A New «Israel»-Hezbollah War Is Unlikely

Darko Lazar

In the face of ‘Israel’s’ threats to destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure, we will not abide by red lines, especially regarding Haifa’s ammonia and the nuclear reactor in Dimona,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah told the Islamic Republic News Agency [IRNA] on February 20.

Hezbollah parade

Hezbollah’s Secretary General went on to warn Tel Aviv to “count to a million” before considering another military venture in Lebanon.

The message is simple: any direct, prolonged, “Israeli” attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon would be too costly for Israel.

No zero hour set for the next “Israel”-Hezbollah war

Days earlier, Sayyed Nasrallah provoked a response from the face of the “Israeli” intelligence apparatus by calling on Tel Aviv to “dismantle [the] Dimona nuclear facility”.

“The ‘Israeli’ nuclear weapon that represents a threat to the entire region, we will turn it into a threat for ‘Israel’,” the leader of the Lebanese resistance said during a memorial marking the martyrdom of three top Hezbollah commanders.

“Israeli” Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz was quick to respond, hoping to ease the hysteria in “Israel” that often accompanies Sayyed Nasrallah’s speeches.

“If Nasrallah dares to fire at the ‘Israel’ homefront or at its national infrastructure, all of Lebanon will be hit,” said Katz. He also called for “debilitating sanctions” on Iran over its support for Hezbollah.

Katz’s comments are telling in that Tel Aviv’s strategy for ‘dealing’ with the ‘resistance axis’ appears to involve the same-old recipe – the obliteration of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and lobbying Washington to sanction Tehran. Both approaches have been tried and tested, and neither came close to undermining Hezbollah’s expanding capabilities.

The rhetoric points to a serious lack of appetite on the part of the political and military establishment in Tel Aviv for any kind of escalation of the frozen conflict with Hezbollah. It also suggests that the Israelis are perfectly content with carrying on with the so-called ‘battle between the wars’ – involving occasional “Israeli” strikes inside Syria – while treading carefully to keep the “national infrastructure” out of Hezbollah’s crosshairs.

“Israel’s” Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot confirmed as much during a closed-door meeting of the ‘Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’, in which he downplayed the chances of another war with Hezbollah.

According to Beirut-based strategic affairs researcher, Ali Shehab, Tel Aviv has not set “zero hour for the next war”.

“No field indicators point to a readiness for a war on the ‘Israeli’ side of the border with Lebanon… No movements; such as a military buildup or transfer of ‘Israeli’ forces,” Shehab told the pan-Arab satellite television network, al-Mayadeen.

Shehab explains that since emerging with a bloody nose from its latest confrontation with Hezbollah in 2006, Tel Aviv looks to answer three questions before considering another attack: Is the “Israeli” army ready for a war? What are the objectives of the war? And what are the chances of successfully fulfilling the objectives?

During his recent speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah echoed a similar sentiment saying that, “the issue is not about the US permission or the Arab cover, but rather about whether or not they will be able to achieve a victory. This is the main question.”

If Tel Aviv’s objective involves crippling or even undermining Hezbollah – requiring a substantial ground offensive – victory is certain to remain illusive.

Eisenkot’s ‘reforms’ of the “Israeli” military – focused on developing cyber warfare, intelligence gathering capabilities and small/mobile elite commando units – suggest that Tel Aviv’s plans for the future revolve around subversion rather than large-scale, conventional offensives and occupations.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s actions are almost certain to deter the “Israelis” from dreaming of a full-scale war. Aside from the estimated 150,000 advanced rockets aimed at “Israel”, Hezbollah commanders have emerged from battlefields in Syria and Iraq with invaluable combat experience, effectively transforming Lebanon into a death trap for any potential Israeli military incursion.

To make matters worse for policy makers in Tel Aviv, Hezbollah is also challenging “Israel’s” traditional superiority at sea and in the air.

