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Nationwide Blackout Hits Syria After Gas Pipeline Bombed

Nationwide Blackout Hits Syria After Gas Pipeline Bombed

A blackout has reportedly plunged all of Syria into darkness Friday into Saturday, with Syria’s state-run SANA announcing the nationwide power outage is due to an attack on a gas site and pipeline in southern Damascus.

Into the overnight hours, electricity reportedly returned to much of the capital of Damascus, while the Minister of Electricity Ghassan al-Zamil vowed to restore the rest of the country’s power in a matter of “hours” as technicians are on the scene.

Illustrative image: gas pipeline bombing from earlier in the war, Reuters file.

It was part of Hezbollah’s promise to get Iranian fuel into Lebanon amid the country’s energy crisis, which has seen its own severe blackouts hit major cities and towns over much of the past month.

There’s also the possibility of an attack on Syria’s infrastructure by remnant anti-Assad insurgent groups, also as there’s again in recent weeks been renewed fierce fighting centered on the southern Syria city of Deraa.

According to a popular Syria blogger and commentator, “Sources in southern Damascus reported hearing an explosion seconds before the blackout. All of this happened as the second batch of tankers carrying Iranian fuel was crossing into Lebanon.”

Speculating on the question of a possible external sabotage operation that caused the blackout, given the deeply suspicious timing, geopolitical commentator and Syria watcher Aaron Maté said, “Just as it helps Hezbollah bring desperately needed fuel into Lebanon, Syria suffers a sabotage attack that leads to complete blackout.”

“This is on top of the regular power shortages caused primarily by US sanctions & the 10-year dirty war,” Maté added.

Report: Russia Moving to Curtail Israeli Airstrikes on Syria

Report: Russia Moving to Curtail Israeli Airstrikes on Syria

Russia looking to upgrade Syria’s air defense systems

With several Israeli airstrikes against Syria seemingly every week, it has come to feel like the new normal. There are rarely serious engagements in Syria’s own war anymore, but airstrikes are consistent, and generally without Israel wanting to comment.

It’s a tired problem for the region, and Syria’s close ally, Russia, appears to have had enough, and intends to take actions to limit ongoing Israeli raids. This is going to be done largely by way of upgrading Syria’s missile defenses.

Russia has sold Syria some substantial missile defense systems over the years, with S-300s a big part of the arsenal. Israel is awash in advanced US weapons, the types of which the Russian defensive weapons are meant to counter.

While Israel doesn’t comment on what it is attacking or why most of the time, they do sometimes get angry when their missiles are intercepted, and tend to couple any of their attacks with a secondary attack on the missile defense systems.

Mixed into all these concerns is Israel’s common use of Lebanese airspace, without permission, to attack Syria. This often puts the Israeli warplanes close to Russian bases in Syria, which Russia has warned Israel about a few times.

We don’t always get confirmations on behind-the-scenes talk, but Israel has at times made reference to “understandings” they had with Russia, and Russia is now talking about their own sense that the US isn’t going to object if they stop Israeli attacks on Syria.

That might be surprising, as Israel would probably be unhappy at any limitations of their wars, and would expect the US to go along with them in complaining about that.

The US Isn’t An Israel Puppet, Israel Isn’t A US Puppet: It’s One Empire

The US Isn’t An Israel Puppet, Israel Isn’t A US Puppet: It’s One Empire

Listen to this article:

Nearly 200,000 protesters attended a pro-Palestine demonstration in Central London on Saturday afternoon, another clear sign that support for Palestinian rights is becoming increasingly mainstream and the imperialists are losing control of the Israel narrative.

The real consequence of this is that people will begin losing trust in the government and media institutions which support Israel, because without trust the empire can’t propagandize people, and without the ability to propagandize us our rulers cannot rule. There’s no risk for Israel of losing US backing due to the US government suddenly evolving a conscience or listening to its constituents, that won’t happen, but losing control of the narrative poses a major problem for the empire. Someone’s image is going to have to change, and those changes could end up benefiting Palestinians.

We’re already seeing this narrative management campaign come into play as mainstream outlets are now permitting some serious criticisms of Israel. This is done cynically to prevent people from losing trust in propaganda institutions, but it also has real effects that can benefit real people. This is a good example of how expanding consciousness is always beneficial, even on the most depraved institutions. The more aware the public becomes of abusive imperial power dynamics, the less abuse the empire can get away with. The empire losing control of the narrative is always a good thing.

