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Showing posts with label US. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US. Show all posts

Whoever Bola A. Tinubu that attended Chicago state University never graduated (VIDEO)

Whoever Bola A. Tinubu that attended Chicago state University never graduated (VIDEO)

 US, EU, OTHERS ASK TINUBU TO VACATE ASO ROCKS


 US, EU, OTHERS ASK TINUBU TO VACATE ASO ROCKS


#SPECIALMILITARYOPERATION: Russia targets US and European arms shipments in Ukraine

#SPECIALMILITARYOPERATION: Russia targets US and European arms shipments in Ukraine


The Russian Ministry of Defense destroyed US and European military equipment depots using naval "Kaliber" missiles, and reported the surrender of 265 Ukrainian militants at the "Azovstal" plant.


Russia announced today, Tuesday, the targeting of US and European arms shipments, near the city of Lvov, in western Ukraine.


The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement: "have been targeted and the destruction of American and European arms shipments near the city of Lvov missiles, naval aircraft CALIBER."


According to the statement, high-precision air missiles of the Russian Air Force hit two command posts and a communications center, including the 30th mechanized brigade in the Bakhmut region, 28 military assembly areas, and two depots of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


The United States provides a number of European countries led by Germany and Britain Kyiv sophisticated weaponry.


The statement stated that 265 Ukrainian militants, including 51 seriously wounded, surrendered and laid down their weapons, after they were trapped in the Azovstal factory in Mariupol.


Russia announced yesterday, to reach an agreement with the Ukrainian military in the factory area "Azovstal" to evacuate the wounded to medical institutions in the People's Republic of Donetsk.


Also, the Russian Defense Ministry indicated that its forces had killed, during the past 24 hours, "more than 470 extremist militants, and disabled 68 units of military equipment."


The Russian Ministry of Defense destroyed US and European military equipment depots using naval "Kaliber" missiles, and reported the surrender of 265 Ukrainian militants at the "Azovstal" plant.


Russia announced today, Tuesday, the targeting of US and European arms shipments, near the city of Lvov, in western Ukraine.


The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement: "have been targeted and the destruction of American and European arms shipments near the city of Lvov missiles, naval aircraft CALIBER."


According to the statement, high-precision air missiles of the Russian Air Force hit two command posts and a communications center, including the 30th mechanized brigade in the Bakhmut region, 28 military assembly areas, and two depots of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


The United States provides a number of European countries led by Germany and Britain Kyiv sophisticated weaponry.


The statement stated that 265 Ukrainian militants, including 51 seriously wounded, surrendered and laid down their weapons, after they were trapped in the Azovstal factory in Mariupol.


Russia announced yesterday, to reach an agreement with the Ukrainian military in the factory area "Azovstal" to evacuate the wounded to medical institutions in the People's Republic of Donetsk.


Also, the Russian Defense Ministry indicated that its forces had killed, during the past 24 hours, "more than 470 extremist militants, and disabled 68 units of military equipment."

Mariupol: Captured Ukrainian Commander says US-supplied Javelins ‘useless’

Mariupol: Captured Ukrainian Commander says US-supplied Javelins ‘useless’

RT: The Kiev troops defending Mariupol couldn’t fire a single US-made missile, the captured officer claims


The US-made Javelin anti-tank systems have been praised for their effectiveness by Washington officials and have been turned by Western Media into a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance in the conflict with Russia. But a commander of the Ukrainian marines, who ended up being captured during the fighting for Mariupol, has revealed to RT that the hardware doesn't really live up to the claims.

“The Javelins didn’t prove useful, especially in urban warfare,” Colonel Vladimir Baranyuk, the commander of Ukraine’s 36th Naval Infantry Brigade, said.

“We couldn't even launch one. I think it's completely useless in an urban environment, as something always gets in the way,” he explained.

Baranyuk's unit was also armed with Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs), supplied by Britain, but these also had their flaws, according to the officer.

“As for the NLAW missile launchers, well, we used them more often than the Javelins, but it has its own issue with the battery draining in cold conditions, making it impossible to launch,” he said.

Shoulder-fired Javelin missiles are equipped with infrared guidance and are said to be adopt a “top attack” trajectory to strike the roof of a tank, which is its most vulnerable part. Just like NLAWs, they're a “fire-and-forget” weapon, meaning that the missile guides itself to its target.

More than 5,000 Javelins have been supplied to Kiev by Washington. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said last week that it accounted for a third of the US stockpile of those systems. London, for its part, has already armed the Ukrainian military with over 4,000 NLAWs and other anti-tank missiles.

“The Javelin… have proven to be very, very effective in this fight,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in April, referring to the conflict in Ukraine.

An image of Christianity’s Virgin Mother Mary with a Javelin has become an internet meme during the conflict, with US President Joe Biden boasting earlier this week of Ukrainian parents calling their newborn kids “Javelin or Javelina” in honor of the American system.

Baranyuk and his marines had been tasked with guarding the northern outskirts of Mariupol, a strategic port city in the southeast of Ukraine, from the advancing Russian forces.

The commander was captured during a failed attempt to flee the city, which he claims he attempted together with several loyal men after realizing that Kiev's promises to send help to his encircled troops were lies.

Mariupol has seen the heaviest fighting during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and suffered immense destruction. The city is now almost entirely controlled by Russian forces, with the Azovstal steel plant - where Kiev servicemen and nationalist fighters of the notorious Azov Battalion are holed up, now being the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance.

Russia attacked its neighboring state following Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Source: RT
RT: The Kiev troops defending Mariupol couldn’t fire a single US-made missile, the captured officer claims


The US-made Javelin anti-tank systems have been praised for their effectiveness by Washington officials and have been turned by Western Media into a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance in the conflict with Russia. But a commander of the Ukrainian marines, who ended up being captured during the fighting for Mariupol, has revealed to RT that the hardware doesn't really live up to the claims.

“The Javelins didn’t prove useful, especially in urban warfare,” Colonel Vladimir Baranyuk, the commander of Ukraine’s 36th Naval Infantry Brigade, said.

“We couldn't even launch one. I think it's completely useless in an urban environment, as something always gets in the way,” he explained.

Baranyuk's unit was also armed with Next-generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs), supplied by Britain, but these also had their flaws, according to the officer.

“As for the NLAW missile launchers, well, we used them more often than the Javelins, but it has its own issue with the battery draining in cold conditions, making it impossible to launch,” he said.

Shoulder-fired Javelin missiles are equipped with infrared guidance and are said to be adopt a “top attack” trajectory to strike the roof of a tank, which is its most vulnerable part. Just like NLAWs, they're a “fire-and-forget” weapon, meaning that the missile guides itself to its target.

More than 5,000 Javelins have been supplied to Kiev by Washington. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri said last week that it accounted for a third of the US stockpile of those systems. London, for its part, has already armed the Ukrainian military with over 4,000 NLAWs and other anti-tank missiles.

“The Javelin… have proven to be very, very effective in this fight,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in April, referring to the conflict in Ukraine.

An image of Christianity’s Virgin Mother Mary with a Javelin has become an internet meme during the conflict, with US President Joe Biden boasting earlier this week of Ukrainian parents calling their newborn kids “Javelin or Javelina” in honor of the American system.

Baranyuk and his marines had been tasked with guarding the northern outskirts of Mariupol, a strategic port city in the southeast of Ukraine, from the advancing Russian forces.

The commander was captured during a failed attempt to flee the city, which he claims he attempted together with several loyal men after realizing that Kiev's promises to send help to his encircled troops were lies.

Mariupol has seen the heaviest fighting during the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and suffered immense destruction. The city is now almost entirely controlled by Russian forces, with the Azovstal steel plant - where Kiev servicemen and nationalist fighters of the notorious Azov Battalion are holed up, now being the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance.

Russia attacked its neighboring state following Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Source: RT

Russian President Putin Readt to Negotiate with the US-Led NATO, Ukraine only 'part' of the problem says Kremlin

Russian President Putin Readt to Negotiate with the US-Led NATO, Ukraine only 'part' of the problem says Kremlin


President Vladimir Putin of Russia is “willing to negotiate” over demands for security guarantees with the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, highlighting that the issue surrounding Ukraine is only “part” of the overall problem.


Peskov noted that negotiations have consistently been at the top of the president’s list of priorities. “President Putin has always been demanding negotiations and diplomacy”, Peskov said to CNN, adding that it was the Kremlin which originally “initiated the issue of guarantees of security.”

He said: “Ukraine is just part of the problem, it’s part of the bigger problem of security guarantees for Russia,” the spokesman continued, emphasizing that Putin is “willing” to engage on a wider range of subjects.

Peskov’s comments were met by with a positive response in Washington, where US Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre welcomed the chance for dialogue.

We are open to diplomacy. That door to diplomacy is open, as we have said,” she noted. “And so … that’s what we want to be headed towards.”

Peskov’s comments on Monday night echoed similar statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who earlier that day had highlighted Russia’s desire for effective dialogue with the West.

“We will develop a dialogue on aspects that are currently practically important, with our Western, primarily American, colleagues,” Lavrov declared.

These recent comments from the Russian officials coincide with an announcement on Tuesday morning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Russian response to US-led NATO regarding security proposals is nearing completion.

On December 17 last year, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a draft agreement between Russia and NATO members presenting Moscow’s security demands, namely the guarantee by the US-led military bloc of its non-expansion east into Ukraine and a limit to the deployment of troops and weapons to the bloc’s eastern flank, in effect returning NATO forces to where they were stationed in 1997.

Moscow received an official written response from Washington on January 26. However, shortly after the text arrived, Putin lamented that all of Russia’s fundamental demands were ignored.



President Vladimir Putin of Russia is “willing to negotiate” over demands for security guarantees with the West, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, highlighting that the issue surrounding Ukraine is only “part” of the overall problem.


Peskov noted that negotiations have consistently been at the top of the president’s list of priorities. “President Putin has always been demanding negotiations and diplomacy”, Peskov said to CNN, adding that it was the Kremlin which originally “initiated the issue of guarantees of security.”

He said: “Ukraine is just part of the problem, it’s part of the bigger problem of security guarantees for Russia,” the spokesman continued, emphasizing that Putin is “willing” to engage on a wider range of subjects.

Peskov’s comments were met by with a positive response in Washington, where US Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre welcomed the chance for dialogue.

We are open to diplomacy. That door to diplomacy is open, as we have said,” she noted. “And so … that’s what we want to be headed towards.”

Peskov’s comments on Monday night echoed similar statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who earlier that day had highlighted Russia’s desire for effective dialogue with the West.

“We will develop a dialogue on aspects that are currently practically important, with our Western, primarily American, colleagues,” Lavrov declared.

These recent comments from the Russian officials coincide with an announcement on Tuesday morning from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Russian response to US-led NATO regarding security proposals is nearing completion.

