Images of Hezbollah ‘parading US armored vehicles’ emerge online, sparking controversy

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, recognized as terrorist organization by the US, has been allegedly spotted parading a vast number of US-made military vehicles in Syria, triggering questions about how they ended up in the militants’ hands.

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The photos of Hezbollah’s military parade allegedly featuring US-made armored vehicles in the Syrian city of Qusayr published by media close to the organization raised questions the US State Department had to confront during a daily press briefing on Tuesday.

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“Our embassy in Beirut is working with the Lebanese armed forces to investigate the images circulating on social media purporting to show Hezbollah displaying US military equipment in Syria,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said.

She added that there was “no information on them [the images],” but the US would be “gravely concerned if equipment ended up in the hands of Hezbollah.”

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The US equipment on the photos appear to be the M113 armored personnel carriers that have been in service since 1960 and “are extremely common in the region,” Trudeau noted.

The State Department spokeswoman also noted that “the Lebanese military has publicly stated that the M113s depicted online in the Hezbollah military parade were never part of their equipment roster.”

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“The photos of vehicles circulated by media outlets were not taken from the army and do not belong to the military,” the Lebanese army said in a statement.

Hezbollah’s vehicles seen during the parade also showcase Russian tanks.

Charles Shoebridge, a security analyst and former UK counter-terrorism intelligence officer, in an interview with RT compared the M113 tank to the “Kalashnikov of the personnel carrier world,”adding that the Lebanese Army was the most probable source of the equipment.

“Certainly the finger would seem to point… at the Lebanese Army, because many of them [the APCs] were supplied to them,”Shoebridge said.

The large number of items of an identical type seen on the photos may suggest that there was “some kind of an organized transfer,” Shoebridge said.

READ MORE: Aiding terrorist group: German court convicts men who sent Ahrar Al-Sham $145,000 in supplies

This is not the first time the US weapons and pieces of military equipment allegedly end up in the wrong hands, with a number of reports saying that Al-Nusra and IS (Islamic State) had come into possession of American missiles and other types of weaponry intended for so-called moderate opposition groups in Iraq and Syria.

Moderate opposition militants tend to defect with the US weapons, join terrorist organizations and use it against the US troops, Shoebridge added.

“This policy of supplying rebel groups with sophisticated weaponry or any weaponry invariably seems to backfire,” he concluded.

BOOM: House votes 419-1 to DEFY Obama…

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by ALLEN WEST

If you have any doubts about President Barack Obama’s state of delusion just consider his words on Monday at his first press conference since the election. As reported by ZeroHedge: Obama said he doubts President-elect Donald Trump will scrap a deal with Iran to curtail the country’s nuclear weapons aspirations because the agreement is working. When the accord was struck in 2015, “the main argument against it was that Iran wouldn’t abide by the deal,” Obama said Monday at a White House news conference. “We now have over a year of evidence that they have abided by the deal.” 

“My suspicion is that when the president-elect comes in and is consulting with his fellow Republicans on the Hill, that they will look at the facts,” Obama said. To unravel a deal that’s working and preventing Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon would be hard to explain,” particularly if it leaves Iran free to reconstitute its weapons programs, he said.”

I could go on for days about this, but seeing that our readers are well-versed on this matter, no need. Our readers are well aware that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a joke; it will walk out the door with Obama. The Iranians know it, and so does Barack Obama. At every turn, being it with conventional weapons, ballistic missiles or exceeding heavy water stockpiles, the Iranians have violated Obama’s little executive confab.

And it appears that just yesterday, members of the House of Representatives understood that as well. As reported by the Washington Examiner, The House voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to extend an Iran sanctions law for another 10 years, amid growing worries that the U.S. needs to keep some leverage over Iran as it pushes for that country to implement the nuclear agreement. 

Lawmakers voted 419-1 in favor of extending the Iran Sanctions Act, the foundation of a range of U.S. sanctions against Iran. 

The only vote against the bill came from Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. 

The vote is a sign the bill should easily pass the Senate. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said passage shows that Congress is ready to take a tougher stance on Iran than that of President Obama. While Obama has moved to ease sanctions against Iran, Republicans and even some Democrats say the U.S. needs to impose tougher measures to ensure Iran’s compliance.

