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Russia SLAMS Reuters UK for citing al-Qaeda/White Helmets as “evidence” against Moscow

The widely discredited White Helmets still have an audience at Reuters UK.

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Russia has slammed Reuters UK for a breach of journalistic integrity, after the organisation published outright lies which have been derived from the propaganda arm of al-Qaeda in Syria.

Western governments, including those of the US and UK, have engaged in a concerted effort to publicly rehabilitate al-Qaeda, the notorious Gulfi funded Takfiri jihadist group which the US held responsible for the 9/11 atrocities. It was the group al-Qaeda in Iraq which eventually became ISIS and in Syria al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch commonly known as al-Nusra, has been responsible for countless acts of barbaric in parts of western and central Syria.

Enter a fake charity/aid group called White Helmets, sometimes confusingly referred to as Syrian Civil Defence. The group has no affiliation from real aid groups in Syria such as Syria’s actually civil defence service, nor are they at all affiliated with the UN recognised White Cross and White Crescent aid groups.

The continuing story of ‘the White Helmets’ hoax

Among other things, White Helmets have been exposed by Russia as staging chemical attacks and staging them poorly at that. At various times, White Helmets actors were seen handling bodies that were supposedly infected with toxic gas, without gloves or proper masks. One image also showed a White Helmet actor smoking a cigarette in an area which was supposed to be cloaked in gas.

Even more seriously, the group has been exposed has participating in the killing of children as well as the exploitation of children.

The group which has been photographed carrying al-Qaeda flags during savage celebrations has been named and shamed multiple times by the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian Defense Ministry.  

Russian Foreign Ministry says White Helmets cannot be trusted. Their info is fake news

In October of last year, RT’s CrossTalk explored the extent of the dangerous fraud that is White Helmets when Peter Lavelle interviewed Patrick Henningsen, Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlettm,  three journalists who helped expose the sham to the wider public.

After the Battle of Aleppo was won in 2016, al-Qaeda’s fortunes in Syria were dashed. Today, one of the only areas in Syria where al-Qaeda and therefore the White Helmets still have a presence is in Idlib Governorate. Idlib is currently home to a civil war between al-Qaeda/al-Nusra and various factions of the FSA as well as some jihadist groups linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

In an effort to pacify the region, the most recent meeting of the Astana Group created a new de-escalation zone in Idlib Governorate which is largely policed by Turkey. The new zone, like other de-escalation zones, allows for the continued targeting of al-Qaeda and ISIS.

4 implications of the latest Astana Agreement on Idlib, Syria

Russia has recently struck al-Qaeda forces in Idlib who martyred civilians in Latakia, when they began firing rockets at the birthplace of the Assad family, the mountainous town of Qardaha.

Russia pounds al-Nusra after the terrorist group kills civilians in Bashar al-Assad’s birthplace

The reach of White Helmets has gown down in-line with the reduction of al-Qaeda as a formidable force in Syria. However, as Russia works to help Syria squeeze the group out of Idlib, they decided to engage in yet another propaganda drive against Russia and Syria. Al-Qaeda/White Helmets has accused the Russian Aerospace Forces of targeting urban neighbourhoods and killing civilians even though the strikes targeted weapons outposts and storage facilitates away from populated areas.

While lies from groups like White Helmets are less and less noticed, UK Reuters picked up the propaganda as though it was deriving from a reliable source. It is also crucial to realise that the al-Qaeda/White Helmets report was released on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin lands in Ankara for talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Al-Qaeda is clearly worried about Turkey’s pivot to Russia and away from western backed terrorist factions in Syria.

Russia’s Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov has blasted Reuters UK and others who picked up the story as falling victim to fake news.

He stated,

“Syria’s Civil Defense which UK news agency Reuters cites, reporting of alleged civilian deaths, is the same thing as the White Helmets. The attempt of the British to pass these war scammers off as a new brand of objective information sources is a manipulation for amateurs.

