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Showing posts with label Astana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Astana. Show all posts

Syrians go to polls in 1st local elections for 7 years of war


Syrians go to polls in 1st local elections for 7 years of war
Syrians are electing their local councils during first municipal elections since the start of the lingering seven-year war. Polls have opened on Sunday shortly after an overnight airstrike hit Damascus airport.
 
As many as 6,551 polling stations opened on Sunday morning with Syrians invited to vote for their representatives in local councils, state news agency SANA reported. It said over 40,000 candidates are contesting 18,478 seats. Polls will be closed at 7.00pm local time, and authorities have said they took all necessary precautions to keep the ballot boxes safe and secure.
 
 
Today’s local elections, the first to be held since the conflict broke out in 2011, comes amid continued violence in various parts of the war-ravaged country. On Saturday night, an airstrike – purportedly carried out by Israeli jets – hit Damascus international airport causing several explosions.

Worrying news also come from Idlib, where the Syrian army braces for its major offensive on the militants-held stronghold. Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed chlorine-filled canisters were delivered by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters to stage a false flag attack that would be used to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its people.

Nevertheless, efforts to bring lasting peace to Syria still carry on. Recently, Russia, Turkey and Iran have called on all armed groups in Idlib and beyond to lay down arms and seek a peaceful transition in the country. Leaders of the three nations had previously met in Astana in May, where they agreed to push for negotiations between its government and opposition groups, which agree to cease hostilities.

The format brought together representatives of the Syrian government and armed opposition groups at the negotiating table – something previous efforts by the international community had failed to do.
Aside from the diplomatic efforts, Russia it actively engaged in humanitarian activities in Syria. Russian military personnel have defused thousands of explosive devices left by terrorists and brought tons of much-needed aid to Syrian provinces liberated from terrorists.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438560-syria-local-elections-war/
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Russia locks horns with Turkey in Astana, as U.S. prepares false flag attack in Syria (Video)



According to RT, the Russian military has obtained “irrefutable” data that terrorist groups, including Jabhat an-Nusra, and the infamous White Helmets met in Idlib province on Sunday, according to the ministry’s spokesperson Igor Konashenkov.
The militants plotted the final scenarios for the chemical attacks that the Syrian army are expected to make in the cities of Jisr ash-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz and Sarmin, the Russian military revealed.
“Full readiness of all participants involved in the staging of the provocations is be ensured by the evening of September 8,”Konashenkov stated. He added that the terrorists are to receive a “special” signal from some “foreign friends of Syrian revolution” to launch the operation.
The statement comes after earlier warnings from Moscow’s that militants are preparing to stage a chemical attack in the Syrian province to give the Western coalition a pretext to strike Syria. In August, the Defense Ministry said that eight canisters of chlorine had been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and that a foreign-trained group of militants had also arrived in the area to simulate a rescue operation after the staged attack.
The US and its allies have repeatedly stressed its readiness to strike Syria if any attack takes place, ignoring all Russia’s warnings. Washington’s envoy to the UN Nikki Haley recently said that she already knows the perpetrators in case a chemical incident takes place in Syria.
In late August, American forces deployed missile destroyer USS ‘Ross’ to the Mediterranean and USS ‘The Sullivans’ to the Persian Gulf. The preparation of US military forces was condemned by Russia, with its Defense Ministry describing the move as “the latest evidence of the US intention” to take advantage of a false-flag attack.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst, from Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss the “Astana process,” where Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, met in Tehran to discuss the situation in Idlib and the rest of Syria.
The three leaders agreed that radical Islamists pose a threat to Syria, but there was no unanimous support for a major offensive in what is considered to be the last terrorist stronghold. The final document of the summit called for all armed groups in Idlib to lay down arms and seek a political transition in the country.


Via Zerohedge
Amidst extreme tensions ratcheting up over the past days as Russian and Syrian forces have initiated their final assault on al-Qaeda held Idlib, the presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey are meeting in what’s broadly described as a “high stakes summit” in Tehran on Friday.
Pressure is high after Thursday evening statements by a top State Department envoy on Syria, who told reporters“There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared.” The envoy, Jim Jeffrey, doubled down on prior promises that “Assad would be guilty” for any future chemical attack in Syria.
But it seems what appears to be a coordinated White House effort at calculated pressure to deter the Syria-Russia operation in Idlib is having an effect. An early statement from the summit carried in Iran state media says Iran, Russia, and Turkey have agreed that the Syria conflict can only end through “negotiated political process” and not through military means.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly pushed for a cease-fire plan at the summit, warning that the massive Idlib battle would be “a bloodbath” and will be a serious national security threat to his country, and further warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” unfolding.
However Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored Syrian sovereignty and Assad’s “right” to regian control over territory currently held by terrorists. This, in line with President Assad’s prior promises to “regain every inch” of Syrian national territory before the war.
“Idlib isn’t just important for Syria’s future, it is of importance for our national security and for the future of the region,” Erdogan said during formal statements at the Friday summit. “Any attack on Idlib would result in a catastrophe. Any fight against terrorists requires methods based on time and patience,” he added, saying “we don’t want Idlib to turn into a bloodbath.” He concluded “We must find a reasonable way out for Idlib.”
Putin responded, “We should think together over all aspects of this complicated issue,” while asserting“We should solve this issue together and (we should) all realize that the legitimate Syrian government has the right and eventually should be able to regain control of all of its territory.”
Putin hinted at being open to a ceasefire, nothing “a cease-fire would be good” but suggested that it ultimately wouldn’t hold. He also warned that according to Russian intelligence insurgents in Idlib are planning “provocations,” possibly including chemical weapons.
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani demanded an immediate withdrawal of US troops, telling his Russian and Turkish counterparts, “we have to force the United States to leave,” but didn’t detail exactly how this would be done.
“The fires of war and bloodshed in Syria are reaching their end,” Rouhani said, and reaffirmed alongside Putin that terrorism must “be uprooted in Syria, particularly in Idlib.”

