15:06 [Global Research] (E)
The sonic blast at the Port of Beirut on August 4 produced a huge white mushroom cloud that enveloped the port and then rose into the evening sky just after 6 pm. However, the cloud of confusion and disbelief still fogs the minds of the Lebanese people, who demand answers and accountability. President Trump’s favorite news source, “Fox News”, falsely reported that the Port of Beirut was controlled by Hezbollah, the Lebanese political party and resistance movement. Hassan Koraytem is the General Manager of the Port Authority of Beirut, and a member of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s “Future Party”, which controls access to the Port. During the street protests which rocked Beirut from October 2019, and continued until the COVID-19 lockdown began, fireworks were used extensively as a weapon directed against the police and security forces, and it was reported that the “Future Party” had distributed the fireworks. The “Future Party” is opposed to Hezbollah, and is aligned with the US and Saudi Arabia.
23:25 [Uprooted Palestinians] (E)
Hezbollah has more knowledge of Port of Haifa than Port of Beirut!
We neither administer the port (of Beirut), nor do we control it, nor do we interfere in it, nor do we know what was going on in the port, nor do we know what was present in the port. Some people said: ‘is it possible that you know about the Port of Haifa (in Israel) more than you know about the Port of Beirut?’. Hezbollah’s main responsibility is resistance. Hezbollah might know more about the Port of Haifa than it knows about the Port of Beirut. (Knowing about) the Port of Beirut is not (Hezbollah’s) responsibility, yet (knowing about) the Port of Haifa is (Hezbollah’s) responsibility, because it is part of the deterrence equation and the (Resistance’s) defence strategy for Lebanon.
11:11 [Richard Silverstein] (E)
A confidential highly-informed Israeli source has told me that Israel caused the massive explosion at the Beirut port earlier today which killed over 100 and injured thousands. The bombing also virtually leveled the port itself and caused massive damage throughout the city. The source received this information from an Israeli official having special knowledge concerning the matter.
11:07 [Veterans Today] (E)
Trump confirms this was a bombing, not an accident and is immediately scourged by pro-Israel press...starting with the Daily Beast
15:00 [Pars today] (E)
Des sources syriennes, qui ont fait état aujourd’hui des affrontements entre des rebelles kurdes soutenus par les États-Unis et les résidents d’une zone de l’est de la Syrie, ont rapporté que les habitants de la région avaient réussi à prendre le contrôle des bases des rebelles kurdes.
13:31 [RT] (E)
Lebanon’s health minister has confirmed over 70 deaths following explosions in the country’s capital, with thousands more injured. The blasts are under investigation with early reports linking it to stored fireworks and chemicals. Two blasts struck the port area of Beirut, with the first hitting at around 6pm local time. The second appeared much stronger, sending a huge mushroom cloud-shaped plume of smoke and debris high overhead.
13:28 [RT] (E)
The huge explosions took place shortly after 6pm local time in a port area of Beirut where highly explosive materials are stored, according to Lebanon’s internal security chief. Local media have reported the explosion took place at a fireworks depot near the port, while Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan initially said a ship carrying fireworks exploded in the port.
9:43 [Middle East Monitor] (E)
Protests against Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have raged on for weeks, turning violent sometimes. Israelis are furious at their government’s mediocre response to the coronavirus pandemic, especially as COVID-19 disease is experiencing a massive surge throughout the country. Netanyahu warned protesters, thousands of whom have been rallying outside his residence in Jerusalem, against “anarchy (and) violence”. Scenes of utter chaos and violent arrests have been a daily occurrence in a country that is already in the throes of a political crisis, largely, if not exclusively, linked to the Prime Minister himself.
13:59 [Voltairenet] (E)
At a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on 30 July 2020, Senator Lindsey Graham questioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about a US company that has just signed an agreement with the "Autonomous Administration" of Northeast Syria (YPG) for the exploitation of oil fields and the supply of refineries. The Secretary of State confirmed that the negotiation of the agreement had taken longer than expected and that he was OK with the deal. Production is expected to start at 60,000 barrels/day and could quickly rise to 380,000 barrels/day.
17:36 [Global Research] (E)
Having just read The War That Ended Peace the title How the West Stole Democracy From the Arabs appeared as an intriguing and fortuitous follow up. Its subtitle describes its more narrow focus: The Syrian-Arab Congress of 1920 and the Destruction of Its Historical Liberal-Islamic Alliance. Essentially it is the story of how the imperial powers of Britain and France overcame the U.S.’ Wilsonian ideals being used as a formulation for the League of Nations. The colonialism of the prewar era resettled itself into the Middle East after the destruction of the Ottoman empire, wishing to retain imperial glory and control of the newly ‘free’ Arab sectors of the Ottoman empire and in this region, its relatively new found wealth of oil.
