Putin’s Russia declares “HOLY WAR” against ISIS…This is how Obama responded

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The Orthodox Christian Church, which is reclaiming its traditional role in post-Soviet Russia, has just described its government’s fight against the Islamic State and other jihadi groups in Syria as a “holy war.”

According to Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Church’s Public Affairs Department:

The fight with terrorism is a holy battle and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world fighting it.

The Russian Federation has made a responsible decision on the use of armed forces to defend the People of Syria from the sorrows caused by the arbitrariness of terrorists.

Christians are suffering in the region with the kidnapping of clerics and the destruction of churches.

Compare and contrast Putin’s terse response with U.S. President Obama, who denies the connection between Islamic teachings and violence; whose policies habitually empower Christian-persecuting Islamists; who prevents Christian representatives from testifying against their tormentors; and who even throws escaped Christian refugees back to the lions, while accepting tens of thousands of Muslim migrants.

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Pentagon funding bill on Obama’s desk: $600 mln to Syrian rebels, $300 mln to Kiev

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The defense funding bill for 2016 includes some lavish support to rebels in Syria and lethal aid to the current Ukrainian government. Although President Barack Obama is at loggerheads with lawmakers over some of the provisions, they are likely to remain.

Obama has threatened to veto the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act – also known as House Resolution 1735, or the NDAA – because it contains provisions blocking the plans to shut down the detention camp at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, and because it avoids a cap on defense spending by padding a special account reserved for bankrolling wars. The Senate passed the NDAA on Wednesday with a veto-proof majority.

While the White House and the lawmakers are in dispute over the details, they appear to be in agreement on continuing to send military aid to the regime in Ukraine and the elusive “moderate rebels” in Syria.

Some $600 million has been earmarked for a program to support the “appropriately vetted” Syrian rebels, fighting against both the government in Damascus and Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL).

Section 1225 of the NDAA allocates $531.5 million directly to the Syria Train and Equip program, and directs an additional $25.8 million to the US Army and $42.8 million to the US Air Force, to cover the costs of their participation.

The 2015 version of the NDAA allocated $500 million for the training and equipping of “moderate rebels.” Though the Pentagon hoped to have a force of 5,000 fighters by the end of 2015, the program has produced only a handful – literally. Top US military officials admitted only “five or six” rebels remained in combat after the first group was scattered by Al-Nusra terrorists in July. The second batch of rebels surrendered to Al-Nusra last month, with all their US-provided gear.

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The text of the bill as reconciled between the House of Representatives and the Senate lays out the conditions for the aid, including the provision that the Pentagon must prevent the weapons, ammunition and supplies given to the rebels from falling into the hands of IS, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, “any other violent extremist organization,” as well as“Syrian Arab Army or any group or organization supporting President Bashir [sic] Assad.”

Washington insists that the government of President Assad is the “root of all evil” in Syria and that regime change in Damascus should be pursued parallel to the struggle against Islamic State.

Another $715 million was allocated for the train-and-equip program in Iraq, aimed at the Iraqi military as well as the Kurdish and tribal militias fighting against IS.

Though the US-led coalition of 62 countries has been bombing IS in Syria and Iraq for over a year, at a total cost of $4 billion and counting, the group has grown in strength and expanded its reach. On September 30, Russia began its own air campaign against IS, in cooperation with the governments of Syria, Iraq and Iran.

READ MORE: Less talk, more action: Russian jets destroy ISIS HQs, tanks, munition depots – all in just 1 week

Another provision in the NDAA gives the Pentagon and the State Department a six-month deadline to report on the possibility of establishing and maintaining a no-fly zone “over a significant portion or all of Syria” and “one or more safe zones in Syria for internally displaced people or for the facilitation of humanitarian assistance.”

Plans to establish a no-fly zone and “safe areas” have been floated by former CIA director and retired US Army General David Petraeus and by contender for the Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton.

“Lethal assistance” to Ukraine

Section 1250 of the NDAA allocates $300 million to the “Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,” aimed at propping up the government in Kiev. The bill instructs the Pentagon to coordinate with the State Department to “provide appropriate security assistance and intelligence support, including training, equipment, and logistics support, supplies and services, to military and other security forces of the Government of Ukraine.”

Lawmakers have allocated no less than $50 million for “Lethal assistance such as anti-armor weapon systems, mortars, crew-served weapons and ammunition, grenade launchers and ammunition, and small arms and ammunition.”

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US troops have been training Ukrainian government soldiers at Yavoriv, in western Ukraine, since this spring. However, this is the first time that Washington has authorized lethal aid for Kiev. The program also includes drones – described as“unmanned aerial tactical surveillance systems” – as well as electronic and cyber warfare capabilities and “actionable intelligence.”

The final version of the bill does not specify what it means by “other security forces.” In addition to the state military, the Kiev regime has used the newly formed National Guard and volunteer battalions such as ‘Azov,’ described by US lawmakers as “openly neo-Nazi” and “fascist.”

Syrian armed forces launch large-scale offensive against ISIS – Syrian General Staff

The Syrian Army announced a large-scale offensive aimed at retaking several key cities and regions from terrorist forces after a week-long bombing campaign by Russia targeting the jihadists.

The government forces “have been keeping the initiative for several years,” said General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, the head of the Syrian General Staff, announcing the offensive. The offensive was made possible by the effort made by Russia in supporting the Syrian government militarily, Ayyoub said.

“The airstrikes of the Russian Air Force have damaged the capabilities of the international terrorist organization Islamic State and other groups,” the general said.


