Some of the countries in it, either in major or minor roles:
USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Jordan, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Yemen, Nigeria, France with (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad ) Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Albania, Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Republic of Korea, Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Norway, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Novorussia, Ukraine, Russia, Chechnya, Somalia, Iran, India, South Korea, North Korea, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tunisia, The Philippines, Egypt, Albania, Serbia, China, Sudan, South Sudan, Bukina Faso, Palestine, Georgia, Chad, Spain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nepal, Congo, Uganda, Romania, Mexico, Gambia, Haiti, Cameroon, Chad, Algeria, Venezuela, Thailand, Argentina, Vietnam, Myanmar, Georgia ....
If this tweet is 100% accurate, the Russian govt. should be hopping mad right now.
Coalition denies landing to #Russia's evacuation plane en route to #Yemen http://t.co/AvvxjpGL7D #SaudiArabia pic.twitter.com/gTKGTNroSt
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) April 1, 2015
The New York Times Publishes Call to Bomb Iran, Arm ISIS.
Just so we're all clear on how twisted 'the paper of record' has become. Features madman John Bolton as he calls for the unprovoked bombing of Iran. It's star columnist Thomas Friedman meanwhile muses if US shouldn't be openly and directly arming ISIS.
If two major newspapers in, say, Russia published major articles openly advocating the unprovoked bombing of a country, say, Israel, the U.S. government and news media would be aflame with denunciations about “aggression,” “criminality,” “madness,” and “behavior not fitting the Twenty-first Century.”
But when the newspapers are American – the New York Times and the Washington Post – and the target country is Iran, no one in the U.S. government and media bats an eye. These inflammatory articles – these incitements to murder and violation of international law – are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism............
Kerry Renews Effort to Reach Preliminary Nuclear Deal With Iran
Secretary of State John Kerry renewed his push on Wednesday to secure a preliminary accord that would limit Iran’s nuclear program, a day after negotiators extended the March 31 deadline.
With the diplomacy at a pivotal point, President Obama convened a teleconference on Tuesday night with Mr. Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz and other top members of the administration to review the status of the negotiations.
As the talks resumed here on Wednesday, an initial accord was potentially within reach but there was still much to work out. Nobody was ruling out the possibility that the negotiations — which also involve Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — might be extended into the week.........
Get the facts about the crisis in Yemen: http://t.co/SvS2CoXD7l
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) April 1, 2015
Warmongering Conservative govt of Canada takes Canada deeper into the Muslim territory of the Middle East.
Nobody in the other two main political parties, the Liberal party nor the NDP, has effectively questioned the warmongers why they assume Canada's military might and know-how is needed over there when apparently more than 10 Muslim nations have formed an alliance to bomb away the dirt-poor nation of Yemen. Why can't the same alliance take care of the ISIS jihadis too?
Twice in six months, Prime Minister Stephen Harper put a motion before the House of Commons to commit Canada to war with the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Both were born last summer on a craggy mountaintop in Iraq. The resolve behind the latest one was hardened last October by the echo of gunfire on Parliament Hill.
On Monday, the Conservative government recommitted six Canadian fighter jets, two surveillance aircraft, a refueller, 600 support personnel and up to 69 special forces to the global fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
ISIL's rampage began in June, but at the time — under questioning by NDP MP Paul Dewar — then-foreign affairs minister John Baird said the government had no intention of getting involved.
Harper had been thoroughly and repeatedly briefed about the threat and its potential implications for domestic security, but the case for military action didn't yet exist..........
Saudi-caused chaos continues in Yemen.
Ever since the fall of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September 2014 in the hands of the Houthis, Yemen has been fighting a regional conflict while its political situation has reached a deadlock; the head of state and the prime minister resigned Jan. 22 amid complete failure to reach a domestic settlement as the Houthis continue to expand militarily.
Yemen has turned into an arena of armed military operations for a broad alliance of 10 countries, which includes all the Gulf states except Oman, as well as Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and Pakistan. This reveals that there are deep concerns over Iran’s expansion and raises the question as to whether such concerns are justified.
The issue has several dimensions. Chief among these is the Houthis’ recklessness in dealing with Saudi Arabia and its interests in Yemen, as the Houthis.................
From TomDispatch via MotherJones
The Often Overlooked Role of Natural Gas in the Israel-Palestine Conflict
How Gazan natural gas became the epicenter of an international power struggle.
Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threat: these conflicts are part of an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract, and market fossil fuels whose future consumption is guaranteed to lead to a set of cataclysmic environmental crises.
Amid the many fossil-fueled conflicts in the region, one of them, packed with threats, large and small, has been largely overlooked, and Israel is at its epicenter. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1990s when Israeli and Palestinian leaders began sparring over rumored natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Gaza. In the ensuing decades, it has grown into a many-fronted conflict involving several armies and three navies. In the process, it has already inflicted mindboggling misery on tens of thousands of Palestinians, and it threatens to add future layers of misery to the lives of people in Syria, Lebanon, and Cyprus. Eventually, it might even immiserate Israelis...........