In an article for the “Israeli” website Walla, Amir Bohbot, claims that the resistance group – which has long since been able to assimilate the use of drones into their ground operations – now possesses an advanced naval force.

“A force that not only threatens [‘Israeli’] gas platforms and naval forces, but also Israeli merchant ships in the Mediterranean,” Bohbot writes.

More sanctions

As the new US administration takes a more belligerent tone toward Iran, “Israel” sees an opportunity to roll back the clock to a time when Washington saw Tehran as part of an “axis of evil.”

Both Tel Aviv and Persian Gulf monarchies likely view the US President Donald Trump as the new wave to carry some of their anti-Iranian policies.

But despite all the bear hugging and strong statements of support, options are increasingly limited for the declining Western/”Israeli”/Gulf axis.

With Trump’s administration expressing reluctance toward the fight in Syria, which houses key Hezbollah military installations, the focus to undermine Iran and its regional allies is likely to revolve around more sanctions rather than any sort of direct military confrontation.

And while the US and “Israel” may agree on the need for another war with Hezbollah there is an obvious obstacle to achieving any sort of substantial military gains.

A defeat for the Damascus government may have helped to isolate Hezbollah and cut Iran from Lebanon. Instead, the Syrian army — with support from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah — turned the tide against the proxies of the Western/”Israeli”/Gulf axis, completely transforming the regional balance of power and ending Tel Aviv’s prospects of a victory over the resistance.

Source: al-Ahed News

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Syrian Army liberates three villages in rural Aleppo, fights off Turkish Army assault

On Monday morning, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured a new batch of villages in the eastern Aleppo countryside amid fierce clashes with ISIS militants in the region.

The advance was secured solely by the SAA’s Tiger Forces that have now imposed full control over the villages of Zarurah, Jubb al-Sultan, and Jubb al-Hamam.

Yesterday, the SAA captured a handful of villages from ISIS in the region but were mostly preoccupied with fighting off a Turkish Army assault on Tadef. The latter town is still under government control despite some reports to the contrary.

Due to today’s advance, the Tiger Forces are less than 5 kilometers from linking up with the Kurdish-led ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) near Manbij.

Both the SDF and SAA have clashed with the Euphrates Shield forces and ISIS in recent days; thus, a pragmatic alliance may be established.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Army are heavily shelling villages and towns held by the SDF in the region. Artillery strikes are ongoing on Al-Arimah and Sheikh Issa while some reports suggest the Turkish Armed Forces will soon begin an offensive to capture Manbij.

العمليات وآفاقها بعد تحرير بلدة تادف

الأحد 26 شباط , 2017 18:48

عمر معربوني – بيروت برس –

بعد توقف استمر حوالي الأسبوع عند مدخل بلدة تادف جنوب مدينة الباب، تقدمت وحدات الجيش السوري نحو البلدة وحرّرتها من تنظيم “داعش” ولترسم خط تماس اضافي مع القوات التركية وقوات “درع الفرات”.

تقدم الجيش السوري في شرق مدينة حلب لم يقتصر على بلدة تادف، حيث حرّر الجيش قرى فيحة وتلة فيحة وتلة الحوارّة وخان قيار وابو جبار، وهي قرى جنوب شرق تادف ما يعني أنّ الجيش بات على بعد 13 كلم ليغلق المنطقة امام اي تقدم محتمل للقوات التركية على هذا المحور، حيث من الضروري التقدم شرقًا وتحرير قرى بيرقدار وجب ناسان ومزارع السكرية والسكرية. إضافةً الى أنّ الجيش السوري تقدم في المحور الأوسط نحو قرى شنهصة والشامي ورويدة الباب بعد ان سيطر على جبل سويلم، ليصبح على بعد 26 كلم من بلدة الخفسة ما يعني أنّ الوصول الى بحيرة الأسد سيكون سهلًا وسريعًا الآن، بحيث يتم رسم خط قطع ثانٍ امام القوات التركية ويبدأ العمل على تأمين حلب واريافها بالمياه بعد اجراء عمليات التأهيل اللازمة.

