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Founding member of Taliban lifts the lid on the real Afghanistan (Karen Jayes) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Founding member and former spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – known in popular media as the Taliban - as well as former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, said during a recent visit to South Africa, that the spate of suicide bombings against civilian targets in Afghanistan are the work of "intelligence" operatives, and not the forces of the Emirate. Mullah Zaeef was in South Africa for the launch of CAGE Africa, the African chapter of CAGE UK. His statements have cast light on the true conditions in Afghanistan and the workings of the Taliban. "There are more than 50 countries involved through their intelligence in Afghanistan," he said. "They are doing these explosions among the people, and they are blaming others for that. They are then [perpetuating] this story in the media."....

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Syria says Government told to reveal plans for drone strikes outside warzones (Reprieve) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - The British government has been warned it may face legal action if it fails to consult Parliament and the public on the redeployment of drones outside declared warzones. Questions have been raised by Saeed Al Yousefi, a Yemeni man from a province that is a frequent target of US strikes, about the fate of at least ten armed Reaper drones currently based in Afghanistan. Ministers have so far declined to reveal where the weapons, which are piloted remotely from US bases in Nevada and Lincolnshire, will be used after December 2014, when UK operations in Afghanistan finish...

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Yemen is going backwards (Salman Aldossary) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - The Houthis will have no need to fight bloody battles to take over Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. The dangerous developments unfolding in the country suggest the Houthis have the upper hand over the government to such an extent that it gives one pause. No army and no state institutions will be able to resist. Even one of the largest and most prominent tribes in the country, the Hashid, were not able to confront the Houthis. Meanwhile, all the other powers in the country have retreated from the scene, leaving the Houthis to fill the resultant vacuum. They benefit as individual factions and groups, but the country as a whole loses out. It is clear that Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi has forged an alliance with one of the major power brokers from the regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, which has helped him and his movement take over the capital in such a short space of time. What is even clearer is that Houthi has exploited all the flaws in the country’s institutions and political system, flaws which are due to Saleh and his regime...

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No to US airstrikes on Syria and Iraq! (Syrian Revolution Bases of Support) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - As the US once more beats the drums for its "war on terror" we affirm our opposition to US/coalition airstrikes on Syria and Iraq. Such imperialist intervention will only lead to propping up the sectarian occupation regime in Iraq and the genocidal Assad regime in Syria. It will further pave the way for expanding US economic and strategic interests in the region (namely exploiting resources and supporting the Zionist State)...Attacking ISIS without toppling the tyrant Bashar Al Assad will only lead to exacerbating sectarian divisions in the region. Assad has been responsible both directly and indirectly to contributing to the growth of the IS, and until recently has not attacked ISIS positions focusing instead on attacking the FSA and civilians. Assad is now begging to be a partner in the US coalition, seizing the chance to gain international legitimacy...

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Houthis storm home of Yemen's Noble Laureate Karman (World Bulletin) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Shiite Houthi militants late on Sunday stormed the home of Yemeni activist and Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the activist said...Karman is famous for her pronounced antagonism to militant movements in her country, including the Houthi movement.She called on the movement more than one time to disarm and be part of Yemen's political process. Karman also repeatedly accused Houthis of receiving financial support from Iran with the aim of fomenting sectarian strife in Yemen....

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The Israeli offensive on Gaza caused full or partial damages to 75 kindergartens and day-care centers (Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center field teams have documented full or partial damages to 75 kindergartens and day-care centers caused during the 51 day Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip this summer.DWRC’s field workers conducted field visits to all the kindergartens that suffered damages and collected information through filling questionnaires and affidavits from kindergarten owners in the five Gaza governorates, with a particular focus on eastern areas, where these damages were concentrated. Among the 75 kindergartens and day-care centers that suffered damages, 12 were fully destroyed and 63 partially damaged by shelling and bombing...

