Pentagon dispatches first batch of US forces to train Syrian rebels

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is sending the first wave of about 100 US forces to the Middle East in the coming days to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters battling Islamic State militants.

The US troops, mostly special operations forces from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), will begin arriving in countries outside Syria in the next few days, Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said on Friday.

“They’re going to … take a look at what’s there and prepare for further deployments,” according to Kirby, who last week said several hundred troops from foreign governments were also expected to train the Syrian fighters.

The total number of US troops connected to the mission is expected to reach over 1,000 in the weeks ahead, including about 400 trainers and several hundred support forces.

The exact location of the training sites hasn’t been revealed, but Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have offered to host facilities where American forces could train members of the Syrian opposition, ostensibly to battle elements of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). However, given that the coalition governments have all proven their commitment to removing Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, some observers suspect an ulterior motive in the US-led plans.

In September last year, the United States, together with a loose coalition of Arab states, including Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, opened a bombing campaign in northern Syria against IS fighters. However, at the same time, the US has been reportedly arming members of the Syrian opposition, which has been engaged in a civil war against Assad’s forces.
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US airstrikes have assisted Kurdish forces in their effort to liberate the Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border. Kirby told reporters that the Kurds now control about 70 percent of the town.

The Pentagon spokesman said Major General Michael Nagata had been appointed to oversee the training mission.

The US-led mission is expected to start as early as March, the Army Times, quoting Defense Department spokeswoman Cmdr. Elissa Smith, reported last week.

In addition to the 400 military specialists, so-called “enabling forces,” which are to serve as a security detail, will also accompany the trainers, Smith said.

The Pentagon, which said it plans to train 5,000 Syrian fighters a year for three years, foresees the first batch of US-trained rebels returning to Syria around the end of the year.

According to the most recent UN statistics, the Syrian conflict has claimed 220,000 lives, placed 12 million people in severe need, left 7.6 million internally displaced, and rendered 3.3 million people refugees.

Obama awards Iran $11.9 BILLION through end of nuke talks

Iran now controls four capitals in the region: Sana, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut. None of Iran’s jawdropping success in the region would have been possible without Obama’s tacit support and sanction. They have postponed “nuke talks” to the point where deadlines mean nothing. Every time Iran misses a deadline, Obama just moves it. And Iranians arm, build and enrich uranium. Whatever the US asks (begs, cajols, suggests) is laughed off. Iran is the world’s number one state sponsor of terror.

    “Three Arab capitals have today ended in Iran’s hands and belong to the Islamic Iranian revolution”. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, boasted that Sanaa has now become the fourth Muslim capital that is on its way to joining the Iranian revolution.

    Alireza Zakani, a loyalist of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Iran considered the Yemeni revolution to be an extension of its own and that 14 out of 20 provinces would soon come under the control of the Houthis and that they would not stop there:

    “Definitely, the Yemeni revolution will be not be confined to Yemen alone. It will extend following its success into Saudi territories. The Yemeni-Saudi vast borders will help expedite its reach into the depth of Saudi land.”

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Photo: First satellite images of a new long-range Iranian missile on a launch pad outside Tehran. (Channel 2 screenshot). It’s the first time we have ever seen it in the West. also capable of carrying a conventional or non-conventional warhead “far beyond Europe,” the report added.

U.S. to Award Iran $11.9 Billion Through End of Nuke Talk, By Adam Kredo, Free Beacon, January 22, 2015
The Obama administration on Wednesday paid $490 million in cash assets to Iran and will have released a total of $11.9 billion to the Islamic Republic by the time nuclear talks are scheduled to end in June, according to figures provided by the State Department.
Today’s $490 million release, the third such payment of this amount since Dec. 10, was agreed to by the Obama administration under the parameters of another extension in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program that was inked in November.

Iran will receive a total of $4.9 billion in unfrozen cash assets via 10 separate payments by the United States through June 22, when talks with Iran are scheduled to end with a final agreement aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear work, according to a State Department official.

Iran received $4.2 billion in similar payments under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Iran committed to the talks through November, when negotiators parted ways without reaching an agreement.

Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets by the end of June if current releases continue on pace as scheduled.

The release of this money has drawn outrage from some Republican lawmakers who filed legislation last year to prevent the release of cash due to a lack of restrictions on how Iran can spend the money.