18:25 [Global Research] (E)
It wasn’t supposed to take this long to eliminate the independence movement of the backward land of the living Bible. A coalition of the world’s major military powers, led by the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and Israel, expected Yemen’s Houthi movement to fall in a matter of weeks after their attacks started on March 25th, 2015. Five years later, it is only the hidden member of the Coalition leaders, Israel, that is motivated to continue the genocidal bombing and blockade that has created “the world’s greatest humanitarian catastrophe”. It is arguably because of Israel’s hidden role that the genocide is continuing despite the attempts of the other Coalition leaders to end their roles in the Yemeni slaughter.
17:48 [Middle East Discourse] (E)
St. Elijah Maronite Cathedral in Aleppo re-opened after years of disuse due to the severe destruction the 18th century cathedral endured during battles in the period of 2012 to 2016. Aleppo had been Syria’s largest city and its commercial and industrial hub before the conflict which began in March 2011. Syria is a secular nation, with the pre-war population ratio standing at about 80% Sunni Muslim, and the remaining divided between Christians, Jews, and other Muslim sects. It is estimated that only 30,000 Christians remain in Aleppo, compared to a pre-war population of 180,000. Aleppo is now the second largest city after the capital, Damascus.
17:42 [South Front] (E)
In the last few days, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkistan Islamic Party reinforced their positions on the contact line with the Syrian Army, south of the M4 highway. Their forces reportedly remain on high alert. Pro-government sources say that the inability of Ankara to secure another joint patrol in southern Idlib is a signal that the militants are preparing for offensive actions there. Meanwhile, the Syrian Army uncovered a hideout that had been used by militants working as organ traders in the village of al-Ghadfah in southern Idlib. According to Syria’s state-run news agency SANA, government forces found human organs, including hearts, livers and heads in the hideout. The organs were preserved in jars with chloroform. The jars carried the names of the victims. Personal IDs of the victims, men and women, were also found in the hideout.
21:15 [Syria News] (E)
The Trump regime illegal forces in Syria deployed two F-15 bomber jets to dangerously menace Iranian civilian airplane 23 July, in al Tanf, which is in Syria, which is not in the USA. This was an act of terrorism in Syrian airspace, which put the lives of every person on the plane at risk. Multiple injuries were reported and treated upon the plane’s safe landing in its Beirut Airport destination. Though early reports claimed the bomber jets were Israeli, the pilot reported that the illegal F-15 pilots identified themselves as “American.” The early reports were based on Israel’s successful war criminal use of the Russian IL 20 as a ‘human shield’ in September 2018.
19:53 [The Wall Will Fall] (E)
Controversy still rages over Turkish president, Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s inflammatory decision to re-convert the historical and symbolic Hagia Sofia into a mosque. Christian artefacts and icons will be covered and Christian visitors to the former museum will have to follow Islamic rules when entering the building that houses so much of their heritage.
14:58 [Medium.com] (E)
“There is plenty of evidence for the existence of ancient Jerusalem. Excavations in the City of David, today the village of Silwan, just south of the Old City walls, show that the site has been continuously occupied for some 5,000 years… To most Israelis it is axiomatic that the celebrations for the 3,000th anniversary of the conquest of Jerusalem by King David mark a real and tangible event; but this is far from certain.”
9:11 [The Unz Review] (E)
Violent demonstrations have broken out in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Thousands marched, dozens were arrested, but more citizens continued to arrive and join the protests. The people of the only Jewish state are upset and unhappy. They expected a better outcome from their fight with corona.
8:29 [Pars today] (E)
Syrians from all walks of life poured on Sunday into electoral centers across the government-controlled parts of Syria to vote for their parliamentary candidates. A total of 1658 candidates are competing to win 250 seats at the parliament, known in Syria as the Peoples’ Assembly.
10:15 [Strategika 51] (E)
Israeli attacks against Syria continue as part of a redeployment of US forces in the Levant and an upsurge in US military activities around the Al-Tanf base but also in northern Syria after the success of the confused strategy of "Bellum omnium contra omnes" or war of all against all aimed in the first place at blurring the Russian strategic perception. The last Israeli missiles launched by combat aircraft over the Golan Heights are justified on the Israeli side as a response to the fall of Syrian Sol-Air missile debris on the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan after the bombing of sites in the South damask.