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‘Into the Fire: The dangers of redeploying British armed drones after Afghanistan’ (By Chris Cole) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - As NATO military operations come to an end in Afghanistan and the MoD faces a judicial review over its refusal to detail where UK drones will next be sent, Drone Wars UK is publishing a new briefing on the dangers of re-deploying UK armed drones. The UK has used armed drones to undertake airstrikes since 2004, either in conjunction with the US or utilizing its own fleet of armed Reapers acquired in 2007. And increasingly it seems the UK is relying on its Reaper drones to undertake airstrikes, with Ministry of Defence figures showing the percentage of British airstrikes in Afghanistan undertaken by drones rising from 52% in 2009/10 to 82% in 2013/14...

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Taliban statement
Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding the new handpicked US employee in Kabul
(Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - ...We believe that the propaganda campaigns under the guise of elections, the sham vote casting exercise, its problematic counting, threats, quarreling and in the end the open American intervention and its magistrative role in appointing victor as well as the masses bearing the economical, mental and other burdens of this long drawn out drama have further exposed the plots of the invaders to each individual and further established the invaders as the brutal enemies of our religion, country, prestige and national unity...A few pro-American stooges and blackened faces in our history that have a long record in the destruction of our country can never be forced upon the Afghans as their representatives and neither are the Afghans orphans who would accept these hollow characters as their leaders. The Islamic Emirate, as a responsible side, considers these bogus elections, its shameful process and the coming about of a unity government as an American plot and neutralizing it as obligation of each and every Muslim....

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The 'cosmic conspiracy' against the Syrian people and not the regime (Dr Faisal Al-Qasim) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - ... The international community could not have let any dispute escalate to this disastrous level that the Syrian dispute has reached, and allow the regime to use all types of weapons, if the actions carried out by the regime weren't given an international cover and the green light to do so. Never in the history of the world has the entire world turned a blind eye and protected a tyrant like Bashar Al-Assad, allowing him to become the most expensive tyrant in history in terms of the expense paid by the Syrian people to rid themselves of him; such a cost has never been paid by any other nation in the world. Neither the Syrian regime, nor any other regime, is stronger than the international system, and if the international system was not satisfied or happy with what was going on in Syria, the regime wouldn't have continued its actions, nor would the regime have survived. Ignore Obama's lies and red lines, and his statements saying that the regime has lost its legitimacy. Believe me, the Syrian regime is not supernatural or strong; it is doing everything it does because its actions are in alignment with what the international community wants to happen in Syria, not because the regime is doing what it wants.

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Family held at gunpoint as Israel arrests another Palestinian rights defender (Charlotte Silver) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Israeli soldiers raided the family home of Ayman Nasser, legal coordinator of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, in the middle of the night last Thursday. He is the latest human rights defender in the occupied West Bank to be targeted and detained by the Israeli army. Nasser’s wife told Addameer that a group of soldiers came to their home in Saffa, near Ramallah, at 1:30am on 18 September. After the soldiers ransacked their home for thirty minutes, Nasser was taken away. "Fifteen soldiers raided the house and started shouting at me and my children to get out of the rooms, so we stayed in the living room with six soldiers pointing their guns at us," his wife said in a statement to Addameer...

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End "booming military trade" between EU and Israel, say Palestinian rights groups (Michael Deas) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - The European Union’s key trade and political agreement with the European Union should be suspended in response to the recent attack on Gaza, according to 24 Palestinian campaign groups. In a letter to Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, the groups also demand that the Union impose an arms embargo on Israel until such time as it complies with international law. The letter is signed by representatives of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Defence for Children International - Palestine Section, the Palestinian NGO Network and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, among others...

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Israel sprays "skunk water" into Palestinian homes (Patrick O. Strickland) - 26-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - A new report highlights Israel’s use of supposedly "non-lethal weapons" against unarmed Palestinian protesters. The report – "Proven Effective: Crowd control weapons in the Occupied Territories" – was published by the group Who Profits and launched at a conference in Jerusalem on 10 September.
Focusing on tear gas, skunk water and "The Scream" (a high volume acoustic device strapped atop Israeli military vehicles), the report documents their regular use to violently crush unarmed Palestinian demonstrators throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem...

