Home > Uncategorized > Stop NATO news: January 13, 2012

Stop NATO news: January 13, 2012

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Libya Test Run For New NATO Global Policy: Yevgeny Primakov

Report: NATO Special Forces Led Takeover Of Tripoli

Russia’s Own Security Threatened By Military Attack On Iran: Envoy

World To View Attack On Iran, New Sanctions As Regime Change Moves: Russia

Russia To Test Over 70 New Missile Systems This Year

Strategic Guidance Affirms NATO Military Assistance Clause

Pentagon To Press On With Missile Deployments In Poland

Dayton: NATO Representatives To Discuss Missile Shield

NATO Capabilities: Netherlands Asks Denmark, Norway To Join F-15 Buy

Russia: NATO, Gulf Partners Plan Libya Repeat In Syria

Russia: NATO Plans Reprise Of Libya Intervention In Syria

China Rejects Foreign Interference In Syria

U.S.-NATO Jets Bombard Central Afghanistan

Pakistan: Parliamentary National Security Committee Demands Denial Of Air Space To U.S., NATO

Britain: U.S., French Air Forces Build On Libyan War Partnership

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Libya Test Run For New NATO Global Policy: Yevgeny Primakov

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/13/63816927.html

Interfax
January 13, 2012

Libya test run of new NATO scenario – Primakov

See:

NATO Incorporates Libyan Experience For Global War Template
Stop NATO, June 18, 2011

Africa: Battleground For NATO’s 21st Century Strategic Concept
Stop NATO, May 20, 2011

Former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov believes the removal of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was a test run of a new NATO scenario to change regimes using loosely-worded resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Speaking in Moscow Friday, he said Russia and China would never fall into this trap again and would not allow NATO to act out the Libyan scenario in Syria.

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Report: NATO Special Forces Led Takeover Of Tripoli

http://english.pravda.ru/world/asia/13-01-2012/120229-nato_tripoli-0/

Pravda
January 13, 2012

NATO used its forces to the maximum to take Tripoli
Sergei Balmasov

Italy’s L’Espresso daily publication wrote that NATO’s special forces played the key role in taking Tripoli, the capital of Libya. A participant of the operation shared his impressions with the publication. According to the author of the article, the man, whose story the newspaper published, was struggling with the [eventual] butchers of Muammar Gaddafi, foreign snipers and killers who had come to Libya from all over the world. According to him, all of them came to Tripoli to make money by aiming their guns at rebellious people.

The man, who introduced himself as a member of the Italian special forces, said that the secret weapon had been aimed against inexperienced rebels for months. “Those snipers stopped the first groups of the rebels, who entered the Libyan capital,” the man said.

The author of the article admitted that bombs and missiles were useless against them. The residents of Tripoli did not struggle with them to avoid massacre in return. “There was only one way to remove them – to challenge them to a duel: a shooter vs. a shooter. This is exactly what NATO did. They gathered the best snipers of the alliance under the conditions of extreme secrecy and brought them to Libya to get rid of the regime there. It was their weapons that contributed most to the fall of the dictatorship. It was they who opened the road for the rebellion. There were Italian servicemen among them too,” the article said.

L’Espresso published the story told by Ale, a serviceman of the special forces of the Italian navy, who supposedly took part in the taking of Tripoli. According to the author of the article, Ale and his partners were working in the south-east of Tripoli. The men were equipped with Ar 15 guns with silencers of the new generation and state-of-the-art sniper rifles for high-precision gunfire for a distance of up to a thousand meters. Their equipment also included comfortable shoes and clothing: body armor with extra protection on the chest, cartridges, containers for water, medications and medical equipment neatly packed in the uniforms, etc.

“When Ale and his men arrived at the front, they took perfect positions. They could control the whole square from the height that they had taken. The snipers had to be removed before daybreak. Ale’s men had already detected two enemy snipers with the help of electronic devices. Ale determined the target and said that he was ready. The enemies were quiet. They would take several shots before changing positions. That was a lethal mistake for them to make. The night was drawing to its end. It was time to move to another bunker of Gaddafi’s supporters to open the door for the revolution wider.”