On December 17 last year, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a draft agreement between Russia and NATO members presenting Moscow’s security demands, namely the guarantee by the US-led military bloc of its non-expansion east into Ukraine and a limit to the deployment of troops and weapons to the bloc’s eastern flank, in effect returning NATO forces to where they were stationed in 1997.

Moscow received an official written response from Washington on January 26. However, shortly after the text arrived, Putin lamented that all of Russia’s fundamental demands were ignored.


China says US ‘fanning threat of war’, Ukraine social and economy dealt a serious blow

China says US ‘fanning threat of war’, Ukraine social and economy dealt a serious blow

Intelligence reports claiming a Russian invasion could be imminent have hit the Ukrainian economy hard



Claims from Western politicians and spy agencies that Russian bombs could start falling on Ukraine at any moment as part of an all-out invasion have dealt a heavy social and economic blow to Kiev, Beijing has claimed.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin weighed in on the standoff on the border between the two Eastern European nations, arguing that Washington has contributed to rapidly rising tensions.

“Over the last few days, the US has been fanning the threat of war, artificially creating a tense atmosphere, which has dealt a serious blow to the economy, social stability and living conditions of the people of Ukraine,” he said.

According to the diplomat, Washington has also increased “the resistance to advancing negotiations and dialogue among the parties concerned.”

Wang’s remarks come amid an impasse between East and West in recent months, with a number of leaders repeatedly warning that Russia could soon order an invasion of Ukraine. Officials in Washington have even gone so far as to claim that Moscow could launch the attack during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Earlier this week, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced that the US is becoming increasingly concerned about the “burgeoning relationship between Russia and China” and Beijing’s “tacit support” for Moscow on issues of European security.

The Kremlin has repeatedly insisted that it has no aggressive intentions against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced that its troops had wrapped up their training drills in Belarus near the Ukrainian border, and would begin the process of returning to their permanent bases.

Amid rumors that an incursion into Ukraine is imminent, Moscow has sought to obtain security guarantees that would limit both NATO’s expansion closer to its borders and its presence in Eastern Europe.

Following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympic Games earlier this month, the Kremlin published a joint declaration in which both sides called for an end to the US-led military bloc’s expansion. “The parties oppose the further expansion of NATO and call for the North Atlantic Alliance to refrain from ideological approaches from the time of the Cold War,” the statement read.

The two nations have emphasized the importance of their partnership in an array of spheres, such as their booming trade, energy, economics, and defense. According to Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov, Xi is fully on board with Moscow’s pursuit of attaining security assurances from the West, noting in December that the Chinese leader is “naturally well aware of and understands the main issue: the concerns Russia has on its western borders.”

However, several analysts have speculated that this seemingly budding collaboration between Moscow and Beijing may not be as developed when compared to blocs such as NATO.



Intelligence reports claiming a Russian invasion could be imminent have hit the Ukrainian economy hard



Claims from Western politicians and spy agencies that Russian bombs could start falling on Ukraine at any moment as part of an all-out invasion have dealt a heavy social and economic blow to Kiev, Beijing has claimed.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin weighed in on the standoff on the border between the two Eastern European nations, arguing that Washington has contributed to rapidly rising tensions.

“Over the last few days, the US has been fanning the threat of war, artificially creating a tense atmosphere, which has dealt a serious blow to the economy, social stability and living conditions of the people of Ukraine,” he said.

According to the diplomat, Washington has also increased “the resistance to advancing negotiations and dialogue among the parties concerned.”

Wang’s remarks come amid an impasse between East and West in recent months, with a number of leaders repeatedly warning that Russia could soon order an invasion of Ukraine. Officials in Washington have even gone so far as to claim that Moscow could launch the attack during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Earlier this week, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced that the US is becoming increasingly concerned about the “burgeoning relationship between Russia and China” and Beijing’s “tacit support” for Moscow on issues of European security.

The Kremlin has repeatedly insisted that it has no aggressive intentions against Ukraine. On Tuesday, Moscow’s Ministry of Defense announced that its troops had wrapped up their training drills in Belarus near the Ukrainian border, and would begin the process of returning to their permanent bases.

Amid rumors that an incursion into Ukraine is imminent, Moscow has sought to obtain security guarantees that would limit both NATO’s expansion closer to its borders and its presence in Eastern Europe.

Following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing ahead of the opening of the Winter Olympic Games earlier this month, the Kremlin published a joint declaration in which both sides called for an end to the US-led military bloc’s expansion. “The parties oppose the further expansion of NATO and call for the North Atlantic Alliance to refrain from ideological approaches from the time of the Cold War,” the statement read.

The two nations have emphasized the importance of their partnership in an array of spheres, such as their booming trade, energy, economics, and defense. According to Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov, Xi is fully on board with Moscow’s pursuit of attaining security assurances from the West, noting in December that the Chinese leader is “naturally well aware of and understands the main issue: the concerns Russia has on its western borders.”

However, several analysts have speculated that this seemingly budding collaboration between Moscow and Beijing may not be as developed when compared to blocs such as NATO.



Moscow rejects Washington concerns about Ukraine as smokescreen

Moscow rejects Washington concerns about Ukraine as smokescreen

President Putin

Russia on Monday  vehemently condemned and rejected the U.S. claims of a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.


Kremlin added that it could be a ruse intended to cover up what it described as Ukrainian leadership's aggressive intentions.


According to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who dismissed U.S. media allegations of Moscow's purported plans to invade Ukraine as part of efforts to discredit Russia. 


Peskov maintained that troop movements on Russia's own territory shouldn't concern anyone.


Ukraine complained earlier this month that Russia has kept tens of thousands of troops not far from the two countries' borders after conducting war games in an attempt to further pressure its ex-Soviet neighbor. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has supported a separatist insurgency that broke out that year in eastern Ukraine.


Speaking to Ukraine's foreign minister this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that Russia's "playbook" was to build up forces near the border and then invade, "claiming falsely that it was provoked."


Peskov sought to turn the tables on Ukraine and the West, arguing that the expressions of concern by the U.S. and its allies may "camouflage aggressive intentions in Kyiv to try to solve the problem of the southeast by force."


He accused the Ukrainian military of increasingly frequent shootings across the tense line of contact in the east and added that Moscow is strongly worried about the U.S. and other NATO countries providing Ukraine with weapons.


"The number of provocations has been growing, and those provocations have been conducted using the weapons that NATO countries sent to Ukraine," Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. "We are watching it with a grave concern."


Russia has cast its weight behind the separatist insurgency in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland known as Donbas that has left more than 14,000 people dead. But Moscow has repeatedly denied any presence of its troops in eastern Ukraine.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday also criticized what he described as "bellicose rhetoric" by Ukrainian military officials, charging that it could "reflect a desire to conduct provocations and turn the conflict into a hot phase."


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected the Russian allegations of Ukraine's plans to launch an attack on Donbas as part of Moscow's "disinformation."


"Let me state it officially: Ukraine does not plan a military offensive in the Donbas," Kuleba said on Twitter. "We are devoted to seeking political & diplomatic solutions to the conflict."


In a strongly-worded statement, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) scathingly criticized the U.S. State Department of spreading "absolute lies" about a purported Russian buildup near Ukraine.


"The Americans are painting a horrible picture of Russian tank armadas crushing Ukrainian cities," it said in Monday's statement. "It's surprising to see a speed at which a formerly respectable foreign policy agency is turning into a mouthpiece of mendacious propaganda."


The SVR alleged that it was Ukraine that was beefing up its forces near Russia and Belarus.


The Russian spy agency also accused the U.S. and the European Union of encouraging "the sense of permissiveness and impunity" in Ukraine, comparing the situation to Western expressions of support to Georgia before the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.


Russia routed the Georgian army in the brief conflict that erupted when Georgia attempted to reclaim control over a Russia-backed separatist province. Moscow then recognized the independence of Georgia's two separatist provinces after the war.




Source

President Putin

Russia on Monday  vehemently condemned and rejected the U.S. claims of a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.


Kremlin added that it could be a ruse intended to cover up what it described as Ukrainian leadership's aggressive intentions.


According to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who dismissed U.S. media allegations of Moscow's purported plans to invade Ukraine as part of efforts to discredit Russia. 


Peskov maintained that troop movements on Russia's own territory shouldn't concern anyone.


Ukraine complained earlier this month that Russia has kept tens of thousands of troops not far from the two countries' borders after conducting war games in an attempt to further pressure its ex-Soviet neighbor. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has supported a separatist insurgency that broke out that year in eastern Ukraine.


Speaking to Ukraine's foreign minister this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that Russia's "playbook" was to build up forces near the border and then invade, "claiming falsely that it was provoked."


Peskov sought to turn the tables on Ukraine and the West, arguing that the expressions of concern by the U.S. and its allies may "camouflage aggressive intentions in Kyiv to try to solve the problem of the southeast by force."


He accused the Ukrainian military of increasingly frequent shootings across the tense line of contact in the east and added that Moscow is strongly worried about the U.S. and other NATO countries providing Ukraine with weapons.


"The number of provocations has been growing, and those provocations have been conducted using the weapons that NATO countries sent to Ukraine," Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. "We are watching it with a grave concern."


Russia has cast its weight behind the separatist insurgency in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland known as Donbas that has left more than 14,000 people dead. But Moscow has repeatedly denied any presence of its troops in eastern Ukraine.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday also criticized what he described as "bellicose rhetoric" by Ukrainian military officials, charging that it could "reflect a desire to conduct provocations and turn the conflict into a hot phase."


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected the Russian allegations of Ukraine's plans to launch an attack on Donbas as part of Moscow's "disinformation."


"Let me state it officially: Ukraine does not plan a military offensive in the Donbas," Kuleba said on Twitter. "We are devoted to seeking political & diplomatic solutions to the conflict."


In a strongly-worded statement, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) scathingly criticized the U.S. State Department of spreading "absolute lies" about a purported Russian buildup near Ukraine.


"The Americans are painting a horrible picture of Russian tank armadas crushing Ukrainian cities," it said in Monday's statement. "It's surprising to see a speed at which a formerly respectable foreign policy agency is turning into a mouthpiece of mendacious propaganda."


The SVR alleged that it was Ukraine that was beefing up its forces near Russia and Belarus.


The Russian spy agency also accused the U.S. and the European Union of encouraging "the sense of permissiveness and impunity" in Ukraine, comparing the situation to Western expressions of support to Georgia before the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.


Russia routed the Georgian army in the brief conflict that erupted when Georgia attempted to reclaim control over a Russia-backed separatist province. Moscow then recognized the independence of Georgia's two separatist provinces after the war.




Source

United States warns Israel its attacks on Iran nuclear program are counterproductive — NYT

United States warns Israel its attacks on Iran nuclear program are counterproductive — NYT


It is no long a new apotheosis that threatening Iran by America and allies, economy sanctions or "economy Terrorism" as Tehran called it has always been counterproductive and by continuing doing so America is only putting all it's Allies in the region at risk, although Washington has repeatedly claims all options are on the table.