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Khamenei's advisor: US must recognise Iran is the strongest power in the region (Middle East Monitor) - 25-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Iran has become the principal player in the Middle East region and that the United States should acknowledge the country's capabilities should it want to resolve the region's problems, the military advisor of the Iranian Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei Brig. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said. Safavi added that Iran's growing role in the region is the product of its foreign policy "which has surpassed all the Arab states in the region". He demanded the US administration recognise that Iran is the strongest power in the region and Arab world...

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Israeli occupation authorities demolish Muslim tombs in occupied Jerusalem (Middle East Monitor) - 25-oct-2014

September 22, 2014 - Israeli occupation authorities demolished 20 Palestinian tombs on Sunday in Al-Yousefiyeh Cemetery near Al-Asbat Gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Resalah news agency reported. The cemetery is adjacent to the Eastern Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities demolished the tombs, belonging to Palestinian families from Jerusalem, claiming that they were built on lands appropriated by the state. Head of the Committee for the Caring of Islamic Cemeteries in Jerusalem Mustafa Abu Zahra strongly criticised the demolition, calling it an "aggression" against the sanctity of dead Muslims...

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Syria News - September 21, 2014 (Local Coordination Committees of Syria) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 -By the end of Sunday, LCC has documented the fall of 97 martyrs including 24 women, 15 children and 1 martyr under torture. 42 martyrs were reported in Idlib, 24 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 13 in Daraa, 12 in Aleppo, 4 in Hama, 1 in Deir Ezzor and 1 in Raqqa...

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Military Resistance 12I6 Survivable Deaths (Thomas F. Barton) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - A 67-year-old man who as a young boy lived under constant
fear the Soviets would launch nuclear missiles at his beloved country and wipe out
everyone and everything he loved characterized a terrorist group as an "imminent threat to every interest we have" late last week, sources confirmed.The man, dentified as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, went on to say that militants
of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were "beyond anything" he’s ever seen...

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Podcast: Brown Moses on what’s flying over Iraq and Syria (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - In today’s podcast, citizen journalism pioneer Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the name Brown Moses, tells Owen Bennett-Jones what’s been going on over the skies of Iraq and Syria. Higgins has become famous for tracking the use of military equipment in conflict zones by analysing Youtube footage and engaging people on social media to confirm and progress his findings. There have been reports of unarmed US Predators being launched from a commercial airport in Iraq, Higgins told Drone News, and people also claim to have spotted Iranian surveillance drones flying over the country. In Syria meanwhile, the Iranian drones that have reportedly been seen there for some time seem to have been joined by a US one. A post on Higgins’s website Bellingcat suggested an aircraft apparently carrying out a surveillance mission over the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa was a Predator drone....

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After ‘Protective Edge’: What Future for Palestine and Israel (Richard Falk) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - The 50-day Israeli military operation that killed over 2100 Palestinians, wounded another 11,000, and undoubtedly traumatized the entire Gazan population of 1.7 million also took the lives of 70 Israelis, of which 65 were soldiers. This last violent encounter has ended without a clear victory for either side. Despite this, Israel and Hamas are each insisting that 'victory’ was achieved. Israel points to the material results, tunnels and rocket sites destroyed, targeted assassinations completed, and the overall weakening of Hamas capacity to launch an attack. Hamas, for its part, claims political gains, becoming far stronger politically and psychologically in both Gaza and the West Bank than before the fighting began, refusing to give in on the basic Israeli demand of the 'demilitarization’ of Gaza, as well as further tarnishing Israel’s international reputation...

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Military Resistance 12I5 Pentagon Deploys 3rd AD to Iraq (Thomas F. Barton) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - A force of approximately 25,000 advisers from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Adviser Division is heading to Iraq to not participate in direct ground combat of any kind, the Pentagon announced Thursday. "Make no mistake, we are in full - on advisement against ISIL in the same way we continue to advise countries against al Qaeda and its affiliates,"Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said at a press conference, using an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.While noting the division was comprised mostly of combat troops from its former unit name of 3rd Infantry Division, Kirby cautioned that using this re-structured unit would not lead to advisement-creep ...