Look at the laughable generosity of the Arab billionaires and Sunni govts of the Middle East. United Nations got less than half of what they were begging for from the stinking rich elite who are responsible for the refugee situation in Syria and Iraq.
$3.8 billion pledged for humanitarian aid for Syrians at #Kuwait conf, but it's less than 1/2 of the UN request http://t.co/O0sfcItVHU
— Refugees Internat'l (@RefugeesIntl) April 1, 2015
Qatar ambassador returns to Egypt after rift over Libya
Qatar returned its ambassador to Cairo on Tuesday, almost a month after recalling him in response to an Egyptian official accusing the tiny Gulf nation of supporting terrorism.
The ambassador was summoned home for consultation after Egypt carried out airstrikes in Libya in February in response to the beheading of 21 captive Egyptian Christians by an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria affiliate there.
Qatar protested Egypt's "unilateral" airstrikes, while Egypt's delegate to the Arab League accused Doha of supporting terrorism.
Now, Egypt and Qatar both back the Saudi-led airstrikes against Shiite rebels in Yemen, which began last week........
Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan sign agreement on Nile dam
Leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed a cooperation deal Monday over a giant Ethiopian hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the river Nile, in a bid to ease tensions over regional water supplies.
The leaders said the “declaration of principles” would pave the way for further diplomatic cooperation on the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has stirred fears of a regional resource conflict. No details of the agreement were immediately released.
Egypt, which relies almost exclusively on the Nile for farming, industry and drinking water, has sought assurances that the dam will not significantly cut the river’s flow to its rapidly growing population.
Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile that joins the White Nile in Khartoum and runs on to Egypt, says the dam will not disrupt the river’s flow and hopes the project will transform it into a power hub for the electricity-hungry region............
Bloody climax to Turkey prosecutor hostage crisis
A Turkish prosecutor has been badly wounded and two gunmen who took him hostage killed after a shootout at a courthouse in Istanbul, officials say.
Gunshots were heard and smoke was seen rising from the scene, after special forces reportedly entered the building.
The prosecutor was apparently taken hostage because he had headed an inquiry into the death of a boy during anti-government protests in 2013.
A banned Marxist revolutionary group is said to be behind the incident.........
And, the West's ally and soon to be full fledged EU member, Turkey's govt. tells us this:
I'll just leave this here #Turkey pic.twitter.com/EF8KgEYg9k
— Rana Harbi (@RanaHarbi) March 31, 2015
Pro-ISIS magazine in Istanbul bombed
A bomb blast ripped through the Istanbul offices of a radical, pro-ISIS magazine killing a writer and wounding its editor-in-chief as well as two other people on Wednesday night.
According to a Turkish police statement, "a bomb left at the magazine's entrance door exploded when the door opened."
The magazine "Adimlar" regularly publishes angry anti-American content, including articles that celebrate convicted Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as "Carlos the Jackal."
In an interview with CNN in October, the magazine's chief editor, Ali Osman Zor, mounted a spirited defense of the ultra-violent jihadi group ISIS.....
Italy Deploys Ships To Monitor Libyan Coast
As fighters from the Islamic State group build beachheads in lawless Libya, Italy is sending a naval fleet to monitor the Libyan coast and protect Italian shipping and oil rigs from jihadi attacks.
The mission, dubbed Mare Sicuro, or Safe Seas, will likely involve a landing helicopter dock vessel, two FREMM-class frigates, a patrol vessel and Predator UAVs, a defense source said.
A contingent of marines will join the mission, and use high-speed craft to intercept and board suspicious shipping, he added.
Speaking in parliament on March 19, Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said the assets would also be used for the "surveillance of jihadi formations." The source said that could involve monitoring ISIS communications in Libya and radar monitoring of shipping......
Fighting and air strikes across Yemen; dialogue remains distant
Yemeni fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi clashed with Iranian-allied Houthi fighters on Sunday in Aden, the absent leader's last major foothold in the country.
Hadi loyalists in the southern port city reported a gunbattle in the central Crater district in which three people were killed, and said they recaptured the airport, which has changed hands several times in recent days........
"#Tikrit is now liberated" #Iraq #ISIS #abadi pic.twitter.com/lKoXxuqMD4
— Syricide (@Syricide) March 31, 2015
Pakistan evacuates hundreds during pause in Yemen strikes: Saudi official
Pakistan evacuated about 500 of its nationals by plane from Yemen on Sunday during a brief pause in air strikes by a Saudi-led military coalition against Shi'ite Muslim Houthi forces, a Saudi military spokesman said.
Pakistan is a regional ally of Saudi Arabia, the main Sunni Muslim power in the Gulf, but has yet to say whether it will offer military support to Riyadh's campaign in Yemen.....