المحور الثالث هو نحو دير حافر التي بات الجيش السوري بعيدًا عنها حوالي 4 كلم فقط، وهو محور هام ويمثل خط قطع ثالث وقاعدة ارتكاز في الوقت نفسه بالنسبة لاستئناف العمليات نحو منطقة مسكنة مفتاح محافظة الرقة بمحاذاة نهر الفرات.

*ضابط سابق – خريج الأكاديمية العسكرية السوفياتية.

Zarif: Turkey A Neighbor with Weak Memory

February 27, 2017

Iran FM Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamamd Javad Zarif slammed Turkey, describing it as an ungrateful neighbor with weak memory.

Responding to recent accusations of “sectarianism” by Ankara, Zarif said that the Turks have forgotten our stance in the night of coup, which took place last July, despite the fact that the government in Turkey is not Shiite.

The entire world know that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) played the most important role in supporting the region states in its fight against terrorism, Zarif said on the sidelines of a ceremony held in memory of the Iranian foreign ministry martyrs on Saturday, Tasnim news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Zarif described joint efforts by Iran, Russia and Turkey for peace in Syria as a useful experience, hoping that it would lead to neighboring countries’ realization of the benefits of interaction.

“We hope that our neighbors will recognize the benefits of interaction more (than before), remember the realities and know that Iran has good intentions for the region,” he added.

The Iranian top diplomat further reiterated the need for collaborations among all regional countries for countering terrorism and extremism and said fanning “sectarian views” is in no one’s interest.

In a speech at the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 19, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized what he called an Iranian “sectarian policy” in the region. Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused Iran of promoting “Persian nationalism.”

On Friday, Zarif said that Turkish officials had been entangled in the consequences of their “past mistakes” and were now attempting to play a blame game by making accusations against Iran.

Source: Iranian media

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Jewish Lobby united with Iran’s terrorist group, the MEK

Jewish Lobby united with Iran’s terrorist group

Paris-based Iranian terrorist group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) in cooperation with the Israel Project has succeeded in bribing several prominent pro-Israel  political and military personalities to lobby the White House against the Islamic regime in Iran.

Recently, the Israel Project supporters wrote a public letter to Donald Trump urging him to renegotiate the Iran deal included General James Jones, former Marine Corps commandant and National Security Advisory, Robert Joseph (Jew), former Under Secretary of State for Arms, ex-governors of Pennsylvania Edward Rendell (Jew) and Tom Ridge (Jew), former Senator Joseph Lieberman, chairman United Against Nuclear Iran, Louis Freeh, ex-FBI Jew director who was involved in 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rabbi Michael Mukasey , ex-Attorney General, Gen. George Casey, and so on.

In December 2016, Lieberman also appeared at an event at the Capitol Hill organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. They have a long history of using violence and terror both against their own members as well as when they were serving as a military force for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. At the UANI event, Lieberman said the goal of increased pressure on Iran would be to elicit concessions from Iran by causing them to “begin to wonder about the survival of the regime.”

In March 2012, US Treasury Department issued subpoenas into an investigation against over three dozen former US high ranking government and military officials for accepting large amounts of money for lobbying for anti-Iran US policy. All under investigation were the ‘Israel-Firsters’ belonging to the Republican, Democratic and Tea parties. The list includes former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell (Jew) of Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Howard Dean (Jew) of Vermont, Frances Townsend (Jew), Bush’s Attorney General, Michael Mukasey (Jew), and former UN ambassador John Bolton (Jew), former Republican Mayor of New York, Rudolph Guiliani (Zionist Christian), ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh (Jew) and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton.

MEK has worked as CIA-Mossad executioner for Iran’s nuclear engineers and officials connected with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Iran is supported by three regional nuclear powers; China, Russia, and Pakistan. Knowing that US has not won a single foreign invasions except some which didn’t have a conventional military at all such as Afghanistan under Taliban, Somalia under tribal warlords, and Panama under Manuel A. Noriega, an Israeli ally.