As criticism of Israel’s malfeasance becomes more widespread, so too do attempts to analyze exactly what Israel’s role is on the world stage and why it receives so much support from the United States…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Israel Blows Up Media Offices & Targets Journalists

Why Israel Blows Up Media Offices & Targets Journalists

Rather than reduce the cruelty, the Israeli government keeps trying to reduce accurate news coverage, writes Norman Solomon.

Palestinian solidarity demonstration in New York City on May 11. (Andrew Ratto, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Israel’s missile attack on media offices in Gaza City last weekend was successful. A gratifying response came quickly from the head of The Associated Press, which had a bureau in the building for 15 years: “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”

For people who care about truth, that’s outrageous. For the Israeli government, that’s terrific.

The AP president, Gary Pruitt, said “we are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza.”

There’s ample reason to be horrified. But not shocked.

Israel’s military began threatening and targeting journalists several decades ago, in tandem with its longstanding cruel treatment of Palestinians. Rather than reduce the cruelty, the Israeli government keeps trying to reduce accurate news coverage.

The approach is a mix of deception and brutality. Blow up the cameras so the world won’t see as many pictures of the atrocities.

Of course, there’s no need to interfere with journalists documenting the also awful — while relatively few — deaths of Israelis due to rockets fired by Hamas. In recent days the Israeli government has spotlighted such visuals, some of them grimly authentic, others fake.

The suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is tragically real on both sides, while vastly asymmetrical. During the last 10 days, as reported by the BBC, 219 people have been killed in Gaza. In Israel, the number was 10. In Gaza, at least 63 of the dead were children. In Israel, two.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Literally Armageddon”: 53 Killed In Gaza & 5 Israelis Dead As UN Warns “Full-Scale War” Imminent

“Literally Armageddon”: 53 Killed In Gaza & 5 Israelis Dead As UN Warns “Full-Scale War” Imminent

After overnight sustained rocket fire from Gaza and at the same time Israeli airstrikes pounding the strip, the combined death toll reached to at least 50, with hundreds more injured, into Wednesday. International reports are citing over 50 Palestinians killed in Gaza alone, many among these children.

Middle East Eye cites the following numbers by late into the afternoon (local time): “At least 53 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its bombing campaign in the besieged territory on Sunday morning.”

“That number, accurate as of Wednesday afternoon, includes 14 children and three women, with a further 320 people wounded with injuries of varying degrees of severity, according to Gaza’s health ministry.”

And on the Israeli side, local reports cite that “three Israeli women were killed in rocket attacks, with more than 50 injured, including two women in serious condition: an 81-year-old as well as a 30-year-old who was hit by shrapnel in her upper body.”

This takes the death toll on the Israeli side to five since the start of fighting early this week.

Overnight airstrikes on Gaza, via Middle East Eye

The IDF announced that 16 among the Gaza dead were militants – some of them “senior commanders” – while also counting “hundreds” of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets fired into Israel, many reaching deep into central Israel and scoring direct hits on heavily populated residential areas.

Israeli media is reporting that multiple members of Hamas’ “General Staff” were eliminated in airstrikes Wednesday:

The dead men were identified as Bassem Issa, the head of the Gaza City brigade since 2017 and head of the group’s cyber network and missile improvement project Jamaa Tahla. According to the Shin Bet, Tahla was the right-hand man of Muhammad Deif and the central leader of the group’s efforts to improve its military capabilities.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran’s Defense Minister Says Country Must Prepare for Nuclear and Chemical Attacks

Iran’s Defense Minister Says Country Must Prepare for Nuclear and Chemical Attacks

Tuesday marked the 33rd anniversary of Saddam Hussein using chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds

On Tuesday, Iran’s defense minister said the country must be prepared to face nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks.

“We should be prepared to defend our nation against all threats and whatever the enemy may one day use as an offensive tool, including chemical, nuclear and biological weapons,” said Gen. Amir Hatami, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Hatami made his comments on the 33rd anniversary of a chemical weapons attack by Saddam Hussein on Iraqi Kurds in Halabja, Iraq. During the Iran-Iraq war that raged from 1980 to 1988, Hussein frequently used chemical weapons against Iran, sometimes with US support.

