UPDATE: Iran Wins, the World Loses – Goodbye Kobani

UPDATE 8:30 PM Eastern, 10/10/14 – SUA has received further information in regard to the analysis in this posted article from multiple, high ranking sources in the Middle East that affirm that the United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey have agreed to allow Kobani to fall to the ISIS (Daesh) forces. They have decided to deal with ISIS later, and that the US will fall in line with decisions made by this group.

The intent is to allow Bashir al Assad to remain in power in Syria, despite Turkey’s protests to affirm that Iran will then control Syria and Iraq. Additionally, SUA was told that these leaders do not want the Kurds to ever have a formal state of their own despite its current semi-autonomous stature to placate the Turks and the Iranians. SUA also learned that aid from the United States is not being delivered to the Peshmurga (Kurds) in Northern Iraq but is being held in Baghdad to ensure this end.

Please read the original article as well:

Iran Wins, the World Loses – Thanks Mr. Obama

By Denise Simon – SUA Analyst and Associate Editor

Have you wondered why Barack Obama says that a war to crush Daesh (IS) may take as much as three years to contain their terrorism? Have you wondered why we will not commit ground forces?

Have you wondered why we never attempted to removed Bashar al Assad or clean up Syria? Have you wondered about the GCC and those relationships and why there are splits in relationships in the region?obama_rowhanisplit

The Obama administration is on a single tracked mission to have a ‘nuclear accord’ with Iran, and nothing will be allowed to impede this objective.

There will be no consideration for historical terror globally at the hands of Iran, no allowance for millions of Syrian refugees displaced throughout the region and no attention paid to 300,000 dead in Syria and Iraq.

All of these facts are dismissed at the hands of John Kerry and his carefully selected team to engage Iran and bring them into the worldwide community demanding that leadership of other countries accept this agenda.

It is proven that John Kerry, the White House, and the NSC knows very well why and the players include as many as 100 notable DC insiders, a team of people you need to reacquaint yourself with. It is an interesting mix of strange bedfellows.

First, the administration engaged a delegation out of Switzerland to open and prod talks with Iran. Then after Hillary Clinton, who virtually had no interest in the matter knowing she had future Oval Office dreams left, John Kerry mobilized this team.

They are seen here as signatories to a report produced by the Iran Project called “Iran and Its Neighbors: Regional Implications for U.S. Policy of a Nuclear Agreement.” It is a long and tedious read full of assumed conceptions, omissions, and a stark “new global ranking” philosophy. It clearly sidelines Israel and other major players and injects facts, where others or voided, which are not in evidence and ignores many facets that are terror/Islam related issues.

This analysis is on part four of a four part series signed by the following:

Iran Group 1

Iran Group 2

For next week:  European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet in Vienna next week, October 14-15. They have a looming deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran less than two months away, European and Iranian officials said Wednesday.

US negotiators, including Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, and senior advisor Jake Sullivan, will meet with their Iranian counterparts in Vienna on Tuesday Oct. 14, a day ahead of Kerry joining the Ashton Zarif meeting, the State Department said. The meetings come as there is a growing sense in the Washington policy community and beyond that concluding a comprehensive accord by the Nov. 24 deadline is unlikely.

So for some background here are some chilling facts gleaned from their report:

In 2002 George W. Bush called Iran as being a part of an “Axis of Evil” causing an escalation in hostilities between the United States and Iran. Since then, the Obama Administration has chosen to ignore the Bush proclamation and has engaged Iran in all aspects of middle east policy with sights on a nuclear weapons/enrichment accord.

There is no intention to stop the nuclear enrichment program but merely to contain it at a level that has not yet been determined. The U.S. using all the power-brokers listed above have purposely installed Iran as a peace partner and an emerging power in the Middle East. Through 2014-2016, Kerry et al, has deferred to Iran to maintain and manage al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan once we exit fully.

