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The first signs of this impending civil war appeared in ISIS spokesman Mohammed al-Adnani’s audio message. He tried to entice jihadists by addressing “all those who seek jihad in the name of Allah… all those who got confused, who are now lost and fearing sedition and seeking reason, and those who consider stopping, backing down or staying neutral.”
ISIS supporters celebrated al-Adnani’s message over Twitter, the main social media platform used by jihadists. Abu Mouaz al-Shari, an ISIS judge, summed up al-Adnani’s speech saying, “The army, the military council, the National Coalition and the National Council… they all side with America in an attempt to destroy the Islamic project.” Al-Nusra affiliates, along with its sheikhs and judges, mocked the message and considered it laughable.
The Syrian army regained control over the town of Zara in Homs western countryside, Al-Manar reporter confirmed. Units of the army also clashed with an armed terrorist group which was trying to attack a number of military checkpoints in the towns of Daraa. A military source told SANA that the army confronted terrorist groups which were attempting to attack several military points in central prison, Ziraa of Daraa al-Balad, killing many of terrorists and destroying their criminal equipment and vehicles. The source added another army unit eliminated members of an armed group in the surrounding of the water treasurer in Ataman, Daraa countryside, killing a number of terrorists. Units of the Syrian Arab Army destroyed dens of armed terrorist groups in several neighborhoods and towns of Aleppo and eliminated tens of gunmen and injured others. A military source told SANA reporter that units of the army eliminated tens of terrorist and injured others in al-Sakkari, Bani Zaid, Bustan al-Qaser and al-Jandoul roundabout. The source added that the army units eliminated many terrorists in Kweiris, Rasm al-Abboud, Arbid, Jdeideh, Khan Touman, al-Hajib, the industrial city, al-Bureij and the surrounding of Aleppo central prison.
|08-03-2014 – 15:16 Last updated 08-03-2014|
More U.S. Warplanes, Troops Leave For NATO Baltic Mission
Additional Airmen, aircraft to support NATO policing mission in Baltics 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England:- The 48th Fighter Wing has sent additional aircraft and personnel to support NATO’s air policing mission in Lithuania, at the request of U.S. allies in the Baltics.
Six F-15C Eagles departed RAF Lakenheath and two KC-135 Stratotankers carrying more than 60 Airmen departed RAF Mildenhall March 6.
Nearly 150 Airmen and four F-15C Eagles from the 48th FW have been supporting the Baltic Air Policing mission out of Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, since January as the 48th Air Expeditionary Group.
“This is the advantage of being forward-based,” said Col. Mark Ciero, 48th Fighter Wing vice commander. “If called upon, we can quickly respond to support our allies and partners.”
Air policing is part of NATO’s “Smart Defense” model that incorporates allied nations conducting operations through shared capabilities and coordinated efforts to effectively accomplish missions. NATO countries rotate to provide Airmen and aircraft for the BAP mission, which is slated to continue through 2018.
In the last decade, 14 NATO nations have participated in this mission. This deployment marks the fourth rotation for U.S. forces
On Thursday, Israeli Lt. Col. Peter Lerner lied. He claimed Israeli naval forces intercepted an Iranian arms vessel.
True face of puppet Government in Ukraine revealed “Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.”
‘Hang scum later’ – Ukrainian deputy governor on Crimea protests
Kiev’s newly-appointed deputy head of south-eastern Ukraine has shared his recipe of how to calm protesters in Crimea opposing the self-proclaimed country’s government: “Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.”
Boris Filatov, the deputy head of the industrial Dnepropetrovsk region, suggested not sending any pro-Maidan activists to the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic, which has been protesting against the coup-imposed government and not to make any radical statements.
“This scum should be given promises, guarantees, and any concessions…And hung…They should be hung later,” Filatov, a lawyer and a businessman, wrote on his Facebook page commenting on events in Crimea. He did not clarify who exactly he classifies as “scum.”
The post – particularly its part on “hang them later” – drew wide media attention. Filatov was quick to note though that he was writing “not as an official.”
Crimea, a mostly Russian-speaking republic, has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev and will hold a referendum on whether to stay within the Ukraine or to join Russia.
Pro-Russian demonstrators take part in a rally in the Crimean town of Yevpatoria March 5, 2014. (Reuters/Maks Levin)
According to Filatov, 42, the events on the peninsula are “a hellish broth where interests, ambitions, geopolitics and a general mess all got mixed up together.” The situation is a result of silly and premature decisions made by the new Ukrainian government, including the abolition of the law that allowed regions to give Russian and other minority languages the status of a second official language.
“In my view, it wouldn’t be a big deal if Crimea’s autonomy was extended and Russian was given a status of a (second) state langue. It would help to avoid escalation of tensions and preserve Ukraine,” Filatov wrote.
