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Saudi Arabia detains 298 officials in new corruption cases
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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‘They’re not acting in good faith’, U.S. CENTCOM commander says about Taliban attacks
[KhaamaPress] The Commander of the U.S. CENTCOM Marine Corps, General Kenneth F. Mckenzie Jr., has said the Taliban
...Arabic for students...
attacks are still too high, warning that the Afghans would be forced to respond if the Taliban did not stop the attacks in another two or three days.

"Taliban attacks are not occurring against coalition forces, they’re not typically occurring in the cities and they’re not occurring against bases. They’re occurring against checkpoints and isolated locations across Afghanistan. But the level of attacks, in my judgment, is not consistent with a group that wants to pursue and be a ‐ be a fair and faithful partner, going forward," Gen. Mckenzie said in response to a question.

"So those attacks are too high. And we have noted ‐ I’ve seen what the Afghans have said, if they don’t knock them off here in another two or three days, they’re going to begin to respond," he said, adding that "So I think actually, the Afghan government has been remarkably restrained in responding to the Taliban attacks."

Raising questions regarding the continued violence, Gen. McKenzie said "So the question is, do the Taliban attacks represent a core strategy of the group, they’re going to continue the attacks? Or is it a splinter of the group and are they not monolithic? We’re still assessing that."

a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth...
he said "If it’s directed from the top, then obviously that’s not a good thing. Because it shows that they’re not ‐ they not acting in good faith."

In regards to U.S. troops pullout from Afghanistan, Gen. McKenzie said "We are in the process of drawing down to a level of 8,600. I anticipate that we’ll arrive at that level by the middle of the summer. We believe that any further ‐ as we go beyond this, it’s going to be a conditions-based approach. We have an aspiration to go to a zero level in Afghanistan, but that is very clearly going to be conditions-driven."

The U.S. and Taliban group signed a peace deal late last month after observing a 7-day reduction in violence. The two sides signed the agreement after almost 18 months of negotiations in Qatar
...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates. Home of nutbag holy manYusuf al-Qaradawi...
i capital of Doha.

a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth...
there are fears that the latest trends in Taliban attacks in remote parts of the country and the growing political tensions could undermine the grinding of the peace processor, specifically the launch of intra-Afghan peace talks.

The State Department had earlier confirmed that the Taliban group has taken steps to stop attacks against the coalition forces and in the cities but the group is still killing too many Afghans in the countryside.

Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson said the current high level of violence by the Taliban is unacceptable.

"We acknowledge the Taliban have taken steps to stop attacks against the Coalition and in cities," Ortagus said in a statement, adding that "But they are killing too many Afghans in the countryside."

She also added "This must change. Violence at these levels risks drawing both sides into a vicious cycle, serves no one, and undermines peace."
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Young man, I told you that if you didn't get to the dinner table immediately I'd unplug that modem thingee while you were still typing...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 2:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Ha! Does she know he's up this late?
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/16/2020 2:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh? That was an "argument"? FOAD, Herb
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2020 4:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson

Limerick time! (Pretty please?)
Posted by: Lex || 03/16/2020 8:07 Comments || Top||

#5  I feel a need to explain myself. The first comment obviously was broken in mid thought. I saw a great opportunity to goof on that. A slur? I really don't think so.
As for the Afghanistan situation, yes, bad faith is the only kind the Taliban have. Is it up to us to fix that? I say no but plenty of Afghans hope otherwise. On the one hand, we could kill them all, just not with the ROE we have right now, and the ROE we would need aren't going to happen. Truth is if there was a biological rather than chemical way to kill the poppies it would be game over, but that would affect too many retirement plans inside the Beltway and in other capitol. So that ain't happening either.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 8:20 Comments || Top||

#6  In these circumstances best to declare victory and come home, methinks.
With 'Erb on this.
Posted by: Lex || 03/16/2020 8:25 Comments || Top||

#7  Lessee. I basically agree with you on the Afghanistan situation. OK, I went for the low hanging fruit. In case you haven't noticed, Senatorial collegiality isn't much the rule here, though it's way more civilized than the comments at a lot of other sites. I've left myself open to the same treatment (technically called "I stepped on my d*ck") and I didn't whine about it. If you have to call a playground goof a slur I guess I don't need to make extra effort to agree with you even when I tend to feel I do. Just sayin...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 8:58 Comments || Top||

#8  I guess my comment #8 doesn't meet the Herb threshold for "arguments" because there are no links or footnotes.

That was an undisguised snide remark, BTW..
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 9:04 Comments || Top||

#9  With the world distracted by everything corona, now would be an outstanding time to change the ROE.

End them.
Posted by: The peanut gallery || 03/16/2020 10:59 Comments || Top||

#10  I like comment #13 but I also want to get all of our troops out of there. I want them home from everywhere.

