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News Blog April 2016

 

Daily News Archives

 

29 APRIL:  

A convoy of Italian marines, British special forces and Libyan troops traveling from the northwestern city of Misrata  with the Libyan National Army, a militia commanded by Gen. Khalifa Haftar [a Libyan who has American citizenship]; toward the Islamic State  stronghold of Sirte, located 273 kilometers [165 miles] to the southeast, when it was ambushed and hit hard by ISIS forces on  Tuesday.

Italian troops were among those killed or wounded in the battle, but there is no information whether there were British casualties as well. Some reports say members of the Western force were taken prisoner by ISIS, although they have yet to be identified.

Vehicles packed with explosives drove up alongside the convoy transporting the Italian and British troops and blew themselves up. Suicide bombers then charged the force as other ISIS fighters shelled the convoy with mortars and strafed it with heavy machine gunfire. The Western force was only able to escape after Italian and French warplanes and attack helicopters intervened.

As expected Netanyahu rejects peace conference. 

The Israeli Coalition Chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi is leaving that position and reports suggest that he will soon be named as a minister without portfolio.  

Libya’s new unity government has announced a joint military command to unite the nations factions and destroy the Islamic State.  Its presidential council called on “all military forces” in Libya to await instructions after “a joint command” has been formed.  Those who join the command will be required to accept the Unity Governments authority, those who do not will be considered its foes ad subject to Western military action.

Polls have opened in Iran’s parliamentary runoff elections, a key vote to decide whether hard-liners or moderate forces backing President Hassan Rouhani will control the legislature. 

In Syria an Al Qaeda command center located in an Aleppo hospital was bombed.  The Western propaganda machine is trying to  portray this by innuendo, as breaking a ceasefire when there is NO ceasefire with the Al Qaeda Al Nusrah Front. 

The mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Front in Syria has killed over 60 Al Qaeda in the past 24 hours in.

 

28 APRIL:   Syrian forces capture a convoy of Israeli military supplies traveling inside Syria to rebels.  Syrian military sources reported that the vehicles carried Israeli mines, RPG rocket launchers, B9 guns, various types of mortars and hand grenades.

 

27 APRIL:  With US officials continuing to talk up “Russian aggression,” the Pentagon has sent a pair of F-22 Raptors to Romania, in what is being described as a “show of force” to prove US capabilities to deploy such planes anywhere in NATO territory.

The F-22s have been seldom-used by the Pentagon, and repeatedly grounded by technical problems. Despite this, the program has cost an estimated $66 billion, more than Russia spends on its entire military in a given year.

The American embassy in Ankara sent an emergency message to its citizens in Turkey Wednesday, warning of a credible and imminent threat of a terrorist attack in the country. It also said in the e-mailed statement that “The U.S. government continues to receive credible indications that terrorist groups are seeking opportunities to attack popular tourist destinations throughout Turkey. Foreign tourists in Turkey have been explicitly targeted by terrorist organizations.” 

 Turkey’s foreign minister has announced that the United States is deploying multiple rocket launching systems in Turkey directly across the border with Syria.  Mevlut Cavusoglu said the US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System [HIMARS] missiles would arrive in May.   HIMARS missiles can reach targets 60 miles away. 

The US has also deployed HIMARS rocket launchers at Fire Base Bell, a US marine base in Makhmur, northern Iraq, about 77 kilometers [45 Miles]  southeast of the terrorist organization’s de facto capital of Mosul.  The HIMARS rocket launchers can fire GPS-guided rockets known as GMLRS in support of the coming Mosul offensive.

Libya:  On April 23, Gen Hafter’s  forces received new armored vehicles, trucks and weapons from foreign allies and preparations are underway for a move against the Islamic State center at Sirte.  On April 26, the president of the unity government’s State Council, Abdulrahman Sewehli, called for troops to liberate the city.

Meanwhile militias from Misrata — have been moving south to besiege Sirte. STRATFOR  .

 

26 APRIL:   In Libya  the Government of National Accord (GNA) has gained control of the housing and public utilities, transport, social affairs, local government, youth and sports, the foreign ministry and the Islamic affairs ministry; while the planning, labor, and education ministries are to be handed over in the next few days.