Stories like these make one think about the real participation of NATO troops in the Libyan war. According to official information from the alliance, NATO conducted bombings, restricted arms shipments, and assisted in training the forces who were struggling against Gaddafi’s troops.

There is also unofficial information which was exposed by the British media. According to British publications, Britain, for instance, went far beyond the framework set by the UN. The country supposedly participated in at least restricted operations in which it suffered considerable losses.

The above-mentioned article in the Italian newspaper also said that Ale was a member of the special team in which there was also a French legionary, a Briton from SAS and two US marines. All of them were veterans, whose skills were far better than those of Gaddafi’s mercenaries.

According to the author, the use of those snipers became a critical element like a nuclear bomb in 1945, which changed the course of the conflict.

NATO sources said that there were as many as 4,000 US marines deployed near the Libyan shores during the operation. White House officials say that those marines did not take part in the Libyan “revolution.” Was it really so?

It is worthy of note that there were reports saying that Gaddafi’s soldiers downed helicopters with NATO commandos on board. It was also reported that the Libyan army had captured European mercenaries during the standoff.

The West uses professionals against unwanted regimes. However, the above-mentioned stories also mean that the West is ready to use its pros against other regimes as well – in Syria, Iran, etc. Foreign special services reportedly continue to sound out the possibilities for the Libyan scenario to repeat in Syria. There are also reports saying that mysterious snipers attack demonstrators and policemen to provoke armed clashes. Will Teheran and Damascus be able to set anything against mercenaries and commandos who are capable of changing the course of any conflict?

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Russia’s Own Security Threatened By Military Attack On Iran: Envoy

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/13/us-iran-russia-nato-idUSTRE80C1BI20120113

Reuters
January 13, 2012

Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action

BRUSSELS: Russia would regard any military intervention linked to Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to its own security, Moscow’s departing ambassador to NATO warned on Friday.

“Iran is our neighbor,” Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Brussels. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”

Rogozin was speaking two days after the killing of a nuclear scientist in Tehran by a hitman on a motorcycle.

Kremlin Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev, who is close to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said Israel was pushing the United States towards war with Iran, according to the Interfax news agency.

Russia, however, opposes a boycott of Iranian oil.

“We are definitely interested in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Rogozin said on Friday. “But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran.”

Rogozin, often described as an anti-Western hawk, was appointed deputy prime minister in December, and will oversee Russia’s defense sector when he returns to Moscow.

The United States, the European Union and Japan are drawing up sanctions on Iran to try to force it to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program. Tehran says its program does not have military aims.

The United States on Thursday took punitive action against three oil companies dealing with Iranian oil.

EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on a ban on imports of Iranian crude oil on January 23 – though with a grace period to give European companies time to find alternative sources of crude.

Japan on Thursday pledged to take concrete action to cut its oil imports from Iran.

(Reporting By Sebastian Moffett; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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World To View Attack On Iran, New Sanctions As Regime Change Moves: Russia

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/315736.html

Itar-Tass
January 13, 2012

World to take attack on Iran, new sanctions as power change try

MOSCOW: The world community will take a military attack on Iran and new sanctions as an attempt at power change in the country, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told reporters on Friday.

“An obvious tendency has been reported recently for a deteriorating situation over Iran,” the Russian high-ranking diplomat said. “Unilateral sanctions imposed by Western countries under the UN Security Council decisions will have a negative impact on the population and economy in Iran. This policy undermines the efforts of the international community to settle the problem of the Iranian nuclear program,” Gatilov said.

“Our position is that with due account of the previous UN Security Council resolutions, which restrict military cooperation with Iran, the sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN Security Council are fully exhausted,” Gatilov said, “Everything that can be offered for the approval in the UN Security Council beyond the framework set in the resolutions, has no bearing with the task for a stronger nuclear non-proliferation regime,” he said.

“Additional sanctions against Iran, as well as a probable military attack on Iran, will be doubtlessly taken in the international community as those pursuing the goal of power change in Tehran,” the Russian deputy foreign minister underlined.

