Egypt's president-elect tells Iran's Fars news agency he's looking to expand ties with Tehran to create strategic 'balance' in region
Egypt's President-elect Mohammed Morsi said in an interview with Iran's Fars news agency on Monday that he was looking to expand ties with Tehran to create a strategic "balance" in the region.
Fars quoted him as saying he was interested in better relations with Tehran. "This will create a balance of pressure in the region, and this is part of my program".
Fars said he was speaking a few hours before the results of the Egyptian election were announced on Sunday.
Morsi was declared Egypt's first Islamist president on Sunday after the freest elections in the country's history.
The election commission said Morsi won with 51.7% of last weekend's run-off vote versus 48.3 for Shafiq. Turnout was 51%. Voter turnout in the first round stood at 46%.
Iran was one of the first countries to congratulate Morsi on his win. "The revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people... is in its final stages of the Islamic awakening and a new era of change in the Middle East," said Iran's Foreign Ministry in a statement.
In his first address to the nation, hours after being declared Egypt's new president, Morsi pledged to "preserve international accords and obligations" - a reference to the peace deal with Israel.
However, nothing needs reforming like other people's bad habits... Morsi did not specifically mention Israel or the 1979.
(Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities on Sunday closed the Rafah crossing on the Gazoo border, as Egypt awaits the results of its presidential election.
Egyptian security sources told Ma'an the crossing may reopen Monday, depending on the security situation in Sinai after the results of Egypt's presidential election are announced.
The terminal, which is the sole crossing open to residents of Gazoo, closed for four days last week during the Egyptian elections creating a huge backlog of travelers waiting to leave or return to Gazoo.
Northern Sinai was placed under a security alert on Sunday, security officials told Ma'an, adding that border posts with the Gazoo Strip were on high alert for fear of protests after the announcement of the president poll.
Egyptian authorities have quietly deployed special forces and counter terrorism units in the border region after consulting with Israel about the deployment, a Ma'an correspondent said.
[Yemen Post] Former President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... 's nephew, Tariq, arrived to Ukraine to negotiate a refund for a weapons shipment which Yemen did not receive due to navigational reasons, informed sources told the local al-Ahali website.
Last year amid the turmoil triggered by the revolution against Saleh's long rule, the former regime struck a weapons deal with Ukraine, but the latter could not ship the purchased weapons due to unspecified navigational reasons. The deal included heavy weapons including tanks, according to the sources.
The sources said that Tariq is in Ukraine along with a trader who was a partner with the government in the weapons deal.
Tariq was dismissed from his post as the commander of the 3rd Brigade in April along with dozens of top loyalists to the former regime. However, today is that tomorrow you were thinking about yesterday... he had refused to listen to the decree for over a month.
Only when the UN envoy Jamal Benomar visited Yemen and convinced him to leave the post, did he handed over the command to his successor Abdu-Rahaman al-Halili.
But even after he formally agreed to step down, he has orchestrated another rebellion conducted by his loyalists at the brigade. His loyalists prevented the newly-appointed commander from assuming his responsibilities.
The rebellion ended when some officers in the brigade carried out a counter rebellion and forced the high-ranking officers who were leading the rebellion to leave and enforced Hadi's decree.
SANAA: A road linking Yemen's capital to an oil-producing province was opened for the first time in more than a year yesterday, after the army and tribal fighters agreed to withdraw from positions along the route, military officials said.
Yemen's Republican Guard had skirmished with tribal groups in the area, blocking deliveries of gas and other products from Maarib to the capital.
Both sides agreed to pull out after negotiations, said an official from Yemen's military committee -- a body set up to separate belligerent factions of Yemen's army and tribal fighters following months of unrest in the impoverished country.
Officials say a gunbattle between troops and a group of men trying to sabotage a power line in the south left two soldiers and three saboteurs dead. The gunbattle started overnight in Maarib when soldiers tried to prevent an attack on the power line but the saboteurs opened fire at them.
[Iran Press TV] Yemeni protesters have held a demonstration in the southern city of Taizz to demand the removal of members of the regime of deposed dictator President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh. ... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... The demonstrators erupted into the streets of Taizz on Sunday, calling for the dismissal of those figures from the former regime that still hold a number of major military and political posts.
Yemenis have several times held similar demonstrations across the nation over the past weeks.
They have also been calling for the trial of Saleh and his aides for ordering the killing of protesters during the revolution that began in January 2011.