Planned mass demonstrations against Sisi in Egypt fizzled as only a few hundred showed up.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford,  met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday in Cairo.  They discussed the upcoming anti Islamic State offensive and its consequences for Sinai. Ahead of the anticipated anti IS operations in Libya the US military withdrew about 100 of its officers and enlisted men from its 700 man deployment to the multinational peacekeeping force in the Sinai Peninsula where they were exposed to retaliatory attacks.  Egypt and Israel are to handle the Islamic State in Sinai and Gaza.

Russia and Syria are building up forces north of the city of Aleppo.   The move is in preparation for an  assault by Russian, Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah forces on rebels occupying part of Aleppo.

The Russian command in Syria is said to be determined to liberate Aleppo and purge the city of Al Qaeda rebels.  Turkey and Saudi Arabia sent a force of 3,500 rebels to Aleppo last week to help the rebel forces repel the upcoming attack.  

The Cameron government is in turmoil as Brexit polls continue a nearly 50 – 50 deadlock occasionally oscillating a few points back and forth. 

 

25 APRIL:   The US is to surge 250 troops to Syria in May.  Billed an non combat troops they will be calling in airstrikes on Islamic State positions as a massive combined offensive against Islamic Sate in Iraq, Syria and Libya is now close at hand. 

70,000 Iraqi soldiers led by US Special Forces are preparing to move on Mosul while thousands of Kurds and their allied Syrian groups also led by US Special Forces are preparing for a simultaneous offensive inside Syria.  

B-52s began bombing Mosul last Thursday and will continue to strike in preparation for the coming offensive, during which they will work to bomb the IS to annihilation. 

British and other Special Forces are involved in calling in air strikes and will be heavily involved in the approaching offensive.  RAF Tornado and Typhoon war planes will attack the IS in Libya.  The British planes based in Cyprus are unlikely to be used in Iraq and are most ideally placed in Cyprus for action in Libya.  British commandoes will also be setting targets for US  Predator drone strikes and F-15 Strike Eagle fighters in Libya.

 

22 APRIL:   After the coming Mideast regional war and a change in the Israeli government an international peace conference is being plannedOn May 30 foreign ministers from twenty nations including Islamic countries will meet in Paris to plan the soon coming peace conference.  Some time later this year the parameters of a peace deal will be presented to the UN Security Council for approval and are intended to be finalized at the coming peace conference.   

The United Nations envoy to Libya, Martin Kobler, has called for western forces to help combat Islamic State in partnership with the country’s new government.

With Barack Obama due to meet four European leaders in Germany [Germany, Italy, France and Britain] on Monday for a summit that is likely to focus on Libya, Kobler said foreign powers should offer training and military support, combined with an end to the UN arms embargo.  These things are already underway clandestinely and the move to a stronger more open anti Islamic State offensive in Libya may be coming soon.

Yesterday Israeli war planes were intercepted by Russian planes approaching the Russian air base in Syria.   It appears that the Russian air defenses were being tested, gathering information which might be of tremendous advantage to the United States and the EU. 

Russia is moving artillery and heavy equipment to northern Syria to back the new Syrian offensive against the Al Qaeda Al Nusrah front

European Union officials and business leaders are expressing growing annoyance at the way the Obama Administration’s regulations are keeping them from opening up trade with Iran.

Europe is being taken hostage by American policy,” noted EU parliament official Martieje Schaake, while others noted that the whole putative point of the nuclear deal was to bring Iran out of international isolation, but US threats are preventing that from happening.

The new speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, is a longtime neo-Nazi activist who was a founder of the national socialist [NAZI] party of Ukraine. The Svoboda party, along with many neofascists, has seen its political fortunes rise in the wake of the 2014 US-backed coup.  Parubiy played a significant role in the coup, serving as commandant of the Euromaidan, where he and other neo-fascists helped violently overthrow the democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych. His election shows that the US backed coup government is still in control despite massive corruption and disapproval by the Europeans in general.  The only one seriously backing Ukraine at this point is the United States.