READ MORE: Less talk, more action: Russian jets destroy ISIS HQs, tanks, munition depots – all in just 1 week

Russian warplanes began attacking terrorist targets in Syria last week, hitting over 100 targets throughout the country. According to Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, Russia “has produced significant results in several days that greatly surpass those achieved by the [US-led anti-ISIS] coalition in over a year.”

Earlier, local media reported that government forces were deployed in several Syrian provinces with the biggest operation taking place in Hama, 200 kilometers north of the capital, Damascus. Lebanese TV channel Al-Manar said the Syrian army group in Hama advanced some 50 kilometers on Wednesday, taking several towns and strategically important mountain strongholds from militants of the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, and other terrorist groups operating in the area.

Syrian government forces also went on the offensive in the Idlib province.


Combat report: Russian jets strike 27 terrorists’ facilities in Syria overnight

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Russian warplanes hit 27 terrorist targets in the course of 22 sorties carried out in Syria overnight, the Defense Ministry said Thursday, adding that terrorist strongpoints and training camps were destroyed.

“The [Russian] bombers… targeted eight militant strongholds in the province of Homs. The militant fortifications were completely destroyed by the strikes,” said Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Russian planes hit 11 Islamic State training camps in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Hama, he added.

“The infrastructure used by terrorists for training has been eradicated.”

VIDEOS: Russia strikes terrorists’ command post, fuel depot & fortifications

The Russian air support allowed the Syrian government forces launch a massive offensive against the terrorists early Thursday.

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On September 30, Russia launched its Air Force anti-terror operation in Syria at the request of Assad’s government.

Since the start of the operation, the Russian military have destroyed over a hundred terrorist targets, including command posts, ammunition depots, training camps and armored vehicles belonging to jihadists.

On Wednesday, Russia first employed its Navy in the operation with four warships firing a total of 26 missiles at ISIS positions in Syria from the Caspian Sea.


PM opposes mandatory quotes imposed by Brussels


Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has threatened to leave the European Union over the uncontrolled flood of illegal immigrants entering his country from the Middle East and Africa.

Illegal immigration crisis destroying neighboring Hungary’s economy.

Fico said the mandatory quota established by the EU is unacceptable, according to Contra Magazin, a German publication.

Central and eastern European states have resisted efforts by the EU to impose mandatory quotas.

Hungary has also promised to leave the union if the quotas are not lifted and the crisis brought under control.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in September if states refuse, they must pay 0.002% of their GDP to the bloc’s common budget, “to finance the efforts undertaken by all other EU countries to cope with the crisis situation.”

Slovakia and three other states have challenged the quota.

“We will go in two directions: first one, we will file a charge at the court in Luxembourg… secondly, we will not implement the (decision) of the interior ministers,” Fico said in September.

“We have been refusing this nonsense from the beginning, and as a sovereign country we have the right to sue,” he added.

Socialists and Democrats in the Slovakian parliament demanded Fico clarify his statements, including a remark the country was “built for Slovaks, not for minorities.”

Gianni Pittella, president of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said if “Fico doesn’t change his positions, the group will maintain its call to evict him.”

Chancellor Andrea Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, has criticized the response of states opposing the EU quota system.

“We eastern Europeans – I’m counting myself as an eastern European – we have seen that isolation doesn’t help,” she said in response of Hungarian, Czech, Slovak and some Baltic leaders.


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Deployment will effectively provide military support for ISIS and al-Nusra


NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg said during a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday the alliance is prepared to send ground troops to protect Turkey’s border with Syria.

“Nato is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey against any threats,” Stoltenberg said.

The move is in response to a claim by Turkey a Russian warplane violated its airspace last week.

Ankara scrambled two F-16s to intercept the Russian aircraft and summoned the Russian ambassador in protest.

According to McClatchy, however, the Russian jet did not violate Turkish airspace:

A Turkish security official said Turkish radar locked onto the Russian aircraft as it was bombing early Friday in al Yamdiyyah, a Syrian village directly on the Turkish border. He said Turkish fighter jets would have attacked had it crossed into Turkish airspace.

But a U.S. military official suggested the incident had come close to sparking an armed confrontation. Reading from a report, he said the Russian aircraft had violated Turkish air space by five miles and that Turkish jets had scrambled, but that the Russian aircraft had returned to Syrian airspace before they could respond.

McClatchy also notes Turkey has moved its border:

Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.


The so-called “buffer zone” — allegedly established to protect refugees and stage military operations aimed at ISIS — is a de facto no-fly zone used to protect jihadist fighters entering the country from Turkey.

More Evidence of Turkish Collusion with ISIS

Earlier this week a leaked German intelligence document confirmed reports that Turkey is directly assisting Harakat Ahrar ash-Sham al-Islamiyya, a coalition of Islamist and Salafist units that have vowed to establish a Sunni Wahhabist state under Sharia law in Syria.

Ahrar ash-Sham is aligned with al-Nusra which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

The Russians understand that Ahrar ash-Sham — currently the most powerful and effective jihadist group fighting in Syria — must be targeted if it hopes to turn back the effort to unseat Bashar al-Assad.

If NATO follows through on its promise to “defend all allies” by inserting troops in Turkey’s illegal “safe zone,” it will be effectively aiding and abetting the Islamic State.

In May declassified US Defense Intelligence Agency documents from 2012 revealed the United States and its partners in the Gulf states and Turkey supported the Islamic State and plan to establish a Salafist principality in Syria.