In addition, Yemeni protesters demand the restructuring of the army.
Yemen's former dictator Saleh formally stepped down and handed over power to his deputy Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi on February 27. The power transfer occurred under a Saudi-backed deal brokered by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ... the Medes and the Persians are very sensitive on the subject of the Persian Gulf, which the Arabs refer to as the Arabian Gulf... in April 2011 and signed by Saleh in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on November 23, 2011.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
So? Our Army continuously wants to forget its history of a hundred years of war along the frontier acting as a constabulary forces and the local government dealing with locals who could switch from docile to insurgents from season to season. It would rather refight WWII, the 'good war'.
HANOI, June 25 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean activist has been detained in Vietnam in connection with his work related to North Korean defectors, Seoul officials here said Monday. The 51-year-old activist, who is only identified by his surname Yoo, was arrested by Vietnamese authorities last Wednesday at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh on suspicion of helping North Korean defectors, according to officials at the South Korean embassy in Hanoi.
Yoo was arrested for allegedly helping arrange a way for some North Korean defectors to enter South Korea, but it was not immediately clear what exactly he was accused of doing, officials said.
The South Korean embassy plans to ask the Vietnamese authorities for permission to interview Yoo on Monday.
Yoo is also believed to have played a role in helping more than 400 North Korean defectors fly to Seoul from Thailand in 2004. Southeast Asian nations, such as Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, have been a preferred transit route for North Korean defectors, who escape through China with the hope of eventually settling in South Korea, home to more than 23,000 North Korean defectors.
Good. It couldn't happen to a more deserving group.
[Dawn] Internal differences within terrorist organizations, surveillance by law-enforcement agencies, arrests and deaths
The latter due to those American drones, right?
of faceless myrmidons are among reasons making faceless myrmidons to quit militancy and weakening cut-thoat groups, according to experts.
"Some of the faceless myrmidons voluntarily withdraw from their organizations because they can't tolerate hardships that one suffers by joining cut-thoat groups," Brig. Saad Mohammad, former Pak defence attaché in Kabul, told Dawn.
In some instances, faceless myrmidons withdraw because they get tired of leading a life as a runaway. "Deep-rooted fears infect them as they lead the life of a runaway, making some to give up the militancy," said Mr Saad.
A recent case in point is that of Ilyas Shinwari, a Khyber Agency-based Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain commander who surrendered on May 31, 21012.
An official of the Landi Kotal sub-division told Dawn that Shinwari surrendered out of fear of arrest. "His brother and father --
also associated with beturbanned goons -- were incarcerated Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! some time back, making him vulnerable," said the official.
A local tribal jirga (council of elders) negotiated his surrender, said the official.
Shinwari was wanted by the Khyber Agency administration in several cases of attacks on oil tankers that his men destroyed in the area.
Besides, he was alleged to be a key financier of Abdullah Aezam Brigade, a cut-thoat outfit. He was also involved in kidnapping for ransom cases.
In 2008, Haji Abdul Maalik, a TTP local commander in Adaizai tribal area, near Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, abandoned militancy after police incarcerated Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! him in a crackdown.
"After his (Maalik's) arrest, we negotiated a deal with him convincing him to secure his freedom in exchange for giving up militancy," said Dilawar Khan, head of a strong Aman Lashkar (peace force).
Maalik and his son, who had also been incarcerated Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! , chose freedom, said Khan. Later, they joined the Aman Lashkar and fought against Taliban.
"Maalik was made Aman Lashkar head, causing severe blow to the Taliban," Dilawar told Dawn. In a reprisal suicide kaboom, Taliban assassinated Maalik in 2009 near Peshawar.
About the cut-thoats' reasons for withdrawal, Brig Saad said some of them gave up militancy because they didn't have that character in their personality. "They feel guilty, their conscience does not allow them to continue, making them to return to their normal life," said Saad, a security expert.
The weakening position of terrorist groups, according to Saad, also at time plays a role in drifting away the cut-thoats. "Seldom anybody stays on a sinking boat," he said, adding "it's in the tribal society's psyche."
"The beturbanned goons leave their groups when they see that they are losing.
Militant groups, said the ex-military officer, acted like military units as far as their discipline was concerned. They worked as closely knitted units and are governed by discipline, he said.
"If a cut-thoat is not happy about any particular issue or has a disputes with his colleagues, it undermines the organization's unity," said Saad, adding "in many instances the disputes go deeper because of weaknesses on the leader's part, making the group members to run away."