 

21 APRIL:   Hamas claims Jerusalem bus bombingIsraeli security forces on Thursday arrested several Hamas activists from the Bethlehem area who are suspected of planning and carrying out Monday’s bombing of a Jerusalem bus, with the suicide bomber who died in a hospital on Wednesday. The arrests came in a combined operation by the Israel Police, elite IDF units and the Shin Bet internal security service.

Anti Islamic State Libyan operation under way: Military forces, of the government of Eastern Libya have been engaged in a secret American Coalition offensive against the Islamic State. Fighting is ongoing in Benghazi and the city of Derna has been liberated and al-Fatayeh, 20 km (12 miles) south of the city.  IS forces trying to retreat towards the militant group’s Libyan stronghold of Sirte were intercepted and another battle is taking place.  All of this under intense air support by “unidentified” war planes coordinated by foreign special forces.

The new unity government set up in Tripoli is reaching out to the Eastern government releasing a statement on Wednesday congratulating it on its advances in fighting in Benghazi and Derna.  The Presidential Council offers to “provide all necessary support to Benghazi and other affected cities for reconstruction,” and that it was committed to “supporting the institution of the army”.  Inviting the Eastern government to join it and assimilate its military into a national army.  It also congratulated the “people of Derna and all Libyans” on the “liberation” of the areas.

 

20 APRIL:   Iran in severe economic difficulties as US refuses to release frozen funds as agreed in nuclear deal.   

US Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned on April 19 shortly before meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, that Tehran had only recovered about $3 billion of its frozen assets since the agreement was reached last year.  Kerry ridiculed the American politicians, particularly Republicans, as well as others, who estimated that Iran would enjoy  between $100 billion and $150 billion return of its own assets.

Although EU member states and the UN have lifted their sanctions, the US has not cancelled the sanctions as agreed and international banks are not releasing the frozen funds.  Along with a big Western military buildup in the Persian Gulf this is leading to rising tensions between Iran and the US. 

 

19 APRIL:   Far right Israelis turn judicial process into political football.  A day after a military court formally indicted Elor Azariya of manslaughter for killing a wounded prisoner, a rally in support of the accused soldier is set to take place Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square 

Def Sec Carter announces  217 more US ground troops, along with Apache attack helicopters an d a third 155 artillery battery are headed to Iraq to back up operations preparing the ground for the coming Mosul offensive. 

The American backed Syrian rebels, chagrined by strong Syrian advances near Aleppo have announced a pause in peace talks.   

The rebels now realizing that Syria has used the ceasefire with them as a means to concentrate on and advance against others and they have no hope of reaching their goal of replacing Assad are preparing to end the peace talks and ceasefire.

 

18 APRIL:   Update 18:00 EDT: 

The Jerusalem district police commander, Deputy Commisioner Yoram Halevy, confirmed Monday evening that the explosion on a city bus several hours earlier was a terrorist attack. The blast on the bus that had stopped on Moshe Baram street also hit another bus that was next to it at the time. Halevy said “a large wave of attacks is ahead of us,” adding that there are initial reports that terrorist organizations have taken responsibility for the bombing.  Netanyahu vows to get those responsible.  This may be the beginning of the expected wave of attacks from the Hamas Military Wing and Islamic State

BREAKING 11:15 EST:  

A suicide bomber blew himself up aboard Jerusalem bus No. 12  as it travelled on Hebron street at about 6:00 p.m. on Monday evening. There are casualties on the scene, and the bus is on fire. Emergency services have declared a “multi-casualty incident”. Another bus traveling near the Bus No. 12 was also damaged.   2 buses catch fire on Hebron Road in the capital in a terror attack; 2 seriously wounded, 6 in moderate condition; 7 lightly hurt.  The passing bus was empty except or the driver.

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter met Monday morning with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and senior US military commanders in Baghdad. Carter’s visit is focused on the Obama administration’s plans for a region wide anti Islamic State offensive and the liberation of Mosul. 

Obama is preparing for a regional anti IS offensive.  The build up includes large US and Allied Naval and Marine forces in the Persian Gulf, which appear to be much more of a threat to Iran than to the Islamic State.

The IDF announced Monday that it had discovered an over two-kilometer-long tunnel that had been dug from Khan Younis into the Israeli community of Sufa.  The tunnel was destroyed yesterday.  The tunnel was found after the defection of a Hamas man in charge of the tunnel.