Given the support that Iran can muster from Europe, Russia, and China, it seems unlikely that Trump will take a military swing directly at Iran.  And I think Trump, who had the good sense to avoid a land war in Asia in his youth and has excoriated the US blunder into Iraq, is less than interested in trying to take down Iran with a military attack right now. That means more bad times for Yemen, I think, as a weak and vulnerable opponent for an American president looking to make a geopolitical statement–and pump up his Commander in Chief credential,” says Peter Lee from Newsbud (watch video below).

The Israel Project was established in 2002 by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi (married to Iranian Jew Victor Mizrahi).

American interference in the Brexit referendum

Hedge-fund mogul Robert Mercer helped Brexit campaign: Report

Robert Mercer in New York in 2014 (file photo)
Robert Mercer in New York in 2014 (file photo)

An American hedge-fund mogul who contributed to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign played a crucial role in the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, according to a report.

Billionaire Robert Mercer, an owner of the right-wing Breitbart News Network as well as data-analytics companies, is a close friend of Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader and leading Brexit campaigner.

In the lead-up to the June 23 referendum on the EU membership, Mercer directed his data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, to provide expert advice to Farage associates on how to target undecided voters on Facebook, The Observer has learned.

The services were kept from the electoral commission.

Cambridge Analytica, which has 25 years of experience in military disinformation campaigns, claims to use state-of-the-art technology to build psychometric profiles of voters in an attempt to target their “emotional triggers” in elections.

“They were happy to help. Because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers. And Mercer introduced them to us,” Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.eu, told The Observer.


British politician Nigel Farage speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by AFP)

“What they were trying to do in the US and what we were trying to do had massive parallels. We shared a lot of information,” he added.

The Trump campaign also reportedly paid millions of dollars to the company to persuade swing voters to cast their ballot for the real estate tycoon.

The strategy involved harvesting personal data from people’s social media profiles and using the information, combined with artificial intelligence, to decide who to target with individualized ads.

Farage dined with the US president and his advisers in Trump International Hotel in Washington this week, praising them as being part of a “global revolution” that began with Brexit.

White Helmets, a fake humanitarian group, wins an Oscar

Film about Syrian White Helmets wins Oscar for best short documentary

A documentary film praising Syria’s White Helmets, a rescue group hailed as heroes and saviors by the MSM, amid allegations of having ties with terrorist organizations, has won the Oscar for best documentary short feature.

“The White Helmets,” a 40-minute documentary, marks first Oscar win for director Orlando von Einsiedel.

The film revolves around the “perilous work of volunteers who brave falling bombs to rescue civilians from the carnage of Syria’s civil war,” the description on its Netflix page says

A synopsis, published on the Oscars website, reveals that the film is set “in the chaos of war-torn Syria” where “unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers known as ‘the white helmets’ comb through the rubble after bombings to rescue survivors.” 

Patrick Henningsen, a geopolitical analyst at 21st Century Wire.com in an earlier interview to RT late last month explained how the footage was obtained.

The “film itself is not a real documentary,” he said. “All of the footage used in the film was provided to the producers by the White Helmets themselves. This film production crew – Netflix productions – did not film any of the so-called rescue scenes.”

“What this film is essentially a PR cushion for a $100-$150 million covert op, which is basically an NGO front funded by USAID, the British Foreign Office, various EU member states, Qatar, and other various and sundry nations, and members of the public, who quite frankly in my opinion and many others, have been duped into donating their money for this rescue group, that is anything but. It essentially functions as a support group alongside Al-Nusra and al-Din al-Zenki and other known terrorist groups operating in Syria. That is a fact that has been proven by a number of eyewitness testimonies.”

The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defense, are “the largest civil society organization operating in areas outside of government control,” the group’s website proudly reads.