The Russian Aerospace Forces’ planes to not carry out airstrikes on residential neighbourhoods in settlements to avoid civilian casualties. The targets are terrorist bases, armoured vehicles and munitions depots, identified with unmanned devices and confirmed through other channels.

This week, all airstrikes of Russian planes in the province of Idlib were concentrated on equipment, reserves and groups of Nusra Front militants who were trying to rescue terrorists from the Akerbat encirclement in eastern Hama with a sudden offensive. The actions of Russian planes in Syria derailed this operation, and the terrorists participating in it were destroyed”.

This video of the airstrikes, clearly corroborates Russia’s statement. It is apparent from the footage that Russia is not targeting an urban or residential area.

The racist Sunni supremacist White Helmets have simply produced more propaganda to bolster their increasingly hopeless cause. The real shame is with so-called ‘respectable’ outlets who have reported blatant propaganda as fact.

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Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“Reuters UK” and “journalistic integrity” are mutually exclusive. When, repeatedly, Reuters UK uses as “source of information from Syria”, Rami, a lonely Syrian expat (clothes peddler being his main occupation), living in Coventry UK since 2,000, who pompously renamed himself “The Syrian Observatory of Human rights”, although he quit Syria twenty years ago after his years in jail for theft., ANY news about Syria are suspect, Rami being in bed with Al-Qaeda, and all his reported “news” come from anti-regime terrorists. The “White Helmets” are the British ex-Empire’s mercenaries in Syria, which cost last year £5 million to UK. budget.

Voltaire
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Voltaire

You are quite right….

http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/06/21/who-are-the-syria-white-helmets/

The White Helmets are Al Qaeda terrorist vermin funded by the US and UK (as usual)…

FlorianGeyer
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FlorianGeyer

Yes, Rami is typical of an opportunist conman who will deal in anything, whether that be T shirts or Propaganda Lies.

seby
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seby

One day the “meaning of phrases dictionary” will be updated.

The meaning of the phrase “flogging a dead horse” will state “attempt by imperialists led by the US and UK to push a phony charity called white helmets to sainthood” or something written better, meaning same 🙂

Surely even goebbels would have given up by now.

FlorianGeyer
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FlorianGeyer

Brilliant.

Adreng
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Adreng

In many ways, Western media pretends Al Qaeda in Syria is a part of the “moderate rebels”, anyway, and that only Daesh/ISIS is a terrorist group (of course, this does not correspond to the official status of the groups, the UN clearly recognizes Al Qaeda/Al Nusra as a terrorist groups, but many journalists’ narratives pretend it belongs to the “democratic opposition”). There is also some historical continuity, after all, Al Qaeda is a successor of the Western-backed Mujaheddin, and during the Cold War, there were Western newspaper reports praising Osama Bin Laden as a freedom fighter in Afghanistan. Still, after… Read more »

Hamletquest
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Hamletquest

Someone at Reuters must have the same handlers as Mark Zuckerberg and Morgan Freeman…

FlorianGeyer
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FlorianGeyer

To any trained eye of British Bullshit the mere fact that parts of the issued White Helmet uniform are a High Vis waistcoat and a White Helmet is typically British 🙂

samo war
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samo war

Tahau Taua
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Tahau Taua

Gotta haul you up Adam Garrie on this one again. Keep Al Qaeda and Gulf funded Takfiri Jihadi’s out of the picture; when it comes to the NYC (Controlled Demolitions and Pentagon bomb) of Sept 11 2001. That was exclusively the job of the US-Deep State. That is the opinion of highly qualified Engineers and scientific experts; so that has to be the only plausible narrative. Don’t muddy the waters; by continuing with this fake Al Qaeda nonsense. As for Reuters, well it goes without saying that they have been peddling lies for ages. We all know that; especially the… Read more »

john vieira
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john vieira

The Fourth Estate in the ‘west’ has become a blithering propaganda outlet for the US/NATO Deep State….and have since Kosovo failed miserably in their reporting of things muslim or have capitulated to the Petro$…methinks the latter…

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit plan continues to fail, as EU now pushing for UK to leave (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 138.