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Russia To Test Over 70 New Missile Systems This Year

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20120113/170743544.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
January 13, 2012

Russia to test over 70 new missile systems in 2012

About 70 new rocket and missile systems will be tested at Russia’s Kapustin Yar test range in 2012, an increase of 150 percent from last year, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

The systems are part of more than 160 ongoing projects, said Col. Vadim Koval, without providing any details.

Last year, more than 500 missile test launches were made at the Kapustin Yar rocket launch and development site, he added.

Almost all the missile and rocket related branches and services of the Russian Armed Forces, including the Strategic Missile Forces, the Air Defense Forces, and the Missile Forces and Artillery conduct their tests at Kapustin Yar, located in the Astrakhan region, between the cities of Volgograd and Astrakhan.

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Strategic Guidance Affirms NATO Military Assistance Clause

http://www.army.mil/article/71716/Strategic_guidance_recognizes_U_S__NATO_commitments/

U.A. Army
American Forces Press Service
January 10, 2012

Strategic guidance recognizes U.S.-NATO commitments
By Donna Miles

-[Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Phillip] Gordon said the new strategy guidance reaffirms many of the objectives the alliance already is pursing while emphasizing two core messages. It reinforces that the United States is “absolutely committed to maintaining the capabilities we need for Article 5,” he said. Meanwhile, he said it demonstrates that “we’re absolutely committed, not just to maintaining, but to enhancing our ability to partner with Europeans on global security missions.”
-“We will not be sizing our forces for two overlapping large-scale ground-intensive combat operations,” [Julianne Smith, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy] said. “Instead, if we find ourselves engaged in a major combat operation in one theater, we will focus on spoiling the objectives of an aggressor elsewhere.”
This, she explained, will enable the United States to reduce the size of the force while also taking advantage of new concepts of operations in fields such as space, cyber, special operations and precision strikes.

WASHINGTON: As the United States implements new strategic guidance that increases its focus on Asia and the Pacific, it also needs to pursue “smart defense initiatives” as it continues to honor its NATO commitments, a senior defense official said today.

Budget constraints will demand new efficiencies and new approaches to collective defense, Julianne Smith, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO policy, told reporters at the Foreign Press Center here.

Smith joined Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Phillip Gordon in explaining how the new strategic guidance will impact defense in the European theater.

“The trans-Atlantic relationship remains an essential source of stability in an unpredictable world,” Gordon said, with Europe remaining the United States’ principal partner in promoting global and economic security.

“And so the strategy outlined last week reaffirms our commitment to European security,” he said, and continued commitment to the so-called Article 5 responsibility to aid any NATO ally in the event of an attack.

Gordon underscored the need to continue enhancing U.S. cooperation and interoperability with European partners to maintain this commitment and address global challenges.

He cited the recent military cooperation in Libya and current operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Balkans and Horn of Africa, as well as diplomatic cooperation on issues ranging from non-proliferation and missile defense.

Smith said the strategic guidance comes at a “pivotal moment” for the United States.

“We have just ended our mission in Iraq, we are transitioning through our mission in Afghanistan and obviously we face unprecedented challenges here at home,” she said.

Looking to the future, she said rebalancing of force structure toward Asia and the Pacific will require the United States to adapt its posture in Europe to reflect the evolving strategic landscape.

The NATO Summit that President Barack Obama will host this May in Chicago is expected to address these and other challenges, with a focus on capabilities and partnerships and the transition in Afghanistan.

Gordon said the new strategy guidance reaffirms many of the objectives the alliance already is pursing while emphasizing two core messages. It reinforces that the United States is “absolutely committed to maintaining the capabilities we need for Article 5,” he said. Meanwhile, he said it demonstrates that “we’re absolutely committed, not just to maintaining, but to enhancing our ability to partner with Europeans on global security missions.”

Smith clarified that while the new guidance will alter, but not eliminate, the so-called “two-war construct” – the United States’ ability to engage in two conflicts simultaneously.

