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Nigel Farage Resigns As Leader of UKIP. “I Have Done My Bit” [Video]

“I said I wanted my country back, now I want my life back,” UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Alex Christoforou

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Brexit campaigner and MEP Nigel Farage has announced he is stepping down as leader of UKIP. His 17 year mission to lead the UK out of the EU has been accomplished.

Some outtakes from his speech…

“It was UKIP and UKIP’s messages that inspired voters.”

“I came to politics from business, because I believed that this nation should be self governing.”

“I have done my bit.”

Via: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpwvZwUam-URkxB7g4USKpg

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Erdogan accepts Syria DMZ off-ramp, in deal with Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 111.

Alex Christoforou

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The deal struck in Sochi averts a large scale Syria’s offensive on Idlib, as Turkey gives it guarantee to monitor what will effectively become a demilitarized zone.

According to the agreement, troops from Russia and Turkey will enforce a new demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Idlib, from which ISIS/Al Qaeda rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month.

Speaking alongside Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the 15 to 20 km-wide zone would be established by October 15th. The DMZ would require a complete “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib, including the rebranded Al-Qaeda affiliated Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Putin also noted that heavy weapons would be withdrawn from the DMZ by all opposition forces by October 10th, which is a move supported by the Syrian government.

The Russian President described the agreement as a “serious result” further saying that “Russia and Turkey have confirmed their determination to counter terrorism in Syria in all its forms”.

Erdogan said both his country and Russia would carry out coordinated patrols in the demilitarized zone:

“We decided on the establishment of a region that is cleaned of weapons between the areas which are under the control of the opposition and the regime.”

“In return, we will ensure that radical groups, which we will designate together with Russia, won’t be active in the relevant area.”

According to Al Jazeera Iran’s foreign minister has hailed an agreement between Turkey and Russia to avert an assault on the Syrian rebel-held Idlib province, as an example of “responsible diplomacy”.

An agreement to halt plans for an offensive on the last major rebel-held stronghold was announced in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Monday after a meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On his Twitter account, Zarif wrote: “Intensive responsible diplomacy over the last few weeks-pursued in my visits to Ankara & Damascus, followed by the Iran-Russia-Turkey Summit in Tehran and the meeting (in) Sochi-is succeeding to avert war in #Idlib with a firm commitment to fight extremist terror. Diplomacy works.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the agreement reached in Sochi, which for now avoids full scale conflict in Idlib, Syria. Who won, who lost, and which interests were met with the DMZ agreement?

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Via Xinhuanet

An anticipated Syrian military offensive on the northwestern province of Idlib is on hold after Turkey and Russia reached a deal following Ankara’s guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, experts said.

The deal was reached Monday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, as the two sides agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold.

This agreement brings Turkey to a position of giving a guarantee on behalf of the rebel groups, the experts said.

“Moscow is convinced that it would not be able to handle the burden of a humanitarian tragedy in case of a military offensive in Idlib,” said Metin Gurcan, a Turkish security analyst with the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University.

Russia has also secured its airbases in northern Syria, including its airbase in Hmeymim as a guarantee by Turkey under the Sochi agreement, he said.

Gurcan recalled a trilateral summit of Turkey, Iran and Russia held in Iranian capital Tehran early September, which ended without agreement as Erdogan’s call for a ceasefire in Idlib was rejected by Moscow and Tehran.

Erdogan’s proposal for a ceasefire by all parties in Idlib was rejected by Putin on the grounds that those groups were not represented at the table there, he said.

“Now Turkey has given a guarantee on behalf of radical groups which Putin earlier said that ceasefire cannot be discussed because they were not represented at Tehran meeting,” Gurcan said.

Now everyone is curious how Turkey has given guarantee to Moscow and how will those radical groups accept a proposal for demilitarization by surrendering heavy weapons and withdrawing from the demilitarized zone, Gurcan noted.

“Ankara has given this promise relying on its military power on the ground and on its capacity to convince armed opposition groups,” he said.

Turkish army has reinforced its presence in Idlib in the past few months, and Turkey has 12 military outposts with 1,200-1,300 troops on the border line of the province separating the rebel stronghold from the pro-Iran militia-controlled South of Aleppo and the government-controlled southeast, Gurcan said.

Rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army, in the region are gathered with Turkish backing under the banner of the “National Front for Liberation.”

Putin and Erdogan agreed on Monday in Sochi to create a 15-20 km buffer zone along the line of contact between rebels and regime troops by Oct. 15.

The agreement entails the “withdrawal of all radical fighters” from Idlib as well as “heavy weaponry from this zone,” Putin said at the joint press conference after signing the deal with Erdogan.

By the end of the year, transportation routes between the key port of Latakia and Aleppo as well as the city of Hama must be restored, Putin added.

The Russian leader also said all heavy weapons had to be withdrawn from the zone by Oct. 10, according to Erdogan’s proposal.

Ankara has been warning against any military offensive by Russia-backed Syrian regime forces in Idlib, warning that it would lead to a humanitarian crisis and refugee influx to the Turkish border.

Turkey and Russia, along with Iran, are guarantors of the Astana deal which declared ceasefire in four de-escalation zones in Syria, including Idlib.

Turkey will deploy more troops in Idlib province after the Sochi deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

“We will need extra troop reinforcements. Turkey and Russia will patrol on the border areas. Civilians and moderate (opposition) will stay here,” Cavusoglu said.

Another outcome of the Sochi deal is that Turkey and Russia prevented a possible attack by the United States in Idlib, Naim Baburoglu from Aydin University said.

He recalled that the U.S. was giving signals that it wanted to intervene in the situation in Idlib, if Syrian government troops launch an assault on the rebel stronghold.

Washington recently threatened to take swift and decisive actions against any use of chemical weapons in Idlib.

“This agreement showed that the U.S. has room for maneuver only in the east of Euphrates and Manbij region,” Baburoglu said.

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Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile. Russia blames Israel. Israel blames Syria (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The unthinkable has happened in Syria.

The world now teeters on the brink of all out war in Syria as a Russian Il-20 was downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack, according to statements made by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

President Vladimir Putin, answering a reporter’s question during a press conference with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, said the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane looks like “a chain of tragic circumstances.” 

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the tripwire triggered that has the potential to tip the fragile balance in Syria towards conflict between Russia, Iran and Israel.

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The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said…

“Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.”

The statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said that four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean.

The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region.”

The statement further said that 15 Russian military service members have died as a result…

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”

According to reports from RT, the Russian military said that the French Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne,’ as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area during the Israeli operation.

Map of the incident on September 17 in Syria provided by the Russian defense ministry.

The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,”the statement said.

The statement gives a larger death toll than earlier reports by the Russian military, which said there were 14 crew members on board the missing Il-20. It said a search and rescue operation for the shot-down plane is underway.

A later update said debris from the downed plane was found some 27km off the Latakia coast. The search party collected some body parts, personal possessions of the crew, and fragments of the plane.

Meanwhile Israel has come out to blame the Syrian government for the downing of the military plane, according to an IDF statement.

Israel said that it “expresses sorrow for the death of the aircrew members” of the Russian plane. However, it stated that the government of Bashar Assad “whose military shot down the Russian plane,” is “fully responsible” for the incident.

Israel further blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the incident.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) explained that its jets were targeting a Syrian facility “from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Israel claimed that the weapons were “meant to attack Israel.”

Via RT

The IDF assumed that the Syrian anti-air batteries “fired indiscriminately” and didn’t “bother to ensure that no Russian planes were in the air.” The Israelis said that when the Syrian military launched the missiles which hit the Russian plane, its own jets were already within Israeli airspace. “During the strike against the target in Latakia, the Russian plane that was then hit was not within the area of the operation.”

According to the Israeli military, both IDF and Russia have “a deconfliction system,” which was agreed upon by the leadership of both states, and “has proven itself many times over recent years.” The system was in use when the incident happened, the IDF stated. The IDF promised to share “all the relevant information” with Russia “to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry.”

The military presented a four-point initial inquiry into events in Latakia. It insisted that “extensive and inaccurate” Syrian anti-aircraft fire caused the Russian jet “to be hit and downed.”