In contrast, the he officials of the United States have warned Israel that its attacks against the Iranian nuclear program are counterproductive and have enabled Tehran to rebuild an even more efficient enrichment system, according to the New York Times report Sunday.

NYT, citing officials familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussion between Washington and Jerusalem, as the Biden Administration continues to try and bring Iran back into the nuclear deal, the report said that Israeli officials have dismissed the warnings, saying they have “no intention of letting up.”

While in the last 20 months there have been four explosions at Iranian nuclear facilities attributed to Israel, along with the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, the report said Washington officials have cautioned their Israeli counterparts that while such efforts may be “tactically satisfying,” they are “ultimately counterproductive.” And that Iran has managed to resume enrichment within months, often installing newer machines that can enrich uranium far faster.

However, the officials said Israel appeared unmoved by the arguments, and this was one of the many areas on which the US and Israel disagree regarding efforts to thwart Tehran’s drive to build nuclear weapons.

Further complicating matters was the fact that Iran has apparently managed to improve its defenses, particularly in the cyber field, the report said. As a consequence, cyber attacks like the Stuxnet attack that crippled centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site for more than a year, an attack widely reported to be a joint US-Israeli effort, have become “much harder now to pull off.”

The major concern now was how close Iran has come to being able to build a nuclear weapon since then-US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018.

This week, with Iran set for talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had again increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Iran’s stockpile, as of November 6, was many times in excess of the limit laid down in the agreement with world powers, said the IAEA report. Such highly enriched uranium can be easily refined to make atomic weapons, which is why world powers have sought to contain Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Vienna-based agency told members that it is still not able to verify Iran’s exact stockpile of enriched uranium due to the limitations Tehran imposed on UN inspectors earlier this year.

The IAEA has been unable to access surveillance footage of Iranian nuclear sites or of online enrichment monitors and electronic seals since February. The agency’s chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, told The Associated Press this month that the situation was like “flying in a heavily clouded sky.”

Sunday’s NYT report said that since abandoning the agreement, Iran had managed to reduce its breakout time to a bomb from about a year to just a few weeks.

“Before Mr. Trump decided to scrap the deal, Iran had adhered to the limits of the 2015 agreement — which by most estimates kept it about a year from ‘breakout,’ the point where it has enough material for a bomb. While estimates vary, that buffer is now down to somewhere between three weeks and a few months, which would change the geopolitical calculation throughout the Middle East,” the report said.

US officials have publicly warned that Iran’s violations are making it increasingly unlikely that there can be a return to the 2015 deal as it was.


The US envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned Friday that Tehran was approaching the point of no return for reviving a nuclear deal after it boosted its stocks of enriched uranium before the talks resume this month.

“The time will come if Iran continues at this pace with the advancements they’ve made, [it] will make it impossible even if we were going to go back to the JCPOA to recapture the benefits,” Malley told the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain, referring to the deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Iran’s advances are spreading alarm across the region… that’s what’s making the clock tick faster and making all of us say that the time is short for a return to the JCPOA,” Malley said.

And I want to be clear, because there’s no ambiguity about what they seem to be doing now, which is to drag their feet on the nuclear talks and accelerate the progress in their nuclear program,” he added.

The US envoy said he was not encouraged by the statements from the new Iranian government of President Ebrahim Raisi, which earlier on Friday accused Washington of conducting a “propaganda campaign” against the country.

With the possibility of a return to the 2015 deal fading, the US was examining the possibility of hammering out an interim deal with Iran, the New York Times report said, confirming a separate report last week. “Inside the White House, there has been a scramble in recent days to explore whether some kind of interim deal might be possible to freeze Iran’s production of more enriched uranium and its conversion of that fuel to metallic form — a necessary step in fabricating a warhead,” the Times said. “In return, the United States might ease a limited number of sanctions. That would not solve the problem. But it might buy time for negotiations, while holding off Israeli threats to bomb Iranian facilities.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the prospect of an interim agreement with Iran, to allow more time for nuclear negotiations, in talks with his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, the Axios news site reported last week.

A pair of American sources said Sullivan and Hulata were just “brainstorming,” and that the proposal was suggested by an unspecified European ally of the US.

The US sources said the proposal was for Iran to suspend a disallowed nuclear activity such as enriching uranium to 60 percent, in exchange for the US and allied countries releasing some frozen Iranian money, or issuing sanctions waivers on humanitarian goods.

An unnamed Israeli official cited in the Axios report said Hulata told Sullivan he was against the idea and Israel’s concern was that any interim agreement could become permanent, allowing Iran to maintain its nuclear infrastructure and supply of uranium it has built up.

While Israel has been more direct, staying her readiness to attack Iran’s nuclear program and allocating billions of dollars to IDF to prepare and train for a potential strike, the United States has been trying to reassure its allies in recent days that if diplomacy fails, other options are available.

“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Manama event, which was put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure,” he said.

However, Iran has proven on several occasions that they are not soft power. In retaliation for the assasination of general suleimani Tehran fired precision missiles from their territories and they successfully destroyed American military base in northern Iraq. On another occasion the Houthi forces in Yemen flew barrages of Armed drones into Aramco oil field in Saudi Arabia crippling oil production, Iran was behind the attack.

Any aggressive act against Iran will yeild response from Tehran no matter how and irrespective of who is the aggressor and may not halt the Persia nuclear programs for the time being.


Currently, Iran is not known to  possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has been signatory to treaties repudiating the possession of WMDs including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 


Iran has first-hand knowledge of WMD effects as over 100,000 Iranian troops and civilians were victims of chemical weapons during the 1980s Iran–Iraq War.


It is no long a new apotheosis that threatening Iran by America and allies, economy sanctions or "economy Terrorism" as Tehran called it has always been counterproductive and by continuing doing so America is only putting all it's Allies in the region at risk, although Washington has repeatedly claims all options are on the table.

In contrast, the he officials of the United States have warned Israel that its attacks against the Iranian nuclear program are counterproductive and have enabled Tehran to rebuild an even more efficient enrichment system, according to the New York Times report Sunday.

NYT, citing officials familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussion between Washington and Jerusalem, as the Biden Administration continues to try and bring Iran back into the nuclear deal, the report said that Israeli officials have dismissed the warnings, saying they have “no intention of letting up.”

While in the last 20 months there have been four explosions at Iranian nuclear facilities attributed to Israel, along with the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, the report said Washington officials have cautioned their Israeli counterparts that while such efforts may be “tactically satisfying,” they are “ultimately counterproductive.” And that Iran has managed to resume enrichment within months, often installing newer machines that can enrich uranium far faster.

However, the officials said Israel appeared unmoved by the arguments, and this was one of the many areas on which the US and Israel disagree regarding efforts to thwart Tehran’s drive to build nuclear weapons.

Further complicating matters was the fact that Iran has apparently managed to improve its defenses, particularly in the cyber field, the report said. As a consequence, cyber attacks like the Stuxnet attack that crippled centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site for more than a year, an attack widely reported to be a joint US-Israeli effort, have become “much harder now to pull off.”

The major concern now was how close Iran has come to being able to build a nuclear weapon since then-US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018.

This week, with Iran set for talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had again increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Iran’s stockpile, as of November 6, was many times in excess of the limit laid down in the agreement with world powers, said the IAEA report. Such highly enriched uranium can be easily refined to make atomic weapons, which is why world powers have sought to contain Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Vienna-based agency told members that it is still not able to verify Iran’s exact stockpile of enriched uranium due to the limitations Tehran imposed on UN inspectors earlier this year.

The IAEA has been unable to access surveillance footage of Iranian nuclear sites or of online enrichment monitors and electronic seals since February. The agency’s chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, told The Associated Press this month that the situation was like “flying in a heavily clouded sky.”

Sunday’s NYT report said that since abandoning the agreement, Iran had managed to reduce its breakout time to a bomb from about a year to just a few weeks.

“Before Mr. Trump decided to scrap the deal, Iran had adhered to the limits of the 2015 agreement — which by most estimates kept it about a year from ‘breakout,’ the point where it has enough material for a bomb. While estimates vary, that buffer is now down to somewhere between three weeks and a few months, which would change the geopolitical calculation throughout the Middle East,” the report said.

US officials have publicly warned that Iran’s violations are making it increasingly unlikely that there can be a return to the 2015 deal as it was.


The US envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned Friday that Tehran was approaching the point of no return for reviving a nuclear deal after it boosted its stocks of enriched uranium before the talks resume this month.

“The time will come if Iran continues at this pace with the advancements they’ve made, [it] will make it impossible even if we were going to go back to the JCPOA to recapture the benefits,” Malley told the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain, referring to the deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Iran’s advances are spreading alarm across the region… that’s what’s making the clock tick faster and making all of us say that the time is short for a return to the JCPOA,” Malley said.

And I want to be clear, because there’s no ambiguity about what they seem to be doing now, which is to drag their feet on the nuclear talks and accelerate the progress in their nuclear program,” he added.

The US envoy said he was not encouraged by the statements from the new Iranian government of President Ebrahim Raisi, which earlier on Friday accused Washington of conducting a “propaganda campaign” against the country.

With the possibility of a return to the 2015 deal fading, the US was examining the possibility of hammering out an interim deal with Iran, the New York Times report said, confirming a separate report last week. “Inside the White House, there has been a scramble in recent days to explore whether some kind of interim deal might be possible to freeze Iran’s production of more enriched uranium and its conversion of that fuel to metallic form — a necessary step in fabricating a warhead,” the Times said. “In return, the United States might ease a limited number of sanctions. That would not solve the problem. But it might buy time for negotiations, while holding off Israeli threats to bomb Iranian facilities.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the prospect of an interim agreement with Iran, to allow more time for nuclear negotiations, in talks with his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, the Axios news site reported last week.

A pair of American sources said Sullivan and Hulata were just “brainstorming,” and that the proposal was suggested by an unspecified European ally of the US.

The US sources said the proposal was for Iran to suspend a disallowed nuclear activity such as enriching uranium to 60 percent, in exchange for the US and allied countries releasing some frozen Iranian money, or issuing sanctions waivers on humanitarian goods.

An unnamed Israeli official cited in the Axios report said Hulata told Sullivan he was against the idea and Israel’s concern was that any interim agreement could become permanent, allowing Iran to maintain its nuclear infrastructure and supply of uranium it has built up.

While Israel has been more direct, staying her readiness to attack Iran’s nuclear program and allocating billions of dollars to IDF to prepare and train for a potential strike, the United States has been trying to reassure its allies in recent days that if diplomacy fails, other options are available.

“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Manama event, which was put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure,” he said.

However, Iran has proven on several occasions that they are not soft power. In retaliation for the assasination of general suleimani Tehran fired precision missiles from their territories and they successfully destroyed American military base in northern Iraq. On another occasion the Houthi forces in Yemen flew barrages of Armed drones into Aramco oil field in Saudi Arabia crippling oil production, Iran was behind the attack.