“We will not be sizing our forces for two overlapping large-scale ground-intensive combat operations,” she said. “Instead, if we find ourselves engaged in a major combat operation in one theater, we will focus on spoiling the objectives of an aggressor elsewhere.”

This, she explained, will enable the United States to reduce the size of the force while also taking advantage of new concepts of operations in fields such as space, cyber, special operations and precision strikes.

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Pentagon To Press On With Missile Deployments In Poland

http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2012/01/12/u-s-likely-to-press-on-with-missile-defense-in-poland/

Wall Street Journal
January 12, 2012

U.S. Likely to Press On With Missile Defense in Poland
By Marcin Sobczyk

The U.S. will likely keep its commitment to place missile interceptors in Poland…regardless of any opposition from Russia and despite defense cutbacks, a U.S. senator said Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009 scrapped the missile-defense plan drafted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, under which Poland would host a base near its border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The U.S. later proposed a new system envisaging 24 interceptors in Poland at the same location.

“Indications are that despite defense cutbacks, we’re going to maintain the commitment to build the Polish missile-defense system, and that is because the threat from Iran is growing, it’s clear that Iran’s nuclear programs are accelerating,” Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk told reporters in Warsaw.

“My hope is that we stay on schedule for a 2018 full operational capability of 24 interceptors at Redzikowo to defend NATO and the United States,” he added. “The Russians have been pretty hostile to missile defense…We need to defend a free, sovereign and independent Poland regardless of what Russia thinks.”

The revival of the Polish missile-defense site plan provoked a Russian response last year, including from President Dmitry Medvedev, who in November 2011 threatened to deploy ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad if the U.S. proceeded with its plan.

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Dayton: NATO Representatives To Discuss Missile Shield

http://www.abc6onyourside.com/template/inews_wire/wires.regional.oh/3cb921eb-www.abc6onyourside.com.shtml

Channel 6 ABC
January 12, 2012

NATO representatives to meet in Ohio

DAYTON, Ohio: Representatives from NATO’s parliamentary assembly will meet in southwest Ohio next month to discuss topics including missile defense and the sharing of military intelligence among the U.S. and its allies.

Ohio Congressman Mike Turner announced the conference Wednesday in Dayton. Turner is the chairman of the U.S. delegation to the assembly made up of members of the U.S. Congress and of parliaments in NATO’s other member countries.

Turner spokesman Tom Crosson says the group also will be in Washington, D.C. for a portion of a five-day trip to the United States.

He says the group will be in Dayton Feb. 3-4 and will tour Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Crosson says the group will be briefed on the base’s role in the defense of the United States and its NATO allies.

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NATO Capabilities: Netherlands Asks Denmark, Norway To Join F-15 Buy

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iNugVwmGFfAvYIZNyvvgUcTAfMvg?docId=CNG.b11f22afbab3acee74733570d6b3a8db.211

Agence France-Presse
January 13, 2012

Netherlands asks Denmark, Norway to join F-35 buy

-The Dutch defense minister also met Thursday with his US counterpart Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, to discuss US force strategy in Europe, the upcoming NATO defense ministerial meetings to be held in early February in Brussels, and the NATO 2012 Summit scheduled for May in Chicago.

WASHINGTON: The Netherlands has asked Denmark and Norway to join it in acquiring and maintaining future F-35 fighter jets, Dutch Minister Hans Hillen said Thursday after meetings at the Pentagon.

The move was an example “of how far the Netherlands is prepared to go in cooperating with other countries in order to keep up NATO military capabilities,” Hillens said at an address to the Atlantic Council during a brief US visit.

“I have asked Denmark and Norway to think about cooperation regarding the fighter plan that will replace our F-16. By doing so, we can build existing cooperation between F-16 nations that are also considering the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 as a successor,” Hillens said.

The three countries are contributors to an international consortium backing the development of the the F-35.

The Dutch defense minister also met Thursday with his US counterpart Leon Panetta at the Pentagon, to discuss US force strategy in Europe, the upcoming NATO defense ministerial meetings to be held in early February in Brussels, and the NATO 2012 Summit scheduled for May in Chicago.