Alex Christoforou

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit strategy has been such a monumental failure that even Brussels negotiators are now pushing for the UK to simply leave the union, in what has becoming a British debacle, and a thorn in the Conservative Party’s side.

Many media pundits and analysts are now asking if the latest impasse in Brexit talks means that we are indeed seeing the last days of Theresa May?

While much of the mess the Conservative Party finds themselves in because of Brexit is squarely Theresa May’s fault, much of the damage done by May’s inability to close the deal on Brexit will not go away, even if she does.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s continued failure to obtain her soft Brexit dream, placing herself (and her Conservative Party) in such an embarrassing position, that European Union negotiators, tired of never ending talks, are eager to see Britain go away, in what will be an inevitable hard Brexit.

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“Are these the last days of Theresa May?”, authored by Stephen Bush via The New Statesman:


Are these the last days of Theresa May? This morning’s papers are full of stories of plots and ultimatums to the Prime Minister unless she changes her Brexit strategy, whether from her Scottish MPs over any extension of the transition period due to concerns over fisheries policy, from her Brexiteer MPs over the backstop or from her Cabinet over practically everything.

All this before the Budget next Monday, when Philip Hammond is going to have to find some way to pay for the extra cash for the NHS and Universal Credit all while keeping to May’s pledge that debt will continue to fall as a share of GDP. So added to all May’s Brexit woes, a row over tax rises could be coming down the track.

Of course, the PM’s position has been perilous for a very long time – in fact, when you remember that her period of hegemony ran from July 2016 to June 2017, she’s actually been under threat for more of her premiership than she hasn’t. But just because you roll heads 36 times in a row doesn’t mean your chances of rolling tails aren’t 50/50 on roll 37, and May’s luck could well be running out.

But while May shares a good size of the blame for the mess that the Conservative Party are in, it’s not all her fault by any means and none of those problems will go away if May is replaced or changes tack to win over her internal opponents in the European Research Group.

Ireland has a veto over the end state and only an indefinite and legally binding backstop for the island of Ireland will do if any deal is to be signed off. It’s true to say that no deal also means a hard border on the island of Ireland, but it’s also true that it will always been in the political interests of whoever is in office in Ireland for a hard border to be imposed as a result of no deal rather than for the Irish government to acquiesce in the creation of one through a EU-UK treaty.

The DUP can bring the Conservative government to an early end so they, too, have a de facto veto over any deal that creates barriers between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. But the only UK-wide solution – for the backstop to encompass the whole of the United Kingdom – is nothing doing with pro-Brexit Conservative MPs who don’t want an indefinite backstop. It’s also politically tricky with many EU member states, who don’t want the default outcome of the talks to be a UK-wide backstop, which many regard as a threat to the sanctity of single market. (The only reason why it is acceptable on the Irish border is because Ireland is still a member state and because the Irish border was both the location and the cause of political violence within living memory.)

Added to that, the Conservative parliamentary party seems to be undergoing a similar psychological journey to the one that Steve van Riel described during the 2015 Labour leadership election: that groups of any kind tend to reach a more extreme position the longer an issue is debated. Brexiteers who spent 20 years saying they wanted a Norway style deal now talk of Norway as a betrayal. Leavers who cheerily talked about making Northern Ireland into its own customs area before Brexit now talk of the backstop as a constitutional betrayal. And Conservative Remainers who only reluctantly backed an In vote to avoid the political upheaval of negotiating Brexit, or the loss of David Cameron, now call for a referendum re-run and privately flirt with the idea of a new party.

Some of that is May’s fault, yes. But none of it is going to go away if she does and all of it makes the prospect of reaching a Brexit deal considerably less likely.

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Saudi Crown Prince Spoke To Khashoggi By Phone Moments Before He Was Killed: Report

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community.

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Via Zerohedge


In the latest bombshell report involving the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke on the phone with journalist Jamal Khashoggi moments before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak disclosed the new alleged details of the case in a report on Sunday, contradicting claims by Saudi authorities that Prince Mohammed played no part in Khashoggi’s murder.

“Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building. Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh,” the report said.

