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Russia shines light on the shady anti-Syrian coalition of the US, Kurds and jihadists

Russia has made a statement with only two logical conclusions: Either the US and its Kurdish proxies are lying about the nature of an alleged strike on SDF positions or otherwise, the Kurdish led SDF is embedded among ISIS.

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Russia has rejected claims from the United States and their Kurdish led proxy militants SDF that the Russian Aerospace Forces along with the Syrian Arab Air force targeted an SDF position in Deir ez-Zor East of the Euphrates.

Legally speaking, the entire argument it moot as Syria has declared the SDF an illegal group and therefore a legitimate target as Syria works with its legal partners to liberate Syria. Syria has said openly it will fight the SDF if necessary in the battle to liberate Syria from all illegitimate forces. Hence the notion of some sort of agreement between the SDF and Syria, tenuous as it always was, can now be confirmed as ‘fake news’ or perhaps better put, wishful speculation by pro-Kurdish elements.

However, in practical terms, it highlights the very real possibility that as ISIS continues to dwindle as a formidable military force, Syria and Kurdish militants may very likely come into increasingly intense conflicts in a ‘rush for territory’ in formerly ISIS occupied parts of what is legal Syrian territory, even as Russia seeks to prevent further clashes without directly interfering in Syrian affairs. In this sense Russia’s ability to stop such clashes is self-limiting due to Russia’s respect for the realities of international law.

As I wrote, shortly before the alleged incident involving Syria/Russia and the SDF,

“Throughout the conflict in Syria, the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian/Iranian and Hezbollah allies have tended to operate in different regions vis-a-vis the Kurdish led US proxy army known as the SDF.

Over the last year however, this has increasingly changed. As Syrian forces along with their allies continue to liberate Deir ez-Zor city which has been under ISIS occupation for the last three years, reports have surfaced indicating that a faction of the SDF is only a few short kilometres away from Syrian forces as the SDF approaches the city from the north.

With the SDF and the Syrian Arab Army now effectively competing for territory which will be inevitably re-gained from ISIS by either force, the previous unspoken agreement that the SDF would more or less have free reign east of the Euphrates, might no longer apply. In many respects this is now a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if.

As Deir ez-Zor lies just west of the Euphrates and with Syria intent on exercising its right to liberate “ever inch of Syria”, the question now is, what will the major foreign powers do to either prevent or encourage conflict between Kurdish militants and the Syrian Arab Army?

Before exploring the answers to such questions, it is necessary to understand that according to international law, only the Syrian Arab Army and its allies have any right to operate in Syria. The United States remains in Syria in contravention to international law, but because the US shows little respect for international law, it is necessary to explore the various scenarios bearing this unfortunate situation in mind.

The first major test of how the SAA and SDF would interact with one another when coming face to face on the battlefield, took place in June of 2017.

At that time, the United States illegally shot down a Syrian fighter jet which the US alleges fired on SDF positions. Syria however claims that it was firing on ISIS/Daesh positions”.

READ MORE: Syria, Turkey and the Kurds–A Devil’s Triangle that only Russia can navigate

It seems that the forecast about a forthcoming conflict between Syria and her partners versus the Kurdish proxies of the United States is now official in the context of the battle against ISIS turning into a battle for longer term control of legitimate Syrian territory.

However, the specific nature of yesterday’s incident is being openly challenged by Russia which maintains a line of communication with the United States which is intended to avoid incidents between parties which do not communicate directly, in this case the Syrian Arab Army and the SDF.

The Russian Defense Ministry has released the following statement, clarifying what really happened:

“To avoid unnecessary escalation, the command of the Russian troops in Syria revealed the boundaries of the military operation in Deir ez-Zor to the American partners through the existing communication channel.

Within the framework of this operation, the fighters, armored vehicles, and objects of terrorists are being destroyed on both western and eastern banks of the Euphrates.

At the same time, the Russian Air Force makes pinpoint strikes only on reconnaissance targets confirmed by several channels in IS-controlled areas.

ver the past few days, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, Russian control and reconnaissance facilities have not identified a single combat of Islamic State terrorists with armed representatives of any ‘third force.’ Therefore, only representatives of the international coalition can answer the question as to how ‘opposition members’ or ‘military advisers of the international coalition’ managed to get to the IS-held areas in the eastern part of Deir ez-Zor without striking a blow”.

In summary, Russia has stated that the only way that SDF militants could have been wounded in the anti-ISIS strike is if such men were embedded among ISIS in what is universally accepted as ISIS occupied territory.

It has already been established that during the early days of the ongoing, slow-moving US/SDF assault on Raqqa, that SDF fighters allowed many ISIS commanders and fighters to escape towards Deir ez-Zor.

It has also been reported that the US air force has been airlifting ISIS commanders out of Deir ez-Zor via helicopter.