Any aggressive act against Iran will yeild response from Tehran no matter how and irrespective of who is the aggressor and may not halt the Persia nuclear programs for the time being.


Currently, Iran is not known to  possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has been signatory to treaties repudiating the possession of WMDs including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 


Iran has first-hand knowledge of WMD effects as over 100,000 Iranian troops and civilians were victims of chemical weapons during the 1980s Iran–Iraq War.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Says US, E3, PGCC statement worthless to reply

Iranian Foreign Ministry Says US, E3, PGCC statement worthless to reply


The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the US, the E3 and the PGCC statement is worthless and deserves no reply.

According to the report by IRNA,  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying a recent anti-Iran statement by the United States, the E3 - Britain, France and Germany - as well as the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council is not worth answering.

Khatibzadeh, while addressing reporters said such a meeting and statement is a fake and illegitimate showoff that does not deserve any reaction.


According to him, the US administration who violated UN Resolution 2231 and withdrew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is responsible for the current situation in respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 "The United States is the only country in the world that has a dark history of using nuclear weapons and it is also the one that intervenes in other countries internal affairs and now the US is trying to create a crisis and propagate against Iran." He said


While referring to certain Arab states in the region, he noted that these countries, which are responsible for the invasion of Yemen, are not in a position to put forward baseless accusations against other nations in order to get rid of the responsibility of their crimes.

Robert Malley, the US Special Representative for Iran, and representatives of three European powers, as well as envoys from PGCC states, met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The participants issued a statement, attempted to reiterate their unfounded charges on Iran's regional influence, and continued their Iranophobic policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh pointed to comments made by his French counterpart Anne-Claire Legendre, warning that political officials' taking stances with the purpose of affecting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will definitely tarnish the reputation of the international body and question the legitimacy of the agency's moves.


France has called on the IAEA Board of Governors to convey "a strong message" to the Islamic Republic in their next session on November 24.


The Iranian spokesman further condemned the US's new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity, underlining that such a failed policy to put more pressure on Iran shows the Americans' dismay.

The United States Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that it has put names of six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity into the sanction list, claiming that they have tried to affect the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

On Saturday, American  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

This is a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s atomic deal with world powers. His comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Authorities in Tehran has long maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the US, the E3 and the PGCC statement is worthless and deserves no reply.

According to the report by IRNA,  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying a recent anti-Iran statement by the United States, the E3 - Britain, France and Germany - as well as the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council is not worth answering.

Khatibzadeh, while addressing reporters said such a meeting and statement is a fake and illegitimate showoff that does not deserve any reaction.


According to him, the US administration who violated UN Resolution 2231 and withdrew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is responsible for the current situation in respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 "The United States is the only country in the world that has a dark history of using nuclear weapons and it is also the one that intervenes in other countries internal affairs and now the US is trying to create a crisis and propagate against Iran." He said


While referring to certain Arab states in the region, he noted that these countries, which are responsible for the invasion of Yemen, are not in a position to put forward baseless accusations against other nations in order to get rid of the responsibility of their crimes.

Robert Malley, the US Special Representative for Iran, and representatives of three European powers, as well as envoys from PGCC states, met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The participants issued a statement, attempted to reiterate their unfounded charges on Iran's regional influence, and continued their Iranophobic policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh pointed to comments made by his French counterpart Anne-Claire Legendre, warning that political officials' taking stances with the purpose of affecting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will definitely tarnish the reputation of the international body and question the legitimacy of the agency's moves.


France has called on the IAEA Board of Governors to convey "a strong message" to the Islamic Republic in their next session on November 24.


The Iranian spokesman further condemned the US's new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity, underlining that such a failed policy to put more pressure on Iran shows the Americans' dismay.

The United States Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that it has put names of six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity into the sanction list, claiming that they have tried to affect the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

On Saturday, American  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

This is a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s atomic deal with world powers. His comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Authorities in Tehran has long maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. 

How Irregular movements of Russian troops, equipments near Ukraine border prompt concern in U.S., Europe

How Irregular movements of Russian troops, equipments near Ukraine border prompt concern in U.S., Europe


Washington Post reports at the weekend confirmed that  a renewed buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has raised concern among some officials in the United States and Europe who are tracking what they consider irregular movements of equipment and personnel on Russia’s western flank.


Meanwhile, Ukraine's defence ministry on Monday denied any media report of a Russian military buildup near its border, saying it had not observed an increase in forces or weaponry, Reuters reported on Monday


"As of November 1, 2021, an additional transfer of Russian units, weapons and military equipment to the state border of Ukraine was not recorded," the Ukrainian defence ministry said in a statement.


However, accordint to the WP reports, the US  officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in april, when the largest buildup of troops by russia near the ukrainian border in years sparked an international outcry.


The renewed movements of russian forces in the area come as the kremlin embraces a harder line on ukraine. Russian officials from president Vladimir Putin on down have escalated their rhetoric in recent months, attacking kyiv’s western ties and even questioning its sovereignty. 


Putin has warned that any expansion of NATO military infrastructure on ukrainiayn territory represents a “red line” for moscow.


The situation also comes as the simmering 7½-year conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region enters a new stage. On Oct. 26, Ukraine’s military confirmed it had used a Turkish-made drone against a position in Donbas, the first time Kyiv has employed the technology in combat, prompting an outcry from Moscow.


Relations between Moscow and NATO are especially tense. Russia suspended its mission to NATO in Brussels on Oct. 18 after the alliance expelled eight members of the Russian mission on accusations of espionage.


What the Russian forces gathering near the Ukrainian border are doing is unclear.


Videos have surfaced on social media in recent days showing Russian military trains and convoys moving large quantities of military hardware, including tanks and missiles, in southern and western Russia.

"The point is: It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening. What is it?” said Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at the Virginia-based nonprofit analysis group CNA.

Officials in the United States and Europe began noticing the movements particularly in recent weeks, after Russia concluded a massive joint military exercise with Belarus known as Zapad 2021 on its western flank in mid-September.

According to Kofman, publicly available satellite imagery shows that forces from Russia’s 41st Combined Arms Army, normally based in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, didn’t return to Siberia after the exercises, and instead linked up with other Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. Kofman also said footage posted online appears to show that Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army, an elite unit based outside Moscow, is moving personnel and materiel toward Ukraine.


Read more on Washington Post


Washington Post reports at the weekend confirmed that  a renewed buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has raised concern among some officials in the United States and Europe who are tracking what they consider irregular movements of equipment and personnel on Russia’s western flank.


Meanwhile, Ukraine's defence ministry on Monday denied any media report of a Russian military buildup near its border, saying it had not observed an increase in forces or weaponry, Reuters reported on Monday


"As of November 1, 2021, an additional transfer of Russian units, weapons and military equipment to the state border of Ukraine was not recorded," the Ukrainian defence ministry said in a statement.


However, accordint to the WP reports, the US  officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in april, when the largest buildup of troops by russia near the ukrainian border in years sparked an international outcry.


The renewed movements of russian forces in the area come as the kremlin embraces a harder line on ukraine. Russian officials from president Vladimir Putin on down have escalated their rhetoric in recent months, attacking kyiv’s western ties and even questioning its sovereignty. 


Putin has warned that any expansion of NATO military infrastructure on ukrainiayn territory represents a “red line” for moscow.


The situation also comes as the simmering 7½-year conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region enters a new stage. On Oct. 26, Ukraine’s military confirmed it had used a Turkish-made drone against a position in Donbas, the first time Kyiv has employed the technology in combat, prompting an outcry from Moscow.


Relations between Moscow and NATO are especially tense. Russia suspended its mission to NATO in Brussels on Oct. 18 after the alliance expelled eight members of the Russian mission on accusations of espionage.


What the Russian forces gathering near the Ukrainian border are doing is unclear.


Videos have surfaced on social media in recent days showing Russian military trains and convoys moving large quantities of military hardware, including tanks and missiles, in southern and western Russia.

"The point is: It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening. What is it?” said Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at the Virginia-based nonprofit analysis group CNA.

Officials in the United States and Europe began noticing the movements particularly in recent weeks, after Russia concluded a massive joint military exercise with Belarus known as Zapad 2021 on its western flank in mid-September.

According to Kofman, publicly available satellite imagery shows that forces from Russia’s 41st Combined Arms Army, normally based in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, didn’t return to Siberia after the exercises, and instead linked up with other Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. Kofman also said footage posted online appears to show that Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army, an elite unit based outside Moscow, is moving personnel and materiel toward Ukraine.


Read more on Washington Post

US Navy nuclear engineer, his wife arrested for trying to sell submarine secrets to foreign power

US Navy nuclear engineer, his wife arrested for trying to sell submarine secrets to foreign power




A Maryland-based Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested on charges of selling secret information about the design of nuclear power warships to someone they thought was a foreign power but was actually an undercover FBI agent.

The Justice Department claims Jonathan Toebbe, through his Pentagon-issued national security clearance, had access to restricted data about naval nuclear technology and used that access to send a package to a foreign government on April 1, 2020. After that, the affidavit alleged he began corresponding with someone he believed to be an agent of another country, but who was an undercover FBI agent. Court documents claim the Navy engineer agreed to sell this restricted data to the undercover agent for $10,000 in cryptocurrency.

Toebbe and his wife, Diana, then allegedly went to West Virginia, where the Navy engineer placed a memory card inside half a peanut butter sandwich, with his wife on the lookout. According to the Justice Department, the card contained restricted data about submarine nuclear reactors.


Based on the criminal complaint, the engineer at one point suspected a trap, but continued with more such "dead drops."


"I am sorry to be so stubborn and untrusting, but I can not agree to go to a location of your choosing," the engineer said, according to a criminal complaint. "I must consider the possibility that l am communicating with an adversary who has intercepted my first message and is attempting to expose me."


Attorney General Merrick Garland said the complaint "charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation."


"The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice," Garland said.




CBS News



A Maryland-based Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested on charges of selling secret information about the design of nuclear power warships to someone they thought was a foreign power but was actually an undercover FBI agent.

The Justice Department claims Jonathan Toebbe, through his Pentagon-issued national security clearance, had access to restricted data about naval nuclear technology and used that access to send a package to a foreign government on April 1, 2020. After that, the affidavit alleged he began corresponding with someone he believed to be an agent of another country, but who was an undercover FBI agent. Court documents claim the Navy engineer agreed to sell this restricted data to the undercover agent for $10,000 in cryptocurrency.

Toebbe and his wife, Diana, then allegedly went to West Virginia, where the Navy engineer placed a memory card inside half a peanut butter sandwich, with his wife on the lookout. According to the Justice Department, the card contained restricted data about submarine nuclear reactors.


Based on the criminal complaint, the engineer at one point suspected a trap, but continued with more such "dead drops."


"I am sorry to be so stubborn and untrusting, but I can not agree to go to a location of your choosing," the engineer said, according to a criminal complaint. "I must consider the possibility that l am communicating with an adversary who has intercepted my first message and is attempting to expose me."