Declassified CIA documents revealed that in 1988, the US shared intelligence with Hussein to show the location of Iranian troops, knowing he would use lethal gas against them. The documents revealed the US had firm evidence Hussein was using chemical weapons as early as 1983.

The US and other Western countries provided Hussein with materials to make chemical weapons at the time. A 1994 congressional inquiry found that US companies shipped anthrax and dozens of other biological agents that could be used to make chemical weapons to Iraq during the war.

Besides Iran’s history of being targeted by chemical weapons, Iran is also constantly threatened by Israel, the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East. While Israel frequently takes covert action against Iran, Israeli officials have been hinting at a larger attack on Tehran’s civilian nuclear program if the US returns to the Iran nuclear deal.

, antiwar.com, iran, chemical weapons, middle east, israel, war, cia, united states

9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East

9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East

The American people are really going to regret putting the warmongers back in control.  Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than two months, and the warmongers that Biden has surrounded himself with have been feverishly setting the stage for the next war in the Middle East.  I do not believe that it will start within the next week, but I do believe that it is inevitable.  While President Trump was in the White House for four years, the U.S. didn’t start any new conflicts, but now the Biden administration is quite determined to start projecting “American influence” all over the globe once again.  Most Americans don’t understand the bigger picture, but the truth is that this is going to have very serious implications over the next few years.

In this article, I would like to examine some of the chess moves that have been made since Joe Biden entered the White House.  As you will see, a very troubling picture emerges once you start putting all of the pieces together.

#1 Literally one day after Biden was inaugurated, a massive U.S. military convoy rolled into Syria

A large US military convoy entered northeastern Syria on Thursday, Syrian state news agency SANA reports, citing sources on the ground.

According to the report, the convoy included some 40 trucks and armored vehicles and was backed from the air by helicopters.

President Trump had tried very hard to disengage from the war in Syria, but Biden has made it crystal clear that the U.S. will be heavily involved in that conflict moving forward.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Cheap Mediterranean Natural Gas Could Spell the End for the NATO Alliance

Turkey NATO Natural Gas Feature photo

Cheap Mediterranean Natural Gas Could Spell the End for the NATO Alliance

It’s a strange and unprecedented spectacle when countries like Israel, Greece, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, and others lay claims over the Mediterranean, while NATO scrambles to stave off an outright war, among its own members.

You Can Have Peace Or The US Empire. You Can’t Have Both.

You Can Have Peace Or The US Empire. You Can’t Have Both.

Just in the last few days Israel has reportedly dropped cluster munitions and white phosphorus on southern Lebanon, bombed Gaza, and fired missiles on Damascus, because Israel is a nation whose existence depends on unceasing military violence.

In order for Israel to continue existing as the imperialist apartheid state that it is, it needs to wage war in all directions at all times, both against its neighbors and against the increasingly brutalized Palestinian population. If the bombings end, so too does Israel as we know it, because the regional population will never stand for its oppression, tyranny, and multiple illegal occupations.

Peace and Israel are therefore two mutually exclusive concepts. You can have peace or you can have today’s Israel; you can’t have both.

 

A nation that cannot exist without ceaseless war is not actually a nation at all: it’s an ongoing military operation with some suburbs and schools mixed in. A nation that cannot exist without constant war is like a house that can’t exist without constant construction: if your house needed 24/7/365 construction work in order to remain standing, you’d either completely redesign the way it’s built or you would move.

This is true of Israel, and on a larger scale it is true of the globe-spanning, empire-like oligarchic world order that is loosely centralized around the United States.

This US-centralized empire, of which Israel is a part, is entirely dependent upon endless war for survival. If military violence ceased to be a tool which power structures could use to enact their agendas, this empire would necessarily cease to exist, because there’d be nothing to stop nations from exercising their sovereignty on the world stage. Currencies, resources and commerce would begin moving along completely different channels.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

War Drums Beat in Middle East After Thousands of Casualties in Beirut Explosion

WAR DRUMS BEAT IN MIDDLE EAST AFTER THOUSANDS OF CASUALTIES IN BEIRUT EXPLOSION

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On the evening of August 4th, a massive explosion rocked the port of the Lebanese capital of Beirut, causing devastating damage and leaving thousands of casualties. The explosion sent a shockwave across the city and blew out windows up to 10 kilometers away. It was felt as far away as Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea.