Leadership weaknesses and internal disputes have left several al-Qaeda associated groups divided, making the faceless myrmidons to vanish rendering the groups ineffective.
"One third of the 130 cut-thoat groups that exist in Federally Administered Tribal Areas have become non-entities," Ashraf Ali, director, Fata Research Centre, an Islamabad-based think tank, told Dawn.
Internal disputes, he added, caused dents to several TTP groups in Fata. "Only the major groups survive, small outfits become non-entities as the disillusioned faceless myrmidons abandon militancy."
In Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central ...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth... , cut-thoat commander Wali-ur-Rehman's entire group surrendered (some time back) after negotiating a peace deal with the local authorities, according to Mr Ali.
Similarly, TTP's Mohmand ... Named for the Mohmand clan of the Sarban Pahstuns, a truculent, quarrelsome lot. In Pakistain, the Mohmands infest their eponymous Agency, metastasizing as far as the plains of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Mardan. Mohmands are also scattered throughout Pakistan in urban areas including Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta. In Afghanistan they are mainly found in Nangarhar and Kunar... Agency chapter became non-existent after its chief Abdul Wali alias Umer Khalid bravely ran away after most of his group members deserted him due to a military crackdown against them in 2008-09, he said.
In Orakzai Agency ... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers... , he added, infighting between Nabi Mullah and Mullah Toofan, two rival commanders, had eventually benefited the government.
"In several instances, infighting rendered the cut-thoat groups weakened, forcing them to enter into negotiations with the authorities," said Mr Ali.
He said that Taliban foot soldiers usually got dejected once their leaders entered into negotiations with the authorities.
"The more committed among the faceless myrmidons who join cut-thoat organizations to fight against foreign troops or those with a criminal background stick around despite internal disputes," said Mr Ali.
[Bangla Daily Star] President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari ... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ... yesterday issued an ordinance to give constitutional protection to the decisions made by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani ... Pakistain's former prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics could be awe-inspiring ... from April 26 to June 19, DawnNews reported.
According to the ordinance these decisions cannot be challenged in any court. The ordinance also stated that any agreements made by Gilani with other countries during the time between April 26 and June 19 would also be given constitutional protection.
Zardari's Pakistain People's Party government, dogged by corruption allegations, has been locked in a stand-off with the judiciary for years, accused of working behind the scenes with the military and the political opposition.
Its culmination came on Tuesday when the Supreme Court unceremoniously evicted Yousuf Raza Gilani on June 19 from the prime minister's office after convicting him of contempt for refusing to reopen Swiss corruption cases against Zardari.
Two days later, an anti-narcotics court ordered the arrest of Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Zardari's nomination to replace Gilani, over a drugs scandal.
Forced by the circumstances, ruling MPs elected Raja Pervez Ashraf as Pakistain's new prime minister on Friday, in a bid to end a crisis that threatens to destabilise the country.
President Asif Ali Ten Percent Zardari will now hope that Ashraf can form a cabinet able to see through the government's five-year term in office, due to expire in February 2013, without the need for early elections.
[Tolo News] The United States can launch operations against bully boy groups anywhere in the world without threatening national illusory sovereignty, an Afghan military analyst said Sunday.
Retired General Atiqullah Amarkhail said that the US would be protected under international law if it chose to pursue bully boyz in foreign countries.
"According to international laws, US can launch operation against bully boyz anywhere in the world," he told TOLOnews, adding that it would benefit both Afghanistan and Pakistain if such operations succeeded in shutting down the krazed killer networks.
Amarkhail's comments are responding to an News Agency that Dare Not be Named report saying that the US has considered launching covert operations against bully boy groups in Pakistain in close collaboration with Afghan special forces.
It is widely believed that many bully boyz cross the border from Pakistain to attack US, NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... , and Afghan forces and then retreat back to safety.
The failure of Pakistain and US defence forces to stop these attacks has led to repeated discussion of "launching secret joint US-Afghan commando raids into Pakistain to hunt them down", the recently published AP report said.
However, a hangover is the wrath of grapes... according to AP, they have hesitated because the White House "believes the chance of successfully rooting out the powerful Haqqani network would not be worth the intense diplomatic blowback from Pakistain", which has already condemned the unmanned drone attacks on bully boyz as a violation of Pakistain's illusory sovereignty.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki needs to be removed for reforms to take place, powerful Shiite holy manMoqtada Tater al-Sadr ... the Iranian catspaw holy man who was 22 years old in 2003 and was nearing 40 in 2010. He spends most of his time in Iran, safely out of the line of fire, where he's learning to be an ayatollah... said on Sunday, adding that his MPs would back a no-confidence vote if needed.