Apparently, Kiev’s new language policy affects the deputy governor personally, as all his posts on the social network are in Russian. Earlier, he was looking on Facebook for a teacher of Ukrainian. “Primarily, I’m interested in the spoken language,” Filatov wrote.
In his earlier controversial post, the businessman stated that Stepan Bandera, a Nazi collaborator and leader of Ukraine’s Nationalist Organization, was his hero.
“I am proud of Bandera. He is my Hero. Particularly, as I see that people are ready to die under red-and-black flags,” Filatov stated.
One of the richest businessmen in the Dnepropetrovsk region, Filatov got his administration seat on March 4, just several days after returning to Ukraine from Israel. He fled the country early in the year, fearing what he claimed to be political persecution by the Yanukovich regime for supporting Maidan protests, and spent the most violent period of the uprising distantly monitoring the situation and discussing it actively on the internet.
Protests against the self-proclaimed government in Kiev continue in eastern regions of Ukraine. Thousands-strong gatherings in Donetsk and Lugansk are rallying in support of the Russian language and holding a referendum on the federalization of Ukraine.
In Donetsk, the city that once used to be the stronghold of the ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, people are protesting against the new governor appointed by Kiev last Sunday.
The appointee is Ukrainian oligarch, billionaire Sergey Taruta, the owner of ISD, one of the biggest mining and smelting companies in the world, he also owns the Donetsk-based Metallurg Football Club.
The oligarch governor failed to come to Donetsk immediately after the appointment, so demonstrators have chosen a “people’s governor” of their own, the leader of the ‘National levy’ Pavel Gubarev advocating setting a referendum that might ask the citizens of Donetsk region about reunification with Russia. The ‘National levy’ also started collecting signatures to conduct referendum on allegiance of the region.
During this week the regional administration building in Donetsk changed hands many times, with either the ‘National levy’ or pro-Kiev forces declaring capture of the authority headquarters.
Several videos allegedly made in downtown Donetsk on March 5 exposed that armed pro-Kiev forces had come to Donetsk, as a group of unidentified men in military outfits and equipped with Russian AK assault rifles and American М4А1 carbines were securing protection of some pro-Kiev activists amidst anti-government popular protests.
Later, Rossiya 1 TV channel made an assumption that these people could be from a group of several hundred mercenaries that allegedly arrived to Kiev recently. Rossiya 1 1 maintained that mercenaries work for the notorious Academi (formerly known as Blackwater and Xe Services), a privately owned American security services provider that employ over 20,000 guns for hire.
Still from YouTube video/alekx
But even the appearance of mercenaries in the center of Donetsk did not stop the citizens from protesting against self-proclaimed government in Kiev.
Early Thursday morning a special group of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) that arrived from Kiev conducted a hit-and-run operation and arrested Pavel Gubarev on charges of an attempt of power seizure, an exactly the same accusation used by the opposition leader against the self-proclaimed government in Kiev.
According to the ‘National levy’ webpage on Facebook, Gubarev was convoyed to the capital Kiev. Police also put under arrest several dozens of activists.
The same day, Governor Taruta arrived to Donetsk and held a meeting with region’s new police chief also appointed by Kiev.
Yet late at night citizens of Donetsk attempted to storm local headquarters of SSU, demanding to release their leader. They also managed to stop and topple prison truck carrying unknown number of arrested activists.
When top-ranked police and internal troop officers came out to the people, they were heckled with jibes like, “Do you remember those you’re protecting? Those who mistreated you in Kiev?” reported Komsomolskaya Pravda.
After pondering for some time police opted to free the detained activists which immediately joined the protesters.
A new stage of anti-Kiev rally is appointed for Friday afternoon, maintains the ‘National levy’ website.
In Lugansk, another regional center in eastern Ukraine, a thousands-strong rally waving Russian flags and chanting “Russia! Ukraine! Belarus! Together!” elected a “people’s governor” of their own, the leader of the local ‘Lugansk guards’ militia, Aleksandr Kharitonov. Members of the guards have already repelled an armed assault force from Kiev that attempted to seize local power institutions in the city on February 20 and currently continue to stand against the attackers from Kiev’s Maidan.
Because the local prosecutor’s office never bothered to launch a criminal investigation into the attempted power seizure by the armed militants from Kiev, the citizens of Lugansk now put their trust in vigilante groups rather than police.
All attempts to gather in Lugansk a significant nationalist rally similar to Maidan in Kiev have failed, largely because they looked increasingly pale in comparison with massive anti-government demonstration rallying in the center of the city.
In other regional centers of Ukraine, such as country’s second-largest city of Kharkov, anti-government protests were of a much smaller scale, perhaps also due to the heavy presence of the riot police at rally sites.
Riot police stand guard in front of a regional government building as pro-Russian demonstrators take part in a rally in Kharkov March 5, 2014. (Reuters)