Today Israel began a large military exercise in the Golan opposite the IS affiliated  Yarmouk Martyr’s Brigade on the Syrian side.

French President Francois Hollande announced Sunday in Cairo, that his country will supply warplanes and naval ships to Egypt under an arms deal worth about $1 billion.  France is currently in the final stages of selling 24 Rafale fighters to Qatar as part of an arms deal worth several billion dollars, and is also in an advanced stage of negotiations with the UAE for the sale of Rafale warplanes.  The Arab nations are prophesied to leave the American orbit and become allied to Europe after the coming split between Europe and the Anglo Saxon peoples (Psalm 83).  While Egypt will be taken over by the rising New Europe (Dan 11:42-43) when they occupy Israel.

Russia intercepts US spy plane

 

17 APRIL:  Britain and France deployed  air, naval, marine and special forces to the Persian Gulf area over the weekend. They included warships accompanied by tankers, The sources added that British and French warplanes and refueling planes arrived during the last few days at airbases in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Both Paris and London imposed a media blackout on the buildup. A week ago, the US announced that it had placed B-52 long-range strategic bombers at Al Udeid base in Qatar for operations against ISIS.

Israel convenes cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights today. Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet President Putin in Moscow on Thursday to discuss regional security and the looming offensives against the Islamic State.  The Cabinet and Putin meetings will discuss the coming Syrian offensive against the Islamic State affiliated Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade in the Israel / Jordan b order region.  A key issue is, what to do if Russian/Syrian aircraft stray into Jordan or the Golan. The second issue is the security of the Israeli backed insurgents in the area.

On 22 April 2016, Earth Day, the Paris Agreement on Global Warming is expected to be signed by about 120 nations.  Details of the deal

Western military commanders will meet in Rome this week at the request of the new “Unity Government of Libya” to finalize plans for an intervention in Libya.

 

16 APRIL:  The U.S. European Command announced a squadron of Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler aircraft has been sent to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to support operations against ISIS.

In addition to being able to intercept communications by ISIS, the Prowler can protect allied forces on the ground and strike aircraft by jamming any radar and communication devices ISIS has. The Prowlers could also be used to jam cell phone signals and other devices used to trigger roadside bombs, or to interrupt radio broadcasts.

 

15 April:   The US-Saudi backed Syrian rebel group the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has made a non starter offer to Syria saying that the tiny group demands equality with members of the current Syrian government and the exclusion of President Assad.

 

14 APRIL:   Initial results of Wednesday’s parliamentary elections in South Korea indicate the conservative ruling party lost its majority for the first time in 16 years. The opposition Minjoo Party won 123 seats while President Park Geun-hye’s Saenuri Party took 122. The results reflect voter unhappiness with  economic problems and handing of North Korea. 

Brexit “LEAVE” supporters move ahead.  Scroll down past pics for more text.

The IDF military prosecution on Thursday submitted a statement that the soldier who shot and killed a captured and unarmed Palestinian in Hebron charging him with manslaughter.  The situation is splitting the Israeli government as the far right coalition majority is incensed at the charges.  Meanwhile the charge is building up the credentials of the defense minister Ya’alon as a truly just and fair potential candidate that all sensible people from all backgrounds can support in the coming elections.  See the 10 April news:  Israeli Coalition shaking again; Likud defense minister Ya’alon . . .

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno calls for a coalition of 50,000 foreign troops in Iraq and blames Iran for splitting that country into three autonomous regions [which was always the US endgame].   The 50,000 figure is to prepare the punlic for a very large but smaller US troop surge.

Ukraine set for new government after coalition backs Groysman [who is in bed with the IMF and the West] for PM.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who may take the Republican presidential nomination in a contested convention, on Wednesday revealed he is considering his former rival in the Republican presidential race Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) as his running mate

 

13 APRIL:  The Iranian parliament today passed a bill cancelling the cash subsidies provided to about 24 million citizens. The cancellation of the subsidies is expected to spark unrest throughout the country

Large Israeli force holds major Golan military exercise through this week.