9:06 [News Front] (E)
The fighter from grouping “Maghavir al-Saura” which camp is located in territory of area El Thanf where there is a military base of the USA in Syria, has run away and has surrendered to the governmental armies. Former member of the illegal armed formation Hassan Abdul Atra told journalists that the group participated in provocations against the Syrian army to give an excuse to the American military to strike at its positions.
12:00 [Press TV] (E)
Syria’s state television said on Monday the Israeli missiles had flown over the Syrian Golan Heights where they conducted raids around the capital. Live footage aired by the state TV showed blasts across the skies of the capital. A Syrian military spokesman says the Syrian air defenses thwarted most of the missiles that targeted southern Damascus suburbs before reaching their targets and inflicted only “material losses”.
21:21 [Elija J. Magnier] (E)
Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah enjoys unparalleled support among Shia in Lebanon and more broadly among the “Axis of the Resistance” he is leading. He is the most famous leader in Lebanon and is highly respected and heeded by both followers and enemies, particularly Israel. However, since the financial situation in Lebanon has sharply deteriorated, he is no longer in an enviable position and will need exceptional skills to keep Lebanon united at a time when his supposed political allies are exhibiting unfriendly behaviour. Hezbollah’s followers and Hezbollah’s political allies are no longer in harmony. Tensions are now reaching unprecedented levels, not only in social media, but also with regard to political choices. The reasons are many.
11:16 [Global Research] (E)
In a world dominated by American exceptionalism and neo-colonialism, hunger has become a weapon of war. “The use of starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare is prohibited” under international humanitarian law yet the U.S. regularly reduces entire nations to dangerous levels of food insecurity in order to subjugate them.
11:38 [Ramzy Baroud] (E)
Wednesday, July 1, was meant to be the day on which the Israeli government officially annexed 30% of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and the Jordan Valley. This date, however, came and went and annexation was never actualized. “I don’t know if there will be a declaration of sovereignty today,” said Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, with reference to the self-imposed deadline declared earlier by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. An alternative date was not immediately announced. But does it really matter?
20:46 [RT] (E)
Three gunmen caught by the Syrian Army have told Russian media they were part of a US-backed militant group and had been sent on a spying mission in the Raqqa governorate. The detainees were shown to journalists near the city of Palmyra, where they were delivered by the Syrian army.The three men claimed they belonged to the Revolutionary Commando Army, a militia group based around the US base in Al-Tanf in southeastern Syria. According to the detainees, they left Al-Tanf on motorcycles and rode north for a reconnaissance mission in the Mansoura subdistrict of the Raqqa governorate. Upon reaching their destination they were supposed to look for Syrian, Russian and Iranian facilities.
11:46 [Middle East Eye] (E)
Israel’s announcement of plans to annex 30 percent of the occupied West Bank has caused much concern among its friends in Western governments, Jewish organisations and pundits about the potential negative repercussions befalling not the Palestinian people, but Israel. They are worried about the loss of Israel’s alleged “Jewish and democratic” character, and fear it would have to sacrifice one for the other.
9:54 [South Front] (E)
Saudi Arabia has become a hostage of its own military campaign in Yemen. The Kingdom suffers from both its own inability to achieve a military victory in the conflict and regular losses from the retaliatory actions of the Houthis. At the same time, the Saudi leadership has no opportunity to withdraw from the conflict and abandon its proxies there because this will undermine its already shaky position in the region and cause a wide-scale political crisis inside Saudi Arabia itself. The impact from such a crisis will be especially devastating.
19:56 [Antiwar.com] (E)
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told his Blue and White party on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank will have to wait due to the coronavirus crisis. Netanyahu responded to Gantz’s comments and said his coalition partners in the Blue and White party are “not a factor” in deciding on annexation.
11:29 [Middle East Eye] (E)
Out of work and armed to the teeth, former mercenaries who have abandoned the Saudi-Houthi frontline are now roaming Taiz province, terrorising the city`s residents and looting whenever they see fit. Fares* is one of them. In 2014, he was found guilty of murdering a man and robbing his home, and was sent to Taiz city`s central prison to await his execution. But Houthi forces backed by troops loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country`s former president, swept into Taiz on 22 March 2015, capturing the military airport and other key parts of the city.
11:24 [Global Research] (E)
A deep disappointment and a fatigue together with the regular and unanimous will to deal with this increasingly difficult situation continue to help each other, that is, as far as I can tell it, the predominantly sense of life of the Syrian people. However, this asks people nothing but to let the people live in peace in their own country with the wide possibilities that are rightfully theirs. The war is already going on for more than nine years. This, what they call a war, had nothing to do with a “spontaneous popular uprising ”or a“ civil war ” because, there have not been any of this . We have seen how it started here in Syria. The superpowers wanted the oil, build the gas for themselves, built the “American” pipeline and especially break the independence of a sovereign Syria.
