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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 6:35 pm

Putin’s bombers blitz HUNDREDS of Islamic State targets in relentless siege
RUSSIA has pounded a staggering 263 Islamic State targets in Syria over the last two days as Vladimir Putin steps up his bid to wipe out the twisted terror group.
Moscow’s jets carried out 81 strikes on targets belonging to ISIS and other militants across Syria, according to the Russian defense ministry.

Russian bombers “destroyed a large fortified location of Islamic State militants,” including an air-defence gun and a tank, a defence spokesman said.

A spokesman said the bombers “destroyed a large fortified location” of sick fanatics including an air-defence gun and a tank.

He said: “In the area of the populated locality of Raqqa, SU-34 bombers hit two fortified block posts belonging to the terrorists, located on the outskirts of the city.

“Direct aerial bomb hits destroyed the terrorists’ fortified structures housing four units of automobile and armoured vehicles.”

But the official insisted it only hit “the objects of terrorist infrastructure” and were not near

It is the second time this week Putin’s air force has struck near the ancient city.

On Monday, Russian airstrikes reportedly wiped out key ISIS targets in Palmyra.

The attack destroyed a fortification – along with an underground bunker and anti-aircraft guns, a Russian defence ministry statement confirmed.

The strikes reportedly focused around a 13th Century castle to the west of the city’s Roman-era ruins.

The bombings are the latest in a series by Russian


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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Nov 2015, 10:38 am

Forget Syria, Russia's muscle is moving closer to Canada's doorstep
Putin's military buildup in Arctic, Pacific could set new Canadian defence priorities
By Brian Stewart, CBC News Posted: Nov 02, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 02, 2015 5:04 AM ET
An oddity of Canada's foreign policy of late is how gravely we viewed Russia's expanding power in distant Eastern Europe and Syria, yet took scarce note of Moscow's actions closer to our own Arctic and Asia-Pacific interests.

Even allowing for the vast distances involved, Vladimir Putin's strategic thrusts are almost on our doorstep and may well require far more serious attention from the incoming Liberal government.

For Russia is militarizing its section of the Arctic and expanding its naval operations through the already tense Asian rim of the Pacific at a time when more than half dozen nations there — including, in particular, the U.S., China and Japan — are struggling to redefine a new balance of power in the region.

Granted, Russia is not Canada's only concern, but Russia is special.

It's our feisty northern neighbour and our relations are in the pits. Canada was reportedly even seen in Moscow as the most anti-Russian nation on Earth in the more recent Stephen Harper years.

Syria missile attack kills 45 in Damascus as peace talks begin in Vienna 
U.S. destroyer tests China's claim to disputed islands  
Russia launches massive Arctic military drills 
It is a special case, as well, because President Putin seems determined to expand Russia's muscle and influence wherever he can, and after having boosted military spending by $600 billion over the past decade, he has lots of options.

Arctic war games

For one, he has made a priority of the Arctic, where huge amounts of untapped oil and gas reserves are expected to become extractable as ice caps melt, and where strategically advantageous shipping lanes could yet open to fleets of Russian and Chinese icebreakers.

Militarization of the Arctic is always worrisome because of the quaint vagueness surrounding who owns what.

This sovereignty holdover from the colonial era still hasn't been settled, which means disputed expansions and future intimidation can be expected, not unlike what's going on now in the South China Sea.

The U.S. has significant Arctic-ready forces already stationed in Alaska. To match this, Putin recently set up Russia's grandly titled "Arctic Joint Strategic Command North," consisting of two motorized brigades and Pantsir-S1 anti-air missiles.

Moscow is also constructing four Arctic outpost bases as well as airfields and new radar stations.

Canada Russia Five Things 20150621
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks past Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg. Even before Ukraine, the two leaders didn't have much in the way of a relationship. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Russia is also far more active in the Arctic than the U.S. and Canada.  

Last March, for example, Putin oversaw the largest Arctic war games ever: 35,000 Russian troops, 50 surface ships and submarines along with 110 aircraft.

It's been reported that Russia has developed plans to deploy 80,000 troops to the Far North in a crisis.

Russia's Arctic buildup sent shockwaves through the Pentagon, and helps explain President Barack Obama's three-day trip to Alaska in September to highlight America's need to take the Arctic more seriously.

As for Canada, our Arctic surveillance remains gossamer thin and our navy is still waiting for the first Arctic/offshore patrol ships, which were initially promised eight years ago and whose numbers have been slashed back to help slay the Conservative's deficit dragon.

As they say in diplomacy, "power is in perception," which in this case doesn't work in our favour.

"Unfortunately there are not a lot of voters up there" former senior Canadian diplomat Derek Burney lamented recently, so investing in the Arctic "is not an issue that turns the crank of our politicians regardless of the region's importance."