“The nuclear deal has provided cover for Iran,” he said. “They are exerting more and more control in Iraq, sending arms to rebels in Yemen, and continue to support terrorist groups like Hezbollah that antagonize Israel.” 

“All the while, the Obama Administration has refused to hold Iran accountable or even call Iran out for violating the nuclear deal by exceeding limits on heavy water,” he added. “But we cannot let Iran increase its regional influence and undermine American interests unopposed.” 

“Congress needs these sanction authorities to respond to Iran’s violations and check Iran’s growing influence in the region,” he said. “Sanctions are what brought Iran to the table, and they can bring Iran to heel again.”

It appears the Democrats also realize Obama’s legacy is done, when it comes to the Iranian agreement. They have to start thinking about where we go from here, and practical sense has to come to the forefront in that the election of November 8, 2016, was a repudiation of Obama, especially his “signature” policies. The fact that 30 U.S. states went to Donald Trump, and that there are only four states that have Democrat governors and Democrat-controlled state legislatures is very telling.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear y’all about the popular vote thing, mainly attributed to New York and California — where the two major population center mayors have vowed to stand firm as sanctuary cities for criminal illegal aliens — isn’t that redundant? Aren’t illegal aliens already committing a criminal act? Back to the subject at hand…

We must have an honest discussion. After eight years, what are the foreign policy achievements of Barack Obama, who chastised America about “crude nationalism” while speaking in Greece? From his speech at Cairo University in 2009 to today, Obama still doesn’t get it, the American people are tired of a president that disparages his own country…in a very petulant manner, no less.

And when you consider the appeasing of the Iranians, you clearly understand why the House voted 419-1 to maintain sanctions on Iran. Obama’s own party realizes this must be done, and that their political future is at stake, regardless of the Soros-supported antics of these protesters. The releasing of billions of dollars, especially laundered cash, to Iran remains a very disturbing event in U.S. foreign policy history. Some still bring up Iran-Contra in regards to Reagan; funny how the liberal progressive media says very little about Obama and his questionable dealings with Iran.

One thing is for certain, President-elect Donald Trump needs a tough, savvy and direct SecState. These past years of Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry have been quite disconcerting. Thank goodness they are OVER.

State Department: Given the stakes for the planet, John Kerry feels he has to go to Antarctica

Published on Nov 4, 2016
DronetekPolitics

I love how dismissive he is of the cost. It’s not his money, its free money that just flows in their hands!
Ken Peninsula

John Kerry wants to be as far away as possible when wikileaks gets to him.
ZP ZAP

oh no, there is a HOT SEAT IN HELL for Scary Skull and Bones Kerry… a Trump Victory will truly DRAIN THE SWAMP… Go to HELL KERRY!
shepd1

So Kerry and a pile of people are going to the South Pole while they still can for a free ride and pictures standing in the snow. We’re saved.
Suzanne Fitzgerald

Antarctica is the alien base that all leadership around the world are being summoned to. The elites days are numbered and the ancient technology that they have been misusing has been taken back. Our physical earth changes can not be stopped we are at a time of great change.
Garret Marks

Can we leave him there?
Gregory Adams

Climate change is an elite hoax. There’s a coming ice age predicted within 7 years. Sun is cooling.
American Family

There are military bases in Antarctica. SECRET bases – look it up!! This is all to hide from the up keeping documents regarding John Kerry.

US will never separate its fighters from ‘Islamists’ because it depends on them

The big idea to herald a new era of US-Russian cooperation in Syria was to separate Western-backed ‘moderate rebels’ from groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, so they could be part of political negotiations while the others were targeted by the US and Russian military.
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Russia and Syria managed to get the UN Security Council to agree to ban the funding, training and arming of foreign fighters joining such groups in September 2014, while the US-Russia ceasefire agreement this September reiterated that “separating moderate opposition forces from Nusra [Al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, now rebranded as Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham]” was “a key priority.”

As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recalled at a news conference last week, “our agreements with the Americans linked this separation to a seven-day period of quiet. At the end of the period, the Americans undertook to show us on the map exactly where they believed there were terrorists and where there were none. On this basis, we should have jointly coordinated targets for effective engagement. To reiterate, they requested seven days for that, insisting that a seven-day pause should be a precondition. We announced this pause but it was violated with a strike against Syrian Army detachments three days later” – when, lest we forget, British and US bombers carried out a sustained attack on Syrian Army troops fighting ISIS in Deir al-Zour, killing 62 and wounding over 100, effectively burying the ceasefire.