“Khashoggi refused Prince Mohammed’s offer out of fear he would be arrested and killed if he returned. The assassination team then killed Khashoggi after the conversation ended,” it added.

While the report is so far unconfirmed, the New Arab reports that so far Turkish pro-government media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks many of which turned out to be accurate, including pictures of the hit team as they entered Turkey and reports of audio recordings of the murder said to be in the possession of Turkish authorities.

Meanwhile, the Saudi version of events has been changing significantly over the past two weeks with authorities conceded Saturday that Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and a Riyadh critic, was killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul diplomatic compound following a “brawl”. The admission came after a fortnight of denials with the insistence that the journalist left the consulate alive, starting on October 5, when Crown Prince MBS told Bloomberg that Khashoggi was not inside the consulate and “we are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises”.

On Saturday, the kingdom announced it had fired five top officials and arrested 18 others in an investigation into the killing – a move that has widely been viewed as an attempt to cover up the crown prince’s role in the murder.

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community, and has left the U.S. and other allies struggling for a response on Sunday. As Bloomberg reports, France demanded more information, Germany put arms sales to Riyadh on hold and the Trump administration stressed the vital importance of the kingdom and its economy to the U.S.

In Sunday radio and TV interviews, Dominic Raab, the U.K. politician in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, described the latest Saudi account as not credible; French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for “the truth’’; and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his government would approve no arms sales so long as the investigation was ongoing.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir acknowledged a cover-up attempt. The dramatic reversal, after Saudi officials had previously said the columnist left the building alive, has only complicated the issue for allies.

Saudi Arabia’s al-Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday that the journalist’s death was an “aberration.”

“There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to cover up,” he said, promising that “those responsible will be punished for it.”

More importantly, he said that Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the events, although if the Turkish report is confirmed, it will be yet another major flaw with the official narrative.

Several senior members of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party said they believed Prince Mohammed was linked to the killing, and one called for a “collective” Western response if a link is proved. In an interview with The Washington Post, President Trump, too, said the Saudi narrative had been marked by “deception and lies.’’ Yet he also defended Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a “strong person,’’ and said there was no proof of his involvement in Khashoggi’s death. Some members of Congress have questioned his willingness to exonerate the prince.

“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” Trump said on the shifting accounts offered by Riyadh.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to disclose details about the case at a meeting of his AK Party’s parliamentary faction on Tuesday, Haberturk newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, as Western firms and high-ranked officials scramble to avoid any Saudi involvement, Russia is more than happy to step in and fill the power vacuum void left by the US. As a result, Russian businesses are flocking to attend the investment forum in Saudi Arabia, as Western counterparts pull out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has had considerable success boosting Moscow’s influence in the Middle East at U.S. expense, by standing by regimes that fall afoul of the West, including in Syria and Iran. Last week Putin signed a strategic and partnership agreement with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, backed by $25 billion in loans to build nuclear reactors. Until El-Sisi came to power, Egypt had been closely allied to the U.S.

Meanwhile, all eyes are fixed squarely on the Crown Prince whose position of power is looking increasingly perilous. Congressional leaders on Sunday dismissed the story proffered earlier by the Saudis, with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bob Corker of Tennessee saying they believed the crown prince was likely involved in Khashoggi’s death.

Lawmakers said they believe the U.S. must impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia or take other action if the crown prince is shown to have been involved. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. should be formally expelled until a third-party investigation is done. He said the U.S. should call on its allies to do the same.

“Unless the Saudi kingdom understands that civilized countries around the world are going to reject this conduct and make sure that they pay a price for it, they’ll continue doing it,”’ Durbin said.

The obvious question is what happens and how the Saudi royal family will respond if it is pushed too far, and whether the worst case scenario, a sharp cut in oil exports, could be on the table if MBS feels like he has little to lose from escalating the situation beyond a point of no return.

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The Biggest Winners In The Mediterranean Energy War

Energy companies are flocking to the Mediterranean after oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt.