IranProject4

Today there is even chatter to remove Iran from being officially listed by the U.S as a ‘state sponsor or terror.’

John Kerry et al, have determined that Iran is now moderate and no longer a pariah such that all recent and future talks with Iran are aimed to integrate them into the world community on par with all other legitimate nations.

This is being accomplished by lifting sanctions, encouraging trade and investment in Iran, and by including Iran in not only on the diplomatic stage, but also militarily when it comes to Iraq and Syria.

At the behest of Iran, the U.S. has not taken on Syria or Assad fearing that it will fall further and become a failed state like Somalia. Syria is Iran’s beach-head. Early on, John Kerry asked Russia to take on Syria/Assad and work to impose a transitional government all for the sake of the ‘nuclear talks’. Russia declined.

It has been officially declared, though silently, that there is no military solution to Syria, either before or ‘after’ the nuclear agreement with Iran, and once the agreement is agreed to and signed, only then will a robust humanitarian solution begin at a Geneva lll meeting.

At that time, talks of a ‘unity’ state for Syria will begin and those invited to this future session will include: Saudi Arabia, Russian, Iran, Turkey, and Assad. In the meantime human slaughter continues in the region.

Israel is left out completely and after the nuclear accord is completed, the U.S. will then sell the program to Israel. Then they will sell it to Turkey to bridge all ‘gaps’ between Iran and Turkey, although those tensions have moderated since Erdogan was re-elected.

After this ‘nuclear accord’ is reached, the U.S. will aid Iran’s energy production to bolster Europe’s energy supply reducing their dependence on Russia. This will include pipelines, power grids, and natural gas delivery with cross border projects.

If no ‘nuclear accord’ is reached, certain blow-back triggers will begin and will include additional sanctions and renewed threats solicited from the West. At that point the U.S. will begin their blame game on Iran and will then reach out to Israel to clean up the mess militarily. Additionally, the U.S will threaten to wean herself completely from the Middle East interests for the next ten years.

132313_obama_kerry_rouhani_putin_assad_aps_605

The talks between the West and Iran are being positioned such that the entire plank is created and the approval and signing will go directly to Rouhani and Barack Obama. To date, Obama has successfully finessed and minimized Congress, Israel, and all lobby groups with regard to these talks.

There is only a feeble border between Afghanistan and Iran and Iran will use Afghani refugees as a bargaining chip in order to keep the new Afghan government in check economically as America and NATO exit the country and we will be taking our money with us.

To date, the John Kerry nuclear talks team has virtually ignored all countries in the GCC and Iran will be forced on those countries in spite of their positions today. Ignoring current and future ground conditions, the building of terror networks and the continued killing machines known as Daesh, along with al Qaeda factions merging, the outlook for global stability is grim such that even Leon Panetta and others have predicted a 30 year war.

John Kerry is playing a hidden hand with this nefarious objective such that the world is at risk due to Iran’s red carpet treatment at the hands of the Obama administration. Nuclear weapons are in the future for other countries due to Iran. This is not a Cold War Part Two building, rather it is a real hot war at genesis.

Here are some important excerpts to read from their report:

2.5.3 Improving reforms.

The Gulf States understandably fear Iran’s military capability, particularly its navy and ballistic missile arsenal; but the real threat is an ideological one. Gulf rulers believe that Iran is determined to subvert their domestic politics by exploiting aggrieved segments of their citizenry. One way to mitigate this challenge would be through domestic reform. This could help reduce Iran’s influence in internal Gulf State affairs. As of now, the kings and autocratic rulers in the region remain wary of an Iran that still symbolizes popular, Shi’ite-influenced revolution. U.S. encouragement of such reforms, while desirable, is problematic.

6.1.2 Syrian support during Iran–Iraq War.

When in 1980 Iraq invaded Iran, Saddam had been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to topple Syria’s president, and Hafiz al-Assad at once committed his country to Tehran’s defense.1 Iran’s leaders named the war, which lasted until 1988, “the Sacred Defense” (of the revolution), and ever since has been meticulously building a Shi’ite sphere of influence. Called the “Shi’ite Crescent” by some detractors and the “Resistance Front” by those who belong to it, Iran’s network stretches across Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean. The Resistance Front, which was originally made up only of Hezbollah and Syria but which today includes Iraq, has been a central pillar of Iranian defense since the Islamic revolution. Without it, Tehran believes that its enemies could further isolate Iran and even bring about regime change. As one local cleric recently explained, “If we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.”2 Among Iranian leaders, this rhetoric is widespread. Major General Qassem Suleimani, the principal architect of Iran’s military effort in Syria and head of its Qods Force, has asserted, “Syria is the front line of the resistance.”3

8.2.4.b Evidence of Iran–Al Qaeda antagonism.

Documents captured from the 2011 Abbottabad operation that killed Osama bin Laden support the insurance/bargaining-chip interpretation. According to bin Laden’s letters, relations between Iran and Al Qaeda was hostile, characterized by disagreements over releasing Al Qaeda members and their families, as well as over covert actions taken by Al Qaeda against Iran. A complex series of negotiations and hostage exchanges, all detailed in bin Laden’s letters, confirms their antagonism. The relationship has become even more troubled since Hezbollah and Al Qaeda affiliates began killing each other in Syria.

8.3.1 Terrorist designation remains a major obstacle.

Any nuclear accord that includes significant relief from sanctions will have to deal with the fact that some sanctions against Iran enacted by Congress have been keyed to terrorism. Thus removing Iran from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list would be difficult. The relevant legislation requires that the Secretary of State provide evidence either that the state has a new government (as was the case in Libya and Iraq) or that it has not engaged in terrorist activities in the prior six months and is committed not to do so in the future (as was argued in de-listing North Korea). Neither is the case here. Meanwhile, the Iranian public’s expectations for relief from sanctions are a major factor moving the Rouhani government toward agreement. The sanctions linked to terrorism mean that, even if a nuclear deal is struck, the domestic politics in both countries may make it difficult to sustain a positive momentum. This could lead to a new phase of U.S.–Iranian tension.

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Edited and Posted by Scott W. Winchell

Daesh (ISIS) Closes in on Baghdad Airport, Kobani – Obama Fail

Editor’s Note – The charade that is Obama’s assault on Daesh (ISIS), meant to degrade and destroy is obvious now – it is just a political ploy to get him through the midterms. Once again, Obama and team place politics ahead of policy, and sadly, American and allied national security.

In addition to the article below that shows that Daesh is ready to ruin Baghdad’s days ahead, especially the lifeline international airport, they are now poised to take Kobani in Syria on the Turkish border. The experts believe that if they take it, there will be a bloodbath amongst the refugee population if the Turks do not intercede.

The Turks are poised in a defensive front, but will they take offensive action?

Intense street fighting raged in the Syrian city of Kobani Monday as ISIS came closer to capturing a key area on the border with Turkey.
ISIS fighters planted their flag on a hill on the eastern side of Kobani, then punched through defenses to open up the route for more troops, one witness inside the city told CNN.isidypg

CNN crews on Monday also spotted what appeared to be the black flag of ISIS flying from a hilltop on the eastern side of the city. The flag was farther east into the city from one shown flying atop a building in video from Reuters and also seen by the CNN crews.

Many Kurdish forces defending the city were wounded and killed, and many ISIS fighters were also killed as clashes spread from street to street, the witness said.

The fall of the city would carry huge symbolic and strategic weight, giving ISIS sway over an uninterrupted swatch of land between the Turkish border and its self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria, 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.

The Turkish military, which has bulked up its defenses along the border in recent days as the fighting has flared, blocked people fleeing the embattled city from crossing the border. (Read the rest here.)

America – take note, Obama needs to take ownership for all of the carnage – he earned it!

ISIL Within Shelling Range of Baghdad Airport

Gaining ground in both Iraq, Syria

By   – Washington Free Beacon

The United States appears to be losing its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, experts say, as the jihadist group adapts to U.S. airstrikes and advances toward Baghdad and a strategic town on the Syrian-Turkish border.

McClatchy reported on Friday that ISIL had established an operational presence in Abu Ghraib, a town within miles of the capital Baghdad that could enable the militants to shell the Baghdad International Airport with artillery. The airport serves as a key transit point for Western embassies and houses a joint operations center with U.S. military advisers.

A Defense Department spokeswoman said there were no indications yet that ISIL had taken over Abu Ghraib.baghdad_-_airport_and_green_zone

ISIL has also made significant gains in recent days in Iraq’s western Anbar province, where it has seized the town of Hit and launched assaults on other military bases in the region. Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have been captured, and U.S. and allied airstrikes appear to have failed to push back ISIL from its strongholds in Anbar.

In Syria, ISIL engaged in intense fighting on Monday with Kurdish forces in Kobani—a key town near the Turkish border that could grant Islamic militants new smuggling lines for fighters and supplies if they control it. U.S. airstrikes have also failed to relieve ISIL’s siege of Kobani.

Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that ISIL fighters have adopted new tactics to evade airstrikes and retain control of territory, including avoiding the use of cell phones and radios, removing their leaders and weapons from bases in Syria, and blending in with the civilian population.

Wayne Hsieh, an associate professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and a former State Department official who served in Iraq, said in an interview that “things are not going well.”

”The problem at the end of the day is how seriously [President Obama] takes this,” he said.

”Is this the president’s response to political pressure placed on him after the execution of [American journalist James] Foley, or does he really want to degrade and destroy the Islamic State? If he really does want to degrade and destroy the Islamic State, I think you’re going to have to see escalation, but the situation on the ground militarily is so problematic.”

Hsieh said he did not believe Baghdad was close to falling to ISIL, but added that sustained attacks on the airport there would pose a serious threat to supplies for Western embassies and the U.S. military personnel that are stationed there. He questioned why the United States had not provided arms to the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish forces battling ISIL in Kobani that previously helped save tens of thousands of Yazidis in Iraq.

Turkey, whose parliament voted last week to authorize strikes in Iraq and Syria, still has not aided the Syrian Kurds because of their ties to the PKK, a group that both Ankara and Washington have designated as a terrorist organization.

Hsieh noted that the U.S. military and its allies are largely using bases in the Persian Gulf to strike ISIL in Iraq and Syria, meaning their planes have to cover longer distances and must spend more time refueling than if they had bases in Iraq. Operating from Iraq would likely require more U.S. troops on the ground to secure the bases.

isilartilleryNavy officials have said they are relying on ships and aircraft that are already in the region and do not plan on deploying another carrier due to the limited nature of the strikes. Those limitations could be contributing to the inability so far of the airstrikes to uproot ISIL from its positions, Hsieh argued.

“That just shows you how not seriously they’re taking this,” he said.

U.S. forces also used Apache AH-64 attack helicopters for the first time over the weekend to strike ISIL militants near Fallujah. Helicopters are more vulnerable to small arms fire and missiles than warplanes.

“[The Obama administration’s] sort of doing this slow-motion escalation,” Hsieh said. “I don’t know if they’re thinking all this through.”

Commander Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman, defended the Obama administration’s strategy against ISIL in an emailed statement.

“Our airstrikes have been effective in achieving our goal of degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL,” she said. “It is important to remember that this is a long campaign, and we have been clear that it will take time to roll ISIL back.”

Smith added that there will soon be about 1,600 military personnel in Iraq, but “the Defense Department has said that there won’t be any ground combat forces and we don’t comment on future operations.”

However, some analysts say Obama’s strategy still does not match his stated goal of eliminating ISIL.

Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq during the George W. Bush administration, said in an email that the United States’ current anti-ISIL efforts are “long on symbolism and short on substance.”

“To avoid targeting ISIL forces attacking Kobani is like Franklin Delano Roosevelt declaring war on Japan, and then concentrating the American attacks on Argentina,” Rubin said. “What we have is war as a neighborhood organizer would fight it, not as anyone who knows anything about the military or the Middle East or simply the real world would advise.”

Turkey is mobilizing – vows help to end dictatorship in Syria

Editor’s Note – Turkey, a NATO nation, and one time friend to Syria, is ratcheting up the rhetoric. The sabers are not rattling verbally, but their actions and mobilization speaks volumes. What the response by Turkey will be to recent Syrian aggression in the air will be is unknown, but suffice it to say – stay tuned, the summer is getting hotter.

What happens next effects many and involves Iran, Israel, Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Turkey to name a few. It could embroil much more – even outside the region, especially economically as nations teeter on the edge of collapse. A major conflagration there would spell ill the world over.

Furious Turkey mobilizes tanks, troops to Syrian border

Erdogan slams ‘murderous’ Assad, warns Damascus that rules of engagement have changed following downing of its jet

By  and  and 

The Turkish military mobilized large numbers of reinforcements from its eastern provinces to the Syrian border on Tuesday, amid rising tension with Damascus, after the downing by Syria of a Turkish Air Force jet on Friday, Turkish media reported.

Large numbers of Turkish troops — including at least 15 long-range artillery pieces and tanks – moved to the Syrian frontier from the eastern city of Diyarbakir. A video published by the Turkish Cihan News Agency showed Turkish tanks being transported by carrier trucks toward the frontier.

The mobilization followed statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Turkish military will respond to any future violation of its border by Syrian military elements.

“As awe-inspiring as Turkey’s friendship is, Turkey’s wrath is equally awe-inspiring,” Erdogan told the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

“The rules of engagement of the Turkish Armed Forces have changed,” Erdogan said. “Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria posing a security risk and danger will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target.”

Erdogan closed his remarks with an especially harsh condemnation of Syrian President Bashar Assad: “Turkey and the Turkish people will continue to provide all support until the people of Syria have been saved from this tyrannical, murderous, bloody dictator and his gang.”

Opposition sources in Syria reported at least 86 civilians were killed by Assad troops on Tuesday.

The father of one of the two missing pilots who were shot down in Friday’s incident told Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News that he opposed Turkey going to war over his son.

“It is not appropriate for a country to go to war over a pilot, an airplane or 50 airplanes,” Ali Erton said. He said he was aware of the risks his son took as a military pilot, but added “what matters is that my son serves his country.”

NATO’s North Atlantic Council condemned Tuesday Syria’s downing of the Turkish jet on Friday, but did not recommend military action for the act, as Ankara has requested.

At an emergency meeting, requested by Turkey and chaired by NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the council clearly denounced Syria’s aggression “in the strongest terms,” calling the shooting down of a Turkish jet over the Mediterranean “unacceptable.”

“It is another example of the Syrian disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life,” said the NATO chief, expressing his solidarity with Turkey, but making no mention of retaliatory action.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday.

Read the rest here.

Turkey to help ‘liberate the Syrians from dictatorship’

By Ian Johnston, msnbc.com

Turkey’s prime minister said Tuesday that his country would offer all possible support “to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” as NATO condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkey military jet.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey – a member of NATO – had changed the rule of engagement for its military and would now respond to any violation of the Syrian border.

Turkey would not engage in war-mongering, but the attack on the reconnaissance jet, which was deliberately targeted, would not be left unanswered, Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling AK Party deputies in parliament.

“However valuable Turkey’s friendship is, its wrath is just as strong. Don’t take our common sense and cautious approach as a sign of passivity,” Erdogan said, according to Turkish newspaper Zaman.

“The Syrian administration is tyrannical and not just. Turkey will be in solidarity with our brothers in Syria until a new regime is in place,” he added. “Turkey will be in solidarity with our brothers in Syria until a new regime arrives.”

“We will offer all the possible support to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” Erdogan said.

Read more here.

Al-Shahab – The focus is elsewhere as killing increases

Editor’s Note – Al-Shabab is a Somali faction of Al Qaeda that in recent days, has emerged as a killing machine, and Kenyan soldiers have even entered Somalia to confront them. Included below is the latest article on that theater. Border wars and the struggle for control of Somalia have become a major conflict that the UN and NATO forces have essentially ignored. We are witnessing yet another re-do of Mogadishu as US troops land in Uganda, and it is spreading to other regions. Yet, the wars in the Middle East and North Africa also include the massive fighting and death toll on the Kurd group P.K.K.in and around Turkey and Iraq. The PKK has been deemed a terror organization by the United States.

al-Shabab Somali Faction aligned with al-Qaeda

Our diplomatic strategy seems most predominantly focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan despite the myriad issues elsewhere. Currently, Hillary Clinton has a very large delegation with her for her meeting with Karzai. “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Afghan President Hamid Karzai participated in a joint press conference in Kabul on the eve of Clinton’s visit to Pakistan”. In the Wednesday address, Clinton warned Pakistan against harboring terrorists, using what The New York Times labeled “some of the Obama administration’s most pointed language to date.

Clinton and Karzai discussed the implications of Pakistan providing safe haven to militants including the Taliban and the Haqqani, and Clinton pledged to “push the Pakistanis very hard” on the issue of terrorism. Clinton is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Thursday accompanied by an “unusually powerful” delegation including U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey and CIA Director David Petraeus, and will reportedly deliver a message of both “support and pressure” to Pakistan. Despite the “muscular show of diplomatic force,” The New York Times reports that talks may be plagued by “fundamentally different views” held by the two countries on how to combat terrorism. That is an understatement of course, and its not the only set of differing views in that theater.

Pakistan Security Brief – In recent months, Pakistan has “turned the tables” on the U.S. by charging that terrorist safe havens have developed in eastern Afghanistan, which Pakistan suggests is the “new regional hub for Islamist militants.” According to the Washington Post, some analysts have expressed that Pakistan may be “pushing this case as an excuse for not pursuing the Haqqani Network” in Pakistani territory. Meanwhile, the U.S. is pushing Pakistan to accept a proposal allowing for international monitoring bodies to be stationed along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to ensure regional security and non-interference prior to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014.”

Somali Shebab rebels claim dozens of dead AU peacekeepers

By Mustafa Haji Abdi

AFP/Yahoo

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels displayed “over 70” dead bodies outside Mogadishu on Thursday, which they claimed were African Union peacekeepers killed in battle.

If verified, it would be the worst massacre and largest single defeat that the AU force in Mogadishu has suffered in some four years of bloody battles defending the weak Western-backed government against the hardline Shebab.

“We have killed more than 70 of the enemy soldiers today… We have inflicted heavy losses on them and you can see their dead bodies,” Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said, displaying the bodies in the dust to reporters.

Angry crowds dragged some of the bodies across the ground, witnesses said.

Photographs show long lines of at least 20 bodies dressed in military uniform laid out in the sand, surrounded by a large crowd with their faces covered.

Witnesses confirmed that the dead bodies were displayed in the extremist Shebab-controlled Alamada area, some 18 kilometres (11 miles) outside the war-torn capital late Thursday, and that the bodies were not Somalis.

“I have seen the largest number of soldiers killed in a battle, I have counted 63 Burundian soldiers, all of them dead, the Shebab brought them on trucks to Alamada,” Hasan Yunus, a witness said.

“Some of the dead bodies were dragged along by angry residents — I could not count them exactly, but there were more than 60,” said Ahmed Jama, another witness.

African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) troops and government forces have been pushing into remaining rebel areas in Mogadishu, after the bulk of the Shebab abandoned fixed positions in August.

Burundian troops with the 9,000 strong AMISOM force control the sector closest to the fighting and are believed to have led the assault.

Ugandan soldiers make up the bulk of the AU force and control other sections of the anarchic capital.

Despite their pullout from much from the capital, the Shebab have not wavered from their aim to topple the AU-protected government. They still control large swathes of southern and central Somalia, and remain a serious security threat.

Shebab fighters in southern Somalia are also facing assaults from Kenyan troops and tanks backed by air strikes since Nairobi declared war on the insurgents and confirmed it had moved its forces into Somalia on Sunday.

Kenya’s military said Thursday it had seized the coastal area of Ras Kamboni without a fight, a former Shebab stronghold just across the Somali border, said military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir.

Inland, Chirchir said Kenyan troops were bogged down by “heavy rains” some 100 kilometres (60 miles) inside Somalia, as they prepared to push forward to seize the town of Afmadow, where Somali government forces were fighting.

Nairobi’s unprecedented military incursion into Somalia, which it said had already killed dozens of Shebab fighters, has triggered warnings of bloody retaliation by the Shebab.

The Shebab deny involvement in a spate of attacks and abductions from Kenya — including that of a disabled French woman who died in captivity — that Nairobi says prompted its offensive.

In Somalia, there has been a series of suicide bombings in the capital since the Shebab rebels said they were abandoning face-to-face battles and switching to guerrilla tactics in the city instead.

Earlier this month, a suicide bomber exploded a truck laden with explosives, killing at least 82 people and wounding many more.

But the deaths in Mogadishu Thursday provide a grim warning suggesting that the Shebab remain a powerful military threat.

Shamso Abdulkadir was amongst the giant crowd who came to see the dead bodies, and said that some wore body armour and helmets.

“I have counted 70, most of them were shot in the head and shoulders,” Abdulakdir told AFP.

“Residents gathered to watch the dead bodies after they were publicly displayed, and then afterwards, they were dragged about by people,” she said.

Somali government and AMISOM officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Heavy fighting was reported in the northwest Deynile district throughout Thursday, but Somali government officials had earlier said they were moving alongside AU troops “towards the final strongholds of the terrorist militants”.

Battles began before dawn in Mogadishu as AU-backed Somali forces advanced on holdout Islamist Shebab positions, officials and witnesses said.

The fighting was centered in Deynile suburb, a remaining pocket still held by the Al-Qaeda linked militants, which borders the rebel-held Afgoye, the world’s largest camp for displaced people.

Leviathan Field – New trigger point for Mid East Conflict?

Editor’s Note– Exploration and the quest for natural gas and oil within the Mediterranean appears to have become a domain war and a battle over rights.

The Leviathan Oil/Gas Field - Eastern Mediterranean

Naval assets by many countries are filling up the waters around Cyprus to protect and stave off certain conflicts over what lays below the water line.

Although Israel and Cyprus have an agreement over the Leviathan Oil and Gas Field, Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel remain at odds and relationships, agreements, and trade may soon be a the core of a battle using weapons.

Yet another trigger point exists in the region, any one of which could begin a war on a scale that dwarfs all previous conflicts involving Israel and her Arab and now, Turkish and Cypriot neighbors. Relationships that have kept the region at a relative low boil since the great conflicts of 1967 and 1973, along with the Lebanese civil war are now gone.

Turkey is no longer as cozy with Israel since Erdogan wrested power in Ankara, Egypt is about to cancel its treaties as Muslim Brotherhood forces fill the power vacuum since the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising that ousted Mubarak, Hezbollah is a constant Iranian puppet threat, the uprising in Syria, and continual unrest and rocket launches from Gaza spell danger at all levels and at all four corners.

One misstep, one terrorist attack, one failed diplomatic endeavor could set off war involving everyone.

Again, SUA wishes to remind all of the history of the region, and while watching the video below, think about the increasing number of issues. Old myths need to be exposed, truth needs to be heard, as many times as it takes:

Turkey’s Rifts With 2 Nations Worry a Top NATO Official

NY Times

By  and 

BRUSSELS — NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, expressed disquiet on Friday about tensions over natural gasexploration in the Mediterranean between a newly assertive Turkeyand Cyprus, as well as Turkey’s strained relations with Israel, saying that they were both “a matter of concern.”

Mr. Rasmussen said he did not foresee the tension turning into conflict in the Mediterranean, and he praised Turkey as an indispensable member of NATO that could be “a bridge” between the West and the Arab countries now engaged in revolts.

“Obviously the tensions between Turkey and Israel are a matter of concern,” he said in an interview here. “It’s a bilateral issue, NATO is not going to interfere with that,” he added, “but it is the interest of the alliance to see these tensions eased, because Turkey is a key ally and Israel is a valuable partner for the alliance.” Turkey has become increasingly outspoken in support of the Palestinians and in its animosity toward Israel, once an important ally. Mr. Rasmussen emphasized that NATO, as an alliance that works by consensus, would not become involved in bilateral matters or the domestic politics of member countries.

Asked about Turkey’s warning that it might send military ships toward Cyprus, which is exploring for natural gas in the Mediterranean, as is Israel, Mr. Rasmussen said that “NATO as an organization is not going to interfere with these disputes,” while adding, “I do not envisage armed conflict in the eastern part of the Mediterranean.”

Relations with Turkey have to be managed carefully as it asserts a growing role on the global stage, he suggested. “I think Turkey can play a stabilizing role in the region and serve as a role model for countries in the region that are currently transforming from dictatorship into democracy,” he said. Mr. Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark who is now two years into his NATO post, also praised Turkey’s decision to participate in a new missile-defense system for NATO. The government in Ankara has agreed to host on its territory a sophisticated American radar system that will form part of the missile shield.

About Russia and the decision of President Dmitri A. Medvedev to make way for Vladimir V. Putin as a presidential candidate, he said: “We’ll see what I would call continuity in the Kremlin. I don’t expect major changes there in Russian foreign and security policy.” He said he thought Russia remained committed to working with NATO on missile defense, a main aim of Mr. Rasmussen’s tenure.

Another central objective for the NATO secretary general is to persuade European allies to coordinate defense spending and cooperate on procurement to try to ensure that military capabilities improve, despite the expenditure cuts being pushed through by many national governments.

Mr. Rasmussen criticized a proposal from the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain to set up a defense-planning headquarters for the European Union based in Brussels. The plan is opposed by Britain, which sees the move as a duplication of NATO facilities and a waste of money — a view echoed by Mr. Rasmussen.

“Honestly speaking, what we need is investment in military hardware and not in new bureaucracies and headquarters,” he said. “I don’t think we need more headquarters. What we need is more investment in critical military capabilities.”

“I’m neither naïve nor unrealistic,” Mr. Rasmussen added. “I know very well, as a politician, that during a period of economic austerity you cannot expect increases in defense budgets.” That fact, he said, indicated that the alliance countries “need to make more effective use of our resources through more multinational cooperation — what I call smart defense.”

Mr. Rasmussen rejected suggestions that the United States was reducing its commitment to NATO because it took a secondary role in the operations against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya. “The American commitment to NATO remains as strong as ever,” he said. “The U.S. was strongly engaged in this operation, and we could not have carried out this operation successfully without the unique and essential U.S. assets.” He mentioned intelligence, drone aircraft and air-to-air refueling, all areas in which European members should invest more, he said.

“The positive story, he said, “is that Europeans took the lead and that was actually a clear response to an American request for more European engagement, a call on Europeans to take more responsibility, and the Europeans stepped up to the plate.”