In discussing NATO issues, Panetta praised the Netherlands’ “traditionally strong voice and leadership in the NATO alliance,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby.

Lockheed Martin and the US government view global partners, including eight nations sharing program costs, as crucial to bringing down the overall price of the Joint Strike Fighter.

US defense officials have faced an uphill battle to contain the cost of the program, which has swelled to $385 billion – technical problems have forced retrofitting efforts and a slower pace of production, driving up the price of each aircraft to roughly $113 million.

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Russia: NATO, Gulf Partners Plan Libya Repeat In Syria

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-12/russia-says-nato-persian-gulf-nations-plan-to-seek-no-fly-zone-for-syria.html

Bloomberg News
January 12, 2012

Russia Says NATO, Persian Gulf Nations Plan to Seek No-Fly Zone for Syria
By Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov

-Russia may have obtained intelligence about Western military plans in Syria or may be sending a signal that it will actively oppose any such efforts, said Fyodor Lukyanov, an analyst at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow.
“After the Libyan experience, Russia will do everything to stop this scenario from happening,” he said in a phone interview. “Syria is much more important than Libya from Russia’s point of view.”

Russia received information that members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and some Persian Gulf countries are preparing military intervention in Syria, the head of the Russian Security Council said.

Turkey, a NATO member, may play a key role, Nikolai Patrushev, who used to head the country’s intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, told Interfax in comments confirmed by his office. The U.S. and Turkey are working on a possible no-fly zone to protect Syrian rebels, Patrushev said.

“We are receiving information that NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, working under the ‘Libyan scenario’, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syria to direct military intervention,” the Russian security chief said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday that the Arab League monitoring mission in Syria should end after failing to deter the government’s 10-month campaign of violence against dissidents. She spoke after meeting Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani, a day after President Barack Obama held talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal at the White House.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry and NATO’s press service in Brussels didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Russia, which has Soviet-era ties with Syria, argues that United Nations-sanctioned bombing of Libya by NATO to protect civilians was used to bring about regime change and that Western governments are trying to repeat that scenario in Syria.

Iranian Alliance

The West is putting pressure on Syria because the country refuses to break off its alliance with Iran and not for repressing the opposition, said Patrushev…

“This time, it won’t be France, the U.K. and Italy that will provide the main strike forces, but perhaps neighboring Turkey, which was until recently on good terms with Syria and is a rival of Iran with immense ambitions,” Patrushev said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected calls for his resignation on Jan. 10, accusing “foreign conspiracies” of aiming to divide his country. Unrest in Syria since March 2011 has claimed more than 5,000 lives, according to the United Nations.

The Arab League imposed sanctions on Syria on Nov. 27. Russia and China have blocked efforts by the U.S. and the European Union for the UN Security Council to condemn the crackdown.

Russia, which has a naval base in Syria and sells weapons to the Middle Eastern country, is more concerned that Islamic radicals may come to power, said Irina Zvyagelskaya, a Middle East analyst at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

Russian Fear

“Our fear is that Syria could collapse and extremist Islamic forces will seize control that no one will be pleased about,” Zvyagelskaya said in a phone interview today. “This could destabilize the entire region.”

While Russia would block any effort to seek UN approval for a no-fly zone in Syria thanks to its veto-wielding power as a permanent member of the Security Council, Western nations and their allies may form a coalition like they did for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, said the analyst.

“There are scenarios which different countries are looking at,” Zvyagelskaya said. “We have seen before what a no-fly zone means, it will be used to overthrow the regime.”

No-Fly Zone

Defectors from Assad’s army who have set up an opposition force called the Free Syrian Army called at the end of last year for a no-fly zone and two buffer areas with international backing as they seek to topple the Syrian government.

The group wants a buffer zone in the north, on the Turkish-Syrian border, and another in the south near the border with Jordan to help them bring the fight closer to Assad, Riad al As’ad, a former Syrian colonel who leads the Free Syrian Army, said in a phone interview from Turkey on Nov. 18.