The Duran

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Authored by Vanand Meliksetian via Oilprice.com:


Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney once said: “the good lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected states… Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.” Europe is surrounded by states with abundant energy resources, but supply from these countries is not always as reliable. Russia, for example, is regularly accused of using energy as a weapon. However, major discoveries of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean could mitigate dependence on Russian gas.

The discovery of a gas field named Tamar near the coast of Israel in 2009 set off a wave of investments in the energy sector. After 9 years, companies are flocking to the region after other discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt. Ever larger finds in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin such as the Leviathan gas field in 2010 and Zohr in 2015, have the potential to transform the strategic importance of the region.

Turkey’s energy hub ambitions

Few states in the world are geographically so well positioned as Turkey. The country controls Russia’s only warm water port in the Black Sea and serves as a bridge between east and west. Therefore, during the Cold War Ankara was an indispensable member of NATO. More recently, Turkey has the ambition to become an energy hub for Middle Eastern and Caspian energy. Ankara has had mixed successes in attracting investors and maintaining political stability.

After Israel’s significant discoveries, a U.S. backed initiative presented Turkey as an energy hub. Although a land pipeline is the cheapest option to transport gas from the Mediterranean to Europe, political developments have stalled construction. President Erdogan’s escalating public denunciations of Israel have made Jerusalem look for other options. Furthermore, relations with Europe have also been damaged which would be dependent on Turkey as a transit country.

Egypt as the regional gas hub

Egypt’s has the third largest gas reserves in Africa. Therefore, its export-oriented LNG industry came on-stream in 2004 but was shut mid-2013 due to a lack of resources. The growth of the domestic market demanded ever larger volumes, which went at the expense of exports. Instead, Egypt started importing LNG. However, the discovery of the massive Zohr gas field, the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean, has turned around the situation. Egypt imported its last shipment of LNG in September 2018.

Although relations between Egypt and Israel are far from normal, privately held companies have been able to strike a deal. Starting from the first quarter of 2019, in 10 years 64 bcm worth $10 billion will be delivered. The agreement has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until recently was exporting to Israel. However, with this deal, Cairo comes closer in becoming an energy hub.

The recent signing of another agreement, this time with Nicosia to develop a subsea pipeline from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field, has been another important step. Cypriot gas will be pumped 400 miles (645 kilometers) to the south to Egypt’s LNG facilities. Difficult relations with Nicosia’s northern neighbors make a pipeline to the north highly unlikely.

Cairo has been able to act pragmatically concerning its relations with its neighbors such as Israel while taking advantage of the limited amount of options for exporting gas. The obvious winner in this context has been Egypt and its LNG industry. Its chances of becoming the regional energy hub instead of Turkey have significantly increased.

Turkey’s hope for luck

All littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean struck ‘gold’ in the shape of natural gas except for Turkey. Ankara strongly opposes the exploitation of the gas resources in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus without a sharing agreement with Northern Cyprus’ Turkish inhabitants. The Turkish Navy prevented ships from Italy’s Eni from performing exploratory drilling off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus.

In search of its own luck, Ankara has set up a project to start looking for gas in the EEZ of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey. Kudret Özersay, TRNC deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, proclaimed the desire to turn the TRNC into an energy and electricity hub. However, it seems unlikely that investors will be willing to participate due to political and legal reasons.

The legal situation of the TRNC is an impediment to any major decision involving a longtime commitment worth billions. From an international point of view, the region is de jure part of the Republic of Cyprus, despite holding no control over the region. The TRNC holds no seat in the WTO.

Large investments require solid legal and political support for companies to earn back their investments. The current economic situation of Turkey makes it dependent on foreign money. However, stringent due diligence rules could impede some international banks in lending the necessary funds.

The Eastern Mediterranean Sea basin promises great rewards, but the risks are also high. With Turkey potentially being the only country that doesn’t profit from the gas bonanza, Ankara has acted aggressively to get what it regards as its fair share. However, it faces a united front from the other littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Turkey will be able to profit in the same way as Cyprus, Egypt or Israel.

By Vanand Meliksetian for Oilprice.com

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