropriate to give Jewish street names in neighborhoods overwhelmingly populated by Arabs.”

The naming committee in the municipality, headed by Mayor Moshe Leon, named five alleyways and narrow streets in the Baten Al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan.

The neighborhood, which is currently the home of 12 Jewish families and hundreds of Palestinian families, is targeted by extremist settler groups, including Ateret Cohanim.

Settlers claim there was a small Jewish-Yemenite community in the neighborhood 80 years ago. The newly-approved street names are “Ezrat Nidhim,” after the charitable organization founded by Yisroel Dov Frumkin in the late 19th century which established the Yemenite community.

The other streets are named after Yemenite rabbis. The decision was taken by a majority of eight to two.

The committee made the decision despite the opinion of a professional panel, who warned that the move will “create unnecessary tension. The names will not be used by residents and will therefore be futile.” The committee recommended neutral street names which will benefit all residents.

The two committee members opposing the decision are city coalition members Laura Wharton and Yossi Havilio. Havilio said he firmly opposes as the move, adding that it provokes Arab residents and will inflame the atmosphere in the neighborhood.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 2 Comments

FANB Warns that US Military Planes are Flying over Venezuelan Territory

Orinoco Tribune | June 21, 2019

The Comprehensive Aerospace Defense Command ( Codai ) of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) denounced that EP-3E and RC-135 aircrafts belonging to the United States Air Force have flown over Venezuelan coasts several times to carry out espionage actions and exploitative missions.

The information was disseminated by the military institution through its Twitter account on June 12, which also highlights that these overflights have intensified in 2019.

In March, the Minister of Popular Power for Defense, Vladimir Padrino López, denounced the incursion of a Boeing C17 ship of the same American military component that took off from the Hato base, located in Curaçao.

On that occasion, the crew of the aircraft made radio contact after their incursion. It was the second time that an American Air Force plane violated the space of the territorial sea that generates the Los Monjes archipelago in the Caribbean Sea.

The first time was in 2015 when a military aircraft of the DACH-8 type, equipped with an electro-optical system that allows the detection of thermal energy for the creation of images, flew over that same area.

Approximately since 2010, the FANB has detected the incursion of US aircraft without them having previously requested permission for their overflight.

Translated by JRE/EF

Source URL:

Supuesto Negado

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June 21, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , | 1 Comment

Iran, Turkey sign document to enhance strategic cooperation

Press TV – June 21, 2019

Iran and Turkey have signed a document to enhance their mutual strategic partnership as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited the country.

The document was signed on Friday during a meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Cavusoglu in the central city of Isfahan.

The Turkish foreign minister said Ankara is ready to deepen and strengthen mutual ties with Iran in various political, economic and cultural areas. Zarif voiced Tehran’s readiness to increase the volume of trade with Turkey.

The two sides also discussed the latest regional developments, particularly the situation in the Persian Gulf.

Earlier this month, the presidents of Iran and Turkey expressed their opposition to any sanctions and unilateralism in international relations.

Iran is keen to expand relations with Turkey in all fields, particularly in economic and trade sectors, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

He made the remarks in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Tajikistan.

The Turkish president, for his part, hailed growing relations between Tehran and Ankara and said his country attached high importance to further expansion of ties.

Iran and Turkey have agreed to step up their economic cooperation and raise their annual trade to $30 billion.

Ankara has denounced unilateral US sanctions on Tehran, saying it is determined to maintain trade with the Islamic Republic.

Iran is a key gas supplier to Turkey which receives 353 billion cubic feet per year under a 25-year agreement signed in 2001.

Head of the National Iranian Gas Company Hassan Montazer Torbati said in March Turkey has requested to purchase more natural gas from Iran.

 

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

“Scorched Earth” Terror Policy Sets Syrian and Iraqi Agricultural Land Ablaze

Although Daesh has claimed sole responsibility for recent crop fires, other culprits have a motive and share responsibility too

By Sarah Abed | InfoRos | June 20, 2019

After years of deprivation and financial turmoil farmers across the most fertile parts of Syria and Iraq were looking forward to a much-needed return on their investment. Unfortunately, before that could happen, their hard work went up in flames, literally. The devastation and pain that these fires have caused a countless number of families is heartbreaking and immeasurable.

Recently, tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land have been set on fire in the northern and eastern regions of Syria. 0ver 84,000 acres of wheat and barley crops have been destroyed, estimated losses are well over $3,000,000, as of June 17th. Over 20,000 acres of crops in a dozen Iraqi provinces have been destroyed as well.

I spoke with a Qamishli resident under the condition of anonymity, on June 17th about the recent wheat and barley crop fires in his region and he had the following to say, “If you were to come to Qamishli right now, you would not be able to smell anything but the fire. I get up in the morning and there’s ash covering my entire car, from the crop fires. The entire region has been affected, people’s livelihoods have been destroyed, people are confused and upset, and the fires are spreading beyond the fields and into towns, many families are suffering right now. Have you seen the size of the flames? They can’t be contained. There are birds that were killed, they couldn’t escape from the fire. Imagine that, they have been photographed sitting, some protecting their nests, completely burned alive.”

I asked about fatalities, he said “Over 25 people have been killed so far.”

When I asked who owns the land and who would have a motive to do this he answered,

“The majority of the lands that have been affected were owned by Arab families, not Kurds.” He also said, “75% of the people here think the Kurdish militias are responsible”.

A new policy implemented by the self-proclaimed Kurdish administration prevents wheat from being sold to areas under the Syrian governments control. Farmers who were offered a better rate by the Syrian government for their crops were not allowed to sell and coincidentally, now their crops have been destroyed.

