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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

Russia Presents ‘Evidence’ of Alleged ISIS Oil Imports to Turkey

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Russian officials presented materials on Wednesday that they said proved Turkey’s leadership is “involved in illegal oil trade with ISIS.”

The Russian Defense Ministry presented materials in a Moscow briefing on Wednesday that officials said proved Turkey has been importing oil from the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of shooting down one of Russia’s warplanes to protect the transfer of black market Syrian oil from ISIS through Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would resign if Putin could prove the allegation.

At the briefing in Moscow, Russian Defense Ministry officials charged Turkey’s leadership, including Erdogan and his family, with being “involved in illegal oil trade with [ISIS]… Turkey is the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq,” said Deputy Defense Ministery Anatoly Antonov.

Russian Defense Ministry map showing alleged oil truck routes to Turkey from ISIS oil wells in Syria.

Russian Defense Ministry map showing alleged oil truck routes to Turkey from ISIS oil wells in Syria.

“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,” Antonov said. He added that the oil “in large quantities” enters Turkish territory in “live oil pipelines” via thousands of oil trucks.

“According to our data, the top political leadership of the country – President Erdogan and his family – is involved in this criminal business,” he added.

Lt.-Gen. Sergey Rudskoy, also at the briefing, said that Russian air strikes that began on September 30 had significantly reduced the oil income of the terror organization.

“The income [of Da’esh] was about $3 million per day,” he said. “After two months of Russian air strikes their income was about $1.5 million a day.”

The officials presented photos of oil trucks, videos of air strikes on ISIS oil storage facilities and maps showing the routes of oil deliveries and promised more evidence to be posted on the ministry’s website in the coming days.

Erdogan to Quit If Putin Proves Claim Turkey Imports Oil From ISIS

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed back at claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ankara buys its oil from Da’esh (ISIS).

The exchange took place on the sidelines of the COP 21 global conference on climate change taking place in Paris.

“We have received additional data which unfortunately confirm that this oil, produced in areas controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey,” Putin said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkey-based newspaper.

“We have all grounds to suspect that the decision to down our plane was motivated by the intention to secure these routes of delivering oil to ports where it is loaded on tankers,” Russia’s TASS news agency also quoted Putin as saying during a news conference on the sidelines of the climate talks.

Speaking to reporters in Paris, Erdogan denied the claims, saying Turkey obtained all its oil and gas imports “through the legal path… We are not dishonest so as to do this kind of exchange with terrorist groups. Everyone needs to know this,” he said. “If evidence of this kind is found, let those who find it present it,” he added, according to TASS.

Erdogan labeled the accusations “slander” and vowed to resign if the claims were in fact proved.

“I will say something very strong here. If such a thing is proved, the nobility of our nation would require that I would not stay in office,” he was quoted by the state-run Andolu news agency as saying. “I am asking Mr. Putin, would you stay in that office? I say this clearly.”

Nevertheless, Erdogan clearly was also mindful that his nation cannot afford to alienate mighty Russia, and appeared to be working hard to avoid it. In his remarks he described Moscow as a “strategic partner,” adding, “Even if it is just a piece of string remaining … we don’t want ties to be cut. How Russia will proceed, I cannot know.”

Ultimately, however, Erdogan said that continued Russian sanctions against his country would be met with those of Turkey – but not yet.

“Let’s act patiently and not emotionally,” he told reporters. “Let’s let their chips fall as they may, then if we have our own chips, we’ll let those fall.”

World Leaders Gather for ‘COP-21 Paris 2015’ Climate Change Conference

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah arrived in Paris Sunday night, just in time for the long-awaited summit on climate change.

The conference kicked off in the French capital at 11 am on Monday morning with 150 world leaders in attendance.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu, and the leaders of China and India are among those who gathered to tie up two weeks of talks on global warning by lower-level officials.

Nearly 3,000 police and soldiers are also present to protect the event and its participants as well.

French authorities banned protests throughout the capital for security reasons. But thousands gathered in defiance of the ban to create a 2-kilometer human chain – which was then disrupted by anti-capitalists – and which led to clashes with riot police. Some 300 people were arrested in the melee.

“The fate of humanity is at stake in this conference,” French President Francois Hollande declared as he kicked off the summit. “On the 12th of December we must reach an agreement,” he said.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon followed Hollande, and told participants: “We need a universal, robust and meaningful agreement here in Paris> We are here to choose the path of compromise. All countries must agree to move gradually towards specific, quantified targets.”

“After the attacks in France we have to deal with urgent priorities… but also act for the long term, Hollande told media before the event. Participants in the conference must “assume their responsibilities in the face of global warming,” he warned in an interview with the “20 Minutes” daily.

“History will judge the heads of state and government harshly if, in December 2015, they miss this opportunity.”