These cash payments by the United States have been made with no strings attached, prompting concerns that Iran could use the funds to finance its worldwide terror operations, which include the financial backing of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other rogue entities.

Senators—including Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), and John Cornyn (R., Texas)—sought last year to put a hold on the cash infusions until the White House could certify that Iran was not using the money to support terrorism.

Kirk, who is preparing to offer legislation that would tighten sanctions on Iran, said that the ongoing payments could help Iran fuel its terror empire well into the near future.

“Between November 2014 and July 2015, the interim deal’s direct forms of sanctions relief will allow Iran access to roughly $4.9 billion in frozen money,” Kirk told the Washington Free Beacon “That’s equal to what it’d cost Iran to fund Hezbollah for as much as 50 years.”

The Pentagon estimates Iran has spent $100 to $200 million per year funding Hezbollah.

Entities likely to receive support from Iran include the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the legislation suggests.

When final negotiations between the United States and Iran failed in November, negotiators decided once more to extend the talks through June of this year. The terms of that extension granted Iran the 10 payments of $490 million, a State Department official said.

“With respect to sanctions relief, the United States will enable the repatriation of $4.9 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad during the extension,” the official said.

The first two payments were made in December, followed by Wednesday’s payment.

The next release is scheduled for Feb. 11, with two more scheduled for March. The rest of the frozen cash assets will be given back to Iran on April 15, May 6, May 27, and June 22, respectively.

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said the ongoing release of these assets has provided Iran with a critical “financial lifeline.”

“The Obama administration provided Iran with a financial lifeline through both direct sanctions relief and the de-escalation of sanctions pressure that helped the regime stabilize its economy after a severe sanctions-induced economic crisis in 2012 and 2013,” Dubowitz said. “It is not a surprise that this has increased Iranian negotiating leverage and hardened the supreme leader’s nuclear intransigence.”

In addition to decrying the lack of restrictions in place to ensure that Iran does not use the released funds to sponsor terrorism, critics of the sanctions relief protest that Iran is benefitting while the United States receives little in return.

Iran has continued to enrich uranium under the interim deal, adding what one critic, Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.) referred to as “about one bomb’s worth” to its reserves.

Iran also has continued to make advances on the plutonium track, which provides it with a second path to a nuclear bomb.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran announced last week that the country has begun constructing two new light water nuclear reactors, a move that the U.S. State Department said is permissible under the terms of the interim agreement.

When Americans Asked Point Blank if US is at War with ‘Radical Islam,’ They Give Surprising Answers

Media Research Center reporter Dan Joseph went to the people of Washington, D.C., to find out if the people on the street thought America was at war with “radical Islam.”

It’s interesting to see people parse whether or not the U.S. is at war with radical Islam, with one person even bringing up the KKK and many qualifying their answers.

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Politics: Not even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews & Andrea Mitchell are buying the BS in Obama’s State of the Union…

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    He’s “not close to reality.”

For five years, Barack Obama has been able to count on two things. The first was a disorganized, timid GOP. The second was the sound of constant, fawning, almost orgasmic adulation coming from the MSNBC studios. While the jury is still out on Republican efforts to mount a successful resistance to Obama’s policies, it looks like MSNBC is getting tired of talking about his alleged foreign policy “successes.” In the wake of the State of the Union address it appears the “tingle” is gone.

Check out what left-wing stalwart Chris Matthews had to say about the President’s self-described foreign policy victories:

    I kept thinking tonight that there’s a real world out there he didn’t really talk about, and had perhaps overambitious notions about where we stood in the war against ISIL – the Islamic State. He doesn’t want to call it the Islamic State, but that’s what they call themselves. Those two Japanese people, with no guilt on their shoulders – just staring there out of the desert – who are going to be apparently decapitated. …That reality – what’s going on in Nigeria is reality. How close was the President to reality overall, globally, tonight?

Wow. That’s actual skepticism from Chris Matthews! He must be back on his meds. Andrea Mitchell replied:

    I think that on foreign policy, his projection of success against terrorism and against ISIS, in particular, as I said, is not close to reality. They have not come up with a strategy. And they built a global coalition but, again, he’s talked about Ukraine, he’s talked about Putin being isolated. Yes, Putin is isolated economically and the falling oil prices have hammered his economy. But at the same time, there’s renewed fighting in Donetsk, and we haven’t figured out Ukraine, we haven’t figured out how the NATO alliance can push back. Sanctions have not really worked, and Ukraine is going to need more weaponry, and they have not reached that point. So… you’re right, Chris, it doesn’t match the reality.