Attorney General Merrick Garland said the complaint "charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation."


"The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice," Garland said.




CBS News

#EndBlockadeAgainstCuba: We must not tire, we cannot be defeated says NMSC

#EndBlockadeAgainstCuba: We must not tire, we cannot be defeated says NMSC







PRESENTATION BY THE NIGERIA MOVEMENT TO THE AFRICA 2021 VIRTUAL CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA  FACILITATED BY THE CUBAN INSTITUTE OF FRIENDSHIP WITH THE PEOPLES, HAVANA, HOLDING  ON OCTOBER 7, 2021.

We must not tire, we cannot be defeated!

1. Revolutionary greetings to all delegates of the African Solidarity Movements and Friendship Associations with Cuba participating at this special virtual conference facilitated by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) We note with regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic which made large physical gatherings unsafe, the 7th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba scheduled for Mozambique, could not hold.


2. We salute President Fernando Gonzalez and the entire team of dutiful and committed members of ICAP for their sacrifices and faithfulness to the ideals of the Cuban Revolution in sustaining the commendable tradition of solidarity and friendship with us the African people and our organisations in the defence of humanity.


3. The Nigeria Movement speaks here with painful feelings but fond memories of two unforgettable comrades who departed after our 2019 conference. We lost in May 2020 Comrade AbdulKareem Aka-Motajo – who at his demise was the President of the Nigeria-Cuba Friendship and Cultural Association and a leader of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Then in September, 2021 we lost the immediate past Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria – Companero Carlos Trejo Sosa. Both comrade Motajo and Ambassador Trejo were instrumental to the successful hosting of the 6th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba which held in Nigeria from September 23 – 25, 2019. In a part of the tribute to Ambassador Trejo by the Nigeria Movement, we had said: Ambassador Trejo meant everything to us in the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. He was the initiator of uniting the various groups in Nigeria with relations or association with Cuba under the banner of a single solidarity movement. He was also central to the inauguration of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Companero Trejo was a lively, resourceful, highly knowledgeable, widely experienced and friendly personality with whom we shared pleasantries and confidence! These comrades are unforgettable.


4. We should at this virtual Conference affirm that the relationship between Nigeria and Cuba is symbiotic and deeply rooted in shared historical and cultural heritage. It is not possible to speak of Cuba and the Cuban without reference to the tremendous influences of African, especially, Nigerian cultures. Hence, at these times of the tightening of the criminal US Blockade against Cuba with over 243 punitive economic, financial and commercial measures, targeted at crippling the Cuban people, we the Nigeria Movement cannot be indifferent. We are resolved to stand with Cuba as a DUTY to defend the Cuban people and the unparalleled gains of the Cuban Revolution. We declare to the whole world that Cuba is never, and will never be alone!


5. We acknowledge that despite the hardship that Cuba is facing as a result of the blockade, the sudden outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 and the ill-fated US plot of insidious protest and campaigns of internal destabilisation aimed at collapsing the Revolution, the Cuban people have remained firm and resolute in the defence of truth, principles and ideals of Humanity! Cuba’s role and the sacrifices of her medical brigades in saving lives in over 57 countries, remains an exemplary and unparalleled achievement, for which the Cuban White Shirts deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.


6. \At this point in addressing solidarity with Cuba and facing the future together in the defence of Humanity, permit me to reiterate the ACTION PLAN FOR THE AFRICAN MOVEMENT OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA as adopted at the 6th AFRICAN CONTINENTAL MEETING OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA.

The plan which as a result of the pandemic has largely not been implemented,   is to:


Promote the legacy of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the Cuban People in Africa, in the form of conferences, commemorative activities, panels, political events in different countries.


Expand the solidarity movement in Africa to include amongst others, all graduates of Cuba and their families.


Strengthen and increase the relationship between political forces, trade unions, youth organizations, women's organizations and friendship associations with Cuba.


Strengthen the links amongst the solidarity organizations with Cuba in the different countries of the continent by encouraging the exchange of experiences.


Address the people and Congress of the United States with requests to end the illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba, the Helms Burton Act, the activation of its Title III and the illegal occupation of Guantanamo by the United States.


Perform, on the 17th of each month, actions demanding the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States government, the end of the aggressive escalation and the return of the territory occupied by the illegal Naval Base in Guantanamo. These should include sending letters to the US government, marches in front of US Embassies/ Consulates, among others.


Engage the Parliament in every African country and the African Union to approve Resolutions demanding that America ends its illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba and its illegal occupation of Guantanamo.


Reinforce actions of solidarity, information dissemination and support for the cause of the Palestine and Saharawi peoples and solidarity with former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Bolivarian Revolution.


Promote brigades, caravans, and socio-political groups in all countries through Amistur, on the 60th anniversary of ICAP and the Cuban Revolution.


Build International Volunteer and Solidarity Work Brigades with Cuba.


Develop communication strategies including television, radio, social networks, and other platforms for the dissemination of the Cuban reality.


Intensify the use of social networks as platform to denounce hostile policies against Cuba and in response to disinformation campaigns against the Cuban people.


Support Cuban collaborators, especially doctors, in different countries and popularize the impact of their work in various communities.


Draw up strategies for the creation of solidarity organizations with Cuba in those African countries where they are not yet established.


Prioritize the rejuvenation of the structures that make up the Solidarity Movement with Cuba in a creative and comprehensive way.


CONCLUSION:

The solidarity actions with Cuba, is like a marathon race in which we must not tire so long as imperialism does not tire   or is defeated. As you know, a people united by noble ideas and whose hearts beat in unison for the development of humanity, can never be defeated! There is victory for us!!  Solidarity, forever!!!


Cuba Will Outlive the US Criminal Blockade!

Ever Onward to the Cuban Revolution!

 

Comrade ABIODUN AREMU

For and on behalf of the Nigerian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba


NIGERIA MOVEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA

c/o Pascal Bafyau Labour House, NLC Headquarters, FCT Abuja

E-mail: [email protected]


*Members of the Nigeria
 Movement of Solidarity with
Cuba @ the African Continental
Virtual Conference of Solidarity
with Cuba held yestday
October 7, 2021*












PRESENTATION BY THE NIGERIA MOVEMENT TO THE AFRICA 2021 VIRTUAL CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA  FACILITATED BY THE CUBAN INSTITUTE OF FRIENDSHIP WITH THE PEOPLES, HAVANA, HOLDING  ON OCTOBER 7, 2021.

We must not tire, we cannot be defeated!

1. Revolutionary greetings to all delegates of the African Solidarity Movements and Friendship Associations with Cuba participating at this special virtual conference facilitated by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) We note with regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic which made large physical gatherings unsafe, the 7th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba scheduled for Mozambique, could not hold.


2. We salute President Fernando Gonzalez and the entire team of dutiful and committed members of ICAP for their sacrifices and faithfulness to the ideals of the Cuban Revolution in sustaining the commendable tradition of solidarity and friendship with us the African people and our organisations in the defence of humanity.


3. The Nigeria Movement speaks here with painful feelings but fond memories of two unforgettable comrades who departed after our 2019 conference. We lost in May 2020 Comrade AbdulKareem Aka-Motajo – who at his demise was the President of the Nigeria-Cuba Friendship and Cultural Association and a leader of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Then in September, 2021 we lost the immediate past Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria – Companero Carlos Trejo Sosa. Both comrade Motajo and Ambassador Trejo were instrumental to the successful hosting of the 6th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba which held in Nigeria from September 23 – 25, 2019. In a part of the tribute to Ambassador Trejo by the Nigeria Movement, we had said: Ambassador Trejo meant everything to us in the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. He was the initiator of uniting the various groups in Nigeria with relations or association with Cuba under the banner of a single solidarity movement. He was also central to the inauguration of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Companero Trejo was a lively, resourceful, highly knowledgeable, widely experienced and friendly personality with whom we shared pleasantries and confidence! These comrades are unforgettable.


4. We should at this virtual Conference affirm that the relationship between Nigeria and Cuba is symbiotic and deeply rooted in shared historical and cultural heritage. It is not possible to speak of Cuba and the Cuban without reference to the tremendous influences of African, especially, Nigerian cultures. Hence, at these times of the tightening of the criminal US Blockade against Cuba with over 243 punitive economic, financial and commercial measures, targeted at crippling the Cuban people, we the Nigeria Movement cannot be indifferent. We are resolved to stand with Cuba as a DUTY to defend the Cuban people and the unparalleled gains of the Cuban Revolution. We declare to the whole world that Cuba is never, and will never be alone!


5. We acknowledge that despite the hardship that Cuba is facing as a result of the blockade, the sudden outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 and the ill-fated US plot of insidious protest and campaigns of internal destabilisation aimed at collapsing the Revolution, the Cuban people have remained firm and resolute in the defence of truth, principles and ideals of Humanity! Cuba’s role and the sacrifices of her medical brigades in saving lives in over 57 countries, remains an exemplary and unparalleled achievement, for which the Cuban White Shirts deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.


6. \At this point in addressing solidarity with Cuba and facing the future together in the defence of Humanity, permit me to reiterate the ACTION PLAN FOR THE AFRICAN MOVEMENT OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA as adopted at the 6th AFRICAN CONTINENTAL MEETING OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA.

The plan which as a result of the pandemic has largely not been implemented,   is to:


Promote the legacy of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the Cuban People in Africa, in the form of conferences, commemorative activities, panels, political events in different countries.


Expand the solidarity movement in Africa to include amongst others, all graduates of Cuba and their families.


Strengthen and increase the relationship between political forces, trade unions, youth organizations, women's organizations and friendship associations with Cuba.


Strengthen the links amongst the solidarity organizations with Cuba in the different countries of the continent by encouraging the exchange of experiences.


Address the people and Congress of the United States with requests to end the illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba, the Helms Burton Act, the activation of its Title III and the illegal occupation of Guantanamo by the United States.


Perform, on the 17th of each month, actions demanding the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States government, the end of the aggressive escalation and the return of the territory occupied by the illegal Naval Base in Guantanamo. These should include sending letters to the US government, marches in front of US Embassies/ Consulates, among others.


Engage the Parliament in every African country and the African Union to approve Resolutions demanding that America ends its illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba and its illegal occupation of Guantanamo.


Reinforce actions of solidarity, information dissemination and support for the cause of the Palestine and Saharawi peoples and solidarity with former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Bolivarian Revolution.


Promote brigades, caravans, and socio-political groups in all countries through Amistur, on the 60th anniversary of ICAP and the Cuban Revolution.


Build International Volunteer and Solidarity Work Brigades with Cuba.


Develop communication strategies including television, radio, social networks, and other platforms for the dissemination of the Cuban reality.


Intensify the use of social networks as platform to denounce hostile policies against Cuba and in response to disinformation campaigns against the Cuban people.


Support Cuban collaborators, especially doctors, in different countries and popularize the impact of their work in various communities.