Nevertheless, in response to Western demands, Syrian and Russian planes again suspended airstrikes on Aleppo two weeks ago, giving the US another chance to make good on its promises to ‘separate’ its favored rebel factions from the Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front. A fortnight later, however – and fully ten months after his initial public call (at an International Syria Support Group meeting in February) for so-called ‘moderates’ to separate themselves from Al-Qaeda and co – Kerry was still pleading for them to have more time to do so.

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Events on the ground, meanwhile, have been moving entirely in the other direction. More and more of the groups supposedly fighting under the West’s ‘Free Syrian Army’ banner (never much more than a fiction to which militias could pledge mythical allegiance in exchange for Western finance and weaponry) have been fighting with the Al-Nusra-led Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) alliance since it was launched in March last year. Indeed, so successful has this formation been – both in terms of capturing territory, mainly in Idlib province, and in establishing Nusra’s hegemony over the various insurgent factions – that its leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, apparently believes the ‘grand merger’ of rebel groups he has long dreamed of, fully integrated under a Nusra chain of command, is now a realistic possibility.

It is no surprise, then, that it is precisely this Nusra-led formation that has been leading the ‘rebel’ onslaught against government-held Western Aleppo launched last Friday, complete with car bombs, rockets and mortars directed against residential areas. These are thought to have killed at least 41 civilians, including 16 children, in “relentless and indiscriminate” raids that have “shocked and appalled” the UN Special Envoy to Syria Steffan de Mistura. The Independent’s Robert Fisk, reporting from the area following a rebel rocket attack, described “a younger boy [lying] on a hospital trolley, a doctor picking metal out of his face, all his limbs heavily bandaged. He was writhing in agony, moving his legs wildly, comforted by the director of the school.”

Will attacks like these, then, increase the urgency with which the US pursues its supposed desire to separate the groups in receipt of its largesse from their ‘Al-Qaeda lite’ allies?

This is highly unlikely: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem was probably correct when he stated last week that the US is unwilling to separate the factions its backs from Al-Nusra, despite its repeated commitments to do so, for two main reasons.

Firstly, rebel groups have openly targeted civilians since 2011, often on the basis of ethnicity, religion or political beliefs, and this has never bothered their Western backers before. Indeed, the rebels – then operating under the banner of the pro-Western Free Syrian Army – heralded their entry in Aleppo in 2012 with two massive car bombs in the city center and the burning down of the city’s centuries-old souks. This was followed up with a bomb attack on Aleppo University on January 15th 2013, killing 80, as part of the rebels’ ‘morale bombing’ campaign against those supporters of the government.

Two months later, one Syrian soldier and 19 civilians were killed in the village of Khan Al-Assal near Aleppo in a gas attack suspected by the UN Mission investigating it to have been carried out by the opposition. And as early as December 2012, Channel 4 News was reporting on suspected massacres of Alawite civilians by ‘Free Syrian Army’ fighters, massacres which have been a mainstay of rebel activities.

Far from dampening Western enthusiasm for the rebel cause, this particular report was followed up with calls by David Cameron to step up its assistance to the insurgency, who promised a doubling of British aid to the rebels within months. The targeting of civilians has never damaged Western support in the past, and is unlikely to do so now.

Secondly, aside from ISIS and the Syrian Army, Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham and Ahrar Al-Sham are clearly the most effective fighting groups on the ground, and the other rebel factions and its Western backers clearly understand this. And again, this is nothing new; sectarian Salafist groups have been the leading force in the insurgency since the start, as the West has always been fully aware.

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The now notorious US Defense Intelligence Agency memo of 12th August 2012, for example – which was circulated to, among others, the State Department, the CIA, the FBI and Central Command – noted that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” And to prevent any ambiguity, DIA chief at the time, Michael Flynn, then confirmed in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hassan, that the US government’s backing of such forces was not based on ignorance, or a mistake, but was rather a “willful decision.” Such groups have always been the ‘driving force’ of the West’s anti-Syria operation, and the US government understands well that its insurgency would soon fizzle out without them.

