web analytics
December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Hezbollah Not a Terror Group, Says Russia

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Russia does not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, according to Moscow’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov.

The official was quoted Sunday by the Interfax news agency as he explained that Russia maintains ties with the group.

“Some say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Bogdanov said. “We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization.

“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian soil. Hezbollah was elected by Lebanese citizens to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is a legitimate sociopolitical force.”

The remarks emerged during discussions on Saturday between nations discussing which groups fighting the Syrian civil war should be defined as terrorists or not. The question arose and to which groups should be invited to negotiate for a political settlement, but differences remain between the views of Moscow and Washington.

Participants at the talks on Syria, held in Vienna, appointed Jordan as coordinator of efforts to compile a list of terrorist groups. Although both the United States and the European Union have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization — as has Israel — Russia does not.

The unwillingness of Russia to acknowledge Hezbollah’s terrorist status is likely to impact any international effort to address the group’s terrorist activities and attacks on Israel or anywhere else.

Hezbollah has also in the past been reportedly involved in drug sales operations that cross Israel’s northern border and elsewhere in the world as well.

Hezbollah Leaders Fears ‘Zionist Plot’ for Syria to Recognize Israel

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Hezbollah’s second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, has warned of a plot to form a new Syrian government that would recognize Israel, according to the Iranian Tasnim News.

He was quoted as telling the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought:

What is happening in Syria is damaging a government that supports the resistance in the face of the Zionist occupiers.

Tasnim reported, “Sheikh Qassem underlined that the crisis in Syria is part of a broader plot with the purpose of establishing a new government in Damascus that would recognize the Tel Aviv regime and give in to the US and Israeli demands.”

If Qassem is worried about the Obama administration’s recognizing the Golan Heights as being part of Israel, he can relax, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indirectly brought up the issue in his meeting this week with President Barack Obama, but the President ignored the hint.

Lebanon, which is dominated by Hezbollah, and Iran are fighting side by side to try to keep Bashar al-Assad in power. The intervention of Russia to support Assad has been parallel with secret Israeli-Russian cooperation on aerial and ground combat operations.

Israel reportedly attacked Syria yesterday in what appears to be another interception of advanced weapons from Syria to Hezbollah.

Aeroflot Adding Flights on Russia-Israel Route

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

The Russian Aeroflot airline company is adding flights on the Moscow and St. Petersburg routes to and from Israel and soon will be flying 37 times a week.

The increase service follows the cessation of service from TransAero, whose license was suspended in Russia, and also reflects the large number of Russian immigrants and increased trade and tourist traffic.

Aeroflot inaugurated service to Israel only five years ago. It soon will fly operates four flights a day on the Moscow-Tel Aviv route and a daily flight to and from St. Petersburg. as well as two flights a week to Rostov.

Russia Sends Security Personnel to Review Egypt Airports

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Russian personnel have been sent to review security measures at the Egyptian airport in Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as in Cairo and elsewhere in the country in the wake of the recent MetroJet crash in the Sinai Peninsula.

As did Britain, Russia has followed with a suspension on travel to and from the Sinai Peninsula — a move that could easily constitute the death knell for the slowly rejuvenating Egyptian tourism industry. At least 20,000 UK citizens are stranded in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, but there are a whopping 50,000 Russian citizens also in the area, according to estimated foreign ministry and tourism figures.

In St. Petersburg on Sunday, the bells tolled 224 times, once for each of the victims who died in the crash of the MetroJet in Sinai a week ago this past Saturday.

The black boxes on the doomed plane — in particular, the damaged cockpit voice recorder — were both recovered from the 13-kilometer (nine mile) crash site. And although it will take time to completely extract all the information they contain, experts so far have been able to learn there was a loud bang just before all sound cut off in the aircraft.

Prior to that “bang” all function on the plane was proceeding normally, or at least seemed to be, with the navigation system on autopilot. The jet reached a cruising elevation of 32,000 feet at 23 minutes before it began to fall from the sky — another indication that whatever happened may not have been caused by human error or mechanical failure.

Russian officials as well as citizens are becoming increasingly concerned by the growing realization that it was indeed likely that a bomb brought down the passenger flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. The remains of only a fraction of the passengers — some 58 — have been identified thus far.

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization almost immediately claimed responsibility for the crash, saying it was carried out in response to Russia’s presence and attacks on Muslim fighters in Syria.

A local source with whom JewishPress.com spoke in London on Monday described a conversation with a business colleague from Moscow, saying he was “heartbroken — just completely heartbroken by it all. He can barely speak.” According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the conversation was typical of others that had been repeated over the past week. “Nearly everyone is still in shock,” said the source. “They are all moving through fog; no one can believe it. No one is used to thinking about terrorism this way.”