The Syrian Kurdish faction, the PYD, is advancing with its plans to establish its territory as an autonomous federation in northern Syria. Kurdish officials say that within six months they intend to build a new government, complete with constitution and hold elections to govern the region now named  “Rojava.”

 

12 APRIL:  Syrian troops have launched an offensive to liberate a strategic hilltop village south of Aleppo from insurgents, including al-Qaida’s local affiliate.  Al-Manar TV reported a  on Tel al-Ais was launched on Tuesday.  The village overlooks a supply line connecting the capital, Damascus, to the northern city of Aleppo

Ash Carter announces “We’re going to accelerate the military campaign [against Islamic State] as fast as we can,”  

President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials are expected to attend the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Leaders’ Summit next week in Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting the occupied Golan Heights, admitted Israel has attacked Syria “dozens” of times over. 

Four Libyan oil fields close in bid to expedite foreign military intervention.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi arrived in Tehran early Tuesday morning for a state visit including talks with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and other senior officials. In January, the two countries signed trade cooperation agreements worth 17 billion euros. The prime minister said at a press conference following his arrival that Iran has an important and significant role in the war against terror. Renzi is being accompanied by a delegation of 250 senior figures from Italy’s industrial, financial and defense sectors.  

11 AP)RIL:   Syria and Russia are preparing to complete the job of liberating Aleppo and surrounding regions.  After last weeks attacks near Aleppo by the Al Qaeda Al Nusrah Front and allied organizations [trying to take advantage of the Syrian focus on liberating Palmyra and break the Syrian siege of Aleppo];  Syria, now having completed the liberation of Palmyra is returning its focus to Aleppo. 

On Sunday Ukrainian prime minister Yatsenyuk resigned over the extreme corruption in the country which has brought Ukraine to the brink of collapse.  Before the US EU coup overthrew the Ukraine government, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was videotaped bragging about how the US government spent $5 billion to “promote democracy” [destabilize the legitimate government] in Ukraine, Nuland was also recorded telling the US Ambassador in Kiev that Yatsenyuk is the US choice for prime minister

 

10 APRIL:   The United States is urgently warning all of its nationals to evacuate Turkey as soon as possible.  Other nations are following suit reacting to warnings of imminent serious attacks.  It appears that an attack is coming which will be blamed on the Islamic State and move Turkish president Erdogan into the anti IS camp. 

The multitude of warnings and evacuations of foreigners and the timing, just as Obama is preparing to announce a huge offensive to finish off the Islamic State, is highly suspicious. 

A spectacular attack would swing Turkey against the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and would be the ideal backdrop for the announcement of a US Coalition surge to put an end to the IS. 

The International Mine Countermeasures Exercise, the largest maritime exercise in the world, kicked off April 4, with international naval and civilian maritime forces from more than 30 nations.  The exercise led by the US Navy is far more than a mine countermeasures exercise and is a practice to control the petroleum shipping lanes during war with Iran. 

The al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front began an assault near Aleppo and is being pounded by Syrian and Russian warplanes launched dozens of air strikes in the area. 

Israeli Coalition shaking again; Likud defense minister Ya’alon is being pressured to step down over charges against an Israeli soldier who killed a captured Palestinian. 

Ya’alon is being backed by several retired security chiefs, Likud  people, active minority party leaders and public figures and if Ya’alon is forced out they are planning to split the Likud with a rerun of the late Ariel Sharon’s successful defection from Likud 11 years ago to lead a new party.   

Gideon Saar, former education minister, who temporarily retired from active life in the Likud is backing the plan.  If Ya’alon  is forced out as defense minister, these folks will join the opposition in bringing down the Netanyahu government, after which they plan to form a new party and enter a coalition with  Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulani party and Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition Future party to fight the election.

 

9 APRIL:   First New Deployments Against The Islamic State: US Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Broad, head of the US Air Forces Central Command announced Saturday that an unspecified number US B-52 bombers have been deployed  at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, for the coming offensive against the Islamists in Iraq.  These aircraft are capable of carpet bombing huge troop concentrations or launching multiple precision guided munitions.

Israel warns Jews to leave Turkey immediately due to concrete information  on imminent [possibly near Passover] attack.  Non essential US personel have already evacuated Turkey. 