According to the group’s leader, Raed Saleh, those “unarmed and neutral rescue workers have saved more than 78,529 people from the attacks in Syria.” 

The unit has also received praise from Amnesty International, describing it as “a group of neutral, unarmed volunteers.” 

Although the rescue group largely appears to be in the MSM media’s good books, not everyone looks at the White Helmets’ activities through rose-tinted glasses.

White Helmets financially backed by West – journalist to RT

In December, Eva Bartlett, a Canadian journalist and rights activist who has traveled to Syria several times since the start of the conflict, said that members of the group “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib [but] …no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them.” 

Bartlett noted during her highly emotional speech at the UN that “their video footage actually contains children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say, August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”

The White Helmets operate in Syria’s rebel and Islamist territories and appear to enjoy the support of various western governments.

“They are fantastically brave, these White Helmets. I’m proud to say we’re giving them I think £32 million [$39.78 million] funding as part of a wider £65 million package for non-humanitarian aid,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last year.

The rescue group, which was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, has repeatedly claimed to be independent of their anti-Assad sponsors, roots and overlords, saying they are unsullied by Western cash.

“They claim that they receive no funding from any government that has a vested interest in the Syria conflict,” Vanessa Beeley, independent researcher and journalist, told RT in October.

“And yet, they are in fact multi-million funded, conservatively speaking, a hundred million dollars, from the US – $23 million via USAID; UK around $65 million; France is supplying equipment…,” she added.

Beeley believes that “there is massive video and photographic testimonial evidence from inside Syria to give evidence that they are running a terrorist support group.”

“If we look at their claims to be neutral, they are embedded entirely in terrorist-held areas whether it is predominantly Al-Nusra Front or ISIS or any of the various associated brigades of terrorists that take their command very much from Al-Nusra Front, that is where White Helmets are exclusively.”

READ MORE: ‘Massive evidence foreign-funded White Helmets support terrorist entities in Syria’

Beeley said the group members “provide medical care for the terrorists, they funnel equipment in from Turkey into the terrorist areas (…) They’ve been filmed participating and facilitating an execution of a civilian in Aleppo. They post celebratory videos to their social media pages of the execution of civilian Arab soldiers.”

She added that “from the testimony from the real Syria Civil Defense across Syria they have also been involved in the taking over of the real Syria Civil Defense units, the stealing of their equipment and the eventual massacres and kidnapping of real Syria Civil Defense crews.”

‘They are thieves’ – locals on White Helmets

The group’s rescue efforts go only as far as to release dramatic videos, Aleppo residents say. RT’s war correspondent Lizzie Phelan, reporting from Aleppo, spoke to some survivors who accused the group of being “camera posers, thieves, and raiders.”

“When they came to help the injured they stole from them,” one elderly man told RT. “If people are wearing jewelry, they cut it off. All of them are thieves.”

One man accused the White Helmets of intentionally killing his little daughter. “I took her to the Civil Defense hospital and they gave her an injection filled with air to kill her,” the devastated young father said in December.

One of the scandals surrounding the White Helmets’ work in Syria was the group’s “Mannequin Challenge” video. The rescue workers performed a stunt with a fake rescue as they staged a scene of saving a person from the rubble, raising questions over the authenticity of the group’s other frequently-posted videos.

Late last month, two members of the controversial White Helmets were barred from attending the Academy Awards, the producer of a documentary featuring the NGO said. White Helmets leader Raed Saleh and cinematographer Khaled Khateeb, both Syrian, were invited to the 2017 Academy Awards by Joanna Natasegara, the film’s producer, who expressed her outrage over the travel ban in a statement: “They’ve been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize,” she said.

“These people are the bravest humanitarians on the planet, and the idea that they could not be able to come with us and enjoy that success is just abhorrent.” 