As of the morning of August 5th, the number of reported fatalities exceeded 100, with at least 4,000 people reported  injured. At least 48 staff members of the United Nations and 27 members of their families were among the injured. 10 rescuers involved in the operation to contain the damage and to help people have been reported killed.

Initial reports suggested that the explosion may have been caused by an incident in the firework storage area. However, later, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which is typically used as an agricultural fertilizer, had been stored for six years at a port warehouse without proper safety measures, “endangering the safety of citizens.”

This statement was backed by General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim, who said a “highly explosive material” had been confiscated years earlier and stored in the warehouse, just minutes’ walk from Beirut’s shopping and nightlife districts.

It is still unclear what caused the explosion itself thus laying the ground for various speculations in mainstream media outlets and on social media platforms. In particular, reports suggested that a number of Hezbollah members were in the port area at the moment of the explosion. This immediately caused reports that this may have been a result of some Israeli attack, for example sabotage actions or a somehow unnoticed missile strike, and that the site of the explosion was in fact a part of the Hezbollah military infrastructure.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UPRISING: Goliath Is Not Invincible

UPRISING: Goliath Is Not Invincible

Revolutions are difficult, writes Vijay Prashad. They must chip away at hundreds of years of inequality, erode cultural expectations and build the material foundations for a new society. 

Comando Creativo, History is watching us, Bellas Artes, Caracas, 2011.

The streets in the U.S. are on fire once more because of the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer and his accomplices in Minneapolis. Malcolm X once said “That’s not a chip on my shoulder. That’s your foot on my neck.”

A week before George Floyd was murdered, João Pedro Mattos Pinto (age 14) was killed by the police in Rio de Janeiro while playing in the yard of his house; a few days after his murder, Israeli occupation forces murdered Iyad el-Hallak (age 32), who worked in and attended a special needs school in Old Jerusalem. The foot on the neck of George Floyd, João Pedro and Iyad el-Hallak is the same foot that suffocates the Venezuelan people, who suffer each day from the U.S.-driven hybrid war.

Luis Cario, Now we are breathing, 2020.

Last year, while in Caracas, I walked with Mariela Machado in her housing complex known as Kaikachi in the neighborhood of La Vega. After Hugo Chávez was inaugurated president in 1999, a group of working-class residents of the city saw an empty piece of land and occupied it. Mariela and others went to the government and said, “We built this city. We can build our own houses. All we want are machines and materials.” The government supported them, and they built a charming multi-story complex that houses 92 families.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Netanyahu of Israel Suggests Microchipping Kids & Mandatory Vaccines Begin

Netanyahu of Israel Suggests Microchipping Kids & Mandatory Vaccines Begin

I just do not know if we are living in the middle of a B-SciFi Movie with a plot that is just absurd. Netanyahu suggested the Health Ministry should use new technology to help Israel adjust to its new routine as the state is lifting the coronavirus lockdown by micro-chipping all children. “That is, technology that has not been used before and is allowed under the legislation we shall enact.”

One would think that after what the Jews went through in Germany and having to wear stars so everyone knew they were Jewish, you would think someone would say – hey! Wait a minute! We seem to be repeating the events of the rise of Nazi Germany from burning books to suppress dissent to demanding we are all micro-chipped.

People ask me does history really repeat with a cyclical beat?

On 10 May 1933, the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books in the square at the State Opera, Berlin, thereby presaging an era of uncompromising state censorship. Jewish badges  were introduced in 1939.

I hate to tell you, but we are exactly at 86 years from the book burning. Does that mean we get the mico-chipping in 2025?

Meanwhile, Denmark’s parliament unanimously passed an emergency coronavirus law which gives health authorities powers to force testing, treatment and quarantine with the backing of the police. Clearly, the Gates agenda is spreading to pass compulsory laws for his vaccines or you will remain in home prison for the rest of your life denied the right to earn income?

A reader writes from Poland about the efforts that have been going on there to force vaccines as well:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Quiet Middle East Last? Or Is It Lull Before Next Storm?

Will Quiet Middle East Last? Or Is It Lull Before Next Storm?

Across the Middle East, the coronavirus is stirring up both upheavals and more subtle changes from Tel Aviv to Riyadh, little reported and when covered little understood in the Western media.

In Israel, the virus has enabled that master political magician Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pull off yet another spectacular escape as improbable as any in a James Bond or Star Wars movie to remain in power indefinitely.