Pacific 'pivot'

Meanwhile, Russia's military has been even more expansive in the Pacific, with 50 warships and 23 subs participating in what is becoming an increasingly close relationship with China's fast expanding navy.

Their elaborate joint exercises are being watched with growing unease throughout the region.  

Last month saw the latest Putin surprise when he brushed aside Japanese protests and set up a new military base on the disputed Kuril islands, which were seized from Japan following the Second World War.

Japan still claims the islands, but its furious complaints were ignored in that special way Putin has.

None of this is to suggest that a new Cold War is upon us. In a multipolar world, relations are more complex than in that rigid superpower era.

Still, tensions across the Asia-Pacific are increasingly maritime conflicts and often in the news.

Flare-ups between the U.S. and China, Japan and China, Russia and Japan, China and Taiwan, Vietnam and China, and a dozen other potential flashpoints are constantly simmering.

United States China
The U.S. Navy's guided missile destroyer USS Lassen, shown here in less tense times about to dock in Shanghai for a scheduled port visit. The USS Lassen sailed past one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday, in a challenge to Chinese sovereignty claims. (Associated Press)

This is the world's richest trading area where crucial routes and choke points need protection.

At the moment, an unprecedented surge in naval construction is underway across the region, and Canada is clearly expected by the U.S. and other key allies, such as Japan and South Korea, to provide more help on the security front.  

For historical reasons the Canadian navy has kept most of its fleet on the East Coast, and the Harper government rejected numerous suggestions that it was time to pivot westward, as the U.S. was doing.

This inaction leaves our Pacific fleet facing the largest ocean of all with just five modest-sized frigates, only two of which are operational at any one time due to refits, as well as three submarines in varying states of readiness and no Canadian-owned supply ships yet to escort them to sea.

Still, with international tensions rising weekly off Canada's Pacific shore, the new Trudeau cabinet should expect to face its own tough call on whether to make its own historic "pivot" to permanently reinforce its Western fleet.

Atlantic Canada, which massively supported the Liberals in the recent election,  will not be pleased at the loss of even one frigate — hosting a navy is big business — but new Pacific trade deals will argue the case, as will the expectations of our allies.

If it's any consolation, the choice may be easier now because of Vladimir Putin's continuing strategic surge into those parts of the world that really concern our national interests.

Syria missile attack kills at least 45 in Damascus suburb
U.S., Russia and other regional and world powers considering set up of new ceasefire plan
The Associated Press Posted: Oct 30, 2015 7:14 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 30, 2015 2:49 PM ET

A man carries an injured child as another man gestures at a site hit by missiles fired by Syrian government forces on a busy marketplace in the Douma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria Friday. (Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)

A missile barrage slammed into a crowded suburb of Damascus, killing at least 45 people and wounding many others in the latest government attack on the rebel-held area, opposition activists said Friday.

The attack came as an international conference aimed at ending the Syrian conflict got underway in Vienna, Austria. With 19 foreign ministers attending, including those from regional powerbrokers Iran and Saudi Arabia, there was cautious hope the meeting would achieve a small breakthrough.

U.S. insisting Assad leave power ahead of 1st peace talks to include Iran
Backing Bashar al-Assad and Russia could stop ISIS, say experts
"I am hopeful that we can find a way forward," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters, adding: "It is very difficult."

There were conflicting reports about the attack in the suburb of Douma. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committess group said government forces fired more than 11 missiles at a market.

The observatory said the attack killed 57 people, while the LCC said at least 40 perished. The different tolls could not immediately be reconciled.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left) talks to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a photo opportunity before a meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Friday. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

Both organizations and a third Douma-based activist network reported that dozens more were wounded in the mid-morning attack. The third group, the Douma Revolution network, listed the names of 45 people killed.

Opposition group blames Russia

The Syrian National Council, the main Western-backed opposition group in exile, blamed Russian airstrikes for the "massacre" in Douma, which it said killed 55 civilians. It said it was the second deadly attack in the past 24 hours after Russian airstrikes bombed the main hospital in Douma a day earlier.

Amateur videos posted on the internet of Friday's attack showed gruesome images of young men sprawled on the ground of what appears to be a market. Pools of blood and flames could be seen as people cried for help.

The sprawling suburb of Douma is a frequent target of deadly government airstrikes and barrel bombs dropped from helicopters. It is home to the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group, also known as Islam Army, which has claimed responsibility in the past for firing rockets on Damascus, the seat of President Bashar Assad's presidency.

Douma has been held by anti-Assad rebels since the early days of Syria's conflict, which began in March 2011 with mostly peaceful protests but escalated into a full-scale civil war after a massive government crackdown. The conflict has claimed more than 250,000 lives and displaced up to a third of Syria's pre-war population.