11:22 [Moon of Alabama] (E)
The Syrian province of Idleb continues to be a hotbed for Jihadis. Since the last Turkish Russian ceasefire agreement the Turkish army deployed more and more troops in Idleb to bring the various Jihadis it unofficially supports under control. The main Jihadi group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), has now taken the role of a Turkish proxy force. All other groups were told to submit to it and after a few rounds of infighting during which dozens were killed most of them did do so.
9:53 [Aljazeera] (E)
The international rejection of Israel`s plan to formally annex even more Palestinian land is based on two arguments: the annexation is a violation of international law and it defeats the prospects of a two-state solution. The world view of this international consensus underscores as problematic the lack of a reciprocal dialogue between the sides, their inability to compromise and the unilateral actions that inhibit peace efforts. At the same time, it foregrounds conventional peace-building processes that emphasise mutual recognition as well as economic and security cooperation.
13:37 [Global Research] (E)
Launched preemptively in March 2011 by the Obama regime, escalated by Trump, US direct and proxy aggression in Syria will likely continue indefinitely no matter which right wing of its war party is in charge ahead. Formed in September 2011, the so-called Committee of Inquiry on Syria (COI) is an instrument of pro-Western imperial propaganda. Its reports largely blame Syria’s Bashar al-Assad government for high crimes of war and against humanity committed by US and so-called coalition partners, as well as ISIS and other jihadists used as imperial proxies.
9:34 [Middle East Eye] (E)
The UK Labour Party’s shadow education secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, was recently sacked after sharing an article on social media saying - among other things - that Israel had trained US police in the knee-on-neck choking method used on George Floyd. This claim has been circulated widely in recent weeks among the global left. Labour leader Keir Starmer accused Long-Bailey of posting an article containing an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”. Evidently, the winds of change have come to Labour after Jeremy Corbyn stepped down - and the change does not portend well.
8:23 [ANF] (E)
According to the human rights organization Afrin-Syria, 18-year-old Mihemed Mistefa Yusif was found hanged from a walnut tree in front of his house in the village of Mêrkan in Mabeta district of Afrin. His family had moved to Mêrkan after the Turkish-backed militia Liwa Samarkand confiscated their house in Hec Qasim.
10:05 [Middle East Eye] (E)
Dania Thafer| Saudi Arabia is addicted to the rentier model until the oil runs out. The social contract of Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states is a deep-rooted systemic structure that is linked to the institutional design of the economy, society and political environment. State-conferred financial benefits to Saudi nationals fluctuate depending on circumstances and they have yet to cross the threshold that would redefine the fundamentals of state-society relations. The question that still lingers is not if intrinsic aspects of the rentier social contract will change, but rather when?
10:22 [Middle East Monitor] (E)
The Israeli army is preparing for the annexation of the West Bank, and possible Palestinian responses, although calls for action against the occupation state may not be heeded in the present circumstances. Various factors make it unlikely for the Palestinians to engage in activities against Israel, including the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of armed resistance (President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to thwart attacks against the colonial-settler state), the poor economic situation and Fatah’s fear of Hamas taking control of the West Bank.
22:56 [American Herald Tribune] (E)
By Dr. Tim Anderson - How is it that Syria, targeted by war and economic siege, has had such striking success in controlling the COVID19 pandemic? With epidemics raging on either side – across Europe and all around the Persian Gulf – how did the embattled Syrian Arab Republic emerge (by mid-June) with so little damage, and indeed with the lowest number of cases and deaths in the entire Middle East region? This was not due to luck, nor to a laissez-faire Swedish style practice, as some pandemic denier friends of Syria have reported. On the contrary...
9:00 [Mideast Discourse] (E)
United States Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, announced on Sunday that Washington had offered Syria a proposal to end the US sanctions. The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry in Damascus said that the statements by James Jeffrey constitute a clear admission by the Trump administration of it being directly responsible for the suffering of Syrians. The Syrians see the increasing sanctions as economic-warfare after the US failure to bring about ‘regime change’, by using terrorists supported by the CIA. Damascus declares the sanctions violate human rights and international law as they affect the Syrian population.
17:43 [MintPress News] (E)
As focus begins to turn to developments in Libya and the foreign interference that plagues the Arab country, it seems that Turkey already has its eye elsewhere, preparing for military involvement in Yemen in a move that has sparked concern among Yemenis already struggling against an intervention led by Saudi Arabia, famine and most recently, COVID-19.