"Reforms are the main goal, and withdrawing confidence precedes these reforms," Sadr told news hounds in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, likening the situation to the need to wash before prayers.
"We want to pray, but our prayer will not be correct unless we have ablution before," he said. "The reforms cannot be implemented without putting pressure on the government."
Sadr said he does not want to withdraw confidence from Maliki, but that he would support such a move if needed.
"I do not want to withdraw confidence, nor does anyone else, but our first and last request is reform and partnership, and not marginalizing the others," the holy man said.
He also reiterated that if his parliamentary bloc's votes were needed to unseat Maliki, he would provide them.
"I said, and I am still saying, and this is a promise from my side to the other blocs, that if their votes reach 124 ... I will add to them the remaining 40 votes."
When asked about the nature of the reforms he seeks, Sadr referred to a list of points he presented in late April.
The points include giving priority to Iraqi interests over sectarian, ethnic and party interests, and having minorities "participate in building Iraq, politically, economically and in security."
Appointing permanent ministers to security posts, including the defense ministry, that have remained unfilled since 2010 was also among his points, as was standing "strongly against any internal or foreign threats against any component of the Iraqi people."
Sadr was not optimistic about the stabilization of the political situation in Iraq.
"In Iraq, the crisis never ends, it is either put aside or the others will ignore it, so it will appear again at a different time," he said.
Timed nicely to reassure the many Israel-lovers among American voters, who pay attention to such things, just before the election, while preventing Israel from attacking Iran until afterward, when it may well be too late.
Meanwhile just as I suspected ""The region and the whole world is changing and renewing at fast pace," Putin said. "In this situation of change and renewal we need to find ways for cooperation in region and the wider world that will enable everyone to live in peace and quiet." I see a desire to curb all terrorism. The gas pipelines to Europe benefit many countries. That won't work if they are blown up. The key is true change and renewal. Yes, many don't trust the Russians and Putin but I see an opportunity. He looks to be an active leader. This meeting with Israel was an interesting development.
Air force says it has shortened its response time when sighting Gazoo rocket cells. Six terror squads were hit before they could fire in latest escalation; Israeli counter-strikes can now take mere seconds
Rocket-launching terror squads in Gazoo used to have several minutes to set up their weapons, shoot them and disappear before Israel could muster any counter action.
Today, an Israeli military official says, the cells have mere moments before they are spotted and targeted by Israeli missiles, thanks to streamlined intelligence and more readily available firepower.
"If in the past it would it would take a considerable amount of time from sighting (a terror squad) till being able to fire on them, meaning that you would lose (sight of) the squad, today that hardly ever happens," an air force official told The Times of Israel.
In the most recent two rounds of confrontation, the air force has been able to eliminate a growing proportion of the Gazoo rocket cells before they can fire off a projectile, the official said.
He confirmed that, in the escalation of the past few days, six squads were successfully targeted while in the process of trying to fire on Israel.
Some 150 rockets and mortars were fired from Gazoo toward Israel over the past week. The flare-up began on June 16 when two Grad rockets ...Soviet-developed 122-mm rockets, usually launched from trucks. Newer versions are reported to have a range of up to 30 km.... were fired from the Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel. Two days later, three Sinai-based terrorists, from the newly-established, al-Qaeda-affiliated Mujahideen Shura Council of Jerusalem snuck into Israel and opened fire on construction workers building the fence along the Israel-Egypt border, killing Said Fashfasha of Haifa. Later in the day, Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, squads began firing on Israel. The IAF responded with a series of strikes and counter strikes.
The terror squads often fire from within the low cover of the Gazoo Strip's many citrus orchards, blending in with trees and civilians in the region.
The air force official said that if the weaponry is prepared in advance, the terror squads can fire a rocket within seconds of their arrival at the launch area. But the air force, he said, has shortened its response time. From the moment a squad is sighted, it takes "between several seconds and several minutes" for Israel to act.
The official could not be more explicit about the manner in which the process has been expedited but he did say that today, in the Southern Command, the officers in charge of gathering either intelligence information or incoming surveillance photos, detailing the work of terror squads, "sit at the same desk" as those air force officers who have the capacity to order the strikes.
He did not elaborate on what type of aircraft are used in the strikes.