Source: http://theduran.com/russia-locks-horns-with-turkey-in-astana-as-u-s-prepares-false-flag-attack-in-syria-video/
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Macron Does The Right Thing For Selfish Reasons

Macron Does The Right Thing For Selfish Reasons

By Adam Garrie 

French President Emmanuel Macron has offered a strong statement condemning American, Saudi and Zionist meddling in Iran’s internal affairs. In a statement which is surprisingly robust given Macron’s foreign policy record, the French President stated, 

“The official line pursued by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are our allies in many ways, is almost one that would lead us to war (with Iran)”.

Macron’s modus operandi is clear enough. French businesses, unlike their American counterparts, have taken advantage of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal), to conduct incredibly high stakes and potentially, massively profitable deals with Iran.

In July of last year, for example, the French energy corporation Total signed a $4.8 Billion deal with Iran relating to gas exploration and extraction along the vast South Pars gas field.

This is just one of many large deals inked between French companies and Iran. As Macron’s biggest support base remains France’s urbane financial and corporate elite, he is certainly not going to risk incurring their wrath. Because of this, he is standing up to the geo-political adventurism of the regimes in Riyadh, Tel Aviv and even Washington, whose goals of regional domination are not shared by France who in this instance, is collectively happy enough to make money from Iran without ruling Iran.

The scenario is not dissimilar to that which France faced in 2003 when President Jacques Chirac became an unlikely anti-war hero due to his vocal opposition to George W. Bush and Anthony Blair’s illegal war upon Iraq.
Unlike the US and UK who largely turned their back on Iraq beginning in 1990, French businesses continued to conduct high level deals  with Saddam Hussein’s country throughout the turbulent 1990s and early 2000s.

It is true that Chirac, like most of the world, realised the madness of a war on Iraq and likewise, he seemed to have a large degree of personal animosity towards Bush and Blair as they embodied the “ugly Anglo-Saxon” mentality that Chirac defined himself as the antithesis of. However, Chirac also knew that French businesses stood to lose billions of Euros from the destruction of Iraq.

Ultimately, he stood up for French business interests, which at that time, coincided with the interests of peace.

Today, Macron is doing largely the same, as the interests of the French corporate class which has ballooned since the more austere Chirac days, are temporarily aligned with the advocacy of peace in Iran. The fact that Washington and Tel Aviv are far more afraid of attacking Iran directly than they were in respect of Iraq in 2003, makes Macron’s intervention all the more important.

Of course there is another factor at play. In trying to diplomatically isolate Iran, Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh are attempting to coerce European parties to the JCPOA, including France, into adopting Washington’s position of opposition to the JCPOA.

Macron’s statement is a clear indication that this strategy has backfired, because for major European powers like France, the JCPOA remains popular.

The other US goal of trying to force Iran to cease its aid to the anti-terrorist struggle of Iraq and Syria also looks like a failure.

Iran’s role in Iraq is now that of a long-term political ally, as Iraq’s war has largely shifted from a military conflict to a security and political rehabilitation programme.  In this sense Iran’s role in Iraq is that of a long term partner which is something most Iranians and most Iraqis few favourably. Iranians who grew up hating Saddam’s Iraq, are now, not only at peace with, but are generally supportive of the Shi’a dominated Iraqi government’s pro-Iranian stance. In this sense, Iran’s position vis-à-vis Iraq is not likely to change.

In respect of Syria, Iran’s main role has evolved from a military advisor, to that of  being the torch bearer of Syrian interests at the Astana Peace Talks. While Russia’s role is that of a supreme balancer and Turkey’s role is one which seeks to legitimise extremist Sunni factions (however contradictory a task this is) while also restraining the influence of Kurdish extremists in Syria, Iran has aligned itself with the majority of anti-Takfiri Syrians. As a Shi’a power in the region, Iran’s pedigree offers a great deal of reassurance for the Syrians who have been most viciously targeted by Takfiri terrorists.

Fellow Astana members Russia and Turkey have offered robust statements in favour of Iran’s sovereignty with both Moscow and Ankara warning against any illegal foreign meddling in Iran’s internal affairs. Turkey has blamed “Israel” and the US for meddling in Iraq, while Russia has gone on the offensive against American hypocrisy.

In this sense, when a fellow Astana member came under attack from “Israel”, the US and Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey supported their besieged partner and in so doing, will have encouraged Iran’s further participation in Astana and by extrapolation in the Syria crisis.

Unless the US, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia are willing to flood Iran with terrorists and send new loads of arms to existing terrorist groups inside Iran (including Baloch aligned Takfiris, Kurdish terrorists, MEK sleeper cells and Royalist hooligans), their mission will likely fail.
Even if the aforementioned aggressive powers did send arms and/or cash to terrorists, Iran’s security services are very prepared for such an incident.

In this sense, the two immediate goals of the aggressive powers have failed—Europe has not rejected the JCPOA and Iran is not decreasing its legal influence in Syria and Iraq (nor Lebanon).

Because the aggressors will likely not give up this easily, Iran must remain on guard and ready to crush any hint of western/Zionist/Wahhabi backed sedition at any time.

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