10:06 [The Electronic Intifada] (E)
Human rights defenders are urging Germany’s Brückepreis to withdraw their 2020 award from Tzipi Livni, an Israeli politician who has bragged about her role in war crimes against Palestinians. The citation for the Bridge Prize, as it is known in English, says that Livni is being honored for promoting “free thinking, democracy, openness and humanity” and for “her freedom-oriented peace policy.” The prize is given to individuals who have dedicated their life’s work to democracy and peaceful understanding among peoples and comes with a cash award of $2,800. But far from promoting peace, Livni is accused of involvement in “war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the blockaded Gaza Strip” when she was Israel’s foreign minister during its 2008-2009 assault on Gaza, the human rights group Euro-Med Monitor wrote in a letter to Brückepreis president Willi Xylander on Tuesday.
10:27 [Fort Russ] (E)
A member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council censured the United Nations over its decision to remove the Saudi-led coalition from a blacklist for killing and injuring children in the conflict-plagued Arab country, saying the crime that cannot be effaced from its record.
15:02 [Mideast Discourse] (E)
Apache helicopters of the US occupation forces flew low Sunday morning, according to residents of the Adla village, in the Shaddadi countryside, south of Hasaka, as they dropped ‘thermal balloons’, an incendiary weapon, causing the wheat fields to explode into flames while the hot dry winds fanned the raging fire. After delivering their fiery pay-load, the helicopters flew close to homes in an aggressive manner, which caused residents and especially small children to fear for their lives. The military maneuver was delivering a clear message: don’t sell your wheat to the Syrian government. Head of Hasaka Agricultural Directorate Rajab Salameh said in a statement to SANA that several fires have broken out in agricultural fields in Tal Tamer countryside, as well.
13:43 [Voltairenet] (E)
The International Coalition having abandoned all hope of destroying the Syrian Arab Republic by force, the United States and the European Union are now seeking to achieve the same result by making people hungry. The siege of Syria has begun. Economic sanctions have been severely tightened and will be further squeezed in mid-June. Any person or entity that trades with Syria will be harshly penalized by the United States and the European Union (Caesar Law).
9:15 [Voltaire Network] (E)
For three quarters of a century, an Anglo-Saxon colony, now a US arsenal, has been trying to conquer all the lands from the Nile to the Euphrates (Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and part of Iraq). And for some years now, citizens of this same colony have been aspiring to transform it into a normal state. This conflict of another age has reached a stage with the appointment of a bicephalous government: two prime ministers representing the two political visions are going to paralyze each other.
15:15 [MintPress News] (E)
Between Washington’s precise demands to Israel to keep Beijing at bay, and the latter’s aggressive ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy, Israel is facing a stark choice. Israel’s balancing act is floundering. It is no longer able to reap America’s unconditional and, often, blind support, while simultaneously benefiting from China’s growing economic influence and political prestige. Thanks to the heated cold war between the U.S. and Chinese economic superpowers, the Israeli strategy of playing both sides is unlikely to pay dividends in the long run. Soon enough, Tel Aviv might find itself having to make a stark choice between Washington and Beijing. When U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo visited Israel on May 13, two items topped his agenda: Israel’s imminent illegal annexation of Palestinian land and growing Israeli-Chinese economic ties.
9:45 [Strategic Culture Foundation] (E)
Some eight years ago, I wrote about the outbreak of popular stirring in the Middle East, then labelled the ‘Arab Awakening’. Multiple popular discontents were welling: demands for radical change proliferated, but above all, there was anger – anger at mountainous inequalities in wealth; blatant injustices and political marginalisation; and at a corrupt and rapacious élite. The moment had seemed potent, but no change resulted. Why? And what are the portents, as the Corona era covers the region once again with dark clouds of economic gloom and renewed discontent?
20:30 [Antiwar.com] (E)
by Grant Smith - Milchan-Netanyahu nuclear trigger smuggling caper impunity. Benjamin Netanyahu’s prosecution for corruption in an Israeli courtroom is now underway. The current Israeli Prime Minister is facing three counts of fraud and breach of trust and one count of bribery. The first count listed in the charge sheet details Israeli movie producer Arnon Milchan’s long relationship with Netanyahu. Netanyahu received approximately $140,000 worth of cigars, champagne, and jewelry in exchange for favors to Milchan. Those favors included advancing Milchan’s Israeli news media business interests and promoting at Milchan’s suggestion a free-trade zone between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority to manufacture low cost vehicles. Netanyahu’s most important favor to Milchan, according to the charges, was using his influence as Prime Minister to respond in 2013 and 2014 to Milchan’s urgent pleas for help with a 10-year visa to continue residing in the United States.
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