Herb, just because I want the troops home does not mean I agree with you. On anything. Ever. I think you are paid scum.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 03/16/2020 14:18 Comments || Top||

#11  That’s quite enough of that. Mr. McCoy, you need to learn the critical life skill of rising above it. You were being gently teased in a friendly manner until you attacked. For the next two days all your comments will be spamcopped. After that we will readdress the question.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/16/2020 14:52 Comments || Top||

#12  Obey the commander in chief. I'm

You're in the military?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/16/2020 14:53 Comments || Top||

#13  Now I feel bad. I essentially started it. I need to do better myself.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 15:42 Comments || Top||

#14  She has a way with words, doesn't she.
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/16/2020 16:09 Comments || Top||

#15  I feel... Chastened.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 16:12 Comments || Top||

#16  Dear M., next time just use one of those winky emoticons or LOL or something similar to indicate the teasing even I caught, though I, too, can be overly literal. I’ve had to apologize for it more times than I care to remember.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/16/2020 16:51 Comments || Top||

#17  Herb pushes peoples buttons here, but he says some worthwhile stuff. Everyone can improve their delivery if the just accept there's room for improvement and it's worth the effort to get there.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 17:01 Comments || Top||

#18  But I don't feel a need to offer a link to every opinion I happen to have. Sometimes I shoot from the hip and I'm not half bad at that.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 17:10 Comments || Top||

#19  And the setup was sweet. I couldn't pass it up.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 17:13 Comments || Top||

#20  if the just accept there's room for improvement

Acceptance by the Just allows for the compromise of standards of decorum, which then becomes acceptable behavior and in time diminishes constructs of the social contract.
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/16/2020 18:13 Comments || Top||

#21  Wish it weren't so but you are correct.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 18:23 Comments || Top||

#22  Putin may have hypersonic missiles, but only we have the Periwinkle Cluebat.
Posted by: Matt || 03/16/2020 19:15 Comments || Top||

#23  And that bat works. Try it and see.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 03/16/2020 19:30 Comments || Top||

#24  *blush*

Herb, please don’t make me this again — it hurts.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/16/2020 21:30 Comments || Top||

#25  ... An it's 'Erbie this, an' 'Erbie that, and "Chuck 'im out, the brute!"
But it's saviour of his website when the pixels start to shoot
Posted by: Lex || 03/16/2020 21:42 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Pipeline blast in Nigeria kills 15, destroys several buildings
[PRESSTV] A pipeline explosion has killed at least 15 people and destroyed about 50 buildings after a fire broke out in a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, emergency services say.

Several people were maimed and taken to hospital, according to Ibrahim Farinloye, zonal coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Plumes of smoke billowed into the air as people watched, while firefighters tried to quench the flames, a Rooters witness said.

Farinloye said some of the buildings collapsed while many roof-tops were blown up. He said the cause of the earth-shattering kaboom was not known.

"We cannot actually say immediately what caused it. There was fire on the pipeline," Farinloye told Rooters. "The explosion destroyed over 50 residential houses."

Pipeline fires in Nigeria, Africa's biggest crude oil producer, are common and they are mostly caused by theft and sabotage. The methods used to steal oil often result in accidents that cause fires.

Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Probably shouldn't have used the blowtorch to cut into the pipeline.
Posted by: gorb || 03/16/2020 9:26 Comments || Top||

ISIS advises terrorists to steer clear of Europe during coronavirus outbreak
When SUICIDE BOMBERS think your continent is too dangerous to visit…
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/16/2020 03:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  "In the wake of Corona Virus outbreak, ISIS also found it sensible to follow the Pakistan government advisory and advised the terrorists do work from home for quarantine period. However, the decision didn’t go well and one of the ISIS terrorists based out of Karachi blew his own house with 18 kgs RDX.."
Posted by: John Frum || 03/16/2020 14:31 Comments || Top||

#2  😎😃😜
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/16/2020 14:39 Comments || Top||

#3  That is gold.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/16/2020 15:46 Comments || Top||

The Grand Turk
Turkey's 3rd #drillship reaches its #Mediterranean coast
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

Total number of #coronavirus infections reaches 111 in #Sulaimaniya
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

Coronavirus and oil price crash could plunge Iraq deeper into crisis
[Rudaw] Coronavirus has already ground daily life in Iraq to a halt ‐ but disarray in Baghdad threatens to worsen the economic forecast amidst a price war that continues pinching global oil markets.

Oil prices globally plummeted by nearly half in the past week, with crude prices dipping as low as $35 a barrel as a result of a standoff between rivals Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
and Russia.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq

#1  'Silver linings'

Diesel was $1.45 here yesterday.
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/16/2020 11:52 Comments || Top||

Why did Balad change its mind about Benny Gantz?
[JPost] - Balad’s decision on Sunday to join its partners in the Joint List by endorsing Blue and White head Benny Gantz to form a coalition government came as a surprise to Arab Israelis, who appeared to be divided on the move.

While many welcomed Joint List’s unanimous endorsement of Gantz, others expressed disappointment over Balad’s change of heart.

After the election in September, Balad refused to join its allies in the Joint List by endorsing Gantz for the premiership.