After matching him in three successive national elections, Blue and White opposition leader, former Army Chief of Staff retired Lieutenant General Benny Gantz finally blinked: Because of the coronavirus pandemic crisis, he agreed to enter into a coalition with Netanyahu leading it for the first 18 months.

This is more than enough time for Netanyahu, a master political infighter and intriguer to splinter Blue and White into fragments. Indeed, Gantz has already done the biggest part of the job for him.

His own top allies in the new party, former Finance Minister Yair Lapid and former Defense Minister and Army Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon both firmly opposed any agreement to compromise with Netanyahu refused to go along with it. Currently, even Gantz and Netanyahu have not yet finalized their agreement, but Netanyahu has seized the initiative from him. His record in power over the past decade suggests he will not release it easily.

Netanyahu can at least boast that his lockdown has kept Israel relatively isolated from the pandemic. That is not the case in Iran, which boasts close trade and energy ties with China and where the virus has been raging ferociously.

That of course, is also the case in the United States. Extremist US hawks have been gloating – hopefully – that the crisis in Iran might discredit and topple the government there. That seems very unlikely at the moment.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Netanyahu Announces Full Lockdown Of Israel Ahead Of Passover

Netanyahu Announces Full Lockdown Of Israel Ahead Of Passover

Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the entire country will enter complete lockdown starting 4 pm on Tuesday until 7 am Friday.

This will also include a mandated home-confinement for all citizens from Wednesday׳s Passover Seder until 7am on Thursday, with citizens only allowed to venture outside up to 100 meters from their home during that time. All travel between cities will be banned, which appears to have already begun to be enforced by police.

Netanyahu further indicated some restrictions will remain in effect for the full holiday week, with some likely to be lifted gradually following the Passover holiday. It’s being interpreted as a controversial move to prevent families from traveling to gather for Passover.

Quarantined Haredi neighborhood in Israeli, file image.

Local media reports have suggested the move is in part a bid to open up the economy again after the intensive period of ‘stay at home’ orders.

Passover typically includes large family gatherings and heightened travel across the Jewish state, and the PM framed the drastic nationwide police-enforced lock down as aimed at preventing large-scale transmissions during the festivities.

He also said during his statements, “we see positive signs on the horizon” at a moment over 8,400 Israelis have been confirmed for COVID-19, including 53 deaths as of Monday afternoon.

In the ultra-Orthodox Israeli city of Bnei Brak, via AFP.

Netanyahu in his remarks touted that Israel has successfully initiated testing on a more expansive level than any other country currently hard-hit by the pandemic, and emphasized health officials are determined to reach 10,000 tests a day.

Police have been particularly active in resistant ultra-Orthodox towns, especially Bnei Brak outside of Jerusalem, for broad refusal to shut down synagogues and religious schools amid local mandates.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are Russia and Turkey on a Collision Course?

Are Russia and Turkey on a Collision Course?

The murder of the Iranian hero-martyr General Soleimani created a situation in which a war between Iran and the Axis of Kindness (USA/Israel/KSA) became a real possibility but, at the very last minute, Uncle Shmuel decided that he had no stomach for a full-scale war against Iran. Wise decision.

This, however, does not at all imply that the AngloZionist Empire decided to stand by idly, far from it. The need to take quick and determined action became particularly acute following the huge anti-US demonstrations in Iraq (well over one million people in the streets!) which directly put at risk the US occupation (the MSM would call it “presence”) in both Iraq and Syria.

At the same time, Turkish President Erdogan’s refusal to remove all the “bad terrorists” from the Idlib province eventually resulted in a joint Syrian-Russian offensive to liberate the province. That offensive, in turn, clearly infuriated the Turks who warned of a major military operation to prevent the Syrians from liberating their own country.

This begs the question: are Russia and Turkey really on a collision course?

There are certainly some very worrying warning signs including a number of very harsh statements by Erdogan himself, and a suddenly re-kindled Turkish interest for the US “Patriots”.

On the ground in Idlib, the Turks have clearly provided the “bad terrorists” with a lot of support including equipment, MANPADs, tanks and armored personnel carriers. The Turks actually went as far as sending special forces to assist the “bad terrorists” directly. Finally, from footage taken by Russian and Syrian drones, and even the “bad terrorists” themselves, it appears undeniable that Turkish MLRS and regular artillery provided the “bad terrorists” with fire support.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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