Russia may have obtained intelligence about Western military plans in Syria or may be sending a signal that it will actively oppose any such efforts, said Fyodor Lukyanov, an analyst at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow.

“After the Libyan experience, Russia will do everything to stop this scenario from happening,” he said in a phone interview. “Syria is much more important than Libya from Russia’s point of view.”

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http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/01/12/Russian-official-NATO-will-be-in-Syria/UPI-41741326394079/?spt=hs&or=tn

United Press International
January 12, 2012

Russian official: NATO will be in Syria

MOSCOW: A Russian official says NATO and some of Syria’s neighbors are planning a military intervention like the one that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Russian security council, said he had seen intelligence suggesting NATO would establish a no-fly zone over Syria, The Daily Telegraph reported. Turkey would supply ground troops.

“We are getting information that NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention,” Patrushev told the newspaper Kommersant in an interview published Thursday.

Patrushev suggested Syria has become a target because of its friendly ties with Iran. He said Turkey’s rivalry with Iran has made it willing to intervene against its former ally.

“Syria has not become an object of interest for a new coalition of the willing in itself,” he said. “The plan is to punish Damascus not so much for repressing the opposition as for its unwillingness to sever its friendly relations with Tehran.”

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Russia: NATO Plans Reprise Of Libya Intervention In Syria

http://rt.com/news/syria-iran-assad-clinton-657/

RT
January 12, 2012

‘Syria is being punished for ties with Iran’

Syria is to go the Libyan way with NATO members planning “direct military intervention,” says Nikolay Patrushev, Russia’s Security Council secretary.

“NATO members together with several Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, acting along the Libyan scenario, are intending to turn the current mediated interference in Syrian affairs into a direct military intervention,” Patrushev told the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

According to the head of the Kremlin security body, this time France, Italy and the UK will not be major providers of attacking forces.

“It will probably be Turkey, which neighbors Syria and which till recently was its ally. Turkey is competing with Iran and has huge ambitions,” said Patrushev. “Damascus is to be persecuted not exactly for repressing the opposition, but because it is unwilling to sever ties with Tehran.”

Washington and Ankara are now assumed to be negotiating a “no-fly” zone over Syria to help Syrian armed insurgents, added Patrushev.

Patrushev’s interview comes a day after President Bashar al-Assad blamed foreign conspiracy for the unrest in his country, where according to UN estimates over 5,000 people have died in the ten-month popular uprising.

“We will defeat the conspiracy, without any doubt,” said Assad in his surprise appearance at a pro-government rally, which gathered several thousands of people in Damascus. “We will make this phase the last one of the conspiracy.”

The comment was slammed several hours later by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Talking at a joint press-conference with the Qatari prime minister, Clinton dubbed the conspiracy accusations a “chillingly cynical speech” and added the US “cannot permit President Assad and his regime to have impunity.”

‘Damascus would not shoot at a pro-government rally’

Meanwhile, a foreign journalist has been killed in Syria for the first time since the anti-government protest began in March 2011. On Thursday, France urged Damascus to shed light on the circumstance of Gilles Jacquier’s death.

Jacquier was shot along with eight other people during another pro-government rally in the central city of Homs on January 11.

The opposition moved quickly to lay blame for the incident on President Assad. But Hisham Jaber, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies, says the regime “would have little interest in shooting at its supporters.”

“It is silly to accuse the Syrian government of this,” Jaber told RT. “The opposition’s news release is part of a psychological warfare. But this is not credible, in my opinion.”

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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/13/c_131357086.htm

Xinhua News Agency
January 13, 2012

Russian security chief says risk of Iran-U.S. military conflict exists

               
MOSCOW: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Thursday there is a real danger of the United States striking Iran.

“There is a likelihood of a military conflict escalation, to which Americans are being pushed by Israel,” Patrushev said in an interview with Interfax news agency.

He said currently the U.S. sees Iran as its main problem and is seeking to turn Teheran “from an enemy into a loyal partner.”