US President Barack Obama will convene a meeting of his National Security Council Wednesday next week at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters to review the fight against the Islamic State.  He has already conferred with foreign leaders, the Pentagon and military leaders.  Obama is about to take the decision for a force buildup and offensive in Iraq / Syria to include Libya and Sinai.

 

8 APRIL:   Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz made his first visit to Cairo yesterday.  The monarch brought President Abdel-Fattteh El-Sisi  a $20bn guarantee to cover the oil needs of 90 million Egyptians for the next five years, and another one billion to woo the Bedouin chiefs away from the Islamic Extremists especially Islamic State across the region from Libya to Sinai and Jordan. This move against the Islamic State in Libya and Sinai/Jordan is in parallel with the New Unity Government being built up in Libya and comes ahead of planned Western military intervention.

Pope Francis, who has long revealed his liberal positions in interviews, came out on Friday in an official statement calling on Catholics to be more accepting of homosexuals as well as divorced Catholics.

Methodists open Ecumenical Office in Rome The goal is for all professing Christians to accept the Pope as their moral authority regardless of organizational differences 

Syrian rebel forces with US and Jordanian military assistance have managed to dislodge the ISIS-linked Yarmouk Brigades from the southern Syrian town of Nawa and surrounding villages. 

Iraq prepares for offensive to liberate Fallujah

 

7 APRIL:   After the US staged a coup in Ukraine to bring Ukraine into association with NATO and the EU, Dutch voters yesterday rejected the EU trade deal with Ukraine and dealt a powerful blow to the EU itself

The Turkish president Erdogan is seen as the chief obstacle to demolishing the Islamic State and Islamic Extremism due to his strong support of both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s Al Nusrah Front in Syria.  Russia, the US, the EU and Israel have a vested interest in the removal of president Erdogan who has Hitleresque ambitions. While Davutoglu and the US and Russia are working on one direction, Erdogan is working against them.  Deep difference are now emerging between the extremist president Erdogan who is seeking executive control of the Turkish military, and prime minister Davutoglu who is the real executive authority in Turkey.  

LIBYA:  The stand down of the Tripoli parliament yesterday was issued by the moderate faction and is being contested by the hardliners who legitimately complain that the order was a coup attempt since no vote was taken.  There is now a defacto split in the Tripoli government which can be exploited by the Western created Government of National Accord.

 

6 APRIL:   Southern  Iraqi militias,  The Southern Front, Jaish Fatah al-Junub and Jaish al-Islam, under the control of American, Israeli, Saudi, Jordanian  and UAE officers, have launched an offensive against the Islamic State in South Syria.  

US backed Iraqi forces enter Hit and begin demining operations.

One of Libya’s two regional governments resigned on Tuesday, making way for the new U.N.- created unity government to assert itself in the capitol, Tripoli.  In a statement, the Tripoli-based National Salvation Government said it would “cease duties” as executive authority, and therefore absolve itself of responsibility for the country’s fate. 

This gives the Western created Government of National Accord final legitimacy as having authority over a specific territory and population.   With Western backing they will now move to gain control of the Benghazi government and destroy the Islamist Extremist groups.

 

5 APRIL:  China restricts trade with North putting the regime under intense pressure before the  first North Korean National Party Congress in 36 years scheduled for early May.

After liberatinging Palmyra and Al Qaryatain from the Islamic State, the Syrian army and allies, backed by heavy Russian air strikes, is advancing on Sukhneh on the Palmyria-Deir Ez-Zour highway.   ISIS has been besieging the Syrian military bases in Deir al-Zor, for more than six months.  Relieving the air base there will provide yet another base for Russian air strikes on the IS Capitol of Raqqa. 

The Al Nusrah Front has come under heavy bombardment and air strikes near Aleppo. 

U.S. President Barack Obama and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Monday that NATO could help Libya counter Islamic State militants as well as train and assist troops in Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere to fight the group. 

Donald Trump will not attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Spring Retreat this coming weekend in Las Vegas. The Republican Jewish Coalition confirmed Monday that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will be addressing the annual event, hosted by Republican billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson, at his flagship Venetian Casino.  Rumors are abounding that the Republican fix is in and Trump may be abandoned as unelectable at the Convention with many Trump delegates crossing over to support another candidate in back room deals. 