READ MORE: US colluded with ISIS in Deir ez-Zor

This all comes as the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps has stated,

“We have documents showing the behavior of the Americans in Iraq and Syria. We know what the Americans did there; what they neglected and how they supported Daesh [Islamic State – IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL]”.

While putatively the SDF and ISIS are enemies and while the ISIS has never admitted directly helping ISIS, although it readily admits arming and funding groups whose strategy and ideology is identical to ISIS, including elements of al-Qaeda, it is becoming increasingly apparent from multiple sources, that the US relationship with ISIS is not as simple as the ‘non-relationship’ Washington promulgates through its public communications channels.

This could help explain why the US in Raqqa as it previously had done in Mosul, is moving so slowly against ISIS targets. By contrast Hezbollah moved rapidly against an ISIS and al-Qaeda de-facto alliances in Lebanon and Syria along with its partners are moving rapidly against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor, a city which is now vastly more well protected by ISIS than Raqqa is.

It seems that for the United States, thoughts of mission creep have taken priority over the publican stated mission itself.

The increasingly self-evident truth is that the US does not want to see any force preventing Syria from taking its country back fully defeated and this includes ISIS. As ISIS will soon be defeated in spite of this, it is becoming equally clear that the next big challenge for Syria will be fighting against a group openly aligned with the United States and this is the SDF.

READ MORE: Syria days away from annihilating ISIS on the battlefield–Here’s what comes next

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Voltaire
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Voltaire

Knowing the duplicity of the United States, the Kurdish led SDF is certainly embedded among ISIS and Al Qaeda in Idlib….There are probably US special forces embedded as well with the terrorists…

The Russians:Syrians/Iranians should carpet bomb the SDF and AL Qaeda …

christianblood
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christianblood

Very well-said!

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

I’ve been laughing my socks off. General Konashenkov is brilliant! Mr. Garrie ist brilliant for having noticed it!! Two horns of a dilemma, both of them will draw blood. That is merely the formal rigor of the logic, but I suggest the Pentagon’s computers — you know, where they hide their “artificial intelligence” with all those algorithms about “battlefield awareness” — are blowing their fuses because the two horns are not mutually exclusive. They are quite compatible with each other: lying about the attack and embedding SDF into ISIS at the same time. The dilemma for the Pentagon is just… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

From Syrian Army HQ: “The army reached the Euphrates, having liberated two districts… On the east side, the militants were forced to retreat from the airbase at a distance of more than five kilometers. ISIS terrorists retreated to the city of Al Mayadin while some of them crossed the Euphrates and sheltered in the northern part of Deir ez-Zor.”

So, we’ll see now if SDF came engage ISIS in fight there (they must be face to face), or other US helicopters will come to rescue them, as they did last month for ISIS commanders?

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Well, well, when US air force killed 100 soldiers of Syrian national army in Deir Ez-Zor, and launched strikes on Syrian air base, they were not too eager to inform the Russians about their intent, and now complain that some “moderate” terrorists got “hurt”? What goes around, comes around, Mr. Pentagon. The American order “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t hold water anymore. And what the fak are the Yanks doing on Syria territory? Who allowed them to be there? Why are US military “counselors” on the territory of the sovereign and UN-recognized member, the Republic of… Read more »

john vieira
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john vieira

The USA and NATO are caught up in their OWN duplicity and are running out of options…

Keith Smith
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Keith Smith

they have thrown qatar under the bus to make their escape into afghanistan and Africa. All the men who have strength and energy to defend themselves have left their homelands as economic migrants for EU. Who will defend their families and friends from ISIS in Africa if they are over here?

john vieira
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john vieira

Take a good step back and try to visualize what HAS been transpiring versus what we have been TOLD is transpiring…and you will quickly realize that their ‘friends and families’ are in less need of protection than YOURS!!!

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Update: Military Situation in Syria on September 17, 2016comment image

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Map of Syrian Army position in the East, September 17:
comment image

Terry Ross
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Terry Ross

To Ed:
“Legally speaking, the entire argument it is moot….”
“While putatively the SDF and ISIS are enemies and while the ISIS US has never admitted directly helping ISIS”
“By contrast, Hezbollah moved rapidly against an ISIS and al-Qaeda de-facto alliance in Lebanon and Syria , and along with its partners are is moving rapidly against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor…”
“…thoughts of mission creep have taken priority over the publican publicly stated mission itself.”

Guy
Member
Guy

Must have rushed through it ………..

Tahau Taua
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Tahau Taua

Apart from some editing errors in this piece Adam, it could be said that the SDF are in fact; ISIS by another name. Whatever, any group aligned with the US Regime; is a legitimate target. There have been so many fake stories floating around (no doubt cooked up by the US), that the US Regime wants any attacks on the SDF; to look like attacks on all Kurds. The hope is to rally all Kurdish Forces against the Damascus Govt and the Russian Federation. If that’s the case, the US Regimes days in Syria, are numbered.