“For that purpose the U.S. will change the ruling regime there by any means. Economic blockade is applied, and also the massive support for opposition forces,” the Kremlin Security Council head said.

He also noted that Russia, China, India and a number of other countries are making great efforts to resolve the Iranian problem peacefully and amicably, but the result has so far been insignificant “because neither the U.S. nor Iran seem very keen on it”.

He said that Western countries have no proof that Teheran is trying to create a nuclear weapon.

“We have been hearing for many years that Iranians can create a nuclear bomb in about one week time. But the presence of a military aspect in Teheran’s nuclear program has never been proved by anyone,” Patrushev said.

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China Rejects Foreign Interference In Syria

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1979431.html

Trend News Agency
January 13, 2012

China rejects foreign interference in Syria

China’s Special Envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike on Thursday stressed his country’s support to the Arab League (AL) efforts to solve the situation in Syria, reiterating rejection of internationalizing the crisis, SANA reported.

In a statement following his meeting with AL Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi in Cairo, Sike said that China supports solving the Syrian crisis through dialogue and political efforts in a way that serves the interests of the Syrian people.

He added that China rejects internationalizing the Syrian crisis and stresses the need for solving it within the Arab framework.

Sike said that the Chinese stance conveyed to the AL Secretary General is based on several points such as calling for an immediate stop of the violence in Syria and for launching a comprehensive and wide political process with the participation of all the parties to achieve hoped-for change in the country.

He expressed his country’s confidence in the ability and the wisdom of the Syrian people and the Arab people to solve the crisis.

The Chinese Envoy called upon the Syrian government and the other sides to facilitate the work of the AL monitors so that they could perform their duties, hoping that the mission will succeed in its task.

Sike indicated that some obstacles are facing the work of the observers currently, expressing regret over the attacks against the Arab monitors over the past two days.

Sike hoped that the monitors will be patient and continue efforts to accomplish their mission in Syria.

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U.S.-NATO Jets Bombard Central Afghanistan

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/220691.html

Press TV
January 12, 2012

US-led jets pound central Afghanistan

Security officials say US-led military aircraft have pounded a civilian area in Afghanistan’s remote and central province of Ghor, but there were no reports of casualties in the bombardment, Press TV reports.

Deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir said on Thursday that the incident took place several nights ago in the Mirzadeh area of the province, located 350 kilometers (220 miles) west of Kabul.

He added that there were no reports of casualties there, but dozens of houses were severely damaged.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is yet to release a statement about the incident.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan took place in 2001. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of thousands of US-led troops there.

A United Nations report on Afghanistan issued on September 28 said that the monthly average number of security incidents recorded for the year through the end of August has risen nearly 40 percent.

The report also said civilian casualties, already at record levels in the first six months of the year, rose 5 percent between June and August 2011 compared with the same three-month period in 2010.

Around 130,000 people were displaced by the conflict in the first seven months of the year, up nearly two-thirds from the same period a year earlier.

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Pakistan: Parliamentary National Security Committee Demands Denial Of Air Space To U.S., NATO

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=11675&Cat=13

News International
January 12, 2012

Rabbani Committee wants denial of air space to Nato
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on National Security has unanimously disapproved the use of Pakistani air space by American and Nato forces without the consent of parliament besides endorsing the present cut in the ground supply line and vacation of the Shamsi Airbase.

Following the closure of Nato supply line, Pakistan’s air space serves as the lifeline for the US-led ISAF-Nato forces inside Afghanistan. The cutting off of the air space, if implemented by the government, would push the US and Nato forces into unimaginable troubles.

A source said that the parliamentary committee, which was reviewing the existing terms of engagement between Pakistan and the United States, had smartly opposed the so-called war on terror by suggesting that this war required a political solution and not a military option.

The source said that the parliamentary committee, whose recommendations have been finalised and would be forwarded for the approval of a joint session of parliament, has said that all the overt and covert agreements with the United States would require validation of parliament or they wound have no validity.

