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Evidence indicates mainstream media edited UN convoy blast images to cover up Predator Drone Hellfire missile strike

Analysing the information available on the UN convoy blast signals a Hellfire missile was used.

Alex Christoforou

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Many times, excellent news and analysis comes from well informed readers…and one site that has been doing an excellent job of covering the conflict in Syria, and fostering well informed reader debate on the Syrian conflict is Moon of Alabama.

I encourage all of The Duran readers to bookmark this excellent news resource.

In an article entitled, “Syria – The Aid Convoy Attack Points To Further Escalation“, an excellent cui bono argument, as to who benefits most from the UN convoy attack, is presented…

But independent from what happened is the question of motive.

Why would the Syrian Air Force attack the Syrian Red Crescent with which it has good relations and which also works in all government held areas? Why would the Syrian or Russian forces attack a convoy which earlier had passed through government held areas and checkpoints and was thereby not carrying contraband? I find no plausible reason or motive for such an attack. Nor has anyone else come forward with such.

A few days ago the “rebels” had accused the UN, which had goods on the convoy, of partisanship and said they would boycott it. “Rebels” in east Aleppo had demonstrated against UN provided help and said they would reject it. There was a general rejection of the ceasefire by the “rebels” and they were eager to push for a wider and bigger war against Syria and its allies. Al-Qaeda in Syria even made a video against the ceasefire. A part of the ceasefire deal is to commonly fight al-Qaeda. They naturally want the deal to end. The attack on the aid convoy seems to help their case.

The motive argument makes an attack by the “rebels” plausible and an attack by Syria and its allies implausible.

If the cui bono argument made by Moon of Alabama is not enough, we have this excellent analysis presented by a Moon of Alabama commenter (with the handle “PavewayIV”), which deserves consideration, if not for its excellent technical substance, then definitely for its shout out to The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris and his post on the UN convoy attack posted yesterday…

First, an article in a similar vein (the title explains it all) by Alexander Mercouris on TheDuran: Making up the news: How the Western media misreported the Syrian convoy attack. I’m not familiar with TheDuran but the article is informative and well-written like the ones produced here by b.

Second, the blessing/curse of being ex-military is sounding like a nut to most of you when I bring up these minute details that I think are terribly significant. Given that, take this for what it’s worth:

There are several variations of the Hellfire missile fired from U.S. drones like the Predator. As evidenced by vidoes of Hellfire strikes beginning with the Iraqi war, one very popular flavor seems to be the AGM-114N variant. It contains a pretty energetic PBX-112 explosive charge surrounded by a layer of metal particles. Fine-mesh fluorinated aluminum in case you were curious. Without getting into the physics of it all, I’ll just say that this design came out of research to produce a ‘better’ fuel-air explosive.

The Metal-Augmented Charge (MAC) Hellfire AGM-114N belongs to the thermobaric category of weapons – ones designed to kill/destroy by an extended blast overpressure wave rather than conventional explosive’s overpressure spike. A secondary effect of a MAC/thermobaric weapon’s hotter, longer-duration blast wave is that it’s more likely to set things on fire than a conventional explosive. Not as much as a incendiary-purpose weapon, but more so than conventional explosives.

Isn’t killing people efficiently by more clever designs fascinating? It is to Lockheed-Martin shareholders, but I digress. At any rate, plenty of info out there on the AGM-114N and theromobarics if you’re interested.

Now, the MAC-enhanced blast of the U.S. Hellfire missiles produces an interesting visual effect at night. After the decay of an intensely-bright and well-consolidated blast flash, you can see what look like little sparkles at the edge of the receding explosion. The sparkles are residue of the burnt fluorinated aluminum that undergo a secondary burning, of sorts. It’s very distinctive once you notice it. The Russians have thermobaric bombs as well, but they are of a different design and the blast usually looks different – non-existent sparkles because of a micronized metal powder, or long-duration sparkles on very large charges for whatever reason.

So (sorry, TL:DR already) I notice that many of the MSM-replays of the supposed rebel convoy attack video was edited in a particular way to mask what is plainly (to me) a MAC blast. The BBC reports are a good example. Their version is enlarged, shaky and blurry consistent with the poor head-chopper production standards. But it is an edited version of the much clearer original video. ABC must have produced their report before the censorship memo went out. If you look at only the first second of this ABC video and try to pause it during the blast, you can see a few frames with the visual effect I’m talking about.

So what am I yammering about that has any relevance here? This: If this video was shown to me outside the context of the convoy attack, I would guess it was a Hellfire strike somewhere. Now we hear from Russia that a Predator drone (typically Hellfire-armed) was loitering around the ‘bombed convoy’ area immediately before and after the attack. An attack that produced no crater (typical of the air-blast of a thermobaric Hellfire) and numerous fires (also more likely from a thermobaric Hellfire). Then I see the curiously-edited video on most MSM seemingly intended to obscure the signature blast of a thermobaric Hellfire. [adjusts tin-foil hat] I think you know where I’m going here.

Just to set the stage for the next chapter of lies, CENTCOM or the U.S. DoD will undoubtedly deny that a U.S. drone attacked the convoy (not that any journalist will bother asking). AS we saw in the SAA/Deir EzZor attack though, it’s not necessarily a U.S. aircraft. The U.S. can deny responsibility if needed because 1) any of a number of ‘coalition partners’ have Hellfire-armed Predators violating Syrian airspace every day, and 2) all Predators of coalition partners are not necessarily under the command of their military or the CJTF-OIR coalition. The CIA, for instance, has plenty of armed drones in the Middle East. Not that these potential loopholes will be needed or used – the U.S. isn’t bashful about flinging outright lies when convenient and difficult to disprove.

This isn’t offered as any kind of proof the U.S. did it – it’s just reasonable speculation. I’m sure our inquisitive and unbiased investigative journalists in the press will get to the bottom of this in no time.

Via: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/syria-the-aid-convoy-attack-points-to-further-escalation-.html

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4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran

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Via RT


Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”

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Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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