Name a problem plaguing the Arab world and Yemen is likely to be suffering from it. The country of 24 million on the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula is poor. It's home to the most dangerous offshoot of al-Qaeda that's still in business. During the Arab Spring, protests forced out the pro-Western kleptocratic president, but his successor is so weak that a force of rebels - who unlike al-Qaeda are Shiite Muslims or members of a branch of Shiite Islam - took over the presidential palace this week. Some observers of the chaos in Yemen say U.S. counterterrorism strategy there has at least failed to make things better and perhaps has even made things worse. We're going to talk now with Ibrahim Sharqieh, who's with the Brookings Institution center in Doha, Qatar. Welcome to the program once again..........
The Houthis rise to political prominence in Yemen since 2014 and their apparent alliance with former president Ali Abdullah Salih have largely occurred at the expense of the Islah party, which is considered a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Once viewed by many as the main “hijacker” of Yemen’s youth revolution and primary beneficiary of the transitional process, Islah has since been sidelined. Within a few months after the Houthi’s September 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, Islah lost its grip over most government institutions, the army, and the media; its leaders were either silenced or fled abroad.
But Islah’s downfall is not just a result of the success of its Houthi rivals. It is, after all, no coincidence that in the wake of the “Arab Spring” Islah is but one of several Islamist parties that has had a reversal in fortune. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Tunisia’s Ennahda have also been pressured, if not violently repressed, over the last two years. The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has tried to marginalize the Brotherhood in an attempt to become the legitimate representative for Sunnis across the Muslim world. At the regional level, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with tacit approval from the West, have taken the lead in cracking down against the allegedly transnational Brotherhood, which was once their ally.
Islah’s downfall can only be understood against this backdrop, and...........
Americans in Yemen fear they have been left behind as bombing escalates
Despite having three navy ships in nearby waters, US has not evacuated civilians from Yemen, many of whom have travelled to port city of Aden seeking rescue
US citizens trying desperately to leave war-torn Yemen fear they have been left to their fate by their own government as fighting escalates between rebel fighters and Washington’s allies.
Saudi-led air strikes against Shia Houthi rebels have prompted urgent warnings about dangers to civilians, and several countries have evacuated their civilians, including China, India, Pakistan and Somalia........
Shells launched at U.N. base in north Mali: sources
Unknown attackers fired shells at a United Nations base on the outskirts of a town in northern Mali early on Wednesday, residents told Reuters.
Mali's desert north suffers frequent militant attacks despite a French-led operation to drive out Islamic fighters following a Tuareg uprising there in 2012.
"We are worried by shells being fired in the direction of the military base," said a resident in the town, Ansongo. He said helicopters were flying over the town, which is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Gao..........
Pro-Hassan Rouhani Iranian editor defects while covering nuclear talks in Lausanne
Amir Hossein Motaghi says he no longer sees any “sense” in his profession as he could only write as he was told
A close media aide to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has sought political asylum in Switzerland after travelling to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West.
Amir Hossein Motaghi, who managed public relations for Mr Rouhani during his 2013 election campaign, was said by Iranian news agencies to have quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA).
He then appeared on an opposition television channel based in London to say he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told. ....
How strange isn't it that Egypt's new masters went about getting rid of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and a few months later joined up with Saudi Arabia to help the Muslim Bros and their Al Qaeda army fight in Yemen against the Houthis. And, let's not even degrade ourselves talking about the USA's hypocrisy. First it drones Al Qaeda and Islamist gangs in Yemen and now it loads the Sunni Muslim coalition with state of the art weaponry to vaporize the enemies of Al Qaeda and Islamists.
PILOT ARRESTED, refused bombing #Yemen #CivilCourage! #SaudiArabia strikes kills 73 civilians &injure hundreds #Svpol pic.twitter.com/k2LIuyzmVs
— Prof Ferrada de Noli (@ProfessorsBlogg) April 1, 2015
The two gunmen who killed 21 people at a museum in Tunis trained in neighboring Libya before carrying out the deadly attack and were known to authorities, Tunisian security officials said Friday.
The attack at the National Bardo Museum Wednesday has raised concerns about the spread of extremism in North Africa and particularly in Tunisia — the only country to emerge from the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings with a functioning democracy.
Will ISIS’s foothold in Libya stay a ‘transit station’ or expand?
As the Islamic State is using the chaos in Libya to set up local bases and hit the country’s crucial oil revenue since the takeover of Sirte, it is yet unclear whether that may help the group to extend its foothold.
The UN Security Council adopted two separate resolutions on Libya last Friday, the first demanding an “immediate” ceasefire and extending the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until 15 September, and the second easing the arms embargo on the country in light of the terrorist threat there.
While UN-facilitated negotiations between the country’s rival factions are continuing, the political impasse is far from being resolved. Two governments -one internationally recognized in Tobruk in the east, the other set up in Tripoli in the west- are fighting for control four years after a civil war ousted longtime dictator Gaddafi. Neither of the governments has been able to stabilize the situation in the country. Based on a BBC investigation, there could be up to 1,700 different armed groups in Libya competing for power. ........