Climate change may not seem to have any connection to terrorism; but scientists point out that drought leads to conflicts over water. Rising sea levels can affect the status of an island nation, and the shoreline of coastal cities, as well as harbors and ports. Moreover, tsunamis, earthquakes and other mass-casualty catastrophic events caused by climate change can affect society in other ways – such as the nuclear disaster that occurred at the Fukushima reactors in northern Japan just a few years ago.

Hollande hosted a meeting with Netanyahu Monday morning, in which the Israeli leader expressed his nation’s solidarity with the people of France after the Paris massacre on Nov. 13 that left 130 dead.

Netanyahu was also expected to meet with Russia’s President Putin to discuss the latest events in Syria.

Ya’alon Confirms: Russian Pilots Do Breach Israeli Airspace, But Are Not Shot Down

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Russian pilots do sometimes violate Israeli airspace, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon confirmed in an interview with Israel Radio on Sunday, but IAF pilots never shoot them down.

The lone instance of a breach that occurred recently was rectified immediately when a Russian aircraft ventured one mile into Israeli air space. The Russians were “immediately contacted” and the plane returned “immediately to Syrian territory,” Ya’alon said.

“I remind you that about a year ago we shot down a Syrian Sukhoi-24 plane that penetrated into our territory, and we also shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle,” Ya’alon said.

“When we understood that the Russians were planning to act inside Syria we immediately met – also the prime minister — with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, including the [IDF] chief of staff and the assistant chief of staff. We created an open channel for coordination so as to prevent misunderstandings, because Russian planes are not trying to attack us and therefore it is not necessary to automatically to shoot them down even if there is a mistake.”

Ya’alon was confirming a similar statement made Saturday at an event in Be’er Sheva by Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security bureau.

“Russian air force pilots at times cross into Israeli air space, [but] thanks to the excellent security coordination which started right after the meeting between Netanyahu and Putin (two months ago), and in which defined areas of operation were set, the Israel Defense Forces and the Russian military worked out security agreements,” Gilad said.

“If there is a violation, we know what to do and how to prevent an escalation,” he added.

Putin Accuses Turkey of ‘Stab in the Back’

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” after an F-16 Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 with an air-to-air missile over Turkish air space.

Putin insisted the jet had been in Syrian airspace at the time and never threatened Turkish territory at all. He accused Turkey of aiding Da’esh (ISIS) and said Ankara was helping the terror group sell its oil in remarks prior to a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. He warned the incident would have “serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations” but offered no details.

Turkey said in a terse statement the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and had been fired upon only after repeated warnings by Turkish pilots. The Turkish military also released a map that it said showed the plane was shot down as it flew east along a narrow strip of Turkish territory slightly more than a mile wide, along the Syrian border.

“The aircraft entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yaylidag in the southeastern Hatay province. The plane was warned 10 times in the space of five minutes before it was taken down,” the Turkish military said in a statement.

“In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15 kilometers or less away from the border.” When the Russian aircraft ignored the warnings, “the Turkish Air Forces responded by downing the aircraft,” said a Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered Turkey’s foreign ministry to consult with the United Nations and NATO, according to the statement from his office. NATO subsequently announced it would hold an emergency session Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the incident.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to arrive in Turkey for talks on Wednesday, but in a ninth-hour move cancelled his trip, reportedly due to the downing of the Russian warplane.

In Sochi, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters, “It would be wrong now to give any assessments, assumptions or make any conclusions before we get a full picture. We have to be patient; it is a very serious incident, but again, without all of the information it is impossible to say anything, and it would be wrong.”

Footage of the Russian warplane dropping from the skies in flames into a forested area in northern Syria known to Turkish citizens as the Turkmen Mountains was broadcast over the Haberturk television channel on Tuesday.

Turkmen forces in Syria allegedly shot dead both of the pilots from the downed Sukhoi as they came down in their parachutes.

“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead,” Turkmen brigade deputy commander Alpaslan Celik told reporters, according to Reuters. “Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air.” The Turkmen deputy commander held up what he said was a piece of one of the pilots’ parachutes.

Subsequently it was discovered that only one pilot was killed.

Assad Flies to Moscow to Thank Putin

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Dateline, Moscow, Syria – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew from Damascus to Russia Tuesday night to thank president Vladimir Putin for saving his life and keeping in power, for the time being.

Assad has not left Syria since the Arab Spring swept through the country in 2011. He rode out the storm for a couple of months, backed by the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who called him a “reformer,” before his heavy hand of suppression boomeranged into civil war.

So far, the alternative to Assad is a worse barbarian.

President Barack Obama says there will be no peace in Syria so long as Assad is in power. Fortunately, what he says means less and less in the world, especially in the Middle East and particularly in Syria, where Putin has outfoxed and out-smarted President Obama to fill the vacuum of power.

Putin’s massive military support for Assad, ostensibly to attack the Islamic State (ISIS) but in reality to protect the Assad regime from revel groups, Al Qaeda and a host of other enemies, has erased the overdone predictions that Assad is about to disappear, one way or the other.