Draw up strategies for the creation of solidarity organizations with Cuba in those African countries where they are not yet established.


Prioritize the rejuvenation of the structures that make up the Solidarity Movement with Cuba in a creative and comprehensive way.


CONCLUSION:

The solidarity actions with Cuba, is like a marathon race in which we must not tire so long as imperialism does not tire   or is defeated. As you know, a people united by noble ideas and whose hearts beat in unison for the development of humanity, can never be defeated! There is victory for us!!  Solidarity, forever!!!


Cuba Will Outlive the US Criminal Blockade!

Ever Onward to the Cuban Revolution!

 

Comrade ABIODUN AREMU

For and on behalf of the Nigerian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba


NIGERIA MOVEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA

c/o Pascal Bafyau Labour House, NLC Headquarters, FCT Abuja

E-mail: [email protected]


*Members of the Nigeria
 Movement of Solidarity with
Cuba @ the African Continental
Virtual Conference of Solidarity
with Cuba held yestday
October 7, 2021*






United States to spend $319 million on new Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria

United States to spend $319 million on new Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria






The American government (US Department Of States) has approved a $319 million contract for the building of a new U.S. Consulate General in the Eko Atlantic, developed by South Energyx Nigeria Limited in collaboration with Lagos State government.


According to a report from the US Department of State on Tuesday, the 12.2-acre site for the new Consulate General would be handled by the awardee of the contract, Pernix Federal, LLC of Lombard, Illinois.


The US Department of State’s Capital Security Construction Program, known as the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, which was established in 1999 awarded the contract while the design architect for the project is Ennead Architects of New York. 


The aim of the new Consulate General is to “provide a modern, resilient platform for diplomacy in Nigeria and is expected to be completed in 2027.”


 The report indicated that the Eko Atlantic as “the location will provide the future diplomatic campus and its neighbors with access to sustainable, modern infrastructure, including an 8.5 km seawall designed to protect the city from rising sea levels and coastal erosion.”


Since its establishment, the OBO has completed up to 168 new diplomatic facilities and currently has more than 50 active projects, either in design or under construction worldwide.






The American government (US Department Of States) has approved a $319 million contract for the building of a new U.S. Consulate General in the Eko Atlantic, developed by South Energyx Nigeria Limited in collaboration with Lagos State government.


According to a report from the US Department of State on Tuesday, the 12.2-acre site for the new Consulate General would be handled by the awardee of the contract, Pernix Federal, LLC of Lombard, Illinois.


The US Department of State’s Capital Security Construction Program, known as the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, which was established in 1999 awarded the contract while the design architect for the project is Ennead Architects of New York. 


The aim of the new Consulate General is to “provide a modern, resilient platform for diplomacy in Nigeria and is expected to be completed in 2027.”


 The report indicated that the Eko Atlantic as “the location will provide the future diplomatic campus and its neighbors with access to sustainable, modern infrastructure, including an 8.5 km seawall designed to protect the city from rising sea levels and coastal erosion.”


Since its establishment, the OBO has completed up to 168 new diplomatic facilities and currently has more than 50 active projects, either in design or under construction worldwide.

Ilesa Water Supply: Genesis, Challenges, Pitfalls and the Red Flag - Wale Bolorunduro

Ilesa Water Supply: Genesis, Challenges, Pitfalls and the Red Flag - Wale Bolorunduro






It is always good to keep the historical record of a lifetime challenge because, Nigerians forget easily and therefore, I will devote the following to the history of the Ilesa water supply, the challenges and the pitfalls.


The old Ilesa Water Supply Scheme, commissioned in 1952 in the old Western Region, supplying 2,700m3/day went into a state of disrepair in the mid – eighties as the Efon – Alaye Intake Structure (now in Ekiti State) was frequently filled with silts; efforts to de-silt became unproductive and raw water abstraction impossible. The 22km Efon – Alaye/Ilesa raw water Asbestos Cement Transmission mains became deplorable and unserviceable because of frequent damage due to old age. Also, the road expansion works on Efon - Alaye roads created, a worst scenario when several kilometres of the Transmission Mains was damaged during construction. These and others led to abandonment and complete shutdown of the treatment facilities and hence led to Ilesa inability to access public water supply and total dependence on water from doubtful sources.

 

The new Ilesa Water Supply Scheme was conceived during the administration of Uncle Bola Ige, the Executive Governor of old Oyo State when it became clear that old Ilesa water Scheme would not be able to serve Ilesa with potable water because the town was increasing in population yearly. The contract for the new scheme was awarded to Messrs. Johnson Brothers International (Nig.) Ltd at a contract price of $65M. The Eximbank (USA) loan of US70m had been secured for Oyo State Government for the procurement of essential Mechanical and Electrical equipment and services to be rendered by the Technical Partners, Johnson Brothers International (Nig.) Ltd, i.e. Johnson Brothers Corporation of Minnesota, USA. The loan agreement which was signed in 1983 by old Oyo State Government was guaranteed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.


Out of the external loan, some equipment and materials such as pump-sets, generators, electrical items and large diameter pipes were purchased and stored at Asejire Waterworks, Oyo State.

 

Messrs. Johnson Brother International mobilized to site in 1983 but not much work could be done when the military took over power in Nigeria on 31st December, 1983.

 

Prior to the sudden change of Government (around July/August, 1983) a sum of N7.2m and $11.6M was paid to JBI Ltd.; these payments were made in accordance to the contract agreement signed by the then Oyo State Government. The manner in which the said amount was managed by the contractors and their overseas partners, Messrs. Johnson Brothers Int’l Ltd created a lot of problem, so the project could not make much progress and became stalled and all project activities stopped. The USA Technical Partners of JBI Ltd moved out of the sites. The Eximbank Foreign loan for the project was lost. The contract with JBI (Nig.) Ltd was terminated by the old Oyo State in July 1985.

 

In 1985, Oyo State Military Government commenced negotiations with Nigerian Water Resources and Development Ltd & Messrs. Taylor Woodrow, United Kingdom (UK), the negotiations did not succeed.

 

In 1987, General Staff Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, Lagos via Letter No. GHQ/CGS/322 of February, 1987 directed Oyo State Government to allow Messrs. Johnson Brothers International Ltd. to continue with the jobs in view of the huge sum of money already committed into the project.

 

Consequent upon the above, the contract of New Ilesa Water Supply Scheme was re-awarded in conjunction with that of Ejigbo on 29th April, 1987, however, the efforts of the contractor to resuscitate Eximbank loan to execute the project failed because the Federal Government could not guarantee the loan and the Technical Partners JBC of USA withdrew in 1992.

 

The project was transferred to Osun State on its creation in August, 1991. Osun State Government decided to re-award the project to Messrs. Johnson Brothers International Ltd in 1992 but no new Contract Agreement was signed. JBI (Nig.) Ltd relied on the 1987 Contract Agreement signed with the then Oyo State Government which could not hold water.

 

All these were the efforts of the previous administrations on the New Ilesa Water Scheme since 1983; and from all the efforts narrated above, the State Government inherited two (2) large generators, some electrical equipment and about 18km of ductile iron pipes, out of which the government of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola laid over 9km from Osu to College of Education, Ilesa in an attempt to get water to Ilesa, but a drop of water has not flowed through these pipes since then. Attempts were made by Aregbesola’s Administration to utilize, the generators inherited, but all efforts failed as the manufacturer informed that the model is outdated. The remaining Ductile Iron Pipes are kept at the Centre for Black Art Culture’s compound, Abere with majority of them stacked at a school premises in Igila, on the way to Ilesa.

 

In the year 2006, the Federal Government of Nigeria awarded a contract for the construction of a dam at Kajola to Messrs. RCC, for the purpose of raw water source for Ilesa Water Supply Scheme. By 2009, the project was abandoned because of the variation needs on the contract. Due to economic devastation that was envisaged and a lot of compensations that would be paid to land owners should their land be submerged by the dam; the scope of works was reduced to the construction of a weir on Osun River and an intake structure at Kajola. An asset though, but without transmission and the distribution that take water to the doorsteps of Ijesa people, it could actually be a liability creating such pond of water without utilizing it.










Ijesaland was fortunate that his own son, Aregbesola Rauf was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Osun and at the inception of his administration in 2010, he wrote to the Federal Government on the need to complete the project as his priority. This is yielding to the yawning of his people and the clarion call of the paramount ruler of Ijesaland, His Imperial Majesty, Owa Obokun Adimula, Olokun Ola, Oba, Dr Adekunle Aromolaran, who used the 2011 and 2012 Iwude Ijesa to reinforce the demand for water supply. Through the initial powerful effort of Governor Aregbesola, the contract for the construction of weir, for water pond and intake at Kajola was re-awarded in 2012 and was completed in 2014. The upstream structure (a weir to create water pond and intake pumps) was handed over to the Water Corporation on 11th March, 2016.


The next challenges were the funding requirements for the construction of water treatment plants, transmission structures and the distribution networks that will take water to the communities, neighborhoods and doorsteps of the ijesas. The peak funding requirement would be over One hundred million dollars, about 25 billion Naira. How would Aregbeaola raise this huge fund and from which sources. How would he devote such huge fund to ijesaland alone without trading off other competing needs of the whole state. How would he handle the moral burden associated with funding and allocation of such huge funding to his people. How Ogbeni Aregbesola showed courage and demonstrated the love for his people to resolve these funding challenges (once and for all), will be documented and presented in another write up.


The pitfalls are the construction risks and the operational risks, which are already rearing their ugly heads. With destructive mining activities in Kajola and the adjoining communities, which are already altering the courses of the upstream rivers and depositing heavy metals (lead, Mercury, etc) into the rivers, the huge risk in addition to the pollution is that sufficient water may not get to the kajola pond for intake and water supply according to the ilesa water scheme, after the completion. The Government of Osun and the Ijesa community leaders must rise up to the challenges posed by these artisanal miners, with candor and with sincerity of purpose to stop them!!.


Wale Bolorunduro, PhD

Former Commissioner of Finance, Osun

2011 to 2014






It is always good to keep the historical record of a lifetime challenge because, Nigerians forget easily and therefore, I will devote the following to the history of the Ilesa water supply, the challenges and the pitfalls.


The old Ilesa Water Supply Scheme, commissioned in 1952 in the old Western Region, supplying 2,700m3/day went into a state of disrepair in the mid – eighties as the Efon – Alaye Intake Structure (now in Ekiti State) was frequently filled with silts; efforts to de-silt became unproductive and raw water abstraction impossible. The 22km Efon – Alaye/Ilesa raw water Asbestos Cement Transmission mains became deplorable and unserviceable because of frequent damage due to old age. Also, the road expansion works on Efon - Alaye roads created, a worst scenario when several kilometres of the Transmission Mains was damaged during construction. These and others led to abandonment and complete shutdown of the treatment facilities and hence led to Ilesa inability to access public water supply and total dependence on water from doubtful sources.