In recommending Gantz then, Joint List leaders told President Reuven Rivlin that "for us, the most important thing is to remove [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu from power."
Should've made Israeli "Anyone but Bibi" crowd stop and think. Alas, they can't think.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/16/2020 03:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

SARC condemns terrorists’ assault on its volunteers and hijacking of its properties in Idleb
[SANA.SY] The Syrian Arab Red Islamic Thingy (SARC) condemned the terrorist groups’ acts of assaulting its volunteers and hijacked its properties in the cities of Idleb and Ariha on Saturday.

In a statement on Sunday, SARC said that turbans broke into its branches and clinics in the cities of Idleb and Ariha, assaulting the volunteers in them, damaging and ransacking their contents, and taking over their premises.

SARC said this blatant attack on its branches in Idleb and Ariha constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity, holding those who control these areas and their supporters responsible for this.

The organization called for respecting international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, calling for helping the SARC branches and volunteers and allowing them to resume their humanitarian activities, which include providing locals with food, medical services, and aid convoys.

In the same context, the International Committee of the Red Thingy (ICRC) expressed in a statement deep concern over this incident, stressing the need for respecting and protecting humanitarian relief workers.
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6489 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

#1  /Sarc ?
Posted by: Mercutio || 03/16/2020 7:33 Comments || Top||

Authorities in northern #Iran covered up with plastic a recently unveiled statue of slain military commander #QassemSoleimani
[PUBLISH.TWITTER] Is it just me, or is his thumb on upside down?
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  "Incredibly lifelike"

Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2020 5:28 Comments || Top||

#2  It looks like to me the statue has no pants on.
Posted by: Clailet Hupinesing9972 || 03/16/2020 7:30 Comments || Top||

#3  "Soleimani in Body Bag": Edgy. I like it.
Posted by: Shineper Grumble1521 || 03/16/2020 7:45 Comments || Top||

#4  ^ Snark O' The Day!
Posted by: Lex || 03/16/2020 8:20 Comments || Top||

#5  Is it just me, or is his thumb on upside down?

Well, they did have a limited supply of pieces to put back together after he was blown up. They did a pretty good job all considered.
Posted by: gorb || 03/16/2020 9:30 Comments || Top||

#6  It looks like to me the statue has no pants on.

Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/16/2020 9:40 Comments || Top||

#7  Keeping folks from licking it, are they?
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/16/2020 10:03 Comments || Top||

#8  Needs targeting coordinates.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/16/2020 10:21 Comments || Top||

#9  A prophylactic?
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/16/2020 11:50 Comments || Top||

#10  Mebbe the artist is a Talosian.

"VINA: They found me in the wreckage, dying, a lump of flesh. They rebuilt me. Everything works, but they had never seen a human. They had no guide for putting me back together."
Posted by: JHH || 03/16/2020 12:00 Comments || Top||

#11  Jeez, everybody's a critic...

"Disturbing." An artist of Arbil
Regards this Iranian marble.
"Unease is enhanced
By an absence of pants
And the shine on its marvelous yarble."
Posted by: Squinty Uneack9858 || 03/16/2020 17:14 Comments || Top||

#12  Yarble? LOL!
Posted by: Frank G || 03/16/2020 18:29 Comments || Top||

Iran's death toll from coronavirus reaches 724
Posted by: Fred || 03/16/2020 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  853 as of a few hours ago
Posted by: lord garth || 03/16/2020 9:27 Comments || Top||

#2  10% of actual, 1%?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/16/2020 14:54 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
6Sublime Porte
5Govt of Iran Proxies
4Govt of Iran
3Islamic State
2Arab Spring
2Govt of Iraq
1Govt of Saudi Arabia

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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2020-03-16
  Saudi Arabia detains 298 officials in new corruption cases
Sun 2020-03-15
  Hezbollah commander prosecuted in Austria for terror finance
Sat 2020-03-14
  Violence by Taliban Spikes Despite Peace Efforts
Fri 2020-03-13
  Sudan moves against Bashir loyalists after assassination attempt
Thu 2020-03-12
  4 Iranian proxy forces HQ hit in airstrikes along Iraq-Syria border
Wed 2020-03-11
  Rocket attack in Iraq kills two Americans and a British citizen
Tue 2020-03-10
  US begins military pullout from two Afghan bases
Mon 2020-03-09
  Turks Use Drones in Tear Gas Attacks on Greek Border Guards
Sun 2020-03-08
  Leb defaults
Sat 2020-03-07
  Saudis reportedly detain three royal princes over ‘coup plot’
Fri 2020-03-06
  Tunis: suicide bomber explodes near U.S. embassy
Thu 2020-03-05
  Russia sends reinforcements through the Bosporus
Wed 2020-03-04
  4 L-39's and 18 Su-24's left in Syrian Airforce
Tue 2020-03-03
  Taliban Orders Resumed Attacks on Govt Forces
Mon 2020-03-02
  Turkey shoots down two Syrian fighter jets over Idlib
Sun 2020-03-01
  Iraq's PM-designate Allawi withdraws, prolonging deadlock

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