Everyone has been saying that for four years, including Israel’s then Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who public stated that he would be toppled within six months. That was three years ago.

News of Assad’s visit was kept secret until Wednesday morning, when the Kremlin released a transcript of the Putin-Assad meeting. The Syrian president may have returned to Syria already.

Moscow is just about the only place on earth he could have visited without fearing that he might never return to Syria, unless in a coffin, if he were lucky.

The world’s “most dangerous man,” as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley once described Assad, was given a royal welcome by Putin, for whom Assad is a pawn.

Assad said during the visit:

First of all I wanted to express my huge gratitude to the whole leadership of the Russian Federation for the help they are giving Syria.

If it was not for your actions and your decisions the terrorism which is spreading in the region would have swallowed up a much greater area and spread over an even greater territory.

Putin stated:

We are ready to make our contribution not only in the course of military actions in the fight against terrorism, but during the political process

The United States is the big loser in the Middle East chess game. It lost credibility long ago with the make-believe “peace process” that has left Kerry somewhere on another planet.

It remains to be seen whether Russia one day will be sorry for trying to be in charge of the Syrian-Iranian axis if the eternal Muslim hatred of outsiders trying to tell them what to do explodes in Moscow’s face.

For the time being, strange as it seems, Israel is a winner, despite the constant threat of Iran’s nuclear development that Russia has helped fund.

Assad is a butcher, dictator, a despot and corrupt, just like almost every other Middle East ruler. However, it was clear from the fall of Hosni Mubarak that the alternative of anarchy is even worse.

If Assad can remain in power, especially if Putin calls the shots, Israel can feel more secure that the Syrian his hatred of Israel and his threats to capture the Golan Heights will remain rhetoric.

Another bonus is that with Russia in charge, the United States will make less trouble.

Russia and Israel Quietly Collaborating on Attacks in Syria

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Defense officials from both countries met Wednesday in Tel Aviv to prevent “incidents” but are keeping quiet about the meeting.

While the Obama administration flounders in public distrust of Moscow, the Russian Armed Forces have met with Israel officials for the first round of talks towards establishing “a joint mechanism for preventing misunderstandings” around fighting in Syria.

Wednesday’s meeting involved the Russian Alarmed Forces deputy chief and IDF Major-General Yair Golan, but further talks will involve lower echelon officials in order to take the spotlight off the meetings, Defense News reported.

Unlike Russian talks with Turkey, which officials in Moscow reported this week were continuing in order “to elaborate the mechanism for prevention of incidents on the Syrian-Turkish border,” no statement was made after the task with the Israelis

An IDF officer spoke with Defense News about future sessions and said:

It could be done by lower-echelon officers. We don’t want to make too much of it. We want to prevent conflict, but we don’t yet know how to do it.

In the end, we’ll agree on a mechanism and how it will be done. But it requires defining areas where one operates and making sure the other side won’t interfere or harm you, and vice versa.

We have two problems in Syria, both of which have nothing to do with Russia: One is the terror that is directed against us at our border, and for that we’re operating all the time. The other is the smuggling of high-value arms to Hezbollah, and needless to say we’re following this very closely.

Russia and Israel may not be the best of friends publicly, but they have developed a healthy respect for each other, without all of the emotions and hype by the Obama’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Vladimir Putin are much closer in their understanding of the Middle East than either of them is with President Barack Obama.

Russia is in Syria to save the Assad regime and is not interested in attacking Israel. Its presence might actually make Israel safer in light of the rocket fire and mortar shells that have exploded on the Israel side of the Golan Heights border.

Many of the explosions were “stray fire, but some have been intentional, and Russia is in a good position to keep the firing inside Syria.

The most problematic situation is one whereby Syrian or Iranian forces try to ship weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has pre-empted several smuggling attempts by bombing weapons convoys in Syria, a maneuver that would be extremely dangerous with Russia patrolling Syrian air space.

An Israeli official told Defense News:

It’s essential to avoid confliction, but until that happens, our Air Force will know how to take care of itself in problematic situations.

Everyone is shouting ‘Russians, Russians, Russians,’ but what about the Americans and dozens of others who have already been there for a year? At any given moment, there are hundreds of coalition planes in the air … The sky is vast.

Dima Adamsky, an associate professor at Israel’s Inter-Disciplinary Center’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, wrote in a recent Foreign Affairs article published by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations:

Israel has routinely been conducting strikes exactly where the Russians are now expanding their foothold… Israel has signaled its neutrality toward the conflict, but it is unclear how the Israel Air Force will tolerate potential jamming, cyber strikes and limits of its space for maneuvering or if Moscow decides to establish an electromagnetic cordon sanitaire and anti access-area denial sphere around the pro-Assad coalition’s operational theater.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-and-israel-quietly-collaborating-on-attacks-in-syria/2015/10/09/

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