 

The new Ilesa Water Supply Scheme was conceived during the administration of Uncle Bola Ige, the Executive Governor of old Oyo State when it became clear that old Ilesa water Scheme would not be able to serve Ilesa with potable water because the town was increasing in population yearly. The contract for the new scheme was awarded to Messrs. Johnson Brothers International (Nig.) Ltd at a contract price of $65M. The Eximbank (USA) loan of US70m had been secured for Oyo State Government for the procurement of essential Mechanical and Electrical equipment and services to be rendered by the Technical Partners, Johnson Brothers International (Nig.) Ltd, i.e. Johnson Brothers Corporation of Minnesota, USA. The loan agreement which was signed in 1983 by old Oyo State Government was guaranteed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.


Out of the external loan, some equipment and materials such as pump-sets, generators, electrical items and large diameter pipes were purchased and stored at Asejire Waterworks, Oyo State.

 

Messrs. Johnson Brother International mobilized to site in 1983 but not much work could be done when the military took over power in Nigeria on 31st December, 1983.

 

Prior to the sudden change of Government (around July/August, 1983) a sum of N7.2m and $11.6M was paid to JBI Ltd.; these payments were made in accordance to the contract agreement signed by the then Oyo State Government. The manner in which the said amount was managed by the contractors and their overseas partners, Messrs. Johnson Brothers Int’l Ltd created a lot of problem, so the project could not make much progress and became stalled and all project activities stopped. The USA Technical Partners of JBI Ltd moved out of the sites. The Eximbank Foreign loan for the project was lost. The contract with JBI (Nig.) Ltd was terminated by the old Oyo State in July 1985.

 

In 1985, Oyo State Military Government commenced negotiations with Nigerian Water Resources and Development Ltd & Messrs. Taylor Woodrow, United Kingdom (UK), the negotiations did not succeed.

 

In 1987, General Staff Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, Lagos via Letter No. GHQ/CGS/322 of February, 1987 directed Oyo State Government to allow Messrs. Johnson Brothers International Ltd. to continue with the jobs in view of the huge sum of money already committed into the project.

 

Consequent upon the above, the contract of New Ilesa Water Supply Scheme was re-awarded in conjunction with that of Ejigbo on 29th April, 1987, however, the efforts of the contractor to resuscitate Eximbank loan to execute the project failed because the Federal Government could not guarantee the loan and the Technical Partners JBC of USA withdrew in 1992.

 

The project was transferred to Osun State on its creation in August, 1991. Osun State Government decided to re-award the project to Messrs. Johnson Brothers International Ltd in 1992 but no new Contract Agreement was signed. JBI (Nig.) Ltd relied on the 1987 Contract Agreement signed with the then Oyo State Government which could not hold water.

 

All these were the efforts of the previous administrations on the New Ilesa Water Scheme since 1983; and from all the efforts narrated above, the State Government inherited two (2) large generators, some electrical equipment and about 18km of ductile iron pipes, out of which the government of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola laid over 9km from Osu to College of Education, Ilesa in an attempt to get water to Ilesa, but a drop of water has not flowed through these pipes since then. Attempts were made by Aregbesola’s Administration to utilize, the generators inherited, but all efforts failed as the manufacturer informed that the model is outdated. The remaining Ductile Iron Pipes are kept at the Centre for Black Art Culture’s compound, Abere with majority of them stacked at a school premises in Igila, on the way to Ilesa.

 

In the year 2006, the Federal Government of Nigeria awarded a contract for the construction of a dam at Kajola to Messrs. RCC, for the purpose of raw water source for Ilesa Water Supply Scheme. By 2009, the project was abandoned because of the variation needs on the contract. Due to economic devastation that was envisaged and a lot of compensations that would be paid to land owners should their land be submerged by the dam; the scope of works was reduced to the construction of a weir on Osun River and an intake structure at Kajola. An asset though, but without transmission and the distribution that take water to the doorsteps of Ijesa people, it could actually be a liability creating such pond of water without utilizing it.










Ijesaland was fortunate that his own son, Aregbesola Rauf was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Osun and at the inception of his administration in 2010, he wrote to the Federal Government on the need to complete the project as his priority. This is yielding to the yawning of his people and the clarion call of the paramount ruler of Ijesaland, His Imperial Majesty, Owa Obokun Adimula, Olokun Ola, Oba, Dr Adekunle Aromolaran, who used the 2011 and 2012 Iwude Ijesa to reinforce the demand for water supply. Through the initial powerful effort of Governor Aregbesola, the contract for the construction of weir, for water pond and intake at Kajola was re-awarded in 2012 and was completed in 2014. The upstream structure (a weir to create water pond and intake pumps) was handed over to the Water Corporation on 11th March, 2016.


The next challenges were the funding requirements for the construction of water treatment plants, transmission structures and the distribution networks that will take water to the communities, neighborhoods and doorsteps of the ijesas. The peak funding requirement would be over One hundred million dollars, about 25 billion Naira. How would Aregbeaola raise this huge fund and from which sources. How would he devote such huge fund to ijesaland alone without trading off other competing needs of the whole state. How would he handle the moral burden associated with funding and allocation of such huge funding to his people. How Ogbeni Aregbesola showed courage and demonstrated the love for his people to resolve these funding challenges (once and for all), will be documented and presented in another write up.


The pitfalls are the construction risks and the operational risks, which are already rearing their ugly heads. With destructive mining activities in Kajola and the adjoining communities, which are already altering the courses of the upstream rivers and depositing heavy metals (lead, Mercury, etc) into the rivers, the huge risk in addition to the pollution is that sufficient water may not get to the kajola pond for intake and water supply according to the ilesa water scheme, after the completion. The Government of Osun and the Ijesa community leaders must rise up to the challenges posed by these artisanal miners, with candor and with sincerity of purpose to stop them!!.


Wale Bolorunduro, PhD

Former Commissioner of Finance, Osun

2011 to 2014

Incase talks fail, More sanctions are coming against Tehran as Israel, US hold secret meeting over ‘Plan B’ on Iran

Incase talks fail, More sanctions are coming against Tehran as Israel, US hold secret meeting over ‘Plan B’ on Iran


Tel Aviv and Washington have been secretly meeting over a possible imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.


According to the report by Axios, Israel and the U.S. have held secret discussions in the past week over a “Plan B” in case talks with Iran over its nuclear program fail.


The report indicated that one of these meetings was held between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, via a secure video conference callwhere  the Israeli side noted the importance of developing a “Plan B” regarding the Iranian threat as diplomatic talks with Tehran have reached a stalemate and the regime’s nuclear program only seems to be accelerating.


According to an Israeli official cited by Axois, the U.S. said it was also concerned about Iran and would impose additional sanctions on Tehran if the talks do not resume soon.


 

The U.S. “remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.


On Tuesday, Iran signaled that negotiations would resume in the upcoming weeks but did not specify an actual date, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.


Negotiations held in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear agreement were cut short following the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president in mid-June and have not resumed since.


Months later, Western powers have expressed concern that the time for negotiations is running out, as Iran’s nuclear program is expanding beyond the limits set by the original deal.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Thursday that the West was losing its patience. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to come back to the table in Vienna,” he said, according to France24.


Washington indicated on Thursday that it was prepared to be patient, while considering other contingency plans in case Tehran does not cooperate, Reuters reported.


“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a senior U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as saying. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course,” he added.


“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”


Tel Aviv and Washington have been secretly meeting over a possible imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.


According to the report by Axios, Israel and the U.S. have held secret discussions in the past week over a “Plan B” in case talks with Iran over its nuclear program fail.


The report indicated that one of these meetings was held between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, via a secure video conference callwhere  the Israeli side noted the importance of developing a “Plan B” regarding the Iranian threat as diplomatic talks with Tehran have reached a stalemate and the regime’s nuclear program only seems to be accelerating.


According to an Israeli official cited by Axois, the U.S. said it was also concerned about Iran and would impose additional sanctions on Tehran if the talks do not resume soon.


 

The U.S. “remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.


On Tuesday, Iran signaled that negotiations would resume in the upcoming weeks but did not specify an actual date, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.


Negotiations held in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear agreement were cut short following the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president in mid-June and have not resumed since.


Months later, Western powers have expressed concern that the time for negotiations is running out, as Iran’s nuclear program is expanding beyond the limits set by the original deal.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Thursday that the West was losing its patience. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to come back to the table in Vienna,” he said, according to France24.


Washington indicated on Thursday that it was prepared to be patient, while considering other contingency plans in case Tehran does not cooperate, Reuters reported.


“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a senior U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as saying. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course,” he added.


“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

US House passes bill allocating $1 BILLION to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system after its battering during recent Gaza conflict

US House passes bill allocating $1 BILLION to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system after its battering during recent Gaza conflict







The US House of Representatives has passed legislation allocating around $1 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. The massive funding package received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill was passed by 420 votes to 9 on Thursday, a day after the legislation was introduced. The measure needed a minimum of 260 votes to become law.

The $1 billion in funding to replenish the reserves of the defense system was initially incorporated into a must-pass bill that the House considered earlier this week. That legislation – on government funding and the suspension of the debt limit – was threatened by a group of progressives who vowed to sink it over the Israeli funding.

The bill’s opponents reiterated their arguments during debates on Thursday, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) giving a fiery speech on the House floor.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib told fellow lawmakers.

The speech immediately drew objections from Tlaib’s opponents, who accused the Democrat of “anti-Semitism” and alleged she was seeking to destroy Israel altogether.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism and I reject that,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said.

The funding’s approval was welcomed by Israel, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressing his gratitude to US lawmakers.

“Thanks to all members of the US House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security. Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets and other projectiles, was depleted during the conflict with Palestinian militants in May. According to Israel’s tally, some 4,350 rockets were fired from Gaza during the escalation, with the vast majority being intercepted by the mobile all-weather air defense system.

Source: RT






The US House of Representatives has passed legislation allocating around $1 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. The massive funding package received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill was passed by 420 votes to 9 on Thursday, a day after the legislation was introduced. The measure needed a minimum of 260 votes to become law.

The $1 billion in funding to replenish the reserves of the defense system was initially incorporated into a must-pass bill that the House considered earlier this week. That legislation – on government funding and the suspension of the debt limit – was threatened by a group of progressives who vowed to sink it over the Israeli funding.

The bill’s opponents reiterated their arguments during debates on Thursday, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) giving a fiery speech on the House floor.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib told fellow lawmakers.

The speech immediately drew objections from Tlaib’s opponents, who accused the Democrat of “anti-Semitism” and alleged she was seeking to destroy Israel altogether.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism and I reject that,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said.

The funding’s approval was welcomed by Israel, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressing his gratitude to US lawmakers.

“Thanks to all members of the US House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security. Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets and other projectiles, was depleted during the conflict with Palestinian militants in May. According to Israel’s tally, some 4,350 rockets were fired from Gaza during the escalation, with the vast majority being intercepted by the mobile all-weather air defense system.