ColinNZ
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ColinNZ

The Kurds & ISIS are both US proxies, and for all intents & purposes they are performing the same role … restrict SAA & allies to west of the Euphrates. You only have to look at US bombing of SAA on behalf of SDF (Raqqa) and ISIS (Al Thurda) to see that the simulataneous co-ordination with both was timed to block and inflict maximum damage on the SAA … yes, SDF & ISIS do sometimes fight each other, but when uncle Sam demands co-operation they usually fall into line … how else do you think the SDF – after SIX… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Breaking news: According to the Syrian Sana news agency, the US aircraft carried a series of strikes on residential neighborhoods in Al Mayadin city, located 29 miles southeast of Deir ez-Zor. Most of the victims were women and children.
https://www.rt.com/news/403640-us-coalition-deir-ezzor-civilians/

Sérgio
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Sérgio

Who is Abu Khawla Al-Diri that appeared recently as the commander of the SDF-linked Deir Ezzor Military Council ?

http://en.deirezzor24.net/who-is-abu-khawla-al-diri-that-appeared-recently-as-the-commander-of-the-sdf-linked-deir-ezzor-military-council/

Leader of YPG – SDF in DeirEzzor, is Abu Khawla

https://twitter.com/domihol/status/909790336423219200

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Macron offers crumbs to protestors in bid to save his globalist agenda (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 36.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at French President Macron’s pathetic display of leadership as he offers protestors little in the way of concessions while at the same time promising to crack down hard on any and all citizens who resort to violence.

Meanwhile France’s economy is set for a deep recession as French output and production grinds to a halt.

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Via Zerohedge


As if Brussels didn’t have its hands full already with Italy and the UK, the European Union will soon be forced to rationalize why one of its favorite core members is allowed to pursue populist measures to blow out its budget deficit to ease domestic unrest while another is threatened with fines potentially amounting to billions of euros.

When blaming Russia failed to quell the widespread anger elicited by his policies, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to appease the increasingly violent “yellow vests” protesters who have sacked his capital city by offering massive tax cuts that could blow the French budget out beyond the 3% budget threshold outlined in the bloc’s fiscal rules.

Given the concessions recently offered by Italy’s populists, Macron’s couldn’t have picked a worse time to challenge the bloc’s fiscal conventions. As Bloomberg pointed out, these rules will almost certainly set the Continent’s second largest economy on a collision course with Brussels. To be clear, Macron’s offered cuts come with a price tag of about €11 billion according to Les Echos, and will leave the country with a budget gap of 3.5% of GDP in 2019, with one government official said the deficit may be higher than 3.6%.

By comparison, Italy’s initial projections put its deficit target at 2.4%, a number which Europe has repeatedly refused to consider.

Macron’s promises of fiscal stimulus – which come on top of his government’s decision to delay the planned gas-tax hikes that helped inspire the protests – were part of a broader ‘mea culpa’ offered by Macron in a speech Monday night, where he also planned to hike France’s minimum wage.

Of course, when Brussels inevitably objects, perhaps Macron could just show them this video of French police tossing a wheelchair-bound protester to the ground.

Already, the Italians are complaining.  Speaking on Tuesday, Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said Italy hasn’t breached the EU deficit limit. “I repeat that from the Italian government there is a reasonable approach, if there is one also from the EU a solution will be found.”

“France has several times breached the 3% deficit. Italy hasn’t done it. They are different situations. There are many indicators to assess.”

Still, as one Guardian columnist pointed out in an op-ed published Tuesday morning, the fact that the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) organizers managed to pressure Macron to cave and grant concessions after just 4 weeks of protests will only embolden them to push for even more radical demands: The collapse of the government of the supremely unpopular Macron.

Then again, with Brussels now facing certain accusations of hypocrisy, the fact that Macron was pressured into the exact same populist measures for which Italy has been slammed, the French fiasco raises the odds that Rome can pass any deficit measure it wants with the EU now forced to quietly look away even as it jawbones all the way from the bank (i.e., the German taxpayers).

“Macron’s spending will encourage Salvini and Di Maio,” said Giovanni Orsina, head of the School of Government at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University. “Macron was supposed to be the spearhead of pro-European forces, if he himself is forced to challenge EU rules, Salvini and Di Maio will jump on that to push their contention that those rules are wrong.”

While we look forward to how Brussels will square this circle, markets are less excited.

Exhausted from lurching from one extreme to another following conflicting headlines, traders are already asking if “France is the new Italy.” The reason: the French OAT curve has bear steepened this morning with 10Y yields rising as much as ~6bp, with the Bund/OAT spread reaching the widest since May 2017 and the French presidential election. Though well below the peaks of last year, further widening would push the gap into levels reserved for heightened political risk.