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Video: Settlers cheer as Israeli soldiers attack disabled Palestinian child (Ali Abunimah) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - This disturbing footage shot by Palestinian videographer Samih Da’na and published by the Israeli nongovernmental organization B’Tselem documents the violent abuse of a developmentally disabled Palestinian child.As Israeli occupation soldiers abuse the child, settlers and their children cheer and shout abuse at Palestinians. Da’na shot the footage on 19 October from his home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, whose Palestinian residents are relentlessly targeted by occupation army and settler violence...

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Though Adversaries on the Surface, U.S. and Hezbollah Share a Goal (By ANNE BARNARD) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 — They are sworn enemies who insist they will never work together, but in practice, Hezbollah and the United States are already working — separately — on a common goal: to stop the extremist Islamic State from moving into Lebanon, where Hezbollah is the most powerful military and political player and currently shares with Washington an interest in stability. Weeks after Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party, helped repel an Islamic State attack on the town of Arsal on the Syrian border, new American weapons are flowing to help the Lebanese Army — which coordinates with Hezbollah — to secure the frontier. American intelligence shared with the army, according to Lebanese experts on Hezbollah, has helped the organization stop suicide attacks on its domain in southern Beirut....

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Howard 'repents,' Blair wants more War Crimes (The Common Ills) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - ...Tony Blair's still refusing to own any of the blame.War Criminal Tony spent a lot of money on those face lifts and he damn well intends to get as much camera time as he can. Georgia Graham (Telegraph of London) reports: Tony Blair has said that politicians should heed his advice that British boots on the ground in Iraq should not be ruled out because he had experience of taking Britain to war in that country.
The former Prime Minister said people should "appreciate" that he has learnt lessons through going to war in Iraq and listen to his thoughts on tackling Islamic State because they are "precisely" the same terrorist forces he battled during the conflict.
I agree with Tony 100% that people should listen to him.I just happen to feel those people should be a War Crimes Tribunal prosecuting him.Tony Blair should be on trial for War Crimes. Barring that, can he and his wife just disappear into the jungle again and again smear fruits on their naked bodies and again make love? Maybe a huge swarm of ants can then address the Tony Blair problem once and for all?....

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Vijay Prashad's Syrian contradictions (Clay Claiborne) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - ...For example, never mind that the Free Syrian Army is still a potent force in the struggle for democracy in spite of the lack of any real support from Obama and the NATO countries or the horrific attacks they have suffered from a regime that has enjoyed almost unlimited military support from its Russian and Iranian allies, and over looking the fact the regime let many of the jihadists that found their way to ISIS out of his jails, Syrian security officers have been seen in the leadership of ISIS or that Assad buys its oil, Vijay is prepared to blame the democratic forces for the rise of ISIS because they have had the gall to demand an end to the fascist regime: The rebels remain obdurate that Mr. Assad must go, even if this means delivery of Syria to the Islamic State. This line, that the only choice for Syria is ISIS or Assad, is straight out of Assad's play book and more than anything exposes which side Vijay is on...

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Gaza: History May Repeat Itself! (By Hasan Afif El-Hasan) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - Since the First World War, life of the Palestinians has been routinely impacted by wars, and unfortunately, they were always the losers including the wars that they could have been won. They allowed others to make crucial decisions for them, but most important, they allowed incompetent and factionalized political elites to lead them. In the fourth war on Gaza since 2006 that was precipitated by Israel to destroy Hamas, the Palestinians were able to fight back and neutralize the Israeli army until the ceasefire took place. That can be huge victory and a turning point in the Palestinian’s struggle to end occupation. But the Palestinians stand to lose this war if they do not learn from their previous mistakes, and allow Israel to accomplish with the help of Palestinian and Arab leaders what it failed to achieve in the war...

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Gaza’s Incremental Genocide (By Jamal Kanj) - 25-oct-2014

September 21, 2014 - It goes without saying that Gaza has taught the Israeli military a new lesson: the days of swift Israeli wars are over. While mostly one-sided, Israel has never before fought a war that lasted 50 days. The Palestinians (besieged by brothers and foes) were of no military match to Israel’s most sophisticated US technology. But as in 2006 Lebanon war, the human factor rendered the best technology obsolete. There were many parallels between summer 2006 and current war. Regretfully, in both cases, Israeli wanton destruction was received with indifference from the official Arab regime system....

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