Could it be that, despite everything we’ve assumed, there actually is a breaking point for the folks at MSNBC? Has the moment arrived where, despite their love for their fringe liberal ideals, they’ve realized how ridiculous they sound when they laud this President’s nonexistent “accomplishments?”

Probably not.

More likely, the Charlie Hebdo attack finally stripped them of their faith in progressive invulnerability. It sounds like they’ve finally figured out that their usual plan – involving politically correct maneuvering and sympathy for the enemy – isn’t working anymore.

How sad to think that the brilliant minds at the left wing network of record were loathe to acknowledge the President’s detachment until the media became a target of radical Islam. …But it appears that may be what’s happened.

INSIDE FRANCE’S SHARIA NO-GO ZONES

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There is a tremendous controversy these days about the no-go zones in France. Fox News has apologized for covering them. Fox Report host Julie Banderas said: “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.” Yet while it may be true that there aren’t specific areas of France where non-Muslims are prevented from entering, there are many that, if they do enter, they must conform to Islamic norms.

This has been reported for years. The New York Times reported in April 2002, “Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.” And Newsweek said in November 2005: “According to research conducted by the government’s domestic intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 ‘no-go zones’ around the country–and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27.

Just two weeks ago, the New Republic wrote: “The word banlieue (‘suburb’) now connotes a no-go zone of high-rise slums, drug-fueled crime, failing schools and poor, largely Muslim immigrants and their angry offspring.”

There is abundant evidence that there really are no-go zones, despite all the denial. See this video, and more: here is a video about how Muslims plotted to ambush Swedish police with firebombs. Another video shows riots that followed police trying to make an arrest in a Belgian Muslim suburb. Here is video of Muslim riots in Trappes, France. And here is a video showing the plight of the remaining French women in a Muslim-dominated area of France. Here is a video showing Muslim youths running amok in Paris. In Paris, Muslims firebombed a bus with fifty passengers inside, and Muslim riots are spiraling out of control in Sweden.

All this is well known. Journalist Soeren Kern here quotes numerous French journalists and others covering the no-go zones and speaking frankly about what they are. But now it is all about Fox News. Yet I have this on good authority from a Frenchman who has lived in Paris. He wrote this to me about the Sharia no-go zones in France:

In Paris you have areas where a large majority of the population is Muslim (Aubervillers where my in-laws are from, La Courneuve, Stain, etc.). These places are infested with drugs and Islamists, because unlike the USA, France’s Muslim community is the largest majority in prisons (over 70%). They go to prison as drug dealers and come out as Islamist drug dealers. and this is largely how they finance terrorist operations.

I have a very vivid souvenir of one night. My friend lives in one of the most dangerous places in France (La cite des 4000, in La Courneuve ). I was about fifteen years old, and needed to go to his house to study for a test. Upon my arrival, ten Muslims were at his apartment door and would not let me enter, saying that they did not know me, and wouldn’t let me in. I was shocked at the idea that in France there would be any place where I was not able to walk freely – it was insane! I had to call my friend, who came down from his apartment and begged them to let me in.

And this is how it goes in these no-go zones. These Islamist gangsters steal, deal drugs, harass women who are not dressed properly, burn cars, and drink, and if you live there and ever complain, you will take a huge beating!

I have a friend whose sister was raped in an elevator. The family wanted to go to the police, but the thugs who raped her sister caught her brother and burned cigarettes on his tongue. They warned him that if he ever talked. they would all be finished. Girls get raped and burned in garbage cans in these places. Ilan Halimi was held captive for weeks in places like these.

There are no rules there, especially not for Jews. A Jew in these areas can take a beating at any time! The police do not go in unless they come with huge backup. If a police car gets lost there, it will get smashed to pieces! They provoke fires, so that the firemen come and get stoned!

But I can tell you that living in these places is no picnic, and all these fake politicians can go live there and see if they can hold on for 10 minutes.

That is true. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other politicians who have claimed that there are no Sharia no-go zones should walk through some of the areas that are widely identified as such, and see how long they last if they are women with heads uncovered.

The mainstream media is once again failing the American people.