The committee’s recommendations are being sent to the Speaker of the National Assembly with the request that the joint sitting of the two houses should be convened for the approval of these recommendations by parliament.

Following the November 26 US-led Nato attack at two Pakistani check posts at Salala, Mohmand Agency, in which 26 Pakistan Army soldiers were killed, the parliamentary committee was asked by the government to review the present terms of engagement with the US in the best national interest of Pakistan and to protect the sovereignty of the state.

The parliamentary committee, which is led by Raza Rabbani and comprises members from different political parties of parliament, has given 40 recommendations to convey a clear message to the United States that Pakistan is no more prepared to be treated as it was after the 9/11.

The committee said in unison that there was no room for any drone attacks inside Pakistani territory. It asked for the withdrawal from Pakistani air space unless approved by parliament, endorsed the vacation of Shamsi Airbase and disallowed any such bases to be used by the US or any other foreign forces, supported the government’s decision to cut the Nato supply lines, and sought the return of all CIA-FBI agents besides disapproving any other overt or covert Pak-US agreement that does not have the sanction of parliament.

Whatever the new terms of engagement between the US and Pakistan that are finally agreed upon, the committee sets the pre-condition of parliament’s mandatory sanction. Parliament, it is said, cannot be bypassed anymore.

====

Britain: U.S., French Air Forces Build On Libyan War Partnership

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123285542

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
January 10, 2012

RAF Mildenhall, French air force continue relationships
by Senior Airman Rachel Waller
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

-“In the long term, the goal is for us to be ready for any future conflicts and for us to operate together even more seamlessly than we have in the past.”

RAF MILDENHALL, England: The 100th Air Refueling Wing hosted 15 French air force personnel from Base Aérienne 125, Istres, France, here Jan. 4 and 5, to build and strengthen partnerships created during Operation Unified Protector.

During OUP, BA 125 was home to the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, comprised of 100th ARW Airmen, KC-135 Stratotankers and other Air Mobility Command assets.

During the visit here, the French personnel received a tour of the 351st Air Refueling Squadron, a mission brief and an opportunity to fly in the KC-135 flight simulator with the newer Block 40 cockpit.

In the near future, Ricks and [Maj. David] Brown hopes that the relationship will continue to grow when the French are invited back to RAF Mildenhall for the Air Refueling Symposium in May.

“In the long term, the goal is for us to be ready for any future conflicts and for us to operate together even more seamlessly than we have in the past,” said Ricks. “Hopefully we can keep this relationship going so when we work together, we can make both nations stronger in the way we do air refueling.”

====

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  1. January 13, 2012 at 6:18 am

    All mass media, RT inclusive, missed or omitted the fact, that Bashar al Assad in his speech of 1/10th offered a referendum about a constitution draft, that he ORDERED against Ba’ath party representatives to take place in March, to become a referendum about his presidency, while assuring, he would step down at the will of peoples majority. So for interventionist parties of the conflict there would be NO MORE NEED for violent action, if their goal were regime change, not cutting Syria to pieces, nor would the army take offensive action, because it would win either way, while Assad, stepping down, would forcibly hand over to them. So, whoever takes violent action now is irresponsible dumb or follows an imperialist agenda against syrian state souverenity. That was a fine move of Assad, optimizing the resistance against this agenda and omitted or ignored by all mass media – RT and Novosty inclusive, would’nt that be a topic for Rick Rozoff?!
    regards

  2. rosemerry
    January 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

    “Indications are that despite defense cutbacks, we’re going to maintain the commitment to build the Polish missile-defense system, and that is because the threat from Iran is growing, it’s clear that Iran’s nuclear programs are accelerating,” Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk told reporters in Warsaw. WHAT THREAT FROM IRAN, Senator?

    How different from the days when Illinois had a sane Senator called Charles Percy (who was thrown out by Zonist pressure.) It seems the profits of Lockheed et al are all that matters. An all-out war would be a dream come true. Iran, Syria, then Russia, China- the USA really does miss the good old days of the Cold War; now it spends, and threatens, even more. Luckily the world has no other problems. Have a nice year.

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