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), General Yoav Mordechai, has announced that Israel will freeze its transfer of cement to the private sector in the Gaza Strip.  This is material to reconstruct homes as opposed to public buildings.  Hamas warns that preventing reconstruction of private homes will result in an explosion in Gaza.

 

4 APRIL:   After more than 40 Russian air strikes, the Syrian army and allies Monday entered the ISIS-held town of al-Qaryatain, 60 milers west of Palmyra. 

New UN-backed Libya government endorsed by central bank on Sunday.

 

3 APRIL:    Moscow sources report that the eight-storey Russian defense ministry building has been cleared of all personnel as 40 fire brigade teams fight a huge fire. The blaze started on the second floor, from which seven people have been rescued.

Underground ISIS Jail Holding 1,500 Prisoners Liberated by advancing Iraqi Forces –  (Haaretz)

LIBYA:   The prime minister of the General National Congress (GNC), Khalifa Ghwell, has finally rescinded his threats to violently force the new  unity Government of National Accord (GNA) out and fled to his hometown, the coastal city of Misrata. 

The General National Congress, or GNC, has controlled Tripoli since the violent Libya Dawn uprising in 2014. Meanwhile the new Western backed Government of National Accord, which enjoys international recognition, is beginning to consolidate power, first over the capital, then over the rest of the country, particularly the resistant east. 

Prime Minister-designate Fayez Sarraj has already entered negotiations with some of the eastern-based institutions to begin to formally integrate the two sets of oil and financial organizations.

Much of the opposition in the east has come from supporters of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who leads the anti-Islamist Libya National Army and has protected the Tobruk-based government for the past two years. The general sees his power threatened by the new U.N.-brokered arrangement, and his allies have blocked its approval in the House of Representatives. He is in negotiations with the new western backed government and the UN promise to release 65 billion dollars in frozen Libyan funds to the new government is a strong inducement. 

If a deal can be reached the new government should be in control and ready for the anticipated May offensive against the Islamic State and Islamic Extremists.

Turkey the big problem in defeating Islamic Extremism.  Is the evacuation  of non essential personnel by the US and other countries from Turkey taking place in anticipation of a coming clamp down?

 

2 APRIL:   In a blow to David Cameron and the pro-EU camp, the online survey by Opinium puts the Leave side on 43%, four points ahead of Remain, at 39%. Some 18% of voters said they were undecided, while 1% refused to say. 

French President Holland announces that he will not run for another term unless there is a si9gnificant turn around in the French economy, which is highly unlikely to come in the next eighteen months.

Surprise, surprise, oil companies pledge loyalty to western created Libya unity government

Obama to declare Islamic State intends to use weapons of mass destruction on West to justify troop surge

Russia and the US to carry out joint anti Islamic Extremist offensive in Syria.  Obama to take decision in days on troop numbers for Syria Iraq surge. 

First North Korean national party Congress in 36 years to be held in early May

 

1 APRIL:   In response to the ROK war exercise and restrictions on NK internet sites in the south, North Korea began jamming the GPS system on Friday and Pyongyang also announced a block on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the CIA Voice of America propaganda site and a range of South Korean websites.

UN sweetens the pot for enticing factions to join the new foreign “unity” government being forced on Libya.  The new government plans as one of its first acts to reopen three Libyan oil terminals

France says be ready for Libya intervention as soon  as the new western recognized government asks for help.  The plan has been to set up a western recognized government and then for it to ask for help in installing itself as a foreign dictated government has been rejected by the Libyan people.

US President Barack Obama said Thursday during a meeting with French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit:  There’s “great urgency” to end the scourge of terrorism following attacks in Paris and Brussels.

Obama said the US and its coalition partners have seen progress in rolling back the Islamic State group’s control of territory. He’s also pointing to progress in forming a new government in Libya.

Hollande said both countries must do “everything” to ensure stability in Libya. He says France supports Iraq’s government in its efforts to reclaim territory from IS, including the city of Mosul. 

A surge of forces to destroy the Islamic State and Islamic extremism is being readied.

 

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