Hamas, which did not participate in the previous round of violence in March, claims on its website to have mostly targeted military installations in southern Israel this time, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
The IAF officer disputed this, saying that the main characteristic of the latest round of violence was short-range fire, mostly beneath the range of the Iron Dome batteries, which can pick up incoming projectiles from within several kilometers to several dozen kilometers away.
The IAF's advances have been partially countered by Hamas ingenuity, the official acknowledged. The Izz al-Din al Qassam brigades, responsible for most of the fire on Israel during this round of violence, have begun using cellular-activated timers on their rockets, allowing them to fire from a concealed position.
"Hamas," the official said, "is an organization that never stops trying to improve itself."
American President Obama didn't magically make Israel go away, but Egyptian President Mursi will surely do so.
(Ma'an) -- Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, premier Ismail Haniyeh ...became Prime Minister after the legislative elections of 2006 which Hamas won. President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Haniyeh from office on 14 June 2007 at the height of the Fatah-Hamas festivities, but Haniyeh did not acknowledge the decree and continues as the PM of Gazoo while Abbas maintains a separate PM in the West Bank... and President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... congratulated Muhammad Mursi on his victory in Egypt's presidential elections on Sunday.
Moslem Brüderbund candidate Mursi was declared Egypt's first democratic president by the state election committee, which said he had defeated former general Ahmed Shafik with 51.7 percent of last weekend's run-off vote.
Haniyeh phoned Mursi to congratulate him, and supporters marched to the prime minister's home in Gazoo City to celebrate the victory.
"We will look to Egypt to play a big, leading role, a historic role, regarding the Paleostinian cause, in helping the Paleostinian nation get freedom, return home, and totally end the Gazoo siege," Haniyeh told Rooters Television.
"We will look to Egypt to play a big, leading role, a historic role, regarding the Paleostinian cause, in helping the Paleostinian nation get freedom, return home, and totally end the Gazoo siege," Haniyeh told Rooters Television.
In Gazook streets, the jubilation recalled that which greeted Hamas' shock victory in Paleostine's 2006 elections, as thanksgiving sermons and calls of "Allahu Akbar" echoed from mosques across the enclave and sweets were handed out in the street.
One man was killed and five injured in celebratory gunfire, a front man for Gazoo's Health Ministry said.
Paleostine's ambassador to Cairo Barakat al-Farra and President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas also phoned Mursi to congratulate him on his presidency.
Abbas, who has pursued stop-start peace negotiations with Israel, had warm words for the Moslem Brüderbund, calling Mursi "the choice of the great people of Egypt".
Fatah leader Amin Maqboul told Ma'an he hoped Egypt would regain its status as a regional leader and that the Egyptian people would "unite against challenges, especially Israel's continuous aggression against our people."
Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide and negotiator, said the democratic vote for Mursi "meant the Paleostinian cause was the number one priority for all Egyptians".
Mursi has said he will respect Egypt's 1979 treaty with Israel, on which much US aid depends. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected continued cooperation with Egypt on the basis of the bilateral peace accord.
Hamas, Fatah's longtime rival, has close ties with the Moslem Brüderbund and the groups share ideological roots, but Maqboul said he hoped Egypt would support Paleostinian rights "and treat all sides equally."
Maqboul, secretary-general of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, said Fatah had never linked reconciliation with Hamas "on foreign agendas or with the internal Egyptian situations."
"We will continue our efforts to end the split ... We will wait and see what the days will bring. Right now we cannot talk about Egypt's role but we wish Egyptians and Egypt to live in prosperity," Maqboul said.
Saeb Erekat ...negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel. He has been chief Paleostinian negotiator since 1995. He is currently negotiating with Israel to establish a de jure Paleostinian state... , a senior Abbas aide and negotiator, said the democratic vote for Mursi "meant the Paleostinian cause was the number one priority for all Egyptians".
But Erekat said Paleostinians had to heal the five-year-old and sometimes bloody schism between Hamas and Fatah.
"Regardless of who the Egyptian president is, Paleostinian reconciliation is a Paleostinian matter, and if we do not help ourselves, no one will," Erekat said.
A Malaysian court says an Iranian man accused of plotting to attack Israeli targets in Bangkok must be extradited to Thailand.
Masoud Sedaghatzadeh wants to appeal the decision and is not expected to be immediately deported. Sedaghatzadeh was set to sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, in a pestilential prison with a life-long lock I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece! at a Malaysian airport soon after an apparently accidental kaboom rocked a Bangkok neighborhood in February.