Laith Marouf, Senior Consultant of Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) stated on June 14th,

“For the past month, Kurdish Contras in Syria implemented a scorched earth campaign against Arab and Assyrian farm lands, with 100s of acres of crops burnt to the ground in an effort to force the majority population to accept Kurdish minority rule and occupation by the Empire. Yesterday, as a follow up to this campaign, Saudi sent an envoy who has toured the areas along with the US ambassador offering money to Arab and Assyrian tribal leaders, now hungry and financially ruined after their annual harvest was destroyed, in return for their allegiance against their homeland.”

When I spoke to Laith on June 17th about allegations being made against Turkish militias for the fires on Turkey’s borders Laith stated

“Fires started first in regions close to the Euphrates and Khabour rivers. Only in past few days fires started in border regions with Turkey”.

In 2017, when Daesh lost a significant amount of territory in Iraq and Syria including Mosul, Palmyra and Raqqa, the terrorist group took on a campaign of mass destruction and sabotage. Their goal was to destroy anything of value including priceless artifacts, factories, buildings, oil wells, water wells, electricity, sugar and cement factories and burning crops. Their aim was to inflict as much economic turmoil as possible on not only the governments but the civilians that lived in these areas. This led to what has been referred to as Daesh’s “scorched earth policy”.  The idea is simple, if they can’t have something, then no one else can either.

With these recent crop fires however, there could be multiple culprits that are using this opportunity to further their own destructive plans while Daesh or sleeper cells takes the entire blame. Even though Daesh has claimed responsibility and has called for their followers to continue to burn crops and cause the “apostates” to suffer, other parties have motives as well.

The Kurdish self-administration has blamed the Syrian government along with Daesh, for the fires. Salman Barudo the head of Kurdish administrations agriculture committee stated,

“We cannot say the regime and ISIS are working together, but they share the same interest in not seeing the success of this area”.

Ironically, we have proof that SDF has not only worked with Daesh and other terrorist groups during the war, but has used Daesh war tactics such as kidnapping and forced conscription.

Some have alleged that Iran was responsible for the fires in Iraq, implying that they were trying to force the Iraqi government to buy Iranian wheat. Syrian Opposition groups have blamed the Kurdish led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF. And the blame game continues.

Amidst all the allegations, (some more ridiculous than others) the simple fact that certain parties aside from Daesh, have much to gain from these terrible acts remains. They can only hide behind Daesh for so long before the responsible parties are fully exposed.

Earlier this month, Syria’s Ikhbariya state TV journalist and correspondent Muhammad as-Saghir was detained by the SDF after filming wheat fields on fire and obtaining evidence that the SDF was not in a hurry to put them out. He also stated that the SDF was seeking to destroy Syrian wheat stocks as a means of furthering the US economic war against Damascus.

Given this information, it appears that crop fires are part of Washington’s next phase of economic warfare/terrorism (in addition to the existing harsh sanctions), being imposed on war-ravaged Syrians who have courageously fought against western-supported global terrorism, within their borders for over eight years.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

Iran releases first photos of downed US drone’s wreckage

Press TV – June 21, 2019

Iran has released the first photos of the wreckage of a US spy drone which was shot down early Thursday after intruding into the Iranian airspace.

The IRGC Aerospace Force displayed parts of the doomed drone on Friday noon, refuting earlier claims by the US that the UAE was flying over international waters, and had not violated the Iranian airspace.

Wreckage of a US spy drone shot down by the IRGC air defense forces on Thursday morning as displayed on Friday. (Photo by IRIB News Agency)

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said Thursday it had shot down the unmanned US aircraft after it breached the country’s airspace.

Iran issued “numerous” warnings before shooting down the aircraft, Brigadier General Qader Rahimzadeh, the second-in-command of Iran’s Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base, said on Friday.

The last warning was issued at 3:55 am, ten minutes before the shoot-down, IRGC Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.

He made the remarks to reporters on the sidelines of an exhibition held in Tehran to showcase the drone’s wreckage.

US President Donald Trump initially issued a series of cataclysmic threats, insisting that the RQ-4 Global Hawk was flying over international waters when it was taken down by an Iranian missile.

However, the GPS coordinates released by Iran put the drone eight miles off the country’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore, which is Iran’s territorial waters.

Wreckage of a US spy drone shot down by the IRGC air defense forces on Thursday morning as displayed on Friday. (Photo by IRIB News Agency)

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi earlier told the Swiss envoy that “there are irrefutable evidence about the presence of this drone in Iran’s airspace and even some parts of its wreckage have been retrieved from Iranian territorial waters.”

Swiss ambassador summoned 

The Swiss envoy, whose country represents the US interests in Iran, was later summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry on Friday morning, and received an official note which he said will immediately deliver to the US.

In a meeting with an Iranian foreign ministry official, Swiss Ambassador Markus Leitner was asked to tell the US that the Islamic Republic is not after a war with any country, but the Iranian Armed Forces will give a “crushing response to any aggression.”

The Swiss envoy was told that the US will be held accountable for the consequences of such provocative measures.

“The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will show restraint as long as possible to preserve the security and tranquility of the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

“But if the other side takes a provocative and unconsidered move, they will not hesitate to give a reciprocal response with unpredictable consequences,” the Iranian official noted, saying the response will be detrimental to all parties involved.

In a letter on Thursday, Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi told the United Nations that the international community needs to confront Washington’s destabilizing actions.

“Iran condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this irresponsible and provocative wrongful act by the United States, which entails its international responsibility,” he wrote in a letter addressed to UN chief António Guterres and the UN Security Council on Thursday.

Takht-Ravanchi wrote that Iran had the right to defend its sovereignty according to the world body’s Charter.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | | 2 Comments