As Bloomberg macro analyst Michael Read notes this morning, it’s hard to see a specific near-term trigger blowing out the Bund/OAT spread but the trend looks likely to slowly drift higher.

While Macron has to fight on both domestic and European fronts, he’ll need to keep peace at home to stay on top. Remember that we saw the 10Y spread widen to ~80bps around the May ’17 elections as concerns of a move toward the political fringe played out in the markets, and the French President’s popularity ratings already look far from rosy.

And just like that France may have solved the Italian crisis.

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Watch: Democrat Chuck Schumer shows his East Coast elitism on live TV

Amazing moment in which the President exhibits “transparency in government” and shows the world who the Democrat leaders really are.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the reasons Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency was because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – against Democrat policy decisions and “stupid government” in general.

One of the reasons President Donald Trump is reviled is because of his pugnacious, “in your face” character he presented – and promised TO present – in the American political scene.

In other words, there are two reactions to the same characteristic. On Tuesday, the President did something that probably cheered and delighted a great many Americans who witnessed this.

The Democrats have been unanimous in taking any chance to roast the President, or to call for his impeachment, or to incite violence against him. But Tuesday was President Trump’s turn. He invited the two Democrat leaders, presumptive incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and then, he turned the cameras on:

As Tucker Carlson notes, the body language from Schumer was fury. The old (something)-eating grin covered up humiliation, embarrassment and probably no small amount of fear, as this whole incident was filmed and broadcast openly and transparently to the American public. Nancy Pelosi was similarly agitated, and she expressed it later after this humiliation on camera, saying, “It’s like a manhood thing for him… As if manhood could ever be associated with him.”

She didn’t stop there. According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Queen Bee took the rhetoric a step below even her sense of dignity:

Pelosi stressed she made clear to Trump there isn’t enough support in Congress for a wall and speculated the President is refusing to back down because he’s scared to run away with his tail between his legs.

“I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild,” Pelosi said of the Oval Office meet, which was also attended by Vice President Pence and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It goes to show you: you get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.”

This represented the first salvo in a major spin-job for the ultra-liberal San Francisco Democrat. The rhetoric spun by Mrs. Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was desperate as they tried to deflect their humiliation and place it back on the President:

With reporters still present, Trump boasted during the Oval meeting he would be “proud” to shutdown the government if Congress doesn’t earmark cash for his wall before a Dec. 21 spending deadline.

Pelosi told Democrats that Trump’s boisterousness will be beneficial for them.

“The fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said. “That was an accomplishment.”

The press tried to characterize this as a “Trump Tantrum”, saying things like this lede:

While “discussing” a budgetary agreement for the government, President Donald Trump crossed his arms and declared: “we will shut down the government if there is no wall.”

While the Democrats and the mainstream media in the US are sure to largely buy these interpretations of the event, the fact that this matter was televised live shows that the matter was entirely different, and this will be discomfiting to all but those Democrats and Trump-dislikers that will not look at reality.

There appears to be a twofold accomplishment for the President in this confrontation:

  1. The President revealed to his support base the real nature of the conversation with the Democrat leadership, because anyone watching this broadcast (and later, video clip) saw it unedited with their own eyes. They witnessed the pettiness of both Democrats and they witnessed a President completely comfortable and confident about the situation.
  2. President Trump probably made many of his supporters cheer with the commitment to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his border wall funding. This cheering is for both the strength shown about getting the wall finished and the promise to shut the government down, and further, Mr. Trump’s assertion that he would be “proud” to shut the government down, taking complete ownership willingly, reflects a sentiment that many of his supporters share.

The usual pattern is for the media, Democrats and even some Republicans to create a “scare” narrative about government shutdowns, about how doing this is a sure-fire path to chaos and suffering for the United States.

But the educated understanding of how shutdowns work reveals something completely different. Vital services never close. However, National Parks can close partly or completely, and some non-essential government agencies are shuttered. While this is an inconvenience for the employees furloughed during the shutdown, they eventually are re-compensated for the time lost, and are likely to receive help during the shutdown period if they need it. The impact on the nation is minimal, aside from the fact that the government stops spending money at the same frenetic pace as usual.

President Trump’s expression of willingness to do this action and his singling out of the Dem leadership gives the Democrats a real problem. Now the entire country sees their nature. As President Trump is a populist, this visceral display of Democrat opposition and pettiness will make at least some impact on the population, even that group of people who are not Trump fans.

The media reaction and that of the Democrats here show, amazingly, that after three years-plus of Donald Trump being a thorn in their side, they still do not understand how he works, and they also cannot match it against their expected “norms” of establishment behavior.

This may be a brilliant masterstroke, and it also may be followed up by more. The President relishes head-to-head conflict. The reactions of these congress members showed who they really are.

Let the games begin.

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

RT

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Via RT…


Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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