Not a huge deal. The export version of the F-16 uses off the shelf radar, tracking and jamming equipment. Iranian "calibration" would only hurt them as the military US grade stuff would laugh at the attempt and still blow their asses to Narnia.
The 117's are retired, but I think a nice surgical strike should be undertaken to wipe out any of OOgo's remaining F-16's.
Surely the Great Warrior that single-handedly took out Osama Bin Forgotten can get past Cancerbreath's Sopwith Camels or whatever he has for an air farce.
[Iran Press TV] A senior Iranian commander says Syria's present situation indicates the defeat imposed on America and its allies by Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... and the resistance movement.
"Today, it can be said with certainty that the dossier of the US coup in Syria has been closed with the defeat of the global arrogance That'd be us. They get tired of bitching about the Great Satan™ sometimes. ," said Deputy Head of the Iranian Armed Forces' Joint Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri on Sunday.
Jazayeri pointed out that the resistance against Israel is a non-negotiable issue for Tehran, adding that the movement has become mature enough to stand against animosities and even inflict enormous damages on the enemy.
The Iranian commander went on to say that the enemies of Syria seek to achieve their objectives through military means and terrorist activities, noting that such measures have merely led to the massacre of innocent people in the country.
[LA Times] The Turkish military jet downed by Syrian antiaircraft batteries was back in "international airspace" when it was hit without warning after having inadvertently wandered into Syrian skies, Turkey's foreign minister said Sunday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's comments to Turkey's TRT television directly contradict Syria's version that it downed the jet Friday less than a mile off Syria's coastal province of Latakia, in Syrian airspace.
Turkey is calling for a meeting this week of its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to discuss the incendiary issue, which has ratcheted up tensions between two nations already deeply divided over Turkey's tacit support for rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad. The Scourge of Hama... In Turkey's most detailed explanation of the incident, the foreign minister dismissed speculation that the aircraft was on a spy mission or may have been testing Syria's ground defenses or radar. He said the plane, with two pilots aboard, was on a routine test of Turkey's radar system.
"Our plane briefly violated Syrian airspace, but not during the time it was shot down," Davutoglu said.
The F-4 Phantom jet was hit about 15 minutes after having "momentarily" violated Syrian airspace, he said, according to Turkish news reports.
Syrian officials made no effort to contact the doomed aircraft or Turkish authorities, Davutoglu said, although the jet's identity was not concealed and radio communications indicate that Syrian authorities were aware the plane was Turkish.
"A warning should be given" in such cases, Davutoglu said.
Syria has said its forces did not know the "unidentified aerial target" flying low and fast off its coast was a Turkish aircraft when it was shot down about midday Friday, apparently with a surface-to-air missile, sending it plunging into the eastern Mediterranean. Syria has so far adopted a conciliatory tone, denying it engaged in a "hostile act" against Turkey and explaining that it was defending its "illusory sovereignty" against a perceived but not fully identified threat.
One of the things you want to know is whether the local batteries have autonomy to shoot at a threat without calling higher. Hard to imagine that being the case in Syria, but since they lost the reactor they didn't have to an IAF strike that didn't happen, perhaps they've loosened up.
What the Turks learned from this depends on what really happened, which, of course, we don't know.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
Actually, Turkey has been sniffing around and tossing innuendoes and insults at Syria for weeks looking for an excuse to jump into the Syrian civil war with both feet. Methinks Syria has been sponsoring some Kurdish shinnanegans in Turkey and The Turks want to put a halt to it.
Expect Turkey to make an incursion into Northern Syria soon.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
And Syria fires at another one ...???
* FREEREPUBLIC > TURKEY CLAIMS SYRIA FIRED ON SECOND TURKISH JET [escaped], SAYS "ACT WON'T GO UNPUNISHED".
Aircraft #2 as repor on SAR for the first one which Syria shot down.
Either Baby Assad is losing his mental marbles, or else one or more of his Generals = Top Eggs are, i.e. Bashir's Commanders may be turning
* FYI IIRC FOX NEWS AM > repors that one of Bashir's GENERALS has indeed defected to Turkey, along wid circa 30? Soldiers + an unknown number of Dependents.
OTOH SYRIA = since the Pilots of the destroyed Aircraft are "safe", there is no need for Turkey to keep sending Aircraft out on SAR save to harass + intimidate Syria???