In Vienna on Friday, the United States, Russia and other regional and world powers were considering a new plan to set up a ceasefire in Syria within the next four to six months, followed by the formation of a transition government featuring President Bashar Assad and opposition members, officials told The Associated Press.

How long Assad could remain in power under the transition was still unclear.

The Western officials said the United States and its partners supported the timetable as a first phase toward ending the 4½-year civil war that has led to the growing terrorist threat of the Islamic State and has sparked a refugee crisis throughout Europe. They said an agreement hadn't yet been reached, but that the 19 countries meeting in Vienna were considering the idea.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said that a follow-up meeting was expected as early as next week, with top diplomats possibly returning to Austria's capital.

Broadest gathering yet

The day of discussions included Iran for the first time as well as another key supporter of Assad, Russia, along with many of Washington's most influential Arab and European allies.

Assad's fate was at the centre of discussions. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and others have tempered their earlier calls for Assad's immediate ouster and now say he can remain in office for months as part of a transition if he agrees to resign at the end of the process. Russia and Iran are both providing Assad military assistance and say Syria's leadership shouldn't be dictated by outside forces.

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Post  Admin on Wed 21 Oct 2015, 4:48 pm

A Strengthened Assad’s Welcome at the Kremlin
Their meeting on Tuesday marks the first time the Syrian leader has left his country since 2011.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Moscow on Tuesday at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss the security situation in his country, which is in the midst of a nearly five-year-long civil war, and lay the base for a long-term political settlement, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

The visit is apparently Assad’s first outside his country since 2011, and it shows the Syrian leader’s confidence after the Russian military intervention in the civil war began on September 30 on his  behalf. Russia’s operations are ostensibly against the Islamic State, but its airstrikes and missile strikes have reportedly also hit other groups—some backed by the West—that are fighting Assad.  
A transcript of the meeting posted on the Kremlin’s website noted that the visit was initiated at Putin’s request, and that claim was backed by the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency. (You can watch the meeting here.)
“We took the decision upon your request to provide effective aid to the Syrian people in fighting the international terrorists who have unleashed a genuine war against Syria,” Putin told Assad, according to the Kremlin’s transcript. “The Syrian people has been practically alone in putting up resistance and fighting these international terrorists for several years now, and has suffered great losses. Lately though, there have been some major positive results in this fight.”
Those “major positive results” are likely because of Russia’s role. Russia, and before it the Soviet Union, has been a longtime ally of Syria, and its involvement in the conflict is part of Putin’s desire for a more forceful foreign policy in the region. Putin has also noted, as he did in Tuesday’s meeting, the estimated 4,000 people from the former Soviet Union who have joined the Islamic State and are fighting Assad in Syria.
“Of course, we cannot let these people gain combat experience and go through ideological indoctrination and then return to Russia,” Putin said.
In his remarks, Putin appeared to lay groundwork for a political settlement.
“On the question of a settlement in Syria, our position is that positive results in military operations will lay the base for then working out a long-term settlement based on a political process that involves all political forces, ethnic, and religious groups,” Putin told Assad. “Ultimately, it is the Syrian people alone who must have the deciding voice here.”
Those comments could prove particularly significant. The U.S. and its allies say any political settlement in Syria must first involve Assad stepping down. But on Tuesday, an unnamed official from Turkey, one of Assad’s most severe critics, told Reuters the Syrian leader could stay “for six months … [if] there will be a guarantee of his departure.” That apparent concession is part of a plan being  discussed with Turkey’s Western allies.
The U.S., which has been carrying out its own airstrikes against the Islamic State, has been particularly critical of Russia’s intervention in Syria, with President Obama suggesting it was a sign of Russia’s weakness and the actions would lead it into a “quagmire.” Still, the two sides signed a technical agreement on Tuesday regulating drone and aircraft flights over Syria.
In Moscow, Putin told Assad that any coordination on a political process in Syria would be done “in close contact with the other global powers and with the countries in the region that want to see a peaceful settlement to this conflict.”
Assad, in his comments, thanked Russia for its role in preventing “events in Syria from taking an even more tragic turn.”
“Of course, we all know that any military action must be followed by political steps,” he said. “Of course, our common goal is to bring about the vision the Syrian people have of their own country’s future.”

It’s unclear what impact the Russian intervention has had. Supported by Russian airstrikes, Syrian ground forces, along with fighters from Iran and Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group from Lebanon, have staged a massive ground offensive against rebel-held cities, including Aleppo. But other news reports suggest that the Islamic State has actually made more gains after the Russian airstrikes began. If nothing else, the Russian intervention has bolstered Assad. It was long believed the Syrian leader hadn’t left the country because he feared a coup, but Russia’s role appears to have changed that—though Assad’s trip was made public only after he had returned home to Syria.

