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Russia SLAMS US destruction of Raqqa and the western coalition’s disregard for civilian live

Raqqa has been destroyed by the US while Deir ez-Zor has been genuinely liberated by Syria and Russia.

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While the US claimed “mission accomplished” in Raqqa, in reality, the Syrian city of Raqqa has been completely destroyed. Buildings, infrastructure, bridges and roads have either been pulverised or destroyed beyond all recognition.

Recently released drone footage shows a ‘city’ that is no longer fit for human or animal habitation. Vegetation has also been totally destroyed and clouds of dust, including from chemical weapons now blankets a ruined region.

By contrast, amateur photos of the city when it was a fully integrated part of the Syrian Arab Republic, show a modern, vibrant and peaceful place.

By contrast, drone footage taken even before the US declared “mission accomplished” shows an unrecognisable shell of a former city.

By the admission of the US itself, hundreds of civilians have been killed in the carpet bombing of Raqqa. The independent group Airways, puts the total number of civilian deaths at close to 2,000, while even the UN has admitted that all of these numbers are in reality, much lower than the real total.

Those who were lucky enough to escape the bombings, describe the horrors of living under US bombardment.

Adding insult to injury, Syria has stated that the US was not even targeting terrorist groups in Raqqa but is instead merely randomly bombing Raqqa’s infrastructure. Furthermore, it has been widely reported that the Kurdish led US proxy militia SDF have allowed ISIS leaders to evacuate Raqqa and receive safe passage to Deir ez-Zor where the terrorists regrouped in order to fight the Syrian Arab Army and their Russian military partners. Russia has further released photos showing that US special forces as well as SDF US proxies are moving freely in ISIS territory in Deir ez-Zor, thus confirming long standing Syrian allegations.

CONFIRMED: ISIS, the United States and SDF unite on the battle field against Syria and Russia

Unlike Deir ez-Zor city and Aleppo before it, Raqqa has not been liberated from terrorist occupation, it has merely been wiped off the face of the earth. This is due to a US attitude and “strategy” which opted for carpet bombing of Raqqa, instead of the more surgical approach of Russia and Syria who coordinate airstrikes with intelligence from the ground. Furthermore, as the US refuses to cooperate with Syria against terrorism, the US has very poor intelligence about the locations of civilians vis-a-vis the locations of terrorist targets. As it were, the US just bombed everything, even after the vast majority of ISIS terrorists had long fled Raqqa.

Whereas the US and its partners merely destroyed Raqqa, images of Deir ez-Zor’s actual liberation from terrorism by Syria and Russia, show jubilant civilians celebrating their freedom and waiting for food and water as provided by Syrian and Russian forces, in a largely intact city.

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman General Igor Konashenkov has described the situation in the following way,

“Raqqa is still smouldering after the bombardment by the international coalition, and senior officials in Washington, Paris and Berlin are already pouring out pledges to allocate tens of millions of dollars and euros for reconstruction.

We made a list of cities and villages most in need and we didn’t distinguish between ‘bad’ and ‘good’ Syrians. But the answer from Washington, Berlin, Paris and London has always been the same: we can’t, we won’t”.

After slamming the callous attitude of the western coalition towards Syrian civilians, Konashenkov compared the indiscriminate bombing of Raqqa to the British destruction of the German city of Dresden in 1945, a move that many see as a crime against humanity, that served no military or logistical purpose.

Over 25,000 civilians perished in Dresden in 1945 and Raqqa whose pre-war population was over 220,000, may have witnessed a similar fate. At the moment, only a fraction of the bodies have been counted and many of the injured and displaced remain unaccounted for.

The destruction of Raqqa speaks for itself. A city filled with far more civilians than terrorists, even at the height of ISIS occupation, has been reduced to rubble. The majority of the victims were innocent of any crime. Many were women, children and the elderly.

The US has ignored the UN’s concern for the safety of civilians, while some survivors told journalists that the US attacks on civilian areas appeared to be intentional.

As I wrote previously in The Duran,

“RT has interviewed families who have escaped the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria where civilians stated that the US and its allies directly and seemingly deliberately targeted known civilian areas.

According to a former resident of Raqqa,

‘We were directly targeted by the coalition after their reconnaissance craft filmed us, it was at a low altitude.

It was very clear that there were no insurgents in that area, there were kids playing in the streets and we were bringing water from a water tap, sipping drops. We were filmed, then directly targeted after hours. Our house and the civilian houses around us were directly targeted.’.

Another eyewitness told RT about America’s use of the chemical weapon white phosphorous in Syria. He said,

‘It has been said that the coalition used white phosphorus in the Faros neighborhood of Raqqa. It was the aircraft. Who else would do that? It should be the aircraft. It targeted a civilian neighborhood and the close-by areas’.

 The US has frequently hit civilian targets in Raqqa. One of the primary reasons for this is that the US refuses to cooperate with Syria and others with on the ground intelligence and knowledge of the region. The American presence in Syria is fully illegally according to international law. America forces have not been welcomed to Syria by the government nor has the United Nations authorised America’s actions.

By contrast, Russia and Iran are operating legally with the full support of the government in Damascus. This has allowed Russian and Iranian forces to collaborate and share intelligence, thus avoided the level of civilian casualties that has plagued the illegal US operation.

Now watch RT’s exclusive report on US war crimes in Syria”.

It is unclear if Raqqa will ever recover. The shame belongs squarely to the US and its coalition partners. Syria and her partners like Russia, have demonstrate that a real libation of a city from terrorism can occur with minimal loss of civilian life. Raqqa’s destruction is unconscionable and without any justification.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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