That, in fact is the crux of the matter, pointed out a journalist on the CNN network. The idea that Da’esh , a real wild card, has now become so powerful that it is capable of bringing down foreign aircraft as they fly over the Sinai Peninsula with hundreds of innocent passengers is “simply frightening,” the news network said.

Given the risk in the region posed by ISIS, Iran and the escalation in terrorism by Palestinian Authority attacks on civilians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears set to request an upgraded military aid package of at least $5 billion to help defend Israel against the threats it is being forced to contend with, now and in future years.



UK Resumes Flights From Sharm el-Sheikh But Adds Security at Airport

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Britain has decided to allow flights to resume from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as the probe into Saturday’s crash of a Russian MetroJet continues.

At present there are 20,000 UK citizens stranded in the area, most of them tourists.

The UK prime minister’s office had suspended flights after the Russian airliner apparently exploded above the Sinai Peninsula while en route to St. Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh.

According to the latest intelligence, Da’esh (ISIS) may indeed have succeeded in planting a barometric pressure bomb aboard the aircraft prior to its departure from the airport.

“Following further discussions with the airlines and the Egyptians, we have agreed on a package of additional security measures that is being put in place rapidly,” Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said in a statement. “Consequently the government has decided, in consultation with the airlines that flights from Sharm to the UK will resume tomorrow.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with Cameron at his office in London on Thursday.

Cameron told journalists that “more likely than not” it was a terrorist bomb that brought down the aircraft – a view shared by UK and U.S. intelligence personnel, as well as other intelligence operatives in the Middle East.

“I think there is a possibility that there was a bomb on board,” agreed President Barack Obama in a radio interview late Thursday, “and we’re taking that very seriously.”

The UK has sent extra security personnel to the airport in Sharm el-Sheikh to carry out special measures.

Checked bags are being sent back to the UK separately, passengers are being body-searched and carry-on luggage only is being allowed on all return flights. Investigators are checking for explosive residue, as are the bodies of the victims of the doomed flight.

Palmyra Citadel Hit in Russian Air Strikes on ISIS Terror Base

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

The historic citadel at the edge of the ancient city of Palmyra was badly damaged in repeated air strikes Monday by Russian war planes, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The air strikes were aimed at Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist military bases set up close to the archaeological treasure, a UNESCO World Heritage site, according to Russian government officials who issued a statement about the attack.

“Su-25 jets hit a fortified ISIS position in the Tadmor area of Homs province,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement late Monday.

“As a result of a direct strike, a fortification, an underground bunker and anti-aircraft artillery were destroyed.”

It is the first time Russia confirmed an air strike near the ruins of ancient Palmyra, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the human rights organization.

Russia said its pilots have struck more than 237 targets in Syria over the past two days, although the extent of damage to the Palmyra citadel could not be verified, and the timing of those strikes was not revealed.

Bomb May Have Blown Up Russian Airbus Flight over Sinai

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Egyptian officials suspect that terrorists planted a bomb onboard the Russian Airbus A321 that crashed on Saturday over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 crew and passengers.

All authorities have rejected Islamic State (ISIS) claims that it shot down the plane, but the fact that it is rare for an airplane to disintegrate shortly after taking off from before takeoff from Sharm el-Sheikh airport makes the bomb theory more probable.

Russian aviation official Viktor Sorochenko, who inspected the crash site, told Russian media that that the flight “broke up in the air,” which explains why debris was found over 12 square miles.

Bloomberg News reported that said Steve Wallace, former chief of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s crash investigation division, said that it’s very rare with a modern airplane.

However, in 2001, the rear of the 18-year-old aircraft scraped along the tarmac and sustained extensive damage, although the plane was repaired.

The wife of co-pilot of the St, Petersburg-bound plane told Russian television that her husband had complained about the condition of the plane.

Authorities have recovered the black box from the ill-fated plane, but it will take several days before they conclude their investigation.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Sunday evening that he no one can say whether a technical failure or terrorists caused the crash until an “extensive and complicated technical study” is completed.

Former Israeli national security adviser and IDF Intelligence Chief Yaakov Amidror said “other scenarios also have to be considered, especially the possibility that the plane was sabotaged at the airport before taking off.”

Yves Trotignon, a former French intelligence agent, told Le Parisien:

The [Russian’ statement [that the plane fell apart in mid-air] does not say they shot it {ISIS] down, but that they destroyed it. You could imagine explosives on board, or sabotage.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bomb-may-have-blown-up-russian-airbus-flight-over-sinai/2015/11/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: