Saturday, March 11, 2017

M.N.: The US and Russian Military Leaders Meet On "The Turkish Bridge"; The Trump Bridge is needed in the US.: US is back in the Middle East. Gen. Dunford's meeting with his counterparts is the first logical and needed step in the resolutions of regional conflicts. | Top Russian, Turkish, and US generals meet amid standoff in northern Syria

11:24 AM 3/11/2017

Russia, U.S. discuss a new communication channel for Syria 

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Russia and the United States have exchanged opinions on setting up a "three-star" Syrian communication channel at the level of generals, said Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, a spokesman for the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"A working level discussion has taken place to exchange initial thoughts on how such a channel might be established to enhance deconfliction," Hicks told TASS. The official did not elaborate on who held the discussions and when.
According to Hicks, the U.S. side expects that the armed forces of Russia and the United States will exchange information on Syria at a higher level than they presently do. This alternative channel of communication will allow to more efficiently manage "the immediate deconfliction we have been doing over the last several months."
Why is the Russian government slow to publicly report deaths in Syria
The memorandum of understanding on the prevention of incidents and enhancing the safety of air missions in the Syrian airspace was signed on Oct. 20, 2015. Its implementation is regularly discussed by Russian and U.S. defense officials... 


The Pentagon's top officer meets with generals from Turkey and Russia to discuss Syria operations 

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It marks the second meeting in a month between Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and his Russian counterpart.

3:32 PM 3/8/2017


Updated: 9:01 AM 3/8/2017 / Published: 3/7/17, 8:59 AM

On "The Turkish Bridge"

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The US and Russian Military Leaders 
Meet On "The Turkish Bridge"; 
The Trump Bridge 
to The Other America 
is needed in the US. 

The US is back in the Middle East. 
Gen. Dunford's meetings with his Russian and Turkish counterparts is the first logical and needed step in the resolutions of the chains of regional conflicts. 
In the background, Mike Pompeo's recent visit to the region and the previous meeting between Gen. Dunford and Gen. Gerasimov in Baku on 2.16.17, most likely played their positive preparatory roles. 

Apparently, it was approved and initiated on the highest political levels
This can be viewed as one of the early signs of the more assertive posture in the foreign policies and the possible predictor of their future successes (the issue and the question of the future Kurdish state should not be overlooked), which might be one of the decisive factors in the Trump Administration's continuing struggle for political, social, and mass-psychological legitimacy. The farther and deeper is its self-positioning and the continuing turn to the self-identity as the National Security Administration, the more beneficial it will be for the current Administration and for the country. The productive mutual working accommodations with the USIC are one of the pressing goals in this direction. 

The situation with and around the allegations of Trump's ties with Russia is complex, probably not easy to investigate, and is enormously important for the present and the future functioning of the US political bodies. It is in the most far-reaching interests of Mr. Trump to cooperate, to support, and to help this investigation completely and wholeheartedly, in all its aspects, including the nature and origins of his possible surveillance (hypothetically, not necessarily and not only by the FBI and USIC, including Counterintelligence services, but by a broad variety of other possibly interested parties, including the various Foreign Intelligence Services). If there was not any wrongdoing, Mr. Trump might be completely exonerated. 

Regardless of this process of the Congressional and IC inquiries, which should proceed their own ways and unimpeded, the business of governing in the internal and external affairs should proceed its own way also, as usually, not in the atmosphere of a "crisis", but in a fully functioning mode. 

Some observers do believe that "every crisis is the mother of opportunities". 


Michael Novakhov

3:17 PM 3/7/2017

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Top US General Discusses Syria With Counterparts From Russia and Turkey - New York Times
Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:06:20 GMT

New York Times



Top US General Discusses Syria With Counterparts From Russia and Turkey
New York Times
WASHINGTON The top American military officer met Tuesday with hisRussian and Turkish counterparts to discuss how to avoid an unintended confrontation as forces from all three nations operate on an increasingly crowded battlefield in northern Syria.
US Puts Troops on the Ground in Syria to Blunt Turkish CampaignBloomberg
Turkey, Russia, US army chiefs discuss anti-ISIL stepsAljazeera.com
'Russia practically mediating between NATO members US & Turkey over Syria'RT
Wall Street Journal (subscription)
all 176 news articles »

Top U.S. General Discusses Syria With Counterparts From Russia and Turkey

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WASHINGTON — The top American military officer met Tuesday with his Russian and Turkish counterparts to discuss how to avoid an unintended confrontation as forces from all three nations operate on an increasingly crowded battlefield in northern Syria.
The unusual three-way meeting was held in Antalya, Turkey. It brought together Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian general staff; and their Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar.
The major purpose of the session was to discuss “the fight against all terrorist organizations in Syria” and “the importance of additional measures for de-conflicting operations,” a spokesman for General Dunford said in a statement.
The situation in northern Syria has become increasingly tense in recent days. Supported by American and Russian airstrikes, Turkish forces and Syrian militias supported by Turkey recently succeeded in taking the town Al Bab from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
But Turkey’s main worry is not ISIS but ensuring that Syrian Kurds do not establish a ministate in northern Syria. That has spurred fears that Turkish troops and their allies in the Syria opposition might move to seize Manbij, a town in northern Syria that was taken from ISIS by Syrian Arab and Kurdish militias backed by the United States.
The fighters defending Manbij do not believe that the Turkish posture is mere saber-rattling. Abu Amjed, the head of the Manbij Military Council, said in an interview last week that his fighters were being shot at by Turkish troops and that he considered Turkey to be more of a threat than ISIS.
As the situation escalated, the Manbij Military Council has tried to pre-empt any Turkish offensive by striking a deal with Russia to turn nearby villages under its control over to Syrian government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. As part of that deal, a Syrian government convoy with humanitarian aid began to make its way to Manbij, escorted by Russian armored vehicles, which halted just short of the town.
At the same time, American troops in Stryker fighting vehicles and armored Humvees flying large American flags began to appear in and around Manbij to dissuade Turkish-backed militias and other groups from attacking the area. The American troops include a unit of Army Rangers, who appear to have been sent to northern Syria from the base American forces use in Erbil, Iraq. It was an unusually public role for Army Rangers, who often prefer to operate in the shadows.
Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday that the American deployment was intended as a “visible sign of deterrence and reassurance.”
“We are concerned about anybody who views Manbij as needing to be liberated,” he added.
One American official described the situation around Manbij as a potential tinderbox. There have already been a couple of friendly fire incidents, including a Russian airstrike last week that hit Syrian Arab fighters trained by the Americans. The worry is that a small incident could rapidly escalate and undermine the American-backed push to capture Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate.
“There is a need for an effective coordination in the efforts to clear Syria of all terror groups because so many countries are involved there,” Binali Yildirim, the Turkish prime minister, said of the generals meeting. “That’s the real aim of the meeting.”
The challenge facing the United States and Turkey, however, goes well beyond drawing clear battle lines.
American Special Operations Forces regard the Y.P.G. — the Syrian Kurdish militia that is officially known as the People’s Protection Units — as an effective battlefield ally whose participation is vital to roll back the Islamic State in Syria.
While President Trump has yet to decide the matter, American commanders have also argued for equipping the Y.P.G. with armored vehicles, heavy machine guns and anti-tank missiles so they could join the operation to seize Raqqa.
Turkey, which has cast the Kurdish militias as terrorists, has vociferously objected to such a move. The American military has tried to develop ways to reassure Turkey, including by increasing the number of Syrian Arabs that would be used to take Raqqa.
Continue reading the main story
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Russian, Turkish, and US generals meet on "The Turkish Bridge" - 3.7.17

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Top Russian, Turkish, and US generals meet amid standoff in northern Syria

Generals Joseph Dunford, Hulusi Akar, and Valery Gerasimov meet in Antalya
Generals Joseph Dunford, Hulusi Akar, and Valery Gerasimov meet in Antalya
Generals Joseph Dunford, Hulusi Akar, and Valery Gerasimov meet in Antalya CREDIT: TURKISH ARMED FORCES GENERAL STAFF PRESS OFFICE HANDOUT

 Roland Oliphant
7 MARCH 2017 • 11:41AM
The heads of the Russian, Turkish, and US armed forces are meeting in southern Turkey in a rare face-to-face summit on the war against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

The meeting in Antalya comes amid around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, where troops from all three countries are now involved in a Mexican standoff following clashes between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces.

General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Stafff, and General Hulusi Akar, who heads the General Staff of the Turkish Armed forces, went into a meeting on Tuesday morning to “ to discuss issues of security in Syria and Iraq,” the Russian ministry of defence said.

_____________________________________________________

News - 10:51 AM 3/7/2017 

Turkish PM says must coordinate fully with U.S., Russia in Syria

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey, the United States and Russia must coordinate fully to clear Syria of terrorist groups and the three countries' chiefs of staff were working to prevent clashes between the different parties in the country, Turkey's prime minister said.
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euronewsru's YouTube Videos: Западный Мосул: силы быстрого реагирования освободили ключевые здания

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Проправительственные силы Ирака продвигаются вглубь центральных кварталов западного Мосула. Во вторник им удалось освободить здание национального музея и главный филиал Центробанка, который боевики "Исламского государства" разграбили в 2014 году.
Армия также завладела зданием, которое служило исламистам судом и где они учиняли незаконные расправы. Накануне силы быстрого реагирования отбили у "ИГ" комплекс правительственных зданий. Под контроль проправительственных сил перешли два из пяти мос…
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euronewsru's YouTube Videos: Западный Мосул: силы быстрого реагирования освободили ключевые здания

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From: euronewsru
Duration: 00:57

Проправительственные силы Ирака продвигаются вглубь центральных кварталов западного Мосула. Во вторник им удалось освободить здание национального музея и главный филиал Центробанка, который боевики "Исламского государства" разграбили в 2014 году.
Армия также завладела зданием, которое служило исламистам судом и где они учиняли незаконные расправы. Накануне силы быстрого реагирования отбили у "ИГ" комплекс правительственных зданий. Под контроль проправительственных сил перешли два из пяти мос…
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Des Moines Officers Find Body of Slain Woman. Des Moines police are investigating the slaying of a woman whose body was found in an apartment. March 7, 2017, at 6:29 a.m.. MORE. LinkedIn · StumbleUpon · Google +; Cancel. Des Moines Officers Find ...
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U.S. National Security and Military News Review: More than 2,000 pro-Iranian fighters killed in Iraq and Syria

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March 7, 2017, 1:22 PM (IDT)
"Some 2,100 martyrs have been martyred so far in Iraq or other places defending the holy mausoleums," according to Mohammad Ali Shahidi, head of Iran's Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, speaking at a conference on martyrdom culture in Tehran. The figure was more than double the number he gave in November, which referred only to Syria. The "mausoleums" refer to the Shiite holy sites targeted by Sunni extremists.


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Tignes hit by second avalanche in a month
CNN
Paris (CNN) A second avalanche in a month hit the French Alps town of Tignes Tuesday sparking a rescue mission. The avalanche broke out in the off-piste area of Grand Balme at 9.50am according to local authorities. Tignes was hit by an avalanche ...
Avalanche strikes French ski resort of Tignes; no fatalitieskwwl.com
Avalanche hits Tignes French Alpine ski resort, reportedly causing casualtiesCBS News
Skiers escape serious injury after being hit by 'hugely violent' avalanche at French resort popular with British ...Daily Mail
USA TODAY -TIME -The Guardian -Reuters
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former FBI agents power influence - Google News: Congressional investigations into Russian influence are recipe for chaos - Hawaii Tribune Herald

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Newsmax



Congressional investigations into Russian influence are recipe for chaos
Hawaii Tribune Herald
On Monday he said that were he an FBI agent, he would be concerned whether “Congress is going to be leaking information and saying things that will inhibit us and bringing in witnesses that may contradict what the witnesses have already told us,” he ...
Congress Should Leave Russia-Trump Inquiry to FBINewsmax

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Russia international behavior - Google News: Americans must stop this Russian ambassador madness - The Hill (blog)

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The Hill (blog)



Americans must stop this Russian ambassador madness
The Hill (blog)
But back then, his civilized behavior never blinded Americans as to what he represented, whom he really was or that he also ran a "racket" (a network of KGB operatives) to undermine America. Kislyak is not the issue; he is just one in a long line of ...



 Russia international behavior - Google News

Israel News Review: US senator: David Friedman ‘unfit’ for ambassador posting

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Despite opposition, Trump’s nominee for envoy to Israel is expected to be confirmed by the Senate later this week

 Israel News Review

james b. comey - Google News: Jennifer Rubin: Will Comey's request push Trump over the edge? - Salt Lake Tribune

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Jennifer Rubin: Will Comey's request push Trump over the edge?
Salt Lake Tribune
"FBI Director James BComey asked the Justice Department this weekend to issue a statement refuting President Trump's claim that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump's phones before the election, according to U.S. officials, but the ...

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: The Daily Vertical: Comintern 2.0?

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The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.



 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Ukraine accused of seeking to litigate Crimea annexation

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THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Russia accused Ukraine on Tuesday of taking it to court under false pretences, using allegations of financing terrorism and ethnic discrimination as a front to litigate Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula three years ago.
  
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Window on Eurasia -- New Series: A Rubicon is Crossed: Like Ukrainians, Belarusians Now View Fighting Despotism as Patriotic 

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 7 – The Belarusian protests have crossed a Rubicon in recent days, Roman Popkov argues: Belarusians taking part in them now view fighting the despotism of the Alyaksandr Lukashenka regime as a patriotic act, a development that means they increasingly resemble Ukrainians in 2013.

            The slogans which bring people into the streets may touch on socio-economic problems, democracy, and corruption, the Russian analyst says. “But the main thing among both Ukrainians and Belarusians is the struggle for the liberation of their country and nation and for a renewed Daughter-Motherland under national banners” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=58BD999DEF564).

            In both places, “resistance to tyranny is a patriotic act,” Popkov says.

            Given that more protests are scheduled over the next three weeks, that shift in the mindset of Belarusians changes the calculus for all involved. For the demonstrators, it means that their struggle is now a zero-sum one in which they will only win if Lukashenka is ousted and replaced with a regime answerable to the Belarusian people.

            For Lukashenka, it means that his room for maneuver is less than ever before, especially since he can’t count on Moscow to intervene on his behalf or on the West to overlook his dictatorial approach in the name of some broader geopolitical game.

            For Moscow, it raises the specter of another color revolution, perhaps Putin’s greatest fear, at a time when a massive Russian intervention almost certainly would plunge Moscow into a new era of additional sanctions and increased Western hostility.

            And for the West, which almost invariably prefers the stability it knows to the instability of democratic movements, it represents a situation in which Western governments appear to have little influence on the outcome but to be greatly dependent on what occurs, a situation in which the balance in decision making could rapidly shift from one extreme to another.



 Window on Eurasia -- New Series
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us national security - Google News: Expert Says Revised Executive Order 'Not Likely' To Improve National Security - Wisconsin Public Radio News

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Wisconsin Public Radio News



Expert Says Revised Executive Order 'Not Likely' To Improve National Security
Wisconsin Public Radio News
Like the initial order signed in late January, the new order bars travelers from specific majority-Muslim countries for 90 days and suspends the entire U.S. refugee program for 120 days. It also cuts more than half of the overall number of refugees ...
Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visasWashington Post
New Travel Ban Exempts Iraqis, Could Target More CountriesU.S. News & World Report
Trump travel ban: new order targeting six Muslim-majority countries signedThe Guardian
Los Angeles Times -The White House
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MH17 Investigation - Google News: Official claims Ukraine's Buk air defense systems were in Donbass on day of MH17 disaster - TASS

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NL Times



Official claims Ukraine's Buk air defense systems were in Donbass on day of MH17 disaster
TASS
THE HAGUE, March 7. /TASS/. No fewer than 17 air defense missile systems Buk-M1 of the Ukrainian armed forces were in the east of Ukraine on the day of the Malaysian flight MH-17disaster in the summer of 2014, the director of the Russian Foreign ...
At UN court, Russia denies Kiev's 'terrorism' claimsTimes Now
Ukraine, Russia face off in MH17 lawsuit in ICJNL Times

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 MH17 Investigation - Google New