As the US’s primary aim remains regime change rather than the defeat of terrorism, therefore, they are unlikely to make any serious attempt to divide their proxies from the fighting forces of Al-Qaeda. We can, instead, expect more pleas for time from the likes of John Kerry, and more spurious rhetoric about the US commitment to fighting terrorism, combined with continued material support for the very groups now openly allied to Al-Qaeda. In other words: more of the sordid same

MORE State Dept Coordination With Campaign…

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HACKED EMAILS SHOW CLINTON CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATED WITH STATE

BY MATTHEW DALY AND STEPHEN BRAUN

WASHINGTON (AP)A State Department official appeared to coordinate with Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign hours before the former secretary of state’s exclusive use of private emails was first detailed in a news account last year, newly released hacked emails show.

Emails from the files of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta show that the department official provided Clinton aides with the agency’s official response to a New York Times reporter in advance of the newspaper’s March 2015 report that Clinton had used a private email account to conduct all of her work-related business as secretary.

The stolen emails were released Wednesday by WikiLeaks, part of a massive trove of emails released by the document-leaking group on a daily basis since last month. WikiLeaks has indicated it intends to leak emails stolen from Podesta’s account every day through the election.

In a March 1, 2015 email, State Department press aide Lauren Hickey told Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill and two other advisers that then-State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had “just cleared” a reply to the Times. Hickey provided the agency’s response to the Clinton aides and also appeared to agree to a change requested by the campaign, saying: “Yes on your point re records – done below.” It is not clear what specific change was requested and made.

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State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that the department would not comment on alleged leaked documents. But he said the department’s effort to “provide accurate information to the media” about Clinton’s tenure at the agency has “at times required communicating with her representatives to ensure accuracy.”

The Clinton campaign has repeatedly warned that WikiLeaks has exploited emails stolen by hackers who may be working for the Russian government.

The Podesta emails follow a string of notable illicit caches released during the 2016 election campaign, including thousands of messages stolen from the Democratic National Committee and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the DNC thefts, but U.S. intelligence agencies are firmly pointing to the Russian government.

In a hacked email chain from March 17, 2015, Clinton’s campaign advisers discussed how to respond to a request by a Times reporter for comment on an upcoming story about how top State Department aides used private email accounts to communicate with Clinton.

Clinton aide Philippe Reines wrote: “There’s a lot to respond to here, but first and foremost the premise is wrong. There is nothing wrong with anyone having personal email addresses or her emailing someone’s private account or vice versa. Maybe she was wishing (longtime aide) Jake (Sullivan) a happy birthday. Or I was sending her a note about her mom. … We’re allowed to have personal lives.”

Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri wrote: “Strikes me as a big problem that the NYT is having selected emails leaked to them and I think we should do a call to discuss the proper way to handle.” The email exchange occurred about a month before Clinton officially launched her presidential bid in a video released in April 2015.

In an August 2015 email exchange, Clinton aide Huma Abedin points out that Clinton wasn’t prepared for all of the questions surrounding the use of her private email and asks for a longer list of questions and answers “so at least it’s out there and maybe she won’t have to do it verbally again?”

Separately, assistant attorney general Peter Kadzik wrote to Podesta in May 2015 to offer a “heads up” that a Justice Department official would be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee and would likely “get questions on State Department emails.” Podesta forwarded the message to top campaign staff, writing: “Additional chances for mischief.”

Kadzik, head of Justice’s office of legislative affairs, wrote to Congress this week assuring lawmakers that the department will “dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible” as it renews its investigation into newly discovered emails that may be related to the dormant inquiry into Clinton’s email practices.

Associated Press writers Russ Bynum, Paisley Dodds, Michael Rubinkam and Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

State Dept. Embarrassed During Debate Over Asian Countries Aligning With China

Published on Nov 1, 2016
Category
News & Politics
License
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T. A. Stingbatt

Binary Choice: China, which will keep ISIS out; or US which funds ISIS….mmmmmm….let me think
chipchipersonmdphd

once again, Obama is fucking
Tonni Lockett

Philippines?
Veritas 13Fox

What a shit show
Glyn

The State Department IS an Embarrassment.
Mooooohamsalad

Name 1 Philipinnes, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand Ok that’s like three or four, there are a lot of countries in Asia There are ten in the Asian group Yeah well it’s not a landslide No it’s not a landslide it’s a bit of a towering inferno of bad foreign policy