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Post  Admin on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 6:48 pm

Putin’s message is clear to the western world. He is ridding the Syrian area of all the terrorists the west has, under Obama’s leadership, sent into the region to kill Christians and topple Syrian President Assad.  Putin is not letting up and all systems are go for “Operation Salvation”.

Moskovskaya Pravda cited the Russian president as saying, “We have nearly two million orthodox Christians in the Levant—Syria and Lebanon— and approximately 5 million Christians across Middle-East. Regardless of America’s presidential election outcome, White House craves chaos in that oil-rich region by supporting fanatic Islamist organizations, i.e. ISIS and al-Nusra Front.”
The establishment elite’s game is over.  Putin is flexing his muscle against ISIS/ISIL aggression and ridding the strongholds Obama has created in the Syrian area.  Meanwhile the western media continues to tell the people Russia is the enemy.  Yet, the western world is sponsoring the terrorism that is killing Christians in an Islamic ethnic cleansing.
Putin has vowed to stop the persecution of Christians in the world and is holding firm in his promise to the Russian Orthodox Christian Church to defend Christians in the world.
Meanwhile the west is holding firm in their propaganda that the problems in Syria have caused a refugee crisis and continues to send it’s healthy young adult men with fresh cut hair, brand name clothes and clear voices that shout Allah Akbar throughout Europe and the United States.  The refugees have been being sent since the crisis began and is now clearly  seen by many European nations as a Trojan Horse mandated by the western controlled UN refugee agency’s mandate. 
The UN Refugee Agency, is  a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN.
While the refugees shout Allah Akbar, Putin has declared, “It is morally incumbent upon Russia to change

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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Oct 2015, 11:59 pm

Russia Brings Out SU 30M Fighter Escorts Against Israeli and Turkish Jets (updated)
By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor on October 11, 2015

For the first time, Russia admitted that it has deployed advanced SU 30 “non export model” fighters to Syria for air superiority roles against Turkish, Israeli and now, according to a Times story, British fighters as well.
The Flanker “H” outflies any American plane.
The SU 30 can down a Tornado, F16 and even F15 and is the most maneuverable fighter in the world.
Also this morning, Turkey is claiming it shot down a Russian fighter and has chosen, for some reason, to release this information, largely suspect, through bloggers.
The times story, listing “Tim Shipman” as author, a name that came up in 2005 Guardian article citing Britain and South Africa as possible suppliers for nuclear weapons used against the World Trade Center in the 9/11 attacks.
Shipman has long been suspected to have ties to Israeli intelligence and typically appears when MI 5 wants an article planted.  The article, largely propaganda, from the Times:
RAF ready to shoot down Russian aircraft over Syria
Sean Rayment and Tim Shipman Published: 11 October 2015
Tornado jets are not believed to be among Russia’s targets but the RAF says it must prepare for any eventuality (CPL Babbs Robinson)
RAF Tornados bombing Isis targets in Iraq are to be armed with air-to-air missiles to protect them from attack by Russian aircraft — as a senior cabinet minister warned that Britain was prepared to shoot down Vladimir Putin’s jets.
Combat aircraft involved in Operation Shader over Iraq will be fitted with Asraam heat-seeking missiles, which can destroy any military aircraft flying today.
A senior defence source said: “Up till now RAF Tornados have been equipped with 500lb satellite-guided bombs — there has been no or little air-to-air threat. But in the last week the situation has changed. We need to respond accordingly.”
The move comes as tensions between the West and Russia escalated last night amid claims that Russia’s bombing raids have overwhelmingly ignored the Isis fighters they claim to be targeting and killed 150 civilians and injured 500 more… and the following update from Russia:
UK Military Attache to Clarify Alleged Permission to Down Russian Planes
UK military attache is expected to clarify media reports of the alleged British leadership decision to enable Royal Air Force pilots participating in anti-ISIL coalition’s airstrikes in Iraq to shoot down Russian aircraft, the Russian Defense Ministry press service said in a statement Sunday.
 MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the ministry, the military attache said, he had no information on the issue and would provide an official reply in the nearest future.
“Today, the military attache at the British Embassy in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry, where he was handed a note with a request to provide official explanations on information, published in the British media, citing high-ranking sources in the Defense Ministry of the country, on alleged directives to use weapons against Russian aircraft ‘in case of threat to their lives,’ received by Royal Air Force pilots,” the statement read.
 Earlier, a UK defense source told the Daily Star Sunday tabloid that British and NATO pilots reportedly had been given a clearance to shoot down Russian jets over Iraq.
UK defense sources stressed that RAF pilots have been told to avoid contact with Russian jets “at all costs,” but warned the pilots must be prepared to attack Russian jets “if their lives depend on it.”
Russia launched precision airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria last week at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow had not received any requests from Baghdad to carry out airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq.


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