It’s not the first time Saleh has been banned from entering America. In April 2016, he had to return to Istanbul after discovering that his visa had been canceled by the US. This prevented him from receiving an award in Washington at a gala party supported by White Helmets sponsor USAID.

 

A Look at Syria Following Nearly Six Years of Crisis

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(photo by Omar Sanadiki – © REUTERS)

As the Syrian crisis approaches its 6th anniversary, we take a look at some of the Syrian government’s social, political and economic policies. This will not only give an insight into what life has been like in Syria, but it also provides an indication of what values and principles are important to the Syrian government.

Generally speaking, President Bashar al-Assad, and his late father, Hafez al-Assad operated a secular state, allowing all religions to be practised across Syria. The government itself is made up of a range of different religions, although Islam is the state religion.

A government soldier with the Syrian flag

Access to education has been a championed value in Syria for several decades, with free education being provided by the government, even at universities (although there are some private alternatives available.)

Despite the raging conflict, most schools and academic institutions continue to function in government-held areas. However, the war has displaced millions internally, and in the vast majority of cases, they have moved from areas held by Daesh or other militant groups, to areas under the sanctuary of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allied forces.

This has put a strain on facilities, including schools and universities, and many of them are now operating well-above their standard capacity. For example, more than 200,000 students currently study at Damascus University, as it has accepted displaced students from across Syria.

Damascus University, which was founded in 1923, is Syria’s largest and oldest university, and until now, it offers a variety of courses, ranging from Medicine to Engineering.

The war and economic sanctions on Syria’s economy have resulted in a sharp decrease in national GDP, whilst also triggering high levels of price inflation. This has dragged many Syrians into poverty, making basic goods unaffordable. To reduce the financial strain on many Syrians, some schools no longer require students to wear uniforms, as this would be an unnecessary additional cost.

In mid-2010, Syria became the first Muslim country ban the burka and niqab. Specifically, they were banned at public and private universities. The ban was implemented to counter oppression against women, and combat radical Islam. The Daily Mail interviewed a 32-year-old Syrian engineer, named Ahmed, who said: “Hijabs and niqabs have been a symbol of oppression and religious extremism over the past hundreds of years. They have been a tool used by fundamentalist men to repress women.”

The Syrian government, especially when it was led by Hafez al-Assad, decided to preserve Syria’s natural resources for future generations, as opposed to exploiting it for financial gain. This policy may no longer be followed in a post-war context, as Syria looks to rebuild itself, and bolster the economy.

In terms of immigration policy, Syria allowed millions of Palestinians and Iraqis to settle in the country over the past few decades. Very few Syrians permanently left the country, and in most cases, they would travel to Europe for educational purposes, typically funded by the government.

Defending and liberating Palestine is a core Baathist policy, and Syria went to war with Israel on several occasions, eventually leading to the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, located in Southern Syria.

However, Syria adopted a pragmatic approach, militarily intervening in Lebanon against the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the early 1980s, because PLO forces were massacring Lebanese Maronite Christians. Once again, this further reinforces their commitment to secularism.

Access to healthcare was another core value and policy. According to an article published in the Independent, Syria’s pre-war healthcare system was “the envy of the Middle East,” and the country had a life-expectancy of 75, similar to the UK.

Russian doctors provide consultations to residents of Kaukab, Syria during the distribution of Russian humanitarian aid. (File)

Syria’s pharmaceutical industry was drastically improved and developed over the past few decades, with the successful implementation of Good Manufacturing Practise (GMP), allowing Syria to export its pharmaceuticals to more than 50 countries, while also meeting around 90% of domestic demand for medicaments.

When you look at some the Syrian government’s policies, it is easy to see why President Assad still enjoys support from millions of Syrians.

It is impossible to tell exactly how things will develop once the conflict reaches its conclusion, but we can expect secularism, and access to education and healthcare to continue being the cornerstones of the current government’s policies.


SOURCES:
Sputnik News, by Suliman Mulhem
Submitted by SyrianPatriot
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/6-years-crisis/
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