Source: RT

Erdogan says US-Turkey relations ‘not healthy’ and failed to ‘start well with Biden'

Erdogan says US-Turkey relations ‘not healthy’ and failed to ‘start well with Biden'






Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara’s ties with Washington remain “not healthy.”

US continues to act towards Turkey in a manner that’s not “honest,” Erdogan has said, urging the US to “sort out” the non-delivery of F-35 jets.

He said America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Turkey’s president touched on the frosty relations between his government and the US, signaling it was up to the latter to fix the situation.

The ongoing F-35 debacle remains the main problem in bilateral ties, according to Erdogan, with Turkey kicked out of the 5th-gen fighter program by Washington after Ankara opted to purchase Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems. For Turkey, “the S-400 business is over,” and it’s not possible to somehow revert the purchase.

“We bought F-35s, we paid $1.4 billion, and these F-35s were not given to us. The United States needs to first sort this out,” the president said.

I cannot say that a healthy process is running in Turkish-American ties.

The change of US administration, with President Joe Biden taking over early this year, has apparently done little to warm up Turkish-US relations.

“I can’t say we started well with Mr. Biden,” Erdogan said. “We, Turkey, act honestly. Our stance is honest, but unfortunately America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so.”

I worked well with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, but I cannot say we started well with Joe Biden,"  Erdo─čan said, expressing discontent with the incumbent United States President.

"After 19 years in office, I can’t say that we have reached a good position with the U.S.," he added.

"The U.S. must understand that Turkey won’t step back from the S-400 deal," Erdo─čan further said, referring to the Russian missile defense system that led to a row between Turkey and the U.S.

Answering a question about Turkey’s stance on the latest developments in Afghanistan, Erdo─čan also pointed out the U.S.’s failure and indifference to the situation.

He underlined that the U.S. made their decision without input from Turkey, and thus could not expect Turkey to pay the price for the country’s irresponsible behavior.

Erdo─čan said: "It is unthinkable for Turkey to open doors and accept them (Afghan migrants). Our country is not an open-air corridor. It is not easy to accept such a thing. This action has a price and cost."

"The United States cannot say, 'Open the doors and let the Afghan people enter Turkey.' It is the U.S. that has to pay the price here. The U.S. needs to take steps in this regard," he added.

"Biden is transporting weapons to YPG terrorists operating in Syria," he also added, referring to the U.S. support to the PKK-linked terrorist group.


Turkey and Russia signed the S-400 contract back in late 2017, following years of Ankara’s failed attempts to procure modern anti-aircraft systems from its NATO allies. The $2.5-billion deal encompassed delivery of four full S-400 batteries, including various vehicles and launchers, and a cache of missiles. The deliveries began back in 2019 and have already been completed.

Ankara’s move invoked a furious reaction in Washington, with senior US officials repeatedly trying to press Turkey into abandoning the deal. Ankara has not bowed to the pressure, however, and has ended up being kicked out of the F-35 program, while the country’s defense sector has been targeted by US sanctions.

Moscow and Ankara have been in talks over procuring a second batch of the S-400 system. Back in August, Erdogan said his nation had “no hesitations” about the purchase, while Russia’s state-owned arms company Rosoboronexport indicated that the new contract would likely be signed by the end of this year.






Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara’s ties with Washington remain “not healthy.”

US continues to act towards Turkey in a manner that’s not “honest,” Erdogan has said, urging the US to “sort out” the non-delivery of F-35 jets.

He said America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Turkey’s president touched on the frosty relations between his government and the US, signaling it was up to the latter to fix the situation.

The ongoing F-35 debacle remains the main problem in bilateral ties, according to Erdogan, with Turkey kicked out of the 5th-gen fighter program by Washington after Ankara opted to purchase Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems. For Turkey, “the S-400 business is over,” and it’s not possible to somehow revert the purchase.

“We bought F-35s, we paid $1.4 billion, and these F-35s were not given to us. The United States needs to first sort this out,” the president said.

I cannot say that a healthy process is running in Turkish-American ties.

The change of US administration, with President Joe Biden taking over early this year, has apparently done little to warm up Turkish-US relations.

“I can’t say we started well with Mr. Biden,” Erdogan said. “We, Turkey, act honestly. Our stance is honest, but unfortunately America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so.”

I worked well with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, but I cannot say we started well with Joe Biden,"  Erdo─čan said, expressing discontent with the incumbent United States President.

"After 19 years in office, I can’t say that we have reached a good position with the U.S.," he added.

"The U.S. must understand that Turkey won’t step back from the S-400 deal," Erdo─čan further said, referring to the Russian missile defense system that led to a row between Turkey and the U.S.

Answering a question about Turkey’s stance on the latest developments in Afghanistan, Erdo─čan also pointed out the U.S.’s failure and indifference to the situation.

He underlined that the U.S. made their decision without input from Turkey, and thus could not expect Turkey to pay the price for the country’s irresponsible behavior.

Erdo─čan said: "It is unthinkable for Turkey to open doors and accept them (Afghan migrants). Our country is not an open-air corridor. It is not easy to accept such a thing. This action has a price and cost."

"The United States cannot say, 'Open the doors and let the Afghan people enter Turkey.' It is the U.S. that has to pay the price here. The U.S. needs to take steps in this regard," he added.

"Biden is transporting weapons to YPG terrorists operating in Syria," he also added, referring to the U.S. support to the PKK-linked terrorist group.


Turkey and Russia signed the S-400 contract back in late 2017, following years of Ankara’s failed attempts to procure modern anti-aircraft systems from its NATO allies. The $2.5-billion deal encompassed delivery of four full S-400 batteries, including various vehicles and launchers, and a cache of missiles. The deliveries began back in 2019 and have already been completed.

Ankara’s move invoked a furious reaction in Washington, with senior US officials repeatedly trying to press Turkey into abandoning the deal. Ankara has not bowed to the pressure, however, and has ended up being kicked out of the F-35 program, while the country’s defense sector has been targeted by US sanctions.

Moscow and Ankara have been in talks over procuring a second batch of the S-400 system. Back in August, Erdogan said his nation had “no hesitations” about the purchase, while Russia’s state-owned arms company Rosoboronexport indicated that the new contract would likely be signed by the end of this year.

US strike kills al-Qaida leader in Syria, ‘no indications’ of civilian casualties - CENTCOM

US strike kills al-Qaida leader in Syria, ‘no indications’ of civilian casualties - CENTCOM


The U.S. Central Command has said it's forces carried out a strike on a “senior al-Qaida leader” in Syria.


According to the spokesman of the command, Navy Lt.. Josie Lynne Lenny: “Initial indications are that we struck the individual we were aiming for, and there are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike." He declined comment on the name of the senior al-Qaida leader or the method of the strike.


Meanwhile, rescue workers and a war monitor described it as a drone strike that hit a vehicle traveling on a rural road in rebel-controlled northwestern Syria, killing at least one person.


The White Helmets also said the unidentified body was lifted from the car along the Idlib-Binnish road east of Idlib province.


According to the report, the totally charred vehicle, split in the middle, lay on the side of the rural road in an orchid.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said the U.S.-led coalition was believed to be behind the strike on the vehicle, which carried a militant from one of the radical groups operating in the province. The Observatory didn’t identify the group but said it was linked to al-Qaida.

The U.S. has carried out attacks in Idlib before, targeting al-Qaida militants and the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was hiding in the province after fleeing from eastern Syria.

Large parts of Idlib and neighboring Aleppo provinces remain in the hands of Syrian armed opposition, dominated by radical groups including the once al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham,. There are also over 4 million civilians living in the area, most of them displaced from previous bouts of violence in Syria’s 10-year conflict. The Syrian government has vowed to restore control of all of territories outside of its control, but a cease-fire negotiated last year in Idlib has tenaciously held.


The strike came hours before Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that an Air Force general officer would conduct an investigation into the errant Aug. 29 drone strike in Afghanistan that killed 10 people, including seven children. That strike mistakenly targeted an Afghan aid worker thought to be an ISIS-K operative.


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has tasked the Air Force with designating a general who will conduct a review of the investigation into the Aug. 29 Hellfire missile strike in Kabul that reportedly killed 10 people, Kirby told reporters Monday.


In a memo dated Friday, he said, Austin directed Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to choose a three-star or above to investigate what went wrong, how strike targeting might be changed in the future, and whether anyone involved in the mission should be disciplined.


Accounts from the family, documents from colleagues seen by The Associated Press, and the scene at the family home — where Zemerai Ahmadi’s car was struck by a Hellfire missile just as he pulled into the driveway — all painted a picture of a family that had worked for Americans and were trying to gain visas to the United States, fearing for their lives under the Taliban.



Source


The U.S. Central Command has said it's forces carried out a strike on a “senior al-Qaida leader” in Syria.


According to the spokesman of the command, Navy Lt.. Josie Lynne Lenny: “Initial indications are that we struck the individual we were aiming for, and there are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike." He declined comment on the name of the senior al-Qaida leader or the method of the strike.


Meanwhile, rescue workers and a war monitor described it as a drone strike that hit a vehicle traveling on a rural road in rebel-controlled northwestern Syria, killing at least one person.


The White Helmets also said the unidentified body was lifted from the car along the Idlib-Binnish road east of Idlib province.


According to the report, the totally charred vehicle, split in the middle, lay on the side of the rural road in an orchid.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said the U.S.-led coalition was believed to be behind the strike on the vehicle, which carried a militant from one of the radical groups operating in the province. The Observatory didn’t identify the group but said it was linked to al-Qaida.

The U.S. has carried out attacks in Idlib before, targeting al-Qaida militants and the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was hiding in the province after fleeing from eastern Syria.

Large parts of Idlib and neighboring Aleppo provinces remain in the hands of Syrian armed opposition, dominated by radical groups including the once al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham,. There are also over 4 million civilians living in the area, most of them displaced from previous bouts of violence in Syria’s 10-year conflict. The Syrian government has vowed to restore control of all of territories outside of its control, but a cease-fire negotiated last year in Idlib has tenaciously held.


The strike came hours before Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that an Air Force general officer would conduct an investigation into the errant Aug. 29 drone strike in Afghanistan that killed 10 people, including seven children. That strike mistakenly targeted an Afghan aid worker thought to be an ISIS-K operative.


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has tasked the Air Force with designating a general who will conduct a review of the investigation into the Aug. 29 Hellfire missile strike in Kabul that reportedly killed 10 people, Kirby told reporters Monday.


In a memo dated Friday, he said, Austin directed Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to choose a three-star or above to investigate what went wrong, how strike targeting might be changed in the future, and whether anyone involved in the mission should be disciplined.


Accounts from the family, documents from colleagues seen by The Associated Press, and the scene at the family home — where Zemerai Ahmadi’s car was struck by a Hellfire missile just as he pulled into the driveway — all painted a picture of a family that had worked for Americans and were trying to gain visas to the United States, fearing for their lives under the Taliban.



Source

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