The Russian Il-20 aircraft, with 15 crew on board, went off radar during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province late Monday. Later on Tuesday the Russian Defense Ministry said that an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile.

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Papadopoulos speaks as Maltese Professor Mifsud goes missing

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was been sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI.

Papadopoulos admitted to lying to investigators about conversations he had with the now missing Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who baited an ambitious and naive Papadopoulos into discussing fairytale Russian government “dirt” on then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos apologized for his actions during his sentencing hearing last, telling the judge that he had made a “dreadful mistake” and was eager for redemption. Mueller’s witch hunt prosecutors wanted a sentence of up to six months, while Papadopoulos’ lawyers asked for probation.

Meanwhile Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Maginante, has made the rounds on media channels claiming that her husband was entrapped by the FBI and pressured into pleading guilty.

Maginante told Business Insider...

“Knowing his case, he clearly didn’t commit any crime, since every crime is characterized by a ‘status of mind’ [sic] and a motive, it’s pretty clear George had no reason to lie about the date in which he met with professor Mifsud.”

In the latest bizarre twist in the Russiagate hoax, on the day George Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in prison, lawyers involved in an “unrelated” case where the corrupt DNC is suing Russia, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign over alleged interference in the 2016 election, raised the prospect professor Joseph Mifsud may be dead.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the George Papadopoulos sentence, and his recent media appearances…all the while, the secret professor/spy Joseph Mifsud went missing last year (and has remained missing), after Robert Mueller announced the first charges relating to his investigation into imaginary links between Russia and the Trump administration.

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Via The Independent UK

Joseph Mifsud, a former teaching fellow at Stirling University, held meetings in 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a former Trump administration foreign policy adviser who was jailed last week for lying to the FBI, including over his connections to the 57-year-old professor.

Prosecutors in the Papadopoulos case allege Mr Mifsud touted his “substantial connections with Russian government officials”, who could deliver “thousands of emails” featuring incriminating information against Ms Clinton.

But in unrelated court filings last week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) claimed Mr Mifsud, who has not been seen since November last year, “may be deceased”.

The DNC is suing Russia, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign over alleged interference in the 2016 election. Lawyers for the committee said it believed all defendants in the case were served with complaints, “with the exception of Mifsud (who is missing and may be deceased),” according to Bloomberg. They did not elaborate.

Court documents relating to the Papadopoulos case revealed the young foreign policy adviser initially tried to downplay Mr Mifsud as “a nothing” and “just a guy talk[ing] up connections or something”.

“In truth and in fact, however, defendant Papadopoulos understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials (and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling defendant Papadopoulos about the ‘thousands of emails’),” the statement of offence read.

Mr Mifsud went missing last year, shortly after special counsel Robert Mueller announced the first charges relating to his investigation into links between Russia and the Trump administration.

On 30 October, Mr Mueller’s office made public Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, as well as charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates.

On 1 November, La Repubblica located Mr Mifsud in Rome. The academic told the newspaper he met Papadopoulos “three of four times”, but that the claims over election interference were “nonsense”.

“Papadopoulos doesn’t tell the truth,” he said. “The only thing I did was to facilitate contacts between official and unofficial sources to resolve a crisis. It is usual business everywhere. I put think tanks in contact, groups of experts with other groups of experts.

He continued: “I strongly deny any discussion of mine about secrets concerning Hillary Clinton. I swear it on my daughter. I don’t know anyone belonging to the Russian government.”

Mr Mifsud appears not to have been seen since he made those comments, even by Italian prosecutors attempting to track him down over an unrelated court summons in Italy.

His Ukrainian fiancée, who reportedly gave birth to his daughter earlier this year, has also said she has not seen him in months.

As well as offering emails, Mr Mifsud also introduced 31-year-old Papadopoulos to a woman named Olga, who claimed to be a niece of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and a man named Ivan Timofeev, who claimed to have a connection to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prosecutors said Papadopoulos’s false statements to the FBI contributed to their inability to secure an interview with the professor.

“The defendant’s lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge the professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States,” they wrote in court papers, noting Mr Mifsud left the US in February 2017 and has not returned.

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